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Old 11-06-2017, 06:34 PM   #1
Canuck Lad
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default Attack is not opposed?

I was reading about GURPS online. I've never played before, but I've experience in D&D, Vampire the Masquerade, Star Wars by West End Games, etc. I see that if an attack roll is made, and succeeds, the defender rolls his (for example) parry skill independent of the attackers roll. Is this realistic?

If I was sword fighting, I suspect it would be much harder to defend against an expert swordsman than it would against someone of average skill.

Ideally I'd like a game system where the PCs make all the rolls. For example for the enemy I could assume some reasonable default, and not roll the enemy's attack. Instead the PC would roll his defence skill against the static attacker's roll. For the sake of helping combat resolution to be quicker and thus combat more exciting. Has GURPS anything like that?
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Old 11-06-2017, 06:41 PM   #2
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Attack is not opposed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck Lad View Post
I was reading about GURPS online. I've never played before, but I've experience in D&D, Vampire the Masquerade, Star Wars by West End Games, etc. I see that if an attack roll is made, and succeeds, the defender rolls his (for example) parry skill independent of the attackers roll. Is this realistic?

If I was sword fighting, I suspect it would be much harder to defend against an expert swordsman than it would against someone of average skill.
The expert can, for example, afford to take a larger Deceptive Attack penalty to lower your defenses (or make Rapid Strikes to overwhelm your parry).
Quote:
Ideally I'd like a game system where the PCs make all the rolls.
I feel like I have read a system like this, but I don't recall which one it is.
Quote:
For example for the enemy I could assume some reasonable default, and not roll the enemy's attack. Instead the PC would roll his defence skill against the static attacker's roll. For the sake of helping combat resolution to be quicker and thus combat more exciting. Has GURPS anything like that?
Sure you could say that NPCs always roll 10 or 14 or whatever. I think this will certainly make combat less exciting, since the players will know exactly what the NPCs are able to do, and never have to worry about their opponents rolling critical successes. They will always know exactly how much they need to lower their foes defenses by in order to hit as well, which likely will result in very constrained choices.

Last edited by sir_pudding; 11-06-2017 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 11-06-2017, 06:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: Attack is not opposed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck Lad View Post
I was reading about GURPS online. I've never played before, but I've experience in D&D, Vampire the Masquerade, Star Wars by West End Games, etc. I see that if an attack roll is made, and succeeds, the defender rolls his (for example) parry skill independent of the attackers roll. Is this realistic?
Like most RPG mechanics, it's a gameable approximation. Realistically, attacks aren't discrete events, the first strike isn't too likely to hit but an attack that didn't hit can still leave the target vulnerable to a follow-up, but it's a pain to represent that in a game.
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Originally Posted by Canuck Lad View Post
Ideally I'd like a game system where the PCs make all the rolls. For example for the enemy I could assume some reasonable default, and not roll the enemy's attack. Instead the PC would roll his defence skill against the static attacker's roll. For the sake of helping combat resolution to be quicker and thus combat more exciting. Has GURPS anything like that?
There is no easy way of doing that in GURPS that produces results significantly similar to existing rules.
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Old 11-06-2017, 06:49 PM   #4
Canuck Lad
 
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Default Re: Attack is not opposed?

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
The expert can, for example, afford to take a larger Deceptive Attack penalty to lower your defenses (or make Rapid Strikes to overwhelm your parry).
Wouldn't that be inherent in their attack without a penalty?

ie: It's harder to defend against the expert swordsmith because his attack is so clever and well placed, and because he understands the motion of the blade so well. What you describe I don't consider the same thing.
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Old 11-06-2017, 06:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: Attack is not opposed?

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Originally Posted by Canuck Lad View Post
Wouldn't that be inherent in their attack without a penalty?

ie: It's harder to defend against the expert swordsmith because his attack is so clever and well placed, and because he understands the motion of the blade so well. What you describe I don't consider the same thing.
No, because placing the attack cleverly and well is an additional effort over just placing the attack, and understanding the motion of the blade makes it easier regardless of the level of artistry desired.

Deceptive Attack can include things that you might not consider 'deceptive' as such, like a strike that's especially quick or directed so as to be difficult to counter. (Though it should be remembered that it works against all defenses, not only parries.)
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Old 11-06-2017, 07:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Attack is not opposed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck Lad View Post
Wouldn't that be inherent in their attack without a penalty?

ie: It's harder to defend against the expert swordsmith because his attack is so clever and well placed, and because he understands the motion of the blade so well. What you describe I don't consider the same thing.
As someone who practice longsword, your assumption is wrong. I don't claim to be a master of the sword, but I am well enough that a beginner wouldn't even land a strike on me. Most people who have been practicing for a little while won't be able to land much of anything less than me messing up.

