Here is where my thoughts, ramblings, and pontifications on GURPS end up. Many are of a rules-related nature, but don't really count as house rules, either because they're only guidelines or they focus on examining a rule rather than changing it. Others are just opinions or experiences that I felt were worth sharing. In all cases, I hope you find them useful.
1. Yes, Virginia, You CAN Afflict Yourself.
In an attempt to put an end to the confusion about using Affliction to give yourself an advantage, I got to the bottom of how it's really supposed to work. Read why you can zap yourself with your own shrink ray, but why you may not want to.
2. Innate Attacks, Wuxia, and You.
My thoughts on Martial Arts and allowing Innate Attacks in a cinematic wuxia game, along with some guidelines and limits that work well for preventing such things from harming the flavor of the campaign.
3. Just Say No to Mass Combat Systems.
Mass combat systems have their place -- specifically, when the PCs initiate a huge battle with another sizeable force. But not when the PCs are just soldiers in a larger war. Read on to see why the question of "who wins" is a meaningless one -- and why the battle itself should never take center stage.
4. Nipping Problem Allies in the Bud.
While few people actively set out to abuse the Ally advantage, certain designs can prove quite problematic if the GM isn't prepared for it ahead of time. After sparking a discussion about this with several veteran gamers, I've tried to condense the key issues (and solutions) down to a single article.
5. Preserving the Polarity of Weirdness Magnet.
One of my pet peeves is the persistent meme that Weirdness Magnet is hardly a disadvantage. Both players and GMs often seem to treat it like anything from a minor inconvenience to an actual advantage. For those gamers, this part-rant, part-article attempts to present Weirdness Magnet in a new light.
6. Gun! Versus Pistol.
A short article, based on a playtest email, which addresses the utility of Wildcard skills. Some gamers see each Wildcard skill as restricted to a fixed list, instead of as a cinematic "uber-skill." This is especially prevalent with the Gun! skill, which I address specifically here.
The good Dr. Kromm created the Dungeon Fantasy series to show that GURPS can truly handle any genre -- even the classic dungeon crawl. The combination of a new-school system with old-school gaming worked surprisingly well. I'm honored to have contributed to the series officially, and I'd like to continue contributing in this small section of MyGURPS.
Much of the following is now available in a handy PDF format, along with other rulings and additions posted to the forums. Basically, this is the file that I print out for my own games. Each section is labeled with the Dungeon Fantasy book for which it acts as an addendum.
1. Splitting IQ from Per/Will in Dungeon Fantasy.
One of my most popular house rules (above) is the one separating Will and Per from IQ. It's rather self-explanatory, except when you're trying to use premade templates . . . which is what Dungeon Fantasy is all about. So here are some guidelines for tweaking the templates to preserve point balance while fixing the IQ issue.
2. Alchemy (and Alchemists) in Dungeon Fantasy.
Here I expand the rules for alchemy in Dungeon Fantasy, creating a middle road between "NPCs make real elixirs in town" and "PCs use Gizmo for a potion that must be used immediately." In doing so, it makes a new character type possible: The Alchemist (a lens for the Artificer template).
3. New Template: Seventh Son.
You are the seventh son of a seventh son (or daughter -- the "son" part is just tradition), a blessed wanderer, or a peasant adventurer. You don't have the specialized training that any of the other templates have, but you're quick and clever and the fates are definitely watching out for you. This template is good for those looking to play an "underdog" without actually sacrificing survivability.
This template was created by aesir23, not me. I offered suggestions and feedback and made a few tweaks.
4. Splitting IQ from Per/Will in Action.
Okay, this doesn't exactly belong here, but I know that gamers associate the Action line with the Dungeon Fantasy line closely, due to the very similar design and approach of the two. So here is the Action breakdown of how to split Per and Will from IQ for each template.
These are the house rules and articles which were written specifically for GURPS Traveller. Traveller is the epitome of a "classic sci-fi" setting, with a rich history and a universe clearly tailored to gaming. It also happens to mesh perfectly with GURPS -- an example of a great system supporting a great setting.
1. Building Jump Drives with Warp.
Just a mental exercise that occupied me one night; I thought it might be of interest to others. Making Warp work like a Traveller-style Jump Drive is actually easy; the tricky part is ensuring that the jump distance makes a difference in play. (Also includes a tangent on easy rules for calculating move relative to the speed of light with Enhanced Move (Space).)
2. Updated Traveller Racial Templates
I was disappointed that GURPS Traveller: Interstellar Wars didn't feature the templates for any major race except the Droyne (and they were oversimplified.) So I took it upon myself to convert them -- not just converting over each trait, but rebuilding them with the tools of the new edition to (hopefully) truly capture their essence.
3. Psionics in Traveller
This is a breakdown of the power groups (and the abilities which they comprise) which are available to psis (and anti-psis) in my Traveller games. It includes suggested limits on power levels and rules for Unusual Backgrounds and developing psi. There are also notes on Droyne psi and Zhodani characters.
4. Using GURPS Spaceships in Traveller
The simple GURPS Spaceships rules are a natural fit for Traveller games, as they give the ship just enough detail to be useful, but not so much that flying the ship turns into a wargame. With the rules tweaks and judgment calls on this page, I think it's pretty close to a perfect fit. Update: Also includes my rules for the Ship Owner advantage in Traveller.
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The material presented here is my original creation, intended for use with the GURPS system from Steve Jackson Games. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games. GURPS is a registered trademark of Steve Jackson Games, and the art here is copyrighted by Steve Jackson Games. All rights are reserved by Steve Jackson Games. This material is used here in accordance with the SJGames online policy.