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Old 07-13-2018, 04:03 PM   #91
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: Unarmed Combat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
This seems to me like a separate (and interesting) idea from the rest of what you wrote.

...

I also hope if there are more cinematic martial arts abilities added, that they'd also be added for armed characters.

It seems to me too that armed fighters have several abilities that could be added that I would think were more realistic than continuing not to have them, such as:
I'm not particularly opposed to this idea. However, the talent point cost should be high - higher than unarmed combat because armed figures can do much more damage, wear heavy armor, etc.

At the end of the day, it's hard to break an unarmed combat system where the average martial artist does 1d of damage and can only wear cloth.

But you can quite easily break a system with a fine plate wearing, greatsword-wielding figure.

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* ability to wear armor without large penalties to their ability to hit things
If you do that, you will make DX even more important and very quickly break the 3d6 bell curve. The distance between hitting rarely (16%) and hitting most of the time (84%) is only 6 points.

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* ability to defend themselves while still attacking
This is another system that will require a LOT of playtesting. If it's active (i.e., a parry roll) I oppose it on the grounds that it slows play to a crawl. If it's
passive - i.e., it imposes a to hit penalty, it has to be very carefully calibrated. A -3 to hit will cut the chance of an average opponent (DX 10) from 50% to 16%. Yet it will have little effect on a high DX opponent. (It will reduce a DX 16 opponent from 95% chance of success to 84% chance.)

The system that worked in my campaigns effectively restricted a figure to leather armor or less, and required a high DX to be useful. You doubled the DX penalty for armor and shields then got a point of defense for each point of DX over 12 (I think). It was designed to allow swashbuckler types to be viable and worked fine in my campaign. Swashbucklers were NOT common characters, but I always had one in my campaigns. But I have no idea how it might work in other campaigns.

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* ability of their skill to avoid attacks entirely (especially with shields) not just reduce the damage they take slightly
That would seem to require an active system (i.e., defender makes a roll). Again, I'd oppose it because it slows the game down to an unacceptable level.

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* ability to increase their chances to deny being tackled in HTH
Sign me up. Anything that reduces the chance of HTH happening gets my vote.

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* ability to not be immobilized by engagement (at the cost of suffering an attack)
Interesting notion. A lot of playtesting would be required, though. It would make it much harder to screen weaker members of the party (like wizards). But that cuts both ways.

I would add doing extra damage to your list. I'd make the extra damage somewhat proportional - i.e. +1 for ST 9-10 weapons; +2 for ST11-13 weapons, +3 for two handed weapons of ST 13+.
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Old 08-18-2018, 12:21 PM   #92
Tenex
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Unarmed Combat

I've gotta throw something out here. Why is there so much commitment to a limit on armor use in conjunction with UC. Is it that modern practitioners don't wear armor? That must be it.

I am not an expert on Samurai, but I'm sure their empty hand training didn't evaporate when they wore armor.

Google riot armor and you will see police and corrections personnel in what must charitably count as leather engaging in unarmed combat. Yes, they often use shields and batons, but ultimately the police and prison guards must go hands on to control and arrest subjects. There are several episodes on Lockup of corrections cell entry teams taking down violent inmates without weapons, all while heavily armored.

Some police SWAT teams have developed in-house defensive tactics systems specifically designed to be used while wearing body armor and helmets. Krav Maga has been embraced by many departments and is compatible with body armor, helmets and full on riot armor.

With the exception of the samurai, I admit the above are examples of defensive tactics, advanced brawling or whatever you want to call it other than true martial arts. However, it demonstrates real world use of unarmed combat in conjunction with armor. It demonstrates the viability of chokes, arm bars, punches, knee and elbow strikes (never seen a kick) while armored.
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Old 08-18-2018, 04:54 PM   #93
Nils_Lindeberg
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Default Re: Unarmed Combat

I agree we have seen a fair amount of big, slow hard hitting MMA athletes so obviously it works in real life. In some games the restriction exist because there is no down side to wearing armor so it would be OP if they could have armor too. The same goes for magic users. In TFT the limitation can be overcome by silver armor and I like that option. Most wizards won't have much armor, but they can if they want to be a gish. In Kung Fu movies, no hero wears heavy armor, even if they fight with a weapon. They are so good they don't need it, or some such. It is just an esthetic of the genre. But TFT is more gladiatorial arena with blood gore and dying. Not exactly the same.

