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Old 09-07-2020, 08:15 AM   #71
maximara
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Default Re: Reducing the number of weapon skills

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Originally Posted by Gnome View Post
Maybe the simplest solution here is Talents. And you don’t even have to invent house rules! Just create some 5-pt talents: swordsman (all sword skills), chopper (axe/mace, flail, 2h axe/mace, 2h flail, polearm, maybe also kusari/whip), knifer (knife, shortsword, maybe throw in fast-draw or thrown knife to fill this one out), etc. The names could use help but you get the idea. At 5/lvl these cost a bit more than skills to raise, but come with a reaction bonus (using Basic talents here, PU talents could allow a more nuanced approach with alternate benefits/costs).
I agree Talents is the better way but a swordsman talent could be a little iffy - if it includes fencing swords then it should be, per Smooth Talent Cost rules, 10/level (4 fencing skills + 6 sword skills)

BTW a Thrown Weapon talent would be 7/level per Smooth Talent Cost rules
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Old 09-07-2020, 08:52 AM   #72
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Default Re: Reducing the number of weapon skills

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Shad (of Shadiversity) shows why this is a majorly bad idea.

The Swords page at GURPSwiki goes into that it is how the terms are used vs what they meant in real life. Fencing is more properly with a light sword with a maximum length of 43.3 in which by length would put it in the longsword lengthwise but trying to that type of fencing with an actual longsword would get you a serious case of dead.
Just to be clear (since you posted this part as a reply to my post), my only point was that IF you are grouping non-fencing bladed weapons into just two skills, it seems wrong to me to put knives in one of those skills and everything from the xiphos to the zweihander in the other.
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Old 09-07-2020, 09:15 AM   #73
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Default Re: Reducing the number of weapon skills

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The Swords page at GURPSwiki goes into that it is how the terms are used vs what they meant in real life. Fencing is more properly with a light sword with a maximum length of 43.3 in which by length would put it in the longsword lengthwise but trying to that type of fencing with an actual longsword would get you a serious case of dead.
Rapiers are some of the heaviest one-handed swords, often had blades up to 48" long, and often had blades indistinguishable from those of longsword except for the length of the tang. Any good fencer should be able to adapt to a sword with a simple cross hilt.

Shad is just a geek with a youtube channel, not an expert on history or martial arts. He's entertaining, not someone to use as a serious source.
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Old 09-07-2020, 10:08 AM   #74
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Default Re: Reducing the number of weapon skills

If people want fighters to be skilled with every weapon, why not just give them more points to spend on weapons? Or is there some inherent value to be gained by stripping away nuance and variation?
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Old 09-07-2020, 10:29 AM   #75
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Default Re: Reducing the number of weapon skills

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If people want fighters to be skilled with every weapon, why not just give them more points to spend on weapons? Or is there some inherent value to be gained by stripping away nuance and variation?
Because its not realistic that someone who usually trains with a sword and picks up an axe will be as helpless as any other athletic person who has never fought. Even worse than that, the lack of defaults and the character point system mean that someone who trains in several weapons will be a much worse fighter than someone who focuses on one, when in the real world soldiers leaned towards breadth over depth. In the 16th century, recruits to a good infantry unit often had to show that they could make themselves useful with every weapon commonly used ... being competent with a range of melee weapons was just not that big a deal.

One of the basic principles of GURPS is that the rules should not punish you for assuming your character knew something.
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Old 09-07-2020, 10:36 AM   #76
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Default Re: Reducing the number of weapon skills

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If people want fighters to be skilled with every weapon, why not just give them more points to spend on weapons? Or is there some inherent value to be gained by stripping away nuance and variation?
I once made a "fighter" who was skiled with every weapon but it was for characterization and not functionality. No meleeweapon ever came up during the game except for greatsword. Well, not in combat anyway. He did have a cell phone built in to the hilt of his dagger.

When I was GM'ing Nyx the Barbarian probably had skill in every weapon but that was a hobby for her. She also kept one of every weapon she encountered in her Bag of Holding. Also part of her hobby.

I see no reason why every fighter should have skill in every weapon. Weapon types they have never seen before probably ought to be more than a -2 Familiarity penalty.
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Old 09-07-2020, 12:11 PM   #77
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Default Re: Reducing the number of weapon skills

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I see no reason why every fighter should have skill in every weapon. Weapon types they have never seen before probably ought to be more than a -2 Familiarity penalty.
One solution to that is treating them as techniques with around a -4 default.
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Old 09-07-2020, 12:24 PM   #78
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Default Re: Reducing the number of weapon skills

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Because its not realistic that someone who usually trains with a sword and picks up an axe will be as helpless as any other athletic person who has never fought. Even worse than that, the lack of defaults and the character point system mean that someone who trains in several weapons will be a much worse fighter than someone who focuses on one, when in the real world soldiers leaned towards breadth over depth.
Realistically, there probably should be some default between just about any two weapon skills.
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Old 09-07-2020, 12:43 PM   #79
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Default Re: Reducing the number of weapon skills

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Because its not realistic that someone who usually trains with a sword and picks up an axe will be as helpless as any other athletic person who has never fought.
That is what defaults are for, as I understand it. So a rule change focus on cutting back on skills is sort of the wrong direction.

It seems to me that its equally unrealistic for a generalist to be equally competent to a specialist in the specialist's specialty, so the narrowing of skills seems to create a converse problem.

Quote:
Even worse than that, the lack of defaults and the character point system mean that someone who trains in several weapons will be a much worse fighter than someone who focuses on one, when in the real world soldiers leaned towards breadth over depth. In the 16th century, recruits to a good infantry unit often had to show that they could make themselves useful with every weapon commonly used ... being competent with a range of melee weapons was just not that big a deal.
Competence in more than one weapon should cost more than in just one. We are safe to assume that such broad training involved some time and experience (translating to character points in GUPRS terms).

Maybe the problem (if there is one) is that GURPS subsumes too much of combat ability into weapon skills.

Last edited by Donny Brook; 09-07-2020 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 09-07-2020, 01:08 PM   #80
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Default Re: Reducing the number of weapon skills

This is generally what high DX is meant to represent. Another way to represent such broad competency though would be Modular Abilities. For example, Modular Abilities 8 (Slotted Cosmic Powers; Combat Skills Only, -20%) [38] could represent a realistic level of competency in every combat skill (after all, it is roughly equivalent in cost to +2 DX, though +2 DX is generally more useful). Speaking as someone with a fair amount of training in martial arts, there is no particular reason why mastery in broadsword would allow skill in using a mace, as they have a radically different balance, much less weapons like flails or whips.

As a GM, I would be comfortable with having broad contegories as skills one level more difficult than the hardest skill in the category, with the skills in Basic being specialties at their default difficulty. That would result in the melee skills of Fencing (H), Flails (VH), Impact Weapons (H), Net (VH) (which includes Cloak and Lasso), Pole Weapons (H), Shields (A), Swords (H) (which includes Tonfa), and Whip (VH). That would reduce the number of melee weapon skills from 28 to 8 without making any of them too broad for realism. In the case of unarmed combat, it would be Grappling (VH) and Striking (VH), which would mean a total reduction from 34 skills to 10 skills.
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