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fulk

Choose Location effect

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The choose location effect always has seemed a bit powerful to me.  Essentially if you hit you can always hit an unarmored location.  Makes wearing anything less than full armor somewhat meaningless.  I know you can ward and use shields etc and that getting hit in the arm is less bad than getting hit in the chest.   

As I remember it, RQ3 allowed you to target areas by delaying an attack.  However, you still rolled to hit but were allowed to adjust the hit location to some extent.  I don't remember the exact rule off hand.  I was thinking of trying something similar for the Choose Location effect:

Success: roll to hit but you can adjust your hit location by +/- 5 points.

Critical: choose location without rolling. 

Thoughts?

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In RQ3, you could not adjust the location. Basically, you announced your intent to strike a particular location. You had to wait till the end of the round, then roll less than or equal to half your skill.

In RQ2, one of the options was for you to delay for an option to adjust the location roll. For each SR delay, you may adjust the location roll up or down by 1, but you are rolling skill at full value.

Your option sounds good, though I'm not sure I would modify by 5. You are essentially allowing a modification by up to 1/4 the range in either direction (or half the total range, depending upon outlook).

SDLeary

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31 minutes ago, fulk said:

As I remember it, RQ3 allowed you to target areas by delaying an attack.  However, you still rolled to hit but were allowed to adjust the hit location to some extent.

That kinda sounds like the Marksman special effect... but for melee attacks. Either way you still have to roll well enough to gain the effect.

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This discussion dates back to before the initial playtesting of MRQ2, seven (argh! already?) years ago.

Peter stated that - with a tactical success - he is usually able to strike an area within 10 cm of his intended target. And since one level of success better than your opponent is undoubtedly a tactical success, it appeared clear that this effect, and its frequency, is absolutely realistic. It sounds weird because we are used to a "punitive" rule model based on increasing difficulty, but the rule is in fact fair. Once you know you have connected, it is up to you to decide whether to increase the effectiveness of your blow with Impale, Bleed or Stun Location, all of which are powerful effects, or to go for the weakest spot. It is obvious that the fact whether a less armoured location exists will influence your decision. On the other hand, it is also clear that you should refrain from leaving areas totally without armour when you are on the battlefield, unless you expect to face only ranged attacks.

The Riddle of Steel, which was written by an experienced re-enactor, too, also allows you to choose where you are aiming, although advanced options allow for some variability like the one you suggested.

Your suggestion is probably viable and interesting. However, I do not see it as a "needed fix". The rule as is, although not as granular as it could be in terms of effect-per-level-of-success ratio, is still functional. And requires little or no maths.

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Makes wearing anything less than full armor somewhat meaningless

Remember that the more (and heavier) armour you wear, the more your Initiative is penalized, slowing you down and letting opponents get in the first attack. So less and/or lighter armour can be a significant advantage in terms of who strikes first.

And while Choose Location might seem to be a no-brainer, because you can always choose an unarmoured location, as an effect, it still relies on your doing enough damage to overcome Hit Points to create a Serious or Major Wound; in other words, it's not a guaranteed fight ender. It depends on the HP of the opponent, the weapon you're using and the luck of the dice. There are, in fact, several other less obvious Effects that are much more effective than Choose Location.

So while it might appear to be overpowered, we don't think it is. And as Paolo points out, the Effects are structured around realistic combat experiences and reflects what a competent combatant should be able to achieve without resorting to penalizing the skill's target number or watering down the nature of the effect in other ways.

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(1) Re RG3.  Ah, yes.  Now I remember.  Either way is wasn't a straight...I hit, I connect anywhere I like.  There was some reduction in your ability to target a location. 

(2) In the Riddle of Steel you chose a general target but then there was some variability in result.  Thus an overhand swing at the upper left side might hit the head or should or arm.  Not automatically the head. 

(3) RE 10 cm.  That would be the difference between hitting some one in the head or on the shoulder. 

 

Just a thought, either way.

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There's also the fact that the foe can always ward unprotected or previously injured locations with their weapon or shield... and with the new Special Effect of Prepare Counter, the foe can sucker attackers who are too predictable.

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4 minutes ago, fulk said:

(3) RE 10 cm.  That would be the difference between hitting some one in the head or on the shoulder. 

When I'm at the top of my game I can reduce that to 5cm. ;)

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In the samurai campaign I'm running with RuneQuest 6, I think the most often used effect by players is Trip Opponent closely followed by Disarm Opponent. No kidding. 
Choose Location is only usually used when someone scores a critical and then pairs it up with Maximise Damage or Bypass Armour.

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I had a nice optional rule for this.  Modify your hit location roll by +/-1 for every 10% penalty you are willing to accrue to your parry or dodge, as you are leaving yourself open by choosing location.  

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12 hours ago, fulk said:

The choose location effect always has seemed a bit powerful to me.

Success: roll to hit but you can adjust your hit location by +/- 5 points.

Critical: choose location without rolling. 

Our group came to the same conclusion after 5 years of MRQ2/RQ6 gaming. We are using a variant of your rule. We call the Special effect "Shift Location" and it allows you to move the HL one location logically. E.g. from chest to abdomen, arms or head; from left leg to right leg or abdomen. (On crit you can take Choose location.) Having used this rule for a couple of months now, I can say it has made combat more fun in our group. It has reduced the use of the Special effect making the use of other SE's more varied.

As a matter of fact, it was the option to Ward Location, that was the primary reason for this change. With a big shield, the opponent can ward 4 locations. Without Choose Location, there's close to 50% chance of accomplishing nothing, and the players didn't want to take the gamble.

And while I can believe, that Choose Location is realistic, realism unfortunately doesn't always equal fun.

Though I have to admit, we haven't tried Prepare Counter yet. I can see that really messing up player tactics.

Edited by skoll

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