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Melee Rules for 'Fighting Dirty'

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:48 pm
by sshinn
I'm wanting to spice up melee combat and add in some cinematic moves that mostly just describe how you would 'fight dirty' using Mongoose Traveller 2e rules as written. What are your thoughts about the rules below? I've written some, but others I really need help with.

THROW SAND
Description: A character throws sand, dirt, or a goblet of wine into his opponent's face in order to gain an edge in combat.
Rules: Use a minor action to pick up the sand with a hand free (no roll needed, requires there to be sand or equivalent present), and then another minor action to throw it (using an Attack roll). If successful, the opponent is partially blinded and the opponent will attack with a bane until they spend a significant action to rub the sand out of their eyes.

SURPRISE DAGGER ATTACK
Description: Produce a hidden dagger and use it to attack (usually as a backup to a sword).
Rules: Attack and deal damage per the Dual Weapon fighting rules (can't aim, DM-2 on both attack rolls).

VICIOUS KICK
Description: Seize an opening during compbat to viscously kick your opponent.
Rules: Attack and deal damage per the unarmed combat rules.

STOMP
Description: When an opponent is on the ground after tripping or falling, stomp or kick the opponent.
Rules: Attack and deal damage per the unarmed combat rules.

CHOKE
Description: The attacker grapples then chokes their opponent.
Rules: After a successful Grapple action, the attacker (as a minor action?) may make an immediate choking attack. The attacker makes a Strength vs. Endurance contested roll against the opponent, and if successful, the attacker deals 1D6 damage.

TRIP
Description: Trip your opponent so they will suffer the disadvantages of being prone.
Rules: Not sure how I'd do this -- any ideas?

DISARM
Description: With a flourish of your sword or a cool martial arts move, you disarm your opponent.
Rules: Not sure how I'd do this -- any ideas?

Would love to find ways to do the above but in a balanced way that would make players actually want to use them in combat :D

Thanks in advance for any feedback!

-- Stan

Re: Melee Rules for 'Fighting Dirty'

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:39 pm
by AnotherDilbert
sshinn wrote: SURPRISE DAGGER ATTACK
Description: Produce a hidden dagger and use it to attack (usually as a backup to a sword).
Rules: Attack and deal damage per the Dual Weapon fighting rules (can't aim, DM-2 on both attack rolls).
How about a Boon on the dagger attack to represent the surprise? Unless the target have seen your move before?

sshinn wrote: TRIP
Description: Trip your opponent so they will suffer the disadvantages of being prone.
Rules: Not sure how I'd do this -- any ideas?

DISARM
Description: With a flourish of your sword or a cool martial arts move, you disarm your opponent.
Rules: Not sure how I'd do this -- any ideas?
Very powerful. How about electable, if appropriate in the situation, on crit (Exceptional Success)?

Re: Melee Rules for 'Fighting Dirty'

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:49 pm
by Sigtrygg
I take it NPCs are allowed to use the same tactics on the PCs...

Re: Melee Rules for 'Fighting Dirty'

Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:02 am
by paltrysum
Sshinn, you should’ve pitched that as a JTAS article. Very well done!

Re: Melee Rules for 'Fighting Dirty'

Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:53 am
by ChalkLine
Disarms are all done through either leverage or a sudden blow, nearly always leverage because if you can simply knock a weapon out of the enemy's hand they're not much of an enemy.
This means you have to get close; into grappling range.

Re: Melee Rules for 'Fighting Dirty'

Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:03 pm
by Linwood
For Melee Disarms you could start with a bind (tying the weapon up) then a grapple or opposed STR check to force the opponent to release the weapon.

To disarm with a hard strike sounds like a Called Shot.

Not exactly a dirty trick, but a Throw maneuver would be interesting. Maybe start with a grapple attack; if successful make a Throw attempt (target = opponent’s STR) to send them to the ground or into something (like that handy open airlock hatch).

Be nice to have a Feint maneuver, although maybe that’s best handled with a Deception check (“Behind you!!”).

