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Author Topic: Further customized and diverse combat rules - Just Say No  (Read 6402 times)
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Posts: 16490

« on: May 01, 2002, 05:45:30 AM »

Hi folks,

The "Playing The Riddle of Steel (a little)" thread has split topics a few times, so I'll start a new thread from one of them.

Speaking as both a role-player concerned with potential rules-bloat and as a practicing hitter-of-other-people, I think that the combat rules in TROS, as it stands, are sufficient to account for nearly any weapon or "style" people are going to come up with. To Jake and Rick: as practicing martial artists, I assume that none of what I'm about to say is going to shock you. It will almost certainly horrify and outrage anyone who is only book-familiar or movie-familiar with hitting and hurting other people.

A cut is a cut. A counter is a counter. An evasion is an evasion. All the Maneuver sets are customizable in the same sense as is made explicit in the Mass Weapon and Polearm texts. A tonfa is (shock!) a club. If you want to use a kusari-gama, you have Grappling, Thrown, and Whatnot rules right there for you to combine.

I see absolutely no reason, whatsoever, for special rules to treat a katana and its associated "moves" any differently from an arming sword or longsword, depending on the sword's length. All the differences would come through color descriptions during play. The stances would look different, but they are still offensive, defensive, and neutral.

The only thing I might consider would be penalizing Style Analysis for people facing unfamiliar cultures' swordwork, but even that would be temporary.

Now for unarmed combat. People are going to call for whole Manuever sets based on WTF Tae Kwon Do, Gracie Jujitsu, and whatever smooth blend is calling itself Jeet Kune Do these days. Again, I suggest hardening your heart against their plaintive cries.

I suggest keeping unarmed combat almost completely generic or similarly customizable from a basic Maneuver set. Despite extensive claims to the contrary, martial arts as we know them today are not representative of fighting-people's non-sportive unarmed combat from pre-modern times. (No, samurai did not practice jujitsu or Goju-ryu kata. No, Silla knights did not practice Hwa-rang Do. No, Shao-lin monks did not practice kung fu. I don't care what sensei, sabum, or sifu says. Email me privately for a scorching discussion thereof.)

I do think that specializing in such combat may be more effective than pictured in the book, but perhaps that's covered by taking Accuracy (for striking knees or locking the throat) and also by the special "head-battering" Shock rules. I also think that unarmed Counter against weapons, while risky, is worth considering; nearly all practical unarmed fighting arts concentrate on this matter for obvious reasons.


Posts: 204

« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2002, 09:30:05 AM »

I am with you on this Ron with some very minor reservations...

There are a few (very few) weapons and styles  that if included will require either new rules or an adaptation of the rules.

Examples include bolas (who are a little different than a standard grapple)  and nets

 I agree with you completely, to make any weapoons style just  vary the styles and defaults as well as  the  flavor text.

Otherwise a sword is well a sword......
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2002, 11:44:50 AM »

I concur with you on this Ron.  I can already see almost everything covered even before you start into manuevers.  Most of the manuevers in the book need not even be applied for a solid sim of combat.  The basic rules are sufficient, and the manuevers cover everything beyond that(at least that I can think of).

Lance D. Allen

Posts: 1962

« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2002, 02:12:11 PM »

I actually agree as well Ron, despite the fact that it was (I believe) my post which in-part inspired this post.

Personally, I don't want a glut of new rules and new weapons.. I honestly just want the new weapons.. Call me a freak, but I love extensive weapon lists. Armor lists too. I see the existing rules working with almost all of the weapons I suggested. Maybe a new style for certain weapons, but the same ol' maneuvers, for the most part. What I'm hoping for out of the Flower of Battle is fairly simple.

A few more styles, just 'cause.
A few more maneuvers, just 'cause.
Lotsa weapons and armor, just 'cause I love that stuff.
An in-depth analysis of real-time combat, because I love that stuff too.
Rules and guidelines for applying the analysis of RTC, (flow of maneuvers, etc.)
Clarifications of existing rules (such as the issues expressed about the "Beat" Maneuver.. It states that surprise is crucial, but the rules don't support this. You declare a beat, then your opponent gets to react to a beat. It would make more sense if it was like a feint, declared as a strike, then revealed as a beat after defense was declared..But this is just my opinion)
Special Rules for special weapons, like the bola and net that Ace mentioned.

The only exception I have is martial arts.. I think it ought to have at least one style of it's own. As it stands, hand-to-hand combat is limited to punch, kick, grapple and wrestle. While these are flexible enough for many different situations, there should be a few other techniques available, such as the unarmed counter you mentioned, or even the (assumed fantastic) sword-catch.
Perhaps what I really want is a specialty which includes more of the standard techniques than simple brawling does. It consists, as it stands, of punch, kick grapple, and grapple, parry. Throw counter, block (unarmed only, of course), bind and strike, hook, stop short, feint, and maybe a special parry effective against weapons with reduced chance of hurting yourself, and I'd be entirely happy.

~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls

Posts: 159

« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2002, 08:23:07 PM »

I'm sure Jake can say whether I'm right with this, but I really got the impression that the maneuvers and styles were as much for "flavor" as anything else.  That said, I'd personally love to see loads of new weapons, new styles, perhaps a whole chapter on unarmed martial arts and an extensive armor list. (I like that stuff too.  :-)

The 'mo flavor, the 'mo better!


Nick the Nevermet

Posts: 352

« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2002, 08:41:41 PM »

I'm sure we can all thing of some pretty simple ways to extend unarmed martial arts.  The one I have the biggest problems with are lock/breaks.  As the rules currently stand, you wrestle to pin or throw.  And if you got them pinned, you can then whip out a knife and kill them pretty easily.

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