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Old 11-10-2020, 07:50 AM   #1
CarrionPeacock
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default [Pyramid] Replacing Claws and Teeth with Natural Weapons

By default adding Sharp Claws and Sharp Teeth to a race costs 6 points.
The Natural Weapons article adds a more flexible version of these advantages and suggests replacing the natural weapons from Basic with it, but is not explicit on how. Is the following build correct? It seem a little too expensive:
Sharp Teeth: Natural Weapon (Cutting ; Reduced Damage 1, -30%) [5]
Sharp Claw (Hands): Natural Weapon (Cutting ; Reduced Damage 1, -30%) [5]
Sharp Claw (Feet): Natural Weapon (Cutting ; Extra Reach, C,1, +50%) [11]
Total point cost is 21, nearly four times the original cost for worse results (-1 per die on punches instead of flat -1).
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Old 11-10-2020, 08:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: [Pyramid] Replacing Claws and Teeth with Natural Weapons

Out of curiosity which issue is this out of, it's something I'd like to look into more.
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Old 11-10-2020, 08:14 AM   #3
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Default Re: [Pyramid] Replacing Claws and Teeth with Natural Weapons

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Originally Posted by Kesendeja View Post
Out of curiosity which issue is this out of, it's something I'd like to look into more.
It's from Pyramid #3/65.
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Old 11-10-2020, 09:08 AM   #4
Varyon
 
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Default Re: [Pyramid] Replacing Claws and Teeth with Natural Weapons

A few thoughts, although away from my .pdfs so can't check the numbers.

Sharp Teeth needs Single - it only gives you the weapons once, not for each hand. All of the builds need Cannot Parry, as you are still reliant on using the default unarmed parries all characters have (normally, Natural Weapons gives you a "weapon parry" you can use). Also, they probably shouldn't count as weapons been being Parried, meaning biting at an armed foe can easily end up with your face cut by their sword. I eyeball this as Unarmed -20%. If you don't want these effects, of course, don't take the discount - but keep in mind this makes your Natural Weapons better than the Advantages they are replacing.

As for the feet, personally I don't think you should have to pay for the additional Reach - or even damage - that comes "free" with having normal legs, just as a character who has long arms (already paid for by modifying their existing arms, having an increased SM, or whatever) and Arm ST shouldn't have to pay extra for Natural Weapons mounted there to have longer Reach and higher damage. Also, it probably wouldn't be bad to make an Enhancement for the same Natural Weapon to apply to hands and feet; I'd eyeball it at +20% (roughly comparable to having the feet claws as an Alternate Attack to the hand claws).

All this together should get the cost down to something more reasonable. IIRC you still end up more expensive than with the RAW Advantages, but not egregiously so. Alternatively, you could assume the characters already have Crushing Natural Weapons built as above for their bites, kicks, and punches, and just upgrade those to Cutting, which will probably be closer in price to the RAW Advantages. For kicks and punches, you'll probably want to tack on Additional Damage Type (+20% I think) to retain the ability to do Crushing damage with those. Honestly, this might make the Natural Weapons build cost less.

EDIT: Assuming Single and Cannot Parry are worth -30% each, and using a half-level of Reduced Damage to be a straight -1 rather than -1/die, I'm getting something like the following.

Sharp Teeth (Cutting; Cannot Parry -30%; Reduced Damage -15%; Single -30%; Unarmed -20%) [1.4] (note it gets capped at -80%, so you could leave off the damage reduction).

Sharp Claws (Cutting; Feet also +20%; Cannot Parry -30%; Reduced Damage -15%; Unarmed -20%) [3.85]

Which works out to [6], regardless of if you round before or after combining them. You have the option of making this a bit better than the default Advantages, however, as the bite could have up to +20% worth of Enhancements added (or Limitations removed) without costing more than [2].
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Last edited by Varyon; 11-10-2020 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 11-10-2020, 09:35 AM   #5
CarrionPeacock
 
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Default Re: [Pyramid] Replacing Claws and Teeth with Natural Weapons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Sharp Teeth needs Single - it only gives you the weapons once, not for each hand. All of the builds need Cannot Parry, as you are still reliant on using the default unarmed parries all characters have (normally, Natural Weapons gives you a "weapon parry" you can use). Also, they probably shouldn't count as weapons been being Parried, meaning biting at an armed foe can easily end up with your face cut by their sword. I eyeball this as Unarmed -20%. If you don't want these effects, of course, don't take the discount - but keep in mind this makes your Natural Weapons better than the Advantages they are replacing.
The advantage specifies that by default all limbs of the same kind (specified when purchasing the advantage) are modified, so by RAW Natural Weapon to mouth/head gives modifies only one "limb" unless you have Extra Heads so adding Single wouldn't limit it and limitations that dooes't limit something are not worth points.
Your argument about parries seems valid to me.

