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Old 03-20-2015, 01:09 PM   #1
Kromm
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Montréal, Québec
Default Pyramid #3/77: Combat

Always hope for peace
Be satisfied with détente
And plan for battle
— A one-eyed veteran
Gamers like their fighting (and not just over rules!). The problem is that unless you change things up, combat at the gaming table gets boring: "I roll to hit." "He parries." "He rolls to hit." "I parry." Yawn.

More than most game systems, GURPS offers ways to avoid this fate, whether you favor blades and fisticuffs (GURPS Martial Arts), gunplay (GURPS Tactical Shooting), or open warfare (GURPS Mass Combat). But predictability can get you killed! That's why you need a secret weapon like Pyramid #3/77: Combat. This issue features all kinds of bloody mayhem:
  • The rules for ordinary-sized heroes taking on big monsters – or tiny ones – are scattered throughout the system. Sean Punch's Combat Writ Large gathers them all in one place, ties them together (smoothing them over where they don't quite agree), and adds a bunch of new options to fill the gaps . . . including the gap in a dragon's scales that you have to climb the monster to reach and the one between its legs that you can duck through as it charges.

  • If you've ever played in a historical GURPS campaign or just had a character inspired by earlier cultures, you likely know the value of GURPS Loadouts: Low-Tech Armor. In Low-Tech Armor Loadouts for the New World, Dan Howard expands on his work, providing seven new loadouts for the European exploration of North America – three for conquistadors and four for natives. Equip your Spanish soldiers and Aztec warriors in minutes, or use the specialized shields, feathered suits, helmets, and more to protect any fighter.

  • Clashes involving the Ancient Egyptian and Roman Armies have shaped our view of early warfare. Though both forces relied upon infantry, the Egyptians fielded chariots and bowmen while the Romans knew the value of cavalry and artillery. In this month's Eidetic Memory, David Pulver gives not only GURPS Mass Combat statistics for these forces but also a wealth of detail on their structure and development, including a snapshot of Kadesh, the first and largest chariot battle in recorded history.

  • The sniper stills his breathing, knowing that he has mere seconds to acquire his target. The cop steadies his revolver for his one chance to stop the murderer from getting away. At times like this, the Aim maneuver is a little too straightforward. In On Target, Douglas Cole adds dramatic detail by turning aiming into a skill roll with variable results. Now shooters have to decide each second whether to take the shot or keep trying for a better bonus, while occasionally being skilled (or lucky) enough to achieve a perfect shot instantly – just like in fiction and real life.

  • GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 2: Dungeons provides guidelines for balancing combat encounters – a difficult challenge, as each party of delvers is unique. In It's a Threat!, Christopher Rice offers a mathematical solution to this problem through straightforward metrics for heroes and their enemies: Offensive Rating, Protective Rating, and optionally even Social Rating (for those deceptive bards). The calculated values for every monster from Dungeon Fantasy and Pyramid mean the GM need only do some quick math before sending in foes to eat the PCs!

  • And the war isn't over until you've faced our usual features on the battlefield, including a Random Thought Table that helps you speed up those long combats, Odds and Ends for those times when it's important to hold your fire, and a Murphy's Rules that may make you wish you lived in the Marvel universe (if you don't already).
PK & Kromm
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Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch <kromm@sjgames.com>
GURPS Line Editor, Steve Jackson Games
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