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Old 09-08-2011, 06:49 PM   #11
vierasmarius
 
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Default Re: Rejiggering Muscle-Powered Weapon Damage

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Originally Posted by ErhnamDJ View Post
What are your thoughts on fine/very fine weapons? That's the biggest problem I've had in trying to rework all of this to match the armor values. Adding +2 damage (or even +1) is unrealistic. What I've been considering doing is having the 'fine' quality weapons be the baseline that I use, and then having regular 'good' quality weapons being kind of crap in comparison, something the players would want to upgrade as quickly as possible. So, a 'good' quality sword could have a thick blade, and we wouldn't start to see the stats the armor is measured against until we get to 'fine' quality weapons (with very fine weapons not adding an extra point of damage, but doing something else--I think two additional points of damage is too much).
There was a suggestion when this topic was brought up before, dealing with how the 'fine' damage-bonus interacts with armor DR and the Edge Protection rules. Basically, it would make the bonus apply to penetrating the armor, and to the cutting damage if it got through, but not to the crushing damage if the attack failed to actually penetrate. Not sure where that thread is right now...

Quote:
The only problem I have here is that it becomes too difficult to hurt someone by punching them in the skull. How do you think one could handle punches? Do you think skull DR might need to be lowered? Should we factor in All-Out Attack (Strong)? Are those common in reality, particularly against foes in armor?
My take on skull DR is that it should be replaced by a "damage threshold" - for 1 or 2 points of damage it's treated as the face, in terms of wound modifiers and stun chance (though obviously not for blinding the eyes). If damage exceeds that, it's treated as a normal skull hit (DR 2, x4 modifier, etc). That way skull punches actually hurt, but the effects of heavier weapons are not unduly amplified.

The problem really boils down to GURPS being quite granular, especially in its treatment of melee weapons. Hmm... perhaps replace all damage rolls with 3d6 x (some constant based on ST + Weapon modifier), rounding damage to the nearest 0.1 HP. For example, if there's a sword attack that should deal 1d+2 (5.5) damage, it would instead inflict 3d6*0.5, which averages (approximately) the same. I suspect that people wouldn't like all the decimals... they should grow a pair of (mathematician) balls, IMO. </joke>
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:03 PM   #12
Crakkerjakk
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Default Re: Rejiggering Muscle-Powered Weapon Damage

My thought on the issue is that everything gets wonky when you allow attributes much over 15, IME. I think if you reworked the calculations for BL so they were less finely granulated and put the vast majority of humans at 15 or under on all four attributes you'd be pretty good.

So anyways, my solution is make ST 20 as far outside realistic human norms as IQ 20, refigure lifting and carrying capacity to line up with a general max of roughly 15 for people who aren't Andre the Giant.

EDIT: Oh, combined with a rule that gives all melee weapons skills a bonus to damage a la Karate/Boxing at higher levels, and further nerfing of standard weapon damage. So a skilled strong warrior can do some damage, but a peasant with a spear is unlikely to do much unless he gets lucky on the hit location/critical table against anyone reasonably prepared.
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Last edited by Crakkerjakk; 09-08-2011 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:10 PM   #13
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Default Re: Rejiggering Muscle-Powered Weapon Damage

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Originally Posted by Novembermike View Post
Other than that, I feel like weapons should have a multiplier rather than a flat bonus.
There's something to be said for a ST (or equivalent skill) roll with the damage based on your margin of success. Something like:
Code:
MoS 0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Dam 1  1  1  1  1  1  2  2  2  2  3  3  4  4  5  5  6  7  8  9
MoS 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 +20
Dam 10 11 12 14 16 18 20 22 25 28 31 35 40 45 50 56 63 70 80 90 x10
This lets you have granularity at the low end that's greater than you get out of 1d+X, and lets you comfortably scale your setting by adding and subtracting numbers. Like any logarithmic system it has potential issues of its own, but I'm not sure they're any worse than the existing rules.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:06 PM   #14
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Default Re: Rejiggering Muscle-Powered Weapon Damage

