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Old 07-27-2020, 10:04 PM   #11
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Default Re: Rules you ignore/alter.

Other than making Regrowth a +20%/+40% modifier for Regeneration, I tend to keep the rules from the hardback books.
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:00 AM   #12
Mark Skarr
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Default Re: Rules you ignore/alter.

Originally Posted by Ejidoth View Post
I usually don't let people take Weirdness Magnet, Unluckiness, or Cursed. I find trying to balance those as GM is annoying work, trying to make sure they're not too good or too bad for their points. I might allow the 'themed' version of Unluckiness (in the second paragraph of its description) since it feels a little less random-GM-fiat than the other options, but it hasn't come up.
I allow unluck, but I never have any takers.
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Old 07-28-2020, 01:30 AM   #13
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Default Re: Rules you ignore/alter.

  • Ambidexterity costs 10, not 5. Off-hand use requires the Technique and not just a Perk. (Just seems underpriced.)
  • Attacks targeting the Torso that succeed by 3 or more hit the Vitals instead. (Speeds up combat a bit.)
  • Crit results: 9-11 on the crit table treats damage just like All-Out-Attack (Strong): +1 damage per die, or a flat +2, whichever is better.
  • Nerfed Extra Effort: Heroic Charge so it still eliminates the skill cap of 9, but retains the normal skill penalty of -4. (The action was just getting overused.)
  • Guns (Longarms) replaces all of Guns (Musket/Rifle/Shotgun) -- there's no need for those to be separate skills.
  • Only characters with Heroic Archer, Gunslinger, Trained By A Master, or Weapon Master may use Extra Effort in combat or Deceptive Attack with ranged weapons.
  • Language Talent halves the cost of languages instead of bumping the effective skill level (because even talented people start at Broken facility).
  • Parrying Unarmed Attacks (B376) does half damage, not full damage.
  • Skill Assistance is more effective: When applicable, two characters may assist each other on a skill roll. The character who succeeds best has their result modified as follows:
    Helper critically fails: Critical failure affects both characters.
    Helper fails: Margin reduced by 1.
    Helper succeeds by 0 to 4: Margin improved by 1.
    Helper succeeds by 5 to 9: Margin improved by 2.
    Helper succeeds by 10+ or critically: Margin improved by 3.
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Old 07-28-2020, 07:20 AM   #14
Join Date: Feb 2020
Default Re: Rules you ignore/alter.

Originally Posted by Ejidoth View Post
I agree with the first poster about adding duration to Create. It just works better that way. If someone wants a permanent Create that creates something easily exchanged for money, that's fine, I can always just make them buy an appropriate level of Wealth to go with it.
I usually handle this by allowing it, but treating wealth gained through the wealth advantage different than wealth gained through play. I treat the wealth advantage like signature gear, you've paid points specifically for that advantage so it's permanent. You won't lose that advantage and you won't find any detrimental in-game effects from having that wealthy. It's your default state in the world.

Wealth gained through other means, including the Create or Snatcher advantages, has to be roleplayed and there are no guarantees. If you conjure up a load of gold then you have to find some way to sell it and find some reasonable way to explain how you got it. Basically you have to launder the money, which will put you in contact with a criminal element, which can have all sort of complications. Plus if you suddenly get rich, even if you have a believable excuse, it will get attention. Which can lead to people trying to take advantage of you, make you a target for conmen, etc.

This worked for us, as it enriched the story. But YMMV.
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Old 07-28-2020, 08:31 AM   #15
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Default Re: Rules you ignore/alter.

Fast-Draw: I use Fast-Draw as a Perk. It doesn't get rolled, it just works.
In situations where it needs a roll, I use the weapon skill.

Recover Energy: I think Recover Energy should be a Perk. It isn't a spell, it's a special attunement to ambient mana. Probably in two levels.

Contacts and Favors: I allow players to either set aside points for these or use earned points for them on the fly. It prevents you from taking a Contact in a city the adventure never goes to or in a specialty you never use. So when we arrive in town, the player says "Oh, Fargo? I know a mechanic here. If she's not still mad, she might help us out. For a price."
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Last edited by MIB.6361; 07-28-2020 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 07-28-2020, 10:12 AM   #16
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Rules you ignore/alter.

using optional rules is already altering the rules but I like the idea of tweaking them further

I like a brutal "mostly always be penalizing" attitude (it reminds us to use rules and get comfortable with them, even if it's more crunch) so there are a couple things about Cole's Last Gasp (pyramid 3/44) I want to tweak to make it more brutal and punishing.

