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Called Shots not making much sense


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#1 Darth Smeg

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 08:12 PM

The rules for Called Shots changed back in Rogue Trader, making Called Shots into a Full Action iánd a Hard BS/WS test instead of just a -20 modifier to any attack made.

I never really liked this change, but now with BC it goes even further because you do not get the +10 bonus given to Standard Attacks.

But why?

How come I can make an aimed shot at a servo skull at my regular BS, but If I try to hit the head of the fellow standing next to him I don't have time to Aim, and get a -20 penalty?

Selecting the right tool for the job doesn't really help either, but illustrates the "problem" nicely. Lets say you have an Accurate weapon, and take a Half Action Aim before shooting at the Servo-skull. A Head-sized target buzzing around at normal range, it modifies the shot with a -20 penalty.

Aiming with an accurate weapon gives a +20 bonus, and the Standard Attack another +10. So your net chance to hit the little skull is BS +10.

Now attach the skull to a body, and all of the sudden the same shot becomes a Hard BS test, requiring a full action so no time to Aim. It's suddenly much harder to hit the "same" target.

I'm considering just keeping the DH version. What have you done with Called Shots?


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#2 Jackal_Strain

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 09:09 PM

I'm houseruling called shots to just add another -20 modifier to other attack actions. So a called shot with a standard attack would be -10, -20 for semi auto/swift attack and -30 for full auto and lightning attacks. Only the first hit counts as hitting the desired location and the rest follows the normal rules for multiple hits and locations.

I won't allow called shots witht he all out attacks, as it represents a desperate lunge and doesn't allow for much finesse.



#3 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 10:16 PM

Darth Smeg said:

The rules for Called Shots changed back in Rogue Trader, making Called Shots into a Full Action iánd a Hard BS/WS test instead of just a -20 modifier to any attack made.

I never really liked this change, but now with BC it goes even further because you do not get the +10 bonus given to Standard Attacks.

But why?

How come I can make an aimed shot at a servo skull at my regular BS, but If I try to hit the head of the fellow standing next to him I don't have time to Aim, and get a -20 penalty?

Selecting the right tool for the job doesn't really help either, but illustrates the "problem" nicely. Lets say you have an Accurate weapon, and take a Half Action Aim before shooting at the Servo-skull. A Head-sized target buzzing around at normal range, it modifies the shot with a -20 penalty.

Aiming with an accurate weapon gives a +20 bonus, and the Standard Attack another +10. So your net chance to hit the little skull is BS +10.

Now attach the skull to a body, and all of the sudden the same shot becomes a Hard BS test, requiring a full action so no time to Aim. It's suddenly much harder to hit the "same" target.

I'm considering just keeping the DH version. What have you done with Called Shots?

The biggest consideration to make is that if Called Shots is simply a modifier, then it can be applied to any attack, at any time. That is, as far as I'm aware, the main reason for making it a separate action - to prevent people making Called Shot All Out Attacks or Called Shot Full Auto Attacks.


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#4 Jackal_Strain

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 11:44 PM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

 

The biggest consideration to make is that if Called Shots is simply a modifier, then it can be applied to any attack, at any time. That is, as far as I'm aware, the main reason for making it a separate action - to prevent people making Called Shot All Out Attacks or Called Shot Full Auto Attacks.

I don't really see the problem in that (except for all out attack). It is possible in real life to aim for someones head, arm, torso er whatever, and shoot either a single shot, a burst or full automatic fire. I wouldn't expect to hit much with the latter (now that full auto has been fixed to make it -10 instead of +20), but it is possible.

I don't really see it as abusive either.



#5 Darth Smeg

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 11:58 PM

Indeed.

The question is, if you're able to do all those things against a had-sized target (Like a servo-skull), then why can't you do it against a head?

I can aim a burst, or all out attack a flying skull, or a little squirrel. But not a head or a limb stuck to someones torso. Not even the torso itself, either.


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#6 Jackal_Strain

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 12:21 AM

This actually makes me think of a problem I have with the all out attack option. The point of the option is to increase your chance of hitting someone in expense of your ability to evade incoming blows, but we allready have the aim option for increasing your chances of scoring a blow. I think it would be much more logical if the all out attack options increased the damge dealt to the target instead of maiing it easier to hit.

The all out attack action could for example give the tearing quality to a melee attack if it didn't have it allready, and maybe proven (3,4 or 5?) if it allready have the tearing quality.

It just seems strange to me that a blow that sacrifices part of your control would make it easier to hit an opponent.



#7 Cifer

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 07:30 AM

 @Jackal_Strain

All-Out does not sacrifice control so much as for example sure footing. By overextending your reach to bring that blow home instead of aborting your attack and returning to your starting position, you can't dodge your enemies' next strike because you're literally caught on the wrong foot and with your guard down.



