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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

GURPS Combat Choices: Thrust or Swing?

When a GURPS combatant is deciding what to do in an attack, one of the most basic decisions is whether to Thrust or Swing. In some cases, this is a straightforward decision, either because the weapon's listing doesn't give you any options (brass knuckles, for instance), or because Thrust and Swing attacks do the same kind of damage, but Swings do more (a club, for instance).

But for many weapons, you face a choice between a Thrust for Impaling damage and a Swing for Cutting damage. The Thrust does less damage, but Impaling gets a x2 wounding modifier, versus a x1.5 modifier for Cutting. When does the greater damage for a Swing outweigh the smaller wounding modifier?

A few days ago, I posted a table showing the thrust and swing damage from all weapons with swing-cutting damage and thrust-impaling damage. Grouped according to their damage characteristics, these weapons fall into 23 classes (which number I attribute the the Illuminati at work). In the table below, I've listed each weapon class, with entries for each level of Strength from 5 to 20. The entries show the expected benefit in injury from making a thrusting attack versus a swinging attack. Negative numbers, with a blue background, mean that you are better off thrusting than swinging. Positive numbers, with a yellow background, mean that it's a better bet to swing. Remember, this is injury, not damage. The numbers in the chart reflect what you get after applying the wounding modifier.

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Katar -2 -2 -3 -3 -4.01 -3.51 -4.33 -3.33 -4.39 -3.11 -3.72 -2.25 -3.47 -2 -2 -2
Pata -3.51 -3.51 -4.33 -4.33 -5.33 -4 -4.5 -3 -4.25 -2.75 -3.25 -1.75 -3 -1.5 -1 0.5
Large Katar-LT -2.67 -2.67 -3.51 -3.51 -4.33 -3.33 -4 -2.5 -3.72 -2.25 -2.75 -1.25 -2.5 -1 -0.5 1
Main Gauche -1.34 -1.34 -2 -2 -2.67 -2.17 -2.67 -1.67 -2.39 -1.11 -1.72 -0.25 -1.47 0 0 0
Longsword 2 -2.67 -2.67 -3.33 -3.33 -4 -2.5 -3 -1.5 -2.75 -1.25 -1.75 -0.25 -1.5 0 0.5 2
Saber -1.67 -1.67 -2.17 -2.17 -2.67 -1.67 -2 -0.5 -1.72 -0.25 -0.75 0.75 -0.5 1 1.5 3
Large Knife -1.34 -1.34 -1.67 -1.67 -2.17 -1.33 -1.67 -0.34 -1.11 0.28 -0.25 1.25 0 1.5 1.5 1.5
Bastard 2 -1.67 -1.67 -2 -2 -2.5 -1 -1.5 0 -1.25 0.25 -0.25 1.25 0 1.5 2 3.5
Small Knife -1 -1 -1.34 -1.34 -1.67 -1.17 -1.33 -0.33 -0.73 0.55 0.28 0.28 0.28 0.28 0.28 0.28
Broadsword -1.33 -1.33 -1.67 -1.67 -2 -0.5 -1 0.5 -0.75 0.75 0.25 1.75 0.5 2 2.5 4
Jian -1.17 -1.17 -1.33 -1.33 -1.67 -0.34 -0.5 1 -0.25 1.25 0.75 2.25 1 2.5 3 4.5
Long Knife -1.01 -1.01 -1.17 -1.17 -1.33 -0.33 -0.34 1.16 0.28 1.75 1.25 2.75 1.5 3 3.5 5
Glaive -0.34 -0.34 -0.5 -0.5 -1 0.5 0 1.5 0.25 1.75 1.25 2.75 1.5 3 3.5 5
Katana 1 -0.33 -0.33 -0.33 -0.33 -0.34 1.16 1 2.5 1.25 2.75 2.25 3.75 2.5 4 4.5 6
Kukri -0.67 -0.67 -0.51 -0.51 -0.33 0.67 1 2.5 1.94 3.41 3.25 4.75 3.5 5 5.44 6.94
Shortsword -0.51 -0.51 -0.33 -0.33 -0.33 1 1.16 2.66 1.75 3.25 2.75 4.25 3 4.5 5 6.5
Small Falchion -0.17 -0.17 0.67 0.67 1.34 2.67 3.5 5 4.75 6.25 6.42 7.92 7 8.5 8.78 10.28
Duelling Halberd 1.16 1.16 1 1 0.5 2 1.5 3 1.75 3.25 2.75 4.25 3 4.5 5 6.5
Katana 2 0.67 0.67 1 1 1.16 2.66 2.5 4 2.75 4.25 3.75 5.25 4 5.5 6 7.5
Halberd 2.66 2.66 2.5 2.5 2 3.5 3 4.5 3.25 4.75 4.25 5.75 4.5 6 6.5 8
Dao 1.33 1.33 2 2 2.5 4 4.16 5.66 4.75 6.25 5.75 7.25 6 7.5 8 9.5
Falchion 0.67 0.67 1.67 1.67 2.67 4.17 5 6.5 6.25 7.75 7.92 9.42 8.5 10 10.28 11.78
Large Falchion 1.67 1.67 2.66 2.66 3.5 5 5.5 7 6.41 7.91 7.75 9.25 8 9.5 9.94 11.44
Table 1: Advantage of average swing/cutting attack over thrust/impaling attack in points of injury