1) pg 4's "Gradual Impairment Due to Fatigue" only takes place when you PASS the 20% breakpoints (spending MORE than FP/5) which is basically rounding down penalties. Instead, round them UP, so you only are non-penalized at 100% FP, meaning ANY loss of FP will drop you into the first tier of suffering -1 to DX/IQ/HT. This can alternatively be thought of as making 100% the first breakpoint you begin applying penalties for dropping below. This makes everyone univerally weaker and much more hesitant about burning that first FP.

2) pg 9/10 no free steps or facing changes: always charge for them, ESPECIALLY if using the cost reductions at of 1 AP for 1-50% move 2 AP for 50-100% move.
One idea is tracking and purchasing "refills" for a "Movement Point" pool (max capacity is your Basic Move) at the cost of 0.1 AP per 5% of your pool, which works out to spending 2 AP per 100% of the pool in fractions. Just halve the movement point cost of deceleration. So stepping forward from a standing posture (1 movement point) and then reducing momentum to 0 (0.5 movement point) costs a total of 1.5 movement points.
Like FP (and as proposed later for AP) one option might be to allow the MP pool to go negative too (just -1xMP). This would allow some more flexibility in locomotion before needing to spend AP to regain the capacity.

3) pg 10: no zero-cost events, charge 0.1 AP and track the tenths over time, eventually ten seconds of concentrating/aiming should probably tire you out, as should a lucky string of critical hits/defences.
pg 11: same if per the Action/Fantasy suggesting you are treating MoS 10 successes like criticals: this only reduces to 0.1.
4) pg 9 : the above also applies to maintain speed: except instead of charging 0.1 AP, charge 0.1 movement points per y/s velocity you're maintaining. This makes it take the same effort (0.5 MP) to maintain a 5/ys walking speed as to decelerate by 1y/s. Since 0.5 MP is 1/10 of 5 MP, it would cost 0.2 AP to refill that amount.

5) pg 8: also apply that 0.1 cost to 0 AP attacks like pulling a gun trigger. Instead of charging it to loose the arrow, after you've fully nocked it (costing 1 AP) it should perhaps cost 0.1 per second UNTIL you loose it. Crossbows would work like guns.

6) pg 10: also apply that 0.1 cost to full-second readies that are normally free (drawing sword, unholtering gun)

7) pg 10: aside for charging for changing posture, also charge to MAINTAIN any posture other than lying down (the most restful). Could be 0.1 per second for all of them, or maybe more if some seem less/more restful than others. Some find it more restful to sit compared to stand, or vice versa. Someone standing/sitting guard for hours could easily pay that by taking Do Nothing maneuvers on the regular to recover, but it would explain why people would lie down to maximize rest capacity.
If that's too brutal, instead of charging AP directly, you could charge MP amounts instead.
8) pg 8: successfully resisting a feint cost AP too, but only charge 0.1 as you would for a critically successful active defense. Or: see #13 below, whether you win or lose the contest you could just charge an amount determined by your own stand-alone margin.

9) pg 9 "Injury and Damage" the MoS of your HT roll (or critical success) will never fully mitigate AP loss due to injury, instead it can only reduce it to 0.1 AP loss.

10) pg 9: allow AP loss due to pain or injury to make AP go negative: allow it to go up to full negative AP (similar to the full negative FP cap) and require AP to be brought above zero before it can be voluntarily spent.

11) pg 11: instead of untriggered All-Out Defenses giving 2 free AP worth of defences and only giving an HT roll if untriggered, have it ALWAYS give you a HT roll to recover AP as an untriggered wait does, and just charge normally for the defences.

12) pg 4: adapt "Gradual Impairment Due to Fatigue" changes to B426 as "Gradual Impairment Due to Injury" changes to B419: drop IQ/HT/DX by 1 point per 20% lost HP too. A penalty to HT rolls will slow AP recovery for injured people, reflecting the body splitting energy between healing and movement.

