Some questions about stealth and stealth-related linked tests

In today’s session, I had to pause to come up with a ruling twice, and I’d like to hear your opinions on how you’d call it:

1st case: Character wants to steal antidote. He attempts to sneak into apothecary’s house, that currently contains apothecary + wife + daughter. He says he wants to sneak up and knock out the apothecary so he can more easily sneak in and steal the antidote. How would you run this? Is this a stealth test linked test into another stealth test? Can you link test a skill into the same skill?

2nd case: Character wants to murder someone with his knife without being detected. Stealth? Knives? Knives FoRKing stealth? Stealth FoRKing Knives?

  1. First off, Let it Ride demands that there’s only 1 Stealthy test here. Second, I’m not sure I would have allowed that Task. There are three people in the house; how does knocking out the apothecary help him with the other two? Also if it’s a small enough house, he’d be detected once he got inside, no matter how sneaky he is (barring supernatural effects, and assuming everyone was awake). If I did allow it, I’d allow the character to test Stealthy vs the apothecary’s Observation seperately from the wife + daughter team. But i’m not sure that that’s actually an advantage, probabilistically speaking (I think it depends on the exponents of everyone involved and whether they’re testing Beginner’s Luck or not).

  2. Stealthy FoRKing knives (this example is straight from the book, I’m pretty sure). Stealthy linked into knives is also acceptable, but has a different flavor to it (I’d argue that the linked test implies you’re actually fighting someone rather than just slitting their throat). Inconspicuous might also be used rather than Stealthy depending on the context, as well – Stealthy is for not being seen, Inconspicuous is for not being noticed.

  1. Stealthy with Brawling as a fork. Success you’re in and out silently and we roll a Die of Fate to see how badly wounded the Apothecary is. Failure and the daughter walks in right after the apothecary goes down and before the DoF is rolled.

  2. Stealthy forking knives.

  1. I would probably go with just Stealthy. Characters can largely be assumed to be employing the best methods they can. If you want to emphasize violence you could have a linked Brawling test, but I probably wouldn’t. The real point here is sneaking; the rest is incidental.

  2. Again I would say a Stealthy test. FoRKing Knives is fine (I’ll rarely say no to a remotely plausible FoRK) but not key. Notably this would be exactly the same regardless of weapon: slitting throats, bashing heads in, garotting, and slipping in to replace the sugar with arsenic are all functionally interchangeable.

Wel FoRKs are always optional anyway. You can’t require someone to add in another skill. Imagine if they don’t got it. They’re both Stealthy tests, with indications as to acceptable FoRKs.