Author Topic: Backstabbing etiquette - The staff's view?  (Read 4018 times)

Baby's got backstab

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Backstabbing etiquette - The staff's view?
« on: January 26, 2003, 05:08:24 PM »
I've read a lot of differing views and opinions on backstab, and I was hoping to get a final word from the staff on it.

Here are my two questions:

#1 - backstab ; flee ; backstab - Lame or not?

On the surface I'd think it was lame, but I've read differing views on it, that backstab isn't a literal 'backstab' but is a 'critical strike' so fleeing and returning to backstab again isn't poor form.

#2 - Practicing backstab during sparring.

Again, this pretty much rests on whether or not a backstab is a 'critical strike' or not.  If it is, then it would seem to me that trying to backstab during a sparring match would be the same as working on swinging at someone's throat.

I'd love to get an authoratative answer.  I've had someone backstab ; flee ; backstab ; flee ; backstab on me and thought it was pretty lamo.  It'd be different if they ran off to hide after the fled but it was more of a 'flee south' ; north ; backstab type dealy.

Thanks!

X-D

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Backstabbing etiquette - The staff's view?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2003, 11:19:22 AM »
Somebody is probly gonna complain about me posting an answer here but I would like to field the second question since I think it is more a player issue then anything and have had to deal with it with a lot of chars.

Backstab while sparring, Normaly it is considered bad by most clans considering a backstab is an actual attempt to kill someone, it does not fit into a friendly setting and most people react to it as basicly cowardess and attempted murder, at least in the clans I have been in, Now, I do not know about some of the..."shadier" clans. when somebody tries to backstab one of my chars in the ring, most of them will get really pissed and likly draw live weapons in response. The reactions I have seen by others chars is usually not to far off that.

You only have to look at the messages from a failed or successful backstab to decide this, when you get the message of somebody trying to slide a dagger into your throat while you are supposed to be in a "friendly"
match you tend to not be happy about it, and your char would be even less happy.

now, I answered this because regardless of what the staff thinks of it in the ring, they are not the ones you are gonna have to deal with, you will have to deal with the other players reactions,  and they are likly to not be good.
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Carnage

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Permission
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2003, 12:32:54 PM »
I'd say to ask permission. Play it like it's a move you're tinkering with.

If all of a sudden you try to ram your dagger through my character's throat, he's going to be pretty pissed. If you ask him politely if he'd mind or not, he might be a bit more open minded.
Carnage
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Rindan

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Re: Backstabbing etiquette - The staff's view?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2003, 05:06:52 PM »
Quote from: "Baby's got backstab"

#1 - backstab ; flee ; backstab - Lame or not?


Without a doubt worthy of having an imm smite you if it is against an NPC.  It is just flat out code abuse that causes the NPC to not respond.  With a desert elf I could easily lead back a few meks and silt horrors to Allanak's gates and kill everything on the streets, but it would be terrible abuse to do so.

In the case of PCs, it depends.  Backstab is a surprise strike.  You can launch a surprise strike at a guy you are talking to.  You can be having a casual conversation then suddenly try and slice open his throat.  You can jab them in the back, hide in a crowd, then circle around for another stab.  As long as the PC isn't expecting it, it doesn't seem abusive to me.  If the PC clearly sees you and is indicating that he is expecting hostile intentions, then I personally think that it is abusive to backstab.  If my character does an Ďemote watches ~fred unflinchingly, his swords held at readyĒ, I would be very pissed if Fred then thought it would be a good time to backstab.  Again, just because the code lets you do something doesnít mean that you should.

Quote
#2 - Practicing backstab during sparring.  


Backstabbing can be practiced sparring, you just need to be reasonable about it and remember that a backstab is a surprise strike.  I donít really think that starting a fight in a sparing circle is an appropriate time for a backstab.  Your opponent is clearly watching for your first strike.  It isnít going to be a surprise when it comes.  It is pretty much the same sort of deal as someone watching your character with weapons held and ready and backstabbing them anyway.  The only time starting normal sparing match with backstab makes sense is if you attack them before they finish emoting being ready, in which case you deserve the ass kicking you are going to get by your superior officer for attacking someone who was not ready.

That said, you can find proper times to backstab people during training.  Coming up with games that make sense for an assassin to play could be a good example.  For instance, one person might turn their back to the assassin in training and RP trying to hear the other personís approach and attack.  Use your imagination to come up with sparring games that make sense that an assassin in training could play to work out his backstabbing abilities.

