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Old 06-29-2009, 11:04 PM   #31
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Default Re: DF Town near Dungeon online resource

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I'm not saying that he can't be coordinated. I've seen lumberjack competitions with log-rolling and all kinds of displays of nimbleness. However, these are best represented by high DX and skills like Jumping and Running. And if you want a fantasy lumberjack to be a good axe warrior as well, that makes sense in-genre. But realistically (since that seems to be what you're arguing from), he's not learning how to fight with an axe.
He his definately not learning how to fight with an axe, I agree with this. But still, I'm sure a lumberjack pressed into a fight with an axe in hand, would probably be able to deliver more accurate blows than someone like me who almost never wields one, no ? Maybe by letting them attack at their professional skill-4 instead of DX-4 to attack but prevent them to parry with it (even though an axe is an unbalanced weapon) ?
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:41 AM   #32
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But still, I'm sure a lumberjack pressed into a fight with an axe in hand, would probably be able to deliver more accurate blows than someone like me who almost never wields one, no?
I don't think that's obviously wrong, but I don't think it's obviously right, either. Consider: a lumberjack practices "attacks" on one particular kind of target (trees, aiming for a spot at a good height for him) under ideal conditions (picking his footing, digging in, and taking maximum time to Evaluate with every strike against an immobile target). What he's really good at is establishing a rhythm and striking a particular immobile spot repeatedly on a target which is generally sufficiently homogenous that he can pick a spot which is good for him, not one which is necessarily particularly injurious to the target. How well does this translate to being in a situation where the target has a completely different anatomy and actively tries to prevent being hit in any number of ways? Arguably, the answer is "not very well at all."

Having said that, I don't think it's necessarily unreasonable to give the lumberjack a good default with his axe skill. He's used to swinging the weight around, so he'd probably be a bit better than the average person at untrained attempts to attack and defend with it in a combat situation. I'm just arguing against the notion that it's realistic for use of a particular tool with a professional skill to translate to combat skill with that tool.
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Old 06-30-2009, 01:41 PM   #33
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Default Re: DF Town near Dungeon online resource

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I'm just arguing against the notion that it's realistic for use of a particular tool with a professional skill to translate to combat skill with that tool.
You've clearly never seen me throw my MacBook. :)

Seriously though, I agree with this wholeheartedly.

I would say, in the case of our lumberjack, while you wouldn't give him heavy Axe combat skills, some points in Striking ST might make sense. I don't think a Woodman would be particularly accurate (how hard is it to sneak up on a tree?), but I think he'd have a pretty solid strike.

Of course, it also depends on your setting. In a DF world, Woodcutters(Lumberjacks) may have had to defend themselves using their axes, against dangerous creatures in the woods. In a more realistic/civilized area/setting, this is less likely.
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:15 PM   #34
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I don't think a Woodman would be particularly accurate (how hard is it to sneak up on a tree?), but I think he'd have a pretty solid strike.
.
This is where I disagree. A woodsman swings his axe very carefully along the grains of the wood and at the correct angle. If you spend any time chopping wood you will learn their is a real technique and also there needs to be a lot of skill hitting the wood in the precise location. Think of martial arts and how they repeatedly hit a stationary object and focus in so they can hit the object in the correct place. This training does help a person become a better warrior because he/she has trained their eye hand coordination by endless practice just as a woodsman does by endlessly using his/her axe.
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:42 PM   #35
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This is where I disagree. A woodsman swings his axe very carefully along the grains of the wood and at the correct angle. If you spend any time chopping wood you will learn their is a real technique and also there needs to be a lot of skill hitting the wood in the precise location. Think of martial arts and how they repeatedly hit a stationary object and focus in so they can hit the object in the correct place. This training does help a person become a better warrior because he/she has trained their eye hand coordination by endless practice just as a woodsman does by endlessly using his/her axe.
I actually just try to examine the situation as simple as possible. Me, a complete neophite with an Axe tries to take on a Woodsman with an Axe, or me with a baseball bat tries to take on a professional baseball player with a bat. Even if you leave the physical ST differences, I think the odds would be on the side of the professionals. As simple as that. How to translate that in GURPS terms ? I wouldn't know, my only idea would be defaulting the relevant Professional Skill with a penalty.
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Old 06-30-2009, 05:46 PM   #36
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I actually just try to examine the situation as simple as possible. Me, a complete neophite with an Axe tries to take on a Woodsman with an Axe, or me with a baseball bat tries to take on a professional baseball player with a bat. Even if you leave the physical ST differences, I think the odds would be on the side of the professionals.
R..ight, but we're talking about giving a hypothetical woodsman/Lumberjack a high combat skill based off that. Give that same baseball bat to a reasonably trained swordsman (Say Skill 14 in one weapon), he should be able to mop the floor with the pro ball player. It's just not going to translate.

