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laughingowl
Called shot (especially when combined with Longshot) issues have a long history of issues here...

What about a simple ruling..


'trade' style exchanges (-1 die +1 dv, etc) (mostly called shots, but might be others) can only be used with 'actual dice...

If you are at negative dice... nothing left to trade.

Things that 'indirectly' modfy the result could still effect (full auto, burts, etc)

But for called shots and the like... you can only 'trade' in dice equal to what your remaining pool is...

(I would allow you to trade to zero, then make a longshot with edge, but can't trade to negative).

Likewise with this ruling, the 'called shot' trade in is the final calculation... after all other modifers...
James McMurray
That would work.
Ol' Scratch
I see where you're going with it, but I'm rather meh towards Called Shot rules anyway. They just don't work very well in a game built around abstractions. Characters are already assumed to be doing their best to achieve their goals when performing actions; if a target isn't wearing a helmet but is otherwise heavily armored, it (should be) assumed the character is likely aiming for the head. The armor's modifier is reflecting not only how tough it is to defeat the armor, but how hard it is to hit a vulnerable spot in it.

With that in mind, a "Called Shot" is pretty superfluous.

That said, having a rule like what you're suggesting can be cool if you just approach it as a standard option rather than pigeonholing it as a "Called Shot." There should be some kind of cost or negative drawback for chosing to do so, however, be it designing a slew of new Qualities representing various styles, or a flat -2ish dice penalty when adjusting the numbers on the fly. Doubly so since having those options is one of the perks of BF/FA weapons and even they have an associated drawback in the form of recoil.
deek
What I've never been able to understand is how a Called Shot can't be used to specifically shoot the head or foot or whatnot (meaning you can't just say you will shoot x on the person, as it is still abstact, you're just going for a "vulnerable" area), but you are allowed to shoot a pistol out of someone's hand or target the tires of a vehicle...

It just has never made sense to me. You either go with target locations or you leave everything abstract...its hard to mix both effectively!

Would anyone have even cared if there wasn't a rule for a called shot?
Moon-Hawk
The called shot for extra damage is a bit silly.
Player: I want to shoot him.
GM: Okay, you try to kill him.
Player: But not just like the regular I'm-trying-to-kill-him shoot him. I want to really try to kill him.
GM: Oh, okay. In that case, you'll probably miss entirely.

WTF!?
Hartbaine
I don't understand the confusion. Generally the game is abstract, that's why 'Calling a Shot' is a combat maneuver and not a typical "I take aim, pull the trigger and repeat as necessary."

So far I've had no problem with called shots in my game the rule is pretty simple. Now, I've had a few players ask, "Why do I have to say I'm calling a shot, it should be obvious I want the guy down in a hurry I'd naturally aim for the head." It's usually at this point I have inform a player that Shadowrun isn't Halo 2 or Perfect Dark Zero.

It's assumed a character is aiming for the largest target for greater accuracy, limbs and heads are not easy to hit unless you have image magnification. Even with heavy armor it's assumed the body is the main target (enough shots to the chest will wreck body armor) that's also why SR 4 includes rules about armor exceeding the power of the attack resulting in stun damage instead of physical.

So, under the abstract rule if a sniper aims for several actions on a stationary targets unarmored head would still have to apply his armor rating (since the armor's modifier is reflecting not only how tough it is to defeat the armor, but how hard it is to hit a vulnerable spot in it). It doesn't make sense.

Called shots increase the level of severity and gives characters that are skilled veterans an opportunity to pull off some moves that really are on the dramatic side. They are quite flashy or make things easy, even in an abstract world:

1. A Runner supports his team via a silenced sniper rifle. He spends 5 simple actions aiming. The guard is in some heavy armor but not wearing a helmet, the GM says this but feels no need to repeat it (if the player misses the reference to an easy shot, so be it). The runner takes aim and uses a called shot to the head resulting in +1 die to the attack and +4 damage. Without armor it's almost impossible for a goon to resist the damage (12P + Hits), the Runners get in with no problem... so far.

