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ira2

Head Shots, and Righteous Fury

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My group has been expirimenting with two house rules the past 5 sessions and are greatly satisified with how each one balances the game and adds a bit more realism. In all honesty critizism is welcome, but unnessisary as we have all decided to keep these new rules, and I post them in the hopes that you may try them as well.

HEADSHOTS:

I don't know if anyone else has any special rules for actual damage done to the head, but my group just developed a new method of portraying how blows, slashs, stabs, shots, explosions, ect, are more lethal when dealt to the head. In our opinions the improved critical chart wasnt enough to satify how gruesome a well placed headshot, even with a mundane weapon like an arrow, should be shown.

So for all damage rolls to the head we grant a double damage rule. Whatever the damage after adding the bonuses is doubled, PCs can spend a fate point to relocate the shot to the body if they so choose. After playtesting the rule for 5 sessions we have all come to the conclusion that this A) makes called shots worth the negatives, and B) keeps us mortal.

 

RIGHTEOUS FURY:

How oftin are you playing in a group where everyone is running around with autoguns/ autopistols loaded with manstopper rounds. Its cheep, and lethal. But in my opinion the lethality of this tactic is based off the number of chances one gets with the Full Auto action. So in the group we are in we have started using the rule that all PCs must denominate which die will be their Righteous die. This is the only die that gets a chance at righteous fury. This rule extendes to Great Weapons, but not Tearing weapons. It has ran well.

 

Hope they help,

-Ira-

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Righteous Fury

Could you elaborate on the full auto issue? Why the need to pick a single dice in this situation - the "multi-shot attack-modes" all deal individual hits.

-K

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The point is that an auto weapon is far more likely to deliver a Righteous Fury simply because it's rolling more dice to damage. The same is true of multi die damge rolls, like autocannons, plasma cannons etc.

 

I've had my players righteous furying all over the place with semi auto stub automatics. Two or three shots from each gun means 2-3 chances to roll a 10 and RF.

 

Hellebore

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"There's no kill like overkill!" Players tend towards taking attacks that successfully eliminate a target as quickly as possible, so it may not be all that strange that full-auto attacks are directed against single targets instead of groups.

How do you "confirm" the Righteous Fury? I simply require a new WS/BS test against the value on the character's profile, irrespective of modifiers. So even if the character is delivering a full-auto attack at point-blank range, he tests against his BS 32 when it comes to checking for Righteous Fury.

-K

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Hypothetical time. Father Horst takes a full auto shot at a cultist, point blank range with a red dot laser. +40 to hit, with a 30 BS. He hits on a 10, 3 extra hits, 4 shots total. He must roll his righteous fury die before the rest, if he gets a ten he gets an additional shot as per the Righteous Fury rules. The other three are rolled for damage, he may get a 10 with one of them, but he doesnt get the additional shot, just the damage. In my opinion it simply makes the game a little more balanced for other PCs, say ones who focus on melee weapons and dont use a great weapon.

Two starting acolytes, one focuses towards ballistics, one focuses towards melee. The ballistics guy takes an autogun, the melee guy takes a sword. The sword-bearer gets one chance to make a righteous fury, the ballistics gets 1-5 depending on the circumstances to get a righteous fury. It simply evens everything out so players dont forgo cool rollplaying characters in favor of ones that have the best chance to kill stuff. It helps keep the group at a happy medium so groups doesnt consist of every player carrying an autogun full of manstoppers. The only reason we didn't apply it to tearing, at our GM's disgression, was because my character was the main combat character (moritat assassin), and the rest were speakers and thinkers who would carry an autogun for those times when you know sh*t was going down. It was his way of making my characters purpose in the group more prodominate. It worked, and it had the added effect of more players choosing varied weaponry and equipment.

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Head shots: This is fairly imbalanced, as anyone can double their damage just by taking -20 on their attack. This means called shots are the new "autofire", especially with your Righteous Fury rule.

