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Old 07-12-2018, 12:57 PM   #1
Boge
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Default Use "Knowing Your Own Strength" damage rules or not?

Starting up a new campaign soon and I'm looking for opinions on the adjusted damage table with Knowing Your Own Strength in Pyramid 3-83. It basically adds +1 to thrust and swing each level of strength.

I find that with the regular rules, I RARELY thrust with a melee weapon, especially when I have weapon mastery and strength between 13 and 19 (which is just about every character).


Looking for opinions, especially from those who have tried the alternate rules, what do you find has been more balanced, and could you give me some examples?
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:45 PM   #2
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Use "Knowing Your Own Strength" damage rules or not?

I do not use KYOS rules because I prefer the base ST rules. The reason is because of physics, leverage gives swings much more force and weapon design gives swinging attacks much more surface area than thrusts (otherwise, baseball bats would be designed differently). Therefore, it makes sense that, on a human scale, swinging deals more damage than thrusting.

The reason to use thrusting attacks is a) unarmed attacks are thrusting, b) most ranged and/or throwing weapons use thrust, and c) most impaling attack use thrust damage. If you want to make a weapon attack against the brain or vitals (both of which usually end the fight with only a few points of base damage), you generally need to use thrusting melee attacks to gain the requisite impaling damage. This becomes especially true in 'realistic' campaign, when you do not have Weapon Master to boost damage.
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Old 07-12-2018, 03:46 PM   #3
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Default Re: Use "Knowing Your Own Strength" damage rules or not?

I've never felt the need for variant strength rules as a GM, or as a player. But I very rarely play GURPS melee combats where both sides are armoured.
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Old 07-12-2018, 05:52 PM   #4
mlangsdorf
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Default Re: Use "Knowing Your Own Strength" damage rules or not?

My group did one campaign with KYOS damage rules, and there were parts of it that were really nice, like melee fighters who punched or stabbed were not mooks compared to the ones who swung. There were parts that were not nice, like the ST 22 troll punching for more damage than a low caliber rifle and the fact that most monster stats had to be reconverted to the new damage scale.

I've since moved to setting swing to thrust +2, with swing damage increasing on even ST and thrust damage on odd ST. I've done that for two games now, and I'm happy with it: high ST combatants can be effective as punchers, stabbers, or swingers; I can almost always use existing monsters without much math; and the damage values aren't too crazy. I really recommend it as a simple solution.
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:53 PM   #5
Boge
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Default Re: Use "Knowing Your Own Strength" damage rules or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlangsdorf View Post
My group did one campaign with KYOS damage rules, and there were parts of it that were really nice, like melee fighters who punched or stabbed were not mooks compared to the ones who swung. There were parts that were not nice, like the ST 22 troll punching for more damage than a low caliber rifle and the fact that most monster stats had to be reconverted to the new damage scale.

I've since moved to setting swing to thrust +2, with swing damage increasing on even ST and thrust damage on odd ST. I've done that for two games now, and I'm happy with it: high ST combatants can be effective as punchers, stabbers, or swingers; I can almost always use existing monsters without much math; and the damage values aren't too crazy. I really recommend it as a simple solution.
So rather than a +1 sw every level or +1 th every level, you do +1 to either, alternating ever other level? So you essentially are gaining +1 thrust and +1 swing every other level? That would kill your damage at higher strengths for swing.
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Old 07-13-2018, 05:16 PM   #6
mlangsdorf
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Default Re: Use "Knowing Your Own Strength" damage rules or not?

Sure, swing based ST damage gets reduced. What else can you do?

There's three options:
1. Swing based damage increases very fast, and in the ST 17-50 range, makes thrusting attacks obsolete.
2. Swing and thrust based damages increase very fast, and past ST 17, karate experts are punching harder that assault rifles hit.
3. Neither swing nor thrust based damages increase very fast. Thrusting attacks stay relevant through ST 17-50, strong karate masters do not do more damage than assault rifles, but people who were used to do absurd amounts of damage with swung weapons stop doing that.

Standard rules is option #1, and I personally find that unsatisfactory.

Stock KYOS is option #2, and severely limits human ST to 14-16 to control the damage progression (and because that's where the weight formula puts peak human ST). Not my cup of tea either.

My house rules are option #3.

But there's no option where thrusting and swinging are relevant to each other at medium-high levels of ST, thrusting damage isn't unreasonable at medium-high high levels of ST, and swing damage at medium-high levels of ST isn't reduced. You just have to decide what option produces the best feel for you.
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:22 PM   #7
Railstar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Default Re: Use "Knowing Your Own Strength" damage rules or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boge View Post
Starting up a new campaign soon and I'm looking for opinions on the adjusted damage table with Knowing Your Own Strength in Pyramid 3-83. It basically adds +1 to thrust and swing each level of strength.

I find that with the regular rules, I RARELY thrust with a melee weapon, especially when I have weapon mastery and strength between 13 and 19 (which is just about every character).