Let me just say right now that I'm posting this analysis as I do it. I don't know yet whether this is going to lead to something that will be useful at the table while actually gaming. I made these charts to see what general trends, if any, pop out, and also just for the hell of it. Will it ever pay off, or am I just noodling around? Stay tuned.

Here are the 23 weapon classes. Because GURPS Low-Tech changed the stats for some weapons, the large katar, shortsword, and cutlass appear twice, and are noted with (LT) in the list below. Some weapons can be wielded one-handed or two-handed, so these also appear twice. Note also that the naginata could be used one-handed with Broadsword skill in Basic Set, but Low-Tech removed that.

Eleven weapons are in classes by themselves:
  • Katar
  • Pata
  • Large Katar (LT)
  • Main Gauche
  • Longsword 2
  • Long Knife
  • Kukri
  • Small Falchion
  • Dao
  • Falchion
  • Large Falchion
I named the other twelve classes after the weapon in the class I thought was most prominent.
  • Saber -- saber, light edged rapier, large katar, shotel
  • Large Knife -- large knife, bladed hand
  • Small Knife -- small knife, bladed hand
  • Bastard 2 -- bastard sword 2-handed, naginata 1-handed, dueling bill, dueling glaive
  • Broadsword -- broadsword, bastard sword 1-handed, longsword 1-handed
  • Jian - jian, edged rapier, shortsword (LT), cutlass (LT)
  • Glaive -- naginata 2-handed, greatsword, bill
  • Katana 1 -- katana 1-handed, late katana 1-handed, cavalry saber, backsword, qian ku ri yue dao
  • Shortsword -- shortsword, cutlass
  • Dueling Halberd -- dueling halberd, light horsecutter
  • Katana 2 -- katana 2-handed, late katana 2-handed
  • Halberd -- halberd, heavy horsecutter
I should point out the rule on maximum effective ST (B270). Your maximum effective ST with a weapon is three times its ST rating. If your ST is higher than that, then you do damage as if your ST were at the lower figure. So given that small knives have an ST rating of 5, if your ST is higher than 15, you do damage as if your ST were 15. This affects the small knife, large knife, katar, and main-gauche classes.

So, what does this chart tell us? Some obvious points are confirmed. If you have a falchion, a weapon designed for swinging, then you should swing it. Conversely, patas are made for thrusting.

Also obvious: swing damage climbs faster with ST than thrust damage does, so stronger characters are better off swinging with weapons where weaker ones are better off thrusting. So even though patas are made for thrusting, when you have enough ST, swinging a pata makes sense.

