Please don't include the Silent Dispatch talent in the final product


Ultimate Intrigue Playtest General Discussion

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Without this talent in the game almost all GMs (IMO) would allow something like this to occur for any PC. With it in the game a significant minority will assume that you must be a member of one build of one class, taking a specific talent to do it.

The text of the talent I'm referring to:

Silent Dispatch talent wrote:
Silent Dispatch (Ex): If the stalker vigilante knocks an opponent unconscious, kills the opponent, or otherwise renders the opponent unable to act before the opponent’s first action in a combat, the stalker can roll a Stealth check with a –5 penalty. The result indicates the Perception DC to hear the stalker’s attack (rather than the normal DC of –10 to hear pitched combat).


? It reduces a -10 perception DC to a -5 penalty on an opposed stealth check. That's all.


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Trekkie90909 wrote:
? It reduces a -10 perception DC to a -5 penalty on an opposed stealth check. That's all.

No, it declares that without the talent the perception DC is a flat -10 with no stealth check involved & with the talent the DC = stealth check-5. If it declared that the DC without the talent was stealth check-10 that would be a fix I guess. It's inventing a new rule either way IMO.


CRB; Perception wrote:
Hear the sound of battle DC -10

Stabbing a guy is combat, combat is battle; pretty straightforward. Note that this only lets enemies hear the guy's Wilhelm scream. Nothing prevents you from stealthing afterwards except for the normal stealth rules.

There's even already a similar ability geared towards surprise rounds.

CRB; Assassin PrC, Silent Death wrote:
At 6th level, whenever an assassin kills a creature using his death attack during a surprise round, he can also make a Stealth check, opposed by Perception checks of those in the vicinity to prevent them from identifying him as the assailant. If successful, those nearby might not even notice that the target is dead for a few moments, allowing the assassin to avoid detection.

These rules have been around since the CRB was published. They just don't come up often because they require very high level play to come up and no one specializes in assassination because PrCs generally suck in Pathfinder. The Stalker option is a major buff for this play-style. Cutting it would be a travesty.

Liberty's Edge

avr wrote:
Trekkie90909 wrote:
? It reduces a -10 perception DC to a -5 penalty on an opposed stealth check. That's all.
No, it declares that without the talent the perception DC is a flat -10 with no stealth check involved & with the talent the DC = stealth check-5. If it declared that the DC without the talent was stealth check-10 that would be a fix I guess. It's inventing a new rule either way IMO.

Well it is a -10 to hear the sound of combat. There's also modifiers that can make it harder to hear. All this ability is allowing you to do is make a stealth check during the surprise round or the first round of combat at a -5 which I would actually like personally

Grand Lodge

avr wrote:
Trekkie90909 wrote:
? It reduces a -10 perception DC to a -5 penalty on an opposed stealth check. That's all.
No, it declares that without the talent the perception DC is a flat -10 with no stealth check involved
Skills: Perception wrote:
Hear the sound of battle Perception DC -10

And if this rule had been in place before D&D 3.0, I wouldn't have had the pleasure of a certain conversation with another player.


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avr wrote:
Trekkie90909 wrote:
? It reduces a -10 perception DC to a -5 penalty on an opposed stealth check. That's all.
No, it declares that without the talent the perception DC is a flat -10 with no stealth check involved & with the talent the DC = stealth check-5. If it declared that the DC without the talent was stealth check-10 that would be a fix I guess. It's inventing a new rule either way IMO.

There is no invented rule here, except of course the rule for this talent.

Stealth says you can't use Stealth while attacking. The DC to notice a person standing around (not using Stealth) is 0. Sounds of battle apply a -10 modifier to the DC, bringing the DC to -10. This is in the Core Rulebook.

So this talent lets you do two things:
1. Use Stealth while attacking (apparently without breaking Stealth, too)
2. Reduces the penalty for combat noise (apparently you're quieter when you attack people than everyone else is)

So what's wrong with that?


