A guide for killing enemies by stealth, even when there are lots of other NPCs nearby.
Rogues can make a sneak attack – either melee or ranged – if they are hiding and not disadvantaged when attacking an enemy. These attacks do a lot of damage and can allow to silently dispatch an NPC without alerting others. Other classes also gain a bonus to attacks while hiding, but the impact is smaller.
To do this effectively you’ll need to watch the line of sight of your enemies and choose your targets carefully.
The Hide action is, by default, activate by pressing C. This will give you the status ‘Hiding’. However, if any NPCs can see you, you must immediately make a stealth check, and if you fail, you will lose hiding. If you’re in turn-based mode, you won’t be able to hide again that turn.
So – always check your position and sightlines before your activate hide.
If you hold shift and mouse over the Hide icon, you’ll see NPC sightlines.
Stealth kills are usually easiest when your party is ungrouped, but nearby. You don’t want your other characters to wander in and spoil the surprise, but you want them nearby in case things go badly.
You’ll need to find a place where a single NPC is isolated from others – and can’t be seen.
You can’t directly see where enemy sightlines overlap, so you’ll need to pay attention.
The NPCs may move, which can make things harder. If they NPC is moving, get in close, and switch to turn based mode, activate hide from a safe spot, and then do the sneak attack.
Sometimes you can’t get an NPC alone. There’s a few ways to ‘pull’ them towards you.
If you can play an instrument, you can use that to get NPCs to gather.
If you can’t play an instrument, you can try anyway, and it’ll scare them away – which can achieve the same thing.
Unfortunately, throwing items like food doesn’t seem to distract NPCs.
One way you can move them is by finding ‘red’ containers, like chests, and throwing them while in their vision.
They’ll be unhappy, and they’ll go to pick up the container and put it back where it was.
If you get to the container before them, you can repeat this several times, and move them quite a long way.
You can also ungroup your party, use one character to annoy the NPC by breaking a law, and then, as they chase after that character, activate turn based mode and send your rogue in for the kill.
This is a little bit unreliable, though! They can get into the ‘accusation’ dialogue from quite a long distance away. Damaging property by shooting arrows is one of the better ways to do this.
If you’re having trouble getting a good spot to attack an enemy, snuff all the light sources.
If you can’t reach them directly, shoot them with an arrow (but note that some NPCs will not like this!). NPCs will not re-light light sources.
You can also use spells such as fog cloud but that’s likely to attract unwanted attention.
As much as possible, you’ll want to finish off the enemy with a single hit.
Use poisons or buffs to increase your damage.
Running for Help
If you can’t kill an enemy right away, it’s important to think about what they’ll do.
Your enemy may continue to fight where you are – they may yell out, or they may run for help.
This could be running to the nearest war drum, or the nearest enemy.
You don’t want that. So it’s a good idea to destroy war drums or equivalent items.
However it can be worth leaving some around – if your enemy runs towards one, it can take them away from their allies – and give you time to finish them off.
However you pull of your kill, you’ll want to leave the area, clean up the mess, or both.
Shove and Throw
If you have any big drops or chasms nearby, shove is a very satisfying way to simultaneously kill an NPC and also hide the body. Use a character with good athletics and strength.
The downside is, you’ll probably lose your opportunity to loot.
If you have the Sleep spell, and it’s a high enough level or the NPC has low enough hit points, you can use sleep, then throw the NPC.
Doing so will wake them up, but the fall can damage them or even kill them.
Even if you can’t throw them to a chasm, you might be able to repeat the process.
You may also be able to throw them far enough away from other NPCs that you can finish them off safely.
If you manage to pull of a stealth kill, unless you pushed or threw someone in a chasm, there’s likely both a pool of blood and a body. If another NPC sees either, they’ll suspect a murder, and if they spot you, you’re likely to be the suspect.
So, you’ll want to avoid this.
You can avoid, or minimise blood by using non-lethal attacks.
Click ‘Passives’ and ‘Toggle Non-Lethal’.
If you have enough strength, you can pick up most bodies.
They’ll go to your inventory, and from there, your can throw them somewhere they won’t be found.
You can also put them inside containers. Open the container, then your inventory, and drag the body.
I haven’t yet seen how NPCs respond to bodies inside containers.
You can also get rid of blood – the easiest way is to use a frost spell.
The blood will turn to ice. That’ll be enough, but you can also use a fire spell, and then the ice will turn to water.