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Old 03-12-2014, 05:19 AM   #61
vicky_molokh
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Q: Some poison descriptions in High-Tech are confusing. Can I get some clarifications?

A: Some Krommwords on more specific answers:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post

With formatting.



Quote:
Originally Posted by BraselC5048

If an effect (such as seizures) happens regardless of a HT roll, how long do they last once you pass a roll? Or if they happen on a failed roll, how long do they last after you pass the second or later rolls?
The non-injury effects of a poison depend on which of these options the poison uses:
  1. Per p. B438, symptoms triggered automatically by injury persist until HP recover to above the relevant threshold: 1/3, 1/2, or 2/3 of HP. (Poisons may use fatigue thresholds and FP instead, but it's the same idea.)
  2. Also per p. B438, effects triggered by failed resistance rolls specifically for those effects, separate from any rolls to resist injury, normally endure for minutes equal to margin of failure.
  3. Ill effects that don't fall into the first two categories share the poison's duration: until all remaining cycles are up. Effects end when the final cycle ends. If a poison offers resistance rolls, then "all remaining cycles" means however many cycles you fail rolls for; if the poison cannot be resisted, then that's the full course of cycles.
Specific poisons might make exceptions but if no exception is noted, then assume none is needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BraselC5048

Botulin Toxins - Seems I've been able to figure out that you keep rolling until you get the antitoxin, and if you fail a roll, you're not only paralyzed, but need to be on ventilation, or you die. In other words, respiratory paralysis, or in game terms, choking, not paralysis.
This one is indeed unclear because the wording sounds like option #2 above but doesn't fully respect those rules. As far as I can tell, it's really option #3 with open-ended cycles, meaning that the effects don't end until someone gets treatment for time equal to that needed to recover from a lasting crippling injury. However, the effect is actual paralysis (i.e., you can't move) it just includes being unable to breathe as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BraselC5048

With Strychnine, it's still not clear. Do you have to make dozens of rolls to avoid choking, or do you only have to pass one? If dozens or more, it's really deadly - effectively a 100% fatality rate. If it's one, then the fatality rate is about 50%. And of course, the "how long do the seizures last" question. If you do suffer chocking, can being put on ventilation in a hospital keep you alive?
The seizures last for 2d hours, since that's how long the poison lasts. The rolls to avoid choking occur every five minutes during that time until you pass one. This is spasmodic, not paralytic, so I'd use the standard rules for duration: minutes equal to margin of failure. I would allow ventilation to work if choking occurs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BraselC5048

Ricin - Now I know that choking is if you both fail the first roll and a future roll (it was ambiguous, but now it makes sense). If you pass a roll, do you still have to make future rolls? And how long do the effects last, of course, plus would ventilation help if you do start choking?
This appears to be a standard case of rules option #3: The effects last while you continue to fail resistance rolls. The first successful resistance roll ends the cycles (again, per p. B438). As long as you keep failing, though, the non-injury effects persist. If choking sets in, then yes, ventilation would help. Ventilation is a specific treatment for choking regardless of its cause.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BraselC5048

Curare - Only a 41% fatality rate for Joe Average, is that right? And nobody really knows if the total number of rolls is 4 or 5.
As with all cyclic poisons, "repeats" implies an initial cycle. Something that repeats four times has a total of five rolls. The average HT 10 person is going to fail all five HT-6 rolls (90.8% chance), suffer the full run rather than shake it off early, take a net 10d injury (avg. 35 HP), go to -2HP, have to make two HT rolls to avoid death (75% chance of failure), and thus die of pure injury 68% of the time. Of course, if he critically fails by rolling 14+ against HT - 6 = 4 at any point, he'll choke as well and be even more certain to die without ventilation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BraselC5048

DMSO - Just came up with the question, can you use more then one dose at once (for 2 doses of poison)?
Yes, you can. If you have n doses of poison, you'll need n doses of DMSO to deliver it, but that's fine. Realistically, huge puddles of DMSO would tend to diffuse, cover too much area to fully contact the skin, and of course be visible. I'd say that each doubling of dosage gives +1 to rolls to notice the poison. I'd also say that the multi-dose benefits of poison stop at four doses, if you're relying on casual contact rather than literally pouring the entire dose on someone, but that the +1 per doubling to rolls to notice the poison continues.
And a bit more:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm
Quote:
Originally Posted by BraselC5048
So for Botulin Toxins and Ricin, you suffer the damage listed on each failed roll? I had no idea that would be the case. Makes them a lot more deadly, then.
For ricin, the damage does indeed cycle:
Regardless of the roll, he suffers 3d toxic damage, nausea, and vomiting; failure means he also experiences coughing. This repeats at eight-hour intervals for 10 cycles . . .
For botulin, it does not:
At the next 12-hour interval, he must make a HT-1 roll to avoid paralysis . . .
Note that that it says nothing about damage being repeated. Botulin kills you by paralyzing your respiratory system semi-irreversibly, not through immediate toxic shock.
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:03 PM   #62
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Q: The mechanics of Homing attacks are confusing. What modifiers are used?
A:
Quote:
Originally Posted by z0boson View Post
Hello!

