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oxinabox
2010-02-01, 03:36 AM
So I've been thinking about called shots (in nWoD),
and i put a post on the whitewolf forum (http://forums.white-wolf.com/cs/forums/t/20683.aspx?PageIndex=1)
Which set off a massive debate.

I was wondering how it was handled in differnet systems.
I know dnd bans them outright (wich is annoying cos of the discontinuality between that and the sunder rules (in 3.5 atleast (4.0 don't got sunder rules :smallfurious:), (also see Hydra))


so I asked my friend who is a Call of Cthulu God (read GM)
I've never played any CoC myself.
but heres the conversation (quoted fom IM, names removed, paragraph 5/7 is an interupted sentence)



Me:How are called shots handled in cthulhu?

CoC GM:what do u mean?

Me:Called shots... Say you somehow ended up in a firefight... being held hostage by a madman using you as a a human sheild, and someone want to take out a rifle and shoot the guy in the head

CoC GM:thats decided by god or in some cases like monsters entirely comprised of a mass of tenticles

Me: there are no actual combat rules in CoC, are there?

CoC GM:they have health and hit points specific to the limbs
yes but they are ment to be bent
just incase the investigators get to good
that way god can still squash them like they are ment to
flexibility
its cthulhu's key for eventual demise

nomatter who you are
there are specific rules
however the game is really delt with by god
the players arnt ment to know if they are doing well or not
so the god acts to their will, giving and taking as they feel

CoC GM (5 minutes latter):
you arnt suposed to know whats happening, who your versing or how your doing in cthulhu. if you roll well god punishes you, if you roll poorly god laughs then punishes you.



this may not be RAW or even RAI, but that doesn't matter anyway.

Temotei
2010-02-01, 04:00 AM
House rule it. Make an attack roll against the guy holding you as if you were making a ranged attack into melee.

raitalin
2010-02-01, 04:34 AM
I was just thinking about homebrewing a system of called shots for 3.5 based on Concentration checks....maybe v.s reflex and fortitude saves. Seems a bit complicated, but its such an easily abused concept that its often ignored instead of dealt with.

Fallout (The SPECIAL system) has always had my favorite called shot system, but it has the ability to use lots of modifiers and precise numbers without slowing down the game.

Temotei
2010-02-01, 04:40 AM
I was just thinking about homebrewing a system of called shots for 3.5 based on Concentration checks....maybe v.s reflex and fortitude saves. Seems a bit complicated, but its such an easily abused concept that its often ignored instead of dealt with.

Fallout (The SPECIAL system) has always had my favorite called shot system, but it has the ability to use lots of modifiers and precise numbers without slowing down the game.

SPECIAL is Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, Luck.

I believe you mean V.A.T.S.

That said, here's an alternative: Fighter (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7802732#post7802732).

Cicciograna
2010-02-01, 04:58 AM
Really quick house rule, passible of improvement.

In general, a melee called shot provokes an attack of opportunity; a called shot is like an attack against an object: each body part has an AC of 10 + Dexterity + Size modifier + (eventual) Armor bonus. Dex is actually the defender dexterity; Size modifier depends on the body part hit: a typical human head would be Diminutive (it's definitely shorter than 1 ft, but longer than 6 in), as would hands and feet, while an eye would instead be Fine. Armor bonus depends on what type of armor is the defender wearing: in particular is important to know if the armor protects the body part in question. For example, in case of a called shot to the head, we can assume that a Full plate includes an helm so the head would be protected, while a Chain shirt only comes with a light steel cap, thus granting less protection, up to the case of no armor, where the head is not protected. One could rule that an armor which grants a full degree of protection to the attacked body part grants half its AC bonus for the purpose of called shots; an armor that covers lightly the attacked body part gives one quarter of its protection bonus and an armor which doesn't cover the part doesn't offer any bonus. For example, a chain shirt covers only the torso, so the AC for a called shot to the legs isn't modified by armor.
If the called shot connects, the defender has to make a Fortitude save (DC: damage suffered) to turn the called shot in a normal hit and avoid penalties associated to the body part hit by the shot. These penalties could be the ones found on page 27 of the DMG in the section "Damage to specific areas", with the addition that the DM can rule that a particular called shot has more destructive outcomes.

