The Forge Archives

Inactive Forums => The Riddle of Steel => Topic started by: Tash on June 27, 2004, 01:21:53 AM



Title: Expanded unarmed combat rules for TRoS
Post by: Tash on June 27, 2004, 01:21:53 AM
I'm working on some expanded rules for unarmed combat using the TRoS system.  They are based largely on my own training in several different eastern martial arts, mainly Kung Fu and Bando.

The complete write up is rather long, so instead of posting it I just threw it up on a webpage.  Its veiwable here:

http://www.blessedlost.com/TROS_MA.html

Any suggestions are welcome, but please keep the following things in mind:

These rules are for characters with very specific and specialized training in unarmed combat, not for everyday brawling (which I feel is covered well by the existing rules).  They are mainly for players and seneschals who want a more "meaty" unarmed combat system that more accurately reflects the complexities and nuances of hand to hand combat between expert fighters.  One thing I forgot to mention is that this "Unarmed Combat" proficency has NO DEFAULTS!  If you aren't trained in a specific of fighting unarmed, use the rules for puggilisim/brawling.  If you are trained in some kind of unarmed martial art then these are the rules for you.  

I plan on tweaking these some based on the feedback I get here, then trying them out with my group.  I'm especially interested in any more suggestions for maneuvers.  I'm also thinking of making some optional damage tables for a few strikes to allow for things like pressue point attacks, but that's for a later day.  Right now I just want to see how everyone thinks they'll work out.
 
Once I get these rules polished I do plan on submiting them to Jake for posting on the main site.


Title: Expanded unarmed combat rules for TRoS
Post by: Caz on June 27, 2004, 10:41:29 AM
One thing I did which I found to be a lot of fun was make up counter tables for unarmed combat.  You can really differentiate between martial arts styles that way too.
    I guess it's just a matter of opinion, but I do use an activation cost for non-basic kicks and things like spinning hooks, etc. depending.
    I also treat things like jump kicks as an offensive stance, plus the activation cost, because they are committed moves that leave you vulnerable if they don't have the desired effect.
    I also consider them all the same range, as per the regular rules,since it's so much easier to adjust and maneuver when fighting unarmed.  I don't feel it's tougher or easier when I mix up various kicks and punches vs. another unarmed individual.  I think that's best left to weapons.
    And don't you think elbow/knee strikes hit at least as hard as punches and kicks?  ouch!
    Unarmed parries vs. swung weapons I allow for no damage, but the defender has to pay the range penalty to parry at the haft/hilt/hand/arm of the attacker.
   
    But these are just some of my opinions, do what's fun and what works for ya.


Title: Expanded unarmed combat rules for TRoS
Post by: Tash on June 27, 2004, 09:35:47 PM
*double post*


Title: Expanded unarmed combat rules for TRoS
Post by: Tash on June 27, 2004, 09:39:40 PM
Quote from: Caz
One thing I did which I found to be a lot of fun was make up counter tables for unarmed combat.  You can really differentiate between martial arts styles that way too.


Ohhhh...now that's a great idea.

Quote
 I guess it's just a matter of opinion, but I do use an activation cost for non-basic kicks and things like spinning hooks, etc. depending.


I wanted to get down the basic moves first, because in my expirience its the basic front, side roundhouse kicks that get the job done in fights.  I've thrown ONE spinning kick in a fight (not a real fight, ring sparring, full contact).  It worked but only because my opponent was circling around behind me and THOUGHT there was no way I could get him...heheheh there was :)
The flashy stuff has its place, and I plan on making up some more specific maneuvers later, and they will probably have activation costs as well as specialized effects (like leg sweeps forcing a contested knockdown roll).

Quote
 I also treat things like jump kicks as an offensive stance, plus the activation cost, because they are committed moves that leave you vulnerable if they don't have the desired effect.


That's why I put in the "if the attack fails roll Reflex check at Seneschal's discretion to avoid falling".  If you try and jump kick something and miss its tough to keep your balance.

