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Old 10-12-2014, 03:20 PM   #1
Otaku
 
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Default [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#14): Arm ST; Lifting ST; Striking ST

Last Week: Arm DX; High Manual Dexterity
Next Week: Binding

Time to cover another closely related set of Advantages: Arm ST, Lifting ST, and Striking ST. It was tempting to include a few other options... but I really want to stay true to the title (and original purpose) of discussing things in the Basic Set, only touching upon the other books so that people who have them know where to look and those that don't can still follow and participate (and maybe get an idea of useful supplements to purchase).

Arm ST is a Physical, Exotic Advantage, at least by default. Simply put, either one, some or all of the character's arms are stronger than the overall ST score for the body as a whole. It does affect efforts to life, through or attack with the affected arms (and related structures, like hands). If performing a task that requires more than one arm (or hand) but otherwise qualifies for the benefits of this Advantage, but not all the arms have the same ST, use the average of the ST scores.

What Arm ST does not affect are Hit Points or overall Basic Lift. This is a leveled trait with a CP cost of 3, 5 or 8 for one arm, a set of two arms, or a set of three arms: if you have a creature with four or more arms, the difference is negligible so you should must simply buy up the main body's ST and either tweak the concept to match what you paid for or willingly decline some of the benefits to which (based on what you have paid for) the character would be entitled.

Lifting ST is also a Physical, Exotic Advantage that costs three points per level, You add Lifting ST to your underlying ST Attribute when calculating Basic Lift, and it also applies where you can apply slow, steady pressure: lifting, pushing, pulling, grappling, choking, etc., allowing you to depict characters more capable in those areas than the main ST Attribute would indicate. Do not apply it for the purpose of determining HP, throwing distances or damage inflicted by melee attacks or thrown weapons.

Striking Strength, the final Advantage we are looking at today, is yet again a Physical, Exotic Advantage, this time costing a flat 5 points per level. This ST bonus applies purely to calculating thrust and swing damage. Interestingly, together Striking ST and Lifting ST would cover everything a level of regular ST would affect, aside from defaults, throwing distance and HP, and the price of the two together is the same as the net cost of buying up ST while lowering your HP. Yes, I am aware that leaves no points to assign for the value of defaults and throwing distance; I assume that was intentional.

Modifiers: There are some special rules about certain Limitations for these Advantages, mostly to avoid someone getting an undeserved discount by taking a trait that meaninglessly modified the character's main body's ST because its value specifically comes from affecting the arms as well. So if you take No Fine Manipulators and/or Size Limitations for the main ST Attribute, you must take them for Arm ST and/or Striking ST; Lifting ST should take the same Size Limitation (if any) as for the main body but cannot apply No Fine Manipulators.

Beyond [Basic]: Let us start with the Special Exercises Perk (Power-Ups 2: Perks p. 21) - which requires Specialization based on the trait it affects - allows you to take a single level of one of today's three highlighted Advantages e.g. Special Exercises (Lifting ST) [1] allows a normal human to possess Lifting ST+1 [3]. More than two or three levels of Special Exercises (again, each allowing one level of the specified trait) is somewhat self-defeating; a mundane specimen is going to stop seeming mundane past this point.

GURPS Power-Ups 3: Talents p.21 indicates that the Mr. Smash Talent, designed to benefit those who excel at smashing things with two-handed swings, cites Arm ST and Striking ST as potential prerequisites or enablers. Striking ST gains a useful Limitation - One Attack Only (-60%) - as even in the real world many creatures have something so specialized, being better at just biting or stinging or clamping (as with pincers) for damage. Powers p. 103 and 104 detail methods of modifying the Limitation Melee (originally p. B112), turning it into an Enhancement that allows muscle-powered damage to combine with a crushing, cutting or impaling Innate Attack, which is more cost effective than Striking Strength.

Disussion: Have you used any of these Advantages or at least seen them used in a game? If so, let us know how well they worked and if you haven't used them, is there any particular reason for that? Any relevant ruling, errata, Modifiers, or related traits I neglected worth adding to the discussion?
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Last edited by Otaku; 10-19-2015 at 03:06 AM. Reason: Noticed formatting error
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Old 10-12-2014, 04:16 PM   #2
DouglasCole
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Arm ST/Lifting ST/Striking St

Lifting ST is grappling ST, and is hugely important (and quite cheap) if using the rules from Technical Grappling.

