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EskrimadorNC 07-21-2016 06:24 PM

Jason Bourne combat skills
 
In light of the new Jason Bourne movie coming out next weekend, and because I haven't seen a Bourne thread on the boards in a while, I'm starting this thread to talk about one of my most favorite film characters of all time.

There have been plenty of threads that talk about Bourne's point totals and espionage skills, but what I'd like to focus on in this thread is solely his melee combat ability. More specifically, what skill levels, advantages, perks, and bought up techniques (combat related only) do you think would belong on Bourne's GURPS character sheet?

I don't think you could do Bourne justice without using Martial Arts and Technical Grappling, but there may be some other books out there that have stuff you think would be critical to the Film Interpretation of the Jason Bourne character.

Also, I'm not looking for details on his ballistic skills. Just his melee combat.

I have a few ideas of what his skill levels and techniques would look like, but I really would like to know the thoughts of the rest of the community.

Finally, please don't let this devolve into "real world agents don't fight like that" or "XYZ is unrealistic...". We all acknowledge that the Jason Bourne in The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum is a cinematic, not realistic character.

Also, I've read the Ludlum books, and I'm not looking for an analysis of THAT Bourne, though it could be easily argued that the literary Bourne is even more bad-ass than the film Bourne.

Mailanka 07-22-2016 02:36 AM

Re: Jason Bourne combat skills
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by EskrimadorNC (Post 2022954)
There have been plenty of threads that talk about Bourne's point totals and espionage skills, but what I'd like to focus on in this thread is solely his melee combat ability. More specifically, what skill levels, advantages, perks, and bought up techniques (combat related only) do you think would belong on Bourne's GURPS character sheet?

I don't think you could do Bourne justice without using Martial Arts and Technical Grappling, but there may be some other books out there that have stuff you think would be critical to the Film Interpretation of the Jason Bourne character.

Also, I'm not looking for details on his ballistic skills. Just his melee combat.

I have a few ideas of what his skill levels and techniques would look like, but I really would like to know the thoughts of the rest of the community.

I'll be honest: This is very tricky, almost impossible to do. The best possible approach would be to research the films and do play-by-play of what's going on. I've been doing that a lot with martial arts lately (I started to break down the opening fight of Into the Badlands in GURPS Martial Arts), and I started because Hans-Christian Vortisch's work on translating shooting scenes into Tactical Shooting inspired me, but I noticed something: He never states what the skills involved are. After working through the scenes myself, I could see why.

Let's say someone punches Jason and he catches their arm and puts it into an arm-lock. Does he have the Arm Lock technique? Maybe. Or maybe he just has Judo. Or Wrestling. Or Wrestling and Judo. How high was his skill? Maybe the guy was a dolt and made a telegraphic attack and Bourne didn't need much skill to succeed. Or perhaps the guy was amazing and Bourne needed a ridiculous amount of skill to make the parry and make the proper deceptive attack to land the attack. Or maybe Bourne just got lucky. Maybe he always gets lucky, because he has Lucky [15], or he's in a cinematic campaign and can spend character points to turn failures into successes and so tends to land things that would be ridiculous.

There are so many ways to run a particular scene that it becomes very difficult to get an idea of exactly that scene is constructed. You can get a general idea, sure, and there's certainly merit to looking at how a fight scene goes down (for example, a lot of prequel Star Wars fight scenes are really fast, which suggests rapid strikes; there are definitely Beats, as you can actually see them taking place. Characters will often make flourishes before or after attacks, suggesting that Combat Art is probably a thing, though that might be generally cinematic), which can give you an idea of things like "Is this cinematic or not?" and can give you a ballpark of how much cinematic nudging or skill level someone will need to be in that ballpark. But ultimately you need to make your own judgment call. You could assume low skill vs low skill and that Bourne has minor edges and good luck that his clever player exploits, or you can assume high skill vs high skill and that Bourne is basically a low-scale super-hero thanks to his omnicompetence, or you can go somewhere in the middle.

One of the easiest ways to make that judgment call is to grab an existing framework as the basis for your decision. GURPS Action 4 suggests a point total of 300-350 for a lone professional, which seems to suit Bourne. I'd push for 350, personally. Given that Action is basically Bourne's genre, a character made out of GURPS Action 4 to resemble Bourne would probably resemble him pretty closely.

Tomsdad 07-22-2016 03:58 AM

Re: Jason Bourne combat skills
 
Just quickly my impression is as follows:

against low level opponents he attacks very quickly from surprise overwhelming them with a lot of attacks (so play up the psychological aspect of a fight starting with these less elite opponents and the way he can take advantage of it)

against higher level threats he seems to fight defensively until setting up a telling attack with either set up or feint (often coming off IQ as well as DX)


Although both of these might be as much to do with cinematic tropes as actual fighting.