Another time when I personally think a backstab can be proper is during group combat training.  Namely, if you have two or more people working against a single person, then one person pulling out of combat to land a backstab seems like a fine tactic.  Just donít be abusive about it and donít do it constantly.  Remember the point is to make the attack a surprise, and if you do it all the time, it isnít going to be a surprise.

Tlaloc

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My personal views
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2003, 06:37:52 PM »
Speaking as someone overseeing a clan that does alot of sparring: backstabbing during a sparring match is gennerally not acceptable. When you backstab, you're trying to do serious, critical damage to your opponent. This gennerally isn't considered appropriate in a friendly backstabbing match. Not many people, no matter how rough your clan is, wold appreciate you trying to gouge out thier eyes, crush thier larynx's, or or slice open important arteries during a sparring match where both parties are expected to walk out alive.

One of the things I think people forget alot in the game is that combat really hurts. Even sparring hurts really bad. Fingers get smashed, noses get broken, ribs get bruised. If you've ever smashed or jamed finger, broken a nose, bruised a rib, gotten teeth knocked out...you'll know this isn't something that you -genneraly- want to happen all the time.

A backstab is basically doing this to someone on purpose, multiplied by 100.

Backstabbing during combat is another thing entirely. I'm of the opinion that, during a fight, anything goes. So long as its RP'd, I don't mind seeing an Assassin fall back, and set up another trap for his or her victim. I'd be alittle against a simple backstab, flee, return, backstab routine...however, if the assassin actually made use of thier skills:

backstab, flee, sneak, return, hide, shadow opponent, backstab...hell, even just sneaking back and backstabbing is a better solution than simply running back in and backstabbing. Doing that is using your assassin as a warrior...and thats a good way to kill off an assassin.  :wink:

Getting killed off by an assassin who knows what they're doing can  be on of the neatest ways to die, imho. A good assassin will know the lay of the land, use it to thier advantage, and make the best use of thier skills that they can.

Theres some thoughts:
Tlaloc

PS: the opinions expressed here are not nessecarially the views of the rest of the staff...just one immortals perspective.
Tlaloc
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Angela Christine

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Blunt and stabby?
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2003, 12:30:01 AM »
Regardless of the acceptablity of backstabbing while sparring, you may have trouble doing it.  In order to backstab, you need a stabbing weapon (duh).  I've never seen a training weapon that was set as stabbing, just thrusting, and if you use a real dagger while sparring . . . well, most people won't like that one bit.

AC
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Supreme Allah

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Backstabbing etiquette - The staff's view?
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2003, 01:39:27 AM »
Though last I knew the Byn had no such weapons, there -are- training daggers, AC. I've used them and seen them used myself. And yes, they use "stabbing", not "piercing".

Just wanted to clear that up.

Angela Christine

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Backstabbing etiquette - The staff's view?
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2003, 02:51:08 AM »
Quote from: "Supreme Allah"
Though last I knew the Byn had no such weapons, there -are- training daggers, AC. I've used them and seen them used myself. And yes, they use "stabbing", not "piercing".

Just wanted to clear that up.


Damn.  The one time I had wooden training daggers and a character with backstab, it wasn't possible to backstab with the training daggers I had.  I've been robbed!   :x  Ok, maybe not.   :P  Anyway, my point was that it may be difficult to find appropriate weapons for backstab sparring, and I stand by that.  There are training daggers in the world, but they aren't part of the regular inventory of most weapon shops.  

AC
Treat the other man's faith gently; it is all he has to believe with."     Henry S. Haskins

crymerci

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Backstabbing etiquette - The staff's view?
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2003, 02:53:32 AM »
So what is an appropriate way to train backstab? Mindlessly attack PCs or NPCs that have never done anything to your character?
I think we might need to change World Discussion to Armchair Zalanthan Anthropology.

Callisto

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Backstabbing etiquette - The staff's view?
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2003, 05:49:47 AM »
The appropriate way to train backstab? Get someone to teach you how, is my suggestion. Backstab is too common a skill and people forget that its a leathal attack, a critical strike into the victims vital organs. You don't train backstab like you would kicking or using a shield, you have to have someone who's experienced show you. You need to go out and kill someone and then slice them open to study the area of the victims organ and spend some time considering the ideal angle to strike in the future.

