Aim for the gaps in their armor! Strike successes for VA

This idea popped into my head a while back while watching the Kevin Costner Robin Hood movie, and the scene were Robin says (paraphrased) even a young boy can be trained to find the weak spots in armor. So I was thinking as a house rule that successes on a Strike action during a Fight! could be spent to increase VA in addition to increasing damage or changing hit location.

  • I know that changing hit location lets you hit less armored locations, but I was thinking this would be aiming for joints or other gaps.
  • Another thing is that there should be a limit on how much you can increase VA (No +5 VA on a dagger). So either you can’t more than double the VA (or just +1 for 0 VA weapons) or limit it to just +1 or 2.
  • EDIT: Maybe the limit should be based on the weapon type, like it is harder to hit a weak point with a bashing weapon like a mace, but easier with a pointed weapon like a rapier.
  • Also you would need to take weapon and armor shades into account for this. Grey and White shade weapons are going to be rolling more successes on their rolls, so they likely don’t need any changes. The question is if Grey or White armor has smaller or better protected gaps that would make it harder to bypass it, but G&W armor would like weapons be rolling more successes so there is likely nothing needed there either.
  • Lastly is figuring how many successes this should costs per +1VA.

Sorry if this post is a little erratic. I was thinking about all this as I wrote so I just went stream of consciousness here. I also haven’t play the game a lot so I have no idea if this is a good idea or not, just something that popped into my head. Any feedback is appreciated.

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I’ve generally avoided making modifications to my games that change the core rules so significantly, but I think this could be fun. It’s not often that that would be worth going for, but I’ve certainly been in situations where I can do a superb when an incidental with +2 VA would be better. I’ve also been thinking about armor hacks lately, once I write up my idea I’ll post it as its own topic.

But if you’re going for this type of “finding their weak points” thing within the rules, I recommend the assess action. My player with really good perception is always looking for weak points to give bonus VA. My main recommendation if you’re doing that is to either set the Obs high, or make the weak point on a body part they’re not presenting (Hitting him behind his knee is +2 VA, but he’s offering chest/head).

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The system assumes each character is attempting their best to make an optimal action. In Fight, we assume each character is aiming for gaps, looking for vulnerabilities, striking the head, etc.

Also, armor that has gaps that can be exploited by a Kostner-like archer is poor quality indeed (and thus represented).


Great Strike definitely gives the impression that it’s a powerful move, but I like to interpret it just as much as one of careful precision. Half-swording is considered a Great Strike, which is all about precisely positioning the point to puncture a weak spot in armor.

If you’d like getting +VA to take just one action rather than two, the Practiced Precision trait offers one avenue. Another is to get your hands on a better weapon that just comes with more VA.

You could also introduce extra skill at finding chinks and gaps in armor as a Die Trait that gives +1 VA to a certain weapon the character is known for, or for spending extra successes on a Strike for just +1 VA. I recommend 2 successes as a cost in the latter case.

Basically, there are already ways within the rules to achieve better VA if you find you need it. ^^

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I had forgotten the half-swording mention in Great Strike’s description. Though that requires two handing a some no go if you are using a dagger or holding a shield.

Though, the idea behind this was less “how to get more VA” and more “The game doesn’t seem to cover doing this.”

Thanks for the reply though

It can also represent combos that need two hands; for example, Great Strike to gain VA with a dagger could be use the off-hand to block/shove/&c. your opponent’s armoured arm up as you step in to stab them in the armpit.


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