Impale Question

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Postby HalfOrc HalfBiscuit » Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:17 am

Deleriad wrote:Personally, having read this thread, my rule would be:
If the Impaler fails the Brawn roll to withdraw the weapon no damage is done and he loses his grip on the weapon.

Writing it that way gives an hard-coded 'explanation' for why no damage was done. For someone new to the ruleset it answers the "why" question. On a gamist front it gives a balance of risks to Impale that will make players think twice.
I think that's a very good call. I will (almost certainly) be following suit.
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Postby Morgan d'Barganfore » Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:17 pm

Nicely nailed by Deleriad and Dan.
Thank you guys!
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Postby Redcrow » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:09 pm

Dan True wrote: Also, if an arrow has already penetrated and dealt, say, 3 damage. Then failing to pull it out should probably not deal 8... That should only be dealt when he succeeds the roll.
I disagree here as well. Remember that the Goal of the Brawn roll is not to do additional damage. The Goal is the removal of the weapon from the wound. The additional damage is merely incidental and is really only based on the situation of having a sharp weapon deep inside soft tissue. I think this is where people are getting hung up on things as they seem to think the additional damage is a part of the goal of the Brawn test and it really isn't.

Its like cooking over an open fire. The goal being to cook yourself something to eat; and whether you succeed and prepare a delicious meal or fail and burn it to a blackened cinder has no bearing on the fact that you will feel the heat from the flame while cooking over it. In fact you would have to go out of your way and take extreme care NOT to feel the heat from the open flame. Just as you would have to take extreme care NOT to do damage when trying to remove a weapon from a wound. In RQII that extreme care would be First Aid or Surgery and even that is no guarantee that additional damage won't be done which goes a long way toward showing just how easily additional damage can be done even when being very careful.

While I can't claim to have ever been Impaled before, I have personally been stabbed twice with a knife. (Also shot once with a .22 in the leg) Both times the doctor told me I was lucky. The first time the knife narrowly missed my lung and the second time it narrowly missed my kidney. Applying this to an Impale would be like having a weapon do minor damage on first penetration but be so close to hitting something major that it wouldn't take much effort in twisting and yanking to hit something vital and turn a relatively minor wound into something much much worse. So I believe it is absolutely possible to do a fairly small amount of damage upon first penetration and something much more serious on a failed (or successful) attempt at withdrawal. Arteries and organs are packed into the body relatively tightly but its still possible to miss them upon initial penetration, but hit something major close by while trying to remove it.

Admittedly my experience is a bit limited as it was merely minor stab wounds (though it didn't feel minor to me at all) and not a full on Impale where the weapon got stuck deep inside. But I think its a good example of what we are discussing and how things could easily go from minor to serious relatively easily.
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Postby Jujitsudave » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:56 pm

Whoa! Redcrow has a checkered past! I agree with Redcrow, it's a serious thing but it does need a bit of balance. Specifically, I think it would be perfectly reasonable to do damage on a failed impale removal but maybe making it something that requires a full round to remove the weapon instead of 1 CA, not allowing impaled foes to change ranges without further damage to themselves and/or only making impale possible on a serious wound or greater are possible options.
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Postby Redcrow » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:31 pm

Jujitsudave wrote:Whoa! Redcrow has a checkered past!
Oh, the stories I could tell... you have no idea. :lol:
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Postby Dan True » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:51 pm

Redcrow wrote: So I believe it is absolutely possible to do a fairly small amount of damage upon first penetration and something much more serious on a failed (or successful) attempt at withdrawal. Arteries and organs are packed into the body relatively tightly but its still possible to miss them upon initial penetration, but hit something major close by while trying to remove it.
That does make sense, I will grant you that.

I still disagree that every attempt should deal damage though . It simply doesn't allow for all the possible scenarios where you don't deal damage - either by failing to grab the shaft, hands slipping in blood, the opponent holding the spear stuck so it won't do more damage etc.
A rule should be able to handle all those situations as well...

I can agree that it should be an opposed brawn roll though. That will also help to illustrate what the roll is actually trying to model.

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Postby Redcrow » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:14 pm

Dan True wrote: I still disagree that every attempt should deal damage though . It simply doesn't allow for all the possible scenarios where you don't deal damage - either by failing to grab the shaft, hands slipping in blood, the opponent holding the spear stuck so it won't do more damage etc.
A rule should be able to handle all those situations as well...
I agree there are all sorts of variables that could end in different results. Thats just a level of granularity that RQII doesn't go into which has its own pros and cons. Pro being that the game runs relatively quickly without a lot of rules bloat and con being that sometimes you run into a situation with an unsatisfactory result. While part of me wouldn't mind seeing a little more detail here and there to account for certain variables another part of me hates to start down that path and risk the parts of the game I really enjoy; namely the quick and deadly combat.

I definitely like the idea of a person grabbing ahold of an impaled spear to oppose the withdrawal attempt and provided they have at least one hand free or are willing to spend a free action to drop whatever they are holding, I would certainly allow the opposed Brawn roll to prevent further damage.

