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Old 06-22-2012, 10:00 AM   #1
Kromm
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Default Pyramid #3/44: Alternate GURPS II

Rules serve a purpose
Showing you where to begin
To break them in style
— Some hack
One of the joys of e23 is that its goodies are short, easy to produce, and have forever to earn their keep – which means that there's room for the occasional item that doesn't play it safe. Pyramid #3/44: Alternate GURPS II is a good example. Most of the stuff here is too radical or complex ever to find its way into the core of the system, even in a future edition. But all of the following could prove useful to the adventurous gamer:
  • Adrenaline, exhaustion, bursts of energy, exertion – GURPS conflates it all into Fatigue Points. But as The Last Gasp will teach you, there's a big difference between the short-term and long-term effects of pushing yourself too hard. This two-part system makes long-term FP expenditure far more serious, while introducing a short-term analogue that makes combat lulls a necessity.

  • Ever wish that an exotic skill were an advantage so that you could apply modifiers, toss it into a power, or just keep the roll to use it flat and predictable? From Skills to Advantages presents a simple trick that makes these things – and more – possible.

  • While the Fourth Edition approach of treating languages as advantages is simple and realistic, the Third Edition language skills allowed for more degrees of fluency. Can the two concepts be reconciled? Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously says "yes," "أيوا," and "是," with 160+ sample skills and realistic defaults that work whether you buy languages as advantages or skills.

  • GURPS Mass Combat was designed to keep roleplaying from vanishing into large-scale combat . . . but sometimes it's fun to fight a war just for the sake of it! In this month's (extra-long) Eidetic Memory, David Pulver introduces rules for Tactical Mass Combat. Use 'em for a no-holds-barred "boardgame" – or just to add more of a tactical element to your next mass battle.

  • Is your gaming group sick of keeping track of every copper, penny, and farthing? Would you like a quick-and-easy way to adjudicate purchases without ever having to fuss with cash? Then you want Abstract Wealth. This fast, simple system ensures that your Wealth level matters, even if the specific details don't.

  • David's back for a twofer with Survivable Guns – a quick fix for gamers who think that guns are just a bit too deadly in GURPS. This comprehensive Appendix Z even does all of the calculations for the guns in the Basic Set, so that you can print it and start using it right away!

  • And no Pyramid could be so "alternate" as to lack its usual features, including a Random Thought Table that introduces what may be the most meta-game perk ever, Odds and Ends that add even more options to Tactical Mass Combat, and a Murphy's Rules that . . . actually, there's really no forums-friendly joke for this one – you'll just have to see it for yourself.
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Old 06-22-2012, 10:25 AM   #2
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/44: Alternate GURPS II

I see alternate thread content under the same name.
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Old 06-22-2012, 10:28 AM   #3
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/44: Alternate GURPS II

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
I see alternate thread content under the same name.
I was just about to mention that. Feel free to change the one I started to something easier to distinguish. (Or merge the two, either or.)
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Old 06-22-2012, 10:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/44: Alternate GURPS II

Just bought it, already love it! Douglas Cole's article about an alternate Fatigue system is very cool*, and the "Action Points" he introduces remind me of Fallout. Haven't gotten to the Tactical Mass Combat article yet, but I'm very excited for it. It's an idea I've wanted to see implemented for a long time, turning Mass Combat from a predominantly strategic simulation (ie, good for telling who won, but not much else) into something that provides more tactical choices for PC commanders.
*It's also complicated enough that I'll probably have some questions about how to adjudicate it. More on that later though.
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Old 06-22-2012, 10:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/44: Alternate GURPS II

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Originally Posted by vierasmarius View Post
Just bought it, already love it! Douglas Cole's article about an alternate Fatigue system is very cool*, and the "Action Points" he introduces remind me of Fallout.

*It's also complicated enough that I'll probably have some questions about how to adjudicate it. More on that later though.
Thanks! Happy (and eager) to answer any questions on these; I think there's a lot of fun under that hood for both realistic and cinematic games, but I've no doubt that some tweakage might be required. I had a good group of people giving me ideas and even some real fight-testing, but I'm VERY interested in how things work out for other gamers.
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:59 AM   #6
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/44: Alternate GURPS II

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Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
Thanks! Happy (and eager) to answer any questions on these; I think there's a lot of fun under that hood for both realistic and cinematic games, but I've no doubt that some tweakage might be required. I had a good group of people giving me ideas and even some real fight-testing, but I'm VERY interested in how things work out for other gamers.
Okay, a couple quick questions while you're here. First is Speed loss during combat, and whether that would impact turn sequence. My gut instinct is "no", that if a fighter loses enough FP to drop in Speed he retains the same spot in the turn sequence that he started with. Is that right? Or would he delay his turn as his Speed drops below that of other combatants?

Also, for recovering FP, the implication is that a character basically has three "pools" of FP, representing mild, severe, and deep fatigue loss. He starts by losing from the mild pool, then dips into the severe pool, and finally dives into the deep end. When recovering, he starts by refreshing the mild pool (taking 10 hours to completely recover it) before moving on to the severe and deep. If a 10 FP character loses, say, 8 FP (losing the first 5 from the "mild" pool and the next 3 from the "severe") then rests for 6 hours (regaining 3 points of mild fatigue) he's now effectively at 5 FP, but his mild pool is down by 2 and his severe is down by 3. If he loses more FP now the first 3 will be mild, then the next 2 will be severe, and further loss will be deep. Do I have this right? I think it makes sense, but trying to explain it may have confused me more... =P

-----

On an unrelated note, just read through the Tactical Mass Combat rules. I do like them, though I kinda wish there was some attrition involved rather than simply "Unit Eliminated". Maybe something like "Unit Weakened" and at 50% TS. The Close Combat rules feels particularly binary, with the possible results being "No Effect", "Attacker / Defender Retreats" or "Attacker / Defender Eliminated". I'd love there to be a "Stalemate" option there, where neither side makes particular progress but both take casualties. Anyways, it's a great framework to start from, and something I've been wanting for a long time.

