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Old 03-22-2013, 04:26 PM   #1
Tomsdad
 
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Default Face & Neck location damage multiplier

Ok I've been thinking about this, and i'm struggling to get the justification for why there's such limited additional damage for targeting these locations (necks not as bad as face though).

On thing I'm leaving aside the 1 in 6 chance of getting the artery/vital etc as there is an equivalent of this for most locations in MA.

First of all neck, , this is a small area thats pretty full of high value objects. Also there's not much in there protecting them. Certainly when compared to the torso which has comparable injury multipliers except for cutting and crushing. More over it doesn't even get a knock down mod. I.e it's treated as vulnerable to injury as the torso except against ct & cr attacks.

This doesn't seem right, if nothing else a bullet/arrow/spear to the throat/neck would seem to me to be worse than one to the torso?

I'm not advocating a straight x4 brain hit multiplier, as I guess its possible to manage to miss the major blood vessels, airway, spinal column and cord etc, but I think the odds of doing all that are higher enough to warrant an extra +1 to all multipliers (and maybe making cutting x3).

If nothing else if a 4pt cutting attack on a St10 arm is enough to cripple it beyond use, what's that going to do to a neck?

Now the face, Now I can see that there's not actually much in the face that if its damaged it will immediately threaten your life (unlike the neck), my main issue is that there really isn't that much of the face in front of the really important stuff. Or put it this way a spear thrust to the face doesn't have to be very strong before its hitting the brain, top of the spinal chord or lots of blood vessels etc, etc. While you could argue that this is more a point for thrusting attacks, I'd say its true of cutting attacks as well because only a pretty superficial (i.e low damage roll) with a sword is going to stay just in the face and not go deeper. Consequently again I'd add an extra +1 to all multipliers, except corrosive which I'd keep at x1.5 and cr which I'd keep at x1.

Again if a 4pt hit from a sword can cripple an ST10 arm or a leg, what's that going to do swung into your face?

The face does at least have a hefty knockdown mod, which I guess you could argue is enough of a penalty in terms of the overall result of a combat given what happens the next round when you're -4 to defend.

Now I know sometimes the over penetration of torso rules from HT are quoted as something that makes neck and face hits comparatively worse. However I'd argue that is designed more to make large wounds to the torso more survivable rather then make such wounds to the neck and face less survivable.

One last thing I would probably also argue that the neck should -6 to hit and thus a harder target than the face because yes while the face is a more mobile target, the neck is smaller one and a more difficult one due to the flinching and reactions of the body (think how naturally you lower your chin or dip your shoulder, or otherwise retract it to protect it).

Anyway am I over thinking this, is this just a game balance thing (i'd argue the hit mods take care of that) and GURPS doesn't strike me as the kind of system where game balance overrules effect completely, otherwise why have locations at all.

Any thoughts?

Cheers

TD

Last edited by Tomsdad; 03-23-2013 at 02:31 AM.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:38 PM   #2
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: Face & Neck location damage multiplier

Face gives a 1/6 chance of getting the brain with penetrating attacks. And enhanced knockdown which is a pretty big deal.

I think neck actually has more wounding modifiers than that? But I could be wrong. It does have nastier bleeding. And the spine.

(See Martial Arts for wounding rules enhancements.)
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Face & Neck location damage multiplier

People get shot, stabbed, and punched in the face on a pretty regular basis. It's not lethal. Your face is very much like a crumple-zone for the "important" part of your head ie your brain.

A broken nose, crushed cheekbones, fractures around the sinuses, lost teeth, or even a broken jaw isn't going to kill you. It will make you miserable but that's different.

Similarly, getting shot in the face isn't (necessarily) a big deal. What's a big deal is having the bullet go through the face into the brain, but that's not guarenteed and only possible for attacks from the front to the rear - attacks from the side can pass entirely through your face without striking anything even remotely vital (through one cheek and out the other, for example). Even from the front, a bullet (or arrow) can go through the face and out the back of the head spending the entire time below the skull and to the side of the spine and never risking either. The arteries are more at risk from this sort of shot, but depending on your fat or muscle levels, there's a decent chance even the arteries will be missed.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Face & Neck location damage multiplier

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
If nothing else if a 3pt cutting attack on a St10 arm is enough to cripple it beyond use, what's that going to do to a neck?
That won't cripple an arm. 3 cutting with a 1.5x damage modifier deals only 4 damage (It rounds down). To cripple an arm, you have to do more than half the target's HP, which for a ST10 target is a 6-point injury (10HP/2 = 5, so "more than half" is 6+). That takes a 4-point cutting attack.