I got the answer from Kromm!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm
The rules are meant to be taken literally:

1. The attack uses this sense for the purpose of combat modifiers.

2. To "lock on," you must Aim at the target and make an unmodified skill roll. Do not roll against your skill to hit. Instead, use the attack's skill of 10 – plus Accuracy, if you made your skill roll – and ignore all range penalties.

Thus, all the roll is 10 + Accuracy. The only penalties that apply are those that would jam the homing sense: darkness/fog for vision, jamming for radar, and so on. You specifically ignore range and speed.
and...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm
Oh, and I ignored the most important part: "Lock on" rolls aren't modified. Lock on is just an Aim maneuver where you have to roll against skill. This is a roll to properly use the equipment.
Q: Which Aiming modifiers are capped and which aren't?
A:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Here's the hierarchy of modifiers:
  • Bonuses to skill. These apply whether or not you take an Aim maneuver. They include the +1 to skill from a laser, a reflex sight, or a computer sight; the +1 to skill from All-Out Attack (Determined); and any situational benefits the GM gives for, say, shooting at a backlit target. Such modifiers are not subject to any special limit. If, at the instant you pulled the trigger, the basic weapon were teleported away and replaced with another with a higher or lower intrinsic Accuracy score, you would still get the exact same skill bonus.

  • Aiming Modifiers. These apply only if you take Aim maneuvers before you attack. They fall into three basic categories:

    • Weapon's intrinsic Acc. You may always claim your weapon's full Acc bonus after a turn of Aim. Some modifiers adjust this base value for the purposes of the next category:
      • Add any bonus for fine (accurate) or very fine (accurate), or subtract any penalty for a cheap or poorly maintained weapon.
      • Apply any +1 for match-grade ammunition. The previous modifier can qualify or disqualify you for this!
      • Apply any modifier for adding a pistol stock or collapsing a folding stock.

    • Bonus Acc from any aiming aids. You may claim additional Acc from scopes, laser rangefinders (not mere targeting lasers!), or any other gear that says it increases Acc rather than skill if you Aim and meet any special conditions attached (e.g., minimum turns of Aim to claim a full scope bonus). This bonus cannot exceed the previous one. This is the only place where a limit applies!

    • Bonus Acc from the Aim maneuver itself. You may claim bonuses to Acc from two or more turns of Aim, and from bracing as part of Aim (whether on a piece of cover or using a rifle sling, a bipod, or a tripod). This is not subject to any special limit, and is in effect a skill bonus that kicks only in after you Aim.
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:08 PM   #63
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Q: From the wording of Zeroed, it looks like a hindrance more than a benefit to me. Just what am I paying for?

A:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Do realize that Zeroed isn't meant to be an initial condition that wears off the first time somebody takes your picture. It assumes maintenance, and some off-screen means of achieving that. You're Zeroed now and, a few weeks later when your picture shows up again, you're still Zeroed because whatever means made you Zeroed in the first place nuked the records. That's how it works.

Those whose worlds don't assume forces powerful enough to wipe out arbitrarily secure records shouldn't use Zeroed. Neither should gamers who just want to be mysterious Man With No Name types. If you're simply somebody who starts play with no identity and gradually builds up a permanent record, you're not Zeroed. You have something more akin to Zeroed as a one-use advantage (1/5 cost, 2 points, like Favor), if not just a perk.

Zeroed is for people who work for the MIBs . . . or have a backdoor into SkyNet . . . or possess supernatural abilities that completely transmute them every sunset . . . or serve Oblivius, God of Nothingness. It's an active trait. It isn't just an Unusual Background.
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:23 AM   #64
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Q: Wealth seems like a rather expensive trait compared to just buying lots of Signature Gear. What am I paying for?
A: Well, there are many things:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
In GURPS, Status = social standing and Wealth = economic standing, and your complete socioeconomic profile what we would call "social class" in the real world comes from the two taken together.
[ . . . ]
A TL8 person who chooses to be Poor [-15] starts with $4,000 and not $20,000
[ . . . ]
he's a homeless itinerant or a drifter, and here's the important part: By getting 15 points for Poor, he's accepting and locking in his legal status as "homeless itinerant." It isn't just money that's affected, but others' perceptions of him. If a cop catches him flashing gift goods from rich party members, sees him entering a residence provided by said allies, etc., the cop will intervene. Such incidents should provide approximately -15 points of inconvenience.

There's also the bit about how much gear you start with, but that's actually a secondary effect of Wealth. The primary effects concern your credit rating, social network, relationship with bankers and taxmen, and so on, and the follow-on effects on your social freedoms and mobility. Wealth represents these things first of all. If the GM has no intention of enforcing the ramifications, then low Wealth isn't a valid disadvantage, any more than low Appearance would be valid in a campaign where all the PCs teleoperate giant battlemechs via FTL radio and never appear in the flesh.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
As Wealth Level (p. B517) notes, jobs have associated Wealth levels, and those who work at them must spend points to reach those levels. If they don't, what happens is up to the GM. The most logical outcome is that the PC is seen as insufficiently respectable or reliable for the job, and the employer finds some pretext to terminate him or demote him to a job commensurate with his Wealth level. It's entirely possible that the Status associated with the Wealth level of a job is a de facto prerequisite for the job, too; you can't get the job "Knight" without Status 2, and living in a Status 2 fashion requires you to be Wealthy.

