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Old 07-09-2019, 12:51 PM   #11
Tomsdad
 
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Default Re: What is the default for punching someone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdtipa View Post
I don't think the average person with no points in a striking skill should have a 50% of succeeding at a punch that does damage. I guess it's an opinion without real research and testing, but my experience suggests that untrained people are really bad at connecting if they pay attention to not getting hit, and really bad at defending if they pay attention to hitting. A high school fight I saw fit the second scenario perfectly for example. They just stood there taking turns hitting each other. It was ridiculous.

In 30 years of playing GURPS I have never use the weapon tables to look up a default. It's partly because defaults for weapons don't come up often in the campaigns I've run or played in... people usually get the skill for the weapon they carry. I'd still like there to be a written rule that says: untrained unarmed fighting is DX for a punch or DX-2 for a kick. Or better: DX-2 for a punch, and DX-4 for a kick.

On the damage point don't forget that an average (ST10) unskilled person is punching at thr-1 so doing 1d-3, and with cr not having the minimum 1 damage, even if they hit half the time they do no damage*.

Your point about paying attention hitting over not getting hit (and vice versa) can be shown with AoA's both for hitting and reliably doing damage.



*as a test I ran two default ST10 chaps having a fist fight while using the AP Last gasp rules, without AoA's they were in greater danger of knackering themselves out before either had a chance to punch each other out!
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Last edited by Tomsdad; 07-09-2019 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 07-09-2019, 01:11 PM   #12
Black Leviathan
 
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Default Re: What is the default for punching someone?

It's a bit like the throwing skill. If you want to toss something at someone and hit something in their centermass you can just roll DX. It doesn't take training. But some basic instruction on how to throw a weapon or a grenade is a huge difference for your ultimate ability to be accurate, to hit well or throw at a distance.

Any kid can figure out how to throw a punch with zero time in the dojo. It's not likely to connect if someone is aware the punch is coming and it is almost certainly not going to connect if they're trying to punch their face. Unless you're huge it probably won't hurt more than their pride. If you take that kid to Karate classes, doing technical punches and kicks they'll get some small gains immediately but it will still be a bit easier to throw yourself on your opponent and wail on them, until you get a belt or two and really master those technical skills. Then your form and balance becomes more of an asset

Also you can throw a punch with DX but you can't block without an unarmed skill. You might throw your hands up in front of your face but technically the roll is still against Dodge rather than representing any real experience avoiding hits.
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Old 07-09-2019, 02:09 PM   #13
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Default Re: What is the default for punching someone?

That's a good point about default dodge/parry, and also kind of factors into the choice to rely on AoA's. If you only have a 26% chance of a successful defence going for AoA's isn't such a hard choice!

(of course if they retreat a lot that helps dodge, and actually inexperienced fighters relying on backing up out the way isn't unrealistic!)
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Old 07-09-2019, 02:32 PM   #14
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Default Re: What is the default for punching someone?

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
*as a test I ran two default ST10 chaps having a fist fight while using the AP Last gasp rules, without AoA's they were in greater danger of knackering themselves out before either had a chance to punch each other out!
Which does happen in real life fights. But it's not because they're missing each other - hitting someone isn't terribly hard if they're not trying not to be hit and you're not either. Also, I think in RL most people tend to AoA and go for a flurry of blows, rather than for extra precision. Some people go for more power, but most go for quantity.

Also, most RL fights have one party blindside or otherwise surprise the other, and the opener probably is an AoA for power, telegraphed to the head (usually). The other thing is that if that doesn't finish the fight right there (it usually does unless friends join in), or the fight does start 'evenly', it usually becomes grappling and then goes to ground, and is mostly more grappling and biting.
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Old 07-09-2019, 02:54 PM   #15
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Default Re: What is the default for punching someone?

