Jump to content

Combat: default hit location?


Beoferret

Recommended Posts

Let me start by saying that I'm a big fan of hit locations in an rpg combat system, especially since it makes targeted attacks and piecemeal armor feasible parts of a game. But not everyone (who I convince to try RQG) might be so thrilled. So, for players who don't really want to deal with random hit locations, does anyone think it would it be feasible to have a default target location with the RQG system? I'm thinking here of how in GURPS, if you don't want to deal with hit locations, you just assume that all attacks are to the torso. Has anyone done something similar in their RQ games? If so, how did you make it work? 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, Beoferret said:

Let me start by saying that I'm a big fan of hit locations in an rpg combat system, especially since it makes targeted attacks and piecemeal armor feasible parts of a game. But not everyone (who I convince to try RQG) might be so thrilled. So, for players who don't really want to deal with random hit locations, does anyone think it would it be feasible to have a default target location with the RQG system? I'm thinking here of how in GURPS, if you don't want to deal with hit locations, you just assume that all attacks are to the torso. Has anyone done something similar in their RQ games? If so, how did you make it work? 

 

While I get your point, I think the idea of a default hit location wouldn't work in RQ because they are not-gently-graduated in importance....arms/legs (meh), abdomen (nearly critical), chest/head (critical).

Why not just instead use an average overall armor, and then players' body hp?  Ignore locations and location hp entirely.  I think that's how BRP does it by default?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

RQ is one (the original) of a whole family of games using the same core mechanics but with many differences.

See the Basic Role Playing (BRP) game available from Chaosium.

Several of these forms of BRP (Such as Call of Cthulhu” are not so combat focused  and thus do not use hit locations, instead only using hit points for the whole adventurer (like D&D).

 

Some of these use a wounds system to model debilitating injuries without having hit locations.

 

For armour, one possiblity is to just use the adventurers armour protection against every hit, but another option used by some forms of the game is to use the armour rating as the size of the dice to roll for protection against a hit.

For example, armour with a rating of 6 would subtract 1D6 from any hits (rolled for each hit).  This simulates different parts of the body having different armour protection without having to use Hit Locations.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Mechashef said:

However there is nothing wrong with playing BRPAiG  (Basic Role Playing - Adventures in Glorantha)

Now where would you find this? I had thought that Adventures in Glorantha was abandoned when RQ 6 became Mythos (and long before that when the RQ 4 Adventures in Glorantha was abandoned). 

Cheers

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Beoferret said:

Let me start by saying that I'm a big fan of hit locations in an rpg combat system, especially since it makes targeted attacks and piecemeal armor feasible parts of a game. But not everyone (who I convince to try RQG) might be so thrilled. So, for players who don't really want to deal with random hit locations, does anyone think it would it be feasible to have a default target location with the RQG system? I'm thinking here of how in GURPS, if you don't want to deal with hit locations, you just assume that all attacks are to the torso. Has anyone done something similar in their RQ games? If so, how did you make it work? 

As others have suggested, you CAN do bag-o-HP hit-points, and that works; fixed hit-location is likely to work worse.  You might consider non-randomizing the hit locations?  Always the same order, arm-leg-chest-arm-leg-abdomen-arm-leg-head-REPEAT...  Honestly, that seems MORE complex; but it's non-random...

I, in contrast, will argue for trying the system as-written, even for the reluctant in your group...

On their own sheets, at the table, I think they will find the "man rune" icon (with the minimalist per-location statblocks) to be pretty intuitive and not at all onerous.  HP's per location are low enough that ANY hit is a risk (there's very little dragged-out attrition).

As a player, I make the ENTIRE roll at one time, as follows:

I rack the dice in-order, in my hand; d% - d20 - Damage.   Then my "roll" is a sort of sideways spray, where I am releasing them in-sequence so the order is preserved.

I read the resulting roll as a sentence:  "24! That's a hit to the 11... Abdomen for... 6 HPs of damage.". Defender may roll Dodge or Parry, interrupting my announcement at the start.

Get them to try it.  They may like it!

RQ combat runs naturally to storytelling drama... Allen gets his  R arm hit BIG, it's at -1, and so he drops his sword, backing and shield-blocking desperately; Barry has his leg hit similarly, and falls; Charlie's head gets hit -- even thru the helm! -- and has only one HP left there:  any further hit will knock him out, or even kill him!  etc...

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

26 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Now where would you find this? I had thought that Adventures in Glorantha was abandoned when RQ 6 became Mythos (and long before that when the RQ 4 Adventures in Glorantha was abandoned). 

Cheers

BRP just plays Glorantha as-is. 

