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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Yet another Called Shot thread (3.5 PEACH)

    I am aware of the many, many, MANY threads out there on called shots and the general consensus is that they tend not to work. Just to prove I've done my research:

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    We Don't Need No Called Shots

    The usual argument against them is that the extra risk is not worth the gain, or that it requires you to know what is and isn't armoured, or the gain is worth far more than the risk. So here's my take on the whole thing, in which I hope to produce a system that is simple enough to not require too much extra paperwork, but to provide a way for fighters (of all classes) to induce status effects without TOB. Why without TOB? Because some people don't like it (I do) and also, sometimes you just want to smack a guy over the head for RP reasons, and I think it's nice when mechanics can support RP and vice versa.

    So:

    Called shots
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    A called shot is a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity. To make a called shot declare where you are going to aim for before you roll. Increase the target's size bonus to AC by 2 steps (medium to tiny, large to small etcetera). If you miss, but fall within the target's original AC, resolve the hit as a normal attack.

    The target must make a fortitude save with a DC equal to 10+half damage the target takes from that attack (rounded down). The target takes a penalty to the indicated save for 1 round per the attacker's strength bonus (minimum 1). Additional hits do not stack, unless indicated. There may also be additional effects that last for a number of rounds equal to the attacker's strength bonus, unless otherwise indicated:

    Head: -2 to will saves. On a second hit to the head the target takes a further -2 to will saves and is dazed for one round. Creatures with multiple heads take no penalties until all heads are targeted. In addition, if the target casts arcane spells, increase their arcane spell failure chance by 10% per hit to a maximum of 20%. This stacks with all other sources of arcane spell failure chance.

    Torso: -2 to fortitude saves. On a second hit to the torso the target takes a further -2 to fortitude saves.

    Arm: The target takes a -2 on attack rolls made with that arm. If the arm is carrying a shield, the target reduces his shield bonus by 1 as well. In addition, if the target casts arcane spells, increase their arcane spell failure chance by 10% per hit, to a maximum of 20%. This stacks with all other sources of arcane spell failure chance.

    Leg: -2 to reflex saves while not flying. On a second hit against the leg, the target takes a further -2 to reflex saves and the target's base land speed and swim speed is reduced by half (round up).

    Tentacle: Resolve as arm until half the tentacles are damaged in this way, then resolve as legs. If the creature also has legs, resolve them all as arms.

    Wing: Reduce flight mobility by one step, -2 to reflex saves while flying. On a second hit the target takes a further -2 to reflex saves while flying and reduce the target's fly speed by half.


    Other changes:
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    Weapon finesse also allows the attacker to use his dexterity mod in place of his strength mod for determining the duration of status effects when using a finessable weapon.

    Improved Called Shot
    You are better at targeting specific areas
    Benefit: Making a called shot provokes no attacks of opportunity. Increase the target's size bonus to AC by only one step.
    Normal: Making a called shot provokes an attack of opportunity. The target's size bonus to AC increases by two steps.
    Special: A fighter may select Improved Called Shot as one of his Fighter bonus feats.

    Insight bonuses provide an instant flash of inspiration to slip under an oponant's guard at a point when it will matter the most. This, however, is too brief a time to line up a called shot, and so insight bonuses cannot be used with called shots.

    Magic is not precise enough for a called shot, and so spells cannot be used to make called shots.


    Why this is different:
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    The save penalties, mainly. No matter what, a penalty to a save is always a good way to contribute. Also, there is no different AC for different body parts. At worst, you need to look at the size-bonus chart, at best, you simply double (or half, in the case of penalties) the target's size bonus to AC twice.

    Also, one called shot is not a battle-ender. Two to the arm is probably the most powerful, forcing arcane casters to suffer 1/5 failure chance. A called shot is a standard action, so it cannot be used on a charge, or as part of a trip attempt.

    Finally, it cannot be done with spells, rather arbitrarily I'll admit, but casters have ways of putting the hurt on anyway. I've tried to cut out abuse with insight bonuses (mostly true strike), but I can't think of a way to prevent abuse with touch attacks, though granted most of those are executed by casters, or are as part of standard action maneuvres.


    Criticisms welcome, including "D&D doesn't need these", just be aware that I'm aware that it doesn't need these. I just really like the idea of them and want to provide a way to use them so that IF they are used, they don't A) ruin the fun, which is what it's all about, and B) break the game (a subset of A).
    Last edited by cheezewizz2000; 2010-02-17 at 02:38 PM.
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    Default Re: Yet another Called Shot thread (3.5 PEACH)

    These... just aren't very good. No, they aren't overpowered by any means, but beyond early levels, they just won't be relevant, and are a far shot from shrinking the gap between martial and casting classes.