And as Finding a Job (p. B518) explains, the Wealth levels associated with jobs are canonically linked to Status levels, and search rolls have a penalty equal to twice that Status level. Thus, while it's fine for a Status 2 character to start with a Status 2/Wealthy job, the GM is within his rights to deny that to a PC with Status 1 or less, or who's Comfortable or poorer, and ask to see him make the search roll . . . at -4.

I guess you could read these rules otherwise, but the above is the spirit in which they were written.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Ah, no . . . capital-W Wealth the advantage is in itself a measure of social connectedness, credit rating, and economic power. It doesn't go away just because you lose money in bad times. You still have the connections and the credit history; you just don't have the cash. Small-w wealth the real-world concept certainly varies, but on the other hand isn't anything but your bank balance.

A knight, lord, or ruler tends to have some of his Status owing to his track record as being the holder of land and commander of troops who, in the worst-case scenario, can loot or tax money to repay debts. This is what Wealth is about in such settings, and why it elevates Status.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
[ . . . ]
An adventurer who starts out Dead Broke gets to enter play naked, unarmed, and either looked down upon for his low Status or looked down upon for living below his average Status. [ . . . ] if his job ("adventurer") earns him enough money to gain Wealth levels, he's expected to buy those Wealth levels. If he doesn't, he hasn't made the commitments needed to keep the money and something will happen to it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
The intent of the game design is that the +1 or +2 to Status from Wealth is actual base Status. It isn't an "effective Status" modifier at all. Capital-W Wealth changes your Status. Small-w wealth including what you can afford to pay as cost of living affects only effective Status. You seem to be confusing Wealth with wealth. Wealth is a highly complex, abstract social advantage that encompasses about as much as IQ does, including but not limited to starting money, job qualifications, social connections, credit rating, land, and a hidden economic parallel to Status.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Yeah, that's a different take than the game uses. If you win the lottery tomorrow, your Wealth does not change by default. That's just the spoils of war, the way the cookie crumbles, etc. It's no different from making a friend in play, which doesn't require Ally, or finding a magic sword, which doesn't grant you Signature Gear or a gadget built as advantages. Your Wealth only changes if you specifically invest the required capital taking it out of play to buy, bribe, and insure your way to a social position where future changes in fortune won't alter the respect and credit accorded to you. This is the big difference between somebody who keeps their winnings as liquid assets and uses them for trips, cars, and homes, and somebody who invests their winnings in nonliquid assets that will continue to make them money in the future. The former only requires cash; the latter also calls for points, which represent the work done to build networks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
To be fair, I wanted to call it "Economic Rank" or "Economic Status," but others felt that was too close to "Rank" and "Status," and probably easily confused given its relationship with the political kind of Status.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Optional Purchase of Wealth: When your PC receives a windfall (treasure, lottery winnings, etc.), enough to boost her Wealth, you have the option to declare that she's investing some or all of her money in the social structures necessary to support higher Wealth. That means things like buying club memberships, opening a secured trading account, paying off debts, starting tabs by making large purchases from prestigious merchants, investing most of the money for the long term, and having her now-impressed banker, newly hired attorney, et al. vouch for her. Then you can spend some earned points on Wealth, which will give her the connections for better jobs at a future date, and possibly some free Wealth-derived Status. Such a course is never required, and you always have the alternative of saying that your PC keeps the cash for spending and uses it to buy gear but that won't help her future jobs, Status, etc.

Compulsory Purchase of Wealth: When your PC earns a lot of money by working at a job, the choice is made for her. She has come into good fortune the slow, sure way that most societies recognize as respectable. She has been making connections and investments for months or years. As the player, you're required to spend earned points on Wealth . . . unless you can successfully petition the GM to agree that your PC is suddenly out of a job and discredited with nothing but a bunch of money to show for it.

Spontaneous Addition of Wealth: When your PC is rewarded when the GM decrees something like, "And your reward from the Prince is riches. Everybody now has Very Wealthy!" she get Wealth and her point value goes up. The Wealth takes the form of the contacts for better jobs, free Status, etc. There may be no extra cash . . . what she gains, in effect, is credit rating. Thus, this is not a windfall or earnings, but a hybrid case where the respect and connections of the latter are bestowed in the manner of the former, without liquid assets necessarily changing hands. Refusing the free advantage is an option, but this might mean gaining nothing; the kinds of authorities who can award social privilege pay little or nothing to do so, and often lack the personal fortune to award a cash equivalent.
Also see Status, Cost of Living (CoL) and lifestyle.
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Old 10-16-2014, 02:17 PM   #65
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Sense Rolls, Stealth and Camouflage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm
This is a long response, so I've had to split it in two to avoid the character limit for a PM. Note that this took a lot of time to write, so I simply can't justify follow-up comments. I hope these answers will suffice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh

