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Called Shots to Limbs

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  • Called Shots to Limbs

    Looking at the Called Shot rule, I felt it was a bit pointless to aim at a limb so I was bouncing the following idea around in my head:

    Limb (-2): A success on the damage roll renders the targetted limb unusable. If the limb is a leg, the victim gains the Slow (Minor) Hindrance. Against a Wild Card, Large or larger Extra, or an Extra with the Resilient trait, the damage roll must succeed with at least one raise to cause the same effect.

    So basically, it inflicts the same limb damage as an arm or leg injury. This would allow for some happy dismemberment, but should come with the caveat that GMs should probably use this type of called shot sparingly if their setting does not have a convenient way of removing such injuries.

  • #2
    Called shots are useful as armor isn't on the gear list as suits or harnesses. Each bit is purchased separately and only torso armor is factored into base Toughness. So limbs may be significantly less armored and easier to injure. As for injuries, I would require scoring a Wound on the damage roll rather than just a success and, like the Injury Table results, they remain until the Wounds are healed.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by paladin2019 View Post
      As for injuries, I would require scoring a Wound on the damage roll rather than just a success and, like the Injury Table results, they remain until the Wounds are healed.
      Yes that's why i made it a success with a raise on anything that can take a wound without immediately going down. I only made it require a success on regular no-additional-wounds extras, because if those take a wound, it doesnt matter what other effects you score, because they will be incapacitated anyway.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Threeshades View Post
        I was bouncing the following idea around in my head:
        How is this notably different from the Gritty Damage setting rule?
        Other than it only applying to Called Shot: Limb, I mean.

        I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

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        • #5
          I don't see how this is a useful question. How is it notably different from X rule, other than this one very notably different thing?

          Gritty damage just applies random injuries on every wound that, notably, only a wild card is affected by, causing compunding problems especially for the players (who are not only the wild cards who most often expose themselves to the chance of being injured, but are also the ones who may be forced to carry those injuries into encounters to come, not only fights either). My idea adds a tactical option to purposefully disable an enemy in a predictable way, to make them either easier to chase down, or lessens their ability to fight back, and not only if they are a multiwound creature. Maybe you wanto to aim for an extra's leg to slow them down and apprehend them for interrogation.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Threeshades View Post
            I don't see how this is a useful question.
            I consider it a useful question because the answer shortens the amount of text that needs to be read, that needs to be written, and that needs to be comprehended.

            Example: "I've been considering the following:
            Limb Hits - like Gritty Damage, but only for Called Shot: Limb, and if the victim is a regular Extra then damage that causes Shaken causes an Injury.
            What do you think?"

            Originally posted by Threeshades View Post
            My idea adds a tactical option to purposefully disable an enemy in a predictable way, to make them either easier to chase down, or lessens their ability to fight back, and not only if they are a multiwound creature. Maybe you wanto to aim for an extra's leg to slow them down and apprehend them for interrogation.
            Not as much as you claim.
            Damage is the part of an attack that players have the least control over. Damage bonuses are relatively rare and difficult to stack, damage rolls have high variability, and even the number of damage dice being rolled is dependent upon the result of the attack roll.
            Tying a tactical option to the outcome of a damage roll is the least reliable way for a character to access the option. (Aside: That's the source of many of the complaints about the Disarm rules; the other source is the crazy attack penalties involved.) The option is gated behind two separate dice rolls - attack and damage.
            Further, the open-ended nature of damage rolls makes it incredibly easy for a "disabling shot" to be a "killing shot". I'll never forget the scene when the big game hunter tried to "knock out" the eight year old boy and ended up crushing the child's rib cage.
            Finally, options that allow player characters to reliably cripple major foes - or become crippled - have a negative impact on the overall game. They cause characters to become injured and vastly less capable in the current scene and force them to carry those injuries into the next scene.

            Overall, this iteration will be difficult for players to use with any reliability. However, foes will be able to use it with some reliability to inflict crippling injuries upon player characters. My conclusion is that it will make the game worse.
            I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

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            • Deskepticon
              Deskepticon commented
              Editing a comment
              Originally posted by ValhallaGH
              I'll never forget the scene when the big game hunter tried to "knock out" the eight year old boy and ended up crushing the child's rib cage.
              Seems like a good opportunity for a new setting rule:

              Pull the Punch
              A character may choose to deal less damage if their current damage total would have undesired results.

              Using this with Gritty Damage or the OP's suggestion means that knee-capping a foe to slow their Pace, but getting an exploding roll that straight up kills the man can be reduced to only the effect you want (say, 2 Wounds plus Slow Hindrance).

          • #7
            For the most part, only modern armor is worse on limbs. Futuristic Armor includes arms and legs, and historical armor does as well.
            Hitting the arm is a Disarm, so there is that.
            I've always said that if you target the leg, use the same rules/rolls as Disarm, but if they fail they fall down; basically you leg shoot a guy who is trying to run away (or close in, I suppose)

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            • #8
              Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post
              I consider it a useful question because the answer shortens the amount of text that needs to be read, that needs to be written, and that needs to be comprehended.

