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steph

Roll for Hit location or Call Shot

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That works as far as chest/shoulders goes, but stomach and vitals are a bit more specific and important parts, and harder to hit than "center mass" which means they shouldn't be near the center of the bell curve.

 

On the other hand, having done some actual "sword"/stick fighting in my life (usually ending with one or the other taking it across the knuckles and the fun ends) since your hands are out in front of your body and people will often use them to ward off deadly attack, hitting extremities actually makes more sense than you'd think.  And since your legs are larger and less mobile than your arms, they probably should take less of a penalty to hit.

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According to my Hit Location Probability Table (shameless plug), a High Shot actually only has a ~17% chance of hitting someone in the Head, and a Head Shot only has a ~33% chance.

I was a few editions back - edited for that caveat.

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That works as far as chest/shoulders goes, but stomach and vitals are a bit more specific and important parts, and harder to hit than "center mass" which means they shouldn't be near the center of the bell curve.

 

On the other hand, having done some actual "sword"/stick fighting in my life (usually ending with one or the other taking it across the knuckles and the fun ends) since your hands are out in front of your body and people will often use them to ward off deadly attack, hitting extremities actually makes more sense than you'd think.  And since your legs are larger and less mobile than your arms, they probably should take less of a penalty to hit.

Agreed! Hand-Shots are dirt common in real life combat.

When I was being trained in swordsmanship, never mind the countless hours I spent stick-fighting with by peers as a child, I took more hits to the hand than I can count. Thankfully my teacher made me wear sturdy gloves so that I didn't mess up mah money-makers*.

*Not that they've actually made me all that much money... stupid Fine Arts Degree...

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Agreed! Hand-Shots are dirt common in real life combat.

When I was being trained in swordsmanship, never mind the countless hours I spent stick-fighting with by peers as a child, I took more hits to the hand than I can count. Thankfully my teacher made me wear sturdy gloves so that I didn't mess up mah money-makers*.

*Not that they've actually made me all that much money... stupid Fine Arts Degree...

 

This.  Somewhere online there is an analysis of cavalry injuries suffered at Waterloo; something like 75% of cuts were to the sword arm.  I'm sure there's SCA data out there that would reflect this as well.

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I tell my players that vitals includes things like kidney/liver/heart.  Hitting someone in the chest means hitting some in the rib cage but not necessarily getting thru the rib cage.

 

 

We had one character who named his sword "Nutsplitter" on account of the number of 13s he rolled. Another samurai archer character in our Sengoku game once hit five guys in a row in the 13s. It adds something to fireside chats about old games that "You remember when Pete's Akiro character  hit five guys in the lower torso in a row" just doesn't manage to do. 

 

Hero itself is not consistent in the definition of location 13.  From the BODYx it seems clear that it ought to represent internal organs, but the sectional armor charts from as far back as 1st ed. FH clearly interpret 13 as the pelvic region.

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I am suddenly imagining a merchant that sells Chainmail Underpants (which only protects the Vitals), and the line of angry female adventurers complaining that it doesn't come with a matching bikini top to protect their "vital assets"... 

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I am suddenly imagining a merchant that sells Chainmail Underpants (which only protects the Vitals), and the line of angry female adventurers complaining that it doesn't come with a matching bikini top to protect their "vital assets"... 

 

You know, I can see that web comic panel now........

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I use the rules straight up.  Player rolls 3d6 to hit then 3d6 again for location Doesn't take much extra time.

I keep a chart up for calculations.  Unless players choose called shots and take the penalties for it.  

Sign of a good rogue/swordsman to get some PSL's vs hit location chart.  (though it can be a tough sell, +1 for hit location for 1.5 points, or +1 always for 3?) 

Always been a little irked by the cost of PSL's I really want to use them but it seems like such a waste. 

However its a lot of fun to be a rogue with -8 hit location PSL's with daggers only.  Vital shots all day. 

 

About vitals: like others say it means anything, but that sure as heck does include the groin, a slash at the upper thigh, or into the pelvis would bleed you out pretty damn fast. 

