Quick d8 hit location and crit table

I like the idea of rolling a random hit location, but the default 3d6 GURPS table always felt clunky. It’s just too many dice at once for me. Additionally, the critical hit table has disappointed me many times with “nothing happens” or “double damage”, which is not worth opening the table and rolling, in my opinion. So I’ve made my own!

Alternate hit location and crit table

The basic idea is to add a d8 to your to-hit roll, to determine if you hit the body, head, or a limb. More vulnerable areas like vitals or hand are possibilities for a critical hit. And if you score a critical hit, roll 1d6 under appropriate hit location for effect (plus the standard “no active defense”). Keep in mind, unless you’re playing very gritty, those should be all optional. That means if a PC wants to punch someone unconscious and rolls “Eye”, they can just hit face instead.

Now, this is a quick reference sheet, it begs to elaborate on some entries:

  • Turnaround is an effect inspired by the Soul Calibur fighting games, and means you gain short control over your opponent’s positioning, too short to count as a grapple: you turn your victim around, their back towards you. On a hex map, you may turn your opponent by 2 faces of a hex and make an extra step around them, regardless of your maneuver. If you have further attacks this turn, they all count as a “Runaround” Attack (p. B391).
  • The entries of “+ a grapple” mean you may additionally, for free, end up grappling your opponent, either in an unarmed grapple (this may unready your weapon) or armed one (p. MA67).
  • The enry “crushing deafens, other scars” is based on original Critical Head Blow Table, p. B556, entry 12, 13. It’s supposed reduce appearance by two levels for burning and corrosion damage, and just one level otherwise. I left the detail to abbreviate.
  • The grapples pretty much add another attack, limited in choice – to add those things happening and to give grapplers some awesome momets of “you drop your opponent to the floor before they could even flinch”.
  • Assume that eyes and vitals can be hit by any type of attack (on a crit). This is already the case in the original Critical Head Blow table and I don’t think it breaks anything.

Unfortunately, I do not have enough ideas to make a ranged critical hits table.

Optional rules

To encourage my players to use this table, I’ve made that the default attack, and added a -1 penalty to hit the torso. This has created and odd case where a fully trained Targeted Attack to Vitals is more likely to hit than a hit to the torso (the same -1 penalty, and a miss by one hits the torso). This doesn’t bother me, as Targeted Attack already has it’s drawbacks, and it’s a slight boost to rather underused thrusts.

The first session with the table suggested that players will expect a wounded limb to be more vulnerable. Thus, I encourage you to use Accumulated Wounds, p. B420.

Normally it’s harder to hit a shield-bearing arm. I didn’t care to make it so with this table, but I have some ideas to explore:

  1. If the d8 points to a shield-bearing arm, the attack roll needs to have succeeded by 1+Defense Bonus. Otherwise, it hits the shield.
  2. If the d8 points to a shield-bearing arm, roll an extra 1d6. If you roll Defense Bonus or lower, the shield is hit. If you roll higher, the arm is hit.

Let me know if some entries are unclear or you have some more interesting ideas, especially for ranged combat.

Bite Strength in GURPS

Going through my old files I’ve stumbled upon a note I’ve once made on converting real-world bite strength measurements to damage. I can vaguely recall an old thread over on SJGames forums, which was rather inconclusive. So I’ve decided to use a method that just makes just some sense, even if it’s not really backed with science. And that is to compare bite force with Basic Lift to get appropriate Bite ST. I’m disregarding units for convenience. What’s important is to find data that includes human bite force, for comparison. The best I could find is at dogfacts.wordpress.com, echoing some Nat Geo Wild test (absolutely unscientific and unreliable, but I’m going for “dramatic” either way).

Humans: 120 pounds of bite pressure – that is 6 times the average Basic Lift. Thus an Alpha wolf, with bite force of 400 pounds, would have virtually around BL 67 in it’s jaw, which is equivalent of ST 18, for 1d+2 bite damage (including Brawling bonus). Or, as it’s supposed to be a fearsome Alpha, let’s stretch it slightly to ST 19, for two dice in thrust damage. Mixing that with the Basic Set write-up and some Martial Arts rules:

Alpha Wolf

ST: 10 | HP: 10 | Speed: 6;
DX: 12 | Will: 11 | Move: 9;
IQ: 4 | Per: 14 | 110 lbs.
HT: 12 | FP: 12 | SM: 0

Dodge: 10 | Parry: N/A | DR: 1

Targeted Attack, Brawling Bite/Neck (12): 2d cutting. Reach C.
Worrying (no roll): 2d cutting. Grappling ST 24 = 19 + 5 (“two handed”).

