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Old 01-03-2019, 12:05 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default GURPS Supers Alternatives

It's come up a few times that I've toyed around with various house rules. Here's what my last Supers game ran with, and it worked rather well. I'd actually suggest that it makes a good baseline for cinematic games that cover a wide range of scores (ST, damage, DR, etc).

First off, all scores 15+ are essentially treated as log values, rather than linear progressions. The basis for the progression is KYOS (alternate GURPS IV?) where I've applied similar conversions to existing equipment (example chart below). Normal scores of 16 (4d) or less use book values. Values higher than that are converted using the KYOS formula to convert the [old] to [ new log value ] as it was a ST value.

This has a number of effects that I find desirable:
- Heavy weapons, while still incredibly dangerous, don't turn people into red mist as easily. You really don't need the IT:DR crutch to aid survival, though it still fits some concepts.

- PCs can also match or exceed equipment without insane levels. ST and DR will usually be less than 50. Extremely powerful Innate Attacks are 20d, and most often don't exceed half that level.

- PCs tend to develop more complete power sets instead of having to focus on a few traits to get them to useful levels.

- ST is useful at most any level. HP always helps. Damage progresses at every level. Lift increases drastically as you scale up.

Log values tend to be a bit challenging at first, but here are a few guidelines which simply adding log values:
-For Equal Values: Value + 3. Example: DR 20 + DR 20 = DR 23
-If the level is one or two lower for one value: Value +2. Example: DR 20 + DR 18 = DR 22
-If the level is three to five lower: Value +1. Example: DR 20 + DR 16 = DR 21
-Further apart: no bonus.
-Adding 3 or more values: Start with the highest, apply as above, and repeat with new value. Example: DR 20 + DR 19 + DR 18 = Base 20 + 2 (19 within 1 or 20) + 1 (18 within 4 of the now DR 22) = DR 23.

New Limitation:
One ability only -20%. It's a general -20% for any trait that you can only use for one ability (ATR, CM, Extra Attack, Striking ST, etc). Specific abilities may have variants, but in general, this is has tested to to be fairly fair.

Other notes:
- Swing damage = thr +2
- per die skill bonuses get converted as follows: +1/die gives a flat +2 bonus. You an convert high bonus to dice as per normal.

- Fixed ST is the same as Lifting ST + Striking ST: 8/lvl.
- Lifting ST repriced to 6/lvl (Houserule).
- Striking ST repriced to 2/lvl (Houserule). 4 lvls of Striking ST converts to 1d of damage (rather than using dice conversion). Limitation change (house rule): One attack only -20%.

Other house rules:
- Afflictions changed to 10 + 5/lvl to encourage leveled afflictions rather than everyone using maledictions.

- Cosmic Gadget Pool: uses Rev's house rule for modular gadget pools.

- DR absorption: uses Rev's house rules for absorption. The Hulk can actually use DR with Absorption to get stronger as he gets madder very effectively.

- Flavor traits: uses Rev's house rules for age related traits.

- Perk: Crushing Fists. Those with (hard) DR3+, do not suffer a -2 damage for punching. I inconsistently call this other things, but it's all the same perk.

Examples and characters to follow. Note that one of the goals is to simplify as well. I've noticed that players don't mind a dozen or so commonly named traits to keep track of with similar modifiers on each, but when you get into special cases (split ST, IT:DR, etc) it starts alienating players. Each of the examples has much less than you have to typically need to keep track of in a Supers game but enough to cover all the primary abilities.

I put Lifting ST at 6 instead of 7/lvl and Striking ST at 2 instead of 1/lvl. That does keep Striking ST a but more expensive than an IA, but it also works with weapons, throwing, skill bonuses, and started off 1d-2 ahead of IA (since you get ST 10 for free). In practice 1/lvl was just a bit too cheap.

I usually also have UBs, defined PMs, and setting level ranges. I've been a bit lax in putting them in this thread. An example of that would be:
Unusual Backgrounds:
Super Normal [0] (no attributes above 20, no exotic advantages)
Super Equipment [25] (you can only have powers via gadgets)
Alien [25] (your abilities aren't unique and you can only take traits appropriate for your race)
Meta [50] (any ability or gadget)

Super [-10%]. Specialized tech countermeasures plus specialized anti-power powers.
Mutant [-10%]. Able to be tracked and detected easily. More countermeasures.
Biological [-10%]. (1 fatigue/use, countermeasures)
Pact [-10%]. (Relies on at least a 10 point behavioral disad.)
Elemental [-10%]. (Relies on presence or can be stopped by an insulator)
Spirit [-25%]. (Fickle)

Sample Ranges:
Street (150-500 points):
Attacks average 5d. You can go higher with limited (GM approval) abilities / trade offs.
DR caps around 15 <or> around IT:DR/5
Other abilities: generally cap around 5 levels.

Cinematic (500-1000):
Attacks average 8d. You can go higher with limited (GM approval) abilities / trade offs.
DR caps around 25 <or> around IT:DR/10
Other abilities: generally cap around 10 levels.

Wild card skills give WP bonuses per session. You get 1 point (WP) per 12 points in each wildcard skill per (3 hour) game session. They may be used for:
- 1 WP to turn a (normal) failure into a success
- 1 WP to turn a critical failure into a (normal) failure
- 1 WP per +2 bonus for a WC skill roll
- 1 WP per +2 bonus for a contest using your WC skill

Last edited by naloth; 01-12-2019 at 12:30 PM.
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