What would these maneuvers look like in pressure suits? Some may not work. But maybe there’s a “manipulate opponent’s controls” move - turn off the magnetic boots, trigger their thrust pistol, open the overpressure safety vent, trigger the backflush on the suit plumbing, etc. A broad Vacc Suit skill check after a successful grapple or called strike might serve.

Same considerations for Zero-G. Hard to exert leverage unless you’re well anchored. Then again there might be Zero-G specific maneuvers - spin your opponent into a wild tumble maybe? - that could be performed.

Re: Melee Rules for 'Fighting Dirty'

Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 7:22 am
by MonkeyX
Trip and disarm could be handled with a str or Dex check plus athletics vs the to hit roll of the attacker.

Re: Melee Rules for 'Fighting Dirty'

Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:37 am
by M J Dougherty
Some sword disarms are performed simply by striking the weapon. A downward swipe from a high Portuguese guard into seconde can work, as can a heavy beat from tierce to seconde. In both cases you have to strike the mezzo correctly, and both are relatively easy to deceive. It can work though.

In general, however, disarms require commanding the weapon close to or at the hilt, and often use both hands, eg the Turkish Disarm. This sort of disarm only happens when everything falls into place, and it's more about knowing how and making the attempt when circustances are right rather than going looking for a disarm.

Re: Melee Rules for 'Fighting Dirty'

Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:15 pm
by arcador
Some feedback here:

What is the difference between normal attack and a vicious kick? or stomp?

The Choke - is that in addition to the normal ways to deal damage in a grapple?

Trip & Dirsarm - how does that differ from the normal grapple rules?

Re: Melee Rules for 'Fighting Dirty'

Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:44 pm
by Moppy
If you're adding melee combat options, some treatment of "special moves vs body armor" would fill a gap in the current product line. You can grapple, but I'm sure there's all sorts of specialised techniques to attack certain types of armor. I don't know much about it, personally.

Re: Melee Rules for 'Fighting Dirty'

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:28 am
by Linwood
Maybe a Called Shot to a weak point to negate some/all of the armor’s protection?

Re: Melee Rules for 'Fighting Dirty'

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:22 pm
by bklokis
sshinn wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:48 pm
THROW SAND
Description: A character throws sand, dirt, or a goblet of wine into his opponent's face in order to gain an edge in combat.
Rules: Use a minor action to pick up the sand with a hand free (no roll needed, requires there to be sand or equivalent present), and then another minor action to throw it (using an Attack roll). If successful, the opponent is partially blinded and the opponent will attack with a bane until they spend a significant action to rub the sand out of their eyes.
The sand is effectively a thrown/range weapon after pick-up...this should still require a Significant Action to throw, not a Minor Action.

Re: Melee Rules for 'Fighting Dirty'

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:28 pm
by bklokis
sshinn wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:48 pm
VICIOUS KICK
Description: Seize an opening during compbat to viscously kick your opponent.
Rules: Attack and deal damage per the unarmed combat rules.

STOMP
Description: When an opponent is on the ground after tripping or falling, stomp or kick the opponent.
Rules: Attack and deal damage per the unarmed combat rules.
Linwood wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:28 am
Maybe a Called Shot to a weak point to negate some/all of the armor’s protection?
I also think it's worth assessing how many of these are just called shots whose success depends on the Effect of the roll. In fact, most of these could just be role-played as flavor assuming you've got a high enough effect:

"Oh you rolled an Effect of +4? Yeah, your fancy sword work has disarmed your opponent."

"What's that? An effect of +5 on an unarmed melee attack? You spot an opening for a Vicious Kick...but just deal damage per the unarmed combat rules" (if the damage rules are not changing this is all for flavor anyway no?)

Re: Melee Rules for 'Fighting Dirty'

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:50 pm
by Linwood
I’d probably do just that in most cases - house-rule the outcome based on the Effect. But I might be willing to trade damage for Effect too in some cases - maybe give the PC the option to declare that in cases where armor prevents damage getting through to the target.