I like the idea of rolling a random hit location, but the default 3d6 GURPS table always felt clunky. It’s just too many dice at once for me. Additionally, the critical hit table has disappointed me many times with “nothing happens” or “double damage”, which is not worth opening the table and rolling, in my opinion. So I’ve made my own!
The basic idea is to add a d8 to your to-hit roll, to determine if you hit the body, head, or a limb. More vulnerable areas like vitals or hand are possibilities for a critical hit. And if you score a critical hit, roll 1d6 under appropriate hit location for effect (plus the standard “no active defense”). Keep in mind, unless you’re playing very gritty, those should be all optional. That means if a PC wants to punch someone unconscious and rolls “Eye”, they can just hit face instead.
Now, this is a quick reference sheet, it begs to elaborate on some entries:
- Turnaround is an effect inspired by the Soul Calibur fighting games, and means you gain short control over your opponent’s positioning, too short to count as a grapple: you turn your victim around, their back towards you. On a hex map, you may turn your opponent by 2 faces of a hex and make an extra step around them, regardless of your maneuver. If you have further attacks this turn, they all count as a “Runaround” Attack (p. B391).
- The entries of “+ a grapple” mean you may additionally, for free, end up grappling your opponent, either in an unarmed grapple (this may unready your weapon) or armed one (p. MA67).
- The enry “crushing deafens, other scars” is based on original Critical Head Blow Table, p. B556, entry 12, 13. It’s supposed reduce appearance by two levels for burning and corrosion damage, and just one level otherwise. I left the detail to abbreviate.
- The grapples pretty much add another attack, limited in choice – to add those things happening and to give grapplers some awesome momets of “you drop your opponent to the floor before they could even flinch”.
- Assume that eyes and vitals can be hit by any type of attack (on a crit). This is already the case in the original Critical Head Blow table and I don’t think it breaks anything.
Unfortunately, I do not have enough ideas to make a ranged critical hits table.
To encourage my players to use this table, I’ve made that the default attack, and added a -1 penalty to hit the torso. This has created and odd case where a fully trained Targeted Attack to Vitals is more likely to hit than a hit to the torso (the same -1 penalty, and a miss by one hits the torso). This doesn’t bother me, as Targeted Attack already has it’s drawbacks, and it’s a slight boost to rather underused thrusts.
The first session with the table suggested that players will expect a wounded limb to be more vulnerable. Thus, I encourage you to use Accumulated Wounds, p. B420.
Normally it’s harder to hit a shield-bearing arm. I didn’t care to make it so with this table, but I have some ideas to explore:
- If the d8 points to a shield-bearing arm, the attack roll needs to have succeeded by 1+Defense Bonus. Otherwise, it hits the shield.
- If the d8 points to a shield-bearing arm, roll an extra 1d6. If you roll Defense Bonus or lower, the shield is hit. If you roll higher, the arm is hit.
Let me know if some entries are unclear or you have some more interesting ideas, especially for ranged combat.