Execution and Playing Dead

Just looking for a little clarification on the rules here.

If you’re prone and stationary (IC trying to play dead) and someone does 5 seconds of execution roleplay to finish you off, does this kill you?

Do you have to resist at some point in order to stay alive, or does the fact that you aren’t actually dying mean that the execution simply fails?

My belief, although we haven’t fully defined it, is that if you are unresisting to the execute you should die. If you have hits remaining, and wish to not die, you need to actively prevent them from executing you, by e.g. moving out of the way or counterattacking.

It would seem odd otherwise. They are spending 5 seconds chopping your throat out or similar. Trying to argue that you should live because you still had enough energy to put up a fight if you had wanted to seems a little counter intuitive.

By the letter of the rules, execution only instantly kills someone who is “dying” (ie. on zero hits).
I’d be inclined towards wanting a rule by which you only take a single hit if you roleplay still being alive as the blow goes in or before; the situation you want to absolutely avoid is for someone to be playing possum on two hits, then taking an “execute” that they don’t react to visibly, deciding they are now on one hit, and then getting up later as if nothing happened. In real life it’s pretty easy to tell the difference between someone who could physically still be alive and someone who has had an irrecoverably fatal wound delivered to them. On the other hand you want to word it carefully so that people don’t assume that you can execute a target who is under the Paralysis spell by taking a five-second wind-up before their swing.

I believe someone survived an assassination attempt on similar grounds.
However from what I understand of the situation the attacker’s interpreation of “To execute a character you should spend at least five seconds appropriate roleplaying delivering a fatal blow to execute your target.” didn’t seem to involve 5 seconds, and attacker promptly legged it immediately after calling it.

Similarly it seems clear that as nasty as paralyse is, given the use of the phrase "A character who is dying can be executed, killing them immediately. " as it’s dying rather rather than unresisting, I don’t think the intent is for you to be able to execute paralysed characters.

If a rules change was to clarify execute on unresisting targets, I’d go with “If you are not dying, but take an uninterrupted execute call whilst due not moving but you are not dying then you lose 5 hits”
(Since this would be as many hits as they’d have taken anyway given the 1 second rule)

*Perhaps with if this is enough to reduce you to zero hits, then you immediately die." - but not sure about this given paralysis

In my experience, most of the time very few people actually properly “execute” someone. I’ve experienced this when monstering. On the Sunday battle someone casually hit me in the calf while walking past and called “execute” without even breaking their stride. This as far as I’m concerned is not an execute call, it’s being hit in the leg badly, and I take it, and rp it as such. I would do the same as my PC. So if an individual doesn’t do 5 seconds appropriate RP’ing (lining up a kill stroke, exposing my neck, wailing on my flailing blood splattered body like a lunatic) as far as I’m concerned, I’m not executed. I believe that is both within the rules and the spirit of the game.

Absolutely - execute requires 5s of roleplay, not just a single blow.

Obviously discussing specific PvP incidents isn’t on the table, please, as it can easily become “he said she said” when there’s no other witnesses etc. PD are informed about the situation and have handled it according to our relevant policy.

My view is that if you’re playing possum you basically count as dying for this purpose, and should make it clear through your roleplay that you’re not - but that’s not an official refcall. If somebody wants one, they should email in.

When I’m executing someone, I’m generally swinging the biggest blows I can, but really slowly (cos they’re coming from way the hell back there and the static target doesn’t want bruises), so I’ll probably hit someone 3 times in the 5s. I generally take longer than 5s and ask “Is your head off yet?”… So if they’re on up to 3 hits when I start executing them, they’re Dying by the time I finish… and I’ve taken the 5s of appropriate roleplay, so they should convert to Terminal… And that’s if I didn’t pagger them a few times to be sure they weren’t playing possum before I started.

[quote=“Illithidbix”]I believe someone survived an assassination attempt on similar grounds.
However from what I understand of the situation the attacker’s interpreation of “To execute a character you should spend at least five seconds appropriate roleplaying delivering a fatal blow to execute your target.” didn’t seem to involve 5 seconds, and attacker promptly legged it immediately after calling it.[/quote]

If that was the assassination attempt this event, my understanding was that they basically just stabbed once (onto the armour I *think *) and said execute then legged it, possibly not realising the victim wasn’t actually as wounded as they thought.

@Michael I have the same issues with the EXECUTE call.

When done well it’s a wicked bit of hammy RP to liven up monstering or make you feel like a big damn hero- someone uttering curses and insults before a (safely pulled) epic strike, shivving up the monster over a short period of time or my favourite which was someone sticking a dagger under the monster breastplate when I’d fallen against a tree and RPing disembowling my orc.

The folk that tap you and whisper execute are just crap, I think I might start following your lead and ignoring those…

But to answer the original question, if in real terms you’re laying there and someone makes to behead you or remove your heart in horrific fashion would your PC actually just sit there and let it go on. Sure play dead to open oppertunities to heroic-ly escape to fight again but if you refuse to defend yourself (whilst relying on mechanics) you deserve to die. Just my 2 rings worth.

I love really hamming it up, when people are executing me as a monster I frequently go for broke depending on barbarian tribe, ranging from screaming curses, making desperate pitiful grasps at my executer or even begging for mercy, it seems to encourage a good execution one way or another.