Quote
 I also consider them all the same range, as per the regular rules,since it's so much easier to adjust and maneuver when fighting unarmed.  I don't feel it's tougher or easier when I mix up various kicks and punches vs. another unarmed individual.  I think that's best left to weapons.


I thought about this as well, and you can certainly make an argument for unarmed attacks being equal ranged, but I wanted to create something that still dovetailed well with the system as a whole, and range plays a big part in TRoS combat.  So I thought about what ranges these moves work best at and ended up with a pretty versitile "tool box" of moves that a trained character can use to set up combos that flow from outside kicking range down into a grapple.  Just like in real life.
Also I want these rules to work well enough that they can be employed for fighting armed enemies as well, and removing range from the equation for the unarmed character would mess with that.

Quote
And don't you think elbow/knee strikes hit at least as hard as punches and kicks?  ouch!


Actually no.  I've broken cinderblocks with a punch, there's no way I could have done the same with a knee or elbow.  If you want to get into more detail, a punch form very close in (hand range) looses some power because its tougher to get one's weight behind it (that's why I have two seperate damage levels for a punch, depending on range).  In a case like that a knee or elbow is probably just as powerful.

Quote
   Unarmed parries vs. swung weapons I allow for no damage, but the defender has to pay the range penalty to parry at the haft/hilt/hand/arm of the attacker.


That was my thinking behind giving the parry an activation cost, and also allowing for damage to the limb in the event of a tie.

Quote
But these are just some of my opinions, do what's fun and what works for ya.


I'm glad to hear them.  I am going to revisit the damage for each of the strikes listed, I'll update when I post a revised list.  I like the suggestion about the custom counter table, I'll get to work on that as soon as I can.

Also I've come to the conclusion that a unique set of damage tables for unarmed fighting is needed to handle it accuately.  In today's session there was a totally unplanned fight (not using these rules) where one of my PCs attempted to steal a Smartov mercenary's sabre while the NPC was, ummm, indisposed (actually the PC jumped him in the privy and attempted to drown him in excrement, when that failed he grabbed the sabre and the fight started).

The Smartov nailed him in the gut with a 5 success margin punch...when we looked that up on the table it showed a Level 4 would resulting in severe organ damage and internal bleeding.  I don't care how well you land a punch, that level of damage would take someone of superhuman strength.  There are many ways to kill a human with one's bare hands, but rupturing their organs with a single punch isn't one of them (unless we are talking about mortal combat here).

Its obvious that even with the reduced damage unarmed strikes cause compared to weapons, the bludgeoning damage table is intended for a mace or war hammer, not a fist.  Its just too easy for an average strength character to get a killing blow in a manner that's just not possible with an unarmed attack.  

So I'm going to work out damage tables for kicking, punching and grappling...that's my next project.  I plan on including some joint lock and pressure point options in the grappling table.  Suggestions are welcome.


Title: Expanded unarmed combat rules for TRoS
Post by: Caz on June 28, 2004, 10:19:26 AM
Cool, I'd like to see them when you're done.  Do you think the damage tables should be revised, or just a damage cap set for unarmed fighting?
Or maybe just re-worded to no organs are bursting?


Title: Expanded unarmed combat rules for TRoS
Post by: Tash on June 28, 2004, 10:26:26 AM
Might as well do a complete revision, then I can establish some cool text specific to unarmed combat.


Title: Expanded unarmed combat rules for TRoS
Post by: Jake Norwood on June 28, 2004, 01:07:15 PM
Hey Tash--

Send it my way first, if you don't mind.

