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> BitBasher's Melee Combat System, Insert snappy text here.
BitBasher
post Feb 4 2005, 03:19 AM
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Here it is, some notes folks... This is a wholesale replacement for all hand to hand combat skills.

I deliberately did not name any martial arts, because hand to hand is not a bunch of separate arts when someone uses it. It's an amalgamation of the knoledge you gain from one or more styles. My system is abstract, just like I think SR should be. Name your style whatever the hell you want then buy techniques you feel are appropriate.

There is no longer an edged weapons or a chains skill, cause that's just freaking stupid. Noone goes and learns "edged weapons" but you will learn knife fighting and escrima if it's a part of Kenpo for example. It's all just "Melee Combat", a general skill with specializations only of offensive or defensive. To learn a weapon you just take a technique of "weapon" and pow, you have a skill in that specific weapon, and can use all applicable techniques when using it.

Descriptions of techniques follow below. all of this is playtested and has worked really well. It could use some stramlining but I haven't encountered any real issues.

Feedback is appreciated.

QUOTE
Melee Combat:
A player may choose up to one technique per level of the Melee Combat skill. At character creation each technique costs one build point. During the game a technique is bought by spending karma as if the technique was a specialization with a level equal to the minimum required level for that technique.

Moves Available Per Level:
1: Block
2: Takedown, Position
3: Hold, Weapon
4: Throw, Focus
5: Engagement, Weapon (2)
6: Avoidance, Disarm, Evasion
7: Engagement (2), Weapon (3)
8: Avoidance (2)
9: Engagement (3), Weapon (4)
10: Combo, Disarm (2)
11: Engagement (4), Weapon (5)

Avoidance:
Avoidance a technique in which a person can make his opponent's reach useless. For each point of Avoidance the player purchases, reduce the opponent's reach bonus by one point. This power has a maximum of 2 levels.

Block:
Block allows a character who is defending in a fight to achieve a true tie if the attackers successes are equal to the defenders. In case of a tie no attack is made at all, the attack was blocked. Without this technique all ties go to the attacker, as per SRIII rules.

Combo:
Combo allows any 2 Declared techniques to be applies in the same combat round. This is the <b>only</b> exception to the normal rule that only one Declared technique can be applied in one combat round.

Disarm:
Disarm allows the character to disarm the weapon of his opponent. The player must declare his intent to disarm, then combat proceeds as normal. If the player achieves a number of net successes equal to or greater than 1/2 (round up) of the opponents weapon skill then the opponents weapon is disarmed. Base Damage from a successful disarm is a Str(L) and is staged up only by successes left after the successes necessary for the maneuver. The number of net successes above that determine how far the weapon flies. a good rule of thumb is one meter per success. (Up to GM discretion and circumstances.) If the player won the combat but did not get enough successes to disarm, then no damage is done by either side. If the player lost outright in successes and attempted a disarm, add 2 to the power of the opponents attack.

Disarm and Take:
Mechanically the same as the Disarm Technique immediately above with the major difference that the player that declares and successfully executes this technique ends up holding the opponents weapon at the end of the combat round. In all other cases it is identical to Disarm. Disarm And Take also requires that a character already have Disarm before he can purchase Disarm And Take

Engagement
Engagement allows a character lessen or remove altogether the penalties from fighting multiple opponents while defending only. Each level of Engagement reduces the penalties fighting multiple opponents by one until level 4 is reached, then the player suffers no penalties from multiple opponents no matter how many people he is fighting. (Only so many people can swing on someone at once.) This does NOT cancel the +2 penalty per opponent if a player decides to attack a second opponent offensively during his action.

Evasion:
Evasion allows a player to successfully end combat out of melee range of an opponent if the player first declares his intent to evade and achieves at least one net success in the combat test. If the Evade is successful, no damage is done. If the player achieves the same number of successes as his opponent then resolve damage as normal, but if the player was on the offensive no damage is done. If the player loses the evade test outright the enemy gets to add 1 power to his attack that round. As a prerequisite to purchase Evasion, a player must first posses the skill Position.

Focus:
Focus allows a player to channel his strength for a more physically damaging series of blows. If the Focus is declared before the combat round is rolled, then combat is resolved as normal but if the player wins then his power is reduced by 25% (round down) but the damage done is Physical not Stun and is staged up normally. All other combat effects are handled normally. If a player has Focus and bone lacing that confers a damage bonus then add 1 to the power of the attack.

