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Old 01-08-2015, 12:53 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default GURPS Overhaul - Initiative, Revised

Some time ago, I created an initiative system for GURPS. It was complicated, clunky, and ultimately unusable. Since then, I've managed to think up a way to simplify the system into something more feasible. This is that system. I have divided this into four posts - the first to explain the core of the system and handle several of the particulars, the second to list and explain the available Maneuvers (and their costs), the third for a variety of special situations, and the fourth for some Techniques that are unique to - or need to be adjusted for - this system.

First, a brief explanation. At its core, this system is designed to make the combat sequence more fluid and unpredictable than A goes, B goes, C goes, repeat. It does so by introducing a new trait, Initiative (Init). Characters accrue Initiative Points (IP) every Tick (approximately 1/5th of a second), and once they reach 100 IP they can act, spending IP to move, attack, and so forth. Spent IP represent both the amount of time needed to perform an action as well as the amount of time needed to recover enough to do something else.

Many effects in GURPS are described as occuring over a course of a number of seconds. If such events are independent of character speed, such as a timebomb counting down, simply use Ticks - a grenade that explodes in 3 seconds would instead explode in 15 Ticks (or 4d+1 Ticks if you wanted some variability). If they are not independent of character speed, such as taking a Step, each second is equivalent to the amount of time it takes the character to recover 50 IP - an Init 10 character can take a Step every 5 Ticks, but one with Init 17 could take one every 3. To save time, it's typically best to simply record how many Ticks are a one-second equivalent for your character (this is 10 for Init 5, 9 for Init 6, 8 for Init 7, 7 for Init 8, 6 for Init 9, 5 for Init 10-12, 4 for Init 13-16, 3 for Init 17-24, 2 for Init 25-49, 1 for Init 50+).

Initiative (Init): Init is equal to 5+Basic Speed. It costs [10] for every +1 Init. As a side note, +1 Basic Speed [20] now consists of +1 Dodge [10] and +1 Init [10] - Basic Speed no longer has a direct influence on Basic Move, and Improved Dodge is only [10]/level.

Movement: Movement has a base cost of 10 IP per yard. Every -1 to this price costs [5], to a minimum of 5 IP per yard (use Enhanced Move for faster movement, with x2 to move being x1/2 to price). Every +3 to this price costs [5], to a maximum of 35 IP. For lesser movement rates, the character has no combat-relevant movement; being able to move a yard per minute is probably [-35], being truly immoblie is [-50]. Many actions allow for a Step, which is however far you can move by spending 10 IP, round down, to a minimum of 1 yard. Steps have normal cost but perfect maneuverability, and you typically can only take a single Step every 50 IP.

To determine a character's overland movement rate (for hiking, jumping distance, and so forth), divide 5xInit by the price above. Thus, a character with an 8 IP Move and Init 12 would use Move 7.5 for calculations that call for Basic Move. Players should typically record their Move in yards per second with cost in parentheses - the above character would have Move 7.5 (8 IP).

Encumbrance: Encumbrance is handled slightly differently from default GURPS. Every full multiple of BL the character is carrying increases the IP cost of move by 25%, round up. How to deal with skill and Dodge penalties is up to the GM - to maintain the current trend, you take a cumulative -1 at 1xBL, 2xBL, 3xBL, and 6xBL. A more lenient version would be -1 for every 2xBL.

Starting Combat: At the beginning of combat, characters roll 3d for initiative - multiply this value by 5 to determine starting IP (if you prefer to avoid rolling, characters start with 50 IP). Thereafter, every Tick, every character gains IP equal to Init. A character who reaches 100 IP gets a turn, spending up to 100 IP (and deducting whatever is spent from their total). Resolve ties based on whoever has the highest IP, highest Init, or highest roll on 1d6, in that order. A character can never spend enough IP to drop below 0, and if a character ends his turn with more than 90 IP remaining, reduce it to 90 IP.

A few traits can influence starting IP. In addition to its normal effects, Combat Reflexes gives a +10 starting IP. Lightning Reflexes is a Perk that grants a +20 starting IP, and stacks with Combat Reflexes. Enhanced Time Sense includes both Combat Reflexes and Lightning Reflexes, for a total of +30. It also means never (outside of Suprise, see below) starting with IP lower than 70, and the cap for amount of IP remaining after an action is 100.

Surprise: In cases of Partial Surprise, characters start as above but suffer a penalty of -50 IP and must roll against IQ (with relevant bonuses, as for recovering from Mental Stun). Characters gain 10 IP per MoS (this cannot give a net bonus) or lose 20 IP per MoF. In cases of Total Surprise, the GM deducts 1d*50 IP from every affected character, in addition to the effects of Partial Surprise.

Prepared: On the opposite end of the spectrum, characters may already be perfectly well prepared for combat, as in the case of executing an ambush or having a Delay (see next post) ready. In such cases, assume characters start with 90 IP, or 100 IP if they have ETS.

