Two to the head

jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 16, 2013 - 7:57am
Wife was looking for an arguement, work told me to go home because there wasn't enough to do so naturally i went to the movies on Sunday and watch Zero Dark Thirty. In the movie when the special forces were storming the compound they put two rounds into everyone they shot after the fact. That fact has been sitting at the back of my mind all week and shadow shack snapping the neck of the goon we just took down on the Serena Dawn got me really thinking about it. We dont really have this convention in rpgs because in part a lot of game mechanics are are open and visible to the players. So I was wondering if anyone hid details like a bad guy playing dead and jumping up to shoot PCs in the back forcing PCs to do two rounds at point blank to make sure?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!
Comments:

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
January 16, 2013 - 1:48pm
Conventionally, no...Gideon merely snapped the goon's neck because we rendered him unconcious and there wa a 100% guarantee that he'd eventually come to later on. Had we shot him or stabbed him until he dropped, that issue wouldn't have been on the table in most games.

Taking a "2 to the head" stance, after snapping his neck Gideon would have snapped it a second time. 


Furthermore, Hollywood guns benefit from something that all other guns lack: 
unlimited ammo. Wink
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 16, 2013 - 3:26pm
A family member of mine, as a medic for an army company in Korea (not during the war) had the policy of putting his pistol to the eyelid of any dead enemy and flicking the other eye with this left hand if the "dead" enemy blinked he was just playing dead and the trigger of the pistol was going to get squeezed. apparantly this was SOP in training for the North Koreans ever coming south and the Geneava convention does not require they take prisoners while still advancing to the objective thus he was going to ensure that anyone "dead" on the way to the objective would actually be dead.

He also told his LT to screw himself when the LT ordered that he put his name on his aid bag because historically the North Koreans singled out captured medics and killed them during the war. His plan was to attach the aid bag to the closest dead body if it ever looked like he was going to be captured.

I thought it sounded a bit cold blooded, at first, to put a pistol to a dead body and shoot it if it blinked but on further thought I figured anyone playing dead was doing so to kill my family member and better them then someone from my family.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
January 16, 2013 - 5:46pm
So he was in Korea but not during the war. When? Cause I was there in 86 and 97 for one year tours and 98 and 99 for a month long deployment.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 16, 2013 - 5:58pm
Early '90s and my Dad did a 1 year tour in 79

The only "dead" the medic dealt with was one American that got run over by a tank and being low man on the totem pole he got to body bag it which by the look on his face when he told me, it was not a pleasent experience. The word tank here could have meant an M113 as i know that he rode in one outfitted as an ambullance when they were not slogging through rice paddys fertilized with human crap. By the look on his face when he talked about the body bagging I just didn't have the heart to ask for any more details.

My father was in the Air Force and claims the war plan for the balloon going up with the North is for the south to hold out for 3 days till the B52s arrive from Okinawa and turn South Korea into an island. I was never really sure if he was just telling a story or not but when the North started the round of missile test recently he adamently assured me that the Air Force could and would do this.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
January 17, 2013 - 5:00am
Maybe the Air Force's plan but never gonna happen. One thing you realize when you get there is everything is not how it is presented. The North will never invade the South. Why should they, the Leadership has everything they want and live well like kings. Invading the South would only upset dreamland and awaken the people to the fact that they don't live in the Greatest Place on Earth like they have been told since birth.

I did get the impression in the 80s the South wanted to invade the North and reunite the country. In the 90s I got less of that. As more and more adults were born after the war into two separate countries one very rich and prosperous and more and more of the older generation died out. They felt less of a need to reunite. Nowadays it seems like a just keep them happy and out of our hair attitude rules both countries except for the occasional tantrum and demand for more food aid from the North.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

Putraack's picture
Putraack
January 17, 2013 - 5:26pm
I'm listening to a book-on-CD by a former SEAL operator, their standard tactic is supposed to be two the chest, then one to the head after the target drops. I can't remember NPCs playing dead, except for Kaefers in 2300AD. They were notorious for that, so PCs regularly shot them again. I do remember some NPCs playing dead, and then running away once the PCs left the room. Goblins, IIRC.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 17, 2013 - 6:39pm
Putraack wrote:
I'm listening to a book-on-CD by a former SEAL operator, their standard tactic is supposed to be two the chest, then one to the head after the target drops. I can't remember NPCs playing dead, except for Kaefers in 2300AD. They were notorious for that, so PCs regularly shot them again. I do remember some NPCs playing dead, and then running away once the PCs left the room. Goblins, IIRC.


I like that, especially with the goblins. I know players that would be really pissed about that.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Mother's picture
Mother
January 20, 2013 - 9:02pm


This thread reminds me of a line I enjoyed:
Two in the head and you know he's dead. - Charlie's (Morgan Freeman) instructions to his son Wesley (Chris Rock) in Nurse Betty.

Getting back to an earlier comment about the PCs knowing all the game mechanics, I disagree. Why would the PCs know if an enemy was dead? They only know the damage inflicted, not the STA of the target.  The playing dead thing, if used sparingly could be a good way to relieve the PCs of extra SEU. Kind of like booby traps, adds to the game when used properly but slows it down when overused.

