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RQG House Rule: Aimed Blows


Robert S.

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Hi all! This is my first post on this forum. I had a long gap in getting to play RQ, but recently played the newest edition to prepare a Jonstown Compendium title. Back in the day, I was in a long RQ2/RQ3 campaign. I love the latest edition of the game! Our group had a different version of calling Aimed Blows in combat. I honestly can't remember if this was a house rule or the earlier version of the rules (alas, all my RQ2/RQ3 stuff is currently in storage). Whatever the source, it works for me, and is an option at my table. I use it as a "yes, and" rather than a "no, but" to the currently published rules.

The Aimed Blow rule as it is has you holding back until SR 12, attacking at half skill, and choosing any hit location if successful.

The "house rule" version: hold back your attack until later in the round. The extra time sparring gives you more chances to find an opening. This is more an opportunistic strike rather than making an effort to hit one particular location. Each SR you hold back after when you'd normally attack gives you a +/- 1 modifier to your Hit Location roll. You attack at full skill, but cannot Dodge or Parry before your attack (or lose the advantage). 

Example: Kesten engages an insane cultist with his two-handed battle axe. He decides to hold back for three extra strike ranks to look for an opening. Normally, he attacks at SR 6, but this round he attacks at SR 9. The cultist swings a sickle sword at SR 7, Kesten decides to take his chances (If Kesten Dodges or Parries the attack, he no longer gets the hit location modifier). The cultist hits, drawing Kesten's blood, but not enough to stop him. At SR 9, Kesten swings back. His attack connects. He rolls damage and hit location. For hit location, Kesten rolls a 7 (left leg), but has a 3-point modifier for holding the attack. He can choose to hit any location from 4 (right leg) to 10 (abdomen). Kesten decides that he feinted for the leg, then gave his blade a sharp upward turn at the last moment, and plants his axe in the cultist's gut. If Kesten had been worried about his character's chances against the attack at SR 7, he could have chosen to Dodge or Parry, and give up the 3-point bonus at SR 9.  

Good? Bad? Re-inventing the wheel?

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23 minutes ago, Robert S. said:

The "house rule" version: hold back your attack until later in the round. The extra time sparring gives you more chances to find an opening. This is more an opportunistic strike rather than making an effort to hit one particular location. Each SR you hold back after when you'd normally attack gives you a +/- 1 modifier to your Hit Location roll. You attack at full skill, but cannot Dodge or Parry before your attack (or lose the advantage). 

I like it.

That is how an optional rule from RQ2 played, without the Dodge/Parry restrictions.

I would drop the Dodge/Parry restrictions, for my game.

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Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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I use both optional rules from RQ2. Most of the time, my players choose the +1/-1 per SR delayed option, but sometimes the specific location option is best, for example, when fighting skeletons, unless you go on SR 4 or earlier, the "pick a location and attack with 1/2 skill" results in a better chance of eliminating the threat since you have less than a 50% chance of reaching the head with a hit location adjustment less than +7 (though it SHOULD be noted that halving the chance of attack DOES increase your chance of fumble).

BTW, these optional rules are WHY I like strike ranks and hit locations.

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8 hours ago, Robert S. said:

I honestly can't remember if this was a house rule or the earlier version of the rules (alas, all my RQ2/RQ3 stuff is currently in storage). Whatever the source, it works for me, and is an option at my table. I use it as a "yes, and" rather than a "no, but" to the currently published rules.

The Aimed Blow rule as it is has you holding back until SR 12, attacking at half skill, and choosing any hit location if successful.

The "house rule" version: hold back your attack until later in the round. The extra time sparring gives you more chances to find an opening. This is more an opportunistic strike rather than making an effort to hit one particular location. Each SR you hold back after when you'd normally attack gives you a +/- 1 modifier to your Hit Location roll. You attack at full skill, but cannot Dodge or Parry before your attack (or lose the advantage).

From the RQ2/Classic reprint

Quote

AIMED BLOWS
A character can affect the hit location struck by delaying his attack and waiting for an opening. The following gives two different rules for doing so. Referees should experiment with each rule and decide which one they like best.


1. For each strike rank a player delays attacking after his normal strike rank, the player can adjust the die roll for hit location by one.
Thus a character with a normal strike rank of 4 can delay to strike rank 9 and be able to add or subtract up to 5 points to the hit location he rolls on D20. If the roll is 15, the character can hit anything from hit location 20 (Head) to 10 (Abdomen). He must, however, state the hit location before rolling damage dice.


