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Old 01-11-2014, 02:09 AM   #11
Polydamas
 
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Default Re: Medieval re-enactment as martial arts styles

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Originally Posted by Dangerious P. Cats View Post
I'm working on a campaign where the players are historical reenactors going to various events and doing reenactors things (the campaign will be a bit tung in cheek). For the campaign I was thinking about starting up various forms of medieval re-enactment combat as martial arts styles and thought I should ask the forum hivemind for suggestions.
The SCA guys definitely recognize a variety of styles for their kind of club and shield fighting alone. You might want to incorporate "style quirks": many groups don't practice defending the shin against cuts (because they ban attacks below the thigh) or the face against thrusts (because they wear open helmets so ban attacks to the face). Boffer fighters would lack familiarity with sharp or blunt steel weapons.

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Sorry, techniques. In any case, most of the time you're talking about 1-2 points max spent across a couple sport skills. Yes, there are people who spend years working on being better, but the vast majority don't, and there probably isn't a sufficient critical mass to create a high skill sustained sport culture.
If course, you could say the same for many groups who use weapons professionally. Outside of organizations which enforce regular training and practice, it is often people who practice a fighting sport who get really good at fighting.
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Old 01-11-2014, 02:04 PM   #12
Joseph Paul
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Default Re: Medieval re-enactment as martial arts styles

Tongue-in-cheek - There is a history of attitudes between groups. There are groups that use rebated steel but pull their blows to prevent injury and their are groups that use wooden wasters and armor to prevent injury from more forceful blows. Each thinks what the other does is, respectfully, just mad. Jousters take the cake though. Getting hit with a rebated lance and you have to fall off! I have ridden and I have fallen off. It is a long way to the ground.
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Old 01-11-2014, 04:54 PM   #13
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Default Re: Medieval re-enactment as martial arts styles

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
In any case, most of the time you're talking about 1-2 points max spent across a couple sport skills. Yes, there are people who spend years working on being better, but the vast majority don't, and there probably isn't a sufficient critical mass to create a high skill sustained sport culture.
I sometimes wonder if I'm the only one who thinks of GURPS the way that I do. Sometimes, on the forums (and I know that I'm replying to Anthony, but this is really a general comment not especially true of him) it seems like people respond to these queries as if GURPS were some sort of "reality engine" and not a tool for playing a game.

My answer to the OP is "it depends upon what you're trying to do". For me at least, my approach to "how to represent SCA fighting styles" (SCA is the only re-enactment group with which I have more than passing familiarity) would depend greatly on the game that I was running.

Am I running a bunch of modern people transported via the Banestorm to Yrth? If I am, then my re-enactors probably will be as Anthony describes -- just 1 or 2 points in Combat Sport and leave it at that. In this setting, they will probably need to learn genuine combat skills ASAP and the fact that a character was an accomplished SCA fighter would soon fade to background.

On the other hand, if I were running (for some reason) a game where the characters were SCA heavy combat fighters and the game centered around the characters attending SCA events and fighting, then I would expect many more of their points might be spent here. It would be much more important, in this case, to have their SCA sport skill serve as a point of differentiation between the characters, and their fighting styles and preferred techniques would be relevant to play.

In my way of thinking, the same real-world ability might be represented in GURPS by different traits (and skill levels) depending on the setting. Am I the only one who thinks this way?
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:13 AM   #14
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Default Re: Medieval re-enactment as martial arts styles

Didn't see it mentioned earlier, so I feel I should point out that RevPK has a houserule that can apply, here, GM-permitting.

Houserule 14:

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Combat, Combat Art, and Combat Sport Skills Are Techniques.

When you learn a Combat skill, Combat Art skill, or Combat Sport skill (see p. B184 for details), you may buy up the other two versions as an Average technique defaulting to your skill-3. For example, if you know Karate Art at DX+2, you know Karate at DX-1 and can buy it up to DX+2 level for 3 points.

This change is due to equal parts game-balance and realism. As the rules are written now, if you know (e.g.) Broadsword at DX+4, it costs 12 points to buy just your Broadsword Art up to the same level. That's a game balance issue because you're wasting points -- not just due to the lack of utility, but because you'd be nuts not to just spend the 12 points on Broadsword (raising Broadsword Art and Sport by +3, from default, simultaneously). While that issue comes up with other defaults, it's especially bad here, as many martial arts styles require you to, e.g., learn both Judo and Judo Art. And it's a realism issue, because fighters and athletes do transition between (e.g.) tournaments and MMA fighting without spending a full year training non-stop to adapt. A technique is a fair compromise; at 3 points per skill, it costs 6 points to raise all three variants to the same level -- exactly half of the 12 points mentioned above.
I tend to allow PK's houserules, or some versions of them, as a matter of course, but especially if I were running a campaigne about SCA members getting dumped into Yrth, or another such setting (or otherwise having a high probability of needing to fight with TL3-or-so weapons fairly often, in order to survive), I would point my players at that rule specifically, so they know they're not so screwed as they otherwise would be.

They would still lack training in specific manoeuvers, strikes, and techniques that would be against the rules - which is why any GM doing this should study the rules that re-enactor group uses, or the rules they used to use, as some groups have changed them a few times (e.g. the SCA changed the Fencing rules in ways that my instructor considered terrible, a few years ago), in order to work out what the style should look like.

If anyone who is better than I am at writing up MA styles for GURPS should want to, this is a good place to post them. There may be some re-enactor groups who do Dueling Shields, so you could find my thread on them useful.
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Last edited by Prince Charon; 01-12-2014 at 06:29 AM.
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:58 AM   #15
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Default Re: Medieval re-enactment as martial arts styles

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Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
I tend to allow PK's houserules, or some versions of them, as a matter of course, but especially if I were running a campaigne about SCA members getting dumped into Yrth, or another such setting (or otherwise having a high probability of needing to fight with TL3-or-so weapons fairly often, in order to survive), I would point my players at that rule specifically, so they know they're not so screwed as they otherwise would be.
I've taken to calling Art/Sport forms unique techniques defaulting to Combat skill - 0 with no upper limit. That is your first 2 points should go into a combat skill, so everybody with a sport form has some minimal combat effectiveness, and the rest go into the art, allowing you to buy it up pretty high cheaply, with no additional combat improvements.

This seems fairly reasonable - you do learn the basic moves and a little of what's dangerous with an art form - it's the stuff the safety rules tell you not to do - but the practice you put in to safe moves is fairly useless in a real fight. Of course for full contact sport, I might suggest alternating your points between the Sport technique and the actual combat skill, and anybody with a serious hobby involving real exercise should consider spending some of the points to buy up DX or ST, so you'd still get a little better at hurting people.
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:27 AM   #16
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Default Re: Medieval re-enactment as martial arts styles

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I've taken to calling Art/Sport forms unique techniques defaulting to Combat skill - 0 with no upper limit. That is your first 2 points should go into a combat skill, so everybody with a sport form has some minimal combat effectiveness, and the rest go into the art, allowing you to buy it up pretty high cheaply, with no additional combat improvements.

This seems fairly reasonable - you do learn the basic moves and a little of what's dangerous with an art form - it's the stuff the safety rules tell you not to do - but the practice you put in to safe moves is fairly useless in a real fight. Of course for full contact sport, I might suggest alternating your points between the Sport technique and the actual combat skill, and anybody with a serious hobby involving real exercise should consider spending some of the points to buy up DX or ST, so you'd still get a little better at hurting people.

That's a very interesting way to go; I need to give it more thought, but I like it a lot.
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