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Old 07-10-2018, 01:58 AM   #11
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Unarmed Combat

In more detail, what we have now is:

UC I - IQ 10 - costs 2 - min DX 13, +1 dmg
UC II - IQ 12 - costs 2 - min DX 14, +2 dmg, shield rush
UC III- IQ 14 - costs 2 - min DX 14, +3 dmg, shield rush +1d, bare defend
UC IV - IQ 14 - costs 2 - min DX 15, as above, eyes behind, bare defend +1d
UC V - IQ 14 - costs 3 - min DX 16, as above, +1d to be hit, drop weapon

It seems to me that levels I through III are restrained and don't seem unrealistic or particularly exciting, and your proposed new costs seem like an improvement for them, to me.

However, UC IV and V add some abilities that weapon-using fighters don't get, and that feel slightly super/magical, which are interesting but feel a bit off to me. And why can't you be a master fighter using weapons? Or armor?

So staying on topic, for the above reasons, if just tweaking the costs, I might suggest lowering the I to III costs about as you suggested, but keeping UC IV and V expensive and hard to get...

Oh, and it seems like UC skills should affect initiating HTH, getting out of HTH, pinning, etc.

[HOWITZER]
But really, I'd want there to be weapon-equivalents, or have them be advanced ability talents whose prereqs are UC III or Fencing or Axe Master or Polearm Master etc.

And I'd rather have it not be about memory points.
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:05 AM   #12
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirk View Post
IQ 12 is about 120 IQ in TFT. My personal professional experience says that is on the low end for more complex fighting systems and techniques.

Light bulbs don't come on for most people at the 120 level for more complex movements, and that is part of what is necessary to execute proper higher level combinations and counters at reactive speed taking into account proper strength, timing, angle of attack, appropriate technique, and the proper opportunity in an encounter.

Maybe making UC V an IQ 13 talent would at least tease a higher IQ out of it and keep UC skills progressive in the talents list up the IQ chain without doubling up in any one IQ level.

And realistically, most people can handle the time and training for about UC I and II and maybe III, but higher levels of many years/decades of discipline and proper training and experience are much more rare and should be mirrored as such in UC IV and V, so the DX and IQ requirements in the considered modifications are surely justified as minimums.
I wouldn't try to tie TFT's IQ too closely to IQ in real life; despite Luminosity, there's plenty of evidence that IQ can never increase.
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:10 AM   #13
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Unarmed Combat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
What we have now:

UC I - IQ 10 - costs 2
UC II - IQ 12 - costs 2
UC III- IQ 14 - costs 2
UC IV - IQ 14 - costs 2 - min DX 15
UC V - IQ 14 - costs 3 - min DX 16

Suppose for the sake of discussion (I had some Sake of Discussion the other night and it was delicious) that we did something like

UC I - IQ 9 - costs 1
UC II - IQ 10 - costs 1
UC III- IQ 11 - costs 2 - min DX 13
UC IV - IQ 12 - costs 2 - min DX 14
UC V - IQ 12 - costs 2 - min DX 15

Then it would be credible to have a STARTING character who is well trained, provided he does not do much else.

I think where that settles out is
ST 8, DX 13, IQ 11 - 32 points
which would fit into the new requirement for UC III.

So you can spend 8 of a starting 11 IQ on training, leaving a whole 3 for other things. You will be a "dojo kid" who has not spent much time NOT training. But you can't start off as a Master.

If I decide that Silent Movement is overpriced (I know that Stealth, formerly Spying, costs too much), you might be able to start as a ninja!
It'd be nice if UC characters had a way to get Warrior and Veteran -- maybe put something in the text for UC III that says you can qualify for Warrior and UC IV qualifies for Veteran if you have Warrior or something like that?
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:29 AM   #14
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Unarmed Combat

[HOWITZER]

All permissions and rights for this material are granted to Steve Jackson.

Here are three UC talents that allow UC characters to use mechanics that are already available for certain weapons.

1000-blows (1): requires UC III, you can make sweeping blow attacks unarmed. Attacking two-handed is possible at normal DX adjustments.

Flying Kick (2): requires UC I, you can use a flying kick to make charge attack bare handed and do extra damage as with a polearm.

Death Blow (3): Requires UC II. When your opponent's body is in the proper alignment, you can shock them by interrupting the flow of their life energy. When you are using an unarmed strike, you do DOUBLE damage on any "to hit" roll or 7, 6, or 5, and TRIPLE damage on a 4 or 3.

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Old 07-10-2018, 06:32 AM   #15
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Talent Point Cost Assessment

After thinking it through, I think that the reduction in talent point cost for unarmed combat talents is justified, and might not go far enough.

Consider this - one-handed swords add from +3 to +5.5 to a figure's barehanded damage (AM, p. 21). A dagger effectively adds +2 in regular combat.

UC I lets a figure do one point more damage, barehanded. I personally don't think that's even worth 1 talent point, since the Knife talent costs 1 point and will let you do +2 damage.

UC II lets a barehanded ST 8 figure do the same damage as a ST 8 fighter with Knife talent and a dagger. A ST 11+ figure will do significantly less damage than a fighter with comparable ST armed with a sword. He can "throw" a foe by shield rushing him. However, any fighter with a shield can do that. Two talent points to get to this level of ability is overpriced in my opinion.

