• Rules Bit (GURPS/DFRPG): Better Aim

    Intro   This tiny little rules tweak that I use is one so small that I can’t come up with any clever-ish title or subtitle. It’s so trivial that I tend to forget it’s a house rule, not official rules-as-written.  With that lack of ado, here it is: The rule Boost the TH bonus for the Aim maneuver by +1. Reworded: The TH bonus from the Aim maneuver becomes +1 TH per second of Aim (up to +3 for 3 seconds of Aim), plus weapon Acc. Notes  By the book (Basic Set p364), you add weapon Acc to TH after 1 second of Aim. The bonus becomes Acc +1 after…

  • Rules Bit (GURPS): Throw Like You Mean It

    Intro: “You throw like a kobold” GURPS’ thrown weapon stats neatly spell out the best distance (Maximum Range) you can achieve with a toss. These are multiples of Strength, typically STx1.5 for heavier weapons (spear), STx1 for very light ones (dagger), and STx2.5 for middle-weight weapons that hit a sweet spot for distance (throwing axe). Working from those stats, Conrad the Bavarian and his ST 16 can hurl a javelin 16 x 2.5 = 40 yards. In battlemap terms, that’s right off the dining room tabletop; it’s a throw that should send even the hardiest of orc miniatures fleeing to a safer distance. With some Extra Effort, Conrad could hit…

  • Rules Bit (GURPS): Duck!

    Intro: “Not the face!” Ducking your head beneath a blow, or pulling a hand out of harm’s way, is much easier than shifting your whole body in a split-second. It’s simple to game this in GURPS. The rule Allow a +1 bonus on Dodge when the target is a mobile extremity: head, arm, hand, wing, tail, antenna, and so on. The target part should be able to move reasonably freely and should have a -2 or greater TH mod for location. The body or vitals don’t receive the bonus, nor do legs or feet supporting the body. (A flying bird’s dangling legs would be a different matter; they’re mobile extremities…

  • Rules Bit (GURPS): New Damage for ST

    Intro: Refinishing the table What’s wrong with GURPS’ table linking ST scores to thrust and swing damage? Nothing! It’s done its job for over 20 years, and so far no one’s gotten hurt. (Except all those on the target end of ST 14, 2d swings, of course.) But a little thing like “it works well enough” never thwarts the compulsive rules hacker! Nay, the tinkerer’s quibbles must out. First, wouldn’t it be swell if damage followed ST in a neat, linear relationship? (Necessary, no; nice, yes.) That’s certainly not the case now, where neither thrust nor swing damage follows any observable pattern connecting it to ST. Second, what’s with the relationship…

  • Rules Bit (GURPS): Revised Toughness

    Intro: “Go ahead, runt, punch me in the gut.” Imagine that’s the growl of a hulking bully with an Olympic wrestler’s build. And imagine that your physique is more that of… er, a guy who once gamed a wrestler PC. (Did you have to imagine very hard?) It’s easy to imagine that your best punch to his gut – or just about anywhere beefy – simply won’t hurt the guy. At all. Oh, maybe a few dozen punches would start some bruising, sure, but you don’t get that chance; his first punch has you coughing up the lunch money as soon as your limbs start working again. That sort of mismatch can be mighty realistic, but…

  • Rules Bit (GURPS): Grazes

    Intro: “It’s just a scrape!” In action fiction, an endless succession of lucky nicks, scrapes, and near-miss bullet scratches keep heros nicely bloodied but not inconveniently dead. We can do the same in gaming, too. Even under a gritty combat system like GURPS’, it’s easy to set up such hide-saving grazes to handle heroic flesh-wounds – and, as a bonus, simulate armor deflection of attacks better than 3e’s old Passive Defense stat did. These rules are born of some old writings, but please take a new look anyway; there’s a lot of added and updated material. A note on PD Old rules on this site have long suggested tossing out GURPS 3e’s…

  • Rules Bit (GURPS): Shields and Cover

    Intro: Under Cover This rule looks at the matter of letting shields provide cover instead of a DB bonus. That option offers some interesting benefits, from a nicely-restored (in 4e) ability for shields to protect passively, to detailed protection by body location, to shield walls and other defensive tricks. It all meshes nicely with existing game rules for cover, too. The rule In general, treat shields as offering only their DB, per written rules. But whenever the GM thinks it sensible, treat shields as cover (B407) instead: A shield treated as cover offers a TH penalty equal to the shield’s DB, instead of adding DB to Active Defenses, for any…

  • Rules Bit (GURPS): Shields and Size

    Intro: “Is that a Frisbee?” “Sir! We demand that you halt this tea party right now, and give us back our shields!” “Er, begging your pardon, brave Knights of the Shire, but we haven’t seen any shields…” “Those… things you’re using as tea saucers! Give them back!” Hmm, just how big is a Halfling’s shield? And what happens if the little chap picks up a human’s shield? GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 3 p8 offers some nice rules for Pixie weapons and other “tiny tools” – not generic, physics-friendly stuff, but quick’n’dirty guidelines for easy play. While shields got left out of that discussion, handling them in the same quick’n’dirty fashion is pretty…

  • Rules Bit (GURPS): A Better Cost for ST and HP

    Intro: “What? Aren’t we done now with ST cost?” After bouncing from one hack to another in the treatment and pricing of ST, GURPS finally settled upon a happy solution in 4e. It works well. (Well, mostly. Contests of ST remain problematic, and Supers‘ Super-Effort enhancement retains a 3e-like tone of “ST just doesn’t work for guys in tights”.) For better or worse, ST in 4e also maintains a certain GURPS quirk: the ever-decreasing relative return that each additional point of ST confers. For a purchase of +1 ST [cost: 10 points], a ST 1 rat gains a whopping +100% ST and +300% Basic Lift. A ST 10 human gains…

  • Rules Bit (GURPS): Die, Monster, Die!

    Intro: “Whaddya mean, the Colossal Amoeba passed out?” A fierce dragon finally meets its match: Conrad the Bavarian, who takes the dragon down from 120 to 0 HP and goes to administer final rites. Good job, but one question: how long will it take to deliver another 120 points to kill the unconscious wyrm? Or 240 points if the beast makes its HT roll? Up to 600 more points if those HT rolls keep succeeding? (Dragon HT can be pretty high!) Won’t the magic-user, the thief, and the cleric have nabbed all the gold pieces by the time Conrad finishes hacking away? Well, if your character managed to chalk up 120…