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Old 09-06-2017, 02:37 PM   #21
ravenfish
 
Join Date: May 2007
Default Re: Spear worth it? fantasy campain

Why are we saying +2 to parry? My understanding is that, while Form Master allows one to freely switch to staff mode for +2 to defend, but this would imply the use of staff skill, which defaults to Spear-2, resulting in only a net +1 to parry after the staff bonus when compared to an ordinary spear parry [or a parry with a non-spear, non-staff weapon at equal skill]. One could buy up Staff skill to spear level, but, unless one's skills are not yet very far above DX level, this will not be an efficient use of one's points (when skills are high enough that Staff would cost 4 points to increase by a level, those four points could have raised Spear by a level and raised the Staff default in the bargain). Have I been playing this wrong these past years?
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Old 09-06-2017, 02:48 PM   #22
Varyon
 
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Default Re: Spear worth it? fantasy campain

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Originally Posted by ravenfish View Post
Why are we saying +2 to parry? My understanding is that, while Form Master allows one to freely switch to staff mode for +2 to defend, but this would imply the use of staff skill, which defaults to Spear-2, resulting in only a net +1 to parry after the staff bonus when compared to an ordinary spear parry [or a parry with a non-spear, non-staff weapon at equal skill]. One could buy up Staff skill to spear level, but, unless one's skills are not yet very far above DX level, this will not be an efficient use of one's points (when skills are high enough that Staff would cost 4 points to increase by a level, those four points could have raised Spear by a level and raised the Staff default in the bargain). Have I been playing this wrong these past years?
Ugh, sorry, yeah, stupid defaulting rules are stupid. At worst, you're looking at another Perk, Weapon Adaptation (Staff to Spear*), but honestly I'd just give the benefit for free to anyone who had Form Mastery with a spear. Actually, I just have Staff and Spear as a single skill to start with, with Staff Grip as an option that reduces damage in exchange for better Parries.

*Some consider the +2 Parry to be a function of the skill, rather than the weapon, in which case it would need to be Spear to Staff.
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Old 09-06-2017, 03:00 PM   #23
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Default Re: Spear worth it? fantasy campain

What might be worth the while, is for you to post a character build and take it from there. Not too long ago, I had a bunch of players in a "Atlantis: the Second Age campaign" (where Atlantis didn't sink entirely beneath the waves). The players were used to fighting other sword and shield opponents. What they were NOT used to were "Hesperian" Amazonian warriors that were Spear Masters.

Gave the players quite the scare actually, when the one player insulted the bodyguard of the Noble Woman/warrior. The bodyguard and the one player character had it out and the Amazonian woman won.

Take 2 weapon style weapon master (spear and shield). Use the rules from GURPS MARTIAL ARTS, and concentrate on getting decent skill levels for both. Then do this:

Shield at skill 16
Feint(Shield) at skill+4 (making a feint at skill 20)
Take spear at 16

Turn one? Do a shield bash against the jaw using the edge of the shield. At skill 16 minus 5, that's essentially a skill 11 to hit. If it hits, the player has to defend, and if you're lucky enough to do a successful strike, if even one point of damage is inflicted, the character has to make a HT-5 saving roll to avoid knockdown. Even if you don't succeed at knocking the individual down - you have successfully used your shield in an attack, and it can now be used for feints. Which would you rather roll against, a skill 16 for feints, or a skill 20? In addition, any contest of feints is done against the BEST of your feint skills, not necessarily the weapon you're currently using. So, Feint skill of 20 versus maybe a feint skill of 16 for an opponent. Which would you rather have in that contest?

Now - what does a fine spear cost? Normal cost per GURPS CHARACTERS page 274 states that fine spears cost 3x normal cost. You can't make VERY FINE spears, but you can make fine spears. A fine spear costs $120

Multiple Parries for a Weapon Master, combined with certain techniques - can make for an unexpectedly difficult foe if the opponent is armed with a spear as opposed to a sword.
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Old 09-06-2017, 03:52 PM   #24
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Spear worth it? fantasy campain

Quick build using 94 points. I short-handed the disadvantages and quirks as -1 unused quirk 1, -1 unused quirk 2, etc - and used a blanket 70 point disadvantage that would in reality, be broken further into its component parts - all adding up to 70 points. This was built using GURPS CHARACTER ASSISTANT. I could have gone further to utilize the heroic spear style, or perhaps a modified SOJUTSU style from GURPS MARTIAL ARTS (as I did for the Amazonian Spear Fighting Style for my campaign world). In reality, this character should have the basic skills like area knowledge (birthplace), job related skills, observation, savoir-faire skills etc. But this is what can be done with a mere 94 points a -75 in quirks/disadvantages. Since I have no idea of what is involved for the Original poster's GM's world, this is just a sample, not necessarily a template per se.