Traits: Born Biter 2; Combat Reflexes; Discriminatory Smell; Night Vision 2; Quadruped; Tempereature Tolerance 1; Wild Animal.
Skills: Brawling-14; Tracking-14.

Note: a “men-eater” would know the danger of weapons and thus lower it’s to-hit roll with deceptive attack as low as possible to avoid being harmed while attacking. Thus, barring other circumstances, it usually rolls against a 10 and gives -1 to defenses.

3 ed. D&D sorcery in GURPS

My GM is running a game in the Forgotten Realms setting for 3rd edition (or, if you will, set in the year 1372 DR, the Year of Wild Magic) – but with 3d6. As I’ve found our team lacking in area damage, and I had a magical ancestry, I decided to dabble into sorcery.

After some tinkering we have agreed on a powers-based system, below. The main goal was to have specific spells, which could be cast limited times a day, but interchangeably, and to have a loose power gradation system of spell levels, so my warrior cannot just pick up the Fireball without knowing how to light a candle. The Charisma bonus has been mostly left out.

Side note: it is not based on the official GURPS Sorcerythough I did look into the preview for some ideas.

Sorcery is based on abilities built with advantages. As they’re all pretty much same thing – spellcasting – they’re bought as Alternative Abilities. You could buy two or three abilities at full cost. It allows you to have more abilities “on” while switching (p. P11).

The abilities are divided into four spell levels based on their point cost (after modifiers, but before discount for Alternative Abilities): 1-10, 11-20, 21-30, and 31+. If a sorcerer has 1-4 abilities in a given level, they can only have fewer abilities of the next level. E.g. to have at least one ability of the fourth level, a sorcerer needs to have at least two abilities of the third level, three abilities of the second level and four abilities of the first level. But if you have 5+ abilities in a given level, you can have just as many (not more) of the next higher level.

Power Modifier

Each sorcery can be countered by anti-powers (-5%), requires a well articulated incantation (-10%), a firm gesture with one arm (-5%), and has an Energy Reserve cost (cannot use FP, -5%) equal to it’s spell level (-5% per level), for -30% at the first level to -45% at the fourth.

The common modifier for magic in GURPS, mana-dependent, is not in use, as mana, or the Weave, is pretty much everywhere in the world of Faerun.

The system has its quirk: an ability could cost e.g. 10 points if given Sorcery 2 (-35%) power modifier, which puts it in the first level, but more points if given Sorcery 1 (-30%), which puts it in the higher level. In those cases I suggest taking Sorcery 1 and some Nuissance Effect. This could give the sorcery some flavor!

Chosen sorceries can have the Trigger modifier to reflect material spell components. Other resource-management limitations (e.g. Limited Use, Maximum Duration, Preparation Required, Takes Recharge) are not allowed, as well as modifiers that would contradict the sorceries being own abilities of the sorcerer (like Pact or Fickle).

Metamagic

Unless the sorcerer bought ER with the Abilities Only modifier, they can use Trading Fatigue for Effect (p. P160) as spell empowerment, or Temporary Enhancements (p. P172) to increase the abilities range (simulating the Enlarge Spell feat) or area of effect (Widen Spell), or to temporarily get rid of limitations and cast it without words (Silent Spell) or gesture (Still Spell).

All sorceries are mental abilities and require a roll of Will-based Thaumatology to use those rules.

Power Talents

As sorcerers in D&D 3. ed. cannot specialize, no Talent for a specific Power, as described in GURPS Powers, is allowed, as well as ER (one power only) is off limits. In the game I’m playing, no supernatural power is allowed any Talent, and neither is sorcery. I would suggest allowing a Power Talent which encompasses all the spells for 10 points per level, or a Wildcard skill which would include ability-activation rolls, Innate Attack rolls, Thaumatology and Metamagic rolls. Even though the D&D sorcerers are charismatic, I’d advise against GURPS Charisma giving any bonus, as it’s just too cheap, and the sorcery too wide in scope. To prevent really uncharismatic sorcerers popping up, I’d say all the Disadvantages which give Influence Rolls penalty give the same penalty to activate sorcerous abilities and to sorcerous metamagic.

Sample abilities

Magic Missile [14], or [3] as AA

Emits a burst of magical energy which harms the target, including insubstantial foes, and ignoring DR – but it doesn’t harm inanimate objects. Roll Innate Attack (Projectile) to hit. As a special case, you can use metamagic to give this attack RoF 2-5 (treat RoF 4 as +60% enhancement), and you can use Spraying Fire (p. B409) even with RoF 2-4.

Magic Missile (Projectile), 1d-1 brn ninc, Acc 4, Range 25/50, RoF 1, Rcl 1.

