• Update to alternate cost progression for ST

    Rules Bit (GURPS): A Better Cost for ST and HP is an old but relatively popular piece that places ST on an ever-decreasing logarithmic cost progression (the brainchild of D. Weber). A replacement for existing schemes to reduce the cost of high ST, it drastically reduces the cost to build a mountain-cracking jotun or bus-hurling super – and can even make designing such beings easier. I’ve heard nice things over the years from GMs who have put his to use. Give the newly polished old article a read, grab its prettier new Tables, and see whether its cost progression works better for the supes in your games.

  • Update to rules for grazes

    Rules Bit (GURPS): Grazes is an old house rule that stretches back to the 3e days. It details the effects of a graze: the bullet that only scores a character’s shoulder as it whizzes past, the punch that almost gets dodged but still clips the target, all the scrapes and scratches that heroes accumulate in fiction while escaping serious harm. I’ve given the work a good-sized overhaul. I made the conditions for a graze cleaner and easier, reflecting my experiments and experiences. I simplified the effects of a graze to just two basics (or even one), with other effects made clearly optional. I clarified how the rule’s intent and effects…

  • Rules Bit (GURPS/DFRPG): Better Aim

    Intro This tiny little rules tweak that I use is one so small that I can’t come up with any clever-ish title or subtitle. It’s so trivial that I tend to forget it’s a house rule, not official rules-as-written.  With that lack of ado, here it is: The rule Change the TH bonus for the Aim maneuver to +1 per second of aiming (up to +3 for 3 seconds). Reworded, that’s nothing more than “add +1 to the Aim bonus”. Do that, and the bonus now ranges from +1 to +3 instead of the official +0 to +2, before the addition of weapon Acc. Notes  By the book (Basic Set…

  • 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. That’s it. 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…

  • Rules Bit (GURPS): Revised Toughness

    Intro: “Go ahead, runt, punch me in the gut.” Imagine that’s the growl of a hulking bully with an Olympic wrestler’s build. And imagine that your physique is more that of… er, a guy who once gamed a wrestler PC. (Did you have to imagine very hard?) It’s easy to imagine that your best punch to his gut – or just about anywhere beefy – simply won’t hurt the guy. At all. Oh, maybe a few dozen punches would start some bruising, sure, but you don’t get that chance; his first punch has you coughing up the lunch money as soon as your limbs start working again. That sort of mismatch can be mighty realistic, but…

  • Rules Bit (GURPS): Grazes

    Intro: “It’s just a scrape!” In action fiction, an endless succession of lucky nicks, scrapes, and bullet scratches keep heroes cinematically bloodied but not inconveniently dead. (Glancing, “just a scratch” injuries happen in real life, too, of course!) At the gaming table, the same effect is interesting and easily handled. The content below goes way back to the GURPS 3e days, was updated for 4e around 2009, and now gets a 2023 update for simplification and clarification. The rule Definition of a graze A graze is a glancing blow or any off-center, fleeting, or otherwise unimpressive touch that doesn’t strike squarely – including the lessened blow that results from a defender partially…

  • Rules Bit (GURPS): Shields and cover

    Intro: Under Cover This rule looks at the matter of letting shields provide cover instead of a DB bonus. That option offers some interesting benefits, from a nicely-restored (in 4e) ability for shields to protect passively, to detailed protection by body location, to shield walls and other defensive tricks. It all meshes nicely with existing game rules for cover, too. Edit 2021-02-20: Rewrote the section on “Protection and facing” to clean up confusing description of what hexes a shield protects. Also added common-sense stipulation that an immobile, wall-like “shield” should offer great protection from the front hexes, no protection from the side and rear hexes. The rule In general, treat…

  • Rules Bit (GURPS): Shields and size

    Intro: “Is that a Frisbee?” “Sir! We demand that you halt this tea party right now, and give us back our shields!” “Er, begging your pardon, brave Knights of the Shire, but we haven’t seen any shields . . .” “Those . . . things you’re using as tea saucers! Give them back!” Hmm, just how big is a Halfling’s shield? And what happens if the little chap picks up a human’s shield? GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 3 p. 8 offers some nice rules for Pixie weapons and other “tiny tools” – not generic, physics-friendly stuff, but quick’n’dirty guidelines for easy play. While shields got left out of that discussion, handling them…

  • Rules Bit (GURPS): A better cost for ST and HP

    Intro: Repricing ST and its parts Some GURPS players have wished for a different pricing scheme for ST – specifically, one that lowers the high cost of building superheroes or other hyper-strength beings. This article offers one such scheme that vastly lowers the points required to build a battleship-smashing super. As a bonus, its cost progression can make building supers and giant creatures easier, not just cheaper. The scheme and its clever cost progression come courtesy of D. Weber. While the original idea is his, the accompanying text and expanded ideas are mine; anything screwy is my fault. The content below goes way back to the GURPS 3e days, was updated for 4e around 2013,…