• Game design musing: Easiest-ever, zero-math “weight-to-power” factor for characters (GURPS)

    The last thing I posted to this site was a book review, and before that, a notice of a Kickstarter campaign. That’s two posts in a row that aren’t overly nerdy (as RPG hobbyist stuff goes). So I’m overdue to post something really dorky. You: “Uh, no, that’s okay, you don’t have to, really…” Say you want to set a weight-to-power ratio, or level of weight-to-ST, however you style it, for characters in your games. “O-o-o-kay, I think we’ve seen this before, and we know how it goes. This is why we got you those meds.” Hold on. There are two parts to a discussion: That second is the big…

  • Thor vs Hulk

    Update to new damage for ST

    The old article “Rules Bit: New Damage for ST” was a fairly well-visited piece on this site, exploring the topic of a ST-based damage that scales linearly with ST – like “1d per 10 ST”. It’s a change that no one needs but that a lot of rues tinkerers like. I’ve revised the article considerably to cover additional considerations, remove unimportant cruft, and offer a spiffier Damage Table. I’ve also renamed the article, as it’s much more an exercise in system hacking than a mere rules tweak. I invite you to give the renewed version a look:

  • 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.

  • Katie Sandwina

    Game design musing: Notes on ST in GURPS

    GURPS has a long history of wrangling the cost and workings of ST to make it behave. Simultaneously the most straightforward and the most wily of attributes, ST commands a bizarre amount of attention on this very site. While writing up STROLL, I found myself with a bunch of longer takes and miscellaneous notes on ST-related topics that didn’t quite belong in that article. Well, waste not, want not, Grandma Bone (allegedly) said, so here’s the content for the few interested souls out there. I’ll probably add other stray thoughts on ST to this page in the future. (Maybe rants like “Grrr, lazy media articles, quit saying ‘insects are so…

  • GURPS resource: ST Monster Table

    What monstrosity lumbers forth? The ST Monster Table for GURPS! Why has it risen? None can say – or perhaps none dare. Born of a mad notion that the Damage Table and the Basic Lift and Encumbrance Table could be fused into a single heaving entity, this Qabalic construct reveals even damage scores expunged from the Damage Table. For while summoning new tables for STROLL of late, it was discerned that the stars are aligned and the portals are open; now is the time. The time for what? To create that hybrid beast of a table – and to cram it full of everything! What lies within? Madness, that’s what!…

  • STROLL: ST rolls that work in GURPS/DFRPG

    Yay, new content! And look, it’s… Oh. More nonsense about ST. Wait, don’t go. This is a useful tool that I’ve meant to post for a long time. It patches one of the few problems with ST that GURPS 4e left standing: getting rolls against ST (and Contests of ST, and even ST-based skills) to work correctly. The below fixes these rolls for any and all jotuns, teeny faerie folk, super-beings, or normal humans involved. Seriously, don’t run! This upgrade calls for no cost revisions and no new mechanisms, comparisons, or calculations, inside or outside of play. No wholesale reworking of ST into a logarithmic attribute, no changes to ST-related…

  • Bridge battle

    Game design musing: Simplifying ST-based thrust and swing damage (GURPS)

    Here’s a small simplification GURPS could make: Replace the two damage scores (thrust and swing) attached to ST with one damage score. Huh? You mean do away with GURPS’ distinctive difference between a weapon’s swing and thrust damage scores?  No, nothing of the sort! That thrust-vs-swing distinction adds fun considerations to the choice and use of weapons. It’s one of my favorite features of the game’s combat system, right up there with defense rolls. Let’s keep it! But I think the game could remove the small complication of two damage scores if it wanted – not from combat, but from character stats.  I’ve made mention of this somewhere in the…

  • Fight

    Game design musing: Swing vs thrust damage: What’s the difference? (GURPS)

    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)…