Burning Attack 1d-1 (Sorcery 2, -35%; Accessibility, not on objects, -10%; Accurate +1, +5%; Affects Insubstantial, +20%; Cosmic, ignores DR, +300%; Increased 1/2D x5, +10%; No Incendiary Effect, -10%; Reduced Range /2, -10%), +270% [13] + Extra Option (Spraying Fire for RoF 2-4) [1].

Unrelenting Force [24], or [5] as AA

The sorcerer emits a loud shout, which knocks back everyone and everything in it’s path and could stun hit enemies. Roll Innate Attack (Breath) to hit. You can use this ability to parry other breath attacks (Power Parry, p. P168). This spell does not require gesture, but cannot be cast without incantation (the shout).

Unrelenting Force (Breath), 3d cr dkb nw, Acc 3, Range 5/10, Cone 1, RoF 1, Rcl 1, Side Effect: Stun.

Crushing Attack 3d (Sorcery 3, -40%; No Gesture, +5%; Double Knockback, +20%; No Wounding, -20%; Nuissance Effect, obvious, -5%; Side Effect, Stunning, +50%; Cone 1, +60%; Increased 1/2D x2, +10%; Reduced Range /10, -30%), +50% [23] + Extra Option (Power Parry) [1].

Balance note: Buying ER and inexpensive abilities with Costs ER is point-inefficient, compared to unmodified advantages, but the system is designed for a game where unmodified supernatural advantages are unavailable, and sorcerers compete with spell-based threshold magic. Thus, it’s still good, especially compared to slow missile spells.

Till the next time!
Gnomasz

Decoupling Magery from Limits on Effect


Quite some time ago I’ve been pondering on representing mages from World of Warcraft in GURPS, using the standard spell-based magic system. One of the things I was struggling with was that WoW spells, costing a % of mana, and not a fixed value, rise in power (damage dealt) without really changing their resource cost. In GURPS, to increase damage dealt with a spell (missiles, mostly), you raise Magery so that you can put more energy into it. But if you raise Magery without ever investing in FP or ER, you can quickly get to a point where you can spend all your resources on one spell and become unable to cast anything (also known as “useless”) afterwards. And it was the case with all the mages all my players ever built, I can’t really tell, why.

I’ve considered making some ER level a prerequisite for higher Magery, but this could, theoretically, lead to another weird build, where a wizard has lots of energy, but cannot spend it due to low Magery. Now I’m pretty sure it was naive to think players wouldn’t take the highest Magery available, but back then, I didn’t like that it doesn’t really make Magery, an energy sink of sorts, go in lockstep with the energy pool.

Lately another thing itched me: that, as I stated earlier, players who build dedicated wizards will always go for the maximum level of Magery available. It seems to be a no-brainer. And, by extension, all wizards gravitate towards 14 IQ, if standard Magery 3 is maximum – because this places most spells on the sweet skill-15 spot. But noone really builds IQ 15, Magery 2 wizards. As if it wasn’t any option.

I’m pretty sure that’s because Magery’s function of “power level”, deciding how much energy you can put into spells, is invaluable. So I decided to decouple that.

In my current game, Magery 1-4 is pretty much a standard talent, giving bonus to spell level and Thaumathology and speeding up learning, but it has no effect on which spells you can cast and how powerful they are. I relegated this function to ER:

  • Whenever a spell says “for each Magery level”, it’s replaced with “for each full 10 ER levels”. Same goes for Magery and Effect, p. B237. So ER 50 lets you cast Major Healing at 5th level of effect, for 10 energy.
  • Not to limit access to high-end spells, if a spell requires Magery 2 by RAW, it requires ER 15 instead, and instead of Magery 3, it’s ER 20.

I’ve just recently made this ruling. We’ll see how it goes.

Combat Style: Scouts’ Archery

For my next campaign I want to use wildcard styles as the only way to learn combat skills. With that in mind, I feel like I need to create some better options for mid- and longrange fitghters. Today a look at foot archers – an adaptation of GURPS Gun Fu’s Double Trouble style, with some inspiration drawn from feats of Garen Longtread of Peter Dell’Orto’s Felltower campaign.

Scouts’ Archery

A style based on the experiences of the hunters of old, polished and taught by royal scouts. It focuses on user’s agility to swiftly dispose of as many enemies as possible, as quickly as possible.

Skills: Acrobatics, Bow, Fast-Draw (Arrow).

Techniques: Close Combat (Bow), Flank Shot (Bow), Foraging (Bow), Retain Weapon (Bow), Targeted Attack (Bow Shot/Eye), Targeted Attack (Bow Shot/Vitals),

Cinematic Skills: Blind Fighting, Flying Leap.

Cinematic Techniques: DWA (Bow), Timed Dodge.