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Personally, I think PSLs are quite reasonably priced considering that they have so many potentially abusive uses. For example, Hit Location PSLs allow you to multiply your Damage or even strike entirely unprotected areas (of which there are almost always a few in 'realistic' armor). Conversely, my wife (who came from 4th edition) thinks they are brokenly cheap.

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13 is a pretty common roll on 3d6, almost worth reworking the table so its on the other end like head

13 should really look like a 4"(real inches) wide strip running from the throat to the groin

not the lower 1/3 of the abdomen

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I'd agree, but if you look at it the way he shows, +1 to all attacks in any circumstances vs +1 to try to hit one location... the cost starts to look less reasonable.

First, it is not +1 to try to hit one location, it is +1 to target any desired location. "Targeting Skill Levels, which offset the penalty for targeting any and all Hit Locations". So for 3 points per level, I can offset all such penalties (every attack). But I think I can get by with a "Tight Group" of attacks for most characters - that's 2 points per skill level.

 

So, for 16 points, I can double the damage (or guarantee 2x BOD, 5x STUN on a KA) from my commonly used attacks. I always get a head shot. I can also cavalierly target any unarmored location, hit a fleeing enemy's feet or shoot that enemy mage's hand as he reaches for scroll, etc. Doubling my damage for 16 points (8 if I only want it for one attack) seems pretty sweet to me.

 

But then, for only one attack, I could pay 16 points and get +8 to OCV overall, which I can also use to hit high DCV targets, offset range penalties (for ranged attacks, anyway), offset a halving of my OCV, etc. So there is definitely a case to be made that the PSL "limitation" of -1 is not sufficient for the lost utility.

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I think the cost structure for PSL's is part of the 'hidden' differences of Heroic vs. SuperHeroic especially when the Powers system is not being used (or not front and center at least).  There is basically a much more expensive XP progression curve for Heroic characters if you want detailed abilities for non 'powered' characters.  An example of this is my version of John Wick (Keanu Reeves) that is a 600 point character. 

 

:)

HM

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First, it is not +1 to try to hit one location, it is +1 to target any desired location.

 

 

Right, thanks for the clarification :)

 

But I think if we're going to discuss this we should remember that few GMs will ignore OCV caps and limitations on levels in this one instance, no matter how cheap it is.  What I mean is, no matter how little it costs to buy something, that doesn't negate campaign rules and common sense on the part of the GM.

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​It is true that few experienced GMs will forget to impose CV restrictions, and it is noteworthy that such restrictions rarely apply to PSLs*; given that PSLs only negate penalties that might make it harder to hit, they don't actually make it any easier to hit the target if you aren't doing something that penalizes you. This makes PSLs a really great purchase for Martial Artists and Heroic weapon master type characters, because they allow you to effectively​ increase your OCV (or at least do difficult things easier) without engaging in a CV arms race with the GM (that will only end up killing fellow PCs that don't participate, like the mage and thief).

 

*As a special campaign guideline, I rarely allow more than four Targeting PSLs on any given attack because I don't like the idea of effortless head-shots.

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Sure, inexperienced GMs will make mistakes.  but the thing is, that doesn't make the cost right or wrong.  Mishandling a campaign isn't the fault of the rules; you can buy 60 active points of a power according to the rules, which could mean 12 OCV but most GMs will frown on that for obvious reasons.  That doesn't make the cost of OCV too cheap.

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I think this discussion has been ignoring another aspect of the rules that is directly related to the idea of 'hit locations'.

 

The Deadly Blow and Weapon Master Talents are effectively 'called shots' when used with ranged weapons.

 

This is why I usually include something like the following when I use PSL's vs.Hit Locations:

 

12 +4 to offset Hit Location modifiers with all attacks
[Notes: This could be replaced with the Deadly Blow or Weapon Master Talents if Hit Locations are not being used.]

 

:)

HM

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Like many things in Hero, point costs originally intended for supers don't always translate to heroic campaigns.  As soon as you start playing with hit locations, 2- and 3-point levels become insanely cheap.  6th ed didn't exactly help with that.  Back in the day we banned 2-point levels outright and house ruled that you couldn't have more than two of any particular type of level, so if you wanted 6 levels with swords, you had to buy 2 levels with swords, 2 levels with melee, and 2 levels with combat.