This system needs obvious improvements as the AC of each body part is really low...

frogspawner
2010-02-01, 04:59 AM
so I asked my friend who is a Call of Cthulu God (read GM)
I've never played any CoC myself....
In CoC, a "god" is typically a disgusting blasphemous horror that Must Not Be. I guess your friend resembles one of them more closely than actual, big-G "God". :smallsmile:

I'd have thought the mad hostage-taker example would be more commonly met in CoC than any tentacled horrors, btw.

True, CoC is combat-rules-lite, but it's based on BRP - which can be as detailed as you like, depending what options you take. (See my sig for a 'free sample', though that doesn't include Hit Locations or Called Shots).

Basically in BRP if you aim for a specific body location (head, arm, chest, etc) you have half your normal chance to hit. But what happens if you miss, now... :smalleek:

SethFahad
2010-02-01, 05:01 AM
Try the book Torn Asunder for some options.

MickJay
2010-02-01, 05:41 AM
I'd just go with -1 for aiming at torso, -2 for limbs or head, -3 or -4 for specific areas (heart, eye, groin), and work out additional effects from there... it would be rather arbitrary, or require more homebrewing, though.

In Dark Heresy, Called Shots are made at -20 penalty (which you can reduce to 0 with two appropriate talents) and allow to target specific body parts (head, torso, either of legs or arms). This allows to target less (or un-) armoured body parts, and determine the effects of critical damage for PCs or important NPCs - hits to different body parts after the character is out of "general" health result in different crippling effects (critical damage usually does not apply to "mooks", they just die when they're out of health).

oxinabox
2010-02-01, 05:49 AM
I'd just go with -1 for aiming at torso, -2 for limbs or head, -3 or -4 for specific areas (heart, eye, groin), and work out additional effects from there... it would be rather arbitrary, or require more homebrewing, though..

PLease name your system.
is this dnd?
I hate the dnd as default :smallfurious:

Temotei
2010-02-01, 06:22 AM
PLease name your system.
is this dnd?
I hate the dnd as default :smallfurious:

You mean having no rules for this?

PhoenixRivers
2010-02-01, 06:30 AM
PLease name your system.
is this dnd?
I hate the dnd as default :smallfurious:

Well, the forum is dedicated to a comic which is written in an amalgam of 3ed and 4ed D&D... That does kinda bias the default, just a little.

onthetown
2010-02-01, 06:52 AM
I play D&D 3.5, we use them... it's houseruled that you get a bit of a penalty for it. I don't use them much so I don't know for sure, but I think it's something like -2. If you're a good enough fighter/archer/spellcaster/whatever that you've survived to midlevel, it's implied that you're good enough at what you do to not need huge penalties.

MickJay
2010-02-01, 07:12 AM
PLease name your system.
is this dnd?
I hate the dnd as default :smallfurious:

OP mentioned nWoD as the one with which he had problems, I was referring to that. There actually is a rather decent optional system here: http://zombies.reavan.net/index.php/Combat_Options

dsmiles
2010-02-01, 07:33 AM
I was just thinking about homebrewing a system of called shots for 3.5 based on Concentration checks....maybe v.s reflex and fortitude saves. Seems a bit complicated, but its such an easily abused concept that its often ignored instead of dealt with.

Fallout (The SPECIAL system) has always had my favorite called shot system, but it has the ability to use lots of modifiers and precise numbers without slowing down the game.

In 3.5 I actually used a called shot system that assigns penalties to the attack roll based on the size of the intended target and distance from the intended target. (i.e. shooting a giant in the eye (-4 penalty) vs. shooting a human in the eye (-8 penalty); both from 20 ft away) The same system allowed for differing effects based on damage dealt (how much and what type) to the intended target. I used a lot of houserules in 3.5 to make up for WoTCs failings.

frogspawner
2010-02-01, 07:39 AM
...a comic which is written in an amalgam of 3ed and 4ed D&D...
What's 4E about OOTS, then? (If you'll please excuse my digression).