Injury: Optionally, injury and pain can cause loss of IP. If using The Last Gasp (Pyramid #3/44), every AP lost to injury or pain results in the loss of 5 IP. If not using that system, every full 10% of HP in injury causes a loss of 5 IP. An HT roll can lessen the effect, restoring 5 IP per MoS (treat MoS 0 as MoS 1; as always, this cannot cause a character to gain IP). High Pain Threshold gives +3 to this roll, while Low Pain Threshold gives -4. Pain instead causes continual loss of IP - 2 per Tick for mild, 4 per Tick for moderate, 8 per Tick for severe, 12 per Tick for terrible, and 20 per Tick for Agony. For Pain, HPT and LPT have their normal effects, and also serve to halve or double the rate of IP loss.

Stunning: For events that normally Stun a character for a set number of rounds, the character instead suffers 50 IP damage for every round the effect normally would have lasted. For Stunning that allows a roll each round to recover, the character takes 50 IP damage per MoF on the initial resistance roll (Stunning that gives a +1 per additional roll instead causes 20 IP damage per MoF). If also penalizing IP for Injury (see above), it may be appropriate to ignore the first 25 IP for Stunning from Major Wounds (as the character may have already suffered such a loss).

A character who drops below 0 IP due to Surprise, Injury, or Stunning is Stunned. While Stunned, a character may only Dodge, at -4 (due to being unable to spend IP; see later). Additionally, at -50 IP characters will typically either drop whatever they are holding or fall prone, and at -100 IP they will typically do both.

Last edited by Varyon; 01-13-2015 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:53 PM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Maneuvers

A character can take a single Manuever each time his turn comes up. Available Maneuvers are Move, Attack, Ready, and Delay.

Strategy: For all of the below, the character may opt for a different defensive strategy than normal. Going All Out adds up to 6 Ticks worth of IP but means you are completely unable to defend yourself for an equal amount of time. Committed adds up to 3 Ticks worth of IP, but means you suffer the defensive drawbacks of Committed Attack (MA99-100) for twice this time. Defensive means any action costs +10 IP, but you either enjoy a +1 to all defenses or may Parry with a ParryU weapon until your next turn (choose which upon going Defensive). Immovable means you don't get to take a maneuver (but you get a single Step every 50 IP, as normal) but enjoy either a +2 to all defenses or may make two different defenses against every single attack (choose which upon going Immobile).

Move: For consistency of actions, it may be appropriate for the GM to forbid movement once you have gone below 90 IP.

Movement costs compared to B386-387 are a bit different. Sideways movement and sidesteps cost only half again normal IP (backwards movement is still double cost). Crouching is still half again the cost of normal movement, kneeling/crawling multiplies movement cost by 3, and lying down multiplies movement cost by 5. Changing facing costs half as much as a yard of movement per hex side. Minor obstructions, bad footing, and stairs typically cause movement to cost half again normal, although the GM may opt to increase this in some cases (snow that reaches the ankles might be x1.5, snow that reaches the knees x2, and snow that reaches the waist x3, for example). If multiple effects apply, they are additive, not multiplicative - a Move 5 character (10 IP per yard) walking backward (x2) up slick (x1.5) debris-strewn (x1.5) stairs (x1.5) would spend 35 IP per yard (10+10+5+5+5).

Change Posture is now part of moving, with each change in posture typically costing 50 IP. Switching between standing and crouching costs 5 IP but doesn't count as a Maneuver. Characters can roll against Acrobatics to change this to the same price as moving 4 yards, and can reduce this price by taking -2 per yard less (minimum 1 yard) on this roll.

Any IP gained from going All Out or Committed can only be used to overcome movement penalties from Injury, Encumbrance, bad footing, and so forth, to reduce the time needed to Change Posture, or can be sacrificed at one movement point per +1 to any check to keep your footing - it cannot actually make the character run faster.

Attack: Unarmed punches and grapples cost 40 IP, kicks cost 45 IP. For weapons, base cost is 60 IP. Swinging attacks cost an additional 5 IP, +5/yard of Reach. Characters with high ST relative to a weapon's MinST can strike more rapidly - at 1.5x this is -5 IP, at 2x it is -10 IP, and at 3x and higher it is -15 IP.

A character can put more or less IP into an attack. More IP gives a +1 to hit for every +10 IP; additional IP cannot exceed the 2/3 attack's normal cost (round to the nearest multiple of 10). Less IP gives -1 to hit for every -5 IP, and spent IP cannot go below 20. A character with Weapon Master or Trained by a Master instead suffers only -1 to hit for every -10 IP, and spent IP cannot go below 10. Attack modifiers can typically be freely exchanged for damage - every +2 to hit is +1 to damage.

With ParryU weapons, however many IP you spent on the attack is how many you must regain before you can use the weapon to Parry.

Feint: Feints are far more rapid than normal attacks, and thus have a base cost 20 IP fewer. Beats cost just as much as normal attacks, while Ruses cost 20 IP. You may increase or decrease IP to modify skill, as normal. The penalty for a Feint/Beat/Ruse (or Setup Attack, if using those) lasts for 50 IP for the target.