DM_Blake wrote:
avr wrote:
Trekkie90909 wrote:
? It reduces a -10 perception DC to a -5 penalty on an opposed stealth check. That's all.
No, it declares that without the talent the perception DC is a flat -10 with no stealth check involved & with the talent the DC = stealth check-5. If it declared that the DC without the talent was stealth check-10 that would be a fix I guess. It's inventing a new rule either way IMO.

There is no invented rule here, except of course the rule for this talent.

Stealth says you can't use Stealth while attacking. The DC to notice a person standing around (not using Stealth) is 0. Sounds of battle apply a -10 modifier to the DC, bringing the DC to -10. This is in the Core Rulebook.

So this talent lets you do two things:
1. Use Stealth while attacking (apparently without breaking Stealth, too)
2. Reduces the penalty for combat noise (apparently you're quieter when you attack people than everyone else is)

So what's wrong with that?

Most people have never read the stealth/perception rules that closely so the -10 for battle are usually missed.

But yeah, stealth while attacking (outside of sniping) is unique.


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Trekkie90909 wrote:
CRB; Perception wrote:
Hear the sound of battle DC -10

Stabbing a guy is combat, combat is battle; pretty straightforward. Note that this only lets enemies hear the guy's Wilhelm scream. Nothing prevents you from stealthing afterwards except for the normal stealth rules.

There's even already a similar ability geared towards surprise rounds.

Stabbing a guy is stabbing a guy. Not exactly the same as an actual combat (though it can lead to such).

And if you stab a guy right there won't be a pitched combat...

Quite frankly the idea of the first time someone is attacked puts you in full combat that anyone can hear at a DC of -10 is a bit much.

Grand Lodge

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Keep silent dispatch. Just give us a slightly weaker version of it that non-vigilantes can take as a feat.


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The more I read this ability, the more I agreed that it was problematic. The page for Perception lists hearing the sound of "battle" as a -10 check. I wouldn't call it battle until at least two people are fighting. Not alerting the guards outside is your reward for stealthing up to somebody and taking them out before they can act, not something you have to pay a tax for. (Especially not a class-specific tax further restricted to a quarter of that class.)


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FLite wrote:

Keep silent dispatch. Just give us a slightly weaker version of it that non-vigilantes can take as a feat.

This is what the "Baggage" thread used to be all about, actually—nifty options that don't seem like they should only be given to "masters of disguise" or whatever the vigilante wants to be. :P


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QuidEst wrote:
The more I read this ability, the more I agreed that it was problematic. The page for Perception lists hearing the sound of "battle" as a -10 check. I wouldn't call it battle until at least two people are fighting. Not alerting the guards outside is your reward for stealthing up to somebody and taking them out before they can act, not something you have to pay a tax for. (Especially not a class-specific tax further restricted to a quarter of that class.)

So much this. The game needs far less miniscule feat taxes that keep making it impossible to do basic tactics unless you have the feat. Its getting to the point that to do anything interesting you have to take multiple feats for it, at which point you can do nothing else.

Scarab Sages

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The rule was always there. if you chose to houserule or ignore before ultimate intrigue, you can continue to do so after.


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Imbicatus wrote:
The rule was always there. if you chose to houserule or ignore before ultimate intrigue, you can continue to do so after.

But that rule did not suggest that one person being stabbed in a surprise round was a full on battle that could be heard by everyone.

That's the part you are ignoring in your haste to say people are housruling or ignoring what was going on.


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I'm pretty confident that any instance in which one person is stabbing another person would be defined as combat.

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
FLite wrote:

Keep silent dispatch. Just give us a slightly weaker version of it that non-vigilantes can take as a feat.