There are also some non-obvious things that turn up. There is a middle range of weapons that are built to be versatile, and it's good to know how you can best gain the advantage of your Strength with them. At ST 13, there are several weapons you're better thrusting with, where the same weapons in the hands of a ST 14 character would be more useful at a swing.

The real oddity here is that some weapons go back and forth between swing-is-better and thrust-is-better as you go up in ST. That's an artifact of the way the Basic Damage table is structured, with swing damage going up every step, but thrust damage going up only every other step. This is especially noticeable with the Bastard 2 class. I imagine a master-at-arms teaching students to use a bastard sword two-handed: "Alright, I've lined you up from weakest to strongest. You lot, up to here, you're better off making thrusting attacks. Now, you fellows, from here to here, are better off swinging. But from here to here -- you'd better go back to thrusting. Now, from here on, again, swinging is better. Oh, except for you and you -- it doesn't matter which way you go."

It's silly, and more than a little unrealistic, but does it really matter? Here's Table 2, which shows expected swing/cutting injury as a percentage of expected thrust-impaling injury. As before, a blue background, where numbers are less than 100%, means you're better off thrusting, and a yellow background, where numbers are above 100%, means you're better off swinging.

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Katar 33 33 25 25 25 34 38 52 51 65 66 80 73 85 85 85
Pata 34 34 38 38 41 56 59 73 67 79 78 88 82 91 94 103
Large Katar-LT 33 33 34 34 38 52 56 72 66 80 79 90 83 93 97 106
Main Gauche 43 43 33 33 33 46 50 69 66 84 81 97 87 100 100 100
Longsword 2 50 50 52 52 56 72 73 86 79 90 88 98 91 100 103 111
Saber 44 44 46 46 50 69 71 93 81 97 93 107 96 108 111 121
Large Knife 43 43 44 44 46 67 69 94 84 104 97 114 100 114 114 114
Bastard 2 69 69 71 71 72 89 86 100 90 102 98 108 100 109 111 119
Small Knife 50 50 43 43 44 61 67 92 86 110 104 104 104 104 104 104
Broadsword 67 67 69 69 71 93 89 106 93 107 102 113 103 113 116 125
Jian 61 61 67 67 69 94 93 114 97 114 107 120 108 119 121 132
Long Knife 57 57 61 61 67 92 94 122 104 125 114 131 114 127 129 142
Glaive 94 94 93 93 89 106 100 114 102 113 108 118 109 118 119 128
Katana 1 89 89 92 92 94 122 114 136 114 131 120 134 119 131 132 143
Kukri 67 67 78 78 89 122 125 163 136 164 146 168 139 156 154 169
Shortsword 78 78 89 89 92 125 122 150 125 146 131 147 127 141 142 154
Small Falchion 92 92 134 134 158 215 217 267 219 256 220 249 200 221 207 225
Duelling Halberd 122 122 114 114 106 122 114 127 113 125 118 128 118 126 128 136
Katana 2 122 122 125 125 122 150 136 157 131 147 134 148 131 142 143 154
Halberd 150 150 136 136 122 139 127 141 125 137 128 138 126 135 136 144
Dao 157 157 167 167 163 200 178 206 168 189 164 181 155 168 167 179
Falchion 134 134 184 184 215 279 267 317 256 294 249 277 221 243 225 243
Large Falchion 184 184 214 214 217 267 238 275 220 248 211 232 189 206 199 214
Table 2: Advantage of average swing/cutting attack over thrust/impaling attack in percent

In some cases, I would say it does matter. At the transition from blue to yellow, most values aren't that far from 100%, but a few are large enough to make me want to pay attention. The jian class, for instance, which includes the jian, the edged rapier, and Low-Tech versions of the shortsword and cutlass. At ST 12 and 14, you're taking a 14% discount if you're not swinging. There appears to be no simple way to describe the patterns here, so I guess you just have to know where your advantages are. That's not that bad a problem, since most characters don't change weapons very often, and change ST even less often.

