The Return of Called Shots

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Remember called shots?

I think they were originally some optional 2e rule where you could attempt to strike (with some sort of attack roll penalty) a specific bodypart of an opponent or specific location on a target.

They weren't technically in 3e. I guess Power Attack was the closest thing to making a called shot (an attack penalty for increased damage).

Now Sunder is basically a called shot on someones weapon or shield. But you can't sunder someon's neck. Sword yes, neck no. They even let you sunder off Hydra heads, but against some orc it just wasn't possible.

Seems a little clunky. There should be some rule for it.

In 4th do you think called shots should make a comeback?

What would rules for called shots look like?
Heck No!

Called shots are better as flavor text. i let my players decide how they hurt a monster. I am willing to respond by adding description into the monster to make them account for the loss of a arm or a leg or and eye.

Let is stay flavor text, the last thing we need is more die rolling to find what you hit and how it effects the game #.

A good substitute is the Critical Hit Deck from Paizo (dang i mention this thing a lot - its just great - they should pay me).
A sort of called shot -- avoiding the specific body-target rules D&D has long avoided -- could be something along the lines of "take a -4 penalty, crit on a 19 or 20 or take a -6 penalty, crit on 18-20," etc., perhaps all the way up to a -10 penalty to crit on 16-20.

Narration/circumstances can take care of explaining precisely WHAT body part receives the extra love. For D&D's mechanical purposes, usually the only thing that matters is that a "vital target" has been hit.
I think there should be some rules for it.

Sunder suggests you can hit the opponents weapon.
Disarm suggests you can remove the opponents weapon.
Trip suggests you can sweep the opponents feet.

Why not complete the spectrum of special "aimed" attacks and allow shots to the head (and by extension eyes and neck)?

Perhaps it infringes too much into rogue territory, where "striking vital areas" is what sneak attack is all about.
A sort of called shot -- avoiding the specific body-target rules D&D has long avoided -- could be something along the lines of "take a -4 penalty, crit on a 19 or 20 or take a -6 penalty, crit on 18-20," etc., perhaps all the way up to a -10 penalty to crit on 16-20.

I love it

Why not complete the spectrum of special "aimed" attacks and allow shots to the head (and by extension eyes and neck)?

Honestly, do we need it?

Ok, now a real answer:
Because of the abstract nature of hit points. Rolling higher than your opponents AC does not necessarily mean you inflicted a wound, you only damaged hit points.

So, when a player makes a called shot to the head, and succeeds, he is gonna start wondering how the hell didn't his (helmless) opponent die from the shot. And if you tell him that a successful attack roll is not necessarily an actual hit (true), he's gonna ask you why did the opponent get dazed in the process.

The only way to make called shots in a reasonable way (aside from the one suggested by ranger9), is to make them inflict extra damage with no adverse conditions, but then it's just power-attack.
I love it

Honestly, do we need it?

Because of the abstract nature of hit points. Rolling higher than your opponents AC does not necessarily mean you inflicted a wound, you only damaged hit points.

I understand completely. The abstraction of attacks-damage-hit points makes called called shots problematic.

Still, combatants currently have access to a suite of special attacks that debiliate opponents in some way. Sunder, Trip, Disarm all envolve aiming at a specific place and causing some specific effect if successful.

I think the solution is adding to the list of special attacks to reflect whatever you might want to accomplish with a called shot.
Bring them back? They are allrea...oh wait, NM, that's a house rule. Yes, I support "bringing back" called shots in 4e.
Why not complete the spectrum of special "aimed" attacks and allow shots to the head (and by extension eyes and neck)?

Because it will hurt the players more than it will help them. Monsters are there to be killed. Most of the time any particular monster is supposed to die in it's first encounter with the PCs. It doesn't matter whether goblin #127 is killed by a called shot or by a normal attack.

While goblin #127 might be exposed to not more than a couple of called shot in his entire life-span (which is only 4 combat rounds anyway), the PCs are exposed to innumerable called shoots (as they have not only fought their 127th goblin, but also already 113 orcs, 15 owlbears, 124 zombies, ......). If only a fraction of them made their own called shot against the PCs and if only a fraction of them actually hit, the PCs are in a lot of pain.
[b]In 4th do you think called shots should make a comeback?

No.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Frankly I'd rather see Saga's Condition Track and fluff out the results. I think it's very dynamic, fitting for D&D and yet doesn't bog down the game. It's also useful for other effects like stunning and magical wear and tear.
In 4th do you think called shots should make a comeback?

What would rules for called shots look like?

1. Yes.

2. Like the ones I designed for MABR, in my sig.
Color me flattered.

LIFE CYCLE OF A RULES THREAD

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Thank_Dog wrote:

2Chlorobutanal wrote:
I think thatĀ if you have to argue to convince others about the clarity of something, it's probably not as objectively clear as you think.

No, what it means is that some people just like to be obtuse.

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