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Old 02-14-2018, 01:12 AM   #21
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: Combat Reflexes without defense bonus

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
I never make a combat character without Combat Reflexes because it is by definition that trait of combat hero.
Whereas I will make a combat character without combat reflexes if it is, for example a huge strength and durability bruiser designed to soak damage instead of avoid it. +1 to your dodge isn't worth much if your base is low enough it's not even worth drying. You might be better off armouring up and all out attacking.
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:24 AM   #22
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Default Re: Combat Reflexes without defense bonus

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Whereas I will make a combat character without combat reflexes if it is, for example a huge strength and durability bruiser designed to soak damage instead of avoid it. +1 to your dodge isn't worth much if your base is low enough it's not even worth drying. You might be better off armouring up and all out attacking.
This only applies in campaigns where dying or at least being icapaciitated with wounds during the time you are 'frozen' in a surprise situation is not a real threat.

Which I understand might apply in cinematic settings, being sort of a Rule 0 corollary to the Unarmed Combat Melee Etiquette. "We, the the mooks, shall not set ambushes and if we find ourselves surprising the PCs, our initial salvo of attacks shall never be the kind of massive firepower that professional soldiers lay down to take advantage of being inside the OpFor OODA loop."
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Old 02-14-2018, 02:20 AM   #23
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Default Re: Combat Reflexes without defense bonus

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This only applies in campaigns where dying or at least being icapaciitated with wounds during the time you are 'frozen' in a surprise situation is not a real threat.
"
That's why you armour up. And yes there are settings where it's impossible to wear enough armour that you can live through the couple of seconds it takes to get your act together but there are also settings where it isn't.
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Old 02-14-2018, 02:29 AM   #24
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Default Re: Combat Reflexes without defense bonus

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That's why you armour up. And yes there are settings where it's impossible to wear enough armour that you can live through the couple of seconds it takes to get your act together but there are also settings where it isn't.
True, I suppose.

I've played very few straight historical campaigns without firearms or explosives. And those I have played have rarely featured PCs who owned a full harness of plate armour, let alone wore it when patrolling or scouting. So an ambush by, say a merry band of rebels, led by an outcast master of the hunt and comprising a lot of poachers, would still be a threat to them in their hunting gear or light scouting armour, as their necks and faces would generally be unprotected, and there would be weak points or gaps at the groin, thigh (artery) and probably a number of other places.
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Old 02-14-2018, 02:29 AM   #25
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Default Re: Combat Reflexes without defense bonus

In games where surprise is rare, it's likely that points in your primary weapon skill will be more potent than combat reflexes. Part of the reason combat reflexes looks super-cheap is because enhanced defenses are overpriced.
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:32 AM   #26
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Default Re: Combat Reflexes without defense bonus

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Actually, that's sort of the point. Is a choice with only one valid option really a choice at all? I'd prefer a trait priced appropriately so that it isn't just the first 15 points of every single fighter build.

Or, to look at it from the other side, why do combat heroes get such a discount on the bundle of capabilities that make up their essential advantage when other characters don't?
For me all PC build choices are still subject to my (the GM) agreement, so "combat reflexes or not" is not a free choice based just on what you get for the points.

Now I have to say it's not one I have a lot of problems signing off on for a lot of builds because it does fit a lot fo PC builds well.

But what I really use it for as point of distinction is between everyone else. Ie NPCs can have it too, and I happily play up it advantages for everyone!

Ultimately it's up to the GM to avoid CR inflation where everyone has it just because they once shot a gun or swung a sword in anger


So I'm happy if the PC team for experienced combat vets who all have CR use it to advantage. But equally if the a trained hit squad of NPCs go gunning for less combat oriented PC's yeah they'll levegare CR as well!


And of course CR vs CR often negates each other as well!

I take the point it's a cheap 15pt for what it gets, but I happily rationalise that as 15pt + GM OK is:



1). It's a good way to distinguish those who react well under fire compared to everyone else


2). It's a good way to avoid deaths in bad situations without having the NPCs unrealistically ignore the options of ambushes and surprise.

This is a bit meta of course, and while I tend to run on the gritty end of the spectrum and my table seems happy with that. Even we don't find rolling up character sessions as much fun as those characters doing stuff sessions!


3). It's not too overpowered so long as you keep an eye on what else get's added onto it, so for instance i'm going to keep it in mind if the player with it say's "oh and because my character has combat experience I'll have two levels of Enhanced dodge as well".

Last edited by Tomsdad; 02-14-2018 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:37 AM   #27
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Default Re: Combat Reflexes without defense bonus

In my last two campaigns I've gotten rid of Combat Reflexes. I'm always a bit wary when it comes to abilities that are so close to being required they might as well be, and with CR you also had the issue that it does a bit too much in one ability (a few of the oldest parts of GURPS are somwhat baroque). It reminded me a lot of ditching SPD in HERO...

So far, so good. GURPS 4E defenses are already good enough, and this gives low/medium point fighting-men 15 points to spend among more unique abilities. Having a combat skill is enough "are you fit for battle?" predicate for me, too.
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:42 AM   #28
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Default Re: Combat Reflexes without defense bonus

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In my last two campaigns I've gotten rid of Combat Reflexes. I'm always a bit wary when it comes to abilities that are so close to being required they might as well be, and with CR you also had the issue that it does a bit too much in one ability (a few of the oldest parts of GURPS are somwhat baroque). It reminded me a lot of ditching SPD in HERO...

So far, so good. GURPS 4E defenses are already good enough, and this gives low/medium point fighting-men 15 points to spend among more unique abilities. Having a combat skill is enough "are you fit for battle?" predicate for me, too.
How do you account for the differences in Mental Stun during total or partial surprise?

That is, what traits do those who keep their cool when they are ambushed buy to distinguish themselves from the ones who freeze?
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:58 AM   #29
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Default Re: Combat Reflexes without defense bonus

And how do you tell the difference between dojo trained experts and battle trained veterans? Very few people are ready for battle until they have experienced battle (video games are not a substitute, no matter how 'realistic' because they lack the appropriate sensory ques). You do not really know battle until one of the people with you voids his or her bladder (or bowels) in fear.
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:43 AM   #30
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Default Re: Combat Reflexes without defense bonus

Here's my house rule (happily stolen from Luther, who used to be a frequent poster on these forums). Combat Reflexes is done away with, and replaced by:

Combat Veteran [5]
You are rarely surprised for more than a moment. This gives you +2 to all Fright Checks, +6 on all IQ rolls to wake up, or to recover from surprise or mental "stun". Your side gets +1 on initiative rolls to avoid a surprise attack +2 if you are the leader.

Fast Reflexes [15]
You have uncannily fast reflexes, and get +1 to all defense rolls and +1 to Fast-Draw skill.
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