Rapid Strike: In addition to reducing the IP cost of the Maneuver, a character can take a penalty to split any Attack into two strikes. The penalty is equal to 1/10th the base cost of the attack, round up. For example, a character swinging a broadsword (70 IP) could take a -7 to attack twice for 70 IP. He could combine this with an IP reduction as well - a -6 to reduce the cost to 40 IP, followed by the -7 to attack twice, would allow for two attacks at -13 each for 40 IP.

Multi-Weapon Attack: If alternating weapons, the penalty is 2/3, round up, the above. A character wielding two broadswords could take a -5 to attack twice for 70 IP. If striking with more than two weapons, each additional weapon imposes a further -2 (-1 for WM/TbaM) to the attack. If these weapons have different IP costs, simply use the highest cost.
If the GM agrees, the character can actually strike at a single foe with all weapons at once, rather than in a quickly-alternating fashion. This uses a single roll for the attack, at +2 per weapon beyond the first and hitting with one attack with MoS 0 and an additional attack per 2 MoS thereafter. The target must defend against each attack seperately, at -1 if more than one hit. If Dodging or Parrying with a weapon eligible for Parrying with Two-Handed Weapons (MA123), he can opt to defend against all attacks with a single defense. MoS 0 negates one attack, and every point of MoS thereafter negates another.

Ranged: Ranged weapons are a bit different than melee. Most of preparing a ranged weapon to attack consists of Readies and Delays (see below). Actually striking typically costs 20 IP. For fully automatic weapons, you can opt to hold down the trigger over multiple Ticks - the first round costs the greater of Init+10 and 20 IP, each Tick spent firing thereafter costs Init IP, and the weapon fires RoF/5 rounds every Tick. See the next post for further guidelines. If the attack is benefiting from an Aim (see Delay), the character must spend a further 10 IP every Tick to maintain this.

Thrown weapons are instead typically a set 55 IP for thrusting damage, 65 IP for swinging damage. They benefit from the normal IP reductions for exceeding MinST.

Ready: Readying a weapon typically costs 25 IP fewer than thrusting with it. If you already have the weapon at hand, it costs 40 IP fewer than attacking with it, to a minimum of 10 IP. Ammunition typically takes multiple seconds to draw and reload - every second is equivalent to 50 IP worth of Readying. As with Move, the GM may require you to cease Readying once you've dropped below 90 IP (simply keep a running total of how many IP you've spent on Readying a given item; once that reaches the needed IP, the item is Ready).

Actually unsheathing a weapon - as opposed to picking it up, detaching it from a holder, etc - can require a bit more time if it's longer than Reach C. Every yard of Reach adds an additional 5 IP to the cost.

A successful Fast Draw roll typically changes Ready from a Maneuver to a Free Action, letting you act normally. There are other actions and abilities that similarly change Ready to a free action - the Reverse Grip Technique, the Reach Mastery and Grip Mastery Perks, and so forth. In any case, this isn't truly free - each such "free" action costs 5 IP. You can get a bonus to your Fast Draw (or similar) roll by increasing this cost, for +1 per +5 IP, but once you drop below 90 IP the GM may deem your turn to have ended. You can Fast Draw (etc.) with both hands at the same time for no additional IP cost. Optionally, weapons longer than Reach C suffer a penalty to the Fast Draw roll, at -1 per yard.

Delay: Delay takes the place of Aim, Concentrate, Evaluate, Do Nothing, and Wait. Delay costs no IP, but allows for no action outside of a Step. Every 50 IP spent Delaying counts as 1 second of Aim, Concentrate, or Evaluate. When Delaying, a character can declare a target or event. If the character declares a target, he may interrupt any of the target's actions to take a normal maneuver (typically an Attack or Ready) at normal cost, ending the Delay. Count a prolonged Delay here as an Evaluate. If the character instead declares an action (such as "If anyone enters this hex"), he may take any desired maneuver at normal cost in response to another character taking said action. Use Cascading Waits to resolve who acts first.

Aim: Aim is a special case of Delay. It doesn't allow for a Step and you must declare a target or target hex. Attempting an active defense while Aiming spoils your aim, requiring you to start over. Getting injured while Aiming requires a Will roll to avoid spoiling your aim.

Defenses: A Parry costs 35 IP less than a thrust with that weapon (minimum 10 IP), while a Block costs 25 IP less than a thrust with that shield. Dodges cost 10 IP. As with attacks, a character can spend more or less IP on a defense. This gives a +1 to defend for every +5 IP, to a maximum of double normal IP cost. There is a -1 to defend for every -5 IP until you reach 10 IP, after which point it is -2 to defend for every -5 IP. TbaM/WM halves penalties, as normal.

Retreat: Once per 50 IP, you may take a Step while defending. This costs the greater of the cost of the Step and the cost of the defense, and grants the normal Retreat/Slip/Sideslip bonus. This Step is independent of the Step normally allowed every 50 IP.

