New Hit Locations

Martial artists fond of surgical precision in combat, especially those buying Targeted Attacks (p. 68) and Combinations (p. 80), won't always be happy with the options under Hit Location (p. B398). The GM may allow them to target a few additional hit locations.

Some blows to these new locations count as major wounds, causing HT rolls to avoid knockdown and stunning - see Major Wounds and Knockdown and Stunning (p. B420). Crippling injuries always count as major wounds and render the body part useless. For recovery times, see Duration of Crippling Injuries (p. B422). Actual dismemberment (p. B421) is permanent!

These rules assume a square hit on the body part. Hits to the surrounding hit location often overlap these targets, but only a direct hit gets the special effects below.

Injury Tolerance may render some locations nonexistent: joints, spine, and veins and arteries for Diffuse or Homogenous; veins/arteries for No Blood; ear, jaw, and nose for No Head; and veins/arteries in the neck for No Neck. Disadvantages may have similar effects. Invertebrate removes the spine; No Legs means no joints or veins/arteries in the legs, either; and No Manipulators eliminates joints and veins/arteries in all limbs.

Ear (-7): A fighter who can attack his foe's face or skull can specifically target an ear instead. Treat this as a face hit except when making a cutting attack specifically to slice off the ear. In that case, injury over HP/4 is lost but has no special effect . . . but twice this amount removes the ear. This is a major wound, but without the -5 to knockdown rolls for a face hit. Missing ears (one or both) permanently reduce Appearance by a level. A miss by 1 hits the torso. To use a cupped hand to concuss the ear and cause deafness, see Ear Clap (p. 70).

Jaw (-6): The jaw is part of the face and only valid as a separate target from in front. Treat a hit as an ordinary face hit, except that a crushing blow gives the victim an extra -1 to knockdown rolls. A miss by 1 hits the torso.

Joints (-5 or -7): Limbs and extremities contain vulnerable joints that an attacker can target with a crushing, cutting, piercing, or tight-beam burning attack. The roll to hit has an extra -3: -5 for an arm or a leg, -7 for a hand or a foot. This allows crippling with injury over HP/3 (not HP/2) for a limb, or injury over HP/4 (not HP/3) for an extremity. Excess injury is lost. Dismemberment still requires twice the injury needed to cripple the whole body part - not just the joint. HT rolls to recover from crippling joint injuries are at -2. A miss by 1 hits the limb or extremity, but not the joint.

Nose (-7): The nose is part of the face, and a valid target only from the front. Treat a hit as a face hit, but injury over HP/4 breaks the nose. This counts as a major wound to the face and mangles the nose - the victim has No Sense of Smell/Taste (p. B146) until the injury heals. It's possible to angle a cutting attack to lop off the nose, in which case crippling injury counts as an ordinary major wound (no -5 to knockdown for the face) and injury in excess of this is lost. However, twice this amount takes off the nose, which reduces Appearance by two levels permanently. In all cases, a miss by 1 hits the torso.

Spine (-8): The spine (in the torso) is a hard target - narrow, bony, and buried in meat - but injury there can end a fight. Crushing, cutting, impaling, piercing, and tight-beam burning attacks from behind can target the spine. The vertebrae provide an additional DR 3. Use the wounding modifiers for the torso, but any hit for enough injury to inflict a shock penalty requires a knockdown roll, at -5 if a major wound. Injury in excess of HP cripples the spine. This causes automatic knockdown and stunning, plus all the effects of Bad Back (Severe) (p. B123) and Lame (Paraplegic) (p. B141). Roll twice after the fight to recover, once to avoid gaining each of these disadvantages on a lasting or permanent basis! A miss by 1 hits the torso.

Veins and Arteries (-5 or -8): A fighter with a cutting, impaling, piercing, or tight-beam burning weapon can target a major blood vessel in the neck (jugular vein or carotid artery), arm (brachial artery), or leg (femoral artery). The attack has an extra -3: -5 for a limb, -8 for the neck. The sudden blood loss increases the wounding modifier for that hit location by 0.5; e.g., a cutting attack gets x2 instead of x1.5 against a limb, or x2.5 instead of x2 for the neck. Since the intent is to start bleeding - not to destroy bone and muscle - ignore crippling effects and damage limits for limbs. Realistically, such injuries can cause almost instant unconsciousness, with death coming in seconds. The GM may rule that Mortal Wounds (p. B423) doesn't apply and that any failed HT roll to avoid death means the victim collapses and bleeds out mess-ily. This is a "special effect" of dying from a vein or artery hit. A miss by 1 hits the neck, arm, or leg, as appropriate.

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