• Cardboard Heroes artist hard at work on new figures for GURPS Dungeon Fantasy boxed set?

    Hey, GURPSters! Eager to scry even one more crumb of information and/or rumor about the in-development, powered-by-GURPS, and eagerly-awaited Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game from Steve Jackson Games? Crumb ahoy! Here’s a tiny (and speculative) morsel from – of all places – recent The Non Prophets podcast episode 16.02. Hm? A GURPS tidbit – in a podcast focused on religion and gods and related topics? It’s not so surprising, given that the podcast is based in the home town of GURPS – and that it’s hosted by two bona fide gaming art gods. Just around 5 minutes into the episode, regular host and Art God #1 Denis Loubet reports that he’s…

  • Updated: GLAIVE Mini weapon builder system hits v2.0!

    It’s out: v2.0 of GLAIVE Mini, my super-short, home-made system for building weapons in GURPS. (That’s “GLAIVE” as in “GURPS Light Arms Invention Expansion”.) GLAIVE Mini remains what it’s always been: A one-page system for generating GURPS damage and required ST for most any melee weapon. (There’s a bonus second page, too, with an option for semibalanced weapons falling between GURPS’ balanced and unbalanced weapons, along with system customization notes and a couple of odds and ends.) What’s new in GLAIVE Mini v2.0: Notes addressing new weapon stats and options in GURPS Low-Tech. (Spoiler: GLAIVE Mini works even better with Low-Tech’s revised stats!) A new mod: Poor Stabber, good for…

  • Bad medicine: Tiny tweak for Unusual Biochemistry effects

    Here’s a really tiny idea of the type I try to relegate to Twitter, but I just couldn’t smush it into the character limit. So here it is, at languid non-abbreviated length. Shake it up Unusual Biochememistry (B160) is a nice disadvantage for alien or other exotic bodies. The effect is simple: standard drugs, if not tailored at high cost for your oddball chemistry, may have the expected effects, or no effect, or expected effects with added bad side effects. Those effects are simple to determine too: there’s just a little 1d6 table with those three outcomes (some imagination required). There’s nothing wrong with that at all! But some imaginable…

  • Tweeting tiny ideas: Tactical Hand Signals and Acrobatic Jump

    Hey, check out that slick new feed of Games Diner tweets on the left side of the front page. Scroll down a bit if you have to… ah, there they are. Just like on the actual Games Diner Twitter page. Mmm, pithy. (As I note in one tweet: “Twitter: 30 seconds to write the tweet, 3 minutes to mangle it into 140 characters.”) I mention this as a reminder that the feed exists, and to note that I’m starting to use it for a bit more than “hey, look at something I found.” First, it’s a good tool for announcing minor web site updates (bug fixes, article brush-ups, etc.), as…

  • 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 Nugget (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)…

  • Idea pot: Kickin’ it with GURPS

    (In which I inaugurate the diner-themed term “idea pot”, inviting your cogitative degustation of little semi-tested morsels long bubbling on the back burner. Or still just leaking juices behind the vegetable crisper. Or brushed free of floor lint and returned to the stew. Shhh, you didn’t see that.) A GURPS character can kick another guy in the leg on a Brawling -2, Karate -2, or DX -2 roll (plus the modifier for hit location). I, too, can kick another guy in the leg without much trouble (well, until he kicks back, that is). A GURPS character can also kick another guy in the head on that same Brawling -2, Karate -2, or…

  • Update: A Better Cost for ST – now with HP too!

    It’s A Better cost for ST… and HP too! Oh, and Striking ST and Lifting ST! An article that’s received many kind remarks over the years (and has been put into use by GMs far and wide) now gets a v2.0 update. The first version put ST on a diet with a neatly-declining cost scale (designed by D. Weber), enabling easier and cheaper power for supers and Giants. The update goes on to address ST’s component parts: Striking ST, Lifting ST, and HP. In the end, the rule provides a single scheme for pricing ST (and its components) in normal Joes, over-muscled barbarians, boulder-hurling Giants, and planet-cracking supers, with no special size-based…

  • Gaming Low-Power, Low-Tech PCs, Part III

    This is the wrap-up of thoughts on keeping a campaign going when the threats are high-powered but the PCs are low-powered – that is, when the PCs are “mundanes” with no magic, no special powers, and little technology. Again I use GURPS Fantasy II‘s Mad Lands setting as a prime example, but the considerations will hold in other settings, especially low fantasy or non-fantasy (e.g., historical). Part I was a short look at the challenges of keeping such a game going. Part II suggested beefing up the PCs to match the challenges – specifically, understanding “low power” to mean character sheets that may lack spells and energy blasts, but are…

  • 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…

  • Gaming Low-Power, Low-Tech PCs, Part II

    Introduction I’ve changed the title of this article and its Part I, to better fit what the articles are really about. Yes, they’re nominally a look at the Mad Lands setting of GURPS Fantasy II, but let’s think bigger. What I’m really writing about is how to keep PCs alive, and growing as characters, in any setting that sharply limits PC power without dialing down the threats they face. So, while I focus on Madlanders as a perfect example of no-magic, no-powers people – “mundanes” – caught between hammer and anvil, what follows might be of use in any low fantasy game where monsters and wizards wield great powers that…