#8 angelis1974

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 10:18 PM

I may be nuts but no-one seems to have mentioned that a servo skull is a small target so should have -20 to hit due to its size



#9 Darth Smeg

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 12:14 AM

That was the point I was trying to make. Sorry if it was not made precisely. 

Miniscule (Autoquill, Knife) -30
Puny (Bolt pistol, Servo-skull) -20

Shooting a Puny target gives a -20 Modifier to a BS test. 

Making a Called Shot gives a -20 Mofifier, removes the +10 Standard Attack bonus, makes the shot into a Full Action thus preventing you from combining with Aim on the same turn.

So in scenario 1 we shoot a servo skull or other puny target (-20) at normal range(+0). We decide to use a standard attack(+10), and the Aim(+10) action. Net result is a BS +0 test.

In Scenario 2 we shoot someone in the head (Called shot, -20) at normal range(+0). Net result is a BS -20.

Interestingly we could change scenario 1 to Shooting a Minuscule target (-30). This still results in a BS test at -10, which is actually easier than shooting the head (or leg, or what have you).

So with the funky rules with the Full Action and no SA bonus it is harder to hit someone in the leg than it is to hit a knife. Uh hu.


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#10 Cifer

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 01:31 AM

 There are three ways to approach this, essentially:

a) Of course a small target is generally easier to shoot than a small-target-attached-to-a-large-target. Consider: How easily can you shoot an ant? Granted, the shot isn't easy, but the target will hardly be able to move out of the way because it's comparably slow. On the other hand side, how easily can you shoot a mole on a person's skin? That may be harder since twisting the appropriate body part out of the way is actually pretty easy for a large creature.

b) It's simply a matter of game balance. You can generally kill everything simply by hitting it anywhere while called shots are essentially a luxury. Thus, "hitting at all" is made simpler even though it should technically be the same difficulty. Further, most enemies in combat are either medium-sized or possibly hulking, so the rules have to be most consistent and most balanced for exactly those targets. 

c) Noone's compared the rules for head-sized enemies with those for shooting heads.



#11 H.B.M.C.

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 05:56 PM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

The biggest consideration to make is that if Called Shots is simply a modifier, then it can be applied to any attack, at any time. That is, as far as I'm aware, the main reason for making it a separate action - to prevent people making Called Shot All Out Attacks or Called Shot Full Auto Attacks.


And, I'd say, to stop people from using it all the time.

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#12 WittyDroog

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 09:54 PM

 My group doesn't have a problem with this, because we recognize that the act of aiming is to simply hit any part of the target (which by the hit location rules will likely be the body, which is how it should be), whereas called shot is basically aiming for a specific location. 

We have a Chaos Renegade with a Long Las that is constantly taking Called Shots with no issue, He usually spends a full round aiming, then the next turn making the called shot. With all the bonuses he's getting from everything else about him he is still fairly proficient at pulling off a headshot and the difficulty gives the player more intangible reward when he pulls it off. To him, shooting someone is easy, but when he strikes someone right where they're their most vulnerable and makes the hit he's electrified. It's a great experience.

 

The same is said for a Night Lords Raptor who uses Called Shots to decapitate people, but to a much lesser extent.



#13 wraithstalker

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 11:28 AM

Just a quick question, as I've only glanced at the damage rules in BC.

Is there any *real* reason to make a called shot?
In previous games most creatures and NPCs had a fairly even distribution of AP on their locations, notable rare exceptions being some armour sets missing locations.



#14 Cifer

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 11:47 AM

 The head critical tables are more lethal, some helmets have fewer AP than other locations, certain suits of power armour have a reinforced torso location and any important character is obligated by contract with the universe to not wear a helmet, lest he be degraded to faceless mook status.



#15 Morangias

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 12:03 PM

Cifer said:

any important character is obligated by contract with the universe to not wear a helmet, lest he be degraded to faceless mook status.

Which makes Mk 8 Power Armor the greatest achievement of humanity. Too bad the Imperium has no resources to issue it en masse.

(For those who don't play Deathwatch, Mk 8 PA has a chance of deflecting any hit on the head to the torso instead.)


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#16 Darth Smeg

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 10:43 PM

WittyDroog said:

My group doesn't have a problem with this, because we recognize that the act of aiming is to simply hit any part of the target (which by the hit location rules will likely be the body, which is how it should be), whereas called shot is basically aiming for a specific location. 

Of course. But my point is that you are free to Aim and shoot "normally" at a Body-sized target, with only a size-modifier to your "normal" attack roll.

But once shooting at an actual body, the penalties accumulate much more rapidly.

If I have time to Aim at a cherubim hovering next to your body, why do I not have time to do the same to your body?

The rules are what they are, but I can find no good explanation for why they changed this after Dark Heresy except for "Game Balance".

