Rules of Stealth
The Rules of Stealth Skills
All stealth skills share certain elements in common as listed below:
• Stealth skills can only be delivered with a melee (i.e. NOT Missile) weapon of short sword length or less.
• Stealth skills may not be performed while wearing metal armor. Any skill classified as a stealth skill may only be performed if the user is wearing studded leather or below, and is not using or wearing a shield.
• Stealth skills may not be performed “on the run.” You must approach stealthily and as with the rules of magic, you must keep one foot firming on the ground while using the skill. You may pivot on the foot, turn or take a lunging step, but if any other movement occurs the skill will not be successful (although you do not lose the use of the skill).
• In order to perform a stealth skill, the victim must be surprised by the attack. It is therefore impossible to perform a stealth skill on an opponent while in combat with them. It is possible, however, to perform a stealth skill on someone that is in combat if you are not involved in that combat. Once you attack a victim however, you are considered in combat with them for the duration of the encounter. Simply running away and then running back over to stealth attack them again is not permitted. Once a victim knows you are there and what you are up to, you won’t get a second chance. An encounter lasts for the duration of that combat. If you should encounter the same target later on in a different situation or different battle they are fair game once more. Likewise any allies your target has are also fair game and you could, if you were able, perform stealth attacks against them even though the original target is now off limits. Note that an encounter is considered set even if the intended victim resists the attack in some way. Now that he knows you are there, he won’t fall for that trick again! (One exception is listed two points further down).
• In order to be considered surprised a victim must either be engaged from behind and not seen, or be in a situation where the weapon was not visible and the attack was not clearly seen coming. If you are already considered an adversary and clearly holding a dagger, the intended victim can likely assume your intent is not the purest. Approaching from the shadows, sneaking behind the victim or striking with a hidden weapon at the moment the victims head is turned are examples of surprise situations. If you let down your guard, you were surprised. All participants are expected to adhere to the honor system at all times.
• Use of “synergy” skills/spells such as blindness, divert attention etc. will work to aid in the delivery of stealth skills in the following way. The use of a stealth skill sets the encounter as mentioned above, but using a synergy skill of the appropriate type will reset the encounter allowing the attacker to attempt another stealth skill. It is considered that the victim is so bewildered or surprised by being suddenly blinded or diverted that he/she again becomes vulnerable to surprise attack. This resetting of the encounter can only be performed ONCE per target by ANYONE during the same encounter. In other words multiple individuals casting blindness on a single target in succession does not allow an attacker to circumvent the intent of the rule and perform multiple stealth attacks on the same target. In a true combat situation if someone found themselves blinded a second time after already being hit with a massive wound they would likely move to cover up vulnerable areas, wave their sword around, move erratically, or perform other maneuvers to ward off the next incoming attack they knew was likely to land. At RoA these behaviors are dangerous and against the rules, so the synergy skills are balanced to reflect this.