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Author Topic: Rationalizing GURPS  (Read 1200 times)

David Johansen

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Rationalizing GURPS
« on: May 25, 2022, 02:01:10 PM »
This comes from the GURPS 5th edition discussion thread but I've put it here to prevent a derail.  It's what I would do if I wrote GURPS 5th edition I suppose.

Attributes Base 10 and 10 points per point (Subsets start at attribute, 5 points per point):
Strength (Hit Points, Muscle Powered Damage, Encumbrance)
Dexterity (Hand Eye Coordination, Agility/Skill Base, Speed)
Intelligence (Perception, Willpower, Knowledge/Skill Base)
Health (Hit Points, Metabolize Poisons and Diseases, Speed)

Hit Points and Speed can come from two different places

Advantages and Disadvantages:
Social: reaction modifier & recognition / applicability 5 points per level
Mental: frequency & resistance / severity 5 points per level
Physical: mostly represented by substats

Powers
Attacks 1d6 / 5 points increase points per die to reflect range, area, duration
Enhanced Ability x2 actual effect eg lifting / speed 20 points per level
Damage resistance 5 points per 2 points

Skills
Default attribute - 5
1 point for attribute level, 2 points for +1, 4 points for +2, 8 points for +3, 12 points for +4 and so on
There should never be advantages that add to skills
Skills are grouped in broad categories like vehicle, guns, melee weapon group levels cost 4x base cost so you never have to use specific skills if you don't want to.

Combat
3.6 second rounds (thus kilometers per hour equals meters per round)
turns taken in order of speed - encumbrance
actions cost movement before enhanced multiplier
Damage 1d6 / 3 points of Strength
Knocked Out at 0 Hp
Killed at -1 x Hp
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PSIandCO

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Re: Rationalizing GURPS
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2022, 02:42:35 PM »
I didn't like gurps, I don't play gurps, and I don't understand what you are getting at.

I tried to make a pre-teen telekinetic way back in the 80's, and gee...

I walked around a corner in a shopping mall and met a Gang armed with Military automatic rifles.
The character creations was ridiculous. I mean really... a whole page devoted to width in degrees of visual perspective
and other odd bits started to fry my brain.

A role playing game played by human beings doesn't have the kind of detail that gurps NEEDS to work.
I doubt that most computers could keep track of ALL of the options that would need to be ENFORCED fairly and equally.

one player who is "fast and loose" with verbal descriptions can wreck the game!
example:
Batman wannabe the "dorknight"... "I hear lex luthor sneaking up on me and backfist him"...
Player who bled points through the nose in character creation to PAY for 210* degree visual perspective is all like, "HEY! WHAT THE HELL?"

that's why no one plays gurps.

PSIandCO

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Re: Rationalizing GURPS
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2022, 02:48:23 PM »
Have you ever tried to play "Mage the Ascencion" with gurps?
5,000 point noob characters that are virtually powerless in the face of paradox...
when the Technocracy guys can just wheel out a Robotech varitech fighter and say, "its a top secret prototype" and not get P'doxed...
what is wrong with gurps is LANGUAGE itself. a word that has a "STRONG" meaning to me, might not have any meaning to you.

Aglondir

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Re: Rationalizing GURPS
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2022, 03:19:27 PM »
This comes from the GURPS 5th edition discussion thread but I've put it here to prevent a derail.  It's what I would do if I wrote GURPS 5th edition I suppose.

Attributes Base 10 and 10 points per point (Subsets start at attribute, 5 points per point):
Strength (Hit Points, Muscle Powered Damage, Encumbrance)
Dexterity (Hand Eye Coordination, Agility/Skill Base, Speed)
Intelligence (Perception, Willpower, Knowledge/Skill Base)
Health (Hit Points, Metabolize Poisons and Diseases, Speed)
Are you giving up on the "Dex costs 20" idea?

Quote
Hit Points and Speed can come from two different places
Do you mean that my HP can be either my ST or HT?

Quote
Advantages and Disadvantages:
Social: reaction modifier & recognition / applicability 5 points per level
Mental: frequency & resistance / severity 5 points per level
Physical: mostly represented by substats
Fuzion did something like this. It makes sense, but you lose the quickness of "Greedy: 10 points" when you're making a character.

Quote
Powers
Attacks 1d6 / 5 points increase points per die to reflect range, area, duration
Sort-of like Hero system?

Quote
Skills
Default attribute - 5
1 point for attribute level, 2 points for +1, 4 points for +2, 8 points for +3, 12 points for +4 and so on
There should never be advantages that add to skills
Nice! Did you eliminate Easy/Avg/Hard/VH? (I hope so)

Quote
Knocked Out at 0 Hp
Killed at -1 x Hp
Elegant, but might make the game more lethal.


On the whole, interesting changes. My own thoughts are more streamlining than re-engineering.

