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Old 11-15-2011, 02:36 PM   #1
Verjigorm
 
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Default Low Velocity Slams, a Murphy?

Ok, I de-railed a recent thread with something that's been stuck in my craw for a while: Slams at low velocity are overpowered. To demonstrate this, a ST10 man with a medium shield and a 1yd shield slam has a 50% chance of automatically knocking down a ST50 target, and a very minimal chance of himself being knocked down.

Now, I know you're thinking: "Well, how often do you really have people shield slamming elephants", and the answer is: not nearly often enough for that to matter. However, at lower levels of ST/HP you still have this problem, with a low velocity slam using AoA(Strong) or Extra effort can knockdown an enemy rather easily and at low risk. This is particularly problematic if you include large, clumsy monsters such as ogres, or the equally fantastic heavy warhorse. A low ST fighter with a shield can generally KD said horse fairly easily*. Now, I wouldn't really have a problem, except that a shield slam is fairly low-risk(you might miss the target, but other than that, low-risk), high-yield maneuver that quickly makes big but clumsy opponents a joke.

My first impulse was to simply make all slams at max velocity, which quickly fixed the problem. But it also, as Sir_Pudding pointed out, doesn't match well to the reality of slams, which is that velocity does matter. So I've figured that the next best thing is to have slams figured at half and full velocity, with the half-velocity used for short slams. This handles the problem rather quickly.

Sir_Pudding also suggested an Extra Effort called Stand Fast(or something similar) which would help to resist Knockback and Slams, which I thought was pretty slick. It doesn't solve the shield slam problem completely, but it takes a lot of oomph from the tactic. However, if we include a bonus against takedowns and sweeps, Stand Fast is still a really cool addition, and one I will be adopting.

Sir_Pudding also suggested scaling modifiers with the velocity, but he didn't expand too much on that, so I'm not sure where he was going, or how the numbers add up.

Anyway, what's the best solution here?

*this is much worse than the elephant example, because unless your horse is HP26+(in which case it's the same as the Elephant...) the horse has 1d-2 damage(counting brawling bonus), and the shield slammer has 1d-1 damage. AOA(Strong) or Mighty Blows turns this into an auto KD for the horse unless he rolls a 5 or 6. That's just not cool. And horses can't parry or block, and with their lowish basic speed and encumbrance, they don't really dodge well.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: Low Velocity Slams, a Murphy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Verjigorm View Post
Sir_Pudding also suggested an Extra Effort called Stand Fast(or something similar) which would help to resist Knockback and Slams, which I thought was pretty slick. It doesn't solve the shield slam problem completely, but it takes a lot of oomph from the tactic. However, if we include a bonus against takedowns and sweeps, Stand Fast is still a really cool addition, and one I will be adopting.
What should the effect be? +20% to HP resist Slams and Knock back and +2 to ST or Grappling Skill to resist Takedowns and the like?

Quote:
Sir_Pudding also suggested scaling modifiers with the velocity, but he didn't expand too much on that, so I'm not sure where he was going, or how the numbers add up.
Not scaling (the last thing we need is for those bonuses to multiply!) but rather capping. The max bonus is equal to some fraction of velocity (probably either 1, 1/2, or 1/3).
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: Low Velocity Slams, a Murphy?

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Originally Posted by Verjigorm View Post
Ok, I de-railed a recent thread with something that's been stuck in my craw for a while: Slams at low velocity are overpowered. To demonstrate this, a ST10 man with a medium shield and a 1yd shield slam has a 50% chance of automatically knocking down a ST50 target, and a very minimal chance of himself being knocked down.
How do you figure that?

The man has 10 HP and Move 5. Dice of damage is (10 x 5) / 100, or 0.5, treated as 1d-2. Adding DB2 gives him a damage roll of 1d. His target does (50 x 5) / 100 dice of damage, which wounds up to 3d.

If the man gets a maximum roll of 6, and the target gets a minimum roll of 3, the target is knocked down automatically. That's one chance in 1,296.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Low Velocity Slams, a Murphy?

[QUOTE=sir_pudding;1278717]What should the effect be? +20% to HP resist Slams and Knock back and +2 to ST or Grappling Skill to resist Takedowns and the like?[quote]

I was thinking +2 Damage for slams(+20% HP doesn't fix the problem with slams vs elephants, for example), +2 ST for resisting KD, and +2 to ST or Grappling Skill to reduce Takedowns, sweeps, etc.

The reason why i don't like +20% HP is because it doesn't do anything at human levels of ST. A ST10 man vs a ST 10 man, the straight damage bonus from AoA or Mighty Blows is meaningful and changes the way the results play out. Getting 20% more HP does squat all for the slammee due to the slam breakpoints(.25 or lower is 1d-3, .5 or lower is 1d-2, anything else less than a full die is 1d-1).

