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Old 01-24-2017, 03:41 PM   #1
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Default Countering a "flurry” of deceptive attacks

Hey there,

I am playing in a fantasy setting, where our PCs are capable of surpassing the human standards of skill & proficiency; fret not, for it is fun. However, the more skillful the characters become, the more (and more) strategies become available to us (the players).

Of course this is double-edged game setting, because just as our characters get stronger, the NPCs get stronger as well. And so, I just faced an NPC that features (at least, regarding my combat-analysis):

Ambidexterity
Immortality
Double attacks
Extra attacks 2 (multi-strike)
Complementary battle skills 30+
ST above 20
Enhanced defenses

The NPC is SO strong, that even their intended "soft-attacks" are super deadly blows (i.e. aggressive breaks your leg). Since my encounter was sort of introductory, I was allowed to get away this time. As per storyline, my current (assumed) options are: (I) neutralizing the enemy (i.e. using pressure points), (II) maiming the enemy (i.e. targeted attacks) and (III) bringing the enemy to another NPC which has the power to beat the Boss NPC. My team and I might handle it, so let’s get into matter:

This NPC can take several attack maneuvers for feints and deceptive attacks and I need to:

Learn to counter that
Learn how to calculate the penalties to my defenses in case all of the attacks are successful
Learn if such kind of attacks are feasible (by the books*)

Example sequence of his attack (*Martial Arts + Basic)

1. Double attack sword: Feint & Feint
2. Extra attack 1, double attack sword: Deceptive (– 4 to skill – 2 to defenses, that’s the limit)
3. Extra attack 2, double attack sword: Feint & Deceptive attack (– 4)

Example sequence of his defense (Martial Arts + Basic)

Aggressive parry, deceptive (Also, It seems that their aggressive parries might stop my double attacks)
- OR -
1. Counter-attack:
a. Double attack sword: Feint & Feint
b. Extra attack 1, double attack sword: Deceptive (– 4 to skill – 2 to defenses, that’s the limit for this game-setting)
c. Extra attack 2, double attack sword: Feint & Deceptive attack (– 4)

And, is it possible to perform a flurry of deceptive attacks? Are those effects going to stack (besides the penalties to continuous parries?)

My character's basic battle-stats are: 20 SL for combat skills, 13 for dodge and 17 for parries. I also have teamwork and acrobatics.

Let me know what you think,
Thanks!

- Hide

Last edited by Hide; 01-25-2017 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 01-24-2017, 04:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: Countering a "flurry” of deceptive attacks

Why is -4/-2 the 'limit' for deceptive attacks?

I dont remember ever reading that or enforcing that.

I let my players use the Flurry of Blows with Deceptive attack and it worked without problems (till the FP ran out)

The -3 from the Flurry and the -X to whatever your skill is for the -Y to the defense WILL stack. But each attack doesnt cumulatively get you -Y if thats what your asking.

So 2 attacks with flurry of blows from someone with an attack of 19 against someone with a Defense of 11 would end up being
19 - 3 for Flurry, -6 for DA to get a -3 to attackers defense. so your roling 10 vs 8 for EACH one (not counting the multiple parry penalty).

I dont remeber what the ruling is for recognizing the feint is, but if hell allow you that then youll know when to take AOD and/or Feverish defense.

Nymdok

Last edited by Nymdok; 01-24-2017 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 01-24-2017, 05:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: Countering a "flurry” of deceptive attacks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hide View Post
1. Double attack sword: Feint & Feint
2. Extra attack 1, double attack sword: Deceptive (– 4 to skill – 2 to defenses, that’s the limit)
3. Extra attack 2, double attack sword: Feint & Deceptive attack (– 4)
A single feint is good for all remaining attacks in a turn or all attacks in the next turn; he doesn't need to feint twice and could make another attack.

