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Old 05-22-2022, 09:03 PM   #1
Prince Charon
 
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Default [Martial Arts] Hyperskill pets vs moderate-skill warriors

Based on a brief discussion started by this post. So, we start with Sorenant's idea of a house cat with Brawling at 27 (which I would probably only allow in a cinematic game, unless the backstory really impressed me), versus a knight with Broadsword at 12. We'll assume that the knight is armed and armoured, while the cat just has natural weapons, and is about average for a house cat outside of high skill and probably pretty high DX even for a house cat.

The thing is, while the battle-kitty would have difficulty directly injuring the knight, apart from biting the part of the hand that is just covered by fairly thin leather (generally, even if the back of the hand and fingers are protected by plate in late-medieval armour, the rest of the hand won't be, because you need to grab and manipulate things), the skill-disparity is massive, so getting the knight to hurt himself is totally plausible. Not just from critical weapon failures (which was noted in the other thread), but from running into things, or otherwise using the environment against the attacking hoomon.


Thoughts?
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Last edited by Prince Charon; 05-24-2022 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 05-22-2022, 09:56 PM   #2
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Hyperskill pets vs moderate-skill warriors

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Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
We'll assume that the knight is armed and armoured,
You need more detail than "armored" You need specifics about Neck and Face protection.

A Barrel helm would be complete protection for both while a Basinet would have the knight blind in no time. Lack of a Gorget or other Neck protection could result in actual death from attacks at Neck(Arteries).

For extra credit you get to figure out if the cat could manage to raise a raiseable Visor. :)
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Old 05-23-2022, 09:15 AM   #3
Varyon
 
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Hyperskill pets vs moderate-skill warriors

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
You need more detail than "armored" You need specifics about Neck and Face protection.

A Barrel helm would be complete protection for both while a Basinet would have the knight blind in no time. Lack of a Gorget or other Neck protection could result in actual death from attacks at Neck(Arteries).

For extra credit you get to figure out if the cat could manage to raise a raiseable Visor. :)
Reaching the Face or Neck (or indeed Torso, unless we're dealing with Long Cat) against a standing knight would require a Move and Attack (which caps skill at 9, thus not being terribly reliable, and I believe prevents the cat from using its impressive Brawling Parry*) or an All Out Attack (which prevents the cat from defending - if the gambit fails, it's dead). I know Defensive Feints were suggested in the other thread, but I think those are meant to be fake attacks that put the foe in a poor position to attack if he attempts a defense, and against a cat the knight may well not bother defending, preventing that from working. The cat's best bet may well be to use All Out Defense (Improved Parry) and hope for a Critical Success (causing the knight to suffer a Critical Failure), but I'm not sure even that's a great idea - not all Critical Failures are going to render the knight unable to fight (or put him down at the cat's level, allowing for clawing the eyes out or whatever), and the cat's chance of a Critical Success on a Parry is only around 2.5x the chance of the knight getting a Critical Success on an attack (the cat's Parry is 15 - base 16 for skill, -3 against a swung weapon, +2 for All Out Defense).

For the knight, his best bet is to see if he can find something nearby that's usable with Broadsword but heavier than his own weapon - a cat can just barely Parry a 3 lb sword (Campaigns gives housecats ST 4, for BL 3.2), so anything heavier and its incredible Brawling doesn't matter, as it has to rely on Dodge.

Note this assumes the knight has fully-armored feet and legs. If not, the cat can bite or claw at the Leg Arteries - not for a lot of damage initially, but the resulting bleeding will be difficult to stop (and bleed quickly). Longer term, the cat could also just give the knight's leg a good bite or two, run off, and let infection do its thing (cat bites can be nasty, and if our opponent is armored and wielding a sword, we're probably in a time period where medicine isn't so great).