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
As for the feet, personally I don't think you should have to pay for the additional Reach - or even damage - that comes "free" with having normal legs, just as a character who has long arms (already paid for by modifying their existing arms, having an increased SM, or whatever) and Arm ST shouldn't have to pay extra for Natural Weapons mounted there to have longer Reach and higher damage. Also, it probably wouldn't be bad to make an Enhancement for the same Natural Weapon to apply to hands and feet; I'd eyeball it at +20% (roughly comparable to having the feet claws as an Alternate Attack to the hand claws).
RAW says Natural Weapon has reach C, but your point makes sense. I'm not sure about making punches and kicks alternative to each other, needing a Ready maneuver to switch from punches to kicks is harsh...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
All this together should get the cost down to something more reasonable. IIRC you still end up more expensive than with the RAW Advantages, but not egregiously so. Alternatively, you could assume the characters already have Crushing Natural Weapons built as above for their bites, kicks, and punches, and just upgrade those to Cutting, which will probably be closer in price to the RAW Advantages. For kicks and punches, you'll probably want to tack on Additional Damage Type (+20% I think) to retain the ability to do Crushing damage with those. Honestly, this might make the Natural Weapons build cost less.
Sharp Teeth: Natural Weapon (Cutting ; Reduced Damage 1, -30%; Cannot Parry, -40%) [3]
Sharp Claw (Hands): Natural Weapon (Cutting ; Reduced Damage 1, -30%; Cannot Parry, -40%) [3]
Sharp Claw (Feet): Natural Weapon (Cutting ; Cannot Parry, -40%) [5]
Total cost is now 11, much better. Would it be valid to combine the cost of both claws before rounding? 2.1+4.2=6.3 which then is rounded to 7, add the teeth cost and I get a nice [10] total.
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Old 11-10-2020, 09:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Pyramid] Replacing Claws and Teeth with Natural Weapons

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrionPeacock View Post
The advantage specifies that by default all limbs of the same kind (specified when purchasing the advantage) are modified, so by RAW Natural Weapon to mouth/head gives modifies only one "limb" unless you have Extra Heads so adding Single wouldn't limit it and limitations that dooes't limit something are not worth points.
ISTR one of the examples being a flaming breath weapon or similar (so only one "limb" by default), and built with Single. You'll want to check your copy, however.

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Originally Posted by CarrionPeacock View Post
I'm not sure about making punches and kicks alternative to each other, needing a Ready maneuver to switch from punches to kicks is harsh...
Alternate Attacks require no Ready to switch between them. Note Additional (or is it Extra?) Damage Type is similar, basically giving you an Alternate Attack with a different damage type for +20% (IIRC).

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrionPeacock View Post
Total cost is now 11, much better. Would it be valid to combine the cost of both claws before rounding? 2.1+4.2=6.3 which then is rounded to 7, add the teeth cost and I get a nice [10] total.
I feel this is a good example of when it's appropriate to combine prior to rounding, yes. You're building one ability - sharp claws - but using two Advantages to build it, simply out of necessity.
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Old 11-10-2020, 01:45 PM   #7
Plane
 
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Default Re: [Pyramid] Replacing Claws and Teeth with Natural Weapons

One thing that comes to mind about emulating "Elbow" w/ a natural weapon...

that has a special drawback in MA of not getting a +1 to reach (remains C) when doing AOA (Long).

Bites also have the drawback of not gaining "Size and Reach" benefits, as Zombies eventually clarified (prior to that I had assumed they got the reach bonus)

If we're doing up natural weapons then how much should those things be?

Another thing I'd like to see specified is whether or not natural weapons are "Incrementing" for using the Armed Grappling rules w/ them.