Also, Lifting ST is "the ST to draw bows" with the Deadly Spring.
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Old 10-12-2014, 04:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Arm ST/Lifting ST/Striking St

Lifting ST and Striking ST aren't as exotic as many advantages. It's often considered legitimate to allow normal humans to buy a single level as part of buying a point of ST in instalments. Since Lifting skill isn't all that effective, and is very variable in its effects, some GMs, including me, allow normal humans to buy them up to 30% of basic ST.
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Old 10-12-2014, 06:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Arm ST/Lifting ST/Striking St

Skipping leg day is not exotic. I always thought is silly that it's impossible for normal humans to exercise some body parts more than others.
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Old 10-12-2014, 06:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Arm ST/Lifting ST/Striking St

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Lifting ST and Striking ST aren't as exotic as many advantages.
I don't really think a level of any of them are especially problematic; needing the Special Exercises Perk seems excessive... but I am trying to lessen my "commentary" in my first posts.
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Old 10-12-2014, 10:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Arm ST/Lifting ST/Striking St

I always count Striking ST as "everything that has to do with swinging or thrusting", including throwing distance and weapon minimum ST.

Even if I used The Deadly Spring I would still base bow-using ST on Striking ST rather than Lifting ST. But like Technical Grappling I'm unlikely to adopt it.
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Arm ST/Lifting ST/Striking St

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Originally Posted by Kenneth Latrans View Post
I always count Striking ST as "everything that has to do with swinging or thrusting", including throwing distance and weapon minimum ST.

Even if I used The Deadly Spring I would still base bow-using ST on Striking ST rather than Lifting ST. But like Technical Grappling I'm unlikely to adopt it.
Fair enough, but one of the reasons I used Lifting ST, other than biomechanics, for The Deadly Spring is that because even as RAW (and even more difficult using TDS) it takes two points of Lifting ST to eke out one point of bow damage, because they're based on thrust. Striking ST can be used for swing damage, so it's one point of Striking ST for one point of damage using what GURPS has as the preferred (by result, not by intent) method of using your ST.

Thus, it's actually 5 points of Striking ST for +1 damage, and 6 points of Lifting ST. They balance fairly well from that perspective.

Of course, the other benefit of Lifting ST is that it lets you carry more stuff, which cannot be minimized.
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Old 10-13-2014, 04:23 AM   #8
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Arm ST/Lifting ST/Striking St

I think throwing should be calculated based on Striking ST (except that BL is calculated on LiftST).

Regarding defaults: wait, we still have ST defaults for skills? Like, at all? I thought we don't, but maybe I'm missing something. We do have Techniques that allow to increase effective ST for certain very specific grappling actions, but that's different.

----

I'm currently designing a survival-/autonomy-oriented character, and decided to take Special Exercises [1] and one level of Lifting ST 1 [3]. BL 24 is just that much better than BL 20. Now I'm thinking what other uses I can get out of it, such as in close combat (the problem being very modest skills/DX). Rolling against ST16 to resist Break Free with two hands is kinda nice, I suppose.
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Old 10-13-2014, 10:33 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Arm ST/Lifting ST/Striking St

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
I think throwing should be calculated based on Striking ST (except that BL is calculated on LiftST).

Regarding defaults: wait, we still have ST defaults for skills? Like, at all? I thought we don't, but maybe I'm missing something. We do have Techniques that allow to increase effective ST for certain very specific grappling actions, but that's different.
The term "default" still covers Techniques, does it not? Neck Snap is in Basic Set: if it is the only one that is still ST based, I wouldn't know. ^^'
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Old 10-13-2014, 11:28 AM   #10
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Arm ST/Lifting ST/Striking St

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Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
The term "default" still covers Techniques, does it not? Neck Snap is in Basic Set: if it is the only one that is still ST based, I wouldn't know. ^^'
Oh. Well, yeah, it's covered by that term, somewhat misleadingly, since it acts nothing like the way skill defaults do. Consider the following build:
ST 10
Neck Snap 6 (ST-4) [0].
Add Wrestling (or Judo, or Sumo) at DX+5 [lots], and you Neck Snap goes up to 8 (ST-2). Add Power Grappling [1], and it goes up to 11 (ST+1).

It's better to think of them as Technique-improvable modified ST rolls. Neck Snap also doesn't require having any skills to attempt, unlike, e.g., a proper Knee Strike.

But yeah, technically they have the 'Default' entry under their names.
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