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Old 10-05-2016, 04:09 PM   #1
VariousRen
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Default Hitting Targets of Opportunity in Combat

In combat attacking the torso is a -0 hit location, and attacking at a randomly determined hit location is made at no modifier as well. Watching some HEMA duels and reading reports of shootouts has pointed to a lot more attacks landing outside of the torso. This is especially apparent when opponents are just trying to score a touch, not an actual blow.

To nudge combat to be a little more in line with what I've observed, I'm considered giving a +1 bonus when taking a random hit location. My reasoning is that the whole human body is larger than just the torso. Additionally there are situations and movements that aren't simulated by GURPS that might present one hit location more than another, and a blanket +1 would represent a character taking advantage of them to land a hit, instead of aiming for a hit location like the torso where a hit is guaranteed to do good damage.

Is the general +1 for a human bodies size reasonable, or is there a good reason that both torso and random hit location are -0 hit locations? Has anyone tried something like this in their own game, or have advice that they think would be useful?
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Old 10-05-2016, 05:45 PM   #2
GWJ
 
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Default Re: Hitting Targets of Opportunity in Combat

Do you think that "hitting body part which is the most easy to hit at the moment", is more difficult than "hitting torso, in any case, even if is more guarded at the moment than something other"? :)
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Old 10-05-2016, 06:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Hitting Targets of Opportunity in Combat

I think a +1 for hitting a random target is reasonable for melee attacks against humans. I don't know if I'd generalize it beyond that. This makes cr/cut weapons happy and imp weapons sad, but c'est la vie.
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Old 10-05-2016, 06:43 PM   #4
GWJ
 
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Default Re: Hitting Targets of Opportunity in Combat

Oh, I was misread. Still I think that capablity to (reasonably often) hitting targets other than torso WITHOUT usual penalties, is enough :) I see random hit location as something like "I want to hit the torso, but if something other will be in my reach (or in the line) - I won't complain and hit THAT thing". Not like "torso hit" vs "any hit".

Or maybe another view: "I want to hit where is most easy". And where is most easy AT THE MOMENT? Roll 3d. And because most of the time this is torso, and called shot in the torso is 0 penalty...

Last edited by GWJ; 10-05-2016 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 10-05-2016, 07:50 PM   #5
dripton
 
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Default Re: Hitting Targets of Opportunity in Combat

I won't argue from the basis of realism, as I've never tried to stab anyone.

From a game perspective, I don't like random hit locations, as another roll slows combat a bit. Roll dice, look at table, and then, when it's a weird location that doesn't get hit much, read the effects of hitting that location.

Contrast with players that deliberately aim for a non-torso hit location. If they're willing to take a -5 to hit the neck, they probably know what a neck hit does offhand. They aimed for the neck rather than the head because they want that extra cutting damage bonus. (Okay, or because they want to decapitate something.) Heck, if they really like swinging at necks, they might have paid for a Trademark Move to reduce the penalty by one.

I've sometimes houseruled "no deliberate rolls for random hit locations" to speed play; you only get to use that table when the GM tells you to.

So, from a game perspective, no way I'm giving them +1 to make combat slower.

YMMV, depending on how many fights you run, how fast your players are at combat, and how much adventuring you want to get done per hour of play.
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:15 PM   #6
GWJ
 
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Default Re: Hitting Targets of Opportunity in Combat

Quote:
From a game perspective, I don't like random hit locations, as another roll slows combat a bit. Roll dice, look at table, and then, when it's a weird location that doesn't get hit much, read the effects of hitting that location.
But random hit locations are just an option... You can hit random or target particular location. Reading effects? Come on, if you're in fight, and your group use hit locations (because some groups probably don't) - you should know effects of every location. There are really small notes, and very similar - just few multipliers and special effects. If we're using hit locations, I feel comepelled as the GM to knowing all rules which we're planning to use. And even totally new players are knowing them too, after maximum 3 hits "in the play".

And if one of players will want to hit that "weird location", you will read it anyway, don't you? :P

Quote:
Heck, if they really like swinging at necks, they might have paid for a Trademark Move to reduce the penalty by one.
Or the technique "Targeted Attack" to remove this penalty by 3 :) And hey, I really don't think that someone would attempt to random roll in combat, to hit one of very "rare" locations like head or neck... This is probability like critical hit :P

Oh, and one more thing about random rolls - I bought handful of small spotted d6, and my players are normally play with dice with spots (not numbers), but each player have also 3 dice with numbers, not spots to rolls like that, to speeding play. If someone is attacking random location, he simply roll 6d - 3d with spots is for attack roll, and 3d with numbers is for location - in one moment. Ditto with Fright Checks for example. Or similarly, when someone is making an attack roll, there is white 3d for attack roll, and red dice for potential damage roll (this is also helpful for descriptions of missed hits ;) ). You should try something like that, in my games this was really speed up fights, however first 2-3 game sessions may be little weird, but you probably quickly get used to this, and don't want to play without it anymore :)
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:33 PM   #7
VariousRen
 
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Default Re: Hitting Targets of Opportunity in Combat

Quote:
Originally Posted by dripton View Post

From a game perspective, I don't like random hit locations, as another roll slows combat a bit. Roll dice, look at table, and then, when it's a weird location that doesn't get hit much, read the effects of hitting that location.
We play online, rolling and looking up hit locations isn't a huge time sink for us. My idea is that it should be easier to hit the most vulnerable part of an enemy, which may be their torso, arms, legs, feet, ect, than it is to specifically hit the torso.

I've noticed that most weapons prefer to hit the torso to get wounding modifiers (spears), or to prevent crippling from limiting damage (greatswords, axes). Most combats end with people at negative HP, but otherwise in one piece. By encouraging random hit locations, more people will end up missing arms, legs, feet, hands, ect. which just isn't happening right now.
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:36 PM   #8
Colarmel
 
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Default Re: Hitting Targets of Opportunity in Combat

Quote:
Originally Posted by GWJ View Post

Or the technique "Targeted Attack" to remove this penalty by 3 :) And hey, I really don't think that someone would attempt to random roll in combat, to hit one of very "rare" locations like head or neck... This is probability like critical hit :P
My swashbuckler targeted the eyes incessantly. We fight homogeneous stuff now.
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Old 10-06-2016, 03:58 AM   #9
Celti
 
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Default Re: Hitting Targets of Opportunity in Combat

You might find this post by Kromm (and the thread it is within) to be a very good solution to the problem. I know I have!
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Old 10-06-2016, 07:17 AM   #10
Kalzazz
 
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Default Re: Hitting Targets of Opportunity in Combat

My go to LARP move for 'I need a hit, any hit' is a slash to the shin
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