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Old 04-14-2020, 03:29 AM   #31
Polydamas
 
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Default Re: Fixing round length in GURPS

Has anyone brought up the common house rule that when its your character's turn, you have to act or ask quick technical questions ("how does X work/I want to take her weapon away, what is that called in GURPS?" NOT "is an attack with the sword or the mace better against my opponent given my stats, injury level, and the curse which was cast three turns ago?") or your character chooses Do Nothing?

In a complex fight, the GM can answer player requests for information with "ok, choose a Concentrate manoeuvre and roll Per or Per-based Tactics or Soldier." Fright checks, Suppressing Fire, and "ok, you circle around the floor to try to get into a window in the other wing. Everyone else mark off 2d rounds from your main weapon." can also be good ways to slow things down. Its not perfect, but the reasons why people sometimes do a lot in three seconds and other times not much in three minutes are complicated.
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Old 04-14-2020, 04:43 AM   #32
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Default Re: Fixing round length in GURPS

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Originally Posted by Say, it isn't that bad! View Post
Ah! I see the confusion now. "Observe-Orient-Decide-Act" is *military jargon for a standard and practical decision loop. Basically "normally", you'd look to see what's going on; figure out how you fit into the current situation; decide what the best next step is; and then take that next step.

Since the "Observe-Orient-Decide" is done by the players at the table, each round basically consists of Action on the part of characters.

So I was treating the general lack of in-game "OOD" of "OODA" as one issue, as the acronym describes a single system.

The OODA loop is explained in the blog post, but I can understand not wanting to read an entire blog post to understand some not-great house rules. :)

Also I was basing the idea off of other game system, which typically limit number of attacks per (longer) round.

Thanks, GURPS, for making me dislike other systems oh so slightly more through my own blunt-instrument house rules. :P

* I am not military; just have an interest in military history and science fiction.
The thing about the OODA loop is that it generally doesn't have to complete or reset them until something significant changes or you try and do something significantly different. e.g. if you pull a knife on me once I've O,O & D I then A (and do you) I can likely keep on "A-ing" until the situation is resolved without closing the loop and going back to OOD Unless something significant changes

As such I would handle it with perception rolls (to spot a change), waits (to pre-empt a change) and traits that improve reaction time and resistance to being caught flat footed e.g. basic speed, Tactics skill and CR (to adjust to changes quickly and get to A in OODA as quicker) in Game.

I might even bring in self control rolls tied to certain traits like pacifism reluctant killer etc that would come in when transitioning between orienting and deciding or deciding and acting for some acts. e.g. some people find it easier to defend and retreat from a recognised threat than attack a threat back (and that also depend on what attacking back entails)

however:


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Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
This observation:



makes for an interesting framing for some kind of rules-based adjustment. I understand your initial purpose better now, I think.

I think the initiative rules could do with a bit more details (or potentially newly introduced changes should trigger the again in teh context of responding to the new thing, but this could get fiddly). And perception rolls should run teh gamut of time and effort devoted to them between a "free action perception" all the way up to an "All Out perception" But being in one OODA loop even if you are continuing a series fo A's, does make completing a new one harder.

I.e if you are in the middle of reacting to an ambush, reacting to a new threat is harder. But again you could do things like giving perception roles a doing two thing at once penalty, plus you less likely to pause or break off and make one if you are in the middle of a taking other actions

But the initiative system is bit all or nothing, you are either fine of standing slack jawed for relatively long in game periods.
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Old 04-14-2020, 04:47 AM   #33
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Default Re: Fixing round length in GURPS

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Originally Posted by Say, it isn't that bad! View Post
Ah! I see the confusion now. "Observe-Orient-Decide-Act" is *military jargon for a standard and practical decision loop. Basically "normally", you'd look to see what's going on; figure out how you fit into the current situation; decide what the best next step is; and then take that next step.
...
Good point, for me that's pretty much standard practice, and I've never run games (GURPS or otherwise) where combats have been games of chess without timers.

