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Old 11-07-2017, 01:29 AM   #11
Tomsdad
 
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Default Re: Attack is not opposed?

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Originally Posted by Canuck Lad View Post
Wouldn't that be inherent in their attack without a penalty?

ie: It's harder to defend against the expert swordsmith because his attack is so clever and well placed, and because he understands the motion of the blade so well. What you describe I don't consider the same thing.
GURPS allows a highly skilled fighter to leverage their high skill in different ways here.

Specifically to your point above GURPS does this by allowing a highly skilled fighter choose to penalise their own attack in order to penalise their target's defence.

The nature of the 3d6 probability curve means that a highly skilled fighter (e.g. skill 22) has a lot of scope to do this without meaningfully reducing their chance of hitting in the first place.

For example at skill 22 they have a 98% chance of successfully hitting their target, so pretty likely! However as you say they then rely on the target not successfully defending.

But they could make that skill 22 attack into a -8 "deceptive*" attack taking a -8 penalty (dropping their target number from 22 to 14). But 14 or less on 3d6 is still a 91% chance of succeeding, so still pretty damn likely. But now their target's defence is penalised by -4 which given the way defence works is likely a significant reduction.



Now you might ask why bother with working that out? Why not just have high skill attacks in the system automatically give penalties to defend against as that's the net result of all that?

Well because that high skill attacker might want or need to leverage that high skill in a different way.

For instance a successful attack is nominally an attack that lands on the torso. Well maybe the target has thick armour on their torso rendering your highly skilled attack ineffective. But instead you could take a penalty to stab your opponent in their unarmoured face (-5), skull (-7) or eye (-9), or a chink in their torso armour (-8). An attack to the face, skull and eye all have extra positive effects for winning a fight as well.

Or maybe they want to get two attacks in at -6 to each attack, ...or maybe they want to do something else. There is a lot of different things they could do here in the system if you wanted!


Maybe mix them together, a skill 22 fighter can stack a -4 deceptive attack to their opponent's face -5, and still have a high probability of success even with a combined -9 in penalties.

Basically that high skill allows the attacker to absorb a bunch of penalties and still hit. It's those penalties that give the high skill attacker lots of options to do stuff that will help them win faster than just trading basic attacks. A lower skilled fighter can't do so and maintain their ability to successfully hit as well.

But ultimately what it gives the highly skilled here is options and the freedom to leverage their high skill in different ways to fit different situations. That is a huge advantage over the less skilled. High skill also translates into a better defence, and there are ways to leverage that as well!



One very important point though, all these options are optional! If all or any of these options don't fit your game, you don't include them!
It's worth saying that even if you removed all these options from the game and only allowed basic attack off skill and basic defence, a highly skilled fighter will still likely beat a less skilled one. It just might take a bit longer.




*which in this context covers a whole range of things that = an attack that is harder to defend against. Weather it's actually a tricky hard to defend against attack, a blindingly fast one, one that used their skill and knowledge to take advantage of a gap left open by the other fighter's lesser skill, etc, etc.

Last edited by Tomsdad; 11-07-2017 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 11-07-2017, 02:27 AM   #12
Tomsdad
 
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Default Re: Attack is not opposed?

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Originally Posted by Canuck Lad View Post
...

Ideally I'd like a game system where the PCs make all the rolls. For example for the enemy I could assume some reasonable default, and not roll the enemy's attack. Instead the PC would roll his defence skill against the static attacker's roll. For the sake of helping combat resolution to be quicker and thus combat more exciting. Has GURPS anything like that?
As Sir Pudding said you could just assume all NPC's roll a 10 or 11 on their attacks and defences leaving just the PCs to roll. Your results will be somewhat predictable and binary. But it will be quick so if you like the sound of it go for it.

