Friday, April 17, 2015

D&D Hacks: Aiming & Called Shots

After reading the latest Behind the Screens article about D20 Modern I've been thinking about a new mechanic they presented there, aiming.  The basics of the mechanic is that when using firearms a character needs to spend a bonus action to aim in order to add their proficiency bonus.  While this is definitely more realistic to me it's not to the level of heroic I prefer to play at.  That said the concept itself of aiming I am a fan of and created a spark of inspiration in me.  As with most "hacks" this is an optional home brew rule so use it if you like or don't.  One of the greatest parts in my opinion of the newest edition of D&D is that it's all about picking the rules for YOUR table.  Anyways here's what I have...

The Basics
Before going any further I want to state that these rules allow ranged characters to me considerably more accurate than melee.  This is a dramatic increase in power and ton compensate a minor adjustment needs to be made to ranged attacks in general.  Ranged weapons do NOT add your Dex (or other attribute) modifier to damage with some exceptions in the called shot section below. Instead they add half their proficiency bonus to damage in addition to any damage bonuses they may gain.  Yea this can end up with a high leveled character gaining +3 damage when they only have a +2 modifier, but the odds of a character that high of level with only a +2 or lower and taking such an attack are unlikely and rare enough I'd allow for the bonus.

Similar to the D20 Modern rule a character can use their bonus action to aim when making a ranged attack.  The key difference is that everyone already has their proficiency bonus with ranged weapons (Meaning this rule can also be used with bows and cross bows).  Instead of adding their proficiency bonus a character instead gains an additional bonus equal to half their proficiency bonus to all attacks make that turn.

Full Aim
If a character chooses to spend an entire round aiming and thus consuming their move action, main action, & bonus actions they can instead double their proficiency bonus for all ranged attacks on their next turn as long as they don't move before any of their attacks.  This obviously is an improved version of aiming and thus  does not stack with the Aim bonus action.

Called Shots
While a character with the Sharp Shooter edge can make an amazing vitals shot of +10 damage and
the Battle Master fighter has several maneuvers that can do similar tasks I do believe anyone should be allowed to get creative with their attacks.
-Leg Shot: A character can take a -2 penalty to instead shoot for the target's leg.  If hit the target must make a DC 10 Strength Save or be knocked prone.  The target also only takes half damage.
-Disarming Shot: A character can take a -2 penalty to instead shoot the targets weapon.If hit the target must make a DC 10 Strength Save or drop their weapon.  The target takes no damage from this attack.
-Head Shot: A character can take a -4 penalty to instead shoot a targets head.  Head shots add the characters attribute modifier as a bonus to the damage roll.

Battle Master
As you can see two of the called shots are similar to the disarm and trip maneuvers.  The differences being that those maneuvers do full damage and do not impose the penalty of the called shots.

Sharp Shooter
While head shot is similar to the sharp shooter's attack option you can see that it is very unlikely that a character will have +10 from the attribute modifiers.  That said sharp shooters can choose to make their selective shot in combination with a head shot.  This will result in a total -9 to the attack, but grain a bonus equal to their attribute bonus +10.

As you can see this leaves ranged characters a little hampered on their damage output, but greatly opens them up for flexibility while also rewarding them for patience.  As I said before this is a house rule, so if it's not your cup of tea feel free not t use it.  As fr me, I'll be play testing these rules with my group next week.

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