*EDIT: On second thought, I think Move and Attack only prevents defending with the limb used to attack. So, jump up with a Move and Attack, target the Neck (-5), Face (-5), Neck Arteries (-8) or Eye (-9; note with a cutting attack this can only cripple, not get the improved WM) with a claw-swipe, drop skill down to 13 or 14 with Deceptive Attack (-8/-4, -8/-4, -6/-3, -4/-2, respectively), take the -4 to hit for Move and Attack, and cap at skill 9. The cat still has one foreleg left to Parry with (it used the other for the claw swipe), the attack doesn't have a horrible chance of hitting (37.5%), and the knight is going to be hard pressed to successfully defend, at least without a shield (effective Parry 5, 5, 6, or 7, respectively). That may be better than going defensive and hoping for a Critical Success.
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Last edited by Varyon; 05-23-2022 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 05-23-2022, 09:42 AM   #4
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Hyperskill pets vs moderate-skill warriors

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
R
Note this assumes the knight has fully-armored feet and legs.
I had assumed at least Mail on Arms, Legs and Torso with 2 pt Leather on Hands and Feet. This is stll an assumption but it's what lead me to focus on the Face and Neck.

As for Move and Attack penalties the cat could just spend a FP. If it didn't want do that it could try and Pounce (Campaigns 372) on the Knight's Face and possibly captialize on the bit where even 0 damage face Attacks require a HT roll for Knockdown and Stunning.

The cat could also do something like climb the Knight's surcoat from the rear up to the neck region and then reach around for claw attacks to an unprotected Neck(Arteries) or Eyes.

If the Knight is in a 13th century outfit as I outlined above and a Greathelm he doesn't have to worry about cats. That's why specifications about exactly what kind of armor matter.
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Old 05-23-2022, 10:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Hyperskill pets vs moderate-skill warriors

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
As for Move and Attack penalties the cat could just spend a FP.
If Heroic Charge (and Extra Effort in general) is available, yes. The cat will tire out faster than the knight, but will probably cause some pretty serious wounds in the meantime. As for Pounce, I'll need to reread that - I thought that was a Slam that turned into a Grapple, and neither of those favor the cat (it's too light to do much with a Slam, and is generally going to be at a disadvantage against a larger, stronger opponent in a grapple, but I could be mistaken).

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
The cat could also do something like climb the Knight's surcoat from the rear up to the neck region and then reach around for claw attacks to an unprotected Neck(Arteries) or Eyes.
Having recently acquired (unless we can find a good home for it) a kitten, the idea of the cat climbing up to the face to attack did occur to me. However, this seems like it might be a case where the cat would attack with the lower of Brawling and Climbing, and it only has ridiculous skill in Brawling.


Of course, I still can't help but chuckle at the visual of a housecat parrying a human's sword.
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Old 05-23-2022, 12:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Hyperskill pets vs moderate-skill warriors

Pounce is a Slam but with +4 to hit and an extra yard of reach. (No Grapples involved, unless you do that afterwards). The catch is that the cat has to make a DX, Acrobatics or Jumping roll to stay on its feet itself, but since a cat has DX 14, it's going to succeed in that five times out of six.

As you say, though, its Slam damage isn't much. It has Move 10, but HP 4, so if it moves its full Move it does (4 x 10)/100 = 0.4d crushing damage, which according to the rules is approximated as 1d-2 crushing damage. Still more than its bite or claw damage, though.

If you borrowed the rule for Collisions (which otherwise work much the same as Slams), that an object with sharp bits does half as much damage but in cutting/piercing/impaling, the cat could pounce with its claws out and do half as much but in cutting damage. But since the penetrating damage multiplier for cutting damage is only 1.5, that would work out as less damage than the crushing version.

