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Old 08-23-2016, 11:30 AM   #1
phayman53
 
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Default [Martial Arts] Should a Beat prevent using a weapon to attack?

I was looking over the rules for Beats in Martial Arts, pg. 100-101 and I was wondering if they should be changed slightly. The RAW for the rules make it so that a successful Beat penalizes the defender's specific active defense with targeted defense by the same amount as the MoS of the attacker on the Beat quick contest, and against all attacks from anyone. I was wondering, though, since a beat works by occupying and bringing a weapon/shield/etc. off line, would it also not be realistic (and interesting), if the beat also penalized any attack with that weapon until the beat effect expires? If a weapon is so occupied that it cannot parry as well, it stands to reason that it also would not be able to attack as well either. This would also make beats more attractive since, unlike feints, they only target one active defense (though against all attackers), but in trade they could be a defensive move as well.

House Rule:

Beats also penalize attacks:

In addition to penalizing an active defense, any successful beat against a weapon or striker adds a penalty to the defender's attacks with that weapon or striker equal to the margin of success in the beat quick contest until the end of the next turn of the fighter who made the beat.
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Old 08-23-2016, 11:37 AM   #2
sir_pudding
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Should a Beat prevent using a weapon to attack?

Realistically, (except for the kind of weapons that require Ready maneuvers after attacks or parries) it is trivial to bring a weapon back in line after a beat.
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Old 08-23-2016, 02:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Should a Beat prevent using a weapon to attack?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Realistically, (except for the kind of weapons that require Ready maneuvers after attacks or parries) it is trivial to bring a weapon back in line after a beat.
Yes, but the assumption of beats in MA is that the weapon targeted is out of line enough to penalize defense with it until the end of the attacker's next turn (otherwise it would not be penalized). Why this can it be attacked with at no penalty while being out of line for defense? This makes sense for feints because feints often provoke a specific attack that opens someone up to a counter, but beats are simply forcing the weapon out of line. It is hard to imagine a case when a weapon that has been beaten aside will be able to attack easily while it is still out of line enough to not be able to defend well.
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Old 08-23-2016, 02:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Should a Beat prevent using a weapon to attack?

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Originally Posted by phayman53 View Post
Yes, but the assumption of beats in MA is that the weapon targeted is out of line enough to penalize defense with it until the end of the attacker's next turn (otherwise it would not be penalized). Why this can it be attacked with at no penalty while being out of line for defense.
Turns overlap. Real fights are simultaneous, not turned based.
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It is hard to imagine a case when a weapon that has been beaten aside will be able to attack easily while it is still out of line enough to not be able to defend well.
It may be difficult for you to imagine, but it isn't difficult to actually do (at least not with balanced weapons).

Are you confusing beats with binds?
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Old 08-23-2016, 03:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Should a Beat prevent using a weapon to attack?

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Turns overlap. Real fights are simultaneous, not turned based.
I know that turns overlap, but there is still a sequence in those overlapping turns in GURPS. An attack ahead of another in initiative order is said to have happened first (and so do its effects), even if only slightly. This is precisely how beats work. Here is a hypothetical example involving a beat to illustrate how I see GURPS turns:

-Fighter 1's 1st turn: Beat Attempt against Fighter 2, quick contest where Fighter 2 defends, beat successful.
-Fighter 2's 1st turn: attacks Fighter 1 just after Fighter 1 beats. Fighter 1 defends against attack

-Fighter 1's 2nd turn: Attacks Fighter 2, Fighter 2 is at a penalty to defend based on result of beat action. Fighter 2 attempts a defense, fails, and is incapacitated by fighter 1's attack.
-Fighter 2's 2nd turn: does not get to act because fighter 1's incapacitating act came before his action.

Fighter 1's actions definitely come before Fighter 2's. If Fighter 1 had not incapacitated fighter 2 in the above hypothetical example, then fighter 2 could have acted. However, if both acted simultaneously, then fighter 2 would have gotten another action regardless of the outcome of fighter 1's attack. Likewise, the beat in the first turn happens before fighter 2's attack, even though it may only be just barely before. The result is that the attack happens while fighter 2 is still under the effects of the beat.

