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Old 09-17-2013, 10:35 AM   #31
Kromm
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Default Re: So I dropped my sword... how do I pick it up (in combat)

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Originally Posted by corwyn View Post

Is there a reason why you can't, assuming the weapon is within a hex or two:

Turn 1: (Optionally) Step, Crouch, Ready weapon, or barring that, Crouch, then step.
Turn 2: Stand, perform maneuver x.
Mostly because the rules quite specifically state that you must kneel to pick things up off the ground; see p. B393, "Picking something up from the ground." The GURPS crouch is shallow, minimally reducing movement (to 2/3 normal), allowing full defenses, and permitting a retreat. A deep crouch – haunches to heels and/or hand on the ground – is lumped in with kneeling in GURPS, and explains why kneeling still permits movement at 1/3 normal. The former might bring your hand to knee level; the latter is needed to touch ground.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:43 AM   #32
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Default Re: So I dropped my sword... how do I pick it up (in combat)

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Mostly because the rules quite specifically state that you must kneel to pick things up off the ground.
Incidentally, do long arms modify that? It seems plausible that long arms (+1) would let you pick stuff up from a crouch, and long arms (+2) from a standing position (this applies to something like a neo-chimp or uplifted gorilla).
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:48 AM   #33
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Default Re: So I dropped my sword... how do I pick it up (in combat)

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Originally Posted by DAT View Post

I've allowed a single second recovery using an acrobatic rollout (roll down, pickup, and stand), having only dodge as a defense.
That's a lot of action for one second! Breaking it down in terms of Martial Arts, p. 98: You can dive forward from standing to crawling as your entire step. You could later use Acrobatic Stand to spring from crawling to standing as another step. You could associate either step with a Ready maneuver, of course . . . but if you did both in a turn, you would be taking two steps, not one. That's normally the purview of Committed Attack, so I'd allow all this as a kind of "Committed Ready," but I'd impose the same limitations on defenses: no parry with the readying hand, -2 on all other defenses (dodge, block or parry with the other hand, etc.), and no retreat possible.

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Originally Posted by Peter V. Dell'Orto View Post

The crouch-and-grab (at -3) isn't unrealistic, just somewhat difficult and risky (where a two-turn kneel-and-grab isn't). The toe flip is -5; routinely pulling that off in a fight is cinematic, but it's not impossible to do. Just hard.
The former is a somewhat acrobatic low dip-and-scoop, which is doable but, yeah, risky. The latter is something I've seen in demos . . . I have no idea how realistic it would be in a fight.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:49 AM   #34
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Default Re: So I dropped my sword... how do I pick it up (in combat)

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Incidentally, do long arms modify that?
Yes. That rule explicitly calls out arms with extended reach.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:55 AM   #35
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Default Re: So I dropped my sword... how do I pick it up (in combat)

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That's a lot of action for one second! Breaking it down in terms of Martial Arts, p. 98: You can dive forward from standing to crawling as your entire step. You could later use Acrobatic Stand to spring from crawling to standing as another step.
While I have doubts about its realism in combat, I think the proposal is to do a somersault and pick up the weapon in the middle. That realistically takes more than a second, but so does moving 5 yards from a standing start.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:57 AM   #36
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Default Re: So I dropped my sword... how do I pick it up (in combat)

Here are a few things to consider to keep things interesting.

Kick it Away: As mentioned, many fighters will, provided it's in range, kick a disarmed weapon away to insure the wielder can't make use of it. You could resolve this as a Push Kick, but you probably don't get quite as much range as that would imply - multiply damage by 1.5 rather than 2. As swords have only 2-3 HP (for knockback purposes), you can knock it a good distance from your foe!

Knock 'em Down: So, you disarmed the weapon master, and now he's kneeling down to pick up his weapon? Sounds like the perfect time for a push kick! As per Combat at Different Levels, you can target the kneeling character's head at +1, and a push should probably get the same 1/2 penalty as a grab, so you're looking at a net -2 (optionally with an additional -1, for net -3, for kicking) to shove your foot in his face and push him to the ground, leaving him prone and ruining his attempt to pick up his weapon. Targeting the head with a push kick gives -1 to stay on your feet (IIRC), and honestly someone kneeling to pick up his weapon isn't likely to have the best balance, for (optionally) an additional -1. Even if he stays on his knees, you've probably pushed him far enough away from the weapon that he'll have to start all over again.
If you have a shield, you could use that instead of your foot, with comparable results.

Smite!: As mentioned above, you get a +1 to target the kneeling character's head. If you're willing to give up the defense penalty from the character kneeling, you can Telegraphic Attack the neck (increased wounding) or face (increased chance of knockdown/stunning) at +0, the skull at -2, or the eye at -4. Note this means, for the person picking up the weapon, that trying to do so is effectively giving his opponent a +5 to hit his most vulnerable parts!
For a character who's already larger than the foe, you can stomp on a kneeling character.
With the character's rather pitiful attack options, you may be able to safely make an All-Out Attack, which could end the fight outright.

Grapple: As with push kick, you can grapple a kneeling foe's head at a net -2, with him at a -2 to defend. Once you've successfully grabbed his noggin, he's going to have some difficulty picking up that weapon (and unless it's Reach C, it's probably not going to do him much good), and you'll be able to do some very, very bad things to him. Neck Snap can be devastating, and if you're using Technical Grappling you can easily shift to the neck to put your foe into a Choke Hold (good if you're going for low-lethality). If all else fails, putting the head in a lock and then throwing is going to render your foe prone away from his weapon while dealing swing crushing damage to the neck. Ouch.

