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Old 05-04-2014, 11:11 AM   #11
Sindri
 
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Default Re: Focused Defense Discussion

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Originally Posted by Peter V. Dell'Orto View Post
I'm sorry, I do not understand what you're getting at. I thought I said that?
If a rapier in the denied side goes from 1,2 to 1 then it's maximum reach has been affected because it went from 2 to 1 but it's minimum reach hasn't because nothing happened to it.

Changing examples might help. What is supposed to happen with a 2,3 weapon in the denied side? As I read the rule it would change it to 2,2 while if it affects all reaches it would be changed to 1,2 which preserves the two hex width reach.

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Originally Posted by Peter V. Dell'Orto View Post
I think so too, but for some weapons (staff, spear) it shouldn't bother it at all, and I didn't want to get into hairsplitting which two handed weapons are deleteriously affected and which aren't. Easier to be nice to all of them then decide one by one which is penalized, IMO. Two hands? You're good, but your presented arm is -0 to hit.
Hmm, that's fair. I'll think about this and maybe come back later.
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Old 05-04-2014, 01:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: Focused Defense Discussion

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Originally Posted by Peter V. Dell'Orto View Post
Do you mean Gladiators, or Martial Arts? Focused Defense appears in the former, not the latter. Close Combat, the Technique, is in Martial Arts, and I don't see another way to read those rules.
I meant GURPS Martial Arts: Gladiators, sorry.

If you have lots of time on your hands, you can look at Sabaronīs RPOL arena or previous threads on Focused Defense to see many people who thought that it was a free way to avoid the Close Combat penalty and some who didnīt think that fighters would rotate in and out of it (Sabaron outlawed it because he thought it was a cheap way to use a Reach 1 sword at Reach C without even a turn or Perk to change grips). I take your memory of what you meant seriously, but the PDF doesnīt come with a clone of you and Volker to explain your intent (although come to think of it, a personality emulation would be feasable in Transhuman Space ...)

We do have Vegetiusī warning that attacking from behind a scutum exposes your arm, and some sport fighters agree. I would have to playtest it to see if hiding behind the shield then attacking when ready had a role. There might be a way to combine the defense bonus with Beat or Riposte but I would have to reread those rules.
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:14 PM   #13
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Default Re: Focused Defense Discussion

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Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
Your interpretation makes Focused Defense (deny right) an even worse choice for a gladiator with gladius and scutum, because now he has to enter Close Combat to strike where he is at -4 to use his gladius and can't block with his scutum.
Anyone intending to fight like this (that is, without changing stances when attacking) should invest in the Close Combat Technique, reducing that penalty to -2. Additionally, even if you maintain a shield's Reach 1 (as I stated upthread, I don't think most shields should have this), it should still be able to bash/block at Reach C at -4 to skill (thus -2 to Block), and shoves with it should probably be unpenalized.

I'd also say that striking with a denied gladius while entering or exiting Close Combat should be unpenalized. This could result in an interesting tactic - a Dual Weapon Attack consisting of a shove with the shield and a stab with the gladius (as the enemy is being forced out of CC). I'd imagine the crowd would love it.

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Originally Posted by Peter V. Dell'Orto View Post
You could probably replace that Reach penalty with a -2 to hit (no matter what the reach of the weapon) and get a "close enough" effect.
If I ever decide to incorporate the Deny options, I'd probably go with this. Well, I'd replace the -2 to hit with a +1 to enemy defense, but that's pretty much the same thing.
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Old 05-06-2014, 02:47 PM   #14
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Default Re: Focused Defense Discussion

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Anyone intending to fight like this (that is, without changing stances when attacking) should invest in the Close Combat Technique, reducing that penalty to -2. Additionally, even if you maintain a shield's Reach 1 (as I stated upthread, I don't think most shields should have this), it should still be able to bash/block at Reach C at -4 to skill (thus -2 to Block), and shoves with it should probably be unpenalized.
Buying up Close Combat is an option if you have two or three points to spare ... a gladiator character probably will, and a soldier character might. The real-world reach of a shield bash depends on whether you are striking with the edge (typical for Shields) or the boss (reasonably common with Bucklers). It might be fair to give a shield bash with a scutum Reach C to represent a strike with the boss (with AoA: Long representing a strike with the bottom edge at reach 1?)

Canonically, I think that Blocks are not just penalized but forbidden in close combat. I don't have my books to confirm though ...
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:13 PM   #15
Peter V. Dell'Orto
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Default Re: Focused Defense Discussion

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Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
I take your memory of what you meant seriously, but the PDF doesnīt come with a clone of you and Volker to explain your intent
Me, in this case - Volker didn't do the rules.