It's also a major wound, which means a hit to the face is forcing a knockdown/out roll at -5. Failure stuns, failure by 5 KOs. Even a single point of injury to the face forces a knockdown/out roll at the same odds as slicing off their arm. That seems like a good place for it, to me. A hit to the head that doesn't damage the neck or brain isn't going to do a lot of life-threatening damage (HP loss), but it's going to HURT.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:06 PM   #5
Kromm
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Default Re: Face & Neck location damage multiplier

What makes the neck, specifically, a nasty target is several things:
  • The big one is that cutting, impaling, and piercing attacks cause bleeding rolls every 30 seconds, at -2, and it takes Surgery (not First Aid) to stop this; see Martial Arts, p. 138.
  • As well, a major wound there requires a roll on the Neck Wounds Table (Martial Arts, p. 138), which can ruin your whole life.
  • Finally, in the heat of combat, the neck has a 1 in 6 chance of a vein/artery hit for bonus damage from cutting, impaling, piercing, or tight-beam burning – and the same odds of a spine hit from crushing from behind.
The first two effects mostly matter outside combat, but are what makes neck injury scary in real life. The short-term effects of neck injury aren't the reason why you target the neck.
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:14 AM   #6
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Default Re: Face & Neck location damage multiplier

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Face gives a 1/6 chance of getting the brain with penetrating attacks. And enhanced knockdown which is a pretty big deal.
True, but also true of the torso (1 in 6 chance of vitals hit), like I said that 1 in 6 chance doesn't really demonstrate a the dangers if getting hit in the face when it pretty much applies in some form or another to most locations. What that rule demonstrates is that there is no safe place to get hit were you can be sure to soak damage, i.e there's almost always a chance of something horrible happening to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
I think neck actually has more wounding modifiers than that? But I could be wrong. It does have nastier bleeding. And the spine.

(See Martial Arts for wounding rules enhancements.)
I do use the bleeding rules, but even the faster stuff is not going ti have an effect on the time scale of most GURPS combat, however since it's actually reasonably difficult to die in seconds I guess all together it gives the desired effect.

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
People get shot, stabbed, and punched in the face on a pretty regular basis. It's not lethal.
And I'n not arguing for instant kills (or x4 brain hits) for getting hit in the face, but are you saying you have no preference between getting hit in the torso or the face for all of those?

are you saying that wounds to the face and neck are when all else is equal just as dangerous as hits to the torso?
However although I'm thinking of keeping the x1 mod for cr, to avoid fist fights ending in death after a few punches, and to show the crumple zone effect you mention. Cr damage covers such a wide range of damage sources.


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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
Your face is very much like a crumple-zone for the "important" part of your head ie your brain.
Its not that much of a crumple zone really, given that its mainly space and thin bones. Also pretty much anything behind the face is as important as the the brain by dint of being vital to the function of the brain. I.e teh picture on pg 399 infers that anything form the eyeline up is x4 bad, but teh bottom half of your head is neutral ground.

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
A broken nose, crushed cheekbones, fractures around the sinuses, lost teeth, or even a broken jaw isn't going to kill you. It will make you miserable but that's different.
OK but as I said those are all superficial wounds (in terms of they won't kill you), that given the knockdown mod give you that misery. That crumple zone is very

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
Similarly, getting shot in the face isn't (necessarily) a big deal.
Well again see my last response to Ulzgoroth, I'm not arguing for a x4 brain mod, and I ask the same question to you would you really be as happy to take those hits to your face as to your torso (given that there also a 1 in 6 of getting a vital hit in the torso).

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
What's a big deal is having the bullet go through the face into the brain, but that's not guaranteed and only possible for attacks from the front to the rear
True but that direction of attack is going to be a lot of them.

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
- attacks from the side can pass entirely through your face without striking anything even remotely vital (through one cheek and out the other, for example).
And that's not going to be many of them. Also again they would be a superficial hit, think about how precise the difference is between a transverse slice through the face that stays in the 'crumple zone', and how small the difference is that would be needed to make it a lot worse.

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
Even from the front, a bullet (or arrow) can go through the face and out the back of the head spending the entire time below the skull and to the side of the spine and never risking either.
There not actually much else it can hit, however that's probably an argument for treating anything that goes through the face as a neck hit rather than anything else (it still basically neck at that point).

look at this side on MRI look at what's behind the soft palette

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
The arteries are more at risk from this sort of shot, but depending on your fat or muscle levels, there's a decent chance even the arteries will be missed.
There's not a lot of fat or muscle in the head, and that my main point, the torso has plenty and more importantly what else it has is often not that deadly short term. This is not the case with the head and neck

Basically yes i agree you can get a hit to the face that passes through and doesn't hit something major (it exits the body before it gets chance) and yes people to survive getting shot in the face with bullets following the line of skull or getting lodged in the cavities etc. However in general I think you are lucky to get one of these results rather than unlucky not to get one. I.e the opposite from torso hits.

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
What makes the neck, specifically, a nasty target is several things:
  • The big one is that cutting, impaling, and piercing attacks cause bleeding rolls every 30 seconds, at -2, and it takes Surgery (not First Aid) to stop this; see Martial Arts, p. 138.
  • As well, a major wound there requires a roll on the Neck Wounds Table (Martial Arts, p. 138), which can ruin your whole life.
  • Finally, in the heat of combat, the neck has a 1 in 6 chance of a vein/artery hit for bonus damage from cutting, impaling, piercing, or tight-beam burning – and the same odds of a spine hit from crushing from behind.
The first two effects mostly matter outside combat, but are what makes neck injury scary in real life. The short-term effects of neck injury aren't the reason why you target the neck.
That's all fine but as you say they are longer term and take effect mainly outside combat (however so do a lot of wound effects). So leaving that asides are we in general saying that except in the case of ct & cr for the neck and cor for the face these areas are as susceptible to damage as the torso?