To restate; I don't think anyone is arguing that a Lumberjack/woodsman wouldn't have a better combat ability with an axe that Bob the Townsman, it's that he wouldn't be THAT much better and certainly not in the ballpark of say John The Town Guardsman, who uses an axe.

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This is where I disagree. A woodsman swings his axe very carefully along the grains...Deleted for brevity)...better warrior because he/she has trained their eye hand coordination by endless practice just as a woodsman does by endlessly using his/her axe.
I agree that these exercises can help someone be a better warrior, and I'm not saying that the Woodsman shouldn't have ability above a commoner, but he's probably never had someone shield-jerk his axe out of his hands, and the trees aren't trying to dodge.

Unless you're in a REALLY interesting campaign, in which case, he should have hella Axe skill. ;)

Again, if your campaign world is such that the woodsmen are in peril of their lives in the dark woods, then make them axe-wielding death machines as well, but the average woodsman/lumberjack just isn't going to be as combat effective as someone even reasonably trained.

Personally, I think I would lean towards (assuming standard DF TL3-4 in non-deathworld-esque forests), high Axe-Sport skill, with the -3 to use in combat + Higher Striking ST & maybe Axe/Thrown Sport thrown in for fun.

But hey, DF isn't meant to be all that "real" anyways, and the Woodman was he what offed the Big Bad Wolf, so, hey, YMMV.

And CERTAINLY if that old woodsman on the edge of town used to be the Terror Of The Front Lines, wielding his Reach-2 Battle axe that he still keeps on the mantlepiece, while he plies his now simple trade.... :)
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:38 PM   #37
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R..ight, but we're talking about giving a hypothetical woodsman/Lumberjack a high combat skill based off that. Give that same baseball bat to a reasonably trained swordsman (Say Skill 14 in one weapon), he should be able to mop the floor with the pro ball player. It's just not going to translate.
And I completely agree with that statement. I never said a lumberjack should get a high skill in Axe ? Don't forget an ordinary lumberjack would probably have a skill of 12 (look at Choosing Your Skill Levels B172). By letting him default Axe to it's professional skill at -4, it would give him a skill of Axe-8. While a complete neophyte like myself would simply default to DX -4 and get a skill of Axe-6. A trained axe soldier would simply get a skill of Axe-12. Then the whole chain holds true, the woodsman could mop the floor with me while the soldier could still beat the woodsman easily.
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:19 AM   #38
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And I completely agree with that statement. I never said a lumberjack should get a high skill in Axe ? Don't forget an ordinary lumberjack would probably have a skill of 12 (look at Choosing Your Skill Levels B172). By letting him default Axe to it's professional skill at -4, it would give him a skill of Axe-8. While a complete neophyte like myself would simply default to DX -4 and get a skill of Axe-6. A trained axe soldier would simply get a skill of Axe-12. Then the whole chain holds true, the woodsman could mop the floor with me while the soldier could still beat the woodsman easily.
Apologies, I see now where you are coming from on that.

So, here's a related Question: IS there a set default from Professional Skill vis-a-vis Sport?

I know that Sport (Axe) works at Skill-3, but there's nothing I can find that says anything about professional skills being used in combat.

Personally, I think I'd go with the same default as Sport, although your -4 might be more apropos. (After all, in a Sport you are at least going with the idea that you would be hitting someone)
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:25 AM   #39
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So, here's a related Question: IS there a set default from Professional Skill vis-a-vis Sport?
I don't think so, I just whipped this out of my head. I just thought it would make sense that someone used to wield a tool by swinging it should be better than someone who never uses it at all but still, they would be no match for a trained professional. And you are right, someone with Sport(Axe) should be better than a woodsman. I decided to put the -4 because Axe/Mace is an Easy melee skill and they normally default to DX-4.
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Old 07-01-2009, 02:04 PM   #40
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Default Re: DF Town near Dungeon online resource

I think that what you want is the GURPS Historical Folks book:

Proposed for GURPS 3e, but canceled and then released for free by the authors:
http://www.meekmok.com/sassy/ghf/

And finally, adapted for GURPS 4e:
http://www.mygurps.com/ghf.html
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