Steve Jackson Games GURPS – Generic Universal RolePlaying System

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3. Basic Set, Compendium 1 and 2

3.1 Does the Running skill affect Dodge score or initiative?

No! Running skill only increases your Move rating for ground movement, it does not modify Dodge or improve your initiative or place in the turn sequence.

Source: Steve Jackson, Roleplayer #19 (April 1990)

Enhanced Move (p. CI54), Super Running (p. CI68), and Cyberlegs (p. UT106) won't increase Dodge or initiative, either. You need Increased Speed (p CI26) to increase both, or Enhanced Dodge (p. CI24) to increase only your Dodge.

Source:Kevin J. Chase

3.2 Why do you need to buy off Disadvantages?

Disadvantages taken at character creation time grant a player extra points to use to improve his character in other areas. A disadvantage imposes some restriction on the character. If he can get rid of a disadvantage without buying it off, it means he's getting something for nothing and "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch."

On the other hand, experienced GMs should feel free to relax this rule or even do away with it - not everyone wants to be a character point accountant. It is especially true if getting rid of the disadvantage is a logical consequence of what happens in the game; many GMs will simply remove the disadvantage as a reward.

Here are some examples of abuse that routinely occurs if this rule is removed without caution:

  1. Only the rich rule!
    1. Cyberpunk - Take any physical disad and then buy bionics to fix it.
    2. Fantasy - Poverty disad. If you know that your GM tends to run adventures where money can be easily acquired, this is free points.
  2. Run away!
    1. Enemy - If you take an Enemy and then go some place the Enemy can't follow, you no longer have an Enemy. The GM should give you an equivalent Enemy or make you pay off the disad. Otherwise, the GM needs to confine the adventure or just let you get off free.
    2. Dependents - If you go some place where your dependents will not come into play, the GM needs to either get creative and pull an occasional emergency at home, or in a few cases allow the disad to be bought off. I personally never allow Dependents to be bought off unless the Dependents are killed or otherwise permanently removed from the game.
  3. Live it up today for tomorrow we die. NOT! Take the Terminal Illness disadvantage. If you can locate a cure, you get up to 100 points for the disad. The quest for a cure to a terminal illness is a nice "hook" for the GM to fashion an adventure around. Most GMs grant the possibility of a solution rather than just saying "Hey - you chose the disad so your character dies no matter what!" (Of course this is OK for sadistic GMs and any GM running a cyberpunk campaign, where sadistic GMing is the default. :-).

3.3 Do you need to buy off disadvantages gained in game play?

No. You do not need to buy off disadvantages acquired during game play.

3.4 Should I pay for advantages gained during play?

That is up to the GM. Some GMs will assess a "point debt" equal to the cost of the new advantage - negative unspent points, in effect - and require you to put some or all of your earned points toward paying it off. Other GMs will just raise your point total and get on with the game. There is no "right" answer.

Source: Dr.Kromm

3.5 Can you dodge a burst of automatic-weapon fire? How?

Dodge vs. bullets represents the effects of an alerted target's movement on the attacker's accuracy. The defender does not physically duck the bullets! Normally, one dodge is allowed against each shot. Against automatic weapons, however, one dodge is allowed against each group instead.

The "Dodge and Drop" rule on p. CII63 is a useful option for characters under fire!

3.6 What is the "blow-through" rule? How does it work?

The "Blow-Through" rule is buried in the sidebar on p. B109. This rule limits the damage a character can take from bullets and impaling damage. An impaling or bullet hit to the torso will do no more than HT points of damage; anything exceeding this is lost. The exception is if a vital organ is hit, in which case the limit is HTx3. For more details, see the rule in the Basic Set and its expansion on p. CII62.

Addendum from Jeff Gaines:

The HTx3 limit applies to both the head and the vitals. Beam, Fireball or Lightning attacks double this maximum damage. There is no maximum damage for injuries to the brain or for weapons that do more than 15d in basic damage. (From the 8th printing of Basic Set, 3rd Edition.)

So one bullet to the torso can't kill someone?

Yes and no. Remember that weapons that do more than 15d of basic damage don't use the blow-through rule at all. But, yes, if you shoot someone with a "normal" sized handgun in the torso (or run him through with a sword), the blow-through rule limits the damage to HT, leaving the target at 0. The optional bleeding rules (p. B130) or the even more optional bleeding rules (p. CII156) will have to be used for a single shot to result in death. Death will then be a slow, drawn-out experience instead of a "Bang! You're dead!" experience.