This is what the "Baggage" thread used to be all about, actually—nifty options that don't seem like they should only be given to "masters of disguise" or whatever the vigilante wants to be. :P

Yeah this was a discussion I had early about the Nothing Can Stop Me ability and the dirty trick option. In short, an issue that 3.5 had and pathfinder is beginning to have is that we are starting to see written mechanics for tasks we've all wanted, wondered, or houseruled in the past but are being added in as feat or class ability options rather than just being either incorporated into the rules as is or incorporated with an expansion for the class they were originally intended for.

Like for this rule why not keep it and then add if you can finish a fight in 1 round you can make a Stealth check at -10? It allows rogues even without abilities to get some interesting options in surprise ambushes, keeps it from being a guarantee, and allows the vigilante to still have something interesting for them.

Same rule applies for the Dirty Trick options, and Nothing Can Stop Me. Give us options that can be used at a basic level without feat investments and then expand on them in class and feat selection rather than just leaving the rules forever static or expanding them as we get better ideas on how to implement or solve old problems.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
I'm pretty confident that any instance in which one person is stabbing another person would be defined as combat.

Ah, so slitting someone's throat in the night is combat?

I think not. It is certainly an attack, but not all attacks are combat.

There are plenty of situations where you might be attacked but not be in combat, especially not noisy, and immediately noticeable from 100 feet away combat.


Isn't it combat if, everything doesn't end in the surprise round? Thats what I thought at least.
Such as slicing someone's throat but failing to actually end them?

I sorta thought that was the idea, and how past gm's played it. Or is that incorrect? I thought the rule was there for "i try to knock this guy out before he notices me. I failed. he's making noise now time for a fight" sorta like Metal Gear Solid way. Its loud enough the others in the area hear it, but that doesn't mean everyone everywhere is alerted (until one of those guys raises a proper alarm)


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The action in question strikes me as a something that's difficult to perform without skill and training...

...and that skill and training should be skill and training in the Stealth area, covered by allocating skill points into Stealth.

This should be a basic something you can perform with Stealth.


Agreed, the ability should just be added to the stealth skill, with perhaps the talent improve it. Hastily worded example:

Stealth: when trying to kill an enemy roll Stealth with -15 penalty, that is the Perception DC for others to notice your actions.

Talent: Reduce the penalty to kill an enemy while stealthed to -5.


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calicokat wrote:

The action in question strikes me as a something that's difficult to perform without skill and training...

...and that skill and training should be skill and training in the Stealth area, covered by allocating skill points into Stealth.

This should be a basic something you can perform with Stealth.

I agree. A one-shot takedown is certainly not 'combat', and doing it quietly is one of the iconic uses of Stealth.

A clarification on what the relevant mechanics normally are and how this talent makes that easier would be welcome, but if it stays at DC -10 normally or stealth -5 with Silent Dispatch my group will ignore it entirely.


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It would be nice if the Ultimate Intrigue book itself has expanded uses for existing skills. Uses like this one. Isn't this sort of thing what the Ultimate Intrigue book is for?

-Matt


1) Attack rolls and coup de grace, all that related good stuff, is under the big fat Combat section of the game.

If it hurts your sensibilites, you can (and probably have been) house rule it. But that doesn't change the fact that the game actually considers attacks as combat. Barring GM intervention obviously.

2) That is why our group always used silence when why attempting covert attacks. If you are worried about people hearing it, remove the worry.


the need of a feat or a talent for such iconic move is not a good thing.


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Skylancer4 wrote:
1) Attack rolls and coup de grace, all that related good stuff, is under the big fat Combat section of the game.

So are Cover and Concealment rules. ;)


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Skylancer4 wrote:
1) Attack rolls and coup de grace, all that related good stuff, is under the big fat Combat section of the game.
So are Cover and Concealment rules. ;)

Which is why the GM is there, to arbitrate what is happening for corner cases.

But I'm also sure you are quite aware that your post has nothing to do with attack rolls not being combat actions and purely tangential at best.


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Actually, I was pointing out that Chapter location means absolutely nothing for this conversation and is, as you said, tangential at best.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Actually, I was pointing out that Chapter location means absolutely nothing for this conversation and is, as you said, tangential at best.