13) addendum to number 3's indent: since MoS 10 successes and critical successes are meant to reduce AP by approximately one, MoF 10 failures and critical failures should increase AP by approximately one. Charge MOFx0.1 extra AP on failures to always make them more expensive than successes.
as one "less brutal" option: you might also apply AP discounts for successes at less than MOS10, perhaps MoSx0.1AP meaning you would actually reach 0.1 AP at MoS9, with MoS10+ having no added effect. This favors attackers who attack telegraphically: at +4 to skill vs +2 defend you're talking about a 0.2 AP difference over time based on margin "tenth" cost adjustments.
14) charge 0.1 AP per second to maintain an "on guard" mental state, otherwise B557 Unarmed Critical Miss result 13 conditions apply (-2 defenses, evaluate bonuses doubled against you, feint penalties are doubled). Those who roll this lose the option to "pay the tenth".
As this actually creates a sort of benefit to dropping one's guard, to keep the rolled result as just-as-bad you could force the charge of 0.1 anyway but have it ineffective.
15) charge 0.1 AP per second to maintain an "unstunned" mental state. As the above indent: those involuntarily forced into a stunned state should probably be charged 0.1 but suffer no benefit from it until the involuntary period ends: the AP charge reflects their struggle to regain the option to shift out of it. Only those who voluntarily adopt a "stunned Do Nothing" state (incur -4 to active defences, lose option to retreat, per B420) such as when trying to fall asleep will not be charged this AP. Those who fail self control roll for Berserk are unable to voluntarily enter this state, and so cannot avoid the discount.

Voluntarily entering this state should probably require a Will roll if in the presence of dangers that would motivate one to be alert to them.
If someone wants to go a step further (no defences at all, like an All-Out Attack or All-Out Concentrate) then this "All-Out Do Nothing" could them an extra +1 bonus to the HT roll to recover AP: so you roll HT+5 instead. A "Do Nothing while voluntarily stunning oneself" is already effectively "Committed Do Nothing": except replacing MA100's "no defence with limb, -2 with others" with "-4 to all".

You COULD perhaps invent a "Defensive Do Nothing" (merely +1 to active defences, half as good as All-Out Defense: Determined, just like Defensive Attack on MA100) which could also be perceived as a "Committed Defence" (as there is no factor besides rest being penalized, such as with attacking or if you had committed versions of Aim/Ready) falling somewhere between all-out defense and normal Do Nothing.

In this case the HT recovery should fall somewhere between an untriggered AOD (HT+0) and normal Do Nothing (HT+4) so HT+2 sounds about right. That's an effective -2 to the HT roll, which resembles MA100's -2 to damage on defensive attack.
16) charge 0.1 per second to maintain awareness of things around you. If someone opts to not pay this (should probably require a will roll if in presence of dangers) as per #15 above) then you are -4 to perception rolls to notice what allies or foes around you are doing. This prevents you from enjoying MA60's "abtract tactics" rerolls.

This is adapted from pg 22 of Technical Grappling ("One Foe") except there is not any foe to whom it does not apply. If you are paying the 0.1 you have the option to incur the -4 perception penalty to all but one who you get +1 bonuses against, as normal.
if the sum of 14/15/16 seems like too much (0.3 to avoid problems) you could lump two or all three together as a single set of penalties mitigated by a smaller expenditure of 0.1 AP. This would narrow the difference between alert resting characters in terms of energy conservation.

The idea in these last three was to exhaust people in fighting mindsets and incentivize zoning out for maximized recovery. Another approach might just be to give +1 to the HT rolls for recovering AP to those who voluntarily adopt the penalties. The latter isn't beneficial in applying them to non-recovery maneuvers though.
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Old 07-28-2020, 10:53 AM   #17
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Default Re: Rules you ignore/alter.

