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Old 11-12-2017, 09:20 PM   #1
Colarmel
 
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Default Monster Height

So say a halfling barbarian wants to swing his halberd at a dragon's skull. How will he know if he's tall enough to reach? What if a Gnome Martial artist wants to kick an Ovre in the head? Basically, how do you determine whether a hit location is out of reach?
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: Monster Height

DFRPG sneers at those sorts of realistic distinctions.



Sorry, that's actually about the straight jist of it. The Halfling Barbarian is using a fullsized Halberd, it's not any shorter and the Gnome can spring up and easily kick at human head height. So if it's within the Reach of a humie, it's within the Reach of a stuntie.
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Old 11-13-2017, 06:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: Monster Height

Fair enough. How do I determine if a human with a dagger can put it in a dragon's eye?
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:03 AM   #4
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Default Re: Monster Height

If – since your last turn – a monster has attacked somebody of around your height in melee combat at a given reach, you can reach any part of that monster this turn with a melee attack which has that reach or more. That is, if you take your turn and then during other combatants' turns, a huge monster attacks you or a friend with a melee attack from reach 1, then when it's your turn again, you can attack any part of that monster with a reach 1+ attack. If the monster attacked from reach 2, you'll need reach 2+ to attack any body part, and so on.

If you lack sufficient reach, the GM uses common sense to decide what you can hit. However, the body part last used to attack, the feet and legs, and the lowest part of the torso should always be within reach. So if that monster swings a huge club with reach 3 and you have only reach 1, you'll still be able to attack the club, the hand holding the club, the monster's feet and legs, and the monster's torso.

More detail than that gets into the complications Combat at Different Levels (Exploits, p. 47) says it wants to avoid. But as that rule implies, the GM can require the delvers to find high ground, fly, etc. to attack certain humongous foes.
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:17 AM   #5
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Default Re: Monster Height

Those who like complications can always use the full GURPS rule, which I'll summarize here (all modifiers to hit are in addition to normal hit location penalties):
One foot of vertical difference, or less: Ignore it.

Up to two feet of vertical difference: The higher fighter has -2 to hit the feet or legs, and +1 to hit the head (skull, face, or eyes) or neck. The lower fighter has +2 to hit the feet or legs, and -2 to hit the head.

Up to three feet of vertical difference: As above, but the lower fighter is at -1 to any active defense, while the upper fighter is at +1 to active defenses.

Up to four feet of vertical difference: As above, but the lower fighter is at -2 to defend, while the upper fighter is at +2. The upper fighter cannot strike at the lower fighter's feet or legs.

Up to five feet of vertical difference: The lower fighter cannot strike at the upper fighter's head, and the upper fighter cannot strike at the lower fighter's feet or legs. The lower fighter is at -3 to defend, while the upper fighter is at +3.

Up to six feet of vertical difference: The upper fighter may only strike at the lower fighter's head. The lower fighter may only strike at the upper fighter's feet or legs. Neither gets any special bonus or penalty to attack. The lower fighter is at -3 to defend, while the upper fighter is at +3.

Over six feet of vertical difference: Combat is impossible unless the fighters adopt some strange position; e.g., the upper fighter lies down and reaches over the edge. In that particular case, he would effectively bring himself three feet closer, and his foe could strike at his head and arm.

Effects of Reach

If you have more than one yard of reach, each yard past the first brings the foe three feet closer you. This does not bring you any closer to your foe!
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: Monster Height

So then it's perfectly reasonable to assume a large dragon just wont expose skull/face for melee attack for example.
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: Monster Height

Normally, a dragon with reach 5 or 6 won't resort to its reach 1 attacks unless it must or it has no fear of reprisals. With four claw attacks, two wing attacks, a tail attack, and a breath attack, it can make its four attacks without reusing anything and without leaning in its head to bite or strike with horns. It's most likely move is to fly five yards overhead, striking downward with claws, tail, or wing beats. Even if it goes with Move and Attack, it has four shots at 9 or less . . . and can zoom away at Move 14 afterward.
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Old 11-13-2017, 11:11 AM   #8
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Default Re: Monster Height

And if terrain prevents the dragon from taking flight, double knockback wingbeats are great at managing distance. Regardless, huge creatures can effectively keep skulls out of reach unless you make them bend over somehow.
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Old 11-13-2017, 11:21 AM   #9
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Default Re: Monster Height

A spear specialty solves a number of reach problems.
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Old 11-13-2017, 03:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Monster Height

Quote:
Originally Posted by Say, it isn't that bad! View Post
A spear specialty solves a number of reach problems.
So do Heroic Archer and missile spells. For some fights, the party just has to have ranged attacks. (And making those encounters is a good way to make the archers and mages useful and appealing to players.)
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