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Old 06-04-2017, 12:37 PM   #11
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Combining GURPS and Hackmaster combat system?

I thought each pulse was a fraction of a second? That'd be an easy fix in any case.
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Old 06-04-2017, 01:02 PM   #12
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Default Re: Combining GURPS and Hackmaster combat system?

That could work, but I don't own the new edition of Hackmaster and the old ediiton is back in the old country. So its hard to comment without seeing details.

It would fix the issue in GURPS where the rules encourage everyone to fight like a fury all of the time, but most people most of the time fight less efficiently.

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I thought each pulse was a fraction of a second? That'd be an easy fix in any case.
It was a fraction of a second in the earlier edition which I read.
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Old 06-04-2017, 11:29 PM   #13
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Default Re: Combining GURPS and Hackmaster combat system?

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Originally Posted by Exallted View Post
Ofc, GURPS models that with the ready action, but I think some more diversity among the weapons could be interesting.

One of the things that make characthers less idle in combat is the way movement works in Hackmaster...
It's nice that GURPS does allow for some diversity in weapon speeds, but it really is quite limited. (I don't mean that as a criticism; this is a hard thing to do in RPG rules, and I'm not aware of any system that has revealed something amazingly realistic and playable in this area.)

On the topic of movement, there are a lot of calls out there (including some fairly recent threads here, I think) for allowing more movement and readying of arrows, and aiming of missile weapons, and casting of spells, and lots more to take place between GURPS' flurries of 1-second attacks. A commonly cited example is that a PC who's a few rooms away in the dungeon, or a few dozen yards away on a flat map, can "rush" toward the sound of his colleagues in battle, only to find that the fight's long over by the time he gets there. In GURPS, that's a thing.

What to do about this, or whether to do anything, is a tough call. I tend to accept realism here: if my fighter could hack at a monster a half dozen times or so and take it down in under 10 seconds, then the rules should allow for that; if that means the wizard in the next room and the unready archer don't get to take part, well, them's the breaks.

But that style certainly doesn't maximize group fun! A lot of games use what I think of as "fiction time" or "comic panel" time that is, forget "realistic" time measures; every round, everyone can probably do something interesting, because that's fun. Rules like that don't care about sword speed vs axe speed, or bow readying times; when your turn comes, you can attack. If you're far off, you may still need to spend your turn moving, but the system might rule that you move as far as needed to do something interesting next turn. And so on.

There are some nice discussions on this forum about making GURPS combat more fun for those out-of-the-violence-loop PCs. There may not be much to be done for the PC who's stuck 60 yards away from the brawl and needs to spend 10 turns sprinting in, but there are, for examples, proposals to turn Aim and Evaluate into rolls that make those maneuvers into something fun (if still not as fun as immediately pounding on a troll). There have been sensible proposals for allowing Ready and Attack as a form of All-Out Attack, something that lets polearm wielders join the fray more readily. And scattered throughout GURPS are all kinds of ways to speed up missile fire, aid colleagues from afar with Tactics rolls and Leadership-based encouragement, etc.

There's even one aid for that movement issue: Basic Combat, which doesn't seem to get discussed much on the forum. Basic Combat doesn't deal with mapped positions, so the GM is free to just wing it and say "yeah, you're close enough to strike" or "okay, just Move for one turn, and then you can join the battle." For those "my PC has nothing to do" issues that still remain, everything noted above about Aim, Evaluate, Ready, etc. can be brought over to Basic Combat.

Hm. Somewhere out there is a GURPS variant waiting to be written up by someone: Cinematic Basic Combat (or some better name), reworking combat expressly into that "fiction time" or "comic panel" time model. Each round (i.e., each cycle of character turns) wouldn't be a strict one second; it'd be 2-ish or 5-ish seconds, or whatever seems cinematically right for the scene. Heavy weapons would ignore their special Ready requirements (the "U Parry" business alone would differentiate them from nimble swords just fine). Missile attack rates would be sped up. Aim and Evaluate could still exist, but would use rolls to make them more fun, and would offer potentially big bonuses to make them meaningful. And movement would simply stick to the existing Basic Combat model: just talk the GM into ruling that, yes, you can run across three rooms and join the battle next turn. : ) (Or, if actual distance moved mattered, Move would be much greater that 5 yards/sec or so, given that each turn represents several seconds.)