Jake


Title: Expanded unarmed combat rules for TRoS
Post by: Turin on June 28, 2004, 03:51:36 PM
Tash wrote:

Quote
Actually no. I've broken cinderblocks with a punch, there's no way I could have done the same with a knee or elbow. If you want to get into more detail, a punch form very close in (hand range) looses some power because its tougher to get one's weight behind it


IMO a knee is actually a stronger blow, and you have a hard patela to hit with (very painful if it breaks, of course).  But it is not set up as well as a hand is for striking.  The angle of attack is bad, it is tough to strike with just the "business end", the thigh often helps break the force of the blow.  Unfourtunately it's just not constructed well as an attack weapon, and it's pretty well useless at range.  It also has more "thud" force behind it, but does not have the "snap" of a hand or foot flow.

I'm looking forward to your houserules, Tash.


Title: Expanded unarmed combat rules for TRoS
Post by: Caz on June 28, 2004, 04:39:59 PM
Hey guys.  I took the idea because I was really bored today and rewrote the damage tables for unarmed combat.  I'd like to compare notes when yours are done.  I didn't include any text specifying the techniques used to cause the damage, I think that'd get annoying, and who knows what the user will have in mind, but I think I rewrote the damage well enough to realistically portray unarmed comat.
    Shall I post them here?


Title: Expanded unarmed combat rules for TRoS
Post by: Tash on June 28, 2004, 08:12:02 PM
Quote from: Jake Norwood
Hey Tash--

Send it my way first, if you don't mind.

Jake


Will do Jake.  Did you read the list of maneuvers I made up?  I'd love to have your input as far as how they dovetail with the rest of the combat rules.


Title: Expanded unarmed combat rules for TRoS
Post by: Mokkurkalfe on June 29, 2004, 10:37:39 AM
Heh. After your first post, I was afraid I was gonna see some Kung-fu a la Crouching Tiger...
Anyway, it all seems realistic enough and way cool. Still, I was wondering about some range issues.  Note that this is purely from a rules-perspective as I have no real world fighting experience.
My impression of the Range value was that it was the range between the enemy and your own body, so any unarmed attack should have Hand range, since you have to get at least one part of your body close to your opponent. It get's strange when an unarmed fighter has the same reach with his fist as a person with a short sword has.

And as the maneuvers are now, there is no reason I can see to use the Front Leg kick. I'll either use the Punch, which has a lower TN yet the same damage at short range, or the Back Leg kick which is stronger with the same TN.

Otherwise, it's really cool. But what I'd *really* like to see is some improved and more useful wrestling rules.


Title: Expanded unarmed combat rules for TRoS
Post by: Jake Norwood on June 29, 2004, 11:33:28 AM
Quote from: Mokkurkalfe
But what I'd *really* like to see is some improved and more useful wrestling rules.


Allready written and sitting on my hard drive...

Joachim--email me at norwood@theriddleofsteel.net with TFOB wrestling rules in the subject line and maybe I'll let you look over some for feedback.

Jake


Title: Expanded unarmed combat rules for TRoS
Post by: Tash on June 29, 2004, 01:21:17 PM
The range decisions were based on the table in the Core book which defines (don't have the book handy so I'm going from memory) the ranges as something like this:

Hand - less than 1 foot
Short - 1-2 feet
Medium 2-4 feet
Long 4-6 feet

Now I interpret this as the distance between each combatant's actual body, not the shortest distance between any two parts.  So if I'm standing 2 feet away from someone and punch them I'm still at short range acording to the rules even though one part of my body (my fist) is touching theirs.

In my expirience its not hard at all to land a punch for 2 or 3 feet away (I debated making the range on a punch medium actually...still in the air on that).  Likewise for the kicks.  Most any trained fighter can land a kick easily from around 4 feet or more.  Also my personal expirience has shown that someone holding a short sword sized weapon (the training clubs I've worked against were about 2 1/2 to 3 feet in length) has barely any range advantage over a competent kicker, and only a slight advantage over someone relying on a punch.  If anything the range rules may be SHORTER than real life simply because of how quickly a competent fighter can make up a short gap like 1-2 feet.  

