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September 17, 2018 0 comments

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Clarification of Critical Strike Results

Hello!

I'm just looking for some rules clarification as to the effects of critical strikes. I know that in the rules that the GM can change the description of critical strikes to better reflect what is happening in combat, but there is a bit of a grey area that I have some questions on. Injuries or permeant effects resulting from a Critical Strike could use some touching up, I feel. For instance, on a critical strike of 127-129 on the Pierce table, it is stated that some of the effects are a -30 to all actions and that the arm is useless. So is the arm treated as dismembered, or is the arm only useless until the injury heals? Or a roll of 127-129 on the Cut Critical Strike table results in the target's foot being severed, yet the only penalties are a fair amount of Bleed, being Stunned, Knocked Prone, and a -50 penalty, yet the foot or leg is not considered useless and there are no movement speed penalties. Yet another example comes from a result of 141-146 on the Frost Critical Strikes Table, wherein the description says that both legs are frozen. Granted, the flavor text can be changed, but the listed effects are an extra thirty damage, being knocked prone, stunned, and a -100 to all actions which would immediately knock a person unconscious. Yet there is no mention of the target's legs being useless from such an attack.

I really don't want this to sound horribly negative. I've been reading through this game and I quite enjoy it. I'm planning to run a campaign using this system in the future. That being said, I feel like this is a major area that could truly benefit from either some rules clarifications or maybe a rework. Should a GM completely ignore the descriptive text and base the favor of the attack around the effects of the Critical Strike result, or should the flavor text listed be factored into the description of the attack even if the resulting drawbacks don't align with the aforementioned injury? Furthermore, if a Critical Strike results in a limb being rendered useless, does that mean that in some cases the limb should be treated as dismembered or that the limb in question is only useless so long as the injury remains unhealed? I really do like the combat system of this game, I just feel that it's too vague as is.

No worries, we're here to solve your doubts!

Yes, if a limb is described as useless, severed, destroyed, etc, it should be considered dismembered on top of the other penalties described by the critical strike.

Also, note that a -100 total penalties means the character is Incapacitated, but not necessarily unconscious. So, in the case of the Frost critical, the character is stuck there, suffers from the Incapacitated Condition, but may be still aware of what's happening around them.

Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.
Quote from Space Pirate Buzaso on November 23, 2020, 7:55 am
Hello Space Pirate!
As you already stated, critical strikes description are meant to be like a suggestion and the GM is likely to change them to better reflect what's going one. Sometimes it is perfectly acceptable also to switch one result with another of the same or similar effect or maybe even swapping a critical type for another - for example if a Cut result may be more fitting than a Pierce result in a particular situation you're more than welcome to swap the two.
So basically being the critical strikes description more suggestions that hard rules it all comes to interpreting them as you see fit - thus my interpretation is no more "official" than yours!

Hello!

I'm just looking for some rules clarification as to the effects of critical strikes. I know that in the rules that the GM can change the description of critical strikes to better reflect what is happening in combat, but there is a bit of a grey area that I have some questions on. Injuries or permeant effects resulting from a Critical Strike could use some touching up, I feel. For instance, on a critical strike of 127-129 on the Pierce table, it is stated that some of the effects are a -30 to all actions and that the arm is useless. So is the arm treated as dismembered, or is the arm only useless until the injury heals?

I would say that the arm is rendered useless by the pain and harm of the deep cut/pierce but not severed; thus it should resume full functionality once the injury had been treated and healed.

Or a roll of 127-129 on the Cut Critical Strike table results in the target's foot being severed, yet the only penalties are a fair amount of Bleed, being Stunned, Knocked Prone, and a -50 penalty, yet the foot or leg is not considered useless and there are no movement speed penalties.

I would say that a severed foot is considered useless since it went missing whole 🙂 It seemed a little redundant to further specify this.

Yet another example comes from a result of 141-146 on the Frost Critical Strikes Table, wherein the description says that both legs are frozen.
Granted, the flavour text can be changed, but the listed effects are an extra thirty damage, being knocked prone, stunned, and a -100 to all actions which would immediately knock a person unconscious. Yet there is no mention of the target's legs being useless from such an attack.

At -100 penalty, basically the target is completely incapacitated. They could maybe crawl on the ground some inches but certainly I will not allow the character to stand up and walk away as if nothing happened! Again: maybe a little redundant to specify the legs are made useless?

I really don't want this to sound horribly negative. I've been reading through this game and I quite enjoy it. I'm planning to run a campaign using this system in the future. That being said, I feel like this is a major area that could truly benefit from either some rules clarifications or maybe a rework. Should a GM completely ignore the descriptive text and base the favor of the attack around the effects of the Critical Strike result, or should the flavor text listed be factored into the description of the attack even if the resulting drawbacks don't align with the aforementioned injury?

The flavor text is there just for this: flavor. The game rules will work perfectly even without any description being added to the numericals.
The GM is allowed or even encouraged to disregard these flavor texts as they see fit.

Furthermore, if a Critical Strike results in a limb being rendered useless, does that mean that in some cases the limb should be treated as dismembered or that the limb in question is only useless so long as the injury remains unhealed?

I will say that on a "limb useless" notation the limb should be treated as temporarily disabled more by pain than deep tissue damage and it could be restored to full functionality once the injury had been mended and the target completely healed.

I really do like the combat system of this game, I just feel that it's too vague as is.

Thank you, you're welcome!

For no one in this world you can trust, my son. Not man, not woman, not beast. But STEEL... this, you can trust!

Thank you very much for your responses Topramesk and SOLIDToM!

Yes, if a limb is described as useless, severed, destroyed, etc, it should be considered dismembered on top of the other penalties described by the critical strike.

 

I would say that the arm is rendered useless by the pain and harm of the deep cut/pierce but not severed; thus it should resume full functionality once the injury had been treated and healed.

Both of these seem like good suggestions, though I lean more towards the dismembered condition for a fair portion of these injuries. I suppose I just wanted some concrete answer to fall back on, once flavor text was changed and the effects were read out.

I would say that a severed foot is considered useless since it went missing whole 🙂 It seemed a little redundant to further specify this.

I meant to say incapacitated in regards to the -100 penalty but it seemingly slipped my mind as I was typing. The lasting injury of a dismembered foot also managed to slip my mind. 🙁

Thank you again for your quick responses, I really appreciate this team's commitment to answering questions and responding to posts in regards to the game.