Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Melee Academy: Variant Judo Throw



I've made a living pushing people around - no, I'm not a bully, but I used to be a bouncer. Nowadays I use my powers for (mostly) good, but once upon a time I could grab a grown man off his feet and hurl him backwards and onto his backside. I'm not much of a rules-hacker, not because I lack the ability to vary the rules, but because I pretty much like them as they are. This means I probably have few house rules than most GMs. GURPS strikes a damn good balance between the gameable and what is realistic. One thing that has always bugged me is how Judo Throw works. For a game rule it's fine, but if you're trying to emulate how it works in real life...not so much. I've come up with what I think is a workable solution. Inspired by a couple of conversations I've had privately on the subject and this thread, I present a variant method for Judo Throw.


Slam-Based Judo Throw
Use the normal rules for Judo Throw (requires a Judo Parry, then a Attack roll, etc.). A thrown target falls wherever you like up to one hex away (typically his starting hex, yours, or any hex adjacent to one of those). Additionally, unless your target makes a Acrobatics-6 roll to kip-up he's automatically prone - if he succeeds he may have started prone, but ends up on his feet, in a crouch, and so on. Roll 1d to determine how he lands if the judoka didn't specify: 1-2, he landed on his back; 3-4, he landed on his side; 5-6, he landed on his stomach.
           When determining damage you inflict a number of dice of crushing damage equal to (their HP x Velocity)/100. Velocity is the number of yards your target moved on the turn that you used your Judo Parry (minimum of 1). Additionally, add +1 to Velocity if you know Judo at DX+1 or +2 at DX+2. If damage is less than 1d, treat fractions up to 0.25 as 1d-3, fractions up to 0.5 as 1d-2, and any larger fraction as 1d-1. Otherwise, round fractions of 0.5 or more up to a full die. You can use All-Out Attack (Strong) to increase your damage! This doesn't cause actual damage, but is instead used to determine if your target is stunned or not. Should you want to cause damage you may make a skill roll at -1 plus the hit location penalty you are targeting (if any). The victim may attempt a Breakfall or Roll with Blow to reduce this normally. Add a bonus to the final damage roll when attempting to throw your target against a hard surface. This is typically +1 for most surfaces, but can add up to +2 for hard surfaces with angled corners or for objects with small areas of impact. If a weapon is braced or its killing edge can otherwise be used, use the damage bonus for it's best thrusting attack as well as its damage type!
           If you inflict any on damage your target he must make a HT roll or be stunned. Add a -1 penalty to this roll for every 4 points of damage you inflict. (e.g., 8 points of damage results in a HT-2 roll). If you throw your target into someone else they must roll vs. the higher of ST+3 or DX+3 to avoid being knocked down.

Example: Hordric the Brave has a Judo of 14 and a DX of 12. He just parried a attack by Mansor the Merciless last turn, this turn he decides to Judo Throw Mansor. Since Mansor performed a All-Out Attack (Strong) last turn to perform a Flying Tackle, but failed. Hordric decides to throw Mansor on one of his arms. Rolling a 4 he critically succeeds and he throws Mansor in the hex behind him. Since Mansor has 15 HP and moved 3 yards last round his base Velocity is 3 - but Hordric knows Judo at DX+2 so he adds another 2 yards to the Velocity before damage is calculated resulting in 1d of crushing damage, which he rolls and gets a 5! Rolling his critical hit he gets triple damage on the chart, resulting in 15 points of crushing damage to Mansor's arm, crippling it! Since the damage exceeded his ST-4, he also has to make a HT roll or be stunned. Mansor is having a very bad day.


Picking Over the Bones
You might get wonky results with really large creatures, but since you can't throw someone more than twice your ST anyway, it ought to land in a nice sweet spot. Another option might be to treat Judo Throw as written, but you inflict thrust-4 crushing damage or thrust-2 at -1 per die, whichever is worse (just like Aggressive Parry). When you get down to it, your ST isn't what's causing the damage when you chuck someone like a pinata - it's how they land and what they land on. Something this variant rule seeks to emulate.

