Called shots - Myth-Weavers

World of Farland

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Called shots

Called shots

Hey all, I've been wondering alot lately if there isn't a way to bring back called shots. It seems like by following the mechanism provided by power attack, it would be possible to reduce your to hit in order to get the bonus of a called shot. As I see it, there are two ways to define "called shots" in 4e, criticals and sneak attack. So for instance, if I wanted to create a rule that allowed a character to take -10 on her attack roll and if she hits, she would score a critical hit. Alternatively, she would gain sneak attack damage. Is there something like this already out there that I've missed? Can anyone think of situations where this would be unbalanced? I appreciate all your thoughts.

Reflavor power attack? You have the science already!--you can do it.

What do you need the called shots to do?

I guess I like keeping with what already exists (critical hit or sneak attack), which are potentially quite powerful, so the penalty should be severe I would think. What do you think of the -10? That's probably too severe, but the reward is pretty powerful too.

My first concern is that the -10 for crit damage or something would never work at hitting stuff. The system as such is balanced that characters hit about 50% of the time. If they take a -10, they hit 5% of the time. If they hit, it's huge, but would most characters really do that? I wouldn't. And the monsters you could do it against, you don't need to because they are weak sauce.

In fact, taking a -10 would effectively mean most characters need to roll a 20 to hit-- so basically you are asking characters to bet they will roll a 20 or else they miss. But they are already hoping to roll a 20, but they still might not miss if they don't. So for one thing, the pay off would have to be better than a critical hit.

Same concerns as Farland, except that if you have enough bonuses, you can hit on a 2, so this effectively gives you the option to crit on a 12+. Weishan has the right idea, here, I think. -2 to hit for 3/tier to damage is generally balanced.

Called shots are pretty much just a bad idea overall. I've never seen a system that was implemented in a way that wasn't abusable. I mean, True Strike, Wraithstrike? These are level one and two spells that immediately break almost any called shot system.


Oh come on Arkaelis with your legendary abilities we could figure this out. Just because the peons of history couldn't do it, doesn't mean we the chosen few, can't figure it out

I actually think 4e has given us the chance to actually do this because criticals are so much less powerful than they have been in the past, at least from my experience so far.

Okay so -10 is too much. Great. -2 is okay. What about in between. If -2 for +3 is okay, then can I give a -6 to hit and then get +9 to damage? Would that work?

If so, then if I required this to be a light weapon, the differences for getting a critical wouldn't be huge. Let's say for sake of argument I made it a basic attack only which means it is always only 1W, right? Then correct me if I'm wrong but the most damage a light weapon can do is d6, so we are talking about the difference between an average of 3 damage and 6 if it is a critical. That's nothing. Then of course we should assume a magical weapon, make it +2, which gives us an extra 2d6 (average of 6). So for -6 to hit, it looks like to me I get what I want with the restrictions that this is heroic tier, usable only with a light weapon, and a basic attack. What am I missing?

If I made this a feat, then you have to expend a feat to use it, so I would think that it would be okay to make it -5 to hit.

I think we could tweak the above mechanism to include sneak attack too if we wanted too. We could also tweak it to allow more than just a basic attack by making it usable less often.

Feedback please!!!!!

If you give it those restrictions, would it then only be used when a PC was 100% out of encounters and dailies, which will always be better? Will it even be better than your average at-will power? Sounds like you are structuring it as a super-power attack, in which case it should have the same limits.

How about if you structured it so that it had a significant penalty to hit, but had benefits that were not hit point related?

For example, a called shot to the head might take a +4 penalty to hit, and if successful would do normal damage plus blind your opponent until the start of your next turn. A called shot to the arms could result in a 1 round strength penalty, legs could reduce movement by 50% for 1 round, etc. On a crit, the damage would remain the same, but the results would be more long term.

I wouldn't say that was overpowered, but could be useful in certain situations -- such as if you are trying to stop a fleeing enemy.

I do agree that it should be limited to basic attacks (not at-wills).

Maybe use a healing surge mechanic.

On a normal swing expend 1 or 2 healing surge to attenpt a called shot.

On a power expend 2 or 3 healing surges to attempt the called shot.

Called shots could suffer an attack penalty based on some factor present in the defender - maybe based on its agl and armor?. Maybe the defender can roll to avoid it and have the attack generate no penalties - a saving throw. The called shot maybe doubles the crit or range for the weapon maybe tripples.

Would it work?


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