In Step 3, he can't make another double attack: you're only allowed to turn 1 attack per turn into a rapid strike or double weapon attack (B 370).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hide View Post
Example sequence of his defense (Martial Arts + Basic)

Aggressive parry, deceptive (Also, It seems that their aggressive parries might stop my double attacks)
- OR -
1. Counter-attack:
a. Double attack sword: Feint & Feint
b. Extra attack 1, double attack sword: Deceptive (– 4 to skill – 2 to defenses, that’s the limit)
c. Extra attack 2, double attack sword: Feint & Deceptive attack (– 4)
Aggressive Parry is only allowed for unarmed skills (MA 65). Parrying (aggressively or otherwise) doesn't stop Dual Weapon Attacks/Rapid Strikes, though a two-handed weapon can use the Dual Weapon Parry technique (MA 83) to parry both attacks in a single parry attempt.

Again, he can't split his attack into a rapid strike or dual weapon attack more than once per turn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hide View Post
And, is it possible to perform a flurry of deceptive attacks? Are those effects going to stack (besides the penalties to continuous parries?)

My character's basic battle-stats are: 20 SL for combat skills, 13 for dodge and 17 for parries. I also have teamwork and acrobatics.
It's certainly legal, if you're skilled enough, to make an attack sequence like this:
Feint
Attack at -10 to hit, -5 to defend (uses Extra Attack 1)
Rapid strike at -10 to hit, -2 to defend and at -10 to hit, -2 to defend (uses Extra Attack 2, split into a rapid strike, each strike launched as a rapid strike with -4 to hit and -2 to defend).

I would advise Retreating from this guy, as your retreat gives you a bonus against all his attacks (as they come from one guy). Your defenses should look like Parry-18 (right hand), Parry-18 (left hand), Dodge-18 (with Acrobatics), Dodge-16 for all remaining attacks.
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Old 01-24-2017, 05:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Countering a "flurry” of deceptive attacks

I agree that the to-hit penalty for Rapid Strike and Deceptive Attack (DA) will add, while the defender's penalty does not. Each rapid attack doesn't get more deceptive. So, even harder to hit, but no harder to defend against except for burning up the available defenses, as mentioned in the OP.

Per the oFAQ, characters do not know when they've been successfully Feinted. That includes the attacker as well as the defender. (The FAQ recommends making the attack rolls in secret to preserve that information, if necessary.) MA 101 clarifies that failed Feints are obvious to both sides, Beats are always obvious, and instead of secret rolls, recommends resolving the Feint immediately before the attack it would affect (as a single action), so the defender makes his choice of action in ignorance of whether he's been Feinted. (For that really to work in the absence of player firewalling, you'd probably have to secretly declare the Feint, say with a face-down card, while claiming it was an Attack Maneuver. All Attacks thus have to have that face-down card to be exposed later, revealing whether it was real or a Feint.) MA also suggests taking a Concentrate Maneuver to make a Tactics or Body Language roll to discover a successful Feint, though that's not going to let the defender run away.

I assume the -4/-2 limit on DA is a house rule. The only RAW limit is that you can't reduce your effective skill below 10, and the high skills of the combatants suggest that's not the case here. B370 suggests an option for speeding play to make DAs always -4/-2 (that is, no available -2/-1 option, as well as no higher values).

(Editorializing, that house rule seems to take out a large part of the point of DA. One of the main purposes of that rule is to let high-skill attackers become able to hit high-skill defenders, and a cap defeats that purpose. Combats are likely to revert to the old problem of nothing being able to penetrate defenses until someone happens to crit.)
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Old 01-24-2017, 10:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: Countering a "flurry” of deceptive attacks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
(Editorializing, that house rule seems to take out a large part of the point of DA. One of the main purposes of that rule is to let high-skill attackers become able to hit high-skill defenders, and a cap defeats that purpose. Combats are likely to revert to the old problem of nothing being able to penetrate defenses until someone happens to crit.)
Yes, DA was added in 4th edition to allow high skilled characters bypass high defenses. A big problem in 3rd edition was that above a certain skill level you got very little help from higher skill. Having such house rule just shifts the limit bit higher leaving the base problem from 3rd edition.