Hold:
Hold represents one of many types of holds that a person can inflict on another during melee combat, anything from a chicken wing to a full nelson to a choke. A hold incapacitates the victim and is sometimes difficult to escape. In order for a player to successfully execute a hold technique, he first declares the intent to hold then must achieve a number of net successes in combat equal to (Players skill-opponent skill)+2. If successful the player then has his opponent in a hold, and the attack inflicts Str-2(M) damage and is staged up normally by successes left over after the successes necessary to complete the hold. Each combat round a victim is in a hold the damage increases power level of the damage by 1. In order to break a hold the victim must beat the player in an opposed strength roll with a -1 to the victim's target number. If the player wins the combat, but does not achieve enough net successes to perform the hold, then no damage is done. If the opponent wins outright by successes then the power of their attack is increased by 1. If after the hold is successful the player decides to, he or she can forego the +1 damage every round, and inflict no damage after the first round, just continue to incapacitate the victim. If this option is chosen then the player can use one hand for other actions. (Opening a door, Firing a gun, etc.) This effectively allows the use of a victim as a human shield in a gunfight.If used as a shield, the person gains a +1 bonus to the TN to break the hold on their next action.

Position:
Position allows the player to reduce and possible ignore penalties from bad positioning in a fight from circumstances like having the players back against a wall, restricted movement or being prone. If the player declares he is going to use position, he does not suffer positioning penalties that round and if he wins the combat then he has maneuvered himself out the poor position. (He performed a kick up, circled away from the wall, moved to a better footing area, etc) No matter how many net successes the player makes with this technique, he does no damage, the players main concern that round is getting out of a bad spot and not in doing damage. If the player loses the combat round in which he declared a Position maneuver resolve combat like normal.

Takedown:
Take down is a technique designed to put your opponent on the ground one way or another. To execute a successful Take Down the player must first declare that he wishes to attempt a Take Down the the player must achieve a number of net successes equal to or greater than half the opponents quickness. The opponent automatically ends the combat round prone and the damage done by the player is staged normally from the net successes earned <b>after</b> subtracting the successes necessary to pull off the maneuver. If the player wins the combat but does earn the necessary number of successes then no damage is done. If the player outright loses the combat then the remainder of the combat is resolved normally.

Throw:
Throw is similar to the Take Down except for the important fact that the opponent if successfully thrown is sent flying through the air with the greatest of ease. To execute a successful Throw the player must first declare that he wishes to attempt a Throw the the player must achieve a number of net successes equal to or greater than half the opponents body. The opponent automatically ends the combat sailing a number of meters equal to the (Players Strength-Opponents Body)/2 in meters in the players choice of direction and the damage done by the player is staged normally from the net successes earned after subtracting the successes necessary to pull off the maneuver. The base damage if the player does not hit a solid object (Skids along the ground) is Str(L). If the victim does hit a solid object in mid flight the damage is Str(M) or higher depending on what the victim hits. The main advantage of this technique is what the victim may be thrown off of or into. (Or into the path of.)

Weapon:
Weapon is the opportunity for the character to pick up training in a melee weapon as part of the characters fighting style. The first time a character picks up a skill in a weapon he chooses a specific weapon (Katana, Baseball Bat, Chain) and forever after, the character is treated as forever having a skill in that weapon at a level equal to 1 less than his Melee Combat skill. If the Melee combat skill increases through Karma then so does the Weapon technique, because this weapon is now a part of the characters fighting style. If the character later chooses a second Weapon technique then he has the choice of either taking a second separate weapon (which works exactly like the first weapon skill, at a level equal to their Melee Combat skill minus 1), or taking a second Weapon technique in the same weapon he already has, which will now allow him to now treat that weapon skill as equal to his Melee Combat Skill forever.


Replies are welcome, beat it down :)
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fistandantilus4....
post Feb 4 2005, 03:42 AM
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I like it actually. I think that in some styles, the weapons are usually taught after a better proficency is gained (say skill rank 4), but since that isn't universal, looks pretty good.
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jklst14
post Feb 4 2005, 03:51 AM
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I was thinking about making my own house rules for melee combat but after reading yours, I think I'd be happy to adopt them for my own future games.

