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Old 01-06-2023, 04:43 AM   #1
Greville
 
Join Date: Sep 2022
Default Unarmed Combat: Options to counter Slam from your foe

I've recently picked up GURPS 4th Ed (along with Space, Spaceships, and ultra Tech) and am going to run a Sci-Fi campaign where the players are bounty hunters, investigators, or other similar kinds of troublemakers.

I'm expecting a fair bit of brawling and non-lethal combat so have been reading the unarmed combat rules.

I have a question about countering a SLAM (P371) maneuver. The rules as written allow you to dodge or parry as a heavy weapon, the slam, which pretty much rules out parrying if you are also unarmed.

What if the person wants to counter the slam by using their momentum against them to pick them up and slam them into the ground, a wall etc?

I figure you have two options:
  1. The Slam-ee does not know Judo: They have to dodge the slam, then succeed in a grappling roll and can try a take down in the next turn.
  2. The Slam-ee does know Judo: At first reading I thought the person would have to succeed with a Judo parry then attempt a throw in the next turn.

Both of these feel less effective than just getting out of the way and hoping that the Slam-er runs into a wall, or gets, tripped up* or something.

I feel like I'm missing something. How would you handle this with the Basic Set? (I don't have any of the Martial Arts books or Action supplements)

*While I'm expecting the game to have some serious themes knowing my group they'll hear 'bounty hunters' and we'll be doing some combination of Firefly and Briscoe County Jr (in Space).
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Old 01-06-2023, 05:30 AM   #2
Witchking
 
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Default Re: Unarmed Combat: Options to counter Slam from your foe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greville View Post
I feel like I'm missing something. How would you handle this with the Basic Set? (I don't have any of the Martial Arts books or Action supplements)
Hmmm.

Per the Base combat rules you can make an Acrobatic Dodge.

Acrobatic skill roll required. If you make the roll +2 to Dodge, if you fail -2 to Dodge.

I might go with a similar mechanic with Judo for this situation.

Judo skill roll required. If you make the roll +2 to your Dodge, -2 to the opponent's (Slam-ee) recovery roll (to not fall over etc). If you fail -2 to your Dodge, +2 to opponent's recovery roll.

It's my first pass thought but Judo is the skill of using leverage and momentum so someone attempting a Slam on a Judoka should seldom turn out well.
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Old 01-06-2023, 06:27 AM   #3
Varyon
 
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Default Re: Unarmed Combat: Options to counter Slam from your foe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greville View Post
I have a question about countering a SLAM (P371) maneuver. The rules as written allow you to dodge or parry as a heavy weapon, the slam, which pretty much rules out parrying if you are also unarmed.
You can Parry a typical person's Slam while unarmed without much issue. You can only Parry something weighing up to your Basic Lift (BL), and a Slamming character is treated as a weapon weighing pounds equal to their ST - see "Parrying Heavy Weapons," B376. For a character with ST 10, and thus BL 20 lb, this means said character can Parry anything with ST 20 or lower.

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Originally Posted by Greville View Post
What if the person wants to counter the slam by using their momentum against them to pick them up and slam them into the ground, a wall etc?
Judo. Specifically, use Judo Parry, then on your next turn (or immediately, if you specifically Waited to do this) you can attempt a Judo Throw on the foe. GURPS Martial Arts has rules for doing a damaging judo throw if you want (I think it winds up doing damage comparable to a punch), and I think also to allow you to slam them into a wall or similar (I know there's a "Kiss the Wall" rule in Technical Grappling, and I believe that was an adaptation of the same rule from Martial Arts). As GM, I'd also be inclined to let you do a damaging Judo Throw that uses the better of your normal judo throw damage and the damage the foe would have taken running into a wall at whatever speed they attempted the Slam, provided there's a convenient nearby wall for you to redirect them into. As you lack MA, I'd suggest letting them use Judo Throw to make the foe Slam into the wall. If they don't know Judo, I'd allow them to pull something similar off with a Shove (B372) - after avoiding the Slam, they can attempt to Shove the target; on a success, they can Shove the target into the wall, using the greater of the speed imparted by the Shove's knockback and the target's Slam speed (the latter will likely be higher; honestly, combining the two might not be a horrible idea).
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Old 01-06-2023, 06:56 AM   #4
Greville
 
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Default Re: Unarmed Combat: Options to counter Slam from your foe

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
You can Parry a typical person's Slam while unarmed without much issue. You can only Parry something weighing up to your Basic Lift (BL), and a Slamming character is treated as a weapon weighing pounds equal to their ST - see "Parrying Heavy Weapons," B376. For a character with ST 10, and thus BL 20 lb, this means said character can Parry anything with ST 20 or lower.
I thought that when parrying a heavy weapon that the weight differential would come into play. Your 'weight' is your ST/10 when parrying a heavy weapon when unarmed. So if both people had a ST of 10, the person doing the slam has their full ST 10 vs the effective ST 1 of the defender and even if the parry succeeds the defender could break an arm or wrist.
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Old 01-06-2023, 07:10 AM   #5
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Default Re: Unarmed Combat: Options to counter Slam from your foe

