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Old 10-03-2020, 03:00 PM   #1
Sam Baughn
 
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Default Nerfing Dual-Weapon Attack and maybe Rapid Strike.

Recent discussion on the forums about Dual-Weapon Attacks made me consider a house rule to make them a bit less effective and more realistic. Basically, they would get -1 damage per die for muscle-powered attacks. This obviously makes them less useful, which I think is fair since they are currently pretty good, especially compared to Extra Attack.

It also seems to make sense that someone striking two blows wouldn't be able to put as much force into each one as someone just striking one. Either you are striking with just your arms as you bring your weapons together onto two sides of the target, or you are putting your whole body into it but spreading the impact over two points. Either way, it seems like you would get maybe half the kinetic energy in each hit, which equates to about 70% of the damage (if damage scales roughly with the square root of kinetic energy, which I believe firearm damage sort of implies) and 1d-1 is very roughly 70% of 1d on average.

But should this apply to other methods of getting more attacks?

For Extra Attack, I'd say obviously not; it's either a cinematic ability (so realism doesn't matter) or a function of physiology (which presumably compensates for the inherent loss of power). Either way, you're paying plenty of points for it, so game balance suggests you should get the most favourable rule.

For Rapid Strike, it is less obvious. In terms of realism, it doesn't seem like moving your weapon quicker would do less damage. If anything, I'd expect the opposite. But maybe the quick blows have less force behind them because you are optimising for being able to recover rather than commit to the hit? In terms of balance, I think it should probably be hit with any nerf that affects DWA, since the two options are fairly balanced against each other. The extra penalty for RS seems like a reasonable trade for not needing a second weapon. Combinations are expensive and restrictive compared to buying up DWA, but they aren't cinematic and the difference is only a couple of points. I'm inclined to say RS should get the -1 damage per die.

All-Out Attack (Double) is even more unclear to me. I think the arguments for Rapid Strike mostly apply. Notably, All-Out Attack (Strong) combined with Rapid Strike seems like it should do more damage than All-Out Attack (Double) since you are getting a -6 penalty to hit for the former but still making the same number of attacks. Balance-wise, I find that AOA(D) tends to be the 'better' option for AOA most of the time. On the one hand, it makes the other two options more competitive, but on the other, it makes the already bad AOA even worse. Overall, I think for the sake of consistency I'm leaning towards giving it the penalty.

What does everyone think? Is this house-rule fair?
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Old 10-03-2020, 04:01 PM   #2
MrFix
 
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Default Re: Nerfing Dual-Weapon Attack and maybe Rapid Strike.

If a person can put all of his body into a two-handed weapon strike, why can't the same person achieve the same effect by just striking with two weapons instead of holding onto one?

Don't think of DWA as some 'additional attack', think of it as what it says on the tin, making an attack with TWO weapons. You position your body and give momentum to both strikes.

For Rapid Strike, note the word rapid, the user is simply that fast to execute proper strike twice within a second.

On topic of nerf, the main question is, why? Both DWA and Rapid Strike are heavily penalized for untrained use and take a lot of points to remove the penalty from them, as well as possibly getting expensive advantages like Trained By A Master.

Kromm said that a person with DWA is usually simply the more point-expensive character, and thus he paid for the advantage he gained with points. He didn't just randomly one day decide to DWA because he felt like it, the advantage it gave him was purchased as fairly as one buys Combat Reflexes or extra HP. Nerfing DWA/Rapid Strike is just making that the character doesn't get what he paid for, and that's a huge no no no.

To repeat the question, why? What're you trying to achieve by imposing such nerf upon DWA/Rapid Strike? And no, just because people talk about it, it doesn't mean it's broken.
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Old 10-03-2020, 04:40 PM   #3
Sam Baughn
 