              Example: "I've been considering the following:
              Limb Hits - like Gritty Damage, but only for Called Shot: Limb, and if the victim is a regular Extra then damage that causes Shaken causes an Injury.
              What do you think?"
              Okay, that's what you mean. I read your question wrong. I could have just put it like that, but when i come up with house rules and so forth, I prefer to formulate them fully.


              Not as much as you claim.
              Damage is the part of an attack that players have the least control over. Damage bonuses are relatively rare and difficult to stack, damage rolls have high variability, and even the number of damage dice being rolled is dependent upon the result of the attack roll.
              Tying a tactical option to the outcome of a damage roll is the least reliable way for a character to access the option. (Aside: That's the source of many of the complaints about the Disarm rules; the other source is the crazy attack penalties involved.) The option is gated behind two separate dice rolls - attack and damage.
              Further, the open-ended nature of damage rolls makes it incredibly easy for a "disabling shot" to be a "killing shot". I'll never forget the scene when the big game hunter tried to "knock out" the eight year old boy and ended up crushing the child's rib cage.
              Finally, options that allow player characters to reliably cripple major foes - or become crippled - have a negative impact on the overall game. They cause characters to become injured and vastly less capable in the current scene and force them to carry those injuries into the next scene.

              Overall, this iteration will be difficult for players to use with any reliability. However, foes will be able to use it with some reliability to inflict crippling injuries upon player characters. My conclusion is that it will make the game worse.
              Which is why i mentioned that it should come with the caveat that the GM should adjudicate NPC use of this carefully. On the other hand I feel like in a game in which every time you put your major villain within range of a player's weapon, you risk getting them killed in one shot, getting them permanently crippled is just an alternative outcome that is no more undesirable.

              So here's a proposition, how about these called shot "injuries" are treatable. Rather than tearing off the entire limb with the attack, its just dislocated, or some other reversible damage occured to temporarily disable it. And when the injured character receives healing of at least one wound, the healer can choose to remove the effect on one limb.

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              • #9
                Originally posted by Threeshades View Post
                when i come up with house rules and so forth, I prefer to formulate them fully.
                Which is great when you're getting it ready for publishing or just finalizing it for use in home games, but at the discussion and analysis stage - which is what you implied this was with your OP - brevity can really keep things moving and make sure people see what you're changing.

                Originally posted by Threeshades View Post
                Which is why i mentioned that it should come with the caveat that the GM should adjudicate NPC use of this carefully.
                Or not at all. With two called shots the NPCs can make any single player character useless, potentially for the entire campaign, by severing their arms.
                The campaign would quickly devolve into the Black Knight scene from Monty Python's Holy Grail. Character turnover would be pretty insane.
                Originally posted by Threeshades View Post
                On the other hand I feel like in a game in which every time you put your major villain within range of a player's weapon, you risk getting them killed in one shot, getting them permanently crippled is just an alternative outcome that is no more undesirable.
                Oh, sure, you should never put a character in the same scene as the player characters unless you're willing to have that NPC die. That's basic game mastering, and the simultaneously least offered and most relevant advice for new GMs.

                Originally posted by Threeshades View Post
                So here's a proposition, how about these called shot "injuries" are treatable.
                I'd suggest going with the same rules as for temporary injuries from Incapacitation - the Injury goes away when all Wounds are healed.
                I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

                Comment


                • #10
                  I don't dislike the idea. Giving Called Shots an extra layer like this can help them regain some of the tactical application they lost in Swade.*

                  But I don't care for the version presented in the OP. First of all, the additional effect should only trigger on a Wound, not merely a Shaken result. Extras in SW are meant to be cannon fodder, and not usually worth focusing on tactically other than taking out as many as possible. They embody the philosophy of "Up, Down, or Off-the-Table."

                  Secondly, the effect should be temporary, removed once all Wounds are healed. Other effects might only be instantaneous, such as a shot to the hand forcing a disarm.

                  Whereas Gritty Damage abstracts the hit location to a random result, this setting rule ties the Injury/effect directly to Called Shots. Nice for games that want to promote a more tactical playstyle.
                  ______

                  * Previously, Called Shots meant you forgo your "to-hit" chance to gain a bonus to damage, possibly ignoring Armor as well. Bennies could be spent to reroll the attack. But Swade now allows damage rolls to be Benny'd, removing some of the tactical application of Called Shots. In Swade, it may prove better to make a normal attack roll, hoping to get a raise, and then just reroll damage if you get a low score.

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                  • #11
                    Originally posted by ogbendog View Post
                    For the most part, only modern armor is worse on limbs.
                    That is patently untrue. At the best armor types on the pre-modern armor tables, each location is a separate item. It is quite likely for a target to wear a breastplate by itself or layered over lighter bits. The stated layering example would provide torso armor of 5, arm armor of 3 and no armor to the head or legs.

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                    • ogbendog
                      ogbendog commented
                      Editing a comment
                      In my experience, most players in low tech/fantasy games full leather, or chain or plate, or etc to get the same armor every where. Sure, you could wear a breastplate and leather arms and legs, but most of the time players don't.
                      That can't be done in modern, if you put on a kevlar vest you can't get the same protection from bullets on your arms and legs. The Riding Jacket and Jeans don't have the -4 to damage from bullets.

                    • ogbendog
                      ogbendog commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Oddly, your first post in this thread is similar to mine. You point out that limbs might be less armored
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