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Old 10-14-2015, 08:48 AM   #1
Koningkrush
 
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Default Rapid Strike Fix

Rapid strike never really felt right with me, especially for unarmed attacks. With the way the rules are set up, unarmed combat just feels like drunken 'tards lumbering back and forth with clumsy wide swings. If it really takes a whole second to complete a single punch, with two hands, then there's a problem.

First of all, to show what I mean, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-O5JoxqOcKQ
This guy obviously must be Trained by a Master to pull this off by GURPS standards, and shouldn't even exist in reality.

Martial Arts covers this issue, but it requires you to be cinematicly trained by some mystical master fighter. I think Rapid Strike should be limited by a combination of ST and DX, similar to how DX and HT limits dodge.

First off, you can perform any number of strikes in one second limited by DX and HT. Add HT and DX together, then divide by four rounding down. An average fighter has 5 Rapid Strike Points (I'll explain what these are below). Small weapons like daggers can also be used this quickly. If your weapon is like a lever with at least Reach 1, or just uses swinging in general to hit your target, then half this number rounding down (2 Points).

Secondly, now for penalty changes. Instead of -6, the penalty is now -2. This penalty is cumulative rather than across all strikes (0, then -2, then -4, then -6, etc.) Multiple attacks aren't insanely more difficult to hit with pertaining to skill; it's just hard to physically pull them off.

If you alternate between your arms, each strike uses up one point. Someone with two hands can throw 5 punches. (right, left, right, left, right).

If you use the same limb twice in a row without alternating, it uses up a cumulative extra point. (Right 1 point, Right 2 Point, Right 3 Point). You couldn't throw the third punch with the same limb since it would cost 6, and with 5 Rapid Strike Points, your limit is 5. A person with a sword couldn't even attack twice with a sword in one hand unless he had 6 Rapid Strike Points which reduces to 3.

If you attack by swinging with a weapon at reach 2 such as a spear or maul, then double the penalties. You obviously cannot alternate, unless you are strong as hell and wield two mauls. The penalties would be (Attack 1, Attack 4, Attack 6, etc). You would need a total of 10 Rapid Strike Points, reduced to 5, to swing a weapon with that much leverage and weight twice in one second. If you are dealing with some inhumane wtf creature with tons of ST and DX, then triple, quadruple, etc. based off the reach of the weapon (reach 3, triple penalty. reach 4, quadruple penalty.)

Finally, only your first attack can benefit from something like All-Out Attack (Strong), the rest are more about speed and less about force to benefit.

Options to Increase Rapid Strike Points:

Speedy Hits: Reduce damage for each attack by a doubling cumulative amount for each extra Rapid Strike point. (1 extra point, -1 for all hits; 2 extra points, -2 for all hits; 3 extra points, -4 for all hits; 4 extra points, -8 for all hits; etc). This allows low dexterity people with huge ST to sacrifice their brute force with speed. Technically, there is no limit for this. However, you will eventually just be rapidly tapping them with your finger doing no damage, or even just vibrating your hand on their chest with each twitch being a technical "hit". There would be absolutely no point in going that far though.

Extra Effort: Spend a cumulative 1 FP to gain an extra Rapid Strike Point, up to a maximum set by the GM. A realistic limit would be 1 or 2, while a cinematic limit might be 3 or 4. This could be used in tandem with Flurry of Blows.

Now, these rules actually just remove Dual Weapon Attack. It just seems dumb to me, and if you want it, just describe your alternating attacks to be happening at the same time rather than with short intervals.

What I think works out best for these rules is that unarmed combat is actually feasible to use now in settings with guns or swords. If you can get in close to a guy with a broadsword, and you know what you're doing alongside with being just a general bad ass, you can pummel his face in before he even knows what happened. Otherwise, who would give up cutting damage and reach just to throw punches at such a huge disadvantage?

Last edited by Koningkrush; 10-14-2015 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:24 AM   #2
mlangsdorf
 
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Default Re: Rapid Strike Fix

I think your system is probably overcomplicated, but let's see how it works in practice:

Fighter A is a typical middle-weight boxer, on the professional circuit but nothing more than a regional champion. He has ST 13, DX 12, HT 12, Speed 6, DR 1 (Tough Skin, Crushing Only), and Boxing-14.

Under normal GURPS rules, he can throw a left-right combo by making two attacks at -4, two jabs by making two attacks at -6, or two jabs and a hook by making an All-Out Attack (Double) and turning one of the attacks into a dual weapon attack, so attacks at -4, -4, and +0. In a mirror match, he can defend against two attacks with his Parry of 10, and third attack by Dodging with a 9. (Facing only a single foe, he'd probably Retreat, but that's neither here nor there).