Hearing vs. Stealth
Moving quietly normally takes a Stealth roll contested by Hearing. Hearing rolls suffer a -1 penalty for each doubling of distance relative to the 'standard distance'. What is the 'standard distance' at which the Hearing value in the Contest is unmodified?
I'd go with the 1/4 yard implied by High-Tech, p. 158 if the person is truly stalking. The Stealth skill gives -5 when Moving faster than Move 1, however, which is functionally equivalent to +5 to Hearing, making the distance 8 yards at Move 2+. That's too coarse-grained, so I'd prefer to say that base distance equals the stalker's Move. Thus, any combat movement (Move 1+) is audible at full Hearing at one yard; sneaking to within stabbing distance is a simple Quick Contest of Stealth vs. Hearing; and the High-Tech case assumes someone moving at Move 0.25.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh

The only indication I've found was High-Tech 158: 'Leaves rustling, stalking person 40dB(A), 0.25 yards'; that seems to result in a Hearing-2 roll at 1 hex, which is consistent with the Hearing roll to figure where the unseen opponent is in combat (B394).
That -2 is more for "surrounding noises" (p. B358) than for distance. It's also a simplification; note that neither the distance nor speed of an unseen attacker affects this Hearing roll. I wouldn't attempt to rationalize this. If you must, then use standard distance = Move and apply an extra -2 in a fight, so that someone running at Move 5 is heard at -2 at 5 yards, -1 at 2 yards, no modifier at 1 yard. Just stepping a yard means he's heard at -2 at 1 yard (which is the most usual case in combat).

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh

More on Hearing
The table seems to produce very low chances of hearing normal stuff, such as a mere 50% chance of hearing a normal conversation at 1 yard or a loud conversation or noisy office at 4 yards. Should there be some sort of positive TDM under most noncombat circumstances, perhaps +6 (so that people at 1 yard could always hear each other)?
Vision rolls get +10 for "in plain sight." Those use a progression where every -6 is 10 – i.e., Vision gets an effective x10^(10/6), or about 50, range in unchallenging situations. The equivalent for Hearing would be +5 or +6. I'd pick +5, as it's easy to remember and gives ordinary conversationalists a Hearing roll of 15 at 1 yard or 14 at 2 yards, which allows for the occasional "Sorry, what was that?" moment that happens in real life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh

Sense of Smell
To turn a Canadian song quote into an actual rules example . . . 'I hate it when they go out, and we stay in // And they come home smelling like their ex girlfriends' - well, what are the modifiers to differentiate between two people or whether one person carries the scent of another like that?
That's more a research question than a rules question. As a rough guide, call it -4. That way, Discriminatory Smell's +4 cancels it out. Ordinary people would be rolling against 6, which seems believable given our atrophied olfaction. If the objective is to spot an impersonator, I might give a bonus of +1 to +4 if the person rolling is intimately familiar with the subject – say, +1 for a friend, +2 for a best friend, or +3 for a lover, and another +1 if you've lived with the subject.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh

Smell, Stealth and Range
Stealth is at -5 against Discriminatory Smell; that clears up the stealth part. The unclear part is, how do range modifiers work for smell? Yes, a wind in either direction would throw off the table, but at least what are the default modifiers?
That has never been established. I'd apply standard range modifiers, a separate bonus or penalty for windspeed, bonuses for large sources (say, equal to SM) and strong smells, and up to +5 (for "extra time") for persistent sources. Thus, a huge factory (SM +10) that's a mile away (-18), spewing a foul smell (+4) constantly for days (+5) would be detectable at Smell+1, or possibly Smell+2 or Smell+3 with the right wind. A human (SM 0) a yard or two away (0) wearing strong perfume (+1) in a still room would be detectable at Smell+1 when she walked in, or Smell+2 if she had a lot of perfume on – and you'd add up to +5 after she'd been in the room for a few hours. So don't try Stealth if you like perfume!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm
Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh

Scanning Senses
Scanning senses have a designated range, after which they start accumulating stacking -2 penalties per doubling. But what are the modifiers to the Sense roll within the designated range?
There are none. To quote Active Sensors, p. B472: "They can sense objects out to their rated maximum range at no range penalty."