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Originally Posted by kdtipa View Post
I think my remaining issues are...
  • that finding that default means looking at the weapon table instead of the rules for unarmed fighting.
  • that the default for a punch is DX instead of something like DX-2. Someone with no skill just shouldn't have as much chance to hit in my opinion.
Which section are you looking at that only talks about punching using brawling/karate and not DX? I can't seem to remember where to find such an 'unarmed fighting' section.

I agree with you on the default thing. To allow for "Dabbler" perk progressions (buy up the default by 1, 2 or 3 points for 1/8 or 1/4 or 1/2 a skill point, half a point in Brawling should be DX-1, 1/4 should be DX-2, 1/8 should be DX-3, and default should be DX-4.

That means the default in the normal skills should be DX-5 and in the hard skills: DX-6. There would probably not be anything dangerous about that. For people who just pump DX, well they're always a problem even if it means them just putting 1 point in all skills, and they can be dealt with by capping effective DX for defaults at 20 without special perks to extend that cap.

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
You're already going to get a lot of argument at tables about a normal person only having a 50% chance to hit someone who doesn't defend themselves,
Pretty sure that's why they introduced Telegraphic Attack, and even after that. unofficially dialed back on the cap against stacking Evaluate with it.

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
doesn't match with normal defaulting rules, which would put an Easy skill like Brawling at DX-4, and the latter is certainly problematic, particularly without having Telegraphic Attack (from Martial Arts) as an option
If we're letting people have default Brawling we're already going beyond the default rules so I don't see any conflict with treating Telegraphic as part of this new default.

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Originally Posted by Boge View Post
Someone correct me if I'm wrong because I've never found a clear cut rule for this, but the -4 for using offhand unarmed is an optional realistic rule and typically does not apply.
You're probably thinking about "Strong and Weak Hands", part of the optional "Harsh Realism for Unarmed Fighters" on MA124.

That, as the strong/weak implies, is about ST, not DX. It simply suggests adding -2 to ST (-1 to dmg) on top of the usual -4 to skill.

SAWH would actually make sense for armed fighting too!

Could probably just be abbreviated to a "Weak Hand" optional rule though, since it doesn't actually make the on-hand any stronger, just the off-hand weaker.

B14 clearly says:
Whenever you try to do anything significant with the other hand, you are at -4 to skill. This does not apply to things you normally do with your “off” hand, like using a shield.

Shields are a confusing issue to me: if you're right-handed and are not -4 to use a shield in your left, does that mean you're instead -4 to use it in your right?

Karate explicitly allows punching without the -4 penalty whereas other punching forms (Brawling, Boxing) do not, so it really seems like a special benefit it should have...

That said, if you don't use the hand at all (throwing a forward elbow, hitting with your forearm, parrying using your arm instead of your hand) then the -4 shouldn't apply, so that's a decent trick you can use to avoid the -4 penalty.

Boxers unfortunately can't throw forearms/elbows like brawlers can, so if they want to strike with either hand they should the OHWT perk for punching.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Leviathan View Post
It's a bit like the throwing skill. If you want to toss something at someone and hit something in their centermass you can just roll DX.
B126 "roll against your default to hit a specific target, but against full DX to lob an object into a general area." I think refers to "I'm throwing it into this hex" not necessarily doing centre of mass (chest) or random hit location against a particular target in that hex.

B355 also "against DX-3 to hit a specific target, or against DX to lob something into a general area"

B414 gives +4 for "Attacking an Area" but that might be just for AE attacks, I'm not entirely sure how it interacts with general-area lobbing.

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Originally Posted by Black Leviathan View Post
Any kid can figure out how to throw a punch with zero time in the dojo. It's not likely to connect if someone is aware the punch is coming
Do you mean because it's telegraphed? The +2 to dodge on top of the usual +3 for a retreat and +1 for One Foe (technical grappling) would bring up people's usual default of 8 to 14, so it's pretty reliable I guess.

Of course, in modern day a lot of people's dodge might be lower due to less DX/HT, if both were 8 instead of 10 then it would be 1 lower.

