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Old 07-26-2009, 10:34 AM   #1
SuedodeuS
 
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Default Instant Counterattack

I was posting in the Judo Throw thread when I thought of an oddity associated with both Judo Throw and Counterattack. This is the fact that you make your attack on your own turn. Ordinarily this isn't problematic at all, but in a battle with multiple combatants can lead to some strange situations, such as the following:
Four characters (char 1-4) are engaged in unarmed combat. 1 and 2 are allied with each other and fighting against 3 and 4. One round goes as follows.
1: Karate Punch against 4. 4 Judo parries.
2: Karate Kick against 4, from the side. 4 Judo parries, and has to use same arm as against 1.
3: Brawling Punch against 1. 1 Karate parries with primary hand (same as used to attack 4).
4: Judo Throws 1.

At first glance, this seems fine. However, Judo Throw (and Counterattack in general) is meant to indicate grabbing and throwing (or striking) before the enemy properly recovers from your defense. In the above example, 4 should no longer have his hand in the right position to pull off a throw on 1 (as he just used it to parry 2's attack). Likewise, 1 should no longer have his arm in a position to be thrown, as he has used it to parry 3's attack. Yet, somehow, when it comes to 4's turn, everything resets to how it was right after 1 finished. For me, this causes something of a disconnect.

I'd like to suggest that, when using Counterattack or Judo Throw, a character should be able to do so immediately following the enemy's attack. After all, this is what's really happening, and the turn system is just to make combat manageable.

The mechanics are simple. Once you've pulled off a successful defense, you must choose if you will attempt a Counterattack. If so, you take your turn immediately, before anyone else acts, but you are skipped over when your turn actually comes up. Thereafter, you take your turn at the normal time.

Now, for the potential complications.

Defense modifiers: What happens when you take a maneuver other than a basic Attack, specifically those that modify your Active Defenses in some way (Defensive attack, Committed Attack, etc)? Do the modifiers last until you can act again (meaning they last longer than default)? What about any modifiers that were in play before you made the Counterattack? Do they stick around, or are they replaced?

Moving out of turn: The maneuvers associated with attacking sometimes give a decent amount of movement. This could lead to situations where a character gets to move twice before someone else moves once. To correct this, I'd say that any movement associated with your Counterattack doesn't actually occur until your turn comes up. This does mean that you can't Counterattack enemies outside your reach... but you probably shouldn't be able to do that anyway.

Interruption: Another disconnect is when an enemy uses something like Rapid Strike to attack you and someone else in the same turn. How do you take advantage of the opening left after your defense if he's already recovered enough to attack someone else? The answer would be to allow your attack to interrupt the enemy's actions - that is, you pull it off before he even completes the maneuver. This makes a good deal of sense, but it does make Counterattack (and Judo Throw) more powerful than it is by default.


Any criticisms and suggestions are welcome.
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:25 AM   #2
Dustin
 
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Default Re: Instant Counterattack

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuedodeuS View Post
1: Karate Punch against 4. 4 Judo parries.
2: Karate Kick against 4, from the side. 4 Judo parries, and has to use same arm as against 1.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuedodeuS View Post
In the above example, 4 should no longer have his hand in the right position to pull off a throw on 1 (as he just used it to parry 2's attack). Likewise, 1 should no longer have his arm in a position to be thrown, as he has used it to parry 3's attack. Yet, somehow, when it comes to 4's turn, everything resets to how it was right after 1 finished. For me, this causes something of a disconnect.
Why does 4 have to use the same arm to parry both 1&2? Judo allows two one-handed parries (B203). But that's really a side issue, 2&3 could be doing other things that would seem to interfere with the limbs involved in this Counterattack.

Short answer: Parry mechanics needn't be interpreted so literally. :)

Long answer: Much as a Feint can actually be a beat or a head fake, not every successful GURPS Parry is a direct weapon-to-weapon clash, and this seems to be doubly true for the scientific unarmed combat skills. IMHO, a Judo parry can be any kind of redirection of force, a sidestep using knowledge of human kinematics, etc. 4's successful Judo Parry simply puts him in the right position to try a Throw on his next turn - note that 4's successful Parry doesn't mean that he's Grappled 1, he just has an opportunity to Throw, and that models a lot of different body and limb positions.

I would strongly caution against doing much to upset the turn order - as you pointed out with Move, it's possible to get odd results that way, and it can become possible to "game" opponent's defenses as well, messing up balance. Additionally, it seems reasonable that a Throw usually takes a little longer to set up than a strike. 4 could get into position to Throw 1 after the Parry, only to find that 2 has knocked 3 into him.
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: Instant Counterattack

Even if the parrying rules were interpreted that literally (and I wouldn't), it could be explained that as 1 attacked, 4 grabbed the arm to set up the throw and then used that same action to foul 2's attack. Maybe even by interjecting 1 into 2's path of attack...
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: Instant Counterattack

Note that the second attack comes from 4's Side Hex (I only said "from the side" in the post, but this is what I meant). You can only parry attacks to your Side Hex using the corresponding arm. Thus, 4 can only parry using a specific arm, and that happens to be the one he used to parry earlier.