MickJay
2010-02-01, 08:13 AM
There were a few off-hand 4e-related jokes, and while Giant stated that there is going to be no "conversion" to 4e, it's probably safe to assume that at least some of the elements of 4e are present in OOTS world.

Tyndmyr
2010-02-01, 08:19 AM
There were a few off-hand 4e-related jokes, and while Giant stated that there is going to be no "conversion" to 4e, it's probably safe to assume that at least some of the elements of 4e are present in OOTS world.

I haven't yet seen any elements in the comic that are clearly 4e. That together with the statement that there's no conversion leads me to believe that it's purely 3.x.

Which matches up nicely with the assumptions here.

frogspawner
2010-02-01, 08:22 AM
...it's probably safe to assume that at least some of the elements of 4e are present in OOTS world.
Not convinced. All I can recall is the evil Lord Kubota reading the 4E books - hardly a ringing endorsement! (Surely there's a thread for this elsewhere already?)

Optimystik
2010-02-01, 08:25 AM
Not convinced. All I can recall is the evil Lord Kubota reading the 4E books - hardly a ringing endorsement! (Surely there's a thread for this elsewhere already?)

There was also mention of Elan's class power source. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0558.html)

These jokes are minor, of course.

Serpentine
2010-02-01, 08:28 AM
In my (D&D 3.5) game, I just add to the armour class appropriate to the size of the body part being aimed at. If it doesn't hit the higher AC, but would have hit otherwise, it just gets a normal hit.

Tyndmyr
2010-02-01, 08:35 AM
In my (D&D 3.5) game, I just add to the armour class appropriate to the size of the body part being aimed at. If it doesn't hit the higher AC, but would have hit otherwise, it just gets a normal hit.

Well, the minor problem with this is that there's then no reason NOT to do a called shot.

My group, when we use them, which is rare, has a table of mods for different body parts. If you miss the higher AC, you just miss. If you hit, you affect the target appropriately for the area. For example, shooting someones eyes will make them blinded.

Im not convinced that it meshes well with D&D at all, but if you do opt to use it, it's best to involve tactical tradeoffs, so melee types get more actual decisions in combat.

oxinabox
2010-02-01, 08:35 AM
OP mentioned nWoD as the one with which he had problems, I was referring to that. There actually is a rather decent optional system here: http://zombies.reavan.net/index.php/Combat_Options

... nWod has a called shot sytem, its written rather unclearly, but it's not bad.
esp once you get your head arround:
a) a called shot getting one (or even 5) success didn't nesc. hit the indend target at all.
a.2) it was only perfect (video game)head shot if it did enough damage to completely kill them.
b) head shots don't certainly 1 shot kill someone, even at point blank range.
(this is a movie myth, much like hte shoot the gas tank to make the var explode)

frogspawner
2010-02-01, 08:38 AM
There was also mention of Elan's class power source. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0558.html)
Ah, my own ignorance of 4E meant I missed that one.


That together with the statement that there's no conversion leads me to believe that it's purely 3.x.
Mmm, 3.5 to be precise. That's what I'd been happily believing too. Sigh. (Of course it could be argued that Durkon had just been reading the same books ...if there was thread proper to argue in :smallredface:).

Serpentine
2010-02-01, 08:42 AM
Well, the minor problem with this is that there's then no reason NOT to do a called shot.Eh, my players almost never do them. I'd really like them to do something that interesting. And I figure, someone aiming for a particular spot would err on the side of caution.

Roderick_BR
2010-02-01, 09:11 AM
Really quick house rule, passible of improvement.