I think we should allow the same armor options for UC fighters. In TFT there already is a heavy penalty for wearing armor. If we at the same time had more of a set penalty on the kick, so it followed the Shrewd attacks a little closer it would be a trade off. Either you do the fancy high damaging attacks, or you go for armor or you go for higher IQ and get better options and a better base attack. I like options. And a little scaling with ST would also be nice, so not all martial artists are ST 8 weaklings.

Now UC fighters are extremely cookie cutter. You can't fight unarmed at all in a lethal setting without at least UC 3, and you best bet is to get UC4 and 5 as soon as possible. And to do that you should get prereqs first, then IQ then talent, in that exact order. And you will have spent a lot of your talents points which in turn limits other options on your char. So you are a one trick pony or sorts. Not the classic wise scholar or a weapon master that knows both UC and lots of other weapons or have Running, Climbing, Alertness and other feats related to fantasy Kung Fu masters. So two UC fighters would basically always look exactly alike.

But the system as it stand is fairly balanced for UC 3 and up. But I can change my sim to test any new alternative rules pretty quickly to avoid balancing problems.

Fencing also suffers a little bit of the same problem with Cookie Cutter builds since they require adjDX which limits the possible builds. It is one thing to have a DX requirement, but adjDX limits it even further. I have no problem with a fencer and a adjDX of 8. Sure they wouldn't be able to go Shrewd but some parries and some of the foot work should still be there. In short they won't be as good as someone with higher DX, but the knowledge should still help some.
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Old 08-20-2018, 12:07 PM   #94
guymc
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Unarmed Combat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenex View Post
I am not an expert on Samurai, but I'm sure their empty hand training didn't evaporate when they wore armor. (...)

Google riot armor and you will see police and corrections personnel in what must charitably count as leather engaging in unarmed combat. (...)

Some police SWAT teams have developed in-house defensive tactics systems specifically designed to be used while wearing body armor and helmets. (...)
The empty hand training of a samurai didn't vanish when they wore armor. But a samurai would not have relied on hand to hand techniques while in armor BECAUSE it is so much less effective when your vision and movement are limited.

Current body armor is made of materials and with designs that restrict movement less. Today's body armor is less restrictive than medieval cloth or leather armor, but much of that freedom is because it is designed to prevent the penetration of a ballistic weapon, where any effective armor of the past was primarily designed to stop slashing, stabbing and crushing weapons.

Those primarily engaged in the unarmed martial arts have gone without the protection of armor for a reason. There were and are unarmed martial arts designed to be used by someone in armor, but they are mostly techniques for trying to minimize the limitations of armor as much as possible in an extreme circumstance. Any armored fighter knows he's at a decided disadvantage trying to engage in no-weapons fighting.

Armor in real life is more complex than any game system can depict it. Some is more effective against one type of damage (or even one direction of attack) than another. We generalize this to "X armor protects against Y damage" for playability. Otherwise you'd need a computer simulation run every time someone tried to strike a blow.

Similarly, we have to abstract the effect of armor on advanced hand-to-hand techniques. In general, the types of techniques lumped under "Unarmed Combat" in TFT are enough less effective for armored combatants that it makes sense just to say they aren't for armor-wearers most of the time.
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Old 08-20-2018, 07:54 PM   #95
Tenex
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Unarmed Combat

You make some good points. I don't mean to be nitpicking you below, it is just my attempt to adequately reply to your comprehensive post.

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Originally Posted by guymc View Post
The empty hand training of a samurai didn't vanish when they wore armor. But a samurai would not have relied on hand to hand techniques while in armor BECAUSE it is so much less effective when your vision and movement are limited.
The point isn't that they relied on unarmed techniques when armored, but rather if they found themselves unarmed and in armor they still could have used the techniques. Honest question for you: why are empty hand techniques any less effective than weapon techniques due to reduced vision and movement of armor?

IMO, a shin kick or punch would be vastly improved if done with an armored shin or hand. The cestus exists in TFT and the real ones in use by the Romans included leather straps extending up the forearm that were apparently thick enough to be used to block other weapons. That sounds like leather armor to me.

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Originally Posted by guymc View Post
Current body armor is made of materials and with designs that restrict movement less. Today's body armor is less restrictive than medieval cloth or leather armor, but much of that freedom is because it is designed to prevent the penetration of a ballistic weapon, where any effective armor of the past was primarily designed to stop slashing, stabbing and crushing weapons.
This is partially true and partially false. I give you that medieval plate was probably pretty restrictive, but not chainmail. That is as flexible as any modern armor, although probably heavier.

