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Old 03-29-2022, 09:31 AM   #41
RyanW
 
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Default Re: Spear vs Knights... am I missing something?

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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
Would love to see more of a soft cap to the "Maintaining Skills" rules though, like a gradual slide up to that 1 hour time attribute+10, and a clearer idea of how 'in the field' substitutes for that time in shorter intervals.
Like most things, I would instinctively use the SSR scale. Something like:
Code:
skill  hours/week
att+5  1
att+6  1.5
att+7  2
att+8  3
att+9  5
att+10 7
att+11 10
att+12 15
At att+17, you're basically spending every waking moment practicing.
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Old 03-29-2022, 09:34 AM   #42
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Default Re: Spear vs Knights... am I missing something?

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Originally Posted by jackcelso View Post
NALOTH said everything 1 shield bash and a bit of luck and the spear is broken and our spearman is defenseless
Weapon breakage is a significant concern when you're reliant on a single weapon, yeah. In my test fight between Shigran (+ two hireling NPC's from Delvers to Grow) against a group of nautamadr (Nordlondr minotaurs), Shigran - who is similarly a highly-skilled spearman, albeit not to the same extent as Mr. Spear (Shigran has Spear-21, although between Combat Reflexes and Weapon Adaptation (Staff to Spear), he has the same Parry as Mr. Spear) - suffered a broken spear that likely would have ended with his messy death without using up Luck to prevent it... and having burned his Luck there, he was unable to avoid getting gored later, which took him out of the fight (he survived, thanks to those hirelings acting quickly).

Granted, I'm pretty certain Mr. Knight (or, as Donny Brook notes, Mr. Armor and Sword and Not Much Else) would have fared far worse than Mr. Spear against that particular foe...
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Old 03-29-2022, 09:41 AM   #43
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Default Re: Spear vs Knights... am I missing something?

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
I'm thinking about how Mr. Spear and Mr. Knight would fare in the PbP Dungeon Fantasy game I play in...
Mr Knight's practical hit probability is going to be severely reduced by the -2 to attacks for his large shield.

In our DF game, our wizard handles both of these jokers readily by being already in Body of Air, because he always is, flying out of their reach and killing them with lightning. Our warrior deals with Mr Knight readily; Mr Spear looks difficult on the surface, but he doesn't have enough skill to Deceptively Attack the eyes, nor enough damage to get far with other locations, and the first cut that lands on his torso involves a death check. Our necromancer ("Psychopomp!") can handle Mr Knight in hard-to-hand. Mr Spear might give him trouble, but is likely to succumb to terror magic.
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Old 03-29-2022, 11:11 AM   #44
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Default Re: Spear vs Knights... am I missing something?

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
In our DF game, our wizard handles both of these jokers readily by being already in Body of Air, because he always is, flying out of their reach and killing them with lightning. Our warrior deals with Mr Knight readily; Mr Spear looks difficult on the surface, but he doesn't have enough skill to Deceptively Attack the eyes, nor enough damage to get far with other locations, and the first cut that lands on his torso involves a death check. Our necromancer ("Psychopomp!") can handle Mr Knight in hard-to-hand. Mr Spear might give him trouble, but is likely to succumb to terror magic.
As for Shigran, the most likely result of an encounter with Mr. Knight or Mr. Spear is that Shigran's opponent dies before he ever realizes anything is amiss - Shigran typically starts an encounter by using Backstab to sneak up behind the nearest enemy (and even using my variant rules that give a chance for the opponent to notice their attacker, Per 10 isn't going to cut it against Shigran's Stealth 17) and using his Signature Move (three stabs to the Vitals); his minimum damage will kill Mr. Spear outright with three hits (8 damage each, for 24 Injury each, and a total of 72 HP Injury, dropping Mr. Spear to -6xHP), with a good chance of killing Mr. Knight and being all-but-guaranteed to at least Stun him, if not render him unconscious (8 damage each, for 4 penetrating damage each; that's 12 Injury each, and a total of 36 HP Injury; each hit calls for a roll against Knockdown/Stunning at -5, with MoF 5+ resulting in unconsciousness, Mr. Knight needs to make two death checks, with 50% chance of death each time, and to act once he recovers from stunning, he needs to roll against HT-2 each second to avoid passing out); average damage on each leaves Mr. Knight with only the slimmest chance of survival (average of 58.5 HP Injury, so 4 death checks, and bleeding rolls at enough of a penalty he only avoids bleeding on a Critical Success; if he makes all 4 death checks and rolls a Critical Success to stop bleeding - roughly 0.12% chance - he'd survive... at least until Shigran stabs him again to make sure, given the fellow has Bloodlust).