In general, a melee called shot provokes an attack of opportunity; a called shot is like an attack against an object: each body part has an AC of 10 + Dexterity + Size modifier + (eventual) Armor bonus. Dex is actually the defender dexterity; Size modifier depends on the body part hit: a typical human head would be Diminutive (it's definitely shorter than 1 ft, but longer than 6 in), as would hands and feet, while an eye would instead be Fine. Armor bonus depends on what type of armor is the defender wearing: in particular is important to know if the armor protects the body part in question. For example, in case of a called shot to the head, we can assume that a Full plate includes an helm so the head would be protected, while a Chain shirt only comes with a light steel cap, thus granting less protection, up to the case of no armor, where the head is not protected. One could rule that an armor which grants a full degree of protection to the attacked body part grants half its AC bonus for the purpose of called shots; an armor that covers lightly the attacked body part gives one quarter of its protection bonus and an armor which doesn't cover the part doesn't offer any bonus. For example, a chain shirt covers only the torso, so the AC for a called shot to the legs isn't modified by armor.
If the called shot connects, the defender has to make a Fortitude save (DC: damage suffered) to turn the called shot in a normal hit and avoid penalties associated to the body part hit by the shot. These penalties could be the ones found on page 27 of the DMG in the section "Damage to specific areas", with the addition that the DM can rule that a particular called shot has more destructive outcomes.

This system needs obvious improvements as the AC of each body part is really low...
AD&D's Complete Fighter Handbook had similar options. Basically -4 to arms/legs. and -8 for head. AC is based on character's AC, depending if the body part is covered. So, an attack agains the head if you are wearing, say, fullplate, is at -8, and the AC is the character's normal AC. But if he is without his helmet, you get only the dex (and deflection/dodge/etc), not counting the armor.
Adding AoO could work.

Barbarian MD
2010-02-01, 10:07 AM
Here's an excellent article about why called shots are bad for D&D.

We Don't Need No Called Shots!
http://www.seankreynolds.com/rpgfiles/rants/calledshots.html

Ashiel
2010-02-01, 10:18 AM
The biggest problem with called shots is a balance one, with the second being an issue of abstraction. Every called shot system I've ever seen for D&D has favored NPCs over the PCs for a lot of reasons. The most common ones are for the same reasons as massive critical rules - they will bite you on the arse.

Most called shots involved effects that either mimic something that can already be done (IE - disarming opponents), or inflict some off the wall penalties or increasing amounts of extra damage. In systems with called shots, either they are rarely worth taking except in cases such as hydras or other unusual creatures, or they're often too good.

Example 1: In Deadlands, the best system for called shots at all IMO, had several monsters that were vulnerable only if you hit specific locations - or threw dynamite in their mouths (:smallbiggrin:). Characters didn't have HP but instead wound levels tracked numerically for your various body parts, and as those limbs became more and more wounded, you suffered harsher penalties. If your "guts" or "head" received a maimed rating, you died. Anything else that was maimed was permanently destroyed. This sort of system worked for the high lethality of that game, but doesn't lend itself well to an HP based system.

Example 2: In the Legend of the Five Rings RPG, they had a called shot system. By increasing the target number you had to hit, you could aim for specific locations. As a player, I successfully felled many things beyond the ability of our power level by repeatedly calling for headshots and milking bonus damage when I got fairly-lucky.

Every called shot system I've seen for D&D has caused more problems than it is worth. Also, it seems like a great idea until someone, somewhere, starts one shotting everything around, or your players. Stand back a moment and consider how dangerous a Dragon is with the Power Attack feat. Now imagine by taking a -20 on their already massive attack rolls, he could attack your heart or brain-bowl specifically.

Also, magic screws up called shots further. Imagine the lethality of true strike when combined with called shot systems. Due to various buff spells, spell-casters can get more out of it than most warriors.

If you want a fine D&D based called shot system, then you really need look no further than the Power Attack feat which generally does exactly what most called shot systems try to do: Trade Accuracy for Damage. Modified, the mechanics of power attack would make a much better basis for a called shot system that actually works.

If you want to inflict penalties by attacking limbs, I'd probably suggest going no further than the penalties for getting injured in specific places (as called out in DMG), such as taking a -2 penalty to skill checks using those limbs, or maybe inflicting a movement penalty akin to a caltrop wound. Anything more is either going to be redundant within the system, or too powerful.

And, it's worth noting again, that called shots are like critical fumbles and critical hit locations. They always favor the NPCs in the long run.

Food for thought. :smallsmile:

Tinydwarfman
2010-02-01, 10:40 AM
GURPS has a very good, albeit slightly complicated hit location system. Here:

Torso (0): The chest and abdomen.
No penalty to hit, and no effect on
damage. This is the default target for
attacks: if you donít specify a hit location,
you are attacking the torso.