Knockdown and stunning would be the thing. The cat can't target the eyes because it doesn't have the right damage type, but it could target the face (and, with its skill level, reliably hit it), and every time it did even 1 HP of damage the knight would have to make a knockdown roll.
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Old 05-23-2022, 12:40 PM   #7
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As you say, though, its Slam damage isn't much. It has Move 10, but HP 4, so if it moves its full Move it does (4 x 10)/100 = 0.4d crushing damage, which according to the rules is approximated as 1d-2 crushing damage. Still more than its bite or claw damage, though.
Humorously, unless I'm mistaken, the cat would take Slam damage for the same velocity from the knight, and seeing as the knight has HP 10, that would be a full 1d... meaning the cat has a good chance of knocking itself out trying this (50% chance of taking 4+ HP damage, reducing it to 0 HP or lower and requiring immediate HT rolls against knockdown/stunning and outright unconsciousness, as well as another roll every turn the cat does anything). I find that ridiculous (I'm more inclined to have both targets take the same damage), but I believe it's the RAW.

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Originally Posted by Inky View Post
If you borrowed the rule for Collisions (which otherwise work much the same as Slams), that an object with sharp bits does half as much damage but in cutting/piercing/impaling, the cat could pounce with its claws out and do half as much but in cutting damage. But since the penetrating damage multiplier for cutting damage is only 1.5, that would work out as less damage than the crushing version.
Yeah, that part of the collision rules is pretty ridiculous, particularly if the character falling has DR. "I'm OK - this big metal blade broke my fall!"

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Knockdown and stunning would be the thing. The cat can't target the eyes because it doesn't have the right damage type, but it could target the face (and, with its skill level, reliably hit it), and every time it did even 1 HP of damage the knight would have to make a knockdown roll.
I believe Martial Arts introduced rules to let cutting (and even some instances of crushing, like the eye rake) target the eyes; this risks crippling, but doesn't get the improved Wounding Modifier seen for attacks to the Skull.

Also, I forgot about the SM difference; if I'm not mistaken, the SM-3 cat is at +3 to attack the SM+0 knight, so it has effective skill 30. If it can reach a vulnerable bit, it's very likely to successfully hit.
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Old 05-23-2022, 12:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Hyperskill pets vs moderate-skill warriors

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Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
Based on a brief discussion started by this post. So, we start with Sorenant's idea of a house cat with Brawling at 27 (which I would probably only allow in a cinematic game, unless the backstory really impressed me), versus a knight with Broadsword at 12. We'll assume that the knight is armed and armoured, while the cat just has natural weapons, and is about average for a house cat outside of high skill and probably pretty high DX even for a house cat.

The thing is, while the battle-kitty would have difficulty directly injuring the knight, apart from biting the part of the hand that is just covered by fairly thin leather (generally, even if the back of the hand and fingers are protected by plate in late-medieval armour, the rest of the hand won't be, because you need to grab and manipulate things), the skill-disparity is [b]massive, so getting the knight to hurt himself is totally plausible. Not just from critical weapon failures (which was noted in the other thread), but from running into things, or otherwise using the environment against the attacking hoomon.


Thoughts?
My only thought was that this is the cat version of Month Python's rabbit
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Old 05-23-2022, 01:04 PM   #9
sir_pudding
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Hyperskill pets vs moderate-skill warriors

Isn't the knight better off doing what anybody fighting a housecat should do? Either stamp kick, or grapple and pin.
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Old 05-23-2022, 02:41 PM   #10
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Isn't the knight better off doing what anybody fighting a housecat should do? Either stamp kick, or grapple and pin.
Even if we assume the knight has Brawling and/or Wrestling at the same level as Broadsword, you're looking at an attack of 12 (or maybe 9, considering the cat is SM-3) vs a defense of 16 (from Brawling 27), which means the knight is less likely to connect with such than with a sword swing. I can't recall exactly what the bonus from higher SM is to grappling, but if we assume it grants the knight a net +3, that would be 15 vs 16, which is better, but still something will take quite some time for the knight to connect (although once he does, his ST advantage should make a pin rather easy to accomplish). Meanwhile, he needs a posture low enough to reach the cat, which puts his face (and eyes) in ready clawing distance. I think relying on the sword may be a better bet, given it gives the cat a -3 to defend and, with Reach 1, should be usable from a standing posture.
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