If for some reason Shigran got into a straight-up fight with one of them, he'd make short work of Mr. Knight - DR 4 is nothing to sneeze at, but even in normal combat Shigran's attacking at 1d+4 imp, has Weapon Master to allow him to readily Rapid Strike, and enough skill to reliably hit the Vitals. A two-hit Rapid Strike to the Vitals (Parry 12 means a good chance the first will be Parried, but that -4 Iteration penalty is going to drop that to 8 against the second hit) will likely leave Mr. Knight Stunned on the ground, after which a Reverse Grip Rapid Strike to the Vitals will end things rather definitively.

Mr. Spear would be more of a problem. The above isn't going to work that well, particularly if using the optional rule from Martial Arts that two-handed weapons (like the spear) only suffer a -2 per additional Parry. Of course, Shigran is guaranteed to drop Mr. Spear to 0 HP or lower on any hit to the torso (minimum damage is 5, for 10 HP Injury), which may be enough to end the fight. A 3-attack Rapid Strike (at skill 15 each) might be the best bet, with a roughly 30% chance of landing at least one hit (which itself has a roughly 75% chance of ending the fight) if using the reduced iteration penalty (if not using that rule, that 3-attack RS has a much higher chance of ending the fight, with an 80% chance of landing at least one hit). However, Mr. Spear also has a good chance to end the fight, with a Deceptive Attack to Shigran's Vitals - dropping skill to 14 leaves Shigran at Parry 11, for a ~34% chance to connect; Stunning is highly likely, given this would be a Major Wound to the Vitals. Shigran's Luck would probably be enough for him to win, but it would be a close thing. Well, unless we allow for Extra Effort - a 7-attack Rapid Strike to the Torso, using Flurry of Blows to reduce the penalty to a total of -6 (but at the cost of 7 FP, leaving Shigran just a bit above 1/3rd), for a total of skill 15 for each hit, would almost certainly leave Mr. Spear dead at Shigran's feet. Mr. Spear could try something similar, but a) Shigran goes first (Speed 7 vs Speed 5), b) Shigran's Weapon Master means he's at only -1 per additional attack using Flurry of Blows, while Mr. Spear at -3, meaning keeping skill at 15 allows for only 5 attacks, and c) Shigran's Weapon Master means halved iteration penalties for Parries, so while Mr. Spear is at either -4 (in which case just a 3-attack RS should suffice) or -2 per Parry, Shigran is at either -2 or -1, leaving the advantage clearly on Shigran's side.

Of course, Shigran is also a [260] character, while Mr. Spear is only worth [57]. The fact Shigran would have to go more-or-less all-out against a character with around 1/4th as many points really does help demonstrate how effective "just put everything in skill" can be...
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Old 03-29-2022, 01:08 PM   #45
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Default Re: Spear vs Knights... am I missing something?

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Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post

ST is definitely emphasized for slugging purposes
Slugging is both the most realistically important capacity of a warrior and the most underrated one in RPGs. A large part of the explanation for the latter can be found in the love affair gamers and other nerds seem to have with nimble "finesse fighter" archetypes: unarmored swashbucklers, cowled assassins who faff about with knives and pistol crossbows, barely clad women who do gymnastics in combat, ninjas, etc. But of course that's silliness that merits a "DYEL?"

Mass, strength, cardio, and toughness are eminently achievable goals. You can get them by working out. Then you can swing whatever comes to hand with devastating effect, and clank about in enough armor to shrug off most of the response.

Agility and speed can be developed, of course, but are far harder to maintain. Skill is harder yet. All of them are far closer to being a game of soft percentages than hard hits and hard stops: Skilled at what, and relative to whom? And you can only dodge or parry what you see coming.

Of course, some would say GURPS gets it wrong because skill is so much cheaper than ST. "ST 20 or skill 35? Is this a trick question?" But that's precisely because ST is, in fact, better . . . it's more useful, so it costs more.