I particularly like how you integrate armed and unarmed combat into a single skill and how you 'spend' successes in your system to accomplish moves rather than rely on target number modifiers like the canon system.




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BitBasher
post Feb 4 2005, 03:54 AM
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I did that because TN modifications are freaking suicide. In SR since the number of sucesses you get determine how sucessful somehting is, I found it works a lot better in playtesting.
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The Grifter
post Feb 4 2005, 03:59 AM
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Agreed. And this sounds like a pretty good system, IMHO. I'll have to talk to my GM about this one.
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John Campbell
post Feb 4 2005, 06:30 AM
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One problem I see here is that, while making armed combat a technique of unarmed combat is, in some ways, an improvement over the current system, which doesn't even allow defaulting between them, it makes it impossible for someone to focus on armed combat to the exclusion of unarmed combat. No matter how good someone is at armed combat, they're necessarily going to be one step better unarmed. This is not realistic and not, I think, desirable.

I'm a barely competent barehanded fighter. I'm more than just a little good with a broadsword. My unarmed skills, such as they are, don't come from any particular unarmed combat training - I've never had any - but are simply spillover from my broadsword training, which I've spent years and years on. In Shadowrun terms, I might have a 4 or 5 in Edged Weapons... but I can guarantee you that I don't have a 5 or 6 in Unarmed Combat. Maybe a 1. More likely, I just default to Edged. It's not possible to make a character under your system that even vaguely approximates my actual skillset.
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BitBasher
post Feb 4 2005, 09:15 AM
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Well, the catch is that really there are no martial arts (outside of pure sporting matches that have little real world application) that teach a functional weapon combat without the hand to hand to back it up.

I'm more than happy to make adjustments for that but last I asked this noone could really come up with one.
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SirKodiak
post Feb 4 2005, 09:22 AM
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I agree, Campbell. My fix would be to continue to make them all part of the same continuum, but instead of starting everyone off at unarmed, have everyone start off by picking a particular weapon, one option of which is 'unarmed'.

In fact, that brings up a question I have: how does this system handling defaulting? Even without my change, what happens if I get to a reasonably high level in unarmed, and then I pick up a knife, without investing in it as a weapon? What's my skill level and target number?

QUOTE
Well, the catch is that really there are no martial arts (outside of pure sporting matches that have little real world application) that teach a functional weapon combat without the hand to hand to back it up.


I agree, but that doesn't change the fact that you still end up with people who are more capable with a sword than without because that's what they practice, even ignoring the advantages that a sword gives you. I could even see requiring that everyone who has a weapons skill also buy the unarmed skill, but I think the weapons skill should be allowed to exceed the unarmed skill.
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DrJest
post Feb 4 2005, 09:47 AM
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QUOTE
instead of starting everyone off at unarmed, have everyone start off by picking a particular weapon, one option of which is 'unarmed'.


Good call, I like it.

As for defaults... well, in my experience any teacher of a martial art, western or eastern, will teach a spread of weapons. You're likely to concentrate on one at a time (hence purchasing the Weapon technique) but get a grounding in several others...

How about this? Default to a similar (ie, within the original SR3 groupings) weapon at +2, and an unfamiliar one at +4 (mods subject to review, but you get my drift)
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Fortune
post Feb 4 2005, 12:14 PM
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BitBasher: When you use the term 'combat round', are you refering to the actual initiative pass, or an entire normal turn?

For example, can someone with more than one pass in a turn use a different technique each pass, or is he restricted to the same one the entire round?
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toturi
post Feb 4 2005, 01:14 PM
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In this system, one cannot focus solely on a weapon to the exclusion unarmed until level 3. Furthermore, this system would produce fencers that should beat boxers in unarmed combat. It would also mean that masters of weapons will definitely be extremely proficient in unarmed combat. It does not allow a boxer to have an advantage over a knife fighter in unarmed combat.
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SirKodiak
post Feb 4 2005, 04:50 PM
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QUOTE
In this system, one cannot focus solely on a weapon to the exclusion unarmed until level 3. Furthermore, this system would produce fencers that should beat boxers in unarmed combat. It would also mean that masters of weapons will definitely be extremely proficient in unarmed combat. It does not allow a boxer to have an advantage over a knife fighter in unarmed combat.


