Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-10-2010, 03:40 PM   #1
IronHawk
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Default Newbie Question on Surprise rules

Hi All:

I'm new to GURPS (and new to the board) and need a little help with the rules on surprise. A few days ago, I ran a simple find & destroy mission for a small group of players; their target was a dire wolf whose stats I grabbed off Collective Restraint's website. The genre was a standard fantasy setting.

Anyway, the PCs had tracked the DW back to its den and were approaching the den when one of them failed their stealth check. Hidden inside the den, the DW hears the PCs and prepares to attack.

At this point, the party sees the entrance to the den, but doesn't know if their target is within. The DW knows that "prey" is just outside its door.

OK, here's where I ran into trouble. The DW leaps out to attack, and I figure that the party might be surprised so I called for a surprise check. From what I read on page 393, I judged this to be partial surprise, but that requires BOTH sides to roll for initiative and the loser freezes. Well, of course the wolf loses, despite him already knowing that the party is there. Now he's got to wait 1d rounds (I rolled a 4) during which time he's frozen (no, wolves don't get Combat Reflexes) and then start trying to recover from the mental stun by rolling below his IQ of 4. I could see the DW standing there for 10 or 15 seconds while the party beats the stuffing out of him.

All of this seems very "wrong" to me. Did I interpret the surprise rules correctly? If not, (and I hope not) then what did I do wrong? Thanks.

All the Best,
Scott
IronHawk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 03:59 PM   #2
Mark Skarr
Forum Pervert
(If you have to ask . . .)
 
Mark Skarr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Default Re: Newbie Question on Surprise rules

I would have considered it total surprise. The ambushers are ambushed. Those that bought Combat Reflexes are getting their points worth. Also, if this thing has been hunting people, it should have Combat Reflexes, if not, it would have been put down by local guards.

Otherwise, it jumps in and doesn't understand what's going on with all the humans not being afraid of it, and it freezes. If that were to happen, then, yes, it would be a beat-down.
Mark Skarr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 04:05 PM   #3
mlangsdorf
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Default Re: Newbie Question on Surprise rules

You mixed up total and partial surprise, for starters.

The Dire Wolf jumps out and then both sides roll 1d6 for surprise. The PCs get +1 for having more IQ than a wolf, and probably +1 for having someone with Combat Reflexes on the team. They may also get +1 for having a leader with Tactics or -2 for not having a recognized leader. The wolf gets +2 for having Combat Reflexes, and possibly a +2 for initiating the combat (you can give it extra bonuses).

So far, this is a somewhere between a wash or an overwhelming advantage to the wolf, and I'm not sure why you'd say the wolf automatically loses. But assuming the PCs are sharp or roll a 6 and the wolf rolls a 1, then the wolf is mentally stunned. It rolls IQ (at +1 per round) to recover, and being a monstrous predator, it gets a +6 bonus from Combat Reflexes on that surprise roll. So it stops for a second or 2 (the cumulative chance of the wolf failing 3 IQ+6 rolls is 1/20) while it recovers, and probably gets cut up if the PCs have weapons out.

Alternately and more likely in my opinion, the PCs see one of their own collapse when a dire wolf jumps him with surprise, lose the initiative, and see 1-2 more go down before someone with Combat Reflexes or a high IQ gets into action. Then the wolf gets chopped to shreds, but hey.

Another option would be to roll initiative before the wolf comes out to play. If the wolf is surprised, it freezes for a few seconds and then jumps out. If it isn't surprised, it jumps out and the PCs get to spend a few rounds mentally stunned and wishing they had Combat Reflexes.
mlangsdorf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 07:43 PM   #4
Agramer
 
Agramer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Zagreb,Croatia
Default Re: Newbie Question on Surprise rules

1)Such "Monster wolf" would have Combat reflexes most likely

2)Wolf is already attacking,he "ambushed party" so he doesnt roll anything.
-sequence is established Wolf is first,than are PCs

3)Since PCs are entering his den and expecting combat they cant be totally
surprised,so in your example theyre Partially surprised.Since Wolf is
ambusher he acts first while PCs are mentally stunned.
When PCs turn comes(when wolf is finished...maybe he already attacked them or is still running toward them,depends on your setup) Each PC must make "Do nothing manoeuvre" and rolls vs Will to get out of mental stun(Combat ref give +6 to that roll).

Than ,its Wolfs turn again....

After wolf is done is PC turn...those who snaped out of Mental stun last turn can act normally,those that didnt now roll vs Will+1( +1 to Will on 2nd turn,+2 on 3rd,+3 on 4th...etc since this is partial surprise).


