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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 153 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Pondering called shots  (Read 9933 times)
Justin Nichol - BFG
Member

Posts: 95


« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2007, 10:46:58 AM »

Called shots have always been a source of amusement. If you've ever played Hero system, the difficulty modifier to hit the head is -8 which is huuuuge. So under Hero system Boxers are the most powerful beings on the planet because they regularly hit their opponents head. Another very funny occurrence is random hit locations. It's like wait, why did my character hit him in the foot with my spear -or- damn I just wanted to subdue him but I rolled the head with my mace and killed him, but I never would have managed a called shot if I had rolled to not hit somewhere lethal *sigh*

The way I do it in my system is that people hit somewhere when they do a plain strike, it may be center mass, the face, the limbs and extremities depending on how much damage they do and how they want to describe it themselves. If a character wants to strike for a certain location but it has no ultimate effect on mechanics there's no penalty (because I got sick of people trying to describe their attacks in interesting ways and having the GM go "wait wait wait are you really trying to cut his cheek? That's a head strike...") If the called shot has some specific extra effect such as striking a monster in it's weak underbelly or hitting someone in their eye, or disabling their weapon arm, or making a social attack, then they spend a predetermined amount of Focus (to aim) and then attack normally with no difference in difficulty.They are distracted and have to hesitate to aim properly but it's no more difficult usually, it doesn't take long and it's not aggravating, no consulting charts.
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J. Scott Timmerman
Member

Posts: 164


« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2007, 12:15:19 PM »

In ERA d6, you could say that in a way, all attacks are "called shots."  Though there are ways of adjusting the difficulties of certain target effects (through adjustment to one's style of defense), the attacker ultimately determines the effect of their attack.  Notice I say "effect" rather than "target area."  That's because target area, in ERA d6, is primarily a descriptive element, not a mechanical one.  When a character says, "I attack the eyes," the assumed mechanics are that the player is attacking with intent to "blind."  And so on.  There is a bit of inference from context here, but the player can always make their intended effect explicit if necessary.  Just my 2 cents, because there are gamers (like myself) that are averse to random targets or complex targeting systems, unless the situation truly calls for it.

-Jason T.
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migo
Member

Posts: 54


« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2007, 01:58:30 AM »

I can't speak for weapons, but I can speak from an unarmed perspective.

If I'm going for a specific attack, either on the ground or standing up, the other guy can usually see it coming and defend it pretty easily. If I'm just flowing and not going for a specific target and just where I see the opening I have a much easier time hitting it. This also goes for my "signature" move of the triangle choke. I can get it on about 99% of the people I grapple with. I only get it consistently if I'm going for another move though. The setups for it are well known, so the only time I get it is when they're focusing on defending something else that I am actually going for and they're leaving themselves open to the triangle.

The penalty to hit a specific target seems to fit pretty well to me.

It works differently with guns apparently, so the overlay system used in A&8 or Millenium's End for example, or the ORE system seem to handle that better.

I'm not sure if anything different factors in with bladed weapons and such as I haven't done any full force fighting with them.
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migo
Member

Posts: 54


« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2007, 02:06:09 AM »

Called shots have always been a source of amusement. If you've ever played Hero system, the difficulty modifier to hit the head is -8 which is huuuuge. So under Hero system Boxers are the most powerful beings on the planet because they regularly hit their opponents head.

They hit their opponent's head when an opening presents itself, not whenever they feel like it. A boxer who keeps swinging for the head of a relatively well matched opponent will hardly ever hit. Continuously swinging for the body will present a similar problem, compounded with an increased shot of getting counter hit in the head. That's why boxers mix body and head shots - when they land it's when one of the two wasn't being defended well enough, not because they specifically were aiming for it. They do aim for both the head and the body in their combinations but when they get through it's less because of them aiming and more because the defense wasn't up.
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Justin Nichol - BFG
Member

Posts: 95


« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2007, 02:34:46 AM »

But in boxing, I think a person would have a pretty good chance of hitting the head if they decided to. It wouldn't be as ridiculously difficult as it is in Hero system if a boxer decided to work the body or work the head more, the point is not that it's an effortless sort of thing to strike someone but only that it can be done with a much greater chance of success than most systems and especially Hero make it seem. Besides, we're playing a game, not real life, and it shouldn't be so friggin' insane to try to do a called shot because as of yet I've never come across anything simple that would allow for someone to model when a persons defenses are up or down for a particular attack. What you do with the triangle choke would be better resolved as a sort of grappling feint than anything else just for simplicities sake.
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migo
Member

Posts: 54


« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2007, 04:16:54 AM »

Not really. Your chance of hitting the head isn't bad if you're mixing your targets. If you're aiming specifically for the head your chance of hitting it right then is pretty low. If you compare percentages, and look at the number of hard shots to the head that actually land early in the fight you'll see it's really low. Jabs land. Shots land on the arms. A slightly higher number make it through to hit the body, but there are fights where evenly matche boxers go an entire 3 minute round without landing a single shot to the head.