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
There's something to be said for a ST (or equivalent skill) roll with the damage based on your margin of success. Something like:
Code:
MoS 0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Dam 1  1  1  1  1  1  2  2  2  2  3  3  4  4  5  5  6  7  8  9
MoS 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 +20
Dam 10 11 12 14 16 18 20 22 25 28 31 35 40 45 50 56 63 70 80 90 x10
This lets you have granularity at the low end that's greater than you get out of 1d+X, and lets you comfortably scale your setting by adding and subtracting numbers. Like any logarithmic system it has potential issues of its own, but I'm not sure they're any worse than the existing rules.
The only problem is that the halfling with ST5 and Knife-25 will destroy a rock giant easily, while the ogre with ST20 and skill10 will barely scratch him.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:08 PM   #15
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Default Re: Rejiggering Muscle-Powered Weapon Damage

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Originally Posted by gilbertocarlos View Post
The only problem is that the halfling with ST5 and Knife-25 will destroy a rock giant easily, while the ogre with ST20 and skill10 will barely scratch him.
Keep it a ST roll then. Location is skill (though maybe a slight bonus for sufficient skill), damage is ST and weapon.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:42 PM   #16
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Default Re: Rejiggering Muscle-Powered Weapon Damage

Quote:
Originally Posted by ErhnamDJ
What are your thoughts on fine/very fine weapons? That's the biggest problem I've had in trying to rework all of this to match the armor values. Adding +2 damage (or even +1) is unrealistic. What I've been considering doing is having the 'fine' quality weapons be the baseline that I use, and then having regular 'good' quality weapons being kind of crap in comparison, something the players would want to upgrade as quickly as possible. So, a 'good' quality sword could have a thick blade, and we wouldn't start to see the stats the armor is measured against until we get to 'fine' quality weapons (with very fine weapons not adding an extra point of damage, but doing something else--I think two additional points of damage is too much).
That's an excellent point, and another I hadn't considered. I'm not really enthusiastic about Fine/Very Fine, especially when it comes to things like Axes or Spears (which can be made Fine for not much money at all, relatively speaking).

Quote:
There was a suggestion when this topic was brought up before, dealing with how the 'fine' damage-bonus interacts with armor DR and the Edge Protection rules. Basically, it would make the bonus apply to penetrating the armor, and to the cutting damage if it got through, but not to the crushing damage if the attack failed to actually penetrate. Not sure where that thread is right now...
I remember this thread, and that suggestion. I suppose that's an option I'll have to consider separately from the overall 70% Damage Adjustment, though. Improving the "penetrability" of a cutting weapon sounds nice... but doesn't take into account the damage bonus that impaling weapons—which aren't affected by Edge Protection—get, as well. Again, though, I think that's a separate (but valid) issue.

Quote:
The only problem I have here is that it becomes too difficult to hurt someone by punching them in the skull. How do you think one could handle punches? Do you think skull DR might need to be lowered? Should we factor in All-Out Attack (Strong)? Are those common in reality, particularly against foes in armor?
I don't think skull-punches are very common without All-Out attack, particularly against armored opponents. If you want to put somone down, you're probably better off going for their face (automatic KD&S roll) anyway. However, see below for further consideration of the impact on unarmed combat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crakkerjakk
My thought on the issue is that everything gets wonky when you allow attributes much over 15, IME.
Ah, but remember, Attributes of 15+ aren't what started all of this in the first place. It's the assertion (valid, I believe) that Fine Mail (DR 4/2*) is capable of "resisting" (taking that term as you will) "all but the strongest sword cuts and spear thrusts," and yet, by the weapon modifiers and ST-based damage values provided in Basic and Low-Tech, that is clearly not born out. If a ST 15 broadsword is capable of cutting through Fine Mail, that's doesn't fail the "text confirmation" test.


Ultimately, I'm not looking for all of the ways to adjust muscle-based damage. I'm just trying to get a sense for how this particular adjustment method will bear out the historical facts about the equipment available.

With that in mind, I think that, until I come up with a satisfactory solution, I'm comfortable (or at least, I can stomach) leaving Fine and Very Fine alone simply because their impact is reduced (from +1 and +2 to, effectively, +0.7 and +1.4). I agree that I would like a better way to deal with them (and if/when I rebuild Weapon Breakage/Damage rules, I think Fine/Very Fine will play a prominent role there), but that seems like an issue separate from the "bringing ST-based damage closer to realistic representation" issue.

