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Thread: Heart Pierce

  1. #1
    Whalejudge@aol.co
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    Heart Pierce

    I've been wondering for a while just what constitutes the "killing blow"
    piercing of the heart required for bloodtheft. Does there need to be some
    sort of called shot? Would not such a hit actually kill the person,
    regardless of hit points? Would a stabbing through the heart one an opponent
    down below 0 hp but not yet at negative 10 do? I'm about to start my first BR
    campaign, so I'd like to know.

  2. #2
    Kai Beste
    Guest

    Heart Pierce

    > I've been wondering for a while just what constitutes the "killing blow"
    > piercing of the heart required for bloodtheft. Does there need to be some
    > sort of called shot? Would not such a hit actually kill the person,
    > regardless of hit points? Would a stabbing through the heart one an opponent
    >
    > down below 0 hp but not yet at negative 10 do? I'm about to start my first B
    > R
    > campaign, so I'd like to know.

    Basically, a called shot (-4 to hit) is required to pierce an
    opponent through the heart. This attack has to bring the victim down
    to 0 or less hitpoints. Only then can bloodtheft occur. Stabbing a
    defenseless (bound, held etc.) victim through the heart will kill him
    or her, and bloodtheft can occur (remember killing defenseless people
    for their blood is an evil act). Stabbing somebody through the heart
    in combat is much more difficult, as the victim will probably try to
    avoid the blow. If the damage fails to kill the victim, he or she has
    probably turned aside at the last possible moment, too late to avoid
    the blow, but just enough to make the blow miss the heart. Only
    normal damage is allied.
    If the "death's door" rule (characters are unconscious at 0hp and die
    at - 10) is in play I'd rule that as long as somebody is still
    breathing (above -10) bloodtheft can occur.

    hope this helps

    Kai

  3. #3
    Aaron Sanderson
    Guest

    Heart Pierce

    >I've been wondering for a while just what constitutes the "killing
    blow"
    >piercing of the heart required for bloodtheft. Does there need to be
    some
    >sort of called shot? Would not such a hit actually kill the person,
    >regardless of hit points? Would a stabbing through the heart one an
    opponent
    >down below 0 hp but not yet at negative 10 do? I'm about to start my
    first BR
    >campaign, so I'd like to know.

    Depends on the DM. In our campaign being stabbed through the heart
    means that you are stabbed through the heart and life ends, regardless
    of hp. The way I see hp is that it is a measure of your 'combat'
    survival skills. However, being crushed, covered in liquid metal, being
    beheaded or stabbed through the heart goes around a person's normal hp.

    just my 2 ep,
    AmS.


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  4. #4
    Tim Nutting
    Guest

    Heart Pierce

    | I've been wondering for a while just what constitutes the "killing blow"
    | piercing of the heart required for bloodtheft. Does there need to be some
    | sort of called shot? Would not such a hit actually kill the person,
    | regardless of hit points? Would a stabbing through the heart one an opponent
    | down below 0 hp but not yet at negative 10 do? I'm about to start my first
    BR
    | campaign, so I'd like to know.

    Reduced to the most basic principals, the sword can be used to attack in two
    fashions, the stab/thrust, and the slash/cut. There are thousands of
    variations on moves and patterns that have been implemented in the last
    two-and-a-half millenia that mankind has been attempting to kill one another
    with these weapons, but in essence that is about it.

    The biggest differences between the two are this:
    The stab kills the target. (note that it only takes 3" of blade to kill a man)
    The cut stops the fight.

    Contrary to Hollywood (some of them get it right) when a person is run through,
    they do not drop and die neatly. However, they are just as certainly dead then
    and there unless they are tended to as if they were run through a dozen more
    times, it just takes a little while. On the other hand, if you put a 4" gash
    down a target's arm, the pain is quite intense (usually) and the target will
    more than likely withdraw. Granted, this is not allways the case, but it is a
    likely turn of events.

    I remember a reported case of a female officer being shot through the heart and
    being consciouse enough to kill her assailant with her own sidearm. She later
    returned to active duty (the details are very long), though it took over a year
    to recover from the injuries.

    The critical part of the rules in bloodtheft states that the "killing blow"
    must be through the heart. So, then, whatever the method (and usually a called
    shot would work best), the only way that bloodtheft will happen is if the
    victim is allready very close to dying. The rules for "hovering on Death's
    door" have been suggested, and that works well. In fact about the only blow
    that will kill a person outright, that can be achieved with a sword, is one
    that in some way renders the brain inoperable. I suppose that if the blade
    were left in the victims heart, then when the victim eventually (a few rounds
    later) goes down and actually perished, then bloodtheft would happen.

