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 02-14-2023, 06:11 AM   #21
benz72
 
benz72's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Chagrin Falls
Default Re: Scratching with a poisoned needle

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
I'm not convinced there are any real poisons you can deliver a lethal dose via a "scratch", .
Po210?

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polonium-210

"210Po is extremely toxic; it and other polonium isotopes are some of the most radiotoxic substances to humans.[6][16] With one microgram being more than enough to kill the average adult, 210Po is 250,000 times more toxic than hydrogen cyanide by weight;[17] it is also thought that one gram of 210Po is enough to kill 50 million people and sicken another 50 million.[6]"
__________________
Benundefined
Life has a funny way of making sure you decide to leave the party just a few minutes too late to avoid trouble.
benz72 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2023, 07:45 AM   #22
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Scratching with a poisoned needle

Quote:
Originally Posted by WingedKagouti View Post
The Knife skill itself (B208)
I quoted your post with others for context to add a couple of text references if anyone were interested.

But if we're going to pick nits, your definition that I quoted for the Knife skill also required a "knife" to have an edge, which would pose a problem not just for ice picks, but roundels / stilettos / etc. There are also a great many styles of dagger that while technically having a sharpened edge, are intended primarily for thrusting, with "sw cut" being incidental, though possible. The "push dagger" has that notion even embedded in its (English) name.

Feel free to invent a new skill for melee objects with a point but no edge, used only back and forth, if you feel a need for distinguishing that use from Knife for game purposes. For myself, I think RAW intends that Knife includes weapons that use thrusting as well as slicing, and am happy enough to let that one skill cover various one-handed objects not all used in the same way. I'll even cite a well-known authority:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gurney Halleck
The good knife fighter thinks on point and blade and shearing-guard simultaneously. The point can also cut; the blade can also stab; the shearing guard can also trap your opponent's blade.
But the thread isn't talking about a high-damage melee weapon that's somehow a literal needle like a sewing or medical needle with no handle or grip of any kind. That would stab the attacker almost as readily as the target, even if it weren't deliberately sharpened on their end. There's a reason the thimble exists.

"Scratching" in the thread title even suggests a transverse motion of the point rather than a stab, what MA calls a "tip slash", or would if the needle were an actual weapon.

This I think is the core question of the OP -- what skill for an attack that delivers poison (and by extension spells, psychic contact, cooties, etc.) that's not actually a melee weapon? Kromm counts "Touch" for formal purposes as a distinct attack type with 0 penalty, much like Kick or Elbow are at DX-2 while Punch is at DX+0, but don't require their own skill. This is I think what people are thinking of upthread when they talk about making a DX roll. Is "needle scratch" a sufficiently complex and unique attack technique developed around the properties of the "weapon", compared to Touch or Punch, so as to require a trained combat skill as a base, or can you substitute raw DX as you can for natural weapon attacks, and "touch" the target with a needle?

Douglas Cole also once suggested an option, somewhat related to the mechanics in AoA / Committed Attack / Defensive Attack, for a "soft attack", allowing the attack to trade -1 damage per die for a +2 to skill (intended for use in Feint-like Setup Attacks). Since touch attacks aren't intended to do damage anyway, this could be a way to allow a "touch" to be easier than a "hit" -- if that's even desirable.

Touch attack specialists might train Touch as a Technique instead, but then you're back to needing a base skill for the Technique, and come back to face the wart that untrained natural attacks get to roll DX, whereas Brawling defaults to less than DX. Brawling brings a few benefits for those CP, but if all you want is a better to-hit number? You might also smooth over that little bump between DX and default Brawling by houseruling that PCs have a notional baseline "Natural Weapons skill" at DX+0. No CP, can't be improved with CP, but could be the notional base for Techniques for individual attacks.

