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Old 08-17-2013, 03:09 PM   #11
Blood Legend
 
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Default Re: GURPS Overhaul - Combat Skills

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Originally Posted by JCurwen3 View Post
I'd agree as long as the perk was specific to a particular weapon.
My games try not to hassle with extreme specifics (in character gen). If player 1 picks up a sword like object and wants a perk to use it with another sword like skill, im not going to hose him when he picks up a different sword like object and tries to use that same sword like skill. As long as it isn't a gigantic leap in rules sets like Broadsword to Rapier anyway.

In most cases its only buying off a -2 to skill, and that's worth a perk.

As far as weapon breakage, the way I see it, it'll only come up in one of a hand full of situations. When a face palming reality check occurs, when it'd be an appropriate cinematic, when a weapon is specifically struck, or if you're running or playing in a gritty game. In all of those situations, doing it the long way is fairest to the player (and just mandatory for gritty).
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Last edited by Blood Legend; 08-17-2013 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 08-18-2013, 03:38 AM   #12
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Default Re: GURPS Overhaul - Combat Skills

Varyon,

You might find my COSH (Combat Skill Hack) house rules interesting. It's a system for "building" combat skills out of their component abilities, or modifying combat skills (by, say, adding an improved Parry and making the skill harder, or swapping a damage bonus for an improved Parry to leave difficulty unchanged).

http://www.gamesdiner.com/cosh3e

Really simple to use, very flexible, and aims for the same sort of thing you discuss. A couple of caveats, though:

1) It's for 3e, as evident in its 3e-centric skills (e.g., Katana) and terminology (e.g., Maneuvers instead of Techniques). But while updating it for 4e would take some work, the core concepts should carry over fine.

2) For better or worse, it tries hard to accommodate existing GURPS skills rather than reform everything into some "ideal" system. And it largely succeeds, I think, in that 3e skills "built" with the system mostly line up with GURPS in effects and final difficulty. But some don't. And if you are looking to more radically overhaul combat skills, you might find it doesn't go far enough.

But anyway, I mention it as a possible source of ideas for you. (If you want to skip the how-to and just get a feel for what COSH does, jump ahead to "Sample Skills" halfway down the page.)
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:53 AM   #13
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Default Re: GURPS Overhaul - Combat Skills

Lots to respond to here, let's see what I can manage...

Gilberto: That sounds decent, although I like the idea of incremental damage rather than all-or-nothing breakage. Weight is a different beast, and I would prefer to continue using the BS system as a decent approximation of the fact that a heavy weapon can indeed snap a lighter one outright.

Anaraxes: I did consider some name changes, but Brawling is probably the most efficient for that (Striking would need to be named Unarmed Striking, which is unwieldy). Fencing->Footwork would likely work well, though.
As for Judo, Weak is necessary to match the statistics from Basic Set, where Judo doesn't give a skill-based ST bonus. If you feel it still should, feel free to modify it accordingly - but note that will end up making it Very Hard or worse.
Of course, Savate does indeed incorporate punches, but ISTR a discussion of a "kicking only" version of boxing, where savate was given as a potential example, so I went with that.
I did think of rolling 2H into 1H usage, but felt that was too overreaching. I'll probably leave them as I have them now (later, I'll talk about buying up skills from default at a discount, which will handle much of the 1H/2H issue).
EDIT: I should note here that I left Spear as covering both uses, as I don't think there's quite as large of a difference between one-handed and two-handed spear use (with the exception of Staff Grip being available for the latter) as with other weapons, and because one-handed spear use is so niche it would really just serve to penalize spear users for using a shield.

Blood Legend: I've addressed the 1H/2H thing above, but as for spear/staff I'd imagine any decent spear training is probably going to include the fact that Staff Grip is really, really good for defense. If you're just training conscripts, feel free to toss on Restricted: No Staff Grip to make the skill DX/E (or easier - you could argue for this giving even more of a discount than usual, as this includes Thrust Only).
I'll reconsider allowing hilts to give a bonus to Parries, but I thought most of the "loss" of defensive options came down to "Oh crap that attack could cut my fingers off!" I'd imagine characters using weapons without hilts would make heavy use of Minimal Contact Parries.
Your weapon breakage houserule looks pretty interesting. I'll probably steal your handling of weapon damage (and the results thereof).

tbone: Always a fan, and the COSH thing looks interesting. I think it's a bit too low-level (in a programming sense) for my purposes, although I may see if I want to adapt some of the modifiers from there.

....


With that out of the way, here are a few things I forgot to include in the initial writeup. All are highly optional.

Less than a Glance: Anything that isn't a No Contact Parry does still have some contact, and with very strong enemies, very heavy weapons, or "annihilating" weapons (Force Swords), this can be quite important. "Minimum Contact" means 1/3 effective weapon weight and 1/4 damage.
Some options downgrade damage to a Glance (like when powering a defending weapon out of your way). If damage was already a glance (or less!), go ahead and half damage again.

