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Omegaman
04-06-2008, 09:27 PM
I have finally crossed from D&D to GURPS and am starting to read the rules. I noticed that turns are a second and for each attack there is a defense roll, pretty much. I have never played a GURPS game before.

Is it balanced that the defense roll is not modified in any way by the attackers to hit roll? If I pump up my defense it seems that no matter how good the attacker is, my defense roll is static, against only my skill level. The skill level of the attacker doesn't figure into how well I can dodge, parry, or block him??? Am I missing something? How does that work? What am I missing?

Also, does the combat round tend to move quicker than in D&D, assuming I don't use all the critical tables and such for GURPS. I just wing those descriptions myself usually. I am excited about a more realistic game but want the combat to be smooth.

fmitchell
04-07-2008, 12:17 AM
Is it balanced that the defense roll is not modified in any way by the attackers to hit roll? If I pump up my defense it seems that no matter how good the attacker is, my defense roll is static, against only my skill level. The skill level of the attacker doesn't figure into how well I can dodge, parry, or block him??? Am I missing something? How does that work? What am I missing?

Yes, it appears that degree of success on an attack rolls doesn't affect the target of a dodge roll. However, there are some mitigating factors:

Defensive rolls are usually much lower than attack rolls (basic speed + 3 for Dodge, Shield or Weapon skill/2 + 3 for Block or Parry).

Defenders only get at most one block and one parry per turn. (They do get one dodge against each attack they can't parry or block, leaving aside All Out Defense, but Dodge is usually the lowest score; see next item).

To "pump up" Dodge by one point you'd have to put raise HT + DX by four points (which is 40-80 CP right there). To raise Parry one point you also have to raise your weapon skill two points (which also raises your attack skill two points), and to raise Block one point you need to raise your Shield skill two points (which has no added benefits).

Block and Parry work only against melee weapons, thrown weapons, and medieval missiles (arrows, stones, etc). Only Dodge gives you a chance against bullets and beams, and it's not a particularly good chance.

In practice, a Defense Roll lessens the lethality of the combat system. A less-skilled fighter generally can't out-parry a more skilled fighter, unless the dice are really screwy; to out-dodge an armed foe would require screwy dice and really high basic stats. I could see a well-armored man with a good Block defense "turtling up" and absorbing hits from a superior attacker, but eventually the attacker will roll a critical or the "turtle" will miss a block and start taking damage.

Omegaman
04-07-2008, 03:42 PM
Okay, so if a warrior is a crack shot with a gun, or a blade master, then pretty much if you get into combat with him, he's going to kill you in maybe 2-4 seconds. I guess that realistic. Then if I am also a blademaster I can PARRY because I will also have a high weapon skill, which could make the fight wear on a little bit more. But with the gun, pretty much whoever gets the first shot is probably going to win, right? Given that we both have equally high levels of skill. It won't be too much of an attrition war like you have in D&D. 1 or 2 shots with the gun or sword will probably end it. So it seems to be a lot more lethal than D&D. Is that right?

fmitchell
04-07-2008, 03:56 PM
Okay, so if a warrior is a crack shot with a gun, or a blade master, then pretty much if you get into combat with him, he's going to kill you in maybe 2-4 seconds. I guess that realistic. Then if I am also a blademaster I can PARRY because I will also have a high weapon skill, which could make the fight wear on a little bit more. But with the gun, pretty much whoever gets the first shot is probably going to win, right? Given that we both have equally high levels of skill. It won't be too much of an attrition war like you have in D&D. 1 or 2 shots with the gun or sword will probably end it. So it seems to be a lot more lethal than D&D. Is that right?

Right. In melee or medieval ranged combat, unless an opponent is wearing armor (which absorbs damage points in GURPS) or really good with a shield, the more skilled fighter generally wins within a few rounds. (At least in a stand-up duel ... so don't get in a stand-up duel ...)

Once you introduce guns, the first one to hit will tend to incapacitate his opponent, so the best way to survive is a) wear antiballistic armor and/or b) dive for cover the moment someone pulls a gun. Sort of like real life.




P.S. In my previous post, I used GURPS Lite as a reference. The full GURPS rules allow you to buy Basic Move in increments of 0.25 per 5 CP ... so increasing Basic Move by 1 costs only 20 CP, or less for the first if (DX + HT)/4 results in any fractions. However, I think my points still stand: given how stats and skills determine defense, anyone with a high enough defense to counter an expert swordsman (or bowman, axeman, etc.) earned his victory.

P.P.S. If you're coming from D&D, you're probably thinking of the flat probabilities of a d20. Since GURPS uses 3d6, a score of 10 is a a 50/50 chance, but a score of 9 is only about 38%, 8 is 26%, and 7 is 16%. (Similarly, 11 is 63%, 12 is 74%, and 13 is 83%.) You can find a comparison between d20 and 3d6 probabilities here (http://www.darkshire.net/~jhkim/rpg/systemdesign/dice-methods.html).