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help > skills > backstab
Skill        :   Backstab
Class        :   Thief
Cost         :   0
Skill Type   :   Active
Casting Time :   0
Difficulty   :   Level 1
Stats Base   :   Mostly Dexterity with some Strength and Intelligence
Syntax       :   do backstab <target>
Examples     :   do backstab joe

Backstabbing allows a thief (or any thief subclass that has backstab)
to get a sneak attack in on somebody without them noticing.  This
does much more damage than a normal attack.
The chance of successfully completing a backstab is based on the
thief's backstab skill and his/her victims' awareness.  
Whether one succeeds or fails, the thief will then be in combat 
with his/her opponent.  It is possible to attempt a backstab
when one is already in combat with a foe in a party while party
damage is turned on.

When in combat and alone the effectiveness of backstab is reduced and
the opportune strike often results in the thief getting hit as well.
See also: help skill awareness