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Old 12-31-2014, 08:07 PM   #31
DanHoward
 
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Default Re: Improving the Tonfa

If there were realistic options to make the tonfa better then we would already see them in real life. As soon as you put a parrying/disarming prong on a tonfa, you lose half of the other techniques it can be used with.
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Old 12-31-2014, 08:25 PM   #32
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Default Re: Improving the Tonfa

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Originally Posted by DanHoward View Post
If there were realistic options to make the tonfa better then we would already see them in real life. As soon as you put a parrying/disarming prong on a tonfa, you lose half of the other techniques it can be used with.
Another "any useful hoplological improvements must already exist" thing? It's not a bad guideline but it's simply not that absolute. Every improvement people came up with had a period of time before during which it didn't exist, many improvements don't appear until the right need appears, some improvements are marginal enough that not spending the resources on developing them makes sense, not all weaponry options appear everywhere they could be developed and many improvements make something worse in the wrong hands. It's ridiculous to just automatically refuse any possible improvement to low tech equipment because it doesn't already exist.
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Old 12-31-2014, 08:51 PM   #33
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Default Re: Improving the Tonfa

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Originally Posted by DanHoward View Post
If there were realistic options to make the tonfa better then we would already see them in real life. As soon as you put a parrying/disarming prong on a tonfa, you lose half of the other techniques it can be used with.
Even if we suppose that that's true for the real-life purposes, the constraints Sindri is analyzing under are very different from those that lead real people to use tonfas. So there's no reason that the 'optimal' real-world tonfa would be the best version for the purposes here.
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Old 12-31-2014, 10:06 PM   #34
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Default Re: Improving the Tonfa

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Originally Posted by DanHoward View Post
If there were realistic options to make the tonfa better then we would already see them in real life. As soon as you put a parrying/disarming prong on a tonfa, you lose half of the other techniques it can be used with.
I'll raise you the Compound Bow. A massive improvement in usability that could have been created by Rome, if not earlier.
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Old 01-01-2015, 01:30 AM   #35
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Default Re: Improving the Tonfa

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
What is unimpressive is the GURPS tonfa. That represents a tonfa of traditional construction. GURPS doesn't penalize wooden weapons shifted to plastic construction and it probably shouldn't though it's possible cheap examples exist. Not to mention that there are police tonfa made of hard wood.
I hope the policemen don't know how to use them effectively then... Or know how to use them much more effectively than I can to avoid harming people (which is not hard, actually; I'm just a beginner in kobudo).

Oh, I forgot to tell...

Some people think that tonfas are that:
http://www.google.fr/imgres?imgurl=h...ed=0CCoQrQMwAg

They may be. And these seem not to be very effective, indeed. The tonkwas I am talking about are that:
http://www.google.fr/imgres?imgurl=h...ed=0CCQQrQMwAA

Mine weighs 1 pound (a piece) and are just training tonkwas. If the craftsman who made them (a black belt kobudoka) had to make true weapons, he would use an even harder wood.

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The whole point of the Police tonfa/baton is that it isn't very effective at killing people. Police carry them because they are less lethal than their sidearm. These days the taser meets that criteria.
Which sounds to mean than the GURPS tonfa's stats are those for the police soft version...

Just note (but I'm sure you already know it) that in Okinawa, the police weapon was the sai, not the tonfa.

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I always thought the only useful part of it was letting somebody with a high unarmed combat skill use an unarmed parry effectively against a weapon. If you have Karate at 20, grab a tonfa if you plan on going against anybody with weapons. Otherwise take Shortsword at 21 and go to town with a long knife or better. The only other nice thing about it is it can easily be hidden under very loose sleeves typical of some places and times, in a ready-to-use position. Trying to pull a sword out of your sleeve will take a bit longer whereas with the tonfa you can still punch with it. If you parry while it is hidden under the sleeves it can help your character develop an 'iron arm' reputation as well.
I basically file it under 'cool martial arts weapon for usually unarmed characters' and leave it at that.
As a third dan karateka, I can assure that if someone never learned to use tonfa, he'd better never take it as a weapon. It's quickness to turn around once arm with a little wrist impulse make it a very dangerous weapon for the untrained user!

In kobudo, it is taught after bo (quarterstaff) and sai because it is harder to learn.

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Seems to me like the Quarterstaff is likely to be king in that context...
The bo is a very good weapon, indeed. Its ability to keep foes at bay and to parry very quickly are good – and very well simulated in GURPS rules.

But it is a pity that GURPS tonkwa has not such a treatment in GURPS rules. As I said previously, it strikes much faster than any other kobudo weapon... It's ability to kill with one blow to the skull or to destroy knees are not really handled, because it doesn't do enough damage. One of my karate and kobudo sensei is a tonkwa specialist. She has something like ST 10, ST 11 at best. So, in GURPS terms, she is only supposed to deal 1d+1 cr with a swinging tonkwa blow. Hard to kill an average guy with that. Even hard to knock him out...

