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Old 09-13-2018, 03:20 PM   #1
oneofmanynameless
 
Join Date: May 2012
Default Inventing Combat Techniques

So I was thinking about martial artists and people inventing new martial arts styles, or simply improving on old martial arts styles by inventing new "techniques" and how to model that in gurps. I know that the invention rules are applicable in these circumstances and they seem mostly solid for it except for one thing: financial cost and required facilities.

Realistically speaking, do grand master martial artists who invent martial arts styles or techniques have exorbitantly expensive facilities? The only thing that comes to mind when I think of someone going and inventing an entire style of combat is Miyomoto Musashi who did most of the pieces individually over the course of years, often as adaptations to adverse circumstances, before finally sitting down in a cave to put all the pieces together and explain them.

Question: So how would people adapt the invention rules to inventing new martial arts techniques? Do they require adaptation?

I'm curious about this not just for really nitty-gritty martial arts campaigns about epicly skilled fighters, but also for potential games in which magic works more similarly to martial arts where someone who knew what they were doing really could go sit in a cave and invent a new spell or technique.

My first thoughts are that with gadgets you need a lot of raw materials and a lot of specialized tools and facilities for testing and experimenting along the way. but with something like martial arts you don't need all that expensive stuff, instead you just need experience and people to practice against (although those who have enough experience may not even need that?) I don't know. I'm curious to hear peoples thoughts and rulings.
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Old 09-13-2018, 03:34 PM   #2
johndallman
 
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Default Re: Inventing Combat Techniques

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Originally Posted by oneofmanynameless View Post
I know that the invention rules are applicable in these circumstances and they seem mostly solid for it except for one thing: financial cost and required facilities.
If Martial Arts has a reference to the Inventions rules, it's well-hidden. I'd avoid them, use the "Creating New Techniques" rules on p. 89-95 of Martial Arts, and require a new Technique created that way to be learned in 400 hours or so of self-teaching.
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Old 09-13-2018, 03:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: Inventing Combat Techniques

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
If Martial Arts has a reference to the Inventions rules, it's well-hidden. I'd avoid them, use the "Creating New Techniques" rules on p. 89-95 of Martial Arts, and require a new Technique created that way to be learned in 400 hours or so of self-teaching.
I'd lean this way myself, if you really want to use Invention rules ignore or reduce costs. I did something similar in my article for researching True Names.
Money can be justified as being spent on old texts, visiting dojos, practice runs, and other research.
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Old 09-13-2018, 06:07 PM   #4
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: Inventing Combat Techniques

While I agree that Martial Arts' "Creating New Techniques" section should definitely be used to design the mechanics of the technique, I do think that there's room in the martial arts genre for characters spending a lot of time and energy developing "secret techniques" and "hidden styles", and the invention rules are appropriate for those.

Here's what I'd suggest for that: techniques only need to use the invention rules if they require a "Secret Technique" perk as a prereq, which means they're going to be cinematic techniques by default. Techniques with penalties up to -5 would be Simple, while those with -6 or more would be Average. Inventing a whole new style or single cinematic skill would usually be Complex, while a new style that included something really amazing, like several secret techniques or new cinematic skills, would be Amazing.

The required skill would usually be the skill a technique defaulted from, or, for a style, the lowest of the skills you were going to put into the style. The concept roll would be made with the relevant skill, but based on IQ, while the prototype roll would be DX-based (or whichever attribute the required skill is normally based on, in the case of cinematic skills. The modifiers would be the normal ones from the Invention rules for complexity; the bonuses for having a model if you're trying to recreate someone else's secret style (the +5 for a "working model" would really only apply if you were secretly watching someone else practice it and trying to duplicate that, however - the lower bonuses would be for something like having a secret scroll detailing some of the principles); the +1 to +5 for being a variant, but that will affect the "surprise value" of the style/technique, see below. The high TL penalty basically never applies.

Someone with Trained by a Master/Weapon Master, or other appropriate cinematic advantage involving the relevant martial skills, gets the Gadgeteer penalties for complexity instead of the standard invention ones.

Keep track of the hours spent trying to invent the thing. Once successful, treat that as time spent training in the relevant skills/techniques, at 1 point per 400 hours for a regular "inventor" or 1 point/200 hours for someone Trained By/Weapon Master, with a minimum of 1 point gained no matter how much time you took. The first point always buys the Secret Technique perk if it was a technique you were inventing, or Style Familiarity if it was a style. The rest of the points should be distributed as equally as possible among a style's skills, including any cinematic skills included. You can also freely spend any banked points at this point on the techniques/skills.

