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Old 04-06-2021, 08:49 AM   #21
Edges
 
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Default Re: table make why does random hit location hitting left side more likely?

Doesn't make a lot of sense for many situations. Like firing ranged at an unsuspecting target.
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Old 04-06-2021, 10:38 AM   #22
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Default Re: table make why does random hit location hitting left side more likely?

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Originally Posted by Edges View Post
Doesn't make a lot of sense for many situations. Like firing ranged at an unsuspecting target.
The random hit tables generally give too high a chance of hitting extremities when using ranged weapons, they're more normalized for melee weapons.
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Old 04-06-2021, 06:12 PM   #23
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Default Re: table make why does random hit location hitting left side more likely?

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
The random hit tables generally give too high a chance of hitting extremities when using ranged weapons, they're more normalized for melee weapons.
Random thought; Roll twice on table, if second hit is Torso or Abdomen it takes precedence. You could likely come up with a more complicated way or change up the table, but as a quick rule this could help.
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Old 04-07-2021, 06:25 AM   #24
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Default Re: table make why does random hit location hitting left side more likely?

The main thing here is that Torso occupies 2 hit location slots, creating an uneven spread on even dice. A reasonable solution would be to remove torso on 9, shift extremities closer to 10 and then insert Groin hit location at 6 or so. It was always weird that this large and important hit location, compared to abdomen, is not in the list.

In addition, Turn Torso/Abdomen into Torso/Torso instead if you'd like Torso to remain the most likely hit location.
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Old 04-07-2021, 04:12 PM   #25
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Default Re: table make why does random hit location hitting left side more likely?

GURPS evolves over time. The random hit table relies on the traditional 3d roll, which we know doesn't give even chunks of probability. I generally put down the differences to no perfect solutions being available at the time.

I think that, were the table redone, it would be the (as far as I know) newer 1d, 1d style that we see in books like GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 8 Treasure Tables.

So, for example, you'd have something like:
5, 1-4 Left Leg
6, 1-4 Right Leg
where both would give you identical 11.11% chance, if your intent was identical hit chance. I think that method would be easier to adapt to alternate body styles, handedness and similar, since 2d gives 36 possibilities and 3d gives 216, which should probably cover even complicated centipede-taur monsters.
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Old 04-07-2021, 04:20 PM   #26
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Default Re: table make why does random hit location hitting left side more likely?

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In professional training the posture for both pistol and rifle shooting is mostly to try to be square against any threat when you cannot take cover as your vest covers more from front with no arm holes there(police) or the rifle plates only protect from front and rear(military) so you want them to be towards the possible threat.

And yes, pistol shooting is definitely taught to be two handed except when training with entry shields.
Without a vest, a side stance in duels was often preferable because it reduced the target area. That's a part of why the Earps et all did better during the OK Corral.
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:55 AM   #27
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Default Re: table make why does random hit location hitting left side more likely?

So the current Random Hit Location table has some problems.

From a Simulation standpoint, you get wonky results like the Torso only showing up about 1-in-4 rolls, and additional stuff like rolling "Foot" when an NPC throws a punch at a random target. Clearly, you can ignore results like that, but why have the table setup like that in the first place?

From a Game Mechanics standpoint, it very much favors non-torso hits. In melee combat especially, most non-torso targets are high value, and you bypass the difficulty of hitting one specific location. I've seen this play out in my early games where players who didn't want to take the penalties for hitting limbs or HVTs would just opt for a random roll, and very rarely end up with the torso.

I also fell like a unified Melee/Ranged RHL chart never really felt right in the games I ran.

My solution was this:
  • Create separate RHL charts for Ranged and Melee attacks
  • Revise the distribution so that Torso is the most common/likely result, and Arms, Legs, and Face are less likely/edge cases
  • Extremely High Value Targets like the Neck, Skull, Hands, Feet, and Groin are pulled from the list. There is no free lunch. If you want to hit those spots, you have to target them deliberately and suffer the penalty.