I agree with this. What opinion about these facts do you have? I'm guessing you don't like it, but you don't really specify.

QUOTE
How about this? Default to a similar (ie, within the original SR3 groupings) weapon at +2, and an unfamiliar one at +4 (mods subject to review, but you get my drift)


I like that, and I'd be happy enough as a GM making a judgement call to what is similar enough to warrant the +2 mod.
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GrinderTheTroll
post Feb 4 2005, 05:45 PM
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QUOTE (BitBasher)
Well, the catch is that really there are no martial arts (outside of pure sporting matches that have little real world application) that teach a functional weapon combat without the hand to hand to back it up.

Good point here. Good martial arts treat the body as a weapon for all intents and purposes, actually having a knife or staff is a bonus. ;)
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GrinderTheTroll
post Feb 4 2005, 05:59 PM
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QUOTE
Melee Combat:
A player may choose up to one technique per level of the Melee Combat skill. At character creation each technique costs one build point. During the game a technique is bought by spending karma as if the technique was a specialization with a level equal to the minimum required level for that technique.

My only real issue is that you'd need to "buy" skills. If you have good training, you can attempt anything at any level, your degree of success is measured on well you can repeatedly do it correctly and I'd measure that in successes.

I would favor requiring a threshold to preform certain tasks aside from "purchasing" skills as your skill level progresses.
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Method
post Feb 4 2005, 06:15 PM
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QUOTE (GrinderTheTroll @ Feb 4 2005, 12:45 PM)
QUOTE (BitBasher @ Feb 4 2005, 02:15 AM)
Well, the catch is that really there are no martial arts (outside of pure sporting matches that have little real world application) that teach a functional weapon combat without the hand to hand to back it up.

Good point here. Good martial arts treat the body as a weapon for all intents and purposes, actually having a knife or staff is a bonus. ;)

I will concur, but I don't think its because martial arts have "little real world application".

I think its because at the heart of all melee fighting styles there are core principles that, when applied in actual combat, cause all styles to converge. As the Japanese say "Enter through form - Exit from form". At an advanced level, all styles have something equivalent to each of Bit's "moves"- what you call it is irrelavent.

Really a martial art isn't designed to teach you some specific thing to do in a fight, its to train you to do something that works when the pressure is on and you don't have time to think. It more about changing the way you think about a conflict, how you preceve it and preparing yourself mentally to do what it takes to keep yourself alive.

Having said that, I like this system infinately better than the cannon. I think it creates rules that support good role playing in combat, not just more dice rolling with fancy TN mods that force specifics onto the abstract nature of SR combat. I think I might give it a try IMG.

One Suggestion: I think (having studied Aikido, Judo and Jujitsu for 10+ years) that the damage caused by a "Throw" move should take into acount the target's Body. Any good throw relies on body mechanics and the attackers energy to take thier balance, but really its gravity and the persons body weight that causes damage. "the bigger they are..." driving them into the ground judo style (using STR) is just icing on the cake. Maybe something like [BODY + 1/2 STR] L/M?

and One Question: If a player has the "Combo" ability, can he use "Focus" to increase the damage done by a "Throw" or "Hold"?
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Joe Outside
post Feb 4 2005, 06:37 PM
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QUOTE (GrinderTheTroll)
QUOTE (BitBasher @ Feb 4 2005, 02:15 AM)
Well, the catch is that really there are no martial arts (outside of pure sporting matches that have little real world application) that teach a functional weapon combat without the hand to hand to back it up.

Good point here. Good martial arts treat the body as a weapon for all intents and purposes, actually having a knife or staff is a bonus. ;)

How about Kendo/kenjutsu? Fencing? SCAdian broadsword? Even most escrima classes I've witnessed start with sticks and progress to unarmed.

And if you think the above have "little real world application", I'd just like to interject that the dagger training I had in the SCA had a whole lot of real world application on my last visit to Vegas.
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Method
post Feb 4 2005, 06:45 PM
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QUOTE (Joe Outside)

How about Kendo/kenjutsu? Fencing? SCAdian broadsword? Even most escrima classes I've witnessed start with sticks and progress to unarmed.

And if you think the above have "little real world application", I'd just like to interject that the dagger training I had in the SCA had a whole lot of real world application on my last visit to Vegas.

