• Rules Bit (GURPS): Distance, Time, and Speed in Falls

    Intro: Easy as falling off a log BS 431 offers a nice table for putting falling distance together with velocity. But did you know you’ve already got a tool for generating those numbers? You guessed it: that ever-handy Size and Speed/Range Table. It’ll even tell you how long it takes your PC to plummet off a cliff. The below is a fine example of the tricks you can do with such a spiffy logarithmic tool. Turn to BS 550 and follow along: Distance, Time, or Speed: Pick one Given just one of those three values, you can quickly estimate the other two. The procedure: 1. Take the Linear Measurement column,…

  • Rules Bit (GURPS): What’s a Miss?

    Intro: “Missed me by that much!” There are two ways in GURPS to “miss” a target with your attack: either fail your TH roll, or have your successful TH roll thwarted by the target’s successful defense roll. The latter case is easy to understand: the attack was “on target”, but the target avoided it. This rule will only look at the former miss, the failed TH roll. I’ve always played this as the attack proceeding off-target, plain and simple: the bullet whizzed past the target, the sword thrust stopped short, and so on. But other interpretations float about: namely, the idea that a “miss” might actually represent the attacker hesitating…

  • Rules Bit (D&D): Real Hit Points for Real People

    Intro: “Can I have some real hit points, please?” As we all know, D&D has that “hit point thing” going on. I’m not here to put it down or even debate it. In fact, I’m fine with D&D hit points as some opaque, totally unrealistic luck-plus-heroics-plus-partial-defense cinematic furball, as long as the game presents it as such, and players accept it as such. I wouldn’t design a new game, even a cinematic fantasy one, using hit points in the same way, true – but still, where’s the harm? It’s hard, though, to like the tremendous disparity in hit points, especially at first or second Level. Any “normal” human, even a…