Even leaving aside trying to achieve the effects we're talking about here, there's the practical issues of fights taking up too much table time!
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Old 04-14-2020, 05:00 PM   #34
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Default Re: Fixing round length in GURPS

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Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
Has anyone brought up the common house rule that when its your character's turn, you have to act or ask quick technical questions ("how does X work/I want to take her weapon away, what is that called in GURPS?" NOT "is an attack with the sword or the mace better against my opponent given my stats, injury level, and the curse which was cast three turns ago?") or your character chooses Do Nothing?
Do Nothing seems far too punishing, especially on players that don't have the ability to process and think quickly. For that kind of situation there's usually a 'default' assumption the character will do; A fencer with no good openings defaults to All Out Defend (Extra), the archer might default to Vitals Shot to the closest enemy to give them some room to breathe, and in a recent game the party wizard would use Soul Blast which was a powerful corrosion IA with Emanation and Selective Area to just blow everything apart other than allies if no other options presented themselves.
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While I do not think that GURPS is perfect I do think that it is more balanced than what I am likely to create by GM fiat.
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Old 04-14-2020, 08:51 PM   #35
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Default Re: Fixing round length in GURPS

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Do Nothing seems far too punishing, especially on players that don't have the ability to process and think quickly. For that kind of situation there's usually a 'default' assumption the character will do; A fencer with no good openings defaults to All Out Defend (Extra), the archer might default to Vitals Shot to the closest enemy to give them some room to breathe, and in a recent game the party wizard would use Soul Blast which was a powerful corrosion IA with Emanation and Selective Area to just blow everything apart other than allies if no other options presented themselves.
Actually, unless a stun is involved, Do Nothing is not as punishing as you think. You can still take any Active Defense if someone attacks you.

To be physically stunned two things generally need to happen:
1. A “major wound” of a single injury of greater than 1/2 your HP occurs.
2. You fail your HT roll when 1 occurs.

For a mental stun either Total or Partial Surprise needs to occurs.

Last edited by maximara; 04-14-2020 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 04-14-2020, 09:04 PM   #36
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Actually, unless a stun is involved, Do Nothing is not as punishing as you think. You can still take any Active Defense if someone attacks you..
Which is significantly worse than Do Something. Even just a Move can do a lot for a turn. I'm not sure in any way where Do Nothing might be worth doing over AoD (Dodge) which is basically the 'do nothing' of my players generally speaking.
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Old 04-14-2020, 11:42 PM   #37
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Default Re: Fixing round length in GURPS

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Which is significantly worse than Do Something. Even just a Move can do a lot for a turn. I'm not sure in any way where Do Nothing might be worth doing over AoD (Dodge) which is basically the 'do nothing' of my players generally speaking.
I think maximara's point was that "Do Nothing" suggests in some people's mind literately doing nothing. But in GURPS you can still defend (and thus retreat, sidestep and slip), you can step IIRC. I'd certainly allow reasonable perception rolls.
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Old 04-15-2020, 12:46 AM   #38
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Default Re: Fixing round length in GURPS

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I think maximara's point was that "Do Nothing" suggests in some people's mind literately doing nothing. But in GURPS you can still defend (and thus retreat, sidestep and slip), you can step IIRC. I'd certainly allow reasonable perception rolls.
That makes sense, but what I was responding to was someone saying "If your players aren't fast enough, they Do Nothing on their turn" which is incredibly punishing to players not equipped to think quickly on their feet while also remembering everything their character is capable of. My suggestion was 'have a fall back plan'. Even if the rule was 'If you aren't fast enough, you AoD (Dodge*)', that would be far superior and even make sense in more realistic fights (people unprepared to fight well tend to over-rely on surviving vs winning).

*Dodge is picked because unless you are built to use another defense very well the bonus to a defense that won't go down with repeated use and always gets +3 when retreating makes you harder to get hit than the other three options. AoD (Double) is usually better with high skill dual-wielders/shieldbearers with WM.
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Old 04-15-2020, 01:05 AM   #39
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That makes sense, but what I was responding to was someone saying "If your players aren't fast enough, they Do Nothing on their turn" which is incredibly punishing to players not equipped to think quickly on their feet while also remembering everything their character is capable of. My suggestion was 'have a fall back plan'. Even if the rule was 'If you aren't fast enough, you AoD (Dodge*)', that would be far superior and even make sense in more realistic fights (people unprepared to fight well tend to over-rely on surviving vs winning).