Stephen Tannhauser

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Re: Rationalizing GURPS
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2022, 03:32:15 PM »
There should never be advantages that add to skills

One of the reasons that skill-boosting advantages (e.g. Musical Talent, Language Talent etc.) were added was to explain how people not otherwise tremendously physically or mentally gifted could nonetheless excel fantastically at certain skills despite a comparative lack of time spent training -- it was basically a simulationist nod to prodigies like Mozart, or those people we hear about who speak twelve languages fluently.

If this reasoning is removed in order to do away with that advantage set, one logical knock-on effect will be that character points in skills are no longer necessarily an indication of time spent on training those skills (contra the normal GURPS assumption that one character point represents something like 100 or 200 hours of training and practice, I forget which). This may or may not be of concern in your design, but it is an element to be aware of, I think.
Better to keep silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt. -- Mark Twain

STR 8 DEX 10 CON 10 INT 11 WIS 6 CHA 3

David Johansen

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Re: Rationalizing GURPS
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2022, 07:33:11 PM »
If you want to be better at a skill buy more of the skill.  The attribute is actually more expensive until you are buying multiple skills.

The attributes just cost ten points.  I could spin them off but to my mind one of the nice things about GURPS is the tight NPC stat block.

Hit Points are equal to ST + HT.  Base damage at 10 Strength is 3d because I want some room to scale down.

There would still be actual lists of advantages, disadvantages, and skills I'm just showing how they're costed in general.

GURPS 4e damage for Innate Attacks is 1d6 per 5 points.  I left it there, HERO is also 1d6 per 5 points.

I eliminated easy/average/hard but I think the skill list would end up reflecting harder skills with needing more skills.  I think there'd be something like techniques but running as extra skills you can take.  So Broadsword (Beheading Strike) would be another skill.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2022, 07:34:42 PM by David Johansen »
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David Johansen

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Re: Rationalizing GURPS
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2022, 12:13:44 AM »
You've probably noticed that I left out active defenses.  I'm of two minds here.  A quick contest would be okay but the idea of having the flat number on the character sheet is you already worked it out and just have to roll it.  I always feel 1/2 + 3 is too good when you've got crossbows and muskets taking so long to load.  I mean, if you've got a Glock you can just keep on shooting and there just isn't the wasted effort.

If you go with Move, or 1/2 skill + shield, you can still backstep or drop.  Yes it's rough but it'll speed up fights and make all out attack and defense more significant.  Passive Defense?  Nah, never liked it.
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Eric Diaz

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Re: Rationalizing GURPS
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2022, 12:00:14 PM »
Dex and Int (including will, perception and even charisma IIRC) are just too cheap compared to Strength - especially in modern settings. In fact most GURPs players agree Int is too cheap as it is (double the cost of Strength).

As I've said in the other thread: Intelligence theoretically affects Perception, Willpower, and Reaction.  Would be easier to have eight attributes IMO, each costing 10, also separating agility from dexterity.

Alternatively: let strong dudes attack with Str, like they do in D&D (a solution I dislike but makes things more balanced), and maybe let health affect encumbrance.

Agreed with skills - they should be simplified. (OTOH skills are very cheap now, not sure if anyone would improve attributes)

Not sold on the inflated HP and damage... (is HP now ST+HT?). An average dude end another with a few punches.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2022, 12:04:19 PM by Eric Diaz »
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David Johansen

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Re: Rationalizing GURPS
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2022, 07:17:47 PM »
Yeah, I think spinning Speed off of Dex entirely is a step but more needs to be done.

Still GURPS uses 4 core stats and I'm rationalizing GURPS not some other game.

I made Willpower and Perception entirely separate from Intelligence.

It's tempting to do some advantages like sight, hearing, manual dexterity, and reflexes and have them modify specific skills or tasks but I'd have to take back the no advantages that modify skills and honestly.  If you want to buy up your Observation and Guns skills because you have good eye sight that's fine.  Maybe there should be a distinction between innate skill and learned skill but it would defeat the intent of rationalizing and cleaning up GURPS.
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David Johansen

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Re: Rationalizing GURPS
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2022, 09:45:25 PM »
It occurs to me attributes could be entirely abolished and that would make the game much less GURPS like on the surface level.

That way we could separate out the specific effects and divide up dexterity, agility, and reflexes by making them advantages.  You could still buy the effects of existing attributes for the same cost.  This would allow for multiple advantages adding to skills.  I've always felt sight should improved ranged attacks.

Skill costs would go
pts / level
0 / 6
1 / 10
2 / 11
4 / 12
8 / 13
12 / 14
16 / 15
20 / 16

I think it might be a good way to do a high level of compatibility without violating copyrights though the common language issue remains.  If you divided all costs by 5 and made the skill categories the base line skills.  The line could be further blurred.