There would be much study involved in such a talent, not just trial and error, in my opinion. You won't learn anything if you don't slice them open after you kill them and study the results of your strike.
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Angela Christine

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Warrior bias?
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2003, 11:15:49 AM »
Quote from: "Callisto"
The appropriate way to train backstab? Get someone to teach you how, is my suggestion.


And how did your teacher learn it?  From his teacher?  Go back far enough and you will find someone sparring or stabbing rats.

I'm not trying to be a smart ass, but it seems like there really is no way to "practice" that will universally be considered acceptable.  Stab 'n' spar is bad form.  Stabbing random people (PCs or NPCs, no real difference) is bad form.  Sneaking up on rats and stabbing them is bad form too.  I know, I know, it's not about the skills.  But . . . it is.

Take kicking for example.  I've never had a character that was any good at kicking (or backstabbing either) but going by GBD posts it looks like kick is a pretty dangerous attack.  Maybe not as dangerous as backstab, but you can kick more than once per fight without having to run away and reengage, so it balances out.  I've never heard the arguement that kicking while sparing is bad form, or that kicking rats makes you look foolish.  The damage messages from a successful kick show that it is a serious attack, like a backstab.  Bashing someone onto the ground and then kicking them while they are down is as "dirty" in my books as a backstab, but I doubt this would raise an eyebrow in the game.  If you complain your gruff but loveable Sarge will probably tell you that the gith, raiders and other scum aren't going to fight fair, so you better get used to dealing with it -- which makes sense.  It makes just as much sense that you would want to learn to anticipate and defend yourself from sudden strikes like backstabs, so you would want to have backstabbing as part of your training regimen.  People on Zalanthas fight dirty, so you should make recognising dirty tricks part of your training even if you are too noble to use them yourself.  

Codewise you can't ever learn to backstab if it's not one of your skills and you don't learn any coded defensive moves from being the victim of a blunted backstab, but ICly you don't know what class you are or what is in your skill tree, so you don't know that backstabbing lessons are futile.  Wouldn't you rather take a few bruises from having a friend with a blunted dagger poking at you, so that you learn how to deal with it before an enemy with an obsidian dagger shows up?

It doesn't really affect me either way, I play mostly rangers and merchants who don't get any fancy combat moves.  But I can't help but think that if backstab was part of the Warrior skill tree it would be acceptable in more military organizations and informal sparing circles.  To me it looks like an OOC bias as much as an IC one.  

Ac
Treat the other man's faith gently; it is all he has to believe with."     Henry S. Haskins

X-D

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Backstabbing etiquette - The staff's view?
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2003, 12:33:13 PM »
Quote
form, or that kicking rats makes you look foolish. The damage messages from a successful kick show that it is a serious attack, like a backstab. Bashing someone onto the ground and then kicking them while they are down is as "dirty" in my books as a backstab, but I doubt this would raise an eyebrow in the game. If you complain your gruff but loveable Sarge will probably tell you that the gith, raiders and other scum aren't going to fight fair, so you better get used to dealing with it -- which makes sense. It makes just as much sense that you would want to learn to anticipate and defend yourself from sudden strikes like backstabs, so you would want to have backstabbing as part of your training regimen. People on Zalanthas fight dirty, so you should make recognising dirty tricks part of your training even if you are too noble to use them yourself.


All forms of attack, even sparring are "serious" attacks, But they are not true attempts to kill someone, not even a kick is, Sure, I'm trying to buckle his knee to get an advantage but No attempt is actually made to actually get a blade between ribs, to practice *backstab/critical strike* One hase to deal with internal parts and getting past the armor, regardless of weather or not the weapon is blunt this is what you are attempting to do with backstab, Plus, IC'ly the style is normaly considered less then honorable to use or even mention that you are practicing.

Bottem line is due to certain things about the skill (which I cannot mention due to IC nature) If somebody in or out of the ring jumps on my chars back and attempts to slide a blade into the base of his skull He is going to kill them, no questions asked by whatever means.