Hurdle: If you're trying to escape, making the enemy kneel makes it a lot easier to Evade and get past him, allowing you to run away without sacrificing movement from turning around - and if you were standing and fighting, it was probably because you needed to get through the enemy to get away!

Catch a Breather: Two seconds where your foe is kneeling to pick up his weapon are two seconds where he isn't attacking you. From what I understand of the The Last Gasp, this can be critical time for replenishing AP - something your foe may well not be able to do while frantically scrambling for his weapon! Failing that, you could use this time to drink a healing potion, draw a more useful weapon, or reestablish your Reach dominance. You're probably better off making use of your foe's massively penalized defense to try and deal some hurt, however.


The disarmed character has some options as well, as already discussed, like kicking the weapon up or using an acrobatic Kip Up to pick up his weapon in a single action (drop prone for free, Ready to pick up weapon, Acrobatics roll to stand as a free action). Optionally, you could even let him make the grappling check Douglas Cole recommended as part of a Rapid Strike, such that he can drop, snatch the weapon, kip up, and strike in a single second! A secondary weapon is probably better, however.
EDIT: Kromm's post indicates I'm misremembering the way kip up works in Martial Arts. In that case, if the character doesn't want to make a Committed action, he could instead use All-Out Defense (Improved Dodge), then Dodge and Drop (this still gives +3 against melee, right?) when his foe attacks, allowing him to Ready and kip up his next turn - or grapple, kip up, and attack - without ever giving up his defenses (unless he's against multiple foes).

Last edited by Varyon; 09-17-2013 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:16 AM   #37
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Default Re: So I dropped my sword... how do I pick it up (in combat)

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post

I think the proposal is to do a somersault and pick up the weapon in the middle.
I believe that diving forward from standing to crawling, and then springing acrobatically back to standing, would look precisely like a foward roll or somersault if executed in rapid succession.

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post

That realistically takes more than a second, but so does moving 5 yards from a standing start.
I'm not so sure on either count. Based on what I've seen among circus artists and dancers in the past few years of keeping their company, I'm fairly sure it's all possible in a second or even less. Models that assume basic running locomotion consistently undervalue controlled instability, leans, weight shifts, etc., especially when the arms and core come into play with springs and bridges. I've timed one guy's video wherein he runs three metres, throws a flying kick, falls, rolls, stands, and grapples in about 1.1 seconds.

Do remember that we're talking about Acrobatics rolls at -6 at the core of this stuff, possibly with +4 for sacrificing all defenses. We're talking about people with Acrobatics at 18-20 daring these moves in combat, and people with Acrobatics at 14-16 trying it even for show. These aren't ordinary folks.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:49 AM   #38
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Default Re: So I dropped my sword... how do I pick it up (in combat)

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Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post
Its very much done in LARP by overly plush LARPers who dont like to bend over if they can help it
This brings up another important consideration - encumbrance. The characters that disarming is going to be most useful against are those that are heavily encumbered, as they will be relying almost entirely on their Parry (and Block, if they have it, in which case disarming isn't quite as useful). Disarming them forces them to rely on a penalized Dodge, and if they opt to kneel to pick up their weapon that Dodge is essentially at an additional -5 (-2 for Posture, and no +3 for Retreating)! If using the Changing Posture in Armor optional rule, they're even worse off - at Medium Encumbrance they require 4 seconds to successfully pick up their weapon and stand, at Heavy they require 6, and at Extra Heavy 8. They'd best hope some of that weight they're lugging around is a backup weapon!
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:59 AM   #39
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Default Re: So I dropped my sword... how do I pick it up (in combat)

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Originally Posted by Peter V. Dell'Orto View Post
The toe flip is -5; routinely pulling that off in a fight is cinematic, but it's not impossible to do. Just hard.
Jugglers do this with dropped clubs (a "kickup"), and some of them can do it routinely, but usually no one's trying to kill them.

Is anyone going to spend the time to learn to do this in a fight, when they could be training at something else? That's what makes me think of this as cinematic: not that it can only be done in movies, but that in real life, who is going to bother teaching such a technique?
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:13 PM   #40
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Default Re: So I dropped my sword... how do I pick it up (in combat)

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
I believe that diving forward from standing to crawling, and then springing acrobatically back to standing, would look precisely like a foward roll or somersault if executed in rapid succession.
The difference is that in a somersault you convert your gravitational potential energy into kinetic energy when you drop, and then convert the kinetic energy back into gravitational potential when you stand. Dropping and standing as separate actions doesn't do this.
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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
I'm not so sure on either count. Based on what I've seen among circus artists and dancers in the past few years of keeping their company, I'm fairly sure it's all possible in a second or even less. Models that assume basic running locomotion consistently undervalue controlled instability, leans, weight shifts, etc., especially when the arms and core come into play with springs and bridges. I've timed one guy's video wherein he runs three metres, throws a flying kick, falls, rolls, stands, and grapples in about 1.1 seconds.
I did specify 'standing start'. An action starts when you decide to do it, not when the foot is actually lifted or whatever -- the leaning and so on is part of the time requirement (now, if you're doing a sequence of moves, and during turn 2 of the sequence you move 5 yards, that's not a problem).

Real-world figures are available for olympic world-record runners, for example here. There generally aren't 5m splits, but there's 10m splits, the low end of which is 0.13s reaction time followed by 1.71s of acceleration with an instantaneous velocity of 8.71m/s at the end of that period and a mean velocity of 5.85 m/s. That gives us a hard limit of 5.85m in 1s, and a likely limit of closer to 4m, since presumably acceleration is not instant.

That's Olympic sprinter performance, from a runner's crouch. A basic speed 5 normal guy from a standing position should not do better.
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