• Fight

    Game design musing: GURPS swing vs thrust damage: What’s the difference?

    Welcome back to Dork Labs (a name you can count on to mean “spreadsheets will follow”). In writing an upcoming post involving strength and damage, I had reason to revisit an old question of mine: in an ideal GURPS, how much should ST-based swing and thrust damage differ? It’s by no means a pressing matter at anyone’s game table, but on the off chance that someone finds this of interest, and continuing this site’s hallowed tradition of yammering incessantly about all things ST for reasons only Yog-Sothoth can divine, here’s what the numbers show. Swing vs thrust, by the numbers The table below is self-explanatory. At left are ST-based thrust…

  • Game design musing: Meeting weapon ST requirements (GURPS/DFRPG)

    Hand-held weapons in GURPS and DFRPG have a ST requirement. The rules let Striking ST help meet the requirement. But they should give that honor to Lifting ST instead. You: “Cool! A topic that’s both trivial and boring!” Yep. I seem to be outdoing even myself on that front here. Grognard gamers who recognize this as some long-retired, fiddly rules ephemera will be happiest heading back to the gaming table and playing things however they always have. Newcomers to GURPS/DFRPG (or RPGs), meanwhile, are encouraged to skip this because it’s terribly unimportant. (Just play the rules as they’re written, and revisit this page some day after you, too, have become…

  • Cheaper by the dozen: Cutting the cost of high-level everything

    GURPS has long toyed with ways to reduce the cost of high levels in its Strength attribute, creating odd schemes under 3e and, in 4e, cutting the cost of ST across the board and simply requiring less ST to achieve satisfactory power (thanks to the new Basic Lift calculation). Yet there’s still a wish out there for cheaper levels of über-ST, even within 4e rules (as seen in its special ST cost discount for large critters). That’s where Rules Nugget (GURPS): A Better Cost for ST and HP comes in, offering an optional cost progression (the brainchild of D. Weber) that makes the cost of a massive ST (or its components)…

  • Update: A Better Cost for ST – now with HP too!

    It’s A Better cost for ST… and HP too! Oh, and Striking ST and Lifting ST! An article that’s received many kind remarks over the years (and has been put into use by GMs far and wide) now gets a v2.0 update. The first version put ST on a diet with a neatly-declining cost scale (designed by D. Weber), enabling easier and cheaper power for supers and Giants. The update goes on to address ST’s component parts: Striking ST, Lifting ST, and HP. In the end, the rule provides a single scheme for pricing ST (and its components) in normal Joes, over-muscled barbarians, boulder-hurling Giants, and planet-cracking supers, with no special size-based…

  • Rules Bit (GURPS): New Damage for ST

    Intro: Refinishing the table What’s wrong with GURPS’ table linking ST scores to thrust and swing damage? Nothing! It’s done its job for over 20 years, and so far no one’s gotten hurt. (Except all those on the target end of ST 14, 2d swings, of course.) But a little thing like “it works well enough” never thwarts the compulsive rules hacker! Nay, the tinkerer’s quibbles must out. First, wouldn’t it be swell if damage followed ST in a neat, linear relationship? (Necessary, no; nice, yes.) That’s certainly not the case now, where neither thrust nor swing damage follows any observable pattern connecting it to ST. Second, what’s with the relationship…

  • 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…

  • Design notes: Implementing “log ST” in a game

    A friendly correspondent (who, like me, is working on a home-brew game system but isn’t ready to release) asks me about ideal implementation of “log ST” in a system. Log ST is the name commonly given to a game feature that sets levels of character Strength to an exponential progression, so that every extra +1 Strength mutliplies the previous level of power by some amount. Typically, that’ll be expressed as every additional X levels of Strength multiplying lifting power by some easy-to-grasp multiple Y. An example is in the HERO System, in which every +5 Strength multiplies lifting power by 2. My reply to my correspondent largely mirrors this post,…

  • Summary of ways to handle power-vs-weight in GURPS creatures

    Responding to this thread on the SJG forums, I started listing the different ways to handle the design issue of power-vs-weight in creatures. But my would-be post was getting farther from the focus of the thread (handling of armor and creature size), so I’ll place it here instead. The topic Creatures have vastly different ratios of power to weight. Here’s a summary of available ways to handle that, in increasing order of detail: a) Ignore it! Done. : ) b) Follow the 4e BS19 guidelines: just wing some adjustments to Move etc. that feel right. This is usually good enough! c) Per b, but use some rough guidelines for the…

  • Rules Bit (GURPS): A Better Cost for ST and HP

    Intro: “What? Aren’t we done now with ST cost?” After bouncing from one hack to another in the treatment and pricing of ST, GURPS finally settled upon a happy solution in 4e. It works well. (Well, mostly. Contests of ST remain problematic, and Supers‘ Super-Effort enhancement retains a 3e-like tone of “ST just doesn’t work for guys in tights”.) For better or worse, ST in 4e also maintains a certain GURPS quirk: the ever-decreasing relative return that each additional point of ST confers. For a purchase of +1 ST [cost: 10 points], a ST 1 rat gains a whopping +100% ST and +300% Basic Lift. A ST 10 human gains…

  • 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…