Wednesday, July 31, 2019

GURPS: What I Did Wrong

This is a followup to Doug Cole's post on the subject of GURPS Rules you've run incorrectly.

Here are a couple that I ran wrong accidentally:

Eyes Give 2 Ablative DR - Eyes are crippled on injury to them exceeding HP/10. In 3e, it was a flat 2 HP. We ran it that damage to the eye had to get past these 2 HP before doing any multiple for the Brain (3e) / Skull (4e) hit location.

The problem is, that's not what the rules say. You don't have to cripple the eye to inflict damage to the brain. It says clearly, that injury over HP/10 blinds the eye . . . and "Otherwise, treat as skull, without the extra DR!" (The skull has 2 DR.)

So we'd, say, have a victim shot in the eye with an arrow for 3 HP of damage, knock off 2 HP to "cripple the eye" and then have 1 HP of damage get the x4 injury multiplier and do 4 HP of injury. Total injury - 4 HP and you're blinded in one eye. But "treat as skull" means you just get that x4 multiplier on the damage . . . and if this exceeds HP/10, the eye is blinded. So this 3 HP of damage becomes 12 HP of injury, and the eye is crippled along the way.


Conscious Checks Immediately - this one we did for a long time, in fact until recently. If you suffered enough injury to potentially lose consciousness, we'd roll that immediately. Actually, you roll that on your turn, not on the turn of the person inflicting the injury.

Because of this, torso shots for high-damage fighters was the way to go. You didn't want to waste any damage and it was often instantly incapacitating. You could knock a foe down and out and know right away you'd done enough - no one else would waste attacks on that foe.

Changing it back to the rules as written and intended had an interesting effect. You are better off aiming for a hit location that comes with a high chance for knockdown and stunning, since that could knock a foe down or even out cold - both immediately.

Those are two that come to me off-hand. I know for certain I did others wrong, either accidentally or as house rules.


  1. I'm probably doing eyes wrong too, though in a different way. I check to see if they're crippled, and then apply the damage multiplier. So, if a damage roll were 1 point, then it wouldn't cripple the eye (assuming 10 HP), but it would still deliver 4 damage to the brain. To my way of thinking, to do it otherwise would simply mean that all eye hits cripple the eye, at the human scale anyway.

    1. The way I've always done was to check the injury after the weapon's Wound Modifier, but before the Hit Location Wound Modifier. Because the eyes are not the brain... but they are still stabbable.

    2. evileeyore: Yeah, exactly. I should have specified the hit location wound modifier. I wasn't even thinking about weapon wound modifiers like impaling.

    3. Oh, but wait. Doesn't the x4 for Skull replace the x2 for impaling?

    4. Weapon injury modifiers are based on Hit Location, yes. Certain attacks can't reach the brain (see the whole "Go for the Eyes!" box in GURPS Martial Arts, p. 72) and don't get the x4 for the Skull.

    5. To further clarify: What I've always done was to check the Eye crippling based on the Weapon's Damage Modifier, but actually apply Injury based on the Skull hit. I know, unorthodox, most GMs just presume every eye is basically an auto-cripple (every impaling attack is a minimum of 4 injury after all) or treat the eye as 'ablative DR' for the SKull (as Peter is/was doing).

      My way by example: 10 HP character gets hit in the eye by a BB, pi- wounding modifier, for 2 damage. The eye checks versus 1 'Injury' for crippling purposes and it's not crippled (2 x 1/2 is 1), however the character takes 8 Injury.

      This makes for the occasional weird outlier situation (uncrippled eye with a major wound to the skull), but generally it results in as many crippled eyes as major wounds to the skull.

  2. The immediate consciousness check can go either way if you're using the DFRPG rules. Exploits 59 says "In addition the above effects, you must roll vs. HT every turn (including the one on which you were injured)"

    Of course turns in GURPS are per character rather than global, so this can be interpreted either way. But I interpret it as roll when you are first hit and reduced to 0 HP or less, and then roll at the beginning of every turn when you choose to do anything except Do Nothing.

    1. I'm using the Basic Set rules, p. B419, which indicate it's at the start of the wounded person's turn, not the attacker's turn.


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