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh

I mean, I suppose detecting something close to the sensor should be easier to detecting it near the very edge of the designated range. +2 at point-blank? It's kinda weird to have only a 50/50 chance to detect things real close, or even a 25% chance to miss a human-sized target at point-blank with a LADAR or the like. Should they benefit from the Plain Sight modifier? Benefit from it only to offset SM penalties and range penalties?
I would avoid most such complications. Our goal was to get away from the Third Edition model with range penalties and Scan ratings. That said, "in plain sight" appears to be nearly universal, and should apply to these senses. However, if the target is being even a little evasive, or if there's any cover – which is to say, in almost any combat situation – I wouldn't give this bonus. If a high-tech sensor shouldn't believably miss targets inside its range, that's what Acute Senses are for. Acute Radar and Acute Ladar are legitimate, and baseline Scanning Sense acuity assumes human perceptions, not technological ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh

Stealth and Camouflage
Camouflage can be rolled to prevent being seen even after a failed Stealth roll; a stationary ambush only requires Camouflage, without Stealth. So Camouflage is of use on the move if vision is more of a concern than hearing . . . but regarding vision, does the Plain Sight modifier apply to trying to see camouflaged targets in the Quick Contest?
No! By definition, camouflaged people or things aren't in plain sight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh

(On one hand, by the logical reading of the bonus, it shouldn't, on the other, the numbers get weird if just trying to camouflage suddenly denies a whole +10 bonus to the enemy. In fact, this question applies to Stealth too. So far, the cleanest way for me was assuming a +10 included by default, and reduced depending on the amount of cover available down to +0 for ideal cover, with no roll available through a complete wall.)
The +10 never applies in hostile situations where one side would rather not be seen. It's specifically and exclusively for situations where the item of interest cannot avoid being seen . . . Thus, in most cases, using Camouflage or Stealth doesn't instantly give -10, because even someone without those skills would deny the +10 for "in plain sight" unless standing around like an idiot. I'd let any person avoid giving potential foes that +10 simply by asking, though they'd automatically be "up to no good" in the eyes of any cop or soldier (thus the "approach in the open with your hands above your head" order).

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh

Camouflage says it either makes the user unseen, or provides a -1 to be seen/hit. When does it merely blur the outline for this -1? Can it provide a nastier penalty than -1 and under what circumstances if yes?
That -1 is for a blurry outline vs. ranged attacks. Anything more serious would require advanced tech or superhuman abilities. Obviously, smoke could do it with fairly low tech, but that is unsubtle concealment, not camouflage per se.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh

Sense rolls in general
What amount of time does it usually take for a sense roll, i.e. how soon another one is possible? Should Time Spent modifiers apply, e.g. for slowly scanning everything up to the horizon?
Canonically, Sense rolls are free actions and not subject to time modifiers. If you fail, you can't retry until something changes to improve your Sense roll: the range decreases, the target turns on bright lights or sounds a horn, whatever. I can't think of a fair modifier that wouldn't be a free bonus for everyone outside of combat, though I might be nice and grant someone who's exclusively scanning and doing nothing else the same +2 that Aim would give after three seconds.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Stealth prevents being seen and being heard. Its main uses are hiding from sight behind concealment or in shadow, and treading lightly. However, very little in the way of gear gives a bonus in that situation; mostly, the more gear you have, the harder it is to hide, thanks to encumbrance. Dan was describing equipment bonuses, not skill effects.

Camouflage only prevents being seen. Its main use is hiding from sight by breaking up outlines and disguising oneself as part of the environment. A lot of gear gives a bonus in that situation. Again, Dan was describing equipment bonuses, not skill effects.
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:14 AM   #66
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Q: Just what is a Step, and how precisely does it work?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Step is simply a unit of distance equal to 1/10 of your Move, rounded up, minimum one yard. You might be accorded it once or rarely twice by your choice of maneuver. You can split up this movement however you wish. There are special cases where changing posture can replace all of this movement:
  • p. B368: You can use a step to go from a kneeling to a standing posture (or vice versa) instead of moving. This requires your entire step, no matter how far you could normally move.
  • Martial Arts, p. 98:
    • Dive forward to go from standing to kneeling, crawling, or lying prone. This counts as your entire step if making an Attack or Committed Attack.
    • Dive forward to go from kneeling to crawling or lying prone. This takes your entire movement allowance in all cases.
    • Fall backward to go from standing to sitting or lying face-up. This takes your entire movement allowance if you make an All-Out Attack, Attack, or Committed Attack.
    • Fall backward to go from kneeling or sitting to lying face-up. This uses up all of your movement in all cases.
All Committed Attack does is give you twice the usual step distance as your movement allowance. It does not allow you to bypass rules that say "instead of moving" or that use up your entire movement allowance.

I agree that it would be clearer if Committed Attack said that it gave you double your usual step as allowed movement, instead of two steps. The latter leaves itself open to rules-lawyering.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
My point is that "step is a different class of rules objects from all other movement, and can be traded in for other things" is incorrect.

Step is literally nothing more than a movement allowance – it's the distance you can move and still do a certain subset of maneuvers. It's in the exact same category as "none" (e.g., Do Nothing), "half your Move" (e.g., All-Out Attack), and "full Move" (e.g., Move); it fits in between "none" and "half your Move." And just as sprinting during a Move maneuver can add 20% to "full Move," Committed Attack can add 100% to "step." Nothing forbids adjustments to these allowances to smooth out the range of options some.

It is the property of maneuvers that give "step" as their movement allowance that you can instead change between certain postures. However, that is a property of those maneuvers. It isn't intrinsic in "step" and it doesn't mean that each unit of "step" can be traded for another such posture change.