Well. That's a bit of a tangent for this thread, as this "Cinematic Basic Combat" would really depart from Hackmaster's detailed weapon speeds. On the other hand, it would seem to share an "everyone gets to do something" approach with games like Hackmaster (and D&D and many others).

Anyway. If the topic of combat timing interests you, I have an old three-part article, beginning here, that looks at how different game systems approach the topic. The article may not give you anything useful, but it is relevant to this thread: it briefly discusses a theoretical action-point system that's really the same thing as Hackmaster's "count up", including a version I actually used long ago (again, essentially the same as "count up", though I used randomly-rolled attack speeds).
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Old 06-05-2017, 02:06 PM   #14
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Default Re: Combining GURPS and Hackmaster combat system?

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Originally Posted by tbone View Post
Anyway. If the topic of combat timing interests you, I have an old three-part article, beginning here, that looks at how different game systems approach the topic. The article may not give you anything useful, but it is relevant to this thread: it briefly discusses a theoretical action-point system that's really the same thing as Hackmaster's "count up", including a version I actually used long ago (again, essentially the same as "count up", though I used randomly-rolled attack speeds).
Thanks for the reply! I found your article very interesting! Looking up on your GLAIVE model, you pretty much modeled my desired weapon speed with the recovery time column in the sample table at the end of the article (you also go into much more detail). Though I think I'd like to have more inter-spaced attacks than what you rules seem to wield (I believe it would help fixing one of the issues you mention about a character that is 50 yards away reaching the conflict zone with combat over already).

I was inclined to assign a flat speed number to a weapon and then a bonus based on ST, say Short Sword: Speed 3 (meaning one attack every 3 seconds, so second 1, 4, so on). For comparison, a short sword in Hackmaster has an attack speed of 8, though that is modified by strenght and character level, which is something GURPS does not have, and I am unwilling to add advantages or such to increase attack speed (so much lower speeds are warranted, IMO.)

Maybe I could use your recovery values and work them through some constant to give me some values in the ball park I have in mind? Maybe your recovery divided by half ST, rounded up?

Now, I should only need to come up with recovery times for spells and maybe tweak, for balance, the reload time for firearms like old pistols and muskets, eg: in the vanilla system, a crossbow can fire every 5 turns - a 1 to 5 ratio compared to non ready weapons (which shouldn't be too hard, though I have yet read on Spells). Though I don't know what I would do about modern guns, if I ever wished to use them. Perhaps I should not tweak their rules at all, as they are have a much faster "attack speed" in real life.

I should also decide how maneuvers impact weapon speed. Again, seems doable.

One could say that in my case, having yet to play the vanilla game, I shouldn't be worried about tweaking so heavily, but this idea seem to enticing to give up.

As always, any ideas are appreciated.
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Old 06-05-2017, 02:42 PM   #15
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Default Re: Combining GURPS and Hackmaster combat system?

If I were to adapt a tick-based combat system to GURPS, it would at least have to cope with different attack variants -- and there's a lot of them.
So you couldn't just have a speed value of a "broadsword" in general, you'd have to have different ones for thrusts and cuts, and then probably again for all-out attacks (all of them), deceptive attacks, defensive attacks, reverse grips, defensive grips etc...

Heck, if those attacks remain unchanged at all. It could just be that instead of having a to-hit benefit or defense penalty, some attack maneuvers would change the speed values. (And what about stop-hits, ripostes and counterattacks?)