One problem with sparring in dojos is they're crowded, I remember a lot of time I avoided retreating because I was afraid of bumping into someone behind me when everyone was sparring at once. More likely you'll do a "sideslip" retreat (only +2 to dodge) because you can actually see using peripheral vision that the area is empty.

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Originally Posted by Black Leviathan View Post
Also you can throw a punch with DX but you can't block without an unarmed skill. You might throw your hands up in front of your face but technically the roll is still against Dodge rather than representing any real experience avoiding hits.
No, you can do unarmed parry at DX/2+3 even without a combat skill, per B376-B377 "Parrying Unarmed". I think maybe this gets overlooked since it's the Campaigns half of the book but seems to be absent from the "Combat Lite" part of the 1st half (Characters) although it is present in "GURPS Lite" on page 28 ("Unarmed Defense" box)

Only getting +1 on retreats usually makes dodges much more attractive unless you have much lower HT than DX resulting in Basic Speed (HT/4+DX/4) being lower than DX/2. The addition of the Cross Parry (+2 for not being to do any more parries that second) in Martial Arts helped to even that out a bit. Parries also have the advantage of suffering lower encumbrance penalties, except for judo/karate ones.
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Old 07-10-2019, 01:05 AM   #16
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Default Re: What is the default for punching someone?

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Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
Which does happen in real life fights. But it's not because they're missing each other - hitting someone isn't terribly hard if they're not trying not to be hit and you're not either. Also, I think in RL most people tend to AoA and go for a flurry of blows, rather than for extra precision. Some people go for more power, but most go for quantity.

Also, most RL fights have one party blindside or otherwise surprise the other, and the opener probably is an AoA for power, telegraphed to the head (usually). The other thing is that if that doesn't finish the fight right there (it usually does unless friends join in), or the fight does start 'evenly', it usually becomes grappling and then goes to ground, and is mostly more grappling and biting.
Yep I had no issue with these chaps running out of steam, and I also agree burning through FP's with the options in EE is also pretty realistic for inexperienced or unskilled fighters who often don't pace themselves and who don't really access the full range of options more skilled experienced fighters might. EE is also one of the ways the unskilled can compensate for a lack of skill even if it is a short term strategy.

I also agree with your point about fights starting with a surprise attacks. In this context it's again a good way to compensate for you own lack of skill and to capitalise on your opponents lack of skill/experience is spotting a potential surprise situation (as well as just being good idea in general for anyone of course!)


You are right again on the grappling as well, my "test" was done before I really messed with grappling and certainly before TG came out. But I reckon if you ran grappling with TG and Last gasp I'm willing to bet two ST/DX10 unskilled grapplers will risk knackering themselves. IRL Grappling is knackering, and how often do you see two morons rolling around on the pub floor losing steam after a while if there's no quick winner (or no mates/onlookers/bouncers piling in).
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Last edited by Tomsdad; 07-10-2019 at 05:54 AM.
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Old 07-10-2019, 01:47 AM   #17
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Default Re: What is the default for punching someone?

Relevant uFAQ entry:

Q: Under Basic rules, which unarmed skills / attacks suffer from off-hand penalties / need OHWT?

A:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Just to be clear: There is no "off" hand in unarmed combat in GURPS. The Basic Set failed to make this as clear as it could have, hinting at it in a few skill descriptions but not generalizing it. Martial Arts makes it far clearer. Claiming that there is an "off" hand for the purposes of unarmed combat is fine as a house rule, but definitely not what the entire body of rules published to date supports.

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
The Karate skill states "Roll against Karate to hit with a punch (at no -4 for the 'off' hand)." When using equipment of some sort, read the description carefully. If that gear is a glove (e.g., cestus, myrmex, or sap glove), or explicitly enhances punches (like brass knuckles or anything with the "Hilt punch" note), you're throwing punches and may ignore the off-hand penalty. Otherwise, the item deals a weapon blow not a punch and attacks and parries are considered armed. In effect, you can claim either the benefit of no off-hand penalty (because you're punching with Karate) or the benefit of no risk to your hand (because you're using a weapon, not your hand), but never both. The Karate damage bonus has nothing to do with where this line is drawn; that bonus applies "when you calculate damage with Karate attacks," which is simply any attack that rolls against Karate to hit.
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Old 07-10-2019, 02:20 AM   #18
Plane
 
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Default Re: What is the default for punching someone?

