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 SHIELDS & HITS LOCATIONS
LucaCherstich
Posted: Feb 26 2012, 04:30 PM


Sorcerer/Hero


Group: Members
Posts: 237
Member No.: 2
Joined: 22-April 11



Shields and Hits Location


I would like to playtest soon all my new ideas on Combat, but job and real life does not leave me time for the moment.

So I kept on thinking...

I was discussing my new ideas on parrying weapons in the Codex forum

Click Here:

But the following sentence made me think:

QUOTE ("Galloglaich")

Another way to even it out might be to just increase the defensive value of shields and certain melee weapons a little bit more. A shield provides substantial protection.



The above sentence made me thinking about how valuable shields are. Shields were chosen and used by a variety of cultures in different time-periods, from Zulu warriors to Athenian Hoplites, and they must be an essential part of equipment for most ancient soldiers. This shield benefit is hardly represented just by the parry bonus given by shields in Conan rpg. Smarter Conan players will always try to have 2-handed weapons (to get Massive Damage 20) or two weapons (which in Conan is easier than in other d20 products). Compared to those other 2 fighting styles, "weapon and shield" is not very useful. I want to change that and make shields REALLY useful, at last!


A friend of mine recently asked me about hit locations. I've always liked hit locations, but I've also always found that game systems with hit locations tend to have slower combats. However, I kept on thinking about the value of shields in protecting specific parts of the body.


I remember something by the Roman writer Livy about the early Roman laws by the King Servius Tullius regulating what weaponry each soldier should buy. The men who were rich enough to be qualified as heavy infantry ("classis II"), but too poor to buy torso cuirasses, were recommended to buy AT LEAST helm and greaves, since the torso and upper legs were protected by the shield.


Shields are not simply useful to intentionally block and intentionally deviate hits ("parry") but they also have a value as passive defence, even if only to specific parts of the body. How can we mimic it? With my new system.




HIT LOCATION CRITICAL SYSTEM.

I would leave damage & armors as they are for anything but Critical Hits and Called Shots. Otherwise the whole system would become cumbersome.
Only when you score a critical hit you must roll a d20 to establish where the blow landed.


HEAD
1-2 Head (Check Subtable)


TORSO
3 Left Shoulder
4 Right Shoulder
5 Chest, left side
6 Chest, right side
7 Belly, left side
8 Belly, right side


LEFT ARM
9 Upper arm/shoulder
10 Lower arm
11 Hand


RIGHT ARM
12 Upper arm/shoulder
13 Lower arm
14 Hand


LEFT LEG
15 Left Upper leg
16 Left Lower leg
17 Left Foot


RIGHT LEG
18 Right Upper leg
19 Right Lower leg
20 Right Foot


Head Sub-Table (1d12)
1-2 Head (Skull)
3 Left Ear
4 Right Ear
5 Left Cheek
6 Right Cheek
7 Left Eye
8 Right Eye
9 Nose
10 Mouth
11 Neck
12 Throat


NOTE: On location terminology:

In the discussion of the rules below we call "LOCATIONS" the larger areas (Head, Torso, Right Arm, Left Arm, Right Leg, Left Leg). "SUB-LOCATIONS" are the smaller areas which compose the great locations.



ARMOUR HIT LOCATION.

Conan Rpg, like the Codex Martialis, has what I will call "General DR" which means a DR not referred to Hit Locations.
Particular pieces of armours (greaves, bracers) in the Codex Martialis (IF I well understood) can be added to the general DR, without any particular effect on locations and sub-locations.

In Conan RPG the same happens with helms, a location armour whose DR can be added to the General DR.

So, the best Conan Armour, the Plate Armour is DR 10 + Great Helm DR 2 = DR 12.

All of this is OK for common hits, but not for my Critical HIts with Locations.

So I need a "General DR" for common hits and many "Particular DR" for Critical HIts to specific sub-locations.

Off course a New Recording Sheet is in my mind (otherwise the whole stuff is pure chaos).

I feel that Conan armour should have slightly greater DR in particular sub-locations, but no DR at all where the armour does not protect.

NOTE: CHECK THE END OF THIS DOCUMENT FOR A LIST OF Converted ARMOURS IN CONAN RPG.