I think that BitBashers point (and logic) is that all forms and all weapons are just tools that a particular style uses to teach the skills you need in a fight (what Bit is calling "moves"). How your particular style does it or what they call it isn't all that important when the fists/feet/knives start flying.

I think the "melee combat" skill is sopposed to represent the underlying foundation that all these "moves" draw from.

And you could say that the foundation is inherant to the human being- there are only so many ways we can fight given two arms and two legs. Any weapon would be an addition to the tools "God gave us"-- not a natural and instinctive defense mechanism like punching or kicking or what ever. So until you reach a level where your weapon "becomes part of you" you get -1. I think Bit's system reflects this well...
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Method
post Feb 4 2005, 07:18 PM
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Damn. The more I think about it the more I like this system... :]

More thoughts:

- A character with the "Throw" ability should gain some protection against throws. If they've trained to learn how to throw, they've been thrown and learned how to land...

- There should be a move that negates impact armor.... something like "Precision" that negates 1 point of IA per level...
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GrinderTheTroll
post Feb 4 2005, 07:20 PM
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QUOTE (Method)
Damn. The more I think about it the more I like this system... :]

More thoughts:

- A character with the "Throw" ability should gain some protection against throws. If they've trained to learn how to throw, they've been thrown and learned how to land...

- There should be a move that negates impact armor.... something like "Precision" that negates 1 point of IA per level...

I disagree.

You'd think that since a baseball pitcher knows how to throw a pitch, they'd know how to hit, but they have the lowest batting averages.
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BitBasher
post Feb 4 2005, 08:06 PM
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QUOTE ("SirKodiak")
I agree, Campbell. My fix would be to continue to make them all part of the same continuum, but instead of starting everyone off at unarmed, have everyone start off by picking a particular weapon, one option of which is 'unarmed'.
I really don't have a problem with that, but the vast, vast majority of the folks that have had any melee combat training, formal or not, have had no training in weapons. hence my system. I wouldn;t have a problem with someone who took a weapon, say katana as their base and used Hand To hand instead of a weapon skill, transposing the two. I consider that a rare case though, as it would be the far and away exception and not the rule.

QUOTE ("SirKodiak")
In fact, that brings up a question I have: how does this system handling defaulting? Even without my change, what happens if I get to a reasonably high level in unarmed, and then I pick up a knife, without investing in it as a weapon? What's my skill level and target number?
Very similar weapons (katana to wakizashi, or ninjato) would be at -1 dice, while broader differences would use standard defaulting rules. Gm's discresion. Agan though, that's open to debate.

QUOTE ("Fortune")
BitBasher: When you use the term 'combat round', are you refering to the actual initiative pass, or an entire normal turn?

For example, can someone with more than one pass in a turn use a different technique each pass, or is he restricted to the same one the entire round?
Yes, a person can use a different technique every time they initiate a combat, when they spend their complex action. Defensive moves can be used while they are defending, but that only applies to Avoidance, Engagement, Block and Position.

QUOTE ("toturi")
In this system, one cannot focus solely on a weapon to the exclusion unarmed until level 3. Furthermore, this system would produce fencers that should beat boxers in unarmed combat. It would also mean that masters of weapons will definitely be extremely proficient in unarmed combat. It does not allow a boxer to have an advantage over a knife fighter in unarmed combat.
My fix above will resolve this IMHO.

QUOTE ("BitBasher")
QUOTE ("GrinderTheTroll")
Well, the catch is that really there are no martial arts (outside of pure sporting matches that have little real world application) that teach a functional weapon combat without the hand to hand to back it up. 
Good point here. Good martial arts treat the body as a weapon for all intents and purposes, actually having a knife or staff is a bonus.
That was the point that I used to develop this system around, but I do see other's points about fencing and the like which dont necessarily have a basis in H2H. Fixed above.

QUOTE (GrinderTheTroll")
My only real issue is that you'd need to "buy" skills. If you have good training, you can attempt anything at any level, your degree of success is measured on well you can repeatedly do it correctly and I'd measure that in successes.

I would favor requiring a threshold to preform certain tasks aside from "purchasing" skills as your skill level progresses.
I'm not exactly sure what you are saying here... Help?

QUOTE ("Method")
- A character with the "Throw" ability should gain some protection against throws. If they've trained to learn how to throw, they've been thrown and learned how to land...
I disagree here. The two don;t nautrally equate. Even someone who has some training but not in an art that throws should still see the throw coming. I don't think that knowing how to throw should automatically confer a defense.

