Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-05-2015, 04:54 AM   #1
joppeknol
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Default On the uselessness of a karate course in GURPS

Something that has been bothering me for some time.

Let's say I'm a default GURPS character. I take a karate course for self defense. I practice twice a week for two hours. After a year I have roughly earned 1 cp in karate (200 hours).

I'm average, so my DX =10 and my karate skill is 8. My offensive capabilities haven't increased at all. Parrying while retreating is at 10 (4+3+3) instead of 9 (5+3+1). I parry weapons at 7 instead of 5. I still feel cheated after one year of intensive training.

In general, the problem is that a low karate skill is worse than the DX-based score for unarmed combat. Am I correct in this assessment? If so, are there any house rules for correcting this without changing the whole system?
joppeknol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2015, 05:25 AM   #2
Dalillama
 
Dalillama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Default Re: On the uselessness of a karate course in GURPS

200 hours of practice in a year is hardly 'intensive training '.
Dalillama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2015, 05:25 AM   #3
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: On the uselessness of a karate course in GURPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
In general, the problem is that a low karate skill is worse than the DX-based score for unarmed combat.
One solution is to ignore the DX-based untrained combat, and instead consider untrained characters to default to Brawling (at DX-4, as is typical of other Easy defaults). Why should the (unnamed) default combat skill have a special default, higher than other defaults?

If you like the "normal humans have some inherent coordination for moving body parts; that's what DX means" train of thought that seems to lead to the untrained defaults, then another attempt at an answer is to treat DX as a floor on trained unarmed combat skills. At least punching with Karate doesn't become worse than untrained punching. It may take some study before Karate starts to pull above the floor, but at least it's never worse.

Similarly, you could "slide" the skill cost chart up one place for unarmed combat skills and allow a 0-point skill value rather than the typical defaults at -4 to -6, so that 0 points gets you Brawling (Easy) at DX, and any training shows improvement over the default. Anyone with a modicum of familiarity with Karate (0 points) gets it at DX-2. Karate is Hard, so it's still two places behind, and will take some study to catch up. Perhaps you can justify this as novices that to use all those complicated moves they don't yet properly understand and have in their muscle memory as doing themselves more harm than good.

Yet another variation would to be consider anything less than 4 points in Karate to be usable as Brawling instead. (So the effective skill progression is 1 point: Brawling DX; 2 points, Brawling DX +1; 4 points; Karate DX.) You've not quite gotten to the science of the scientific methods yet, but at least your half-trained wild punches are better than no training at all.

Which leads us back to the version in RAW: just use the unnamed default unarmed combat skill at DX until you get 4 points in Karate so that the training shows some net benefit. You get to choose what skill you use, so having Karate-8 doesn't mean your punches get worse. It just means that you don't yet have enough training to benefit from the complex advanced skill in combat. (The skill points might still have a game effect when it comes to things like recognizing styles or floating skills, for example a Karate-IQ check for knowing things about Karate, like knowing famous masters or the locations of dojos.)
Anaraxes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2015, 06:01 AM   #4
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: On the uselessness of a karate course in GURPS

Even with just the Basic Set rules, it's not quite so useless. The big improvement is you can attempt techniques that default to Karate - probably the most important ones are Disarming and Feint, but Back Kick, Elbow Strike, Jump Kick, Knee Strike and Lethal Strike are also in Basic. You also get a default to Karate Art and Karate Sport, which allows you not to look like a total idiot at Karate competitions and displays, which admittedly isn't all that big a deal for an adventurer, but is something beginning students definitely care about.

And face it, 1 point is *very much* a beginning student. This isn't "intensive training" in a year, it's slightly preferred hobby. Intensive *starts* somewhere above a full time job - 2000 hours a year.
__________________
--
MA Lloyd
malloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2015, 06:33 AM   #5
joppeknol
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Default Re: On the uselessness of a karate course in GURPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post

And face it, 1 point is *very much* a beginning student. This isn't "intensive training" in a year, it's slightly preferred hobby. Intensive *starts* somewhere above a full time job - 2000 hours a year.
I agree that 200 hours is still not much. However, I expect a very noticable improvement when I get into a fight when I have practiced 4 hours a week for one year.

Setting the default punch at dx-4 while still allowing the telegraphic attack so that people can still hit each other might solve my problem. Thanks.

- posted from phone.
joppeknol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2015, 08:07 AM   #6
CeeDub
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: UK
Default Re: On the uselessness of a karate course in GURPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
However, I expect a very noticable improvement when I get into a fight when I have practiced 4 hours a week for one year.
After two years of twice-a-week strip mall "karate" (in the GURPS sense) it is my opinion that the most noticeable improvement comes from the strength and cardio training during the classes, and maybe flinching a little less when you see a punch coming. Definitely better than a sedentary lifestyle, but don't expect to gain a lot of real-world fighting prowess.

