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Old 05-21-2010, 05:51 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2004
Default Rationale for the progression of ST-based damage

again, i am wondering about the ST-based progression of damage in GURPS.

The following is JUST about the game mechanics and the game system itself.
It has *nothing* to do with playability or realism or whatever ...

Please reply, if you are interested in such ramblings about game-systems and how to change them :)


swing damage starts at 1d for ST 10, thrust damage at about half of that.

Then, this progression balances around this relationship: swing damage about double as high as thrust damage (ST 22 with thr 2d and sw 4d).

Then, both align more and more till they are nearly the same.

It ends up with 15000d sw damage and 14997d thr damage for an M Super.
Just the same ...


Should swing damage not *always* be better than a thrust?
You can only swing with a large weapon - depending on your ST, this can be a huge thing.

Would hammering someone with the Eiffel tower, swinging it, not be much more efficient than stabing with the same tower?

Sheer physically, it seems to me that swing should do more than thrust.
About double as much damage (like from the first ST levels from the Damage Table) seems not wrong ...

I do not know enough physics to be sure that swing damage should be about double as high as thrust damage - but it seems a usable way to handle it.

Why is the GURPS system instead build around the above progression?
Is there a physical explanation beyond my knowledge and understanding (which is easy)?

I am thinking about another progression:

swing damage: ( ST - 10 ) / 3.5 + 1 dice

thrust damage: ( ST - 10 ) / 7 + 1 dice

Round that up or down on the borders using regular -2/-1/+1/+2 boni

Taking only the straight numbers of dice from this table, you get:

ST 10: sw 1d, thr 1d
ST 17: sw 3d, thr 2d
ST 24: sw 5d, thr 3d
ST 31: sw 7d, thr 4d
ST 38: sw 9d, thr 5d
ST 45: sw 11d, thr 6d
ST 52: sw 13d, thr 7d
ST 59: sw 15d, thr 8d
ST 66: sw 17d, thr 9d
ST 73: sw 19d, thr 10d
ST 80: sw 21d, thr 11d
ST 87: sw 23d, thr 12d
ST 94: sw 25d, thr 13d
ST 101: sw 27d, thr 14d
So, every 7 levels of ST, thrust gets +1d and swing gets +2d
A bit more generous than the original table, but mostly the same for thrusts:

You could modify thrust damage to start a bit lower - like in the Damage Table, but this shall be an example only.

This is *quite* similar to the regular Damage Table (B16) at the "human" levels and ends up with nearly the same damage for thrusting attacks at ST 100 (which is 13d at ST 100).

It gives swing damage constantly the double damage.

The table is logical and can even be remembered / calculated on the fly.

So, it has the flair of being elegant :)

What do you think?

Ending with swing at the same level as thrust does not seem to be realistic.

(This is just an example of calculation and progression - i was wondering about the existing damage table)
4E books: Basic, Powers, Fantasy, Magic, Thaumatology, High Tech, Ultra-Tech, Martial Art, Supers, Space (SC only), Spaceships plus GCA and 66 of 3E books
PDF: 4E as above plus Bio-Tech, DF and more

Last edited by TJA; 05-21-2010 at 05:56 PM.
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damage, supers, table

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