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Old 08-04-2011, 10:28 AM   #21
Turhan's Bey Company
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Default Re: Explaining the 1 second/turn rationale

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Originally Posted by RussellChamp View Post
Ah... I think I miscommunicated a bit here... a turn may go this way.
Start -> (wielding a weapon they don't want like a bow) -> drop weapon -> quick draw first 1-hand weapon -> quick draw second 1-hand weapon -> attack once -> attack twice (using Extra Attack 1) -> End
That's rather different, then, to the point where I don't see a problem. The character can attack twice because he bought a rather expensive advantage which allows him to attack twice, so he's only doing what it says on the tin. Throw in the points necessary to buy up Fast-Draw so he can do that reliably and probably buying Ambidexterity or Off-Hand Weapon Training so he's not just flailing with the second weapon...well, yes, it's impressive, but the character has clearly been built to be impressive in that particular way. He's a talented specialist, capable of doing things that most people can't. (Conversely, he hasn't spent points, more than likely, in other areas: social skills, advantages that make him popular, technical skills, etc. He may be impressive with his weapons, but easy prey for the next con man to stroll by.)

This isn't a problem with turn length, I think, so much as possibly not understanding just how much the character is designed to be a badass. This is a cinematic Western gunslinger or a guy in a John Woo movie. If you don't want this kind of character in your games, you'll want to, as you noted, restrict Extra Attack.
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:36 AM   #22
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Default Re: Explaining the 1 second/turn rationale

GURPS has cinematic advantages and mundane ones. My advice is to run your first games using mundane ones only, Get the basics of running the game down first then bring in cinematic options later on.
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:55 AM   #23
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Default Re: Explaining the 1 second/turn rationale

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GURPS has cinematic advantages and mundane ones. My advice is to run your first games using mundane ones only, Get the basics of running the game down first then bring in cinematic options later on.
That's pretty much what I'm expecting to do. I'll start things slow, then have a big turning point in the story where I'll allow the buying of more cinematic and/or "magical" skills/advantages.
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:04 AM   #24
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Default Re: Explaining the 1 second/turn rationale

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That's pretty much what I'm expecting to do. I'll start things slow, then have a big turning point in the story where I'll allow the buying of more cinematic and/or "magical" skills/advantages.
Oooh. Handled right, this is an excellent way to handle it. Even if you don't handle it right, it won't usually lead to a catastrophe of a game.

This marks actual progression in the character, and also is a good way for them to feel that their character is being empowered along the way. They can also compare what their character can do "now", in the future, to what they were once like -- and see the differences between realistic and supernatural abilities.

I'd also recommend allowing them to buy a "dumbed down" version of an ability as things progress -- such as Extra Attack 1 with the Costs Fatigue limitation, for instance. Or an Innate Attack/Affliction that starts off minor and hardly useful, but slowly gains abilities as things go along -- such as a small bolt of fire that can barely light a campfire eventually turning into a natural fireball/dragon breath or the like. Just as a random example.

Also compatible with Schrodinger's Advantage; you can allow them to reserve half points for an advantage that comes up during play. If combat is getting too tough for the characters, you can allow them pull out the special ability, and get put into debt for any CP they can't afford the ability with -- this suits the trope "have to be driven back into a corner until I unlock my special ability". You'd have control over what the "special ability" is, of course.

Another way to make things interesting is to have the abilities be "thematic" -- having a specific cause in the world -- you can have them include certain disadvantages and the like to coincide with the advantages, or even precede. In a low fantasy world I'm currently in, the "spirits" are the explanations for supernatural abilities -- which include such things as Luck, Danger Sense, etc., for abilities that are more in the background than visible. To precede the spirits aiding them, however, first the spirits are trying to contact them, and having trouble doing so; leading to the Voices [-5] disadvantage, and Nightmares, as there's enough troubles in "translation" to cause problems.
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:05 AM   #25
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Default Re: Explaining the 1 second/turn rationale

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Hello!
My local group of GURPS players and I have nearly finished our first campaign. Rah rah rah! Anyway, one thing that has been bothering me is the fact that GURPS defines one turn rotation as taking one second. To me, at least, this seems an insanely short amount of time in which players draw weapons, drop weapons, attack (often multiple times), defend (often multiple times), and frequently a combination of the above. Players also talk as a free action but often communicate large ideas in 20-30 seconds "real time".
My first question is this: Why was one second chosen as the time taken for one round? Is there any rationale here or was it just a number pulled out of a hat?
On the flip side of thing, DnD turns take six seconds (as far as I can remember). However, as a low level player, this is equally annoying as you are typically limited to a single attack per six seconds!
Second question: This fall I'll be the one running a campaign. Could we make a compromise and call each round 2 or 3 seconds? Would this completely break the game? Am I foolish for even trying to trifle with "the system"? Do I not know with what powers I contend?
Thoughts and comments would be appreciated!
Ok, the big difference here is not that DnD "lets you do less in a second," it's that it abstracts out a bunch of things. In my D&D 4e game, I have several moves that give several attacks (like Hack and Hew) or a huge swarm of attacks, like Rain of Steel (which may or may not consist of attacks, depending on how you look at it). In a single turn, my fighter could inflict 1[W] damage on every enemy adjacent to him, and thereafter use Hack and Hew to hit two different targets, and then if someone tried to move away from him, make an Attack of Opportunity to hit him. That's up to 11 attacks, depending on how you look at it.