    There is a problem here, though. Allowing specific damage through a critical
    hit will destroy your game faster than giving the players 20 wishes each.
    After you allow them to run victims through the heart, what is to stop them
    from castration and the specific nasty effect, or how about specifically
    cutting off their head, or... the list can go on forever, but run it through
    and figure out whether you even want to allow that. Trust me, it isn't worth
    it. Let the players go through combat normally, and keep track, if the last
    blow takes the target below -10 h.p., then the force has killed the injured
    victim outright and the spark is lost.

    Good luck, and good gaming!
    Tim Nutting

  5. #5
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    Heart Pierce

    In a message dated 98-09-30 11:31:20 EDT, you write:

  6. #6
    The Olesens
    Guest

    Heart Pierce

    LeeHa1854@aol.com wrote:

    > In a message dated 98-09-30 11:31:20 EDT, you write:
    >
    > BR
    > campaign, so I'd like to know. >>
    >
    > {lurk mode off}
    > I've been running for a while, but the situation has never come up. I think
    > I would play it as a called shot (+1 to initiative, -4 to hit, maybe -8 for
    > very small target?). It would have to kill, whether you rule that 0 or -10 is
    > dead. I would say that once below 0, there might be 1-2 rounds to get in a
    > "killing blow." Damage rolls would not be necessary in that case.
    >

    Perhaps you should have to make a called shot but only deal a certian amount of damage. I
    mean wether you have blood spirting out of your heart from a rapier wound or it was
    removed by a lance, it doesn't make a diffrence. Even a 45th level fighter would die if
    he had no heart (literally, of course). Here is my idea:

    Weapon Type Damage Required
    Buldeoning/Something 6
    Piercing 3
    Slashing 5

    I have reasons but I don't want to explain, figure it out. I guess you would also have to
    make it a -8 to hit. Now to keep people from killing each other on the first blow for
    bloodtheft, how about saying you need a -10 called shot but as he weakens (guard lowers)
    the penalty reduces.

    Just my 2pp (there's one I haven't seen)

    Andrew

  7. #7
    Gary V. Foss
    Guest

    Heart Pierce

    Whalejudge@aol.com wrote:

    > I've been wondering for a while just what constitutes the "killing blow"
    > piercing of the heart required for bloodtheft. Does there need to be some
    > sort of called shot? Would not such a hit actually kill the person,
    > regardless of hit points? Would a stabbing through the heart one an opponent
    > down below 0 hp but not yet at negative 10 do? I'm about to start my first BR
    > campaign, so I'd like to know.

    I have two methods of handling this. First, it can be the result of a called shot
    (-4 to hit) that does enough damage to reduce the person hit to 0 or less hit
    points. I play with the -10 rule, but called shots are exceptions to that rule in
    my campaign. A character hit with this kind of called shot is dead instantly.

    Second, if the to hit roll is a natural 20 and the damage reduces the person hit
    to 0 or less I handle it as a pierced heart. In my non-BR campaign this results
    in an "instant death" of various kinds. Head cut off, neck broke, spine snapped,
    whatever gruesome demise I feel like extolling in the context of the game. This
    is to reflect that sometimes this kind of killing blow would happen without
    particular attention being paid by the attacker. In my BR game, however, I almost
    always make this attack result in a pierced heart. I think because of the nature
    of the BR setting fighting styles studied by scions would tend to emphasize this
    kind of attack, so that is the justification for it.

    Gary

  8. #8
    The Olesens
    Guest

    Heart Pierce


  9. #9
    Mark A Vandermeulen
    Guest

    Heart Pierce

    On Fri, 2 Oct 1998, The Olesens wrote:

    > Besides, how often does bloodtheft occur? I have had it thrice so far
    in my 6+ month long
    > campaign and both times I, the DM, set it up. It was awhile ago but I
    think I ruled they
    > had to be at less than 3 hp. If you want to make bloodtheft easier,
    try making 0 to -4 hp
    > give the victim the condition of dying (losses a hit point every round
    unit he passes out
    > at -5) so he cannot defend himself so only gets AC from magic and armor
    and would count
    > tword some to hit + for the PCs.