The idea that "step" can be traded this way – that it's an object different from "half Move" or "full Move" – is interesting but also the source of the confusion surrounding Committed Attack. Committed Attack itself isn't especially troublesome; the issue is in applying the unorthodox reading of "step" to it. Rewording it as giving +100% to "step" would help to erase this odd interpretation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm
Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh

For most manoeuvres which includes a Step and an Attack of some kind, is it legal to split the components like this:
  • Move one hex.
  • Perform the Attack (strike, shot, feint etc.).
  • Change facing to whatever direction.
?
I had the impression that changing facing is considered part of the Step, and cannot be done separately from the hex-movement (but can replace the movement if desired), but I'm not sure I've the right impression.
The facing change is part of the movement, so it has to be at the same time – it can't be broken up. As p. B363 says:
  • A "step" is movement up to 1/10 your Move, minimum 1 yard, in any direction, a change of facing (for instance, to turn around), or both.
  • You can perform your step before or after the rest of the maneuver.
So the step is the movement and facing change taken together, and all of it must come before or after the maneuver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh

For those who have a Step of multiple hexes, or who enjoy multiple hexes of movement from doubled Step on a Committed Attack, how many Facing-Changes are there available:
(a) only one facing change throughout the manoeuvre, or (b) only one free arbitrary facing change, but extra facing-changes to face the direction the character steps into for each hex of movement (like on a Move or AoA) or (c) one free arbitrary facing-change per hex of movement?
Option (b), though you'll need a step of 3+ yards for it to be really useful.
Q: What happens if a Committed Attack gives me two Steps while my modified Move is less than two?
A:
Quote:
Originally Posted by PK View Post
Rule Zero definitely applies here, but if it helps, please consider this a FAQ:

Committed Attack was never intended to act as a superior alternative to Move! As a general rule, no "Step and . . ." maneuver should ever provide movement greater than what you could accomplish via a Move maneuver.
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Old 01-13-2015, 01:45 PM   #67
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Default Re: (Unofficial) FAQ of the GURPS Fora

Q: How does Detect handle target-rich environments? Does it need Selective Effect to be prepared for them?
A: Here's some discussion that should shed some light on the question:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_matrix_walker
I was having a look at an old posting of yours,
The Perfect Super Tracker

What I notice is absent there, is Selective Effect.

Is it the intent of the rules for Detect that you can look past known sources and look for specifics, rather than just the "nearest significant source of the substance" without the benefit of Selective Effect?

Thanks in advance for the clarification, and I hope you had a great vacation!
That's just a logical side effect of Analyzing, actually. The Cosmic included there means that IQ rolls for detailed analysis never fail, so you can instantly sort through all sources and know exactly what you've detected.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_matrix_walker

So if a character is with his group of adventurers and has Detect Humans, but does not have Analyzing or Selective Effect, he cannot scan his local area for someone creeping around, because the closest significant source are the guys at the campfire?
Sure he can. But now he has to roll vs. IQ for analysis – a simple Per roll for detection isn't enough. The point of Analyzing is that you don't have to attempt this roll . . . it's automatic. Adding Cosmic means that you don't even have to roll if the GM deems the necessary task to be "detailed analysis" rather than mere "analysis," which seems likely for "everybody in creation" but not for "everybody within tens of yards." The goal of my build in the quoted post was to anticipate all likely GM-imposed obstacles to be as over-the-top as possible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_matrix_walker
I may have confused matters by bringing up that particular post.

Over the top examples aside, I'm trying to determine if unmodified Detect can look past known sources, or narrow it's search parameters.

Can the guy with Detect Humans look past his buddies and find someone lurking in the woods?

Can someone with Detect Metal attempt to look specifically for gold?

Does the use of Detect (actually detect all sources in range, but then) need a successful analysis roll to perform these feats?

And if not, is Selective Effect the way to do those things?

Thanks again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm
Basically, Detect can detect any subset within its purview – that's why broader forms of Detect cost more, not less. What allows this to work is not excluding a known source or specifying a subset before the search starts, but making the IQ roll for analysis afterward. The simplest way for the GM to handle this is to make the Per roll, look up the margin on the Size and Speed/Range Table to find the range, and then have an IQ roll assess the nature of any appropriate targets within that radius. The better the IQ roll, the more specific the details.

I don't see how Selective Effect really fits . . . That's for active area-effect abilities, while Detect is really no more such an ability than is hearing or smell. Just as abilities with the Discriminatory modifier can't have Selective Effect, I'd say Detect cannot by virtue of making Analyzing available.
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_matrix_walker
So Detect can in fact pick up things other than the single closest significant source of what you are detecting? The Advantage listing doesn't really read like that... It reads more like you can detect the closest thing that will set it off, and then you can make an IQ roll to analyze that (and nothing beyond it). So that if, by example, there is a pound of gold buried 20 feet from a 2 ton vein of iron, Detect Metal (by the reading in the Basic Set) would never find the gold, as the iron trumps it, and analysis only works on what you actually find.

