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Old 08-02-2010, 02:20 PM   #1
joppeknol
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Default Basic Set Unarmed Combat boxing questions

Hello,

I'm inexperienced with GURPS having GM'ed only two sessions with it.

After a first session of with a GURPS-converted Call of Cthulhu 90s adventure (Eye of wicked sight), I would like to let my players get familiar with GURPS Combat and injuries. I'll probably adjust the amount of rules depending on their interest.

My idea was to play a flash-back of one of the PC's, in which he entered a bare knuckles boxing fight. I also want to use an hex-map for more visualization. Then I started to reread the rules and got some questions about it.

1) Is retreating dodge always possible, provided there is space behind you? It would lead to boxers stepping to and fro during defense and attack, which seems a bit silly. Do people rule that you can only retreat when you haven't spend a step in your turn? Why do or why don't?

2) Shouldn't boxing remove the -4 penalty for off-hand? It would seem more realistic to me, and it would make boxing more reasonable against brawling.

3) A left and a right first are two weapons, so doing you can strike twice with a -4 penalty (provided previous point or if your have karate skill). Rapid strike penalty -6 can be halved to 3 by spending 1 fp.

So, striking twice with the same hand would be less at a penalty than striking with the left and right hand. Is not including a similar 'extra effort' option on dual weapon attacks an oversight, or does it have a reason?

4) Do I read the rules on B420 correctly if I assume it is possible that a boxing match ends in 1 second with one of the fighter having lost only 1 hp? (but taking 1 hp on the face and rolling -5 on his HT roll to avoid knockdown). Of course, this will be what happens after I take 30 minutes to explain rules and situation ;-)

Thanks in advance,
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Old 08-02-2010, 02:53 PM   #2
aesir23
 
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Default Re: Basic Set Unarmed Combat boxing questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
1) Is retreating dodge always possible, provided there is space behind you? It would lead to boxers stepping to and fro during defense and attack, which seems a bit silly. Do people rule that you can only retreat when you haven't spend a step in your turn? Why do or why don't?
As you suggest, retreating dodge is not possible if you've already taken a step in your turn. Of course, boxers use retreating a lot, that's one of the reasons that they don't just stand still in the middle of the ring.
Quote:
Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
2) Shouldn't boxing remove the -4 penalty for off-hand? It would seem more realistic to me, and it would make boxing more reasonable against brawling.
Unarmed Combat never takes a handedness penalty unless you use certain optional rules from Martial Arts.
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Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
3) A left and a right first are two weapons, so doing you can strike twice with a -4 penalty (provided previous point or if your have karate skill). Rapid strike penalty -6 can be halved to 3 by spending 1 fp.
Yes, you can make unarmed Dual Weapon attacks. Yes, you can reduce the rapid strike penalty by spending FP if you're using the optional Extra Effort in Combat rules.

However, Rapid Strike does not mean it used the same hand. Again, in GURPS Martial Arts there is a great treatment of what Rapid Strike can include (hitting two targets with a single blow, for instance). Also, watch a boxer sometime, a left/left combination is often launched faster than a left/right.
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Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
4) Do I read the rules on B420 correctly if I assume it is possible that a boxing match ends in 1 second with one of the fighter having lost only 1 hp? (but taking 1 hp on the face and rolling -5 on his HT roll to avoid knockdown).
Nope, this is incorrect. IDHMBWM, but I believe it takes a Major Wound to the head to force this health roll. This would be significantly more than 1 point, and difficult to do with a single blow. (Boxing gloves also decrease damage by 1, again, in Martial Arts.
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Old 08-02-2010, 03:00 PM   #3
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: Basic Set Unarmed Combat boxing questions

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Originally Posted by aesir23 View Post
As you suggest, retreating dodge is not possible if you've already taken a step in your turn.
This is a houserule apparently used by some. It is not at all RAW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aesir23 View Post
Nope, this is incorrect. IDHMBWM, but I believe it takes a Major Wound to the head to force this health roll. This would be significantly more than 1 point, and difficult to do with a single blow. (Boxing gloves also decrease damage by 1, again, in Martial Arts.
Nope, you have to roll for knockdown any time you are struck in the head for enough damage to cause a shock penalty.

