Called Shot Rules

  A called shot is an attempt to hit a limited portion of a character or creature, such as an attack on the head or hand of the target.  For called shots, there will be a penalty on the chance to hit based on an adjustment to the target armor class, rather than a penalty to the attacker's hit roll.  The armor class of the specific target is to be set by the DM according to specifics of the circumstances.

Your contribution via
PayPal Me
keeps this site and its author alive.
Thank you.

  The intent to call a shot must by stated before the initiative roll, for all PC's, NPC's, and monsters.  Any character or monster calling a shot takes a -1 penalty on personal initiative.  If a player or the DM decides to make a called shot after initiative is rolled, he may do so if 1) his side has not lost the initiative, and 2) he agrees to hit last.

  Except in unusual circumstances (attacking the unarmored head of an armored man), the AC of the "specific target" identified by the called shot will normally be better than that of the "general target", the opponent.  If the roll against the specific target is missed, the roll will be compared to the number needed to hit the general target.  If the roll is adequate to hit the general target but not the specific target, damage is done to the opponent even though the specific target is missed.  The DM may declare that due to the nature of the called shot the AC of the general target is also improved slightly.  This would be the case if the call was to hit an extremity such as a hand which is sufficiently removed from the main body making it less likely to hit the main body on a miss on the hand.  If an attacker misses the specific target but would hit the general target and does not wish to do so, he may "pull his punch" by rolling a successful hit vs. AC0.  All hit modifiers may be applied to this roll.  This applies to melee only, not to missile fire.

  If the attacker hits only the general target, all damage from rolls and damage bonuses is halved to account for the fact that the intended shot was missed.

  The rule that a natural 20 always hits applies to the general target, but not to the specific target.  If an attacker cannot roll high enough (with bonuses) to hit the AC of a specific target, that shot is impossible for that character.

  A player does not need to define the called shot until his turn to attack.  He needs only to announce an intent to call further attacks except on the terms previously stated for calling shots after initiative is rolled.

  An attacker may ask the AC of a called shot prior to defining it, but if he defines a called shot he must attempt it.  An attacker may withdraw his attempt to make a called shot at any time prior to defining it, but if he has announced his intent or requested an AC assessment he suffers the initiative penalty even if he does not attempt the called shot.  (He was thinking about it, but changed his mind.)

Valdron Inc., Publishers of the great new RPG Multiverser.

Return to Special Rules Contents.

Return to M. J. Young's Dungeons & Dragons Materials.

Go to Other Links.

M. J. Young Net