• general

    GURPS/DFRPG resource: New technique-based advantages

    A very particular set of (sub-) skills This article offers a rather unnecessary thing: a number of skill techniques bought to their maximum level and given new names as quick-pick advantages. These came about when I concocted a technique-based bunch of parkour- and thievery-related power-ups during the playtest for Dungeon Fantasy Denizens: Thieves. They didn’t appear in the book, so in the spirit of waste not, want not, I leave you with those power-ups here, along with more that I created later. Such technique-based advantages – I’ll call them “TBAs” – aren’t a new thing. Dungeon Fantasy 11: Power-Ups (p. 7) gives them a thumbs-up for simplicity, and offers examples…

  • general

    GURPS/DFRPG resource: New perks

    Looking to ply your PC with new powers but can’t pay the points? Perk up! Whether you call them perks (GURPS) or just 1-point advantages (DFRPG), single-point purchases make for interesting differentiators and even snack-sized superpowers. Below are some perks of my own invention, for your consideration and use. Leave a comment if any seem particularly interesting! Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), introduced in GURPS Power-Ups 2: Perks, specifies some task or action that a character performs as a matter of course, even off-screen – reloading weapons (good for action heroes), sitting with your back to a wall (good for paranoid heroes), and many more. This lets the…

  • general

    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 Bit (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)…

  • general

    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…

  • general

    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…