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Old 11-07-2019, 08:49 AM   #1
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Changes to Combat Reflexes [Basic]

In my experience, the vast majority of PCs either start with Combat Reflexes or acquired Combat Reflexes after character creation, so it could be considered a defining feature of playing a PC in GURPS. The change that I am proposing would make Combat Reflexes the default for GURPS characters rather than the exception, reducing its effective cost to '0'. Thus, Enhanced Time Sense would end up costing 30 CP, lacking Combat Reflexes would be represented by a -15 CP disadvantage that I call Bystander, and Combat Paralysis would be worth -30 CP. What do you think?
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:18 AM   #2
naloth
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default Re: Changes to Combat Reflexes [Basic]

GMs can make any trait default or included if they want for campaigns where it makes sense. I don't see what advantage this would offer.

On the other hand, I can see a point for separating out the components or eliminating it as it is. +1 to all defenses doesn't need to be included since you can buy each defense separately.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:29 AM   #3
Stormcrow
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ronkonkoma, NY
Default Re: Changes to Combat Reflexes [Basic]

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
In my experience, the vast majority of PCs either start with Combat Reflexes or acquired Combat Reflexes after character creation, so it could be considered a defining feature of playing a PC in GURPS.
In my experience, the vast majority of PCs don't start with Combat Reflexes and don't seek it later. Only those who specialize in combat do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by naloth View Post
GMs can make any trait default or included if they want for campaigns where it makes sense. I don't see what advantage this would offer.
Exactly. If you want all PCs to have the abilities that Combat Reflexes provide, then just require them all to take Combat Reflexes and start them off with 15 extra character points to compensate. Any player who convinces you that they don't have to take Combat Reflexes can spend those 15 points elsewhere.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:35 AM   #4
Celjabba
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Default Re: Changes to Combat Reflexes [Basic]

Why not ?

But also, why ?

It is a cosmetic change, doesn't really modify anything.

That said, I disagree with your assessment that most characters have CR. Of my 3 last gurps campaign, I was 1/6, 1/5 and 3/5 with CR.

Luck, on the other hand, everyone have at least one level.

Last edited by Celjabba; 11-07-2019 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:00 AM   #5
Dalin
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Default Re: Changes to Combat Reflexes [Basic]

In the DFRPG campaign that I'm playing in, only one of five characters—the martial artist—has CR. I expect a few of us will add it eventually, but it's not at the top of the list for my cleric. The other PCs are a holy warrior, wizard, and thief.

Personally, even if I invest in Combat Reflexes eventually, I enjoy the narrative element of slowly becoming a skilled veteran rather than always starting out as one.

Edit: As an added data point, only three of the thirteen 250-point characters in Delvers to Go have Combat Reflexes out of the gate.

Last edited by Dalin; 11-07-2019 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:08 AM   #6
awesomenessofme1
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Default Re: Changes to Combat Reflexes [Basic]

One of the flaws of CR, I think, is that it's all-or-nothing. There's no way to progress towards having it. But at the same time, I'm not sure there's a way to fix it. The advantage is deliberately underpriced, and breaking it up into similarly underpriced components could be unbalancing.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:10 AM   #7
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Changes to Combat Reflexes [Basic]

Combat Reflexes is strictly better than enhanced dodge or buying up basic speed to improve dodge, but that might indicate those traits being overpriced, rather than CR being underpriced.
Quote:
Originally Posted by awesomenessofme1 View Post
One of the flaws of CR, I think, is that it's all-or-nothing. There's no way to progress towards having it. But at the same time, I'm not sure there's a way to fix it. The advantage is deliberately underpriced, and breaking it up into similarly underpriced components could be unbalancing.
Partial Combat Reflexes: 2/level, max 5 levels.
Each level gives +1 to wake up or recover from mental stun, and subtracts one turn from the amount of time the character freezes in a total surprise situation.
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Last edited by Anthony; 11-07-2019 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:22 AM   #8
awesomenessofme1
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Default Re: Changes to Combat Reflexes [Basic]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Combat Reflexes is strictly better than enhanced dodge or buying up basic speed to improve dodge, but that might indicate those traits being overpriced, rather than CR being underpriced.
Well, no. The people behind GURPS have outright said that CR is deliberately underpriced to allow lower-point value characters to survive better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Partial Combat Reflexes: 2/level, max 5 levels.
Each level gives +1 to wake up or recover from mental stun, and subtracts one turn from the amount of time the character freezes in a total surprise situation.
Well, now it's gone the other way. That's overpriced to the point that I don't think it would ever be worth it. That's the least useful part of CR.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:34 AM   #9
ericthered
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Default Re: Changes to Combat Reflexes [Basic]

I do think enhanced defenses are a touch overpriced, but I also think that its a good thing, because fights where both sides have sky-high defenses but mediocre attack skills are a drag.

I'd make the decision to use that rule or not on a campaign by campaign basis, but it has some surprising merit to it. Instead of players opting in to combat reflexes, they have to opt out. This encourages certain character builds. We all say that Reluctant killer is a very realistic trait that a large portion of the population has, but how many players actually remember to put it on their green non-combatant?

Gurps often has a break point where the cost of changing a number changes. In most traits, that break point is the default. Compare High Manual Dexterity with Ham-Fisted. Adjusting combat reflexes to be the default character puts the cost breakpoint in the correct position for defenses.

On the other hand, house rules have overhead, and I'm not sure if this is all that different from including combat reflexes in the "free campaign package". I almost always have campaign specific free traits or cost adjustments, so its easier for me to just include the trait there.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:50 AM   #10
Celjabba
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Default Re: Changes to Combat Reflexes [Basic]

CR is deliberately low priced, but even so, comparing it to the cost of further levels of enhanced defense is misleading. Just like the first level in a skill only cost 1, while further levels cost more, so CR is cheap, as it represent the huge but easy to gain step beside someone without combat experience and someone with it.

Last edited by Celjabba; 11-07-2019 at 12:36 PM.
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