4) Only time when you roll initiative for both Wolf and PCs would be if they didnt noticed each other and have blundered on each other.
So called "encounter" when neither side expected encounter...than you roll initiative

Basic p 393.
__________________
SJG Browser turn based strategy game Ultracorps

Great community...give it a try :)
Agramer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2010, 01:04 AM   #5
Dragondog
Never Been Pretty
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Default Re: Newbie Question on Surprise rules

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agramer View Post
4) Only time when you roll initiative for both Wolf and PCs would be if they didnt noticed each other and have blundered on each other.
So called "encounter" when neither side expected encounter...than you roll initiative

Basic p 393.
That's not how I read the rules on that page.

"This may occur when the defenders were expecting trouble... or when each party surprised the other! The GM should require each side to roll for initiative." [Basic 393]

As I read the rules, you should roll in both cases, which is what OP did. I don't know how SJGames justify this outcome though, but I hope it came up before the game went to publication.

In regards to dire wolves, I must say that my dire wolf template does have combat reflexes on it.
Dragondog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2010, 01:11 PM   #6
Kromm
GURPS Line Editor
 
Kromm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Montréal, Québec
Default Re: Newbie Question on Surprise rules

In brief:
  • Partial surprise is used when:

    1. Two hostile parties are moving blind to one another and suddenly encounter each other, leading to a hasty encounter battle. This is likely when the two parties are patrolling or searching, and through blind luck step out from concealment and run into each other at engagement range. For this, roll initiative and follow the rules under Partial Surprise.

    2. One party successfully sneaks up on another party that was expecting trouble. This is normally the result of winning a Quick Contest of Camouflage, Shadowing, Stealth, or similar vs. the prey's Per score or Observation skill. Don't roll for initiative! The Quick Contest above replaces the initiative roll, and victory at sneaking automatically gives the initiative to the sneaky party. The surprised party is affected as described under Partial Surprise.*

  • Total surprise is used when one party successfully sneaks up on another party that wasn't expecting trouble. The dice rolls work like the second case above, except that winning the Quick Contest means the surprised party is affected as noted under Total Surprise.
* This is the case that applies in the OP.
__________________
Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch <kromm@sjgames.com>
GURPS Line Editor, Steve Jackson Games
My LiveJournal [Just GURPS News][Just The Company]
Kromm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2010, 09:18 AM   #7
Azinctus
 
Azinctus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Lyon, France
Default Re: Newbie Question on Surprise rules

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
[*]One party successfully sneaks up on another party that was expecting trouble. This is normally the result of winning a Quick Contest of Camouflage, Shadowing, Stealth, or similar vs. the prey's Per score or Observation skill. Don't roll for initiative! The Quick Contest above replaces the initiative roll, and victory at sneaking automatically gives the initiative to the sneaky party. The surprised party is affected as described under Partial Surprise.
Crikey! Is that a new rule? Its a good rule and I'll use it. Is it anywhere in the Basic Set? If not I think it is errata for page B.393.
__________________
"wars and storms are best to be read of, but peace and calms are better to endure" Jeremy Bentham
Azinctus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2010, 09:49 AM   #8
Agramer
 
Agramer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Zagreb,Croatia
Default Re: Newbie Question on Surprise rules

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azinctus View Post
Crikey! Is that a new rule? Its a good rule and I'll use it. Is it anywhere in the Basic Set? If not I think it is errata for page B.393.
Thats logic;Why would I have to roll for partial surprise if I sneaked behind guards back and am about to stab him when he turns his head and spots me?
__________________
SJG Browser turn based strategy game Ultracorps

Great community...give it a try :)
Agramer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2010, 09:56 AM   #9
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: Newbie Question on Surprise rules

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agramer View Post
Thats logic;Why would I have to roll for partial surprise if I sneaked behind guards back and am about to stab him when he turns his head and spots me?
If that logic fails to be represented in the rules as written, the Krommian reconciliation between them is errata. Or FAQ, at the very least.

Don't have time to analyze and see if it's extractable from the text, but I remember thinking there was a gaping hole there when I read it.
__________________
I don't know any 3e, so there is no chance that I am talking about 3e rules by accident.
Ulzgoroth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2010, 10:14 AM   #10
Dragondog
Never Been Pretty
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Default Re: Newbie Question on Surprise rules

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
If that logic fails to be represented in the rules as written, the Krommian reconciliation between them is errata. Or FAQ, at the very least.

Don't have time to analyze and see if it's extractable from the text, but I remember thinking there was a gaping hole there when I read it.
The rules on surprise in the Basic Set does not represent what Kromm said, at least not as I read them. But I agree with you. What he said makes much more sense and should be errata or FAQ.
Dragondog is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
combat rules

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:35 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.