Called Shots in d20
There are plenty of very good arguments for why one shouldn't include "called shots" in a d20 game, but they tend to revolve exclusively around issues of game balance, completely ignoring the following facts*:

1) Called shots are, in fancy gaming-theory terms, bitchin'.
2) All of those heroes with eyepatches and missing hands must have lost their bits 'n pieces somewhere.
3) The gods must give out "Regenerate" spells for some reason.

So, in the intrest of greater coolness (and carnage) in d20 roleplaying games, I offer an entirely-unplaytested, probably-unbalanced mechanism for handling called shots. I consider the lack of called shot mechanics (and the inherent difficulty of implementing them) to be a serious bug in the d20 system, but I would like to come up with something that doesn't break the system. Perhaps using these rules should require a feat? Should spellcasters get something in return to balance this cool combat ability? Perhaps "called shots with rays" or something like that? I haven't had the chance to playtest it, as I don't really want to change the rules in my campaign in medias res, so I call upon you d20 gurus out there to contact me and offer your opinions and suggestions.

Called Shot Rules
In order to wound or sever/destroy an opponent's body part, the player must declare an intent to do so before rolling for the attack. Attack rolls to strike particular body parts incur penalties. If the character hits despite the penalty, roll normal damage. Then, calculate the damage as if the hit was a Critical Hit (yes, even if the creature is immune to Critical Hits). If this damage would be sufficient to disable the opponent, the body part is "wounded," and the opponent takes normal (non-Critical Hit) damage. If this damage would be sufficient to kill/destroy the opponent, the body part is severed/destroyed, and the opponent takes normal (non-Critical Hit) damage. If this damage is not sufficient to wound or sever/destroy a body part, the opponent takes no damage...it was a glancing blow. Not all weapon types are capable of destroying all body parts. Severing/destroying the head is fatal to most living things. A wounded body part penalizes the victim as described in Table 3-9: Effects of Damaging Specific Areas, on page 67 of Core Rulebook II.
Body PartPenaltyWeapon Types
* by "facts," I mean "opinions"
Copyright © 2002 The Metallian
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