Disclaimer: This approach has worked really well in my games, and my players agree that when a randomly targeted attack does occur, the results fit what they expect. Of course the emergent behavior is the PCs tend not to bother armoring those locations as much. And that just makes it easier for me when they encounter foes that are well trained in "defanging the snake".
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Old 04-08-2021, 11:18 AM   #28
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Default Re: table make why does random hit location hitting left side more likely?

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Originally Posted by EskrimadorNC View Post
From a Simulation standpoint, you get wonky results like the Torso only showing up about 1-in-4 rolls, and additional stuff like rolling "Foot" when an NPC throws a punch at a random target. Clearly, you can ignore results like that, but why have the table setup like that in the first place?
Torso as 1 in 4 of hits isn't wonky for most melee attacks. Besides, Torso plus Abdomen is about 3-in-8 hits.

In my experience in firefights with guns non-torso hits are actually undesirable, because most of the time that means a limb and their damage is capped. This is fine if you hit the attacker's main arm or hand, but otherwise they can keep shooting if they make their HT rolls. A solid Torso hit that puts them deep into negative hit points is much better.

Now, if you're using guns and good torso armour but little limb armour (as is the standard today), or melee weapons and armour that generally lets through only about the amount of a major wound, it'll be different.

It really depends on the setting whether limb hits are more desirable for the attacker than torso hits. Even head hits can be undesirable if the head is well armoured.

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Extremely High Value Targets like the Neck, Skull, Hands, Feet, and Groin are pulled from the list. There is no free lunch. If you want to hit those spots, you have to target them deliberately and suffer the penalty.
That would fail badly at my table. Random bad luck in the form of unaimed bullets hitting people in vital spots like the neck, vitals, or skull is a major part of what makes combat scary, even for high point-value characters, and is thus a major part of why the PCs are willing to accept the encumbrance associated with high-DR suits of armour.

Removing these locations from the random table favours the PCs (usually more skilled), and means that if a PC is shot in the vitals, the players know that the GM decided to try and kill their PC. That can, depending on the group, lead to ill feeling.
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Old 04-08-2021, 01:28 PM   #29
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Default Re: table make why does random hit location hitting left side more likely?

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Torso as 1 in 4 of hits isn't wonky for most melee attacks. Besides, Torso plus Abdomen is about 3-in-8 hits.
I'm not sure how you gather that. Historically, the torso (and arguably the head) was always the most armored body part for people routinely engaging in melee combat. Why on earth would you slow yourself down and interfere with your ability to move/fight if there was only a 1 in for 4 chance that a landed blow would hit there? I get that arms are sometimes just because they are in the way (though we do target them deliberately in Eskrima), I still can't believe that 1 in 4 is reasonable.

From a game mechanics perspective (still focusing on melee combat), the 1 in 4 chance for a torso hit really reduces/removes the incentive for players to bother deliberately targeting specific hit locations. If you have a high chance of hitting some sort of HVT other than the torso, what do you have to lose?

Before I change the chart, the emergent behavior from my players was "Lets just make RHL attacks since there is only a small chance of hitting the well protected torso, and a hit on just about any other location is more likely to cause immediate debilitation". What I wanted was "Hey, this dude has a very well armored torso, but nothing else is really protected. I can make an RHL attack, but will probably still hit the torso anyway, or I can take a hit penalty and target a more vulnerable location."

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In my experience in firefights with guns non-torso hits are actually undesirable, because most of the time that means a limb and their damage is capped. This is fine if you hit the attacker's main arm or hand, but otherwise they can keep shooting if they make their HT rolls. A solid Torso hit that puts them deep into negative hit points is much better.
So the mechanics do work that way, but it also needs certain conditions to present for it to work.
1. Opposition isn't wearing any torso armor, like an assault vest or plate carrier. A 9mm to the unprotected arm is way more effective than smushing it into the armored torso for no HP damage.
2. For crippled arm/hands, the foe is only using a 1-handed weapon like a pistol. For anything larger, you more significantly reduce their ability to return effective fires by crippling an arm, even if it is their non-dominant one.
3. For crippled legs, you have removed their ability to "Dodge and Drop", and their ability to move quickly to cover more than a yard away. So maybe if you cripple a leg and they fall fully behind cover, you are worse off. But then if they are prone and fully behind cover, they likely aren't shooting back at you on their turn.

