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Episode 346: Execution of Rapid Character Development (Stage 1)


Let's talk about hit location tables.

If some form of physical peril strikes your character, it can be important to know where on your body it hits. In many cases the impact is more or less random, so it's not obvious where you've been hit. Enter the hit location table.

This is a table which cross-references the results of a dice roll with various body parts. For example, if you roll a 7, you might get hit in the torso, a 13 might indicate the right leg, and a 29 could mean the sniper's bullet hit you in the left clavicle. The more detailed the combat system, the more possible results you can have and the more detailed and specific the body parts can be.

Also, typically a hit in various locations carries with it certain penalties. For example, if you get hit in the leg, it might reduce your movement rate. If you get hit in the clavicle, it might cause you to drop any weapons being carried in that arm and a 5% chance of bone fragments severing your carotid artery. You get the idea.

One of the prime hit locations is, of course, the head. It's a nice juicy target, and being hit there can cause all sorts of interesting side effects. So a high quality hit location table should have a nice, big chance of causing hits to the head. Guaranteed fun for all!


Pete: Sally, let's do your stuff now.
C-3PO: Okay!
Pete: You're standing on this conveyor belt here, moving through the factory.
C-3PO: I go to rescue Padmé.
Pete: Which direction?
C-3PO: Uh... that way!
Pete: You move directly into the path of a construction arm. Make a Dodge roll.
C-3PO: Oh. 4.
Pete: Ooh, that's not good. The arm smashes your <roll>... head off.
C-3PO: I catch it!
Pete: Make a Dexterity roll.
C-3PO: 18! Yay!
Pete: Sorry, you had a -10 circumstance penalty.
C-3PO: Why?
Pete: For not having a head.
C-3PO: So??

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Published: Sunday, 02 January, 2011; 14:36:51 PST.
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