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Old 03-15-2010, 06:24 PM   #1
Agemegos
 
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Default Full-contact Combat Sports

Suppose that with 'ultra'-level bio-tech it becomes quick, easy, and reliable to mend a person who has been pretty badly messed up with punches and kicks, or even with a knife or sword. A fighter might be disabled and down on Friday night, but back at work at 10 AM Monday. Unless you shoot someone through the armoured skull with a powerful firearm, it might be, no injury might leave permanent disability or disfigurement. Also, pain and time lost to recovery and rehabilitation might be limited.

Under these circumstances I would expect that practitioners of combat sports might be significantly more willing to fight full-contact bouts, with less protective gear and fewer safety rules, and with decision by surrender, collapse, or incapacity. And insurers and the Nanny might be more inclined to let them.

In GURPS terms, at what point are the enthusiasts of such sports practitioners of Combat Skill rather than Combat Sport?

For example, consider sabre fencing. Supposing that it were fought with live blades, in dolmans, breeches, and jackboots, and that it was fought until one fighter went down. That would be Combat Skill. Fought with whippy bits of wire, with right-of-way rules, hits below the hips not counting, best of seven points etc. it is clearly Combat Sport. Suppose that it were fought with sharp blades, to first blood (or best of seven bleeding wounds), without right-of-way or target area rules. Then it would be intermediate: not quite a Combat Skill (because there would be no premium on deep and well-placed wounds, and because the weapons would be optimised for producing quick superficial scratches rather than disabling wounds), but definitely more like Combat Skill than the current Sabre Sport.
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: Full-contact Combat Sports

I suggest that you alter the default from combat skill to combat sport.

Best of seven bleeding wounds might default to combat skill at -2 instead of -3. Alternatively, it might already be sufficient to count as combat skill, but actual combat situations and combat-optimized weaponry would qualify for Unfamiliarity Penalties.
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:10 PM   #3
gjc8
 
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Default Re: Full-contact Combat Sports

Realistically, different combat sports would have different defaults to the real skill, depending on how realistic the sport is.

If you want to keep the current -2, then some intermediate versions which have a combat skill default of -1 would be appropriate.

IMO, many modern combat sports differ sufficiently from combat skills that -2 is too generous a default, and fencing should default from sport at more like -4 (at least for sabre and foil fencing, with target area and right-of-way restrictions).
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:34 PM   #4
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Full-contact Combat Sports

It's either in a post or in Martial Arts, but either Kromm or TDK has said that live steel full contact sparring uses full combat skill, not sport or art.
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: Full-contact Combat Sports

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
It's either in a post or in Martial Arts, but either Kromm or TDK has said that live steel full contact sparring uses full combat skill, not sport or art.
It's implied in the description of Sword and Shield Fighting in MA.
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Full-contact Combat Sports

I'd say the "first blood," "first 7 bloods," etc. versions really would be Combat Skill, but practitioners would heavily favor Deceptive Attack, and may use variant weapons (suffering Familiarity penalties when switching to a "real" weapon). They are also unlikely to have invested points in Targeted Attacks toward Vitals, Arteries, etc, and may have special Techniques that aren't very useful in real combat (such as attacks that cause very little damage but set the user up for a better Parry or are more difficult for the enemy to Parry). Combat Sport should probably only be used if there are rules preventing what would otherwise be a good combat option, like strikes below the belt not counting, or shield-bashing being disallowed (disallowing kicking might not be grounds to turn it into a Sport, but it might be legitimate to penalize a duelist's defenses against such an attack).
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: Full-contact Combat Sports

To use an example familiar to most people, professional boxing uses unmodified Combat Skill, not Combat Sport. This is even though bouts are marked with a lot of rules and several targets and manueuvers that would be common in a real fight are forbidden.

The most important qualification for Combat Skill as opposed to Combat Sport is full-contact. If there's a point system in place that counts touches to the opponent, it's probably Combat Sport. If you can win by inflicting damage to the other party, as in modern boxing or MMA, it's Combat Skill.
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: Full-contact Combat Sports

The solution for borderline cases, rather than messing around with the defaults, is to build a style that includes both Combat and Combat Sport.

Using the first blood example: you're learning how to fight, but you're also wasting points learning how to fight in a non-lethal way.
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:53 AM   #9
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Default Re: Full-contact Combat Sports

Forget all this one-on-one fighting stuff. How many real fights are like that? I want to see the sport where you get together with seven of your buddies to ambush your lone opponent in a dark alley.

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Old 03-16-2010, 11:24 AM   #10
Kromm
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Default Re: Full-contact Combat Sports

Quote:
Originally Posted by lwcamp View Post

Forget all this one-on-one fighting stuff. How many real fights are like that? I want to see the sport where you get together with seven of your buddies to ambush your lone opponent in a dark alley.
A seriously good point. A not-so-hidden assumption of every actual combat skill in GURPS is that it includes not just attacking, defending, making and resisting disarms and feints, and so on – all of which is taken as read – but also all of this:
  • Fighting in formation. You have no penalty at all to strike through your allies' space with a long weapon (yes, really . . . see p. B388). You can see all of your allies' actions and respond to them. For instance, if your ally stuns an enemy, you can exploit the opening – and if you want, you and your allies can gang up on one guy to saturate his defenses without any of your weapons interfering with one another.

  • Confronting multiple opponents. You're specifically trained to block or parry with each hand independently to address at least two rivals . . . or perhaps you use a two-handed weapon, which per Martial Arts has an inherent bonus vs. multiple attackers. Either way, you're also trained to move around enough to get a dodge vs. all of them and suffer just -2 vs. attackers in your flanks, which is less severe than most situational penalties.

  • Battling those armed differently from you. Regardless of what your skill covers, you're prepared to deal with foes who attack you with slams and grappling moves; with fists, feet, headbutts, teeth, horns, etc.; or with weapons. If your opponents are armed, you're ready for crushing, cutting, or impaling weapons; one- or two-handed weapons; anything from close-combat weapons to full-length pikes; and single weapons, paired weapons, or dissimilar sets.
If an activity doesn't encompass all of this, without exception, then it merits a Combat Sport skill. Full contact is also necessary, but not sufficient. If you whack people full-power with a saber but have no idea how to fight in a 1 vs. 2, 2 vs. 1, 3 vs. 2, 10 vs. 7, etc., and have never fought against anything but sabers or very similar weapons, then you have Saber Sport. To have Saber, you'd have to know how to fight against staffs, whips, maces, scythes, sais, etc., and possibly all of those in the hands of several foes while you back up your pals who are using an equally broad assortment of weapons.

In short, no matter how hard you hit, it's just Combat Sport until you've had a chance to acquire familiarity with enough different battlefield configurations that any new such configuration qualifies as "something similar." Of course, you also have to learn the "hitting at full force" part, which is it's own thing separate from broadening your tactical horizons.
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