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Old 12-11-2014, 02:53 PM   #51
McAllister
 
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Default Re: Unarmed vs. Knife

How does this exercise change if the knife-wielder has Berserk? You just use Telegraphic Attacks to cripple limbs until the fact that they refuse to quit is irrelevant?
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Old 12-11-2014, 03:06 PM   #52
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: Unarmed vs. Knife

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Originally Posted by McAllister View Post
How does this exercise change if the knife-wielder has Berserk? You just use Telegraphic Attacks to cripple limbs until the fact that they refuse to quit is irrelevant?
Has or is?
If the enemy is already berserking at this point, then it actually gives all the more reason to go for grapples:
1. You can now safely Telegraphic Attack and do whatever you want against the knife arm, since you will not be parried, but once you grapple with two hands (or two hands and teeth!), the knife is a non-threat.
2. You can now safely use a Takedown of some sort, and the enemy will not be able to resist it in any way.
3. Shock Penalties become irrelevant, but the target doesn't get any exemptions from Pain Afflictions (but you really shouldn't focus on them either).
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Old 12-11-2014, 03:40 PM   #53
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Default Re: Unarmed vs. Knife

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Originally Posted by Toptomcat View Post
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.
True. That shock penalty will really ruin the Bad Guy's day.

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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.
I'm not sure if this is in any of the books, but if the bad guy is facing in such a manner where he cannot parry your kick with his knife, then I wouldn't let you hit his weapon hand, weapon arm, or right leg, whether targeted deliberately or rolled randomly. I'm not sure how that will screw up the distribution, but those targets should be out of play.

And that probably favors rolling randomly even more. It's just tough for me to visualize throwing a punch or a kick at a random target, but I suppose that is just real life intruding. You need a LOT of narrative grace (or a lot of suspension of disbelief) to explain how a front-snap kick or an uppercut hits an opponent's foot.

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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.
The Knife-12 guy actually has a pretty lousy chance to parry a kick. Base Parry is 8 (Knives are -1 Parry), or 9 if he retreats. If you are in his side hex, then he is at 6 (7 retreating), or whatever his Brawling/Boxing/Karate parry is, -2 more. He'll have to use his unarmed Parry if you are on the side that doesn't have the knife.

I think at that point, the -1 to parry from DA will make a difference about 5% of the time.


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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.
I get it, it's just hard to wrap my head around.

Do a lot of posters on these forums actually choose to roll for random hit location for melee attacks?

For ranged weapons it makes a lot more sense to me. But melee attacks? Not so much.
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Old 12-11-2014, 04:47 PM   #54
johndallman
 
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Default Re: Unarmed vs. Knife

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Originally Posted by TheOneRonin View Post
Do a lot of posters on these forums actually choose to roll for random hit location for melee attacks?
Basically never for me. Depending on the situation, I may go for torso, vitals, arm, or leg, but it's always a question of intention.
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For ranged weapons it makes a lot more sense to me. But melee attacks? Not so much.
There's an arguable case for requiring random hit locations for missile weapons when the chance to hit gets low due to range penalties.
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Old 12-11-2014, 04:52 PM   #55
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Default Re: Unarmed vs. Knife

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Originally Posted by TheOneRonin View Post
Do a lot of posters on these forums actually choose to roll for random hit location for melee attacks?
All the time. There's no penalty for going random location, so I kind of need a reason to go for the torso.

With an impaling or piercing weapon I'll go for torso to get the damage bonus. And I will go for torso with a cutting or crushing weapon if my character does so much damage that I think one hit to the torso will take the bad guy out. But I go random location in melee as often as not for the chance at crippling something.
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Old 12-11-2014, 06:03 PM   #56
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Default Re: Unarmed vs. Knife

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It's just tough for me to visualize throwing a punch or a kick at a random target, but I suppose that is just real life intruding. You need a LOT of narrative grace (or a lot of suspension of disbelief) to explain how a front-snap kick or an uppercut hits an opponent's foot.
There are two things that can help you out here. First, rather than thinking of it as 'attack a random target', think of it as 'attacking whatever target presents itself'. Second, don't define the form of the attack any more concretely than you need to until *after* you roll for hit location. If a Kick hit the foot, then maybe it *wasn't* a front snap kick: an opening for a front snap kick didn't present itself. Instead, an opening for a low roundhouse presented itself, and you took it, chopping at the opponent's ankle. Uppercut itself is a special case, since the wording for the Technique explicitly limits it to upper-body hit locations.
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Old 12-11-2014, 07:16 PM   #57
TheOneRonin
 
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Default Re: Unarmed vs. Knife

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Basically never for me. Depending on the situation, I may go for torso, vitals, arm, or leg, but it's always a question of intention.
Likewise.

