Twisting The Blade

Combat Fighter System Review

Street Fighting and Self Defense Guide

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A favorite trick of many villains (and a few vengeful heroes) is to stick a weapon into an enemy and then twist the blade, causing intense pain and a worse wound. To do this in HERO System combat, the attacking character must declare his intention to do so before he makes the initial attack; furthermore, this maneuver can only be used with Short or Medium length weapons. This attack is at -3 OCV (to reflect both the difficulty of impaling someone this way and certain game balance considerations), and must do BODY damage to the target. If the target is Knocked Back, the attempt automatically fails. If the attack succeeds, does BODY and does no Knockback, and the target cannot escape (see below), then in his next Phase the attacker may twist the blade in the wound, doing half of the weapon's base damage (i.e., damage without STR or Damage Classes added to it), against which the target gets no defenses at all. Twisting the blade in this way is a half-Phase action, so the character can make another attack if one is possible (however, the blade can only be twisted in the wound once per Phase).

The victim of an impaling attack of this sort can escape having the blade twisted in several ways. First, he can Knock Out, Stun or kill his attacker with an attack of his own. Because the attacker has to be extremely close to try an attack of this sort, he is at -2 DCV against attacks that the target makes against him. Second, he can use a full-Phase action to try to move off of the weapon without injuring himself. This requires the character to step away from his attacker and make a DEX Roll at -1 per BODY taken from the initial attack. If the DEX Roll succeeds, the target has extracted the blade from himself without sustaining further injury. If the roll fails, the target takes damage just as if the attacker had twisted the blade. If the target character is not able to move away from his attacker (for example, if he's been backed against a wall), then he cannot remove the blade from himself in this fashion.

Example: Isamu (CV 7) and Takeshi (CV 6), two kenjutsuka, are archenemies and hate one another bitterly. They begin to duel with katanas. Isamu decides that he will try to hit Takeshi and then twist the blade, to make Takeshi suffer. Isamu uses a Lightning Stroke; his OCV is 7 (base of 7, +2 for the maneuver, +1 for the weapon, -3 for the attempt to impale). He rolls a 9 and hits. The weapon does a base 1 ftd6 HKA, and Isamu is STR 10, so the attack does 2d6+1 HKA total. He rolls 8 for damage, penetrating Takeshi's 4 PD Armor and doing 4 BODY. The Hit Location Roll determines that Takeshi has been struck in the stomach, so he takes 32 STUN against his defenses. Isamu's katana is now stuck in Takeshi's body.

Takeshi decides that he'd better get offofIsamu's katana before he's hurt worse. He decides to try a DEX Roll at -4 (-1 per BODY taken), and fails miserably. Because ofhis failure, he takes halfofthe weapon's base damage, with no defense. Isamu rolls Y2d6+1 for damage, for a total of 3 BODY and 12 STUN, which Takeshi takes all of (he gets no defense). In Isamu's next Phase, he twists the blade, doing 3 more BODY and 12 STUN. Takeshi is unconscious and bleeding to death.

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