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Old 11-12-2017, 08:14 AM   #1
Taliesin
 
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Default Spider Climb and Melee attacks.

So, you've got an insane martial artist in your group that spider climbs everywhere. When a fight starts he's standing on the ceiling arguing with swashbuckler #2 over the relative merits of the kukri vs the edged rapier when the knights of doom attack.

I say he's got a penalty to attack based on posture (upside down!). He says he spent 38 points to get spider climb (20 chi, 18 spider climb) and it includes the ability to fight.

Am I being a killer GM, or is he just a butt-head?
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:12 AM   #2
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Default Re: Spider Climb and Melee attacks.

Well on one hand Spider Climb says you can "walk" on walls and ceilings, but on the other hand I don't think that it makes that much sense for a Martial Artist to just be standing upside down on the ceiling just like they were on the floor. Even wuxia movies usually have stationary hanging fighters needing three points of contact (although they are often ridiculous three points). So I would allow to make attacks from that position with one limb at a time, but I don't think that applying posture penalties is necessary.
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:33 AM   #3
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Default Re: Spider Climb and Melee attacks.

I think I might be on the side of the butt-head here! Are you sure that "penalty" and "no effect" are the only good options? In an over-the-top genre like this, I think I'd be inclined to give the martial artist a bonus for his amazing mobility - he can attack from (and retreat to) unusual angles, and so forth. I'd want to say that the point he's spent on it show that he's used to this sort of combat, while his opponents are not. (In a world full of armored weapon master Knights, Martial Artists need a bit of help being effective in straight-up toe-to-toe combat, anyway, and this sort of shenanigans seems like precisely their schtick)

I don't have my books in front of me, and I could be thinking of GURPS rather than the DFRPG, in which case, my apologies), but I seem to remember some explicit rules that provide a bonus for just this situation.
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Last edited by Joe; 11-12-2017 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: Spider Climb and Melee attacks.

Are you imposing a penalty on his targets' defenses for the odd angles of attack?
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Old 11-12-2017, 11:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: Spider Climb and Melee attacks.

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Originally Posted by Apollonian View Post
Are you imposing a penalty on his targets' defenses for the odd angles of attack?
Yes, that's in the book under active defensive modifiers.
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: Spider Climb and Melee attacks.

I'm with sir_pudding, 3-Point Stance or the butthead falls on his... butthead.
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: Spider Climb and Melee attacks.

I'd say the Postures Table doesn't have an "upside down" entry, so the player was right to expect there is no penalty (though it would be nice if he talked with you about it while creating the character).

I don't see a reason to require three points of contact that aren't described anywhere in the book.

Rules-wise, I'd say you might consider it Bad Footing for -2 (as movement along the ceiling costs more movement points), but also attacking from above target for +2, so it cancels out.

The ability costs a considerable amount of 18 points, in the same ballpark as Song of Terror, I'd say, and not much less than Turning. It should be powerful.
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: Spider Climb and Melee attacks.

There's nothing in the description about a 3 point stance, or even a 2 point stance, you can walk or crawl. Walking will sometimes mean only one foot on the ground. That said, depending on the ceiling height, I might give the knights of doom a bonus to hit the skull of our daring martial artist.

On the other hand: it can be a little obnoxious. If it's a problem, or its destroying the feel of the game; get rid of it, or reduce the price and limit it.
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: Spider Climb and Melee attacks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colarmel View Post
There's nothing in the description about a 3 point stance, or even a 2 point stance, you can walk or crawl. Walking will sometimes mean only one foot on the ground. That said, depending on the ceiling height, I might give the knights of doom a bonus to hit the skull of our daring martial artist.
It is a matter of visualization. Standing around on the ceiling like gravity is reversed for just you, just looks silly. If you want to be all ninja, you get to look like a movie ninja, not like Bugs Bunny.
Quote:
On the other hand: it can be a little obnoxious. If it's a problem, or its destroying the feel of the game; get rid of it, or reduce the price and limit it.
Being all ninja on the ceiling is fine. Reducing the price isn't necessary. Purely from the description, I think that you are definitely fine with saying that sometimes you can walk (for example when walking atop poles) and others you must crawl (such as when clinging to the bottom of a horizontal surface).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnomasz View Post
I don't see a reason to require three points of contact that aren't described anywhere in the book.
Because the martial artist is supposed to be like a movie version of Hattori Hanzō, or The House of Flying Daggers, not the Roadrunner.

Last edited by sir_pudding; 11-12-2017 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 11-12-2017, 04:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: Spider Climb and Melee attacks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnomasz View Post
Rules-wise, I'd say you might consider it Bad Footing for -2 (as movement along the ceiling costs more movement points), but also attacking from above target for +2, so it cancels out.
Depending on the level of cinema in the campaign, I would probably go with this basic -2 penalty for melee attacks which is usually canceled by the +2 from above.

I have a harder time wrapping my head around ranged attacks from someone upside down. Seems like gravity being backward would really mess with your physics instincts and even the basic mechanics of throwing or firing a weapon. Maybe something like this: ranged attacks while upside down have half the typical range figures for maximum and half-damage. In addition, they suffer double range penalties with a minimum penalty of -4.
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