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Granted, I almost never buy 2-point CSLs because I don't like one-trick ponies, and paying 50% more (3-points) for 300% return on my investment is just a good deal. I've also always used Hit Locations (even in Superheroic Campaigns). However that house rule sounds unnecessarily complicated to me, because it results in you having to find and sum 5 to 7 different values to determine your actual Combat Value for a Martial Artist/Weapon Master (who are typically supposed to be simpler to play, not harder).

Especially for newer players, I generally don't recommend buying more than two types of CSLs/PSLs applicable to the same attack. So if you wanted to be an expert swordsman, you probably took +2 to +4 with Blades (as 3-point CSLs), +2 to +4 vs. Hit Location Targeting penalties with Blades (as 2-point PSLs), and an appropriate martial arts package (which I admit still results having to find and sum up to 4 different values).

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That works as far as chest/shoulders goes, but stomach and vitals are a bit more specific and important parts, and harder to hit than "center mass" which means they shouldn't be near the center of the bell curve.

 

On the other hand, having done some actual "sword"/stick fighting in my life (usually ending with one or the other taking it across the knuckles and the fun ends) since your hands are out in front of your body and people will often use them to ward off deadly attack, hitting extremities actually makes more sense than you'd think.  And since your legs are larger and less mobile than your arms, they probably should take less of a penalty to hit.

 

 

This.  Somewhere online there is an analysis of cavalry injuries suffered at Waterloo; something like 75% of cuts were to the sword arm.  I'm sure there's SCA data out there that would reflect this as well.

 

Not that these aren't useful and valuable observations (they are) but I wonder how well they apply to ranged attacks?

 

I don't think anyone wants to propose two different hit location tables, one for ranged and one for non-ranged!

 

Speaking of ranged....

 

I think this discussion has been ignoring another aspect of the rules that is directly related to the idea of 'hit locations'.

 

The Deadly Blow and Weapon Master Talents are effectively 'called shots' when used with ranged weapons.

 

This is why I usually include something like the following when I use PSL's vs.Hit Locations:

 

12 +4 to offset Hit Location modifiers with all attacks

[Notes: This could be replaced with the Deadly Blow or Weapon Master Talents if Hit Locations are not being used.]

 

:)

HM

 

Why would they not be just as much called shots with non-ranged attacks?

 

Like many things in Hero, point costs originally intended for supers don't always translate to heroic campaigns.  As soon as you start playing with hit locations, 2- and 3-point levels become insanely cheap.  6th ed didn't exactly help with that.  Back in the day we banned 2-point levels outright and house ruled that you couldn't have more than two of any particular type of level, so if you wanted 6 levels with swords, you had to buy 2 levels with swords, 2 levels with melee, and 2 levels with combat.

I've used a similar rule, after someone decided to take +10 levels with mace. And I really don't think it's possible for someone to become such a superlative master with one weapon, and be useless generally in combat without that one specific type of weapon.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Skill Levels with Palindromedary Mounted Weapons

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Not that these aren't useful and valuable observations (they are) but I wonder how well they apply to ranged attacks?

 

 

My experience with ranged attacks is less than melee, and usually with non-painful objects, so the data is less useful (I'm not going to react to a spear the same way as a nerf ball).  That said, usually ranged attacks are coming in at such high rate of speed they're more difficult to block or respond to tactically.  Also, the angle and size of the attack is typically smaller.  I can see and respond to how a weapon swing is coming at me based on the rotation of someone's hips, their shoulders, arms, etc.  A spear is a bit different and has a small cross section to block.

 

This is why I consider giving everyone the ability to block ranged attacks by default a ridiculous error, by the way.

 

That said, people will tend to put a hand up to try to block even bullets out of basic instinct and fear.  And hands do get hit a lot, it just doesn't really make any difference to a bullet.

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Speaking of ranged....

 

 

Why would they not be just as much called shots with non-ranged attacks?

 

 

I qualified that statement because an argument could be made that CSL's used to increase HTH damage might be doing so by increasing the brute force of the attack instead of the accuracy/targeting of where the blow hits.

 

HM

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