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Old 05-18-2019, 11:59 PM   #11
evileeyore
 
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Default Re: The Utility of High Combat Skills

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Originally Posted by ErhnamDJ View Post
I've found high levels of combat skills to be worthwhile in games where combat is important...
If there is going to be any combat in the game and your Character is meant to be the combat facing character, then raising your combat skills to high levels is always important.




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Originally Posted by gmillerd View Post
With that said, spending more than half your points on combat traits is likely poor design and over three quarters or more is flawed; unless your character and the game are warriors with no other purpose in a specialized setting.
I disagree. In a 250 point cyberpunk game I spent right about 60 points on non-combat Skills and Attributes and feel just fine. I can handle the few social tasks I need to handle (Intimidation, Interrogation, Savoir-Faire (Military), Streetwise), the handful of mechanical tasks (Armoury, First Aid, Machinist, Mechanic), and the stealthiness/spottiness (Camouflage, Holdout, Observation, Shadowing, Stealth). And with an IQ 12 (and thus Per 12) he's no real slouch (all those skills are at 12).

But then the other Characters are all Face/Techies... so someone has to rule the combat spotlight (most of the techies can hold out their end, but really all three are about equal to my Character alone in combat) while they have all the other stuff locked down well.
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Old 05-19-2019, 01:28 AM   #12
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Default Re: The Utility of High Combat Skills

If combat is common enough, and high enough stakes, then yes a high combat skill is very worthwhile. Even if the GM doesn't usually apply many environmental penalties (like those for poor light), high skill is useful.

In melee it lets you aim for harder to hit locations and still have a 16- to hit (for 'crit fishing'), and any surplus can be applied to Deceptive Attack, as that retains value until you've put enough in to reduce the opponent's defence down to 4-.

For a ranged attacker it lets you not bother with aiming, aim for small hit locations at great range, and hit many times with automatic weapons. With sufficient skill you can do things like hit the eye many times with an automatic weapon without aiming at short range, or at a longer range if you aim.

Many (but not all) of the benefits of high skill can be replicated by other, cheaper, advantages, such as Night Vision to remove lighting penalties, Gunslinger to increase hit chances, and so on. But high skill levels are flexible - in one fight they might be used to compensate for poor light, in another to deceive someone with high defences and hit them regardless, and so on.
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:06 AM   #13
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Default Re: The Utility of High Combat Skills

I don't like it. Maybe it's just the campaigns I've played in, but it feels overpowered to me, especially if the other players aren't close to that. The GM needs to balance things, but if you get into combat and you have a 24 skill and the other players have 14 skills, the NPCs will likely be around 14 as well meaning you will cut right through them.

Failure is a good thing in these games. Without a real risk, the victory is non-existent.
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:20 AM   #14
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Default Re: The Utility of High Combat Skills

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I don't like it. Maybe it's just the campaigns I've played in, but it feels overpowered to me, especially if the other players aren't close to that. The GM needs to balance things, but if you get into combat and you have a 24 skill and the other players have 14 skills, the NPCs will likely be around 14 as well meaning you will cut right through them.

Failure is a good thing in these games. Without a real risk, the victory is non-existent.
I've challenged parties with gun skills ranging from Guns-16 to Guns-32 with NPCs that had Guns-12. What matters is the NPC's equipment, not their skill, assuming the PCs do not have Perception and Stealth skills that are also in the 20+ range. That's when things start getting very one-sided. Melee is trickier, because skill also gives defence in a way that it doesn't in fire combat. However, even then the Melee-24 guy can only put so many foes out of the fight each turn, so adding more NPCs can still create a challenge - Melee-24 might be able to take the six on the right without a scratch, but they can't stop the half-dozen on the left getting at their less skilled friends at the same time.
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Old 05-19-2019, 04:39 AM   #15
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Default Re: The Utility of High Combat Skills

In combat heavy, low tech games, high melee skill is incredibly useful. Reliably breaking defences or auto-hitting locations that are one-hit/one-kill is great. High ST is also amazing.

For raw, immediate combat power, I would tend to prioritise ST and skill, followed by other valuable things such DX, HT, Combat Reflexes, Luck, Extra Attack and Weapon Master.
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Old 05-19-2019, 04:44 AM   #16
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Default Re: The Utility of High Combat Skills

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Originally Posted by Boge View Post
I don't like it. Maybe it's just the campaigns I've played in, but it feels overpowered to me, especially if the other players aren't close to that. The GM needs to balance things, but if you get into combat and you have a 24 skill and the other players have 14 skills, the NPCs will likely be around 14 as well meaning you will cut right through them.

Failure is a good thing in these games. Without a real risk, the victory is non-existent.
If someone has 24 skill vs. 14 skill as standard, that implies they have spent an extra 40 CP from a limited budget to get there because if it's not quite limited, the other PCs would have high skills as well. Say everyone is ~125 CP, they gave up a lot of points to get their uber-skill. That means they will do a lot less damage or be significantly slower or squishier than the other.

This assume a combat heavy setting of course.
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:09 AM   #17
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Default Re: The Utility of High Combat Skills

There is something interesting about a "rule of 16" for combat reported in the very good How To Be A GURPS GM p.60, credited to Kromm himself :
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Were I rewriting the Basic Set, Id probably state that if your effective combat skill is above 16 after all modifiers, you should reduce it to 16 and apply half the reduction to the enemys defense. Its that important.
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:33 AM   #18
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Default Re: The Utility of High Combat Skills

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Originally Posted by Mavelic View Post
There is something interesting about a "rule of 16" for combat reported in the very good How To Be A GURPS GM p.60, credited to Kromm himself :
Yeah, that's the Deceptive Attack, which everyone with effective skill above 16 should use to reduce enemy defences.

It's pointless to unerringly hit helmet eyeslits if the skill 14 (Parry 10) opponents with Combat Reflexes (+1 AD) and Large Shields (+3 AD) defend against it 90-95% of the time, depending on whether they Retreat.
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Old 05-19-2019, 10:02 AM   #19
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Default Re: The Utility of High Combat Skills

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boge View Post
I don't like it. Maybe it's just the campaigns I've played in, but it feels overpowered to me, especially if the other players aren't close to that. The GM needs to balance things, but if you get into combat and you have a 24 skill and the other players have 14 skills, the NPCs will likely be around 14 as well meaning you will cut right through them.

Failure is a good thing in these games. Without a real risk, the victory is non-existent.
Do you demand the same of Intellectual and Social Characters as well? Are all the Characters in your games capped at skills of 14-16?





Quote:
Originally Posted by Mavelic View Post
There is something interesting about a "rule of 16" for combat reported in the very good How To Be A GURPS GM p.60, credited to Kromm himself :
That's just Deceptive Attack hard baked into the rules instead of being an option offered in Martial Arts.

[EDIT]
It's an option straight out of Basic. I have no idea what Kromm is on about in How To Be A GURPS GM.
[/EDIT]
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Last edited by evileeyore; 05-19-2019 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 05-19-2019, 10:20 AM   #20
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Default Re: The Utility of High Combat Skills

I honestly think that should apply to every contest. Someone with a '30' should gain some benefit against some with a '14'. It would be fair if the person with 30 rolled against a '16' and the person with '14' rolled against a '7'.
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