Overall, I think the chart shows that GURPS does a pretty good job of delivering results. The see-sawing effect with with some of the weapons in the middle range looks weird, but it doesn't look broken. I can live with a 14% difference in the blue-yellow border area. For the other weapons, the takeaway lesson is that you should try to use them as they were designed to be used -- thrust with a knife, unless you're very strong. Swing with a polearm, if at all possible.

Now, what about the effect of hit location and Damage Resistance? DR comes off before the wounding modifier, the neck offers a x2 cutting modifier, and the vitals a x3 impaling modifier. I expect that will change things somewhat, but I'll have to take that up at another time.
For the rest of this post, I'm just going to describe how I arrived at the tables above, in case anyone wants to double-check my work. You can ignore everything below here if you're not into the heavy number-crunching.
After compiling the list of all the thrust-impaling/swing-cutting weapons, I found that their damage statistics ran from Thrust-2 to Thrust+3 and Swing-3 to Swing+5. I created tables listing the damage roll for each of these stats at ST levels from 5 to 20.

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Thr-2 1d-6 1d-6 1d-5 1d-5 1d-4 1d-4 1d-3 1d-3 1d-2 1d-2 1d-1 1d-1 1d 1d 2d-3 2d-3
Thr-1 1d-5 1d-5 1d-4 1d-4 1d-3 1d-3 1d-2 1d-2 1d-1 1d-1 1d 1d 1d+1 1d+1 2d-2 2d-2
Thr 1d-4 1d-4 1d-3 1d-3 1d-2 1d-2 1d-1 1d-1 1d 1d 1d+1 1d+1 1d+2 1d+2 2d-1 2d-1
Thr+1 1d-3 1d-3 1d-2 1d-2 1d-1 1d-1 1d 1d 1d+1 1d+1 1d+2 1d+2 1d+3 1d+3 2d 2d
Thr+2 1d-2 1d-2 1d-1 1d-1 1d 1d 1d+1 1d+1 1d+2 1d+2 1d+3 1d+3 1d+4 1d+4 2d+1 2d+1
Thr+3 1d-1 1d-1 1d 1d 1d+1 1d+1 1d+2 1d+2 1d+3 1d+3 1d+4 1d+4 1d+5 1d+5 2d+2 2d+2
Table 3: Damage rolls for thrusting attacks by ST

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Sw-3 1d-6 1d-6 1d-5 1d-5 1d-4 1d-3 1d-2 1d-1 2d-4 2d-3 2d-2 2d-1 3d-4 3d-3 3d-2 3d-1
Sw-2 1d-5 1d-5 1d-4 1d-4 1d-3 1d-2 1d-1 1d 2d-3 2d-2 2d-1 2d 3d-3 3d-2 3d-1 3d
Sw-1 1d-4 1d-4 1d-3 1d-3 1d-2 1d-1 1d 1d+1 2d-2 2d-1 2d 2d+1 3d-2 3d-1 3d 3d+1
Sw 1d-3 1d-3 1d-2 1d-2 1d-1 1d 1d+1 1d+2 2d-1 2d 2d+1 2d+2 3d-1 3d 3d+1 3d+2
Sw+1 1d-2 1d-2 1d-1 1d-1 1d 1d+1 1d+2 1d+3 2d 2d+1 2d+2 2d+3 3d 3d+1 3d+2 3d+3
Sw+2 1d-1 1d-1 1d 1d 1d+1 1d+2 1d+3 1d+4 2d+1 2d+2 2d+3 2d+4 3d+1 3d+2 3d+3 3d+4
Sw+3 1d 1d 1d+1 1d+1 1d+2 1d+3 1d+4 1d+5 2d+2 2d+3 2d+4 2d+5 3d+2 3d+3 3d+4 3d+5
Sw+4 1d+1 1d+1 1d+2 1d+2 1d+3 1d+4 1d+5 1d+6 2d+3 2d+4 2d+5 2d+6 3d+3 3d+4 3d+5 3d+6
Sw+5 1d+2 1d+2 1d+3 1d+3 1d+4 1d+5 1d+6 1d+7 2d+4 2d+5 2d+6 2d+7 3d+4 3d+5 3d+6 3d+7
Table 4: Damage rolls for swinging attacks by ST

The next step was to calculate expected injury for each of these damage rolls. It was not possible to take the average of 1d, 2d, or 3d and apply simple arithmetic because of two complications. First, the minimum damage for cutting and impaling attacks is 1. That means it's not possible to say that the average of 1d is 3.5, so the average of 1d-2 is 1.5. In fact, the average of 1d-2 with a minimum of 1 is the average of (1, 1, 1, 2, 3, 4), which is 2. Roughly a third of the damage rolls had to be treated this way.