If I'm reading your response correctly, Detect finds all instances of your subject in sense range, and then analysis (be it by IQ roll or automatically with Analyzing) sorts all that out?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_matrix_walker

So Detect can in fact pick up things other than the single closest significant source of what you are detecting? The Advantage listing doesn't really read like that...
I think the existing wording makes for a lousy ability, to be honest. It also leads to stupid arguments . . . "Sure, you can use Detect (Metal) just as soon as you take off all your armor."

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_matrix_walker

If I'm reading your response correctly, Detect finds all instances of your subject in sense range, and then analysis (be it by IQ roll or automatically with Analyzing) sorts all that out?
That is correct. Honestly, would you pay 30 points for Detect (All Life) so that you can confirm that you have skin bacteria? Even with an "exclude known sources" clause, a jerk GM could have you detecting a mosquito on your helmet, a worm 10 cm from your boot, etc. I think the interpretation I gave is a lot fairer to players.
Q: Do Reflexive sensory abilities (primarily Detect) suffer a -4 when activated reflexively on their sense rolls?
A:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm
Quote:
Originally Posted by NineDaysDead

2. Many abilities use Reflexive +40%, but seem to ignore "If this normally requires a success roll, activation requires a roll at -4".
The roll at -4 is the activation roll. A Sense roll isn't an activation roll . . . what Reflexive does here is count as a level of Reduced Time (so you don't need actions to use your senses, like a Concentrate maneuver to attempt a Vision roll to spot a distant target) and let the sense wake you up. I agree that the distinction between activation and use rolls in GURPS leaves something to be desired, but they are different.
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Old 01-30-2015, 05:11 AM   #68
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Q: Why are Evaluate and Telegraphic Attack non-stackable / non-cumulative with each other / mutually exlusive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm
Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh

I've seen this question come up before, and it's come up again. What is the official explanation(s) for why Evaluate and Telegraphic Attack are mutually exclusive?
Telegraphic Attack is about ignoring the opponent's precise actions and focusing on perfect execution, while Evaluate is about studying the opponent's actions to find the perfect opening.* It's hard to justify ignoring something while studying it, so we made the two mechanics exclusive on realism grounds.

* Originally, Evaluate was envisioned as -1 to target's defenses per turn, up to -3. Lots of playtesters disliked that. I still think that would've been a more logical take on "looking for an opening," but coming up with a melee equivalent to Aim won the day.
Q: Can I use Judo instead of DX for things like keeping balance, striking a DX-based (not skill-based!) attack etc.?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm
Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh

Judo is listed as a skill that can replace DX in DX rolls in close combat. I've used to read that quite literally and without reservation - i.e. any action in close combat that calls for a DX roll to succeed one way or another (except equipment-drawing/dropping). Now I have doubts.
That is mostly correct. It covers DX rolls required by grappling, sure, and also DX rolls to keep your footing or for just about any other utility purpose in close combat. The line is drawn when strikes (punches, kicks, shoves, slams, etc.) or equipment (readying, dropping, or using) get involved. Under those circumstances, Judo cannot replace DX unless a specific rule says so. In particular, if a rule explicitly lists the allowed skills like "DX or Sumo Wrestling," "DX, Brawling, or Sumo Wrestling," or "DX, Brawling, Sumo Wrestling, or Wrestling" Judo works only if it's called out on the list. For lists of the basic attacks covered by each unarmed skill, see Offensive Techniques (Martial Arts, p. 90).
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Old 06-13-2015, 02:13 AM   #69
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Default Re: (Unofficial) FAQ of the GURPS Fora

(Continued from Wealth.)
----
Q: How does Settled Lifestyle work, what exactly does it give? Can I use my car on an adventure?
A:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
To address the question briefly (the long answer being in the thread linked earlier):

The box on p. B266 exemplifies the things you can count on having without any need to itemize them or do detailed accounting, under two conditions: (1) you set aside 80% of your starting money to reflect a settled lifestyle, per the box on p. B26, and (2) you pay the cost of living on p. B265 each month. The fraction set aside for (1) reflects a mixture of cash paid for goods bought outright, cash not earned due to time spent making or stealing things, and possibly equity built up in large purchases. The payments in (2) reflect maintenance costs, mortgage payments, the entertainment budget to impress people enough to extend you credit, etc. All of the above is intentionally left abstract!

Nothing says that you cannot use the goods in the box on p. B266 on an adventure. If you do, though, you risk losing them! This matters because those things are part of what cements your Status. If you lose your car and wardrobe, your house gets blown up by the Greys, and you find yourself wandering around with only the stuff the other 20% of your money bought, like guns and body armor . . . well, the GM can hit you with a Status drop, and have the authorities treat you as they would any armed hobo. If you keep that stuff out of the picture on adventures, then it isn't normally at risk, and you can claim that you have a safe place to heal from injuries, stash your adventuring gear between adventures, etc. "for free."

