I have an idea of a character, but I am not sure of its medical/combat plausibility. Through some happening to be determined later, they are given the power to never miss their target with any projectile. From a thrown rock to handgun to howitzer, it doesn’t matter what they’re using, so long as the target is in range. The rub is that if this character ever kills anybody, they lose this gift for good. Aside from shooting extremities, where can they shoot without risk of lethal injury?

Yeah… so I’ve actually got bad news for you. Shooting to wound isn’t a real thing. It’s a fiction, like the silencers that make gunshots sound like something other than a gun being fired in a tin can.

Getting shot in the arm or leg, with an arrow, bolt, or bullet, is a very dangerous injury. The biggest risk damaging an artery, in which case, they will bleed to death in a matter of minutes. Even without that, you’re still tearing open a lot of tissue, and letting them leak all over the place.

There’s also the issue of hydrostatic shock. So, there’s some debate over whether this is a real phenomena or not, but there’s some evidence to support it. The basic idea is that your body is mostly water and other fluids. Striking that (with a gunshot) creates a shock wave, which can result in the rupture of internal organs elsewhere in the body. So, you can shoot someone in the arm, and cause them to start hemorrhaging elsewhere, with fatal results. Though, it might take awhile. This creates a situation where, if your character is unlucky, a gunshot to the hand could actually kill the victim.

Also, there’s basically no such thing as non-lethal artillery techniques, you know, while we’re talking about howitzers. Smoke shells for things like mortars work by not hitting the target, so it kind of exactly what your character’s superpower is not.

While we’re on that subject, flashbangs have a nasty habit of starting fires on contact, and there have been quite a few deaths over the years attributed to them. So, that’s out.

Beanbag rounds, and other less than lethal ordinance also have a fairly hefty body count.

Safety slugs aren’t a non-lethal round for firearms. They’re more akin to a mini shotgun shell that detonates on contact. They’re “safe” in that they tend to do less damage to hard surfaces (like steel or concrete) and are less prone to over-penetration), but they’ll still kill you.

Throwing rocks at people is still a horrific way to kill them. It’s probably the oldest method in human history of saying, “there’s a person over there I want to kill, but I’m to lazy to walk.”

Granted, chucking stones at someone could just be to annoy them. But, when we’re talking about ranged combat, the line between incapacitating and killing your opponents is very fine. Now, if your character’s entire schtick is to throw pebbles at coworkers to irritate them… that works.

At the end of the day, combat is about killing other people. There’s no moral high ground for saying, “oh, but my character doesn’t actually murder people, they only maim them.”

-Starke

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