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Old 11-06-2014, 06:46 AM   #1
Sindri
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Default Balancing High Size Modifier

It's quite well known that high SM is generally a bad choice, especially SM +1. Aside from unbalance being bad this is a shame for people who aesthetically want to play the 7 foot tall barbarian or something. Or perhaps I don't like it since I technically qualify for SM +1 : ).

If it can be improved to balance with low SM while not gaining unrealistic features that would be ideal. otherwise it needs to be priced properly.

Suggestions?
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Old 11-06-2014, 07:51 AM   #2
Culture20
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Default Re: Balancing High Size Modifier

I don't see the problem. SM+1 and higher get cost reduction for ST, HP, and DR, yes?
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Old 11-06-2014, 08:02 AM   #3
Sindri
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Default Re: Balancing High Size Modifier

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Originally Posted by Culture20 View Post
I don't see the problem. SM+1 and higher get cost reduction for ST, HP, and DR, yes?
They get a small discount on ST and HP that is hard to justify and does nothing for people who don't buy up ST.

Certainly advantages exist but for most characters High SM isn't a feature, it's a disadvantage without recompensation.
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Old 11-06-2014, 08:33 AM   #4
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Balancing High Size Modifier

A character who is that large really ought to have ST higher than 10, realistically.

I tend not to give human characters SM+1 if they're, say, 6'3" or so. The character design is just a bit too fussy. Metric values would have worked better here; having SM+1 start at 6'6 3/4" would be a better fit to human body sizes.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 11-06-2014, 08:37 AM   #5
Sindri
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Default Re: Balancing High Size Modifier

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
A character who is that large really ought to have ST higher than 10, realistically.
Yes, yes they should. That has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with pricing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I tend not to give human characters SM+1 if they're, say, 6'3" or so. The character design is just a bit too fussy. Metric values would have worked better here; having SM+1 start at 6'6 3/4" would be a better fit to human body sizes.

Bill Stoddard
My impression is that's it's pretty common to fudge the SM+1 transition in humans. Gigantism requires a full 7'.
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Old 11-06-2014, 08:45 AM   #6
McAllister
 
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Balancing High Size Modifier

I dunno, people are at +1 to hit you, but you save 1 point on each point of ST and the amount that you can fit in your mouth is absolutely impressive. Seriously, I think it's Martial Arts that explains what you can and cannot bite based on relative size, and SM+1 people might be able to rip other peoples' arms off with their teeth.

...yeah, I wish SM were considered in a little more depth.
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Old 11-06-2014, 08:52 AM   #7
Sindri
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Default Re: Balancing High Size Modifier

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Originally Posted by McAllister View Post
I dunno, people are at +1 to hit you, but you save 1 point on each point of ST and the amount that you can fit in your mouth is absolutely impressive. Seriously, I think it's Martial Arts that explains what you can and cannot bite based on relative size, and SM+1 people might be able to rip other peoples' arms off with their teeth.

...yeah, I wish SM were considered in a little more depth.
I am absolutely prepared to agree that high SM is a good choice for biters but I do play the occasional character who isn't trying to rip other peoples' arms of with their teeth.

: )
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:05 AM   #8
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: Balancing High Size Modifier

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Originally Posted by McAllister View Post
I dunno, people are at +1 to hit you, but you save 1 point on each point of ST and the amount that you can fit in your mouth is absolutely impressive.
...Does that really sound like a break-even to you?
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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
I am absolutely prepared to agree that high SM is a good choice for biters but I do play the occasional character who isn't trying to rip other peoples' arms of with their teeth.

: )
Of course you could just take Born Biter, if what you're going for is fitting other people's anatomy between your jaws.
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:15 AM   #9
Sindri
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Default Re: Balancing High Size Modifier

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...Does that really sound like a break-even to you?
I don't think either of us were being entirely serious there.
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:21 AM   #10
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Balancing High Size Modifier

I came up with (but am still working on) a system for making Mass into a Trait rather than Feature, and adapting that to handle SM might be a good idea. Ideally, once I've got that one worked out, it and SM should be combined. I should note the ST discount isn't factored in below - ST discount was some sort of hack to try and make high SM worthwhile as far as I can tell and should be tossed to the side like so much rubbish.

The bits from there that are relevant are the change in armor/clothing weight and cost, and the change in consumption. Each +1 SM is [-5] for armor/clothing, [-3] for consumption (in settings where life support in general is limited, such as in a campaign with spaceships, [-5] may be more appropriate). Each -1 SM is [5] for armor/clothing, [5] for consumption. So far we're at [-8] for +1 SM, [10] for -1 SM.

The rest of the effects are explored in this thread (some of these values are from my post there). The various Reach, Evasion, Trampling, etc. SM effects are probably worth [5] for +1 SM, [-5] for -1 SM. SM modifies how difficult you are to see and how difficult you are to hit, and in melee modifies how easily you can hit enemies (in opposite directions, depending on if you're striking or grappling). I'd eyeball it as something like a half-level of Cosmic Dodge (because it works even when you can't Dodge) plus something like a sneaky talent; this probably works out to around [-10] for +1 SM, [10] for -1 SM. The effects of poison - high SM should require a higher dose, low SM a lower one - is probably worth around 2 points either way, for [2] for +1 SM and [-2] for -1 SM. Higher SM gives you an Intimidation bonus and a resistance to Intimidation (and balking at a charge), so [3] for +1 SM, and we'd might as well reverse it for low SM, so [-3] for -1 SM. Note everything in this paragraph works out to be an overall Feature.

Some houserules have SM affect wounding modifiers, which works out as either IT:DR (high SM) or Vulnerability (low SM) to nearly everything. If using those, area effects and external explosions should typically ignore SM (unless the target is so large they become point effects), which is arguably something like a -5% or so modifier on the trait. That's [24] for +1 SM, [-24] for -1 SM. Blowthrough may also be modified by SM, although it's easiest to just stick with basing it purely on HP.

All told, without the WM houserule we're looking at [-8] for +1 SM, [10] for -1 SM. With the WM houserule, things get switched around, for [16] for +1 SM, [-14] for -1 SM. Those are probably close enough that we can call SM a [+10] trait without the houserule (high SM being a Disadvantage), [+15] with the houserule (high SM being an Advantage). Of course, many of the above modifiers assume a pure symmetry between Advantage and Disadvantage, which isn't necessarily the case. GURPS Disadvantages are often only 60% or so the price of equivalent Advantages, due to the ability to circumvent them - above, this would probably apply to the "Reach etc." effects, the "easy to see/hit" effects, and both the poison and intimidation effects. This changes (without houserule) things to [-4] for +1 SM, [14] for +1 SM; might as well round to [-5] and [15], respectively. With the houserule coming into play, these are instead [20] and [-10], respectively.
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