Perks: Akimbo (Bow), Bow Shtick* (Stone Cold Killer), One with the Quiver (Arrows)**, Special Exercises (Arm ST +1) up to three times, Special Exercises (Enhanced Tracking, with Multiple Lock-Ons), Strongbow, Sure-Footed (Slippery), Weapon Bond.

Optional Traits

Secondary Characteristics: Improved Basic Speed and Per.

Advantages: Combat Reflexes, Danger Sense, Heroic Archer, Military Rank, Night Vision 1-4, Peripheral Vision, Signature Gear, Weapon Master (Bow).

Disadvantages: Bloodlust, Duty, Overconfidence.

Skills: Armoury (Missile Weapons), Bow Sport, Cammouflage, Cartography, Connoisseur (Bows), Jumping, Observation, Stealth, Tracking.

Perks: Supplier (Any).

*) Same as the Gun Shtick from GURPS Gun Fu.

**) One with the Quiver – you can store all your different kinds of arrows (enchanted, bodkin points…) in the same quiver, without any dividers or markings, and always draw the one you want to use. Quiver capacity doesn’t change, and you still need to buy various arrows beforehand.

I left out Zen Archery on purpose, to differentiate the archers from crossbowmen (soon), and the perks and techniques which are redundant with Heroic Archer, which is going to be expected from all practitioners of the style.

Fighting styles by combat skill

In preparation for my next game I’ve decided to sort all the combat styles from GURPS Martial Arts by combat skills, and assign them a rough TL while I’m at it. I thought others might find it useful, so here it is.

Only required combat skills were taken into account (hence no pure sport styles). Variations provided in descriptions of some styles (like Kusarigamajutsu) were taken into account, but be aware: I’ve only skimmed through the style descriptions and might have missed something. Tech Level might have been assigned somewhat inconsistently, but it’s only meant as a rough guidance. All the fictional styles were assigned a ^ TL, regardless of depending on fantasy tech or not. So, here’s the list:

Melee Combat Skills:

Axe/Mace: African Stickfighting (p. 157, TL 0), High Medieval (p. 176, TL 3), Iklwa Fighting (p. 197, TL 2), Kalaripayit (p. 168, TL 3), Kobujutsu (p. 178, TL 5), Kusarigamajutsu (p. 180, TL 3).

Broadsword: Armatura Equestris (p. 150, TL 2), Banshay (p. 176, TL 2), Early Medieval (p. 175, TL 3), Furusiyya (p. 159, TL 3), High Medieval (p. 176, TL 3), Kalaripayit (p. 168, TL 3), Kuntao (p. 178, TL 1), Iaijutsu (p. 174, TL 3), Kenjutsu (p. 173, TL 3), Kobujutsu (p. 178, TL 5), Masters of Defence Weapon Training (p. 182, TL 4), Nito Ryu (p. 174, TL 4), Sword-and-Buckler Play (p. 199, TL 3), Sword-and-Shield Fighting (p. 199, TL 3).

Flail: Kobujutsu (p. 178, TL 5).

Force Sword: Force-Swordsmanship (p. 209, TL4^).

Force Whip: none.

Garrote: none.

Jitte/Sai: Kobujutsu (p. 178, TL 5), Kuntao (p. 178, TL 1), Kusarigamajutsu (p. 180, TL 3), Taihojutsu (p. 201, TL 5).

Knife: Banshay (p. 176, TL 2), Dagger Fighting (p. 155, TL 2), Fairbairn Close Combat Training (p. 182, TL 7), Kalaripayit (p. 168, TL 3), Kobujutsu (p. 178, TL 5), Kumango Silat (p. 190, TL 2), Kuntao (p. 178, TL 1), Longsword Fighting (p. 180, TL 3), Masters of Defence Weapon Training (p. 182, TL 4), Tapak Sutji Pentjak Silat (p. 190, TL 7).

Kusari: Kobujutsu (p. 178, TL 5), Kuntao (p. 178, TL 1), Kusarigamajutsu (p. 180, TL 3), Kusarijutsu (p. 179, TL 3), Taihojutsu (p. 201, TL 5).

Lance: High Medieval (p. 176, TL 3), Late Medieval (p. 177, TL 3).

Monowire Whip: none.

Net: none.

Polearm: Chinese Horse-Cutter Fighting (p. 187, TL 3), Glaive Fighting (p. 187, TL 3), Kobujutsu (p. 178, TL 5), Late Medieval (p. 177, TL 3), Krabi Krabong (p. 176, TL 3), Kuntao (p. 178, TL 1), Masters of Defence Weapon Training (p. 182, TL 4), Naginatajutsu (p. 186, TL 3), Pollaxe Fighting (p. 191, TL 4).

