Vulcan Nerve Pinch
Vulcan Nerve Pinch*
Judo-8, Sumo Wrestling-8, or Wrestling-8
Pressure Secrets (which itself requires Trained By A Master (30 pts) and Pressure Points at 16+) and Judo, Sumo Wrestling, or Wrestling; cannot exceed combat skill-2
Related to neuropressure, it involves applying pressure near the base of the neck, at the shoulder, and nearly instantly renders the target unconscious, often so fast that the target is unable to cry out, but not always (TOS: "Day of the Dove"). Non-Vulcans may learn this technique, but must purchase a 5 point Unusual Background to do so.
First, you must successfully grapple the target’s shoulder near the neck. (The specific nerves in the shoulder are -8 to target; but as this is a grapple attack, this penalty is halved to -4 [G:B p. 370]. This penalty to hit is already accounted for in the severe default penalties for this difficult technique and are the reason this technique can only be improved to skill-2.) On their next turn, your opponent may try to break free by winning a Quick Contest of ST [G:B p. 371].
On your next or any following turn, if you still have your foe’s shoulder grappled, make a Pressure Secrets [G:B p. 215] roll. A success means you may choose to render your foe unconscious this turn. Roll a Quick Contest of your ST-5 vs. the higher of your foe’s ST or HT. If your margin of victory exceeds their flexible DR (you can't nerve pinch through non-flexible DR) they fall unconscious for as many minutes [G:B p. 423]. You may choose to inflict damage based on your margin of success (but without any x2 or x3 damage bonus) [G:B p. 371] or not. If you tie, they still fall unconscious, but may cry out before doing so.
The initial grapple and the Pressure Secrets roll suffers the typical Zorski Interspecies Compatibility penalties when used on a species outside of your specialty for this technique. (Your own species is assumed.) In noncombat/surpise situations, a +5 situation modifier should be applied to the initial roll to hit; if the victim wants to be nerve pinched, +10. As the prerequisites for Pressure Secrets are Trained By A Master and Pressure Points at 16+, this technique is understandably rare, more so among species who find the ST-5 contest difficult to win.
*This technique is getting into cinematic territory. As such, the Trained By A Master advantage is required to improve it above default level.
Analysis of the Default Penalty
|-0||Based on Grapple attack||Judo, Sumo Wrestling, or Wrestling [G:MA p137, 90]|
|-4||Hit Location||specific location on the neck, -4 (-8 location, x1/2 for Grapple attack) [G:MA p137, 90]|
|-2||Pressure Secrets Attack||[G:MA p87]|
|-1||Special Benefit||a tie in the Quick Contest is still effective|
|-1||Special Benefit||can choose to do zero damage|
Another Analysis of the Default Penalty
The whole point of this technique is to quickly render a foe unconscious via an attack to a rather specific hit location. As such, it differs little from a targeted attack to the face. The face is -5 to target and knockdown-and-stunning rolls are at -5. [G:B p. 552] I want the benefits of the Nerve Pinch to result from a straight Quick Contest. Note that this matches an attack to the face: you have to fail a knockdown and stunning roll by 5 to fall unconscious and there is a -5 penalty to this roll when the face takes damage. It is -5 to target the face; it is only -4 to target the proper nerves with a grapple. A punch to the face could knock your foe out on the same turn; the nerve pinch has to be set up with a grapple. These differences offset each other. [[G:MA p. 90-91] This analysis leads me to believe the default for the Vulcan Nerve Pinch shouldn’t be much different than a Targeted Attack to the Face: skill-5; cannot exceed-2. Add in the special benefits of the tie and the option to do actual damage or not and you arrive at: skill-7; cannot exceed-2. Considering Judo, Sumo Wrestling, and Wrestling don’t typically allow a practitioner the ability to render a foe unconscious in one second, I’m comfortable with the skill-8 default for the Vulcan Nerve Pinch.
Additional Useful Techniques:
Combination (Vulcan Nerve Pinch + Arm ST-5)
Vulcan Nerve Pinch-3 + Arm ST-5-3
Vulcan Nerve Pinch; cannot exceed Vulcan Nerve Pinch + Arm ST-5
This combination allows one to apply the Vulcan Nerve Pinch and potentially render their victim unconscious in one combat round, denying their victim the chance to try and break free. (Your Arm ST suffers a -5 penalty since you’re pinching with only one hand) [G:B p. 370]. The penalties are only -3 (instead of the usual -6) because anyone who has this technique must have the Trained by A Master advantage (which halves the usual penalty).) See GURPS Martial Arts, p. 80 for information about combinations in general.
Example: Timek has ST-15, Arm ST+1, Trained By A Master, and Vulcan Nerve Pinch-10. At -3 for two attacks (with Trained By A Master), his default is Combination (Vulcan Nerve Pinch + Arm ST-5)-7+8. He could improve this to 8+9 for 4 points. He could improve this to 10+11 for 6 points.
varies depending on species
Vulcan Nerve Pinch; cannot exceed Vulcan Nerve Pinch
This technique allows one to buy off the penalty for attempting the Vulcan Nerve Pinch on a species outside your specialty. (Your own species is your assumed specialty.) A different technique is required for every species. Otherwise, a successful Physiology roll against that species must be made to avoid the Zorski Interspecies Compatibility penalty every time the Vulcan Nerve Pinch technique is used on that species.