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Old 05-19-2021, 10:06 AM   #2
Doctor of GURPS Ballistics
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Burnsville, MN
Default Re: Hit Location Penalty to Grapple Weapon Hand or Arm

Originally Posted by Captain Joy View Post
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.
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.
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