• Cheaper by the dozen: Cutting the cost of high-level everything

    GURPS has long toyed with ways to reduce the cost of high levels in its Strength attribute, creating odd schemes under 3e and, in 4e, cutting the cost of ST across the board and simply requiring less ST to achieve satisfactory power (thanks to the new Basic Lift calculation). Yet there’s still a wish out there for cheaper levels of über-ST, even within 4e rules (as seen in its special ST cost discount for large critters). That’s where Rules Nugget (GURPS): A Better Cost for ST and HP comes in, offering an optional cost progression (the brainchild of D. Weber) that makes the cost of a massive ST (or its components)…

  • Building the dungeon matador: Creatures and combat familiarity

    Here’s a GURPS idea I’ve been kicking around for a while: a trait for improved fighting prowess against a specific type of creature. The concept is easy to understand, and it’s not hard to quickly whip up a game trait that, at quick glance, appears to do the job. But, in a refrain that’s as familiar to rules hackers as the clacking of a tumbling d6, scrutinizing and testing a solution turns up fiddly considerations, especially in making the creation mesh neatly with existing game traits.  I’m not yet satisfied with what I’ve got. Below is an overview of design considerations for fellow rules hackers, followed by my half-baked suggestion…

  • RPG science: Character tails

    Got a game character with a nice fluffy tail? Those things can be good for more than just Furry decor, you know.  At a recent TED conference, biologist Robert Full presented research into the wonders of the wall-crawling gecko. (The video, embedded below, is worth a view; you’ll see both people and robots mimicking the gecko’s Spidey-like climbs.) But while uncovering the secrets of the lizard’s famous feet, scientists found the creature’s tail enabled some amazing acrobatic feats of its own, all with nice character-design potential. As the biologists point out, a passive tail – a simple dead weight – hampers maneuverability. But an active tail does quite the opposite. Here what’s…