• 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…

  • More Star Frontiers goodness

    Ooh, here’s an accomplishment most trivial: This site’s Star Frontiers to GURPS 4e Conversion Notes page ranks #1 on a Google search for “star frontiers gurps”. That just might be my first first ever. There’s even more Dralasite-steeped goodness out there than I realized, though. Check out Star Frontiersman Magazine, a slick-looking magazine of all-new fan material, plus remastered versions of all the original books. That’s some serious fandom at work! For the GURPSters, there’s another conversion page out there, GURPS Star Frontiers Conversion, a PDF that starts with this site’s conversion but makes changes where the author disagrees. (What items those would be, I don’t know; I don’t see who made the conversion.)…

  • 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…

  • Sports throwing skills in COSH

    The old GULLIVER for GURPS 3e details throwing skills for use in sports, not combat. Generally, I’ve suggested a hefty distance bonus in exchange for several drawbacks: encumbrance penalties, a Ready requirement, and a big TH penalty. (Yes, a TH penalty. Track-and-field javelin, hammer, discus, and so on never require the thrower to actually hit something. What the heck? Let’s get some man-sized targets out there, and go Spartan on the next Olympiad!) Come to think of it, perhaps these special skills can be built nicely using COSH, the system for modifying and building combat skills in 3e. Hmm, it’s worth a try! If this sort of thing piques your rarified interests, break out the COSH page along…

  • 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…

  • My Miscellaneous Old House Rules (GURPS 3e)

    Most old house rules have been absorbed into other works on this site. On this page are a few miscellaneous 3e tweaks – some much used, others tasted and soon forgotten – that didn’t fit elsewhere. (A few now have some sort of simulacrum in GURPS 4e.) It’s all ramshackle old stuff (1997 or earlier!), but might contain something of interest for your modern GURPS game. History v1.0: 1997 v2.0: 01/08/01 v2.1: 09/10/24. Minor updates, and moved article from old HTML file to current site format.   The old 3e house rules These rules fall under categories inspired by the time-honored motion picture rating system in the US: G (General GURPS): It may or…

  • “Magic” Skill for GURPS

    GURPS was long funny in that it offered skills for each and every specific application of magic (i.e., hundreds of spells), but no skill to cover a mage’s overall understanding of magic itself. Such a skill – name it Magic for simplicity – both fills that gap and lets you fine-tune magic in your campaign, in at least 10 fun ways. This old article was written for GURPS 3e; its Magic skill is at least partially covered now by the Thaumatology skill that later appeared in GURPS Grimoire and then Basic Set 4e. Still, the notes may hold a new idea or two for your 4e games. History v1.0: 1997 v1.1: 01/08/01 v1.2: 09/10/24. Minor…