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xenocide
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« Reply #405 on: January 23, 2008, 05:31:46 pm »


*snip*

A choice between an action and a dialog.  What if it was changed to the choice between 2 actions? Something like:

1. Attack
2. We did what we came for, and this guard looks like a seasoned fighter.  It may be best to slip out quietly.  Try to buy some time to jump out the window.


Then, if 2 the PC says "I was paid to kill one, and since I don't work for free, you can relax and put your sword down."

I don't like this. I think of dialog as a game unto itself. I much prefer going Arcanum style, and providing options to say different things, over pure skill checks (there should of course be some skill checks). This makes it more of a valid alternative to combat, verbal combat if you will, and is better than a non combat player simply raising his skills at the right time and choosing a "persuade him" option. I know this is off topic, but I want to get others thoughts on this.

Edit: I agree with everything Galsiah just said.

I don't disagree in general.  But we are talking about one specific case where there is only one choice of dialog anyway.  Unless we totally change things to include a dialog option for indimidate, persuade, lie, bribe, etc, I don't see the problem.  I am sure there are plenty of points in the game where you get to choose between lots of dialogs.  But in this case there is only one choice: "I was paid to kill one, and since I don't work for free, you can relax and put your sword down." You attack or say that, no other choices.  The problem is, that dialog on its own does not convey that it lead to jumping out the window.  So I think it is fine to have a choice between attack or leave, and you then say the dialog.  If this is the only place in the game it happens so what?
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pnutz
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« Reply #406 on: January 23, 2008, 06:22:22 pm »

I'm trying to imagine the guard's motivation. He may face serious consequences for allowing his master to be killed. He may feel personally dishonored that you killed this person (or anyone he was charged with protecting). He may be startled and terrified to see you there, not being able to size you up in the dark. He may just sigh and hope you go quickly, immediately pondering this black mark on his reputation as a bodyguard. The PC's observation of this could be based on a Streetwise check.

Your reaction might be
1. a seething threat "You're next if you don't run. I don't mind killing for free."
2. an abrupt false start "You scream and stomp at the guard, hoping to startle him."
3. a harsh rationalization "I was paid to kill one, and since I don't work for free, you can relax and put your sword down."
4. a taunt (to throw him into a rage and hopefully make him slip up)

These are much more interesting if you have more than a crossbow, like galsiah said. If you read the guard correctly (via that Streetwise check), then you should be able to pick an appropriate response. Respond wrongly and you risk prompting him to immediately attack in anger or, more tactically, call for help and try to cut off your escape. So the response from the guard would be something like:
1. "Your threat only hardens his resolve. He shouts for help and then runs towards you to cut off your escape."
2. "The scream from the shadows startles him and he stumbles backwards out of the room. He will most likely return shortly with company, as you hear shouts of alarm from below."
3. "He pauses and looks pained. 'Sorry, friend. I can't do that.' But he does not approach."
4. "Your taunt doesn't seem to upset him. 'Do you think I'm a woman? Who'd put off by trash like you?' He steps steadily towards you, sword at the ready."

You are still dealing with fight or flight for the most part. Maybe you could try to play toward his dislike of his boss and split what's in the chest (what's in that chest again?) if he'll keep quiet.
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Vince
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« Reply #407 on: January 23, 2008, 07:01:47 pm »

Tough crowd. *sigh*

Ok, how about:

The merchant makes no attempt to escape his fate. The bolt finds his heart and his no longer alive body hits the floor. The mercenary looks at you, then at the dead body on the floor. He's still trying to decide what to do.

1. Attack
2. I was paid to kill one, and since I don't work for free, you can relax and put your sword down.

The guard studies you, evaluating his chances. Finally he makes his decision and charges at you.
or
The guard studies you, evaluating his chances. Finally he nods and lowers his sword, but shows no intention of backing away.

1. Take what the merchant clutches in his hand and leave.
2. [Dexterity] "Catch!" Throw the guard your crossbow. As his attention switches to the crossbow, grab a bolt, holding it as a short dagger, and jump the guard aiming for the throat.

(I'll be grateful for any attempts to pretty up that cumbersome sentence)

2a. The bolt head enters the guard's unprotected throat, severing the windpipe. His eyes roll up and he falls down without a sound.

or

2b. The guard swiftly moves to the side and hits you with the pommel of his sword. He smiles unpleasantly, showing rotten teeth, and charges at you.

(you equip a bolt and fight using it as a melee weapon. It's a long shot, but it may work).

Opinions?