Rapier: Dragon-Man Kung Fu (p. 208, TL 2^), Italian School (p. 156, TL 4), La Verdadera Destreza (p. 158, TL 4), Transitional French School (p. 158, TL 4).

Saber: Krabi Krabong (p. 176, TL 3).

Shortsword: Armatura (p. 150, TL 2), Banshay (p. 176, TL 2), Hoplomachia (p. 161, TL 2), Kalaripayit (p. 168, TL 3), Kobujutsu (p. 178, TL 5), Kuntao (p. 178, TL 1), Masters of Defence Weapon Training (p. 182, TL 4), Nito Ryu (p. 174, TL 4), Shortsword Fighting (p. 195, TL 3), Tapak Sutji Pentjak Silat (p. 190, TL 7), Wing Chun (p. 203, TL 5).

Smallsword: African Stickfighting (p. 157, TL 0), Dragon-Man Kung Fu (p. 208, TL 2^), Escrima (p. 156, TL 4), French Smallsword (p. 159, TL 5), La Canne de Combat (p. 157, TL 5), Krabi Krabong (p. 176, TL 3), Kuntao (p. 178, TL 1).

Spear: Armatura (p. 150, TL 2), Armatura Equestris (p. 150, TL 2), Banshay (p. 176, TL 2), Chinese Spear Fighting (p. 196, TL 1), Dragon-Man Kung Fu (p. 208, TL 2^), Early Medieval (p. 175, TL 3), Furusiyya (p. 159, TL 3), Heroic Spear Fighting (p. 196, TL 1), Hoplomachia (p. 161, TL 2), Iklwa Fighting (p. 197, TL 2), Jukenjutsu (p. 197, TL 6), Kalaripayit (p. 168, TL 3), Kobujutsu (p. 178, TL 5), Kuntao (p. 178, TL 1), Masters of Defence Weapon Training (p. 182, TL 4), Sojutsu (p. 197, TL 3), Viking Spear Fighting (p. 197, TL 3).

Staff: Banshay (p. 176, TL 2), Bojutsu (p. 192, TL 2), Chinese Horse-Cutter Fighting (p. 187, TL 3), Chinese Spear Fighting (p. 196, TL 1), Dragon-Man Kung Fu (p. 208, TL 2^), Glaive Fighting (p. 187, TL 3), Jojutsu (p. 192, TL 5), Kalaripayit (p. 168, TL 3), Kobujutsu (p. 178, TL 5), Krabi Krabong (p. 176, TL 3), Kuntao (p. 178, TL 1), Kusarigamajutsu (p. 180, TL 3), La Canne de Combat (p. 157, TL 5), Masters of Defence Weapon Training (p. 182, TL 4), Naginatajutsu (p. 186, TL 3), Quarterstaff (p. 193, TL 2), Shaolin Kung Fu (p. 194, TL 3), Sojutsu (p. 197, TL 3), Taihojutsu (p. 201, TL 5).

Tonfa: Kobujutsu (p. 178, TL 5), Krabi Krabong (p. 176, TL 3).

Two-Handed Axe/Mace: Kalaripayit (p. 168, TL 3), Kobujutsu (p. 178, TL 5).

Two-Handed Flail: Kuntao (p. 178, TL 1).

Two-Handed Sword: Dragon-Man Kung Fu (p. 208, TL 2^), Iaijutsu (p. 174, TL 3), Jojutsu (p. 192, TL 5), Kenjutsu (p. 173, TL 3), Kuntao (p. 178, TL 1), Late Medieval (p. 177, TL 3), Longsword Fighting (p. 180, TL 3), Masters of Defence Weapon Training (p. 182, TL 4), Tapak Sutji Pentjak Silat (p. 190, TL 7).

Whip: Kalaripayit (p. 168, TL 3), Kuntao (p. 178, TL 1).

Defensive:

Cloak: none.

Main-Gauche: Escrima (p. 156, TL 4), Italian School (p. 156, TL 4).

Parry Missile Weapons: Force-Swordsmanship (p. 209, TL4^), Ultimate Combat (p. 144, TL 1^).

Shield: Armatura (p. 150, TL 2), Armatura Equestris (p. 150, TL 2), Banshay (p. 176, TL 2), Early Medieval (p. 175, TL 3), Heroic Spear Fighting (p. 196, TL 1), High Medieval (p. 176, TL 3), Hoplomachia (p. 161, TL 2), Iklwa Fighting (p. 197, TL 2), Kalaripayit (p. 168, TL 3), Masters of Defence Weapon Training (p. 182, TL 4), Sword-and-Shield Fighting (p. 199, TL 3).

Shield (Buckler): Italian School (p. 156, TL 4), Kobujutsu (p. 178, TL 5), Masters of Defence Weapon Training (p. 182, TL 4), Sword-and-Buckler Play (p. 199, TL 3).

