Saturday, March 16, 2013

Being A Helpful GURPS Player in Combat, Part II

There wasn't supposed to be a Part II, but I thought of a few more things people can do.

These are a bit more "helpful" and less "grinds the game to a halt if you don't do them" kinds of things.

Know Your Crippling Thresholds. Know how much damage it takes to:
- blind your eye
- cripple a limb
- cripple an extremity
- score a major wound on you

Know Your HT, Death, and Consciousness Rolls. They're all the same by default, but know them and what exceptions you've carved out with things like Fit, Hard to Kill, Hard to Subdue, or Berserk.

Know Your Large Area Damage DR. It's an average of your torso DR and your lightest DR exposed to the attack. Yes, if you have an open-faced helmet this means you use that zero, at least in my games. This one will vary, but not as often as you think - lots of times all that matters is "I'm facing the explosion" and "I'm not facing the explosion." But it's a pain to have people fumble with this one when an explosion hits an area and everyone needs to know.

Know Your FP and HP Multiples and What They Mean. Know what "below 1/3" amounts to for these, and what that does to your guy. The others are easy - at -1 x FP you're losing HP instead, and all the HP multiples are -X times HP. Those are easy, but it's disappointing to have someone say "Oh wait, I'm at 4 HP and I have 13 HP, so I should have been at half Move and Dodge for like, three turns!"

Know Your Encumbrance Break Point, If Any. If your Move and Dodge go up if you drop your shield, or drop your backpack and go to battle load, know this ahead of time. No one wants to sit around while you figure out if you drop your potion bag or get that bedroll off if that's enough to drop your encumbrance.

Like the previous bunch, many of these are solved by a good character sheet (we use Phoenix from GCA, it's pretty good). Or you can just write them down on paper like I do for NPCs. Just make sure you know them.

Some of this surely makes GURPS sound complicated. It's not, just detailed, and those details are very individual. It's only slow when people don't know their character's details, or what those details mean. These and the last bunch are the real biggies in my experience.


  1. It's sad that so many of these are things that boil down to trusting your players to be playing by the rules rather than to "win" by any means. I've run into too many players who'll take any advantage, I guess - it's soured me a bit on pick-up games with folks I don't know well.

    1. You can do them for people, and calculate them yourself (low-ball them if you aren't sure, and they'll correct you). I do trust-but-verify, because if my players are wrong it's not from malfeasance but from ignorance or confusion. More often someone forgets (not halving Dodge at less than 1/3 HP is a 3e-holdover that gets some of my players), or just isn't sure how to figure it out (Does Fit help here? Or not?)

      In pickup games, yeah, "Show me the math" is fair. In my FTF games, it's mostly "Roll and tell me if you failed" and trusting them to do it right most of the time, double-checking when a PC is on the line.

  2. Here are another couple that might be useful, though I freely admit they're either already partially subsumed in what you wrote or are marginal.

    Know your Extra Effort options

    Know your weapon weights and breakage chances - I was actually very surprised but this came up in play.

    Know the Speed/Range table, at least for the ranges that usually matter.

    Know your RoF bonuses

    Know your posture bonuses/maluses - after all, taking out legs is pretty common. Also, this is something that you can look up when it's coming back to your turn, if you have a pageref. (As are a number of other things, if that's allowed and desired.)

    Like I said, marginal or already mostly covered, but sometimes it comes up.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...