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Old 11-09-2017, 11:28 PM   #1
elaxter
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default Question: Off-Hand Striking

So I'm looking over the Basic Set and I'm wondering:

Do punches receive the -4 for using the off-hand? Reading the descriptions for Brawling, Boxing, and Karate seem to imply that using Karate has no penalty. However, the description for Off-Hand Weapon Training only lists Melee Weapon skills as a valid specialization.

So which is it? -4 or no?
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Old 11-09-2017, 11:41 PM   #2
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Question: Off-Hand Striking

By default no, there is an optional rule in GURPS Martial Arts, however.
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Old 11-12-2017, 04:05 AM   #3
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Default Re: Question: Off-Hand Striking

I'm just gonna leave this here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Just to be clear: There is no "off" hand in unarmed combat in GURPS. The Basic Set failed to make this as clear as it could have, hinting at it in a few skill descriptions but not generalizing it. Martial Arts makes it far clearer. Claiming that there is an "off" hand for the purposes of unarmed combat is fine as a house rule, but definitely not what the entire body of rules published to date supports.
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Old 11-12-2017, 07:52 AM   #4
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Question: Off-Hand Striking

I agree. Unarmed combat does not suffer from off-hand penalties because there is no fine manipulation with unarmed combat. GURPS also does not give a -4 to Brawling for animals who have No Fine Manipulators, but No Fine Manipulators gives a -4 to fine manipulation.
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Old 11-12-2017, 04:58 PM   #5
Flyndaran
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Default Re: Question: Off-Hand Striking

There is in real life, but Gurps uses a much more granular definition, obviously.
So, for the most part, learning Gurps' Karate teaches all such striking skills and techniques including training off side use.
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Old 11-13-2017, 12:31 AM   #6
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Default Re: Question: Off-Hand Striking

It's been years since I trained in karate, and the training was only some months - But I can still punch about as proficiently with my left hand as my right. If there is a skill penalty, I can't detect it in casual testing. All of my punches, left or right, seem to go pretty much where I aim them.

The -2 ST penalty, though, seems about right.

Using a plastic Halloween sword hanging around, my left hand does seem not as nimble as my right.

Overall, it does seem reasonable - Although I'm very far from an expert.
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Old 11-13-2017, 03:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: Question: Off-Hand Striking

I'm exceptionally left handed, and I don't need to study anything to know that I will be noticeably worse with my right. I would also strike more weakly with righty even though under basic "dumb" lifting, it has the same strength.

I'm sure many people are slightly ambidextrous just only with certain tasks.
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Old 11-13-2017, 06:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: Question: Off-Hand Striking

But most unarmed martial arts styles teach you to use each side of your body equally. If you go to any reputable dojo, regardless of the style, they will train your off side until it equals your dominant side because they are not training fine manipulation. A punch or kick is much different than a weapon strike.
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Old 11-13-2017, 11:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: Question: Off-Hand Striking

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
But most unarmed martial arts styles teach you to use each side of your body equally. If you go to any reputable dojo, regardless of the style, they will train your off side until it equals your dominant side because they are not training fine manipulation. A punch or kick is much different than a weapon strike.
That takes time that could've been spent learning other techniques. And not everyone can learn to become ambidextrous in any single skill.
You seem to be naturally ambidextrous. That's great, but not the norm.
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Old 11-14-2017, 03:20 AM   #10
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Default Re: Question: Off-Hand Striking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
That takes time that could've been spent learning other techniques. And not everyone can learn to become ambidextrous in any single skill.
You seem to be naturally ambidextrous. That's great, but not the norm.
It's not really a question of true ambidexterity.

I've done some boxing, and yeah you are taught to punch, block and deflect with both arms, roll both shoulders, step and slide with both feet etc, etc*. The key ethos being IMO coordination between all parts, i.e not just both hands, but your feet, your posture and so on. But while throwing a good punch is a skill (and involves more than just the hand or arm) it's not one of fine manipulation like writing with you off hand.

IME this isn't even seen as a separate thing to isolate and train in. But an inherent thing that is always in effect, so that just training to box in general will quickly begin to compensate for deficiency in your off hand (when it comes to boxing). So in GURPS terms while I generally agree with the harsh realism box on MApg124, I definitely agree that the off hand training Perk is pretty common once you've trained for a bit.

In reality there is a range of left/right dominance, but there is also a range in difficulty when it comes to a range of actions with your off hand/foot/eye. Both seem to be below the threshold of GURPS to distinguish, but you could make certain skill specific off hand training perks cost more than others* if you wanted, and maybe a 1pt quirk "extreme left/right handedness = OHT perks cost double".


Now using two weapons is something I have far less direct experience with, but from what I gather there's a similar ethos to what I described in boxing in stuff like Escrima.

If I had to make a distinction I would say Escrima like boxing relies on both hands to attack and defend equally, and it's not that one action is favoured by one hand and the other by the other, but I really don't have enough experience with two weapon martial arts to really make that point with any authority.
However it does seem to match the various thing Douglas Cole's been saying about shield fighting recently and how shields are constantly moving between attack and defence, and FWIW what little experience of that I have, seems to match his as well.



*for instance I might be tempted to make off hand training for single handed pistol shooting (ie when not using weaver/harris braced stances) cost a little bit more than OHT baton/short sword.

Last edited by Tomsdad; 11-14-2017 at 09:00 AM.
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