My problem is that the person who defends against the beat unsuccessfully can respond with the same weapon without hindrance even while they are still under the effect of the beat. This just seems counter-intuitive to me. Is it possible? Sure, and in my optional rule it will be as well, but it cannot be as easy as attacking unhindered otherwise would have been.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
It may be difficult for you to imagine, but it isn't difficult to actually do (at least not with balanced weapons).

Are you confusing beats with binds?
I may be thinking of beats more in terms of HEMA binds that move and keep a weapon off line through weapon contact and open a line for attack (as opposed to the GURPS Bind Weapon technique on MA 67-68, which specifically requires a specially trapping weapon or hilt to catch a blade). That is always what I thought Beat modeled--weapon contact and forcing another weapon aside to open a line.
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Should a Beat prevent using a weapon to attack?

I use that same house rule, it's come up on these boards before.

Mechanically, it compensates for the fact that Beats require additional set-up, that feints do not (a successful parry by either party). This works best if you make Beat an improveable technique completely separate from Feint.

Realistically, if a beat works and creates an opening, that presupposes that your target has not brought their weapon back into an optimal position before your attack.

In my own HEMA practice, I've noticed that most beats have a primarily defensive purpose, with the offensive benefits just being gravy.

Last edited by aesir23; 08-23-2016 at 04:18 PM. Reason: Mis-read OP, responded to the wrong question.
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Should a Beat prevent using a weapon to attack?

The answers being given tend to ignore the fact that GURPS works in turns, so the descriptions of actual methods are not 100% applicable. (For example, in cases of aesir23's beat-and-attack example, that's ignoring the fact that in GURPS the defender gets an attack before you get yours, unless you're doing a rapid strike, but beats in GURPS are allowed without rapid strike... so it has to cover both cases.)

But, it's not just the physics, I think. It's also the psychology.

If you beat someone's weapon, they're now less inclined (briefly) to defend with it. But that doesn't necessarily affect their inclination to attack, since that's putting your weapon in a position where it isn't beating.

Think of it cinematically. Mr. Zweihander is smacking around Mr. Shortsword, beating his weapon constantly, and so Mr. Shortsword starts ducking and dodging instead, because parries just aren't doing the job. But that doesn't have to change how Mr. Shortsword attacks: after all, his opponent's weapon is ungainly, and the chances of Mr. Zweihander successfully defending against Mr. Shortsword are much lower. Mr. S's need to worry about Mr. Z's power is reduced during his attacks, even as it's increased during his defenses.
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Last edited by kmunoz; 08-23-2016 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Should a Beat prevent using a weapon to attack?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aesir23 View Post
Based on my HEMA experience, the answer to the OPs question is a definitive, "no!"

I know of at least two techniques (one from Fiore and one from Lichtenauer) where you beat and attack with a longsword in very rapid succession.

Lichtenauer's zornhau, is launched in such a way that a successful enough beat hits on the follow through (and if it does not, it ends with your sword perfectly lined up for a thrust.

In my Rapier practice, I can attest to a technique from Giganti in which two mandrittos (overhead, for-hand cuts) are launched in rapid succession--the first to knock your opponent's sword out of line, the second to hit the heat.

Granted, beats (and indeed feints, conterattacks, and ripostes) are easier and more effective if you have a secondary weapon or a shield--but they're still quite common and effective with a single weapon.
OP is talking about the beated, not the beating weapon.
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:20 PM   #9
phayman53
 
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Should a Beat prevent using a weapon to attack?

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
OP is talking about the beated, not the beating weapon.
This. My point was that if Fighter 1 beats Fighter 2's weapon aside, then it should be harder for Fighter 2 to both defend and attack with the affected weapon specifically because the weapon is out of position until the beat "expires" after Fighter 1's next turn.
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Should a Beat prevent using a weapon to attack?

Quote:
Originally Posted by phayman53 View Post
An attack ahead of another in initiative order is said to have happened first (and so do its effects), even if only slightly.
If the attacker has initiative, the defender is stunned and can't attack at all. You probably mean sequence (i.e. this isn't D&D).
Quote:
Fighter 1's actions definitely come before Fighter 2's.
Only as an artifact of turns, in real life the weapons can still be in contact (or not), and fighters relative positions can be constantly changing. In other words it's possible for me to knock your weapon to the side, while stepping into your guard, which still leaves your weapon able to strike from that side but makes defending against attacks along the same line as my advance less economical.
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