So I'd give him a high skill and maybe a combo's for dealing with the low level,

and use feints, defensive attacks and the set up rules from Pyramid (and if you use it as a technique give him points in it).

Maybe some points in TA/face and TA/vitals (he relies on knock down's set up a finish a lot).

But ultimately give him a a high enough skill to allow him to default to what ever techniques he thinks appropriate (and pull of rapid attacks). He is ultimately an adaptable fighter.




NB: this is based off the Matt Damon Films, not the Jeremy Renner one (which I'd say the same but with attribute boosts from the pills).

I liked the Jeremy Renner one, but I think I prefer Matt Damon.

Gollum 07-22-2016 04:09 AM

Re: Jason Bourne combat skills
 
In my humble opinion, the best way to model Jason Bourne is (as with all cinematic characters) to give him very high basic attributes and very high skills.

With ST 14, DX 16, IQ 16, HT 14, basic speed 7.5 (or maybe even more than that), karate 20 and Judo 20, he could be able to do everything he does in his movies. Indeed, even with all the combat techniques known only by default, he still knows them at a very high level.

DouglasCole 07-22-2016 06:23 AM

Re: Jason Bourne combat skills
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gollum (Post 2023033)
In my humble opinion, the best way to model Jason Bourne is (as with all cinematic characters) to give him very high basic attributes and very high skills.

With ST 14, DX 16, IQ 16, HT 14, basic speed 7.5 (or maybe even more than that), karate 20 and Judo 20, he could be able to do everything he does in his movies. Indeed, even with all the combat techniques known only by default, he still knows them at a very high level.

Toss in a level of Extra Attack too, and all of a sudden things that would normally require AoA or Rapid Strike are done at no penalty. You see that a lot in Technical Natasha.

Gollum 07-22-2016 09:40 AM

Re: Jason Bourne combat skills
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DouglasCole (Post 2023070)
Toss in a level of Extra Attack too, and all of a sudden things that would normally require AoA or Rapid Strike are done at no penalty. You see that a lot in Technical Natasha.

Yes. That would make the job even better!

And thank you for Technical Natasha. It's always fun to look at GURPS combat technics with a movie example (or vice versa).

Mailanka 07-22-2016 12:47 PM

Re: Jason Bourne combat skills
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DouglasCole (Post 2023070)
Toss in a level of Extra Attack too, and all of a sudden things that would normally require AoA or Rapid Strike are done at no penalty. You see that a lot in Technical Natasha.

I'm... not convinced. In fact, I've not really been convinced that Extra Attack is ever worthwhile or the sort of thing we often see in film.

First, you need to use extra attack with a second body part. You can't use the same body part twice without multistrike. Second, it's 25 points, while +6 to skill is 24 points, and will allow you to attack twice (rapid strike is -6), or make a -6 deceptive attack or attack a difficult hit location.

If you do have Extra Attack, it makes sense to use it all the time, otherwise it's a waste of points. It's also more worthwhile if you have multiple skills that you use, but for my money, I'd rather have Trained by a Master (which is only 5 points more expensive), as it gives access to cinematic skills and reduces rapid strike to -3.

chandley 07-22-2016 12:55 PM

Re: Jason Bourne combat skills
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mailanka (Post 2023152)
If you do have Extra Attack, it makes sense to use it all the time, otherwise it's a waste of points. It's also more worthwhile if you have multiple skills that you use, but for my money, I'd rather have Trained by a Master (which is only 5 points more expensive), as it gives access to cinematic skills and reduces rapid strike to -3.

I think you answer why Jason Bourne would have it right here. He very frequently transitions between striking and grappling, and does it very quickly. Extra attack lets you do that, where +6 to a striking skill (or grappling skill) does not.

Mailanka 07-22-2016 12:58 PM

Re: Jason Bourne combat skills
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chandley (Post 2023153)
I think you answer why Jason Bourne would have it right here. He very frequently transitions between striking and grappling, and does it very quickly. Extra attack lets you do that, where +6 to a striking skill (or grappling skill) does not.

A +6 to both would allow a rapid strike with both. A +3 with both would allow both too, and if he was Trained by a Master, he'd have additional advantages as well, and a +3 is worth more when you're not making rapid strikes (for example, it'll help you win arm lock contests, while Extra Attack will not).

(I do apologize if this is drawing things off track. I'm trying to understand when Extra Attack is worthwhile, or if it's overpriced)

evileeyore 07-22-2016 01:06 PM

Re: Jason Bourne combat skills
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mailanka (Post 2023155)
(I do apologize if this is drawing things off track. I'm trying to understand when Extra Attack is worthwhile, or if it's overpriced)

Extra Attack gains maximum value when you reach or exceed 3 combat skills in common usage.

As you've said, with only one skill it's overpriced. With two skills there are break points and arguments for both sides. But with 3 or more common usage skills, EA is far better investment than extra skill, if you commonly make more than one attack per round.


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