Much modern body armor is designed NOT to stop bullets, but to stop crushing blows, stabs and cuts. The physics and material nuances that are involved in this are probably beyond what I can describe well. Here is a manufacturer's explanation of stab vs. ballistic armor: https://www.protectiongroup.dk/en/fa...ody-armor-a-13

Here is a stab resistant vest that is not marketed as protection against bullets:https://www.galls.com/point-blank-sp...002278&PMSRCH=

Here is a non-ballistic helmet: https://www.galls.com/monadnock-906-tacelite-pc-helmet

Here is a protective chest piece which is designed to protect against blunt force trauma and expressly does not protect against stab or bullet threats: https://www.galls.com/galls-upper-bo...002200&PMSRCH=

I have worn both stab resistant and bullet resistant body armor. The stab resistant armor was considerably heavier and bulkier. I think people familiar with typical covert ballistic armor are under the impression that modern body armor is lightweight and almost comfortable. That is emphatically not the case when it comes to stab resistant armor.


Quote:
Originally Posted by guymc View Post
Those primarily engaged in the unarmed martial arts have gone without the protection of armor for a reason. There were and are unarmed martial arts designed to be used by someone in armor, but they are mostly techniques for trying to minimize the limitations of armor as much as possible in an extreme circumstance. Any armored fighter knows he's at a decided disadvantage trying to engage in no-weapons fighting.
I think the primary reasons unarmed martial artists go without armor are:
1. modern society frowns on people wandering around in police riot gear,
2. most modern martial arts battles are in a ring with rules and those rules don't provide for armor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guymc View Post
Armor in real life is more complex than any game system can depict it. Some is more effective against one type of damage (or even one direction of attack) than another. We generalize this to "X armor protects against Y damage" for playability. Otherwise you'd need a computer simulation run every time someone tried to strike a blow.

Similarly, we have to abstract the effect of armor on advanced hand-to-hand techniques. In general, the types of techniques lumped under "Unarmed Combat" in TFT are enough less effective for armored combatants that it makes sense just to say they aren't for armor-wearers most of the time.
I tend to agree with the above as a matter of practicality. But much of this thread has been about the disparity between two characters who each expend a similar number of points in unarmed vs. armed fighting skills. Instead of going through all the machinations used earlier in the thread to try to make a UC fighter competitive, simply allowing them the use of leather or chain would make a big difference.

Most actual curriculums for prison guards are kind of confidential, but this list is kind of typical. https://www.correctionsoneacademy.co...s-corrections/ Take a look at those techniques. All are meant to be performed either in or out of the stab resistant riot armor I linked to above. I think the shield rush, disarming, etc. described in TFT UC are well within the described curriculum.

It's emphatically not my intent to argue that UC techniques are as easy to perform when encumbered by armor, just that it is possible and the player should be the one to decide when the DX reduction is too costly for the armor benefit.

Fencing can't be used when the adjDX is reduced below 14, why should something as finesse oriented as fencing be allowed to wear armor when the martial artists can't?

Last edited by Tenex; 08-20-2018 at 11:49 PM. Reason: more thoughts...
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Old 08-21-2018, 06:49 AM   #96
guymc
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Unarmed Combat

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Originally Posted by Tenex View Post
I give you that medieval plate was probably pretty restrictive, but not chainmail. That is as flexible as any modern armor, although probably heavier.
I've worn chainmail. A lot heavier.

Quote:
I have worn both stab resistant and bullet resistant body armor. The stab resistant armor was considerably heavier and bulkier. I think people familiar with typical covert ballistic armor are under the impression that modern body armor is lightweight and almost comfortable. That is emphatically not the case when it comes to stab resistant armor.
Which was my point exactly. Medieval armor is designed to reduce the effectiveness of blunt force, stabbing and slashing weapons. As such, it is heavier and more restrictive than most modern body armor designed to stop bullets. I know there is modern body armor designed to stop knives (for example). It is STILL heavier/bulkier than ballistic armor, as you say. Also, the modern stuff was never intended to protect against -- for example -- a broadsword.

Quote:
I think the primary reasons unarmed martial artists go without armor are:
[Admin note: Text has been edited here.]

Quote:
2. most modern martial arts battles are in a ring with rules and those rules don't provide for armor.
The real reason is that martial artists aren't arming for war. The unarmed combat arts are designed to allow an unarmed person to efficiently defend himself and others, even when they have no weapons. No one sane PREFERS to go into a known combat situation where the opponents are armed for war with just their hands and feet. It is like the samurai discussed earlier. Sure, they KNEW unarmed self defense techniques -- and they needed them because they weren't wearing their armor all the time! Assassins were everywhere. But the didn't rely on them while armored.

