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Old 05-21-2022, 03:13 PM   #1
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default should it be possible for an attack on you that your ally parries to spoil your Aim?

Noticed something along these lines happening in the 'Ghost Force' animated series.

https://youtu.be/uevvwglgtrw

Myst shouts out 'spectral bow!' while drawing her bowstring, and then it changes to her POV as she focuses her arrow's tip at Raijin.

It cuts back to him observing this and he has time to fire lightning at her. It looks like she's going to be hit but Krush creates an ice shield (I assume this is like combining Sacrificial Parry with Power Parry ?) to stop the lightning.

The key thing I'm interested in here is how even though the attack doesn't hit, being attacked seems to have spoiled her aim - you see she twists to her left, actually pulling the arrow out out of the bow string.

You see her lift her right leg to cover her torso while her right arm covers her face. It's a pretty instinctive posture that makes a lot of sense when blocking area attacks like explosions.

In the process of that defense the bow is pointed straight up in the air and she needs to re-knock her arrow and this time wastes less time by not shouting out her attack (guess it wasn't necessary) or spending time aiming (maybe that "Quick Aim" technique someone wrote in pyramid?) and manages to fire.

- -

Campaigns has basic rules for active defenses during aiming with ranged weapons:
Active Defense: Any, but you automatically spoil your aim and lose all accumulated benefits
Cole's Pyramid 3-77 "On Target" variations of Aim also had a couple other situations for Committed ("may dodge at -2, he may not parry or block") or All-Out ("no defense at all") aim maneuvers, but what remains constant is that actually choosing to defend will spoil the aim and the bonuses.

I don't know if there's any way around this (able to parry while keeping your aim) for a character. I figure a mage with enchanted weapons could pull this off (either Dancing Shield or the Dancing Weapon + Defending Weapon combo) since it's not technically them making the parries, so it shouldn't spoil the aim.

Presumably any ally doing a Sacrificial Dodge or Sacrificial Parry or Sacrificial Block on your behalf would have this benefit to - attack is stopped and since you didn't make the active defense, your aim is not spoiled.

- -

This begins to get into meta-gaming territory though because if a sacrificial defense from an ally fails, you still have the opportunity to defend. So now, not only do you know in advance if an attack will hit you before choosing to defend, you ALSO know if your ally will stop the attack in time, before you commit to a defense.

In the case of Ghost Force, I expect Myst did not realize that Krush's ice would block the lightning in time - she was covering herself because she expected the lightning to be hit.

If we used the "Restricted Dodge Against Firearms" (pg 17 of Tactical Shooting) it doesn't even seem to be legal to dodge firearms while using the normal aim maneuver, where to dodge the ranged attack of a single foe you're aware of requires "All-Out Defense, Attack, Change Posture, Defensive Attack, Feint, Move, or Move and Attack" meaning t would be illegal to dodge firearms while using the maneuvers of Aim / Committed Attack / Concentrate / Evaluate (AOA goes without saying) which makes me wonder if "I'm turtling up so the lightning hits my arms instead of my face" could count as some kind of parry...

- -

I think this may get into the territory of optional rules I have seen done for GURPS regarding pre-emptive defenses, where a defense can be declared when an attack is declared, but before the attack is rolled, so that you don't know whether it would hit or miss.

This would also (since attack rolls are made before sacrificial defense rolls) mean you wouldn't know whether or not an ally's sacrificial defense would succeed either.

This concept works for melee or ranged but it seems especially useful in ranged combat, and that's why I think only ranged combat has addressed it in the core books.

The earliest I can remember is in T-Bone's 2004 "Gulliver" at http://www.gamesdiner.com/GULLIVER/B...laringDefenses where he posited the default is declaring defenses before the attack (ie you waste a parry, or in the case of aiming a bow, spoil your aim) but that you could do "last second" defenses (I'd probably rephrase that "last instant" since all defenses technically happen in the 'last second', that's an entire maneuver!) at a penalty.

