View Full Version : Called Shots and Wound Regioning

2007-03-18, 06:50 PM
Greeting Team GitP.

I know they removed called shots from D&D but i like them and i was wondering if anyone has/has seen any good rules for them floating around.

More than that i'm wondering if anyone has seen some good wound regioning rules, like a table to roll on to see where the attack strikes. From a storytelling perspective thats important.

So, begin!

2007-03-18, 06:56 PM
More rolling is NOT what combat needs. While called shots are interesting (and fun!), you don't need a table to decide where a wound strikes. It's best to determine based on the roll and the damage dealt where and how hard a strike landed - for example, if they beat the target's AC by 10, they've clearly hit an exceptionally good blow. But they might roll low on damage, which would mean, say, that they swung their axe right into the target's side, but he managed to move with the blow and takes less damage. Or if they just barely met the AC, but they rolled high damage, they could have jabbed their sword between two plates of armor, which split apart just enough for them to drive the blow in.

Normally I just make it so that good hits/high damage wounds hit more vital areas. It makes more sense that way.

2007-03-18, 07:16 PM
Called shots are an important part of the game in my oppinion. Your right, combat does NOT need more rolling but there are situations where it becomes nessicary to place your blows carefully.

For example, ranged assasination. You want to aim at someones throat. They don't know your there, they arent expecting it, plenty of time to aim... Resolve the attack normally?!

You might as well have been standing next to them. There needs to be a reward to ingenuity.

2007-03-18, 07:23 PM
Flat-footed vs the attack. And those who know how to place such a shot perfectly are Rogues, with their Sneak Attack damage, and Assassins, who can Death Attack. Either way, you're getting extra damage, because you're "Hitting a critical spot". Of course, you can do the same thing if you flank the person.

The problem with called shots is that they usually simply require hitting a larger AC. That means it's easy to Called Shot a Giant's knee, for example, followed by a Called Shot against his throat. Game over. The giant had 2,000,000 hp? Whatever, I can hit the AC to call a shot that'll kill it.

A game that has deadly called shots like that becomes a game of "I have the highest attack bonus ever!", more than anything else. Of course, there's other called shots that are already IN the game, but that's things like the feat Hamstring (I think it's sword and fist, dont' quote me on that) which allows you to give up sneak attack dice to cut an opponent's movement speed.

2007-03-18, 08:04 PM
I'm trying for realism in my new campaign as much as i can and that does mean that called shots are effectively quite deadly...

Bouldering Jove
2007-03-18, 08:09 PM
Convert Power Attack into a ranged Called Shot feat. You exchange likelihood of hitting for extra damage (representing hitting a vital area).

2007-03-18, 08:42 PM
Convert Power Attack into a ranged Called Shot feat. You exchange likelihood of hitting for extra damage (representing hitting a vital area).
This is the best possible Called Shot option I've ever seen out there.
It does not destroy balance.
It does not require extra rolls.
And it does not turn every single combat into an "I shoot for his neck" maraton.

Remember, in D&D, your're already considered to be shooting for the most vital area possible.
The problem you came up with is another one: the fact that a flatfooted oponent takes absolutely no extra damage if you don't have SA (he had absolutely no idea you were attacking, his neck was completely exposed, and what does that mean? It means you're just more likely to hit him (if he even had a Dex bonus)).
And that's a problem much harder to solve than a simple called shot.

2007-03-18, 10:48 PM
I've been thinking lately about the beholder, after someone on these boards pointed out the (very interesting) rewrite of the beholder (http://wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dd/20061028a) over on wizards.com. The most radical change is that the new beholder doesn't have one eye = one power, but instead has 10 eyes and 5 powers, each of which can only be used twice each round. The author's big changes to the beholder were aimed (among other things) at removing the need for keeping track of facing. But it occurs to me that they also move away from the emphasis in the AD&D beholder on calling shots to take out one or more of the beholder's eyes. If you read the original monster manual description, it's plain that one's first goal in taking out a beholder was taking out its eyestalks. The MM gives a separate AC and hp for the central eye and each of the ten eyestalks. By contrast, the 3.5 MM gives a single AC and hp for the whole creature, and makes no mention of how an attacker might target some particular part of the creature's anatomy.

This is typical of the difference, by the way, between the old AD&D system and 3.5. AD&D was a hodgepodge of different special-situation rules, none of them internally consistent. 3.5 is a coherent system but sometimes (certainly with the Beholder) something is lost in making it uniform.

2007-03-27, 03:38 PM
If you don't want to use the Power Attack approach, consider using the penalty to hit in combinaton with a Die Range mechanic.


Attacking a limb is -4 AB and hits on a 1D20 Attack Roll of 16+. Anything less than 16+ that also hits is a 'normal hit'. The significance of a successful called shot hit is up to you, but I wouldn't recommend significant results.