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Old 05-23-2022, 02:40 PM   #31
Witchking
 
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Default Re: How mandatory is putting a few points in a grappling skill?

Since at this point 85% of the thread is discussion as to which unarmed skill is better, that is a decent indicator of how useful having such a skill is.

We haven't even really touched on the better range of parry options you get from having one of the skills vs. 'no skill, no weapon, no parry' option.

Also an unarmed weapon skill gives the PC a 'less lethal' option in the tool box. Useful when 'maximum damage' is not the best play to call.

My $0.02 is spend at least a point on one of the options.
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Old 05-23-2022, 03:38 PM   #32
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Default Re: How mandatory is putting a few points in a grappling skill?

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Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
That's interesting. I had been thinking Choke Hold was of limited utility, since it only works from behind (at which point you have a lot of other options to pwn your opponent), but that looks like a rule from Basic Set that got fixed in Martial Arts. Nevertheless, it seems that DR protects fully against a Choke Hold, even flexible DR, though the blunt trauma rules still apply. Other damaging grappling techniques work better against flexible armor, but not rigid armor.

Thinking about the pros and cons of various grappling skills, Judo seems like the strongest option for the large majority of characters. Fighters who use both one-handed weapons and relatively heavy armor might invest in Sumo Wrestling to access the Sweep technique without Judo or Karate's encumbrance penalties (users of two-handed weapons can just base Sweep of their melee weapon skill instead). But I'm really struggling to find a niche for Wrestling—the niche it's designed to have is too easily invaded by other skills via Clinch and Power Grappling.
Wrestling's ST bonus is very useful to low ST characters. Judo is nice - but my players seem to prefer Karate for striking and Wrestling for grappling. I hardly ever see Sumo Wrestling.
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Old 05-23-2022, 03:48 PM   #33
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Re: How mandatory is putting a few points in a grappling skill?

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Originally Posted by Witchking View Post
Since at this point 85% of the thread is discussion as to which unarmed skill is better, that is a decent indicator of how useful having such a skill is.

We haven't even really touched on the better range of parry options you get from having one of the skills vs. 'no skill, no weapon, no parry' option.

Also an unarmed weapon skill gives the PC a 'less lethal' option in the tool box. Useful when 'maximum damage' is not the best play to call.

My $0.02 is spend at least a point on one of the options.
Though we've been talking a lot about things that only come up when you've made a decent investment in grappling skills—not necessarily things that come from spending a single point. Also I have doubts about the extent to which grappling skills in GURPS really give a less lethal option—Kromm has commented on the fact that its actually fairly difficult to get a pin without first stunning your target. I understand the technical grappling rules are supposed to fix this but I don't entirely understand them so I'm not sure how well they do that. (One thing I've been puzzling about: what happens on a failed attempt at Force Posture Change? For example if you claimed a bonus for changing your posture along with your opponent's, does your posture still change?)
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Old 05-23-2022, 04:30 PM   #34
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Default Re: How mandatory is putting a few points in a grappling skill?

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Originally Posted by Christopher R. Rice View Post
Wrestling's ST bonus is very useful to low ST characters. Judo is nice - but my players seem to prefer Karate for striking and Wrestling for grappling. I hardly ever see Sumo Wrestling.
I've just looked through the PCs, both current and retired, from my current game, which has run for many years and started as a 150-200 point 'Traveller' game and is not a 800-1200 point 'vaguely Traveller plus parallel universes' game.

Everyone has/had a decent gun or beam weapon skill (some have truly silly levels).

Many have melee weapon skills, with most of these being picked up after some bad experiences in places where high-tech solutions were non-functional.

Several have no unarmed combat skills at all. They are all characters without a primary combat focus and rely on not being that close, though some have close combat techniques for their pistol skills.

Of those with unarmed combat skills, Brawling is the most common, followed by Karate. One character has/had Judo. Nobody has Boxing, Sumo Wrestling, or Wrestling. This is despite several occasions where characters have been successfully grabbed and seriously inconvenienced by people, robots, and large animals. Somehow other skill always seem more important to gain or raise.

I tend to give NPCs I fully detail at least some skill in an unarmed striking skill and a grappling/throwing skill if they're any sort of a combatant - usually Brawling and Wrestling is it's a sideline, as they give good bang-for-the-buck at low point investments, though if their background suggests different skills, they'll get them. I don't think I've ever detailed a serious unarmed martial artist - the only close combat NPC that rated a full write-up liked knives, though they did use the old 'grap and knife them' tactic a few times.
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Old 05-23-2022, 04:37 PM   #35
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Default Re: How mandatory is putting a few points in a grappling skill?

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Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
Also I have doubts about the extent to which grappling skills in GURPS really give a less lethal option...
Well with Judo an arm lock can break an arm (likely over a couple of turns). Do that twice and you will not have killed someone. However any further attempt from them to continue the conflict will look a lot like The Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

That is difficult to replicate with a sword. Crippling arm damage could still lead to bleeding out, etc, etc.

I am saying it is possible to do, not necessarily easy to do. It would often be a terrible idea to try it rather than just running the villain through, but it is nice to have options.

Hell the Judo skill can be a useful Interrogation tool. Put someone in an Arm Lock and ask questions. If you are not getting answers move from 'maintain a grip' to 'start doing damage'.

The example of spending a point in a skill is intended as a beginning point, i.e. do so at character creation. (Even a single point is precious at creation when you are building on 100-150 and learning Hard skills from scratch takes a fair while) Then as the character's career moves along you can steadily build up the skill with earned cp. If you find it useful feel free to spend alot of points and master it.

IME options are good. I have played 'specialist' less over the years and moved to more 'generalist' character builds.

If you can do many things competently (12-15) you are less likely to be caught flatfooted. You can also try to focus towards your opponent's weaknesses and away from yours.