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Default Re: Nerfing Dual-Weapon Attack and maybe Rapid Strike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFix View Post
If a person can put all of his body into a two-handed weapon strike, why can't the same person achieve the same effect by just striking with two weapons instead of holding onto one?
A two-handed weapon strike generally gets +1 damage compared to the single-handed version. That isn't nearly as much as twice the energy being put into the blow (unless your base damage is pretty low).
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFix View Post
Don't think of DWA as some 'additional attack', think of it as what it says on the tin, making an attack with TWO weapons. You position your body and give momentum to both strikes.
Which means the momentum of your body is being split between twice the striking surface. You've got the same energy going into two places.
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Originally Posted by MrFix View Post
For Rapid Strike, note the word rapid, the user is simply that fast to execute proper strike twice within a second.
I don't see how a realistic fighter can just choose to move twice as fast with exactly the same force. Take boxing as an example; jabs are fast but weak, hooks are slower but hit harder. I imagine that weapons have a similar dynamic.
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Originally Posted by MrFix View Post
On topic of nerf, the main question is, why? Both DWA and Rapid Strike are heavily penalized for untrained use and take a lot of points to remove the penalty from them, as well as possibly getting expensive advantages like Trained By A Master.
A two-attack combination is [9]. DWA with OHWT is [6] and can be taken with Weapon Master which is already a decent deal for the damage bonus. Extra Attack is [25]. Even taking DWA as a wildcard technique works out cheaper. All of these can double the offensive capabilities of a character, which seems extremely powerful to me. A couple of levels more weapon skill will rarely double your effectiveness, nor will a single point of ST. Quite simply, they are among the most effective 'builds' for warriors and in the case of DWA that seems weird for something that was pretty rare in history.
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Originally Posted by MrFix View Post
Kromm said that a person with DWA is usually simply the more point-expensive character, and thus he paid for the advantage he gained with points. He didn't just randomly one day decide to DWA because he felt like it, the advantage it gave him was purchased as fairly as one buys Combat Reflexes or extra HP. Nerfing DWA/Rapid Strike is just making that the character doesn't get what he paid for, and that's a huge no no no.
Half-way through a campaign, sure. But if the players are told at character creation that is how things will work in this game, I don't see an issue. As for being the more expensive option, I think it is exceptionally good value compared to other things you could spend points on. About the only comparable option is Feint (which is hugely more effective when combined with rapid strike, especially in a combination).
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Originally Posted by MrFix View Post
To repeat the question, why? What're you trying to achieve by imposing such nerf upon DWA/Rapid Strike? And no, just because people talk about it, it doesn't mean it's broken.
Because I think it's overpowered compared to other options and not realistic. I started thinking about it because people were saying similar things and I found that having thought about it, that was my conclusion too.
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Old 10-03-2020, 05:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: Nerfing Dual-Weapon Attack and maybe Rapid Strike.

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Originally Posted by Sam Baughn View Post
A two-handed weapon strike generally gets +1 damage compared to the single-handed version. That isn't nearly as much as twice the energy being put into the blow (unless your base damage is pretty low).

Which means the momentum of your body is being split between twice the striking surface. You've got the same energy going into two places.

I don't see how a realistic fighter can just choose to move twice as fast with exactly the same force. Take boxing as an example; jabs are fast but weak, hooks are slower but hit harder. I imagine that weapons have a similar dynamic.

A two-attack combination is [9]. DWA with OHWT is [6] and can be taken with Weapon Master which is already a decent deal for the damage bonus. Extra Attack is [25]. Even taking DWA as a wildcard technique works out cheaper. All of these can double the offensive capabilities of a character, which seems extremely powerful to me. A couple of levels more weapon skill will rarely double your effectiveness, nor will a single point of ST. Quite simply, they are among the most effective 'builds' for warriors and in the case of DWA that seems weird for something that was pretty rare in history.

Half-way through a campaign, sure. But if the players are told at character creation that is how things will work in this game, I don't see an issue. As for being the more expensive option, I think it is exceptionally good value compared to other things you could spend points on. About the only comparable option is Feint (which is hugely more effective when combined with rapid strike, especially in a combination).

Because I think it's overpowered compared to other options and not realistic. I started thinking about it because people were saying similar things and I found that having thought about it, that was my conclusion too.
If you hold a two-handed weapon in one hand (if ST permits), you do not lose any damage from doing so, so it's not exactly a thing where two hands - +1 damage and one hand is -1 damage.

And he can choose to do it when he's skilled enough to do it, hence the -6 penalty. Either way, DWA is a cinematic technique and Combinations are the non-cinematic way to reduce the penalty for Rapid Strike and Dual-Weapon Attack. Comparing them to cinematic DWA is a questionable thing at best.

And that is not exactly how momentum works, you don't miraculously lose power just because you connect with an enemy with more points than one. GURPS does not reduce your falling damage if you decide to fall flat, as opposed to landing on a limb or something, no reason for it to reduce it if you slam into enemy with two weapons instead of one.

Take boxing for example
Quote:
MA66
and the classic two-jab combination favored by boxers is a Rapid Strike.
If GURPS believes that the classic boxing move is a Rapid Strike, and you believe it's not realistic... I'd personally choose GURPS opinion.
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Last edited by MrFix; 10-03-2020 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 10-03-2020, 05:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: Nerfing Dual-Weapon Attack and maybe Rapid Strike.

I don't think a character is actually spending their entire combat round just putting energy directly into their attack, so I don't view DWA/RS as dividing up their energy. Rather, they're moving more efficiently to avoid wasted time, and possibly using momentum or recoil or something from their first attack to boost their second.
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Old 10-03-2020, 06:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: Nerfing Dual-Weapon Attack and maybe Rapid Strike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Baughn View Post
Recent discussion on the forums about Dual-Weapon Attacks made me consider a house rule to make them a bit less effective and more realistic. Basically, they would get -1 damage per die for muscle-powered attacks. This obviously makes them less useful, which I think is fair since they are currently pretty good, especially compared to Extra Attack.