"SHIELD CRITICAL PROTECTION."

This is the part which I like the most.
Shields offer not just Parry Bonuses but also "Shield Critical Protection" to selected sub-locations.
Generic guidelines should be as follows:
Small Shields: Lower Left Arm + Left Hand.
Medium Shields: Lower Left Arm + Left Hand + Chest + Belly.
Large Shields: The whole torso + The whole left arm.


Shields of particular shapes should also protect other things. For example a Large Roman Legionary Scutum should protect the same areas of other large shields + neck and upper legs.


EFFECTS:

"Shield Critical Protection" means that damage is subtracted FIRST from the shield and THEN from the flesh.

It is also worth reminding that objects (i.e. shields) do not suffer Critical Damage.

So, if your critical hit landed on a sub-location which is influenced by "Shield Critical Protection" follow these instructions:

1)Do not roll as a Critical damage but roll the damage as normal as if it was a normal Sunder vs the Shield.

2) If the shield is destroyed (0 hp) and at least 1 pt goes beyond the Shield HP you are allowed to roll the remaining dices of the Critical damage, adding the doubled or tripled bonuses.

3) On the other hand, If the shield has at least 1 hp remaining or if the damage you dealt reduces exactly the Shield hp to 0 (destroying it), you do not roll the critical damage and not other damage is dealt on the victim.

* Shield critical protection works whether you are parrying or dodging (so a Shield will be useful for dodge-experts like Barbarians with high Dex scores)

* Shield critical protection does not work whenever you cannot Dodge or Parry (e.g. you are flatfooted or the victim of Feint).

It is important to remind that due to the way shields are carried the Shield Critical Protection is always at work in some key areas, even if you cannot Dodge or Parry. These areas are:


Small Shields: Left Hand
Medium Shields: Left Hand, Left Lower Arm, Belly (Left side).
Large Shields: The whole Left arm, Belly (Left side), Chest (left Side), Left Shoulder.


A note on Shield Walls: A unit of Soldiers who are making a shield walls exploit large shields at their best. Each soldier gives Shield Critical Protection to the right arm of an ally who is adjacent and at his left.




HIT LOCATION CRITICAL EFFECTS.

It is now worth establish why Shields and Armours are so precious vs critical hits. In this sense two concepts are important "Great Injury" (a new concept) and "Massive Damage ("an old concept").


"GREAT INJURY"

You deal a Great Injury if the damage dealt by a critical hit (or by a called shot) to a specific Sub-Location after the subtraction of Armour DR (and Shield Crit Protection) is GREATER than the COS of the victim.
For Large creatures the damage should be greater than COS +5
For Small Creatures the damage should be greater than COS -5
Augment or diminish by 5 for every size category (so Huge is Cos +10, Tiny is -10, etc..)

The effect of Great Injury to every sub-location is described below.
NOTE: The same location can suffer multiple Great Injuries with cumulating effects if they affects different sub-locations. HOWEVER, if the same sub-location suffer a second Great Injury, that second Great Injury is transformed in a Massive Damage Effect.

"MASSIVE DAMAGE EFFECT"

It is worth reminding Conan Rules on massive Damage:

- Massive damage threshold in Conan rpg is 20 pts.

- If you suffer Massive damage and fail the Fort Save (DC 10 +1/2 dmg dealt) your hp are reduced to -1d10 below 0.

NEW RULE: If the same attack provokes a Great Injury AND Massive Damage and the Massive Damage Save roll is failed the victim suffers the effects of Great Injury, normal Massive Damage and a new effect which is called "Massive Damage Effect."

The Massive Damage effect of each sub-location is described below.


ARMS

Great Injury: -1 to Atk, Parry and Skills using that arm. Fort or Will save (victim's choice) vs a DC=10+1/2 dmg dealt or anything held with that arm falls down.

Massive Damage Effect: Mutilation. The part is maimed or broken beyond any healing possibility. It is not possible to Atk, Parry or use skill with that arm.


LEGS

Great Injury: -1 to Dodge and -5 ft to Speed (min 5 ft). Fort or Will save (victim's choice) vs a DC=10+1/2 dmg dealt or the victim falls prone.