UC III lets a barehanded ST 9-10 figure do about as much damage as a sword armed fighter with the same ST. A ST11+ figure will do 1.5-2.5 less damage than his sword wielding counterpart. Allowing the figure to defend barehanded is also a pretty minimal benefit, since anyone with knife, sword, ax/mace or pole weapons can do that.

However, the ability to "throw" a foe and require him to roll 5/DX to avoid falling down is potentially VERY powerful. Effectively, he can neutralize any enemy with less than 2X his ST most of the time. In my opinion, UC III is worth one talent point, but I'm not sure about 2 talent points.

UC IV gives the "eyes behind" ability and makes the figure very hard to hit if defending. In my opinion, UC IV is worth one talent point, but I'm not sure about 2 talent points.

UC V is the payoff ability. The figure is much harder to hit in combat (even moreso with the new limit on attribute increases). The nerve strike ability is very nasty; a ST 10 martial artist will do 3 points of damage 2/3 of the time. The figure is effectively impossible to hit if dodging or defending. This talent is definitely worth 3 talent points in my opinion.

Last edited by tbeard1999; 07-10-2018 at 06:39 AM.
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:49 AM   #16
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: Unarmed Combat

I'm a bit concerned about large reductions in the cost of UC Talents. Sure, if you compare the cost v damage effectiveness of these Talents compared to Swords etc, they are low. However, this sort of comparison ignores a basic fact: the UC practitioner is always armed. He can't drop or break his weapon. He doesn't need to buy weapons. He can't be "frisked by the guards. In campaign play, this can be a major advantage.
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:58 AM   #17
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Unarmed Combat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
I'm a bit concerned about large reductions in the cost of UC Talents. Sure, if you compare the cost v damage effectiveness of these Talents compared to Swords etc, they are low. However, this sort of comparison ignores a basic fact: the UC practitioner is always armed. He can't drop or break his weapon. He doesn't need to buy weapons. He can't be "frisked by the guards. In campaign play, this can be a major advantage.
Surely the fact that they can't wear any armor better than cloth offsets those advantages. Not to mention the fact that they can't defend bare handed until UC III.
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:10 AM   #18
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Suggested Revision of UC Talents

Here are my thoughts on revising UC talents. At the outset, I want to state that I am concerned with game balance, not "realism". In my opinion, current UC talents are simply not worth the talent point cost (and high IQ prerequisites).

See my previous post for the reasons. As an aside, one very good player who's been in EVERY TFT campaign I've run since 1983 always plays martial artists. So I have a lot of experience GMing martial artists.

Steve's modifications for UC talents make them more attractive, but don't quite go far enough in my opinion. So here are my proposals:

Neo UC I (1): Does +2 damage barehanded and can shield-rush enemies without a shield. In other words, combine UC I and II into a single talent. IQ 9.

Neo UC II (2): Same abilities as current UC III and IV. IQ 10, adjDX 13+

At this point, a ST9- figure has spent 3 talent points to learn how to do about the same damage as an armed fighter of comparable ST. He will be significantly inferior to fighters of ST10+, who have shield and sword (or ax/mace talent) and do 1.5-2.5 points more damage and can wear armor and use a shield. He has a moderately useful "throw" ability. But he's still going to be inferior to most fighters of comparable ST who spent the same number of talent points.

Neo UC III (3): Same abilities as current UC V. 3 point talent. Note - I'd like Steve to clarify whether the nerve strike ability requires that the target take 3 points of damage *after* taking armor into account. We always played it like that. (I did allow magic bracers that would allow a barehanded fighter to get a weapon/armor enchantment bonus). IQ 11; adjDX 14+

With this system, a starting figure can get Neo UC-I and II and be reasonably useful.

A comment on IQ prerequisites - in 8 years of Tae Kwon Do, I met some very talented martial artists. In general, I did not find them to be significantly smarter than average. Nor did I find that high IQ was required to learn the techniques. At least no moreso than sword techniques.

So I propose that the IQ prerequisites for Unarmed Combat could be reduced even further. If you don't want beginning characters to be able to get the higher UC levels, I suggest increasing the DX requirements rather than the IQ requirements.

Last edited by tbeard1999; 07-10-2018 at 07:13 AM.
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:15 AM   #19
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: Unarmed Combat

Quote:
Originally Posted by zot View Post
Surely the fact that they can't wear any armor better than cloth offsets those advantages. Not to mention the fact that they can't defend bare handed until UC III.
Agreed. And seriously - what percentage of adventures will involve completely disarmed characters?

In my campaigns, it was a very rare occurrence. And in all the campaigns I played in.
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:18 AM   #20
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Suggested Revision of UC Talents

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
So I propose that the IQ prerequisites for Unarmed Combat could be reduced even further. If you don't want beginning characters to be able to get the higher UC levels, I suggest increasing the DX requirements rather than the IQ requirements.
I agree strongly on that last part -- I'm not a fan of dual-stat prereqs for talents at all; talents that have ST or DX requirements should have low IQ requirements.
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