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Old 04-27-2022, 06:06 AM   #1
Gollum
 
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Default Questions while reading rules more accurately...

Hi guys!

Coming back to GURPS after trying out some other (particularly good) roleplaying games, and even attempting to design my own system, I decided to read again GURPS rules very accurately.

Inevitably that careful reading raises some questions – and especially some issues I already found in GURPS system (as far as I understand it). Then, I wondered: why not asking those questions to the community? Do not worry, I will not bother you without having previously made a lot of research, both in the books I own and in the FAQ. And I will do it only in one thread, to avoid multiplying them.

Primarily, comes the Retreat option. It bothers me because it gives someone unskilled a lot of chance to dodge an experienced fighter’s attack. Which makes some combats quite long to play.

Imagine… A trained guy with Karate 14 is punching an unexperimented thug with DX 10 and Dodge 8. With Retreat, the thug has Dodge 8 + 3 = 11, that is 62.5% chance of avoiding the attack.

Of course, the karateka can use Deceptive attack. But with 14, he won’t go very far. The thug will have a -1, or a -2 to his dodge (and the attack will become quite random).

So, here is my question: does the Retreat option requires to use the step allowed by most combat maneuvers?

Rules are not truly clear about that (Basic Set, Campaigns, page 377):
"To exercise this option, you must move away from your attacker: at least one yard, but not more than 1/10 your Move – exactly as for a step (see Step, p. 368)."
Does "exactly as for a step" means that it is a step, the only step you are allowed to do during your turn, or that it is an additional free step?

If it requires to use the step part of your maneuver, things sound fair: the thug can retreat but not step forward to attack the karateka immediately after that. Or, if he already stepped forward to try to hit him, he cannot anymore step back while dodging. Thus, if the thug wants to hit the karateka, he will have to drop the Retreat option.

If the Retreat option gives an additional free step, the thug can retreat every turn, despite of his untrained level. And here is where combats become to be long to play. The karateka will only succeed to punch the thug one time in three (and Deceptive attack won’t really improve those odds because of the penalty).

Last edited by Gollum; 04-27-2022 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 04-27-2022, 06:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: Questions while reading rules more accurately...

Retreat does not take the 'step' or reduce move : http://forums.sjgames.com/showpost.p...8&postcount=11

A few more posts by Kromm on the subject here : http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=74160&page=2 (post 15 et 16).

Mostly retreating dodge is powerful .. as long as you can retreat.
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Old 04-27-2022, 07:32 AM   #3
Varyon
 
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Default Re: Questions while reading rules more accurately...

As Celjabba notes, the Retreat doesn't use up any of the character's movement, although I think some tables use a houserule that it does (which in the above situation would mean the thug would basically have to stay on the defensive if he wants to Retreat - or he could try a kick, but that's got a good chance of resulting in him falling down).

If not using a houserule, options for the karateka would generally be kicking (without specifically training it up, that's at 12, which is still respectable) and Deceptive Attack. Kicking from 1 yard away would be like the above, forcing the thug on the defensive if he wants to be able to retreat. Taking a -2 to hit with a punch for a -1 to the enemy's defense is actually a bit better than not doing so - you go from 90.74% chance to hit and 37.5% chance for the foe to fail to defend (total ~34%) to a 74.07% chance to hit and a 50% chance for the foe to fail to defend (total ~37%) - but not to a great degree.

In theory, there's also the possibility of the karateka forcing the thug into a corner, making it impossible for him to Retreat. That would require the karateka to give up his own ability to Retreat, however, and use his Step each round to keep up with the retreating thug. Additionally, with three hexes to Retreat into each time, you'd need a fairly cluttered area (or be using Situational Awareness rules for the thug to know what's behind him) for the thug to not be able to just dance around the battlemap for a while.
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Old 04-27-2022, 07:46 AM   #4
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Questions while reading rules more accurately...

In practice battlefields are cluttered enough to limit retreat. A modestly sized room, with furniture and a dozen combatants is naturally pretty crowded.
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Old 04-27-2022, 08:03 AM   #5
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Default Re: Questions while reading rules more accurately...

The real issue is when the person retreating has a weapon with some reach and can decide to attack and step back, and then retreat and step back with each defense. Which ends up forcing the attacker to Move and Attack.
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Old 04-27-2022, 08:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: Questions while reading rules more accurately...

Having a polearm and the ability to unimpededly retreat is a huge advantage and should be. Note that the other character has options besides Move and Attack, though. All out Attack or Commited Attack, Giant Step or Great Lunge, etc.
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Old 04-27-2022, 08:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Having a polearm and the ability to unimpededly retreat is a huge advantage and should be. Note that the other character has options besides Move and Attack, though. All out Attack or Commited Attack, Giant Step or Great Lunge, etc.
Also, All Out Defense (Dodge), which allows half Move - use that to get into the foe's hex, and they'll likely be unable to get more than a yard away from you if they want to retain the ability to attack - and even if they give up their attack, they probably can't get more than 2 yards away, unless they expose their back to you (which leaves them wide open for a Telegraphic All Out Attack). If they've got a polearm, you probably have at least a Reach 1 weapon, so they can't get far enough for you to be unable to hit with a regular Attack. Give up the ability to attack now to be able to use it later. It's actually fairly difficult to keep a determined opponent at a distance in GURPS, although they do have to disadvantage themselves a bit (giving up Retreat* and/or the ability to attack for a round, at least from time to time).

*EDIT: Although if they're relying on Dodge or a Fencing Parry, they just have to give up some of the bonus - they can Slip to get 1 yard closer and be at net +1, or Sideslip to stay at the same distance and be at net +2. Note even those using other defenses can make use of Slip to close the distance faster, although they're at a net -1 to defense to do so. At least if using the optional rules from Martial Arts.
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Old 04-27-2022, 08:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Also, All Out Defense (Dodge), which allows half Move - use that to get into the foe's hex, and they'll likely be unable to get more than a yard away from you
... especially if you grapple them so they can't move away.
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Old 04-27-2022, 09:05 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
... especially if you grapple them so they can't move away.
You can't grapple as part of an All Out Defense - that would call for one of the other "attack this turn" options (Move and Attack, All Out Attack, etc), with the inherent drawbacks thereof (low skill - or going prone, if opting for a Flying Tackle; inability to defend; etc). But, yeah, grappling can be an effective means of neutralizing a Reach disparity.
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Old 04-27-2022, 09:54 AM   #10
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Default Re: Questions while reading rules more accurately...

You can also move closer on the opponent's attack by slipping.
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