Massive Damage Effect: Mutilation. The part is maimed or broken beyond any healing possibility. The victim falls to the ground and he is prone. Losing 1 leg: Dodge -5, Speed reduced to 5 ft. Losing 2 legs: Impossible to Dodge. Speed reduced to 5 ft (crawl).


TORSO

Great Injury: Painful Wound. -1 to COS. -1 to all skills and atk rolls.
Massive Damage Effect: Mortal Wound. The hp is reduced to -1d20 below 0 rather than - 1d10. If the victim survives after the healing there's a permanent -1 to COS.


HEAD

Great Injury: All Great Injuries to Head sublocations forces you to suffer "Stun" +a particular effect according to sub-location.
"Stun": Fort or Will save (victim's choice) vs a DC=10+1/2 dmg dealt or the victim falls prone. The victim must roll a Will or Fort Save (choose the best one) vs a DC equal to 10 + 1/2 damage dealt. The results are as follow: Succesful Save: No Effect.Failed for 1-3 points: the victim is STUNNED for 1d6 round. Failed for 4 point or more: the victim is UNCONSCIOUS and therefore Helpless for 1d6 rounds.
In addition to "Stun" there is a permanent Great Injury effect for every sub-location:

Head (Skull): no added effect.
Ears: Ear destroyed. -5 to Listen and Balance per Ear lost. If not Stunned or Unconscious the Victim is staggered for 1d6 rounds.
Cheeks: Scar, -1 to Diplomacy, +1 to Intimidate.
Eyes: Eye destroyed. 1 Eye detroyed: -1 to attack rolls, -5 to ranged attack rolls. Both eyes destroyed: Blind (Check the description of the Blind Fighting feat in the Core Rules). If not Stunned or Unconscious the Victim is staggered for 1d6 rounds.
Nose: Nose Destroyed. - 1d3 permanent CHA damage. If not Stunned or Unconscious the Victim Victim is staggered for 1d6 rounds.
Mouth: Teeth destroyed. - 1d3 permanent CHA damage. If not Stunned or Unconscious the Victim Victim is staggered and cannot use word-based actions (e.g. some spells) for 1d6 rounds.
Neck: no effect added.
Throat: If Great Injury is triggered (even for 1 point) the whole damage is multiplied x 1.5 (rounded down).


Massive Damage Effect (identical for every sub-location): Mortal Head Wound. The hp is reduced to -1d20 below 0 rather than - 1d10. If the victim survives after the healing there's a permanent damage of -1 to one ability. Roll 1d4: 1 CON, 2 DEX, 3 INT, 4 WIS.


NOTE ON BASHING WEAPONS.

Elsewhere I tried to introduce the "Stun" property to Bashing Weapons.

Click Here:

Those rules say that Bashing weapons can cause a "Stun" effect which is similar to the effect of Great Injury to sub-location "Head-Skull" but for the damage being nonlethal rather than lethal.

The "Stun" of Bashing weapons can be applied only for critical hits to Head or Torso. If the Hit qualifies also for both Bashing Stun and "Head-Skull" Great Injury all the damage is lethal and makes only one save but with a -5 penalty.



HEALING GREAT INJURIES

Great Injuries to the Head are all permanent. Great Injuries to the rest of the body can be healed. You must first heal all of your hp. You then must keep on healing "fake" hp which are not added to your hp total. When the healed fake hp total up to an amount equal to your COS you can heal a Great Injury.

If a Great Injury dealt also an Ability Damage, this damage is healed in way mentioned above, not as usual Ability Damage.

Massive Damage Effect cannot be usually healed if not by powerful magic or miracle (GM's decision).

Any Ability Damage which is also labelled as "permanent" cannot be healed.



CALLED STRIKE

The effects above are usually ONLY for Critical Hits.
However, one can try to purposively attack a sub-location or location in order to try triggering a Great Injury or Massive Damage. It is worth reminding that, unless the attack qualifies for a Critical Hit, the damage is not multiplied, so it is statistically more difficult to trigger Great Injuries and Massive Damage in this way.