Edit: for clarity


Ascent's picture
Ascent
January 20, 2013 - 4:50pm
Two shots to the head should be considered an automatic kill. A GM that lets an NPC survive after getting two shots to the head, is simply sadistic and unrealistic.

Suspension of disbelief is as important to gaming as any other entertainment. If you make it impossible to believe, the story fails.
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jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 20, 2013 - 5:46pm
I can see that with a hit location system and hits incompacitating the part of the body that they hit ie hit in the arm over a certain amount and the arm is useless- same with the leg but hit in the body and you go down or head and you go down. so an NPC is down and could still make a current STA check to raise his good arm and shoot well then you'll go ahead and make the RS chech at say +20 bonus to beat the wounded man in his desperate effort to raise his gun and cap him off.

I kind of like that but I have never really bothered with hit locations.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
January 20, 2013 - 6:04pm
Possibly but that would only apply to Humans and Yazirians.

Dralasite do not have "heads" per se. You would have to shot them in the floating organ which serves as a brain or other vital organ. Since these organs are not in the same spot I would recommend not shooting Dralasites but cutting a huge hole in them and letting them leak out.

Vrusk on the other hand have such large thoraxes that hits to them may not be that damaging. With eight legs losing one would not be as devastating as losing one to a human would be. Vrusk would need their own very different tables. But for the double tap not the head. With interior and exterior skeletons you may not penetrate even at short range. But their necks look pretty weak. Shoot or stab their.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

Mother's picture
Mother
January 20, 2013 - 9:12pm
Ascent wrote:
Two shots to the head should be considered an automatic kill. A GM that lets an NPC survive after getting two shots to the head, is simply sadistic and unrealistic.

Suspension of disbelief is as important to gaming as any other entertainment. If you make it impossible to believe, the story fails.


Whoa there. I hope you were not responding to my comment. I just re-read and realized I had rambled and jumped from topic to topic. I knew what I meant but edited for clarity.

The 'two in the head' was just a funny quote from a movie that I was reminded of when I read the title of this thread.  My comment was meant to be about the GM using NPCs/Enemy that play dead after being shot, speaking generically.  If a GM has a bad guy slip away after being shot and left for dead it can may the players more careful to check the body in the future.  I wasn't referring to head shots as I don't use specific hits; I don't think it's practical in an RPG. 2 in the head is more than sufficient to guarantee a kill.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 21, 2013 - 5:41am
Mother wrote:
I wasn't referring to head shots as I don't use specific hits; I don't think it's practical in an RPG. 2 in the head is more than sufficient to guarantee a kill.


I tend to agree about specific hits. I like the fast play of AD combat. Hit locations would slow it down and you'd have to have a second sheet of paper with the character outline and hit locations and how much damage a hit location can take before pain penalty and before it becomes useless (in the case of a leg or arm)
Its sure to slow play a little too.

This thread got me thinking about using hit locations but I suspect I'll still roll the old way.

What I have done is if the player rolls a critical hit then I do something extra like say, "Your gyrojet rounds hit him square in the face and he falls back into the helicopter but the gun he was aiming at you falls to the ground." - taken from a table top Crash on Volturnus where the players were all super stoked that one lucky shot got them a new pistol and drove off the pirate helicopter.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Ascent's picture
Ascent
January 21, 2013 - 6:15am
A headshot in a "two to the head" scenario is a point blank shot, because they walk up to the prone target and put two in the head. There is no complication. You don't need to roll for everything. Rolling dice is for random determination. If there is no random determination, there is no dice roll. You call it, it happens.
View my profile for a list of articles I have written, am writing, will write.
"It's yo' mama!" —Wicket W. Warrick, Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi
"That guy's wise." —Logray, Star Wars Ep.VI: Return of the Jedi
Do You Wanna Date My Avatar? - Felicia Day (The Guild)

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
January 21, 2013 - 12:08pm
jedion357 wrote:
Hit locations would slow it down and you'd have to have a second sheet of paper with the character outline and hit locations and how much damage a hit location can take before pain penalty and before it becomes useless (in the case of a leg or arm)
Its sure to slow play a little too.

That sounds suspiciously like canon Top Secret...uh, yeah --- no thanks. Wink
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
January 21, 2013 - 2:14pm
On the hit locations as a game mechanic, it does take a little extra space on the character sheet but having played RuneQuest for years which uses hit locations, I never found it slowed things down.  In fact, in many cases, it sped up combat since if an opponent took the max hit points in their head, chest, or abdomen then they were dead and that number is significantly less than their total hit points (25%, 40% and 40% respectively).  It actually makes combat faster and more deadly.
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Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
January 21, 2013 - 2:52pm
Possibly, but again that assumes a common physiology. Drals and vrusk don't have their vital organs in the same places as humans and yazirians, so separate tables are needed for each.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
January 21, 2013 - 3:28pm
True, I actually have all that worked out somewhere in the pile of papers behind me Wink.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 22, 2013 - 5:21am
Speaking of hit locations:

Just spotted that World Works (the cut and fold paper people) has Roll arena
http://www.worldworksgames.com/store/index.php?view=product&product=190

which is a dice dish with a paper insert for hit locations as well as other paper inserts for other functions.

I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!