Wednesday, March 25, 2009

hit locations

Kellri (whose blog everyone should visit for the awesome free downloads) posted some cool and hard-to-get Erol Otus art on a cool but NSFW Otus-themed thread on theRPGsite. Thanks, dude! Dig this hit location illustration:

That dude is creepy!

This chart nicely shows a problem I have with many hit location systems. No matter how you carve up the human body, it's going to be problematic. In this particular case I have a lot of trouble giving a crap about whether a particular hit lands on the upper leg or the lower leg. And any system that supports separate mechanical effects for the two leg segments is probably too complicated for my tastes. But other hit location charts sometimes omit the hands, which I think is kinda dumb. A strike to the swordhand ought to send the weapon clattering onto the ground. That's something I'd like to see in play once in a while.

And looking at that chart, a head shot could mean a lot of different things. Did the character lose an ear? Or his nose? Is a wicked cool scar a possibility? Similarly, if we agree that 20% of all strikes land on the thorax region, what's the chance of spearing a dude right through the heart? By going to a hit location system for information that whole can of worms opens itself up for scrutiny.

One thing this chart gets right on the money: "56-60% Genitals". If there's not at least a 1 in 20 chance of punching an orc in the nuts then your hit location chart is useless to me.