    I've only ever had one bloodtheft attempt by a PC, and that was by
    accident. The theif (who had already suggested that they put a wounded
    ranger they had encountered and failed to heal out of his misery, and by
    the way he'd be happy to do it) was cornered in a fight in a dark room and
    was facing a much better opponent. Fortunately, his opponent has just been
    surprized out of sleep, and while he had his long sword, he didn't have
    any armour on. Any way, the NPC was still quite capable of killing the PC
    theif handily (who had lost his short sword, and was now fighting with
    only his dagger). Then the player rolled a 20 to hit and rolled maximum
    damage, so I made him make a system shock roll and described a suitably
    Highlander-esque bloodtheft scene, and he rose about 6 BL points. I did it
    mostly because it was a truely dramatic point for it to happen, and
    because it advanced the story well--there were already tensions in the
    group between the LG fighter and the theif over whether it was ethical to
    commit bloodtheft, and I knew that this would through throw fuel into that
    fire. And it did, there was some excellent role-playing that night.

    I guess what I'm saying is that you should only allow bloodtheft to occur
    during dramatically-appropriate moments. A called shot is fine, but I
    would only allow it to automatically kill an opponent if it fit into the
    dramatic feel of the story, and made sense in the plot (however loosely I
    have it defined in my head). This rule is not going to be much help to
    those who want a completely universal and mechanistic rule for everything
    that happens in every situation, but I find it makes the feel of the
    role-playing much more suitable (at least for my tastes).

    > On a side note-could a bloodungry sniper attach a string to his arrow
    then hit the regent
    > who is giving a speach in the heart and drain his blood?

    I would like to say that only metal has the properties of being able to
    carry the "magnetic effluent" of the blood between two combatants. Perhaps
    a few BL points would spill over between the two if a wooden lance was
    used, but to get the full benefit of the blood drain, and metal connection
    must exist between the two. Use that rule if you like.

    > Also, when sons (hiers) inherit thier father's (regent's) bloodline
    what do they do? Or
    > have I just been reading all this wrong? Assuming a ceremony of
    vassalage is used to do
    > "safe" bloodtheft, but the donor has 10 more strength points, wouldn't
    it be better to
    > unbloodize the reciver then transfer the bloodline? Would that take
    two ceremonies?

    I'm not sure quite what you mean here. The ceremony of investiture takes
    care of a small problem, in that regents who are able to raise their BL
    scores w/ RP's are likely to be higher in BL point than their heirs when
    they die and the heir is ready to take over (in fact, if you think about
    it, it is quite likely that the oldest heir actually has a LOWER bloodline
    than her younger siblings). The ceremony of Investiture corrects this by
    transfering not only the Regency of the Domain, but also the former
    ruler's bloodline strength, thus bumping up the inheritor to the BL
    strength of the retiring regent.

    > Finally, kind of an odd question, what would happen to blooded people
    with lukemia (sp?)

    My initial reaction is to say that lieukemia doesn't occur in Cerilia,
    because I don't what to have to worry about such things. However, there
    may be some interesting ideas there, which you could design and write up.
    You could also do something interesting with the "bleeding disease"
    (hemophilia) that traditionally affected European nobility because they
    were so inbreed. That might have some interesting effects on blooded
    persons as well.

    Mark VanderMeulen
    vander+@pitt.edu

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Heart Pierce

    While I think of it, I always wanted to throw in some special effets
    whenever a scion is slain, sort of a lightning-and-smoke show. This would be
    more intense if it involved bloodtheft. Think about the death scenes in the
    "Highlander" movies, and you'll know what I mean.
    So far in my Giantdowns game, there have been 2 scion (npc) deaths, but
    neither resulted in bloodtheft (one in a shower of arrows, the other in a
    deadfall trap).
    In theory, I have to agree with TimN. that called shots and/or critical
    hits can hurt a game, I am fortunate that my current players hardly ever use
    them.
    I have to agree with Mark V.'s point that bloodtheft could also occur at
    dramatically appropriate moments. I have such a moment in mind in the future,
    since one of my PC's doesn't yet realize that he is a royal bastard.
    Changing the topic a little, does anyone have ideas for detecting a
    bloodline? I ruled that good ol' Detect Magic will pull it off, in addition
    to Know Bloodline. If someone doesn't know if his opponent is a scion, how
    would he know to attempt bloodtheft? Obviously, the Bloodform and Bloodmark
    abilities will give it away, but in other cases?

    Lee.

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