T-Bone's proposed penalties were basically some arbitrary doubling which applied equally to both defenses:
"1 for a melee attack, -2 for a thrown weapon, -4 for a missile like an arrow, -8 for a bullet, or -16 for a hypervelocity"
- -

July 2013 we saw Cole do a similar approach Pyramid 3-57's Gunplay (On Target) pg 29 did this under "Intercepting the Projectile" except instead of being arbitrary he drew directly from the Speed/Range chart to get his penalties (halved for active defenses) to get penalties for blocking/parrying.

The numbers were eerily similar showing T-Bone had pretty decent instincts - throwing axes/knives/hatchets were -2, javelins were -3, medieval arrow -4, modern arrow -5, pistol bullet -7, rifle bullet -8. The most major difference is Cole halved these penalties for dodges.

Cole's method of avoiding the penalties via pre-emptive defense declaration only appears to be allowed for blocks - you take the speed penalty if you declare after the hit roll, but if you declare prior to the hit roll "a Block roll unpenalized should be permitted"

This doesn't exactly help w/ the Myst dilemma since she's not using a shield, but clearly does "turtle up" into a fetal position to protect her face/vitals against the lightning using her limbs (thus spoiling her aim).

I don't think this should be chocked up to a Mental Stun from a Fright Check because it seems conceivable someone immune to fear would still flinch from dangerous attacks to cover vulnerable areas (face+vitals) using their limbs. Maybe they'd have more control over whether or not they chose to do that, but they could still do that, and there'd be some benefit do doing it pre-emptively (soon as you saw the lightning being prepped) rather than waiting until you know if/where it will hit you (or if your ally will intercede)

- -

I feel like I'm forgetting another approach to this pre-emptive defenses thing that someone else did that could solve the situation... like to resolve why Myst spoiled her bow+arrow aim turtling up from Raijin's lightning, wasn't there something about using limbs as improvised shields but only as cover (take HP to limbs instead of face/vitals) rather than nullifying the attack (nothing takes damage) ?

The way I figure, considering the small diameter of some bucklers, if you completely flexed your limbs (ie thigh+shin or forearm+upperarm held almost parallel) it could emulate the surface area of a buckler in terms of being able to "block" ranged attacks.

Unlike a buckler it couldn't deflect an arrow damage-free (bucklers have hard DR for arrow tips to glance off of, flesh doesn't) but it should still be able to provide it's HP as cover DR so that the arrow needs to pierce the muscles of your limb to hit your face or thigh.

This might be harder to pull off (ie it's easier for you to move your outstretched hand to get the buckler in the path than it is to turtle your entire arm in to cover your face) but should still be possible.

I figure that's what Myst was trying to do since she lacked a shield to block the lightning (plus she probably didn't know which parts of her it would hit, which is why both the arm AND leg was used to cover face+vitals) but I don't know how you'd represent this in terms of applying GURPS penalties.

I know you can lift people and use them via your Shield skill as an Improvised Shield, so if you can do that with some guy you lifted by the shirt (rested against your forearm) you could probably do it with just your bare forearm, except probably at a penalty since your foreamr is probably narrower in terms of SM than the guy you just lifted (unless were a Cave Troll lifting a Hobbit)
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Old 05-21-2022, 04:41 PM   #2
kenclary
 
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Default Re: should it be possible for an attack on you that your ally parries to spoil your A

I think it's one of two cases:

1) it was supposed to be multiple seconds of aiming (this would explain the long delay), and in turn 2 or 3 of aiming, they noticed the attacker readying a ranged attack, and changed to AOD or somesuch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plane View Post
If we used the "Restricted Dodge Against Firearms" (pg 17 of Tactical Shooting) it doesn't even seem to be legal to dodge firearms while using the normal aim maneuver, where to dodge the ranged attack of a single foe you're aware of requires "All-Out Defense, Attack, Change Posture, Defensive Attack, Feint, Move, or Move and Attack" meaning t would be illegal to dodge firearms while using the maneuvers of Aim / Committed Attack / Concentrate / Evaluate (AOA goes without saying) which makes me wonder if "I'm turtling up so the lightning hits my arms instead of my face" could count as some kind of parry...
In which case, the tactical shooting rule is the easiest option. The posture is just what the (possibly failed) dodge looked like.