You mean besides the fact that an attack roll is the definition of a combat action?

The vast majority of time cover and concealment are referenced during combat, so they placed it where it is commonly used. Just because that one particular rule may be used outside of a combat situation doesn't "prove" attack rolls aren't combat, it just proves there is an exceptional where cover and concealment might be used outside of their general use.

If you are checking concealment or cover, it is part of or leading into a combat situation 9 out of 10 times. Targeting, line of sight, etc.

Again if you don't like it, don't use it, but come with something more convincing than "cover and concealment are under Combat and have a use outside of combat situations because of the stealth skill so obviously attack rolls aren't combat actions". Which is the argument you seem to be making.


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Hey, don't bite my head off. You're the one who was trying to tie "It's in the Combat chapter, ergo it's combat" to the issue. I never tried anything of the sort—I was just pointing out that your point there was entirely fallacious by showing how little the rule's location proves.

I don't really have an opinion on whether or not "stealth kills" are possible. It seems like something a mature GM can handle without hand-holding by the rules, and I get complaints about rules nailing too much down. But I'm not getting into a rules debate. That's your prerogative.


Skylancer4 wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Actually, I was pointing out that Chapter location means absolutely nothing for this conversation and is, as you said, tangential at best.

You mean besides the fact that an attack roll is the definition of a combat action?

The vast majority of time cover and concealment are referenced during combat, so they placed it where it is commonly used. Just because that one particular rule may be used outside of a combat situation doesn't "prove" attack rolls aren't combat, it just proves there is an exceptional where cover and concealment might be used outside of their general use.

If you are checking concealment or cover, it is part of or leading into a combat situation 9 out of 10 times. Targeting, line of sight, etc.

Again if you don't like it, don't use it, but come with something more convincing than "cover and concealment are under Combat and have a use outside of combat situations because of the stealth skill so obviously attack rolls aren't combat actions". Which is the argument you seem to be making.

Grappling hook: "Throwing a grappling hook requires a ranged attack roll, treating the hook as a thrown weapon with a range increment of 10 feet. Objects with ample places to catch the hook have an AC of 5."

Have I entered combat because I toss a grappling hook on a roof?


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And if not, why is a shadow killing a guy through surprise with a single blow louder than a spiky metal claw banging against a roof? :P

I think the definition of "combat" is probably a much more lax thing than "I just rolled a d20 and added my to-hit".

I guess I do have an opinion after all. Huh. More you know!


Also, note that the wording in the perception skill is not of hearing "combat", but of hearing "battle".

And while "combat" and "battle" can be synonymous, and "combat" and "person getting their throat slit in the middle of the night" could be considered the same by one reading of the rules, that does not imply that slitting a guy's throat is a "battle".


Most sane people want there to be some noise involved with eliminating a sentry or sleeping person. After all the PCs are more likely to be on the receiving end of such tactics than NPCs. It kind of sucks to have a TPK because 1 stealth roll succeeded.


thorin001 wrote:
Most sane people want there to be some noise involved with eliminating a sentry or sleeping person. After all the PCs are more likely to be on the receiving end of such tactics than NPCs. It kind of sucks to have a TPK because 1 stealth roll succeeded.

Really? First of all, it's at least two stealth checks (sneak up, and keep the attack quiet) with more for additional PCs. Second of all, if the GM is sending somebody that can silently one-shot PCs (or reliably get initiative to finish the job), that's an issue itself for many groups. I see this coming up for dealing with low-level guards and the like. "Most sane people" is probably a little too strong.


QuidEst wrote:
thorin001 wrote:
Most sane people want there to be some noise involved with eliminating a sentry or sleeping person. After all the PCs are more likely to be on the receiving end of such tactics than NPCs. It kind of sucks to have a TPK because 1 stealth roll succeeded.
Really? First of all, it's at least two stealth checks (sneak up, and keep the attack quiet) with more for additional PCs. Second of all, if the GM is sending somebody that can silently one-shot PCs (or reliably get initiative to finish the job), that's an issue itself for many groups. I see this coming up for dealing with low-level guards and the like. "Most sane people" is probably a little too strong.

