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Old 03-24-2018, 04:15 AM   #1
Minuteman37
 
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Default Twins in Gladiatorial Combat

Ok so let's say I have a medieval setting were Dueling in an area is a very prestigious and lucrative occupation. Duals are usually 1v1, but there are divisions for up to 4v4 team matches.

In this setting twins are considered to be one entity for the purpose of dueling. They share a soul or some such. it's not important at the moment.

What I'm really asking is whether or not in a realistic, harsh, and grounded TL3 world twins would absolutely dominate in the area or not.

Just how big is that avantage?
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Old 03-24-2018, 05:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: Twins in Gladiatorial Combat

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Originally Posted by Minuteman37 View Post
What I'm really asking is whether or not in a realistic, harsh, and grounded TL3 world twins would absolutely dominate in the area or not.

Just how big is that avantage?
It is a very big advantage, and one would expect most successful professional duellist to be pairs of 'twins' with an occasional triplet thrown in. This is assuming, of course, that the twins have been trained to a similar high level of physical and skilled excellence as a hypothetical single professional duellist would be.

You get double the attacks & hit points, and are often flanking the enemy, who can only retreat from one of you (presumably, I haven't checked the retreat rules that closely). Everything else equal, the twins have a big advantage.

The single duellist would have to be a significantly better fighter to counteract this advantage. Still, it is not impossible in GURPS. Being outnumbered is more of an issue when your skill and hence defenses are low. If you are able to deceptively attack your opponents and land a hit 50% of the time, and they can do the same only 10% of the time, you are good to go. But like I said in the beginning, if the twins are professional duellists, and there might be significant pressure from their society to become such given the benefits, then I'd expect them to be well-trained, too. The chance of twins is about 3%, which is much higher than you'd expect professional duellists to be of the population, so you can pick out the twin pairs who seem to have the physique to become duellists, too.

So most of your 1on1 duels would actually be two pairs of twins facing off.

Now if you require them to be IDENTICAL twins, then the pool of duellists comes down a bit, but surprisingly, not that much. About third of the twin births are identical, so you still have 1%. I would probably rule that the shared soul applies ONLY to Identical Twins/Triplets/Quadruplets, since that makes more sense than saying that a male-female twin pair shares the same soul.
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Old 03-24-2018, 08:10 AM   #3
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Default Re: Twins in Gladiatorial Combat

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Originally Posted by Minuteman37 View Post
Ok so let's say I have a medieval setting were Dueling in an area is a very prestigious and lucrative occupation. Duals are usually 1v1, but there are divisions for up to 4v4 team matches.

In this setting twins are considered to be one entity for the purpose of dueling. They share a soul or some such. it's not important at the moment.

What I'm really asking is whether or not in a realistic, harsh, and grounded TL3 world twins would absolutely dominate in the area or not.

Just how big is that avantage?
I see no reason they would have an inherent advantage over two unrelated fighters unless you put that feature in the setting, in which case you can make up whatever advantage that is.

I would let them buy the Teamwork perk without any explanation, based on affinity. In social settings some kind of SOP perk for a developed strategy to make use of their similarity maybe, but I see no duelling application for that.
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Old 03-24-2018, 12:07 PM   #4
Joe
 
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Default Re: Twins in Gladiatorial Combat

If I'm understanding you correctly, your question is really just "How big an advantage is it to be allowed to outnumber the opposition two to one?" And obviously, the answer to that question is "it's a huge advantage!"

At similar skill levels, the team of two is obviously going to have a vast, vast advantage over a single opponent. And even at the larger battle sizes you mention, the advantage is still huge: whether the fight is 3 vs 2, or 4 vs 3, or 5 vs 4, the bigger team is always going to start a long way ahead, other things being equal. Plus if twins only count as one person, then that theoretical 4 on 4 bout could end being 8 on 4! In which case, I know who I'm betting on.

So unless I've misunderstood your question, the answer is very clear: if the rules are such that being a twin allows you to bring double the usual number of people to the fight, then yes, definitely, twins are going to absolutely dominate the competition. But this answer is so obvious that I rather fear I may have misunderstood your question....
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Old 03-24-2018, 12:17 PM   #5
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Twins in Gladiatorial Combat

Just to make it a more complicated debate, what about imposing a constant character point budget? One duelist at 300 CP vs a pair of twins at 150 CP each...

(Yes, CP aren't necessarily a predictor of combat power, but if this is an arena game, you can expect almost all of the CP to go into combat abilities.)
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Old 03-24-2018, 12:19 PM   #6
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Twins in Gladiatorial Combat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minuteman37 View Post
Ok so let's say I have a medieval setting were Dueling in an area is a very prestigious and lucrative occupation. Duals are usually 1v1, but there are divisions for up to 4v4 team matches.

In this setting twins are considered to be one entity for the purpose of dueling. They share a soul or some such. it's not important at the moment.