2. A character who wishes to hit a particular location must state where he desires to hit. He then waits until strike rank 12, when he attacks with ½ his normal effectiveness, if he is successful his blow hits where he wishes. Thus a character with a 65% ability with a sword can wait until strike rank 12 and declare that he is going to try to hit his opponent in a specific location. He has a 32% chance of so doing (round down). His opponent, of course, may parry the blow. If the character rolls a 32 or less, and the blow is not parried, it lands in that location specified. The reduction in chance of hitting affects all other combat chances, including impales and fumbles

 

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12 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

you can change it as "if you dodge, you lose your bonus"

How about taking a 5% penalty to the dodge/parry for every +/-1 on the hit-location?

This represents you pressing just a bit more aggressively, staying a bit closer than you might otherwise do, etc... in order to be optimally placed for the opportunistic strike.

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42 minutes ago, g33k said:

How about taking a 5% penalty to the dodge/parry for every +/-1 on the hit-location?

This represents you pressing just a bit more aggressively, staying a bit closer than you might otherwise do, etc... in order to be optimally placed for the opportunistic strike.

maybe but

(i m not a fighter at all so i don't know if my next sentence makes sense for an expert )

i believe that, if you are aiming and you need to move abruptly (dodge, parry, knock out, ...) you lose all your benefit of your precision / concentration / focus / ..

If you are just hit by a little stone (you know a little line of blood on your face) you may try a concentration roll to keep your focus but, if you have to move from  even few centimers, you lose your angle, your position, etc...

so I like the option of aiming a specific location but in a battle it should be easy to break your effort (for a ranged weapon at least)

 

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We used that house rules back in our RQ3 days (without the dodge/parry limitation). I would suggest also allowing the RAW Aimed Blow at ½ skill but without delaying to SR 12. It gives you two different strategy. Bidding your time hoping for an opening (the house rule) or using raw skill (well at half skill) to aim at a difficult position (aka, not necessarily exposed) on your SR. 

Edited by DreadDomain
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4 hours ago, g33k said:

How about taking a 5% penalty to the dodge/parry for every +/-1 on the hit-location?

I think this is pretty good (as is the standard rule, I would say).

Rolling for hit location can’t mean that you swing wildly and randomly hit some body part (well, maybe with missile fire). Rather, it’s about how this was where the opportunity for an attack materialized. If you’re willing to make things more difficult for yourself, you can go for a hit location that provided less of an opening.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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I might incorporate the old classic option into the next game I run, along with the standard targeting rule. I also kinda like the 5% penalty to dodge/parry for every +/- 1 to the hit location too. It's definitely worth experimenting with - I can't see how it would break the game, whether or not it worked as a rule-in-play (RIP 😀). I've always liked the GURPS mechanic for targeting hit locations; that being assessing a variable penalty towards going after a particular spot (with difficult to hit locations having a higher penalty, etc.). This seems to work for GURPS' 3d6, bell-curve mechanic, but I don't know if it would translate well into a straight percentile system like RQ.  

Anyone with HEMA, kendo/kumdo, or other weapons training want to chime in with their thoughts as to what mechanics for targeting hit locations make the most sense (or offer the most verisimilitude for the least amount of complexity)?

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On 9/21/2022 at 1:11 PM, soltakss said:

I like it.

That is how an optional rule from RQ2 played, without the Dodge/Parry restrictions.

I would drop the Dodge/Parry restrictions, for my game.

You know, I couldn't fully recall that aspect, come to think of it. Looking back, it does look too restrictive. There's nothing said about using Dodge or Parry in the current core rulebook Aimed Blows, though halving your chance to hit seems harsh enough to impose further penalty. Maybe just Dodge or Shield, reasoning that the attacker is probing for enemy weakness with their weapon. Parry could knock them "out of the zone," if that makes sense.  

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Lots of good ideas here. I still feel that some restriction on Dodge/Parry is needed to simulate looking for an opportunity to strike something vital. Since the Aimed Blow in the rulebook halves the attack roll, how about making holding your attack to adjust the hit location giving you halved defense rolls? There's a kind of symmetry in that. 

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Good suggestions in this thread, thanks all. I’m definitely going to consider these.

I will note that RQG characters routinely have very high skills (90+ is routine in my experience as a GM), and can often augment these with things like Axe/Sword Trance, so I’d probably be inclined towards the “if you dodge or parry, you lose the accumulated bonus” approach. 

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