Also wants and wishes compared to reality.

I want my nation to always do the right thing, no one to suffer if possible, there to be plenty for all.

I know that's not what's always going to happen.

Most sane people relying on those sentries or being that sleeping person (or the one beside him) might want that -- I assure you the person doing the eliminating does not, and is just as sane in that desire.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
FLite wrote:

Keep silent dispatch. Just give us a slightly weaker version of it that non-vigilantes can take as a feat.

Silent Dispatch, and a whole of other Stalker Vigilante talents should also be rogue talents too.


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FLite wrote:

Keep silent dispatch. Just give us a slightly weaker version of it that non-vigilantes can take as a feat.

You're kidding right?

A feat to be able to do something that anyone should be able to attempt?

You don't need a special feat to attempt Sniping. You just need a high stealth skill. Why should this be any different?

Grand Lodge

Fair enough. If they want to let you melee snipe, and add that to the rules I would be cool with that. Of course snipe is Stealth -20, and silent dispatch is stealth -10 (I think?) so that is still feat / trait(?) territory.


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FLite wrote:
Fair enough. If they want to let you melee snipe, and add that to the rules I would be cool with that. Of course snipe is Stealth -20, and silent dispatch is stealth -10 (I think?) so that is still feat / trait(?) territory.

No. Per the rules the DC to notice combat (which is what this ability references) is -10.

DC = -10

not

DC = Stealth - 10

The suggestion of several people in this thread is that something should be added to the Stealth skill, in this book, where you can do this but at a more significant penalty than you could without the ability. Such as Stealth - 10 (or 15, or 20, or whatever). Make this a generic rule, usable by any class. Then give the Vigilante the ability to do it more easily, by reducing the penalty.

This would be in line with abilities like Stealthy Sniper. The ability to make a ranged attack and attempt to remain stealthed is a generic ability. It's included in the Stealth skill. Stealthy Sniper just reduces the penalty and makes it easier for people with that advanced talent.


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While the rest of us are saying, "Dude, slitting someone's throat is not battle (what is actually listed as having a -10 DC check)."

If I snipe someone and they die not everyone between us should have a -10 dc check to know that someone just got sniped.

If I'm killing a chicken for supper not everyone in the 100 foot vicinity is going to know I just did it.

It's not "WHAT? I CAN'T HERE YOU OVER THE SOUND OF BATTLE FROM SOME GUY SLITTING BOBBY'S THROAT TWO ROOMS OVER!"

"GUYS THERE WAS A GRAPPLING HOOK ON WALL BATTLE BE READY!"


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I do worry about things like this limiting player options.


Abraham spalding wrote:

While the rest of us are saying, "Dude, slitting someone's throat is not battle (what is actually listed as having a -10 DC check)."

If I snipe someone and they die not everyone between us should have a -10 dc check to know that someone just got sniped.

If I'm killing a chicken for supper not everyone in the 100 foot vicinity is going to know I just did it.

It's not "WHAT? I CAN'T HERE YOU OVER THE SOUND OF BATTLE FROM SOME GUY SLITTING BOBBY'S THROAT TWO ROOMS OVER!"

"GUYS THERE WAS A GRAPPLING HOOK ON WALL BATTLE BE READY!"

I don't disagree with you, but that isn't what is implied in the ability Silent Dispatch. It isn't divided up like a feat is with the Benefit/Normal tags, but conversationally it contains those implications. The ability references the DC -10 to notice combat as if that is INTENDED to be the norm.

In my home game I'm totally disregarding that. I'm going to use a Stealth check to silently take out guards.

My goal by posting in this thread has nothing to do with arguing with you. My goal by posting in this thread is an attempt to influence what is in the book.