**Excuse me, Can I practice my attack on vitals on you?
++Sure, why not
So and so suddenly darts around to your side and leaps at your back
You suddenly feel a sharp pain as a blunt training dirk is slipped under your armor, sliding between ribs
**Well, can you tell me if I hit your liver or lungs, I am practicing you know
++Gurgle....BEEP
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Lizzie:
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creeper386

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Backstabbing etiquette - The staff's view?
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2003, 01:25:38 PM »
I'm thinking I'm going to agree with AC that it's more of an OOC thing then an IC thing. Regardless. Backstab is just like any other attack, and just because of what the coded little thing says that they slip their blunted weapon into your lungs doesn't mean thats what happens. It's about catching someone by surprise and landing a solid blow, you can do this without weapons. I see it as little difference then anything else. In sparring you still use the hit and kill commands like you would if you were acctually trying to kill someone, but it's PRACTICE, you are PRACTICING you aren't trying to acctually kill the person.

Now for you people that say you can't catch someone by surprise when they are watching you and weapons are drawn, thats bullshit. If they succeeded in their backstab, I'd say they through some way of distracting your character, heck, I small rock plinking you in YOUR EYE might be enough distract for someone to dart in and stab your ass. There are INNUMERABLE amount of things that can happen.

Like in high school/college wrestling, you go on that mat knowing whats going to be happening for the most part. Heck I've gone onto the mat knowing EXACTLY what the other guy is going to do because it's the thing his WHOLE team does constantly and has for the last 20 years. What happened... Exactly what I knew was going to happen. Just alittle later sense I was ready for it. Was it a surprise he did the move, no. Was it suprising that I wasn't ready for it when it happened, yes.


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Creeper

Oh yeah, to conclude I personally find more often then not its bad form to backstab in combat, but thats just because OOCily I think it might be possible codewise to serious hurt someone regardless rather or not you have a blunted weapon or aren't trying to absolutely kill the person. This brings up reason to have the ability not to go 100% sometime, but still being able to learn. You may still be trying your best to succeed but maybe your not moving as fast or your not putting ALL your strength into it. It's why sparring is sparring. I don't imagine when sparring people are going *ALL OUT* anyways, regardless, but people seem to think backstab is an underhanded tactic thats different then any other trying to kill people skill, ICally it should be treated no differently then a quick strike by a warrior, in sparring it isn't meant to be dealing death(The warrior) and backstab should be treated the same way.
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X-D

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Backstabbing etiquette - The staff's view?
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2003, 02:19:03 PM »
Quote
I'm thinking I'm going to agree with AC that it's more of an OOC thing then an IC thing. Regardless. Backstab is just like any other attack, and just because of what the coded little thing says that they slip their blunted weapon into your lungs doesn't mean thats what happens. It's about catching someone by surprise and landing a solid blow, you can do this without weapons. I see it as little difference then anything else. In sparring you still use the hit and kill commands like you would if you were acctually trying to kill someone, but it's PRACTICE, you are PRACTICING you aren't trying to acctually kill the person.


If that were the case then all of the combat classes would have it to some degree, or be able to learn/branch it, of course the name would probly be different like the circle skill in some diku muds....hhhmmm, but then the stealthy types would have some other sneaky quick kill skill that we would be talking about on this thread.

The end of my last post was actually an agreement too callisto's post

Quote
You don't train backstab like you would kicking or using a shield, you have to have someone who's experienced show you. You need to go out and kill someone and then slice them open to study the area of the victims organ and spend some time considering the ideal angle to strike in the future.

There would be much study involved in such a talent, not just trial and error, in my opinion. You won't learn anything if you don't slice them open after you kill them and study the results of your strike.


The point being, even if you were to allow someone to attempt to get a suprise critical attack on you, how would they learn anything if it was not a serious attempt to kill? if the pulled the blow short of piercing that lung then nothing is learned, If they shove the full length of the blade in and the person is still walking about, they at least can go Hey, well, I guess the lung ain't there, Yo, Joe, mind if I try that again, Bah, from an IC perspective it makes no sense for somebody to even think of freindly backstab practice in the ring, let alone for anybody to allow it.
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Kronus