Source: Kevin J. Chase

GURPS Black Ops has an optional rule (p. BO65, sidebar) stating that torso bullet blowthrough is limited to either target hit points, or average basic damage for the bullet, whichever is higher. This blowthrough limit is tripled for shots to the vitals. All other hit locations are treated as they were in GURPS Basic.

Source: S. John Ross

Optionally, any one of the following adjustments will make death from a single gunshot more likely:

  1. Lethal Shock: Even if the wound canal from a bullet is trivial, the shock front can stop the heart and arrest breathing. Use the rules as written, discarding damage that blows through; however, whenever someone is shot in the torso, make HT rolls (for unconsciousness, death, and stunning) as if he had taken the full damage.

    EXAMPLE: A HT 10 character takes a 25-point bullet wound. This does only 10 points of damage, but he must make two HT rolls to survive, since if had taken the full 25 hits, he'd be at -15 hit points.

  2. Higher Hit Location Blow-Through Multiple: Since the vitals are in the torso and since bullets generate a shock wave and generally create a large wound canal by keyholing, et cetera, it's unlikely the vitals could escape harm. Treat all bullet hits to the torso as vitals hits for blow-through purposes only; i.e., bullet wounds to the torso blow through only after doing HTx3 damage.

  3. Higher Weapon Blow-Through Multiple: A bigger round or one that deforms to appear bigger will deposit more energy as it passes through the human body. Apply all the multipliers for bullet type and weapon caliber to HT to determine blow through.

    EXAMPLE: A .45 hollowpoint (x1.5 for calibre, x1.5 for expanding) can inflict up to HTx2.25 before blowing through.

    [Maintainer's Note: This will allow a large bullet to drop someone dead in one shot, while not having as much effect on a low calibre round, which is very unlikely to incur the blow-through rule in the first place. Armor-piercing rounds will have almost no chance of killing with one shot.]

Source: Dr.Kromm

This method [3] has the advantage that you can treat it as not being a blow through multiple at all - limit damage to HT before applying multipliers for size and bullet type.

Source: Christopher M. Dicely

3.7 Are there any mass combat rules for GURPS?

Yes. Mass combat has been covered in such sourcebooks as GURPS Conan, Vikings and Japan. The latest version of those rules appears in GURPS Compendium II, p. 112. These rules are not a set of miniatures rules, but instead are intended to allow quick resolution of large-scale combat and determine what happened to the PCs.

3.8 High IQ characters learn languages far too quickly. Is there a fix?

Yes. GURPS Compendium I (p. 119) presents an old Roleplayer article by Steffan O'Sullivan, entitled The Gift of Tongues, which offers a selection of optional language rules.

3.9 Are there more detailed firearms rules anywhere?

Yes. GURPS High-Tech, 2nd Edition expands and improves the reality of the GURPS firearm rules. The first chapter has a sidebar on "Flinch, Buck Fever and Bullet Shyness" (pp. HT7-9). Flinch is responding to the gun's recoil prior to actually firing, thus resulting in a negative modifier to gun skill. Buck fever is a decrease in accuracy due to firing in a stressful situation. Bullet shyness is the tendency to seek cover from gunfire rather than exposing yourself to return fire. Bullet shyness in GURPS requires a Will roll by NPCs to allow exposure to gunfire (PCs should avoid exposure to gun shots due to fear of being blown away!). Other problems include heavy breathing (after a run for instance), distractions (dust, sweat, etc.) and other discomforts.

Clarifications on how bullet damage works, expansions on different ammo types, a modification to Passive Defense vs. bullets, explanations of recoil (and felt recoil) and a change to the way knockback works for being hit by bullets are included as well (pp. HT4-15). Gun maintenance and malfunctions are also covered.

Most of this material has been updated and included in GURPS Compendium IIas well.

3.10 When do death rolls need to be made?

A death roll for reaching -HT and each subsequent -(HT + 5n) only has to be made once, when that damage occurs. After that, the character is not at further risk of dying until more damage occurs. If this is too unrealistic for you, applying the optional rules for bleeding (p. B130) can cause this extra damage to take place without further combat. Otherwise, the character has a chance to regain consciousness later, even if there is no aid rendered.

