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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 66 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Pondering called shots  (Read 14518 times)
migo
Member

Posts: 54


« Reply #30 on: August 29, 2007, 02:37:18 PM »

snip

Absolutely a good point. The current systems do well within their context, but it's definitely worth rebuilding combat systems from the ground up.
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Morte
Member

Posts: 20


« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2007, 10:16:52 AM »

*delurks*

Um, hi everybody.

I'm sort of working on a sci-fi ruleset that's meant to encourage savvy tactical play. I would like to encourage players to "work the angles" with stealth, picking firing positions, lulling the enemy into a false sense of security, etc. And I figure the best way to get players to do what you want is to give dice bonuses for doing it.

So I thought of letting them work to gain bonuses to bring off difficult but deadly called shots. E.g. one might say that (in some rules) a head shot is -3 to hit and x3 damage, but you can get +1 to hit for kneeling and +1 for bracing your aim and +1 for taking a round to control your breathing. So a player who makes time to get all the bonuses, e.g by stealth or by sweet talking the target then drawing a gun when their back's turned, has a huge advantage over one who just walks in and fires.

As for details... The first idea I had was the hit location hex grid. You pick an aim point, then make your attack roll and a simultaneous d6 "miss die". If you hit apply damage with a location modifier. If you fail, take a direction from your miss die and a distance in hexes from your margin of failure. That gives you an actual location, which may be outside the target (no damage) or behind armour/cover (apply damage reduction). With the right numbers, that should mean that "centre of chest" is the best target for most attacks, but particularly skilled/close/prepared shooters have a higher probable damage on the head shot. I am under the impression <G> that this is realistic. And if you want an arm/leg shot to disable it might work, or it can miss altogether, or it can go wrong and you end up shooting somebody through the spine.

I'm not sure whether the hex thing would be too cumbersome for regular game(r)s. I'm hoping for my game to have combat that's rare, deadly and decisive so it ought to stand a lot more crunch per attack than an all-action dungeon crawl. Now I've read the comment back up the thread about the B5 game, I'm not so sure...

Going from there, I wondered if I could simplify it and get roughly the same end results with less rules. I think a reasonable compromise would be:
- Normal attacks are assumed to be to the centre of the chest. Your results (margin of success or damage roll or whatever) imply where you hit -- high was heart or spine, medium lung, low went through a shoulder muscle, and so on.
- You can take a penalty to hit and go for a head shot which will do much more damage. If you fail, you missed. This seems vaguely realistic for head shots -- three quarters of the directions you can miss in do end up outside the target.
- You can shoot to disable on arms or legs, there's a penalty to hit, if you make the shot there's no damage bonus but that specific limb is declared "degraded". Misses are just misses, or maybe on critical failures you roll a normal attack to the chest. };->

Then we come to the business of "how do you stay calm enough to do this stuff in the middle of a fire fight?", which has been bothering me for a while. I plan a fairly simple rule: you may not make a called shot if have been attacked in the last three rounds. So you can start a fight with a called shot, and it's a damn good way to start an ambush, and snipers who are looking on godlike from a hide can make serial called shots; but otherwise you're down to more basic combat once you're in the thick of things. If I go with some sort of "composure" capability, like the "cool" stat in CP2020 or a D20 Will save, I might allow a check on that for an exemption.

I would welcome any thoughts...
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xenopulse
Member

Posts: 527

Heretic Forgite


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« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2007, 03:01:18 PM »

Welcome to the Forge, Morte Smiley I'm Christian.

That simplified version you have toward the end, without a grid, could be done in several ways. Since I like throwing things out there (as you might have seen earlier in the thread), here's one such way that just came to me.

Let's say you have three possible good results: heavy damage (critical location such as head, neck, heart, etc.), regular damage (hitting the shoulder, the chest but not a vital part, the arm), and handicaps (knee, hand, and so on). You can take three different kind of shots: just try to hit, try to hit critically, or try to inflict a handicap. Then you have three charts that look a bit like this:

Regular: 1-5 miss, 6-15 regular damage, 16-18 handicap, 19-22 heavy damage, 23+ choice of heavy damage and/or handicap
Critical: 1-10 miss, 11-13 regular damage, 14-15 handicap, 16-22 heavy damage, 23+ choice of heavy damage and/or handicap
Handicap: 1-10 miss, 11-12 regular damage, 13-19 handicap, 20-22 heavy damage, 23+ choice of heavy damage and/or handicap

All other factors--skill, penalties, dodge, range, etc.--are simply added to or subtracted from the hit roll. This way, you have one roll, a quick looking up of the chart, and then you can figure from the effect where the bullet hit exactly. Trying to achieve a specific effect makes it less likely to hit overall and more likely to get the desired result, but the ultimate outcome is still variable unless the player rolls exceptionally well, in which case s/he can select what they want.