It took a while before my original gaming group, back in the 90s and using 3e, learned you weren't supposed to get an Active Defense against a Critical Hit. We let you roll. Critically Success on the defense basically neutralizes the critical success on the attack. Normal success mostly adds flavor, except where the rules could be interpreted otherwise. Critical Failure on Defense against a Critical Success attack results in the most epic of fails. XD

Under 3e, we briefly experimented with having Fatigue and Hit Points both start out equal to (ST+HT)/2. Basically, we found arguments for the old way (FP=ST, HP=HT) and the arguments for the modern rules (HP=ST, FP=HT) persuasive. To the point, seeing as this was a gaming abstract anyway, we split the difference. It is only slightly more complex.

For what it is worth, I thought it gave better results. If anyone wants to test it under 4e rules, I'd love to hear the results.
My GURPS Fourth Edition library consists of Basic Set: Characters, Basic Set: Campaigns, Martial Arts, Powers, Powers: Enhanced Senses, Power-Ups 1: Imbuements, Power-Ups 2: Perks, Power-Ups 3: Talents, Power-Ups 4: Enhancements, Power-Ups 6: Quirks, Power-Ups 8: Limitations, Powers, Social Engineering, Supers, and one issue of Pyramid (3/83), most of which was provided through the generosity of others. Thanks! :)
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Old 07-28-2020, 11:02 AM   #18
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Default Re: Rules you ignore/alter.

I don't use the Recover Energy spell, it being a 3e legacy code spell. Instead, I use Regeneration (Energy Reserve Only, +0%}.
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Old 07-28-2020, 02:21 PM   #19
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Default Re: Rules you ignore/alter.

Originally Posted by Mark Skarr View Post
[*]You can’t block bullets/beam weapons with a shield. (B327, 375) Enough examples exists in media of this being invalid. It’s as valid to block a bullet/beam with a shield as it is to dodge them—the same logic applies to both: If bullets/beams are too fast to block, they’re too fast to dodge with human reflexes. Instead of erring on the side of “you can’t do that,” we’re erring on the side of “this will be more fun.”
This really only tends to come up in Supers games, but even so, we’ve allowed the use in non-supers games.
Cole's "Dodge This Article" in the gunplay issue of pyramid (july 2013: 3/57) has a "parry and block" note on pg 22 which is useful for this I think.

Originally Posted by Mark Skarr View Post
[*]Allowing Extended Duration on Create. (P92) It’s our opinion that the “creation pool” (P93) is an incredibly poor kludge that just doesn’t work. We allow the addition of the Extended Duration enhancement on Create. While it has potential for abuse, just getting a character with Create past the GM requires extensive work, and the GM has general oversite on the power. And, Extended Duration, Permanent is a pretty huge modifier that counter-balances the need for the creation pool.
You might have people not paying permanent points of the enhancement though, as they might just use Temporary Enhancements to use FP and roll Will to temporarily get the ability to make permanent items for a minute.

P93's point-per-10%-average-starting-wealth could perhaps be tweaked in a more generous direction though. If anyone can use B26 "Trading Points for Money" to get stuff they want then why have Create at all, basically?

B85 Signature Gear for example uses 50% of ASW per point, and unlike TPFM it's stuff you're guaranteed not to lose (or get replaced if you lose) unless voluntarily giving it away.

TPFM presumably has an inferior ratio because it is versatile (the money you get can be spent on anything later on, unlike Signature Gear which is fixed as one thing). Although presumably you could just use points to buy Signature Gear and then sell your SG for money, perhaps you're not necessrily going to get a fair value for it?

I think why he Creation Pool uses 10% instead of 50% is that it actually is versatile like money since you can reclaim spent points to create so long as whatever you made isn't eaten before you reclaim it. You can buy Ranged for Create but I don't know if you have to buy that separately for reclaiming or if it's included.

One precedent for allowing "Permanent" on Create might be that B86 allows it to be purchased for Snatcher, though it suggests GMs are free to forbid it due to "boundless wealth" problems.

One other idea would be to take a "must always stabilize" approach on Create, but to invert the rules for character-point-powered abilities to determine a substitute higher FP cost.

"Character Point-Powered Abilities" (PU5p13) are 1/5 normal cost, so you could just make "Stable Creation" an ability where base value of trait is 5x as much as categories normally dictate (200 large, 100 medium, 50 small, 25 specific) or perhaps charge 5x as much for Extended Duration enhancements?