2. Private Discord (Cpt. Chaos's sidekick) is in the eye of a crapstorm. He spins from behind cover to lob a grenade into the fray. A Corp Sec Elite was holding his action while his squad laid down suppression fire. Corp Sec sees Private Discord and his friend Mr. Grenade. He interrupts PDs action and takes a called shot, targeting PDs wrist. With all is tripped out cyberware the Corp Sec nails PD easily, and applies damage ignoring armor (PD is wearing an armored vest which doesn't protect his wrists or forearms). PDs arm takes 6 boxes of physical wounds and he drops the grenade at his (and his groups) feet... the Runners have problems. Corp Sec smiles, he get's a bonus for fraggin' Runners.

With items like that introduced into the game it makes it grittier and certainly more dangerous and logical. If it's assumed that every shot is to the head since that's the part that isn't armored then snipers and stealth artists must really hate Shadowrun.

Player: "I sneak up and shoot him on the back of the head, point blank."
GM: "Okay" <rolls Body + Armor>
Player: "You said he as human, how'd his body get so high?"
GM: "Body + Armor."
Player: "His head isn't armored!"
GM: "Well, it's assumed, in this abstract world we call Shadowrun, that the armor's modifier is reflecting not only how tough it is to defeat the armor, but how hard it is to hit a vulnerable spot in it. He's pretty armored."
Player: "But his head isn't!"
GM: "Yes, well, that's a very convincing argument but, he's not about to just let you shoot him, as you aim he lowers his head to light his cigarette, the collar of his coat shifts upwards slightly as you aim and fire. He's wearing an armored jacket and the collar is just as fortified as the rest of his attire. His collar stops the bullet and he triggers the alarm with his commlink. You're up... hey... where are you going?"
<LATER> And in other news, a man was found brutally murdered in his home early this morning. Police discovered the body slumped over his kitchen table with what appeared to be several role playing books lodged violently into his colon with a toilet plunger. Police and state officials are ruling it a suicide and blaming Heavy Metal music.
Irian
QUOTE (Hartbaine @ Sep 5 2007, 12:08 PM)
1. A Runner supports his team via a silenced sniper rifle.  He spends 5 simple actions aiming.  The guard is in some heavy armor but not wearing a helmet, the GM says this but feels no need to repeat it (if the player misses the reference to an easy shot, so be it).  The runner takes aim and uses a called shot to the head resulting in +1 die to the attack and +4 damage.  Without armor it's almost impossible for a goon to resist the damage (12P + Hits), the Runners get in with no problem... so far.

I don't understand how this should work. You can make a called shot +4, ok, but that doesn't negate the armor. The rules for called shot are "-armor rating" for "no armor"... That also makes sense: The head is a much smaller target - abstract "The more armor you have, the less parts of your body are armor-less."

The sniper above could aim at the head (no armor), so he gets a -8 pool modifier, that's -3 (with the +5 for aiming). As the target can't defend (Sniper), he only has body to defend. Even with -3, the sniper is in a very good position. No need to change the rules here.

Giving the attacker a "no armor" bonus AND increasing the DV isn't a good idea. Shadowrun doesn't have a hit zone system. If it had, you could say "Head, -x", but it hasn't. Trying to integrate one would be possible, but not THAT easy.

Edit: Standing behind an unaware target should at least give +3 ("Opponent prone, but still moves" is +3, so standing still should be more), probably more, so it's no problem to use the "-armor rating" rule. Point blank would probably give even more, but needs a good stealth roll. You CAN do it with the rules, you just look at them from the wrong perspective: Your player tries to simply shoot the guy. If he would aim for an unarmored part, it would be harder. Simply saying where to shoot doesn't give you any bonus smile.gif

Player: I want to shoot the guard in the head.
GM: Ok, that's no Armor, -8, but you're near and he doesn't suspect anything, let's say +5. He can't defend and will only roll body.
Player: Great. *rolls*
Hartbaine
QUOTE
I don't understand how this should work. You can make a called shot +4, ok, but that doesn't negate the armor. The rules for called shot are "-armor rating" for "no armor"... That also makes sense: The head is a much smaller target - abstract "The more armor you have, the less parts of your body are armor-less."


