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Old 04-22-2020, 02:54 PM   #11
Dalin
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Default Re: Equipment Familiarity

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Originally Posted by jsbrewster1 View Post
I'd never penalize a player for using a Colt .38 instead of a S&W .38, as long as the mechanisms are the same. And even if they are slightly different, for example, a striker-fired versus hammer-fired 9mm, that's about 15 minutes of familiarity, not 8 hours.
Lots of other people wouldn't either. It totally depends on the style of game you're going for. I don't really worry about what GURPS officially marks as optional or not. I think of the whole thing as a menu and I'm trying to plan delicious meals for my players. My 10+ year 3e fantasy campaign never even used hit locations. What I love about it, though, is that the complexity is there if I need or want it.
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Old 04-22-2020, 03:46 PM   #12
kirbwarrior
 
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Dreamland
Default Re: Equipment Familiarity

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Originally Posted by jsbrewster1 View Post
How many of you use the Familiarity rules as written in the Basic book? Or what have you done to mitigate some of the penalties.
I understand the usefulness of the rule existing, but I've hard taken a NO to it. It definitely falls under the umbrella of 'only there for inconvenience, including by slowing gameplay down for little or no gain' of rules I outright ignore. In particular, I feel this gets in my way as a GM as I have to remember among the hundreds of possible familiarities if this new tool is one the player has and thus makes it harder to introduce fun and new things.
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While I do not think that GURPS is perfect I do think that it is more balanced than what I am likely to create by GM fiat.
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Old 04-23-2020, 04:06 PM   #13
Black Leviathan
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Default Re: Equipment Familiarity

We've used them in the past but realistically you don't have a lot of situations where you're unfamiliar. Most of our games are set in familiar territory and most characters would be familiar with a range of equipment for their skill. We apply it for weapons and cars mostly. In the game I'm running currently the players are NATO soldiers behind enemy lines so nothing is in English or Standard measurement, or located where your expecting it to be so there are a lot of penalties for using Soviet Block equipment.
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Old 04-23-2020, 04:54 PM   #14
bocephus
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Default Re: Equipment Familiarity

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Originally Posted by jsbrewster1 View Post
Hi all, I just spent the last half hour or so reading about Equipment Familiarity. I never even realized it was a thing until started creating my latest character, and noticed the box on p.169, and that it wasn't an optional rule.

How many of you use the Familiarity rules as written in the Basic book? Or what have you done to mitigate some of the penalties.
Like several others here, I sort of use it when it seems called for and its nice to have the rule to handle it. I dont enforce it RAW, it more a narrative tool for the GM in my mind. I mitigate it, by just not using it if it doesn't advance the narrative.

Like someone else said if your used to driving a sports car and you jump in a beetle, you arent going to notice much difference driving to the store. When you try to evade the cops in it, you are going to have to take some time (not sure Id say 8 hours either but the rules are there if you want them) getting used to what it can and cant do and its quirks.

Real life example:
I drive a 5speed diesel truck daily (my big baby). When I get in my wifes little 6speed turbo diesel car, I almost ALWAYS stall it putting it in first gear after backing out of the drive. The clutch is SO much tighter than mine and its not as forgiving about being low RPM to start moving. Parking it is also touchy, its so small and manuverable compared to my land yacht, I always over correct. I have driven her can many times, sometimes for a couple weeks if there is a reason. Im familiar with it and it still happens with alarming regularity.
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Old 04-23-2020, 05:10 PM   #15
khorboth
 
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Denver, CO
Default Re: Equipment Familiarity

I nominally use it in most games. But... I've only actually invoked it a few times.

When my genetically enhanced super-soldiers decided to play lazer-tag, I assessed a familiarity penalty on top of the defaulting penalty dropping their skills into the middle teens with beam weapons for the first match.

When a western knight picked up a katana for the first time in combat to replace the one that was disarmed, I assessed the penalty.

In general, when PCs buy new equipment, I remind them to practice with it a bit to gain familiarity.

Mostly, though, I haven't actually had to assess penalties.
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