It's still a called shot, but a call on the intent of the attack (hurting or hindering), which is really the underlying reason why people do called shots.
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migo
Member

Posts: 54


« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2007, 09:17:33 PM »

I like the hex grid idea much better than using the penalty to hit for gun shots. Using a penalty to hit in melee is ok, using it in with ranged attacks doesn't seem quite as appropriate, since you're dealing with a limited number of projectiles and you are going to be aiming for something. In melee you obviously are as well, but there it's an equal amount of responding to openings, creating openings and aiming for specific targets so it works to abstract it.

For getting bonuses for aiming - the Riddle of Steel and EABA both do this in different ways. Both have free versions that can be downloaded. (www.theriddleofsteel.net and www.btrc.net) so you can check those out for ideas of how similar things have already been done. For getting bonuses for sweet talking, sneaking, etc, Donjon has a cool mechanic, it uses a dice pool, if you suceed at a sneak, you can carry those successes over and add them into your dice pool for the attack. It's a really smooth way of handling things IMO.
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Morte
Member

Posts: 20


« Reply #34 on: September 15, 2007, 10:34:55 AM »

It's still a called shot, but a call on the intent of the attack (hurting or hindering), which is really the underlying reason why people do called shots.

I like the naming based on ends rather than means, i.e regular/critical/handicap instead of chest/head/arms. It makes it clear to new players why they would want to try it. It also works on pentagonally symmetrical acid-spitting worms that don't have chests, arms or heads. For that matter, it would work for starship combat.

Quote
variable unless the player rolls exceptionally well, in which case s/he can select what they want.

Is that the "fortune in the middle" thing that was mentioned earlier, where you see how well the roll went before finalising what you were doing?

I'm thinking that declare then roll (?"fortune at the end"?) is in keeping with the game of judgement and canny risk taking I'm looking for -- you suss out the enemy, figure your best move, make your play, and see what happens. I wonder how fortune in the middle would help in this context (i.e. using more effective called shots as a way to reward and promote good tactics). I don't see how it helps, but then I've never tried it.
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Morte
Member

Posts: 20


« Reply #35 on: September 15, 2007, 11:06:11 AM »

I like the hex grid idea much better than using the penalty to hit for gun shots.

I worry that it'll be too much paperwork, though play aids should help. Even if it works out fine, I also worry that gamers will dismiss it out of hand as too much paperwork without ever giving it a chance. But I think it has the potential to be a worthwhile "minigame" within the game, and if it's fun to do then people will be OK with spending time on it. In the campaign I ran with the last version of my rules I used the penalty to hit for bonus to damage, and it all seemed rather intangible and bland. Pointing at a chart and saying "where did the bullet go... {roll...} left lung!" might spice things up a bit.

I'm also conscious that I (so far) use abstracted rules for burst fire rather than rolling once per bullet, and getting into concrete hit locations will limit my options with that.

Quote
Using a penalty to hit in melee is ok, using it in with ranged attacks doesn't seem quite as appropriate, since you're dealing with a limited number of projectiles and you are going to be aiming for something. In melee you obviously are as well, but there it's an equal amount of responding to openings, creating openings and aiming for specific targets so it works to abstract it.

I see what you mean, but I'm not too bothered in the specific case of firing bullets at humans (though now I'm thinking about other stuff). In practice you probably either go for the chest (the default percentage play), or the head to kill, or the arms/legs to hamper. And the head/arms/legs are a lot harder to hit than the torso, and missing them will frequently be a complete miss. So I think dice modifiers work rather like the ballistics, and it's not such a huge abstraction.

But when I've used "minus to hit, plus to damage" in GURPS and a couple of D20 systems, they seemed silly...

Well, I'm inclined to take both systems to the table and see what transpires.


Quote
For getting bonuses for aiming - the Riddle of Steel and EABA both do this in different ways. Both have free versions that can be downloaded. (www.theriddleofsteel.net and www.btrc.net) so you can check those out for ideas of how similar things have already been done. For getting bonuses for sweet talking, sneaking, etc, Donjon has a cool mechanic, it uses a dice pool, if you suceed at a sneak, you can carry those successes over and add them into your dice pool for the attack. It's a really smooth way of handling things IMO.

Hmm, dice carry overs vs situational bonuses that you usually only get after being clever. I need to think more about that.
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migo
Member

Posts: 54


« Reply #36 on: September 16, 2007, 03:52:33 PM »



I like the naming based on ends rather than means, i.e regular/critical/handicap instead of chest/head/arms. It makes it clear to new players why they would want to try it. It also works on pentagonally symmetrical acid-spitting worms that don't have chests, arms or heads. For that matter, it would work for starship combat.

Thanks for bringing this up. For the system I'm working on I have called shots doing exactly that, but I didn't make the connection that it would work well with non-humanoids, even though it seems really obvious now.
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