However, it wouldn't be at -5 unless it was a major wound.
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Old 08-02-2010, 03:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Basic Set Unarmed Combat boxing questions

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Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
Hello,
Hello and, first of all, welcome in GURPS! You discovered one of the best roleplaying game ever designed, perhaps even the best one!

Quote:
Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
After a first session of with a GURPS-converted Call of Cthulhu 90s adventure (Eye of wicked sight).
Very good choice! I often use Call of Cthulhu adventures with GURPS rules (classic ones, during the roaring twenties). It works very well and adventures are very easy to adapt...

Quote:
Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
1) Is retreating dodge always possible, provided there is space behind you? It would lead to boxers stepping to and fro during defense and attack, which seems a bit silly. Do people rule that you can only retreat when you haven't spend a step in your turn? Why do or why don't?
Here is how I understand rules...

Retreating needs being able to step back. The attack maneuver allows to do only one step (forward or backward, before or after the attack). So, if the character already did his step, he can't do it again: he can't retreat. If h didn't use his step, he can retreat, but only once.
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Old 08-02-2010, 03:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: Basic Set Unarmed Combat boxing questions

Oh! A lot of people answered you as I was writing my own answer... I made a good choice to write it question by question rather than all in a raw... Thus, I can avoid repeating what they already wrote...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth
About retreat and step back
This is a houserule apparently used by some. It is not at all RAW.
I do agree!

The rules, in the paragraph "Attack" (Basic Set, page 365) say: "Movement: Step.", and not "Steps"; and, in the paragraph "Retreat" (Basic Set, page 377), they say: "you must move away from your attacker: at least one yard... exactly as for a step", which leads me to the conclusion that it is not just a house rule. But it is still an interpretation of the rules. So once can disagree.
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Old 08-02-2010, 03:20 PM   #6
Gollum
 
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Default Re: Basic Set Unarmed Combat boxing questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aesir23
About the question 2
Unarmed Combat never takes a handedness penalty unless you use certain optional rules from Martial Arts.
I fully do agree.

There is a harsh optional rule in Martial Arts to make the difference between the two hands. After all, a left-handed boxer, even if his is well trained to use his two hands, strikes stronger and quicker with his left hand... And such a very realistic rule is welcome in a Call of Cthulhu campaign! But it is just an option.
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Old 08-02-2010, 03:24 PM   #7
Dinadon
 
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Default Re: Basic Set Unarmed Combat boxing questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
1) Is retreating dodge always possible, provided there is space behind you? It would lead to boxers stepping to and fro during defense and attack, which seems a bit silly. Do people rule that you can only retreat when you haven't spend a step in your turn? Why do or why don't?
It specifically mentions in Retreat a number of conditions that prevent you from retreating. One of those is travelling faster than your Basic Move. Taking a Step isn't faster than your Basic Move, and your Step and your Retreat aren't the same thing. They just have the same distance.
Quote:
2) Shouldn't boxing remove the -4 penalty for off-hand? It would seem more realistic to me, and it would make boxing more reasonable against brawling.
As I understand it, though it certainly isn't clear, non of the Unarmed combat skills take off-hand penalties in Basic. This is supported by the Harsh Realism Rules for Unarmed Fighters from Martial Arts.
Quote:
3) A left and a right first are two weapons, so doing you can strike twice with a -4 penalty (provided previous point or if your have karate skill). Rapid strike penalty -6 can be halved to 3 by spending 1 fp.

So, striking twice with the same hand would be less at a penalty than striking with the left and right hand. Is not including a similar 'extra effort' option on dual weapon attacks an oversight, or does it have a reason?
Dual Weapon Attack is a Technique you can buy off, and so can use at zero penalty for no FP. Also, Flurry of Blows (and the other Extra Effort in combat options) are both optional and cinematic. Even with it available, you're not always going to be in situations where you want to spend 1 FP.
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Old 08-02-2010, 03:29 PM   #8
Gollum
 
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Default Re: Basic Set Unarmed Combat boxing questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by aesir23 View Post
About question 3
Yes, you can make unarmed Dual Weapon attacks. Yes, you can reduce the rapid strike penalty by spending FP if you're using the optional Extra Effort in Combat rules.
However, Rapid Strike does not mean it used the same hand. Again, in GURPS Martial Arts there is a great treatment of what Rapid Strike can include (hitting two targets with a single blow, for instance). Also, watch a boxer sometime, a left/left combination is often launched faster than a left/right.
I fully do agree here again.