AoD (Double): Characters who have taken this defense can use it, provided the second defense is successful, to prevent their weapon from being damaged, or negate a glance against themselves. Glances are defended against at +4.

Woe to the Unarmed: Optionally, thrusting attacks can still deal some damage on a glance (or lower). Halve damage further (so a glance is 1/4), and change to Crushing (if it isn't already). For double-edged blades, there is a 2/6 chance of the blade being struck during the parry, in which case damage is Cutting (for single-edged blades, it's only 1/6).
Another option is to have glances (and lower) suffer from poor armor divisors, rather than low damage. Note this will make parrying unarmed and unarmored far more deadly!

But I Didn't Want...: The rules for incidental striking of limbs probably go too far, resulting in more limb hits than was historical. To shift things a bit back, both players (typically, this will be a player and the GM) involved in an incidental limb hit get a say as to what actually happens.
Resolution is relatively simple - each player rerolls their attack/defense, with all the same modifiers as before. Success allows you to either change the limb hit to a hit to the originally chosen attack location, or negate the other person's choice. If a player doesn't care, he needn't roll. If both players want the limb to be hit (or if neither cares), no rolling is necessary at all. Note that if both players want to avoid the limb hit, you'll still need to roll - but only one of them needs to succeed.


I'm certain I'm still missing some of the things I've come up with (hopefully I'll get to those later), unfortunately. Thus is the problem when you tend to think things up when you don't have pencil and paper ready...

Last edited by Varyon; 08-19-2013 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 06-20-2014, 08:57 AM   #14
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Default Re: GURPS Overhaul - Combat Skills

Why did you decide that "Staff Grip" was something different from Defensive Grip?

After all, a Defensive Grip with a Longsword is pretty indistinguishable from a staff grip.

The exaggerated defensive powers of the Staff are one thing that I would hope to fix by merging it with Spear.

In my own house rules, Staff is just Spear in Defensive Grip, and Defensive Grip does not give its usual bonus to defend against attacks targeting the Hands.

This approach is consistent with my weapon training in Hsing-I, which doesn't really distinguish between spear and staffs, and teaches swings and thrusts with either, and incorporates a number of grips. The Staff grip is definitely inferior in terms of range and the power you can get from a swing.

[EDIT] Of course, my training also would justify the addition of a separate One-Handed Spear skill, which my style does not teach but which would be the main skill in the many styles that use a spear with a shield.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:42 AM   #15
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Default Re: GURPS Overhaul - Combat Skills

Are you referring to staff grip as holding the center of the staff, like Little John in Robin Hood: Men in Tights? Because I'm envisioning gripping the staff near one end, which would give you plenty of range and power and parrying surface.

I'm not at all familiar with Hsing-I, but I imagine if you're envisioning something so different from RAW for staffs, then it must be significantly different from the European staff arts.
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:37 AM   #16
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Default Re: GURPS Overhaul - Combat Skills

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Originally Posted by aesir23 View Post
After all, a Defensive Grip with a Longsword is pretty indistinguishable from a staff grip.
That looks to me more like using a sword as a staff than using it with a Defensive Grip.

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Originally Posted by aesir23 View Post
The exaggerated defensive powers of the Staff are one thing that I would hope to fix by merging it with Spear.
To my knowledge, the heavy bonus for using a Staff is actually based on contemporary accounts (which likely were exaggerated) of how great a staff was for defense. I'm personally alright with this, but as you can see in my system staves are likely to take damage while Parrying.

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Originally Posted by aesir23 View Post
This approach is consistent with my weapon training in Hsing-I, which doesn't really distinguish between spear and staffs, and teaches swings and thrusts with either, and incorporates a number of grips. The Staff grip is definitely inferior in terms of range and the power you can get from a swing.
GURPS' "Staff grip," such as it is, covers a range of grips that have subtle but generally-below-resolution differences. In general, there are 8 two-handed GURPS grips that a spear/staff can be held in - Spear, Defensive Spear, Reverse Spear, Staff, Defensive Staff, Sword, Defensive Sword, and Reverse Sword. You may well be comparing what GURPS would call a Defensive Staff Grip with a Sword grip, where you would certainly see a reduction in range and damage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aesir23 View Post
[EDIT] Of course, my training also would justify the addition of a separate One-Handed Spear skill, which my style does not teach but which would be the main skill in the many styles that use a spear with a shield.
While I can see Spear skill differentiating between one-handed and two-handed use, I don't think the differences are as pronounced as in swords and the like, and historically I think most spear users were equally proficient with both methods.


