Called Shots

Combat in Midgard is a messy affair; hands are lopped off, eyes are gouged out, and jagged scars are left as reminders of battles past.

Making a Called Shot

While the basic rules assume that attacking characters are aiming at their target’s center of mass to have the highest chance of hitting, a called shot is an attempt to attack a specific body part of another creature, or another smaller target like a held or worn item. Making a called shot is a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity. A ranged attack may be made as a called shot only if the target is within the weapon’s first range increment, and called shots may not be made against targets with cover or concealment relative to the attacker.

Called Shot Attacks

A called shot is rolled against the target’s normal AC, adjusted for the size category of the target body part or item and whether or not the target body part or item is covered by armor. This can be worked out based on the rules for size categories and armor coverage, but the AC adjustments for Medium humanoids are given below for easy reference.

Size Category (AC) Example Part or Item
Fine- (+16) Eye. ear, nose, mouth, finger, ring, brooch
Fine (+8) Neck, forehead, shoulder, hand, foot, belt buckle, bracelet
Diminutive (+4) Upper/lower arm, upper/lower leg, sack, quiver
Tiny (+2) Heart, guts, backpack
Body Part Armor to Cover
Upper Face Heavy
Lower Face N/A
Neck N/A
Torso Light
Arm Medium
Hand Heavy
Leg Medium
Foot Light

If a character would require a natural 20 to hit this adjusted AC, he may not declare it as a called shot.

Called Shot Effects

If a called shot hits, you must choose whether to try to specifically damage the body part targeted, or try to inflict a condition on the target. In either case, roll damage as normal. Check for wounds, and inflict only the damage that does not “count towards” dealing a wound (for instance, against a target with a wound threshold of 10, if you deal 23 damage the first 10 damage “counts towards” the first wound, the next 10 damage “counts towards” the second wound, and the final 3 damage is taken by the target). Then apply the effects of the called shot based on the number of wounds inflicted:

0 Wounds
If you chose to damage the body part, this is not a successful called shot and has no additional effect.

If you chose to inflict a condition, inflict an appropriate minor condition on the target for 1d4 rounds.

1 Wound
If you chose to damage the body part, the targeted body part is injured and unusable for 1 round (see below). Afterwards, until the character heals at least 1 wound, the character takes a -2 to any rolls involving this body part.

If you chose to inflict a condition, inflict an appropriate moderate or minor condition for 1d4 minutes. The target can attempt a wound save at the end of each time increment to remove the condition prematurely.

2 Wounds
If you chose to damage the body part, the targeted body part is crippled and rendered completely unusable until all of the character’s wounds are healed.

If you chose to inflict a condition, inflict any appropriate condition until the creature is healed.

3 Wounds
If you chose to damage the body part, the targeted body part is removed entirely and the character loses use of it until and unless it is restored by regeneration or similar magic.

If you chose to inflict a condition, inflict any appropriate condition permanently. It can be treated by use of the Heal skill, but the DC is increased by +5.

Unusable Body Parts

The effects of a single body part being rendered unusable are generally straightforward: an injured mouth cannot speak or bite, an injured hand drops whatever it is holding and cannot apply force, and so forth. If a creature has multiple body parts of a given type (eyes, ears, and hands, for example), any rolls that might conceivably involve such body parts take a -4 penalty, and any other actions or statistics that aren’t expressed with dice rolls are reduced proportionally to the number of unusable body parts (injuring one of a horse’s legs will reduce its speed to 3/4 normal, injuring one of its eyes will halve its field of vision, and so forth).

Stacking Called Shots

If the same body part is the target of multiple successive called shots, called shots of the same degree of severity increase to the next-higher degree and called shots of lesser severity are ignored. For instance, if a character’s left hand is crippled by a called shot, subsequent called shots that injure it have no further effect, but a second crippling called shot would remove the hand; likewise, a called shot to the gut to nauseate a character would not be worsened by further called shots that sicken him (to any body part, not just the gut), but another nauseating called shot would stun him.

Critical Hits and Automatic Successes

If a character scores a critical hit, he may choose to resolve the attack as a called shot despite called shots normally requiring a separate standard action to activate, as long as his total attack roll result still hits whichever body part he wants to target.

Any effect that causes an attack to automatically hit, such as the The Best You Can Be Legendary Deed or a surge of fortune spell, cannot be used in conjunction with called shots; these effects work by targeting a creature’s center of mass to ensure a hit, so they cannot be used to target specific body parts.

Called Shots

Saga of the Northlands PsychicTheurge