Any way, if you still want to make a Called shot, here are the instructions for this new Manoeuvre.

NEW MANOEUVRE: CALLED STRIKE
Prerequisites: BAB 3+
Action: Full Round.
Effect: You make a single attack to a location or sub-location of your choice but with a penalty to hit.
This penalty depend on the chosen target:
Any location (except the Head): -4
Any sub-location (except those in the Head): -7
Head location: -7
Head sub-location: -10
If a "location" is targeted choose randomly which sub-location is affected.
1d6 for arms or legs (1-2 upper part, 3-4 lower pat, 5-6 hand/foot)
1d6 for Torso (1 Left Shoulder, 2 Right Shoulder, 3 Chest-left, 4 Chest-right, 5 Belly-left, 6 Belly-right).



LIST OF ARMOURS

I try here to convert all Conan Armours into General DR (= to official DR) and Particular DR.

Light Armours:

Leather Jerkin. General DR: 4. Particular: DR 6 to Torso.
Mail Shirt. General DR: 5. Particular: DR 9 to Torso.
Quilted Jerkin. General DR: 3. Particular: DR 5 to Torso.

Medium Armours:

Brigandine Coat. General DR: 6. Particular: DR 8 to Torso.
Scale Corselet. General DR: 5. Particular: DR 10 to Torso.
Mail hauberk. General DR: 6. Particular: DR 9 to Torso, upper legs and upper arms.
Breastplate. General DR: 6. Particular: DR 15 to Torso.

Heavy Armours:

Mail hauberk and Breastplate. General DR: 9. Particular: DR 16 to Torso, DR 9 to upper legs and upper arms.
Mail hauberk and Brigandine Coat. General DR: 9. Particular: DR 13 to Torso, DR 9 to upper legs and upper arms.
Mail hauberk and Scale Corselet. General DR: 8. Particular: DR 14 to Torso, DR 9 to upper legs and upper arms.
Mail hauberk and Scale Hauberk. General DR: 9. Particular: DR 15 to Torso, upper legs and upper arms.
Mail shirt and Breastplate. General DR: 8. Particular: DR 16 to Torso.
Mail shirt and Brigandine Coat. General DR: 8. Particular: DR 13 to Torso.
Mail shirt and Scale Corselet. General DR: 7. Particular: DR 14 to Torso.
Mail shirt and Scale Hauberk. General DR: 8. Particular: DR 14 to Torso, DR 10 to upper legs and upper arms.
Plate Armour. General DR: 10. Particular: DR 16 to every location but the Head.
Scale Hauberk. General DR: 6. Particular: DR 10 to Torso, upper legs and upper arms.

Helmets:

Steel Cap. General DR: +1. Particular: DR 12 to Head locations 1-4.
Great Helm. General DR: +2. Particular: DR 12 to all head locations.
Visored Helm. General DR: +1/+2. Particular: DR 12 to Head locations 1-4/ all head locations when visor is down.

I'm also planning a table of specific armour pieces to fill the "holes" in your armour.

For example a pair of Bronze Greaves or Bronze Bracers should give:

- General DR: 0.5
- Particular DR: 10 to both lower legs or lower arms.
- Armor penalty: - 0.5

Hopefully I'll try to convert more armour pieces, taking inspiration especially from the armour pieces in the Codex.


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LucaCherstich
Posted: Feb 26 2012, 05:36 PM


Sorcerer/Hero


Group: Members
Posts: 237
Member No.: 2
Joined: 22-April 11



For the purpose of being complete I attach here also my Adaptation of the Codex Attack Types to Conan RPG.

TYPOLOGICAL CRITICALS

Typological Criticals cope very well with the rules for Hit Location criticals. These rules gives a bonus in Critical hit, conversely the rules for hit location (above) give a bonus to Armours to particular hit locations (check the much higher particular DR to selected sub-locations).
This fixes balance issues.
This section repeats rules already published at this link.

