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Old 09-29-2023, 09:19 AM   #1
Sigrif
 
Join Date: Sep 2022
Default [Martial Arts] Kickboxing as a skill

Why there is no skill for leg attacks only?

I had an idea to make a fighter that uses only their legs, but doing that by using brawling or karate is too overcomplicated, starting from different technique masteries that separated for each kick and ending with inefficient spend of character's points. So I started thinking.

For unarmed combat we have brawling as an easy skill with less damage input at the high level, and karate as a hard skill with more damage and access to complicated techniques. And then we have boxing between these, that gives you more than brawling and costs less than karate, BUT only for hands. Why there no same skill for legs?

I think there is a place for one more skill that works like boxing. Kickboxing is just a name for is, that understandable and recognizeble.

Last edited by Sigrif; 09-29-2023 at 09:22 AM. Reason: Bad English
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Old 09-29-2023, 09:53 AM   #2
malloyd
 
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Kickboxing as a skill

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Originally Posted by Sigrif View Post
Why there is no skill for leg attacks only?
Because of a requirement for backward compatibility with rules from the earliest days of GURPS that lumped all unarmed stuff into Brawling or Karate. I've argued before it would have been a reasonable thing to do, especially if you were going to peel out Boxing, but it wasn't the route selected.

Of course it's also very rare in reality - there are a few styles that teach kicks but not punches, but the things called "kickboxing" are [not] actually among them, they all teach punches too. Still some do exist, and there's no particular reason you can't create a Kickboxing skill either. I've suggested before the easy way to do that is to take Karate, set every technique with Kick in it as defaulting at 2 less (e.g. standard Kicking rolls at Kickboxing -0, Axe Kick defaults to Kickboxing -2 etc.), remove all the techniques that use something other than the legs, and add as a compensatory benefit that if you fail a kick you never need to make a roll not to fall down.

It's pretty simple, and 2 better on your skill rolls and not falling down seems like plenty to compensate for the loss of the rest of the Karate techniques, so Done.
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Last edited by malloyd; 09-29-2023 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 09-29-2023, 11:36 AM   #3
Varyon
 
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Kickboxing as a skill

ISTR some discussion of having a Savate skill in the past, which is basically what you're describing here - an unarmed skill that focuses exclusively on kicks. Historically such are rare, and more likely to be Art or Sport skills than combat skills, but you could certainly have such exist. IIRC, Taekwondo started out as something like this (it was designed for use by the Korean military, with the assumption the warrior's hands would be full), and still has aspects of it (a strong emphasis on kicks, to the extent that some competitions only allow you to score points on your opponent with kicks, not punches). But you could have something like this, yeah.

Of course, it's inappropriate for a skill to have a penalty for its standard use, so that built-in -2 for kicking needs to be removed. malloyd makes a good case for getting rid of the risk of falling on a miss as well. Comparing it to Boxing, a Savate skill would arguably be at a break-even point if it still had the penalty and chance of falling, all kick-based Techniques available, and perhaps a defensive penalty against punches (like how Boxing is penalized against kicks). Of course, I personally think the penalties Boxing is saddled with are a bit excessive, so I'd be inclined to leave out the defense penalty. Negating the Kicking penalty is worth [3], and a case could be made for getting rid of the fall chance with a Perk (it's a bit more powerful than No Nuisance Rolls, as it doesn't require skill 16+, but not excessively so), for a total of [4]... which coincidentally is the cost of +1 to skill once you get beyond the "novice discount" for the first few levels of a skill. So, that suggests upgrading from DX/A (as for Boxing) to DX/H (as for Karate) - meaning I've ultimately come to the same point as malloyd, albeit via a different route. It should probably be a Parry 0F skill (like Karate and Judo), as it's going to rely a lot on footwork (heh) and be more difficult in heavy armor - although if it's something that is typically learned by warriors who intend to use it as backup whilst armed and armored, the Armor Familiarity Perk will be common (this is a leveled Perk where each level negates -1 worth of penalties for encumbrance, regardless of if that comes from wearing armor or carrying a pack).
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Old 09-29-2023, 12:39 PM   #4
malloyd
 
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Kickboxing as a skill

And hey, if you find it's a little too good or bad, there are other small tweeks you can make - that Boxing defense penalty (suitably flipped from kicks to non-kicks, removing the Karate damage bonus (kicks are after all already a bit more damaging than punches), adding back techniques that aren't strictly kicks but still fit the concept, or even ones Karate lacks but are done with your legs - Breakfall, Sweep, Trip - adding in weapons (the Razor Kicks perk for free) to replace the dropped Karate ones...