Alternating Defenses: Alternating which defenses you use gives a discount on the IP cost of later defenses. If you've already taken an Active Defense since your last turn, using an Active Defense you haven't used yet this turn gives -5 to IP cost, using an Active Defense other than the one you used last gives a -5 to IP cost, and these stack. As above, once you reach a cost of 10 IP every reduction has a halved effect (-2.5 IP; round final cost up).

Last edited by Varyon; 01-13-2015 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:54 PM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Special Cases

Below are a variety of special cases that can crop up, and how to resolve them in this system.

Rate of Fire: The fastest way is to use normal GURPS RoF rules for attack bonuses, number of hits, and so forth, and resolve it all in one Tick. The firing character will fail to regenerate IP for the next few Ticks, depending on how long (up to 1 full second) he opted to fire. This is highly unrealistic (we're combining the fire of up to a full second into 1/5th of a second), but it's easy. Slightly more complicated would be to do the above but actually have the hits occur over the course of a few Ticks.

My preferred method, however, is to do away with GURPS RoF rules, which have serious issues of their own, and resolve things a bit... differently. The following is a rough draft.

First off, to determine shots at each Tick (and delays between ticks), try to make things as even as possible amongst 5 Ticks, favoring earlier ticks over later. Have a chart (F is Fire, - is a Pause):
RoF	Pattern

1	F----

2	F-F--

3	FF-F-


For higher RoF, use RoF 5 (10, 15, 20, etc) and overlay with the RoF that adds up to the actual RoF.. RoF 6, for example, would be F2(Firex2)FFFF (from combining F---- with FFFFF).

After firing, further attacks with the weapon suffer a penalty equal to Rcl. This improves by +1 (to a maximum of +0 net) for every Tick the weapon goes without firing. Firing during this "cooldown" simply resets the penalty to Rcl. Optionally, firing while suffering -Rcl or more results in a further -1. Truly recoilless weapons, such as lasers, should be treated as Rcl 0 here.

Some weapons will fire multiple projectiles per "shot," such as a shotgun firing buckshot, or a rifle firing a three-round burst. For this, you'll need to work out how many projectiles the weapon fires in a Tick, using the above guidelines. In general, it's close enough to assume all rounds in a shot are fired within a Tick (the M16 has RoF around 13, meaning it can fire 2.6 rounds in a Tick - close enough to its 3-round burst).

For weapons that end up firing multiple projectiles in a single Tick, use the general GURPS RoF rules. Multiple projectile loads often have Rcl 1, but use the weapon's true Rcl for determining later penalties. Truly recoilless weapons, like lasers, should probably use Rcl 0 here - but if the bonus for high RoF made the difference between a hit and miss, use Rcl 1 instead.

Out of Turn: Optionally, characters can act even when it isn't their turn. Movement is limited to a Step (provided you have one available), and any action taken suffers a -5 penalty, although a few special Techniques can offset this, if the GM allows (see later). It may be more realistic if such Techniques actually require a Delay, such that they don't allow for out of turn action (and if used out of turn, they suffer the normal -5 penalty); if so, this requirement is good for a +1 to the Technique's default.

Cascading Waits: During combat, it's entirely possible to have a situation where a character might be able to overwhelm a foe's Delay (or other out of turn action) through sheer speed, or where just how much faster each is than the other in a fast draw matters. Whenever a conflict occurs, this is the way to resolve it.

First, each character chooses how many IP to spend on the action. Note this includes any IP for moving (beyond a Step, which is typically subsumed in the IP cost for attacking)! The characters must then make a check based on their relevant skills (for movement, use Basic Speed x2, or (Dodge-3)x2), but with only penalties for things like cheap weaponry, Familiarity penalties, footing, acting out of turn, and so forth (using a penalized combat option like Deceptive Attack, or a Technique has no effect). IP expenditures should then be standardized (see Standardized IP Costs, below). Following this, every full 5 IP of difference between the actions is good for a +1 to the check for the character spending less IP. Whoever wins the check acts first; in the case of a tie, the actions are functionally simultaneous. Optionally, a +2 to the Delaying party may be appropriate (to make Delay a more feasible option; if both parties are Delaying, the character who has delayed longer gets this bonus).

Standardized IP Costs: Some rules make use of standardized IP costs - that is, how much would exactly the same action, at the same functional speed, cost a character with Init 10. To determine this, multiply any IP expenditures by 10, then divide by the character's Init. So, an Init 12 character's expenditure of 60 IP has a standardized cost of 50 IP. If an Init 14 character were attempting to do a Counterattack against this 60 IP attack, he could spend up to (50*14/10) 70 IP on it. Similarly, if each character were involved in a Cascading Waits situation, and each attempted to strike with a 60 IP attack, the Init 12 character would have a standardized cost of 50 IP, while the Init 14 one would have a standardized cost of 42.9, good for a +2 for the Init 14 character's check.