Edit: I made a few changes as pointed out by Peter from the original post.

11 comments:

  1. Sounds about right. In most cases, baring a lucky hit, throws done by most people couldn't throw with enough impact to cause a single GURPS HP worth injury and even those with experience or training would at most do a point or two in most cases. What causes the damage is landing on something hard, wrong or both.

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  2. That's been my experience as well. Though, if I were to "look" at my character sheet I'd probably have "Special Set-Up (Judo Throw defaults to Wrestling" as a perk since I sure as heck don't have Judo. :-D

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  3. These look like good rules. I think it is hard to compare stuff like this to the damage done by, say guns, but you have done a nice job. Think about a throw is that it may just knock the wind out of a dude, but it might land him on his head and break his neck! bibliosk8er (Bob)

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    1. I think that would be a good example of some mechanics in GURPS that already exist, but might not be operative:

      * A critical success on a hit roll or a critical fail of a defense roll; alternately losing a Quick Contest of a throw by 10-15 points would trigger a roll on a critical table that can magnify damage
      * A failed HT roll causes stun (that's already there), and easier to stun on a hard surface than not, and increased penalties based on the magnitude of damage.

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    2. I like that last part. There's something there...but I'm not sure what. Hmmm.

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    3. Yup. Pretty much, Bob. As I've said before, I've thrown someone in such a way that when he landed on the picnic table four feet away his ulna and radius went out the back of his elbow a good four inches. Thankfully, there were multiple witnesses they saw him punching me several times before I did anything. I was trying to knock him out or at least dizzy him up with a sharp knock to the head but he turned wrong half way there and...well...it was one of the nastiest compound breaks I've ever seen. It was like a beef jerky sticky hanging outside the packaging.

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    4. Yup. Pretty much, Bob. As I've said before, I've thrown someone in such a way that when he landed on the picnic table four feet away his ulna and radius went out the back of his elbow a good four inches. Thankfully, there were multiple witnesses they saw him punching me several times before I did anything. I was trying to knock him out or at least dizzy him up with a sharp knock to the head but he turned wrong half way there and...well...it was one of the nastiest compound breaks I've ever seen. It was like a beef jerky sticky hanging outside the packaging.

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    5. I'm surprised you like adjudicating slams enough to want to extend the slam mechanic to strikes. Me, I work to get the collision rules out of strikes.

      In any case, by the RAW, it's rare for people on a human scale to do much damage with a slam. It's generous, but even so, 0 damage isn't uncommon until the thrower is in the ST 13+ range and the defender fails to defend. This isn't that common - even with a strong and gigantic TBAM martial artist in my fantasy game, injuries from throws were mild at best! It only sounds like a lot of damage, but thrust-1 with no bonuses when you're assuming a hard surface landing = pretty low damage. It might be high for DFers and supers, but them again, for them, it should be.

      Going into playtest mode:

      I wouldn't factor ST into stunning at all. The ST of the target isn't relevant to injury in any other case I can think of, so it doesn't make much sense here. Knockback, yes, but not knockdown or stunning.

      " Additionally, unless your target makes a Acrobatics-6 roll to kip-up he's automatically prone. Roll 1d to determine how he lands: 1-2, he landed on his back; 3-4, he landed on his side; 5-6, he landed on his stomach."

      So, if you throw someone and they roll Acrobatics-6, they land standing? When do they roll?

      Why is the landing random? A proper judo throw not only puts someone down, but puts them down on their face, side, or back depending on which one you throw. Shouldn't the person throwing choose? The difference between throws and where the person lands isn't random.

      Why up to 2 yards? I can drop someone 2 hexes away on a map with Judo Throw? That seems . . . generous. Even a strong guy should have trouble putting someone into the floor with that much of a gap between them.

