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Old 12-11-2014, 02:00 PM   #50
Join Date: Jan 2009
Default Re: Unarmed vs. Knife

Originally Posted by TheOneRonin View Post
A normal major wound forces a HT check to avoid stunning/knock down.
And puts them at -4 to hit you in the next turn from shock. We're already assuming that the knife-armed assailant is outmatched in skill, so this tanks their skill from 'has trouble hitting you' to 'has no real chance of hitting you'. This gives you another turn to hit them at substantially reduced risk.

If you roll to hit a random location, it's a mixed bag. If you are lucky enough to get roll a face, groin, or skull hit, then that HT check is at a -5/-10, and very likely to drop him. On the other hand, if you roll hands, arms, neck, or torso, then the HT check is at no penalty.
If you get a weapon-hand, weapon-arm, or leg hit, you don't care about the HT roll any more: the fight's done. If you roll a neck hit, average damage puts your opponent at zero HP, and they must now roll HT vs. both knockdown/stun and, in every subsequent turn, unconciousness. If you get a nonweapon arm hit it's pretty much the same as a torso hit, so you aren't any worse off from the default.

If you get a nonweapon hand hit...then, yes, your gamble has failed and you're slightly worse off than if you'd just hit them in the torso for no penalty. While they still have to roll vs. HT for knockdown/stun, their shock penalty will be -3 rather than -4, since you can inflict at most 3 HP of damage to someone with 10 HP to cripple the hand.

This is the worst case, and it happens 2.3% of the time.

So 62% chance of a better-than-torso/fight-ending shot, 35.7% chance of a torso-equivalent/nearly fight-ending shot, and 2.3% of a worse than torso-equivalent/possibly fight-ending shot on a hit, compared to a 100% chance of a better-than-torso/fight-ending shot for the TA to the leg. On a hit.

Thing is, an assailant with Knife 10-14 will have a retreating parry right in the middle of the bell curve- the 9-11 range. This is where a single point of Deceptive Attack makes a fairly sizable difference in parry rates.

I suppose I can see why someone would make your gamble, trading a modestly higher chance to end a single fight-ending hit for a rather substantial increase in the chance of being parried. But the shock penalties for even a lesser hit will be really significant to a low-skilled combatant, and getting an unarmed attack parried with a blade is dangerous.
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