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Old 12-26-2015, 10:15 PM   #11
ArchonShiva
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Kiai

Some times, just sometimes, you also don't want to hurt/kill someone. Kiai can be a pretty good option there, as GURPS usually lacks reliable "subdual damage" mechanics (realistically so).
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Old 12-27-2015, 01:14 AM   #12
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Kiai

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Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post
Combat Reflexes doesn't block it, just recovers from it. It's a good way for getting around someone's defenses if they haven't also blocked that particular vulnerability. That said, though, I largely agree with you. It's a pretty specialized tool, and while it can be useful in that little niche, for the same points, you could have more Power Blow or Mental Strength or Flying Leap. I rarely found someone who wanted Kiai-25, while the guy with Power Blow-25 was generally considered ridiculously cool.
So it seems that Kiai is a sort of WinMore ability.

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Originally Posted by ArchonShiva View Post
Some times, just sometimes, you also don't want to hurt/kill someone. Kiai can be a pretty good option there, as GURPS usually lacks reliable "subdual damage" mechanics (realistically so).
Eh, you have some good subdual options with grappling skills. Besides, it's not like the stun from Kiai will last long.
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Old 12-27-2015, 08:35 AM   #13
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Kiai

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So it seems that Kiai is a sort of WinMore ability.
If by "winMore" you mean "If you're already winning, then you win even more," I don't agree. Fighters have vulnerable points, and a good strategy is going after a vulnerability they have not effectively defended.

In most of the fights in Cherry Blossom Rain (and I think this would apply equally to most fencing games), a single solid blow to an opponent is usually enough to tilt a fight sufficiently in your favor that you'll probably win a fight (though it's possible to brute your way through an attack, but that's a separate discussion). In such a case, your opponent's most important defense is his active defense, usually either dodge or parry.

There are several ways to beat a high active defense. Deceptive Attack is the first most people reach for, and is generally a brute-force method that relies on you having enormous levels of skill. Alternatively, you can use feint, but that works best when your opponent's defense doesn't rely on weapon skill (it works better against dodgers or shield-users, or characters with several levels of enhanced defense). Stunning someone is a good trick too, but generally to stun someone, you need to be able to hit them. However, with a Kiai, you automatically bypass their active defense in favor of a contest between Kiai and Will. If their Will is low, you've landed a stun, and even if it only lands for a turn, that's a turn where they're at -4.

So it's not a "winMore!" skill, it's a tool in a high-end martial arts game for getting past an opponent's defenses, provided he has exceptionally high weapon skill (and thus cannot be defeated with feints) but doesn't have high Will... which means it's also a somewhat specialized skill. Given that, say, more Broadsword has more utility than more Kiai in most cases, it's certainly worth a few points (especially if you have Forceful Chi anyway), but rarely worth more than that.

(Honestly, though, it and several other Chi skills, like Flying Leap, strike me more as powers than skills, as to me a skill should be something that can support a variety of techniques and varying levels of investment. Broadsword, for example, can support a variety of approaches and techniques, and is useful from 12-32, while Kiai can only do one thing and is "enough" around 15 or so)
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Old 12-27-2015, 09:25 AM   #14
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Kiai

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Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post
(Honestly, though, it and several other Chi skills, like Flying Leap, strike me more as powers than skills, as to me a skill should be something that can support a variety of techniques and varying levels of investment. Broadsword, for example, can support a variety of approaches and techniques, and is useful from 12-32, while Kiai can only do one thing and is "enough" around 15 or so)
I'd agree with that. The other huge example for me is the Enthrallment skills; like Kiai, I would expect the way they worked in a particular campaign to depend on that campaign's special rules, not to be generic. (Arguably this should apply to any "cinematic skills"…)
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Old 12-27-2015, 09:55 AM   #15
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Kiai

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Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post
If by "winMore" you mean "If you're already winning, then you win even more," I don't agree. Fighters have vulnerable points, and a good strategy is going after a vulnerability they have not effectively defended.

In most of the fights in Cherry Blossom Rain (and I think this would apply equally to most fencing games), a single solid blow to an opponent is usually enough to tilt a fight sufficiently in your favor that you'll probably win a fight (though it's possible to brute your way through an attack, but that's a separate discussion). In such a case, your opponent's most important defense is his active defense, usually either dodge or parry.

There are several ways to beat a high active defense. Deceptive Attack is the first most people reach for, and is generally a brute-force method that relies on you having enormous levels of skill. Alternatively, you can use feint, but that works best when your opponent's defense doesn't rely on weapon skill (it works better against dodgers or shield-users, or characters with several levels of enhanced defense). Stunning someone is a good trick too, but generally to stun someone, you need to be able to hit them. However, with a Kiai, you automatically bypass their active defense in favor of a contest between Kiai and Will. If their Will is low, you've landed a stun, and even if it only lands for a turn, that's a turn where they're at -4.

So it's not a "winMore!" skill, it's a tool in a high-end martial arts game for getting past an opponent's defenses, provided he has exceptionally high weapon skill (and thus cannot be defeated with feints) but doesn't have high Will... which means it's also a somewhat specialized skill. Given that, say, more Broadsword has more utility than more Kiai in most cases, it's certainly worth a few points (especially if you have Forceful Chi anyway), but rarely worth more than that.