Another approach could be to require the "Independent" enhancement (+70%) to represent "stabilizing" something. Since that stabilizes for the lesser of base duration (10 seconds) or MoS minutes (the IQ roll you make when creating) once you increased the base duration a certain amount, you'd need to start extending the MoS duration too, basically paying TWICE as much for Extended Duration in the long run.

Originally Posted by Mark Skarr View Post
[*]Margin-Based is Awesome! (CotN1; 4) This enhancement is awesome and a blast. If you don’t use it, give it a try. Spoon it right in! How this didn’t make it into PU4 is beyond me.[/list]
At least it made it pg 13 of Psionic Powers. Pg 50 clarifies in Drain (Attribute) that it doesn't need to be a one-sided MoS, but that you can use two-sided MoV (MoS+MoF) to calculate it too :)

If another book were to revisit it, I'd be interested in widening the scope beyond Afflicting leveled traits/penalties (leveled enhancements) to using it on leveled traits outright somehow.

Originally Posted by Mark Skarr View Post
Supers (S78) also introduces "unbreakable shields." So, that is also something to consider.
I'm noticing about that... when they say only Can Be Stolen is usable... I understand why it's missing Breakable -0% and Reparability -15%, but why would it be missing Size -15%?

Even for an unbreakable shield, wouldn't Size matter when using Striking at Weapons for the purpose of disarming rather than damaging it?

Maybe Size should just be worth fewer points for unbreakable objects?

Originally Posted by Dustin View Post
Attacks targeting the Torso that succeed by 3 or more hit the Vitals instead. (Speeds up combat a bit.)
MA137 has a random 1 in 6 chance. What I don't like about MoS3 is that you won't have people intentionally targetting vitals (unless discount via Targeted attack technique) since it would be safer to always target torso.

Originally Posted by Dustin View Post
[*]Parrying Unarmed Attacks (B376) does half damage, not full damage.
Does this mean MA106 Obstructtion would do a quarter (half of half) of full damage, or would you keep it at half making them tied now?

Originally Posted by MIB.6361 View Post
Recover Energy: I think Recover Energy should be a Perk. It isn't a spell, it's a special attunement to ambient mana. Probably in two levels.
If you wanted to make it more like a spell, you could assign it a base cost (1 to cast 1 to maintain, both reduced to 0 by skill 15 unless you cast it ceremonially) and casting time (1, or 10 if cast ceremonially) and have it require concentration to maintain.

The recovery rates seem worth more than a perk...

Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
I don't use the Recover Energy spell, it being a 3e legacy code spell. Instead, I use Regeneration (Energy Reserve Only, +0%}.
B248 has the two tiers of jumping from 1/10m to 1/5m to 1/2m.

P70's "Fatigue Recovery" enhancement is only "for fast or better". Which B80 minimum is base 50 points for 1/minute.

Regular is 25 for 1/hour which obviously sounds overpriced for FP (you already regain 6 per hour) but maybe there could be some scaling "lower than 50" versions of Fatigue-Only regeneration?

Takes Extra Time maybe?
-10% 2m
-20% 4m
-30% 8m
-40% 16m

At that point (50 -40% = 30) you're spending 30 points just to less-than-double your FP recovery (inferior to first tier of Recover Energy at skill 15) and still costing way more than a perk.

You could bring it down further by using Mana-Sensitive and Requires Concentrate, that'd give you another 20% for -60%, but that's still 20 points to buy.

The only way I could think to bring the price down a huge amount would be not just trying to max out limitations at -80% but also doing 1/5 to overall price as some kind of Alternate Ability.

Like maybe you can't use Magery and Recover Energy at the same time? Focusing on absorbing mana as an alternative to using your perception? Dealing with a base cost of 10 points instead of 50 would make it a lot more affordable, and comparable to putting 1 or 2 points in a spell.

Alternative Abilities are kind of similar to TEmporary Disadvantage: Shutdown except you can work outside the -80% limitation limit by using AA to shoot for 1/25 costs.
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Old 07-28-2020, 03:30 PM   #20
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Default Re: Rules you ignore/alter.

I'm happy to ignore the fatigue rules provided the characters behave sensibly, taking rests at plausible intervals and not routinely pushing the limits. Since they rarely have to carry much encumbrance, this mostly saves bookkeeping.
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