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Old 08-19-2010, 07:00 PM   #21
Icelander
 
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Default Re: On Swords, Blades and the Song of Swords

I added a note about armour-piercing blades to the posts above, accounting for the estoc and stiletto and making it possible to make these in any size.

Here are the stats for a 12" stiletto (built by applying the Armour-Piercing Blade and Thrusting Sword options to a Large Knife) and an estoc with a 40" blade (Longsword with an Armour-Piercing Blade option applied).

Code:
TL		Weapon	Damage	Reach	Parry	Cost	Weight	ST	Notes

	KNIFE (DX-4, Force Sword-3, Main-Gauche-3, or Shortsword-3)
4	Long Stiletto	sw-3 cr	C, 1	-1	$160	1	6	[3]
	or	thr-2(2) imp	C	-1	–	–	6	[4,6]	

	MAIN-GAUCHE (DX-5, Jitte/Sai 4, Knife 4, Rapier 3, Saber 3, or Smallsword 3)	
4	Long Stiletto	sw-3 cr	C, 1	0F	$160	1	6	[3]
	or	thr-2(2) imp	C	0F	–	–	6	[4,6]
	
	TWO-HANDED SWORD (DX-5, Broadsword-4, or Force Sword-4)
3	Long Estoc	sw+1 cr	1	0	$2,800	4	9†
	or	thr+1(2) imp	1,2	0	–	–	9†	[6]
	
Notes:
[3] Gives a -1 to skill when used to swing.
[4] Gives +1 to skill with a thrust.
[6] Reduces the penalty for targeting chinks in armour by -2.
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Last edited by Icelander; 08-19-2010 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 08-19-2010, 09:08 PM   #22
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Default Re: On Swords, Blades and the Song of Swords

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Note that I mention the possibility in my house rules. As you'll note in MA, no style includes Weapon Adaptation (Broadsword with Rapier), even though there might be historical evidence for such for some of them.

I think that this is partly realism and partly game balance. Using a weapon in a fencing stance and with a fencing grip probably should not allow for full Broadsword damage. While I allow the aformentioned Weapon Adaptation Perk, I reduce damage for any weapon used in a fencing mode to the maximum base damage of sw cut and thr+1 imp (other bonuses add normally).

So a broadsword used with Weapon Adaptation would actually have the exact same stats as a Cut-and-Thrust Sword. The difference is simply that such a weapon (slightly shorter and broader than the Cut-and-Thrust Sword, by default) could also be used with Broadsword skill for a +1 to damage.
I can see a reason for reducing swung damage, but not thrust. The tip is the same size (probably wider for a Thrusting Broadsword than an Edged Rapier or Short Edged Rapier), and guards with the point in line allow powerful thrusts.

The difference in cutting between fencing in Fiore dei Liberi's day and fencing in Salvator Fabris' is more about weapons and guard positions than grip (hooking a finger over the crossguard or placing it along the blade is attested a long way back). The stretta (point towards the enemy's chest or head) guards of 17th century rapier require you to raise or lower your point before delivering a cut, and the start point of a cut tends to be more conservative than in 15th century martial arts because of this (the time you spend preparing the cut is a tempo for your opponent to strike you in). Also, 15th century styles accompany most blows with a pace, which makes it easy to put your hips into a strike.

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Spears are a good example of weapons where the listed Reach in GURPS is simply wrong. If a one-handed longsword, jian or Basic Set katana is Reach 1,2; then a one-handed Spear is certainly Reach 1,2*.