As for the difference between a front leg kick and a punch, I've tried to convey a sense that every kick or strike in your arsenal has its place.  In the case of the kick vs the punch the choice is a matter of where you want to strike and what other moves you are throwing in your combo (unarmed martial artists always think in terms of combos).

In real life a front kick is preferable to a punch when you are attempting to hit the lower region of the body, and the opening to any combo where your followup strikes will be made with the hands.  it is also great for throwing as a defense, i.e. a stright kick to the gut of a charging oponent, followed by a quick series of hand blows to finish them (this would break down as a red/red where the unarmed guy gets/buys initiative).

In game mechanics terms perhaps I need to add a rule for punches that mirriors the one for kicks, i.e. punches aimed below the waist have a +1 TN (remeber in the basic rules, as in these, kicks aimed above the waist have a +1 TN.  I don't know if I specified that or not).  Also remeber the mechanics of setting up a combo: you can't use the same limb for two strikes in a row.  So a punch-punch combo may not be practical in some situations but a kick-punch combo could be.

Wrestling rules: I'm not really doing much with wrestling rules short of planning on a set of damage tables especially for grappling (joint locks, pressure points, chokes, etc.).  Those should be done soon.


Title: Expanded unarmed combat rules for TRoS
Post by: Caz on June 29, 2004, 05:14:04 PM
Kicks vs. shortswords.....
I think that's where "average joe" with a shortsword may not have much advantage, but a trained individual with a shortsword will have 2 feet on your kicks, and have the knowhow to use his range advantage effectively.  Nearest weapon (pointy sharp shortsword) vs nearest target (could be your kick).  That's why the guy kicking has to pay that reach penalty, so he can get past the dangerous thing.  Shouldn't be easy to do.


Title: Expanded unarmed combat rules for TRoS
Post by: Tash on June 29, 2004, 06:27:14 PM
Good point.  I considered that when putting the 1CP activation cost on parries against weapons.  Perhaps attacks made against a weapon should have the same cost attached to them unless they are made from inside the weapon's effective distance.  So a person opening with a kick against another unarmed fighter would pay no cost, but a person using a kick against a guy with a sword would have to pay a 1CP cost for the kick, bit if he landed it he could follow up with a punch or grapple for no cost because the kick let him close inside the effective range of the sword.

Sound like a good idea?


Title: Expanded unarmed combat rules for TRoS
Post by: Caz on June 29, 2004, 06:36:31 PM
I'd agree with that


Title: Expanded unarmed combat rules for TRoS
Post by: Tash on June 29, 2004, 07:21:53 PM
Done, its in the newest version of the rules on my hard disk.


Title: Expanded unarmed combat rules for TRoS
Post by: Vagabond Elf on June 30, 2004, 12:40:27 PM
Now, I know almost nothing about unarmed fighting except for a bit of Ringen (which is what the Pugilsm & Wrestling proficiencies cover).  But I do know that the differnce in actual reach between an arming sword and a long sword is only a few inches - and that that few inches is more than enough to make it really hard to get past.  Fighting arming sword vs. longsword means going for the longsworder's hands and wrists, because that six inches or so means you'll never reach his body.

I'd think that the extra couple feet of a shortsword would make at least that much difference against a kick.  When the fight starts, I'm going to try an be at a distance where you can't reach me. Then, when you kick at me, I'm going to take a small step back or sideways and cut at your foot.  In fact, I might not even need to cut - just make sure my sword is edge-on when I block the kick.

If you're faster than me, I won't have the block in place, and that's why we're rolling dice.  But you have to be completely past the block - a partial block will mean you've been cut, even if you manage to knock the sword aside and kick me in the head.

Letting the range penalties handle this seem like a simple solution to me.  If you make the ranges of the unarmed attacks shorter, than the unarmed person has to blow dice to get past the sword.  I might see making a kick short against an unarmed person (or a dagger) but not against anything with a "short" or better range.

But I conceed that I have no actual training in kicks vs. swords.