And though we'll obsess over things like that here, it's probably not necessary to worry about getting it exactly "balanced". Skills aren't all that balanced to begin with and a few points one way or the other is a pretty minor issue anyway. The key thing is you need it to include enough cool stuff some of your players take it, but not so much they all pick it as their first choice combat skill. If you can hit that, it's balanced enough.
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Old 09-29-2023, 04:05 PM   #5
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Kickboxing as a skill

The suggestion of a Kickboxing / Savate skill makes total sense to me. More generally, for some combat sports rather than imposing a blanket -3 penalty to real combat, I think you might say training in the "sport" is represented by an optional specialty with the downsides "techniques illegal in your sport get no default" and "parries vs. illegal techniques are at -2". This is partly inspired by noticing that Skill Adaptation (Karate techniques default to Boxing) [1]; Boxing (A) DX+2 [8]; and Low-Line Defense (Boxing) (H) Boxing Parry [3] is effectively the same thing as Karate (H) DX+2 [12].
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Old 09-30-2023, 04:51 AM   #6
Sigrif
 
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Kickboxing as a skill

Thanks for your thoughts, you helped me a lot. Now I understand how would it look. Suggestions that this skill should be hard is reasonable and I think that it's right choice. Otoh removing risk of falling on a miss is too good, but giving it bonus should do the work. Removing damage bonus sounds a little strange for me.

And now, I have some questions about parries. MA123 gives some restrictions on those:
1) you parry only low-line attacks
2) you parry once per turn
3) you cannot retreat
Should I remove or ease some of those, or this is fair for this skill?
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Old 09-30-2023, 09:00 AM   #7
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Kickboxing as a skill

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigrif View Post
And now, I have some questions about parries. MA123 gives some restrictions on those:
1) you parry only low-line attacks
2) you parry once per turn
3) you cannot retreat
Should I remove or ease some of those, or this is fair for this skill?
Eh, it depends on how cinematic you're being. Actually, I'd think you were being Anime as the example of what you were looking for is Sanji, the cook from One Piece. He suffers from none of these. Actually, I'd do him with regular Karate and a Vow: Fight only with your feet!

Still in other anime kick heavy martial artists don't suffer these limits (or soem regualr limits from MA). For example of this, Guy-sensei from Naruto teaches a "high" Jam and indeed seems to prefer it when parrying high kicks.

<shrug>I tend to think that a Hard Striking skill based on kicks only isn't very reasonable. So realistic martial artists won't find teachers who know it and would have to invent it themselves. Then they'd have to start with regular Karate ad discard 75% of its' moves.
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Old 09-30-2023, 09:16 AM   #8
zoncxs
 
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Kickboxing as a skill

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigrif View Post
...
And now, I have some questions about parries. MA123 gives some restrictions on those:
1) you parry only low-line attacks
2) you parry once per turn
3) you cannot retreat
...
Those restrictions would be flipped for your new skill. Specifically, the techniques that let you buy off the penalties.

1) Low-Line Defense (which lets you use boxing or brawling to parry low line attacks) would become:

Quote:
High-Line Defense: Using your legs to parry an attack to your arms or head is normally at -2, you can buy off this penalty.
2) This is because you have to be standing on at least one leg since the other would be parrying. Instead of trying to remove this, I would create a new technique that would default to your new skill or acrobatics, just like how Sanji is able to parry more than once with his legs.

3) this would also be another technique I would create, defaulting to either your skill or acrobatics.
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Old 09-30-2023, 01:54 PM   #9
Varyon
 
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Kickboxing as a skill

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigrif View Post
1) you parry only low-line attacks
As zoncxs suggests, turning this into a penalty to Parry higher attacks and having a Technique to buy it off makes more sense. Also, while I don't think Martial Arts does this, I personally would allow a leg parry to be used against almost any kick, regardless of hit location, without any penalty for it being a high-line attack. This is because, realistically, you can use your leg to stop a kick before it's a kick, by blocking the knee or pushing it to the side, which would be best represented as a Parry. There would be a few kicks I'd allow as an exception to this - mostly jump kicks and those that are making use of Combat at Different Levels - that would instead call for the penalty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigrif View Post
2) you parry once per turn
I'd disregard this, but the iteration penalties for multiple Parries in a turn should apply to both legs for each leg parry, regardless of which is used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigrif View Post
3) you cannot retreat
I'd probably keep this, but maybe have a Perk that lets you retreat on a leg parry.

And, to be clear, I think my above suggestions would be fine to apply to Brawling and Karate, not just Savate/Kickboxing.
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Old 10-01-2023, 10:55 AM   #10
pawsplay
 
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Default Re: [Martial Arts] Kickboxing as a skill

I don't think there is a real combat skill that trains kicking only and no hands. It's too obvious that someone will just close and use their hands on you.

Boxing straddles the line between real combat and combat sport, and comes from a time when the rules did not make such a distinction, so it sits uncomfortably in this space.
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