Grab the BRP Quickstart (or the BGB), any Gloranthan Bestiary for foes, any Gloranthan Fluff-book, and play.

I don't think anyone has actually put it all together and presented it as a package; but it'd just work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hit locations are for accountants. If you ever dreamed of tracking the armor, hitpoints and damage to leg #3 of scorpion man #5, then hit locations is the mechanics for you! And you get to learn new hit location tables all the time! And I can't even remember anymore whether it also was needed to track damage to pieces of armor!

The hit location rolls furthermore get kind of odd when you attack from non-standard directions and/or against differently-sized monsters or mounted opponents too. You might even make a case for different hit location tables for different weapons. 

Personally, I prefer the Stormbringer style mechanic mentioned previously, with armor as a damage reduction roll and that's it. (Those who love details could make up a minigame for putting together pieces of armor to derive the armor die.) Another suitable abstraction is Pendragon, where sufficient damage means you get a 'major wound', which can lead to complications. 

All of this might mean I'm just getting old, but I prefer to view it from a different perspective. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah I am not a fan of hit locations per se. I find them far too fragile for the 'reality' they are trying to emulate. However, random armor as written is dumb. If armor gives you six points normally you roll a d6? So your armor is categorically worse than usual, even in a full suit? No thanks. I don't understand what's wrong with a flat value.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

40 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

Yeah I am not a fan of hit locations per se. I find them far too fragile for the 'reality' they are trying to emulate. However, random armor as written is dumb. If armor gives you six points normally you roll a d6? So your armor is categorically worse than usual, even in a full suit? No thanks. I don't understand what's wrong with a flat value.

It makes sense in Bronze Age Glorantha were people are wearing bits of plates covering only bits of the location... Helmets usually don't cover the entire face.

But, it's still silly to me as well... either the armour protects, or it doesn't. 0 or 6. Not a random value in between.

Harnmaster, anyone? D100 for specific hit locations? Hand, wrist, forearm, elbow., upper arm, shoulder.... :D

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

40 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

Yeah I am not a fan of hit locations per se. I find them far too fragile for the 'reality' they are trying to emulate. 

Quantifying physical action down to that level seemed a really cool thing back when I first played RQ - and it tended to chime with the reality of my HEMA experience. But after a decade of HEMA and a couple of decades of RQ and similar systems I came to find the execution unnecessarily fiddly. More abstract systems could capture the feel, and descriptive and narrative logic could supply the colour that location charsets were providing. I haven't run anything using hit locations for over a decade.

51 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

However, random armor as written is dumb. If armor gives you six points normally you roll a d6? So your armor is categorically worse than usual, even in a full suit?

Just because one doesn't agree with or understand a model doesn't make it dumb. An armour that provides 1D6 protection _by definition_ provides a range of protection - that armour gives you 3-4 protection typically.

If fortune favours you / your opponent is unlucky / your position yourself well, you get 6 points of protection (the blow lands absolutely perpendicular in the centre of a piece of armour, maximising its ability to spread the impact / provide the highest resistance to the blow). If it all goes poorly for you / well for your opponent you get a single point of protection (the blow angles in to catch the edge of a piece of armour / gets funnelled in to a gusset or other weak point). Now if your opponent has fluffed their strike (only rolled minimum damage) how you position your body / how lucky you are probably wont matter that much... but if they have executed their swing perfectly (got their full weight behind the blow ) you need to hope  fortune favours you...

A lot of the factors hit locations  are trying to model (but for some get too fiddly / to fragile as a result) are abstracted in the interplay of variable armour values with variable damage rolls

50 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

 No thanks. I don't understand what's wrong with a flat value.

There's a  separate argument that if using armour value rolls ALL values should be multiple dice (so the distribution is biased to more common value), which would give armours a somewhat more predictable value. But I've generally found that it falls in to the "pay off not worth the effort" pot, as I'm happy with standard values.

For me idea that armour provides an absolutely consistent level of protection / damage nullification I find deeply counter intuitive. I like their being a variable element that "belongs" to the defender (AV) as well as one the "belongs" to the attacker (damage dealt) and I have found variable AV and major Wound levels to be _much_ faster / easily communicated to new players / flexible in play.

Nick

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Now where would you find this? I had thought that Adventures in Glorantha was abandoned when RQ 6 became Mythos (and long before that when the RQ 4 Adventures in Glorantha was abandoned). 

Cheers

You would probably find it in some weird alternative reality conjured into existence by my inexplicable brain failure while attempting to correct a typo.