2) the lightning/ice interaction caused a little explosion (clearly, in the cartoon), and the interruption was a flinch. Meaning the GM decided (fiat) to make a Will roll to avoid flinching (as if it was a "liquid to the face" dirty trick, Campaigns 405), and they failed.
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Old 05-21-2022, 05:51 PM   #3
Plane
 
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Default Re: should it be possible for an attack on you that your ally parries to spoil your A

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenclary View Post
I think it's one of two cases:

1) it was supposed to be multiple seconds of aiming (this would explain the long delay), and in turn 2 or 3 of aiming, they noticed the attacker readying a ranged attack, and changed to AOD or somesuch.
The attack happens in less than one second though, it doesn't seem like a Springing Attack or Decreased Time Rate which would give you that sort of "choose a new maneuver" sort of response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenclary View Post
In which case, the tactical shooting rule is the easiest option. The posture is just what the (possibly failed) dodge looked like.
You don't get the opportunity to dodge a miss, nor an attack which an ally successfully intercedes for.

Do you mean applying T-Bone's declaring a defense prior to the attack roll?

Even if this were a failed dodge it does seem like it would have some partial success of switching a more vulnerable area (face/vitals) to behind the cover of a less vulnerable area (arm/leg)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenclary View Post
2) the lightning/ice interaction caused a little explosion (clearly, in the cartoon)
Not sure what you mean, it looks like the lightning lingers a bit in the center of the ... "ice flower" I guess I'll call it, then fizzles out, but didn't actually get through.

However it seems like there was a RISK of that (maybe it could have burst the ice) and that risk makes it seem like a good idea to turtle-up to protect the face.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenclary View Post
and the interruption was a flinch. Meaning the GM decided (fiat) to make a Will roll to avoid flinching (as if it was a "liquid to the face" dirty trick, Campaigns 405), and they failed.
Hm, reading this "if he fails to defend" clause it seems unclear to me whether they mean in all cases of succesfully hitting the face (at -5 to hit) or only in the "on a critical hit" situation where it gets in the eyes.

Since critical hits can't be defended, it seems impossible to defend hits to the eyes, so there's no 'if' so maybe it does mean any liquid on the face even if it doesn't hit the eyes?

The weird thing about this, for someone with High Pain Threshold (immune to shock) is it actually becomes more distracting to have a cup of water flung at your cheek that it does to get stabbed in the cheek =/

I imagine a big part of flinching is "I am concenr I will be blinded" (even for attacks which hit only face and not eyes) so maybe someone with No Eyes ought to be immune to this sort of flinching?

Also for comparison MA72's "go for the eyes" only gives -1 to attack/defense on flinching when you fail a defense against eye attacks. This is when someone actually hits the eyes too... yet it's only half the penalty of the -2 DX -2 defenses that B405 gives for liquids that don't even hit the eye... seems strange.
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Old 05-22-2022, 06:34 AM   #4
kenclary
 
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Default Re: should it be possible for an attack on you that your ally parries to spoil your A

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plane View Post
The attack happens in less than one second though, it doesn't seem like a Springing Attack or Decreased Time Rate which would give you that sort of "choose a new maneuver" sort of response.
Based on how long after she nocks the "arrow" she continues to not let it fly, she's aiming for several seconds/turns.

Quote:
You don't get the opportunity to dodge a miss, nor an attack which an ally successfully intercedes for.
If you are using the TS rule, you can (if you see the attacker, which she clearly does) take "evasive movement" to get a dodge. I'm saying that's what's happening here. She was aiming, and chose to stop aiming, in order to try to dodge the shot she thought she was about to take.

Quote:
Do you mean applying T-Bone's declaring a defense prior to the attack roll?
No. I mean applying the rule from TS, which only applies to dodges against ranged attacks (bullets, technically, but is fine for arrows and such). That is a far more playable and sensible rule.