Grappling Skills:

Judo: ABA Bando (p. 151, TL 7), Aikijutsu (p. 149, TL 3), Bartitsu (p. 167, TL 6), Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (p. 167, TL 6), Chin Na (p. 154, TL 1), Combat Wrestling (p. 204, TL 3), Death Fist (p. 207, TL 3^), Dragon-Man Kung Fu (p. 208, TL 2^), Fairbairn Close Combat Training (p. 182, TL 7), Freefighting (p. 210, TL 9^), Hapkido (p. 161, TL 7), Hsing I Chuan (p. 162, TL 4), Hwa Rang Do (p. 164, TL 7), Jeet Kune Do (p. 164, TL 7), Jujutsu (p. 166, TL 3), Kajukenbo, (p. 168, TL 7), Krabi Krabong (p. 176, TL 3), Late Medieval (p. 177, TL 3), Lethwei (p. 186, TL 2), Te (p. 169, TL 5), Kempo (p. 172, TL 7), Kumango Silat (p. 190, TL 2), Kuntao (p. 178, TL 1), Longsword Fighting (p. 180, TL 3), Pa Kua Chuan (p. 187, TL 3), Pankration (p. 188, TL 2), Praying Mantis Kung Fu (p. 191, TL 4), Sambo (p. 185, TL 7), Shaolin Kung Fu (p. 194, TL 3), Shortsword Fighting (p. 195, TL 3), T’ai Chi Chuan (p. 200, TL 4), Taihojutsu (p. 201, TL 5), Taijutsu (p. 202, TL 3), Tapak Sutji Pentjak Silat (p. 190, TL 7), Ultimate Combat (p. 144, TL 1^).

Sumo Wrestling: Sumo (p. 198, TL 3), T’ai Chi Chuan (p. 200, TL 4), Ultimate Combat (p. 144, TL 1^).

Wrestling: Bare-Knuckle Boxing (p. 153, TL 4), Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (p. 167, TL 6), Capoeira (p. 154, TL 4), Combat Wrestling (p. 204, TL 3), Dagger Fighting (p. 155, TL 2), Early Medieval (p. 175, TL 3), High Medieval (p. 176, TL 3), Hoplomachia (p. 161, TL 2), Indian Wrestling (p. 205, TL 0), Italian School (p. 156, TL 4), Kachin Bando (p. 152, TL 7), Kalaripayit (p. 168, TL 3), Krav Maga (p. 183, TL 7), Masters of Defence Weapon Training (p. 182, TL 4), Pankration (p. 188, TL 2), Sambo (p. 185, TL 7), Savate (p. 193, TL 4), Smasha (p. 210, TL 2^), Submission Wrestling (p. 205, TL 8), Sword-and-Buckler Play (p. 199, TL 3), Sword-and-Shield Fighting (p. 199, TL 3), Ultimate Combat (p. 144, TL 1^), Wing Chun (p. 203, TL 5).

Unarmed Striking Skills:

Boxing: Ancient Greek Boxing (p. 153, TL 2), Bare-Knuckle Boxing (p. 153, TL 4), Boxing (p. 152, TL 8), Smasha (p. 210, TL 2^).

Brawling: Bartitsu (p. 167, TL 6), Combat Wrestling (p. 204, TL 3), Freefighting (p. 210, TL 9^), Glaive Fighting (p. 187, TL 3), Longsword Fighting (p. 180, TL 3), Masters of Defence Weapon Training (p. 182, TL 4), MCMAP (p. 184, TL 8), Pollaxe Fighting (p. 191, TL 4), Shortsword Fighting (p. 195, TL 3), Smasha (p. 210, TL 2^), Sword-and-Buckler Play (p. 199, TL 3).