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zhirzzh
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« Reply #408 on: January 23, 2008, 07:18:26 pm »

That's great Vince. Stick with that.
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galsiah
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« Reply #409 on: January 23, 2008, 07:42:21 pm »

I like the notion of an improvised bolt-in-the-throat as a surprise, but I'm not sure that standard combat with a bolt-as-melee-weapon makes a great deal of sense. Once the guard knows that the assassin needs to hit him in the face or neck to do any damage, he'd be at a huge advantage. I'd prefer a significant-disadvantage situation to an almost-certain-death one.
How about having the assassin grab something else to use as a weapon? (a heavy candlestick, a chair, the merchant's cane/staff...) - or giving him another slim chance to dive for the window when there's an opportunity?? [though I guess that this could leave you without the map, which is clearly a problem...]


I'm not sure about this as a description "...severing the windpipe. His eyes roll up and he falls down without a sound.".
I'm fairly sure that severing the windpipe alone does almost nothing. It probably makes breathing noisy and annoying, but it's certainly not going to kill anyone. To kill someone fast by severing something in the neck you'd want to hit either the right or left carotid artery, which are either side of the windpipe - shoving a bolt directly through the windpipe would probably miss them both, leaving an annoyed, hoarse guard.
Then of course you'd probably want a different description, with some throat clutching and blood spurting.
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Vince
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« Reply #410 on: January 23, 2008, 07:52:31 pm »

I like the notion of an improvised bolt-in-the-throat as a surprise, but I'm not sure that standard combat with a bolt-as-melee-weapon makes a great deal of sense. Once the guard knows that the assassin needs to hit him in the face or neck to do any damage, he'd be at a huge advantage.
Well... it doesn't have to be face or neck. Our brave assassin has AP bolts in his arsenal of destruction and we can give them basic 1-3 damage range plus a few points vs DR and a good chance to bypass armor completely (a daggers' trait). With a little bit of luck and a lot of dodging...

Quote
How about having the assassin grab something else to use as a weapon? (a heavy candlestick, a chair, the merchant's cane/staff...)...
What's the difference? If anything, several bolts are a better weapon than a chair, don't you think?

Quote
I'm not sure about this as a description "...severing the windpipe. His eyes roll up and he falls down without a sound.".
I'm fairly sure that severing the windpipe alone does almost nothing. It probably makes breathing noisy and annoying, but it's certainly not going to kill anyone. To kill someone fast by severing something in the neck you'd want to hit either the right or left carotid artery, which are either side of the windpipe - shoving a bolt directly through the windpipe would probably miss them both, leaving an annoyed, hoarse guard.
Then of course you'd probably want a different description, with some throat clutching and blood spurting.
I'm ashamed to admit, but I lied to you guys. I'm not a professional ninja-assassin, and I have no idea how to kill people in a fast and efficient manner. So, we'll go with what Galsiah said.
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Special_Can
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« Reply #411 on: January 23, 2008, 08:16:04 pm »

 That's actually good. It leaves the consequences with a much harder combat. Make the Dexterity check a 10, very few people will be able to succeed.
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star
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« Reply #412 on: January 23, 2008, 08:22:46 pm »

I'm fairly sure that severing the windpipe alone does almost nothing. It probably makes breathing noisy and annoying, but it's certainly not going to kill anyone.


Well, the windpipe is very narrow, so sticking a bolt in it may stop your breathing altogether, especially if you consider all the blood thats now running down it and into your lungs... going for the arterys will be pretty deadly too, but it won't kill one instantly either, you'll have at least several more minutes before you loose enough blood to go unconscious.


So i say sticking a bolt in one's windpipe has probably the most immediate consequences..


Also, i like vince latest piece of art, leave it this way.
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namad
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« Reply #413 on: January 23, 2008, 08:49:35 pm »

so what if fighting with a bad weapon is bad?

to get there you have to fail skill checks AND make a daring choice!
you could always attack first, or simply not attack and take what the merchant was holding which are both the more sane issues...


the crazy attack is the fun option which people will save and reload to see it doesn't matter if it kills them because it's so fun!
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zhirzzh
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« Reply #414 on: January 23, 2008, 09:02:22 pm »

I'm not sure about this as a description "...severing the windpipe. His eyes roll up and he falls down without a sound.".
I'm fairly sure that severing the windpipe alone does almost nothing. It probably makes breathing noisy and annoying, but it's certainly not going to kill anyone. To kill someone fast by severing something in the neck you'd want to hit either the right or left carotid artery, which are either side of the windpipe - shoving a bolt directly through the windpipe would probably miss them both, leaving an annoyed, hoarse guard.
Then of course you'd probably want a different description, with some throat clutching and blood spurting.

That's right, breaking his windpipe would kill him, but severing it wouldn't. However, if you left the bolt in his windpipe, it would kill him. Once he was dead, you would remove the bolt, so you wouldn't need to take a bolt out of the player's inventory.
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galsiah
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« Reply #415 on: January 23, 2008, 09:05:34 pm »

What's the difference? If anything, several bolts are a better weapon than a chair, don't you think?
Maybe so - it just seems a little unlikely to me. Let's see how other people react.