(Honestly, though, it and several other Chi skills, like Flying Leap, strike me more as powers than skills, as to me a skill should be something that can support a variety of techniques and varying levels of investment. Broadsword, for example, can support a variety of approaches and techniques, and is useful from 12-32, while Kiai can only do one thing and is "enough" around 15 or so)
I just feel that it requires too much investment to be reliable, probably starting at 8 points or so, and is rather situational; meanwhile, 8 points spent on weapon skill already grants a +1 to your defense and potentially -1 to enemy defense as per Deceptive Attack, useful all the time (assuming we're talking about combats). And extra combat skill is otherwise quite versatile - Feints, Feint and Disarm protection etc.

So if you have points to spare, you can get this special, FP-eating, situational way of disabling enemies before you hit them . . . but then you probably could afford to just hit them with more points in the primary attack skill. And if you're falling behind, I'm very unsure of the skill's ability to let you win in combat.
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Old 12-27-2015, 11:22 AM   #16
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Kiai

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
I just feel that it requires too much investment to be reliable, probably starting at 8 points or so, and is rather situational; meanwhile, 8 points spent on weapon skill already grants a +1 to your defense and potentially -1 to enemy defense as per Deceptive Attack, useful all the time (assuming we're talking about combats). And extra combat skill is otherwise quite versatile - Feints, Feint and Disarm protection etc.

So if you have points to spare, you can get this special, FP-eating, situational way of disabling enemies before you hit them . . . but then you probably could afford to just hit them with more points in the primary attack skill. And if you're falling behind, I'm very unsure of the skill's ability to let you win in combat.
In Arena of Champions, the Arena game, I ended up getting Kiai, because it was really useful against the big Ogres and other low int monster types. So I found a use for it.

But again, GURPS contains multitudes, so if it isn't useful to you, don't use it. There are lots of other people who find value in it and will use it.
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Old 12-27-2015, 11:25 AM   #17
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Kiai

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Kiai is an HT/Hard esoteric martial arts skill, requiring Trained by a Master or Weapon Master. Although the name is Japanese, the skill is more general (just like Judo and Karate) and can appear in any appropriate martial art. You project your chi in a mighty shout, aimed at a single opponent. If you win a quick contest of Kiai with his Will, he is mentally stunned. This counts as an attack and costs 1FP for each attempt. Kiai has no default and no skills default to it; Mental Strength can be used in place of Will to resist it.

Kiai has several unique modifiers: -1 to skill per two yards of range, a Hard of Hearing opponent resists at +1, and a Deaf one at +2. While the stunning only works on the target, a successful Kiai will give you +2 to Intimidation against everyone who can hear it. Kiai first appeared in Martial Arts for 3e, and its mechanics have changed somewhat at 4e.
Yeah, in 3e you could use a Kiai against a group though instead of stunning them, it would trigger Fright Checks, as opposed to just providing a bonus to Intimidation. Instead of being your way of dealing with a room full of mooks in a single action, now it is at least two as you use a Kiai and then hope you intimidate them into backing off. Just thinking about basic game mechanics and how chi fueled shouts are often used in fiction, seems like Kiai could use some revisions. My experience with it in game is from the old 3e days and even then it wasn't usually worth it except for the "massive multi mook fright check" trick.

Given that GURPS 4e still keeps it as a cinematic skill, requiring Trained by a Master or Weapon Master, I think it needs revision. The less grounded in reality a series becomes, the more it can do; if it remains a Hard Skill, I'd add a lot more Techniques based on Kiai: group use with tweaked mechanics, probably some that do actual damage because in the more over-the-top settings, that seems to be a thing.

As such I probably would not actually do that because a lot of the old cinematic martial arts skills strike me as being better represented as powers (though I do love me some crunch so that might be why). I'm not even sure if Karate and company should even provide their damage bonuses instead of being a prerequisite for buying a specialized form of "Claws" that represents your improved unarmed damage. That is getting off into the weeds though...

I can also see just making it a HT/Easy skill or even making it a Technique of something else.
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Old 12-27-2015, 11:33 AM   #18
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Kiai

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Yeah, in 3e you could use a Kiai against a group though instead of stunning them, it would trigger Fright Checks, as opposed to just providing a bonus to Intimidation.
Aha ... the correct way to use it for Intimidation is probably in conjunction with Deadly Pose (Action 3) or another way of getting a free Intimidation attempt. Not quite sure how you work the sequence of events, though.
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Old 12-27-2015, 11:45 AM   #19
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Kiai

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Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
Yeah, in 3e you could use a Kiai against a group though instead of stunning them, it would trigger Fright Checks, as opposed to just providing a bonus to Intimidation.
Oh, I...really like that. I might patch it in to the skill in my 4e anime fightmans game. There's a lot of magic-users floating around in that game, so low-will opponents are a rarity.
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Old 12-27-2015, 11:48 AM   #20
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Kiai

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
I just feel that it requires too much investment to be reliable, probably starting at 8 points or so, and is rather situational; meanwhile, 8 points spent on weapon skill already grants a +1 to your defense and potentially -1 to enemy defense as per Deceptive Attack, useful all the time (assuming we're talking about combats). And extra combat skill is otherwise quite versatile - Feints, Feint and Disarm protection etc.
Oh, I think your assessment is spot-on. I think we only had one player invest in it, he had lots of Forceful Chi anyway, and I don't think he put more than 4 points into it, and he honestly didn't use it all that often, and he complained about it too. There are better chi-skills to buy, certainly.
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