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Old 09-03-2020, 03:37 PM   #21
Donny Brook
 
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Default Re: Reducing the number of wepon skills

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Originally Posted by Anders View Post
The purpose is to reduce the number of skills. GURPS is pretty skill-heavy anyway.
That much I gathered. But I don't understand why that is desirable.



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Do you have another suggestion?
I would leave them as is.
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Old 09-03-2020, 05:03 PM   #22
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Default Re: Reducing the number of wepon skills

I have tried doing this as well, and the only thing I managed to work out is that the fencing skills are not needed and are instead turned into techniques for knife, shortsword, and broadsword skills.

There is a big difference in using one handed weapons and two handed. So having a one handed axe/mace skill and a two handed axe/mace skill is a must, same for flail.

Polearms are also different. You don't use a halberd the same way you use a spear nor a staff. So you need the 3 different skills. (You can use a staff like a spear, and even like a halberd).

Whips are unique, You have 2 different skills named Kusari for weighted whips that require two hands, and the other named whip needing only 1 hand.

"Bladed" weapons are harder. You need 4 skills at least. This is because the way you use a greatsword/longsword (Two handers) is different from the way you would use an arming sword (Broad sword for you peasants :D) which is different from the way you would use a shortsword/messer which is different from the way you would use a dagger/knife! I would argue that you need 5 skills because the way you use a true greatsword is different from the way you use normal two handed swords (Longswords and bastard swords).

So, with all that, the only change I ever make is getting rid of the fencing skills in favor of fencing techniques. Only for what I already mentioned.
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Old 09-03-2020, 05:14 PM   #23
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Default Re: Reducing the number of wepon skills

Interesting. Meditate on this I shall.
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Old 09-03-2020, 05:15 PM   #24
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Default Re: Reducing the number of wepon skills

Back in 2016 here was my take

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If GURPS was being written from scratch by historians of fencing, the Fencing skills might well be replaced with an option that represents leading with the weapon, point in line with the enemy, and trying to return to that stance as often as possible. This would offer bonuses to defence and in Who Strikes First, but expose the weapon and weapon hand to attacks and Beats and give some penalties to cutting attacks (damage penalty? bonus to parry them? I don't know). Historically, some fencers recommended relying on [i]guardie basse e strette[i] (low guards with the point in line) when fencing with the staff or sword alone, and others did not ... they have many good features but some disadvantages, especially if the sword does not protect the sword hand very well.

At the end of this rules change, the skills Staff and Spear and Lance would probably be replaced with a single skill, just like Broadsword, Rapier, and Smallsword would become one.
I think most martial artists would agree that GURPS requires hand-to-hand fighters to learn too many different weapon skills with too harsh defaults from one to another, but building a better system is work. I have not used all of these weapons just the common ones like spears and swords and knives.
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Last edited by Polydamas; 09-03-2020 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 09-03-2020, 05:23 PM   #25
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Default Re: Reducing the number of wepon skills

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Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
I think most martial artists would agree that GURPS requires hand-to-hand fighters to learn too many different weapon skills with too harsh defaults from one to another, but building a better system is work. I have not used all of these weapons just the common ones like spears and swords and knives.
Do you have a link to the thread?
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Old 09-03-2020, 05:27 PM   #26
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Default Re: Reducing the number of wepon skills

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Originally Posted by Gnome View Post
Part of the problem might come from the fact that skill gives you better attacks, better defenses, and even the potential to do more damage (by targeting locations), so there's really a lot in that one package of melee weapon skill.
Remember to add 'if they have the right tool' to all of this. They have to have a (say) sword to be able to attack and parry with, they have to be facing enemies that get in melee and have weapons that can be parried, and if they have only one weapon skill they can't easily upgrade to whatever treasure they find in dungeons or stores. No amount of Broadsword is going to matter against bow-wielding birds. Without the right expensive advantages, you can't parry with arrows or bullets. And unarmed skills have even worse range with further limitations (Brawling and Boxing have poor parry options, Karate is affected by encumbrance, grappling is just a difficult and long affair).

If one skill is enough to dominate, then I'd assume the GM is letting it. Is that broadsword user going to have a ready blade when the batlord crashes a fancy dance? Is the user going to be able to fight off diffuse enemies? Will they see the traps in between them and the ogre? And this is all assuming that dealing lethal damage is even the goal!

The literal one skill I see easily abused in my campaigns at high levels is Stealth. And because I'm almost entirely under control of what situations can be solved with or even need Stealth, I don't have an issue with it. Every other skill has limitations of some kind built into them.

On topic, I think it's fine. I could see bumping them all a difficulty level and letting the RAW skills become specialties. And on the note of Bang! skills I think the weapon ones are also pretty bad. Sword! just doesn't cover that much compared to other ones. And is pretty poor compared to Weapon Talent [15] which is itself poor compared to DX [20].
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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 09-03-2020, 05:30 PM   #27
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Default Re: Reducing the number of wepon skills

The thing about melee weapons is that there's a body of broadly transferrable skills, and then there's a set of specific subtleties to weapons (which actually apply in both directions; it helps to know how to use your opponent's weapon).
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Old 09-03-2020, 06:54 PM   #28
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Default Re: Reducing the number of wepon skills

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
The thing about melee weapons is that there's a body of broadly transferrable skills, and then there's a set of specific subtleties to weapons (which actually apply in both directions; it helps to know how to use your opponent's weapon).
This makes me wonder if weapons would have been better off being quite general with Styles really defining them. I feel unarmed really shines because of them with a focus on techniques and perks to truly define your 'skill' even though there are only three damage unarmed skills vs the 20ish weapon skills.
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Old 09-03-2020, 07:26 PM   #29
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Default Re: Reducing the number of wepon skills