Looking for opinions, especially from those who have tried the alternate rules, what do you find has been more balanced, and could you give me some examples?
It sounds like your campaign is fairly Dungeon Fantasy-esque based on Weapon Mastery & ST 13-19 for just about every character.

That means...
-more recalculating ST scores for monsters.
-assumption of lower ST scores for characters.

Because 18 ST with KYOS is essentially superhuman. Which isn't a bad thing per se, but you can't just use KYOS without accounting for that and not get certain results - like what mlangsdorf mentions about ST 17+ Karate experts punching harder than assault rifles hit.

Is it a problem if they do? I'd say for Dungeon Fantasy, it's not necessarily a problem because assault rifles are never going to matter.

However, monster attacks will be more damaging, for things that only use claws or bites or other thrust-based damage. A monster that by default was doing 3d damage per claw or bite might now be doing 4d damage. You'll have to not only recalculate ST, but recalculate the "challenge" of monster vs armour accordingly.

My experience with KYOS was once in a fantasy (150-200 points) campaign, and once in a Cabal/Supers campaign. I enjoyed KYOS for the fantasy campaign, because it allowed me to play the "strong guy" niche for my knight with only ST 13. For the Cabal campaign, it meant my vampire could lift people up by the neck one-handed without having to take ST into the 20s (I think she was ST 17 or so).

However, those campaigns kept ST within certain levels. 10-12 for regular guys. 13-15 for true elites notable for their strength. 16+ was for things meant to be superhumans like werewolves. We didn't run into problems because everything was so tailored.

For the lower-powered fantasy game, most soldiers were ST 12, so there was only really 1 point of difference in damage.

For the Cabal game, it worked because the supernatural beings were supposed to be scarier. So the demon with ST 17 & Striking ST 19 was meant to be really bad news rather than a fair fight. Of course we were monsters too, but there was more of an understanding that ST past the 16 mark was supposed to achieve great feats. So the fact the demon's damage was 3d-1 instead of 2d worked well in that campaign, the fact it could tear through a demilancer's plate corselet or helmet pretty easily wasn't a bug, it was a feature.

Or rather, it was part of the horror.

Essentially, it depends a lot on your expectations for the campaign and how much book-keeping or tailoring you intend to do.

I suppose the question is "what do you consider balanced?" Or "balanced against what?"

EDIT: overall, I think KYOS works really well at ST 10-15, and at 16-25 it worked really well because I think it better fitted what we wanted from that ST-range. For DF though, you might have to adjust armour DR to compensate for it. For our campaign, DR 7 (plate 5, tough skin 1, reinforced clothing +1 vs cutting) vs 1d+2 impaling or 1d+3 cutting was supposed to be effectively sword-proof for normal humans. While the 3d-1 cutting from a demon was meant to represent something really scary. So my experiences were all positive, but fights were supposed to be unbalanced.

Last edited by Railstar; 07-13-2018 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:03 PM   #8
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Use "Knowing Your Own Strength" damage rules or not?

KYoS really does not work properly for damage; it winds up being an interesting idea that's only halfway implemented.
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Old 07-14-2018, 04:45 AM   #9
Tomsdad
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Brighton
Default Re: Use "Knowing Your Own Strength" damage rules or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Railstar View Post
...
EDIT: overall, I think KYOS works really well at ST 10-15, and at 16-25 it worked really well because I think it better fitted what we wanted from that ST-range. For DF though, you might have to adjust armour DR to compensate for it. For our campaign, DR 7 (plate 5, tough skin 1, reinforced clothing +1 vs cutting) vs 1d+2 impaling or 1d+3 cutting was supposed to be effectively sword-proof for normal humans. While the 3d-1 cutting from a demon was meant to represent something really scary. So my experiences were all positive, but fights were supposed to be unbalanced.
This is pretty much my experience of it. I can also see how it would require more work in a DF style setting especially one where there's a lot of published adversaries that have just got a boost.


Another place were it I think it works but bare's keeping a eye out for it's implications is in Technical grappling where ST and BL just got a boost especially Trained ST vs untrained ST. But I think it works well.

Ultimately I think KYOS is a good addition, but I do understand that our individual opinions on this are likely shaped by the game's we run. I'm definitely more at the ST10-15 non super end of the spectrum, where if the players come up against something ST20 they should be worried and have a plan that involves not getting hit or grabbed!
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Last edited by Tomsdad; 07-16-2018 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 07-14-2018, 03:35 PM   #10
Rupert
 
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Location: Wellington, NZ
Default Re: Use "Knowing Your Own Strength" damage rules or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
I've never felt the need for variant strength rules as a GM, or as a player. But I very rarely play GURPS melee combats where both sides are armoured.
Likewise. For most of my campaigns the primary value of Strength has been being able to wear heavier armour, carry bigger guns, and in having a larger safety margin when other people also have big guns.
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