Thursday, May 9, 2013

GURPS Melee on a budget

Melee on a Budget - gaming the combat system. 

Basics, you want the most bang for buck for badguys and your good guys. These are some helpful GM notes I've accumulated since I've been playing a lot of combat intensive games and I've prepped for my own games. 

Armor and Defenses
TLDR: armor is heavy even with the lighter realistic rules. most bang for buck defense are shields. beging with Front Torso armor only to half the cost and weight. 

You begin with your budget which is your BL which is 20 for ST10 and about 4-5lbs per additional ST above 10. Already factor in some basics : Clothes 2lbs and Shoes 2lbs

Torso Front Only Armor. The most common is cloth armor $25, 3lbs and for combantants with ST11 and up, they can have Light Scale $160, 8lbs. Wealthier characters can possibly get Light Plate which is at 4lbs. 

Typical Break down. 
Torso armor front only *0.5
Pot Helm *0.2 + $10 and 1.2lbs
Medium Shield $45, 7lbs
Torso *0.7 factor and +$45 and +8.2lbs

Your best bang for buck Helmet is the Cheap Light Plate Pot Helm at $110 weighting 2.8lbs at DR2+1.  

"Full" Armor are for ST13 and up characters, even then they still need to cut down to essentials. Most of the armor's rear protection have been removed. 

The Front only Torse formula is good for up to ST10-12. The best armor you can give limbs are Fine Light Leather LT104 (not in the armor table). Used as Arms + Front legs is about 3.3lbs and $360 for DR1* (+1 vs cutting). Reinforced 4.125lbs at $450 (for +2 vs cut). 

Next is Padded Cloth 6lbs and $50 for padding the arms and front legs. 

Weight is one of the biggest barriers. Fortunately Imp damage vs limbs loses its damage multiplier and protecting against cutting attacks is the next best priority. 

To be fully armored despite being ST10-12
Torso armor front only *0.5
Leg armor front only *0.5 (light leather or padded cloth)
Arms armor *0.5 (light leather or padded cloth)
Gauntlets *0.1 (light leather or padded cloth)
Sollerets *0.1 (light leather or padded cloth)

You can use the same system for Characters with ST13 and up. Using Light Mail and Scale for limbs OR staying to the lightest armor for limbs (light leather or padded cloth) and using medium armors Front only for torso. 

TLDR: spears, axes, and polearms are cheaper and more bang for buck than swords. 

The Iklwa counts as a Short Spear is at $30 and 2lbs. At Fine and Balanced its merely a (CF 1, +4 balanced, +2 Fine) x7 CF of $210 for something that now deals skill+1, thr +2 imp, thr+1 cut. Cheaper than a Cheap Broadsword. 

Spear, Axe, and Mace are versatile weapons being allowed to be used 2h and 1handed. they are at about $40-60 each making them balanced and fine x7 to as much as $420 (cost as much as a shortsword, $400) and axes at Fine and Balanced are (CF 1, 9 fine, 4 balanced) $700 the cost of a good longsword or a bastardsword.

After playing an archer in two games, I realized that if I want the combat over for us to RP more then I better go melee. Tactical Melee with the Telegraphic attack rules allow for better Flanking maneuvers.  

Combat Resolution
TLDR: Max out Feint Technique, Counter-Attack sucks, Brawl is essential, Skills should be at least 14 for secondary attack skill and 16 and up for primary.   

Combat Slows down a lot when defenses are above 8. Good Combatants like 150cp warriors have defenses of 12 without shields, and up to 15-18 with large shields (and shield wall training). Find a way around these obstacles are important in character designing. 

ways to lower others defense: 
  1. Mobility go to flank or rear. you need Acrobatics: Evade or Judo: Evade and good mobility at least move 8. 
  2. Feint. In a combat intensive Game all major opponents and PCs should have maxed out Feint. 
  3. Flanking with Allies. (see one). 

Counter attack Sucks for 6cp I reduce defenses by 1 compared to Feint. Evade has more bang for buck because it allows you to get behind an opponent. The cost is too high and you have to put yourself in harms way by parrying first. I think it should be seriously considered for a re-write.     

The best bang for buck feint is Brawling (with kicking bought off). Because you can have Reach 1 with Kick and Feint with a brawling to improve your attack. Brawl also lets you GRAB and initiate a lot of things depending what you grab- grab shield, grab weapon arm, grab attacking arm etc. 
Brawl is also your close quarter defense allowing you to strike with knees and elbows. Note that brawl is a complimentary skill as it tactically gives a lot of options for the character, giving him a way to find a weakness in the enemy's fighting style. 

Brawl DX+2 [4], Feint (H) Brawl+4 [5], Kick (H) Brawl [3]

Brawl or unarmed skills are so effective that you can make them the primary skill while bringing your weapon skill high enough to hit at your preferred rate. 

My rule for heroes is that Primary needs to be high enough for stunts while secondary is high enough to hit. So at least 13 to hit often enough (8 cp invested), and Primary is 16 or greater (30cp invested). 

If you want combat to end pretty fast, that there is enough time to do other things in the game then effective skills should be 14 and up, while defenses can be lowered to less than 8. 

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