Similarly, our player characters in TFT who are going into labyrinths expecting to fight dragons are going to do it wielding the best weapons and wearing the best armor they can manage. Only someone who expected to remain out of direct combat for the most part or a wizard who can't wear normal armor because it messes up his ability to cast spells will go into such situations unarmed and unarmored. If so, they're going to rely on strong men-at-arms to cover them while they do what they came to do.

I'm not saying that people with Unarmed Combat skills shouldn't EVER wear armor. I'm saying that when they wear armor they should be carrying and using appropriate weaponry for the situations when armor is necessary and appropriate.

So why have Unarmed Combat skills at all? Because you don't live in a dungeon. When you come down at the inn for breakfast and a big half-orc picks you up and taps your favorite head against the wall and says, "Have you paid your dues, Jack?" unless you eat your porridge through the visor of a Great Helm you will be very happy to have skills with which to defend yourself without arms or armor. ("The check is in the mail" isn't helpful in a medieval society.)

As a martial artist, I have gone into known dangerous situations unarmed But I dislike guns (because they are lousy defensive weapons, mostly useless unless you are going to START the fight) and I have no real skill with a broadsword, nor am I likely to be able to conceal one!

But even in those circumstances if that known dangerous situation was where a weapon could be used effectively and appropriately, I carried one -- a cane or short staff, a knife, brass knuckles, whatever. I didn't wear armor because the threat was not one that armor could appropriately meet (my opponents would not be carrying maces and halberds) and armor would inhibit my ability to fight (and, more importantly, flee, hide or strike from ambush) more than the armor would protect me.

But then I wasn't fighting dragons, or dire wolves, or other people wearing armor and carrying slashing and stabbing weapons.

The point is, an unarmed combat expert does not expect his abilities to make him invulnerable. He expects them to serve him in places and at times where wearing armor and carrying big weapons is inappropriate. His skills are honed for combat without armor or big weapons, and he'll use other skills and tactics when more appropriate.

Navy SEALs are among the best practical hand-to-hand combatants in the world. But they still issue them combat knives, and guns, and if they were in medieval times they'd wear appropriate armor and carry appropriate weapons. Then they'd shuck all that when making a stealth incursion where they expected to bring down sentries quietly while their buddies wore it all for a main assault.

Armor and UC techniques are not compatible because they are learned for situations where armor is mostly inappropriate or ineffective. On occasion, an Unarmed Combat technique could be used by an armored man. You can use an unloaded firearm as a club, too, when you need it. In neither situation is the skill you learned all that much use to you. There is a difference between what anyone CAN do and what an expert is trained to do WELL.
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Last edited by Andrew Hackard; 08-22-2018 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 08-21-2018, 07:06 AM   #97
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: Unarmed Combat

I've started a new thread for discussion of the recently posted new Unarmed Combat Talents.

http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=159332
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Old 08-22-2018, 06:35 AM   #98
Nils_Lindeberg
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Default Re: Unarmed Combat

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Originally Posted by guymc View Post
The point is, an unarmed combat expert does not expect his abilities to make him invulnerable. He expects them to serve him in places and at times where wearing armor and carrying big weapons is inappropriate. His skills are honed for combat without armor or big weapons, and he'll use other skills and tactics when more appropriate.
This is the key issue right here. Are we designing a UC system for D&D monks that fight naked and bare handed besides the knight in full plate, shield and morning star, in the dungeon or on the battle field? Or do we design a UC system where the martial artist can rough up a few muggers in the alley even though one of them had a knife and even knew how to use it?

Anyone that has worn medieval heavy armor knows how badly it affects both speed, techniques, timing and footwork. Some armors more than others and the system simulates this fairly well with DX and MA penalties. Better than a lot of other systems out there i might add. So no one wants to walk around in it and no one will want to bring it to a night out with the boys. Same goes for heavy weapons. Very effective on the battlefield, but for many reasons a sword or big knife might be the right weapon for a night out.

In a pitched battle or during a riot you wear armor, not because it improves your fighting ability but because it keeps you alive. Stabs frombehind, a thrown stone, your buddy falling on you so you trip and fall and hit your head, etc. And on a battle field it is even worse since everything is sharp and dangerous. And if you are facing a dog I would rather be dressed in full plate, because then I could both hit with a mailed glove and be more or less protected against it's bite.

