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Old 09-21-2020, 02:40 PM   #11
Black Leviathan
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Default Re: Attacking Vitals on Dragons?

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
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.
For simplicity sake lets say that the Vital organs are smaller than the torso given that there's a penalty to strike it. A region of the body somewhere between the size of your hand and your arm. Even scaled up to dragon size there's a fairly wide range of where in the body that could be located. We could logically presume the vital organs are in the upper torso, but that's really guesswork on a cretaure we don't have reliable data on.

The rule at my table would be, are dragons commonplace? would everyone in a remote village know somebody who's cut open a dragon to preserve it's hide and make dragon stew? If not then knowing where in a Dragon's body you'd have to aim is chancy at best. Someone in your village has cut open a bear/rabbit/deer most likely they could tell you exactly where to sink an arrow to hit the heart. In a desert village, those wouldn't be automatic assumptions.
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Old 09-21-2020, 08:51 PM   #12
Mister Negative
 
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Default Re: Attacking Vitals on Dragons?

It seems like, by the rules, you do need Physiology (Animals) to strike the vital areas in natural, giant, and dire animals. It seems very odd to me that almost no one knows that wolves and bears and tigers have brains in their heads and vital organs in their torso, but by the rules, that's what it says.

Of course, it defaults to IQ-6 and you might say that common animals give a substantial bonus to the roll.

Or you might just use GM fiat and allow PCs to know seemingly obvious things like where the skull is located on a wolf, but still make them roll vs. Physiology for anything obscure in your campaign, like secretly lower DR in particular areas on some monsters, or any weird extra organs and their vulnerabilities (hey, stab that at the base of the tail and it will disable the stinger!). You might even give Physiology (Animals) a default off Naturalist rather than Surgery.
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Old 09-23-2020, 05:05 AM   #13
Phil Masters
 
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Default Re: Attacking Vitals on Dragons?

I recall a very tongue-in-cheek theory that all the horns and frills on a dragon's head are non-essential horny growths, and the dragon's fabled "hypnotic gaze" is largely a set of instinctive movements and postures that persuade opponents to follow the (usually sensible on most creatures) tactic of striking for the head. With a small reptilian brain buried deep in a thick skull, this suits the dragon pretty well. While the dragon hunters are busy hacking off those decorative frills (which regrow well enough), the dragon can chomp on them at leisure.

Then the dragon hunters who survive anyway go home, retire, and tell the youngsters to be careful - "Dragons have one invulnerable spot!". But the kids, being kids, think the old fool must've got that the wrong way round, and dragons must have just one vulnerable spot.
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Old 09-23-2020, 05:45 AM   #14
ravenfish
 
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Default Re: Attacking Vitals on Dragons?

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Originally Posted by Mister Negative View Post
It seems like, by the rules, you do need Physiology (Animals) to strike the vital areas in natural, giant, and dire animals. It seems very odd to me that almost no one knows that wolves and bears and tigers have brains in their heads and vital organs in their torso, but by the rules, that's what it says.
It seems to me to make reasonable sense regarding the vitals. I know a wolf's vital organs are somewhere in its torso, but I couldn't begin to tell you what part of the torso to aim at to most effectively kill it. Even regarding brains- in most cases they should be obvious enough, but I've seen it claimed that the brains of an elephant are oddly placed, such that someone targeting it where a human would intuitively think they would be will wind up just hitting bone.
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Old 09-23-2020, 04:10 PM   #15
Polkageist
 
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Default Re: Attacking Vitals on Dragons?

Looking in the book real quick, I note that only two professions (Holy Warrior and Wizard) out of 11 have physiology in their skill package. I would think twice about putting the 'can't target vitals' screws to a party that has neither of those professions in it. At least for low-to-mid level enemies, or enemies where it's pretty clear where to put the pointy end of the stick.
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Old 09-24-2020, 06:15 AM   #16
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Default Re: Attacking Vitals on Dragons?

If targeting vitals is off the menu, I'd reconsider playing Scout or Swashbuckler.
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Old 09-24-2020, 06:51 AM   #17
Imbicatus
 
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Default Re: Attacking Vitals on Dragons?

Even if you require physiology rolls, itís not off the menu. Just make sure players are aware that you are a creation so they have an opportunity to put Quirk points into learning the skill, or better yet add it to the templates that need vitals attacks to function properly. They are already screwed by enough monsters that are diffuse or have no vitals.
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Old 09-24-2020, 11:14 AM   #18
Anders
 
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Default Re: Attacking Vitals on Dragons?

You can always be like Boo and go for the eyes.
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Old 09-24-2020, 05:27 PM   #19
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Default Re: Attacking Vitals on Dragons?

If we're still talking about Dragons I could see a GM ruling that in his game, targeting vitals requires a physiology roll. But in general I expect trained killers to know how to target the neck, the leg, the eye, etc. of all but the oddest monsters without bringing in other skills. We're talking about x3 rather than x2 thrust in most cases, so it's hardly overwhelming.
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