YMMV as always.
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Last edited by Witchking; 05-23-2022 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 05-23-2022, 05:28 PM   #36
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Default Re: How mandatory is putting a few points in a grappling skill?

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This goes both ways - there are techniques that default to Wrestling and not Judo, just as there are from Judo and not Wrestling, so it's a matter of which ones matter to you. Of the ones where both give a default and Judo's is better it's only by one point, which is covered or more than covered by the lower Judo skill.
Looking through Martial Arts, I see what you mean on Wrestling's unique Techniques (which are generally either "Wrestling stands in for Brawling" or "Use Wrestling for direct damage in a less sophisticated method than Judo"; Scissor Hold is an exception, but Technical Grappling lets you use your legs to grapple with Judo anyway... as well it should, as I do recall many of the holds I learned back when I studied it made use of the legs in addition to the arms). And, yeah, those aren't the kinds of Techniques I'm interested in anyway, particularly as a lot of them are more "professional wrestling / luchador" than what I'd consider actual wrestling (I don't think they'd be out of place in a pankration match, however, but I think that was more what professional wrestling emulates anyway). If I want to do damage with a grapple, my preference would be for utilizing Throws From Locks, but that's a personal preference.

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Locks are established the turn after you parry (and you must parry with both hands, so that advantage of Judo doesn't apply here). Wrestling is no worse than Judo at locks, by the way.
I misremembered. Handling the last comment first - it's Choke Hold that enjoys a better default from Judo (which normally just means equal skill for equal investment, but with the Perks means Judo's "only" at a relative -1 rather than -2), not the Locks. And it looks like Wrestling can turn a Parry into a Lock just as readily as Judo... but I see no mention that Judo must be a two-handed Parry to follow up with a Lock - you should be able to Parry with one hand, but then get the second involved for the Lock* (that's certainly the way we practiced it in my martial arts class).

*Technically, per The Sound of One Hand Grappling, you can do a Lock with one hand, but I believe you can do that with Judo or Wrestling.

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Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
Also, that +2 effective skill is a +1 to parries, so if you can't afford movement it's defensively stronger vs another unarmed opponent in some ways.
And considering you generally can't move around while involved in a grapple, that +1 can indeed make a big difference. I personally feel that the benefits of Judo outweigh it, but I think that's more personal preference than "Judo best there is."

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Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
Also, thematically they're different - Wrestling feels more 'dirty' (it includes techniques like Eye Gouge), for example.
Eye-gouging also defaults to Judo, at -5 just like for Wrestling. As I said earlier in the post, Wrestling seems more appropriate for the kind of stuff you see in professional wrestling (albeit real rather than kayfabed)... although at least they didn't opt to make folding chairs usable with Wrestling!

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Oh, one other thing - for someone not focussing on grappling and throwing Wrestling's higher skill level for the points is probably a strong selling point - they'll mostly be wanting something that lets them compete in quick contests where they need skill rather than raw attributes. Also, if not focusing on it they'll not be wanting to use their budget of perks on making Judo encumbrance-proof and ST-based.
Personally, I'd like for there to be a DX/Easy grappling skill for those who aren't dedicated grapplers to invest in, as a grappling equivalent to Brawling, but yeah, if you're not investing many points into it, Wrestling probably gives you more bang for your buck than Judo.

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Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
Also I have doubts about the extent to which grappling skills in GURPS really give a less lethal option—Kromm has commented on the fact that its actually fairly difficult to get a pin without first stunning your target.
Choke Hold is a pretty good option here. With a blood choke, you deal 1 FP (from normal choking), plus additional FP equal to your margin of victory (provided you win, but you don't have to for the base 1 FP to come into play) each second - that'll put someone out quickly, and unless they have markedly more FP than HP (or are already heavily wounded), there's basically no risk of death prior to them falling unconscious (even if they succeed at every HT roll once they're at/below 0 FP, at -1xFP they automatically fall unconscious; so long as taking HP injury equal to their maximum FP isn't enough to drop them to -1xHP, they have no risk of death; that isn't strictly realistic, but GURPS isn't a reality simulator either). That can take an inordinate amount of time in the chaos of battle... but if you're in a situation where pinning a foe is an effective means of neutralizing them (keeping in mind this largely means neutralizing you as well, as you're occupied holding the target down), you're generally in a situation where a choke hold is effective. Exceptions would be a foe with heavy, rigid Neck armor, and of course a foe who is immune to choking.
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Old 05-23-2022, 06:49 PM   #37
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Default Re: How mandatory is putting a few points in a grappling skill?

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Eye-gouging also defaults to Judo, at -5 just like for Wrestling.
So it does. I had looked it up, but somehow didn't read that.
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Old 05-23-2022, 07:11 PM   #38
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Default Re: How mandatory is putting a few points in a grappling skill?

Wrestling is Average not Hard, and instruction should be more widely available. For most characters, +1 skill is significant. And of course, most GURPS games use just the combat rules in the Basic set not any of the expansion books. I have not found that Judo was a much better skill than Wrestling but YMMV and it depends on which options are turned on.
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Old 05-23-2022, 07:13 PM   #39
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Default Re: How mandatory is putting a few points in a grappling skill?

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And of course, most GURPS games use just the combat rules in the Basic set not any of the expansion books.
LoL don't know about 'most', I can go as far as 'many'. So a lot but not necessarily 50%+.
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Old 05-23-2022, 08:34 PM   #40
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Default Re: How mandatory is putting a few points in a grappling skill?

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If either Wrestling or Sumo Wrestling can give its ST bonus to that roll, Power Grappling applies.

.
<shrug>This means that you can base Judo on ST but it doesn't says anything about using your Power Grappling level instead of ST in a ST v. ST roll.
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