Honestly, though, I could have worded it differently but it's hard to keep saying "other rules apply normally." Like I said, Kromm may overrule me, but when we (eventually) stuck in a reach change, I assumed (and still do) that the overall weapon length penalties applied normally, and that included Close Combat. Especially because once someone is in the same hex as you, you aren't really denying a side anymore - they're in too tight, even if you assume they cam in your center-front hex. If they came from another side, your stance is irrelevant IMO unless you're using the relative facings from TG.

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Anyone intending to fight like this (that is, without changing stances when attacking) should invest in the Close Combat Technique, reducing that penalty to -2.
It would help a lot, and the Close Combat technique shows up a lot in shield-and-shortsword styles.
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If I ever decide to incorporate the Deny options, I'd probably go with this. Well, I'd replace the -2 to hit with a +1 to enemy defense, but that's pretty much the same thing.
Actually, it's not. -2 to hit changes your chances of a critical success or failure, or a hit vs. a foe that can't defend or not. A +1 defense does neither of those. If I face my left side to you, even if I don't defend it's reasonable to say it's easier to hit my left arm thn my right arm.

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Buying up Close Combat is an option if you have two or three points to spare ... a gladiator character probably will, and a soldier character might.
It's a critical choice - if you think you'll be in C with people or need to be, you had better put points into being better at it!
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:21 PM   #16
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Default Re: Focused Defense Discussion

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
If a rapier in the denied side goes from 1,2 to 1 then it's maximum reach has been affected because it went from 2 to 1 but it's minimum reach hasn't because nothing happened to it.
Okay, so it's reach 1 instead of 1,2.

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Changing examples might help. What is supposed to happen with a 2,3 weapon in the denied side? As I read the rule it would change it to 2,2 while if it affects all reaches it would be changed to 1,2 which preserves the two hex width reach.
That is odd, but since the only 2,3 one-handed weapon I can find is the long spear, it's probably easier to just say it's 2,3* becomes effectively 1,2* if held in a denied grip. You can even say that yes, it's really a terrible stance with a long spear in one hand, and you are now at Reach 2* instead of 2,3* and too bad for you, it's not exactly a graceful tool for a side stance and one hand. Put it in two hands and it remains 2,3*.

Pick one of those, if and when someone uses a long spear in one hand.

I'm not sure it's necessary to give reach "C" to weapons that don't come with it just to stay consistent with this one weapon, though, and I don't think it's really fair or makes sense to do so.
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:47 PM   #17
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Default Re: Focused Defense Discussion

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Originally Posted by Peter V. Dell'Orto View Post
That is odd, but since the only 2,3 one-handed weapon I can find is the long spear, it's probably easier to just say it's 2,3* becomes effectively 1,2* if held in a denied grip. You can even say that yes, it's really a terrible stance with a long spear in one hand, and you are now at Reach 2* instead of 2,3* and too bad for you, it's not exactly a graceful tool for a side stance and one hand. Put it in two hands and it remains 2,3*.

Pick one of those, if and when someone uses a long spear in one hand.
Well except for all the other reach 2,3 weapons that can be used one handed when you reach enough strength. For context I'm working on a setting with really strong races available so the "do things become weird when people grab heavy weapons and start using them one handed" test isn't just nitpicking, it's actually relevant to me.

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I'm not sure it's necessary to give reach "C" to weapons that don't come with it just to stay consistent with this one weapon, though, and I don't think it's really fair or makes sense to do so.
Does it actually matter if they have reach C if following the "effective reach doesn't change listed reach for things like close combat" method? They will still be subject to Long Weapons in Close Combat in the same fashion.

Last edited by Sindri; 05-06-2014 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 05-06-2014, 06:03 PM   #18
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Default Re: Focused Defense Discussion

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Originally Posted by Peter V. Dell'Orto View Post
Actually, it's not. -2 to hit changes your chances of a critical success or failure, or a hit vs. a foe that can't defend or not. A +1 defense does neither of those. If I face my left side to you, even if I don't defend it's reasonable to say it's easier to hit my left arm thn my right arm.
Those differences are actually why I opted for +1 to defend rather than -2 to hit (it makes more sense to me that you have a better chance to defend than that your foe has a worse chance to hit). Your last comment makes me think we might be talking past each other, however - I was referring to the proposed -2 to hit at all for a character wielding a weapon in the denied hand (instead of modifying Reach), not to the penalty to hit that character's denied arm/hand.