A Matter of Inches: The IP costs for swinging and unsheathing weapons are based on those of average length for that Reach. For higher resolution, see A Matter of Inches, MA110. Very Short weapons cost -2 IP, Short cost -1 IP, Medium cost +0 IP, Long cost +1 IP, Very Long cost +2 IP, and Extremely Long cost +3 IP. Thus, a more-or-less full continuum exists - assuming a weapon with MinST that results in a cost of 60 IP for a thrust, swing can cost 63 (very short C), 64 (short C), 65 (medium C), 66 (long C), 67 (very long C), 68 (extremely long C / very short 1), 69 (short 1), 70 (medium 1), and so forth.

Realistic Movement Costs: GURPS has characters moving around extremely quickly with excellent maneuverability, and the 50/Move cost above reflects this. If you want something more realistic, normal GURPS maneuverability is appropriate for a combat jog, which should cost 100/Move IP per yard. A combat walk (200/Move IP per yard) would have the same maneuverability and disregard for bad footing as a Step. A combat run (50/Move per yard) would require a build up of at least a full 50 or so subsequent IP spent on a jog in a straight line and would follow high speed movement rules. A sprint (50/(1.2xMove) per yard) would probably require a full 50 or so subsequent IP spent on a run. A Step is probably only available for a combat jog.

Ethnic Cool: Some weapons have a reputation for being extraordinarily fast. In such cases, the GM may see fit to reduce the IP cost of using the weapon. -5 IP is typical, but it may be possible to go higher. Swinging attacks should never cost less than a thrust with the same weapon, and thrusts should never cost less than a punch (40 IP). Getting this reduction may require a specific Technique - in the case of such Techniques, it is possible to buy off the penalty for reducing IP cost (but only to whatever the set reduction is; again, -5 IP is typical) without the constraints of Combinations. This is considered cinematic, although if the GM feels the weapon's reputation is deserved it may be appropriate in a realistic game.

Mounts: Mounts act on their own initiative. A character can typically direct the mount without any IP cost and will generally opt to Delay, waiting for a foe to come within range to attack.

Move and Attack: This is included seperately from the other Manuevers due to it being a bit more complicated. A Move and Attack represents lining up and making an attack while jogging/running past. A character who wants to make a Move and Attack (which is often a bad idea, but may be necessary in some cases) must first declare it and then begin moving toward the foe. The subsequent attack cannot exceed 50 IP (although IP added by All Out or Committed can exceed this), but any IP that were spent moving toward the target are deducted from this total, potentially reducing the price to 0 IP. After declaring a Move and Attack, and until either immediately upon canceling it or 50 IP after making it, the character suffers from the defense penalties of Move and Attack. Swinging attacks are capped at skill 9 if the character is moving faster than a combat walk (movement of the mount or platform the character is on doesn't count here).

Slam: By default, a slam is a Move and Attack with a base cost of 40 IP and deals collision damage based on the amount of subsequent movement leading up to it, to a maximum of a character's overland movement (Move*Init/10). If using Realistic Movement Costs (see above), use the character's actual current movement speed (Move*Init/40 for combat walk, Move*Init/20 for combat jog, Move*Init/10 for combat run) for this collision.

Realistically, a slam has a significant pushing character, rather than being a sharp impact. Choose a proportion of damage (to a maximum of around half; a quarter is probably more realistic) and have this damage be No Wounding, Triple Knockback. That is, however much damage is lost, add double this back to determine knockback. A 10 damage attack that loses 5 damage does 5 damage and 20 knockback; if it instead lost 2 damage it would do 8 damage and 14 knockback.

Optionally, Move and Attack strikes can capitalize on the character's movement rate to improve damage. Use the same speeds as for a slam, and divide by 4 for a thrust or 7 for a swing, dropping fractions. This is the skill penalty and damage bonus for the attack. For example, if a character is charging on a horse moving at 9 yards per second, he can thrust at -2 to skill and +2 to damage or swing at -1 to skill and +1 to damage.

Last edited by Varyon; 01-13-2015 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:55 PM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Techniques

Counterattack: This is as per MA70, except it allows you to act out of turn (in fact, you must do so, acting as soon as you successfully defend against a foe's attack) without the additional -5 penalty. If your foe made a Rapid Strike, you must wait until it's over or accept the penalty to do the same (in which case the two of you alternate - he attacks, you parry and counter, he attacks, you parry and counter). Optionally, your attack can take no more time than your foe's did - standardize the IP costs to determine how much is the maximum you can spend.

Ward and Counter: This is a variant of Counterattack, relying on the use of two weapons - one to Parry/Block and hold the foe's weapon at bay as the other strikes. This doesn't penalize your own defense (but you can choose to do so, as a Riposte) but does give a -3 to hit and imposes a -3 to the foe's Parry, but only with the weapon you've warded. If your Parry fails, the Technique won't work at all. Realistically, this should be trained by weapon combination; in a cinematic campaign, train the Technique on the Parrying weapon's skill. This can be (and typically is) combined with Counterattack. This option usually costs just as much as the defense and attack normally would, although you can drop this to the greater of the two with a Multi Weapon Attack (typically meaning -2 to Parry, -4 to hit, although buying up MWA can improve this).