Quote:
Not scaling (the last thing we need is for those bonuses to multiply!) but rather capping. The max bonus is equal to some fraction of velocity (probably either 1, 1/2, or 1/3).
Do we also limit the shield bonus?
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: Low Velocity Slams, a Murphy?

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
How do you figure that?

The man has 10 HP and Move 5. Dice of damage is (10 x 5) / 100, or 0.5, treated as 1d-2. Adding DB2 gives him a damage roll of 1d. His target does (50 x 5) / 100 dice of damage, which wounds up to 3d.
1 yard slam, not 5 yards. Dice of Damage is (10x1)/100=.1=1d-3 +2 from AoA Determined or Extra Effort Mighty Blows=1d-1 +2 DB= 1d+1. Versus (50x1)/100=.5=1d-2.

The man wins automatically on a 3-6.

Last edited by sir_pudding; 11-15-2011 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: Low Velocity Slams, a Murphy?

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How do you figure that?
Because velocity for a 1yd slam is 1.

Quote:
The man has 10 HP and Move 5. Dice of damage is (10 x 5) / 100, or 0.5, treated as 1d-2. Adding DB2 gives him a damage roll of 1d. His target does (50 x 5) / 100 dice of damage, which wounds up to 3d.

If the man gets a maximum roll of 6, and the target gets a minimum roll of 3, the target is knocked down automatically. That's one chance in 1,296.

Bill Stoddard
Yes, for a 5yd slam, there is no problem. The problem is when a 1yd man can slam almost anything with less than 100hp to the ground. Remember, velocity is the yards moved, not the potential from your basic move.
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Low Velocity Slams, a Murphy?

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Originally Posted by Verjigorm View Post
I was thinking +2 Damage for slams(+20% HP doesn't fix the problem with slams vs elephants, for example), +2 ST for resisting KD, and +2 to ST or Grappling Skill to reduce Takedowns, sweeps, etc.

The reason why i don't like +20% HP is because it doesn't do anything at human levels of ST. A ST10 man vs a ST 10 man, the straight damage bonus from AoA or Mighty Blows is meaningful and changes the way the results play out. Getting 20% more HP does squat all for the slammee due to the slam breakpoints(.25 or lower is 1d-3, .5 or lower is 1d-2, anything else less than a full die is 1d-1).
If you don't scale it, then it's hardly worth doing for T-Rexes being Slammed by Triceratops.

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Do we also limit the shield bonus?
Yeah, that's what I'm saying. IME the Shield doesn't really help much on short slams, what GURPS would call a Shove is generally preferable.
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: Low Velocity Slams, a Murphy?

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Originally Posted by Verjigorm View Post
Ok, I de-railed a recent thread with something that's been stuck in my craw for a while: Slams at low velocity are overpowered. To demonstrate this, a ST10 man with a medium shield and a 1yd shield slam has a 50% chance of automatically knocking down a ST50 target, and a very minimal chance of himself being knocked down.
Granted, we need to figure things how we get to this point, but you cannot "shove or knock over" anything greater than 12xBL, or 24xBL with a running start. That's 480 lbs. for a ST 10 man, which puts the horse AND the elephant right out of reach.

My personal preference is to make things such that exceeding a limit like that in the most frequent case means that your die roll goes below 3 or something, so you can't roll.

But . . . there's a hard limit already on this on p. B353, though it mayn't be integrated with the collision rules. GM would be fully in his rights to take that ST 10 character and only apply the damage one way: To him.
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Low Velocity Slams, a Murphy?

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My personal preference is to make things such that exceeding a limit like that in the most frequent case means that your die roll goes below 3 or something, so you can't roll.

But . . . there's a hard limit already on this on p. B353, though it mayn't be integrated with the collision rules. GM would be fully in his rights to take that ST 10 character and only apply the damage one way: To him.
If I were GMing, I might apply a different fix: If you do All-Out Attack for extra damage to slam into something bigger than you are, fine, but the extra damage is applied to you as well as it. Slamming has a reciprocal quality that punching and kicking mostly don't.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: Low Velocity Slams, a Murphy?

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
If I were GMing, I might apply a different fix: If you do All-Out Attack for extra damage to slam into something bigger than you are, fine, but the extra damage is applied to you as well as it. Slamming has a reciprocal quality that punching and kicking mostly don't.

Bill Stoddard
That means there's little reason to ever take it: Do more damage by incurring the same (which your bigger foe is better able to handle) in return for: a smaller chance at an automatic knockdown, and no change at all in the chance for a regular one.
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