Last edited by Anaraxes; 02-14-2023 at 07:51 AM.
Anaraxes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2023, 08:17 AM   #23
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Scratching with a poisoned needle

Quote:
Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
The envisioned use is sort of what witches used to get accused of- covertly pricking a victim with a poisoned needle in a public place. Fantasy setting.
It could also be a non-poisoned needle (avoiding the risk of the witch poisoning herself - although presumably she knows how to make the antidote, and may well have already used it as a "just in case" precaution), intended instead to draw a bit of blood to serve as the focus of some later spellwork, making use of the Law of Contagion (I think that's the one) to target the victim from a distance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Touch attack specialists might train Touch as a Technique instead, but then you're back to needing a base skill for the Technique, and come back to face the wart that untrained natural attacks get to roll DX, whereas Brawling defaults to less than DX. Brawling brings a few benefits for those CP, but if all you want is a better to-hit number? You might also smooth over that little bump between DX and default Brawling by houseruling that PCs have a notional baseline "Natural Weapons skill" at DX+0. No CP, can't be improved with CP, but could be the notional base for Techniques for individual attacks.
I believe there are some Techniques that default from DX and can be improved, "Touch Attack" could potentially be another of those. Personally, I think such a character would instead train outright in an unarmed striking or grappling skill (probably grappling), then make use of the suggested "touch attack" mechanic (get a bonus to hit in exchange for dealing no real Injury - or failing to actually establish a grapple, for a grappling skill; I believe I've suggested in the past it might be appropriate to require this bonus to be "traded in" for purposes of targeting a specific hit location or making a Deceptive Attack, but honestly, thinking further on it I don't have an issue with it just being a straight bonus to hit).
__________________
GURPS Overhaul
Varyon is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2023, 07:10 PM   #24
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Scratching with a poisoned needle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
But if we're going to pick nits, your definition that I quoted for the Knife skill also required a "knife" to have an edge, which would pose a problem not just for ice picks, but roundels / stilettos / etc. There are also a great many styles of dagger that while technically having a sharpened edge, are intended primarily for thrusting, with "sw cut" being incidental, though possible. The "push dagger" has that notion even embedded in its (English) name.

Feel free to invent a new skill for melee objects with a point but no edge, used only back and forth, if you feel a need for distinguishing that use from Knife for game purposes. For myself, I think RAW intends that Knife includes weapons that use thrusting as well as slicing
I believe it does too, although I like the idea of having separate skills for thrusting attacks and swinging attacks, that's probably why we have 'techniques'.

Kind of like how punches and kicks are very different but karate gives both.
__________________
what this forum is
(17 March 2020 forum rules from Hackard)
Plane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2023, 08:25 PM   #25
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Scratching with a poisoned needle

Quote:
Originally Posted by benz72 View Post
Po210?
Even there, it really depends on the definition of a scratch. You need to get far enough in for the poison to enter the bloodstream, otherwise it's just resident at the injury location, and as an alpha emitter, the radiation just won't go very far.
__________________
My GURPS site and Blog.
Anthony is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2023, 08:24 AM   #26
The Colonel
 
The Colonel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Default Re: Scratching with a poisoned needle

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
I'm not convinced there are any real poisons you can deliver a lethal dose via a "scratch",
Not exactly a poison, but "corpse juice" could be quite effective in a historical campaign.
The Colonel is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2023, 11:01 AM   #27
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Scratching with a poisoned needle

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post
Not exactly a poison, but "corpse juice" could be quite effective in a historical campaign.
Dung was used as a poison historically (because tetanus), but again, really needs a certain depth to actually be effective.
__________________
My GURPS site and Blog.
Anthony is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2023, 12:08 PM   #28
ravenfish
 
Join Date: May 2007
Default Re: Scratching with a poisoned needle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Dung was used as a poison historically (because tetanus), but again, really needs a certain depth to actually be effective.
And again, it needs enough time to work that it's not really useful in battle on the tactical level.
__________________
I predicted GURPS:Dungeon Fantasy several hours before it came out and all I got was this lousy sig.
ravenfish is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2023, 03:11 AM   #29
The Colonel
 
The Colonel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Default Re: Scratching with a poisoned needle

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenfish View Post
And again, it needs enough time to work that it's not really useful in battle on the tactical level.
Well, yes, if you want it to work in real time, that tends to be cinematic.
The Colonel is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2023, 06:24 AM   #30
benz72
 
benz72's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Chagrin Falls
Default Re: Scratching with a poisoned needle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Even there, it really depends on the definition of a scratch. You need to get far enough in for the poison to enter the bloodstream, otherwise it's just resident at the injury location, and as an alpha emitter, the radiation just won't go very far.
Sure. I had assumed for context that at GURPS resolution it would be the lowest possible injury, 1 HP. Do we have an actual rule on this? Is "Scratch" defined somewhere?
__________________
Benundefined
Life has a funny way of making sure you decide to leave the party just a few minutes too late to avoid trouble.
benz72 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
needle, poison, weapon stats

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 10:20 AM.


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