    Let's just compare it to Bestow Curse. Make a touch attack, they get a will save (with no maximum) and the effects are so much stronger. A -6 to an ability score is a -3 to saves. Sure, it's a limited number of times per day, but Bestow Curse, on its own, is better than everything a Called Shot can do.

    Called Shot puts a penalty on your chance to hit, has a Fortitude save (with a cap... why the cap, anyway? 20 is WAY too low to stay relevant) and has piddly effects. Bestow Curse is a touch attack, a will save, and powerful effects.

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    Default Re: Yet another Called Shot thread (3.5 PEACH)

    Hmm, ok. I suppose as a way to give up a full attack, it's a bit naff. The cap was there to prevent builds with massive damage output producing huge DCs that are inescapable. You're right though, 20 is too low. I'll remove it for now.

    Perhaps a -2 to saves each time (for a -4 overall, after 2 hits), to bring it more in line with bestow curse?
    Last edited by cheezewizz2000; 2010-02-03 at 03:38 PM.
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    Default Re: Yet another Called Shot thread (3.5 PEACH)

    Improved Called Shot needs to be a Fighter bonus feat.

    EDIT: If you are worried about the save you could go the "semi-traditional" DC = 10 + 1/2 BAB + str mod. (This may be a problem with big STR creatures though.)
    Last edited by Stompy; 2010-02-03 at 03:49 PM.
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    Default Re: Yet another Called Shot thread (3.5 PEACH)

    Removing the cap is a good start. Sure, builds may eventually be able to pump one attack to a huge DC eventually, but it still will be far from overpowered, and fits the flavor of the ability nicely. A guy who has focused on making one attack super-effective is a fun concept.

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    Default Re: Yet another Called Shot thread (3.5 PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stompy View Post
    EDIT: If you are worried about the save you could go the "semi-traditional" DC = 10 + 1/2 BAB + str mod. (This may be a problem with big STR creatures though.)
    Didn't want to go that route because I thought that the difficulty of the save should be based on the severity of the wound, rather than how skillfully executed it was. I wanted to make sneak attacks mesh with this as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyooz
    *good points*
    How would you switch up the status effects to make it a little more viable as a trade-off for another standard action? (Or I guess, 2 standard actions, actually)

    Edit: I guess the veiled question there is, what would be more powerful?

    I thought daze was quite powerful (though I suppose it can also be achieved by a 0th level spell), as is a 20% arcane spell failure chance.

    I thought about adding Nauseated to the Torso. Perhaps dazed for rounds=str mod would be better, but then that's also "no actions for x rounds" which is boring, as a player, if you get struck with it.
    Last edited by cheezewizz2000; 2010-02-03 at 04:15 PM.
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    Default Re: Yet another Called Shot thread (3.5 PEACH)

    Hmm... the effects themselves seem fine, as far as what they do (though I would recommend upgrading the Dazed from a head called shot to at least stunned for one round) but I might make one recommendation.

    Find a way to make the effects variable with damage, instead of flat penalties or stacking them. As-is, a commoner nicking your arm with a stone is going to hobble you just as much as a barbarian crushing it with a great axe. You'd need to find a way to keep things relatively balanced, but I like the feel of that a little more. Have stronger blows override lesser ones, of course, but no stacking per se.

    Another suggestion might be extra - or at least increased - effects on critical hits. I wouldn't go so far as, like, an insta-kill on a critical head shot, but something extra would be fun.

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    Default Re: Yet another Called Shot thread (3.5 PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyooz View Post
    Hmm... the effects themselves seem fine, as far as what they do (though I would recommend upgrading the Dazed from a head called shot to at least stunned for one round) but I might make one recommendation.

    Find a way to make the effects variable with damage, instead of flat penalties or stacking them. As-is, a commoner nicking your arm with a stone is going to hobble you just as much as a barbarian crushing it with a great axe. You'd need to find a way to keep things relatively balanced, but I like the feel of that a little more. Have stronger blows override lesser ones, of course, but no stacking per se.

    Another suggestion might be extra - or at least increased - effects on critical hits. I wouldn't go so far as, like, an insta-kill on a critical head shot, but something extra would be fun.
    My hesitation with your first point is that stunned requires you to drop everything you are carrying, which makes it an easier disarm (and dis-shield), with more effects. Also, you provoke attacks of opportunity when you pick your stuff up. I'll leave it as dazed for now, at least until I get a second opinion.