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Backstabbing etiquette - The staff's view?
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2003, 02:26:48 PM »
As someone who has played a character in Tlaloc's organization-that-does-lots-and-lots-of-sparring, I think I have a pretty good idea of what exactly goes on in that place. I've seen warrior PCs who had been in the group (sparring every day) for almost a game year step into the ring against a newbie burglar who just joined yesterday... and you know what? Just going off the base combat emotes, that warrior jammed both his swords right into that burglar's neck, causing all kinds of critical damage and forcing the poor guy to flee in 'terrible condition' and limp back to the barracks to sleep it off.
Now, yes, usually the warrior would be contrite about it, and apologize and offer to teach the burglar something about how to defend himself from blows like that, but I see no reason why, just because we OOC'ly all know the difference between a Backstab emote and a Really Good Warrior emote doesn't mean that the actual use of the backstab skill can't be viewed, IC'ly, as exactly the same kind of thing.
A fact about combat: No one in a fight ever tries for a 'non-critical' hit. Maybe fancy, rapier-swinging bravos who want to humiliate their foes first do, but pretty much everyone on Zalanthas is fighting to win. Where exactly is that 25-day old warrior sticking his swords if it isn't between someone's ribs each time he 'slashes them hard across the body'?

So why is backstab so evul evul evul?  The helpfile itself makes it clear that the skill isn't supposed to be viewed as a literal stab in the back. Abstracted beyond the syntax and the coded emit, it is no different in intent or method than the warrior's basic strike to the throat, wrist or even body. The only difference is that the assassin, lacking the formal combat theory of a warrior, is only good enough to do it once, so he makes it count.

Now, since this discussion is so very near and dear to my heart right now, I'd like to throw that other beloved assassin skill into the mix: Sap. Same question applies: is it acceptable to practice this skill in the safety of the sparring ring, or does every assassin and thug in the world have to go out and risk life and limb by screwing it up a hundred times in order to get it right?
And, IC'ly, is using the sap skill any different than the warrior who uses two clubs and knocks that newbie burglar on the head so fast that it drops him to the mat before the Sergeant can even shout "Just use one weapon!"?

X-D

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Backstabbing etiquette - The staff's view?
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2003, 03:31:21 PM »
One of the reasons I am proponent of the ability to change offense and defense settings, Always hate when I have a char Who walks into the ring and does frightening on first swing with a parry dagger in off hand against less skilled chars, I myself never emote anything life threatoning in sparring, and am perfectly willing to say something to other people that do, either ic or ooc, prefer ooc myself, only because in most cases that is what is behind such emotes, if it appears ic it will be dealt with ic.


Also, when sparring either one is supposed to be teaching or both are supposed to be learning, in the case of sap and backstab, the one getting practiced on does not learn a thing (which he would IRL) he would at least learn what to watch for and such, If chars got say the skill -avoid-  and it improved the chance that you could avoid a backstab or sap then I would have less of a problem with it ooc (would have the same problem with it ic though, Well, with a lot of chars) But if that was the case if you had backstab you would not want to practice on people and help them become resistant
 :wink:
A gaunt, yellow-skinned gith shrieks in fear, and hauls ass.
Lizzie:
If you -want- me to think that your character is a hybrid of a black kryl and a white push-broom shaped like a penis, then you've done a great job

creeper386

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Backstabbing etiquette - The staff's view?
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2003, 05:03:50 PM »
For what X-D said about learning to avoid such a thing... I don't see that much happening except because of shear agility. Backstab isn't just a *stabbing someone in the back* as it's been said and says in the helpfiles. I would say that a backstab is different every time. There isn't really a set way to make a critical strike.

In combat, there are set ways to do things, you pick up your teachers style, and if you fall out of that style in regards to attacks or defenses under different circumstances you tend to get in trouble. With what I see about backstabbing, it isn't exactly that way, sure their might be subtle styles to it, but it isnt' going to be something that is going to be easiely picked out, it could be someone charging in like the were a normal warrior, their weapons waving up high to only dive, roll under the person weapons and come up planting a dagger to two in the fellows throat. It's about surprise, not sneaking about, hiding and such. Sure it's going to be easier if they don't know your around, but sometimes people are on their best defenses when everything is eerily quiet.

And like whats his name said, ICally how is it greatly different then any other warriors attack? How would sap be any different then a half giant hitting you in the head with his club? I mean, ICally there isn't a difference, but people look at the OOC coded emotes and assume in combat their trying to kill them.

Or like sap, maybe your character doesn't really feel like fighting this fellow so you just plan on rapping him good on the head and knocking him out. So you go into combat and aim a blow for his head. How would using sap be considered some 'seperate' thing. Just because of how the code goes about telling the saper what he's doing? The lag there could be as sneaking up on someone, or circuling about, eying his defenses and looking at the best way to make the blow. ICally NO difference. OOCily people see different echoes, and so their characters start acting freaked out.