 

I of course meant RuneQuest Roleplaying in Glorantha. and that you could create a BRP Roleplaying in Glorantha. 

 

My apologies for any confusion.  I now live in terror of Storm Bull cultists as I suspect I have gained a couple of percentage points in the Chaos Rune.

Edited by Mechashef
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Tywyll said:

However, random armor as written is dumb. If armor gives you six points normally you roll a d6? So your armor is categorically worse than usual, even in a full suit? No thanks.

Random armour is a different game system to fixed armour, you can't say one is "worse" because the other is "normal". So long as armour dice ratings, weapon damage, damage bonuses, and magic are all balanced against each other, then you can't say that one game system has armour that is "worse" than another just because it has a die roll. That's like saying RuneQuest armour is categorically worse than D&D armour because it doesn't have a chance of making the attacker miss completely.

Sure, you shouldn't just replace RQG armour with a die roll that caps out at the vanilla RQG AP, without changing anything else, but I don't have a D5 anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Now where would you find this? I had thought that Adventures in Glorantha was abandoned when RQ 6 became Mythos (and long before that when the RQ 4 Adventures in Glorantha was abandoned). 

Cheers

I found it on the internet years ago. Fantastic game (though it is full RQ with hit locations et al). Very interesting previous experience system and a pretty playable sorcery system that clearly had influence from Sandy's Sorcery.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

It makes sense in Bronze Age Glorantha were people are wearing bits of plates covering only bits of the location... Helmets usually don't cover the entire face.

While I get that idea, I think the values should be much higher. If static AV is 6 you should roll 2d6. Static is 4 roll 2d4. Get that bell curve going as well as account for hitting the strongest place in the armor, etc. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, NickMiddleton said:

There's a  separate argument that if using armour value rolls ALL values should be multiple dice (so the distribution is biased to more common value), which would give armours a somewhat more predictable value. But I've generally found that it falls in to the "pay off not worth the effort" pot, as I'm happy with standard values.

Yes, one can also experiment with less variation, like d3+3 instead of d6. Or even try to derive something (simple) that yields the equivalent of an RQ jumble of armour. However, I too soon get the uneasy feeling that "you may drive out complexity with a pitchfork, yet", etc.

Start out with a standard collection of suits of armour with assigned AV, add any special considerations, and that's normally enough. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, NickMiddleton said:

Quantifying physical action down to that level seemed a really cool thing back when I first played RQ - and it tended to chime with the reality of my HEMA experience. But after a decade of HEMA and a couple of decades of RQ and similar systems I came to find the execution unnecessarily fiddly. More abstract systems could capture the feel, and descriptive and narrative logic could supply the colour that location charsets were providing. I haven't run anything using hit locations for over a decade.

By reality do you mean the liklihood of hitting certain things? That may be (though I would argue the d20 is a terrible die for rolling locations thanks to the fact that every number has an equal chance to be rolled). But it doesn't model 'trauma' well, which it perports to do. Look at daggers with their 1d4+2 damage. People survive multiple stab/slash wounds in the chest, head, abdomen, etc and sometimes even fight off attackers. This is impossible when the average person has 5 hits in the chest and can take two dagger hits.

In defense of this you can only lean on abstracting what a 'hit' means, but RQ/BRP models blow by blow combat, not abstract combat (which many fans deride in systems like D&D). You can't have it both ways.

Now, I'm not arguing the system should be super realistic as such things just bog down play and RQ hit locations are usable, even if they fail at their stated goal. It just rubs me the wrong way when its held up as 'realistic' when it clearly isn't. 

 

2 hours ago, NickMiddleton said:

Just because one doesn't agree with or understand a model doesn't make it dumb. An armour that provides 1D6 protection _by definition_ provides a range of protection - that armour gives you 3-4 protection typically.

I perfectly understand it, thank you. And because of that, I find that as a system it is a poorly thought out relic of the 80's and dumb. It should have been updated or evolved in the BGB.

2 hours ago, NickMiddleton said:

If fortune favours you / your opponent is unlucky / your position yourself well, you get 6 points of protection (the blow lands absolutely perpendicular in the centre of a piece of armour, maximising its ability to spread the impact / provide the highest resistance to the blow). If it all goes poorly for you / well for your opponent you get a single point of protection (the blow angles in to catch the edge of a piece of armour / gets funnelled in to a gusset or other weak point). Now if your opponent has fluffed their strike (only rolled minimum damage) how you position your body / how lucky you are probably wont matter that much... but if they have executed their swing perfectly (got their full weight behind the blow ) you need to hope  fortune favours you...

