Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Combat Styles for Modified GURPS

Combat Styles for Modified Gurps

*sigh* more mechanics *sigh*

Combat Styles allow warrior-type characters to have some additional combat options. Each style is made up of a set of elements. A character may apply elements to their actions to enhance them. Buying a combat style allows you to one of those elements to any individual action. Buying the Combat Mastery advantage allows you to stack more elements onto a single maneuver. A character can change up what their adding to what action from round to round or action to action. There's no additional skill roll required, no spending of fatigue or focus. Primarily these elements are intended to add color and provide a broader range of choices without detailing all the possible martial arts or having individual rules for maneuvers. If a person knows a style they may apply it to any weapons they use (rather than buying for X or Y).

Some elements apply strictly to attack, some to defense, and some to more particular forms (grappling, unarmed, ranged attacks, and so on). As well, some elements are more supernatural/freaky-- styles containing these elements will be require an unusual background or special training. Essentially these are the more fantastic combat effects.

I'll make the style groupings fairly generic-- more as a descriptor of their intent (Heavy Defensive or Mixed Attack) rather than a specific cultural thing (Ranging Thunders Style)-- maybe. This system is intended to simulate effects rather than specifics. That's a nice clarifying concept from BESM 3e which Gene suggested. People will recognize this is yet another version of the MA system I've been tinkering with.

Ideally, I want the points costs that I come up with to have parity with other investments of points. As important, I'd like there to be some parity between the costs for these things and the costs for being a magic-user. I think the latter will be slightly more expensive, but I'd like there to be some equality.

Defensive Combat Elements
Attack Awareness: Negate Gang-Up penalties to defense
Enhanced Block: +2 to Block attempt.
Enhanced Dodge: +1 to Dodge attempt.
Enhanced Parry: +2 to Parry attempt.
Escape: Gain +2 to contest for escaping grapples
Evasion: If targeted in melee, reduce chances of being hit from randomization
Extra Block: Used with a second block in a round.
Extra Parry: Used with a second parry in a round.
Iron Arm: May parry armed attacks while unarmed. (I suspect this will actually be an advantage rather than making barehanded MA's have to put this in their maneuvers all the time).
Missile Parry: May parry ranged attacks
Riposte: If defense is successful, lower attacker's Defense roll by -2 for your next attack.
Roll with Blow: If defense fails, add +1 to DR
Root: Gain +2 to resist being knocked down, tackled or moved
Turn Blow: May parry normally unparryable attacks-- i.e. a battle axe with a dagger.

Offensive Combat Elements
Accuracy: +1 to attack skill
All-Around: May attack any target in surrounding area without penalty
Armor Destroying: Successful attack reduces the target's DR by 1 for the duration of the combat (min 1). Some armor may resist.
Armor Piercing: Halve target's DR versus this attack
Beast-Slayer: +1 damage and attack versus animals and monster creatures
Breaking: Double ST for determining breakage of inanimate objects attacked.
Called Shot: Reduce penalty for striking a location by up to 2.
Choke: May attempt to KO a held target
Clinch: May grapple with one hand, keeping other hand free.
Coordination: When attacking with an ally, target has a -2 penalty to defense rolls
Critical: Increase range for Criticals by 1.
Crush: +2 damage when inflicting a crush in a grapple
Damage: +1 damage
Disarm: +2 to disarm contests
Feint: Gain +2 to feint contests
Grappling: +2 to hold target in a grapple
Ground Fighting: No penalty to attack or defense while prone.
Knockback: Target makes ST check or be knocked back up to 3 yards (1 per 2 points of damage through).
Lock: Grappled target takes damage with unsuccessful breakout attempts.
Mook Killer: If attack hits a Mook, Mook is KO'd.
Precision: Always hit chosen target when firing into melee.
Running Strike: May make an additional Move action and attack without an All-Out Attack
Sharpshot: Halve all range penalties
Silent: Attack makes no noise.
Stun: Target must make HT check or suffer +2 to wound penalties on following round.
Subdue: Gain bonus when attacking to subdue/KO without injury
Surprise: Gain +2 to damage and attack roll when making a surprise attack
Sweep: May target up to three adjacent targets with an attack-- cumulative -2 penalty.
Throw: +1 damage when throwing a target. Greater control and distance for throwing.
Trip: Target makes DX check or be knocked down.
Unbalance: Target must make HT check or lose Move or Standard action on the following round.
Weapon Lock: Resolve as Feint-- success means target's weapon is locked until he can win a contest against attacker.

Freaky Combat Elements
Area: Attack affects a mega-hex
Blind: Target makes HT check or be blinded (or deafened) on following round.
Cone: Attack has a short, cone area
Create Weapon: May create a magical or makeshift weapon instantly
Disrupting: Target makes HT check or suffer a Stat penalty for the combat
Elemental FX: May add classic “elemental” effect to the strike
Explosion: Attack explodes out from character with diminishing damage
Flying/Leaping: Move action with Attack/Defense may be vertical without test or penalty.
Range: HTH may be made at range
Tracking/Trick: Ranged attack ignores cover
Unhealing: Damage takes double time to recover or must be healed with magic

Stuff I Left Out Because I Think it is Covered, Weak or Too Weird
Series of Blows, Two-Weapon Fighting, Catch, Paralyze, Nerve, Returning, Limb Binding


  1. I'm not sure which post this first portion belongs with, I'm putting it here as I thought of it while reading this one.

