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Old 11-24-2014, 12:32 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default GURPS Overhaul - MinST

I've recently been working on a system for designing fantasy mecha (based primarily on their depiction in the anime Vision of Escaflowne), stealing liberally from Spaceships. When it came to the weaponry, however, I came back to the MinST scaling rules from LTC2. While these work alright for humans, they seem rather off for larger characters - an average SM+3 character would have ST 35 or so, and a 147 lb halberd would encumber him just as much as a 12 lb one would an ST 10 human (60% BL either way). That follows, but while the human needs only +30% ST (a bit more than half again the BL) to wield his halberd, the giant would need +135% ST (over 5x the BL) to wield his! It seems to me MinST should be based on the proportion of BL a weapon represents, with some adjustments for weight distribution.

At the same time, Unready weapons (those with MinST ‡, like the above halberd) have always struck me as a bit off. I explored an idea for handling these late in my Removing a Stuck Pick thread, and decided I should explore that further.

Finally, as seen in the linked thread (and many of my other threads), I'm rather fond of many of the ideas introduced into GURPS by Technical Grappling. In particular, Grip CP seems appropriate here. The following is the result of putting all three of these bits together


Rather than MinST, weapons now have a MinCP statistic. This is the minimum amount of CP necessary to effectively wield a weapon. Calculating MinCP is based on the weapon's effective weight. Effective weight is equal to actual weight for Reach C weapons, but longer ones are modified by length, balance, and method of use (thrust vs swing). A balanced thrusting weapon has effective weight of +5% per yard of Reach, an unbalanced thrusting weapon has effective weight of +15% per yard of Reach. Swinging doubles these values. Optionally, holding a weapon close to its center of balance (GM's call) may reduce these down to +2%/+5% and +7%/+15%, respectively. For weapons with variable Reach, simply use the longest reach (optionally, those with Reach *, like halberds, might use current Reach for MinCP, but this may prove horrendously fiddly).

Once you have effective weight, take the square root of it. Multiply by 2 for one-handed weapons, 3 for two-handed weapons, and 3.6 for hand-and-a-half weapons. Swinging is another 1.2 multiplier, for 2.4, 3.6, and 4.1, respectively. Round up to get the MinCP necessary for wielding the weapon. "Hand-and-a-half" is for weapons where the hands are placed very close together, such as with most swords as well as virtually any one-handed weapon being wielded in both hands.

Having Grip CP different from MinCP has a variety of consequences. First and foremost, your effective ST for wielding the weapon is based on Grip CP - 2xGrip CP for one-handed weapons, Grip CP for two-handed and hand-and-a-half weapons, to a maximum of the character's actual Striking ST in either case. For this purpose, Grip CP cannot exceed 5xMinCP for thrusting weapons, 3xMinCP for swinging.

If using Relative Weapon Weight (MA110), use Grip CP in place of ST, but ignore the penalty for being beneath MinST (this is handled later). Thus, a character wielding a broadsword one-handed (MinCP 5) with Grip CP 10 has double the necessary CP, good for a +2 here.

Having below MinCP results in the weapon becoming Unsteady. This imposes a skill penalty to use, at -2 if the character has at least 2/3 MinCP, -4 if at least 1/3 MinCP, and -6 if lower (higher resolution is -1 to skill per -1/6 MinCP). This penalty can be bought off by a leveled Perk, Heavy Weapons, which negates -2 per level; this is a Style Perk for many polearm styles. Additionally, each strike with an Unsteady weapon causes a loss of Grip CP equal to MinCP/4, round up. A weapon at Grip CP 0 is unusable, and if Grip CP drops to a negative value, you drop the weapon immediately after resolving the attack.

Establishing or recovering Grip CP can be accomplished as an Attack or Ready (the latter can be reduced to a free action with a successful Fast Draw). As an attack, this is typically safe to do Telegraphic Attack (for +4 to hit) and does not suffer from the skill penalty for being Unsteady. As a Ready, this must be completely unopposed (if a foe so much as attempts a legal defense, you fail), but any rolled CP are automatically doubled. Additionally, applying Grip CP to a stable weapon - one secured in a sheath to your side rather than sitting on a table, or one which you've already established Grip CP equal to MinCP - gives the option of simply using an average roll and doubles any rolled (or unrolled, if going average) CP. For a Ready action on a stable weapon - such as drawing a sheathed sword - it's typically simplest to just assume you reach maximum Grip CP outright.


To summarize...

Determine MinCP
1) Take weapon weight, adjusting as follows:
  • Reach C: no change
  • Reach 1+, balanced: +5%/yard thrusting, +10%/yard swinging
  • Reach 1+, unbalanced: +15%/yard thrusting, +30%/yard swinging
2) Take the square root, then multiply by one of the following
  • 1h, thrust: 2
  • 1h, swing: 2.4
  • 2h, thrust: 3
  • 2h, swing: 3.6
  • 1.5h, thrust: 3.6
  • 1.5h, swing: 4.1
3) Round up

ST for wielding the weapon is equal to Grip CP (2xGrip CP for 1h weapons), which cannot exceed 5xMinCP if thrusting, 3xMinCP if swinging

If Grip CP exceeds MinCP, use the guidelines from MA110, replacing ST with CP.

If Grip CP is below MinCP, weapon use is at a penalty, and weapon is Unsteady - each attack reduces Grip CP by MinCP/4, round up.

Establishing Grip CP can be done as an Attack or Ready - the latter must be completely unopposed or fails outright. Attack establishes CP based on a roll of thr damage. Ready doubles this, and gives to option to use an average instead of rolling. Grip CP established on a "stable" weapon is doubled (for Readies on such, just assume you reach maximum Grip CP outright). As noted in TG, maximum Grip CP is equal to 0.5xST (round up) with one hand, ST with two.
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