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Old 12-02-2020, 09:46 AM   #10
Doctor of GURPS Ballistics
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Burnsville, MN
Default Re: Arm Lock with and without Technical Grappling rules

My reply got too long, so it's broken into two pieces...which naturally appear on two pages.

Originally Posted by EskrimadorNC View Post
Outside of grapple-only sparring or sports matches, it just doesn't seem practical to grapple in a manner where your opponent gets essentially free shots at you unless you give up some or all of the grapple to defend.
As a broad statement, I'd of course agree. The point is to leverage your grapple and position to deny free shots. This means taking certain steps in game terms to mimic what you want to see happen.

In addition, we generally work the kinds of grabs/locks where we can use the grapple itself to short-circuit potential strikes, essentially performing a hands-free parry. We even work to weight foe in such a manner as to disrupt his ability to throw a kick or knee strike.
That is a "weight advantage" from TG. Hands-free parries are part of both TG and MA, and an important part of leveraging the CP from an arm lock. So is exploiting relative position - this is given a drive-by mention on p. 18.

From a Tabletop gaming perspective, you run into the same issue. While I agree that going from a Grab to a Lock to a Throw from a Lock normally takes more than 1 second IRL, the nature of GURPS combat, with it's turn-based "you go -> I go -> you go -> I go" mechanics means your player is at significant risk with any set of maneuvers that takes more than 1 turn.

At least with Basic/Martial Arts, you can get the arm lock on instantly on your turn after a Judo/Wrestling Parry, and it's disruptive enough to make it easier to weather 1 turn of attempted attacks/counters from your foe before you do damage or execute a throw. With TG, it's gets really risky. If you grab the arm, there likely isn't enough referred control to provide meaningful penalties to your foe when he decides to punch you with his other hand.
This is probably realistic unless you slide around to the guy's side or rear arc. If a fighter just stands there in the front hexes, he's going to get kicked or punched.

But if you're doing a grabbing parry, you get two chances back-to-back. You parry and secure a few control points - usually not many. But then it's your turn, and you get the opportunity to attack into an already-established grapple with a Lock. That lock:

* Is usually bought up, since of course you buy up Arm Lock. If you buy it up to Skill+4, you'll also benefit from an extra point of Trained ST regardless of your chosen skill, since all skills get +1 to Trained ST at DX+4 (Wrestling gets +3!), and if you were already high in skill, you get another +1 for each 3 points of relative skill.

* You suffer no hit location penalties, because you've already grappled that location. So one of the biggest sinks of skill (overcoming location penalties, even though they're usually halved for grapples), is not operating against you.

* You are attacking, and so can and should leverage change position to slide into the side arc (rear if you can). If this is successful, they defend against your lock at a further -2. Attacking into your side arc (for the bad guy) is at -5 AND skill is capped at 9: it's considered a Wild Swing. So you're at -5 to DX to punch, -7 to DX to kick, and both skills are capped at 9. You can also spend CP to reduce his skill roll even further, or boost your own defenses.

* Attack to gain extra CP, which impact the guy's actions next turn.

* If you're much more skilled than the other guy, you should leverage the Riposte option (MA pp. 124-125) to make it even harder for your foe to resist your follow-on arm lock on your turn.

Overall, if the sequence for a prospective joint lock is "I grabbing parry, stay in front of my foe, arm lock, still stay in front of my foe, wait for his attack, arm lock again STILL staying in front of my foe, etc." then the fighter is not exploiting all of their options.

The key one to not getting biffed by the other guy is achieving the side arc. This is - perhaps usefully - subsumed into many things in non-TG GURPS, but it's available, and really important to avoid the kind of counter attack you're describing. Making your foe's attacks at -5/Wild Swing is a big deal.
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