I personally don't think I'd use backstab in a sparring match, because I'd be afraid of the repercussions that shouldn't be there, and even if they weren't there I probably wouldnt' take any chances. OOCily sure it's frowned upon to do such a thing, but I don't think conveying those things ICally and acting like your characters know he tried to kill you just because he used backstab to initial combat....

I think it'd fix it all if the echo was just changed to be like the current blows landed with the same varying degrees of damage done. Then it might acctually be RPed for things such as trying to kill your sparring partner to they wimpy little guy landing a lucky blow but still getting his ass kicked.


Creeper who is thinking this has become a discussion instead of ask the staff... hehe.
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Rindan

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Backstabbing etiquette - The staff's view?
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2003, 05:45:30 PM »
I tend to agree with those who think that backstab should be treated like any other underhanded trick.  Now, opening a fight with a backstab against your sparing partner is pushing it.  That isn't exactly a sneak strike.  Going for a good jab between the armor as you and another runner get the shit kicked out of you by a trooper sounds like fair game to me.

I don't even have a problem with some organizations not allowing it as long as they do it ICly, and not as apart of some OOC rule.  I don't see how a knee to the nuts (kick), a club to the head, or kicking a man while he is down is all that different from a wussy little spindly guy trying to slip his wooden dagger between your chitin plate.  If the backstabber in question ends up doing serious harm, then deal with it ICly.  If he is able to do enough damage that he is a threat to his fellow soldiers, then treat it like a trooper who beats the shit out of runners with his clubs.  That said, a newbie assassin blundering his dulled knife into the chitin armor of a duel club wielding trooper who can knock most runners out before the kill lag is over doesn't seem like anything anyone should get angry over.

Gorobei

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Backstabbing etiquette - The staff's view?
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2003, 06:39:27 PM »
Teaching, I think, is the best way.  The problem is finding someone who has the backstab skill.  Plenty of people have it, but it's hard to find someone to teach you.

I used to have a fairly long lived assassin in the Byn, and I'll tell you how I handled it, personally.
I almost never backstabbed in sparring, which had alot to do with Tlaloc warning me against it.  (I was still pretty new to the game, so I asked his for help a couple of times.)  The only time I ever backstabbed in the ring was when it was two vs. one in my favour.  That's the only time I can imagine my character being able to make a strike like that.
But, in the end, I did become a fairly proficient backstabber.  In my background, I was far from an assassin; my assassin moves were merely advanced hunting techniques taught to me by my father, so during desert training every week I would pull the whole 'backstab, disengage, <emote while waiting for lag to be over>' thing.  I didn't bother dissecting scrabs and jozhals, because my background said I was familiar with them, but it's a good idea for those who aren't.
My sergeants were pretty cooperative about it, too.  I had one sergeant that would take me out on weekends in a small hunting party, because he knew about my hunting background.
Desert training is an assassin's friend.

Another idea that came to me, that I never acctually went through with (because it's tough) is invent a game where you can practice your BS in the ring.  Toss the Runner was invented for subdue, why not something for backstab?
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Kronus

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Backstabbing etiquette - The staff's view?
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2003, 06:54:44 PM »
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Another idea that came to me, that I never acctually went through with (because it's tough) is invent a game where you can practice your BS in the ring. Toss the Runner was invented for subdue, why not something for backstab?


I had a similar thought too. At least in the Byn, you could just assign your assassin to 'permanent Gith' duty on those bodyguard training days - it's not like he has rescue and guard to practice anyhow. I don't know if guard actually works against backstab (I suspect it does), but this seems like a good way to give everyone some practice in what they'd be doing in the field.

And yeah, some poeple might see that as letting OOC guilds dictate IC play ("Just because you don't have the skill doesn't mean you wouldn't IC'ly train it!"), but it can just as easily be said that, much like the US Army doesn't give the scrawny runt kid who's good at crypto the M-60 (or whatever heavy support weapon) in the squad, that most organizations are going to train people to their strengths and not bother with stuff they realistically can't handle.

Tlaloc

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More on Backstab, Sap
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2003, 06:59:27 PM »
Angela Christine wrote:
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And how did your teacher learn it? From his teacher? Go back far enough and you will find someone sparring or stabbing rats.


