• Edge Protection: Armor Enhancement for GURPS 4e and DFRPG

    Edge Protection is a simple suggestion for a new GURPS armor stat which, together with DR, realistically simulates any level of armor rigidity vs flexibility and associated effects. It nicely handles some situations that current armor rules don’t, yet is no more complex than the existing flexible armor rules it replaces. History v1.0: Part of old article Gird Your Loins!. v2.0: 2007.03.27 Taking the edge off GURPS handles flexible armors like mail as follows: the wearer suffers one point of “blunt trauma” damage per full 10 points of damage (5 points if crushing) that doesn’t penetrate DR. In addition, some of these armors have a split DR score that offers…

  • Game design musing: It’s About Time (Part III)

    Part 3 of 3. If you thought the articles were geeky before, be warned: it gets worse here.The past two articles: Part IPart II Jumping into the new: Action points, Version 1 In the last episode, I detailed some of my early endeavors at gaming more varied action times. Enough of that. Here’s another general method: action points. I can’t point to any single system as an example; I’ve seen many variations in home-brew games or as options for existing systems. One reader (see comments in first article) points to an AD&D version from an old Dragon magazine. The idea is simple: give each character some number of “action points”…

  • Game design musing: It’s About Time (Part II)

    More on the subject of attack time and pacing in RPG combat systems, focusing on a couple of old home-brew efforts. Continued from Part I: On to another round of writing. I planned to wrap this up, but it looks like there’s going to be a Part III as well. (One note: With occasional digression, I’m discussing melee, not ranged, combat.) Recap Looking at how a few game systems (including some I haven’t mentioned) handle action time and pacing in their combat systems, the below seem par for the course: Combat actions take place in turns, with a default of one attack per turn. Under turns, there’s typically no mechanism…

  • Game design musing: It’s About Time (Part I)

    Gear up, spelunkers! It’s time for a dizzied descent into the dankest depths of game-design geekdom. In a very old blog post I briefly pondered the topic of action pacing – especially combat pacing – in RPGs. Below are some thoughts on how three major game systems tackle the topic. A caution in advance: while I know my GURPS, please accept my apologies where I mangle HERO; it’s been a long time since I last played. And I really risk disservice to D&D, as my only familiarity with 3e rules is from perusing the books, not actual play. Corrections to my text are greatly welcomed. Timing Basics In the three game…

  • GURPS House Rules Best Left Homeless

    GURPS gamers are a rules-tweaking, happy lot of home-brewers, Hastur bless ’em. But among the crunchy’n’nutty house rule suggestions that come up in forums, websites, and actual games, there are always a few that should be shown the door back out of the house. Below are a few such. I was hoping to make it a Top 10 list, but I’m stopping far short of that for now. Actually, I’m glad I can only think of far fewer than 10 offhand! (Needless to say, the below is opinion; if one of the items already fits into your game to much acclaim, good on you. Witless opining is what blogs are…

  • Game design musing: Can “too high” defenses be a good thing?

    In a Gurpsnet thread on armored GURPS 3e fighters having much-too-high defenses, I responded to one poster below. 4e greatly alleviates the problem by eliminating PD, but high scores may still be an issue for some players. Yet the below does summarize what is to me an important point: the game should accommodate “too high” defenses when those are warranted!  Imagine, if you will, a warrior with Plate Armour (PD 4) with Deflect +3, a skill of 22 with a broadsword, and Combat Reflexes. His total defense? A parry of 19. Now, the rules as written state that Sir Unhittable will be struck only if he rolls a 17 or…

  • Fail

    “Anti-talents” in GURPS

    Below is a recent post to the GURPSnet mailing list, on the topic of “Anti-talents” that reverse the effects of Talents.  I have home-brewed “group competences” that are pretty much the same as the Talents that 4e later brought. (4e picks a much better name; I’ll steal “Talent” for the rest of this discussion.) They all have accompanying “Group Incompetences”, that reverse the bonuses into penalties. The latter make for amusing character concepts (and sometimes amusing trait names), and work as you suggest, but with one big difference: I only award -1 per Group Incompetence, far less than the advantage value of the reverse Talent! http://www.gamesdiner.com/gurps/GULLIVER/BXouttakes.htm#SkillBonusTraits For what it’s worth,…

  • Further clarifying DECIDE!

    What’s the basic “unit” of RPG play? I’d call it this little exchange or interaction: 1. Something – some event, stimulus, something – happens.2. Players weigh the likely consequences of that something, and state how they respond.3. Based on the that interaction, the holy trio (GM, Players, and Game Rules) determine the outcome. And from that little procedure, you build a scene, a session, even a campaign – it just depends on how many times you rinse and repeat. There is in GURPS one small, wacky, but mostly harmless exception to this core unit. Defense rolls. That’s right. Defense rolls, by curious rule fiat, twist that 1-2-3 order to 1-3-2.…

  • Notes on natural encumbrance (GULLIVER)

    Forum poster P, in reference to GULLIVER’s natural encumbrance rules, included the word “messy” among other (much nicer!) comments. Of course, I had to ask what’s “messy” with them, and P was kind enough to oblige with a response. The below may or may not change anyone’s mind about the rules, but it did lead to the introspection below that natural encumbrance fans may find of interest. (And it’s a shame not to recycle such a long post into all-too-scarce blog content…) Here’s the forum text:  Thank you for the kind words, P. Permit me an initial clarification: And, as I said above, I agree that your general approach was…

  • Scaling of Move

    A visitor writes by email: T.Bone: Cool new site! Now on to the irritating part… 🙂 Once again, I’ve forgotten (or maybe never even learned) part of the power-to-mass argument. Please tell me which of the following is right: ( { power – weight } / mass ) ^ 0.5 ( { power – weight } / mass ) ^ 0.5 * stride_length ( { power – weight } / mass ) ^ 0.5 * stride_length ^ 0.5 Everything here but stride length is based on E=mv^2, so at least that should be correct. I can see how stride length might play a role, but I can’t quite picture the…