But like I said, D&D abstracts a lot of things out. Exactly what is Rain of Steel? What's a hit point? Why can't I use Hack and Hew on the same target? That's just how the game works. You can try to make sense of it later, but ultimately, it's trying to create interesting gameplay, not telling a narrative of every stroke and technique you used to defeat your foe.

GURPS relies on distinct, actual actions. In that one second, you're stating exactly what you're doing and depending on the optional rules in play, that can get very detailed indeed, down to the grip on your blade, how far and where you shuffled your feet during your defense, how close you let him get before you snapped off the attack to launch a counterattack of your own, and so on.

The reason we have 1 second turns in GURPS is, first of all, because it makes it easy to calculate real-world things. If a gun fires 120 rounds per minute, then it has a GURPS ROF of 2. Easy. But, more importantly, it's because of the detail of GURPS' actions.

I find some people have a hard time grasping this because they're grown accustomed to D&D's "one turn is enough time to do something meaningful." Nobody in D&D would spend 3 turns setting up a move, but that's common in GURPS. If you keep the combat flowing quickly, swiftly, so the seconds really feel like seconds, then I find people become less worried about "wasting" seconds with Evalutations and Aims and Feints.
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:36 AM   #26
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Default Re: Explaining the 1 second/turn rationale

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But like I said, D&D abstracts a lot of things out. ... GURPS relies on distinct, actual actions.
This is the basic difference. D&D explicitly assumes there are multiple weapon swings, defensive moves, and so on in a combat turn. This has evolved due to the way it originally descends from a miniatures wargame, where things take much longer in game time than seems necessary, because that models how long actual large low-tech battles took, more or less.

GURPS tracks each weapon swing, shield defence attempt, drawing an arrow from the quiver, cocking the pistol ... all of it. Combat takes very little game time, much less than in D&D, although it takes approximately the same time to play through. The time GURPS says a combat takes seems to match individual combat fairly well. It doesn't address the problem of "why do large battles take so long?", because that isn't part of the game's heritage, or a central problem for it.
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:42 AM   #27
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Default Re: Explaining the 1 second/turn rationale

In my more realistic campaigns, players usually start with 100/50 points, and the most unrealistic thing that one could do was to hit an eye with skill 11(targeted attack)...
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Old 08-04-2011, 12:15 PM   #28
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Default Re: Explaining the 1 second/turn rationale

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The time GURPS says a combat takes seems to match individual combat fairly well. It doesn't address the problem of "why do large battles take so long?", because that isn't part of the game's heritage, or a central problem for it.
To the best of my knowledge, that approach was introduced into rpgs by RuneQuest. At least by the time of RuneQuest II, they had the attack roll for each individual attack; the parry roll; the Defense score, which was subtracted from your attacker's attack skill to represent your chance of staying out of the way; hit locations; criticals and fumbles; armor stopping damage from getting through to you, rather than making you harder to hit; and the whole idea that hit points represented real, physical tissue destruction, not some notional compound of health and size and luck and skill.

D&D's big innovation was the idea of "man to man" combat. But especially in the early versions, it was kind of scaled down from wargaming with lead soldiers that represented small units; it began, I believe, with Chainmail saying that if one hero was a match for a dozen normal men, then one figure could represent either a small unit or a lone hero. But it was Steve Perrin who took his experience at the Society for Creative Anachronism and turned it into a system that attempted to actually represent the flow of actions in a fight. He explicitly said that the fumble table derived from experience at SCA combat sessions! I think his representation had some problems, but nonetheless it had a realistic agenda that was quite different from what D&D was aiming for.

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Old 08-04-2011, 12:52 PM   #29
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Default Re: Explaining the 1 second/turn rationale

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To the best of my knowledge, that approach was introduced into rpgs by RuneQuest. At least by the time of RuneQuest II, they had the attack roll for each individual attack...
I'm pretty sure you're right - and RQI was much like RQII in this respect. I got to skim-read a friend's copy once when researching the Greg Stafford bibliography. T&T certainly didn't work like that, Traveller didn't, and after a quick read, C&S didn't. That's the major first-generation games. Incidentally, C&S uses melee rounds of 150 seconds, which has to be a record.
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Old 08-04-2011, 12:58 PM   #30
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Default Re: Explaining the 1 second/turn rationale

I've heard people try to explain the low accuracy of low level D&D characters (and low number of attacks compared to high level characters) as handwaving all their missed attacks as contributing to the (roughly) 50% hit chance. And low hitpoints are supposed to be an abstraction of the characters poor ability to defend themselves.

This makes my head hurt (apparently 1 HP kobolds are flinging themselves on your weapon, but you still are terrible at hitting them) and completely ignores the idea that numbers were chosen mostly for making a "fun game".

If nothing else, give D&D 4e full credit for wearing its gamist logic and Rule of Cool stylings loud and proud. It seems to have cut down on people mistaking its detail for "realism" :)
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