In my current game the characters currently often do -11/-12 to defense deceptive attacks(-22/-24 skill) with occasional forays up to -14 with things like heroic feats.
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Old 01-25-2017, 12:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: Countering a "flurry” of deceptive attacks

[edit]All of the following assume you use the rules from Martial Arts. It just occurred to me you might not. In which case I understand why you have trouble and would recommend getting the book![/edit]

As others have pointed out, the NPC is not following the correct rules for multiple attacks.

But even following the rules - with Extra attack 2, he can still make 4 deceptive attacks. And without the -4/-2 cap, he can still give a high penalty and still stack it with Feint.


The Evaluate maneuver
The best counter to a feint/deceptive attack is in my opinion, and if you character is almost as skilled as he is, to use EVALUATE. This simple maneuver is both offensive and defensive.
It will both counter one defense penalty from Deceptive attack and give you a +1 skill bonus to counter Feint.
On top of that, once you then attack, you have +1 more skill allowing you to Feint or Deceptive attack better against him.
Use it for 3 rounds to stack the effect.


Ways to increase your defense
Retreating: Remember that making a Retreating dodge/parry give you the retreat bonus against all of his attacks for that turn.
TBaM: Remember that Trained By a Master/Weapon master halves your consecutive parry penalties.
Acrobatic dodge: If you have high DX, maybe get Acrobatics to skill 16 to be able to get attempt to get the +2 dodge bonus on one dodge per turn.
Feverish Defense: If you use Extra Effort in combat-rules this is a quick +2 to a defense. Get as much bonus FP as possible.
Defensive grip: Gives +1 to parry at little to no penalty in a simple 1vs1 duel, if you use thrust-attacks at least.
Cross parry: A cross parry gives a one-time +2 to a parry if you have two single weapons. (For a two-handed weapon see the Two-handed parry rules in p.123 in Martial Arts).
Alternating parries: If you alternate between parrying with right and left hand, your parry-penalty is counted for each hand separately. If you have ambidex this effectively halves you parry penalty.
Fencing parry: fencing weapons have half consecutive parry-penalty. (combine it with an off-hand weapon and weapon master for greater effect)


Ways to hit high-defense targets.
Counter attack: Consider getting the Counterattack Technique. It will cost you 6 points to give the target -2 defense, but that 2 pts cheaper than putting it into pure skill. and will get around any arbitrary cap on Deceptive Attack.
Riposte: Martial arts p.125. Is an "opposite feint". It allows you to take a parry-penalty in order to give the attack a penalty to his parry. Combine it wit han AoD:parry, Evaluate, feverish parry and so on, to stack your own parry, in order to give him a bigger penalty, then follow up with a Deceptive attack to stack the defense penalty.
Attack the side: You retreating defense: Slip. to dodge forward. Allowing you to step and attack his side, giving him a -2 defense.
Get into CC:Use Retreating dodge: Slip, to dodge forward into Close Combat. This means you start your turn in CC and so the target will get CC penalties on his parries (-2 for normal Reach 1 weapons), even if he retreat out. If you successfully Grab him, he can't get out of CC.
Critical hit: You can't defend against a critical hit. So making as many attacks as possible might be the way to go. With skill 16+ you crit on a 6 or less. That is a 9% chance for a crit. If you have skill 22 you can take a -6 penalty for Rapid Strike, and still be at skill 16. If you have Weapon master and can use Flurry of Blow you can make FOUR attacks per turn at skill 16!

Last edited by Maz; 01-25-2017 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 01-25-2017, 12:06 AM   #7
Maz
 
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Default Re: Countering a "flurry” of deceptive attacks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nymdok View Post
Why is -4/-2 the 'limit' for deceptive attacks?

I dont remember ever reading that or enforcing that.

I let my players use the Flurry of Blows with Deceptive attack and it worked without problems (till the FP ran out)

The GM may opt to speed play by
limiting Deceptive Attacks to a flat -4
to skill, giving the target -2 on his
active defenses.