I'm hoping CCoI fixes this.
I agreed with you when you brought it up on the playtest list. I'll make the change in any future GURPS games I run.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander
It also depends on how it's used. In general, you need only a few inches of blade to make a thrusting attack, but you can't make a full-power swing at full-extension. So a weapon with Reach 1,2 for both the swing and the thrust needs to be longer than a weapon which gets Reach 1,2 only for the thrust and Reach 1 for the swing.
Agreed.
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Last edited by Polydamas; 08-19-2010 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 08-19-2010, 10:33 PM   #23
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Default Re: On Swords, Blades and the Song of Swords

I'd love to see all this in generic form, with names lime short long medium light heavy etc. Cultural weapons and material culture have limits when you remove them from their home setting.
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Old 08-20-2010, 07:20 AM   #24
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Default Re: On Swords, Blades and the Song of Swords

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I'd love to see all this in generic form, with names lime short long medium light heavy etc. Cultural weapons and material culture have limits when you remove them from their home setting.
GURPS often uses cultural names for weapons.

The things I explictly added were as generically named as I could, though.

A Cut-and-Thrust Sword could be a narrow-bladed broadsword, a normal-sized jian, a short schiavona, a sidesword, etc. There are no built-in cultural factors at all (with a very good reason, since I game in a fantasy world).

Similarly, the Heavy Broadsword could be Conan's Father's Sword from the movie, but it could also represent the British 1796 Heavy Cavalry Sword, which actually did weight 4 lbs. without scabbard. Or it could represent any sword balanced for both cutting and thrusting that is heavier than an arming sword without being long enough to quality for Reach 2.

The Odachi has an unfortunately cultural name, but really, it represents a scaled-up Katana, so that's understandable. It's a curved blade optimised for the cut. Of course, any culture that made swords similar to the Katana would use the same stats for a two-handed version heavy enough not to be balanced in one hand, in the same way that the Korean jang gum uses Katana stats in GURPS RAW.

The Falchions are named in GURPS already. I simply got rid of the Dao, which is simply a Chinese name for the larger varieties of Falchion. There is a note that any heavier cutting sword is a Falchion, regardless of culture. Some of these will have poor points, some will have have earnest attempts at them, if not as effective as a sword meant for both cutting and thrusting.

The weapon modifications are already culture-free in their names. Armour-Piercing Blade, Reinforced Blade, Slashing Sword and Thrusting Sword? How could they be less culturally specific? I note some real world examples in the text, if only to help visualise these blades.

The Reach categories were at least an attempt to be generic. Clinch, Close, Short, Average, Long and Very Long are generic enough. It was when it came to naming the intermediate steps that I failed to find appropriately generic names and resorted to adapting fencing terms. Tight Range, Wide Range and Long Measure are certainly not perfect and if anyone can give me more descriptive general terms, I'd be grateful.

Is there anything specific that you think is too culturally-based and needs a more generic write-up?
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:11 AM   #25
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Default Re: On Swords, Blades and the Song of Swords

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Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
I can see a reason for reducing swung damage, but not thrust. The tip is the same size (probably wider for a Thrusting Broadsword than an Edged Rapier or Short Edged Rapier), and guards with the point in line allow powerful thrusts.
Unfortunately, GURPS thr imp damage has little to do with the size of the tip or even the design of the blade. There is absolutely no logical reason for why a broadsword should do more thrusting damage than a shortsword.

But I'm fitting intermediate steps on the weapon tables into the currently existing rules and adding some fiddly details, not reworking the GURPS weapon stat model completely. So if I'm not going to fix the existing damage scores, I have to incorporate them in some semi-logical fashion.

With that said, I don't think that most of the weapons that would fit under Edged Rapier are any worse at thrusting than typical arming swords. To the contrary, I think they might be better adapted in many ways. But they still get a -1 thrusting damage relative to the broadsword.

That being said, my decision was motivated as much by the desire for every weapon skill to have its own role. Allowing Broadsword skill a higher damage than Rapier skill, even using the same weapons, is good for characterisation, even if there are few real world justifications for it. Just note that if you are going to base thrusting damage on anything from the real world, you'll have to rework all damages completely from scratch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
The difference in cutting between fencing in Fiore dei Liberi's day and fencing in Salvator Fabris' is more about weapons and guard positions than grip (hooking a finger over the crossguard or placing it along the blade is attested a long way back). The stretta (point towards the enemy's chest or head) guards of 17th century rapier require you to raise or lower your point before delivering a cut, and the start point of a cut tends to be more conservative than in 15th century martial arts because of this (the time you spend preparing the cut is a tempo for your opponent to strike you in). Also, 15th century styles accompany most blows with a pace, which makes it easy to put your hips into a strike.
I agree that the difference between fencing and not-fencing in GURPS are not always obvious. It's not purely a matter of stance, weapons or anything else, but rather a composite of all these things which translates into increased benefits for mobility, but greater sensitivity to encumbrance.