The catch is convincing the GM to disappoint the assassins and ninjas by (1) establishing sensible skill caps, (2) being a lot more generous with ST caps, (3) routinely setting up encounters where competent foes get the first shot from surprise, and (4) generally making all the non-hitting-people aspects of ST (wearing heavy armor, lugging backup weapons, having enough HP to eat a surprise hit, breaking free of grapples from behind when mobbed, etc.) as important as they should be.

When I run fantasy, I pull no punches: Fine rapiers get Disintegrated. Spiders drop down and web people with ST 15-20 webs, and too bad if you can't break free. Some traps can't be disarmed . . . bring DR and HP, or go home. Certain goo monsters have no vital spots at all, and just roll up and "grapple" automatically by filling the entire hex, so your options are "do enough raw damage to one-shot them before that happens" (like, ST 20-level damage), "be beefy enough to break free," or "run away and be useless."

I'm all for niche protection and spotlight time, but soi-disant finesse fighters don't deserve an extra helping of that simply because they're showoffs. I give equal glory to beefy, high-ST, fighters with layered armor, backup weapons, backup-backup weapons, and backup-backup-backup weapons, and grappling skills. Smart players usually learn to hedge their bets rather than fall into either camp.
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Old 03-29-2022, 01:15 PM   #46
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Default Re: Spear vs Knights... am I missing something?

It's telling that when I ran the very first DFRPG adventures at GenCon using the 15 pre-gens in the box, lightly customized, that the delvers who did the best were Argua (oh, my), Grükuk, and Sir Yvor. So many of the low-ST, high-DX types just got . . . webbed, grabbed, and eaten.
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Old 03-29-2022, 01:43 PM   #47
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Default Re: Spear vs Knights... am I missing something?

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Just a personal quibble here -- there is no such thing as a 58 point "knight".

The character posited here is a barely skilled swordsman with armor.
To be fair, there's absolutely such a thing as a cheap knight:

They have Wealthy [20], Status 2 [5] (of which one level comes from Wealth), a Duty in the 9 or less [-5] to 12 or less [-10] range, and a couple of points in each of Area Knowledge (Demesne), Broadsword, Diplomacy, Lance, Leadership, Riding, Shield, and Savoir-Faire (High Society). They're about a 30- to 35-point character.

A fit knight might raise ST and HT, the cost somewhat offset by various self-imposed codes about being a rah-rah warrior type, and perhaps things like missing eyes and hands. A really good one would of course have Tactics, high attributes, and combat skills better than 10.

But mostly they just need the Status and Wealth, which in many (maybe most) times and places weren't earned through valor, but through being in the right family: "Right, you're the first son and next Baron Whatsit, and the rest of you lot are knights. Go forth and ride horses or whatever." The idea that all knights were competent heavy cavalrymen is as idealistic as the idea that all knights obeyed the codes of romantic chivalry. Scutage goes back to the 12th century, at least, and its existence is basically the equivalent of saying the most important attributes of a knight are loyalty and paying the bills on time.
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Old 03-29-2022, 02:08 PM   #48
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Default Re: Spear vs Knights... am I missing something?

Part of the reason gamers undervalue ST is that, realistically, there's a big component of ST in things that people think of as DX. That nimble acrobat is almost certainly very strong for their size, though of course if they're 90 pounds they might be only moderately strong in absolute terms. It's worse for weapons, because then what matter is your ST relative to the weapon, not relative to your body.
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Old 03-29-2022, 02:19 PM   #49
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Default Re: Spear vs Knights... am I missing something?

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Part of the reason gamers undervalue ST is that, realistically, there's a big component of ST in things that people think of as DX. That nimble acrobat is almost certainly very strong for their size, though of course if they're 90 pounds they might be only moderately strong in absolute terms. It's worse for weapons, because then what matter is your ST relative to the weapon, not relative to your body.
That doesn't work with the GURPS definition of ST, though, which is absolute rather than relative to body size.
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Old 03-29-2022, 02:40 PM   #50
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Default Re: Spear vs Knights... am I missing something?

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
It's telling that when I ran the very first DFRPG adventures at GenCon using the 15 pre-gens in the box, lightly customized, that the delvers who did the best were Argua (oh, my), Grükuk, and Sir Yvor. So many of the low-ST, high-DX types just got . . . webbed, grabbed, and eaten.
(or failed a Fast-Draw roll and cut off their own leg. Putting the Ow! in Meow!)
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