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Old 10-07-2016, 10:22 AM   #22
Join Date: Apr 2015
Default Re: Hitting Targets of Opportunity in Combat

To give us some actual material to discuss I'll post this: a HEMA duel between two instructors using sabers. It's complete with some slow motion sections and highlighting where hits land to help figure out what's happening:

It isn't a scored duel, but each bout is fought until a hit, and trade hits are noted. In GURPS terms both of them need a successful attack roll, then a failed parry or dodge.

There are plenty of torso hits through the video, but a large number of blows land outside of the GURPS torso. It seems unlikely that either party would bother taking penalties to attack for a specific hit location, and if they were rolling randomly for each attack it would be just as easy to hit the torso each time. Instead, many attacks made to the arms, legs, or head were blows that were partial deflections from the torso or swings at something that was out of position.

Some examples:
1:40 - A failed dodge backwards results in a solid arm blow to the weapon arm.
1:55 - A successful dodge is followed up by a blow to the face, which is still thrust forward.
2:39 - A swing connects with the upper torso, without protective gear I would call that a neck hit.
3:16 - The defenders leg is left forward, and an easy blow is struck against it while the torso is defended.
7:03 - A quick cut catches the defender on the back of the wrist, a right hand hit.

There are plenty of other incidental hits, but some of them lack enough power for me to consider them full strikes.

While Kromm's post is interesting, I think it adds one dice roll too many and introduces too many small bonuses with decisions attached that would slow down play. Instead, by giving a +1 bonus while taking a random hit location on purpose, you are looking for openings and dedicating yourself to exploiting them. You don't have time to reconsider if the opening is poor (a hit to an already crippled limb, or heavily armoured shield arm), but you may get lucky and score a hit against an otherwise difficult target such as the face.
I run a low fantasy GURPS game:
World details on Obsidian Portal: https://the-fall-of-brekhan.obsidian...ikis/main-page
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