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Fighting Mirelurks

In the book, Mirelurks have this special ability :
SMALL WEAK POINT: While the mirelurk’s body
is covered in a toughened shell, its face is its
weak point. This area is small and difficult to
accurately hit. The face is treated as having a
defense of 2.

But how to play it ?

  • Player rolls for attack, no specific location (with normal defense which is 1).
  • Attack is a success, roll for random location, player rolls for the head/face.

What should we do here ?

  1. Go back fo step 1 and check it the roll can touch the head with the new defense of 2 ?
  2. Reroll until the player gets another location than head ?

Many thanks !

I always assumed it was for specifically targeting the head. If you do and miss, your attack fails completely. You can still hit the face when rolling for random hit location.

I think that too, Defence 2 is when you target this small spot which is a face. If you hit you don’t roll hit location cause you hit the face. But when you target silhouette of the mirelurk Defence=1 cause it’ is a big normal target, you roll hit location and if you hit the face you were just lucky.

The separate defence is for specifically targeting the mirelurk’s head. If you fire at the mirelurk and roll for hit location, you can hit the head by chance.


And the Defence 2 is also modified by the called shot modifier if applicable?

I think if you target a face, +1 modifier from “called shot” is already included and total defence to hit the face is 2. It’s strange though because there is no difference between targeting mirelurks leg, or torso or face. Defence would be always 2 regardless which hit location you choose to strike. Is it right?

Maybe if the player rolls head/face when rolling for a random location you have him roll again and if he gets head/face again on the second roll he hits the face. That way it simulates the low chance of hitting the face. Just my idea

My understanding is that if you randomly hit the face you compare your roll to the defense of 2 but if you do a called shot the difficulty goes up to 3 (2 defense, +1 called shot).

In that case the rule does nothing. The only way it makes sense is if the difficulty increase is in addition to the normal increase for targeting a specific location. I think it’s phrased the way it is because some abilities like the Pip-Boy allow you to ignore the difficulty increase from targeting, but you would still be subject to the Small Target penalty.

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As I understand what Nathan said when you shoot mirelurk and hit it against Def=1, you roll for a location and if it is the head you got lucky. But when you targeting specifically the head it has Def=2 then you add +1 difficulty for called shot so total Def= 3. If you roll 3 succeses you hit. Then the rule makes sense. But you don’t roll against def=2 when you randomly roll head. As Nathan wrote “The separate defence is for specifically targeting the mirelurk’s head”
Player: " I shoot mirelurk"
GM: “Great, Def=1”
Player: " I did it. 1 succes".
GM: “Great, you succeded, roll for hit location”
Player: “Head”
GM; “Ahhh you missed, Head has def=2”
So that’s why I think you don’t roll against Def=2 when you randomly hit head

Great ! Thank you for your answers.

So, just to confirm I got it :

  • If random location, all defenses are 1 (even the head)
  • If specific location, all location defense are 1 but head is 2. (we still have to increase this number by one for the increased difficulty, so difficulty is 2 and 3 for head).
  • If specific location with VATS (pip-boy), same as above minus 1 (1 for all and 2 for head).

Am I right ?

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As I think: yes, you are right.

Sounds right to me. That’s how I understood it anyway.