Aggressive Parry: This consists of Parrying (or Blocking, despite the name it can be used for either) your foe's weapon by striking at it. You must spend the same amount of IP on each of the attack and defense, but total cost is only 1.5x this amount (so a 40 IP attack + 40 IP Parry only costs 60 IP). The attack defaults to -4, and suffers normal penalties for target SM. The target can defend against the attack normally. If the attack roll succeeds, regardless of if the foe successfully defends, you may attempt a Parry at no penalty. If the attack roll misses outright, you cannot Parry!
If you have sufficient Reach to strike the foe's arm (typically enough to strike the foe outright, although against larger foes this can change), or would have sufficient Reach with a Slip, you can attempt to Parry by striking the foe's weapon hand or wrist. This suffers normal hit location penalties. If successful, the followup Parry is at -2. You can opt to Parry further down - striking the forearm or elbow causes the followup Parry to be at -3, striking the upper arm or shoulder causes the followup Parry to be at -4 (if targeting the Arm, determine location randomly).
In any case, even if you outright destroy the target's weapon (or indeed the target) with your attack, you must still successfully Parry to avoid it.
Aggressive Parry can be combined with Ward and Strike, above, but not Counterattack (combining all three is an option, in which case Ward and Strike is affected by Counterattack but Aggressive Parry is not).
Note Aggressive Parry need not damage the target - it's a perfectly legitimate method to initiate a grapple.

Rapid Strike: As Rapid Strike is now limited to two attacks (or the number of weapons you're using), it may be appropriate to allow a Technique to buy it down to half penalty. Multi Weapon Attack and Rapid Strike may or may not be the same Technique. Optionally, Multi Weapon Attack and Rapid Strike are at +2 from their normal default and -1 to damage, but can be bought off fully (not just to half penalty).

Combinations: These follow the basic guidelines from MA80, except they are based on reducing IP cost rather than Rapid Strike. Combinations can be rather risky - in addition to normal effects, if you are attacked while in the middle of performing one you suffer a -2 to Parry, -1 to Block/Dodge, just as though the foe were using Counterattack (but this penalty doesn't stack with that of a foe actually using Counterattack). Combinations that alternate weapons may use only 2/3 the normal penalty.

Tonfa Strike: This is an example of a Hard Technique to reduce the IP cost of an Ethnic Cool weapon. This is only usable when swinging a tonfa, grants +1 to damage (-2), and reduces IP cost by 10 (-2). Regardless of current grip (reversed or normal), it first requires a successful roll against Reverse Grip (+1), although if successful this has no IP cost (the 5 IP for "Fast Draw" is subsumed within the cost for attacking). If following up a Feint, or combined with a Deceptive Attack, the tonfa's movement makes it harder to track, imposing a further -1 to the foe's defenses. If the character fails to hit outright, another roll against Tonfa Strike is necessary; failure here means the weapon becomes Unready. The character can freely choose which grip (normal or reverse) the weapon ends in.
Total is a -3 to skill ([4] to buy it off), +1 to damage, -10 IP. The tonfa normally has a base cost of 70 IP to swing, so this reduces it to 60 - same as a thrust.
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Old 01-08-2015, 01:07 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Default Re: GURPS Overhaul - Initiative, Revised

I just thought of a initiative system: every time a player plays a disadvantage or quirk in an entertaining and disadvantageous way, give them an attaboy token. Play proceeds from the player with the most tokens to the player with the least. Npcs go in the average of all assembled tokens (tokens / nbr players).

I'm thinking they'd all reset after each session.
Villain's Round Table

Last edited by LemmingLord; 01-08-2015 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:49 PM   #6
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: GURPS Overhaul - Initiative, Revised

Here's an example fight between two swordsmen. Knight is wearing Medium Plate (DR 6) on his chest, shoulders, forearms, hands, knees (front only), shins, and feet, and Medium Brigandine (DR 5) on his abdomen. He's got a DR 6 full helm on his head with Class 2 eye protection. He's also wearing a padded Fine Mail Coif (DR 5/3*) and has Fine Mail (DR 4/2*) protecting pretty much everywhere the rigid armor's missing. He's wielding a Thrusting Bastard Sword. His foe, Duelist, is wearing Light Brigandine (DR 3) on his torso, forearms, and shins, and has a padded Light Plate (DR 4) pot helm on his skull. He's wielding a Very Fine Edged Light Rapier.

Knight has ST 14, DX 11, HT 13, BS 6, Init 11, Move 5. BL is 39 and he's wearing 41.3 lb of plate, 5 lb of brigandine, 14 lb of mail, and 1.8 lb of coif padding, and is wielding a 5 lb sword, putting him at Light Encumbrance, for functional Move 4 - each yard costs 12.5 IP. With Combat Reflexes, he's at Dodge 9. His weapon costs 60 IP for a thrust, 75 for a swing, 40 for a Parry, and 50 to draw.