Source: Steven Sharp in

3.11: How come small critters with high HT like cats are so though to kill?

Small creatures like cats have a HT of 14 and only 4 hit points. Because of the way GURPS is handling death, to automatically kill an average cat would take (5*14)+4 = 74 points of damage, 14 more than a HT 10 human. To correct this, use the alternate rules for death on pp. CII152. For small animals, it substitutes hit points to HT to determine when to start making death roll, and when automatic death occurs. This way, a cat would roll for death at -4, -9, -14 and -19 HT, and would reach automatic death at -20 HT.

Source: Dr.Kromm and Stephane Theriault

3.12 How do you speed up GURPS combat?

There are several ways:

  1. Never use the GURPS Advanced Combat Rules!
  2. Use the Very Basic Melee Combat rules reprinted in Compendium II, p. 89.

There are also rules in the sidebars on pp. CII73-74 that are intended to speed up combat.

3.13 Starting point costs for different genres.

For most genres, 100-150 point starting characters maintain a realistic feel, and 200-300 point PCs make a cinematic, high-fantasy campaign. Low powered campaigns, especially horror, run well at under 100 points, sometimes as low as 50. Supers, Lensmen, and other super-high powered characters can easily start out over 300 points, going as high as 1000 or more.

Even in high-powered campaigns, it is common to put a cap on a starting character's attributes. 80-100 points is about as high as a starting human character can put into attributes and still feel "realistic" - even fantasy warlocks and modern special forces troopers.

3.14 How does feinting work?

Feinting is trying to make your foe think you'll do something other than what you really plan to do. When you feint, you make a normal weapon skill roll - although you are not going to hit your foe. Then you foe rolls against his Combat/Weapon skill. Three results are possible:

  1. You failed. Nothing happens.
  2. You made a successful roll, but by less than or as much as your foe did. Nothing happens.
  3. You made a successful roll, and by a greater margin than your foe. This difference will be subtracted from your opponent's Active Defense roll in the next turn, if you manage to hit him.

Source: Daniel Sobral

So basically, you feint if you're much better than your opponent yet he's good enough to block/parry/dodge most of your shots (i.e. he has a 14+ defense roll).

Does the target of a successful feint lose his active defense?

No. A successful feint does something to lower or draw the defender's guard, but the defender does not necessarily execute an active defense in response. Not all feints are fakes. One can fake an attack, but one can also use rhythm ("left-right, left-right, left-left"), stance (a kick after shifting one's weight as if to punch), deception (look left, strike right) and aggression (beat the foe's weapon aside) to reduce a foe's chance of defending. GURPS abstracts all of the above into a "feint roll," so it would not be altogether realistic to have a feint "use up" a defense.

But now the target's player knows the feint worked, and can react to it.

In reality, the target of a feint isn't going to know he's been feinted; if he did, he wouldn't have fallen for it. However, the player will know he's lost the contest, and may decide (for example) to run away.

The best way to play feints is for the GM to roll all combat rolls for NPCs secretly. When an NPC feints, roll dice, ignore them and simply tell the target "He swings at you and misses." Roll the Quick Contest that would have taken place immediately (according to the rules as written) on the NPC's next turn, just before his attack, and apply the results of the feint normally.

How do you handle feints in player vs. player combat?

Have both players make all of their combat rolls in secret for the course of the duel, but make sure that the GM sees the die rolls of both players. What's ideal is to seat the two players (or groups of players) on either side of an upright screen that hides each side's die rolls from the other, and let the GM and other disinterested parties watch both players from the sides.

You can also use the solutions for NPCs in BS-11.02 - the player attempting the feint tells the GM what he's trying, but tells his opponent that he swung and missed. (He has to tell the GM in advance to prevent cheating.) The Quick Contest doesn't get rolled until his next turn, just before the real attack.

Does the feinter know his feint succeeded or not?

No! Keeping both feint rolls secret will ensure this. It is important to realize that combat is a mind game. A fighter is never sure if his foe is pretending to be bad to put him off guard, or only appears to be good because he has practiced a few moves to perfection, until he's observed him for some time.

If I successfully feint on my current round, can I feint again on my next round to further lower my opponent's defense?