Second, for a x2 injury modifier, you can simply multiply the average damage roll by 2, but because of rounding, you can't treat cutting damage the same. Injury is rounded down, which means that the possible damage results from 1d, which are (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) with an average of 3.5, become (1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9) with the cutting injury modifier of 1.5. This gives an average of 5, rather than an average of 3.5 * 1.5 = 5.25.

The upshot of all this calculating is shown in table 5, which gives the average of the damage, cutting injury, and impaling injury for all the die rolls I worked with.

Die Roll x1.5 x2
1d-6 1.00 1.00 2.00
1d-5 1.00 1.00 2.00
1d-4 1.17 1.33 2.33
1d-3 1.50 1.83 3.00
1d-2 2.00 2.67 4.00
1d-1 2.67 3.67 5.33
1d 3.50 5.00 7.00
1d+1 4.50 6.50 9.00
1d+2 5.50 8.00 11.00
1d+3 6.50 9.50 13.00
1d+4 7.50 11.00 15.00
1d+5 8.50 12.50 17.00
1d+6 9.50 14.00 19.00
1d+7 10.50 15.50 21.00
2d-4 3.28 4.61 6.56
2d-3 4.11 5.89 8.22
2d-2 5.03 7.28 10.06
2d-1 6.00 8.75 12.00
2d 7.00 10.25 14.00
2d+1 8.00 11.75 16.00
2d+2 9.00 13.25 18.00
2d+3 10.00 14.75 20.00
2d+4 11.00 16.25 22.00
2d+5 12.00 17.75 24.00
2d+6 13.00 19.25 26.00
2d+7 14.00 20.75 28.00
3d-4 6.52 9.53 13.04
3d-3 7.50 11.00 15.00
3d-2 8.50 12.50 17.00
3d-1 9.50 14.00 19.00
3d 10.50 15.50 21.00
3d+1 11.50 17.00 23.00
3d+2 12.50 18.50 25.00
3d+3 13.50 20.00 27.00
3d+4 14.50 21.50 29.00
3d+5 15.50 23.00 31.00
3d+6 16.50 24.50 33.00
3d+7 17.50 26.00 35.00
Table 5: Expected die rolls and injury for cutting and impaling attacks

Equipped with these results, I converted tables 3 and 4, showing damage rolls, to tables 6 and 7, showing expected injury for thrust and swing attacks.

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Thr-2 2 2 2 2 2.33 2.33 3 3 4 4 5.33 5.33 7 7 8.22 8.22
Thr-1 2 2 2.34 2.34 3 3 4 4 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 10.06 10.06
Thr 2.34 2.34 3 3 4 4 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 11 11 12 12
Thr+1 3 3 4 4 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 11 11 13 13 14 14
Thr+2 4 4 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 11 11 13 13 15 15 16 16
Thr+3 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 11 11 13 13 15 15 17 17 18 18
Table 6: Average injury for thrust/impaling attacks by ST