Quote:
Even if this were a failed dodge it does seem like it would have some partial success of switching a more vulnerable area (face/vitals) to behind the cover of a less vulnerable area (arm/leg)
A defensive posture is just indicative of AOD, is all. Don't overthink it.
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Old 05-22-2022, 06:53 AM   #5
Varyon
 
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Default Re: should it be possible for an attack on you that your ally parries to spoil your A

If you have players declare and roll for active defense even when the foe misses (or have them declare before any dice are rolled), then you should also have them declare and roll for active defense even if an ally negates the attack for you (in this case, for verisimilitude, you'll probably want them to declare before their ally rolls). A character who attempts an active defense loses their Aim bonus, as normal.

Defending even when the foe misses is more realistic than the GURPS default, and is what we see in the above clip (although her "defense" doesn't look like it would have done much in terms of getting her out of the way - that's a flinch response that GURPS doesn't really handle, one that just changes your posture such that you're more likely to get hit in less vital areas; well, actually it's a highly-exaggerated version of that, but it is a cartoon, and such exaggerations are par for the course, there). Of course, it is possible for a skilled combatant to recognize an attack is going to miss, and the further off the mark the attack is, the easier this would be. Offhand, I'd say a if (Attacker's MoF)+2*(Defender's MoS)>5, the defender notices the foe's attack is going to miss and the player can choose not to "use up" a defense (but if the character Retreated, you must use their unmodified MoS above to avoid using up the Retreat).
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Old 05-23-2022, 02:42 AM   #6
Plane
 
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Default Re: should it be possible for an attack on you that your ally parries to spoil your A

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenclary View Post
Based on how long after she nocks the "arrow" she continues to not let it fly, she's aiming for several seconds/turns.
Correct, I meant the monster's lightning had no obviously telegraphed chargeup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenclary View Post
If you are using the TS rule, you can (if you see the attacker, which she clearly does) take "evasive movement" to get a dodge. I'm saying that's what's happening here. She was aiming, and chose to stop aiming, in order to try to dodge the shot she thought she was about to take.
TS17 dodges are still reactive though, meaning you wouldn't make them until after your ally's sacrificial block failed. The 'evasive action' is described as something that just enables a dodge (almost like the 'One Foe' thing in Technical Grappling
take “evasive movement” with respect to that one foe as a free action.
If the specified gunman shoots at him before the start of his next turn, he may dodge"
However you just reminded me of the Tactical Dodging Redux that Cole did (og 30 of pyramid 3-57) which aside from broadening it beyond a single foe, also just made the evasion and dodge the same thing.
declare the dodge on your own turn – your erratic and/or sudden movements might cause an attacker to miss even if you don’t perceive the
attack.
This faces the same problem though - you need to know the attack is coming during your turn to do this.

I'm not looking for that early (because if you do that, you'd never be able to aim, you'd just always be pre-emptively dodging before attacks launch) just in the middle - after the shot but before the roll reflecting where it shoots and how you perceive it shooting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenclary View Post
A defensive posture is just indicative of AOD, is all. Don't overthink it.
This implies the lightning was a 2-second attack though, it seemed faster than that. You'd need to observe them prepping to choose to not renew your Aim and initiate an AOD instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Offhand, I'd say a if (Attacker's MoF)+2*(Defender's MoS)>5, the defender notices the foe's attack is going to miss and the player can choose not to "use up" a defense (but if the character Retreated, you must use their unmodified MoS above to avoid using up the Retreat).
This would require rolling a defense before calculating whether or not you observe something will miss, but shouldn't you know that before you even begin defending?

If you only perceive it's a miss when you've already begun a parry then you've already expended some energy.
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Old 05-23-2022, 03:14 AM   #7
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Default Re: should it be possible for an attack on you that your ally parries to spoil your A

Perhaps this attack has a mini flashbang built in and she failed the resistance to it, and flinched?
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Old 05-23-2022, 07:15 AM   #8
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Default Re: should it be possible for an attack on you that your ally parries to spoil your A

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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
This would require rolling a defense before calculating whether or not you observe something will miss, but shouldn't you know that before you even begin defending?