Vitals (-3): The heart or lungs (from
the front) or the kidneys (from
behind). Certain attacks can target the
vitals for increased damage. Increase
the wounding modifier for an impaling
or any piercing attack to •3.
Increase the wounding modifier for a
tight-beam burning attack (see box) to
•2. Other attacks cannot target the
vitals

Skull (-7): The part of the head that
houses the brain. The skull gets an
extra DR 2, the wounding modifier for
all attacks increases to •4, knockdown
rolls are at -10, and critical hits use the
Critical Head Blow Table (p. 556).
Exception: None of these effects apply
to toxic damage.

Eye (-9): Impaling, piercing, and
tight-beam burning attacks can specifically
target the eye. Injury over HP/10
blinds the eye; otherwise, treat as a
skull hit without the extra DR 2! (As
with skull hits, toxic damage has no
special effect.)

Face (-5): The jaw, cheeks, nose,
and ears. Many helmets have an open
face, allowing this attack to ignore
armor DR! Knockdown rolls are at -5,
and critical hits use the Critical Head
Blow Table. Corrosion damage (only)
gets a •1.5 wounding modifier . . . and
if it inflicts a major wound, it also
blinds one eye (both eyes on damage
greater than full HP).

Neck (-5): The neck and throat.
Increase the wounding multiplier of
crushing and corrosion attacks to
•1.5, and that of cutting damage to
•2. The GM may rule that anyone
killed by a cutting blow to the neck is
decapitated!

Groin (-3): The lower torso. Jackets
and light armor donít always cover
this area. Treat as a torso hit, except
that human males (and the males of
similar species) suffer double the usual
shock from crushing damage (to a
maximum of -8), and get -5 to knockdown
rolls.

Arm or Leg (-2): A good way to disable
without killing! Against a living
target, reduce the wounding multiplier
of large piercing, huge piercing, and
impaling damage to •1. Any major
wound (loss of over 1/2 HP from one
blow) cripples the limb Ė but damage
beyond the minimum required to
inflict a crippling injury is lost. Note:
The penalty to hit an arm with a shield
is -4.

Hands or Feet (-4): As for an arm or
leg, but damage over 1/3 HP in one
blow inflicts a crippling major wound
(excess damage is still lost). This gives
you a chance to cripple the foe with
little real damage. However, your foe
might just switch hands (or hop) and
finish you off! Note: The penalty to hit
a hand holding a shield is -8.

Weapon (varies): The place to strike
if you need to take the foe unharmed,
if you have to disarm a friend, or if
you just want to show off. See Striking
at Weapons (p. 400).

Gives you a real sense of control and realism in battle.

frogspawner
2010-02-01, 11:33 AM
The biggest problem with called shots is a balance one, with the second being an issue of abstraction. Every called shot system I've ever seen for D&D has favored NPCs over the PCs for a lot of reasons. The most common ones are for the same reasons as massive critical rules - they will bite you...
There shouldn't be any problem with Called Shots in D&D.

Example: I aim for a specific part of an enemy - say I specify his entire body. If I score a hit this doesn't mean he is killed or injured - unless he has run out of HPs.

The same principle should apply if I aimed for any more-specific body-part, e.g. that hostage-taker's head. If I score a hit (at a slight penalty due to 75% cover from a hostage) then he loses some HP same as usual. If he goes negative, great - the GM should probably say the head-shot took him down before he could hurt the hostage. If he's still up, it was just a nick or he's a bit more tired now or whatever (the usual D&D hand-waving) - and probably a bit peeved.

Called Shots is not the problem. If there is a problem, it's with D&D-style Hit Points.

Draz74
2010-02-01, 11:56 AM
As far as 3.5e goes, I like the school of thought that says "you want called shot rules? Take Power Attack, and rename it 'Called Shot Attack.' It sacrifices accuracy to improve damage which is ... essentially what called shots are supposed to do anyway."

Of course there's a few kinks in this line of work, such as the nonsensical Strength 13 requirement and the nonsensical boost to two-handed weapons and the synergy with Shock Trooper. But I think the basic principle is sound and can perhaps be adapted.

