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-   -   Attacking Vitals on Dragons? (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=170331)

Kristoffer 09-21-2020 01:36 PM

Attacking Vitals on Dragons?
 
Can you attack Dragon Vitals without a physiology skill? According to Adventurers you need a physiology skill to target vitals from my understanding, except for Slimes and Mundane Humanoids, since there is no Physiology (Mundane) listed in Adventurers, I am wondering if you cannot attack a dragon in the vitals by design, or you can do it without the need for physiology due to it being mundane (even if it isn't humanoid)?

Anders 09-21-2020 01:45 PM

Re: Attacking Vitals on Dragons?
 
It worked on Smaug. I'd say go for it!

Kristoffer 09-21-2020 02:00 PM

Re: Attacking Vitals on Dragons?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Anders (Post 2344719)
It worked on Smaug. I'd say go for it!

Yeah, although it just seems a bit silly that you need to be trained to hit the vitals of say a Dire Wolf, but you know the vitals of a Dragon intuitively.

Polkageist 09-21-2020 02:19 PM

Re: Attacking Vitals on Dragons?
 
Not really, a Dragon is a living thing and has a roughly animalistic outline of limbs and a torso. Vital things are usually kept in the torso, so an untrained (in physiology) adventurer would probably just make a best guess that a Dragon's heart/lungs/kidneys are roughly where they'd also be in a deer, wolf, elephant... and they're right. Generally. It's a good guess, where else would they be really?

I read physiology as being able to get the fine-grained details, like "hit the left limbs, they're less well armored" or identify vitals for things that don't conform to the 'best guess' shot, like the undead amulet, or a demon's binding rune, or Smaug's missing scale (maybe that's not exactly physiology but you get it).

It's definitely a spot to reward players for digging into the world and discovering more about it. Open up a tough monster a bit if players take the time and effort to use physiology on a defeated beast by giving them easier shots, bonus damage, lower DR, etc. in subsequent encounters.

Anthony 09-21-2020 02:20 PM

Re: Attacking Vitals on Dragons?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kristoffer (Post 2344715)
Can you attack Dragon Vitals without a physiology skill? According to Adventurers you need a physiology skill to target vitals from my understanding, except for Slimes and Mundane Humanoids, since there is no Physiology (Mundane) listed in Adventurers, I am wondering if you cannot attack a dragon in the vitals by design, or you can do it without the need for physiology due to it being mundane (even if it isn't humanoid)?

In general I wouldn't require a roll for anything with its vitals located in a normal place; if the intent was to make the vitals unattackable it would have No Vitals.

Polkageist 09-21-2020 02:22 PM

Re: Attacking Vitals on Dragons?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Anthony (Post 2344730)
In general I wouldn't require a roll for anything with its vitals located in a normal place; if the intent was to make the vitals unattackable it would have No Vitals.

Aha! A successful physiology roll could unveil a vital point on a monster that otherwise has 'no vitals'

Celjabba 09-21-2020 02:39 PM

Re: Attacking Vitals on Dragons?
 
According to Monsters,
"A successful roll against a suitable Physiology specialty will reveal where to find the equivalent of the skull, vitals, etc.,
on a creature for which this isn’t obvious – assuming it has such areas!"

GM decision if the vitals location of a dragon are obvious or not.
In Gurps DF:Dragons, they are not obvious, for reference.

If they are not obvious, a suitable physiology roll is required to target them.

I think draconic being are a large enough class to deserve their own speciality : physiology(dragon), but a GM may decide otherwise and put them under Naturalist or physiology(animals) instead. (I would have said faeries myself, but they are indeed mundane.)

Dalin 09-21-2020 02:42 PM

Re: Attacking Vitals on Dragons?
 
As far as I can tell, all the other "Mundane" creatures in Monsters are basically humanoid in shape. Based on the wording of physiology in Adventurers, I could see a dragon counting as a humanoid. I would probably rule, however, that it is an animal for the purposes of physiology. As you mentioned above, if you need a specific skill to strike the vitals on a wolf, tiger, or bear, it makes sense that a dragon would fit into the same general category.

Anthony 09-21-2020 03:11 PM

Re: Attacking Vitals on Dragons?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dalin (Post 2344736)
As you mentioned above, if you need a specific skill to strike the vitals on a wolf, tiger, or bear, it makes sense that a dragon would fit into the same general category.

I'm pretty sure you don't need a specific skill to strike the vitals on animals. It might be a specific skill to know the exact location of the heart, but the vitals seems to include a lot more than that.

Polkageist 09-21-2020 03:13 PM

Re: Attacking Vitals on Dragons?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Celjabba (Post 2344734)
According to Monsters,
"A successful roll against a suitable Physiology specialty will reveal where to find the equivalent of the skull, vitals, etc.,
on a creature for which this isnít obvious Ė assuming it has such areas!"

GM decision if the vitals location of a dragon are obvious or not.
In Gurps DF:Dragons, they are not obvious, for reference.

If they are not obvious, a suitable physiology roll is required to target them.

I think draconic being are a large enough class to deserve their own speciality : physiology(dragon), but a GM may decide otherwise and put them under Naturalist or physiology(animals) instead. (I would have said faeries myself, but they are indeed mundane.)

I'd definitely want to make a meal out of the need to track down weak points and see if an encounter with the dragon can be had where attacks to vitals *don't* work. Probably worth the effort, a dragon's such an iconic opponent that the players will happily engage with the tasks.

Now if it were a mook or mini-boss dragon...

Part of this also looking into if anyone has, or wants to, invest in physiology. I'd not want to unduly penalize players who aren't terribly interested in it and keep the necessity for the skill to a minimum.


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