Friday, September 4, 2020

GURPS - Critical Hits hitting sub-locations

This is a totally untried rule idea I had today.

A lot of GURPS hit locations have special, more lucrative sub-locations as targets. Examples include eyes and vitals. Using the rules from Basic Set, you can't hit these accidentally.

One option is a second roll, to see if you hit a sub-location (per GURPS Martial Arts, p. 137). But a critical hit might be critical by virtue hitting such a sub-location.

If you're using the Critical Hit rules from Combat Lite (Basic Set p. 324-328), critical hits bypass defenses, but don't otherwise give any special effects unless you roll a 3 (maximum damage.) With this approach, allow a hit to a sub-location instead if one exists:

Skull - none!

Face - critical hits land on one of Eye (1), Nose (2-3), or Jaw (4-6) from the front, Ear (1-3) or Jaw (4-6) from the flanks.

Torso - critical hits land on the Vitals. If your blow landed on the groin, you can allow the attacker to choose whichever they prefer. For some attacks, groin is a better target! From the back, critical hits land on the Vitals (1-3) or Spine (4-6.)

Neck - critical hits land on the Veins/Arteries.

Arms, Legs - criticals hit land on the Veins/Arteries (1) or Joint (2-6).

Hands, Feet - critical hits land on a Joint.

For a Basic Set only game, critical hits to the Face land on the Eye(s), Torso to the Vitals, and that's it.

If you're using the critical hit tables, you have two options:

- change 9-11 from "Normal Damage Only" to hitting a superior sub-location if possible to hit it and inflict extra effect.


This does mean another roll in many cases, but you can always just roll two dice of one color and one of another and have that be the decision die. Or just allow the person rolling the critical to choose.

Like I said, I haven't tried this . . . but it's a potential way to add sub-location fun in without actually needing to incorporate a whack of additional rules to do so.

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