Name: Character 1
Race: Human

Attributes [110]
ST 11 [10]
DX 14 [80]
IQ 10
HT 12 [20]

HP 11
Will 10
Per 10
FP 12

Basic Lift 24
Damage 1d-1/1d+1

Basic Speed 6.5
Basic Move 6

Ground Move 6
Water Move 1

Social Background
TL: 2 [0]
Cultural Familiarities:
Languages:

Advantages [25]
Weapon Master (Spear and Shield) (two weapons normally used together) [25]

Perks [1]
Weapon Bond (Spear) [1]

Disadvantages [-70]
Catch all for 70 points - broken down as needed later [-70]

Quirks [-5]
_Unused Quirk 1 [-1]
_Unused Quirk 2 [-1]
_Unused Quirk 3 [-1]
_Unused Quirk 4 [-1]
_Unused Quirk 5 [-1]

Skills [33]
Brawling DX/E - DX+2 16 [4]
Feint (Shield (Shield)) Tech/H - 22 [5]
Feint (Spear) Tech/H - 17 [0]
Kicking (Brawling) Tech/H - 14 [0]
Knee Strike (Brawling) Tech/A - 15 [0]
Shield (Shield) DX/E - DX+4 18 [12]
Spear DX/A - DX+3 17 [12]
Stamp Kick (Brawling) Tech/H - 13 [0]

Stats [110] Ads [25] Disads [-70] Quirks [-5] Skills [33] = Total [94]

Hand Weapons
1 Spear LC:4|4|4 $120 Wgt:4
1H Dam:1d+4 imp Reach:1* Parry:12 ST:10 Skill:SK:Spear, ST:DX-5, SK:Polearm-4, SK:Staff-2 Notes:[1]
2H Dam:1d+5 imp Reach:1, 2* Parry:12 ST:9 Skill:SK:Spear, ST:DX-5, SK:Polearm-4, SK:Staff-2 Notes:two hands

Ranged Weapons
1 Spear LC:4|4|4 Dam:1d+3 imp Acc:2 Range:11 / 17
RoF:1 Shots:T(1) ST:9 Bulk:-6 Rcl:- $120 Wgt:4

Armor & Possessions
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Old 09-06-2017, 03:54 PM   #25
martinl
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Default Re: Spear worth it? fantasy campain

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Originally Posted by Ultraviolet View Post
But now I'm inspired to use a glaive-guisarme-lochaber...polearm of soem kind.
Surely you'd prefer a good old-fashioned Bohemian Ear Spoon?
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Old 09-07-2017, 12:18 AM   #26
Daigoro
 
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Default Re: Spear worth it? fantasy campain

Quote:
Originally Posted by hal View Post
Even if you don't succeed at knocking the individual down - you have successfully used your shield in an attack, and it can now be used for feints.
This doesn't sound familiar, is it a house rule?

Quote:
Which would you rather roll against, a skill 16 for feints, or a skill 20? In addition, any contest of feints is done against the BEST of your feint skills, not necessarily the weapon you're currently using. So, Feint skill of 20 versus maybe a feint skill of 16 for an opponent. Which would you rather have in that contest?
What's the advantage in having Shield Feint-20 instead of Spear Feint-20?
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Old 09-07-2017, 12:55 AM   #27
Tomsdad
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Default Re: Spear worth it? fantasy campain

I'd also recommend the reach mastery perk (power ups 2), to allow you to really play reach games with a spear.
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Old 09-07-2017, 04:44 AM   #28
corwyn
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Spear worth it? fantasy campain

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yup, magical healing is a thing.... but when 2 big trolls desides to play "who can rip his legs of first" and then got each of our legs grapled with 4d+2 crushing dmg each turn.... Not healty my friend... need ALOT of magic to heal the trashed bones up again
Yeah, but you're in the Realms. It shouldn't be that hard to find a cleric who can cast Restoration or even Regeneration. They're not that costly. The one try might be an issue but still...

So, maybe you can't afford the type of healing needed. Create a big, beefy Cleric, play him for about 5 minutes, heal your character's limbs, and be on your way. Or have the whole party chip in for a Cleric ally, even if you can only access him in town. In FR, long lasting injuries should not be a serious obstacle. Heck, at your power level, death shouldn't be a major obstacle.
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:25 AM   #29
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Spear worth it? fantasy campain

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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post

This doesn't sound familiar, is it a house rule?
Page 365 of GURPS CAMPAIGNS. It is the second to last "thing" under the heading of "FEINTS". Frankly, the inclusion of that rule seems a bit bogus to my mind simply because anyone trained in shield work will know that a shield can be used offensively. Only a fool presumes that his opponent doesn't know what he knows about fighting. If a shield can be used offensively, then it shouldn't take an actual "first attack before using in feint" sequence - but, the rules as written are the rules as written.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
What's the advantage in having Shield Feint-20 instead of Spear Feint-20?
One of the "things" about GURPS rules for skills is that "EASY" skills are always cheaper in point costs than are AVERAGE skills. If you wanted to say, have a skill at Attribute+4, the cost for the Average skill is always more expensive than the same skill gain at the Easier skill level.

