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Old 11-09-2014, 01:36 AM   #1
vicky_molokh
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Default [MA] Finger Lock - what's the point?

Greetings, all!

I'm looking at the Finger Lock technique, and I'm trying to figure why anyone living in our world (without ogres etc.) would want to learn it: it is a Hard technique that defaults to Arm Lock -3, and cripples the hand at >(HP/3) instead of >(HP/2). It requires an enemy with HP18+, to require 6 instead of 9 damage for a crippling, i.e. an economy of 3 damage done . . . but at this point you still deal 3 less damage due to the -3 default. And it's a Hard technique, meaning that you need to throw [2] at it to get a +1 to it, [4] for +3. And if you don't improve it to the maximum, you also have to account for the fact that you still have a lower chance to succeed at the initial grapple-lock than if using Arm Lock. Since Arm Lock is Average, you only ever want to improve Finger Lock after you maxed out Arm Lock, and if you have access to Technique Mastery (Arm Lock), you take that instead of a Hard secondary-default technique, because it provides greater versatility at the same cost. Oh, and the technique penalty means worse armour penetration, where relevant, too. Oh, and FL takes fewer total HP, even when it is as good for crippling purposes, which also translates to less Shock too. Worse for Causing Pain With Locks too. And harder to use Pressure Points, which fully disable the whole arm anyway. Oh, and a crippled hand still means the enemy can use elbow strikes and other handless tricks.

So: why would anyone want to learn Finger Lock? And why would anyone use it at default either?
Thanks in advance!
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Last edited by vicky_molokh; 11-09-2014 at 01:59 AM.
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Old 11-09-2014, 04:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: [MA] Finger Lock - what's the point?

A Finger Lock can be extremely painful if applied correctly and it only takes one hand to apply/maintain, leaving your other arm free. You need much more control and/or strength to apply the same amount of pain with an Arm Lock, and even more if you attempt to do it one handed.

You generally don't use a Finger Lock to damage, you use it to control.

That's at least my experience from back when I was practicing Jujutsu several years ago.
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:34 AM   #3
DouglasCole
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Default Re: [MA] Finger Lock - what's the point?

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Originally Posted by WingedKagouti View Post
A Finger Lock can be extremely painful if applied correctly and it only takes one hand to apply/maintain, leaving your other arm free. You need much more control and/or strength to apply the same amount of pain with an Arm Lock, and even more if you attempt to do it one handed.

You generally don't use a Finger Lock to damage, you use it to control.

That's at least my experience from back when I was practicing Jujutsu several years ago.
Quite. An eight-year-old with good knowledge of finger locks could, with proper technique, take a grown man to the ground. In fact, I've both seen it done and taught it.
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:39 AM   #4
DouglasCole
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Default Re: [MA] Finger Lock - what's the point?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Greetings, all!

I'm looking at the Finger Lock technique, and I'm trying to figure why anyone living in our world (without ogres etc.) would want to learn it: it is a Hard technique that defaults to Arm Lock -3, and cripples the hand at >(HP/3) instead of >(HP/2).
If you look at Technical Grappling, you will see this is no longer true. Joint Locks in general follow the same pattern - they default to Judo, Wrestling, or the appropriate melee weapon skill. These particular locks are subsumed into "Hand Locks," and give the improved cripple threshold. The down side is you must first grapple the hand (-4 vs -2 Hand vs. Arm raw penalty, often but not always halved for grappling).

Quote:
So: why would anyone want to learn Finger Lock? And why would anyone use it at default either?
Thanks in advance!
Yes, I'm promoting my own work, but Hand Locks are, in TG, Average techniques. See pp. 38-39.
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: [MA] Finger Lock - what's the point?

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Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
An eight-year-old with good knowledge of finger locks could, with proper technique, take a grown man to the ground.
Is this reflected mechanically, though? The lower crippling threshold doesn't model this situation. You'd want the lock to inflict a Condition for the pain.
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:47 AM   #6
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Default Re: [MA] Finger Lock - what's the point?

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Is this reflected mechanically, though? The lower crippling threshold doesn't model this situation. You'd want the lock to inflict a Condition for the pain.
That possibility is covered in TG as well. :D
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:25 AM   #7
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Default Re: [MA] Finger Lock - what's the point?

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
So: why would anyone want to learn Finger Lock? And why would anyone use it at default either?
You study the Chin Na Style so you can stack Technique Mastery: Finger Lock on top of TM: Arm Lock. You do this because it is _cool_.

This is the raison d'etre for many Techniques in Gurps.. Dumping more cp into the primary Skill almost always makes ore sense pointswise.
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Old 11-09-2014, 02:35 PM   #8
Peter V. Dell'Orto
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Default Re: [MA] Finger Lock - what's the point?

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
So: why would anyone want to learn Finger Lock?
Realistically, it's a somewhat marginal technique. Some styles teach it, but not a lot. Those that do generally teach a small number of them, and use them for pain compliance more than inflicting injury.

In game, it's got a number of uses, but they're generally special cases - you've grappled a hand instead an an arm, or you don't have a great shot at inflicting enough damage to cripple a limb but might get it off on an extremity.

The last part is especially true if you use cumulative injuries for crippling.

But yes, it's expensive for what you get, but if you get good at it, it's got a number of cases where it's a useful technique. If you're not good at, it's not terribly effective. See also Counterattack, Head Butt, any of the eye attacks, etc. - some moves just don't work terribly well by default.

If you still shake you head at it and wonder why, use the Technical Grappling solution instead. It's a valid alternative and I endorse it.


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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
And why would anyone use it at default either?
Lack of choice, basically. It's worth it if you improve it, or if you've got a solid Arm Lock skill to default off of but happen to have grappled a hand instead of an arm. Generally, it's not great when you have to default it.
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Old 11-09-2014, 02:39 PM   #9
Peter V. Dell'Orto
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Default Re: [MA] Finger Lock - what's the point?

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
You study the Chin Na Style so you can stack Technique Mastery: Finger Lock on top of TM: Arm Lock. You do this because it is _cool_.
It's potentially effective, too, and fits all the stories of Chin Na mastery. Small Circle Jujitsu as well, at least the stories I kept reading.

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
This is the raison d'etre for many Techniques in Gurps.. Dumping more cp into the primary Skill almost always makes ore sense pointswise.
I hope you mean "putting points in them" not "Technique Mastery." Somehow I doubt it, though. I know some people belong to the "never buy any Techniques" school of character design.
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Old 11-09-2014, 05:43 PM   #10
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: [MA] Finger Lock - what's the point?

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Originally Posted by Peter V. Dell'Orto View Post

I hope you mean "putting points in them" not "Technique Mastery." Somehow I doubt it, though. I know some people belong to the "never buy any Techniques" school of character design.
I probably would put cp into a Technique and possibly even multiple Techniques but I would primarily do, it for reasons of characterization or at least unique capabilities like Choke Hold. The math seldom adds up compared to building up the base skill..
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