It also seems to make sense that someone striking two blows wouldn't be able to put as much force into each one as someone just striking one. Either you are striking with just your arms as you bring your weapons together onto two sides of the target, or you are putting your whole body into it but spreading the impact over two points. Either way, it seems like you would get maybe half the kinetic energy in each hit, which equates to about 70% of the damage (if damage scales roughly with the square root of kinetic energy, which I believe firearm damage sort of implies) and 1d-1 is very roughly 70% of 1d on average.
This rationale and solution make sense to me for DWA. I'd have to think more about it before deciding on Rapid Strike.
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Old 10-03-2020, 06:40 PM   #7
Sam Baughn
 
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Default Re: Nerfing Dual-Weapon Attack and maybe Rapid Strike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFix View Post
And that is not exactly how momentum works, you don't miraculously lose power just because you connect with an enemy with more points than one. GURPS does not reduce your falling damage if you decide to fall flat, as opposed to landing on a limb or something, no reason for it to reduce it if you slam into enemy with two weapons instead of one.
But a DWA doesn't do the same damage as one attack under the current rules. It does twice that damage. At a minimum, that means you should need twice as much momentum. Someone making a DWA is putting a lot more energy into their attacks than someone making one attack which does the same damage. If you fall and take 3 damage to your leg, that is less damage than if you take 3 damage to your leg and 3 damage to your arm. It should take more force to do more damage.
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Take boxing for example

If GURPS believes that the classic boxing move is a Rapid Strike, and you believe it's not realistic... I'd personally choose GURPS opinion.
All that is saying is that quick jabs are an example of a Rapid Strike. I don't disagree with that. In fact, the example I used of an unarmed rapid strike was a series of jabs.
I believe that most boxers consider jabs to be relatively 'weak' punches which don't have the effect a more committed blow would. As I understand it (not being a boxer) if you want to beat someone unconscious in a fist-fight you rely on jabs to wear down your opponent's defences (in GURPS terms, force them to use up their best active defences), confuse them (cause shock penalties, allowing you to lower your defences for aggressive or all-out attacks), and set yourself up for more powerful strikes when the opportunity arises. That is perfectly consistent with jabs doing less damage than other punches.
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Old 10-03-2020, 07:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Nerfing Dual-Weapon Attack and maybe Rapid Strike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Baughn View Post
A two-attack combination is [9]. DWA with OHWT is [6] and can be taken with Weapon Master which is already a decent deal for the damage bonus.
Buying off the penalty for a two-attack combination costs only [6] if you have WM or TBaM. Obviously the dual-weapon option is more flexible in terms of attacks and target locations.

Also a single two-handed weapon is cheaper than two one-handed weapons of the same type. Enchanting it is also cheaper, and as enchantments are often very expensive this is a big deal in games where they're available.
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Old 10-03-2020, 11:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: Nerfing Dual-Weapon Attack and maybe Rapid Strike.

I think that people are underestimating the speed of a melee attack. Let us consider a basic punch. The average male human has a 1.2 meter extension plus retraction, meaning that is the total distance traveled by a basic punch. A trained martial is capable of a punch velocity of 24 m/s, meaning that their punches take 0.05s to complete. A DWA (Punch) or Rapid Strike (Punch) would only take 0.1s to complete (assuming that the DWA is not simultaneous), so there is no physical reason why each punch cannot be full powered.

Now, more powerful strikes will be slower because they benefit from rotation of the body (speed is being sacrificed for the purpose of putting more mass behind the punch). A Committed Attack (Strong; Punch) will involve the entire upper-body while an AOA (Strong; Punch) will involve the entire body. In general, a speed of (1 + Reach) 0.05s is probably not unreasonable for a weapon thrust (+1 to the base formula for a swing), with a Committed Attack (Strong) adding +1 to the base formula and a AOA (Strong) adding +2 to the base formula. So a halbard swing at Reach 3 using an AOA (Strong) should probably take 0.35s.
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Old 10-04-2020, 12:59 AM   #10
Rupert
 
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Default Re: Nerfing Dual-Weapon Attack and maybe Rapid Strike.

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I think that people are underestimating the speed of a melee attack. Let us consider a basic punch. The average male human has a 1.2 meter extension plus retraction, meaning that is the total distance traveled by a basic punch. A trained martial is capable of a punch velocity of 24 m/s, meaning that their punches take 0.05s to complete.
Twice that. The fist starts at 0m/s and ends at 24m/s (we'll generously assume no de-acceleration time at maximum extension and retraction), for an average velocity of 12 m/s. Thus 1.2 / 12 = 0.1s total duration.

Your general point still stands, though.
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