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Originally Posted by DanHoward View Post
If there were realistic options to make the tonfa better then we would already see them in real life. As soon as you put a parrying/disarming prong on a tonfa, you lose half of the other techniques it can be used with.
The quickness and the strength of tonkwa's blows is not taken into account. Tonkwa is considered by kobudokas as a much dangerous weapon than a nunchaku. And giving tonkwas the same damage than a light club is not at all realistic.

Furthermore, allowing a karateka to use a tonkwa to punch and parry freely is neither realistic, as I said above. Maintaining the tonkwa firmly on the arm requires a lot of training. And the hikite is very different. A karateka not specifically trained to use tonkwas would inevitably hurt himself. Despite 2 years of kobudo training (and 16 years of karate training), I wouldn't use it in a true combat. I'm not trained enough. I would rather use the bo, which is less dangerous but inflicts (in reality, not in GURPS) less damage.
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Old 01-01-2015, 01:56 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
That brings up an important point as well. If the tonfa isn't performing excellently then change it. I'd also be interested in ideas for realistic alterations of a tonfa that might make it perform better.
Realistically, the most obvious improvement is to put a blade on the end of the thing (perhaps a hidden one?), but then we're starting to stray from the 'one-handed wooden crushing weapon' niche that you seem fond of.

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Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
Mine weighs 1 pound (a piece) and are just training tonkwas. If the craftsman who made them (a black belt kobudoka) had to make true weapons, he would use an even harder wood.
You seem somewhat preoccupied with the softness and lightness of polycarbonate police batons. Have you actually handled one? They aren't toys. This example weighs a pound and a half.


Quote:
So, in GURPS terms, she is only supposed to deal 1d+1 cr with a swinging tonkwa blow.
Are you ignoring hit location modifiers? 1d+1 cr is (1d-1)x4 damage when applied to the skull. A roll of 1 or 2 will 'only' deal 4 damage, applying the maximum possible shock penalty. A roll of 3 will deal 8 damage, forcing a knockdown roll at -10. A roll of 4 or 5 will deal 12-16 damage, forcing a knockdown roll at -10 and a HT roll to remain concious. And a roll of 6 will deal 20 damage, forcing all of the above plus an HT roll against outright death.

You think it deserves more damage? How much more?

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I would rather use the bo, which is less dangerous but inflicts (in reality, not in GURPS) less damage.
There are some very basic principles of leverage which make that highly unlikely.

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I'm just a beginner in kobudo...
You're making an awful lot of authoritative pronouncements about kobudo weapons for a beginner.

Last edited by Toptomcat; 01-01-2015 at 02:03 AM.
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Old 01-01-2015, 02:17 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
Which sounds to mean than the GURPS tonfa's stats are those for the police soft version...
sw cr/thr cr seems to where GURPS pegs the damage for most relatively short lengths of wood. The baton, jo wielded as broadsword, dusack and short staff are all set there. I'm pretty sure that the GURPS tonfa is what is intended to be used for a traditional tonfa. At ST 10 you get the light club and bokken wielded as broadsword with sw+1 cr/thr+1 cr. Do you think the tonfa should edge into that territory?


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Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
As a third dan karateka, I can assure that if someone never learned to use tonfa, he'd better never take it as a weapon. It's quickness to turn around once arm with a little wrist impulse make it a very dangerous weapon for the untrained user!

In kobudo, it is taught after bo (quarterstaff) and sai because it is harder to learn.
To be fair, what's being described is totally foregoing the actual Tonfa skill, never changing from honte-mochi and only using it to parry and act as an enhancer for unarmed style strikes. That's presumably easier than actually learning how to use a tonfa for someone who already has skill with unarmed martial arts. Given the broad body of stuff already included in a GURPS unarmed combat skill that doesn't seem unreasonable. I'm sure most karateka would also be nonplussed if handed a bladed hand and expected to fight with it after spending the time to gain familiarity but that's also something that GURPS Karate lets you do.

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Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
But it is a pity that GURPS tonkwa has not such a treatment in GURPS rules. As I said previously, it strikes much faster than any other kobudo weapon... It's ability to kill with one blow to the skull or to destroy knees are not really handled, because it doesn't do enough damage. One of my karate and kobudo sensei is a tonkwa specialist. She has something like ST 10, ST 11 at best. So, in GURPS terms, she is only supposed to deal 1d+1 cr with a swinging tonkwa blow. Hard to kill an average guy with that. Even hard to knock him out...
Do you have any suggestions for how the stats GURPS tonfa might be modified to reflect your experience?