Less traditional, no-nonsense martial arts (all of which have in common that they skip the "arts") like Krav Maga or MCMAP may be a bit different, but even they put a lot of focus on strength and cardio.
CeeDub is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2015, 08:17 AM   #7
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: On the uselessness of a karate course in GURPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
I expect a very noticable improvement when I get into a fight when I have practiced 4 hours a week for one year.
You'll find other posters that are annoyed by the sudden jump from the default to the 1-point skill level (usually 4 skill levels at once). They'd prefer a more smooth increase. (The Dabbler perk is perhaps the best RAW solution, allowing what's essentially fractional points in a skill.)
Anaraxes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2015, 08:20 AM   #8
GWJ
 
GWJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default Re: On the uselessness of a karate course in GURPS

You should simply use DX to hit, if there is better. And Karate only to parries and Karate techniques, at "first level".

And one year of traning is VERY low amount in this case. I assume that we talking about >combat<, not Dojo sparring or tournament fights. One year of training give most increases in confidence and physical attributes (but too low increase to qualify for +1 ST in GURPS, toooo low...). And to demonstrate your techniques for show :)

Oh and there is mentioned in Martial Arts book, that untrained individuals are attacking only with All-Out Attack, and defending only with All-Out Defense. And can't Feinting. This is IMO biiig bonus for trained fighters vs. untrained.

Last edited by GWJ; 09-05-2015 at 08:28 AM.
GWJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2015, 08:32 AM   #9
Adversary
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Default Re: On the uselessness of a karate course in GURPS

I like the solution of eliminating DX-based unarmed combat and imposing a default for all unarmed combat including brawling. I think it tracks reality pretty well to suppose that a truly untrained person attacks mostly with Telegraphic and/or All-out attacks. Not a lot of parrying or dodging going on in the average bar or school fight.

However, I also have a somewhat generous view of skill acquisition, so I'd be ok with giving e.g. the average high-school football player who has been in a couple of scraps a point in Brawling. Not everyone you see fighting on Youtube is completely untrained in Gurps terms.
Adversary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2015, 09:12 AM   #10
Kromm
GURPS Line Editor
 
Kromm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Montréal, Québec
Default Re: On the uselessness of a karate course in GURPS

Remember to use the higher of DX or skill. Going by the Basic Set alone, doing all the math to express things relative to DX (drop fractions at the very end!), and putting the benefits of Karate in boldface, the real progression is this:
0 points (DX only): Punch at DX for thrust-1; kick at DX-2 for thrust; armed enemies who parry your unarmed strikes attack your limb at full skill; parry unarmed attacks at DX/2 + 3, or DX/2 + 4 if retreating; parry weapons at DX/2, or DX/2 + 1 if retreating; cannot attempt Back Kick, Elbow Strike, Jump Kick, Knee Strike.

1 point (Karate at DX-2): Punch at DX for thrust-1; kick at DX-2 for thrust; armed enemies who parry your unarmed strikes attack your limb at skill-4; parry unarmed attacks at DX/2 + 3, or DX/2 + 5 if retreating; parry weapons at DX/2 + 2, or DX/2 + 5 if retreating; Back Kick at DX-6, Elbow Strike at DX-4, Jump Kick at DX-6, Knee Strike at DX-3.

2 points (Karate at DX-1): Punch at DX for thrust-1; kick at DX-2 for thrust; armed enemies who parry your unarmed strikes attack your limb at skill-4; parry unarmed attacks at DX/2 + 3, or DX/2 + 5.5 if retreating; parry weapons at DX/2 + 2.5, or DX/2 + 5.5 if retreating; Back Kick at DX-5, Elbow Strike at DX-3, Jump Kick at DX-5, Knee Strike at DX-2.

4 points (Karate at DX): Punch at DX for thrust; kick at DX-2 for thrust+1; armed enemies who parry your unarmed strikes attack your limb at skill-4; parry unarmed attacks at DX/2 + 3, or DX/2 + 6 if retreating; parry weapons at DX/2 + 3, or DX/2 + 6 if retreating; Back Kick at DX-4, Elbow Strike at DX-2, Jump Kick at DX-4, Knee Strike at DX-1.

8 points (Karate at DX+1): Punch at DX+1 for thrust+1; kick at DX-1 for thrust+2; armed enemies who parry your unarmed strikes attack your limb at skill-4; parry unarmed attacks at DX/2 + 3.5, or DX/2 + 6.5 if retreating; parry weapons at DX/2 + 3.5, or DX/2 + 6.5 if retreating; Back Kick at DX-3, Elbow Strike at DX-1, Jump Kick at DX-3, Knee Strike at DX.
Adding in the Martial Arts rules gives you a bunch more techniques (almost none of which default to untrained DX). You also get to parry with the legs or feet, and may parry grappling techniques with "counters" that don't require a free hand. And you can dive, sideslip, and slip as well as or better than an untrained person can retreat.

The benefits are subtle but real at low levels.
__________________
Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch <kromm@sjgames.com>
GURPS Line Editor, Steve Jackson Games
My DreamWidth [Just GURPS News]
Kromm is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
karate, martial arts, rule, training

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:41 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.