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-   -   Hit Location Penalty to Grapple Weapon Hand or Arm (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=173360)

Captain Joy 05-19-2021 09:39 AM

Hit Location Penalty to Grapple Weapon Hand or Arm
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by B370
Grabbing
You can grab something a foe is holding, like a weapon. To do so, you must have an empty hand (but some weapons, such as whips, can also grab). Make an attack using DX or a grappling skill, with the usual penalty to hit the hand (-4).

Quote:

Originally Posted by B370
Grappling
To grab another body part, apply half the penalty given under Hit Location (p. 398) to your roll…

Question: given a foe with a sword in his hand, what is the penalty to grab that hand? that arm?

I’d always been invoking the halved hit location penalties for grappling, so -2 for the hand and -1 for the arm regardless of what if anything is held in the foe’s hand. But person’s more knowledgeable than I (Douglas Cole) have convinced me that halving the grappling hit location penalties assumes you’re not having to deal with avoiding a dangerous weapon connected to the hit location in question.

As this question comes up fairly often, I thought I’d solicit the wisdom of the GURPS forums.

DouglasCole 05-19-2021 10:06 AM

Re: Hit Location Penalty to Grapple Weapon Hand or Arm
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain Joy (Post 2380568)
Question: given a foe with a sword in his hand, what is the penalty to grab that hand? that arm?

Iíd always been invoking the halved hit location penalties for grappling, so -2 for the hand and -1 for the arm regardless of what if anything is held in the foeís hand. But personís more knowledgeable than I (Douglas Cole) have convinced me that halving the grappling hit location penalties assumes youíre not having to deal with avoiding a dangerous weapon connected to the hit location in question.

As this question comes up fairly often, I thought Iíd solicit the wisdom of the GURPS forums.

I'll note that the "grab" is an odd edge/corner case of a "grapple," and while the explanation "don't grab the pointy thing instead of the hand!" is sensible, it would be a tetch more elegant to have the general case be "location penalties are halved," but on the DEFENSIVE you have a bonus to parry and hit whatever's trying to grapple you.

Even so, the actual rule is pretty clear: trying to snag the hand with something in it is a grab; grapples are assumed to target the torso, but with hit location penalties halved if you choose otherwise.

Captain Joy 05-19-2021 03:05 PM

Re: Hit Location Penalty to Grapple Weapon Hand or Arm
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DouglasCole (Post 2380570)
Even so, the actual rule is pretty clear: trying to snag the hand with something in it is a grab; grapples are assumed to target the torso, but with hit location penalties halved if you choose otherwise.

The rule was clear to me as well: trying to grab something in a hand is done at a -4 penalty; trying to grab a body part is done at half the hit location penalty (round up).

(As Douglas Cole mentioned on Discord) looking at it like grabbing for the hand or arm that is welding a weapon could be seen as taking both the hit location + the (-4) weapon penalty, and then halving that sum. This would get you back to the -4/-2 for grabbing the weapon holding hand/arm often enough that simply going with un-halved hit location penalties in these situations is an easy gamable rules simplification.

kenclary 05-19-2021 03:42 PM

Re: Hit Location Penalty to Grapple Weapon Hand or Arm
 
RAW notwithstanding, I usually think of the reduced grapple penalty as being due to the kinesthetic sense of grabbing something with your hands (as opposed to aiming a blow, empty-handed or otherwise). So I'd probably apply it to grabbing at a weapon, too.

Things get hairy when you try to think of empty-hand parries against weapons, empty-hand parries against punches/kicks/grapples, empty-hand parries-that-are-actually-against-the-arm-wielding-a-weapon, attempts to grab the incoming weapon, attempts to grab the incoming arm, etc. So YMMV trying to derive special cases by deconstructing simple rules.

Plane 05-19-2021 06:35 PM

Re: Hit Location Penalty to Grapple Weapon Hand or Arm
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain Joy (Post 2380568)
person’s more knowledgeable than I (Douglas Cole) have convinced me that halving the grappling hit location penalties assumes you’re not having to deal with avoiding a dangerous weapon connected to the hit location in question.

My approach in the spirit of Weapons are Characters Too! (ie 'can be wielded' in Thamatology) is that if someone is wielding a weapon, that's effectively 2 characters already involved in a "close combat" in a sense, of a 3rd party comes along and tries to grapple whichever hex they're sharing.

If we applied B392 that'd be -2 to hit and a random chance to hit someone else on a miss/dodge. Seem reasonable or excessive?

It'd sure make for a lot of extra interesting outcomes.

Plane 05-19-2021 06:58 PM

Re: Hit Location Penalty to Grapple Weapon Hand or Arm
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DouglasCole (Post 2380570)
I'll note that the "grab" is an odd edge/corner case of a "grapple," and while the explanation "don't grab the pointy thing instead of the hand!" is sensible, it would be a tetch more elegant to have the general case be "location penalties are halved," but on the DEFENSIVE you have a bonus to parry and hit whatever's trying to grapple you.

Even so, the actual rule is pretty clear: trying to snag the hand with something in it is a grab; grapples are assumed to target the torso, but with hit location penalties halved if you choose otherwise.

The "-4 to hit the hand, -2 to grapple the hand, -4 to grab the hand" thing might make a bit more sense if we perhaps conceived a "grab hand" as "grabbing the fingers to wrench them off a weapon" and the -4 actually being half of a larger penalty to grapple fingers?

To help make sense of why B370's "with the usual penalty" of -4 not being halved, if it was actually half of a doubled thing.

MA137 gives a -7 (exta -3) to strike at the joints of the hand, so maybe when you try to wrench a weapon away by targeting the hand holding the weapon, it's like grappling the hand's joints?

Rounding to a higher penalty is supported on MA68 where it lists -3 (from -2.5 being half of -5) to grapple the face or neck, so -3.5 should become -4.

MA68 we also see reiterated "Grabs for weapons are at -4."

Given how weapons come in difference sizes it seems strange though, it's presumably easier to find somewhere to grab ahold of a bo staff than of a dagger.

TG13 approaches this with "Grabbing the Foe" vs "Grabbing the Obect"

The first (GTF) mentions "To move past a weapon and grab the wielder, you may step into close combat and attack the userís hand at -4 (see Grabbing, p. B370), or his arm at -2." but like B370 doesn't explicitly remind us (not exclude) the usual "halve the penalty" guide.

"Use the penalties given in Striking at Weapons (p. B400) instead of the generic -4 to hit the hand on p. B370" pretty well addresses the concern I had.

The only thing it doesn't really cover is how maybe if a weapon is a character (being grabbed) being behind the partial cover of your wielder might perhaps make it harder to target.

Like for example if it was held in a reverse grip, or you were on the opposite side of the hand wielding the weapon and trying to reach around the wielder to grab their weapon.

I could see using no penalties if the weapon is "offered" (ie you're being attacked by it) but perhaps penalties if it's being held back defensively.


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