Basically a 3pt spear thrust is major wound to a St10 arm or leg rendering them useless, what do we think that look like in a neck or face.

Last edited by Tomsdad; 03-23-2013 at 02:45 AM.
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:30 AM   #7
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Default Re: Face & Neck location damage multiplier

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Originally Posted by Phoenix_Dragon View Post
That won't cripple an arm. 3 cutting with a 1.5x damage modifier deals only 4 damage (It rounds down). To cripple an arm, you have to do more than half the target's HP, which for a ST10 target is a 6-point injury (10HP/2 = 5, so "more than half" is 6+). That takes a 4-point cutting attack.
Sorry yes it would need 4 pts from a sword, 3 pts from a spear. Eitherway not very high rolls.

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Originally Posted by Phoenix_Dragon View Post
It's also a major wound, which means a hit to the face is forcing a knockdown/out roll at -5. Failure stuns, failure by 5 KOs. Even a single point of injury to the face forces a knockdown/out roll at the same odds as slicing off their arm. That seems like a good place for it, to me.
I agree with that and as I said the knockdown is an important factor, the face hit might not take you out of the fight the but the follow up with -4 to defend has a very good chance of doing so.


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Originally Posted by Phoenix_Dragon View Post
A hit to the head that doesn't damage the neck or brain isn't going to do a lot of life-threatening damage (HP loss), but it's going to HURT.
Only in the most superficial wounds. Take a the 3 point spear thrust of the 4 point sword swing, those are as you say major wounds, these render your leg useless. You leg is bigger and more heavily muscled than you neck or head, so transfer that crippling wound to your neck. There's really not much where it can go without it effecting something pretty vital is there.

Yes technically you right if you don't blow through the face and hit the brain, stem or chord you're 'OK', but try and picture what a leg crippling spear thrust goes if its in your neck or head (below the nasal cavity), there's just not that much room in there to absorb this damage.
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:35 AM   #8
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Default Re: Face & Neck location damage multiplier

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
Basically a 3pt spear thrust is major wound to a St10 arm or leg rendering them useless, what do we think that look like in a neck or face.
No, it's not. Impaling has a x1 modifier to the extremities. A 6 point spear thrust would be required to cripple an arm or leg, and the same attack delivered to the face or neck would reduce someone from uninjured to less than 0 hp remaining.

Edit: Greater than HP/2 to cripple, not at least HP/2.

Last edited by gjc8; 03-23-2013 at 02:52 AM.
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:36 AM   #9
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Default Re: Face & Neck location damage multiplier

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
Basically a 3pt spear thrust is major wound to a St10 arm or leg rendering them useless, what do we think that look like in a neck or face.
A 3-point spear thrust to the limb is only halfway to a major wound. The wounding multiplier for impaling, huge piercing, and large piercing is only 1x to the limbs. A stab that is strong enough to cripple a limb (6hp) will deal 12hp to the neck, which is not only going to incapacitate the target very quickly, but is going to bleed severely (HT-4 every 30 seconds, as opposed to HT-1 every minute for the arm wound). The difference is huge. A HT10 person is quite likely to survive the arm wound, and if he does bleed out, would take a minimum of about half an hour to do so (Possibly much longer). The later faces possible death in only 4 minutes, and is unlikely to survive without aid.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:01 AM   #10
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Default Re: Face & Neck location damage multiplier

On thing, given that this is of all of course really a matter of perception (in how abstract rules attempt to model what we think is correct), could I be looking at this in the wrong way.

Is the lack of increased wounding mod more a function of how difficult it is to target these area's i.e its more difficult to lnd a telling blow here?

This combines the to hit roll and the damage roll in a way that doesn't seem to apply in other area's of GURPS but here's what i'm thinking.

A 3pt spear thrust to a leg is a chunk of sharp metal destroying enough muscle or tendons and bone to stop it from functioning, and involving a reasonable amount of tissue damage*. But a 3 pt spear wound to the neck while having the same damaging effect (6 pt's) actually involves less tissue damage, this would model the idea that the general tissue of the neck is more 'important' than that of the leg?

One other way I thought about this is having a crippling effect on the neck**, this would allow you to keep your superficial wounds, but have a telling blow having more severe consequences.

Of course the thing is I can't think of what a crippling effect on the neck** would be short of a taking you out of the fight instantly!

*yes you can stop a leg from function with a small mount of tissue damage but that not the kind of wound implied by 'major wound' which seems to be a large amount of damage that by dint of the amount of damage done also cripples a limb, the bleeding rules support that as well.

** and the more I look at that MRI and my anatomy books I think anything behind a the face and below the nose is neck, which I could do as a face and then neck wound, but ultimately I think you can have the same effect by just upping the face mods.
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