Karate: ABA Bando (p. 151, TL 7), Capoeira (p. 154, TL 4), Death Fist (p. 207, TL 3^), Dragon-Man Kung Fu (p. 208, TL 2^), Escrima (p. 156, TL 4), Fairbairn Close Combat Training (p. 182, TL 7), Goju Ryu (p. 170, TL 6), Hapkido (p. 161, TL 7), Hsing I Chuan (p. 162, TL 4), Hung Gar Kung Fu (p. 163, TL 4), Hwa Rang Do (p. 164, TL 7), Isshinryu (P. 171, TL 7), Jeet Kune Do (p. 164, TL 7), Jujutsu (p. 166, TL 3), Kachin Bando (p. 152, TL 7), Kajukenbo, (p. 168, TL 7), Kalaripayit (p. 168, TL 3), Kempo (p. 172, TL 7), Krabi Krabong (p. 176, TL 3), Krav Maga (p. 183, TL 7), Kumango Silat (p. 190, TL 2), Kuntao (p. 178, TL 1), Kyokushin (p. 171, TL 7), Lethwei (p. 186, TL 2), Muay Thai (p. 185, TL 3), Pak Hok (p. 188, TL 4), Pa Kua Chuan (p. 187, TL 3), Pankration (p. 188, TL 2), Praying Mantis Kung Fu (p. 191, TL 4), Sambo (p. 185, TL 7), Savate (p. 193, TL 4), Shaolin Kung Fu (p. 194, TL 3), Shotokan (p. 170, TL 6), Tae Kwon Do (p. 200, TL 2), T’ai Chi Chuan (p. 200, TL 4), Taijutsu (p. 202, TL 3), Tapak Sutji Pentjak Silat (p. 190, TL 7), Te (p. 169, TL 5), Ultimate Combat (p. 144, TL 1^), Wing Chun (p. 203, TL 5), Wushu (p. 206, TL 7).

Thrown Weapon Skills:

Bolas: none.

Dropping: none.

Lasso: none.

Net: none.

Spear: Armatura Equestris (p. 150, TL 2),

Spear Thrower: none.

Throwing: none.

Thrown Weapon (Axe/Mace): none.

Thrown Weapon (Knife): none.

Thrown Weapon (Shuriken): Shurikenjutsu (p. 195, TL 3).

Thrown Weapon (Spear): Armatura (p. 150, TL 2), Heroic Spear Fighting (p. 196, TL 1), Viking Spear Fighting (p. 197, TL 3).

Missile Weapon Skills:

Blowpipe: none.

Bow: Armatura Equestris (p. 150, TL 2), Foot Archery (p. 181, TL 1), Furusiyya (p. 159, TL 3), Kyujutsu (p. 179, TL 3).

Crossbow: none.

Innate Attack (Beam): none.

Innate Attack (Breath): Dragon-Man Kung Fu (p. 208, TL 2^).

Innate Attack (Gaze): none.

Innate Attack (Projectile): none.

Sling: none.

I hope you find the list useful. Cheers!

Gurpsifying WoW: Mage basics

I’ve put quite a lot of thought into the idea of running a World of Warcraft inspired game in GURPS. The more I read into the story of Azeroth, though, the less I liked it for tabletop. I’m unlikely to ever run it myself, but I guess it would be a shame to leave all the time spent on gurpsifying WoW to waste. Thus I’m going to post some of my thoughts, unpolished and unplaytested as they are.

First off: mages.

Required books: Magic.

Spells cannot be powered with Fatigue nor Hit Points, but with a dedicated Energy Reserve*. Should I refer to it, I’ll call it “Mana Reserve” to link to the WoW resource but keep it distinct from the GURPS concept of mana. I intend to keep the mage spell list very restricted, similar to the one in the computer game, so every character with Magery gets Mana Reserve 15 for free. You cannot get points for reducing your Mana Reserve.

Magic Rituals: Skill has it’s usual effect on spell cost and casting time, but regardless of skill, you need to make a 2-handed gesture and speak a couple quiet words to cast a spell. Magery stays at 10 points per level (you don’t get a discount for Dance or Song limitations). On Azeroth you aren’t prone to Low Mana or No Mana Zones, so the pros and cons cancel out in my opinion.

I find the Magery and Effect rule very important and assume it’s in use.

Holding a Melee or Missile spell is very important for GURPS mages. You can cast an offensive spell, rest, and then go into the dungeon armed with a 9d fireball and full energy. If you find the option unfitting to the world and intend to ban it, I suggest rising the starting Mana Reserve to 20.

All mages have Code of Honor (mage’s) for -10 character points: never wear armor other than cloth. Don’t teach magic to anyone who does. Any respectable mage would react poorly to an idea of using heavier armor. (Code of Honor is the closest fit I find, though you might reword it as Disciplines of Faith, Vow, or a custom Tradition or Uprising disadvantage. It’s a cultural thing, and something that is just wired into each magical adept’s world view). Should a player want to play an armored mage, you may use any combination of Unusual Background, negative Reputation, and Social Stigma. You might even use the New Inventions rules in-game to make the character come up with an idea of this revolutionary tactic.

I haven’t put much thought into enchanting, but I think Staff and Powerstones should be available.

As I mentioned earlier, the spell list should be cut a lot: only the spells that are part of Arcane, Fire and Frost specializations, and Enchanting profession, are available – I’m going to discuss them in separate posts.

Gnomasz out, cheers!

*) Energy Reserve is a concept explained in Powers, Thaumatology and some other supplements. It’s a separate energy pool for powering spells and abilities in place of FP. It costs 3 points per level, it has no 1/3 threshold and can never drop below 0. It recharges at the same rate FP does, though it does so even if the character isn’t resting.

