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Old 05-18-2016, 01:13 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Default Questions about hitboxes, impaling weapons, rigid armor, and hit chances

Okay, so we've been playing, and things have been great, but we've noticed a few... irregularities. This post covers four major questions I've got.

1. Hitboxes
So we're considering moving from narratively-determined hitboxes to rolled/called hitboxes, because we want to make combat more lethal, and we've decided that we need hit locations to implement wounds, crippling damage, etc.
However, we've realized something strange: A trained swordsman would definitely keep as much of his body away from the enemy as possible, but nevertheless the enemy can still call a shot against his back left foot, and as far as I know there is no avenue for the swordsman to "improve" his dodge; his front left hand is at much risk as back left foot. I am aware of the fencing weapon parry being +3, easier to ready, etc. But this means that, as far as I can tell, a trained gladiator swordsman can't improve his chances of dodging with stance or skill, except by getting combat reflexes.

2. Impaling Weapons
We have a spear-wielder, and he is a killing machine. We don't use combat distance very strictly, but we do have a rule that if someone is too close he has to shove, hit with the butt of the spear, retreat, etc. Is there some kind of bonus to parrying spears, avoiding them, or something else? Because he has impaling damage, any successful attacks he makes automatically do really severe damage, and usually the enemies are stuck on his spear and as such are further incapacitated.
Is that pretty normal? Or is combat distance the ceiling on impaling weapons? Some guidance here would be nice.

Additionally, he has SL14 with spear, which honestly I feel is preposterous because he's a merchant and not a gladiator, but that's his own character. This means he almost never fails his attacks, and as a result pretty much just mows down foes. Some guidance/comments would be appreciated.

3. Rigid armor

I have a judgment call to ask about for rigid armor. The blunt trauma mechanic only applies to flexible armor, and only if all the damage is absorbed. Because almost all other weapons are cutting/impaling, this puts crushing weapons at a pretty clear disadvantage.
Historically, maces/warhammers were used explicitly to deal with plate armor, but GURPS doesn't seem to reconcile this.
My friend suggests that maces are designed to deal with higher DR, rigid armor with their straight bonus damage. However, a steel breastplate is DR 5. Which means that my guy, with a weapon explicitly designed to counter rigid armor, with his 1d+3 damage, can only do a maximum of 4 damage to a knight's chest. This just seems incongruous to me, considering that in all-knight situations, typical weaponry was pretty much entirely maces or warpicks.

4. Hit chances
We have a lot of narrative explaining away of missed strikes as "he manages to curl himself away from you, and the sword narrowly passes in front of his chest." This seems a little strange considering we're all warriors. Is this the result of no one taking "evaluate" maneuvers? Or is this the difference between SL10, SL11, and SL12, as I see 12 describing professional skill level?
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