Thursday, December 13, 2018

Lethwei in real life & in GURPS Martial Arts

Back in 2005 or so, I did the style writeups for Kachin Bando and Lethwei for GURPS Martial Arts. Those two writeups hold a special place in my heart, as I learned Kachin Bando from Phil Dunlap in Mahwah, NJ as a result of discovering him while researching the book. That led to my full-contact MMA matches, and those were very important in my life.

In any case, there is a big Lethwei rematch coming up, between Myanmar's Tun Tun Min and Canada's Dave Leduc. I watched both of their previous matches because, a) it's Lethwei, and b) it's easy for me to root for a rangy North American.

Tun Tun Min vs. Dave Leduc 1

Tun Tun Min vs. Dave Leduc 2

Here is some of what I observed in these fights from a GURPS perspective:

- a strong emphasis on attacks that are Committed Attacks and All-Out Attacks - all of which look more like (Strong) than anything else. This is strongly advised as a way to play a character with the style in the writeup for Kachin Bando (p. 152).

- I didn't see much that looked like a Feint, which is something that my Muay Thai instructor in Japan taught me to use, but didn't show up in my Kachin Bando instruction at all. Even the spinning elbows look more like AOA (Strong) than the combination feint-attack that they are statted up as. About the only thing that might qualify is Dave Leduc's low-high changeup kick.

- You clearly need extra FP and HP for these fights, and Fit, and Damage Resistance (Tough Skin) wouldn't hurt, either. Hard to Subdue seems useful, and likely - both fighters take some hits that could floor a fighter and they shrug them off short-term. The whole list of advantages in Kachin Bando is a good buy, and seem like good in-game choices to reflect the fighters.

- clearly some of the rules have changed from the Lethwei writeup (p. 186) with a 5-round championship and purely timed rounds.

- similarly, it's win-lose-draw, and it's not decided by judges, scorecards, or anything else but in-ring violence. Submit or incapacitate your opponent if you want to win. and yes, they'll revive you after you go down and see if you want to continue. like here.

- the fights have a lot of short spurts of action, much like any other competitive fight. The rules for Tournament Combat (p. 134) would represent this well.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Megadungeon Best Practices XIX

Yesterday's Megadungeon "best practices" prompted a comment from Darnizhaan that was worth expansion into a blog post:

Use Multi-Level Structures

It's a megadungeon, so put in some mega structures that impinge upon multiple levels, such as:

- chasms

- waterways (and waterfalls between such)

- giant staircases

- huge caverns (top is effectively on one level, bottom on another)

- rooms with mezzanines and multi-level access

- towers, pyramids, and ziggurats within large caverns/rooms/etc.

Embrace the size of the dungeon and show it off with multi-level structures.

This is where your side view and top-down view both come in handy for placement.


Corollary: Don't accidentally impinge

Make sure you aren't accidentally having pits impinge on open areas on a lower level, staircases that bypass a level but are blocked (or opened to) by an intervening level, and so on. Using large structures and multi-level connections, and pits down to deeper levels, is a great way to take advantage of the megadungeon . . . but do it on purpose rather than by unhappy, oops-my-map-is-wrong mistake.

Thanks again to Darnizhaan for bringing these up!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Megadungeon Best Practices XVIII

It's been a while since I put up some megadungeon "best practices." I've discovered a few more in the process of designing, running, and maintaining my megadungeon, Felltower.

Avoid Useless Choices

Providing alternative ways to get around a dungeon is great.

Providing distractions and false paths adds to the dungeon experience.

But, in general, avoid too many useless choices. That is, a choice between A and B when A and B end up the same way. Two hallways leading to the same area is generally okay, but two doors to the same room, from the same other room? Useless. It just kills the most valuable resource - real world playing time. Provide alternatives without providing an excess of choices that don't actually make a real difference.

Avoiding this is as simple as asking yourself - is this an alternative, or a choice that won't matter in actual play?

Understand the Space Between Your Places

Players are resourceful, and some game systems - GURPS is one of them - provide them with a lot of resources for making their own passages in a dungeon - Shape Earth - or determining where to go - Pathfinder, Seek Earth. The depth between levels, the relative angle of passages, the nearest source of X from area Y - you'll need to know these. It's worthwhile to note this on your GM master maps so you don't get stuck when the PCs need to know how far down stairs go, the depth of a shaft, the thickness of a floor, etc.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Starter Traveller - Free

This is the version of Traveller I started with:

It's available for free, right now (and that's Tenjar's affiliate link, because Tenkar pointed this out today.)

I had some issues with the set, mostly because the expansions assumed you had the three-book Deluxe Traveller boxed set. I paid $12 for the Starter set because $20 was crazy expensive for me. Even $12 was pocketbook breaking at the time, and cost me a lot of allowance. So I felt really burned when I'd get later books and they'd reference different books . . .

Still, it's a nice little set and it did get me going on Traveller. While it's free, just grab it.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Felltower status

We're going to play one more game in Felltower on 12/30, to end out the old year with one of three probable outcomes:

- a partial TPK

- a dead dragon

- or both!

Me, I'm hoping for both a successful and fun delve.

One thing about such a delve, though, is that the PCs still don't entirely know how to handle dragons.

They've heard about needing dragon-slaying swords, or an arrow to a vulnerable spot (but not just any arrow, one particular arrow) but don't know if that's true.

They've heard you can capture dragons and sell them . . . but don't know if that is true.

They do know that a plethora of spells seem useful against dragons:

Resist Poison
Resist Fire
Resist Acid
Walk on Air

and more.

They are stockpiling spellstones with such spells, plus healing, plus mundane tools to carve up a dead dragon, plus potions, plus anything else they can think of.

They've making their lists and checking them twice, as the season requires.

Me, I've long ago made up that dragon . . . and I can't wait to see how it all turns out.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Lost Hall of Tyr, 2nd edition

Douglas Cole is running a Kickstarter to fund a new, revised, expanded version of his Lost Hall of Tyr adventure:

I will admit this right out - I am out on this one. I have the original version, and I really don't need an expanded version . . . nevermind something I can't just use directly with GURPS. I'm saving my funds for the Dragon Heresy full set hardcopy. But if you like Vikings, and run either D&D 5th edition or Swords & Wizardry, take a look - Doug produces high-quality gaming supplements.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Gaming Toys for Tots?

A couple years back I bought some game sets to drop off for Toys for Tots.

If you're interested in doing the same, here are some low-cost but potentially good introductory options:

Munchkin Christmas Lite - starter set

D&D Starter Sets - around $12 on


Any other good potential gaming options to give away?
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