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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

GURPS House Rules: Size Modifier, Part 1

I've broken down the price of the different components of a positive Size Modifier.

A positive size modifier acts as a large negative disadvantage. I've priced out its different components to see what it would cost if you priced those traits out individually. Thanks to Bruno on the forums for breaking down exactly what SM is.

Here's what I get for SM+1 or Gigantism for a normal human:

[Varies] Buy ST, Arm ST, Lifting ST, Striking ST at reduced cost
[5] +1 Move
[2] Immune to Constriction Attack (Relative SM +1 or more)
[1] Easier to intimidate, harder to be intimidated (Relative SM +1 or more)
[1] Easier to pin, harder to be pinned (Relative SM +1)
[1] Can squeeze torso (Relative SM +1)
[1] Increased reach (Only for unarmed attacks)
[1] Easier to hit when you grapple (Relative SM +1 or more)
[1] Can trample/overrun (Relative SM +2 or more)
[1] Longer poison delay


[-5] Easier to be hit
[-1] Easier to be noticed by Vision
[-1] Harder to be camouflaged
[-5] Eat more food overall
[-1] Require more space and life support
[-20] Larger equipment costs more and weighs more
[-1] Harder to fit under low hanging ceilings and doorways without crouching or crawling, or through narrower cracks/holes (or even doors) without an Escape roll.

That works out to a total of -20 points before applying the discount for high ST, which, realistically for a human-sized creature, will give back around four points or so. My preference is to abandon the rule that gives larger creatures a discount on ST. I don't see what purpose it could serve other than to mask the fact that high levels of ST are overpriced. I'll address that in another post. I also strongly dislike that as a method of balancing size modifiers because not all large creature have a high ST or HP. You can have ghostly creatures that are very large but have no mass at all, similarly with large nanoswarms, balloon-like creatures, jellyfish, and weird aliens and supers. If their 0-point size modifier is supposed to be balanced by cheaper ST, then creatures who aren't buying ST are getting a bum deal. Even with SM+1 creatures, the ST 10 giant is suffering much more from his size than the ST 20 giant. I don't like how the value of the trait varies like that based on which other traits you've purchased.

In Conclusion

I would turn Gigantism or SM+1 into a [-20] disadvantage, and remove any reduced cost for a high ST.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

GURPS House Rules: Parrying Unarmed Attacks

I've changed what happens when you parry an unarmed attack with a weapon.

In the RAW, when you parry an unarmed attack, you immediately get to make a free attack against the limb of the person who attacked you. Furthermore, the soon-to-be-limbless attacker doesn't receive a defense roll against this free attack. This is a problem, first, because it breaks the action economy of the game. If you have the time to make a full-strength attack any time you can parry, then why are you limited to doing so only when you can parry someone's unarmed attack? Second, that they have no chance to defend makes unarmed attackers unrealistically vulnerable. They can't pull their hand back when they see their opponent's sword coming for their hand?

The new rule:

Whenever you parry an unarmed attack, on your next turn you can choose to attack the body part you parried at no penalty, with an attack maneuver, using your maneuver for the turn. The body part's owner can defend as normal.

I believe this makes unarmed attackers, like martial artists or tigers, function much better as both player characters and enemies. No longer do unarmed monsters get eaten alive by men with swords.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sample GURPS Supers character: Donatello

I thought it might be helpful to some people to see a familiar superhero made in GURPS. This is my very cinematic, crazy zany cartoonish version of Donatello from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Name: Donatello

Attributes [330]
ST 14 [40]
DX 16 [120]
IQ 16 [120]
HT 14 [40]

HP 14
Will 16
Per 12 [-20]
FP 14

Basic Lift 39
Damage 1d/2d

Basic Speed 8 [10]
Basic Move 8

Social Background
TL: 10
Cultural Familiarities: Western
Languages: English (Native/Native)

Advantages [381]
Ally (April; 25%; 12 or Less) [2]
Ally (Casey Jones; 50%; 6 or Less) [1]
Ally (Splinter; 100%; 15 or Less) [15]
Ally (Leonardo; 100%; 12 or Less) [10]
Ally (Michelangelo; 100%; 15 or Less) [15]
Ally (Raphael; 100%; 9 or Less) [5]
Ambidexterity [5]
Breath-Holding 5 [10]
Combat Reflexes [15]
Common Sense [10]
DR 1 (Tough Skin, -40%) [3]
DR 2 (Still Suffers Shock Penalties, -20%; Torso Only, -10%) [7]
DR 1 (Still Suffers Shock Penalties, -20%; Torso Only, -10%; Directional, Back only, -40%) [2]
Enhanced Parry 3 (Staff) [15]
Extra Attack 1 (Multi-Strike, +20%) [30]
Flexibility [5]
Gadgeteer [25]
High TL 2 [10]
Injury Tolerance (No Head; No Neck; Reflexive, +40%; Temporary Disadvantage, Blindness, -50%) [11]
Luck [15]
Metabolism Control 9 [45]
Perfect Balance [15]
Peripheral Vision [15]
Precognition (Meditating, -70%; Passive Only, -20%) [5]
Single-Minded [5]
Trained by a Master [30]
Unusual Background (Weird Science) [10]
Very Fit [15]
Wealth (Comfortable) [10]
Weapon Master (Staff) [20]

Disadvantages [-76]
Chummy [-5]
Code of Honor (Ninja) [-5]
Dependent (April; 25%; 6 or Less; Friend, x1) [-5]
Dependent Group (Family: Leo, Raph, Michelango, and Splinter; 100%; 6 or Less; Loved One, x2) [-1]
Disciplines of Faith (Ninja) [-5]
Enemy (Foot Clan; 9 or Less) [-30]
Secret (There's Mutant Turtles living in the sewers.) [-20]
Sense of Duty (Family) [-5]

Quirks [-3]
Hero When Able
Likes Pizza
Likes Rock and Roll Music

Skills [302]
Area Knowledge (New York City) (E) IQ [1]-16
Area Knowledge (New York City Sewer System) (E) IQ [1]-16
Blind Fighting (VH) Per+4 [24]-16
Breath Control (H) HT+2 [12]-16
Computers! (VH) IQ [24]-16
Connoisseur (Pizza) (E) IQ [1]-16
Disguise/TL8 (A) IQ-1 [1]-15
Encyclopedist! (VH) IQ-3 [3]-13
Fist! (VH) DX+2 [48]-18
Hidden Lore (Dimension X) (A) IQ-1 [1]-15
Hidden Lore (Mutagens) (A) IQ-1 [1]-15
Hidden Lore (Psionics) (A) IQ-1 [1]-15
Hidden Lore (Utroms) (A) IQ-1 [1]-15
Inventor! (VH) IQ+5 [84]-21
Move! (VH) DX [24]-16
Scholar! (VH) IQ-3 [3]-13
Science! (VH) IQ [24]-16
Thief! (VH) DX [24]-16
Throw! (VH) DX [24]-16

Ninja Gear
Scavenged Science Equipment
Well-Furnished New York Sewer Apartment

Attributes [330] Advantages [381] Disadvantages [-96] Quirks [-3] Skills [302] = Total [914]