Friday, May 27, 2022

GURPS Rules Kalzazz Doesn't Use, Replaces or Revises (Guest Post)

Kalzazz asked me to host his post on this month's GURPS blogger topic. Here it is:

"Rules I Don't Use, Replace, or Revise"  Part 1

This was a harder topic than I thought!  I had to really think to see what fit here, I have a fair number of house rules, but they are mostly silly little things here or there, but here are some real ones.

I am sure I will think of more AFTER this gets posted, thus, Part 1.

1.  Initiative.  Rolling initiative is as American as Apple Pie and the Star Spangled Banner, and GURPS doesn't do it.  Whenever I have played in RPGs (GURPS included) not rolling init has just felt wrong and lessened the enjoyment.  It also adds a certain sameness that people go in the same order every single time.

Solution - turn order is decided by dice! 1d6+Basic Speed (round down to integer) + 1 if have combat reflexes.  Roll at start of every round if logistics permit, or once per combat if logistics do not permit. (Every round adds extra zest and chaos and confusion and is preferred, but trying to successfully get everyone to roll and load the scores into the initiative tracker is not for the faint of heart on an every round basis.)  Also we round down basic speed to enable ties for simultaneous action!

2.  Cover - The cover rules I find unsatisfying as they seem both utterly finicky with their list of body parts and potentially quite irrelevant in many cases as sometimes people just want to shoot you in the skull anyway.  Other RPGs I had played before GURPS had far more satisfying cover rules, so these were just not fun.  Solution - I just don't have cover, people shoot it out in the open with no cover.  As the DM I am responsible for set design, so sets are cover free. I have considered having it grant a bonus to active defenses, which I like, but has issues with player buy in and confusion.  Another potential solution is to double DR for someone behind cover.  I may go for a player choice +2 active defense or double DR.  I like the idea of cover and adding it to my games would be interesting, but I just don't like the default way it is handled.

3. Min ST x3 Max - This rule for the most part seems unnecessary and unfun.  It also doesn't feel right that a ST 21 guy doesn't hit harder with a large knife than a ST 18 guy.  I am honestly not convinced it is even that realistic as discussions with long time partner in crime StarSlayer who probably has Gadgeteer, and he has discussed that if Conan wants a knife a actual weaponsmith can make a knife Conan can wield.  Finally things like Power Blow, especially if someone has skill enough for the Triple ST option, easily drive clean past it.  Solution - Just ignore it, if Conan wants to use a knife instead of a greatsword, throw a dagger instead of a spear, whatever. Let him.  It adds more options to strong characters to use these (in some cases a bit inferior) weapons.  And people love tropes such as knife throwers etc. so why not embrace It?

4. Bless - in DFRPG, Bless is a spell on.  I do not use this, spells on have a clear and easy definition 'spells you can maintain'.   So I do not have Bless count as a spell on.  You also cannot Bless yourself.  This leads to the weird idea of 'Thor loves all the cleric's buddies more than he loves the cleric', so I allow self blessing as well.  This adds some dissonance as I tend to think of Bless as something a clergyman does to someone else, but less dissonance than 'the cleric's deity likes the cleric the least'.  Now, prior to getting into DFRPG, I did not have a problem with not being able to bless yourself, as Bless did not explicitly require a cleric, so as long as you had 2 spellcaster sorts 'I bless you, you bless me' and off to the races.

5. Fine Armor - By default Fine armor can't fit anyone that isn't an exact match to the wearer.  I ignore this and assume, yeah, you can get it refitted and retain the fine nature of the armor.  Because I want to hand out fine armor as loot, and it's much less useful as loot if the Fine quality doesn't translate.

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