The called shot to the head is -4, the 'No Armor' is obvious, his head isn't armored regardless of what's on his body it's not on his head and the target is not in motion. There is no point in bypassing something that isn't there.

With imaging scope and a smartlink there really is no such thing as a 'much smaller target'.

QUOTE
Edit: Standing behind an unaware target should at least give +3, probably more, so it's no problem to use the "-armor rating" rule. Point blank would probably give even more, but needs a good stealth roll. You CAN do it with the rules, you just look at them from the wrong perspective: Your player tries to simply shoot the guy. If he would aim for an unarmored part, it would be harder. Simply saying where to shoot doesn't give you any bonus

Player: I want to shoot the guard in the head.
GM: Ok, that's no Armor, -8, but you're near and he doesn't suspect anything, let's say +5. He can't defend and will only roll body.
Player: Great. *rolls


Heh, mostly my point was simply that sometimes as a GM, just make a call. The guys are GOONS! Waste of space...

Player: "I cap him from the shadows from behind him in the alley."
GM: Okay. There is a slight mist as the bullet exits, roll your Infiltration to drag him into cover...
Player: "No attack roll?"
GM: Serioulsy... you were an inch from head... what was he gonna do?
Player: "Heh, cool." <Rolls Infiltrate>

Like every RPG that gets printed people get too caught up on the rules. "The book says this, so this is how it must be." I mean, c'mon, if the head ain't armored don't apply armor, the guy is an extra, a goon, a no namer! No for the 'Boss' type NPCs... don't pull punches.
Irian
-4 is +4 damage. Simple. Smartlink gives you +2, so you can more easily avoid armor, if you want to. The rules are ok, you're just perceiving them from the wrong direction smile.gif

Edit: Abusing the Called Shot system this way is - imho - not a good idea. This makes called shots much to powerfull. There are rules to avoid armor. Use them.
deek
The confusion for me is that in all but what, two instances, a called shot is abstract. You can't actually "target" anything. You can take up to a -4 penalty to get +4 DV or you can bypass armor and take a -armor to your roll. That makes sense to me, because then the GM describes what you hit based on the results.

BUT...two instances, i.e. shooting out a tire or shooting a gun out of the hand, do allow the player to target something specific.

So, why should I let me players target a gun in Mr. Glock's waving hand, but not allow him to shoot the head?
Irian
It's not really "target the specific location" but "Disarm". You can of course introduce rules like...

"-5 for shooting at the head, +2 DV, no armor without helmet..."
etc.

...but at the moment, they aren't their. And to be honest: I don't miss them smile.gif
Moon-Hawk
QUOTE (deek)
So, why should I let me players target a gun in Mr. Glock's waving hand, but not allow him to shoot the head?

Player: I want to shoot the security guard in the head.
GM: Okay, that's a called shot to bypass armor. Your penalty is -X.
Player: Cool. *blam*

Just because the mechanical resolution is abstract, that doesn't prevent you from being specific in the description. It's not like you roll your called shot for extra damage and the GM says, "Ooh, you blast him right in the abstraction. That's gotta hurt." wink.gif
Irian
QUOTE (Hartbaine)
Heh, mostly my point was simply that sometimes as a GM, just make a call. The guys are GOONS! Waste of space...

That's ok, of course, depending on the situation. A new shadowrunner has to roll to kill the cop instantly, the professional killer with lots of karma doesn't smile.gif
Hartbaine
QUOTE
Edit: Abusing the Called Shot system this way is - imho - not a good idea. This makes called shots much to powerfull. There are rules to avoid armor. Use them.


I agree. Players who abuse the rule find themselves on the opposite end of it very quick, it’s usually enough to keep them in line. When they apply to dramatically appropriate moments (like sneaking into the warehouse with sniper cover, or popping the vial of Retro-Mutigen Ooze out of the bosses hand) then I have no problems with it. I’m a fan of:

(7th time this session) “I bypassed his armor! 7 hits!?
“Great, his buddy got 7 hits on you too.?
“How.?
“Bypassed your armor.?
“I-I’m dead.?

