I am playing an Assassin class in Basic Fantasy, and the wording for their Assassinate ability is worded thusly:

"Assassinate: This is the Assassin's primary special ability. As with the Thief's Sneak Attack ability, any time an Assassin is behind an opponent in melee and it is reasonably likely the opponent doesn't know he or she is there, an attempt to assassinate may be made. The attack must be carried out with a one-handed piercing weapon, such as a dagger or sword. The attack is rolled at an attack bonus of +4, and if the attack hits, the victim must roll a saving throw vs. Death Ray or be instantly killed. If this saving throw is a success, the victim still suffers normal weapon damage."

Recently my DM ruled that I would not be able to assassinate a 12' Hill Giant (with surprise, from behind) because it was "too tall" and the vital organs would be "out of reach". Is this even a legitimate ruling?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not a Basic Fantasy RPG player, but if it's based on the D&D 3.5 SRD like the description in the tag says, does the thief's sneak attack ability say that the thief's sneak attack is contingent upon the thief being able "to pick out a vital spot and [that the character] must be able to reach such a spot" like the 3.5 rogue's sneak attack ability does? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 3 at 2:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Nope. If we're basing it off of the Thief ability of Backstab (NOT the same thing as the Assassin's assassinate), then that section states: "The Sneak Attack can be performed with any melee (but not missile) weapon, or may be performed bare-handed (in which case subduing damage is done; see the Encounter section for details). Also, the Sneak Attack can be performed with the “flat of the blade;” the bonuses and penalties cancel out, so the attack has a +0 attack bonus and does normal damage; the damage done in this case is subduing damage." \$\endgroup\$ – K.L.R. May 3 at 2:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ (I'd not realized the game was, like, totally free.) Cool. Thank you. And, yeah, I just found the rest of the sneak attack ability description, and that doesn't mention anything like the GM's ruling either. Maybe a user who's followed the game's development has greater insight. (Or maybe the GM's (over)applying 3.5 rules without having first warned you he would?) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 3 at 2:49

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