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I'm not sure it's necessary to give reach "C" to weapons that don't come with it just to stay consistent with this one weapon, though, and I don't think it's really fair or makes sense to do so.
Consistency demands that a Reach 2,3 weapon be reduced to Reach 2 - just as a Reach 1 weapon doesn't gain the ability to strike closer than Reach 1 by being in the denied hand (it still suffers CC penalties), a Reach 2,3 weapon shouldn't gain the ability to strike closer than Reach 2 by being in the denied hand (it should suffer -8 at Reach 1, -12 at Reach C). This also implies a Reach 2 weapon (such as a Bastard Sword used to thrust) would become Reach 1 but would suffer a -4 to attack.

That is, unless CC is a special exception to general Reach rules (and in many ways it already is), in which case that exception is sufficient for Reach 2,3 weapons to be Reach 1,2, while Reach 1,2 weapons simply become Reach 1.
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:46 PM   #19
Peter V. Dell'Orto
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Default Re: Focused Defense Discussion

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Well except for all the other reach 2,3 weapons that can be used one handed when you reach enough strength.
That was never playtested, so if you do that, it's new ground. You'll need to make a judgment on it and test it out and see how it works. I wrote that rule - and we playtested it - within the context of the original (and really specific) supplement. No 2,3* weapons ever even came up.

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Does it actually matter if they have reach C if following the "effective reach doesn't change listed reach for things like close combat" method? They will still be subject to Long Weapons in Close Combat in the same fashion.
If you say they have a Reach C attack, I think you're basically saying they don't suffer that -4. Look at, say, a Large Knife (C,1) - it doesn't suffer a -4. So it's important. And I'd personally say no, they don't get one.

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I was referring to the proposed -2 to hit at all for a character wielding a weapon in the denied hand (instead of modifying Reach), not to the penalty to hit that character's denied arm/hand.
Aha, we are talking past each other.

I'd still go with the -2 to hit. More likely to critically fail in that kind of situation, to my mind, and a -2 will help do that. It narrows your offensive options.

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Consistency demands that a Reach 2,3 weapon be reduced to Reach 2 - just as a Reach 1 weapon doesn't gain the ability to strike closer than Reach 1 by being in the denied hand (it still suffers CC penalties), a Reach 2,3 weapon shouldn't gain the ability to strike closer than Reach 2 by being in the denied hand (it should suffer -8 at Reach 1, -12 at Reach C).
That's true. Like I said above, though, you're hitting on something that wasn't playtested partly because it's outside what the supplement covered. So you'd have to fool around with it and see where it goes. I'd offer to try, but my game doesn't used Focused Defense, and no one uses 2,3* weapons anyway, so it's not an option right now.

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This also implies a Reach 2 weapon (such as a Bastard Sword used to thrust) would become Reach 1 but would suffer a -4 to attack.
It might, but that's an extension to the rules that doesn't presently exist, and which means you're never well and truly inside the reach of a weapon. A Reach 1,2* axe held at 2 is only -4 at Reach 1, instead of unable to strike, and that's a very big change. I'd want to hear how that works in games before I adapted it myself.
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:59 PM   #20
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Default Re: Focused Defense Discussion

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Originally Posted by Peter V. Dell'Orto View Post
That was never playtested, so if you do that, it's new ground. You'll need to make a judgment on it and test it out and see how it works. I wrote that rule - and we playtested it - within the context of the original (and really specific) supplement. No 2,3* weapons ever even came up.
That's fair.

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If you say they have a Reach C attack, I think you're basically saying they don't suffer that -4. Look at, say, a Large Knife (C,1) - it doesn't suffer a -4. So it's important. And I'd personally say no, they don't get one.
No I meant keeping the -4. If it's mechanically valid for a weapon to be reduced to reach C but maintain it's original reach for any rules checks other than "how far can I hit" such as for close combat purposes as I understand the below

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The weapon would still be subject to the rules about using weapons in close combat, per Martial Arts p. 69. Losing a yard of maximum reach doesn't mean gaining a shorter reach and the advantages of having that shorter reach. Just because your sword on your denied side drops from maximum reach 1 to maximum reach C doesn't make it a reach C weapon.
Then there is no reason to not continue using that mechanic for other weapons. Which means you should reduce 1,2 weapons to C,1 instead of 1 since it's more elegant.

Last edited by Sindri; 05-06-2014 at 11:06 PM.
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