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Old 02-13-2018, 04:23 PM   #11
Icelander
 
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Default Re: Combat Reflexes without defense bonus

Combat Reflexes has always been GURPS shorthand for 'combatants who matter in a heroic adventure' and distinguishing those from 'everyone else'. If a character in a campaign featuring as much violence as the typical RPG (usually orders of magnitude more than real special operators ever see) does not have it, he's probably not suitable to go on adventures with the other PCs. He might be a really nice Patron, Ally or Contact if he makes sure to stay home, but if he goes on adventures with them, he'll be a Dependent they don't get any points for.

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
fast-draw, in particular, is a skill people don't value much.
Huh. I have a very different experience.

Note that while Fast-Draw (Pistol) or (Sword) is a somewhat rare circus trick in real life, albeit one studied by the occasional real experts and very useful in tactical situations if mastered, Fast-Draw (Longarm) is a basic part of tactical training. It's used to quickly ready a rifle or other longarm that is slung over your back, hanging on a patrol sling, secured by a retention device, perched against a wall, lying next to you in a vehicle or basically carried or stored in any way other than held in a two-handed shooting position ready to fire.

In my experience, PCs that are good at combat will have Fast-Draw about as high as their weapon skill, until their Fast-Draw maxes out at around skill 18-21, which means that you can reliably (16 or lower) instantly ready a concealed pistol from an Undercover Holster in an inconvenient location, like in an IWB holster at the small of the back or under heavy clothing.

That allows a PCs to be able to shoot immediately upon spotting a threat, no matter where they are or how inappropriate it would have been to walk around openly armed and prepared to fire. As that will describe an awful lot of situations where PCs nevertheless get attacked, Fast-Draw can be as important as Guns... or even more important.

The best Guns skill in the world is kind of useless if you have to spend a whole second on a Ready action after you spot your enemies drawing their weapons, because then your enemies spend their next second of action filling you with lead before you ever get to roll against Guns.

And yes, Observation and high Per is important too. Without it, you are not a heroic adventurer, you are an annoying escort mission for the other PCs.
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Last edited by Icelander; 02-13-2018 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 02-13-2018, 04:27 PM   #12
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Default Re: Combat Reflexes without defense bonus

I rarely see Fast-Draw that high, but I often see it at 16.
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Old 02-13-2018, 04:28 PM   #13
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Default Re: Combat Reflexes without defense bonus

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I rarely see Fast-Draw that high, but I often see it at 16.
Do you routinely apply Fast-Draw penalties from Tactical Shooting or another source?
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Old 02-13-2018, 05:29 PM   #14
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Default Re: Combat Reflexes without defense bonus

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Combat Reflexes has always been GURPS shorthand for 'combatants who matter in a heroic adventure' and distinguishing those from 'everyone else'. If a character in a campaign featuring as much violence as the typical RPG (usually orders of magnitude more than real special operators ever see) does not have it, he's probably not suitable to go on adventures with the other PCs. He might be a really nice Patron, Ally or Contact if he makes sure to stay home, but if he goes on adventures with them, he'll be a Dependent they don't get any points for.
It should be noted that in Dungeon Fantasy there are 11 basic templates. Only 2 have Combat reflexes and 5 more have them as option and 4 do not even have the option. And DF is about as close to a pure combat game you can get outside of a dedicated arena game.

But in general, yes if you expect to be in combat you want the combat reflexes.
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:13 PM   #15
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Default Re: Combat Reflexes without defense bonus

I never make a combat character without Combat Reflexes because it is by definition that trait of combat hero.
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:39 PM   #16
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Default Re: Combat Reflexes without defense bonus

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I never make a combat character without Combat Reflexes because it is by definition that trait of combat hero.
Actually, that's sort of the point. Is a choice with only one valid option really a choice at all? I'd prefer a trait priced appropriately so that it isn't just the first 15 points of every single fighter build.

Or, to look at it from the other side, why do combat heroes get such a discount on the bundle of capabilities that make up their essential advantage when other characters don't?
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Old 02-13-2018, 09:10 PM   #17
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Default Re: Combat Reflexes without defense bonus

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Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
Actually, that's sort of the point. Is a choice with only one valid option really a choice at all? I'd prefer a trait priced appropriately so that it isn't just the first 15 points of every single fighter build.

Or, to look at it from the other side, why do combat heroes get such a discount on the bundle of capabilities that make up their essential advantage when other characters don't?
Perhaps for the same reason HT is priced as low as it it: it is no fun if combat people get cut down before hey have a chance to do their cool schtick.
Front-line fighters are in a very lethal situation and Combat Reflexes is primarily about not getting killed before you get to take a turn or two.

For snipers, archers and other characters that are not on the front-line, Combat reflexes is often not worth while, but if you want to live in the space where one or more opponents are making potentially lethal attacks on you ever second, you really need any help you can get to stay alive.

And the people behind the meat-shields also benefit from their protection sticking around for more than a few seconds, so it really benefits the entire party if you make melee characters a bit more survivable.
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Old 02-13-2018, 09:11 PM   #18
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Default Re: Combat Reflexes without defense bonus

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Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
Or, to look at it from the other side, why do combat heroes get such a discount on the bundle of capabilities that make up their essential advantage when other characters don't?
Well Magery 0 is only 5 points.

More to the point, the idea of Combat Reflexes is that it is a trait that veterans have that green warriors don't, and therefore it can't be that expensive, because a) you need to be able to aquire it after surviving a few serious fights, and b) even fairly low point value (NPC type usually) veterans ought to have it.
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:41 PM   #19
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Default Re: Combat Reflexes without defense bonus

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Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
Actually, that's sort of the point. Is a choice with only one valid option really a choice at all? I'd prefer a trait priced appropriately so that it isn't just the first 15 points of every single fighter build.
It isn't the only choice.

I routinely make combatants that don't have Combat Reflexes, because something else is core to the concept and the points just aren't lying about and available.


Now given 'enough points'? Yeah, it would be on every fighter I made... but I rarely find I'm given 'enough' points.

Of course every character I make has a pretty glaring flaw, so "not having CR" might just be some of those character's flaws.
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:37 AM   #20
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Default Re: Combat Reflexes without defense bonus

Starting with 15 points worth of something you can't learn in play (say High Pain Threshold and Born War Leader) and just spending your first 15 earned points on Combat Reflexes is something I see reasonably often.
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