There is a karate technique, named "morote tsuki" which allows to strike with two hands exactly at the same time. It is quite easy to do after a parry, and hard to defend against... It can be used in a modern Call of Cthulhu adventure. But I never see any boxer use it. It is very specific to some karate and kungfu schools and, of course, it was not known by westerners during the roaring twenties (except people with an asiatic origin, of course). But, since you are playing in a modern campaign, no problem for your player characters...
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Old 08-02-2010, 03:33 PM   #9
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: Basic Set Unarmed Combat boxing questions

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Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
I do agree!

The rules, in the paragraph "Attack" (Basic Set, page 365) say: "Movement: Step.", and not "Steps"; and, in the paragraph "Retreat" (Basic Set, page 377), they say: "you must move away from your attacker: at least one yard... exactly as for a step", which leads me to the conclusion that it is not just a house rule. But it is still an interpretation of the rules. So once can disagree.
Er, one can, but I can't imagine how you reconcile that interpretation with the book. The movement listed for maneuvers is taken immediately, as part of the maneuver. There's nothing anywhere that says you have to save some of it for a retreat, or indeed that you can save any of it, for anything. If a Retreat had to be part of your normal movement for a maneuver you couldn't do it at all.
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Old 08-02-2010, 03:33 PM   #10
Anaximander
 
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Default Re: Basic Set Unarmed Combat boxing questions

1) Yes it always is, as long as you are able to defend you are always allowed to use the retreat option, albeit only once per turn (B377). Speaking as a boxer, this is entirely realistic and not at all silly. Footwork is the most important thing in evading your opponent and has been a part of standard boxing instruction since at least September 7, 1892 when "Gentleman Jim" Corbett defeated John L. Sullivan at the Olympic Club in New Orleans using superior agility to dodge Sullivan's charges and counter with quick jabs. The rules do not forbid you from retreating if you have taken a step. I believe the once per round limitation on retreating is a good enough rule, so that's what I use. The question remains for you, I'm sure, why would you not retreat if you could? Well, drawing on my own boxing experience again I can tell you that a great strategy in boxing is to force your opponent back against the edge of the ring. Not only does that make it impossible for them to retreat, but it forces them onto the defenses where you can pummel them. Consider adding a damage bonus on people hit while against a barrier. Sort of a added impact thing.

2) You certainly can if you want to. But there's separate training that goes into coordinating and strengthening your off-hand. People naturally favor one arm over the other and it takes time to get the necessary skill to attack as well with your left as your right. I suppose you could say that is part of the boxing skill's training and thus justifies it's greater difficulty than brawling. Although the greater damage increase and superior retreat bonus to defense is likely the existing justification for that.

3) Yes it does, unless you've spent the character points to eliminate this penalty. That neat little "one-two" punch is in fact a part of a boxer's training and takes time to master. Once you do though, it's very effective in both a boxing match and a street fight.

4) I can see there is some confusion about the rules on B420 for you. I take it from your question that you seem to think being knocked down qualifies you as losing a boxing match. This is rarely the case. No Marquess of Queensbury Rules boxing match can end in one second. Even if somehow one of the fighters is knocked out dead at the moment the match begins, he must be counted down for ten full seconds before he is considered having lost. As soon as the fighter begins to get up he is not being counted down anymore and the other fighter must stand back until the referee signals the match begun again. Furthermore, the -5 on the HT roll only applies to major wounds. So a serious wound could only be inflicted with 1 HP of damage on a character with 2 HP total. The average 10 HP character would only sustain a major wound to the face if struck for 6 HP of damage.

I hope this information was helpful. If you're interested in further information on Boxing in GURPS I highly recommend GURPS Martial Arts. Good luck with your campaign!
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