.54 tranter FTW.

pearldrum1 likes this

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Well, in my opinion, called shots are already worth the negatives because you get to specifically target an un-armored location on the target's body. Bypassing armor is more valuable than most people give it credit for. Very helpful when you're facing a bounty-hunter in power armor up to his neck. Or maybe you need to stop a fleeing enemy from running to interrogate him for info, sounds like time for a called shot to the leg to me. Besides, not every shot to the head is lethal. Sometimes it just blows through your cheek. Very nasty looking, and I bet it hurts like hell, but it's not going to kill you. This is not a first person shooter, headshots shouldn't be one shot kills everytime. The only way I could justify giving extra damage on a headshot is by increasing the BS penalty to line up a deadly headshot, rather than one that slams into the jawbone and skitters off. Just my thoughts.

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Now Kon thats not a bad idea, insted of a -20 for a called shot to the head, a -30 to get the double damage..

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kjakan said:

How do you "confirm" the Righteous Fury? I simply require a new WS/BS test against the value on the character's profile, irrespective of modifiers. So even if the character is delivering a full-auto attack at point-blank range, he tests against his BS 32 when it comes to checking for Righteous Fury.

-K

Any comments on this?

-K

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I think this is wrong. I believe the ole' WFRP rules were explicit that the same modifiers applied, but the wording in the DH core book also support this view:

"This calls for another attack roll, testing Weapon Skill or Ballistic skill as if you were making another attack"

This "other attack" would necessarily have the same modifiers as the original yes? At least for range or terrain advantage. One might argue that bonus for rate of fire may not apply, but it gets needlessly complicated.

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It's just a house rule. The idea here is to avoid applying the same modifiers twice in the same mechanic.

I think this works pretty well, and here's an example:

Let's say PC1makes a full auto attack and PC2 makes a standard attack. They both have BS 30, they both use the same type of weapon, they both score 1 hit and both roll 10 for damage. If you apply the modifiers for the to-hit roll to the roll for Righteous Fury, PC1 has a +20 advantage over PC2.

I don't really see any good reason for this: the gunshave the same impact, the full auto burst doesn't sound more accurate (quite the opposite, I'd say) and if anything PC1 is proven to be less lucky than PC2 :) If Righteous Fury is to account for weapon force, accuracy or just dumb luck, then PC2 is most certainly equal or better than PC1 in all respects.

-K

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Friend of the Dork said:

Head shots: This is fairly imbalanced, as anyone can double their damage just by taking -20 on their attack. This means called shots are the new "autofire", especially with your Righteous Fury rule.

.54 tranter FTW.

Did I miss something? Called shots to the head doubles the damage?

I knew that the Critical-Table: Head is way more lethal than the others, but I could not find anything about the doubled damage.

Could you explain this ?

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@pacey: He's talking about a house rule to double damage on head shots, not RAW.

@Ira:

First, I agree with some of the other posters about called shots. They are perfectly reasonable an useful already to hit a less-protected or necessary part of the body.  My group also had an adventure where we were fighting zombies, and the only way to be sure they stayed dead was to shoot the head.  We also had a time when a bad guy was running away with an important briefcase, and we ended up shooting the arm holding the case to make him it (since we weren't going to be able to catch up to him). 

Second, are you similarly limiting Swift Attack and Lightning attack (for melee wielders) to a single Fury chance in a round?  It's the same premise, multiple hits using a single full-round action.   More hits does, and should, mean more chances for Righteous Fury.  Each hit has a chance to strike a more vulnerable area.  I don't oppose houseruling the confirmation roll to be standard WS/BS, or perhaps just without the plus for Semi/full auto.  That seems reasonable, but only allowing a single roll seems stretching things a bit too far for me.

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dvang said:

Second, are you similarly limiting Swift Attack and Lightning attack (for melee wielders) to a single Fury chance in a round?  It's the same premise, multiple hits using a single full-round action.   More hits does, and should, mean more chances for Righteous Fury.  Each hit has a chance to strike a more vulnerable area.  I don't oppose houseruling the confirmation roll to be standard WS/BS, or perhaps just without the plus for Semi/full auto.  That seems reasonable, but only allowing a single roll seems stretching things a bit too far for me.