Duelist has ST 12, DX 14, HT 11, BS 7, Init 13, Move 6. BL is around 29 and he's wearing 17.5 lb of brigandine, 1.6 lb of plate, and 1.2 lb of pot helm padding, and wielding a 2.25 lb weapon, leaving him at No Encumbrance, for Move 6 - each yard costs 8.33 (round to 8.5) IP. With CR, he's at Dodge 11. As he has 1.5x MinST for his weapon, it costs 55 for a thrust, 65 for a swing, 35 for a Parry, and 40 to draw.

Knight has 2h Sword at 15, Duelist has Rapier at 16. We'll start battle with combatants 20 yards away, armor on and weapons ready

We start by rolling Init. Knight rolls an 8 against 13, for MoS 5 - he starts at 75 IP. Duelist rolls a 9 against 15, for MoS 6 - he starts at 80 IP.

Duelist acts, moving 2 yards for 17 IP (89 left)
Knight acts first, moving 2 yards for 25 IP (83 left)
Duelist acts next, moving 2 yards for 17 IP (85 left)
Duelist acts first, moving 3 yards for 25.5 IP (85.5 left)
Knight acts next, moving 2 yards for 25 IP (80 left)
Duelist acts first, moving 3 yards for 25.5 IP (86 left)
Knight acts next, moving 2 yards for 25 IP (78 left)
Duelist acts first. They're only 4 yards apart, so he Steps forward (8.5 IP) and Delays, targeting Knight and reserving an action if he comes within 2 yards
Knight acts next. He opts to go All Out in hopes of beating his target's Delay - he picks up an extra 30 IP (3 Ticks) and uses them all to drop his attack to a functional 30 IP, thrusting with his sword against his foe's leg, hoping to hit an unarmored portion. He Steps (no cost, as it's part of his attack) and thrusts. Duelist's Delay is triggered. He opts to Step for a Telegraphic (+4) thrust at his foe's palm (-8) and, not expecting his target to use his All Out for higher speed, dumps an extra 20 IP into the attack for +2 to hit. Knight is spending 30 IP (standardized to 27.3), Duelist is spending 8.5 on the Step, 75 on the attack (all added and standardized to 64.3). That's +7 in favor of the Knight. He wins easily and strikes first, rolling a 9 - potential hit. Duelist opts to Parry with a Slip to his foe's right. He's already dedicated 75 IP to an attack, so he's only got 25 to play with - he has to take a -2 on his Parry, negating the bonus for the Slip. An 11 makes it. For his attack, he's rolling against 14 - 10 hits. He deals 1d+2 damage, rolling a 2 for 4 injury. That's just shy of crippling, but it's over 20% of HP, so Knight suffers -2 shock (this will last for 50 IP, or 5 Ticks) and loses 10 IP. He rolls a 10 against HT 13, negating the loss.
Knight is at 70 IP and can't defend for 3 more Ticks. Duelist is at 0 IP.
Knight gets to act again, but is still at -2. He pumps an extra 10 IP into a swing (for skill 14) and takes a -2 Deceptive swing (85 IP) at Duelist's torso. A 12 gets it on the numbers. Duelist can't Retreat for another Tick, so he has to rely on a normal Parry. He burns 35 IP (normal cost) and rolls a 13 - failure. Knight deals 2d+2 damage, rolling a 6 for 8 damage. That's more than twice Duelist's DR, so it stays Cutting - 5 penetrating becomes 7 injury, a Major Wound. Duelist rolls a 12 against HT 11, taking 50 IP of Stunning. That 7 injury is also enough for both a -4 shock and a -25 IP. His next roll against HT is a 15, another failure, so he's now at -71 IP, falling on his back but keeping hold of his weapons. Knight is at 18
Knight gets to go again, and Duelist is still on the ground. Knight uses Ready to switch to a Reverse Grip (this should cost 30 - a Ready with the weapon at hand - but the reduced penalty to do this with two-handed weapons implies 20 may be more appropriate, so I'll go with that). He has 86 IP left.
Knight goes for broke, a +65 (6 Ticks) All Out Attack. He pumps 40 IP into improving his roll, for +4, and the remaining 25 into dropping his attack to a functional cost of 35 IP. He thrusts at Duelist's vitals, at -2 Deceptive, for effective skill 14. A 10 makes it. Duelist is at a total -4 to Parry, so he opts for Feverish Defenses with a 35 IP Parry at +2 (total -2). A 9 makes it.
Knight is at 73 IP, Duelist is at 24 IP.
Knight's turn again, although he's still got 4 Ticks left of All Out. He tries another murder stroke, with +20 (2 Ticks) IP traded for a +2 (he doesn't go Deceptive this time). He burns 75 IP and rolls a 13, which hits. Duelist goes for another Feverish 35 IP Parry. A 16 is nowhere close. Knight rolls 2d, for 6 imp. That 3 past DR for 9 injury. Another Major Wound, and Duelist is now below 0 HP (he's at -4) and first has to roll to stay conscious. 10 makes that, so now for Stunning. 10's good enough, but 9 injury is over 70% injury, so he's lost 35 IP. A roll of 13 isn't enough to recover any, so he's at -7.
Knight is at 31 IP, Duelist is at -7.
Duelist gets to go first. I'll use fiat to say he's got Acrobatics 16, so he'll roll against 12 to reduce the price of Change Posture to the same as moving 2 yards - 17 IP. A 7 makes it, and he's up to Kneeling. He's still got 93 IP left, so he can try for more movement - he tries Acrobatics at 12 again and rolls a 6, so he's able to stand to full for another 17 IP. So much movement calls for an HT roll to stay conscious - 8 does it, and will keep him up for this and the next 4 Ticks of action.
Knight goes next. Duelist got up a lot faster than he was expecting, so no risking anything fancy this time - he burns 20 IP to switch back to normal grip and Steps back.
Knight takes a swing (75 IP) at Duelist's torso, burning -2 for Deceptive. 14 breezes past. Knight's at only 25 now.
Duelist gets to go, and he knows he'll be down for the count soon. He goes All Out for +65 IP (5 Ticks) and thrusts at Knight's eye slits. 30 of the above he spends to get +3 to hit, the rest he spends to drop the cost of the attack to 20 IP. He goes Telegraphic for another +4, for skill 13. 14 misses.
Duelist tries the same thing again, although this time he can only pick up an extra +39 (3 Ticks) IP. 30 goes to +3, 9 goes to drop his attack to 46 IP, and he goes Telegraphic again. 10 is a hit. Knight opts for a Feverish Retreating Parry, trading +2 of the bonus for a -10 to IP cost, dropping it to 30. His risk doesn't pay off - a 14 means a hit. Duelist rolls 1d+2 and gets a total of 5, for 20 injury. Knight is now at -10 HP and has to roll to stay conscious - 9 does it. This is also a Major Wound to the Skull, for a roll against 3 to avoid Knockdown/Stunning - 11 isn't enough to stay conscious, and Knight falls down. Duelist stumbles off to try and find a healer.