Quote
Make the Dexterity check a 10
I guess it ought to be high - since only assassins are going to need to pass it, a low or moderate check would mean success for almost everyone. I think 10 is too harsh though. 8 or 9 gets my vote.
Or alternatively, have three outcomes:
Failure: you get pommelled, and need to fight with bolts.
Moderate success: you get the bolt in his throat, miss the real target, and sever the windpipe - guard charges, coughing blood (EDIT: a little, that is Smile), with the bolt still protruding from his throat (guard fights with stat penalties, but you're left fighting with bolts).
Complete success:you hit the right point, and he's down instantly, clutching at his throat, gushing blood etc. (only put more eloquently)

You could have it all based on dexterity, or maybe a combination of dex and critical strike??
E.g. (and I know this is needlessly complex Grin):
Dex 1 to 7 = failure
Dex 8 = hit with penalty on critical strike check
Dex 9 = hit
Dex 10 = hit with bonus on critical strike check

Critical strike success ---> Moderate success outcome
Critical strike failure ---> Complete success outcome


Quote from: star
Well, the windpipe is very narrow, so sticking a bolt in it...
As narrow as a crossbow bolt???
Quote
...especially if you consider all the blood thats now running down it and into your lungs...
Where is all this blood coming from exactly? You've missed the arteries, and probably the major veins too, since (I'm pretty sure) they're not central either. Perhaps it's possible to do some serious damage by sticking something into the windpipe, but it's certainly not reliable. It's not what an assassin would be aiming for.

Quote
going for the arterys will be pretty deadly too, but it won't kill one instantly either, you'll have at least several more minutes before you loose enough blood to go unconscious.
A couple of points here:
First, though it wouldn't kill instantly, you try fighting on while blood is spurting in jets from your throat. The shock would be extreme, and the almost automatic reaction to clutch at the throat with both hands to stop the bleeding.
Second, I'd guess that "at least several more minutes" is pretty optimistic. One or two minutes perhaps.

If you cut both sides, it'd be a matter of seconds, but I guess that's unlikely with a crossbow bolt (if you're stabbing it in, rather than slashing).


Quote from: namad
the crazy attack is the fun option which people will save and reload to see it doesn't matter if it kills them because it's so fun!
Sure they'll have fun - but they'll have more if they're left with a fighting chance than if they're left with a vanishingly small one. Expecting a save-reload isn't terrible - it's just not ideal.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2008, 09:08:12 pm by galsiah » Logged
Mephisto
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« Reply #416 on: January 23, 2008, 09:11:08 pm »

No, I think its too much. Besides, wouldnt it require additional work to make bolts a melee weapon? I think its too much for just a vignette where you need to get the map. Perhaps just replace that hollywood ninja scene with "Reload the crossbow and attack", as he lowered his guard a little and gives you enough time to do it. Perhaps you can do it while speaking. So, if you pass the intimidation check, you get a small bonus when attacking, which is a loaded crossbow instead of a unloaded one, so its not the same as the first attack option.

I think its simple and it gives different options:

1- Intimidate.
2- Attack with unloaded crossbow.
3- Attach with loaded crossbow (must pass intimidation).
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galsiah
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« Reply #417 on: January 23, 2008, 09:16:26 pm »

Unless it's got a peculiarly fancy loading mechanism, that's just not going to happen. Most crossbows take quite a while to load, and the idea of loading one subtly a few feet from an attentive guard with a sword is just absurd - much more far-fetched than stabbing a guy in the neck with a bolt.
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Vince
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« Reply #418 on: January 23, 2008, 09:24:04 pm »

Or alternatively, have three outcomes:
Failure: you get pommelled, and need to fight with bolts.
Moderate success: you get the bolt in his throat, miss the real target, and sever the windpipe - guard charges, coughing blood (EDIT: a little, that is Smile), with the bolt still protruding from his throat (guard fights with stat penalties, but you're left fighting with bolts).
Complete success:you hit the right point, and he's down instantly, clutching at his throat, gushing blood etc. (only put more eloquently)
I like that a lot. Thanks.

Quote
Quote from: star
Well, the windpipe is very narrow, so sticking a bolt in it...
As narrow as a crossbow bolt???
It could be the barbed one to make sure that you won't miss anything important.
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Vince
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« Reply #419 on: January 23, 2008, 09:26:17 pm »

No, I think its too much. Besides, wouldnt it require additional work to make bolts a melee weapon?
Not much. We can use the dagger animation and replace daggers with a bolt.
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