Now, if you are shooting at an unarmored insurgent, yeah, you are more likely to force HT checks to stay conscious/not die on a torso hit vs a limb hit.

So I do get the lost damage vs. limbs, but all things considered, if I had a 12 HP character, I would MUCH rather take a 7 dmg 9mm round to the torso and be able to keep fighting at pretty much 100% than take it to the arm or leg and have it be crippled.

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Now, if you're using guns and good torso armour but little limb armour (as is the standard today), or melee weapons and armour that generally lets through only about the amount of a major wound, it'll be different.
Yup. And it's been common in the games I run that bad guys have armor. Not all bad guys every fight, but it is pretty damned likely.

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It really depends on the setting whether limb hits are more desirable for the attacker than torso hits. Even head hits can be undesirable if the head is well armoured.
Setting, opposition, weapons, skill levels, etc. You and I have had different experiences, which makes sense, right? Different tables. I just got tired of "Your wild-swing-punch hits the bad guy's...<rolls on RHL chart>...foot? Yeah, that punch hit is foot."

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That would fail badly at my table. Random bad luck in the form of unaimed bullets hitting people in vital spots like the neck, vitals, or skull is a major part of what makes combat scary, even for high point-value characters, and is thus a major part of why the PCs are willing to accept the encumbrance associated with high-DR suits of armour.
That is fair enough. I didn't mention it, but I do allow a 1/6 chance of a Face hit being an actual Skull hit, but most of the protective gear that protects the face also protects the skull. Same with Vitals, though I will note that the RHL in the Basic set does NOT have Vitals on the list of hit locations.

Quote:
Removing these locations from the random table favours the PCs (usually more skilled), and means that if a PC is shot in the vitals, the players know that the GM decided to try and kill their PC. That can, depending on the group, lead to ill feeling.
On one hand, it does favor the PC as foes making wild swings have zero chance of hitting the Neck, Groin, Hands, or Feet. Skull isn't on the chart, but Face is, and random hits to the face have a 1/6 chance of being redirected to the skull. However, on the flip side, it is now HARDER for the PCs to be attackers and hit those locations on the bad guys. They can't gamble on a good RHL roll. They need to deliberately target those spots in order to hit them, and suffer the full penalties.

Everyone's table/player base is different, but here are the changes I noticed in the games I run after introducing my house rule RHL tables.

1. Players no longer make very many RHL rolls unless they are playing fairly low skilled (13 or less) characters. This is exactly the sort of behavior I wanted to drive.

2. When players DO wish to strike HVTs, they do them directly and take the appropriate penalties. This is exactly the sort of behavior I wanted to drive.

3. When foes make randomly targeted attacks, there are no longer any ridiculous outcomes (see punching a foe's foot), and the attacks they do throw still threaten PCs significantly. This is exactly the sort of behavior I wanted to drive.

4. At the beginning, PCs became less concerned about making sure their Necks/Hands/Feet/Groin were properly armored. Unintended consequence. But this only lasted until they ran into some higher skilled goons who went for TA-Hand or Stamp Kick-Foot. Then they learned the folly of their ways.

Again, YMMV, but it's safe for me to say these drove almost exactly the sort of behavior I was looking for in my games.
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Old 04-08-2021, 01:52 PM   #30
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Default Re: table make why does random hit location hitting left side more likely?

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Originally Posted by EskrimadorNC View Post
I'm not sure how you gather that. Historically, the torso (and arguably the head) was always the most armored body part for people routinely engaging in melee combat. Why on earth would you slow yourself down and interfere with your ability to move/fight if there was only a 1 in for 4 chance that a landed blow would hit there?
It is much easier and less encumbering to armor the torso than to armor the limbs, and hits to the torso are (in reality, at least) more likely to be incapacitating than hits to the limbs. GURPS doesn't model this very well (it ignores location when considering weight, and non-impaling wounding modifiers aren't adjusted for the limbs).

In reality, people don't attack the limbs because they're high value targets. They attack the limbs because they're easy to hit.
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