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Sw-3 1 1 1 1 1.33 1.83 2.67 3.67 4.61 5.89 7.28 8.75 9.53 11 12.5 14
Sw-2 1 1 1.33 1.33 1.83 2.67 3.67 5 5.89 7.28 8.75 10.25 11 12.5 14 15.5
Sw-1 1.33 1.33 1.83 1.83 2.67 3.67 5 6.5 7.28 8.75 10.25 11.75 12.5 14 15.5 17
Sw 1.83 1.83 2.67 2.67 3.67 5 6.5 8 8.75 10.25 11.75 13.25 14 15.5 17 18.5
Sw+1 2.67 2.67 3.67 3.67 5 6.5 8 9.5 10.25 11.75 13.25 14.75 15.5 17 18.5 20
Sw+2 3.67 3.67 5 5 6.5 8 9.5 11 11.75 13.25 14.75 16.25 17 18.5 20 21.5
Sw+3 5 5 6.5 6.5 8 9.5 11 12.5 13.25 14.75 16.25 17.75 18.5 20 21.5 23
Sw+4 6.5 6.5 8 8 9.5 11 12.5 14 14.75 16.25 17.75 19.25 20 21.5 23 24.5
Sw+5 8 8 9.5 9.5 11 12.5 14 15.5 16.25 17.75 19.25 20.75 21.5 23 24.5 26
Table 7: Aveage injury for swing/cutting attacks by ST

Next I listed the weapons and copied their expected damage for thrust and swing attacks from tables 6 and 7 to create tables 8 and 9. Note that maximum effective ST for the katar, main-gauche, and large knife classes is 18, and for the small knife class it is 15.

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Katar 3 3 4 4 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 11 11 13 13 13 13
Pata 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 11 11 13 13 15 15 17 17 18 18
Large Katar-LT 4 4 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 11 11 13 13 15 15 16 16
Main Gauche 2.34 2.34 3 3 4 4 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 11 11 11 11
Longsword 2 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 11 11 13 13 15 15 17 17 18 18
Saber 3 3 4 4 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 11 11 13 13 14 14
Large Knife 2.34 2.34 3 3 4 4 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 11 11 11 11
Bastard 2 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 11 11 13 13 15 15 17 17 18 18
Small Knife 2 2 2.34 2.34 3 3 4 4 5.34 5.34 7 7 7 7 7 7
Broadsword 4 4 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 11 11 13 13 15 15 16 16
Jian 3 3 4 4 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 11 11 13 13 14 14
Long Knife 2.34 2.34 3 3 4 4 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 11 11 12 12
Glaive 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 11 11 13 13 15 15 17 17 18 18
Katana 1 3 3 4 4 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 11 11 13 13 14 14
Kukri 2 2 2.34 2.34 3 3 4 4 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 10.06 10.06
Shortsword 2.34 2.34 3 3 4 4 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 11 11 12 12
Small Falchion 2 2 2 2 2.33 2.33 3 3 4 4 5.33 5.33 7 7 8.22 8.22
Duelling Halberd 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 11 11 13 13 15 15 17 17 18 18
Katana 2 3 3 4 4 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 11 11 13 13 14 14
Halberd 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 11 11 13 13 15 15 17 17 18 18
Dao 2.34 2.34 3 3 4 4 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 11 11 12 12
Falchion 2 2 2 2 2.33 2.33 3 3 4 4 5.33 5.33 7 7 8.22 8.22
Large Falchion 2 2 2.34 2.34 3 3 4 4 5.34 5.34 7 7 9 9 10.06 10.06
Table 8: Average thrust/impaling injury for various weapons by ST