Also, integrating U parries and double-dagger weaponry might seem appropriate. Possibly changing this from a binary distinction to something graded (i.e. weapons could have a "unbalanced" window of ticks after a parry/attack, or a recovery time that might not be equal to the attack time).

HackMaster elaborated on a rather D&D-ish system, which is about as simple as it gets in RPG-dom (apart from maybe T&T). So adding a different intitiative/round system on top of that doesn't have to affect to many moving parts. With GURPS, there's a lot more bells and whistles that would need to be looked at.
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Old 06-05-2017, 03:21 PM   #16
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Default Re: Combining GURPS and Hackmaster combat system?

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Originally Posted by mhd View Post
If I were to adapt a tick-based combat system to GURPS, it would at least have to cope with different attack variants -- and there's a lot of them.
So you couldn't just have a speed value of a "broadsword" in general, you'd have to have different ones for thrusts and cuts, and then probably again for all-out attacks (all of them), deceptive attacks, defensive attacks, reverse grips, defensive grips etc...

Heck, if those attacks remain unchanged at all. It could just be that instead of having a to-hit benefit or defense penalty, some attack maneuvers would change the speed values. (And what about stop-hits, ripostes and counterattacks?)

Also, integrating U parries and double-dagger weaponry might seem appropriate. Possibly changing this from a binary distinction to something graded (i.e. weapons could have a "unbalanced" window of ticks after a parry/attack, or a recovery time that might not be equal to the attack time).

HackMaster elaborated on a rather D&D-ish system, which is about as simple as it gets in RPG-dom (apart from maybe T&T). So adding a different initiative/round system on top of that doesn't have to affect to many moving parts. With GURPS, there's a lot more bells and whistles that would need to be looked at.
You're right, I'd have to adjust those maneuvers (and others, I believe). Different speeds for swings and thrusts seem appropriate.

From a cursory look, I'd say:

Deceptive attacks need not change, IMO.
Rapid attacks: maybe allow you to attack at half your recovery value, and then reseting your recovery as if you just had attacked?

Deceptive attacks, defensive attacks, reverse grips, defensive grips, ripostes and counterattacks are things I have't read about, and couldn't find them in the basic set, have I missed them? Are they from supplements?

Edit: also stop-hits,

Last edited by Exallted; 06-05-2017 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 06-05-2017, 07:13 PM   #17
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Default Re: Combining GURPS and Hackmaster combat system?

HackMaster combat speed presumes that the attacker is also defending. Movement can happen during combat, so while a PC may not be tap-dancing, they may be circling about a foe.

You also have hold-at-bay with polearms and ranged weapons. For firearms, while the time scale is different, Aces & Eights: Shattered Frontier introduce the Count System.

Keep in mind that in HackMaster, there are talents and specialization which speed up your attack speed.

Some of the talents in HackMaster would nicely simulate the more complex actions available in GURPS combat.

I think if you take into account weapons that become unbalanced after parries, some of the issues will be smaller.

However, since you're rolling 3d6 for attacks and defenses in GURPS and a d20 for attacks and defenses in HackMaster, you'll have more swing in the HackMaster rules than using 3d6 due to dice spreads.

I like GURPS and I like HackMaster, but it would be a lot of work to make the combat systems mesh well.
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Old 06-06-2017, 03:05 AM   #18
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Default Re: Combining GURPS and Hackmaster combat system?

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Originally Posted by Exallted View Post
Deceptive attacks, defensive attacks, reverse grips, defensive grips, ripostes and counterattacks are things I have't read about, and couldn't find them in the basic set, have I missed them? Are they from supplements?

Edit: also stop-hits,
All from Martial Arts, except Deceptive Attack.

On second thought, all the counterattack options (stop-hit, riposte, counterattack) probably don't need to be changed, as the weapon speed (at least the HackMaster version) is mostly about recovery. So if you're ready to counterattack, that assumes that this recovery period has passed already. The attack itself only takes a single tick.

