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Old 04-23-2018, 05:27 AM   #21
Tomsdad
 
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Default Re: Should Plate Armor be Harder to Penetrate?

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Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
Yes. Thin sheets of iron actually cut/tear quite readily once the initial cut has been made. Thus an axe could cut it quite effectively, though this would admittedly tend to damage the plate, rather than the wearer.
Right but how thin and under what force. I mean yes if you have more than enough force to make the initial cut easily I can see the rest goes comparatively easily as you have force enough to do so, but that begs the question.

Also are you talking about cutting from the edge? Or say cutting down into the face of the plate and than dragging the axe blade through widening and lengthening the cut from the initial point of penetration? (and also potentially increasing the penetration behind the plate as well depending on the angles).

Ultimately like I said barring very thin or very weak stuff we tend not to rely on cutting metal by swinging hand held blades at it, even out side of combat, and it'sonly gong to get harder in combat where we are less able to manipulate it as we like to get the best angle or commit to the best blow we can.


Also as you say damaging the plate is one thing, but damaging the wearer is the goal.


I think my point is yeah heavy, more top heavy chopping edges (e.g. axes) will all else being equal be better than than lighter, less top heavy ones (e.g swords). And bigger, longer two handed axes or halberds will be better again than shorter, one handed ones.

And that is shown in the LT tables, a full length halbard is Sw+5 vs. a one handed broad sword at Sw+1. In terms of a ST10 wielder that doubles their average penetration. In comparative proportional terms that's like going from a 9mm pistol to a 5.56mm AR.


But beyond that I don't think there's an effect that's being missed. I.e being better doesn't necessarily mean being more than a point or two of damage better when it comes to cutting through armour. Still the way penetrating armor works in GURPS a point or two can be enough to make the difference between doing so and not doing so.


The point being axes are old tech, they predate swords, they're relatively easy and cheap to make, we know they were ubiquitous in most societies as a tool. If in reality they were markedly better at defeating body armour than other hand held melee weapons over and above what the system currently gives them, and at the same time body armour was expensive and difficult to produce, would we not have seen more axes negating the use of body armour in the thousands of years of history they were both in use?

It's not like axes against un armoured bodies are inferior in terms of wounding after all.

One other thing I've changed where I originally wrote "concentrated" to "top heavy" above because while axes are certainly top heavy and do concentrate their weight more directly behind a shorter blade than a sword, and that blade is shorter which in theory means more force on less contact. It's not like sword blades contact armour with their entire blade length very often and thus diffuse their force that way. But it's also not like axes automatically do so either due to the angle of strike and the shapes of the blade and plate, which is why a pick or point is better at concentration of force than an axe blade and a sword blade (so long as you can hit well and not have the point slide off)


EDIT: Just to say:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
That many of the proponents of "better armour" have a very different idea of what 'playable' and 'game balance' mean than I do, and/or quite different priorities.
Is an excellent point, GURPS is a RPG not a reality simulator (even if some of us like to vaguely simulate some aspects of reality at times when roleplaying)!

And even then you can have realism in some areas and unrealistic stuff in others. So say you want to have humans who are strong as polar bears with ST20, then it might well be realistic to allow such humans to easily chop though plate armour even if historical humans who swung weapons at armoured targets struggled to chop through it.

Last edited by Tomsdad; 04-23-2018 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 04-23-2018, 05:29 AM   #22
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Default Re: Should Plate Armor be Harder to Penetrate?

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Don't take things out of context. The point that you bolded was a follow-up to the previous points, one of which was explicitly changing the damage curve in reply to complaints about ST13 being too well-penetrating.
I addressed that context, you said "functionally the same for damage", I pointed out that there is 4x difference in average damage within that range.

But yes I did broaden it out from that, sorry :-)!


EDIT: unless you were talking about changing the ST/damage progression and narrowing the stat range, but why would you do both? (and I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone here suggesting doing so?)

Last edited by Tomsdad; 04-23-2018 at 05:57 AM.
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Old 04-23-2018, 06:23 AM   #23
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Default Re: Should Plate Armor be Harder to Penetrate?

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
I addressed that context, you said "functionally the same for damage", I pointed out that there is 4x difference in average damage within that range.

But yes I did broaden it out from that, sorry :-)!


EDIT: unless you were talking about changing the ST/damage progression and narrowing the stat range, but why would you do both? (and I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone here suggesting doing so?)
I'll go over the steps of the cycle:
  • ST 13+ penetrates armour too easily? Let's change that.
  • Okay, now ST13 is not really different from ST10, despite costing a whopping [30] to get.
Past this point, there isn't a 4 difference in damage values between ST10 and 13.
  • Now we need to cheapen ST because it's no longer worth the point cost.
  • After that, actually high ST (e.g. 20+) becomes affordable, but is no longer as impressive as it used to be.
This is of secondary concern. But then:
  • You now run into the stat normalisation cult problem, namely that if you still enforce attributes to be in the 8-13 range, you've now made all fighters functionally the same in terms of damage. And in RPGs, it's not a good thing when everyone's the same.
Unless you expand the ST range into something like 5-40, you'll get stuck with having less damage variation than GURPS already had. With a flattened damage curve, even retaining the literal 'up to 20' range would give less variation than GURPS already had.
  • Fix the above?
And if we fix the above, we effectively get back to the old situation but with different ST numbers. If we don't fix it, we're stuck with the problem above.
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Old 04-23-2018, 06:29 AM   #24
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Default Re: Should Plate Armor be Harder to Penetrate?