QUOTE
The confusion for me is that in all but what, two instances, a called shot is abstract. You can't actually "target" anything. You can take up to a -4 penalty to get +4 DV or you can bypass armor and take a -armor to your roll. That makes sense to me, because then the GM describes what you hit based on the results.

BUT...two instances, i.e. shooting out a tire or shooting a gun out of the hand, do allow the player to target something specific.

So, why should I let me players target a gun in Mr. Glock's waving hand, but not allow him to shoot the head?


I’m lost as to your point. A called shot can target a head, usually for about +4P to the attack.
Naysayer
Exactly.
A called shot can target a head, or any other vital area, for a +X DV, -X DP penalty. It doesn't say it automatically hits said vital area. That is what abstraction means in this context. If the player rolls some net hits and the target doesn't soak the damge, thus taking enough damage to overflow his condition monitor, then sure, headshot, man down.
If the target doesn't take enough damage to take him out cold, the the shot, although aimed at the head, didn't properly zero in right between the eyes or something. Or it did hit the head, but instead of splattering the poor npc's brains, it did some crazy bouncing on the skullbones, creating a nasty wound, but not insta-killing him.
It's simply that "Called Shot" != "Successful Headshot".
Hartbaine
QUOTE (Naysayer)
Exactly.
A called shot can target a head, or any other vital area, for a +X DV, -X DP penalty. It doesn't say it automatically hits said vital area. That is what abstraction means in this context. If the player rolls some net hits and the target doesn't soak the damge, thus taking enough damage to overflow his condition monitor, then sure, headshot, man down.
If the target doesn't take enough damage to take him out cold, the the shot, although aimed at the head, didn't properly zero in right between the eyes or something. Or it did hit the head, but instead of splattering the poor npc's brains, it did some crazy bouncing on the skullbones, creating a nasty wound, but not insta-killing him.
It's simply that "Called Shot" != "Successful Headshot".

QUOTE
If the target doesn't take enough damage to take him out cold, the the shot, although aimed at the head, didn't properly zero in right between the eyes or something. Or it did hit the head, but instead of splattering the poor npc's brains, it did some crazy bouncing on the skullbones, creating a nasty wound, but not insta-killing him.
It's simply that "Called Shot" != "Successful Headshot".


Oh I get it! I have a bow... I target shoot a lot. I always "aim" for the bulls eye but I'll be damned wouldn't ya know it I sometimes just don't hit it. And I'm pretty good mind you. Damn, that blows... I was aiming and I'm skilled... I should always hit the center.

Usually when the head shot should have killed but didn't the GMs do something really crazy. It's called narration and it goes something like this:

"You've had your scope trained on the target for a good fourty five seconds, slowly you squeeze off the round. After the recoil of the shot you look through your scope to relay that the target is down, but he's not. He's on his knees clenching the side of his head, blood splattered on the wall behind him. Apparently you grazed him badly, but he's alive, and sounding the alarm."

Just because you hit a vital does not mean you instantly kill someone. It's quite possible to live with a bullet in your skull or brain, and some people have had several removed from their head and still lived. It's not abstract, it's logical.

Chances are most targets will not live through a +4P wound from a high powered rifle or hand gun. If they do it's simple, grazes and nicks work well for descriptive. An ear gets blown off, the shot is off by a bit and grazes the neck, or the bullet is lodged in the brain (he'll live... for about another 30 minutes or so, long enough to deal with the runners and call DocWagon).
Kerberos
QUOTE (Hartbaine)

With imaging scope and a smartlink there really is no such thing as a 'much smaller target'.

Of cause there is. If you aim for center mass and miss by 15 cm you hit him a different place in the torso. If you aim for the head and miss by 15 cm you're probably going to miss his head. Also the head moves more than the body.
Hartbaine
You're more than welcome to calculate everything right down to the cm.

I've found it's logical to assume if the target dies from a head shot, you hit. If he doesn't then you were off by 15cm.
Kerberos
QUOTE (Hartbaine)
You're more than welcome to calculate everything right down to the cm.

