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Old 07-10-2018, 07:24 AM   #21
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: Unarmed Combat

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
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.
Itís a regular occurrence in my games. Characters are often in urban environments where the authorities donít tolerate armed and armoured persons just wandering about the streets.
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:26 AM   #22
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default UC Tweaks

If Steve stays with his revised UC talents, here are a couple of minor tweaks I suggest:

Allow figures with UC II+ to kick instead of punch. Kicks do one extra die of damage, but the figure must roll an extra die with rolling to hit. This gives martial artists some ability to hurt heavier armored targets.

UC IV increases damage by +4. (At this point, a ST9 martial artist does 1 point more damage than a ST 9 fighter with a foil. At ST10+, he's still inferior to a sword armed fighter of comparable ST, doing .5 to 1.5 less damage on average.)

UC V increases damage by +5. (At this point, a ST9 martial artist does 2 points more damage than a ST 9 fighter with a foil. At ST10+, he's more or less equal to a sword-armed fighter of comparable ST. Considering he paid 8 talent points, vs 3 for a fighter with Sword and Shield talents, I'd say this is reasonable.)
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:32 AM   #23
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: Unarmed Combat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
It’s a regular occurrence in my games. Characters are often in urban environments where the authorities don’t tolerate armed and armoured persons just wandering about the streets.
Well, as noted, that is not my experience.

In any case, surely your PCs carry knives (or clubs). A UC III figure does no more damage than a dagger (or 2 handed club) armed figure. Yet under Steve's revised talent list he still pays 4 talent points and has substantial IQ and DX requirements).

And the vast majority of published FRPG adventures envision fully armed parties of adventurers, which implies that your type of campaign is atypical.
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:09 AM   #24
luguvalium
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Unarmed Combat

Unarmed Combat skills should also give an advantage to initiate HTH combat and to resist it when HTH combat is attempted against you.
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:13 AM   #25
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: Suggested Revision of UC Talents

Quote:
Originally Posted by zot View Post
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.
Summary

I'd ditch the DX and IQ requirements entirely for the following reasons:
  • A martial artist with UCIII who has to spend 3 points to get IQ11 will be utterly outclassed by a typical fighter. Even in situations where the fighter has no armor or shields and is using a club.
  • The martial artist is also beaten most of the time by an armed ST10 DX12 thief. Unarmed, except with a 2h club, the thief wins about half the time.

But if you eliminate the DX and IQ requirements, the fighter still wins most battles, but will get chewed up in the process.

See caveat about throws at end.

Examples

Consider a martial artist - ST8 DX13(12) IQ11, UC I-III, cloth armor 1d-1 dmg. He hits 74% of the time and averages 2.5 points of damage per hit. His armor stops 1 point of damage. Against the fully equipped fighter, he'll average 0.37 points of damage per turn. (74% x 0.5 average points of damage per hit).

Consider a typical fighter - ST12 DX12(10) IQ8, broadsword, leather and sm shield. The fighter hits 50% of the time and does 7 points of damage per hit. His armor/shields stop 3 points of damage. Against the martial artist, he'll average 3 points of damage per turn.

The fighter will kill the martial artist in ~2-3 turns. He take an average of 0.75-1.1 hits before winning the fight.

If the fighter wears no armor, he hits 74% of the time and inflicts 6 points of damage per hit. He'll average 4.5 points of damage per turn against the martial artist. He'll kill the martial artist in 1-2 turns. He'll take an average of 1.5-3 points of damage before winning the fight.

If both figures have no armor/shields and the swordsman uses a 2 handed club, the fighter will hit 74% of the time and do 4.5 points of damage per hit. The fighter will kill the martial artist in 2-3 turns and will take 5-7.5 points of damage in return.

The martial artist will even be outclassed by a ST10, DX12, IQ10 thief who uses a cutlass 2-2 and small shield. The thief will hit 74% of the time and do 5 points of damage on average. He'll kill the martial artist in ~2 turns and take about 3 points of damage in return.

Clearly the martial artist is a third-rate fighter in these examples.

But if the martial artist has (say) ST12 DX12(11) he'll hit 63% of the time and do 4.5 points of damage on average. The armored fighter will kill him in ~4 turns but will take 6 points of damage on average. Much better odds.

HOWEVER there's one caveat. The ability of the martial artist to throw an opponent makes a difference, if the martial art throws his opponent each turn.

Rules question - if a figure is knocked down before he attacks, can he stand up as his action? Or must he wait to stand up next turn (and effectively lose 2 attacks).


