Thursday, September 10, 2020

GURPS Fixed-Effect Feints

Back in 2014 I put up a post about fixed Deceptive Attack. That's "fixed" as in "unchanging" not "repaired or put right."

Two-Tiered Fixed Deceptive Attack

I can't seem to find anything like that for Feint, although I did muse about Feint as a Deceptive Attack amplifier:

Alternate Feint for GURPS

I think this idea has some potential - to reduce the "swinginess" of Feints if that's something you dislike. It also is a useful option if you'd like to speed up Feints into a more simple yes/no effect.

Fixed-Effect Feint

Resolve a Feint, Beat, or Ruse normally.

If the attacker wins by the contest, the target defends at -4.

Extreme Feints

For high-skill fighters in cinematic games, this optional rule allows them to leverage their skill further. Resolve the Feint, Beat, or Ruse normally. If the attacker wins the contest, the target defends at -4. If the attacker wins the contest by 10+, the target defends at -8.


- one concern is that "win by 10+" giving a -8 is that you just end up with what you've got now - a tendency of players who like Feint to maximize their margin. That's why I put it as an optional extension. It's useful for high-skill and high-defense games.

- it limits the value of a very high margins of success, at least with the base rule.

- if you apply additional effects to Beats, as some house rules do, apply them normally.

- it could push skills higher anyway, as players want to ensure they can't be feinted or DA'ed. In other words, you're looking at a race to very high defenses, especially if this is combined with two-tier fixed deceptive attacks, too. If the most you can suffer is a -8, you're "safe" if you can push your defenses into the low-to-mid 20s. That sounds crazy-high except that Rapier-20 gives you Parry 13, +1 for Combat Reflexes, +3 for Retreat, potentially +8 DB (large shield and Deflect or Shield), +3 for Enhanced Parry 3 gives a 28 . . . just saying.

- I think this could be workable and fast - and because it's fixed-effect, even a marginal success is still quite useful - much like hitting by 1 can still result in a high damage roll and a good effect.


  1. I like this. I may borrow it. I've been concerned about overly effective Feints for awhile now.

    1. I'd like to see how it actually works in play over time. It passes the eyeball test of utility and playability, but I'm not sure of the long-term effects . . . the race to defensive invulnerability may need its own change, such as a maximum active defense score, limits on DB, limits on skills, or all three.


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