Plus some like bites have "worrying" we might need to think about, and special rules where crushing damage can actually sever small things like ears/noses when it normally can't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrionPeacock View Post
It's from Pyramid #3/65.
*checks out*

ST/10 effective weight ..

HP equal to Homogenous (B557) of that weight ..

for ST 10 human (1 pound) this would be 8 HP.

I guess pg 25 "Light" limitation is key to avoid that if you wanted a more fragile natural weapon. The max -80% to weight (0.2 pounds) worth a -40% cost limitation would round down to 1/8 pound which is 4 HP, the lowest possible HP for a natural weapon of a ST 10 creature.

I wonder if "has the same DR as the body part to which it is attached" should mean that teeth might inherit DR from the skull?

I'm thinking maybe not because it's more like part of the JAW (which doesn't have DR, it's just a vulnerable part of the face) but maybe if we lumped together "head" where "body part" is basically "whatever foes can attack if you fail an attempted parry, or they parry your attack with a weapon" and if foes could specify any part of the head instead of just the jaw.

I actually like the idea of allowing parries w/ teeth (ie bite a finger or knife thrust at your face) but I'm not sure whether Poor Defense or Unbalanced would be more suitable. I wonder if maybe a -35% could combine the worst of both and still be a smaller discount than the -40% for Cannot Parry?

"Single" seems like it might be appropriate (you only have one mouth) but natural weapon seems to assume it's a limb and doesn't seem to have allowances for non-limb mounts like head strikers.

"Hidden" is also an interesting idea, because on one hand you might think "restractible fangs for vampires!" but OTOH even for normal teeth, aren't they hidden when the mouth is closed?

Like maybe there's 2 degrees of hidden and different mechanisms for what actually causes their exposure?

Maybe some NWs can be exposed against the user's will (mouth forced open) more easily than others (figuring out how to force wolverine to extend his claws).

There are people who can milk the Toxic Attack out of a snake's fangs, and I think there's even a way to exert pressure on a kitten's paws to make their claws extend (not sure about retract) but I could see a lot of NWs being more resistant to that kind of interference than some.

Hidden is double the cost of Switchable I think because it's a free action to do. Normally that would be triple the cost (+20% for Decreased Time) but it's probably less expensive due to losing switchability under some circumstances (weapon is grappled, weapon is stuck, weapon is locked)

Another interesting issue is this bit:
"may appear only when you attack and parry, if you wish."
The problem there of course is that free actions are done at the start of your turn, which creates the same problem as we have for "Fast-Draw to Parry", so this is a place we could pray to the Gods of Power Dodge for it to lend a means of a roll which could react.

The idea I had before is basically if you wait until the roll to hit is made (which you can normally do for active defenses) then you'd need something like All-Out Defense: Double to combine a Power Dodge AND a parry...

But the GM could just allow a power dodge to be specified before the attack is rolled (you're reacting to the attack, not the hit) in which case you're obligated to extend your claws even when it's unnecessary (the attack ends up missing) but don't need AOD:double because these are defenses against consecutive triggers (the attack vs the hit)

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
I don't think you should have to pay for the additional Reach - or even damage - that comes "free" with having normal legs, just as a character who has long arms (already paid for by modifying their existing arms, having an increased SM, or whatever) and Arm ST shouldn't have to pay extra for Natural Weapons mounted there to have longer Reach and higher damage.
This makes me wonder how the Melee Attack modifier on Afflictions/Bindings/Innate Attacks works in respect to legs.

If C-reach stuff gets reach 1 then does that mean Reach 1 gets Reach 2, Reach 4 gets Reach 5?

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
you could assume the characters already have Crushing Natural Weapons built as above for their bites, kicks, and punches, and just upgrade those to Cutting, which will probably be closer in price to the RAW Advantages
Doing this would require assigning HP to these body parts as per homogenous objects...

That might represent the skeleton (I like the idea of giving it HP separate from flesh) but statted skeletons tend to just be "unliving" so I think we'd need some kind of new limitation for natural weapons that downgrade them to unliving.

This would mean giving half as much HP as Homogenous/Diffuse would give, and less resilience to impaling/piercing injury.

Homogenous HP seems to double every 8x increment (for example, you have 8 HP as either 1lb Homogenous or 8lb Unliving) and 1/8 weight is basically -7/8 (-87.5%) which goes beyond the limit of normal weight reduction.