Alternatively, you can be a wanderer with 100% of your money in adventuring gear. But then you don't get any of the things in the box on p. B266. You have to do detailed accounting on your stuff, and odds are you'll be limited to much less because you aren't settled, have no credit rating, and therefore cannot claim that you're paying off a house, a car, etc. What you will have is, of course, truly yours and likely handy on adventures. You might well still end up being treated like an armed hobo, though.

As for a background where nobody has a job, there are no authorities to look dimly upon wanderers with vehicles full of adventuring gear, Status loss isn't a factor, and there's nothing to pay cost of living on . . . well, that's a post-apocalypse campaign, shipwreck campaign, or post-scarcity science-fiction campaign. Just ignore all the rules for social traits, because they won't be relevant. Doing this yet positing that there's a society with a class structure floating around, and that this somehow doesn't touch the PCs, is a valid simplification for a minimally realistic genre like Dungeon Fantasy, but it's unwise for anything heavier.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Status is supposed to track Wealth. And note that the rules do let you pay the cost of living for higher Status and get the purely material goods, even if you lack the Status. However, you don't get authority to go with.
Q: Why are Cost of Living (CoL) numbers so low? I can't survive in USA in real life on the amount of money assigned to my Status!
A:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post

USA's living expenses pricing is wacky and shouldn't be used as a baseline when writing a generic universal system anyway.
This seems true as well.

By dint of being Canadian and having made many of my friends in graduate school, where most of the foreign students came from Europe and Asia, the majority of my contacts live outside the United States. When I read about how living expenses are proportioned in the U.S.A., I find it anomalous. Among other things, it seems U.S. culture is skewed toward owning houses and away from renting apartments, favors living outside the city core, and assumes motor-vehicle ownership. Most of the people I know everywhere else rent apartments in the city, and walk or bike. There's also the fact that just about all the world is more socialist than the U.S.A., which adjusts how much goes to taxes and how much is paid for services (from trash collection to hospitals).

Consequently, I'd be hesitant to give too much weight to modern U.S. cost of living in my in-game economics unless I were running a game set in a specific U.S. city where I knew the real-world breakdown (and in that case, I'd do my research locally, not ask people who lived outside that city). I certainly wouldn't base the economic assumptions of a generic game system on that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
The issue is that GURPS is a generic game. Setting aside that it must cover historical and futuristic games, fantasy worlds, and campaigns set in completely different universes, and looking only at the real world of 2018:

Status and Wealth are meant to be global indices. Average wealth is the average of everybody worldwide, and the other levels are multipliers applied to that. Status 0 rates the average lifestyle enjoyed worldwide, and the other levels are adjustments up and down from that.

This is why, for instance, Transhuman Space: Fifth Wave, p. 61, labels the average North American as being Comfortable to Wealthy. This means someone there is able to support Status 0 without trying, and Status 1-2 easily enough if that's a priority. That book also typifies Status 1 as "ordinary citizen" in several places.

I suspect we're already in that situation today, and that a modern U.S. citizen – placed on the global scale – is Comfortable to Wealthy, supporting at least a Status 1 lifestyle with a $1,200 monthly cost of living. There aren't enough people in all the U.S. to skew the global averages, which are weighted heavily toward China and India . . . or enough people in any big U.S. city to tip the balance away from Beijing, Guangzhou, Istanbul, Karachi, Lagos, Moscow, Mumbai, So Paulo, Shanghai, Shenzhen, etc. I'm pretty sure $600/month would be more than enough to live a fairly free, non-street-person existence in the majority of those cities.
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Old 06-23-2015, 02:07 AM   #70
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Default Re: (Unofficial) FAQ of the GURPS Fora

On arcs of vision, Front, Side and Back hexes etc.
Not sure how frequently people actually get confused by this one, but this is probably worth keeping archived in the uFAQ:
Here is how these hexes are defined.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm
In general, the diagram on p. B74 or p. B389 should be used. The white hexes are where you have unpenalized defense, ranged attack, and Vision rolls; the gray ones are where you have penalties for the side; and the black ones are where you cannot attempt the task at all. This is a question of awareness . . . and note that for defenses, the question isn't "Can I reach this hex with a melee attack?" but "Can I defend against attacks coming out of this hex?" You can parry or block attacks from foes you can't easily attack.

Melee attacks (only) use the diagram on p. B388. This is more restrictive. The Front, 2, and 3 hexes count as "front" if you can reach them; the black hexes on p. B74 or p. B389 still count as "back"; and everything else counts as "side" and demands a Wild Swing.

The two differ mostly because it's easier to turn a head to see something, and possibly to shift a shield or weapon slightly to intercept something, than to launch a full-powered thrust or swing at it. That's a function of body dynamics. Missiles get a special pass and use the better arc because you just have to let go of the bowstring, pull the trigger, etc.; you do not have to follow through with all your weight and might.
An illustration courtesy of Brian Ronnle:
Example A is for Mle Attacks (remember that Jets count as mle!).
Example B is for vision, ranged attacks, and Active Defences, and probably everything else.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg HexType.jpg (75.1 KB, 672 views)
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