I think maybe the logic is that even though a punch is hitting with the hand, the hand isn't really DOING anything (there isn't manual dexterity, like when gripping a weapon where there's wrist movement, forearm rotation, etc) other than being used as a club, so it's the ARM doing it, not the hand.

Sort of like the reason why "Bad Grip" (B123) penalizes weapons attacks/parries but not unarmed parries. It seems like "Off Hand" is basically just a built-in Bad Grip 2 (One Hand Only) for that hand?

If that's the case then -1 to just punch damage, instead of being the optional "Weak Hand" rule it should probably be called the "Weak Arm" rule, and penalize anything that arm does with -2 ST, not just punches?

If it was actually just the hand, then it probably shouldn't penalize punches, just weapon use. It would probably also make sense to build the ST penalty into the "Bad Grip" disadvantage at -1/level.
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:45 AM   #19
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Default Re: What is the default for punching someone?

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
IRL Grappling is knackering, and how often do you see to morons rolling around on the pub floor losing steam after a while if there's no quick winner (or no mates/onlookers/bouncers piling in).
All too often back in the day. That's why I know about the biting part (and about the surprise attacks - amazing the number of guys who'll claim they're all macho, yet most of their fights they win with sucker punches rather than risking getting beaten up).
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:42 AM   #20
Tomsdad
 
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Default Re: What is the default for punching someone?

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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
I think maybe the logic is that even though a punch is hitting with the hand, the hand isn't really DOING anything (there isn't manual dexterity, like when gripping a weapon where there's wrist movement, forearm rotation, etc) other than being used as a club, so it's the ARM doing it, not the hand.
I think that hands take a much more positive role in punching than that (but equally a lot of hands get broken or damaged in badly thrown or just unlucky punches!)


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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
Sort of like the reason why "Bad Grip" (B123) penalizes weapons attacks/parries but not unarmed parries. It seems like "Off Hand" is basically just a built-in Bad Grip 2 (One Hand Only) for that hand?
I think bad grip is specific to gripping things, which infers holding an object. But I might stretch it to forming an effective fist. Ultimately if I did this I'd look at it on a case by case basis, as there are plenty of animals that can't form fists and strike like we do, but can strike without issue due to their own morphology.

(Basically I think "Bad grip" is really aimed at people/things with less than great hands trying to do specific stuff like we do with our hands, 'striking' is a much broader category than that)

DX penalties are penalties to overall dexterity (manual dexterity in this case, as ever this is just a game system and some approximations are reasonable)



Quote:
Originally Posted by Plane View Post
If that's the case then -1 to just punch damage, instead of being the optional "Weak Hand" rule it should probably be called the "Weak Arm" rule, and penalize anything that arm does with -2 ST, not just punches?

If it was actually just the hand, then it probably shouldn't penalize punches, just weapon use. It would probably also make sense to build the ST penalty into the "Bad Grip" disadvantage at -1/level.
could be, I think that the particular harsh realism box is talking about unarmed fighting so naturally enough limits itself to unarmed fighting (it makes the point that armed fighter already suffer an off hand penalty).


TBH this all gets into a wider topic of DX vs ST vs Skill in terms of what drives damage. Long story short I'd have little issue with your idea but I also wouldn't worry about not doing it either.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
All too often back in the day. That's why I know about the biting part (and about the surprise attacks - amazing the number of guys who'll claim they're all macho, yet most of their fights they win with sucker punches rather than risking getting beaten up).
heh well I'm sure someone will make the point about "fair fights" (and be right), but I know what you mean!
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