Note that in my earlier post, I listed the point costs to get spear at DX+3 and the point cost to get Shield at DX+4. Both cost 12 points apiece. So, to put it another way? For the same point expenditure for either of a DX EASY or DX AVERAGE skill, the DX EASY skill is always +1 better than the Average skill, and is +2 better than a Hard skill.

So, would having a DR7 Troll cause problems for the character outlined in the earlier post? Depends on the offensive capabilities of the Troll(s) in question. One thing I neglected to add to the GCA equipment list was the advantage that Weapon Master adds to damage by use of a shield in the hands of a weapon master. I included it for the spear, and am having a duh moment now. But having weapon master with a shield also increases the "punch" damage. In this case, thrust is 1d-1 normally, and a shield punch is equal to thrust damage. So, normally, damage is 1d-1 with a punch right? With weapon master, it becomes 1d6+1. Raising the ST to a 12 would also increase the thrust damage if I recall correctly.

The other benefit of having weapon master with spear and shield is this:

All parries have a lower "multiple defense" penalties. So, use the shield to block incoming first attack, use spear to parry second incoming attack, use spear again at -2 lowered effective parry level, use spear a third time at -4 effective parry level.

Where I using this character myself in combat? I'd try to determine whether the opponent was right or left handed, where its least armored area was, and aim for the jaw with a shield bash doing 1d+1 damage. From then onwards, I'd use the shield to feint to force an opening, and then I'd use deceptive attack next turn aiming likely for the weapon hand - but not letting my skill drop below a base 11 on the attack (hand attack -4, deceptive attack -2).

Depending on what else I'd want the character to be able to do and how many character points I have available for the character build, I'd likely go with hit location Face for shield, and hit location hand for spear, hit location neck for spear. If I had sufficient points for a Spear style, then I'd go for grip mastery, and all of the other fun stuff involved (including sweeps etc).

The reason for hand location? If the opponent can't wield their weapon, that limits the damage they can inflict against you. Hands are crippled at HT/3. Average damage for 1d+2 (defensive attack) will be around 5.5. Unarmored hands are almost certain to be crippled. Leather or chain armored hands are going to require normal attacks unfortunately, but even those can be crippled when rolling 1d6+4.

Throats tend to be the least well protected areas when it comes to armoring. You might also consider face as well. Doing between 5 to 10 points of damage to the head is bad enough from the opponent's point of view. But if you consistently aim for head shots, any crit success is rolled against the head crit table instead of the normal crit table.

In all? Spears are under-represented in campaign play. As my players found out when they went up against the Amazonian Warrior, a weapon master spear and shield combination can be a bit unsettling.

My suggestion to the original poster is this:

Build a character based on ideas presented in this thread, and give it a test drive against his original dwarf character. Then test drive it against a troll or two.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:02 AM   #30
chandley
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Spear worth it? fantasy campain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Ugh, sorry, yeah, stupid defaulting rules are stupid. At worst, you're looking at another Perk, Weapon Adaptation (Staff to Spear*), but honestly I'd just give the benefit for free to anyone who had Form Mastery with a spear. Actually, I just have Staff and Spear as a single skill to start with, with Staff Grip as an option that reduces damage in exchange for better Parries.

*Some consider the +2 Parry to be a function of the skill, rather than the weapon, in which case it would need to be Spear to Staff.
You can avoid this in RAW by being a little point inefficient. 8 points into Staff brings it to parity with Spear (off of the Spear-2 default) _and keeps it there_. So while that 8 points is "better" spent in spear, thinking of it as 8 points for +1 to parry (Which would cost 5 points if available) isn't terrible. But I agree with your houserule, the difference between staff and spear skill seems mostly cosmetic.

Also, spears are light. Don't have the skill for Vitals Chinks or the cash for Penetrating Weapon? Buy an Armor Piercing spear. Switch out the impaling spear for pi(2) against heavily armored foes (targeting the vitals were available means x3 wounding _regardless_). Do have the skill and cash? Get an AP spear anyway (pi(5) means never having to really worry about armor, or pi(3) vs 1/2 armor for chinks, depending on how you group stacks things).

Spears are _cheap_, balanced and fine should be almost automatic. You should consider balanced and fine even on spears you intend to throw (and thus might not get back). Spears can also be used with a dwarven whetstone. Not great for the melee spear, but for those once-a-fight thrown javelins? Well worth the time.

Weapon Master (Spear) covers throwing and stabbing. Need to go up to at least WM (Spear and Spear thrower) [25] for that ranged swing damage if you want it, but the hidden advantage there is your thrown weapon (spear) default is now only -2 from spear thrower.
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