EDIT: I see someone beat me to this comment ... but only because the Forum went into its backup phase last night just as I hit Submit on this comment. :smalltongue:


What's 4E about OOTS, then? (If you'll please excuse my digression).

Yeah, mostly it's Word of God -- the Giant's comment that he would be including some 4e jokes here and there (though all of them have been subtle so far). The "very ugly backstory of half-orcs (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0555.html)" jab was partly poking at the 4e half-orc fluff, IIRC, though of course it applies to any edition. More recently, Tsukiko's "Ritual" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0700.html) seems nicely in line with 4e's noncombat magic rules, and there's been some speculation that "I'm a lot better at pushing than pulling (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0701.html)" is a clue to the MITD's identity, probably referencing 4e forced movement abilities.

Mathis
2010-02-01, 12:16 PM
There is a large and well thought through system for Called Shots in the RPG-system developed for the Song of Ice and Fire book series. The entire system was based on the d20 system which makes it easy for people familiar with DnD to learn it. The rulebook called Deluxe Limited Edition - A Game of Thrones - RPG is not in production anymore, but Im sure you can buy the PDF somewhere. Use your google-fu and you'll find it.

The Called Shots system was developed specifically for this gaming system however. It uses different rules for determening AC. Basically, they've made combat alot deadlier. There is little to no magic at all in the system, so True Strikes and such is not calculated for, again making it tough to convert into a magic heavy world.

The system itself rules that you can make several types of Called Shots:
Called Shots - Basic (against limbs/eyes/), Called Shots to disarm, Called Shots to bypass armour ( This one is specific to the armour and AC rules in the game.) Called Shots to Weak Points ( meaning weak points in the armour), and finally Called Shots to Vital Spots (Inner organs, groin, spine etc.)

By using the Called Shots - Basic rule, you would attack limbs mostly like described above, with a -4 penalty, an increased penalty for smaller targets like eyes. Alternatively, the DM could rule that attacking an eye would incur a -8 penalty, thus making it an attack to a Vital Spot (Dealing 100% damage). This is mostly similar to the homebrewed rules I've seen above. The results however are again system specific. While attacking a basic limb, would allow you to make the target of your attack drop a flask or a rope or whatever it is holding, it mainly increased damage being done by letting you ignore armour. Armour in this system was Damage Reduction.

So...enough ranting hehe. I think the point Im getting at here is, besides reccomending the Game of Thrones RPG system as a very deadly, and realistic( more so than most fantasy-games anyway) combat-system. Called Shots are mostly up to you. Incurring an increase in AC decided by the size of the target like mentioned above seems to be the best way. Results are what's difficult to decide upon, mostly because of the HP system. Again this is fixed in the RPG system I mentioned, by introducing a Shock Value. If you take damage above your Shock Value, you had to suceed on a fortitude save to avoid falling unconscious/ black out from the pain.

Im just mentioning simple outlines, PM me if you want the exact numbers and rules on the stuff I've mentioned above. Mentioning simple outlines was intentional so that you have a sort of box to fill in with your own ideas, use it to homebrew a system using the great tips everyone else have come up with. Increasing damage done seems to the most common way to go, but Im sure you can come up with other cool and cinematic effects.

Tehnar
2010-02-01, 12:17 PM
As far as 3.5e goes, I like the school of thought that says "you want called shot rules? Take Power Attack, and rename it 'Called Shot Attack.' It sacrifices accuracy to improve damage which is ... essentially what called shots are supposed to do anyway."

Of course there's a few kinks in this line of work, such as the nonsensical Strength 13 requirement and the nonsensical boost to two-handed weapons and the synergy with Shock Trooper. But I think the basic principle is sound and can perhaps be adapted.

Seconded. You have to take the hp system as a abstract one designed to ease and quicken gameplay. Sure you could model something like hit locations, penalties from damage, but is that needed? It would seriously slow down gameplay for very little benefit.

