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Old 05-18-2016, 02:44 PM   #9
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: Questions about hitboxes, impaling weapons, rigid armor, and hit chances

Quote:
Originally Posted by electrum View Post
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.
Spears should be pretty good, but I'm surprised you're finding them this impressive. What other weapons are around? A sword can generally do most of what a spear can and more...

With the way GURPS damage works, thrust impaling damage often doesn't measure up well compared to swing cutting damage, especially at higher ST levels or (bizarrely, though addressed by some optional rules) against armor.

Distance is slightly more of an issue for spears than for some other melee weapons, but unless you're using one of the longer spear types not a lot and with the right perk that can be mitigated. Somebody that fights really close in can get inside your reach, but that's just as true if you use a sword, mace, or axe. (And they probably can't stay there long enough to be a problem unless you're unwilling or unable to move, or they grab you to stop you from moving.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by electrum View Post
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.
Skill 14 outright misses rarely, but why aren't people making successful active defenses? Even with no particular combat aptitudes, a raw Basic Speed 5 gets you Dodge 8 which combined with retreating gives a Dodge 11. Any remotely serious fighter should have that, at least, unless they're encumbered by armor (which ought to have a useful chance to stop the spear) or a heavy shield (which will make their defenses better than this).
Quote:
Originally Posted by electrum View Post
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.
Swung crushing weapons do lots of damage, which is how they defeat rigid armor. Blunt trauma is mostly irrelevant against humans in historical armor. It's more likely to matter if you let people have some kind of ultratech flexible armor which somehow still has lots of DR vs crushing damage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by electrum View Post
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?
That's a dodge, not a miss, honestly.

The thing to remember about people who are at least somewhat competent fighters missing blows is this: it only happens because they're trying to do other things at the same time.

If all you care about is hitting the target, you do a Telegraphic All Out Attack (Determined), for +8 to hit, and even with skill 10 you're at approximately never failing. In a real fight, you also usually want to not get hit, so you don't All Out Attack much, and you don't want your target to easily dodge, so if you're good enough to hit without it you don't usually Telegraphic Attack either. And thus if you're only moderately good rather than having skill at 16+, sometimes trying to avoid getting hit or making your move completely obvious to the target is enough of a distraction that you don't manage to actually land the blow.
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