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Originally Posted by Greville View Post
I thought that when parrying a heavy weapon that the weight differential would come into play. Your 'weight' is your ST/10 when parrying a heavy weapon when unarmed. So if both people had a ST of 10, the person doing the slam has their full ST 10 vs the effective ST 1 of the defender and even if the parry succeeds the defender could break an arm or wrist.
Third paragraph of Parrying Heavy Weapons: "Your weapon may break if it parries anything three or more times its own weight. (This does not apply to barehanded parries; for damage to limbs when parrying unarmed, see Parrying Unarmed.)" Checking out Parrying Unarmed, there's a -3 penalty to unarmed Parries against swinging attacks (which this isn't, and which doesn't apply to Judo Parry anyway), and if you fail your Parry the foe can opt to hit the parrying arm instead of their original target (this would be in play - a failed Parry against a Slam means the slamming character can opt to hit your arm for free, which may wind up breaking it).
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Old 01-06-2023, 09:01 AM   #6
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Default Re: Unarmed Combat: Options to counter Slam from your foe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greville View Post
I thought that when parrying a heavy weapon that the weight differential would come into play. Your 'weight' is your ST/10 when parrying a heavy weapon when unarmed. So if both people had a ST of 10, the person doing the slam has their full ST 10 vs the effective ST 1 of the defender and even if the parry succeeds the defender could break an arm or wrist.
You are misreading the paragraph

A persons attack with a limb weighs as if ST/10, their slam is full ST for weight purpose.

You can parry anything that weighs less than your basic lift.

Its not "Your" weight. Its "Their" weight.
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Old 01-06-2023, 11:00 AM   #7
hal
 
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Default Re: Unarmed Combat: Options to counter Slam from your foe

As both player and as GM, the idea is to visualize the events and ask "what would I do for real?

First option is to attack into the preparation, or attack just as they start to attack. This can be as simple as attacking at the same time they attack, leaving both you and them without an effective defense. This CAN cause them to abort their attack in order to defend. A well timed kick to the knee can cause movement issues to someone who is running. A simple drop to your knee in an effort to avoid the slam, while positioning your leg to trip the person as they rush by is another option. Sure, their slam may knock you down, but a sufficiently hard attack to the leg may hurt them more than you.

Look up the rules on stop attacks on page 108 of GURPS MARTIAL ARTS, for more information. Also look at counterattack on page 70, also GURPS MARTIAL ARTS. Trip as a technique, is at parry-1, which can be used via Judo, Sumo Wrestling, or wrestling skill. It counts as an active defense, meaning, you roll at the technique skill level (which per page 81 of GURPS MARTIAL ARTS) can never exceed the Requisite parry skill. In other words, if you had a ST 10 wrestler, Skill 12 with wrestling, the wrestler could start with a parry 12/2+3 or base 9, have trip as a technique at skill 9 (purchased his technique skill level to equal his parry instead of being parry-1), and, have a base 10 "trip" parry. How? GURPS MARTIAL ARTS also permits a character to use a defensive attack, which penalizes attacks, but grants a +1 bonus to defensive parries, blocks, or dodges. Note that a ST fighter has a basic lift of 20.

Note: A trip is by definition, a parry. It does not require a grapple then throw. If the character has combat reflexes, their Trip roll would be vs an 11 with a defensive attack stance.

In theory, someone with brawling (for kicks), could use the wait maneuver while in defensive attack mode, wait until the opponent trying slam him comes within reach, kick for the nearest leg with a -2 to strike leg, and suffers a -1 to kick attack damage or -2 per die of damage (see pg 100 of GURPS MARTIAL ARTS). If he hits, the slammer may block etc.. If the slammer defends successfully, the wrestler can STILL parry the slam with a trip, and could cause a SECOND defense roll on the part of the slammer.

This all presumes you have GURPS MARTIAL ARTS.

Reminder:

If slammer is moving more than one hex to slam, he's not using a step and attack. In other words, a normal human who moves 2 or more hexes to slam is making an all out attack.
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Old 01-06-2023, 11:25 AM   #8
mlangsdorf
 
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Default Re: Unarmed Combat: Options to counter Slam from your foe

Most people make slams as Move and Attack maneuvers, especially since slams are specifically exempted from the skill cap of 9 for melee attacks during a Move and Attack. I see a fair number of slams in my games, and they're almost never made as part of an All-Out Attack maneuver.
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Old 01-06-2023, 07:05 AM   #9
johndallman
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Default Re: Unarmed Combat: Options to counter Slam from your foe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
You can Parry a typical person's Slam while unarmed without much issue. You can only Parry something weighing up to your Basic Lift (BL), and a Slamming character is treated as a weapon weighing pounds equal to their ST - see "Parrying Heavy Weapons," B376. For a character with ST 10, and thus BL 20 lb, this means said character can Parry anything with ST 20 or lower.
Yup, this is an important part of the unarmed combat rules.
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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Judo. Specifically, use Judo Parry, then on your next turn (or immediately, if you specifically Waited to do this) you can attempt a Judo Throw on the foe.
The Wait approach, given decent Judo skill, is very effective.

Martial Arts also has the Trip technique, on p. 81, which is mainly for countering Slams. That book is very worthwhile if you're having a lot of unarmed combat. It's essentially "The advanced combat rules for GURPS."
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