Under your system, he might as well as throw left-right-left combos, rolling at +0, -2, -4, and possibly even toss in some Telegraphic Attacks on the end (rolling at -2, -4). He has a 6th attack possible, but why would he even use it since it's normally at -10? There are options to get more rapid strike points, but his skill is the limiting factor.

If he were a swordsman (Broadsword-14, Shield-14) instead of a boxer, he could make four rapid strikes: sword-14, kick-12, sword-10, kick-8. Possibly he can replace the kicks with shield bashes; your system is unclear.

If he were a fire elemental with a 3d burning aura, he's going to throw alternating punches and kicks for as long as possible, even sacrificing strike damage to do so, because the aura does the damage not the punch.

There's no disincentive to not throw at least two attacks, because everyone has enough rapid strike points to so (even a second attack with a maul is only 4 RSP), and the first attack has no penalty and the second attack has only a minor penalty. And it's not clear how this system works with All-Out (Double) or Extra Attack.

Honestly, I still think system is a mess. Realistically, people who punch tend to lose against people with swords, even when the puncher gets close and personal to the swordsman. If you want a different cinematic reality, take Trained by a Master.
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: Rapid Strike Fix

I, uh.

This isn't anything remotely close to a real punch in a real fight. Also, Guinness denied his entry if you actually look it up. In fact, if you look him up, all you find is a bunch of hot air and people making fun of him.

Who is going to just stand there and let him flail in their face like that? If his opponent has a weapon he's going to get his hands absolutely skewered; all the broadsword guy has to do is retreat to be able to parry his attack. If you're doing more attacks and spending skill penalty on it, you'll have less skill for deceptive attacks, and if you don't have high enough skill to pull off deceptive attacks, you're going to get a hand chopped off against a broadsword. Then you're going to be at -4 from shock and either miss the rest of your attacks or land another one and he'll do a feverish defense to parry at -2 and might skewer another hand, or it'll hit his shield. Alternatively, if he doesn't have a shield he just parries with his offhand device and skewers the hand anyway. And while this won't happen every fight it's likely enough that it'll end his career pretty fast.

As for Rapid Strike Points, GURPS doesn't really do additional stat keeping for individual things like this. The closest thing to something like that would be in one of the Alternative GURPS pyramids where they talk about Action Points. You'd be better using that system if you really want to use a house rule along these lines. Since you brought up martial arts, consider looking at P.80 for their realistic treatment of attacking many times. A normal person can get five full-power attacks (All at full skill nonetheless, if you put the points into it!) in with the AOA:Double maneuver and the Extra Attack advantage with those rules, which is pretty crazy already.

Now, if we want to leave the realm of realism, turn to P.126 of GURPS: Martial Arts. There's several pages there dedicated to hitting things really fast here including some things that are actually similar to what you brought up. If you want to trade speed for power, perhaps you could consider picking apart Defensive Attack (P.100, Martial Arts)? +1 to a defense is +2 to skill. You might be able to say it gives you +2 to skill for the purposes of making extra attacks only and just let them trade as much damage for skill as they want. Make sure you remember flurry of blows to reduce the skill penalty (And to watch your FP!). As an aside, all of these options would make for a terrifying Martial Artist Mage who triggers spells every time he touches someone..

Taking out armed opponents is suppose to be difficult, because that's how it is realistically. Most commonly, I see people taking Karate/Judo and then doing some or all of the following:

All-Out Defense: Parry > Retreat w/ X levels of riposte and Cross-Parry > Move into C range with a Giant Step or Committed attack > Counterattack & with a skill-capped Arm Lock/Disarm (Can't do a deceptive attack with a Riposite, counterattack is useful for this purpose)
Or
Retreat and Cross-Parry > Move into C range with a Giant Step or Committed attack > Counterattack & Deceptive Attack with a skill-capped Arm Lock/Disarm (The ability to go way over base skill for these techniques makes you able to penalize their defenses severely)

Potentially omit going into C range if you're disarming instead of arm locking. And then go off from there.
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: Rapid Strike Fix

It's very easy to make two punches in one turn in GURPS without any hit penalties at all.

It's called All Out Attack: Dual.

And when someone is doing a presentation outside of combat showing off how fast they are, they sure don't have to worry about defending. They're probably All Out Attacking.
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: Rapid Strike Fix

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Old 10-14-2015, 10:33 AM   #6
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Default Re: Rapid Strike Fix

The video looks to me to depict an outside-of-combat trick that in GURPS would probably amount to a perk. At most, it could be a showy technique on Boxing (Sport). As a GM, I'd probably allow it to give a +1 to an Intimidation roll.