In terms of bleeding, Knight is rolling against 9 (-4 for 24 HP injury), Duelist against 4 (-3 for 16 injury, -4 for vitals), each rolling every 30 seconds.

Knight rolls 7, 12 (-25), 14 (-26), 13 (-27), 6, 10 (-27); death check is against 13 and rolls 9; and continues. He has a decent chance of stabilizing.

Duelist rolls 10 (-5), 5 (-6), 11 (-7), 9 (-8), 8 (-9), 4; Critical Success means he's stable.

Both combatants might survive, but they won't be fighting again anytime soon. The fight took a total of 37 Ticks, or 7.4 seconds, to resolve.
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:57 PM   #7
mr beer
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default Re: GURPS Overhaul - Initiative, Revised

This sounds overly detailed for games with frequent combat, unless you have something going on that's very focussed on highly detailed one-on-one combat.
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: GURPS Overhaul - Initiative, Revised

I agree with Mr. Beer. Can we see a sample combat between a 4-6 person party and ... let's go with a pair of bad guys (one tanky, one an agile staff-wielding caster)? (Note: I did this with my SW party; we had a 5-person party - a Jedi Knight, a Jedi Gunslinger, a techie, a Black Sun [think Mafia] Princess, and a heavily-cyborged vibrosword-wielder - against a pair of Sith Lords.)
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Last edited by Phantasm; 01-08-2015 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 01-09-2015, 08:42 AM   #9
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: GURPS Overhaul - Initiative, Revised

Originally Posted by tbrock1031 View Post
I agree with Mr. Beer. Can we see a sample combat between a 4-6 person party and ... let's go with a pair of bad guys (one tanky, one an agile staff-wielding caster)? (Note: I did this with my SW party; we had a 5-person party - a Jedi Knight, a Jedi Gunslinger, a techie, a Black Sun [think Mafia] Princess, and a heavily-cyborged vibrosword-wielder - against a pair of Sith Lords.)
Sure thing. It'll take me a bit of time, of course. I'll set up a timer to see how long it takes in total to actually run the combat (it'll likely have some delays; I'll pause the timer when that happens).
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Old 01-09-2015, 01:51 PM   #10
Join Date: Oct 2005
Default Re: GURPS Overhaul - Initiative, Revised

I also agree with Mr. Beer. I didn't finish reading your explanation of the system as it is too complicated. I didn't get very far into your example for the reason that I lost interest quickly. And I like the Action Point concept. You need to simplify, massively.

Reduce the die-rolling by fixing the number of Initiative Points to an attribute such as Fatigue Points. By doing this the IP total is linked to tiredness and players have to deal with the consequences of pushing on or failing to stop and eat or whatever.

Eliminate the die rolling in determining initiative.
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house rules, overhaul

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