Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Assorted notes from session 157

Just some notes from last time.

- As always, fights are incredibly brief. Exchanges of blows in a fight can be incredibly fast, but that means GURPS fights are always done at that speed. The Sakatha fight is about 7 seconds old at this point.

- Someone asked if Gerry could re-build Skeleton Rahtnar. Nope. You can't re-animate a corpse using old bones. You can't rebuild zombies from destroyed zombies. So Skeletal Rahtnar is gone.

Too bad, really, it was fun having the skeleton of a former, killed PC going around. I quite enjoyed it. But after getting dipped in acid it wasn't combat-worthy enough to fight a serious combatant solo and that is what it had to do. I'm surprised it made it through the earlier fight, although - because it was a former PC - its defenses were already so high that skill 16 foes couldn't reasonably Deceptive Attack it low enough.

But it was fun. I'm sure they'll try to bring back the lizardmen for Gerry but that won't work, either, as they are former undead.

Gerry did harvest flesh from the clerics and the lizardmen for "research" but it's unclear what he'll do with it. We joked he'll put in the fridge at Ulf's swamp-side shack, unlabeled.

- I still wish I was doing fixed-effect Feints. They're kind un-fun to do the math on.

- I basically made up Beat, but I do wish I'd made it mesh a little better with disarm. A crushingly effective Beat should really disarm a foe . . . like when you win the contest by like 20 points. Against a two-defense foe, Beat is often irrelevant, because they just defend with the other weapon unpenalized anyway.

- Wait and Move is a very common request in my games. At least once a fight, someone wants to Wait and their trigger is "(so-and-so) moves" and their action is Move to follow that person.

I get that with a staggered initiative this seems silly - If A moves before B, B can follow, but if A just stands around and then B moves, A has to let C, D, etc. go between them before A can follow. But is it really silly? If you're a hair faster than a slow person, does that mean you can always stay exactly on their tail? And ensure that no one else goes before you?

People who really want to move in a formation together can take the Teamwork perk (Martial Arts, p. 52) and spend the time to form up, and then move as a unit.

You can't act with complete independence and with complete coordination. They're opposing poles. So you can't rush in front of your friends and hack and slash and slay, but also have them move in coordination with you while you block and parry for them, but have the ability to just retreat back if you need to, or let them waltz by you on their turn. You need to actually learn to coordinate and then do so.

I'm sure reading that, my players will want to get everyone to buy the Teamwork perk. Okay, fine, but everyone needs it - no, you can't kinda fake-form-up around someone and drag them along as you move, say, or transfer Feints and Ruses, etc. to them. You're in or you're out, as written.

And for the love of the Good God, Ya'll, before someone asks, you can't Wait and have your trigger be "when my friends come by" and the action be "form up with a Ready." No, you have to waste a turn getting into position - maybe more than one - and then you're in a movable formation after you all take the Ready. The other benefits will accrue as appropriate as each person is added to the group. GM judgement may force a re-form up after casualties or someone comes running up to join - or not, depending on the logic of the actual circumstances.

And yes, this is a Combat Perk.


  1. Our houserule is that you can Wait to Move after some other person without Teamwork perk, but then you will have only halve of your movement. It seems reasonable - if you can Wait and then move, having half your movement in All-out Attack, why cannot you just Move, having half your movement, after a Wait?

    1. That makes logical sense, but I feel like it opens up the following as equally logical. If I can AOA and get the full allotted movement that Maneuver allows, then why can I take Move but not get the full allotted movement? And if I can Attack, AOA, Committed Attack, Defensive Attack, Ready, or Move, why can I not Wait and then Aim (at some person as they come into view) or Concentrate or choose some other maneuver based on the actions or response of others?

      And at that point, it seems like you are just playing around pretty freely with the turn order without imposing a round structure on it that would prevent you from acting twice in a row thanks to cleverly chosen Wait-triggered maneuver and Wait response trigger.

      I'm not saying your approach is wrong, just saying the logic that lets me get there doesn't stop there.


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