Last edited by vierasmarius; 06-22-2012 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/44: Alternate GURPS II

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Originally Posted by vierasmarius View Post
Do I have this right?
I'll leave it to Douglas to offer more insight as he deems fit, but as far as recovering FP, it sounds like you've got it right. (As an aside, I'll take this moment to thank Douglas for effort he put in to make the first half of the article clearer to me... it didn't change the underlying system, but the presentation felt a lot more accessible once the dust settled.)

Anyway, the way I kept it straight in my mind as I was editing it -- and how I'd likely run it, if I used this system in a game -- is to envision the "pool" to be three different-colored counters/chips/M&Ms/whatever:
  • Green -- Light
  • Yellow -- Severe
  • Red -- Deep

Thus someone with 10 FP would have:
  • Green
  • Green
  • Green
  • Green
  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Yellow
  • Yellow
  • Yellow
  • Yellow
  • Red
  • Red
  • Red
  • Red
  • Red
  • Red
  • Red
  • Red
  • Red
  • Red

When you spend FP, first you burn the greens, then the yellows, and then the reds. When you recover, first you recover the greens, then the yellows, and finally the reds. This makes it entirely possible to have all your greens and all your reds, and none of your yellows. (I'd probably make custom counters for each player so that -- in addition to being color-coded -- the counters also listed how long each one took to earn back.)

I'm not sure if this is any clearer to you, but it worked for me when I was mulling it over. :-)
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Last edited by Steven Marsh; 06-22-2012 at 12:36 PM. Reason: Altered list of "counters"
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:25 PM   #8
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/44: Alternate GURPS II

Quote:
Originally Posted by vierasmarius View Post
Okay, a couple quick questions while you're here. First is Speed loss during combat, and whether that would impact turn sequence. My gut instinct is "no", that if a fighter loses enough FP to drop in Speed he retains the same spot in the turn sequence that he started with. Is that right? Or would he delay his turn as his Speed drops below that of other combatants?
Yeesh, you're right. I never contemplated altering Basic Speed, since mucking with turn order is in the "Don't do it, EVER" territory in terms of how GURPS works.

Quote:
Also, for recovering FP, the implication is that a character basically has three "pools" of FP, representing mild, severe, and deep fatigue loss. He starts by losing from the mild pool, then dips into the severe pool, and finally dives into the deep end. When recovering, he starts by refreshing the mild pool (taking 10 hours to completely recover it) before moving on to the severe and deep. If a 10 FP character loses, say, 8 FP (losing the first 5 from the "mild" pool and the next 3 from the "severe") then rests for 6 hours (regaining 3 points of mild fatigue) he's now effectively at 5 FP, but his mild pool is down by 2 and his severe is down by 3. If he loses more FP now the first 3 will be mild, then the next 2 will be severe, and further loss will be deep. Do I have this right? I think it makes sense, but trying to explain it may have confused me more... =P
I think you have it right, and actually envisioning them as three piles of chips is probably the EASIEST way to deal with this. Someone with 10 FP would have 5 green chips (mild), 5 yellow chips (severe), and 10 red chips (deep).

You burn from green to red. You RECOVER from green to red as well. Your recovery rate is dictated by your stats; you calculate it once, write it down, and then you just move your poker chips around.

Doug
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/44: Alternate GURPS II

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Marsh View Post
Anyway, the way I kept it straight in my mind as I was editing it -- and how I'd likely run it, if I used this system in a game -- is to envision the "pool" to be three different-colored counters/chips/M&Ms/whatever:
  • Green -- Light
  • Yellow -- Severe
  • Red -- Deep

I'm not sure if this is any clearer to you, but it worked for me when I was mulling it over. :-)
Yeah, that's what I thought. The color system works well for it, and would certainly make it easier to track in-game. Hmm... now I'm envisioning cinematic or supernatural advantages that let a person "heal" fatigue more quickly by transferring it from one pool to another...

Oh, I guess that's another question. With FP being a more valuable resource (in terms of the difficulty to recover it and the consequences of losing it) would this alter the value of advantages that restore it? There's mention of Regenerate FP (keeping the same cost, though with additional intermediate levels) but what about things like Leech or Absorptive DR? I'm presuming that they'd stay the same, since they're not mentioned.

Anyways, thanks for humoring me guys! Wanted to make sure I understand it correctly. ^_^

Last edited by vierasmarius; 06-22-2012 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/44: Alternate GURPS II

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
I see alternate thread content under the same name.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PseudoFenton View Post
I was just about to mention that. Feel free to change the one I started to something easier to distinguish. (Or merge the two, either or.)
No, this happens every time there's a new release, and it's fine. Generally, someone will start an unofficial thread on Thursday when they notice the What's New page changing -- often minutes (or even hours) before Steven posts the official announcement in the e23 forum. And Kromm waits until Friday to do the official announcement in the GURPS forum. There's almost never not a selection of unofficial threads for any new release. We don't mind; it's just extra promotion. :)
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