Luckily you don't need to go a full 1/8 weight to get 1/2 HP you just need to go slightly beyond 1/4 weight because it rounds. So -80% gets the job done (exceeds -75%).

Since we're ONLY reducing HP (but not making it weigh less: it still parries fine and is hard to parry by weak foes) it should be worth fewer than the -40% discount that would normally give. But then you're ALSO making it easier to damage which is comparable to halving DR (like Fragile) so both factors would need to be used to estimate an "Unliving Not Homogenous" value of a limitation.

A "Diffuse not Homogenous" enhancement would also be interesting, maybe for stuff like hair? Intangible says "diffuse or made of energy" but diffuse isn't meant to be immune to damage w/o swarm...

Also strange they wouldn't be grappleable/damageable by "affects insubstantial" attacks. You'd think they'd have HP which could be harmed by those unless you also took Resilient+40% too.

Rules for weapons like basic's "strike w/ flat" for cutting or "pummeling" w/ handles or being able to use spears as crushing staves would all need to be paid for. If pricing weapons as innate attacks you'd have to account for all that versatility.
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Old 11-10-2020, 01:52 PM   #8
Plane
 
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Default Re: [Pyramid] Replacing Claws and Teeth with Natural Weapons

"weapon recovers its HP at the same rate" is also a pretty fast regen of weapons, I think a lot of antlers/hrons might take longer than that to grow back. Is there some kind of Temporary Disadvantage: Slow Healing we could build in so it JUST affects the HP of the weapon but not the owner?

Also is there any difference mentioned for Natural Weapons depending on which part of the arm they come from? Like elbow spike v wrist spike v knuckle spike v finger spike? Four different subtle differences in range and what body part it might affect for things like wearing armor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
For kicks and punches, you'll probably want to tack on Additional Damage Type (+20% I think) to retain the ability to do Crushing damage with those. Honestly, this might make the Natural Weapons build cost less.
That was hard for me to find because it's "Extra Damage Type" =/

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Sharp Teeth (Cutting; Cannot Parry -30%; Reduced Damage -15%; Single -30%; Unarmed -20%) [1.4] (note it gets capped at -80%, so you could leave off the damage reduction).

Sharp Claws (Cutting; Feet also +20%; Cannot Parry -30%; Reduced Damage -15%; Unarmed -20%) [3.85]
I got confused but found where you defined UA earlier:
Quote:
they probably shouldn't count as weapons been being Parried, meaning biting at an armed foe can easily end up with your face cut by their sword.
I eyeball this as Unarmed -20%
you price it the same as the "Hammer Hands" accessibility which is "breaking the weapon cripples the hand" for comparison.

One thing I'm wondering about this is whether we should just entertain a general option for people to specify parrying a limb holding a weapon instead of parrying the weapon itself.

If you're able to do that, then such a modifier would not represent the absolute ability to do so, but instead rather it would represent maybe there being a lesser penalty to do so.

We know IRL that some people will just smack an arm rather than a hand to deflect a punch, or a hand/handle rather than an edge to deflect a knife.

The only place I can remember reading about this explicitly is Technical Grappling, pg 42 Grabbing Parry
Parrying a swung weapon with Grabbing Parry can be very dangerous.
Unless the fighter can step into close combat and parry the attacker’s limbs
..
an extra -3, -4, or -5 if the goal is to bypass a Reach C, 1, or 2+ weapon, respectively, to grab the arm or hand holding it.
Grabbing Parry seems to work differently than Weapon Parry (Basic) or Aggressive Parry / Jam / Hand Catch (Martial Arts) because unlike those which involve two success rolls (first a parry, then a roll to hit) I think Grabbing Parry just has one success roll (a parry).

That's sort of like the spin that Psionic Powers put on Psi-Techniques where instead of a separate setup roll to set up Temporary Enhancements, it was folded into a single roll w/ the psi power being enhanced.

As best I can glean from Grabbing Parry, there is something like an inverse relationship to the usual penalty to "Striking At Weapons" where it's easiest to bypass short ones and harder to bypass long ones.