Not at all. The rightous fury HR was inacted to make players choose a different varity of weapon except the autogun with manstoppers. Hence for a single attack (in the case of full auto) any attack that uses more then one die (except tearing weapons) to determine damage would have to choose the die for righteous fury. In the case of Swift and Lightning Attack thats three seperate attacks. So for instance an assassin with great weapon and lightning attack would get three attacks per round of combat, so for each attack he rolls two die, one for the rightous fury and one for damage. That player would have three chances to get rightous fury over six.

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To summarize, I would want to play a Moritat too in that group for the Tearing exception. Or use chain weapons. I don't see how this HR makes players choose more options. It just crippled everyone but your character's damage. People can pick up autoguns (I don't know how manstoppers play into RF) and swords. If for some odd reason they were to carry one or the other they should by all means go for the machine gun especially at a low skill level. There's a reason armies, law enforcers and even criminals pick a gun over a blade. Everything else is unrealistic. Not cool. (It becomes cool the moment they get skilled and can outperform/outwit modern weapon wielders with low-tech weaponry. But the weapon itself stays inferior.)

I mean, really what are you trying to fix? That machine guns and great weapons deal much more damage than swords? Yes they do. Both by nominal damage and chance to RF (which is the critical damage i.e. chance to hit something vital in other rules systems). More bullets hit -> higher chance of critical damage. Mighty blow -> higher chance of critical damage. Chain weapons with lots of serrated teeth -> higher chance of critical damage. This is merely an abstraction but it works very well.

And why change it just because there's Mr. I want to be cool with this sword too? I thought he's playing it because it's cool not because the rules adapt to make it more viable. Under your rules the great weapon is going to suffer the fate of the other twohanded weapons in the core book: barely anyone is going to use it. Two hands, Unwieldy, unconcealable, no Quick Draw and not high enough damage over onehanded weapons to compensate for all the negatives. For most FA weapons RF is the only chance to deal damage later on. They may start with a headstart because they don't require advanced training i.e. talents for firing bursts (again, very realistic) but they already fall behind melee and heavy weapons in later stages of the game. So basically you slashed a few options and offered others. Which is okay, players can and will adapt though the result may be farther from reality. And then what? Restart the nerf cycle because you want someone to play the cool gunbunny nobody wanted to play? And why is there a place for onehanded melee but none for twohanded weapons?

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To me melee combat in WH40K is useful not because it is necessarily more efficient or dangerous because it is more precise and because generally speaking it is less conspicious to carry a melee weapon around.  A well dressed character could conceivably carry a seathed powersword and be mistaken for a noble or officer with ceromonial weapon but carrying a bolt gun is going to raise eyebrows if not objections.

Personally I have no problem with autopistols and autoguns being deadly, if walk up to someone at close range and unload into them they are going to go down, one of the shots is going to puncture a lung or go through an eye, hence Righteous Fury.

Mind you the hosue rule in our group is that a 10 is always RF, no need to roll again to hit, in addition NPC's can get RF as well.  This makes firefights incredibly dangerous with even dregs armed with autopistols potentially lethal.

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Righteous Fury.

One thing that wasn't addressed and is one of my favorite sayings is that Melee weapons don't need reloading (well... most, that is ). With all those autopistols going off and all that ammo being flung around, what happens when the group find themselves on a feral world with only primitive weapons and no chance for ammo? That melee weilding guy will suddenly be doing more RF'ing than those weilding empty autoguns (unless they can learn to throw rocks on full auto lengua.gif).  The advantage of using a sword is that once it is used, it can be used again.  A manstopper bullet is used once and that's it.  Also, I don't think that melee attacks jam.  Guns do.  And, barring a handy Tech-Priest, a jammed weapon can really suck.  So for those reasons alone I'd probably keep the RF the way it is.  Though, I do understand the sentiment.  It is lop-sided toward the autogun...  but then again...  Why bring a melee weapon to a gun fight? gran_risa.gif

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As for Headshots, the critical hits table I feel does not place enough importance on them when half the time players are barely overcoming toughness and armor, therefore It's always been my own house rule that damage done to the head is treated as having felling 1 (Ignore toughness bonus/decrease unnatural toughness by 1 multiplier).  

