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Old 08-02-2015, 01:58 PM   #11
Mathulhu
 
Join Date: May 2009
Default Re: Combat as a contest of attack skill vs defense

As a system it can work perfectly fine if you compare like with like as is down in other contests between skills. If you want to decide who wins in a sword fight just roll sword skills and the person with the largest margin of success is the winner.

I have found a different option works with my players. If the fight looks like it is dragging on too long out of character have people react like it is dragging on too long in character. No one should just stand there and mechanically throw the same attack over and over again (unless they really are automatons) just to have it deflected in the same way.
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Old 08-02-2015, 02:10 PM   #12
lvalero
 
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Default Re: Combat as a contest of attack skill vs defense

In my group we have a little different house rule.

The parry, block and dodge defenses are skills just like any other one. You can raise them as you would rise any other one.

If you are hit, you have a penalty to the defense roll equals to 10-attack skill of your enemy. In this context "skill" means your value without adding any modifiers such as "visibility", "higher ground", "magical weapon bonus", "telegraphic attack bonus" etc...

If your enemy attack skill es less than 10, then your penalty is 0 (you can't claim a bonus!)

This way you don't have to calculate the margin of success of every roll, because these "margins" are precalculated. For example if you have Sword-13 then your enemies have a -3 to dodge, parry and block you. As a side note, as the attacker you can make a deceptive attack and sum up all the penalizations to the enemy's active defense.

We are happy with this rule, but we don't play with called shots.
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Last edited by lvalero; 08-02-2015 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 08-02-2015, 02:54 PM   #13
Captain Joy
 
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Default Re: Combat as a contest of attack skill vs defense

Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper6 View Post
If your players don't like that there is defense, they don't like deceptive attacks (which really aren't that complex--they are just "I take a -2 to my attack to mess up his defense!"), they are fine with cutting out targeted attacks, rapid strikes, etc...do they actually want to play GURPS or would they rather just play D&D? If they prefer D&D, maybe that is what they should be playing?
The only reason they're playing GURPS is to accommodate me. There are three GMs in the group; we each use a different system in a different genre. My GURPS Star Trek game gets run about every other month, which means they never get comfortable with the combat options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper6 View Post
But if your players are happy, I suppose that is all that matters.
You said it, trooper6. I was a bit disappointed they didn't embrace the tactical nuances that GURPS has to offer; but as GURPS makes it easy to adjust complexity to taste, it's no a problem accommodating their proclivities.

Last edited by Captain Joy; 08-02-2015 at 03:53 PM. Reason: make for more interesting reading
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Old 08-02-2015, 04:41 PM   #14
trooper6
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Medford, MA
Default Re: Combat as a contest of attack skill vs defense

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Joy View Post
The only reason they're playing GURPS is to accommodate me. There are three GMs in the group; we each use a different system in a different genre. My GURPS Star Trek game gets run about every other month, which means they never get comfortable with the combat options.

You said it, trooper6. I was a bit disappointed they didn't embrace the tactical nuances that GURPS has to offer; but as GURPS makes it easy to adjust complexity to taste, it's no a problem accommodating their proclivities.
I'm just wondering if there might be other strategies.

In my experience getting D&Ders to play GURPS, they often don't like anything that is different from D&D mechanics (because they spent a lot of time learning those mechanics). They would start by complaining about defense rolls, about the 1 second combat turn, about this and that. I found that trying to make GURPS more like D&D by ditching all the things that made GURPS special didn't, in the long run, convert them to GURPS. They just kept seeing it as a "not as fun D&D."

So instead, I amped up all the GURPS specific things. I kept the defense rolls...but highlighted the called shots and other cool things you could do with high skill. If they felt combat was slow (which...was never as slow as those high level D&D3e fights), I showed them ways to speed it up. If they were frustrated they didn't get to hit all the time (because of defense), I threw some low level people at them with poor defenses that they would hit all the to give them a sense of "I'm badass." To give them a healthy appreciation of defense I put them up against some big foes who would do LOTS of damage if they hit...they big foe with a club would hit a red shirt and make them paste...showing the effects...then the players really appreciated their defenses. I gave them my combat options handout that makes things easier for them. I showed them the awesomeness of GURPS character creation in one-on-one sessions.

I have converted D&Ders to GURPS...but usually not by trying to make GURPS into D&D. However, if the players are dyed in the wool D&Ders only, and your enthusiasm for the system won't convert them...I just don't know if it is worth it to make them play it. They will only go and bad mouth the system to other gamers behind your back...and it seems like it would be counter-productive in the long run.

Oh! One more thing...which, I don't know if it is doable, but you might consider it.
They might like GURPS combat if they had a bit more familiarity with it...and playing once every other month isn't all that conducive to that as you noted. In my rotating GM group, each GM would run an adventure which would last 5-10 sessions before we would switch. Perhaps your group could play a few more consecutive sessions of each game before rotating to the next. It would let people get more into the groove of a new system.

Last edited by trooper6; 08-02-2015 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 08-02-2015, 06:12 PM   #15
mr beer
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default Re: Combat as a contest of attack skill vs defense

I used the contest option in 3e and it worked well for my game. You need to tweak defences because they're nerfed as mention above. It speeds up combat for high skilled characters because they can reliably deliver unstoppable blows. The main problem or feature if you prefer, is that high weapon skills become extremely preferable and therefore common.

When I switched to 4e, I dropped it because the array of combat options available now make it unnecessary IMO.
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Old 08-05-2015, 07:22 AM   #16
afnord
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Iceland
Default Re: Combat as a contest of attack skill vs defense

I agree with Trooper6 you must highlight gurps strength rather than try to make it into D&D.

My group uses a cheat sheet for combat which lists all the maneuvers, hit locations and etc. This helps the people who barely bother to read the system
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