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Old 04-25-2019, 12:11 PM   #11
Andreas
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Default Re: Ideas for Higher-Resolution Combat - Feedback Requested

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
I've considered that before (although the linked system's a bit finicky). One of the purposes of Opportunistic Attacks is to encourage players to change up their attacks (punching/kicking someone during a swordfight, using a shield bash, etc), which would be difficult just from a focusing of defenses. Note my Opportunistic Attack suggestion could be used in combination with any sort of focusing of defenses, either to offset the bonus ("I found an opening to strike the Lich's phylactery with my dagger!") or to make further use of the penalty ("His weapon arm is open to attack, and I'm in just the right position to break his wrist with a kick!").
The encuragement for the players to change their attacks would come from their enemies occasionally focusing on certain defenses. They would notice that their opponent is only preparing to defend against the players main weapon or that they are forgetting to defend their feet etc.

Since the opportunity comes from the opponent rather the player's decision, you have opponents that act in a way that tend to make sense for them, rather than in a way that "happens" to be benefitial to the players (opponents forgetting to defend their vitals more often than their less important hit locations etc.).
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Old 04-25-2019, 12:26 PM   #12
ericthered
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Default Re: Ideas for Higher-Resolution Combat - Feedback Requested

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
I think it would actually work fairly well to, rather than legally define a "main" attack, just let the GM and player figure that out. Basically, they player says "Hey, I know X is my best bet here, but I want to use Opportunistic Attack with Y instead," and the GM either agrees and lets him apply the full 1d to Y, or disagrees and has him apply 1d-3 (min 0) to Y instead. An important note, of course, is that the player isn't required to use that Opportunistic Attack if the GM disagrees - he could switch to another one, or just use X (which he thought was better anyway, even if the GM felt the two were equivalent) or Y without the Opportunistic Attack bonus.
Yeah, I can't define what a "non-main" attack is, but I know it when I see one, and I think most people do. I just don't like not having it well-defined.

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I also considered the random location option, but felt it would be unsatisfying in play.
A while back I embraced using random hit locations for melee attacks as a strategy. For the most part, the torso is the least useful (and most boring) place to hit someone in Gurps. Most hit locations get knock-down bonuses, damage multipliers or a chance to cripple. The biggest loss commonly seen is an impaling or piercing attack to a limb. Even then, randomly stabbing a hand is awesome.

I don't think the results are as satisfying as they are interesting. An hit that was easier than normal to land shouldn't end the fight: it should complicate it.
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Old 04-25-2019, 01:02 PM   #13
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Ideas for Higher-Resolution Combat - Feedback Requested

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Originally Posted by Andreas View Post
The encuragement for the players to change their attacks would come from their enemies occasionally focusing on certain defenses. They would notice that their opponent is only preparing to defend against the players main weapon or that they are forgetting to defend their feet etc.
I typically think of focusing defenses as being specific to a hit location and/or a given enemy (the latter from Technical Grappling), but the idea of them focusing on a specific weapon certainly has some merit.

The system from the thread I linked was basically a 3-tier hit-location-based defense. You can choose upper vs lower body, a specific hit location, or a specific sub-location. I'm thinking it may be better to avoid the tier system, but allow effects to stack. First is Upper vs Lower Body - Upper being Skull, Face, Neck, Chest, Arms, Hands; Lower being Abdomen, Legs, Feet. Next is Hit Location - Head (includes Skull, Face, and Neck), each Arm (includes each Hand), Vitals (covers both Vitals in the Chest and those in the Abdomen), Pelvis (includes Groin), and Legs (both together, includes Feet). Worn items (like a talisman) might serve as a final option, although I'd typically just have that in place of a hit location. Next is Enemy - you may opt to designate a single enemy you are focusing on. Finally is Weapon - choosing this option lets you designate a single weapon for each enemy you are facing (although you don't have to choose one for each enemy). Each choice you make is +1 to defend against that, -1 to defend against whatever it didn't cover. If you do use this option, I strongly recommend giving each player (and keeping a few for yourself, for Worthies and Bosses) a "cheat sheet" that lets them readily mark what they're focusing defenses on and reference to determine bonus/penalty.

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Originally Posted by Andreas View Post
Since the opportunity comes from the opponent rather the player's decision, you have opponents that act in a way that tend to make sense for them, rather than in a way that "happens" to be benefitial to the players (opponents forgetting to defend their vitals more often than their less important hit locations etc.).
Characters in stories often get lucky breaks against foes, significant or otherwise. While that can come down to the way the dice roll, I think it's more interesting to give players the choice. I think Opportunistic Attacks would work well in addition to, rather than being replaced by, a focused defense option. This is in no small part because I'd rather like for characters to be able to use it against fodder-type enemies, who won't be focusing their defenses.

The Vitals comment makes me think it might be appropriate for the longer cooldown to be for both weapon and hit location - a character who used an Opportunistic Attack to kick someone in the solar plexus (Vitals) has to wait 3 seconds before he can attempt another Opportunistic Attack, and must wait 10 seconds before he can attempt an Opportunistic Attack that involves either a kick or a strike to the Vitals. In some campaigns, it may also be appropriate for a character who tends to use a certain Opportunistic Attack (drawing a hidden knife and shanking someone in the Vitals, say) to gain a Reputation (MA54) for doing so.

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Yeah, I can't define what a "non-main" attack is, but I know it when I see one, and I think most people do. I just don't like not having it well-defined.
I know exactly what you mean. Some interaction between skill level and average injury might serve to give a legal definition, but I'm not sure how to properly implement that - and I'm certain players could find a way to exploit it.

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
A while back I embraced using random hit locations for melee attacks as a strategy. For the most part, the torso is the least useful (and most boring) place to hit someone in Gurps. Most hit locations get knock-down bonuses, damage multipliers or a chance to cripple. The biggest loss commonly seen is an impaling or piercing attack to a limb. Even then, randomly stabbing a hand is awesome.
I honestly dislike random hit locations from a balance perspective - it gives such a benefit, and basically zero cost (yes, there's the reduced wounding you note for Imp and IIRC Pi+/++ against limbs, but I feel that's offset by the chance to cripple them, and of course this has no bearing on Cr and Cut), that as you note it makes torso an unlikely place to aim. I'm not certain how to "correct" it, however (having the hit location penalty apply retroactively seems a bit harsh, particularly considering the attacks that require such a roll are often heavily-penalized... perhaps half the hit location penalty?).
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