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There's an arguable case for requiring random hit locations for missile weapons when the chance to hit gets low due to range penalties.
For what it's worth, I require it any time characters in my games make an "Unsighted Shot" with a firearm. You want a Torso hit? You need to make an AoA.
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Old 12-11-2014, 07:29 PM   #58
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Default Re: Unarmed vs. Knife

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Originally Posted by Toptomcat View Post
There are two things that can help you out here. First, rather than thinking of it as 'attack a random target', think of it as 'attacking whatever target presents itself'. Second, don't define the form of the attack any more concretely than you need to until *after* you roll for hit location. If a Kick hit the foot, then maybe it *wasn't* a front snap kick: an opening for a front snap kick didn't present itself. Instead, an opening for a low roundhouse presented itself, and you took it, chopping at the opponent's ankle. Uppercut itself is a special case, since the wording for the Technique explicitly limits it to upper-body hit locations.
I get that, and with GURPS, you really have to wait until all of the rolls are done before you can actually narrate stuff. But it still can lead to whack results. What happens if you throw a punch and the GM rolls foot? What about throwing a Knee and rolling neck?**



** = Perfectly acceptable if you are playing Tony Jaa
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Old 12-11-2014, 10:39 PM   #59
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Default Re: Unarmed vs. Knife

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What about throwing a Knee and rolling neck?
You've thrown a Kyokushin-style high jumping knee, or your opponent ducked into a knee meant for the body (which happened to a sparring partner of mine last Thursday), or you've made a quick Grab and Smash-style clinch knee without actually going through the typical system abstraction for doing so.

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What happens if you throw a punch and the GM rolls foot?
You punch, the opponent misjudges their parry and gets thrown off balance, rolling their ankle as they're thrown back by the blow?

Alternatively: A 'punch' in GURPS is, principally, an unarmed attack dealing thrust - 1 crushing damage that doesn't unbalance you enough to risk falling when you miss. Would it break anything if such an attack were allowed to represent a conservative sort of kick with less damage and no chance to unbalance you?

True, there are a few incidental system details that indicate you're making the attack with your hand- it's the body part that gets damaged if you get parried by a weapon, and you can get Arm Locked after someone parries it. But, really, if someone parried the attack, the hit location it was going to hit if it had been parried is immaterial, and such attacks can be assumed to have been actual punches to keep things simple. As best I can tell, the only place you get weird results is if you hit rigid DR and damage the striking appendage.

If you're a detail hound and this bothers you, well... the ability to displace such striking-rigid-DR injury from your hand to your foot is ambiguously beneficial at best, probably not even worth a Perk- call it a zero-point Feature that anyone can have. So, any time you Punch a foot, strike rigid DR, and hurt the striking appendage, just say that the damage applies to your foot rather than your hand.

But this is vanishingly unlikely ever to come up. How many people play in games where people both wear rigid foot armor and routinely engage in unarmed combat in the first place? Even in genres where sabatons/sollerets exist, boots are typically used instead, and melee-weapon skills dominate over unarmed-combat ones.

:-)

Last edited by Toptomcat; 12-11-2014 at 10:43 PM.
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Old 12-11-2014, 11:22 PM   #60
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: Unarmed vs. Knife

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Originally Posted by TheOneRonin View Post
I get that, and with GURPS, you really have to wait until all of the rolls are done before you can actually narrate stuff. But it still can lead to whack results. What happens if you throw a punch and the GM rolls foot? What about throwing a Knee and rolling neck?**



** = Perfectly acceptable if you are playing Tony Jaa
Yeah, the table is not a perfect fit to all attacks, it's true.

On the other hand, you are allowed to punch someone in the foot if you want, so if there's a problem with that it's not really with the random hit locations, is it?
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