P.370 in Basic. Right at the end of the description of Deceptive Attack.
It makes sense in more low powered game where skills are around 12-15.
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Old 01-25-2017, 02:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: Countering a "flurry” of deceptive attacks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maz View Post

The GM may opt to speed play by
limiting Deceptive Attacks to a flat -4
to skill, giving the target -2 on his
active defenses.


P.370 in Basic. Right at the end of the description of Deceptive Attack.
It makes sense in more low powered game where skills are around 12-15.
In this game it might be to help the PCs since it seems that opponents may routinely out skill them by 10.
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Old 01-25-2017, 12:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Countering a "flurry” of deceptive attacks

Oh I get it, the defense and striking options are pretty good indeed, thanks! In attention to your comments:

1. The NPC has "Extra attack 2" enhanced with Powers 49, Multi-Strike: You can strike more than once with the same weapon or body part. This means you can launch more attacks than you have limbs, natural weapons, and attack abilities. You can use your best attack multiple times.

I understood this NPC is capable of striking more than once using whatever skill (i.e. double attack), Am I wrong?

2. The DA cap "-4 to SL & -2 to defenses" is a rule of the house; it is intended to ensure survival. Also, in order to simplify things and avoid conflict, we are making "open" feint contests.

3. I thought you could stack the effects of a feint. Also:
A. What happens if two characters with teamwork attack at the same time and employ a feint?
B. If I employ sacrificial parry, do I lose an active defense? (I suppose not, but I think I might get a penalty to my parry on the next turn).
C. Which tactics could I employ to boost my defenses/attacks using teamwork? At least two members of the party have “Teamwork: Party” (including myself).

4. The evaluate maneuver sounds good:
A. Can I run, then evaluate?
B. What happens if the NPC attacks me while I am evaluating, do I lose “track”? Will I need to restart?

5. Retreating. I don't know why, one of the players said I cannot "retreat forward" only backwards. I thought I could do it so I always try; but he keeps saying "no, you can't). I will appreciate it if you could clarify this to me.

6. I started playing GURPS almost 3 months ago, but I believe I once read that flexibility gives you a bonus to an active defense; have you ever seen something like that?
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Old 01-25-2017, 02:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: Countering a "flurry” of deceptive attacks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hide View Post
Oh I get it, the defense and striking options are pretty good indeed, thanks! In attention to your comments:

1. The NPC has "Extra attack 2" enhanced with Powers 49, Multi-Strike: You can strike more than once with the same weapon or body part. This means you can launch more attacks than you have limbs, natural weapons, and attack abilities. You can use your best attack multiple times.

I understood this NPC is capable of striking more than once using whatever skill (i.e. double attack), Am I wrong?
No, that's correct. With EA 2, he can attack 3 times with any limb/weapon. However, only one of these can Rapid Strike. I'm not sure what you mean by Double Attack - do you mean Rapid Strike?


Quote:

2.


B. If I employ sacrificial parry, do I lose an active defense? (I suppose not, but I think I might get a penalty to my parry on the next turn).
The latter; SP "uses up" one of your parries so the usual penalty for multiple parries applies.



Quote:
C. Which tactics could I employ to boost my defenses/attacks using teamwork? At least two members of the party have “Teamwork: Party” (including myself).

4. The evaluate maneuver sounds good:
A. Can I run, then evaluate?
B. What happens if the NPC attacks me while I am evaluating, do I lose “track”? Will I need to restart?
Evaluate allows only a Step. Active Defense does not interrupt Evaluate. This is all in Basic Set 2.
Quote:

5. Retreating. I don't know why, one of the players said I cannot "retreat forward" only backwards. I thought I could do it so I always try; but he keeps saying "no, you can't). I will appreciate it if you could clarify this to me.
That is true; in order to retreat you must end up farther away than when you started. Martial Arts has a Sideslip which allows you to stay the same distance from the attacking opponent. I don't know of any retreat option that allows you to close distance.

Quote:

6. I started playing GURPS almost 3 months ago, but I believe I once read that flexibility gives you a bonus to an active defense; have you ever seen something like that?
No, never.
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