From the last time the topic came up:
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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
For my old Combat Skills Overhaul (actually, the Mk. 2 version of it), I roughly consolidated to 10 skills to cover all of melee combat. These were Grappling, Brawling, Shield, Knife, Sword, Axe, Spear, Polearm, Whip, and Flail. Some of these required specialization - Shield could be Buckler, Cloak, Guige, or Shield (representing a strapped-on shield), Sword and Axe required 1H vs 2H, and Flail required 1H vs 2H vs Kusari. Every specialization defaulted to the others at -2 (except Cloak, which defaulted with all the other Shield specializations at -3). There were then a plethora of options to modify the skills to get them to roughly match what currently exists (and a bunch of other stuff, because my Overhauls are nothing if not excessive).

Looking at it now, I'd be strongly tempted to just do away with Grappling as a separate skill; after all, all weapon skills include grappling with the weapons as part of the deal, and I don't see why unarmed skills should be different. Merging Whip in with Flail probably wouldn't be too awful, alongside merging Knife in with Unarmed. Having Fencing skills would probably just be a Feature for a given character and influence all of their skills, or a Perk per skill if the character can choose Fencing or Standard ([5] to be able to do it for all skills). So, roughly:
  • Axe (DX/A): This covers the use of unbalanced weapons of Reach 1+ held at one end. It must be specialized in One-Handed or Two-Handed use. Defaults to Flail -3 or Sword -4.
  • Brawling (DX/E): This covers unarmed combat (punching, kicking, biting, etc), as well as the use of Reach C weapons such as knives (for those that are Reach C,1, use Brawling at Reach C, Sword at Reach 1). Optionally, require specialization of Unarmed vs Armed (for Reach C weapons). Defaults to Shield -4.
  • Flail (DX/H): This covers the use of unbalanced weapons of Reach 1+ held at one end and with the striking head at the end of a chain, rope, or similar. It must be specialized in One-Handed or Two-Handed Use, or as Kusari or Whip. Defaults to Axe -4.
  • Polearm (DX/A): This covers the use of long unbalanced weapons held near the middle. It covers 2-handed use only - a character with sufficient ST to wield a polearm with one hand should instead use Axe. Staff Grip (see Spear, below) is an option for Polearms, but causes a -2 to Swing damage when using the polearm's main head and only grants a +1 to Parry. Defaults to Axe -4 or Spear -4.
  • Shield (DX/E): This covers the use of shields in combat. It must be specialized in Buckler, Cloak, Guige, or Strapped. Defaults to Brawling -4.
  • Spear (DX/A): This covers the use of long balanced weapons held near the middle. It must be specialized in One-Handed or Two-Handed use. When wielded two-handed, a Ready maneuver can change to a Staff Grip, resulting in a -1 to Thrust damage and the ability to strike with the butt, as well as granting a +2 to Parry. Defaults to Polearm -4 or Sword -4.
  • Sword (DX/A): This covers the use of balanced weapons of Reach 1+ held at one end. It must be specialized in One-Handed or Two-Handed use. Defaults to Axe -4 or Spear -4.

Specializations default to each other at -2; additional Specializations cost [+1] each. Optionally, treat grappling as a Specialization of each skill (using Brawling for unarmed grappling, or grappling with a knife); otherwise, it just uses the weapon skill. When defaulting from another skill, you must still choose a specialization; match specializations when possible (so a character with Sword (One-Handed) 16 has Sword (Two-Handed) 14, Axe (One-Handed) 12, Axe (Two-Handed) 10, Spear (One-Handed) 12, and Spear (Two-Handed) 10). Buying a skill up from a default costs half as much as usual. Note Weapon Adaptation is no longer a valid Perk with this system; it's essentially built into the specializations.
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Old 09-03-2020, 07:30 PM   #30
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Default Re: Reducing the number of wepon skills

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Originally Posted by kirbwarrior View Post
If one skill is enough to dominate, then I'd assume the GM is letting it. Is that broadsword user going to have a ready blade when the batlord crashes a fancy dance? Is the user going to be able to fight off diffuse enemies? Will they see the traps in between them and the ogre? And this is all assuming that dealing lethal damage is even the goal.
It's not that one skill is sufficient -- it's that there's generally no point to taking additional melee weapon skills, because in situation where the broadsword is unavailable or useless, most other melee weapon skills will also be unavailable or useless (possible exception: knife -- but its often best to skip directly from your sword skill to unarmed combat).

If I wanted to make more categories, I'd go with something like:
Melee Weapons: you should pick your preferred melee weapon. It has the following traits:
  • Balance (one of Flexible, Unbalanced, Balanced, Fencing)
  • Damage Type
  • Hands
  • Reach
If you pick up a different weapon, you may default it off of your preferred weapon. This gives penalties based on how different the weapons are, as follows:
  • Different Balance: -2 per step (Flexible, Unbalanced, Balanced, Fencing)
  • Different Damage Type: -1
  • Different Hands: -2
  • Different Reach: -2 if either minimum or maximum reach is different, -4 if both are different.
Thus to default from Flail to Knife is -4 (flexible to balanced), -1 (crushing to impaling), -2 (different hands), -4 (both minimum and maximum reach are different). You may reduce each penalty (separately) as an average technique; thus, to use all weapons equally costs 13 points.

Adjust penalties to taste.
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Last edited by Anthony; 09-03-2020 at 07:51 PM.
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