In any event, I wouldn't think it would have any real combat application. That's why we don't see any videos of this happening in a real fight. I don't see any reason to change the combat rules to account for this trick.
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:40 AM   #7
Koningkrush
 
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Default Re: Rapid Strike Fix

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlangsdorf View Post
If he were a swordsman (Broadsword-14, Shield-14) instead of a boxer, he could make four rapid strikes: sword-14, kick-12, sword-10, kick-8. Possibly he can replace the kicks with shield bashes; your system is unclear.

If he were a fire elemental with a 3d burning aura, he's going to throw alternating punches and kicks for as long as possible, even sacrificing strike damage to do so, because the aura does the damage not the punch.

There's no disincentive to not throw at least two attacks, because everyone has enough rapid strike points to so (even a second attack with a maul is only 4 RSP), and the first attack has no penalty and the second attack has only a minor penalty. And it's not clear how this system works with All-Out (Double) or Extra Attack.
I handled the broadsword issue by halving the points available, meaning people with weapons can't attack nearly as fast as someone who is unarmed. You did bring up an issue though with combining weapon strikes with unarmed strikes, causing a big confusion with point cost. I think I might remove the point divisor and just increase cost of weapon use.

Also, to attack twice with a Maul without using other options to increase your Points, you would need 20 Strength and 20 Dexterity to pull it off. Half points would give you 5, and maul attack is 1, then 4, which equals 5. Normally someone could attack twice with a maul with much easier ability in GURPS rules by taking the -6, but I have a hard time visualizing this actually happening in one second. Spinning wildly in circles while holding the maul at the end perhaps?

As far as the fire elemental goes, I would do the same thing I did for limiting damage boosts. The damage boost only applies to your actual first attack (or two if using All-Out Attack Double), but not to the additional attacks gained by spending the points.

Also, just because I say realistic, doesn't mean it's not fiction. Imagine some kind of hyper fast+strong alien that can annihilate you with multiple hits in one turn just because of its Strength and Dexterity. The reason I tried to put this together is because Rapid Strike seems like something that would be limited more by physical limits rather than skill. This seems to be a prevalent issue throughout GURPS (jumping especially).

Last edited by Koningkrush; 10-14-2015 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:49 AM   #8
Koningkrush
 
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Default Re: Rapid Strike Fix

Here is a really condensed rule that should be easy to understand after reading the initial post. I decided to not halve points to avoid confusion, and instead double the cost of anything that would halve points.

Rapid Strike Points = (DX+ST)/4
Alternating strikes with the same limb type (arm to arm, leg to leg, head to head) cost 1 point each. Striking multiple times with the same limb without alternating costs a cumulative extra point.
Double all point costs for weapons with Reach 1 that use swinging to strike, triple for reach 2, and so on.
Any damage boosting effects do not apply to any extra attacks gained by spending Rapid Strike Points.

Maul Test:
Swing 1 costs 3 points, Swing 2 costs 6 points, total cost for two swings in one second would be 9 points, requiring at least 18 ST and DX without using additional options to increase RSP.
Broadsword Kicking: Swing 1 costs 2 points, Kick 1 costs 1 point, Swing 2 costs 4 points (total 7).

It may not be 100% realistic, but it's close to simulating reality and manages to combine Dual Weapon Attack and Rapid Strike into one thing. It would just require a quick note on a character sheet and the point costs would be easy to remember.

I also added the same limb thing because of an example above that causes silly kick swing combos which would be super unbalanced and difficult to pull off. The reason alternating attacks are cheaper are because the impact of one limb allows for force transfer that brings the other limb forward. Shield bashes would be the same as unarmed attacks btw, same as daggers, rocks, really almost anything with C reach.

My final problem is that maybe there are too many points. An average trained fighter swinging with 5 quick alternating jabs in 1 second seems like a bit much, although the skill cost might handle it. It might be best to divide the DX+ST by 5 rather than 4.

Last edited by Koningkrush; 10-14-2015 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 10-14-2015, 11:06 AM   #9
Koningkrush
 
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Default Re: Rapid Strike Fix

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnHZGiLFFl8

Here's another example. Each hit would be considered a strike under normal GURPS rules. It would seem unfair to charge 4 levels of Extra Attack to simulate this.
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Old 10-14-2015, 11:18 AM   #10
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Default Re: Rapid Strike Fix

This is covered by usign a combination, telegraphic attack and all out attack.
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