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I would like to have some GodMachine boosted cultists/simulaca in the chronicle I am designing. They would be large, muscular, monosyllabic single-minded hunters (think Arnie in The Terminator). The players will first meet one when he steps out from the woods behind an NPC and snaps his neck.

How would such an attack like that work? Surprise can negate defense, but how can a single surprise brawl attack do enough damage to be fatal? Brawl attacks are just Bashing damage unless using a special martial art. Even if I give the character 0L attacks, it's hard to do enough damage to kill someone in the CoD system.

I could just describe the scene by fiat, but then in any subsequent fights the NPC will be no better than a muscular barroom bouncer.

FWIW I don't intend to routinely subject the PCs to surprise fatal attacks, but I'd like them to be nervous about grappling with these guys.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Is it possible for the NPC to already be wounded to such a degree that Arnie's attack could be fatal to the NPC but not to others, or does the system make barehanded murder just that difficult to accomplish? (I'm not a WW guy, BTW—I'm just making sure this isn't an X/Y problem.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jan 26 '19 at 14:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Basically it's a "there will be no witnesses!" move by some cultists. The NPC is (was? will be was?) a camera man. So, he's not already injured. \$\endgroup\$ – Kieran Mullen Jan 26 '19 at 15:05
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Down and Dirty Combat

Down and Dirty Combat is described on page 87 of the core rules. There is a rule saying that NPCs cannot initiate Down and Dirty Combat, but I think the intent of that rule is that they cannot initiate it against PCs.

With this system, each intent is resolved with a single roll. Here, your NPC intents to kill the target. He rolls his Combat Pool, contested by the target's Combat Pool (if the target is fighting back) or by the target's attempt to escape (Strength or Dexterity + Athletics). Ignore Defense, and you may rule that a surprised target does not get to contest at all.

Success means the NPCs achieves his intent, which includes killing the target.

Choke Hold Merit + Killing Blow

You can give your NPC the Choke Hold Merit (page 61). It grants him an extra grapple move, "choke", that allows him to render its target unconscious for (6 - target's Stamina) minutes if he rolls more successes than twice the target's Stamina on a winning grapple contest or on the initial grapple roll (see page 89 for more about grapples).

Once the target is unconscious, the NPC can make a Killing Blow (page 93) which could easily be snapping the target's neck. There is no need to roll: the NPC deals damage equal to his full combat dice pool plus his weapon modifier, avoiding Armor.

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