Gurpsifying WoW: Resurrection

Here I’m toying with how to represent some spells from World of Warcraft in GURPS. Today: resurrecting spells.

It’s not hard to notice that the GURPS Magic Resurrection spell isn’t suitable for WoW feel or for it’s world:

  • it’s too costly and time consuming for how often it’s being used in the computer game;
  • introducing it would raise many questions on why wasn’t X brought back to life.

This could be solved in a couple of ways. We might borrow from D&D 4, where the more important a character is, the harder they are to raise from the dead: to the point where resurrecting a warlord is impossible, but raising a PC is trivial (for a hero). This explanation starts to crumble, though, when the PCs take on the titans and the old gods.

I prefer to look at what role those spells actually have in the game: they quickly bring back to fight characters who’d need a couple of minutes to come back themselves. In GURPS – that’s Awaken. Assuming that the “resurrecting” spells merely wake up the unconscious solves the above issues nicely. (It also makes the game actually potentially deadly, but that’s not a bug, it’s a feature).

The Awaken spell could be included in the spell lists of resurrecting spellcasters as-is, but it might also be tweaked to better suit the world:

  • change it from area to regular, with no effect on cost;
  • non-combat resurrect: change the casting time to 10 seconds;
  • remove the stun and fatigue countering, but reduce the HT penalty for subjects unconscious because of damage and poison;
  • might also be combined with some healing (there are many options for this).

There’s one thing Awaken can’t deal with, as far as i know: Mortal Wounds. You might leave it as-is, or combine it with Stop Bleeding, making Resurrection a Very Hard spell. I prefer something in-between: Resurrection stays a hard spell and cannot deal with Mortal Wounds. But a perk is available: Glyph of Miraculous Resurrection: your Resurrection spell can awaken a mortally wounded character. This feat costs 10 energy. The mortal wound is automatically stabilized. The target awakens only on a passed HT roll, as usually.

Oh, one last thing: I feel like seeing a Spirit Healer while unconscious might be useful. Maybe with the Dreaming skill?

Tinker on, Gnomash out. Cheers!

 

Changing spell magic to build a world

This is an example on how to shape the magic in your GURPS game by selecting available spells and changing their prerequisites, and why a weak spell can sometimes be considered high-tier.

I’ve been playing some WoW lately. There are three schools of magic in the game and they’re all focused on damage dealing. There are differences in their play patterns, but they inevitably end up being compared on the ground of damage per second. That made me wonder if the developers would dare to truly differentiate the three specializations and make one of them a tank. And, for example, one (fire) focused on area damage and the last one (arcane) on single target damage. That idea brought me back to thinking about the Fireball in GURPS Magic.

Fireball is the second least cost-effective missile spell in the book. I cry every time I compare it to the Stone Missile, which has better accuracy, damage, and range. It seems like the only meaningful reason to take Fireball is to get to the Explosive Fireball. Why then can you buy one without the other? If Explosive Fireball is worth the power tax (it really isn’t), this spell should be more expensive, and not the previous spells weaker. Because if you don’t pick up Explosive, you just end up with a couple spells that are weaker for the sake of something that shouldn’t bother you. That’s a poor guidance for players who’d like to pick up just a few spells from the 1000 without reading the whole book and making tabs on the way. So how about we put the normal Fireball after the Explosive one in the prerequisite chain?

It doesn’t make sense in a vacuum, but it does a lot when you think about it in terms of two different magic schools. Let’s say we want Earth to be the single-target damage college and Fire – the area damage one. With prerequisite chains something like this:

  • Earth: (1) Some regular damage spell, (2) Sand Jet, (3) Mud Jet, (4) Stone Missile;*
  • Fire: (1) Create Fire, (2) Rain of Fire, (3) Explosive Fireball, (4) Fireball;

a dedicated fire mage who wants a fall-back single-target spell might pick-up the weaker Fireball or pay more precious points to get to stronger Stone Missile, which would really make him a generalist. That means more expensive Magery and less points for energy, and energy is our beloved mayhem.

Gnomash out, cheers!

End of blog

I’ve lost motive to type here. The purpose of this blog was to practice my English and reach broader group of readers. But:

1. I’ve leaved my homeland, and now the language I should practice in my free time is definitely not English.
2. I don’t remember the bases of English grammar, so by maintaining this blog, I’d just repeat my errors, and that I find vary bad for my language skills.
3. Reaching broader group of readers was never a good motivation for me.

So, I leave this blog for now. Maybe I’ll pick it up again some day, but it won’t be soon. I’ll probably add here links to new blogs I’ll start to read, just to make them a bit more noticeable.

Play well, then!