New secret techniques and styles give you a bonus in combat from their surprise value, based on their complexity. A simple technique gives your opponents -1 to defend against it, or +1 to your own defenses if it's a defensive technique, the first time in a fight it's used against them. This bonus lasts 1d weeks in a given area, or 1d months everywhere in the campaign world. An Average-complexity technique gives its bonus for the whole fight that an opponent first encounters it, and lasts 1d months regionally or 1d years everywhere. A Complex style gives the relevant bonuses on all its core skills, cinematic skills, and techniques, for the duration of a fight against each new opponent, which lasts 1d months regionally or 1d years everywhere. And an Amazing style gives that bonus for the whole first fight someone encounters you, forever - only someone who's actually taken the Style Familiarity perk for the style can avoid taking a penalty when fighting you.
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Old 09-14-2018, 01:14 PM   #5
oneofmanynameless
 
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Default Re: Inventing Combat Techniques

@Kelly Padersen
Would you keep the financial costs the same?
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Old 09-14-2018, 02:52 PM   #6
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: Inventing Combat Techniques

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Originally Posted by oneofmanynameless View Post
@Kelly Padersen
Would you keep the financial costs the same?
Sorry, I forgot to get into that. What I think I'd do is recommend a reduced cost - basically, training facilities. I'd probably put that as costing money equal to the campaign average starting wealth for Simple, X2 for Average, X5 for Complex, and X10 for Amazing. However, I'd allow a suitable existing environment to substitute for any of that, for better martial arts genre-fitting. For a simple invention, any reasonably quiet natural spot would do, while higher-complexity "inventions" would require progressively more inaccessible places, until by Amazing, you've basically got to be at the Sacred Pool of Tears.
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:31 PM   #7
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Inventing Combat Techniques

I do not see the necessity or realism of this. Speaking as someone who trained as a martial artist and who has known many martial artists, developing new techniques is simple and straightforward. You really only need a sparing partner or three and a few weeks of dedicated work. Now, making a new style could take years or decades, so I can see that being an 'invention', but I do not see it benefitting from the invention rules.
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Old 09-17-2018, 01:33 PM   #8
oneofmanynameless
 
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Default Re: Inventing Combat Techniques

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
I do not see the necessity or realism of this. Speaking as someone who trained as a martial artist and who has known many martial artists, developing new techniques is simple and straightforward. You really only need a sparing partner or three and a few weeks of dedicated work. Now, making a new style could take years or decades, so I can see that being an 'invention', but I do not see it benefitting from the invention rules.
Alright. I see your point. But can I make a counterargument? For the record, I'm going to make a few assumptions here based on my personal experience with martial arts (8 casual years of Wado Ryu Karate, 2 casual years of SCA training at HEMA) and what I've read and studied about martial arts. I'm assuming you have more experience and can correct any incorrect assumptions I make.

So say I want to invent a new combative technique. I want to keep it simple. I don't have a lot of experience with grappling and what little experience I have indicates that it's techniques are likely more complex than strikes. So I'm going to try to invent a new strike. Specifically I'm going to try to invent a new way to strike with my hand/arm that may have distinct benefits and drawbacks compared to the standard karate punches I was taught.

I'm calling this a simple invention. So I have to roll IQ based Karate at -6 to come up with a good idea. Fortunately, it seems next to impossible to come up with an entirely new type of arm based strike (only so many striking surfaces and only so many ways to get leverage into it) and I've already been taught all of the basic ones so I'm really just modifying an existing punch to try to do something else, or be slightly more useful in specific circumstances. The new type of strike will not be new to the campaign, in fact it will probably very much exist in the world. Existing in the world but lacking a specific working model (I know people do practice strikes with the first joints of their fingers instead of their knuckles, but I've never done it and don't have anyone who knows how teaching me) is worth +2. Modifying an existing standard strike is worth up to a +5. I'm now rolling on IQ based Karate at +1 (understanding how the shock will transfer into my arm and up my arm is more important than having good muscle memory at this phase.)

So I've come up with a concept. Now with 1d-2 days (min 1), 8 hours a day, for an average of 20 hours of work I can refine it, practicing with my buddies and punching bags, until I've got it.

Naturally I'll break my wrist when I go to test my prototype. Sounds like a greater bug to me. Need to fix that. Let's move on to the testing phase. With four weeks of practice and my buddies I've worked out the kinks and can now use it.

So that about lines up with your "few weeks of dedicated work" right? I'm sure there are all kinds of flaws with the specifics of that example, but my point is that a "simple invention" that's a modification of an existing technique (which is mostly what you'll be doing) does boil down to a few weeks of dedicated work with your sparing buddies... and $50,000. So the idea of using the invention rules, minus the cost (or replace the costs with something else?) DOES accurately mimic the creative development process.
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Old 09-17-2018, 01:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: Inventing Combat Techniques

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
I do not see the necessity or realism of this. Speaking as someone who trained as a martial artist and who has known many martial artists, developing new techniques is simple and straightforward. You really only need a sparing partner or three and a few weeks of dedicated work. Now, making a new style could take years or decades, so I can see that being an 'invention', but I do not see it benefitting from the invention rules.
The Inventing rules include bugs which in the case of a Technique or style would be unforseen drawbacks to the moves that could be worked out and refined.Its not just about making a penalized skill roll and paying money. Those bugs can come out as actual stuff useable in play.
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Old 09-17-2018, 01:58 PM   #10
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Inventing Combat Techniques

But anyone can come up with a new technique and many new techniques in martial arts throughout history have occurred do to amateurs making a mistake and, no knowing any better, developed the mistake into a usable technique. It is not like inventing a device because you can tell pretty easily from sparring when a technique is ineffective. After all, it is your body, and you usually know when you have hurt yourself.

Now, that being said, I could see an argument for techniques being developed scientifically, by a person without the required combat skills, could be treated as an invention. The same could be applied for developing combat skills for another species, as the inventor would lack innate familiarity with the physiology of the species they are designing the technique for. In that case, the money required would be for the advanced computer models, training areas, and hired martial artists.
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