From a gamism perspective, the current rule makes perfect sense. If you successfully defended last turn, you can attempt a Counterattack. From a realism perspective, however, it falls a bit short. It's difficult to imagine attacking quickly enough after a defense that the enemy can't defend as easily, and yet your attack actually occurring after your opponent has reacted to one (or more!) attacks from elsewhere. Hence, it causes a disconnect for me. I've no trouble visualizing a Counterattack or Judo Throw. A Counterattack or Judo Throw that occurs after the enemy has already withdrawn from his attack to you (which is necessary to defend against other attacks) just doesn't make sense to me. Although I realize some degree of abstract has to be involved in combat, I'd prefer it to be a degree that doesn't make me think "Wait... what?"


EDIT: At first glance saying 4 grabbed the arm to set up the throw would work. Except that a) he hasn't grabbed the arm yet, as 1 hasn't had a chance to defend and b) 1 is still perfectly able to parry with that arm.
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Last edited by SuedodeuS; 07-26-2009 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 07-26-2009, 01:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Instant Counterattack

This question kinda bugged me a little too, when I encountered it.

Perhaps when the original attack is parried, the defender would declare his counter-attack/throw/etc., and being committed to it, be treated as if he had taken that maneuver—then the actual counter-attack would take place on his natural turn. Given the amount of real-time we're talking about, I don't think it'd be much of a stretch. Then if something happens to the defender before his turn comes up, he can choose to abandon that counter-attack maneuver or not.
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Old 07-26-2009, 01:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: Instant Counterattack

It used to be instant. That was broken. What I'd suggest is a judo throw requires a wait action.
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Old 07-26-2009, 02:50 PM   #7
SuedodeuS
 
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Default Re: Instant Counterattack

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
It used to be instant. That was broken. What I'd suggest is a judo throw requires a wait action.
Was it instant as in "occurs at that moment, but uses up your next turn," or instant as in "occurs at that moment as a free action?" The former is what I'm suggesting, and I think that (except for the issues I raised in my first post) it would work fairly well. The latter is most definately broken.

Requiring a Wait... would actually work really well. Every time I've done a Parry+Throw (in practice) it really has been a Wait maneuver. People who are much more skilled than I am might be able to pull it off purely on reaction, however, which is what the current (and my proposed) rules support.
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Old 07-26-2009, 06:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Instant Counterattack

Please note that you can also use your leg to parry with.
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Old 07-26-2009, 10:25 PM   #9
SuedodeuS
 
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Default Re: Instant Counterattack

I think I've come up with some ideas to address the complications. As always, criticisms and suggestions are welcome. Note that, anywhere I write "Counterattack," Judo Throw is also meant to be included.

Defense modifiers: If a previous maneuver gave you a 1-round defense bonus (Defensive Attack), you lose it upon making the Counterattack. If a previous maneuver gave you a 1-round defense malus (Committed Attack), you cannot use Counterattack*. If you use Counterattack with a maneuver that gives you a defense bonus, you do not gain the bonus until your turn would have normally occurred (it takes a moment to properly recover from using a Counterattack). If you use a Counterattack with a maneuver that gives you a defense malus, however, it applies immediately and is not removed until you take another maneuver.
*There could be a Perk available to overcome this, wherein you can take the same maneuver (or a worse one, like AoA following Committed Attack) again to be able to pull off the Counterattack.

Moving out of turn: As noted earlier, you can't actually make the movement until your turn would have normally come around. Essentially, you split up the Attack and Movement portions of your maneuver - Attack occurs immediately, Movement occurs at the normal "time."

Interruption: You make the Counterattack immediately, interrupting your opponent's maneuver. The only exception is that you cannot Counterattack if your opponent has another attack aimed at you in "queue." So, if the enemy uses Rapid Strike, attacking you twice, and then Stepping away, you can Counterattack after the second attack but before the Step. If he instead used Rapid Strike to attack you once, and then attack someone else once, you can Counterattack after the first attack but before the second. A further exception (in cinematic campaigns, at least) is that you can Counterattack between hits in a Rapid Strike... provided you also use a Rapid Strike. You suffer a penalty as though you were using as many strikes as your foe has remaining (plus one for the one you just avoided)*.
Note that this gives a new option to help avoid a Judo Throw to the enemy. If he/she can attack enough that you have to eventually fall back on Dodge instead of Judo Parry, you won't be able to use Judo Throw (it's only available after a Judo Parry, and you can't use it until after a barrage, so if you "run out" of Judo Parries before your enemy runs out of attacks, you'll have to Dodge the attacks and won't be able to Judo Throw).
*Example: Tokiya is against a foe who throws a 4-hit Rapid Strike. He opts to simply parry the first. After parrying the second, he decides to dish out some pain. He must take a 3-hit Rapid Strike in order to use Counterattack now. He does so and attacks his enemy, cutting a deep gash in his foe's chest. He easily parries the sloppy (thanks to the shock penalty) third attack and follows it up with a thrust through his foe's right lung. Barely standing (significant shock penalty, but made the HT check against knockdown/stunning), his opponent makes an extremely clumsy swing that misses Tokiya outright. As he did not defend against the last attack, he can't Counterattack it - that additional -6 (actually -3 due to Weapon Master) he took availed him nothing. A generous GM might allow him to take the attack (without getting the bonus for a Counterattack) on his normal turn, however.
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Old 07-27-2009, 07:36 AM   #10
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Default Re: Instant Counterattack

Why can't you just say that Counterattack or Judo Throw can only be used against the last target you've parried?
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