If I were to extrapolate further on Grabbing Parry, I think it might also be reasonable (for stuff like a Bardiche) that if your arm isn't long enough to reach the hand of the wielder with your parry, to instead just use it to cover grabbing the weapon far enough down that you don't need to wrap your hand around a sharp edge and deal with TG's rules that let foes easily try to slice your hand in that situation.

This would be important against swords w/ Ricassos too since that would be closer to grab than a hilt / handle / hand.

Maybe also for spears, some spears might have bladed tipes that aid with tip-slashing (I forget term, in low-tech somewhere) as opposed to purely-for-poking ones with no edges on the spearhead.

Then there is also a consideration for 2-edged swords vs 1-edged swords. Against 1-edge maybe there could be a similar penalty to try and rest your palm against the non-sharpened edge of a sword when grabbing it, and to "pinch-grip" the flats rather than wrap your hand all the way around the entire circumference, to avoid contact with the cutting edge.

That kinda thing should definitely limit your grip ST with fingers if grip ST normally assumes you're able to wrap your hand entirely around a "handle".

In terms of Teeth, they don't generally grip things that way anyway (they can't wrap, only clamp) so you wouldn't need to reduce anything AFAIK

This would be why it would be safer to bite a knife "edge-out" rather than "edge-in" to avoid a joker smile, whether you're grappling someone's weapon or just freeing your hands temporarily as shirtless beltless sailors/pirates are wont to do when climbing ropes.

If you were allowed to "parry knives with bites" then this type of grapple should maybe be easier against swing/cut than thrust/impale.

It shouldn't be impossible to "bite the dull edge" when thrust at (so tip is aimed perpendicular to your tongue/uvula instead of parallel) but seriously tricky, like maybe it should require a successful dodge w/ your head first to reposition it and then bite?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrionPeacock View Post
The advantage specifies that by default all limbs of the same kind (specified when purchasing the advantage) are modified, so by RAW Natural Weapon to mouth/head gives modifies only one "limb" unless you have Extra Heads so adding Single wouldn't limit it and limitations that dooes't limit something are not worth points.
Wait, so you'd charge full price (no "One" discount) for a guy w/ One Arm?

Isn't that like forcing someone with One Arm to pay for an unusable "Dual" on his Innate Attack (Melee) advantage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrionPeacock View Post
RAW says Natural Weapon has reach C, but your point makes sense. I'm not sure about making punches and kicks alternative to each other, needing a Ready maneuver to switch from punches to kicks is harsh...
Readies for some reason only apply to Alternative Abilities but not Alternative Attacks, so it's always free to switch to an attack, because reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
ISTR one of the examples being a flaming breath weapon or similar (so only one "limb" by default), and built with Single. You'll want to check your copy, however.
you're right, "Dragon's Breath", left col of 26

right col of 26 also has "Minotaur's Horns" which sets a similar precedent.

Is effectively priced like a "double unicorn" because "single" buys one horn and you pay for it twice.

Also shows that if it's mounted to the skull that the weapon enjoys your skull DR for free which it good to know.

There's no mention of Dragon's Breath getting DR but that would be pointless since it's "Insubstantial" and can't be hit anyway.

Last edited by Plane; 11-10-2020 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 11-10-2020, 03:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: [Pyramid] Replacing Claws and Teeth with Natural Weapons

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Readies for some reason only apply to Alternative Abilities but not Alternative Attacks, so it's always free to switch to an attack, because reasons.
Whether it takes a Ready or not is based on if its the same kind of power. So swapping between attacks is a Free Action, but so would swapping say sensory powers, or at least Detects,

The real thing the Natural Weapons article is designed to replace is Strikers and I think it has value in that. Like an earlier poster though I am troubled with the cheap bonus damage per die cost.
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Old 11-10-2020, 02:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: [Pyramid] Replacing Claws and Teeth with Natural Weapons

Plane, while I don't think it's RAW, I feel the side-effects of where you place the Natural Weapon - on the hand, the elbow, the skull (horns), the mouth (teeth), the knee, the foot, etc - don't need statted out, but are rather simply features of where it's mounted. Horns share the DR of the Skull, teeth can hold and worry, elbow spikes can be used with the Elbow Strike Technique, claws on the foot benefit from the higher effective ST (and Reach) of the legs, etc.

The rest of your post is mostly tangential, and probably more appropriate for a new thread.
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