I still lean towards higher damages and hit points to improve scaling at low strength levels.
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David Johansen

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Re: Rationalizing GURPS
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2022, 01:07:53 AM »
Rule 1.0: Rolls
The outcome of character actions are determined by rolling six sided dice.  The dice are coded in an nd6 format where 'n' is the number of dice being totalled.

Rule 1.1 Success and Failure
Actions with a significant risk of failure are resolved by rolling 3d6 and comparing the total to the character's rating.  If the roll is equal to or less than the rating the action succeeds, if it is higher the action fails.  The marginal rating for attributes and skills is 10.  Which is modified by skills and traits.

Rule 1.11 Margin of Success
The relative degree of success for any action is the difference between the rating and the roll.

Rule 1.12 Critical Successes and Failures
If the difference is ten or more the result is a critical success or failure as appropriate.

Rule 1.13 Contests
If two opponents are directly competing the person with the larger margin of success is the winner.  Ties result in a stalemate.  Which may be resolved by continuing the contest or by considering the result to be a failure for both characters.

Rule 1.14 Resistance
A resistance roll is used to avoid an outcome like death, unconsciousness, poison, traps, or mind control.  Resistance rolls are reduced by half the attacker's margin of success.

Rule 2.0 Characters
Characters are constructed by using points to purchase traits and skills.  Traits represent inherent abilities and skills represent learned abilities.

2.01 Base Ratings
Characters start with a Speed of 5 and 10 Hit Points.  Skills have a base rating of 5.

Rule 2.1 Traits

Absorption
Absorption turns damage into power at a rate of one die per point of Lifting, Striking, or Deflection increase or one die of Hit Point increase.

Deflection
Armor reduces the damage inflicted by hits.  One die of deflection costs 1 point.

Hit Points
A die of hit points costs 1 point.  Healing is simply the ability to give others hit points.

Lifting
One point of lifting increases the character's ability to lift and bear loads.

Perception
Is used to find and notice things.

Speed
Each hex per round of movement costs one point.  Enhanced speed doubles  the movement rate but it takes one turn to accelerate to each enhancement level and only one turn sixty degree turn can be made for every Speed rating hexes.

Striking
Each die of damage that can be inflicted by a hit in combat costs 1 point.

Resilience
The character's death resistance roll is increased by one point.

Talent
Each point of skill increase costs 1 point.  Talent represents  Innate skill from physiological and mental ability.

Toughness
Increases the chraracter's unconsciousness roll by one point.

Willpower
Resists mind control and social influence.

Packages
Groups of traits can be used to represent general attributes by buying equal levels in all of them.

Strength: Lifting, Hit Points, Striking
Dexterity: Speed, Agility, Combat, and Driving Skills
Intelligence: Academic, Technical, and Creative Skills
Health: Hit Points, Resilience, Toughness, and Cardiovascular Skills
Perception: Awareness and Artistic Skills
Will Power: Psychic, Social, and Magical Resistance

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David Johansen

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Re: Rationalizing GURPS
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2022, 01:36:43 PM »
Rule 3.0 Skills
Skill ratings determine the chance of a character succeeding in a task and the quality of work they can achieve.

Rule 3.1 Training
Training is represented as specific time and effort and study to develop a skill.  Putting one point of training into a skill adds four to the rating and putting in two points adds two.  Every point thereafter adds one to the rating.

Rule 3.12 Untrained Skills
Untrained skills have had no points spent and have a flat rating of 6.

Rule 3.13 Specialities
The skills are broad but it is quite possible to focus on one part of a skill.  This adds two points to the rating of the speciallity for each point spent.

Points/Skill
0 / 6
1 / 10
2 / 12
3 / 11

Academic (Accounting, Economics, Lawyer)
Agility (Acrobatics, Climbing, Escape, Riding)
Arts (Painting, Sculpting, Forging, Casting)
Endurance (Carousing, Running, Swimming)
Gunnery (Cannon, Laser, Missile)
Mechanic (Automotive, Aircraft, Mill)
Medical (First Aid, Pharmacist, Physician, Surgery)
Melee Weapon (Sword, Axe, Polearm)
Performance (Acting, Dancing, Singing)
Pilot (Automobile, Boat, Aircraft)
Science (Biology, Chemistry, Ecology, Physics)
Social (Leader, Merchant, Fast Talk, Seduction)
Small Arms (Pistol, Rifle, Laser Pistol)
Subterfuge (Lockpicking, Stealth, Picking Pockets)
Technician (Computers, Sensors, )
Unarmed Combat (Punch, Kick, Grapple)

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David Johansen

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Re: Rationalizing GURPS
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2022, 06:36:02 PM »
Okay, let's talk about wealth, status, and money.  I really think the base level should just give a status qualifier for equipment.  So, if you're TL 3, have Gentle Status and the prerequisites for a knight you can reasonably take a longsword, half plate, a lance, and a war horse.  Similarly a police officer can have access to a squad car and guns.

That doesn't mean you can't track money and buy stuff.  I just think it gets to be too much book keeping.
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