*Dodge is picked because unless you are built to use another defense very well the bonus to a defense that won't go down with repeated use and always gets +3 when retreating makes you harder to get hit than the other three options. AoD (Double) is usually better with high skill dual-wielders/shieldbearers with WM.
Yep something like a default SOP when nothing else comes to mind.(a good idea in general IME)

On the at the table point, my experience is that most players who are actually that hesitant generally fall into one of two groups:

1). the new player who really is not sure about the choices available to them. And yep definitely I'd give them extra leeway here (they're not choosing to hesitate and they're not going to have much fun otherwise if I force them to act)

2). the master chess player who want's to expertly craft their response like they're playing a turn based strategy game with out a timer. and that's not how I run my combats.


NB: this is just how I run my games, not some one true way or anything!
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Old 04-15-2020, 01:48 AM   #40
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Default Re: Fixing round length in GURPS

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I think maximara's point was that "Do Nothing" suggests in some people's mind literately doing nothing. But in GURPS you can still defend (and thus retreat, sidestep and slip), you can step IIRC. I'd certainly allow reasonable perception rolls.
Exactly.

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Originally Posted by kirbwarrior View Post
That makes sense, but what I was responding to was someone saying "If your players aren't fast enough, they Do Nothing on their turn" which is incredibly punishing to players not equipped to think quickly on their feet while also remembering everything their character is capable of. My suggestion was 'have a fall back plan'. Even if the rule was 'If you aren't fast enough, you AoD (Dodge*)', that would be far superior and even make sense in more realistic fights (people unprepared to fight well tend to over-rely on surviving vs winning).

*Dodge is picked because unless you are built to use another defense very well the bonus to a defense that won't go down with repeated use and always gets +3 when retreating makes you harder to get hit than the other three options. AoD (Double) is usually better with high skill dual-wielders/shieldbearers with WM.
In GURPS Dodge is an Active Defense and can be performed under Do Nothing even if you are stunned. Dodge, Block, and Parry are all available.

I should mention that Basic Speed determines the order combat happens in. So a 4.25 beats a 4.00.

Here is what would happen with a reasonably competent GM:

GM: The orc (has a 4.25) swings his ax at you.
Player: (Character has a 4.00) I Do nothing.
GM: Ok. You can Dodge, Block, or Parry his blow. Which do you do?
If the player continues to freeze then GM whould choose the best Active Defense (which would include All-Out Defense) and have the player roll against that.

The only Maneuver that prevents you from doing an Active Defense is All-Out Attack.

As the D&D to GURPS page on the GURPSwiki points out:
"Combat in GURPS is fast in terms of game time (a second). A D&D 3.0+ combat round is 6 seconds long (6 GURPS turns) and an AD&D 1-2 combat round is about a minute (60 GURPS turns). For this reason it is best to have a general idea on how skilled a character is regarding combat skills in relation to the D&D combat round because in GURPS terms they are pathetic."

Speaking of D&D: "These hit points represent how much damage (actual or potential) the character can withstand before being killed. A certain amount of these hit points represent the actual physical punishment which can be sustained. The remainder, a significant portion of hit points at higher levels, stands for skill, luck, and/or magical factors." Elsewhere it is flat out stated "As has been detailed, hit points are not actually a measure of physical damage, by and large, as far as characters (and some other creatures as well) are concerned."

So even in D&D the character isn't just standing there if the player is in Do nothing mode - per the hit points they are Dodging, Blocking, and Parrying blows. All GURPS is remove that abstraction so you don't have the silliness of Tiamat unleashing all five of her breath weapons into a fighter's face, the fighter surviving, and then introducing Tiamat to his Hammer of Thunderbolts. A variant of this nonsense was outlined in "History of a game that failed" Dragon #99 (July 1985) and was quite possible with the way D&D hit points worked back then.

Last edited by maximara; 04-15-2020 at 02:11 AM.
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