GURPS Melee Damage pt. 2.5

So, I’m back again with some more stuff about melee damage in GURPS. Here’s a Comparison list for RAW melee weapons and the theoretical system I’ve come up with. I’m also re-sciencing the damage numbers for the revised system again, so that’ll come too some time. I’m using the ballistic calculator again, because swords are bullets. Totally.

Comparison to RAW

  New Old
  10 STR 15 STR 20 STR 10 STR 15 STR 20 STR
Punch 2.5 3.5 5.5 1.5 3.5 5
Dagger 2.5 3.5 5.5 1.5 3.5 5
Shortsword 2.5 3.5 5.5 3.5 8 12.5
9 Thrust 2.5 3.5 5.5 2.5 4.5 6
Longsword 3.5 5.5 7 5.5 10 14.5
9 Thrust 2.5 3.5 5.5 4.5 6.5 8
Greatsword 4.5 6.5 9 6.5 11 15.5
9 Thrust 2.5 3.5 5.5 5.5 7.5 9
Axe 3.5 5.5 7 5.5 10 14.5
Great-Axe 5.5 8 10.5 6.5 11 15.5

That’s… Some numbers… Conclusions? Thrust damage is apparently slightly higher in my system than in RAW for small weapons. I might have to change the thrust damage for the larger weapons, as Michael Eversberg II pointed out, as their higher mass probably helps out a bit without slowing the thrust too much, so their damage might have to be heightened a tad. For the swing damage, it seems to be around half as powerful as RAW on average. It starts out more like 70% but then scales slower than the core rules does, meaning the damage numbers aren’t as high at the end, which was intentional.

Swing Damage 10 STR 15 str 20 str Average
Shortsword 71% 44% 44% 48%
Longsword 64% 55% 48% 53%
Greatsword 69% 59% 58% 61%
Axe 64% 55% 48% 53%
Great-Axe 85% 73% 68% 73%

The internal consistency is ok at around strength 10, but because raw has flat adds for weapon damage while this system has a multiplier it goes way off at higher strength levels. Having a heavy weapon is very important here since it allows you to use more of your strength, instead of which weapon you use becoming less important as your strength goes up. Let’s have an example:

If there’s a strength 10 person, testing weapons. In RAW a swing with a greatsword would do almost twice as much damage as a swing with a shortsword. Change it up to strength 20 and the greatsword is now only 24% more powerful instead of 85%.

If we instead use this test-system, the difference between shortsword and greatsword goes from 80% at 10 strength to 63% at 20 strength. It’s a much less drastic change, which is also something I was after.

So that’s a thing. Basically as the idea here was stopping people from doing lots of push-ups and then cutting tanks with their katanas. If you have strength 25 you’ll do 2d+2 damage with a longsword swing instead of 5d+1. 5d+1 is apparently like getting shot with an AK-47, according to some GURPS thing I saw. I don’t think it should have quite that much power. But I’ll have to apply physics to this, if I can. It could work some stuff out. Until then!


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