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Old 08-18-2019, 04:02 AM   #1
Thamior
 
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Default Translating the concept of HP from D&D (and the like) to GURPS

Hello, guys and gals! :) I always had this problem of translating... let me call it "a progression of survivability alongside character advancement" from systems like D&D and many CRPGS (including even Fallout, which was prototypically based off GURPS in many ways, as you well know) to GURPS. At its core GURPS is very realistic and not quite "gamey" enough in this respect. You progress but stay more or less as "squishy" as you were when just starting out as an adventurer.
Yeah, I know that there are cinematic rule options in GURPS. Quite a few (maybe some I'm not aware of due to sheer volume of GURPS official material). Thing is I have trouble making them into a cohesive whole which would be satisfiable for me.
I suppose that many of you have concerned yourself with something similar and have your own solution to the problem. This can be a combination of existing rules, or your own or somebody else's house rules that you use. Best practices, so to speak. Maybe there are popular threads on this forum about this topic on the forum, which I missed.
Would be grateful for any and all your input and suggestions. Cheers! :)
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Old 08-18-2019, 05:00 AM   #2
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Translating the concept of HP from D&D (and the like) to GURPS

DR (Ablative, -80%; Force Shield, +20%; Flexible, -20%; No Signature, +20%) [2/level] is one way to portray HP. Characters could purchase HT/2 (round down) levels per 25 CP of points invested in template traits.
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Old 08-18-2019, 06:41 AM   #3
shawnhcorey
 
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Default Re: Translating the concept of HP from D&D (and the like) to GURPS

You can always buy more HP at 2 character points per level. B16
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: Translating the concept of HP from D&D (and the like) to GURPS

GURPS characters become more survivable in many ways. They include:
  • Buying up combat skills, for better parries and/or blocks.
  • Buying up Speed, either directly, or via HT and DX, for better dodges, and going first to take opponents down before they attack you.
  • Using tactics and the combat system more fully, for retreats, deceptive attacks, hit locations, and so on.
  • Buying advantages, such as Combat Reflexes, Enhanced Defences, Luck, Hard to Kill, and so on.
These seem to be the same kinds of changes that get rolled into increasing D&D hit points, just specified in detail.

Buying extra GURPS hit points is not often an effective way to become tougher. I've done it exactly once, in a high-tech military game where there's no worthwhile armour, and the opponents' usual weapons are rifles doing 7d damage, average 24.5. I noticed that having 13, rather than 12, hit points considerably reduced the odds of needing to make a death check after being shot once. I'd need to take 26, rather than 24 points, to force a check. I had to accept that after taking that sort of damage, I'd be out of the fight.

The effective way to avoid getting hurt under GURPS is not to get hit. Accepting that you will be hit regularly and trying to win a battle of attrition is not an effective approach.

Last edited by johndallman; 08-18-2019 at 07:30 AM. Reason: hit locations
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:21 AM   #5
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Translating the concept of HP from D&D (and the like) to GURPS

Kromm called the idea "Vitality Reserve", which term should find a number of past threads on the topic. A few differences from ablative DR, soaking injury rather than damage, plus more kinds of damage. Also differs from "moar HP" in that it heals separately, doesn't count toward low-HP threshold penalties, and so on.
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:19 AM   #6
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Translating the concept of HP from D&D (and the like) to GURPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnhcorey View Post
You can always buy more HP at 2 character points per level. B16
Ablative DR has many advantages over HP. Not only does it absorb damage, which protects against injury, side effects, and symptoms, it also protects against Afflictions and any attack with Blood Agent or Contact Agent. It also protects against crippling and shock.

For example, compare two ST 12 and HT 12 characters, one with the above Ablative DR 12 and one with HP 24. Let us imagine that they suffer an attack by a Toxic Attack 10d (Area Effect, 32 yards, +250%; Blood Agent, +100%; Persistent, +40%). Since a Blood Agent has to touch an open wound or mucous membrane to have any effect at all, the character with the above Ablative DR suffers no damage or injury, so their Ablative DR remains at 12. Conversely, the character with HP 24 suffers 35 damage and must make a HT roll to check for a major wound and for unconsciousness, have a 50% chance that they will remain in the cloud for another turn.

Let us assume that the same character are shot in the eye be a .40 for 2d pi+ damage. If we assume average damage of 7, the character with the above Ablative DR just reduces their DR to 5 and runs to cover. The character with HP 24 suffers a blinding injury to the eye and, which is worse, the entire damage counts as if to the skull without DR 2, meaning they suffer 28 points of injury and must make a HT rolls to avoid knockdown (-10), stunning, and unconsciousness.
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:38 AM   #7
Gold & Appel Inc
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Default Re: Translating the concept of HP from D&D (and the like) to GURPS

Unless the Ablative DR is also a Force Field or otherwise providing DR to every possible point of systemic access, I don't see how it's going to help at all vs an Area Affect Blood Agent. That's like saying you don't need Filter Lungs to ignore a Respiratory Agent if you have Ablative DR.
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:11 AM   #8
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Translating the concept of HP from D&D (and the like) to GURPS

The Ablative DR described above does have Force Field.
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:13 AM   #9
Varyon
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Default Re: Translating the concept of HP from D&D (and the like) to GURPS

With the sheer quantity of HP characters tend to have in such games, and the fact it’s not uncommon for HP to scale linearly with level, IT:DR is often the way to go. Of course, you often don’t need much scaling if trying to emulate a lot of modern video games, as enemies usually scale with level, meaning a fight with a soldier at level 1 and one with a soldier at level 99 is often only different in terms of options available and that each hit now averages 500 damage instead of 5 (but as the soldier now has 3000 HP instead of 30, he drops just as quickly).

DnD is typically different, as outside of certain spells damage doesn’t scale as quickly as HP, so high level combats usually last longer if they’re slugfests.

The real question, of course, is what kind of feel you want for your setting. If you want something where an arrow to the chest is a Big Deal regardless of how badass you are, GURPS default can work well. If you want Big Damn Heroes to shrug off such wounds, increased HP or IT:DR is probably the best way to go. If you want characters to be able to basically soak a lot of damage but then end up roughly as fragile as a normal human once this is depleted, Ablative DR or Vitality Reserve (see the previously-linked Krommpost for a rundown of the pros and cons of each) is the way to go.

For reference, the above are roughly appropriate for things like Goblin Slayer, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and RWBY (speaking of arrows to the chest...), respectively.

Edit: Does Force Field actually protect against the Blood Agent Enhancement? That seems like it would be stepping on the toes of Sealed a bit too much (also, the same justification could be used to allow it to work against Contact Agent, which seems rather excessive to me).
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Last edited by Varyon; 08-18-2019 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:14 AM   #10
awesomenessofme1
 
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Default Re: Translating the concept of HP from D&D (and the like) to GURPS

One important thing if you want to use HP as it generally appears in other systems is a way to not be harmed by having low HP (i.e. removing the Move/Dodge penalties for being below 1/3 HP). Monster Hunters: Power-Ups 1 added Injury Tolerance (Unstoppable) that does exactly that. It's 10 pts for HP and 20 points for HP and FP.
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