I also don't think that unarmed damage is adversely impacted by this, principally because it's so low to begin with: A ST 10 punch with no skill bonus to damage normally is 1d-2 (1.5) cr — With the 70% adjustment, it is still 1d-2 (1.05, rounded up). The bonus for Brawling at DX+2 and Karate at DX+1 is largely lost at ST 10: 1d-1 (2.5) to 1d-2 (1.75, rounded down), while Karate at DX+2 goes from 1d (3.5) to 1d-1 (2.45). But the viability of unarmed combat is pretty much the last thing I'm interested in, since I think anyone fighting unarmed in an armed combat situation should have their arms parried off on principle. But, again, that pet peeve of mine is not the goal. =)

So, just to reiterate what I'm after:


(#1 Issue) I feel that muscle-based damage does not line up with Armor DR values in a manner that is believable or realistic. It has been generally agreed upon by people I trust to know these things that the problem is not Armor DR. Therefore, muscle-based damage is too high. Here is one idea of mine, grounded in a published optional rule, for bringing ST-based damage down to levels that allow armor to have the importance and performance that it reasonably should, especially for ST values in the normal human range.

(2) From a game standpoint, does that idea have any clear flaws or issues that need to be considered and, potentially, addressed (e.g. how it might affect and be affected by Fine Weapons, or its impact on unarmed damage).

(3) A more minor point: Is my arrival at this idea by transferring Douglas Cole's formulae for cinematic and realistic bow damage to other muscle-powered damage calculations totally barking up the wrong tree?

And to reiterate what I'm not fishing for in this thread:

(A) Rebuilding how ST and damage work (trust me, I've done more of this than I should have over the last week before happening across Mr. Cole's article).
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:10 PM   #17
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Default Re: Rejiggering Muscle-Powered Weapon Damage

I do agree that .7 * damage is a reasonable way of doing it, but the final solution will need to be based around changing the ST->Damage tables.
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:24 PM   #18
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Default Re: Rejiggering Muscle-Powered Weapon Damage

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Originally Posted by Landwalker View Post
Currently, that doesn't happen. Fine Mail, which Low-Tech itself describes as able to "resist all but the heaviest sword cuts and spear thrusts," is regularly punctured by a ST 10 schmuck with a basic spear—in fact, the 4.5 average base damage of a two-handed ST 10 spear thrust still beats the fine mail's DR. That's hardly resisting all but the heaviest spear thrusts.
That 4.5 is for a two handed spear thrust, the normal spear thrust is 3.5, that's reasonable damage wise.

Remember, the base system sets the proof at the average damage, so DR 4 is proof against single handed spear, and proof against "all but the heaviest spear thrusts".


If you want to normalize damage you can do it with a base amount modified by +/- MoS, something like MoS Dmg+B, with B = Avg Dmg.

Code:
MoS  0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 11 12  ...
Dmg -3 -2 -2 -1 -1  B  B +1 +1 +2  +2 +3 +3  ...
Which has the advantage of eliminating the damage roll.


Oh, and my general comment on this type of thread, just do away with the ST Swing Table and simply add +1 to the value in the Thrust Table for single handed swing, and +2 to value for two handed swing.
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:48 PM   #19
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Rejiggering Muscle-Powered Weapon Damage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Landwalker View Post
(3) A more minor point: Is my arrival at this idea by transferring Douglas Cole's formulae for cinematic and realistic bow damage to other muscle-powered damage calculations totally barking up the wrong tree?
Maybe a little, but there's something to what you say. Damage should be linear in ST, its mostly about where to set the base. ST 10 = 1d isnt too bad.

Then you need to figure the ST multiplier for swings, lever arm, weight, and balance of the weapon. No problem, eh?
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:20 AM   #20
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Default Re: Rejiggering Muscle-Powered Weapon Damage

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Originally Posted by gilbertocarlos View Post
The only problem is that the halfling with ST5 and Knife-25 will destroy a rock giant easily, while the ogre with ST20 and skill10 will barely scratch him.
'equivalent skill' should not be interpreted as weapon skill, it should be interpreted as being an esoteric skill along the lines of mighty blow -- i.e. a skill that is specifically intended to replace a ST roll.
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