As for the triangle choke, it would be best resolved with a random table. I'm going for at least a dozen moves at any one time, certain moves are higher or lower percentage for me, but which one I get depends on a number of factors. Having a simple grappling offense and grappling defense rating, doing a roll to compare if I got any attack through, and then rolling on a table to see which one lands and what the consequences are would model things reasonably accurately. It doesn't cover any of the minutae, but you really don't want to cover things like flipping your hand from palm up to palm down to get a tighter grip, whether you keep your back flat on the ground to prevent a certain move from working (but still being open to some others), whether the relative body size affects the possibility of certain moves and how each fighter deals with people of different body types. You could go as far as having different positions, different tables for each position, have those tables pre-customised to fight the fighter, and go from there for some extra realism, but beyond that you'd be adding in extra details.

Something similar could probably be done with other forms of combat (except gun maybe), where each character has a preferred set of maneuvers at different ranges, and depending on the situation has an increased likelihood of doing a certain move while in a certain range.
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Justin Nichol - BFG
Member

Posts: 95


« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2007, 11:51:51 AM »

Well again we're trying to have fun, and players like to have a little self-determination. Realism means little compared to fun, and if there's one thing that has become a truism over time it's that tons of chart and random tables and not getting to choose what your character does is no fun.
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David Artman
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« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2007, 06:33:31 AM »

I do think, David, that this has some worthwhile applications for a good tactical system, but we should probably take any attempts to make it such to a new thread Smiley  I'm curious to see how you'd tie it all together into a resource system like you outlined.

OK, started over here:
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=24676.0

David
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Designer - GLASS, Icehouse Games
Editor - Perfect, Passages
Hereward The Wake
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Posts: 173


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« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2007, 09:06:38 AM »

I've always had a problem with called shots as well. After all hits are directed at something! whether in close combat or with missles.
As far as shooting goes, but actually aimingat something you are more likeley to hit it! because it focuses you more where as is you just aim at something big you won't be so accurate! so is the oposite to most game where the called shot is harder! Also its not slowerbut that also depends on you timing etc.

In close combat as has been mentioned you are trying to mask yuour true intentions from you opponent, if you just plug a shot at the head you will get blocked or counter hit, but if you set up a combination and decive etc its more likely to work.

As has also been mantioned, the result is also more to do with what the defender is doing in reponse to the attacker as to how succesful it will be

The problem IMO is that conventional games focus on specific traits to determin success rather than the situation which one is in and what you are used to. Also training and skill will generally mean that you get quciker at things and you will be doing more complex things more simply which will mean that they take less time.
JW
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Jonathan Waller
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Elizabeth P.
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« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2007, 10:23:35 AM »

I've always been wary of most called shot mechanics, because they seem so arbitrary, especially when it comes to a character using Firearms.  In the heat a fight, where two characters are going after each other, there's not a lot of room to stop and think and hit just the right spot, unless you take extra time to aim.  There's a difference between being in a combat, and watching a combat as well.  Someone that is outside a combat (like a sniper) should have an easier time with a called shot because of the time to aim, and sometimes the equipment being used.  During a combat, an actually successful called shot, versus a very lucky shot, are difficult to tell apart.
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A Haunted Night RPG - open for Playtesting.
migo
Member

Posts: 54


« Reply #25 on: August 28, 2007, 01:59:26 PM »

Well again we're trying to have fun, and players like to have a little self-determination. Realism means little compared to fun, and if there's one thing that has become a truism over time it's that tons of chart and random tables and not getting to choose what your character does is no fun.

I agree completely. I was just saying that some of the called shot rules work out alright. Where they stop making sense though is guns. That makes me that more curious how A&8 deals with seperate gun fight and brawl rules.
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dindenver
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Don't Panic!


