• Magical Languages for GURPS

    This old (originally 3e-era) article sought to drop a bit of spice into the standard GURPS magic system. The addition of distinct languages for spellcasting lets you create as many unique magical traditions as you like, distinguishing Druids from witches from court wizards in strengths, weaknesses, and special effects. Side benefits including new paths of useful study for mages and prevention of “Johnny One-Spell” over-specialization. Go magically multilingual! History v1.0: 1997 v1.1: 2001 v2.0: 09/04/14 v2.1: 10/03/27: Fixed broken link to additional magical languages by Yuath.   The tongues of magic What if, instead of one “language of magic” used by all mages, the tongues used to cast spells were…

  • COSH: Combat Skill Hack (GURPS 3e)

    COSH is a fun, easy, GURPS-like way to build most any fighting skill, or modify existing fighting skills, in GURPS 3e. Any GM can drop COSH into a GURPS game and be designing unique new combat skills within minutes. History v1.0: Created 03/03/14 v1.1b update (03/03/15): Simplified COSH construction of missile skills, thanks to J. Schipper. v1.2 update (03/04/23): Dropped the beta designation. Clarified use of limits on Dodge Bonus and ST Bonus enhancements. Added example of using COSH to morph a skill into a different skill during play. Added lots of COSHCOSH with maneuverless “classic” combat skills, a bunch of new skills, and new “Large/Small ST Bonus (single use)”…

  • Earn It to Learn It: Advancing GURPS skills by tests

    Article by Ben Finney This article introduces Earn It to Learn It, a simple system to link GURPS skill and technique advancement more directly with meeting challenges in play. Inspired by the skill advancement rules in Burning Wheel, these rules provide motivation for seeking out diverse challenges in play, whatever one’s level of ability. Copyright: © 2008 Ben Finney <ben+gurps@benfinney.id.au> License: Permission is granted to modify and/or redistribute this work in any form, provided this copyright statement and license grant are preserved in all copies. Updated: 2008-10-27 The GURPS model for improving a character’s abilities is straightforward: earn generic character points from the GM at the end of a session, and spend them…

  • ESCARGO: Exponential Skill Costs: A Radical GURPS Option (GURPS 4e/3e)

    ESCARGO is an experimental look at an unusual option for GURPS: skill and attribute costs that just go up, up, up. It looks odd, but offers a surprising number of nifty benefits. Put on your game engine-hacking cap and read on… History v1.0: Creation date forgotten. v1.1 update (2003/01/24): With help from reader feedback, have clarified conditions that do and don’t work for setting skill cross-defaults. Added PDF skill cost table. Made other small improvements. Some reader feedback comments are noted in dark red text. Special thanks to J. Schipper, P. McCurry, D. Weber, and D. Cole. v1.2: Moved to main Games Diner site. v1.3 (2008/11/26): Cleaned up. v1.4 (2009/08/16):…

  • European Martial Arts in Role-Playing: Where are they?

    Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in historic European martial arts. Although the active traditions of European hand-to-hand masters largely broke down during the age of gunpowder, centuries of trainers, tacticians, duelists, and other “Masters of Defence” left behind over 100 written works detailing techniques of fighting with sword, dagger, hand, foot, and other weapons. Modern-day enthusiasts studying these tomes and actual period weapons, aided by an Internet that brings together practitioners, translators, historians, and other experts, are re-discovering facts that should have been obvious all along, yet are directly contradicted by mistaken popular notions that are filtered by Hollywood (while reaching back to Victorian times). They’re re-discovering facts…

  • Recycled content: defaults and other tips for COSH

    I won’t be able to post things next week, so here’s some recycled material for approaching visitors. While searching through old email, I found the following post I’d made to the Gurpsnet mailing list. The response below to an inquiry may be of interest to fans of COSH, a fun tool for modifying and creating combat skills. How does COSH handle defaults? Nothing special included, or needed, in COSH’s handling of defaults — other than the question, how do you set defaults for new skills? Just as existing GURPS defaults were set (AFAIK) by SJG writers’ sense of what works, and not by formulae, I can only say that you’d…

  • Fail

    “Anti-talents” in GURPS

    Below is a recent post to the GURPSnet mailing list, on the topic of “Anti-talents” that reverse the effects of Talents.  I have home-brewed “group competences” that are pretty much the same as the Talents that 4e later brought. (4e picks a much better name; I’ll steal “Talent” for the rest of this discussion.) They all have accompanying “Group Incompetences”, that reverse the bonuses into penalties. The latter make for amusing character concepts (and sometimes amusing trait names), and work as you suggest, but with one big difference: I only award -1 per Group Incompetence, far less than the advantage value of the reverse Talent! http://www.gamesdiner.com/gurps/GULLIVER/BXouttakes.htm#SkillBonusTraits For what it’s worth,…