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Originally Posted by Toptomcat View Post
Realistically, the most obvious improvement is to put a blade on the end of the thing (perhaps a hidden one?), but then we're starting to stray from the 'one-handed wooden crushing weapon' niche that you seem fond of.
It's a natural modification and a hidden one still looks like a blunt weapon but it also seems like it would be either a bit dangerous in the stabbing-self department or require foregoing the whole grip changing thing the tonfa has going on.

Last edited by Sindri; 01-01-2015 at 02:23 AM.
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Old 01-01-2015, 02:44 AM   #38
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Default Re: Improving the Tonfa

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Originally Posted by Toptomcat View Post
You seem somewhat preoccupied with the softness and lightness of polycarbonate police batons. Have you actually handled one? They aren't toys. This example weighs a pound and a half.
Thank you for that information. I just thought they were softer.

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Originally Posted by Toptomcat View Post
Are you ignoring hit location modifiers? 1d+1 cr is (1d-1)x4 damage when applied to the skull. A roll of 1 or 2 will 'only' deal 4 damage, applying the maximum possible shock penalty. A roll of 3 will deal 8 damage, forcing a knockdown roll at -10. A roll of 4 or 5 will deal 12-16 damage, forcing a knockdown roll at -10 and a HT roll to remain concious. And a roll of 6 will deal 20 damage, forcing all of the above plus an HT roll against outright death.
I'm not ignoring hit location modifiers (note than a roll of 1 gives no damage at all). I'm just wondering why a light club do as much damage as a tonkwa. When you make it circle around your twist, the lever effect of the tonkwa is much more effective than the one of the light club.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8V--2H9lj0


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You think it deserves more damage? How much more?
Not very much. Something like swing+2 would fit, in my humble opinion. And it would allow to make a difference between heavy and lighters tonkwas.

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Originally Posted by Toptomcat View Post
There are some very basic principles of leverage which make that highly unlikely.
Precisely. P = 1/2 msē (P: power; m: mass; s: speed). The speed you can give to the end of a tonkwa by making it circle around your twist is far much greater than the speed you can give to a bo. As I said, a shomen tonkwa attack (vertically on the skull) requires a very specific parry. A shomen bo attack doesn't.

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Originally Posted by Toptomcat View Post
You're making an awful lot of authoritative pronouncements about kobudo weapons for a beginner.
Because I learned a lot. I'm a beginner in term of practice, not in term of theory. And, in GURPS rules, since I learned karate for 16 years, quite intensively, I'm very good with tonkwas!
:-)

To stop kidding, here is another video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILzmQoAkirU

Wait for the kata done at full speed, to understand what I want to mean. And don't be surprised by the posture on one foot. It is not unbalanced because there is a kaisai (hidden technique) inside: a kick that is not shown during the kata.
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Old 01-01-2015, 02:57 AM   #39
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Default Re: Improving the Tonfa

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
sw cr/thr cr seems to where GURPS pegs the damage for most relatively short lengths of wood. The baton, jo wielded as broadsword, dusack and short staff are all set there. I'm pretty sure that the GURPS tonfa is what is intended to be used for a traditional tonfa. At ST 10 you get the light club and bokken wielded as broadsword with sw+1 cr/thr+1 cr. Do you think the tonfa should edge into that territory?

[...]

Do you have any suggestions for how the stats GURPS tonfa might be modified to reflect your experience?
I think that swing+2 cr / thrust+1 cr would be perfect.

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
To be fair, what's being described is totally foregoing the actual Tonfa skill, never changing from honte-mochi and only using it to parry and act as an enhancer for unarmed style strikes. That's presumably easier than actually learning how to use a tonfa for someone who already has skill with unarmed martial arts.
Yes. But that is very hard to handle a tonkwa. Its ability to circle around the twist makes its strength... But it really becomes a weakness if you are not used to handle it: it can twist during your punch or even on the target, when you hit it. Furthermore, you can easily knock your own ribs when making hikite (taking back the other arm), your other arm when making a parry, etc. It is really a dangerous weapon! Even for the user...

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
Given the broad body of stuff already included in a GURPS unarmed combat skill that doesn't seem unreasonable. I'm sure most karateka would also be nonplussed if handed a bladed hand and expected to fight with it after spending the time to gain familiarity but that's also something that GURPS Karate lets you do.
Yes... And it's neihter realistic. Being very good at karate doesn't make someone being very good with tonkwa or any other weapon. It would be like saying than being very good with guns make you being very good with bows (or vice versa) because you learned to aim.
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Last edited by Gollum; 01-01-2015 at 03:25 AM.
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Old 01-01-2015, 03:29 AM   #40
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Default Re: Improving the Tonfa

Oh, I forgot to tell... Happy new year to everyone!

I really enjoy GURPS and people here because you all make me think a lot, open my points of view, understand things better... Thank you very, very much to all of you.

Have an amazing year, full of GURPS, of course, and all other things you like!
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