Also, when you've got a sub-second resolution, that looks like a good place to try to solve the "Evaluate is useless" problem.
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Old 06-06-2017, 03:51 AM   #19
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Default Re: Combining GURPS and Hackmaster combat system?

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Originally Posted by Exallted View Post
Thanks for the reply! I found your article very interesting! Looking up on your GLAIVE model, you pretty much modeled my desired weapon speed with the recovery time column in the sample table at the end of the article (you also go into much more detail). Though I think I'd like to have more inter-spaced attacks than what you rules seem to wield (I believe it would help fixing one of the issues you mention about a character that is 50 yards away reaching the conflict zone with combat over already).
...
Maybe I could use your recovery values and work them through some constant to give me some values in the ball park I have in mind? Maybe your recovery divided by half ST, rounded up?
Keep in mind that the full GLAIVE rules you refer to were made for 3e*; I never did update them for 4e. I believe there are notes on the main things that would need to be changed. In particular, length and unbalance boost Recovery (a measure of recovery time needed, i.e., slowness) a lot, to get 3e's sl-o-o-o-w axes and polearms; 4e formulas should be set to generate lower Recovery for these weapons, to speed them up. (That's a welcome change, IMO!)

Also, referencing a separate reply of yours: Note that the system specifically yields higher Recovery for swings than for thrusts. That's for pretty much any weapon, swords included, not just polearms and the like. I think that's in line with the effects you're looking for.

Not sure what you mean by wanting "more inter-spaced attacks". Do you mean more seconds between melee attacks for a typical fighter? If so: Well, especially if you use the system's "Detailed rule for readying time", higher Recovery contributes to that effect. On top of that, add in all the other things discussed in this thread and all over the forums (Evaluate, more use of Feint and Wait, possibly harsher fatigue for fighters who never rest, etc.). (FWIW, I'm entirely in favor of slowing down the pace of melee in GURPS. I just want to use reasons why Shortsword Guy wouldn't or shouldn't hack non-stop, instead of decreeing that he's not allowed to do so, or injecting arbitrary "lulls" into fights, etc.)

I'm also not sure what you mean by "your recovery divided by half ST". The Recovery stat in GLAIVE is intended to be it has to be divided by strength to be of use. I guess I'm misunderstanding something.

*For the curious: I did make a GLAIVE mini for 4e, but it's very short and only concerned with generating basic melee weapon stats. It doesn't deal in attack speeds, Ready requirements, etc.
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Old 06-06-2017, 04:27 AM   #20
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Default Re: Combining GURPS and Hackmaster combat system?

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Originally Posted by baakyocalder View Post
HackMaster combat speed presumes that the attacker is also defending. Movement can happen during combat, so while a PC may not be tap-dancing, they may be circling about a foe.
That is what I understood as well, that like d&d it is dealing with "effective" attacks, not individual blows (and compared to old d&d's minute per turn actually positively blazing action).

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You also have hold-at-bay with polearms and ranged weapons. For firearms, while the time scale is different, Aces & Eights: Shattered Frontier introduce the Count System.
And I suspect this is why the system feels slow. It was designed for a game which literally counted 10ths of a second. This is all well and good when doing a high-noon style duel, as you get to simulate that "fastest gun in the west" idea where fractions of a second in quicker reaction time count, and players get to choose whether they risk those fractions of second aiming for a better shot or go for the quickest shot that might just miss. However, it is far too detailed for most players as a practical combat system, especially because it worsens the movement vs action choice. Movement is so slow (literally 5 or 10 "pulses" between moving 1 space, depending on speed) that it makes it even less of an interesting option than it is in many games ("Ok, I have waited 10 pulses and I get to move 1 space on the battlemat... woo"). For their fantasy set presumably they decided they wanted to allow a bit more movement, so ends up with the 1 second per turn (which allows everyone who wants to move a space every count), but then the action part of the equation becomes unrealistically slow as they decided to retain the reaction speed element of Aces and Eights but on a unrealistically large timescale.
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