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Katar 1 1 1 1 1.33 1.83 2.67 3.67 4.61 5.89 7.28 8.75 9.53 11 11 11
Pata 1.83 1.83 2.67 2.67 3.67 5 6.5 8 8.75 10.25 11.75 13.25 14 15.5 17 18.5
Large Katar-LT 1.33 1.33 1.83 1.83 2.67 3.67 5 6.5 7.28 8.75 10.25 11.75 12.5 14 15.5 17
Main Gauche 1 1 1 1 1.33 1.83 2.67 3.67 4.61 5.89 7.28 8.75 9.53 11 11 11
Longsword 2 2.67 2.67 3.67 3.67 5 6.5 8 9.5 10.25 11.75 13.25 14.75 15.5 17 18.5 20
Saber 1.33 1.33 1.83 1.83 2.67 3.67 5 6.5 7.28 8.75 10.25 11.75 12.5 14 15.5 17
Large Knife 1 1 1.33 1.33 1.83 2.67 3.67 5 5.89 7.28 8.75 10.25 11 12.5 12.5 12.5
Bastard 2 3.67 3.67 5 5 6.5 8 9.5 11 11.75 13.25 14.75 16.25 17 18.5 20 21.5
Small Knife 1 1 1 1 1.33 1.83 2.67 3.67 4.61 5.89 7.28 7.28 7.28 7.28 7.28 7.28
Broadsword 2.67 2.67 3.67 3.67 5 6.5 8 9.5 10.25 11.75 13.25 14.75 15.5 17 18.5 20
Jian 1.83 1.83 2.67 2.67 3.67 5 6.5 8 8.75 10.25 11.75 13.25 14 15.5 17 18.5
Long Knife 1.33 1.33 1.83 1.83 2.67 3.67 5 6.5 7.28 8.75 10.25 11.75 12.5 14 15.5 17
Glaive 5 5 6.5 6.5 8 9.5 11 12.5 13.25 14.75 16.25 17.75 18.5 20 21.5 23
Katana 1 2.67 2.67 3.67 3.67 5 6.5 8 9.5 10.25 11.75 13.25 14.75 15.5 17 18.5 20
Kukri 1.33 1.33 1.83 1.83 2.67 3.67 5 6.5 7.28 8.75 10.25 11.75 12.5 14 15.5 17
Shortsword 1.83 1.83 2.67 2.67 3.67 5 6.5 8 8.75 10.25 11.75 13.25 14 15.5 17 18.5
Small Falchion 1.83 1.83 2.67 2.67 3.67 5 6.5 8 8.75 10.25 11.75 13.25 14 15.5 17 18.5
Duelling Halberd 6.5 6.5 8 8 9.5 11 12.5 14 14.75 16.25 17.75 19.25 20 21.5 23 24.5
Katana 2 3.67 3.67 5 5 6.5 8 9.5 11 11.75 13.25 14.75 16.25 17 18.5 20 21.5
Halberd 8 8 9.5 9.5 11 12.5 14 15.5 16.25 17.75 19.25 20.75 21.5 23 24.5 26
Dao 3.67 3.67 5 5 6.5 8 9.5 11 11.75 13.25 14.75 16.25 17 18.5 20 21.5
Falchion 2.67 2.67 3.67 3.67 5 6.5 8 9.5 10.25 11.75 13.25 14.75 15.5 17 18.5 20
Large Falchion 3.67 3.67 5 5 6.5 8 9.5 11 11.75 13.25 14.75 16.25 17 18.5 20 21.5
Table 9: Average swing/cutting injury for various weapons by ST

Finally, I used these two tables to compute tables 1 and 2, above.


3 comments:

  1. Now add target DR as a z-axis on the chart!

    I kid, but only a little. Much like my own foray into number-crunching on the effectiveness of Deceptive Attacks and just how low to go, it's information that the character wouldn't know explicitly, but with a high enough skill level, would implicitly understand - an expert swordsman begins to know instinctively just how deceptive to be to get maximum impact.

    And having a notion for your character of "low skill opponent means this much DA, high skill this much" and "DR under X means imp/thrust, while over X means cut/swing" could only help with portraying a character as an expert.

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    1. I will look at DR later, but encoding it in chart form will have to be done on a weapon-by-weapon basis. Most people are probably only interested in one weapon at a time anyway.

      And I think you're right that this kind of knowledge could be a component of portraying PC expertise, but only a small component. I think proper maneuver selection gives you more of an edge than the point or two of injury you can get out of the thrust/swing choice.

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    2. I would totally agree with that assessment. Weapon damage type and bonus is a little more important in GURPS, with the lack of constant, linear increase in hit points found in d20 variants, but only slightly so. Reach and sometimes weapon weight are significant factors to consider as well.

      GURPS does a good job of protecting you, as a GM, from having players who find the "best" combination of weapon and skill by virtue of sheer mathematical complexity.

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