• Gaming Notes: Playing Giants in any Game System

    Introduction Ogres. Hulking Trolls. Tree-sized Giants. Mountain-sized Jotun. If they’re defined by a size bigger than us, then for this article, they’re all Giants. Because whatever the specifics, they all share one thing in common: “TARG SMASH PUNY HUMAN!” I’m liberating the Big Games notes on gaming Giants from my old GULLIVER rules for GURPS, to give them a proper new home within the Diner (with a little freshening-up too, including a pinch or two of content from other sections). Although I’ve got some GURPS 4e-specific notes at the end, the general overview is useful with any game system. Yet it’s all pretty brief; sorry, I haven’t witten The Complete…

  • 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,…

  • European Martial Arts in Role-Playing: Where are they?

    Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in historic European martial arts. Although the active traditions of European hand-to-hand masters largely broke down during the age of gunpowder, centuries of trainers, tacticians, duelists, and other “Masters of Defence” left behind over 100 written works detailing techniques of fighting with sword, dagger, hand, foot, and other weapons. Modern-day enthusiasts studying these tomes and actual period weapons, aided by an Internet that brings together practitioners, translators, historians, and other experts, are re-discovering facts that should have been obvious all along, yet are directly contradicted by mistaken popular notions that are filtered by Hollywood (while reaching back to Victorian times). They’re re-discovering facts…

  • T Bone’s Rules of Dilettante Game Design, Part I

    (See also Part II.) Friendly site visitor KC sends some all-too-kind words about Games Diner content, and asks an interesting question – that’s hard to answer, too, as the good questions always are. “In your opinion, what aspects of a roleplaying system require special attention in order to avoid major conflicts?” Hmm. KC adds a bit more: “I know this is a broad question, and a lot of the answer requires knowing what the intent of the game engine is. Striving to find the balance between playability and realism is the most difficult part of a game, and I’m certain you are familiar with this. Which is why I ask…

  • 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…

  • First question about bunny attacks

    There’s a first for every question. The Q and my A: I have a question though about a combat action that does not seem to be included in the rules. I have seen official GURPS rules that cover this technique in only one book, GURPS Bunnies & Burrows, in which the maneuver is called “Ripping”.The basic idea is that a bunny (and presumably other similarly built animals) can grapple a foe with its front paws and/or teeth, and then use its hind legs to rip into a foe’s torso. In B&B’s game terms, once a foe is grappled, the rip is done at skill-2, the defender is at 1/2 dodge,…

  • Rambling about ST

    A recent ramble on rec.games.frp.gurps, responding to this post and referencing this post: infornific@aol.com (DW) wrote: lwcamp@landau.chem.rochester.edu (Luke) wrote: (Rest of message deleted for brevity – please see original message) Excellent points. Your division of strength into grappling/lifting/carrying vs combat/speed sounds a lot like GURPS Gulliver’s Combat ST and Load ST. That might be a simpler way to simulate the differences in ST. So a weightlifter might have Combat ST 12 and Load ST 16 – he doesn’t punch that hard, but he’s formidable in grappling and can fence with a broad sword. Interesting, it sounds like a plausible rationale for split ST. Does anyone know of good scientific evidence on how that kind of strength varies…

  • Giant skeleton aerodynamics

    A correspondent is building a Size +1 flying giant skeleton, and has questions about its aerodynamics. (And people say we gamers are geeks! Ha!) The discussion refers to rules in GULLIVER (for 3e) for figuring aerodynamics of creatures, for purpose of falling speed and what not. My reply to the question is below, just for the esotericness of it all:   Basic body structure is just humanoid… What’s missing? Surface area for tv or ftv, right? It’s a humanoid shape, but the aerodynamics would have to be different. Good question. Let’s think this through… Ignore density for a second, and use a human-sized (13-lb) skeleton. So it’s a humanoid shape,…

  • From the newsgroup files: Doing collisions right

    A recent posting on rec.games.frp.gurps gave me the chance to blather on and on about how to handle collisions in a RPG. Regarding the huge damage that Vehicles would dish out for a 5 mph collision with a car: Erm, am I missing something here? Because 5MPH is slower than walking pace and should NOT take you to death’s door! You are correct to sense something funny here. The GURPS Vehicles rule does have a big flaw. Others have made helpful suggestions, but if I can wax pedantic here, allow me to dig to the heart of the problem and set things right. You can quickly check the robustness of…

  • Martial arts in games

    Interesting news bit: In preparation for the World Cup games, police in Japan have developed a gun that shoots a 25-m square net over fans who bring just a bit too much enthusiasm to the proceedings. Specifically, the police are worried that their standard method to rein in rowdiness — judo-based restraining moves — may prove difficult against hyped-up, beefy European hooligans. (Like the police, we’ll politely refrain from specifying British. Oops, just did.) A comment from the World Cup security division, Sapporo HQ, Hokkaido Prefectural Police: “Of course, martial arts form an important part of our training, but if you take the size and power factor into consideration, (the…