If you only perceive it's a miss when you've already begun a parry then you've already expended some energy.
I'm interpreting the defense roll as covering A) determining if the attack is going to hit, B) determining the path of the attack, C) determining the movement(s) needed to deflect the attack and/or get out of its way, and finally D) successfully executing said movements (although I'll note much of this is below the conscious level). It's easy to think of it as only being part D, but you need A, B, and C to get there. GURPS normally treats A as a freebie, but failing to defend could be a failure on any or all of B, C, or D. If you're introducing a mechanic that makes A no longer a freebie, I think tying it in with the rest of the defense roll is a good idea - it makes narrative sense (someone who is good at defending is going to be good at determining if they actually need to defend), is easy to implement (no determination of some other score to roll against), and requires no additional rolling (beyond calling for a defense roll even on a miss, at least). The whole MoF + 2*MoS thing may turn some people off (some folks aren't big fans of algebra, or indeed mathematics in general), so if you prefer, just say an attack with MoF 5 or worse is an obvious miss (no need to roll), and on any lesser failure the player needs MoS 2 or better to not use up a defense.
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Old 05-23-2022, 11:44 AM   #9
kenclary
 
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Default Re: should it be possible for an attack on you that your ally parries to spoil your A

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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
Correct, I meant the monster's lightning had no obviously telegraphed chargeup.


TS17 dodges are still reactive though, meaning you wouldn't make them until after your ally's sacrificial block failed.
The monster made a growly face like he was about to attack. She noticed and changed her maneuver from one where she could aim to one where she could dodge (thus spoiling her aim).

Edit: I'd imagine that the growly face is the monster spending a turn making a Perception roll to notice the others who are about to attack.

She didn't need to roll dodge, because of her ally's action, but she still assumed a very defensive posture, reflecting the maneuver / potential dodge (GURPS tends to roll posture and stance into maneuver choice). It all looks like it happens simultaneously because of the artistic choice of the animator / the abstraction of "turns" and "rounds."

Last edited by kenclary; 05-23-2022 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 05-23-2022, 07:37 PM   #10
Plane
 
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Default Re: should it be possible for an attack on you that your ally parries to spoil your A

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
I'm interpreting the defense roll as covering A) determining if the attack is going to hit, B) determining the path of the attack, C) determining the movement(s) needed to deflect the attack and/or get out of its way, and finally D) successfully executing said movements (although I'll note much of this is below the conscious level). It's easy to think of it as only being part D, but you need A, B, and C to get there.

GURPS normally treats A as a freebie, but failing to defend could be a failure on any or all of B, C, or D. If you're introducing a mechanic that makes A no longer a freebie, I think tying it in with the rest of the defense roll is a good idea - it makes narrative sense (someone who is good at defending is going to be good at determining if they actually need to defend), is easy to implement (no determination of some other score to roll against), and requires no additional rolling (beyond calling for a defense roll even on a miss, at least).
The only thing about that is people have a variety of different defense scores of various amounts, and what defense you choose to roll against often depends on your perception of what the attack is (like avoiding a bare-handed parry against a Force Sword)

Knowing the attack will hit often determines whether you bother with it at all (important if it's something like a Warp Dodge or w/ Unbalanced weapons where a parry will unready it so you can't attack)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenclary View Post
The monster made a growly face like he was about to attack. She noticed and changed her maneuver from one where she could aim to one where she could dodge (thus spoiling her aim).

Edit: I'd imagine that the growly face is the monster spending a turn making a Perception roll to notice the others who are about to attack.
Ah like a Concentrate maneuver? If some amount of perception is a free action then dedicating a maneuver to it should get a bonus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenclary View Post
She didn't need to roll dodge, because of her ally's action, but she still assumed a very defensive posture, reflecting the maneuver / potential dodge (GURPS tends to roll posture and stance into maneuver choice). It all looks like it happens simultaneously because of the artistic choice of the animator / the abstraction of "turns" and "rounds."
Yeah I guess if he was doing a ready/concentrate to try and intimidate with his growl, we could view the Aim>AOD shift as a reaction not to the attack but to the growl, although it seems like a reaction to the lightning to me.

Even though we can explain it that way, I still like the idea of reacting to an attack yet committing to a defense before it becomes determined the defense is acutally necessary. People could do this (ditching their Aim bonus) maybe to defend better than if they waited until the last second to spoil the aim for a defense (like after knowing it will hit, and your ally didn't stop it)
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