But are Called Shots really that overpowered? Even after investing lots of XP for the necessary talents to remove the penalites for Called Shots, you still lose the +10 Standard Attack bonus as well as the ability to Aim (on the same turn. I know you can do Full Aim, then Called shots on every other turn).

You still lose a +20 bonus on what in my view is "the same action".


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#17 Cifer

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 02:11 AM

 Firstly, it's possible to make Called Shots as a half-action if you're inside a suit of power armour with working auto-senses. Thus, you lose only the +10 bonus.

(Presumably, it would be possible to ask your heretek of choice to scavenge a PA helmet and include its sensor suite into another helmet if you don't like leaving footprints in concrete)

 

Secondly, that -10 you retain from the single shot after maxing out your Shot-Calling abilities can theoretically (best case) translate into 10 points of additional damage if you're shooting someone in Power Armour without a helmet and thus get into Crit territory where your Crack Shot kicks in.



#18 Darth Smeg

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 08:49 PM

The fact that there exists some more-or-less unobtainable (for most people) gear that offsets some of the penalties for the Called Shot action does not make the initial observation any less puzzling. 

Shooting at a small-sized target that is part of something larger is much harder than shooting a similarly sized target that is not part of something else.

I find it hard to accept that shooting a flying skull is easier than shooting somebody in the torso.

I conclude this pedantic rant by reverting to the original Dark Heresy rules for this particular action.


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#19 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 09:17 PM

Darth Smeg said:

I find it hard to accept that shooting a flying skull is easier than shooting somebody in the torso.

Simple - when shooting at a part of something larger, there are other parts that can (unconsciously or deliberately) get in the way of an attack. That isn't the case for a single smaller target. It's not the size of the target that matters, it's the necessary patience and inherent awkwardness of trying to guarantee a shot to a particular part of a larger target. Remember that the rules assume for a standard combat situation that  everyone is inherently trying to defend themselves and avoid making themselves an easy target; with that in mind, I don't see the restrictions as being particularly unreasonable.

Beyond that, from a strictly mechanical perspective, the penalty needs to be sufficiently significant to make it an optional risk - the penalty and the necessity of it as a separate Full Action are both to ensure that it doesn't just get used at every opportunity without a second thought.

As for benefits... there is one that isn't quite as clearly stated, as it isn't covered in the rulebooks. Called Shots can be used to target crew and passengers of open-topped vehicles. With that in mind, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to assume that a Called Shot is the action for a GM to require for any similar sort of "shoot out a particular piece of a given target".

It's odd - I've never heard any complains about Called Shots until this thread; indeed, there was a thread on the Dark Heresy forums a while ago that was calling for the bonus damage from the Accurate quality to be restricted to Rogue Trader-style separate action Called Shots.


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#20 Morangias

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 10:48 PM

Darth Smeg said:

WittyDroog said:

 

My group doesn't have a problem with this, because we recognize that the act of aiming is to simply hit any part of the target (which by the hit location rules will likely be the body, which is how it should be), whereas called shot is basically aiming for a specific location. 

 

 

Of course. But my point is that you are free to Aim and shoot "normally" at a Body-sized target, with only a size-modifier to your "normal" attack roll.

But once shooting at an actual body, the penalties accumulate much more rapidly.

If I have time to Aim at a cherubim hovering next to your body, why do I not have time to do the same to your body?

The rules are what they are, but I can find no good explanation for why they changed this after Dark Heresy except for "Game Balance".

But are Called Shots really that overpowered? Even after investing lots of XP for the necessary talents to remove the penalites for Called Shots, you still lose the +10 Standard Attack bonus as well as the ability to Aim (on the same turn. I know you can do Full Aim, then Called shots on every other turn).

You still lose a +20 bonus on what in my view is "the same action".

It's not really the same action, though.

When you make a normal attack, you're attacking at the first opportunity of getting a clear shot. Sometimes, that's a head if you're lucky with your timing, but sometimes you just take a shot at the arm or leg, because those were the first things that lined up with your sights. Aiming in this context doesn't mean so much lining up your sights better as it's focusing more of your attention on the opponent, predicting his movements and seeing more openings.

When you're making a called shot, though, it's headshot or bust. You don't care how many times the guy was in a perfect position to stuff his chest full of lead, you're trying to get a clear shot at his head, no matter how much the bastard keeps waving it. And it's always a more difficult shot, because it's hard for an experienced shooter to not follow the movements of the whole body, but all one needs to miss a headshot is the target suddenly ducking a little. Aiming in this context means, again, taking more time to line up your shot, or perhaps waiting for the half second the bastard keeps his head still.


There is no truth in flesh, only betrayal.

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There is no constancy in flesh, only decay.
There is no certainty in flesh but death.





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