Noob question: which enemies are still human (or not affected by Black Shot)

So I’m just about to start GMing my first game and I’m already confused!

Our Chosen is Horned One and our Broken are Breaker and Render. I know that the Black Oak Knights are still alive and Black Shot has reduced effect (per specific rules text). What about Heartless though?

For Breaker, what about the Hexed? We know they can pass as normal humans, but are they actually reanimated dead since we know they are “dominated while still alive”?

I’m having a tricky time planning the first mission, as I want to show the players the importance of Black Shot but not pull any punches with the Horned One’s retrieval mission featuring Elites and an Infamous.

Heartless are undead. No heart after all!

Hexed are alive. Breakers has dominated their mind.

The problem with Black Shot is not only undead/alive. It’s also that it is less effective against armor. So you could have an armoured undead, and Black Shot would be less effective against it because armor ; you first have to solve the problem of armor before using BS effectively. See an example of this on page 141.

Now, Heartless : the problem is even more complicated, because Heartless have good armor everywhere, except on their torso. So it could be difficult to render mechanically, but narratively, if they want to use black shot effectively, they will have to aim at the torso. Which is where there is absolutely no chance to make a one-shot kill or to incapacitate it directly (by rendering an arm or leg useless for example)…

So… not to pull the old “question the premise” bit here but I would suggest you don’t need any humans in the mix. The first Horned One mission has a lot going on already with Elite, Infamous, the Chosen, the need for stealth…

I think you can emphasize the effect of black shot by describing in bold, vivid detail how it sears the flesh of the undead unlike any normal munition. Describe how the stuff is packed in special glass capsules and how there’s no actual “shot” in it which would make it ineffective against armor and regular flesh.

When I ran the first Zora mission, I too thought “well it seems like there should be more” but honestly, there’s a lot of stuff that comes up spontaneously when the players start to botch rolls. I would not throw another human foe in the encounter just to make a point. I’d think about some interesting consequences for the various stages when things go south and let the description of the shot leave its impression on the players.

These are all great points, thank you!

I especially appreciate Tom’s point here, which is of course classic RPG advice: when in doubt, be obvious. This is a game about fighting the undead and how these desperate people do that, so let the players see some normal undead being fought in normal ways!

This is also a good place for me to use a template: in John LL’s CritShow game, his 2nd mission is vs Breaker, with Burned and Shadow Witches, so that’s a great place for me to start (plus there’s the obvious nice symmetry between my Horned One’s use of nature vs Breaker’s corruption: again, reinforce the big themes of the world).

I’ll go with the Devourer, Silver, as my Infamous; Black Shot will still affect the corrupted sacred beast if the PCs (unwisely!) choose to engage directly.

Beyond that, I’m thinking that fully corrupted beings can be effected by Black Shot, to varying degrees? Are there other exceptions y’all think I should definitely watch for, besides Hexed and Oak Knights (and of course armored undead, such as Heartless and Gaunt)?

  • Well, I think that fully corrupted beings will be affected by BS, but it will be only some ticks on a clock, they won’t be annihilated just like the T1. Except of course if you can make that one shot particularly effective… with use of various techniques.
  • I Don’t see any other exceptions as rules are, but you could conceivably have Blighter, as an alchemy specialist, devise an anti-BS alchemical concoction. That would replace one of her other advances, though.

Generally you’ll find this in generals (like the black oak knights, or Victoria on Blighter’s side). For line troops and elites not so much.

I think the point is this … think about it. Go with your gut. Make a call. It sounds like you have some ideas. Run with them. :slight_smile:

This is interesting! :slight_smile: I like it. It has some interesting implications about Blight and Corruption in your campaign.

Nah. Torso is center mass (that’s where they teach you to shoot because it’s easy). And heartless are huge.

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When I finally manage to put together a BoB group, I’m hoping to have an opportunity to ask a player what touching Black Shot/Reliquaries/a Chosen does to their corrupted character.