All stealth skills share certain elements in common as listed below:
• Stealth skills can only be delivered with an Edged Melee (i.e. NOT Missile) weapon of short sword length or less that is being held in your hand. You cannot deliver a stealth skill with Brawling weapons (fists or claws).
• 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 possible to perform a stealth skill on an opponent while in combat with them as long as you catch them off guard. Once you attack a victim, they are aware of you and you should disengage for a few moments to allow the opponent to get distacted by someone else while they lose track of you. If you cannot disengage from your opponent, you may be able to utilize a “synergy” skill as described below.
• 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. It is considered that the victim is so bewildered or surprised by being suddenly blinded or diverted that he/she becomes vulnerable to surprise attacks, even if you are standing right in front of them. Once you attack the victim, the Blindness, Divert, etc., will break and the opponent will be able to focus on you once more. In the spirit of the rules, you should then disengage for a few moments before attempting to attack stealthily again. Individuals casting blindness on a single target in rapid succession should not be done. Deafness conveys a particularly nasty syngeristic effect with stealth skills. While a victim is Deafened, they cannot hear the attacker and remain vulnerable to stealth attacks for the duration of their deafness; the Deafness effect does NOT break even after being attacked. Of course, keep in mind that even while Deafened your opponent can still see you if you are in their line of sight.
• 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.