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Old 01-01-2016, 05:52 AM   #1
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Default [Basic] Skill of the week: Knot-Tying

Knot-Tying is the DX/Easy skill of being good at trying knots. It defaults to DX-4, Climbing-4 or Seamanship-4; no skills default to Knot-Tying. It seems awfully specialised as a standalone skill, but I suspect the reason it exists is to give a skill for Escape to have a contest against when someone is tied up; in practice that's often going to be one of the defaults. Failing usually means that the prisoner will get free eventually. Modifiers include High Manual Dexterity and Ham-Fisted, and modifiers for extra time and quality of materials will often make sense. The skill appeared at GURPS 4e.

Knot-Tying appears on a fair number of templates as an option, but the nearest thing to it being a major skill is the "Hostile Extraction" (i.e., kidnapping) skill-set in Action 4: Specialists. That book also prescribes it for sailors, climbers, and mountaineers. DF Scouts with the Bounty Hunter background have good use for it, as have Artificers, and Priests and Holy Warriors of Love. DF2 has quick rules for tying up prisoners of any size, and DF15 uses it for traps and escaping them. Low-Tech has knots to replace locks, and more rules for escaping bonds. Martial Arts uses this skill for trying people up under combat conditions after entangling them, or with the Binding technique, while they're still resisting. Technical Grappling extends Knot-Typing and Binding to use the Control Points mechanic, and Yrth Fighting Styles has the Ars Clemens style, which would make good use of that. PU3 and PU7 have example Talents and Wildcard skills that include Knot-Tying. Powers applies the skill to Binding powers, Thaumatology has a style of Ritual Magic based on knots, and Ultra-Tech smart-rope gives a skill bonus.

What other professions and skills involve a lot of tying? Surgery, Gardening and Carpentry/TL0-3 seem like candidates.
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Old 01-01-2016, 05:58 AM   #2
Mailanka
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Knot-Tying

Knot-tying seems like one of those joke skills to me. It's in 7th Sea too, and it's there because it's "Realistic," but I can never imagine someone with a Knot-Tying of 20. But then, GURPS comes along, whistling innocently under its breath, and points out a lot of surprisingly reasonable things: Didn't you know that there's a form of knot-tying magic? Knot tying can keep people from getting away! Knot tying can assist you in mountaineering! Then before you know it, you're thinking of knot-tying techniques. Thanks a lot, GURPS!
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Old 01-01-2016, 06:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Knot-Tying

Im with Mailanka here. It is one of those underrated skills that actually has a lot of uses. Can you get by without it? Sure. Does life get a whole lot easier with it? Certainly. I don't think I could see myself buying it up to skill 20, but I'd prefer to have it at 12 for most survival/kidnapper types if at all possible. That said, I dont think Id ever consider it a primary skill.
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Old 01-01-2016, 06:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Knot-Tying

Ever heard of a bank robber knot? A quick release knot that keeps the horses secure but allows a quick escape. Maybe if getting on a horse in a hurry for a chase the Knot-Tying skill would affect how much delay between reaching the horse and taking off.
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Old 01-01-2016, 07:51 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Knot-Tying

I let you use Knot Tying any time you need a skill roll to do something primarily with a rope. Want to know how much a rope will support, build a rope bridge, lash together a crane to lift something out of the dungeon, or figure out how to rig a harness for a giant flying rhinoceros? Roll against Knot Tying.
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Old 01-01-2016, 08:15 AM   #6
johndallman
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Knot-Tying

On reflection, I realise that I've never taken this skill because my GURPS characters who make a habit of taking prisoners have been TL6+, and thus use handcuffs. Cuffs are more-or-less equivalent to making Knot-Tying by 5, and less bulky than rope; it's not surprising they became popular in law enforcement. If you can get Ultra-Tech's cufftape, that's even better, with 50 uses per 0.5lb roll.
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Old 01-01-2016, 08:22 AM   #7
roguebfl
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Knot-Tying

Quote:
Originally Posted by Railstar View Post
Ever heard of a bank robber knot? A quick release knot that keeps the horses secure but allows a quick escape. Maybe if getting on a horse in a hurry for a chase the Knot-Tying skill would affect how much delay between reaching the horse and taking off.
Those are just slip knots and very common in sailing to reef sails that the like.

however an important use of knot-tying is as an opposed skill to escape artist when tying up prisoners.
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Old 01-01-2016, 09:05 AM   #8
Eukie
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Knot-Tying

Knot-Tying to aid in climbing, mountaineering, seamanship, and the alike feels like one of those places where GURPS skill divisions split skills to too fine and counter-intuitive levels. If you're a competent climber of any type, your Climbing skill should probably already cover all the knots you need. Knowing how to tie knots for climbing should be an integral part of the Climbing skill. (I'm also a bit doubtful that being really good at knot-tying would aid much in climbing, since the necessary knots are already covered by Climbing; does having an even wider array of knots to use really help all that much?)
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Old 01-01-2016, 11:48 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Knot-Tying

This skill is an example of why templates can be very important for new players. "I built a sailor! He has Boating, and Seamanship, and Shiphandling, and Climbing… what do you mean he can't tie knots without yet another skill?"
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Old 01-01-2016, 11:51 AM   #10
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Knot-Tying

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Originally Posted by RogerBW View Post
This skill is an example of why templates can be very important for new players. "I built a sailor! He has Boating, and Seamanship, and Shiphandling, and Climbing… what do you mean he can't tie knots without yet another skill?"
Well it does default to 2 of those skills.
I like the skill, though its rarely bought up. But the magic example in Thaumatology is something I thought about using.
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