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Old 11-07-2017, 10:08 PM   #1
Hellboy
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Default Backwards Running specialists

B218 is pretty broad. B169 when talking about Specialists is referring to IQ skills. By reducing Running from Average to Easy would "Backwards Running" as a specialty (with normal Running defaulting at -2, as if it were Hard) make sense?

There are people who do this as a hobby, some backwards races or clubs, and several scientific studies. I imagine some people are more capable of doing it than others for reasons of learning.

Since rules do not allow sprinting backwards, and buying up Move improves forward movement too, this is about the only way I could figure to increase just backward speed.

B357 allows a will-based Running roll instead of Will if it would be better, so a higher skill in a backwards-running Specialty Skill would allow more reliable EE speed boosts.

Increasing Move from 5 to 6 (increasing backward hexes travelled from 2 to 3) is 20% so -4 to the roll. Being Easy instead of Average is a +1 difference, or 4 character points if you bought it up.

One could argue that since running backward is inherently dangerous (cannot see) that the "+5 if you are motivated by fear" is a lot more accessible in mundane situations. Failing Fright checks is Will-based and there's got to be something related to that about blind movement.

A "strafing" specialist version of the running skill seems like it might also make sense for certain sports where you are more concerned with blocking people from moving around you than sprinting forward.
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Old 11-08-2017, 06:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: Backwards Running specialists

It's going to be rather esoteric, but a skill to improve your chances of moving quickly backward without falling seems appropriate. Note that people can already run backwards at a decent speed (albeit not nearly as quickly as they can run forwards), it's just that without training (or high degrees of coordination and situational awareness) they are likely to end up on their backsides due to stumbling, hitting roots, etc. GURPS already treats backwards movement rather favorably, as it's simply half the speed of forward movement and doesn't call for any Control Rolls. It's probably more realistic for backwards movement to be around 1/4 or 1/3 Move, but with the option to go faster in exchange for needing to make occasional Control Rolls (say, every 15 seconds or so). The theoretical Backwards specialization of Running would be usable during these rolls, allowing those with the skill to more reliably move at a higher speed when going backward. If you'd like, you can say that failure by 1 or 2 means to start to lose control and have to slow down for a few (say, five) seconds. The character can ignore this restriction and try to power through, but then requires a roll at -2 every second to keep going - any failure here means outright falling down, possibly taking damage, and the every-second requirement and penalty don't stop until you roll a Critical Success or do slow down.
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: Backwards Running specialists

I vaguely remember reading that it's 20% more energy intensive. I remember only, because I'd have thought it was much worse than that.
Skill can only do so much to mitigate the inability to see clearly where you're running and over what ground.
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: Backwards Running specialists

I think the assumption is that you are looking backwards when moving backwards. Otherwise, I would think that it would require a DX roll per turn to avoid falling backwards unless it is a very familiar area (or a very clear and very flat area) because you would not know where to place your feet.
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Old 11-09-2017, 02:27 AM   #5
Flyndaran
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Default Re: Backwards Running specialists

Unless you're an owl, I don't see how you can see more than peripheral images while running backwards.
Also blind people can run, and I've run in too low of light to see the ground without falling. I'm wobbly and prefer to walk for safety's sake, but I'm sure it's something I could get somewhat better at if I cared to.
I've found that my GF has much greater trouble walking in light too dim for her to see than I do, despite being much more coordinated.
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Old 11-09-2017, 08:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Backwards Running specialists

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Also blind people can run, and I've run in too low of light to see the ground without falling. I'm wobbly and prefer to walk for safety's sake, but I'm sure it's something I could get somewhat better at if I cared to.
I used to run in pitch darkness when I was young and invulnerable.

I wouldn't dare do it anymore.
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Old 11-09-2017, 06:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: Backwards Running specialists

Assuming a flat and even surface why would running in pitch darkness be hard?
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Old 11-09-2017, 06:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: Backwards Running specialists

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Originally Posted by Žorkell View Post
Assuming a flat and even surface why would running in pitch darkness be hard?
Eventually you will slam into the wall?
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Old 11-09-2017, 06:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: Backwards Running specialists

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Originally Posted by Žorkell View Post
Assuming a flat and even surface why would running in pitch darkness be hard?
I imagine that it's easy on an arbitrarily large, flat, even surface which lacks obstacles. Sadly the real world generally fails to conform to these exacting standards.
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Old 11-09-2017, 07:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: Backwards Running specialists

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Originally Posted by mr beer View Post
I imagine that it's easy on an arbitrarily large, flat, even surface which lacks obstacles.
And light sources.
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