• A year of daily GURPS tweets: #DailyHouserule (GURPS/DFRPG)

    I’ve been assembling a collection of bite-sized house rules, tips, and tricks for GURPS and DFRPG, with the intent of tweeting one a day for a year. I’ve got enough entries now for nearly three-quarters of the year; the rest are falling in line smoothly. When to launch these daily tidbits? January 1 would make all kinds of sense… I realized one day in late January. So I launched on February 1, the Chinese Lunar New Year. That works too. I’ve got over a week of house rules and tips posted now, and it’s going fine, so here’s the blog announcement. Interested? Just follow @gamesdiner on Twitter, or follow my…

  • Bridge battle

    Game design musing: Simplifying ST-based thrust and swing damage (GURPS)

    Here’s a small simplification GURPS could make: Replace the two damage scores (thrust and swing) attached to ST with one damage score. Huh? You mean do away with GURPS’ distinctive difference between a weapon’s swing and thrust damage scores?  No, nothing of the sort! That thrust-vs-swing distinction adds fun considerations to the choice and use of weapons. It’s one of my favorite features of the game’s combat system, right up there with defense rolls. Let’s keep it! But I think the game could remove the small complication of two damage scores if it wanted – not from combat, but from character stats.  I’ve made mention of this somewhere in the…

  • Fight

    Game design musing: Swing vs thrust damage: What’s the difference? (GURPS)

    Welcome back to Dork Labs (a name you can count on to mean “spreadsheets will follow”). In writing an upcoming post involving strength and damage, I had reason to revisit an old question of mine: in an ideal GURPS, how much should ST-based swing and thrust damage differ? It’s by no means a pressing matter at anyone’s game table, but on the off chance that someone finds this of interest, and continuing this site’s hallowed tradition of yammering incessantly about all things ST for reasons only Yog-Sothoth can divine, here’s what the numbers show. Swing vs thrust, by the numbers The table below is self-explanatory. At left are ST-based thrust…

  • Game design musing: Meeting weapon ST requirements (GURPS/DFRPG)

    Hand-held weapons in GURPS and DFRPG have a ST requirement. The rules let Striking ST help meet the requirement. But they should give that honor to Lifting ST instead. You: “Cool! A topic that’s both trivial and boring!” Yep. I seem to be outdoing even myself on that front here. Grognard gamers who recognize this as some long-retired, fiddly rules ephemera will be happiest heading back to the gaming table and playing things however they always have. Newcomers to GURPS/DFRPG (or RPGs), meanwhile, are encouraged to skip this because it’s terribly unimportant. (Just play the rules as they’re written, and revisit this page some day after you, too, have become…

  • Tactical Hand Signals

    GURPS resource: New techniques

    Getting technique-al The skill sub-sets called techniques are a fun part of GURPS. This page will list new techniques of my own invention – initially just a placeholder page with a handful of techniques, but I’ll be adding more as I scrounge ’em up from past notes and character sheets and what not. I’m labeling this a resource for GURPS, not DFRPG, as the latter doesn’t formally use techniques. But if you’re fluent in GURPS, you can drop these into a DFRPG game with no trouble. The list Eye on the Ball (Hard) Default: Shield -2 or other prerequisite skill -4Prerequisite: Any unarmed combat skill, Melee Weapon skill (except Knife…

  • A modest proposal: Friendlier character trait blocks in GURPS

    Players of GURPS know that the RPG has a simple rules set at heart, yet its reputation as complex lingers on. True, the system does have rules bits that delve deep into detail, though those are typically optional bits. The system also covers a vast breadth of topics, which many gamers unfortunately confuse with complexity. And there are perhaps a few spots where the game presents an appearance more daunting than the reality. Here’s a quick look at an example of the latter. It’s a small part of the game that doesn’t involve “complexity”, yet can induce a moment of dizziness even in me at times. I’m talking about long,…

  • Books we want: The big list of everything (GURPS/DFRPG)

    Here’s an evergreen topic in gamer conversations and in SJG Forum threads: What titles would we like to see next in the huge and eternally-growing library of GURPS (and DFRPG) supplements? My little wish list follows. Common-sense disclaimer: This is not some deranged plea for SJG to drop everything and make these supplements, nor a suggestion that these would be successful supplements, nor even a claim that they’d be good supplements. This page is just a place to drop ideas for our mutual amusement. So, without further thought or ado, welcome to the imaginary bookstore. Version history Last update: 2022-04-02. See notes at bottom of the page. General GURPS stuff…

  • Game design musing: “Sims” (with a sample sports sim for GURPS)

    In this post, I muse that it’d be interesting to see examples of ways to game a sporting match in GURPS (or whatever game you like). By which I don’t mean some per-second simulation of every dash and tackle and kick by every player on the pitch, a la RPG combat. (Lordy, just imagine trying to play out a combat turn-based simulation of two 40-minute game halves. “Okay! We begin with Turn 1 of 4,800!”) No, I refer to some abstract simulation that resolves a complex activity in far less detail than what RPGs typically lavish on combat systems, while offering more of interest than a simple “Roll vs your…

  • GURPS/DFRPG resource: New weapons

    Edits: See update history at the end of the page. Minding the gaps This page concocts a handful of new weapons for GURPS and Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (DFRPG). These aren’t built from any fancy “design system” (including GLAIVE), nor are they conjured out of thin air; they’re simply extrapolated from the games’ weapon tables to fill in “gaps” among existing models. Wherever possible, data from the newer Low-Tech, Martial Arts, and DFRPG is used as reference, superseding information in Basic Set. (Some of the existing weapons discussed don’t appear at all in Basic Set.) In short, these serve no great need, and are some of the most mundane weapons…

  • 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…