Another option is have attacks and defences be a "quick contest"* based on effective skill levels where a successful attack would need more successes than the defence to land. This will mean the highly skilled will get past and hit through the less skilled defence

You could combine the two. Here a quick contest and assumed results on one side combine into being just a skill test with a required margin of success for the side you want to roll. So say an opponent is defending with a skill of 11 and your assuming they always roll a 10 giving them 2 successes, meaning your PC's will need to land an attack with 3 or more successes to hit. Fights between those close in skill may well drag though so you may want to keep the current defence stat calculation (i.e skill or stat/2+3).

With the "assume a roll of 10" idea you can stack the decks to help the game go the way you want. Maybe assume all NPCs roll 11 or cannon fodder opponents roll 12 for instance and your PC's will find it easier to get past their defences or defend against them.

Now these options will give different results and a different feel to combat than the rules currently do, but that's fine if they give you what you want!



*in GURPS a quick contest is both sides making a skill test (subject to mods) and comparing the number of successes. The number of successes on a test also known as "margin of success" (these are pretty widely used systems in RPGs).

Last edited by Tomsdad; 11-07-2017 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 11-07-2017, 10:03 AM   #13
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Default Re: Attack is not opposed?

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Originally Posted by Canuck Lad View Post
I was reading about GURPS online. I've never played before, but I've experience in D&D, Vampire the Masquerade, Star Wars by West End Games, etc. I see that if an attack roll is made, and succeeds, the defender rolls his (for example) parry skill independent of the attackers roll. Is this realistic?

If I was sword fighting, I suspect it would be much harder to defend against an expert swordsman than it would against someone of average skill.
To phrase things a little differently, it's harder to defend against a more advanced attack routine successfully executed regardless of the skill of the individual who launched it. Skilled individuals are more likely to successfully execute an advanced attack routine, but they still have the choice of using a basic routine.

Unskilled fighters pretty much have the choice of "poke at the guy" or "you're gunna miss" where skilled fighters can balance options for mitigating defenses, aiming for unprotected areas, and scoring more damage while pushing their skills to the limit. To me, this is one of GURPS greatest strengths when compared particularly to D&D. Playing a fighter in combat is interesting rather than round after round of "swing, hit, damage, swing, miss, swing, hit damage, swing, hit, damage....."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck Lad View Post
Ideally I'd like a game system where the PCs make all the rolls. For example for the enemy I could assume some reasonable default, and not roll the enemy's attack. Instead the PC would roll his defence skill against the static attacker's roll. For the sake of helping combat resolution to be quicker and thus combat more exciting. Has GURPS anything like that?
GURPS really tends toward simulation over game in philosophy and thus treats NPC and PC the same, so what they roll you roll. If you find players getting bored while you roll things, I've seen two ways around this without major compromise:

1) Roll Sheets: I have had excel roll up full sheets of d6 and 3d6 prior to a game that I knew was going to be roll-heavy. every time I needed a roll, I just crossed one (or more) off the sheet. It was surprisingly smooth and took very little time.

2) Designated opponent: the player to your right rolls for your enemies. They handle the dice and any tactical decisions that the GM wants to offload onto the players. This requires some trust and makes the PCs do the extra rolling. It doesn't really speed anything up, but keeps the players more engaged and gives them something to do when it's not "their turn"

Neither one of these is really what you were looking for, but they may be a means to your end nonetheless.
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Old 11-07-2017, 01:08 PM   #14
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Default Re: Attack is not opposed?

Trying to remember all the combat options / maneuvers / techniques which exist to give penalties to a defender... off the top of my head.

1) deceptive attack (can only be done with skill 12 or greater, since it cannot reduce you below 10)

2) counterattack (requires you successfully defend against the person you are attacking first, inferior block/dodge penalties, parry penalty is pretty competetive, and it can be bought up)

3) feint, can be bought up as a technique, but requires a time investment, and is a gamble since you must win a contest, better penalties against foes with less combat skill. Ruses are INT versions. Beats are ST versions which have the downside of requiring previous contact but with the upside of benefitting others attacking the foe without needing the Teamwork perk

4) spinning attack, can also be bought up as a technique, doesn't require a time investment, but I think it requires at least a Dedicated Attack so it's not good for defensive fighters

5) riposte, doesn't require extra time, requires a successful defense like a counterattack, in this case must be a parry. Difference is that you take a defense penalty to give your opponent defense penalties. Benefit is unlike counterattack it will not reduce the accuracy of your first attack, but does require very good defenses to use.

