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Old 11-19-2019, 05:06 PM   #51
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Default Re: What are some GURPS rules you didn't know or understand for a long time?

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Originally Posted by tbone View Post
I can understand the feeling, but I wonder what this GM thinks the alternative should be. What RPG doesn't use some sort of turns?
The Burning Wheel family of games uses scripted combat. An Exchange is divided into three phases ("Volleys") and a character has between one and nine actions to evenly divide between those volleys; an average fighter has 3-4 actions. The actions are noted down and then resolved simultaneously, so there's an element of anticipating what your opponent will do in winning a combat.

For example, my fighter's up against a brawler known for his aggressive style and we're in a tavern brawl. I script my four actions as 1) Block, 2) Counterstrike, 3a) Push, 3b) Lock; I plan on parrying his first attack, parrying and punching back on his second attack, and then on the third volley shoving him off balance and putting him in a head lock or a pin.

You could probably adapt something like this to GURPS, but it would take an awful lot of work; both BW and GURPS have rather crunchy systems that proceed from different core principles.
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Old 11-19-2019, 06:55 PM   #52
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Default Re: What are some GURPS rules you didn't know or understand for a long time?

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Some wargames and tactical boardgames use a "phase system" that breaks movement – and sometimes other actions – into smaller chunks that occur simultaneously. So (to coin a silly example), there might be 10 phases in which someone with Move 5 moves a yard on 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10, someone with Move 7 moves a yard on 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10, and so on, and on any phase when either moves, they can declare their attack or whatever, with Basic Speed, DX, a dice-off, or whatever deciding who attacks first if they both do.

That's a very slow way to run combat, really only justifiable in games that are all about combat (and little else). There are RPGs that use it, but it always feels wargame-ish. Still, some people like it.
That's actually sort of how he runs it. We all write on a white board our action, and then movement happens one hex at a time for all characters that are moving. It's kind of odd, but sort of makes sense.

It lends to some issues, like attacking a foe that fell on the previous character's turn, or not being able to stand because you declared an attack but got knocked down before your attack. It's sort of a work in progress and I personally feel it's not worth fleshing out details.

I think he really prefers it due to run around attacks. He can't stand the idea of a character running 6-7 yards from front to back and attacking while the other character just stands there watching it happen. You can make up whatever cinematic move is REALLY happening in your head, but with unanimated miniatures, it looks pretty bad.

I do prefer the standard turn by turn method myself as it's what I'm used to.
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:44 AM   #53
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Default Re: What are some GURPS rules you didn't know or understand for a long time?

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That's actually sort of how he runs it.
If that works for him, cool!

Combat in RPGs ranges from "a tactical minigame played during pauses in the storytelling" to "just another, if unusually violent, part of the theatre of the mind, in which drama and telling a good story are more important than realism." GURPS (with its turns and hexes) and your friend are both on the "tactical minigame" side of the dividing line! It's just that GURPS falls closer to that line: It sees the battle map and turn system as visualization aids, and it quietly assumes that pre- and post-fight conditions are concrete while abstracting the transformation of one into the other in the name of ease of play; that is, everything that happens in combat time is part of a black box rather than a literal representation of what's happening, and player decisions are inputs into the black box.
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Old 11-22-2019, 01:39 PM   #54
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Default Re: What are some GURPS rules you didn't know or understand for a long time?

Radiation. Its weird. Its kind of damage, but its kind of not. The rules for it are scattered all over the place, sometimes as a faint echo of HP, and sometimes not.

I've never played with it, and I'm 100% positive if I'd tried I'd forget something.
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Old 11-22-2019, 02:01 PM   #55
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Default Re: What are some GURPS rules you didn't know or understand for a long time?

Grenades! When do they explode?

I have a grenade primed for 3 seconds in my hand and I throw it... when does it explode?

turn 1: Throw the grenade.
turn 2: (1 sec)
turn 3: (2 sec)
Turn 4: 3 sec... does it go off, before or after I take my action?


We play it as going off after your action. But that's just a ruling I have made.
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Old 11-22-2019, 03:45 PM   #56
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Default Re: What are some GURPS rules you didn't know or understand for a long time?

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Grenades! When do they explode?

I have a grenade primed for 3 seconds in my hand and I throw it... when does it explode?

turn 1: Throw the grenade.
turn 2: (1 sec)
turn 3: (2 sec)
Turn 4: 3 sec... does it go off, before or after I take my action?


We play it as going off after your action. But that's just a ruling I have made.
This brings up another question: What are the rules for reaction time in Gurps? It would probably take at least one of those seconds for the person to observe the object, realise it's a grenade and going to explode, and then take evasive actions to protect themselves.

I think about this during combat often. A character falls and IMMEDIATELY, all of the other characters react like a machine, moving on to their next action or attack on another target? How long should that take for them to stop and observe the battlefield for their next attack?
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Old 11-22-2019, 04:43 PM   #57
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Default Re: What are some GURPS rules you didn't know or understand for a long time?

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This brings up another question: What are the rules for reaction time in Gurps? It would probably take at least one of those seconds for the person to observe the object, realise it's a grenade and going to explode, and then take evasive actions to protect themselves.

I think about this during combat often. A character falls and IMMEDIATELY, all of the other characters react like a machine, moving on to their next action or attack on another target? How long should that take for them to stop and observe the battlefield for their next attack?
That's another problem, not really to do with rules per se. But I agree, it's something I also consider. It because especially obvious in GURPS compared to other RPG systems thanks to the extremely short 1 sec turns.
In D&D for instance you can handwave it more easily as its ~6 sec turns.

Tactical Shooting has some rules for tactical awareness though. Such as not being able to dodge gunshots outside of a certain range, or require Per-checks.


I don't use them as such. but sometimes I require a Per-check at -2 (or worse) to notice something happening, to allow players to react to it immediately.
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