One thing I've introduced into my games is the Mobile Parry Perk, which effectively makes the weapon skill you select it for almost a fencing skill.

Mobile Parry†
Your lighting footwork complements your defensive work. When unencumbered and wielding a balanced melee weapon other than a Fencing weapon, you may add an additional +1 to the Retreat bonus to Parry.
You must specialise by melee weapon skill.
If you have the Perk Armour Familiarity for the chosen weapon skill, you may benefit from this Perk at Light Encumbrance.
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Old 08-22-2010, 01:31 PM   #26
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Default Re: On Swords, Blades and the Song of Swords

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
GURPS often uses cultural names for weapons. . . Is there anything specific that you think is too culturally-based and needs a more generic write-up?
Yes I know that Icelander but If I were going writeup a sword construction system Id do it with generic names and innovation by tech level. Mostly the low tech version of technology in gurps is not very generic. As a result you must Wade through a lot of history and culture to get to the game stats. A generic weapon building system would make an excellent product, IMO.
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:21 PM   #27
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Yes I know that Icelander but If I were going writeup a sword construction system Id do it with generic names and innovation by tech level.
Ah, I see what you mean. Yes, you're quite right. I suppose I hadn't thought of it because I've already grown accustomed to thinking of GURPS weapons in terms of stats and ignore their names. A weapon with the stats of a Jian may be a schiavona or rapier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by safisher View Post
Mostly the low tech version of technology in gurps is not very generic. As a result you must Wade through a lot of history and culture to get to the game stats. A generic weapon building system would make an excellent product, IMO.
I would, yes. And not all that hard to arrange, I should think. The rules are mostly all there, supporting it, simply hidden behind culturally-specific terms.

But I'm too lazy to tease them out when that won't help my game. ;)
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Old 08-22-2010, 04:43 PM   #28
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Default Re: On Swords, Blades and the Song of Swords

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No thoughts about the stats or rules? Nothing that seems off to you?
I wrote this days ago, and I only took a quick look to the posts, enough to see they are interesting. I want to read this with more attention after the release of Low-tech Comp. II, "Weapons and Warriors".

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No, no, no. That would be actual work and for what benefit?

I do these because I need for them for my own campaign and I post them on the forums in the hopes of getting free playtesting, kibbitzing and overviews from the hivemind.
Sure. I understand. It was only a suggestion.

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Colour me puzzled. Why is a cat like a Cabaret Chick on Ice?
Nothing but a trivial joke: I asked "Cabaret Chick" to Google Images and that was the most immediate answer.

I understand I'm not being useful to your playtesting needs. But please go on.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:11 PM   #29
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I wrote this days ago, and I only took a quick look to the posts, enough to see they are interesting. I want to read this with more attention after the release of Low-tech Comp. II, "Weapons and Warriors".
While these rules may occasionally refer to that fabled tome and even rely on concepts leaked by authors, it is useful both with and without Cabaret Chicks on Ice. In most cases, this is a deeper layer of details than official GURPS books will go.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:32 PM   #30
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Default Re: On Swords, Blades and the Song of Swords

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Note that I mention the possibility in my house rules. As you'll note in MA, no style includes Weapon Adaptation (Broadsword with Rapier), even though there might be historical evidence for such for some of them.
Actually, Dragon Man Kung Fu does have the Perk in question. Shortsword to Smallsword too.

If you desire we can consider an addition such as "serious historical" placed between "no" and "style" to have been made.
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