What I'm really asking is whether or not in a realistic, harsh, and grounded TL3 world twins would absolutely dominate in the area or not.

Just how big is that avantage?
Nigh to overwhelming unless the one has a big equipment advantage.
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Old 03-24-2018, 12:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: Twins in Gladiatorial Combat

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Originally Posted by Whyte View Post
This is assuming, of course, that the twins have been trained to a similar high level of physical and skilled excellence as a hypothetical single professional duellist would be.

You get double the attacks & hit points, and are often flanking the enemy, who can only retreat from one of you (presumably, I haven't checked the retreat rules that closely). Everything else equal, the twins have a big advantage.
Everything else won’t quite be equal, though. If only 3%/1% of the population consists of twins, that means the available talent pool to recruit from will be thirty to a hundred times greater for solo fighters. As a consequence, solo gladiators will be bigger, more athletic, more talented at violence. And as underdogs, they’ll be fan favorites.

They’ll still be about as common as NBA players shorter than five foot eight, but they’ll exist.

It might help things out if it was mandated for two twin gladiators to share the same equipment as one solo gladiator. Unfair to give one ‘person’ two suits of armor, that kind of thing.

Last edited by Toptomcat; 03-24-2018 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 03-24-2018, 01:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: Twins in Gladiatorial Combat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minuteman37 View Post
What I'm really asking is whether or not in a realistic, harsh, and grounded TL3 world twins would absolutely dominate in the area or not.

Just how big is that avantage?
Say a typical twin gladiator is ST 12, DX 13, IQ 10, HT 12, Basic Speed 6.25 Combat Reflexes, Fit, Knife-15 [4], Shield-16 [8], Sword-15 [8], Parry 11+2, Block 12+2, Dodge 8+2. (a roughly 150 point character with some advantages, disadvantages, and skills that don't apply to combat).

Non-twin gladiators, recruited from a larger pool of potentials, are ST 14, DX 14, IQ 10, HT 13, Basic Speed 7, Combat Reflexes, Fit, High Pain Threshold, Knife-16 [4], Shield-17 [8], Sword-16 [8], Parry 12+2, Block 12+2, Dodge 9+2 (a roughly 225 point character with some advantages, disadvantages, and skills that don't apply to combat).

Both sides are wearing DR 5/3* Heavy mail armor and carrying large knives, broadswords, and medium shields.

2 twins versus 1 non-twin: the non-twin can keep the twins from getting behind him, but he can't prevent a twin from getting into his off-shield flank, so he has to defend against at least one attack per turn with an effective Parry of 10 - so 50% of those attacks get through. The other twin is mostly going to be attacking from the front arc, so he can block that attack with his shield with roughly 85% efficiency. The one attack that gets through will do 1d+4 cu damage, averaging ~3 injury. He can withstand 5 of those attacks before falling, so he has to drop a twin in ~8 seconds.

The twins can always force the non-twin fighter to attack their fronts, so the block with 85% efficiency. Even a successful hit only averages 9 cu damage or 6 injury past DR, so a twin needs to be hit twice before he's out of the combat.

Twin gladiators should expect to win most of their fights against non-twins. It's not a sure thing - non-twin fighters sometimes get a lucky hit early in the fight that does slightly above average damage and stuns one of the twins, at which point the non-twin gladiator focuses on that twin, takes him out, and then demolishes the other twin - but the way to bet is on the twins. 75%+ of fights go to twins, I expect.

Of course, this is a very rough analysis to start, and the gladiators would optimize tactics and training. The twins would do better with axes* (or flails), while the non-twins might want to skip the shield for better mobility and a second weapon.

*Though unbalanced weapon and shield is less optimal when two pairs of twins match each other, because each pair can overwhelm the defense of one of their opposite number. So maybe not?
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Old 03-24-2018, 05:19 PM   #9
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Default Re: Twins in Gladiatorial Combat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minuteman37 View Post
Ok so let's say I have a medieval setting were Dueling in an area is a very prestigious and lucrative occupation. Duals are usually 1v1, but there are divisions for up to 4v4 team matches.

In this setting twins are considered to be one entity for the purpose of dueling. They share a soul or some such. it's not important at the moment.

What I'm really asking is whether or not in a realistic, harsh, and grounded TL3 world twins would absolutely dominate in the area or not.

Just how big is that avantage?
Wasn't this used in Dragon Age: Origins with the dwarves?

Anyway, yeah, like the others said, it's a huge advantage in any sort of realistic combat. If their souls are *actually* linked, and if one dies then both of them do, then it's less of an advantage.
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Old 03-24-2018, 11:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: Twins in Gladiatorial Combat

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In this setting twins are considered to be one entity for the purpose of dueling. They share a soul or some such. it's not important at the moment.
You need to develop that better. I could see twin gladiators because of course they did every absurd theatrical stunt that the WWF does. But in real life they would be no different then two ordinary siblings. If in fact twins share a soul in your world you need to expand this.
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