If someone with a skill level of 12 fights someone with a skill level of 16, the parry scores are 9 and 11, the skill 16 person could take -4 to skill, dropping it to 12, when they attack which lowers the opponents defense from 9 to 7. That is technique in real life. Its harder to defend against the expert swordsmith because they can take bigger penalties and still land strikes.
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Old 11-06-2017, 07:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Attack is not opposed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck Lad View Post
Wouldn't that be inherent in their attack without a penalty?

ie: It's harder to defend against the expert swordsmith because his attack is so clever and well placed, and because he understands the motion of the blade so well. What you describe I don't consider the same thing.
An expert swordsman is going to strike where - and when - you are most vulnerable. Striking where you are most vulnerable requires difficult positioning, while striking when you are most vulnerable means timing things just so. In either case, an attack penalty is appropriate - for the former, this is due to constraining how the character can attack, while for the latter it's a case where a miss could be interpreted as the character not attacking, as no opening presented itself.

Having Deceptive Attacks be retroactive - that is, imposing a -1 to defense for every 2 points by which you were under your target number - could do some of what you're looking for, but isn't very realistic and can make combat a bit more boring, as it removes some of the gambling nature from the contest.

As for only having the players roll, treating NPC's as always rolling a 12 might not be horrible. A foe with Broadsword-12 could instead be interpreted as one who imposes a +0 to defense and a +4 to attack (he never makes deceptive attacks, and the characters can get away with giving him up to a +2 to Parry), while one with Broadsword-18 would impose a -3 to defense and -2 to attack (he always makes -6 deceptive attacks, and the characters must always impose a -1 to his Parry to hit him).
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Old 11-06-2017, 07:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Attack is not opposed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck Lad View Post
I was reading about GURPS online. I've never played before, but I've experience in D&D, Vampire the Masquerade, Star Wars by West End Games, etc. I see that if an attack roll is made, and succeeds, the defender rolls his (for example) parry skill independent of the attackers roll. Is this realistic?

If I was sword fighting, I suspect it would be much harder to defend against an expert swordsman than it would against someone of average skill.
Part of the fun of the full GURPS tactical combat system is that it lets you model expertise in many ways. Some warriors might invest in extra attacks and speed, out-maneuvering their opponents. Others are strong enough to confidently all-out-attack a lesser foe, knowing that they are very likely to drop them in one shot (an all-out-attack means that you can't take any defenses). You can use deceptive attacks and feints to reduce opponent defenses and aim for specific body parts to increase damage potential or cripple a foe rapidly. Working with your party can create interesting tactical opportunities to exploit.

My two kids (5 and 8) and I sometimes whip out a hex grid to "play a GURPS battle" when we have a bit of spare time. We have a collection of characters that they choose from and then I pick a Dungeon Fantasy monster to put them up against. Most games I'll introduce a new maneuver or feature that they can try. Last night, for example, they battled two Frost Serpents who targeted them with breath weapons that largely ignored their armor. They used retreats to earn bonuses to their defenses and then used the terrain to their advantage, gaining partial cover for the archer. This forced the snakes to approach into melee range at which point the cleric could leap upon them with his flaming sword. (Alas, an inopportune critical failure caused him to drop the sword, leading to much hilarity and a near rout before their luck changed.)

With that said, GURPS combat can be slow, especially if the GM pushes for more granularity than the players are capable of or interested in. In my more serious games, I tend to adjust the style of combat on the mood of the group and the needs of the story. Sometimes we do quick-and-dirty theater of the mind, or narrate past obvious results ("you mop up the remaining mooks..."), or even resolve the whole thing with a quick contest between key opponents (this can be surprisingly fun). Other times, we dive in for a hex by hex mega battle.

I love the versatility.
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Old 11-06-2017, 08:04 PM   #9
D10
 
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Default Re: Attack is not opposed?

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Originally Posted by Canuck Lad View Post
For the sake of helping combat resolution to be quicker
Well what you propose does do that

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck Lad View Post
and thus combat more exciting.
Well, maybe more exciting to you =) But I certainly would not find combat where one side rolls against static numbers more 'exciting' regardless of how quicker it was.

After playing GURPS for years, I actually enjoy the long combats. There are situations where it can get stale, but its always a great adrenaline rush for me. And I think thats because its always so deadly. Im ok with fighting a dragon over the course of 2 months worth of RPG sessions, for instance.


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Originally Posted by Canuck Lad View Post
Has GURPS anything like that?
GURPS rules are perfectly capable of creating the desired feel as expressed by you. Excelente swordsman can use deceptive attacks to impose penalties to the defenses of the defenders of his attacks by reducing his attack skill at a ratio of 2 to 1. So its much harder to defend against a highly skilled fighter than an amateur.

I feel like you lose a big part of what dice games are about when you remove the die rolls for the enemy. They no longer can crit or critically fail, seems wrong to me.
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Old 11-06-2017, 09:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: Attack is not opposed?

GURPS offers a good balance between defense and offense, something that cannot be said about most RPG systems. This is especially true about dodge, which can be used against any 'normal' direct attack, and can be done infinite amount of times during a turn (usually representing general evasive movement rather than specific dodges).
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