I've found it's logical to assume if the target dies from a head shot, you hit. If he doesn't then you were off by 15cm.

Ehh, you realize that your answer doesn't make any sense don't you? You said that size didn't matter with smartlinks and imaging scopes and I explained why you are wrong. 15 cm was an example, no calculating down to the cm was involved.
Hartbaine
Well, if I shoot at something small (-4 DP), I have a smartlink (+2DP), spend 5 turns aiming (+5 DP), and have an imaging scope to remove the modifier for range...

Size -4 + Smartlink +2 + Aiming +5 + Imaging Scope = +3 DP to the shot.

It sure doesn't seem to small anymore. in fact at +3 dice it might as well have a bull's eye and a sign that says "Shoot Me Here".

So, yeah, yeah... it does make sense. At least to me.
Lagomorph
QUOTE (Moon-Hawk)
It's not like you roll your called shot for extra damage and the GM says, "Ooh, you blast him right in the abstraction. That's gotta hurt." wink.gif

I think I did say that once, actually...

But to the OP's topic:

I find that the -dice +ap version of called shot is pretty much pointless (and pretty munchkin, -1 dice for effective +3 dice??) and already abstractly and more fairly covered by the bypass armor called shot.

As for fixing it compared to longshot tests, I'm not sure that I see a compelling reason. If you're playing with some one who uses longshots regularly, you've got a different problem than the game mechanics, and if a longshot occurs once in a blue moon, whats the worry about going for broke in that one case?

However, I'll agree that it's a pretty nice solution, but I do question it's need.
Cain
Just think of the probability tradeoff. When you sacrifice 1 die for 1 damage success, you've essentially gained the benefit of adding 3 dice. When you're discussing the canon +4 damage, you've gained the benefit of 12 dice. There's no reason to do anything but make called shots for damage, if your dice pool is high enough.
Irian
Correct. -4 dice for +4 DV seems much better than -x dice for -x dice armor rating for the target. A little bit unbalanced.
FriendoftheDork
Here's how I do it: To make a called shot you need an aim action first (pg 149). First it says straight you can only use it with weapons that fire in SS, SA, or burst fire mode. Thus, no long bursts or full bursts allowed. Since you need to aim (implied but not directly stated), you give up a valuable second attack with most weapons, thus this rule is not abused much in my game.

Secondly, called shots are less likely to hit, so 2 attacks at no DV bonus is often better than 2 attacks against enemies with high defense.

In my game this interpretation of the rules pretty much fixes it. Sure, it's still powerful with SS weapons, but that revolver better be good for some things, right?
deek
QUOTE (Naysayer)
Exactly.
A called shot can target a head, or any other vital area, for a +X DV, -X DP penalty. It doesn't say it automatically hits said vital area. That is what abstraction means in this context. If the player rolls some net hits and the target doesn't soak the damge, thus taking enough damage to overflow his condition monitor, then sure, headshot, man down.
If the target doesn't take enough damage to take him out cold, the the shot, although aimed at the head, didn't properly zero in right between the eyes or something. Or it did hit the head, but instead of splattering the poor npc's brains, it did some crazy bouncing on the skullbones, creating a nasty wound, but not insta-killing him.
It's simply that "Called Shot" != "Successful Headshot".

That actually clears it up for me...

I don't know why I never just used the word "target" before, as it made all the difference to my understanding.

I do have to agree with a prior post, if you have the dice pool, why not always make called shots? Although, I guess, that is exactly what high skilled shooters are always doing, now that I think about it...
Tarantula
I do like the idea that you can't take your dicepool into the negative to make a called shot w/ longshot. This prevents the "I call shot to bypass the citymasters armor and take it out in one shot with my ruger cause I'm mr. lucky."
James McMurray
Why'd you have to invoke the name? <watches and waits for Cain's arrival>

smile.gif
Cain
Already been here, sorry. smokin.gif
laughingowl
Yeah agree new house rule for any of my games..


You can not voluntarily take any direct negative die pool modifer for +effect, unless you actually have dice on the test...