6) choosing to fight on slippery floors or in dark rooms, you can manage the penalties better than your foes.
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Old 11-07-2017, 01:18 PM   #15
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Attack is not opposed?

Note that Counterattack is generally only competitive with Deceptive Attack if you bought it up.

You forgot:
  • Dual Weapon Attack has a built-in defense penalty.
  • Multiple attacks from any source, be it: AoA:Double, Rapid Strike, Extra Attack, Altered Time Rate, or just superior numbers, can overwhelm Parry and Block (but not Dodge).
  • Attacking from the sides or rear can inflict penalties or even make defenses unavailable.
  • Invisibility (or if you are able to blind your opponent).
  • Beats and Ruses are alternatives to Feint.
  • Set-up Attacks (from "Delayed Gratification").
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Old 11-07-2017, 01:35 PM   #16
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Attack is not opposed?

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Originally Posted by khorboth View Post
To phrase things a little differently, it's harder to defend against a more advanced attack routine successfully executed regardless of the skill of the individual who launched it. Skilled individuals are more likely to successfully execute an advanced attack routine, but they still have the choice of using a basic routine.
The problem is that it's possible to shift from a basic routine to something more sophisticated within the timeframe of a single attack -- you launch a basic attack, your opponent parries, you adjust your attack to avoid the parry.
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Old 11-07-2017, 02:33 PM   #17
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Default Re: Attack is not opposed?

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Originally Posted by Canuck Lad View Post
Ideally I'd like a game system where the PCs make all the rolls. ...
One idea for this that is out there is that you could just let your players roll the NPC's defense rolls. If you use two color-coded or differently sized dice sets, players could roll both sets at once to resolve "aim the attack" and "overcome the defense". That way, it is more of a player's character doing something than an NPC doing it. None of the mechanics change, but the perspective does. Add a third set of dice and they can roll damage at the same time.
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Old 11-07-2017, 03:11 PM   #18
Hellboy
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Default Re: Attack is not opposed?

One thing I like about Counterattack is you don't have the skill 10 minimum so you could do it with a Move+Attack (ie someone whips you from 4 yards, you dodge the whip and then run and slam him) or make low-odds targeted attacks.
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Old 11-07-2017, 05:04 PM   #19
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Attack is not opposed?

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One thing I like about Counterattack is you don't have the skill 10 minimum so you could do it with a Move+Attack (ie someone whips you from 4 yards, you dodge the whip and then run and slam him) or make low-odds targeted attacks.
I think it is probably debatable whether Counterattack works with Move and Attack at all, but even if it does, there are few situations where it would even be possible, and less where it is a good idea. Note that whips already have -2U parry.
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Old 11-07-2017, 10:15 PM   #20
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Default Re: Attack is not opposed?

Parry a whip attack, not using a whip to parry.

Man... I know that would be subject to the unarmed parrying rules but imagining the degree of control needed to choose to attack the parrying arm instead of the intended target on a failure... difficult to imagine that kind of last-minute adjustment/freedom for a weapon like that.

Is that also allowed if an unarmed parry fails to parry a thrown weapon? If not, would be tempting to treat whips like that.

Far as I can tell, Counterattack would also work if you just parried a thrown weapon too, so that's one example where Move+Counterattack seems nice. It says 'blocked or parried' so I think blocking an arrow with a shield and then Shield-Rushing an archer would also potentially be done as a Counterattack.

Since it works against dodges it might even be possible against someone who shot at you?
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