Which would you rather have:

1) The book imply that silently taking out a guard has a DC -10 check to notice.

2) The book include a rule about silently taking out a guard with the check being Stealth - (something)

I'm not asking you what rule you use or how you interpret the game. I'm asking which you would rather see in the book.


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doc the grey wrote:
In short, an issue that 3.5 had and pathfinder is beginning to have is that we are starting to see written mechanics for tasks we've all wanted, wondered, or houseruled in the past but are being added in as feat or class ability options rather than just being either incorporated into the rules as is or incorporated with an expansion for the class they were originally intended for.

This comment wins the thread.

Way too many things already in game that everyone SHOULD be able to do but the rules are written so that only certain class abilities/feats/talents/etc. allow the thing to be done. Now to do these things you must build a character designed to acquire the requisite feature before the thing can even be attempted, even if it logically seems like something everybody could try to do.

I would much rather see these things written as a new combat maneuver or a new application of skills or simply as a generic option for everybody.


DM_Blake wrote:
doc the grey wrote:
In short, an issue that 3.5 had and pathfinder is beginning to have is that we are starting to see written mechanics for tasks we've all wanted, wondered, or houseruled in the past but are being added in as feat or class ability options rather than just being either incorporated into the rules as is or incorporated with an expansion for the class they were originally intended for.

This comment wins the thread.

Way too many things already in game that everyone SHOULD be able to do but the rules are written so that only certain class abilities/feats/talents/etc. allow the thing to be done. Now to do these things you must build a character designed to acquire the requisite feature before the thing can even be attempted, even if it logically seems like something everybody could try to do.

I would much rather see these things written as a new combat maneuver or a new application of skills or simply as a generic option for everybody.

+1


Irontruth wrote:
I'm not asking you what rule you use or how you interpret the game. I'm asking which you would rather see in the book.

I would rather the second, but would prefer that instead they actually do something else entirely. Not that I have an absolute on what that is yet. I'll try to be a bit more informative in my next post here once I have the stream of consciousness into a more coherent form.

Grand Lodge

I am totally sympathetic to those arguements. I'm just saying, don't remove the talent. Just give us reasonable rules for stealth kills, give us a feat to make anyone who takes it better at stealth kills, and then make the talent just a little bit better than the feat. (following the general design philosophy in the playtest document that vigilante talents are supposed to be superior to feats.

I just feel like being a little bit better at stealth kills than anyone else should be a vigilante power.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

to me an attack roll is combat, a coup de grace, is not. killing an alert person silently will require A LOT of training to make sure it's clean and unnoticeable.


There are a LOT of builds that have wanted a mechanic like this - to quickly and quietly dispatch someone - so I'm in the camp that says: make it a Feat rather than a class ability. The Vigilante can take it, or have it like a Rogue feat, but not to make it exclusive to the class.

Reminds me of the "Silence is Golden" feature for the Daring Infiltrator Swashbuckler archetype. Something I'd like for a lot of other builds, and didn't want to have to dip for.


Otherwhere wrote:
There are a LOT of builds that have wanted a mechanic like this - to quickly and quietly dispatch someone - so I'm in the camp that says: make it a Feat rather than a class ability. The Vigilante can take it, or have it like a Rogue feat, but not to make it exclusive to the class.

Viking raiders were not all loud and clangorous - they could be quite deft and sneaking when they needed to be, and they could do pretty much exactly what Silent Dispatch does.

I'd be for making it a Combat Feat, period.

I can't see any reason why a Brawler shouldn't be able to activate Martial Flexibility, gain Silent Dispatch, and combine it with its Knockout ability to knock an enemy unconscious and then drag 'em away unnoticed.

It's SUCH a common shtick in action stories that I can't believe it'd somehow be entirely unique to the Vigilante, let alone the Stalker only.

I'm supposed to believe that Han Solo of all people is a Vigilante? Yeah, I don't think so...

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