    As for worse effects with increasing damage, I would add that were there a mechanism already in place (a-la the penalties with increasing damage seen in L5R). Don't get me wrong, I like the suggestion, but one thing these called-shot mechanics seem to always try to do is make things more and more realistic at the cost of game simplicity. I would rather keep it simple so the game flows more easily. The severity of the blow is already accounted for in the save DC as well. A commoner crushing your arm with a thrown rock will probably only do 6-ish damage anyway, if he scores a critical (1d4+1 str, assuming he has a 12 in strength), which makes for a DC of 3. A (level 1) Barbarian with a greataxe will do something more like 15 damage (1d12,+4str, +2 two handed weapon,+2 rage str, +another 1 from two handed weapon), making for a DC of 7. On a critical that will be more like 45 damage for a DC of 22.

    Ok, granted that that isn't a massive DC on the normal hit. It looks like I didn't think through the numbers that much, but then it was a quick and dirty way to try to avoid level 20 rogues sneak attacking for weapon+10d6 damage, putting out something like 45 damage on an average hit (1d6 rapier, +5 magic, +2 str, +10d6 sneak attack), and that's without any optimisation for damage output, which can get silly.

    As for increased effects on criticals, again a nice idea but I had sort of hoped that that would be covered by the increased DC from the higher damage.

    I guess what I need to take away from what I've just said is that the way to calculate the DC is flawed. I like 10+1/2BAB+str, but that doesn't take damage into account. 10+1/2 damage might be better, making my (unoptimised) examples above 13 for the commoner, 17 for the barbarian, 32 for barbarian crit and 32 for unoptimised level 20 rogue.
    Last edited by cheezewizz2000; 2010-02-04 at 03:56 AM.
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    Default Re: Yet another Called Shot thread (3.5 PEACH)

    Oddly, I recently made a revision of the fighter base class that uses called shots. If you want, go ahead and check it out

    the basic difference between my called shots and yours is that instead of giving set affects for what happens when you target a specific limb, I give a plethora of special abilities that players can use to describe their attacks (one fighter's head shot might deal intelligence damage while a second, higher-level fighter might stun an enemy with a head shot or even kill it). There is more than one way to skin a cat, after all.

    Feel free to look and see if you want to use anything from the class.
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    Default Re: Yet another Called Shot thread (3.5 PEACH)

    Here's another ruling - sneak attacks don't apply on called shots. IMO, they're about striking soft spots, not rending things asunder.

    EDIT: Maybe I'll houserule that sneak attacks can apply, but only for the lower effects (not the higher DC failures like limb severed, etc.).

    Also remove the bit about how STR modifier applies a penalty to the FORT save DC. It already adds to damage which adds to the DC, why apply twice? Also, it only encourages melee builds, which is silly since melee is pretty much the only approach to straight combat in the given setting regardless.

    Make the duration of the status affect apply depending on the degree that you failed the fort save by. None of the weapon finesse bogus - the damage = harder to save against seems like a good enough ruling and finesse and strength builds both can help with damage.

    The extremity of the affect should depend on the damage dealt. That way, a character struck in the arm doesn't take actual hp damage.

    But the fact that he took 40 damage to the arm and severely failed the save (by say, 10 or so) means he might lose the arm and bleed for CON damage for maybe 6 rounds or so (rough example).

    Called shots could also be performed with touch spells, so a caster could fry off a character's arm and effectively generate the same effect (so damage type does not play into this).
    -------

    So yeah, you've got some good ideas, but static effects are bad since they peter out later on. Instead, cut out the damage - damage only applies to the FORT save needed. Depending on the degree of FORT failure, a worse affect applies.

    Attack the Arm
    {table]Failed Fort Save DC By| Effect|
    5| Arm is weakened. -4 Str penalty to attacks with that arm. Halved when both arms are used.|
    10| Arm is broken or 'cut loose'. -10 Str penalty to attacks with that arm (halved 2h). -4 Dexterity penalty for rolls involving that arm.|
    15| Arm is severed completely. Lose limb. Suffer 1d4 CON damage for 1d6 rounds. DC 10 heal check and standard action to torniquet.
    20| Lose limb. Suffer 1d4 CON damage for 4d6 rounds. DC 15 heal check and standard action to torniquet.|
    30| Lose Limb. Paralysis for 1d6 + CON damage rounds. 1d6 CON damage for 4d6 rounds. DC 15 heal check and standard action to torniquet. DC 20 heal check and full action to remove paralysis.
    35| Same as above, except limb is nonrecoverable (unless you can grow a new one).
    [/table]

    Either effect can be cured with a heal spell equal to the amount of damage inflicted (so the damage is still written down for later reference). The same goes for fast healing, natural healing, etc., to stop blood loss. Limbs still can not be recovered if listed as 'non-recoverable'.
    Last edited by imp_fireball; 2010-02-10 at 06:23 PM.

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