Roleplayer
Roleplayer #24, June 1991

Try A Little Bit Harder

Expanded Rules for Extra Effort

by Daniel U. Thibault

In the GURPS Basic Set, two Extra Efforts are detailed: one when Jumping, the other when Lifting. This article proposes a more generic set of Extra Effort rules, with some slight modifications of Jumping and Lifting to streamline the rules. Some common points:

Extra Effort costs one point of fatigue in all cases, whether it works or not. The only exception is if the Extra Effort roll is a critical success, in which case the GM may let you keep the fatigue point.

If the Extra Effort roll is a success, you achieve your goal. If it is an ordinary failure, you achieve what you would have accomplished without Extra Effort. A critical failure costs a point of HT in injury (pulled muscle or the like) which cannot be cured by First Aid, but only by rest.

Remember that ST is reduced by the fatigue lost when-ever a test of ST is required, as in throwing, jumping, lifting . . . see p. B134. This means that Extra Effort quickly becomes a losing proposition if used repeatedly in a short period of time.

Running

Extra Effort when running is only possible over long distances (at least 100 yards); each Extra Effort applies only to one 100-yard segment. Roll against your HT or Running skill (whichever is better), subtracting current fatigue, at a -4 per point of extra Basic Speed you are trying to sustain. On a critical failure, in addition to the I HT of injury, you sprain your ankle, tear a leg ligament, or pull a muscle (GM's choice). Your leg is crippled (HT roll to see if serious/permanent, minimum 30-minute duration), and you stumble and fall down!

Jumping

Roll against your ST, DX or Jumping skill (whichever is better), subtracting current fatigue and the extra distance in inches. For a broad jump, divide the extra distance by 4; for a running broad jump, divide it by 6.

An optional rule: Add 10% of your Jumping skill (rounding down) to your ST when figuring the distance you can jump. This brings Jumping in line with Running and Throwing, which both already give a similar bonus.

Lifting

Roll against ST or Lifting skill (see below), whichever is better, subtracting current fatigue and 1 for each extra point of ST. For a continuing effort, roll every minute.

New Skill: Lifting

This is an Athletic skill, Physical/Hard, no default, based on ST. This is the trained ability to use your strength to its best advantage when you lift. Add 10% of your Lifting skill to your ST when figuring how much you can lift, carry, shove, or drag. This does not apply to encumbrance or weapon damage.

Throwing

Roll against your ST or Throwing skill (whichever is better), subtracting current fatigue and 3 for each extra point of ST. Success affects both distance and damage.

Generic Extra Effort

Roll against the appropriate physical attribute (ST, DX, or HT) or skill, subtracting current fatigue and at a -3 per point of extra effort. Extra effort only applies to brute strength (ST) or endurance (HT), not to finesse (DX): you can't increase your chance to hit with Extra Effort! Possible applications of generic Extra Effort include cocking a too-strong crossbow, attempting a takedown, and so on.

Some feats are inappropriate: Holding your breath, for example. Since holding one's breath is entirely a matter of letting time go by and then losing fatigue (see the B9 1 sidebar), extra effort would be self-defeating. Extra Effort when inflicting damage with a weapon is already covered by one of the All-Out Attack options (see B105).

Extra Effort in Active Defense

This is a good option if you must survive that one blow. As an ordinary combat tactic, it would soon leave you breathless and at the mercy of your opponent. A success on any of these rolls is a successful defense; an ordinary failure just fails, and a critical failure is a disaster.

Blocking

Your Block is your full Shield skill, minus your current fatigue. On a critical failure, in addition to the 1 HT of injury, you drop your shield, the shield becomes unready, or your shield arm is temporarily crippled (GM's choice).

Dodging

Your Dodge is your full DX, minus your current fatigue. On a critical failure, in addition to the 1 HT of injury, you fall down.

Parrying

Your Parry is your full weapon skill, minus your current fatigue. On a critical failure, in addition to the 1 HT of injury, you drop your weapon, or your weapon arm is temporarily crippled (GM's choice).

(Back to Roleplayer #24 Table of Contents)


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