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« Reply #26 on: August 28, 2007, 10:21:17 PM »

Hi!
  I "think" what most called shot mechanics represent is not so much "I aim for the head" But instead the attacker's ability to overpower their opponent's defenses. Let's face it, if two char's are evenly matched, you can't afford to take the called shot penalty. But, if you have some advantage on them, the called shot is a way to end the fight faster...
  As far as the answer to your question goes, there are a couple of factors that effect the "right" answer:
1) When attacks are resolved, does the defender get to roll? In other words, is the defenders skill reflected in the attack or defense roll?
2) Does the attack roll in your system effect damage? In other words, is the attacker's excess of skill paid out in any way?
3) What is the point of combat in your game? Is it a test of skill? Strength? Will? Aggression? If you are using a more innovative resolution mechanic, maybe this does not belong there at all...
  I think that if the defenders gets some kind of skill roll, trading accuracy for damage is a viable mechanic. I mean that's the risk, if you underestimate the others guys skill/luck, then you are boned, right?
  On the other hand, if defenders skill is not factored into the mechanics, then attacker's skill shouldn't either, right? If the defender doesn't get to roll their skill and doesn't get a called defense, then it doesn't seem fair or balanced...
  I think if the attacker's skill is already factored into the damage mechanics, then a called shot is unnecessary. But, if there is no correlation between skill and damage, then a called shot is necessary.
  And if the resolution is based on Rage or Willpower, then a called shot may not even be relevant...
  Well, good luck, I hope this helps and for the record, I like called shots rules too. But they really only make real world sense with  ranged combat in my mind...
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Dave M
Author of Legends of Lanasia RPG (Still in beta)
My blog
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dindenver
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Don't Panic!


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« Reply #27 on: August 28, 2007, 10:29:37 PM »

Hi!
  Migo, regarding you technique for landing the Triangle Choke, what you describe is referred to as a feint, not really an example of a called shot or lack thereof. In a Feint, you make a move as if you are performing one attack, when in reality, you are performing another. I love the idea of this kind of attack and in  fact in my game its a fairly efficient move. Essentially you  sacrifice initiative for accuracy (which in my game translates into more damage).
  This might be a little off-topic,  but not much since it is related to novel combat mechanics...
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Dave M
Author of Legends of Lanasia RPG (Still in beta)
My blog
Free Demo
migo
Member

Posts: 54


« Reply #28 on: August 28, 2007, 11:26:32 PM »

Hi!
  Migo, regarding you technique for landing the Triangle Choke, what you describe is referred to as a feint, not really an example of a called shot or lack thereof. In a Feint, you make a move as if you are performing one attack, when in reality, you are performing another. I love the idea of this kind of attack and in  fact in my game its a fairly efficient move. Essentially you  sacrifice initiative for accuracy (which in my game translates into more damage).
  This might be a little off-topic,  but not much since it is related to novel combat mechanics...

No, it's not a feint. It's taking an opening. A feint is doing something conscious, I'm just responding to what the other guy does. I'd say if anything it's faster than doing anything consciously.

Obviously, someone else might be setting it up with a feint, but if you're doing that you're still reducing your chances of landing anything particular are less than just taking the opening that's presented.
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Hereward The Wake
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Posts: 173


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« Reply #29 on: August 29, 2007, 03:03:58 AM »

Agreed, from RL. The problems most games suffer from IMo is that the conception is that it is easier to hit something big than it is to hit something small! I roll to hit and that is the default, if I actually say I am going from a specific target, because it smaller it must be harder. Equally the assumption is that to aim or focus on a specific target that it take more time/preperation. Again this is not true across the board.

Thats wher training comes in, you train to be able to do those concious things unconciously.

Hence I don't feel that conventional/traditional mechanics wortk as they approach combat from a incoorect premise. In hand to hand/melee its about responding to your opponents tactics/stratergy and attempting to make sure that yours is better than theirs.
Of course this is gaming and not reality andf we have to make soem allowances for that. But With called shots I have always felt that it was like saying that you charecter was going to open that door but to actually crab the door handle you have to make a called shot! Obviously grabing and turning the door handle is harder than just pushing the door, but is that a decision you actually make? or even if you just push the the door, you aim where to put your hand you don't have to "think" about it.

Don't forget that that we are dealing with systems that have been built on layers and leyers of waht has gone before. Most combat systems are basically wargame rules with extra layers added on to give more options/feel. But really as soon as the action goes away from the wargame type fighting one needs a completely differnt system and approach.
So if you want Called shots, then you are going to end up with a system that feels more "real" if you want more "realism" then look at addressing combat differently, perhaps.
JW

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Above all, Honour
Jonathan Waller
Secretary EHCG
secretary@ehcg.net
www.ehcg.net
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