In the leg hit instance I rp’d getting hit in my leg, screamed and groaned a bit then started calling for help again. I feel that this is lets someone know without breaking character I’ve not taken their crappy execute attempt. If ever challenged (which has happened before) I simply politely state the rules on execute (as so many people are used to monsters dissipating into finger waving smoke upon being dropped in other systems).

Of course, I think there is there the exception to the 5 seconds, and that is if an execute “looks” cool. For example the character who sweeps his sword downwards takes it in a two handed grip and stabs down in an overly dramatic manner, I think that’s more than fair. I think before 5 seconds I try to remember it’s there so everything looks good rather than a draconian rule to applied ruthlessly.

[quote=“Ernie55”]
If in real terms you’re laying there and someone makes to behead you or remove your heart in horrific fashion would your PC actually just sit there and let it go on. Sure play dead to open oppertunities to heroic-ly escape to fight again but if you refuse to defend yourself (whilst relying on mechanics) you deserve to die. Just my 2 rings worth.[/quote]

This!
I think the 5 seconds of roleplay should be the important bit too, resisting or unresisting, no matter how many hits you have left if you don’t do anything to prevent a well roleplayed execution style strike (throat slit, slow heavy decapitating blow, head cave in with a mace, etc) then you’re allowing your character to die rather than just taking one hit.

Surviving a battle by having one hit point left and keeping quiet about it is the same as not roleplaying the hits you’ve taken,
which just feels like cheating to me. game mechanics vs the spirit of the game.

At the very least it’s a traumatic wound card!

You would resist an execution blow to an unimaginable scale. Unless you character was ready to die.

In which case, you either resist or die!

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I don’t believe that works - my read of the rules would be that they’d have to be dying (or unresisting I guess) at the start of the 5 seconds of execution roleplay for it to stick. I’d definitely go for an official call on that one if I was thinking of using it.

[quote=“MorkaisChosen”]

and the static target doesn’t want bruises), so I’ll probably hit someone 3 times in the 5s. I generally take longer than 5s and ask “Is your head off yet?”… So if they’re on up to 3 hits when I start executing them, they’re Dying by the time I finish… and I’ve taken the 5s of appropriate roleplay, so they should convert to Terminal… And that’s if I didn’t pagger them a few times to be sure they weren’t playing possum before I started.
I don’t believe that works - my read of the rules would be that they’d have to be dying (or unresisting I guess) at the start of the 5 seconds of execution roleplay for it to stick. I’d definitely go for an official call on that one if I was thinking of using it.[/quote]

If they say “No, my head’s not off yet,” I’ll keep going.

The whole point of the rule is so that it’s not “one quick slash” to a plausibly vital location (which might not even be a legal combat target), so you orter have time to check it’s worked. If you haven’t, you’re probably doing it wrong.

I have executed many people over the last 2 years, but they were all either condemned criminals or bound prisoners, not one of them was on 0 hits so mechanically all those executes should have failed.

I think the execute rules could use a re-write. I do find they work ok while people are thinking about the spirit and reasoning behind the execute idea. But in PvP that is sometimes not going to work.

That is a very good point - those are two perfectly plausible cases where you may execute someone who isn’t dying. As in - an actual execution, rather than simply a coup de grace (which is basically what the mechanical execute is. It does not - for instance - seem to be within the spirit of the game to have two decapitate the condemned criminal three times - just because they’ve purchased a point of Endurance.

It is also my understanding that there is no requirement to actually CALL execute. Five seconds clear roleplay should be sufficient.

As an addendum to this, Empire has an incredibly quick execute mechanic, at least by standards I am used to. Five seconds is a lot less than many games require.

Having said that, there is no excuse for trying to do an execute faster than five seconds- I was dead unimpressed last event when I saw one PC try to execute a fallen barbarian in battle by diving forward from his position into an extended lunge, tapping the orc in the chest, calling Execute and then withdrawing. Whole maneuver was less than a second, so I suspect the PC in question had just forgotten or never knew how the mechanics worked. If that barbarian had Unstoppable I would have thought it entirely reasonable for them to get up afterwards, or be healed.

[quote=“Frogmanloz”]That is a very good point - those are two perfectly plausible cases where you may execute someone who isn’t dying. As in - an actual execution, rather than simply a coup de grace (which is basically what the mechanical execute is. It does not - for instance - seem to be within the spirit of the game to have two decapitate the condemned criminal three times - just because they’ve purchased a point of Endurance.

It is also my understanding that there is no requirement to actually CALL execute. Five seconds clear roleplay should be sufficient.[/quote]

I’d note that unless you are a guillotine or otherwise calling CLEAVE, I’d say that requiring multiple blows to remove a head is perfectly good physrepping.

Equally, five seconds of clear execution roleplaying could only take one actual blow - I don’t think anyone would complain about a greatsword or greataxe gently lowered to the neck to get the aim right, swept up to hover over the shoulder for a couple of seconds, and then swinging down to a nicely-pulled blow that stops just before it hits the target; if that takes five seconds it’s absolutely a clear way of roleplaying killing someone to death.