If the former, the martial artist isn't helped much since he does no damage to his opponent on the throw.

If the latter, then the UC III enhanced shield rush is an advantage, as the martial artist can throw his opponent (nullifying his attack), then strike while the opponent gets up.

The adjDX10 fighter will make his DX roll 13% of the time; the adjDX12 fighter will make his DX roll 1/3 of the time.

I need to build a monte carlo simulation to test this, but it looks to me like the effect on the martial artist is to reduce his damage-causing attacks on the armored fighter by 2/3. (In an average 3-turn block, he'll fail on one throw and succeed on another. He'll get one attack in 3 turns).

The unarmored (but armed) fighter lose 2/3 of his attacks on average as well. So no real gain for the martial artist; he still loses most of the time, but it takes a lot longer.

Against the armored fighter, the martial artist loses 60% of his attacks and the fighter loses 80% of his attacks. The armored fighter will kill the martial artist in about 13-14 turns (!) and will take about 4 points of damage.

Last edited by tbeard1999; 07-10-2018 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:18 AM   #26
Kirk
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Default Re: Unarmed Combat

Quote:
Originally Posted by zot View Post
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.
It really has nothing to do with increasing IQ. If I build a character and the GM wants to restrict growth of any attribute, that is something different altogether.

Higher IQs, IMO, are necessary for higher MA skills. If the character needs to be designed to already have that IQ at age 18 and fill up to it as he ages, it still holds true.
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:19 AM   #27
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: Unarmed Combat

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Originally Posted by luguvalium View Post
Unarmed Combat skills should also give an advantage to initiate HTH combat and to resist it when HTH combat is attempted against you.
Personally, I find HTH combat tedious in TFT. You have to have it, I suppose. But you can easily wind up in situations where the combatants can't seriously hurt each other. Example - 2 ST10 figures with daggers and leather armor in HTH. They will average 1.5 points of damage on each other if they hit. The combat will drag on for an average of 7 (!) turns before someone dies. Even worse would be combatants in chainmail or fine plate. A nightmare would be 2 ST16 fighters with plate and warrior/veteran. With daggers (1d+3), they average 6.5 points of damage. But they stop 8 points of damage.

It would take an average of 96(!) turns to kill someone.

So I would do NOTHING to make HTH combat more likely. There are plenty of other tweaks available.

Last edited by tbeard1999; 07-10-2018 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:50 AM   #28
Soyt Gose
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Default Re: Unarmed Combat

Quote:
Originally Posted by luguvalium View Post
I think reducing the IQ requirements will be necessary in light of the attribute maximum. I like the idea of a dojo-kid as a starting character.

Another idea I've pondered is to split up UC talents into their functions. Within UC I - V are 3 levels of Strike, each with +1 damage, 3 levels of improved defense, and 3 levels of grapple for lack of the better word: A shield rush like throw, improved throw, disarm.

By spiting it up, an unarmed fighter could have a style: Take Unarmed Strike I, II, first and that's more like boxing. Take Unarmed Throw I and II that's more like judo, and so forth. In addition to the IQ and DX requirements, any level III skill would require at lease and level I and level II in the others, or something like that.

That may be more complicated that you want, but if you like it, you are free to use it.
I like the idea of breaking up aspects of UC into separate skill areas.
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:24 AM   #29
Steve Jackson
President and EIC
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Default Re: Unarmed Combat

Lots of coherent suggestions here - thank you!

I am realizing that a whole splatbook could be done epanding the martial arts.

I would like to note that use of Eyes-Behind situational awareness is very difficult in a real helm, and armors assume head protection.
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:10 AM   #30
JLV
 
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Far northern California
Default Re: Unarmed Combat

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
Well, as noted, that is not my experience.

In any case, surely your PCs carry knives (or clubs). A UC III figure does no more damage than a dagger (or 2 handed club) armed figure. Yet under Steve's revised talent list he still pays 4 talent points and has substantial IQ and DX requirements).

And the vast majority of published FRPG adventures envision fully armed parties of adventurers, which implies that your type of campaign is atypical.
Unless, of course, Monks play a major role in your campaign. Like Chris, I have played in games where it was all about martial arts and being "unarmed" was a normal state of affairs.

I don't disagree with many of your ideas (making DX higher instead of IQ for higher levels of UC, for example), but at the same time, I think you're over-emphasizing the purely mechanical consideration of damage and not giving due weight to the other advantages (and disadvantages) that others have pointed out here.
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