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Old 09-07-2017, 11:07 AM   #31
Tomsdad
 
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Default Re: Spear worth it? fantasy campain

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
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.
Just quickly, at one point damage it won't be HT-5, it will be HT-1 (HT-5 is if it's a major wound to the face) You do get an extra -1 penalty for cr attacks to the jaw though so if you did manange to get a major wound it would be HT-6. Also Jaw is -6 to target so it will be effective skill 10 (so 50/50)


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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. 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.
Thing is assuming a base DX10* Shield Skill 16 will cost you 20 points and +4 feint tech will cost another 5

for 25 points you can get another +6 on spear skill (and have a point left for a perk)

So I can feint with my spear at 22, but I can also attack and defend with skill 22 as well.

More importantly for the example above I can make a -6 deceptive attack thrust to the face at effective skill 11**, rather than shield bash as set up for a later plan, and quite possible win the fight in the first attack. A one handed thrust from a normal spear will not only be +2 damage over a Shield bash, but also Imp over Cr.

Or if we really want to leverage a feint, I feint with my spear at 22 (which will get me better result than 20) and then value add the increased feint benefit on top of a skill 22 attack as opposed to a skill 16 one.

Now I won't be able to block as well as you, but I'll be parrying at 14+DB.

Now 14+DB from Spear Skill 22 compared to 11+DB from shield Block and spear parry both from skill 16, is better in terms of initial value. But you get two possible defences

However even if you factor in multiple parries it still does well. You have 1st parry 14+DB, 2nd Parry 10+DB, compared to 1st Parry/Block 11+DB, 2nd Block/Parry 11+DB.



*which is an assumption of course, the higher the base stat the less costly it is to split points on skills

**or what ever combo of Deceptive attack and target location is best, Skill 22 gives me flexibility here

Last edited by Tomsdad; 09-07-2017 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 09-07-2017, 01:03 PM   #32
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Spear worth it? fantasy campain

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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.
Might be a mechanical addressing of what is a gap in player knowledge. I was caught off guard at the sheer extent of *how* offensively shields are used, and how they're basically constantly used as setup attacks, feints, and grapples from a game-mechanical standpoint, when I started my real-world viking martial arts training.

Most folks ideas of shields come from "I get +2 to Armor Class," and "oh, a shield wall!" Both have their place, and both are various degrees of inaccurate.
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Old 09-07-2017, 01:39 PM   #33
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Default Re: Spear worth it? fantasy campain

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Most folks ideas of shields come from "I get +2 to Armor Class," and "oh, a shield wall!" Both have their place, and both are various degrees of inaccurate.
Oh, I know. I've done some sword-and-board and spear-and-shield characters in the past (and am really annoyed with That Other Game for making a spear-and-shield hoplite essentially impossible with a full-sized spear, regardless of historical accuracy), and the number of options in GURPS (Beats, Feints, bashes, etc.) for shields is far superior. The idea of using a shield offensively also really bothered by one Other Game DM; my sword-and-board guy I wanted to set up a "bash with a shield and stab with the sword in one attack" move, with the bash being a feint as a move action, and it blew his mind. Then I ran a similar character in GURPS and showed him how it was done elegantly. :)
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Old 09-07-2017, 01:50 PM   #34
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Default Re: Spear worth it? fantasy campain

Wait. Where does it say that a Feint can be a Move action rather than an Attack?
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Old 09-07-2017, 01:59 PM   #35
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Wait. Where does it say that a Feint can be a Move action rather than an Attack?
In That Other Game, with the Improved Feint feat. Sorry that wasn't clearer.
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Old 09-07-2017, 03:04 PM   #36
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In That Other Game, with the Improved Feint feat. Sorry that wasn't clearer.
Oh, no problem. It's been a while since I played 3.5, and I rarely played fighters to have memorized those rules anyway.
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Old 09-07-2017, 03:15 PM   #37
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Default Re: Spear worth it? fantasy campain

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Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
Might be a mechanical addressing of what is a gap in player knowledge. I was caught off guard at the sheer extent of *how* offensively shields are used, and how they're basically constantly used as setup attacks, feints, and grapples from a game-mechanical standpoint, when I started my real-world viking martial arts training.

Most folks ideas of shields come from "I get +2 to Armor Class," and "oh, a shield wall!" Both have their place, and both are various degrees of inaccurate.
I've seen it summarised as "if it's in your hand, it's a weapon"

(even if it's a weapon that's also really good at protecting you, and your mates)

Last edited by Tomsdad; 09-08-2017 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 09-07-2017, 03:38 PM   #38
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Default Re: Spear worth it? fantasy campain

If a bare hand can be a weapon, then it should be obvious even to combat dummies like me that literally anything held in a hand could be used offensively.
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Old 09-07-2017, 03:46 PM   #39
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Default Re: Spear worth it? fantasy campain

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If a bare hand can be a weapon, then it should be obvious even to combat dummies like me that literally anything held in a hand could be used offensively.
If that thing is less effective than the fist that holds it, it really can't be. A wet spaghetti noodle isn't a weapon.
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Old 09-07-2017, 03:54 PM   #40
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Hammer fist? But I'm not sure how I'd defend against a crazed maniac wielding a wet noodle in one hand.
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