    What are you plans for the player who just wants to be able to "whack" at things? A player who isn't a spellcaster and isn't a frontline fighter.

    Would you allow each player to have a major area of focus, giving more points for that area? I'm making up numbers here.
    -Fighter types get 20 points for combat related abilities and 10 for non-combat
    -Spellcasters get 20 points for spell abilites and 10 for non-spells.
    -Other characters get 20 points for non-combat/spell and 10 for all others

    It looks a little like True20 that way. I didn't mean for it to, I was actually thinking more along the lines of Storyteller with it's three different Attribute families and Skill families.

    If you've addressed that prior, my apologies. My brain is sapped after an 11+ hour work day.

    In Defensive Combat Elements:
    Why do Enhanced Parry and Block get a +2, but Enhanced Dodge only gets a +1? Does Dodge as a skill cost normally cost more to purchase as an ability? If not, I would equal the points out. However, in game, it's really just a style decision. I realize that in "real life" combat, dodge is much harder than parry or block. In "real life" combat, people good at parry or block are not necessarily as good as they are with attacking.

    In Offensive Combat Elements:
    There is a -2 cumulative to Sweep attacks. Is that an additional -2 to each attack or (number of attacks in the round) x 2 = negative to all rolls? Sorry, it's the playtester in me.

    In Freaky Combat Elements:
    What is the difference between Leaping/Flying and Ranged HtH attacks?

    Also, why is Leaping/Flying only a vertical ability and not also horizontal?

    Something you could do for figuring out the costs of the different schools would be to add up all of the pluses and that's the cost. Example:
    A school teaches the Enhanced Block, Crush, and Surprise techniques. All three grant +2 bonuses. Therefore the technique would cost 6 points.

    It's not totally in line with what you've worked on before. You may also have a hard time working in point costs for some of the effects, as they do not grant bonuses, but rather effects. May not work, but it may give you a different angle to look at things.

  2. Good Questions and points--

    "What are you plans for the player who just wants to be able to "whack" at things? A player who isn't a spellcaster and isn't a frontline fighter."

    I assumed they'd be able to invest more heavily into some of the side-tracks of the the skills: Subterfuge, the various social skills and so on. They could choose a more balanced combat style-- one with more support elements. Everyone will have the same pool of points and be able to spend them as they will-- so more like the original Gurps or Unisystem. In that respect, I hope to allow people to tune their character the way they want.

    "Why do Enhanced Parry and Block get a +2, but Enhanced Dodge only gets a +1?"

    Good catch-- this is purely a game-y decision on my part. Parries and Blocks are limited resources, usually only one per turn. A character has unlimited number of dodges (or at least one per attack their aware of). That difference is mostly to provide some parity between like elements.

    As to the Sweep question, I picturing that as an additive (0, -2, -4)

    "What is the difference between Leaping/Flying and Ranged HtH attacks? Also, why is Leaping/Flying only a vertical ability and not also horizontal?"

    With the Ranged HTH attacks, I'm imaging more a kind of Air Palm strike. The Leaping/Flying would be more of a color element allowing the player to move in multiple dimensions in a combat without making an additional test.

    You're right about the horizontal point-- this element is intended to allow fighters to leap over targets, bounce off walls, get up to the roof with their move action-- therefore it is more anime color than anything else.

    That's a good point about the costs, but I think that's something I want to avoid-- a large set of discrete costs or different prices for different styles. Yes, some of them will be more or less powerful in these rules, but generally I'm not as worried about balance at that micro-level-- and I don't think any of what's there will be overwhelming. I'm more in favor of saying: buying combat styles costs X, here's a list of them. ideally character creation should have some choices but be easy enough to do on the fly.

  3. I suspect you'd be open to suggestions to weaken or strengthen specific Combat Elements. This would mainly come up with ones people want. I think most of the Freaky are too powerful for the price, but I don't think you have munchkin players either.

    Also, some of them could obviously come with multiple levels. Mook Killer at two levels could allow multiple attacks against mooks (eg roundhouse kick against a circle of enemies w/o the -2 penalty for a sweep).

  4. Going with the costs topic, what if basic level stuff cost one thing, but the freaky was double or triple the cost? Depending on how powerful these turn the tides in the game, I'd even go with up to x5.

    I like Gene's idea of multiple levels stack in some manner. I believe the rules for Savage Worlds may give you some guidance in regards to that. kaiju and I both have at least one SW book with core rules in it, if you need to borrow one for ideas.

  5. I think the easiest way to handle the Freaky elements is that styles that have one of them have a fewer number of elements.

    Not sure I want to do levels of a particular element since I'm already working in the idea that people can learn the same element from two different styles and then be able to apply it twice, with differing effects.

    I have the basic SW book, which I don't care for very much. But I've only skimmed those rules a couple of times.