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
I'll go over the steps of the cycle:
  • ST 13+ penetrates armour too easily? Let's change that.
  • Okay, now ST13 is not really different from ST10, despite costing a whopping [30] to get.
Past this point, there isn't a 4 difference in damage values between ST10 and 13.
  • Now we need to cheapen ST because it's no longer worth the point cost.
  • After that, actually high ST (e.g. 20+) becomes affordable, but is no longer as impressive as it used to be.
This is of secondary concern. But then:
  • You now run into the stat normalisation cult problem, namely that if you still enforce attributes to be in the 8-13 range, you've now made all fighters functionally the same in terms of damage. And in RPGs, it's not a good thing when everyone's the same.
Unless you expand the ST range into something like 5-40, you'll get stuck with having less damage variation than GURPS already had. With a flattened damage curve, even retaining the literal 'up to 20' range would give less variation than GURPS already had.
  • Fix the above?
And if we fix the above, we effectively get back to the old situation but with different ST numbers. If we don't fix it, we're stuck with the problem above.
as I said unless you were talking about changing the ST/damage progression and narrowing the stat range, but why would you do both? (and I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone here suggesting doing so?)

Basically the stat normalisation 'cult', and the reduced ST/Damage progression 'cult', are different cults even if we occasionally have similar goals ;-)

Last edited by Tomsdad; 04-25-2018 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 04-23-2018, 06:40 AM   #25
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Default Re: Should Plate Armor be Harder to Penetrate?

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
as I said unless you were talking about changing the ST/damage progression and narrowing the stat range, but why would you do both? (and I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone here suggesting doing so?)
Even with retention of the current range, the de facto variation will be reduced. 8-15 is currently a very commonly applied restriction; in fact I don't seem to encounter many mentions of going for the 'full' 8-20 range of attributes in realistic games.

(Cutting off at 8 because it's rare for a lower score to be considered suitable to adventurers.)
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Old 04-23-2018, 06:43 AM   #26
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Default Re: Should Plate Armor be Harder to Penetrate?

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Even with retention of the current range, the de facto variation will be reduced. 8-15 is currently a very commonly applied restriction; in fact I don't seem to encounter many mentions of going for the 'full' 8-20 range of attributes in realistic games.

(Cutting off at 8 because it's rare for a lower score to be considered suitable to adventurers.)
OK, so that now seems to be getting back in to the wider contest of the my original answer. Moreover what I think is true of a 8-13 range is even more true of a 8-15 one.
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Old 04-23-2018, 08:58 AM   #27
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Default Re: Should Plate Armor be Harder to Penetrate?

Did someone work out the pitiful ST table we'd need to have to bring muscle-based damage in line with guns? (Given this system/forum, I'd consider that a given and would actually consider betting on the person(s) involved)

It's also quite likely that at some stage for potential solutions, logarithms are involved, right?
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Old 04-23-2018, 09:46 AM   #28
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Default Re: Should Plate Armor be Harder to Penetrate?

I think it comes down to how historically rooted your games are. In the real world, plate armor lead to specific fighting styles and weapons to deal with it. Some people are going to want their games to involve having to wrestle a plate armor-clad warrior to the ground and shove a dagger in his faceplate. Some games will be in ahistorical settings where different cultures bring more effective weapons against plate armor and some games will have epic and fantasy themes where more people and creatures have he strength to make plate irrelevant. Should plate mail be harder to penetrate in *all* of these games?
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Old 04-23-2018, 10:27 AM   #29
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Default Re: Should Plate Armor be Harder to Penetrate?

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Unless you expand the ST range into something like 5-40, you'll get stuck with having less damage variation than GURPS already had.
That's pretty much working as intended, though you can add some differentiation between stats via divisors (ST 10 does 3d6/3, ST 11 does (3d6+1)/3, etc).
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Old 04-23-2018, 10:41 AM   #30
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Default Re: Should Plate Armor be Harder to Penetrate?

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That's pretty much working as intended, though you can add some differentiation between stats via divisors (ST 10 does 3d6/3, ST 11 does (3d6+1)/3, etc).
The objection is indeed to the claim that "very different levels of an attribute produce a numerically almost same effect" can be "working as intended", as in RPGs it is desirable to have meaningful differences between characters.
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