Specific feat for suprise attacks

Hi there, I was missing ways to specialize my character for suprise attacks. Right now there is lethal strike and death blow but they don’t really limit the play style. They both work when suprising or flanking an opponent. I personally really liked the assasin sub class in D&D 5e which really rewards suprising your opponent and makes a true assasin build possible instead of a general rogue.

So I was trying to create that for OL too and I would love to have some feedback :slight_smile:

This is what I came up with:


cost: 3 feat points

requirements: deathblow I

effect: when you suprise your opponent or when you perform a finishing blow you gain advantage 1 on your D20 action roll when making a damaging attack.

Advantage in a D20 makes you dice roll on average 3.87 points higher. In comparison, advantage 1 with an ability score of 5 gives you an average of 2.15 points extra. Advantage on a D20 stacks also better with other forms of advantage. So, plenty of advantages but also big limitations: in a fight it would be useful 1 time max (if you don’t count finishing blows) and in fights where you don’t suprise your opponent it’s mostly useless. So that made me think it’s still balanced. What are your thoughts?

You already get Advantage 1 for surprising a foe though, without a feat.

From Chapter 2, under “Assigning Advantage & Disadvantage” in the table
Delete 1

From Chapter 7, under “Determining Surprise”

Going for the d20 isn’t always a good idea, yes on average it can give more, but there aren’t too many things that do that in the game already, actually the only thing that does that is after a d20 has already exploded, then you get advantage on the explosion. It might can end up working, but then it might be too powerful in comparison, even with the limitation of having to surprise.

If anything, it would make more sense to lower their guard vs your attack (and I only say that b/c it is easier than removing Guard bonuses from Agility). Or make it like a Finishing blow, but without the Finishing Blow part (their guard is only 10 + Armor/Feats, no Attributes), that would end up being too powerful I’d imagine.

I’d also argue that Death Blow IS the assassin technique more than a Rogue.

Something to think on for sure, but I’m about to leave for travel, so that’s all I have to add for now.

Thank you for the reply!

Lowering the guard for the opponent instead could be a good idea indeed. Making it a finishing blow however seems way more OP than advantage on a D20 even. That would end up giving 5+ more damage vs the 3.87 on average more for advantage on a D20. Maybe a fixed reduction of the guard, like -4 would be reasonable I think.

Regarding the standard advantage for suprise: that is good indeed, however it doens’t give a player focussed on suprising foes an advantage.

Additionaly, death blow is indeed quite assasin-like. However it works just as well when flanking your opponent so it doesn’t focus the player on suprising foes. I personally like feats that take advantage of specific situations so it makes players try to create those situations :).

Also, have a good journey!

Oh, and one more thing to consider. In D&D 5e the assasin ability (3rd level rogue) that I’m trying to emulate, gives you advantage on your attack roll (D20 roll to see if you hit) and all the dice you roll for damage deal max damage. So for example if you have 5D6 for you attack you deal an auto 30 dmg. In comparison with that, advantage on you D20 roll doesn’t seem too OP. But then again, OL is not D&D and it needs to fit in the system.

I’m no Great Moustache, but I’ll try to respond in his place. Advantage targets the attribute dice, adding an exception in the game to target the d20 rather than the attribute dice would likely be confusing. Instead, I would suggest reducing guard as Great Moustache proposed. As for amount, I’d say do the inverse of Resistance Boon without the immune part. So tier 1 is -3 Guard. Tier 2 is -6. And tier 3 is -9. This essentially makes it so you gain 3/6/9 damage on an average roll (assuming you normally beat the roll by 3).

Now for auto-max damage, since OL doesn’t have damage dice separate from the attack roll, there is no max. You could, theoretically, roll ten thousand damage. The odds of that are very close to zero, but technically possible. Instead… I propose the following for what you want:

Ambush (Tier I-III)
Cost: 3 Feat Points

  • Tier I: Agility 4
  • Tier II: Agility 5
  • Tier III: Agility 6

A favorite of assassins, highwaymen, hunters, and others who attack from surprise. You are skilled at finding the perfect places to strike when the target isn’t aware of you.

When a Damaging Attack you make at an enemy who is not aware of your presence, reduce their guard by three for each tier of this feat to a max of -9. If you kill the target, you do not reveal your presence to others and the kill is silent.

Cost: 3 Feat Points

  • Tier I: Ambush III feat and Agility 7

You have so excelled at stealth combat that opponents vitals are more obvious to you and leaving oneself vulnerable to your attacks could spell death instantly.

When making a Damaging Attack at a creature with ten Guard or less after reduction by Ambush and they are not aware of your presence, the attack counts as a Final Blow. For targets with higher guard but still not aware of your presence, if your attack deals half the targets max health, the attack counts as a Final Blow.

The reason for this is that it allows you to kill lesser creatures as by the time you get Assassinate, most enemies you will face will have too high of guard to just outright kill, but by dealing half their HP in one attack, you can still assassinate them. Bosses are immune to Final Blows until their HP equals 0 as well, preventing one shotting the boss. However, Assassinate is still quite powerful, but the cost of needing to be level 7 and a total of 12 feat points into the build make it late game and something the GM can build around if he doesn’t want certain enemies assassinated.

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Wow thanks for your reply TrinitysEnd! You make a very good point about advantage on the d20 being confusing. I only saw one exception and that is for ‘guided weapons’ on vehicles. And indeed auto-max damage doesn’t work in OL. You could theoretically make a feat that maxes out your first dice rolls but not the exploding dice. However, it was just for reference that I mentioned it.

Also the feats you propose are really cool! Ambush is a really good name for what the feat does and assasinate is quite elegantly constructed. For me it’s perfect ! :slight_smile: I also love that it’s multiple feats so it can really define a character.

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I’m happy to help! As a heads up, we have a community discord, if you need more help, that is always a great place to swing by and ask as well! I admit, I’m more active there than here xD

I’d say a reduction by two for each teir (max of -6) is better, since getting a high guard is not all that easy. Though that would probably be best figured out by playtesting the rule.

Maybe add it to the Wiki so people can playtest it and report on their experiences.


I’ve never been on discord but I might check it out :slight_smile:

And cool, now I know there is a wiki with home brew rules to browse :smiley:

Most enemies don’t follow play rules for guard so they can have higher guard than usual. Plus, the wording is that they cannot be aware of your presence, not that they just can’t see you. This is pretty much solely for one attack at the beginning of combat or creative use of the memory alteration bane. I could try to add it to the Wiki if people would like as well, which is here.

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