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Old 08-05-2017, 05:57 AM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Knockback Questions

Originally Posted by RedDragon View Post
What are the rules on vertical knockback? That is, how high can I knock someone into the air with a ST 30 uppercut? And How much damage would I do if i kicked them into the ground from the same height? Do I use the Collission rules in any way?
Best case scenario? I'd use the rules on how far can a ST 30 individual throw a person of a given weight a given distance. (looking more closely at the throwing rules makes me think the rules are NUTS!)

An upper cut against someone's jaw isn't lifting them by their head, or in theory, you'd snap their neck by such a blow. Such an uppercut would make their head snap back due to body mechanics and inertia, and their body follow the head resulting in the body AVOIDING its neck being snapped entirely.

Basic thrust damage for a ST 30 individual is 3d6. Maximum damage for 3d6+6 (assuming boxing or karate sufficiently well to gain +2 per die damage).

If a GM so desires, they could convert the +6 into either of:

1d+2 (+4 being converted to 1d6) or 2d-1 (since 6 is 1 point less than 7 to be worth a +2d6 conversion). So, lets stick with 1d+2 making it 4d+2 for the conversion...

Max damage is thus 20 points, divided by 8 (For a ST 10 character being hit), becomes a knockback of 2 hexes. A critical success on a head hit that ends up being triple damage AND max damage (in theory) would have a max knockback value of 60/8 or 7 hexes. That 7 hexes by the way, equates to making the target move at a speed of 14 mph. Sorry, but that sort of fails the realism test if you ask me...

Looking at the "Throwing objects" rules however, I came across this "interesting" fact per the rules...

Divide the weight of the object being thrown by the BL of the character (for ST 30, this works out to 180!). So, a 150 lb ST 10 character, being thrown by a ST 30 character, can be thrown a total of .6 x 30, or 18 yards (presumably a 2 handed throw) per the rules on page 355. I wonder what the damage is for a person falling 18 yards is?

Looking at the same situation in the GURPS BASIC SET THIRD EDITION REVISED, I get the following:

.05 x ST = distance the object can be thrown (weight of body at 150 lbs falls between the 100 lbs and 200 lbs entry on page 90 sidebar) or 1.5 yards under the OLD rules for a ST 30 character).

Either way you look at it - looking at ALL of the rules for throwing things, and knockback look kind of odd. :(

Were I a GM having to deal with this kind of a question by a player at my table?

1) basic damage not modified by criticals is how I'd handle the maximum distance for knockback (rules indicate basic damage not modified by DR counts, so on that premise, basic damage is basic damage, critical success is the effect of the basic blow, not the overall EFFECT per se

2) If they argued for a more major distance for their effect, I'd point out that the shove rules double the distance a person can suffer "knockback", but such a shove does no actual damage to the target.

The GM's job is to make sense of the events at the table and apply his judgment based on the rules as written, and if the event violates his sense of appropriateness, rule in a manner that seems to be consistent with his own sensibilities (ie, house ruling events when he doesn't agree with the rules as written).

So - that's my take on the question. <shrug>
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