Edited by supermetalnick

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As for fully automatic weapons vs  melee,  Iv'e considered that every time you roll damage, one declared die be the poential rightous fury die.  After all, the full auto extra hits still do more damage and justify using them, wile only one chance for rightous fury does indeed make melee a more sexy choice especially considering swift attack etc.  Melee attacks should be a viable option, for if melee really was so obsolete in damage potential then every space marine force commander would trade his power sword for a grot's autogun

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As for Headshots, the critical hits table I feel does not place enough importance on them when half the time players are barely overcoming toughness and armor, therefore It's always been my own house rule that damage done to the head is treated as having felling 1 (Ignore toughness bonus/decrease unnatural toughness by 1 multiplier).  

By RAW, Felling never causes an effect to flat-out ignore TB. It only ignores levels of Unnatural Toughness. Felling (1) explicitly ignores Unnatural Toughness (x2) and Felling (2) on Unnatural Toughness (x2) just makes UT inapplicable, not TB wholly inapplicable.

 

Also letting any and all head shots ignore TB if you don't have Unnatural Toughness is a terrible idea. Just starts a whole new arms race. As if head shots aren't dangerous enough with an Accurate weapon.

Edited by Kshatriya
pearldrum1 and Tenebrae like this

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I think people really really exaggerate the effect of getting shot in the head.

 

OK, that came out wrong. :)

 

What I should have said is that there is a strange idea (from video games?) that getting shot in head = bullet in brainpan/face = you fall down. It actually means... something got hit over the shoulders.

 

Such as... your ear, Or your scalp. Or the tip of your nose.

Kshatriya likes this

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My group read the RF rules and chose to discard them years ago instead we use a mechanic we`ve called "eye of the emperor"

 

Eye of the emperor represents those miraculous hits that inflict tremendous damage regardless of intention, skill or the odds against them. Such shots and strikes must surely guided by the divine power of none other than him on earth, the master of mankind.

 

On a roll of a ten for damage the player rolls the damage dice again and adds the result in the event another ten is rolled then they roll yet again. These rolls are not optional and must be made even in the event of friendly fire or accidental self-wounding.

 

e.g.

Alice the acolyte hits Charlie the chaos champion square in his big smug face with her trusty hammer.

She rolls 10 for damage, the eye of the emperor is upon her!

Alice rolls her extra dice... another 10! truly does he emperor`s gaze lie on Alice tonight!

She rolls again, 6

 

A total of 26 damage! The shattered remanants of Charlie`s face don`t look so smug now.  

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The only difference I see from the RAW is that you skip the WS/BS test to confirm the extra damage. Am I missing something here?

 

RAW RF only applies to PCs and I don't think it applies to things like friendly fire, at least not intentionally.

 

We've always skipped the WS/BS test. We missed it initially, and it didn't seem like it'd improve the game any to "do it right" when we noticed a couple of sessions later. Obviously it's a pretty significant change to the damage output of PCs & boss NPCs. But except for being faster, housekeeping-wise, it doesn't really change anything.

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What I find funny is the fact that people really tends to think that headshots are so much more dangerous than shots to the body. Sure, it can incapacitate one shot, but during many wars, it was proven that a shot to the head isn't THAT efficient. Sharpshooters and professional killers generally goes for the heart, which is a lot more sure to kill than the head. 

 

Remember that the head can also be grazed, you can lost a hear, etc. It's not more damageable than losing a finger on a hand. 

 

 

But that's my opinion, my players and their ennemies die often enough with basic weaponry that I never felt the issue of more realism to damage since ennemies that easily already.

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