This isn't nessecarially true. I've seen a player in the Byn who, through his career, never practiced backstab in the sparring ring, yet managed to branch and max out the skill. It is possible to get good at backstab, without ever having to resort to using it in an arena, being taught by another PC, having it bumped up by a immortal, or practicing on rats. Lo, it seems all you need to really do, is find good IC uses for the skill, and set yourself up so you can, indeed, get good at it.

So yes, it is possible to do.

As for sap, and practicing either in sparring: again, I say sapping in a sparring ring is a no-no. For starters, a sap is an attack specifically tailored to knock out the opponent in one blow. Knock Out. How does trying to knock out your sparring partner right from the get go help out your (or thier) combat skills at all? If you were someone elses sparring partner, and they tried to sap you (possibly giving you a mild to severe concussion), how would you feel? Finnally, speaking as someone who's seen the dangers of using sap during a sparring match: Sap is just way too dangerous for someone to use during a fight. People get knocked out, and then its lights out...forever. I've seen many Good PC's get killed because someone was fooling around with sap in a sparring match.

In my opinion, a sap attempt, like backstab, is a lethal-type of attack. When you use sap, you want your target knocked out, fast. When you use backstab, you want your target dead. By using either of these commands, I think its safe to assume that the character means Business, with a captial B, and is pulling out all the stops. Getting bashed in the head by a heavy, bludgeoning object to the point to where you're either unconscious, or nearly so is probably not something that the majority (and I mean likely 95% or higher) of characters would want to happen to them, at any point in thier lives.

Going on to answer a few more questions:

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I personally don't think I'd use backstab in a sparring match, because I'd be afraid of the repercussions that shouldn't be there, and even if they weren't there I probably wouldnt' take any chances. OOCily sure it's frowned upon to do such a thing, but I don't think conveying those things ICally and acting like your characters know he tried to kill you just because he used backstab to initial combat....


Let me maybe use a real life example: kung-fu. I'd about say a good real life equivalent to "backstab" would be the ability of martial artists to do things like...punch bricks, or break boards. Oftentimes, martial artists get  to sparring, and in these sparring matches, they wear lots of protective padding and equipment to help keep from getting overly hurt. It is gennerally accepted that they do -not- hit as hard as they can.

Now, during these matches, there is a big difference between when someone is just doing regular sparring, and when someone decides to practice a board-breaking technique on their opponents face, arm, knee, or whatever. If can pretty much assure you that after you kick someone as hard as you can in a sparring match in a martial arts school, the peoples reactions there will likely be very similiar to what would happen if you tried the same in the Byn, or any other organization.

The Big Misunderstanding about sparring by many PCs is that it is a direct representation of Real Combat. It is not. No ammount of training in a little room will ever truely get you ready for a real life combat experience. Only real combat will ever get you that experience. On the other hand, the whole point to training is so you'll be better prepared to go into a real life combat experience. However, that said the goal of training is also to keep the trainees alive so they can fight for you in the field. So...its important not to have them kill each other by jabbing things purposefully in their opponents necks or eyesockets.

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Just going off the base combat emotes, that warrior jammed both his swords right into that burglar's neck, causing all kinds of critical damage and forcing the poor guy to flee in 'terrible condition' and limp back to the barracks to sleep it off.
Now, yes, usually the warrior would be contrite about it, and apologize and offer to teach the burglar something about how to defend himself from blows like that, but I see no reason why, just because we OOC'ly all know the difference between a Backstab emote and a Really Good Warrior emote doesn't mean that the actual use of the backstab skill can't be viewed, IC'ly, as exactly the same kind of thing.


Well...putting aside the fact that Burglars should really think twice before joining an organization like the Byn, heres the difference:

1) If an assassin the same age as the warrior had successfully backstabed the burglar (assuming they've had a chance to practice backstab), there is a good chance the burlgar wouldn't have had a chance to flee. Instead, they could very likely be dead.

2) Backstab is, by definition, a very purposful, deft skill that requires a good amount of dexterity and knowledge to perform. Assassins should be, by far, probably the most pensive of the fighting classes. Assassins fight with thier brains, not just thier skills with a blade. I think this obviously shows in the way they fight. You can tell when a someone was just swinging, and moving half on instinct, and half planned out, with a non-backstab type of attack. On the other hand...you can really see the slick moves it takes to land a good backstab.

