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Compromise on Hit Locations


CruelDespot

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Some BRP players love hit locations and some hate the idea.

I have a compromise that I think offers the best of both worlds.

This compromise eliminates the need to track hit points separately for each location, and the need to roll separate dice for hit location. Hit locations are used to see how much armor blocks each hit, and to determine the effects of major wounds.

#1: The hit location is determined by the 1s digit of the attack roll. This saves the trouble of rolling an extra die to determine hit location. The system I use is this:

X1=head

X2= r shoulder (body)

X3= l shoulder (body)

X4 =r arm*

X5 =l arm*

X6= chest (body)

X7=guts (body)

X8=hip (body)

X9= l leg

X0= r leg

#2: Each location does not have a separate pool of hit points. Instead, the hit location serves two functions: to determine how much armor is on the area that was hit, and to determine the effect if the hit inflicts a "major wound" (1/2 of hit points). If the damage is enough to cause a major wound, then the effect is the same as what the rulebook lists for "damage exceeding the hit points of the hit location."

in other words, if the normal hit location system were used, each hit location would have something very roughly like half as many hit points as the total hit points characters normally have. So the effect of losing half your hit points is the same as the effect of losing all hit points in one location.

It seems to me that this compromise keeps the fun of hit locations, but reduces the hassle. What do you think?

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Its still a hit location system that requires looking at a chart so it doesn't really work as a non hit location system as far as I'm concerned.

In the original hit locations system there's nothing to stop you rolling a d20 at the same time as your d100 attack roll after all.

Personally I will be sticking to the no hit locations system as its quicker and easier, those are the reasons I use BRP for almost everything.

Edited by AikiGhost
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I don't know, mixing the two might take some getting used to. I can't give an unbiased opinion, as I've used it locations for 25 years so they are second nature to me. Unless there are more than 10 or 20 combatants in a fight, I don't find hit locations too complex. These days there's not that much fighting in my games, anyway - I've gone entire sessions without rolling one attack! :eek:

I played GURPS quite a lot for a while, and they use a similar system where hit locations only really concern armour, IIRC (it was a long time ago). But I think I'd probably just go with the random armour value and major wounds instead, and leave hit locations out altogether.

Dreamscape Design: Crafters of the Finest Tabletop Roleplaying Games

Dreamscape Design: My Corner of BRP Central ... Mine, All Mine! 

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Some BRP players love hit locations and some hate the idea.

I have a compromise that I think offers the best of both worlds.

Very similar to my compromise system.

Hit Locations only used when a Major Wound is achieved.

Then and only then

Roll for Location (using one combined chart)

Rolled Location is now disabled

(Theoretically as per hit points for location at zero but as I have not memorised that and am too lazy to refer to the book in play disabled head = ko; disabled abdomen or chest = incapacitated; disabled limb means unusable)

Edit: A Critical hit allows for choosing location not rolling

Al

Edited by Al.

Rule Zero: Don't be on fire

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Very similar to my compromise system.

Indeed. Great minds think alike! The only real difference is that my compromise also uses hit locations for armor.

Ive been planning on using the Dark Heresy/Warhammer Fantasy Role Play hit location rules/chart. You just flip the roll. If you rolled a 41 to hit then the target is hit in the 14 and so forth.

It sounds like they are very similar. If the warhammer chart said that reversed to-hit roll of 50-59=left arm, it would be the same as my system saying that 1s digit of 5 = left arm.

The true believers both for (Vile) and against (AikiGhost) hit locations are sticking to their guns.

But what would you do if you were a GM with both of these guys in your group? (Other than attempt suicide perhaps)

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But what would you do if you were a GM with both of these guys in your group? (Other than attempt suicide perhaps)

Play it the way that suits me. Trust that they're more interested in having fun than worrying about one rule in the game. And play the way that suits them when I play in their games. :)

Al

Rule Zero: Don't be on fire

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Using the to-hit dice to determine locations does not work well in a system that uses critical hits like BRP. Criticals are usually limited to the 01-05 range, with 01-03 being the most common. With your system, critical hits to the legs are impossible, and critical hits to the head are far more common than others. The same goes for the inverted roll, where hit location 10 is always critically hit. This suggestion resurfaces periodically, but it simply does not work.

Not having to keep track of hit location damage is another story. Locations could be rolled only to check how much armor you have there, and hit points marked off the location only if the blow is enough to incapacitate it. But again, locations help a lot when you have to keep track of how many wounds you have received, which is important if you want to use First Aid.

Proud member of the Evil CompetitionTM

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Critical hits would disregard the normal hit location rules. If you get a critical you simply ignore the implied hit location result and generate a new one when tallying damage.

Or you can do what I normally do. With HP being so low anyway, I tend to just not use the critical/impale rules.

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I allow Criticals to choose Location. (Above post edited to show this)

Or you can do what I normally do. With HP being so low anyway, I tend to just not use the critical/impale rules.

Again I think my suggestion is half way house between:

cinematic - big pool of HPs only (which you seem to favour)

and

gritty - lots of small pools (puddles?) of locational HP

Dropping Specials and Crits as you do would make even more cinematic I guess

Al

Rule Zero: Don't be on fire

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The true believers both for (Vile) and against (AikiGhost) hit locations are sticking to their guns.

But what would you do if you were a GM with both of these guys in your group? (Other than attempt suicide perhaps)

I'd hate to be the cause of the loss of a GM! ;-(

Play it the way that suits me. Trust that they're more interested in having fun than worrying about one rule in the game. And play the way that suits them when I play in their games. :)

Truth be told, the system takes a distinct second place to the game. And if my players, on balance, didn't like hit locations, they wouldn't feature in my games. :innocent:

:focus:

Now, I'd say the idea of combining attack rolls and hit location rolls into one sounds good, but as pointed out above has some shortcomings. Rather than having one rule for criticals and another for other results, my preference would be to just keep the location roll. You can always roll is at the same time. I like the idea of reducing physical mechanics as much as possible, but having a consistent method is also important for ease of play. Ultimately, the mechanics should be easy to place at the back of your mind while you concentrate on the 'story' of the game.

Dreamscape Design: Crafters of the Finest Tabletop Roleplaying Games

Dreamscape Design: My Corner of BRP Central ... Mine, All Mine! 

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