All of that is encompassed with a variable damage roll. You don't need two points of variability to narratively achieve modeling what you describe. It also adds yet one more roll to combat, slowing it down. 

2 hours ago, NickMiddleton said:

A lot of the factors hit locations  are trying to model (but for some get too fiddly / to fragile as a result) are abstracted in the interplay of variable armour values with variable damage rolls

There's a  separate argument that if using armour value rolls ALL values should be multiple dice (so the distribution is biased to more common value), which would give armours a somewhat more predictable value. But I've generally found that it falls in to the "pay off not worth the effort" pot, as I'm happy with standard values.

That would be better, slightly, but I agree its not really worth it. 

2 hours ago, NickMiddleton said:

For me idea that armour provides an absolutely consistent level of protection / damage nullification I find deeply counter intuitive. I like their being a variable element that "belongs" to the defender (AV) as well as one the "belongs" to the attacker (damage dealt) and I have found variable AV and major Wound levels to be _much_ faster / easily communicated to new players / flexible in play.

Nick

 

Static armor doesn't though. The random amount of damage rolled dictates how much protection relative to an attack. You also have Specials and Criticals which often/always negate armor as a factor, therefore handling the whole 'you hit a weakspot' narrative. You don't need all of these things together to achieve modeling the effect of armor versus attacks. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, PhilHibbs said:

Random armour is a different game system to fixed armour, you can't say one is "worse" because the other is "normal". So long as armour dice ratings, weapon damage, damage bonuses, and magic are all balanced against each other, then you can't say that one game system has armour that is "worse" than another just because it has a die roll. That's like saying RuneQuest armour is categorically worse than D&D armour because it doesn't have a chance of making the attacker miss completely.

Sure, you shouldn't just replace RQG armour with a die roll that caps out at the vanilla RQG AP, without changing anything else, but I don't have a D5 anyway.

Sure you can say it, especially when the other elements of the system are not changed in any significant way to balance the reduction. Stormbringer introduced random armor and did away with Hit Locations but added Major wounds. It didn't need to do all of these things. Major wounds full encompasses the gritty reality of hit locations, you don't need variable armor. By keeping damage values the same but making armor variable on top of major wounds, keeping criticals and specials, they made armor objectively worse then it is in any other version of BRP where its a static value. 

But I agree you can't compare ablative armor with armor class as that's apples and oranges. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

The random amount of damage rolled dictates how much protection relative to an attack. You also have Specials and Criticals which often/always negate armor as a factor, therefore handling the whole 'you hit a weakspot' narrative. You don't need all of these things together to achieve modeling the effect of armor versus attacks. 

In a fixed AV system plate armour always stops e.g. 7 points. There is no variability in the performance of the armour, only in the rating of the strike against the armour (the damage rolled). In a variable AV system the random amount of damage rolled represents the strike; the random AV rolled represents the passive defence achieved when / where the strike lands.  You clearly don't find that description / concept compelling. Others do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Tywyll said:

...they made armor objectively worse then it is in any other version of BRP where its a static value. 

1D6+2 (Elric! ringmail) is "objectively worse" than 4 (RQG Ringmail) or even 5 (RQ3 ringmail)? Plate armour 1D10+2 is "objectively worse" than RQ3 (8) or RQG (6)? Ok, 1D10+2 is 0.5 points worse on average than RQ3 plate. But at that level, you could say "RQG armour is objectively worse than RQ3 armour".

Edited by PhilHibbs
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm just hoping we haven't scared off the poor OP, who probably didn't realize what a Golden Apple he was tossing in front of a bunch of vain (opinionated) old grognards...  🤣

Edited by g33k
WTF, autocorrect??? just... WTF?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Tywyll said:

By reality do you mean the liklihood of hitting certain things? That may be (though I would argue the d20 is a terrible die for rolling locations thanks to the fact that every number has an equal chance to be rolled).

The distribution of the roll is indeed uniform, but recall that each location is hit on a range of numbers. So for the head it's 19-20, that is, 10%. Right leg 01-04 = 20% (if the table I just found somewhere on the internet is actually from RQ2). And so on.

2 hours ago, Tywyll said:

But it doesn't model 'trauma' well, which it perports to do. Look at daggers with their 1d4+2 damage. People survive multiple stab/slash wounds in the chest, head, abdomen, etc and sometimes even fight off attackers. This is impossible when the average person has 5 hits in the chest and can take two dagger hits.

Good point. I have sometimes, in the same "vein" if you will, wanted to ghoulishly interview trauma doctors, ambulance staff and the equivalent regarding how these things work out in real life, to serve as the foundation of the ultimate wound system. Well, perhaps next year.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...