I also wouldn't be opposed to making Impale a critical only maneuver. In fact this entire discussion really has me leaning toward making that change.

edit: or perhaps a critical maneuver for melee weapons only and a regular maneuver for ranged weapons. Otherwise it might gimp the ranged character too much. I'll have to give this some more thought.
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Postby Khamulcalle » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:34 pm

I definitely like the idea of a person grabbing ahold of an impaled spear to oppose the withdrawal attempt and provided they have at least one hand free or are willing to spend a free action to drop whatever they are holding, I would certainly allow the opposed Brawn roll to prevent further damage.

I also wouldn't be opposed to making Impale a critical only maneuver. In fact this entire discussion really has me leaning toward making that change.


This is really good! I think it should be Crit-only CM too, and I like the Opposed Roll alot too.

(Just hope Deleriad or Loz could make a real nice summation on this rule :D)
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Postby Dan True » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:37 pm

Redcrow wrote: I agree there are all sorts of variables that could end in different results. Thats just a level of granularity that RQII doesn't go into which has its own pros and cons.
But our points is that the system does offer this granularity, as the brawn roll reflects all these sitations...

But I think we've beaten the horse dead for a long time now, and it doesn't really matter if we agree. URMW.

Impale should perhaps be crit only... Haven't made up my mind yet if I agree or not on this.

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Postby Khamulcalle » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:56 pm

Impale should perhaps be crit only... Haven't made up my mind yet if I agree or not on this.
After a good night sleep I hope you will Dan :D

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Postby Deleriad » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:17 am

Problem with making Impale critical only is that there are also those who think that Choose Location should be critical only as well. Eventually more CMs will be critical only than not.

The general presumption is that the first undefended hit has a fair chance of ending a fight one way or another. It's a means of keeping the combat system from bogging down.

On the withdrawal front I prefer the *default* result of a failure by the imapler to be that no damage is caused. I can probably think of more ways in which a failed attempt to withdraw the attacking weapon does no damage then ways in which it would do damage. Don't forget there are two people involved and the person with a spear stuck in them isn't just standing around doing nothing. All in all I think that no damage on a failed Brawn roll is more likely to be a better simulation in the majority of cases than the a failed Brawn roll causing damage.

The rulebook however doesn't address the issue so it's pretty much down to personal preference (as these things at heart always are).

The rules as written are:
The impaler can try to withdraw the weapon immediately (or on a future turn) at the cost of a CA. On a success the weapon does weapon damage. On a failure [insert rule of your preference here]

Reasonable house rules are:
The impaled can make a Brawn roll to try to yank it out on their turn as an action. On a success they take weapon damage.

The impaled can try to resist any attempt to yank it out by opposing the Brawn roll with their own Brawn. Need a hand free. Probably give +20% to someone using 2 hands vs 1.
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Postby Morgan d'Barganfore » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:33 am

Agreeing with Deleriad, but want to add/suggest that immediate impale/withdraw by attacker should not allow opposed brawn roll. Subsequent withdrawal by the attacker could allow defender an opposed roll (costs both a CA). And a failed brawn roll achieves nothing.
As an added thought, attacker might be allowed to twist the blade (cause damage without withdrawing the blade) maybe on a brawn roll with a penalty (maybe -20%).

Re Redcrow's suggestion that impale be crit only maneuver for melee but not missiles, I think this would be unbalancing. Crit only for both or neither, with default of leave as is.
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Postby Jujitsudave » Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:33 am

Knowing what I know now, I would make impale available with a regular CM, but ony if the result is a serious wound. A minor wound that impales you just doesn't make sense. The 2 damage rolls would still stand. The damage from trying to remove the weapon should be something around 1D3 damage or so per attempt. The attempt should not be as lethal as a full on weapon strike, but should sap some physical durability.
Last edited by Jujitsudave on Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Morgan d'Barganfore » Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:53 am

If twisting the blade is allowed, maybe it should only do dam bonus modifier..
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Postby Loz » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:51 am

I think that making Impale a crit-only option limits its purpose, just as Deleriad has mentioned. It also limits the CM for ranged combatants. You could rule it becomes crit-only for hand to hand, but then you're layering in complexity that, frankly, I don't think is warranted.
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Postby Morgan d'Barganfore » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:29 pm

And there we have it - from the horse's (mongoose's?) mouth.
Works for me - leave well enough alone - I propose we close this thread..
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Postby DamonJynx » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:29 am

Morgan d'Barganfore wrote:And there we have it - from the horse's (mongoose's?) mouth.
Works for me - leave well enough alone - I propose we close this thread..
It's a game. It's fun. It has to have some rules. A lot of situations can't be covered in minute details due to loads of reasons, lack of space, printing costs, overly complex rules (D&D I'm looking at you!) and so on. For me Impale works fine RAW.

You stick your weapon in and have the chance to do additional damage (roll twice take highest).

You try to pull it out, because you (the attacker) are heedless of whether you further injure your foe, or a complete bastard purposely trying to further injure your foe, either or, by yanking it free with brute strength (brawn roll) causing extra damage if you do so. If you don't pull it out for whatever reason, no harm, no foul.

If on the other hand, you are a companion of the victim, or a merciful opponent or indeed the victim, you may, using your knowledge of first aid attempt to remove the offending object without further injury. Meanwhile of course, while the object is sticking out of you the simplest task is more complex (skill penalty).

I don't see an issue with that. But...your Legend may vary...
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