I THINK right now called shot is the only one this is a direct die for X trade...

In my mind a 'burst' is not a direct modifer... sure it can have the 'effect' of X dice lost... and Y damage gained but the mechanics are not a straight trade...

If you made the equivilant of 'hasty shot' some how the reverse of 'aimed shot' (maybe along the line of a (you can make a paniced 'quick shot' going faster then normal.. trade one die on your attack, for a +1 increase to effective inititiave for this action only, you can only increase initiative by a maximum of your skill rating)

(hmm migh have to play test that....)

This again woulld be a direct 'giving up die' for "x effect' and again you could only do at most taking yoru die pool to zero ... (then making a longshot)...

While you COULD chose to 'run' while making a shot taking voluntary negative penalties...

In my games atleast if rules take a -x die pool penalty to achieve Y.... then you MUST have dice... (though I think I WOULD allow this to be edge dice from the long shot ...)

(I.E. if other penalties take you to negative dice pool.. but you aer 'Mr. Lucky'... with 8 edge (does genetech allow you to raise edge maximum? so is 9 possible)... you could once you declare taking a longshot... take you 8 edge dice... and chose a -4 die penalty and take a +4dv.... though you have to give up the 'edge' dice... not the infinite sized 'negative pool'
Cain
That's not the only problem. The issue is that twhen you do a +X/-X trade, you're going off at a 1:1 ratio, when the actual benefit is more of a +3/-1 tradeoff. If you've got 20 dice to trade (not difficult, considering many of the Dumpshock builds I've seen) you can trade off 10 dice for +10 damage on a heavy pistol, once again enabling you to theoretically take it out in one shot.
Jaid
QUOTE (Cain)
That's not the only problem. The issue is that twhen you do a +X/-X trade, you're going off at a 1:1 ratio, when the actual benefit is more of a +3/-1 tradeoff. If you've got 20 dice to trade (not difficult, considering many of the Dumpshock builds I've seen) you can trade off 10 dice for +10 damage on a heavy pistol, once again enabling you to theoretically take it out in one shot.

eh, they weren't that crazy... you can only trade in 4 dice max.

otherwise, the point (mostly) remains... you're actually getting something closer to a gain of 2/3 of a hit per die you trade in (1 less die on the roll means 1/3 less hits on average, which means 1/3 times on average you will deal the same DV either way).

my solution: -2 dice for +1 DV. you lose 2 dice to gain 1 DV, and come out 1/3 DV ahead if you hit. still worthwhile if you have a high dicepool, but now it's basically acting as a minor bonus for having such a ridiculously large dicepool in the first place... and it basically acts to reduce said absurdly large dicepool by 8 (which is a fairly significant change for most).
Fortune
QUOTE (Jaid @ Sep 7 2007, 10:36 AM)
eh, they weren't that crazy... you can only trade in 4 dice max.

I'm thinking that Cain is refering to this option ...

QUOTE (SR4 pg. 149-150)
Target an area not protected by armor. The attacking character receives a negative dice pool modifier equal to the target’s armor (better armor is more difficult to bypass). If the attack hits, the target’s armor is ignored for the damage resistance test; the target rolls only Body.
Cain
That's one, yes. But i was also referring to the +x/-X trades described in this thread. +4/-4 is enough of a problem, allowing it to go to the size of your entire pool is just disgusting.

The absolute worst personal armor I've seen is 18 ballistic. Given that the average specialist will have 20 dice, aims for a bit and then spends Edge, he'll still be likely to make the shot and keep exploding dice. No longshot involved.
Narmio
A simple house rule that has worked for us is changing the -1/+1 into -2/+1 (max -8/+4). Two dice per point of damage is a significantly better rate of return than you'd get from rolling, but, of course, you are less likely to hit.

It works for us. Called shots get used against easy NPCs who need to be put down in one shot. This often happens with pistiols - even with good skills and Ex-ex, you need to double tap an opponent to put him down. With -4 dice and +2 DV, if you don't miss him, you'll probably take him out.

If, on the other hand, he's quite capable, you go with two shots. Works for me.
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