As for the Fallout SPECIAL system (from Fallout 1&2, and not the very diminished F3) it kind of worked. It worked because the computer did all the work for you and you didn't have to roll dice 6 times and look at 8 different tables (a slight exaggeration). It didn't work because there were basically 3 options. A) a normal shot B) a burst fire if you can and C) a shot to the eyes.

The rest of the options were used less then 5% of the time, for some very special circumstances.

frogspawner
2010-02-01, 12:49 PM
Yeah, mostly it's Word of God -- the Giant's comment that he would be including some 4e jokes here and there (though all of them have been subtle so far).
Hmmm, yes very subtle - those pretty much all require quite a lot of Belief from the 4E-Faithful... (Nothing on an unequivocal par with "I think I just failed a Spot Check", is there?) Besides, jokes about 4E are not the same as actions using 4E mechanics, anyway... We shall see.


The "very ugly backstory of half-orcs (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0555.html)"...
Thanks for that especially! I really like that one. :smallsmile: And I'd been wondering if that was Redcloak's niece outside SoD - but of course Therkla's mum was Orc, not Goblin. Another theory dashed... :smallannoyed:

(Oops, more thread derailment... Soz! :smallredface:)

drengnikrafe
2010-02-01, 01:11 PM
I would offer that called shots deal less damage and an attack roll penalty, but instead cause a negative effect based on where you hit. I think there are rogue feats that trade sneak attack damage for some negative effect, in Complete Scoundrel. It would be kind of like that, only more mundane.

Person_Man
2010-02-01, 02:20 PM
Having experienced them in previous editions and other games, I am 100% opposed to called shots. If you create rules for called shots, those rules can be exploited. Someone will build a "Blow Up Your Enemy's Head 100% of the Time" build, which will result in all of your enemies being one-shotted. An even worse feature of some called shot rules is aiming charts. And if you have aiming charts, you need damage by hit location charts. And let's not forget the tables needed to tell you what happens when you receive X percentage damage to said location, and having to convert all of your hit points to percentage, for each location...

If ever there was a tedious and unnecessary bit of metagame brokenness and bookkeeping, it's called shots. The only thing worse is the Grapple rules.

Sinfire Titan
2010-02-01, 02:29 PM
Well, the minor problem with this is that there's then no reason NOT to do a called shot.

My group, when we use them, which is rare, has a table of mods for different body parts. If you miss the higher AC, you just miss. If you hit, you affect the target appropriately for the area. For example, shooting someones eyes will make them blinded.

Im not convinced that it meshes well with D&D at all, but if you do opt to use it, it's best to involve tactical tradeoffs, so melee types get more actual decisions in combat.

Hell, Called Shots in general are all bad ideas, but it's just much more apparent in DnD. Especially 3.5.


These are the main problems with called shots:


Player Characters are less numerous than the enemies they fight, and are thus subject to these effects more often.
Enemies are only going to be affected for one fight (or a handful if a recurring enemy), while PCs will have to bear with the damages for the entire life of their characters. Odds are, this won't be very long.
Called Shots favor ranged character more than melee combatants, as you can put an ally between yourself and the target to prevent the same thing from happening to you.
Bonuses. PCs are more likley to accrue attack bonuses than the enemies are, so the improved difficulty instead becomes an objective for PCs to focus their entire character around combat-wise.




Some of these reasons are the same reasons while Crit Fumbles aren't good for a campaign either.

SurlySeraph
2010-02-01, 02:43 PM
Having experienced them in previous editions and other games, I am 100% opposed to called shots. If you create rules for called shots, those rules can be exploited. Someone will build a "Blow Up Your Enemy's Head 100% of the Time" build, which will result in all of your enemies being one-shotted. An even worse feature of some called shot rules is aiming charts. And if you have aiming charts, you need damage by hit location charts. And let's not forget the tables needed to tell you what happens when you receive X percentage damage to said location, and having to convert all of your hit points to percentage, for each location...

I find this to be the most important problem with called shot rules; there's usually either a) a way you can exploit them so that you always make one successfully, getting more power than is entirely balanced, or b) the system works out so that making a particular called shot is the best idea in almost any situation. I saw a rather hilarious mathematical breakdown of why in Riddle of Steel, a system that prides itself on modeling realistic swordfighting, called shots to the groin are your most effective option in almost every situation.

