• Minor brush-ups to COSH

    I made some very minor tweaks to COSH, my GURPS 3e-centric combat skill creation system. The changes consist of a few wording improvements and typo fixes. I also clarified that the reader-created Evade is best built as an unarmed skill, with oddness resulting when built as armed; it’s a good exercise in design. Those changes don’t make for a must-re-read, but COSH itself is worth checking out if you haven’t done so yet! Take that Evade, for example (with thanks to KBantar!); it’s a cool skill that lets you slickly evade any sort of attack, and is perfect for an unusual alien fighting style, a pacifist martial art, or a…

  • Minor update to GLAIVE Mini

    Hear ye, hear ye. I’ve made a minor update to my GLAIVE Mini super-easy melee weapon design system for GURPS 4e, taking it from v1.0 to v1.1. The changes consist of minor clean-ups, plus a change to skill use for semibalanced weapons. The old rule specified the use of unbalanced weapon skills, or balanced skills at a -2 default. The new rule suggests either balanced or unbalanced skill as the natural skill (designer choice), with the other at a -2 default, depending on which is more natural for the weapon. Thus, a semibalanced weapon could be specified as using Axe/Mace or Broadsword skill normally, and the other at the -2…

  • Now in Pyramid: GURPS Combat Options from the Games Diner

    “Ten Tweaks to Customize Combat” in Pyramid #3/34: Alternate GURPS is Your Author’s first article for Pyramid, Steve Jackson Games’ digital magazine for serious gamers, by serious gamers. (It’s the second SJG offering with my handle on it, following the GURPS Range Ruler.) The article gathers 10 simple GURPS combat-related rules from the Games Diner, polishes them shiny, and pares them down to their sweetest essence. If you’ve read the Pyramid article, this post offers a bonus aid: links to the rules’ original write-ups on this site. “Ten Tweaks to Customize Combat” gives you all you need to drop the rules into a game, so don’t think that you need…

  • 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. Definition of mobile extremity 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…

  • Updated DECIDE defense tweak

    I’ve made an update to DECIDE, the suggestion that combatants make defense decisions without unnatural prior knowledge of whether attacks will succeed or not. It’s a GURPS article, but could be applied to any game handling defenses in a similar manner.  On the topic of whether to use DECIDE with melee as well as ranged attacks, I’ve changed the article’s options from 1, 2a, and 2b, to 1, 2, and 3. For Option 3, I’ve made a change first discussed in DECIDE implementation notes: a change from -1 to 0 for “last-second defense” penalty vs melee weapons, and a blanket +1 to all “immediate defense” rolls that don’t wait to check…

  • Momentum or Kinetic Energy: Which One Pierces a T Rex’s Chain Mail on a Glancing Blow?

    Here’s a collection of online bric-a-brac with connections to this site’s gaming material: Dinosaurs and their tails Having written about both dinosaur design and tail design, I can’t help but comment on the Smithsonian blog’s report that dinosaurs may have had thicker, beefier tails than often depicted. Sounds fine to me, at least until we get that cloning process working to verify things. What does that mean for critter design? Well, nothing, really. About all I can note is that, using the above tail rules, your dinos really should go for the heavy tail option instead of the slim version – although that always sounded right for dinos anyway. Hmm,…

  • GLAIVE Mini: Weapon Builder System for GURPS

    Don’t settle for off-the-rack weapons from the local blacksmith. Build your own! T Bone’s Games Diner is proud to present GLAIVE Mini, your super simple, single page weapon builder system for GURPS – now updated to version 2.0!  History v1.0 2010/08/16. v1.1 2012/08/22: Minor clean-up, plus a change to skills for semibalanced weapons. The old rule specified the use of unbalanced weapon skills, or balanced skills at a -2 default. The new rule suggests either balanced or unbalanced skill as the natural skill (designer choice), with the other at a -2 default, depending on which is more natural for the weapon. Thus, a semibalanced weapon could be specified as using Axe/Mace…

  • Distance and defense: Tiny tweak for GURPS combat

    Here’s a minor, yet-untested melee idea that came up during chatter over some GURPS combat scenarios: When you close a distance gap to attack, you give the defender more time to react than you do by starting out close enough to strike. Game that consideration with this simple rule: If the attacker begins his turn with a Step or Move to get within striking Reach, the defender gains +2 on Active Defense vs the attack that turn. If the attacker begins his turn within striking Reach (even if he chooses to Step or Move anyway), the defender takes no mod to Active Defense vs the attack that turn. If the…

  • GURPS Range Ruler launched on e23!

    It’s here! Steve Jackson Games’ e23 Store now offers the Range Ruler, a tool for finding battle map combat ranges without counting hexes. It’s based on a design I submitted to SJG, and after a kind reworking by the pros there, maintains pretty much the same look, down to the the corny text and this site’s URL. (About the only thing not there is my requisite attempt at an abbreviation. The best I could do was GURPS Range Indicator Plank (GRIP), to which Dr Kromm sagely suggested the much better GURPS Range Increment Plotter, before someone apparently nixed abbreviations altogether. Probably for darn good reason!)  Best of all for you, the GURPS…