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An old question: Area damage and Location HP

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That one always leave me a little unsure..  I might be playing BRP again soon so I'll bring it again for a refreshed perspective...

Say you use location damage.

How do you handle are damage, like say 3D6 Fire damage from Fire spell. Or even fall damage or grenade damage.

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Buried in the Spot Rule for Explosions (page 147 - 148) is this: "Damage from most explosives is general, and not applied to any specific hit location. If using hit locations, divide the damage among 1D4 hit locations, rolled randomly." In the Spot Rule on Falling (page 148) it says "If hit locations are used, a fall does damage to 1D4 hit locations, but a falling character making a successful Jump roll can specify on which hit location they land. The entire damage done by the fall applies both to the rolled hit location and to the falling character’s total hit points. This is an exception to the rule that a limb may take only twice its hit points in damage." The Spot Rule on Fire and Heat (page 148) adds "Hit locations may determine where fire affects a character. In these cases, the quantity of hit locations affected derives from the size of the fire, at the gamemaster’s discretion.  For example, a torch affects only one hit location, but if caught inside a raging house fire, all their hit locations are affected."

Given those spot rules and the description of the Fire spell (a 1m radius circle of damage around a pillar of Fire that can be dodged and that armour, Protection and Resistance are effective against) I'd say the intent is it deals rolled damage, divided amongst 1D4 locations on a roughly human sized target.

But avoid fumbling that Dodge roll, as it could leave you entirely inside the damage radius - and I think I'd also want to think about making Fire damage when fully engulfed apply to both locations and total hit points.

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