QUOTE ("Method")
- There should be a move that negates impact armor.... something like "Precision" that negates 1 point of IA per level...
Ah no. I specifically wanted a system that would not alter the target numbers for the combatabts. This does, it alters the TN for the damage resistance test. TN penalties are what I was specifically trying to avoid here.

Please, keep the feedback coming, assuming we can reach a reasonable consensus I'll be making changes soon!
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Method
post Feb 4 2005, 08:28 PM
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QUOTE (GrinderTheTroll @ Feb 4 2005, 02:20 PM)
QUOTE (Method @ Feb 4 2005, 12:18 PM)
Damn.  The more I think about it the more I like this system...  :]

More thoughts:

- A character with the "Throw" ability should gain some protection against throws.  If they've trained to learn how to throw, they've been thrown and learned how to land...

- There should be a move that negates impact armor....  something like "Precision" that negates 1 point of IA per level...

I disagree.

You'd think that since a baseball pitcher knows how to throw a pitch, they'd know how to hit, but they have the lowest batting averages.

QUOTE (BitBasher @ Feb 4 2005, 03:06 PM)
I disagree here. The two don;t nautrally equate. Even someone who has some training but not in an art that throws should still see the throw coming. I don't think that knowing how to throw should automatically confer a defense.


I'm not saying that knowing its coming = better defense, any more than a punch or kick that you can anticipate. I'm saying that if you train to throw you also learn how to fall without being hurt. For a throwing art its the equivalent of learning how to block in a striking art.

Having studied a throwing arts (aikido/judo) for 10+ years I can tell you that learning to recieve a throw (what we call ukemi) is 75-80% of the training. Once people can fall safely thats when you really start learning how to throw. You cannot learn to throw without being thrown...

This just comes from my knowledge of RL training though. If you don't think it applies to SR or this system thats fine... :)

EDIT: I should add that I wasn't implying that it makes you impervious to being thrown. Even with a good knowledge of ukemi, someone who is thrown on cement would be hurt. The difference would be between landing on one's head and breaking thier neck (D) and landing on ones side and breaking thier arm (S).

Really, you system integrates logical counters to striking (Blocking) but not to being thrown. You could also think of this as a separate move, like "Falling" or something.
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Method
post Feb 4 2005, 08:29 PM
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QUOTE (BitBasher)


QUOTE ("Method")
- There should be a move that negates impact armor.... something like "Precision" that negates 1 point of IA per level...
Ah no. I specifically wanted a system that would not alter the target numbers for the combatabts. This does, it alters the TN for the damage resistance test. TN penalties are what I was specifically trying to avoid here.

Thats cool. I can see the merit in your approach...
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GrinderTheTroll
post Feb 4 2005, 09:43 PM
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QUOTE (BitBasher)
QUOTE (GrinderTheTroll")
My only real issue is that you'd need to "buy" skills. If you have good training, you can attempt anything at any level, your degree of success is measured on well you can repeatedly do it correctly and I'd measure that in successes.

I would favor requiring a threshold to preform certain tasks aside from "purchasing" skills as your skill level progresses.
I'm not exactly sure what you are saying here... Help?

What I was trying to articulate was that I like the idea of using successes to "buy" options instead of "buying" skills ahead of time. For example, maybe 2 successes would let you throw and opponent, 3 might allow a disarm or perhaps something else.

Here's what I suggested a few posts back about my ideas on melee combat:
[ Spoiler ]
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post Feb 4 2005, 10:00 PM
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GrinderTheTroll:

I like that system as well.

aw man... Now I'm conflicted.... :(

edited for brevity
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BitBasher
post Feb 4 2005, 11:18 PM
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Actually grinder I specifically avoided that type of system after considering it because it dramatically violated the "decalre actions" methodology of the SR combat turn. You are required to declare your intended action before you do it. In your example the person could never fail a throw because he would know whether or not it would work before he even had to choose to execute it. He would know whether he had met the threshold for a disarm or a throw or such. If he didn't get the right number of sucesses then big whoop, he just does something else instead and automatically suceeds in that too. (assuming of course he wins the round, elsewhise this is moot).

In essence it makes your options in combat nearly risk free.
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