Most of the lessons from UC training would still be in effect even in a dogfight. I would hit with better focus when I strike, I would strike at better places even on a dog, I would have better balance, I would still be able to time a parry, I wouldn't be as shocked and better mentally prepared, I could use elbows and maybe even some locks and definitely kick without falling on my ass. Especially if I had actually practiced in my plate as well as without and I had practiced with monsters in mind as well as lone knife fighter. But at the same time there would be a bunch of things I couldn't do at all or at least not well enough to even try and my perception would be way down, but that is as bad for a sword swinger as it is for a UC fighter or almost as bad.

So I think all of the penalties that should be there from armor is there all ready. I never was especially fond of prereqs. on adjDX. I am more of a let the player chose if it is worth it and give penalties. And if it is a specific bonus and not related to a skill use or attack I would rather see a conditional approach. You can fence and attack as normal but if you want a bonus 1 die on defending, then you need adjDx13. That I can accept since you don't roll for defense so a low adjDX wouldn't interfere and it should. (The best would be a small table depending on your DX like +1 def with adjDX 8, +2 with adjDX 10, +3 with adjDX 12 and +1 die with adjDX13. But this would be waaaay to complicated.)

For UC that could be you get a little extra damage no matter your adjDX, but to do fancy take downs you need adjDX of 13, for fancy jump kick adjDX 15 and fancy double flying spinkick with a flip adjDX 18. But the same thing could be achieved with a negative DX bonus like kick or Shrewd is written today. Something that makes it more or less worthless to try if you don't have a great enough adjDX.

And the argument that some things just can't be done in heavy armor or any armor for that matter doesn't really hold water in TFT. If my char have DX 10 and wants to climb a tree or he has a DX 13 and chainmail on and wants to climb that same tree. The chance is the same if it is a DX test. One could argue that the chainmail would be slower since his MA is lower, but otherwise DX is DX. And we don't very much care if that DX is the base DX, adjDX from wounds, spells, encumberance or armor. I am not sure we want to make a more detailed distinction.

Basic prereqs like DX 12 to learn a talent I am a little against. Most likely the pick pocket master would laugh you out of his "school" telling you that you would never make a good pick pocket if your DX was 8. But if you paid and promised not to sully his name by mentioning it when you made a fool of yourself, I am sure you could improve a lot and go from abysmal to just bad at it.

So in short, there is no need for prereqs other than IQ, for talents that are used with a die roll. If the talent gives you a new distinct ability that you usually don't roll to succeed with (it is automatic), then a prereq might be in order. But if a talent gives three things, you usually roll for two, but not the third. Then it is ok to put a prereq on just the third application and leave it up to the player to decide if it is worth it or not.

Running is a typical talent you could argue that it can only ever be used with no armor or Cloth, or you could argue that you really need an adjDX of at least 12 to sprint properly or what ever. But instead it is open to all and compatible even with Plate. One could even say that it is better in plate because you get a better %-boost out of it when you MA is low.

And we need to discuss, or you and Steve need to decide, if UC should be strictly for street fighting, bar room brawls, cage fights and dojo matches. Or if it should be something for the battle field and dungeon crawls. Or a combination where the gear is the deciding factor. Or a combination where power level is the deciding factor. If not we will continue to compare apples to oranges.:-)
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Old 08-22-2018, 06:50 AM   #99
Nils_Lindeberg
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Default Re: Unarmed Combat

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
...This is another system that will require a LOT of playtesting...
Some testing is always required with new systems, but balance wise we can test builds theoretically and we can run a sim for the statistics. If we do changes I will try to keep my sim up to date. Play testing is very slow and time consuming and it is hard to isolate rules and test them individually. But the real test will always be in the dungeon. :-)
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Old 08-22-2018, 11:07 AM   #100
Tenex
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Unarmed Combat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nils_Lindeberg View Post
And we need to discuss, or you and Steve need to decide, if UC should be strictly for street fighting, bar room brawls, cage fights and dojo matches. Or if it should be something for the battle field and dungeon crawls. Or a combination where the gear is the deciding factor. Or a combination where power level is the deciding factor. If not we will continue to compare apples to oranges.:-)
I think Nils nailed the conundrum. Do we want a realistic version of martial arts/defensive tactics or the cinematic kind?

I'm interested in this topic, but is the discussion even open anymore? It seems the new UC rules are out. Is this topic done?
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