Maybe heres a good example, from popular cinema:

William Wallace, in BraveHeart, when he was swinging the claymore around and lopping off peoples legs during that one big fight was what bassically happens during regular combat.

William Wallace, using a flail hidden in his hair to smash the brain-pan of an unsuspecting British soldier at the beginning of the movie was a backstab.

I think there is a clear difference of intent in both of these examples. In example 1, William Wallace is just trying to kick ass, and survive. He does a pretty good job of it, too. However, you can tell he isn't putting -too- much thought into where each hit is going to go, and he's not trying to be overly sneaky, or particularly lethal on the first blow...he's got two or three more where that one came from, if it doesn't do the job.

In example 2, William Wallace is trying to pull of a sneak attack to kill the ever living crap out of the poor sod who was trying to grab his horse. Nobody saw it comming, and it was ultimately lethal. Yet it was pretty clear from the get go that William Wallace had it planned out from the beginning.

Does that answer a few of your questions, or clear things up?

Tlaloc
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Kronus

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Backstabbing etiquette - The staff's view?
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2003, 07:19:05 PM »
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Does that answer a few of your questions, or clear things up?


Actually it does. Quite a bit. Particularly the part about how, if the assassin gets "too good" at those skills, he can easily wind up killing his sparring partner outright. I was focused more on the part about getting the skills up to where they actually work, and hadn't thought long on what happens once they get lethal - or more importantly, how you know you've reached that point without committing a major 'whoops' first.

So in summary, assassins in organizations should practice backstab on the scrabs and the gith when the sergeant takes them out to do some hunting (and while someone else is there to take the hits that follow), and save the sparring ring for, well, sparring.

Works for me.  :D

Gorobei

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Backstabbing etiquette - The staff's view?
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2003, 09:31:01 PM »
Quote from: "Kronus"
At least in the Byn, you could just assign your assassin to 'permanent Gith' duty on those bodyguard training days


This is another thing I did with my afore mentioned character (which, I think, was the character Tlaloc mentioned).  I used sneak and hide before I attacked to raise those skills, but I never backstabbed.

P.S.  I'm related to William Wallace.  It's sweet.
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creeper386

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Backstabbing etiquette - The staff's view?
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2003, 09:35:15 PM »
Tlaloc, I understand, but in a sparring match people are practicing, not going all out, I see no reason why ICally practicing a backstab would be different then any other starting attack. When it's still practicing and they are practicing it, they wouldn't be going all out. You can practice precise hits without following through with them.

But then the problem comes in when you do get good enough that you can kill in one hit with a sparring dagger... Thats why I'd like to see sparring weapons toned down or some way to make it so you aren't going all out, because you can practice a such skills in sparring without severally hurting your partner specially when he has armour which is very protective and your not TRYING to kill someone. I've seen warriors nearly kill people with practice weapons in a sparring match, in the first round, and ICally, heck OOCily as well, I see no difference between the two, if a trooper or sergeant accidently kills some runner, he's going to have to deal with the consequences all the same, accidents happen, but I don't see why a backstabbing accident, or even a backstab that doesn't result in serious injury should be treated any different then another skilled warrior having an accident.

And with sap, they are practicing combat skills, thats a combat skill in its own sense, and again, I've seen people get knocked out in the first hit plenty of times, haven't seen that first hit be acctual first swing in combat before but if in one hit people can knock someone out, ICally why should it be treated differently? Just because of the different echo the code emitted? Sure there'd still be some IC consequence, and people would be cautious of sparring with you and probably precautions would be taking so you don't know every person out you encounter, thats an IC thing, and is the same thing that'd happen as if a skilled warrior kept knocking people out and some such.

Really don't see much of a difference ICally, if you accidently kill someone yeah, you accidently killed someone, it should be the same all the way acrossed, but getting ICally punished because you tried to land a surprise attack in the sparring ring? And the only reason it's different from anything else is the code tells everyone that... I don't like that one bit, but still probably wouldn't use backstab in a sparring match, or sap, unless I had a character that had something to prove, or wanted to be feared by others or something.

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Sanvean

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« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2003, 10:33:09 PM »
I think backstabbing during sparring is terrible roleplay, and I feel the same way about backstabbing rats, although I'm willing to make an exception for it if the player is willing to RP out creeping up on ~rodent, poising over it with a dagger, etc.

Generally most behaviors can be excused as long as they are well emoted out. That's my opinion, and that of other staff members may diifer.