      By the way, tossing someone into a table is a clear case of "Kiss the Wall" and it's that kind of thing we had in mind. I think the reason it went in was a combo of the Joe Pesci door scene in Raging Bull and a friend who bounced someone's head off a car bumper to end a fight. You can probably make a case for allowing ST-based Kiss the Wall moves to end against the floor but let it be countered in those cases by Breakfall, and go from there. Or say that after a Sweep you can use Kiss the Wall to inflict damage.

      Judo Throw, as written, is skill based. The damage might be high, but I think it's not ideal to turn it into a ST vs. ST technique based on slams vs. the floor when you could just as easily extend Kiss the Wall slightly.

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    6. >I'm surprised you like adjudicating slams enough to want to extend the slam mechanic to strikes. Me, I work to >get the collision rules out of strikes.

      I don’t mind them. The formula is pretty easy and this seemed a natural stepping stone to use for Judo Throw.

      >In any case, by the RAW, it's rare for people on a human scale to do much damage with a slam. It's generous, but >even so, 0 damage isn't uncommon until the thrower is in the ST 13+ range and the defender fails to defend. This >isn't that common - even with a strong and gigantic TBAM martial artist in my fantasy game, injuries from >throws were mild at best! It only sounds like a lot of damage, but thrust-1 with no bonuses when you're assuming >a hard surface landing = pretty low damage. It might be high for DFers and supers, but them again, for them, it >should be.

      Interesting. I’ve had the opposite experience in my games. We had one character in my Dreamland campaign who used slam to devastating effect.

      >Going into playtest mode:

      Scared nao.

      >I wouldn't factor ST into stunning at all. The ST of the target isn't relevant to injury in any other case I can think >of, so it doesn't make much sense here. Knockback, yes, but not knockdown or stunning.

      Hmmm. I was trying to account for the mass of the target – but I can see that was a error.

      >>" Additionally, unless your target makes a Acrobatics-6 roll to kip-up he's automatically prone. Roll 1d to >>determine how he lands: 1-2, he landed on his back; 3-4, he landed on his side; 5-6, he landed on his stomach."

      >So, if you throw someone and they roll Acrobatics-6, they land standing? When do they roll?

      Bad wording on my part. >_<

      >Why is the landing random? A proper judo throw not only puts someone down, but puts them down on their face, >side, or back depending on which one you throw. Shouldn't the person throwing choose? The difference between >throws and where the person lands isn't random.

      That’s a half-finished though there. Should have been a penalty to toss someone on a specific side. *sigh* Never have a heart-attack, Peter. Even a small one. They make you stupid while recovering.

      >Why up to 2 yards? I can drop someone 2 hexes away on a map with Judo Throw? That seems . . . generous. Even >a strong guy should have trouble putting someone into the floor with that much of a gap between them.

      THAT should be one yard. I have no idea how 2 crept in there. Again. Stupid mistake.

      >By the way, tossing someone into a table is a clear case of "Kiss the Wall" and it's that kind of thing we had in >mind. I think the reason it went in was a combo of the Joe Pesci door scene in Raging Bull and a friend who >bounced someone's head off a car bumper to end a fight. You can probably make a case for allowing ST-based >Kiss the Wall moves to end against the floor but let it be countered in those cases by Breakfall, and go from there. >Or say that after a Sweep you can use Kiss the Wall to inflict damage.

      Hmmm. I’ll have to look at that again.

      >Judo Throw, as written, is skill based. The damage might be high, but I think it's not ideal to turn it into a ST vs. >ST technique based on slams vs. the floor when you could just as easily extend Kiss the Wall slightly.

      Hey, I’m just the amateur here – I came up with something I felt was relevant to my experience and tossed it out there. ;-)

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    7. I'm confident your second pass will look better. Brute force tossing people into things should have been rolled more clearly and easily into Kiss the Wall, in retrospect. Where were you in 2005-6 when I was helping write that stuff?

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    8. Beating people who outside of bars after they throw the first punch. More seriously, shy and believing I wasn't good enough for playtests - much less writing. I have confidence issues that stem from my bi-polar disorder. Basically, my brain plays havoc on me and I often have to ask others "Is this any good?" because I know I can't be a impartial judge.

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