I'm currently working on updating this system; I'm not certain if I'll update the original posts, simply reply with new ones, or actually just make a new thread.
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Old 06-20-2014, 03:03 PM   #17
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Default Re: GURPS Overhaul - Combat Skills

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Originally Posted by Pahn View Post
Are you referring to staff grip as holding the center of the staff, like Little John in Robin Hood: Men in Tights? Because I'm envisioning gripping the staff near one end, which would give you plenty of range and power and parrying surface.
Well, I don't want to use Mel Brooks as an example, so we'll call this a staff grip (or a defensive grip) and this a sword grip.

GURPS has in some cases indicated that a staff gripped near the base uses Two-Handed Sword (and gives such us no game-mechanical advantages as a trade off for losing staff parries--even though it should have better reach and swing damage used that way.)

In any case, if gripping a staff near the base to take advantage of a long surface area confers a +2 to parry, why don't Great Swords and Spears receive an identical bonus?

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Originally Posted by Pahn View Post
I'm not at all familiar with Hsing-I, but I imagine if you're envisioning something so different from RAW for staffs, then it must be significantly different from the European staff arts.
In Hsing-I we use mostly a sword grip. Here is an excellent video of the Hsing-I staff form that I've learned (this guy's better than me, though) that shows the different grips and strikes used.

It's not so different from European Quarterstaff, I think, except that these techniques were designed to be used with a spear as well as a staff.

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
That looks to me more like using a sword as a staff than using it with a Defensive Grip.
It seems to fit the description in Martial Arts pretty well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GURPS Martial Arts
A warrior using a Defensive Grip has his weapon firmly in front of him in two hands. He holds a two-handed weapon, like a staff, across his body.
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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
While I can see Spear skill differentiating between one-handed and two-handed use, I don't think the differences are as pronounced as in swords and the like, and historically I think most spear users were equally proficient with both methods.
That's true of a lot of weapons that GURPS requires two skills for. Katanas, for example.

But who learns to use a bayonet one handed?
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Old 06-20-2014, 03:19 PM   #18
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Default Re: GURPS Overhaul - Combat Skills

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Originally Posted by aesir23 View Post
It seems to fit the description in Martial Arts pretty well.
I've always interpreted Defensive Grip with a sword as holding both hands the same way one would with a typical two-handed grip (rather than reversing one, as in a staff grip), but with the hands shifted much further up on the weapon (gripping by the ricasso with one of them, for example). A Defensive Grip with a staff would be one that holds it across the body, rather than using it more free-form. I could be mistaken, however, in which case Staff Grip should be treated as a Defensive Grip, arguably with staffs getting an additional +1 to Parry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aesir23 View Post
That's true of a lot of weapons that GURPS requires two skills for. Katanas, for example.
Putting a second hand on a swinging weapon makes it behave a good deal differently in my experience. For thrusting weapons, it just makes it a little easier (due to weight concerns).

Quote:
Originally Posted by aesir23 View Post
But who learns to use a bayonet one handed?
This is more due to rifles being awkward to hold one-handed (I'd certainly apply a penalty there) and shields often being little better than dead weight by the time bayonets show up. The issue is mostly that while I can see those who are used to wielding spears two-handed suffering penalties when being reduced to one-handed use (due to Familiarity more than anything else), it doesn't seem appropriate for those used to wielding them in one hand having issues with two-handed use. If you really want to, you could allow characters to learn Spear (One-Handed Only) as a DX/E (maybe even DX/VE) skill.
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:15 AM   #19
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Default Re: GURPS Overhaul - Combat Skills

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Originally Posted by aesir23 View Post
GURPS has in some cases indicated that a staff gripped near the base uses Two-Handed Sword (and gives such us no game-mechanical advantages as a trade off for losing staff parries--even though it should have better reach and swing damage used that way.)

In any case, if gripping a staff near the base to take advantage of a long surface area confers a +2 to parry, why don't Great Swords and Spears receive an identical bonus?
See, that makes no sense at all. Clearly, the sword grip should be the one to give you reach and the long parrying surface. I'm prepared to say that GURPS RAW is wrong if it assigns these benefits to staff grip.

What are the advantages of the staff grip IRL?
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Old 06-21-2014, 08:57 AM   #20
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Default Re: GURPS Overhaul - Combat Skills

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What are the advantages of the staff grip IRL?
Less awkward in close quarters, you can land strikes a little quicker, it's easier to grapple, shove, or slam, and yes, parrying with the section in between your hands is pretty effective--it's quicker, easier to overcome the staffs inertia--but only against attacks (swings and thrusts) coming from directly in front of you (and you have to be very careful not to get hit on the knuckles.)

I think Defensive Grip is a pretty good fit, actually. You're trading reach and power for quicker reactions and better control.

Last edited by aesir23; 06-21-2014 at 12:14 PM.
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