Personally, I liked called shot rules. But I feel they work best in slower-paced, more simulationist games than DnD - particularly games that have wound tracks and set penalties for damage to particular body parts already built in, so that suddenly gaining the ability to inflict penalties with a high enough attack roll doesn't do much damage to the assumptions the game was balanced on.

oxinabox
2010-02-01, 07:08 PM
Someone will build a "Blow Up Your Enemy's Head 100% of the Time" build, which will result in all of your enemies being one-shotted.

You don't need headshots to have a build that insta-kills anything.
Any heavily optimised build will do that.

edit:
Just an example, I helping work on a multiple mulitiple attack roll build.
TWF monk with kakuries, with lightnight maces applied. even with the fix that says lightning maces can't trigger extra attacks on the extra attacks.
it still dished out over 2400 damage on an average roll for a full attack.
or 1200 on a standard attack.
This turns the tarasquene into a fine red mist.
The full attack will 1 shot a force dragon great wyrm.
The great wyrm prismatic dragon lasts into the second round... just.
(those are the two most powerful dragons in the epic handbook)

Before you mention miss chance, i think we had some chese like a activated on use enchanment on the weapons of true stike.

And this is in no way close to the peek of optimisation.
there was a build in the Test of Spite that could put out damage in the hundreds of thousands. IIRC it was defeated by a psion

ericgrau
2010-02-01, 07:28 PM
I can see why called shots might exist in white wolf because you need to stake vampires. Otherwise it is pointless in any system. Either it becomes strictly better in any situation, and players optimize to this, or the penalties make it strictly worse and no one should bother with it. I mean, if it gives extra damage or insta-kills, why aren't players trying to do that all the time automatically? The rule "players are always doing their best" makes called shots pointless.

In practice it is also well known to become a serious problem. You make the game much more complicated just so you can screw everything up. At best you make the system so overwhelmingly complicated that besides being painfully slow, nobody knows how to royally screw up the system on purpose, but there still is a way.

Orzel
2010-02-01, 07:38 PM
My homebrew just raises concealment level up by 1 and adds one extra screwup die (his chest conceal his face). It nets you a hot or cool point at least.

frogspawner
2010-02-02, 02:43 AM
The problem is not Called Shots per se. The problem is the special effects any CS rule tries to give. D&D isn't geared-up to handle that level of realism - it's too abstract.

There are other systems which handle Called Shots just fine.

Kaiyanwang
2010-02-02, 02:57 AM
Roll rogue or ninja, and take the laundry-list of prereq feats for Lacerate. This is the most similar RAW thing to a called shot.

Totally Guy
2010-02-02, 03:52 AM
Burning Wheel has an interesting take on called shots.

Every attack has the defender declare the hit location. It's a dice pool, number of successes, type system.

So the obstacle to hit someone is 1, they need 1 success to score a hit.
The attacker rolls his Sword 4 (rolls 4 dice) and gets 3 successes.
The defender knows he's hit and declares Leg.
The attacker has 2 extra successes to spend if he chooses. It takes one success to change location. And two success to increase damage.

The attacker now has a choice. Score a Midi hit (increased damage) to the guys leg. Or score an Incidental hit to the guy's head or arms (moving from leg to torso then moving from torso to head). (The torso is probably better armoured and you'd still be hitting for Incidental damage it's a suboptimal choice here.)

Sinfire Titan
2010-02-02, 10:32 AM
The problem is not Called Shots per se. The problem is the special effects any CS rule tries to give. D&D isn't geared-up to handle that level of realism - it's too abstract.

There are other systems which handle Called Shots just fine.

FATAL doesn't handle them well. Then again, calling that a system is a criminal offense in some countries.

kjones
2010-02-02, 10:40 AM
Here's an excellent article about why called shots are bad for D&D.

We Don't Need No Called Shots!
http://www.seankreynolds.com/rpgfiles/rants/calledshots.html

This is a really good article that raises some solid points. The combat system in D&D is just too abstract to support called shots. You're putting a square peg into a round hole.