Click Here:

Like in the Codex Martialis each Conan Weapon gets a series of Atk types and a few Primary Atk types (SEE LIST BELOW).
Which means there are multiple ways to hit with a weapon, but a few of these ways are more effective than others. This is pretty realistic.
When you score a critical hit you must choose which attack type you used.
If the Attack Type is among the Primary Attack types you can add the "Typological Critical Effect" to the normal Critical Damage.
If the Attack Type is among the Weapon Attack types BUT NOT among its primary attacks you must choose whether to use the normal Critical Damage OR the added Typological Critical Effects.


TYPOLOGICAL CRITICAL EFFECTS
Atk Type AP Damage
PIERCING +3 +1d4
BASHING +2 +1d4/Stun
CHOPPING +1 +1d6
SLASHING 0 +1d8

"STUN" (CRITICAL BASHING ATTACKS)
Bashing attacks are dangerous since they can leave you unconscious.
MECHANICS:
1. Roll Critical Damage as usual and check how much of it passes the Armour:
2. If any damage passes the Armour, consider it all non-lethal damage;
3. The victim must roll a Will or Fort Save (choose the best one) vs a DC equal to 10 + 1/2 damage dealt. The results are as follow:
Successful Save: No Effect.
Failed for 1-3 points: the victim is STUNNED for 1d6 round.
Failed for 4 point or more: the victim is UNCONSCIOUS and therefore Helpless for 1d6 rounds.

NOTES:
- In case the applied damage results also in a Massive Damage threat range (20 pts, including both lethal and non-lethal damage as per normal Conan rules) the rules for Massive Damage Saves still applies and the check must be done after the BASH check, even if the victim survived the "Bash" save. Check OGL Barbarian Rules for how to deal with Massive Damage triggered by non-lethal damage.


LIST OF CONAN WEAPONS with ATk Types / Primary atks from the Codex Martialis

SIMPLE WEAPONS
Gauntlet: B/B
Unarmed: B/B
Dagger: P/P
Hatchet: C/C
Knife: SP/P
Knife, Yuetshi: SP/P
Stiletto: P/P
Club: B/P
Mace, Heavy & Light: B/B
Hunting & WAR: SCP/P
Staff: B/B
Bow, Hunting: P/P
Javelin: P/P

MARTIAL WEAPONS
Axe: CB/C
Knife, Ghanata: S/S
Pommel: B/B
Poniard: SCP/SP
Sword, short: SCP/SP
Battleaxe: C/C
Broadsword: SCP/SC
Cutlass: SCP/C
Knife, Zhaibar: SCP/SP
Lance, Heavy and Light: P/P
Scimitar: SCP/S
Sword, Arming: SCP/CP
Bardiche: CP/C
Bill: C/C
Club, War: B/B
Pike: P/P
Pollaxe: BCP/CP
Sword, War: SCP/CP
Arbalest: P/P
Crossbow: P/P

EXOTIC WEAPONS
Sabre: SCP/SC
Whip: BS/BS
Greatsword: CP/C
Tulwar: SC/C
Bow (Hyrkanian, Shemite, Bossonian): P/P

ANIMAL AND MONSTER NATURAL WEAPONS
GameMaster's judgement rules.
Slams should have: B/B
Claws should have: S/S
Bites should have S/S or P/P according to the kind of bite.
Piercing and Grasping bites should have P/P (wolves, tigers, snakes, spiders, sabretooths)
Slashing bites (S/S) should be for the very few animals with razor-blade teeth made for easily taking whole chunks of flesh like for Sharks and piranhas.


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LucaCherstich
Posted: Jun 17 2012, 07:34 AM


Sorcerer/Hero


Group: Members
Posts: 237
Member No.: 2
Joined: 22-April 11



At this point we have playtested enough our system.
After yesterday's game I've decided to get ridd of hit locations.

It's not something about it being un-balanced or not working.
It is all very balanced and realistic.
And I like the way it give more granularity in armours (e.g. a Mail shirt/lorica hamata should cover slightly less than a mail shirt/byrnie).

HOWEVER, the problem is that we do not like slow combats.
Conan's combat is already slightly slower than normal d20 (you must check AP vs armour), but it's still OK.
However, hit locations for criticals is a further passage, and we like quick combats.

So we get ridd of that.

We keep on using Mastery Criticals (critical threat if atk roll 20 pts above target's defence) and Onset/Melee bonus (see Codex Martialis).
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