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Old 04-11-2017, 10:04 AM   #1
Gigermann
 
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Default [MA] Incidental Hits and Warding Off Foes

For a Banestorm campaign, I ended up creating a greatsword-user. As a result, I started doing some spadone/montante/zweihander-related HEMA research, and learning how to use them in a historically-proper manner. This research has brought to light (for me, at least) a couple of points that GURPS doesn't handle, to my knowledge.
  • Incidental Hits: the montante/spadone masters use a lot of very wide, circling, swinging moves, to engage/defend versus multiple opponents before, beside and behind, while not necessarily targeting anyone in particular. And indeed, the normal use of a longer weapon, or even just Reach 1, could accidentally hit someone that gets too close while it's swinging about.
  • Warding Off: owing to the above, an opponent has a difficult time "entering" into range to attack someone swinging dangerous things about like that.
Nearest I can think of is Underground Adventures talking about swinging in narrow confines—related, at least. If I had to rule on my own on this, I'd probably treat it as "Suppression Fire" within the sword's reach—simple enough—and probably give any hits a -2/-1 per die damage treatment. That would probably cover both aspects. (If you're actually targeting multiple foes, it would probably just be Rapid Strike).

Anyone know of an existing treatment I've missed?
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Old 04-11-2017, 11:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: [MA] Incidental Hits and Warding Off Foes

The closest thing I've seen in RAW is from Gurps Swashbucklers, pg.23 sidebar, Optional Rule: Closing the Gap.
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Old 04-11-2017, 11:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: [MA] Incidental Hits and Warding Off Foes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigermann View Post
If I had to rule on my own on this, I'd probably treat it as "Suppression Fire" within the sword's reach—simple enough—and probably give any hits a -2/-1 per die damage treatment. That would probably cover both aspects. (If you're actually targeting multiple foes, it would probably just be Rapid Strike).

Anyone know of an existing treatment I've missed?
I really like this idea in a broader context, too - a swung weapon of reach 1,2 or higher *that misses* might have a denial zone treated exactly as you say: suppression fire, but instead of a hit being on 6+RoF you treat it as a wild swing, perhaps, capped at 9. This will create a zone that if an opposing character steps into that zone, they may get tagged.
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Old 04-11-2017, 11:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: [MA] Incidental Hits and Warding Off Foes

I should probably add that certain "Rules" (equivalent to Japanese kata) change the swing-pattern to exclude some areas. For example, the "Guard the Lady" Rule would exclude the back-hexes (so the guarded individual can stand behind the swordsman without being hit), or the "Narrow Street" Rule that restricts the swings to fore-and-aft (still requires overhead clearance, though).

Examples (montante) for the curious.

Last edited by Gigermann; 04-11-2017 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 04-11-2017, 12:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: [MA] Incidental Hits and Warding Off Foes

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Originally Posted by Gigermann View Post
I should probably add that certain "Rules" (equivalent to Japanese kata) change the swing-pattern to exclude some areas. For example, the "Guard the Lady" Rule would exclude the back-hexes (so the guarded individual can stand behind the swordsman without being hit), or the "Narrow Street" Rule that restricts the swings to fore-and-aft (still requires overhead clearance, though).

Examples (montante) for the curious.
For most cases, I'd probably allow you to pick any three contiguous hexes, so long as you don't strike into the back hex (though I did slice up a heavy bag behind me doing forms practice once as I backed away from actual humans in front of me. that was with a much shorter sword, too, so maybe back hex is legit).

If you're just doing area denial, I'd allow the whirling blade of death to pick the entire area as a wild swing (but then, isn't that just best modeled as a Wait maneuver?).

Anyway, the idea still intrigues me; want to keep it as simple as possible though.
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Old 04-11-2017, 12:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: [MA] Incidental Hits and Warding Off Foes

Hmm…

Simple solution: -2 "Check Target" penalty to exclude a potential target or hex would seem reasonable. For simplicity, I'd say you can exclude any number or arrangement (not worry about "patterns" and whatnot), with just the "distraction" penalty of having to be sure you're not hitting something unintended. Should probably include a chance to hit the excluded target anyway on some miss, maybe 5+.
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Old 04-11-2017, 04:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: [MA] Incidental Hits and Warding Off Foes

Rethinking this a bit:
  • Use Hitting the Wrong Target. If you miss a swinging attack, you may hit someone else. Check the "line" as for ranged attacks out to the weapon's longest Reach—maybe use the Suppression Fire bit here: 1yd (or Reach?) to either side of the line of attack—but include before and behind (and above). Capped at 9 and treated in all respects as a Wild Swing.
  • Allow Target Discrimination when attempting to avoid hitting friendlies/important things.
  • Allow the attacker to specify the arc if he wants, but not require it; no penalty, but subject to the conditions discussed in Underground Adventures regarding space required.
  • Allow a variant of Defensive Attack as a "wide circle swing" that attacks anyone within a full Reach circle as above (but attacks no one directly).
  • All-Out version? Would it be AoA or AoD? (The latter case being an "area denial" thing.)
  • All cases treated as Suppression Fire for the purposes of enemies attempting to enter the "threatened area" (to borrow a familiar term).
Too complicated?
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Old 04-11-2017, 04:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: [MA] Incidental Hits and Warding Off Foes

There is a Kromm-quote somewhere on the forums about low-damage attacks based on Parry when opponents attempt to cross a hex where your weapon can reach. It may have been the basis for the rule in GURPS Swashbucklers, but I don't know if it was originally broader than what made it in.
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Old 04-11-2017, 06:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: [MA] Incidental Hits and Warding Off Foes

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
There is a Kromm-quote somewhere on the forums about low-damage attacks based on Parry when opponents attempt to cross a hex where your weapon can reach. It may have been the basis for the rule in GURPS Swashbucklers, but I don't know if it was originally broader than what made it in.
Must be this one: Armed Interdiction. There are some similarities. I'll have to chew on that, and the Swashbucklers one—didn't even remember that one existed 'till it was brought up here.
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Old 04-11-2017, 06:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: [MA] Incidental Hits and Warding Off Foes

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Originally Posted by Gigermann View Post
Must be this one: Armed Interdiction. There are some similarities. I'll have to chew on that, and the Swashbucklers one—didn't even remember that one existed 'till it was brought up here.
That's the one!
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