No! The benefit of a feint applies no later than the immediately following turn. If you wait for more than a turn, then you lose the benefit of the feint.

Source: Dr.Kromm

What about in a combination?

Nope. Only one feint is allowed in a combination.

Source: Dr.Kromm

What about multiple attacks with 'Trained By A Master'?

You can feint more than once, but only the best feint will apply. The others will be wasted.

Source: Dr.Kromm

3.15 How does recoil work for firearms (automatic versus non-automatic)?

Non-Auto: "Rcl" number is applied to each shot after the first in a turn, but only once in a turn. So three shots in a row are at (Modified Skill), (Modified Skill - Rcl) and (Modified Skill - Rcl). Note that the last shot is not at (Mod. Skill - 2 x Rcl)! However, the first shot of the next turn is at -Rcl, and all successive shots on that turn are at -2 x Rcl, and so on . . . until a full turn is spent not firing the gun. After that turn, Rcl penalties are reset to 0 and the progression begins again.

Auto: Similar to above where not indicated otherwise. The main differences are that Rcl is applied to groups, not to individual rounds; it is applied even to the first group in a burst; and it is added for each group, cumulatively, within or between turns. So firing three groups on full auto is done at (Modified Skill - Rcl), (Modified Skill - 2 x Rcl) and (Modified Skill - 3 x Rcl). Next turn you start at -4 x Rcl!

Note: Rcl is doubled if the weapon is held one-handed, and is doubled for each point of ST the firer has below Minimum ST for the gun. Also, on unaimed shots, if Rcl takes the final, modified skill roll below the Snap Shot (SS) number of the gun, the -4 Snap Shot penalty must be applied.

3.16 How does the GURPS turn sequence work? What about initiative?

Overview: Characters take their turns in succession, following the combat sequence. A character's turn starts when he chooses a maneuver and ends when he chooses his next maneuver. For the sake of convenience, a turn is taken to be 1 second of real time. See p. B95 for more information.

Sequence: The sequence is a list of all the characters involved in the combat, arranged in the order that they will act. When combat begins, the GM calls upon the players to take their turns (or determines what the NPCs do) in the order given by this list. Once the last character on the list has acted, the GM moves back to the top of the list and starts over again. Thus, the sequence is cyclical, and each character gets exactly one turn on each run through the sequence.

The easy way to determine the sequence involves rolling dice for the privilege of going first (see p. B95). The more realistic method - and the one that is more commonly misunderstood - involves having the characters act in order of decreasing Move.

For the sake of the combat sequence, your Move is equal to your Basic Speed (p. B14), minus any movement penalty for your encumbrance level (p. B76), dropping all fractions. The Running skill (p. B48) does not affect your Move for this purpose. The character with the highest Move goes first, then the character with the next-highest Move, and so on. If multiple characters have the same Move, they act in order of decreasing Basic Speed. If two characters have the same Move and Basic Speed, they each roll a die and the character who rolls highest acts first.

Note that no matter which method is used to determine the sequence, once it is determined, it stays the same for the entire battle. When using the easy way, or when using the realistic way and breaking a tie with dice, dice are rolled only once, at the beginning of the battle. Likewise, if Move has been used to determine the sequence, the sequence does not change, even if the Move of one or more characters changes during the combat.

Turn: A character's turn is an interval of time that starts when the sequence indicates he can act and ends when it indicates he can act again. This means that the interval of time represented by a turn is a different interval for each character: a turn always takes one second, but it is not precisely the same second for any two combatants because each fighter starts his turn at a different place in the sequence. It is important to realize that there is no "overall" turn that applies to everyone on the whole battlefield, and that running through the entire combat sequence once does not constitute a "turn" of any kind.

Maneuver: A maneuver is an action (see pp. B95-97 and 103-107 for examples) taken in combat. Each maneuver that you take marks the beginning of a turn and the end of your previous one. Some things that are not maneuvers include defense rolls, resistance rolls, free actions and actions that take "no time". Note that the term "maneuver" is also used for certain martial arts moves, but the terms are not interchangeable.

While active defenses are not maneuvers, defense rolls made against attackers who act after you do are affected by the maneuver you took on your turn, and will continue to be affected until you take a new maneuver on your next turn. This is especially important to realize when choosing the All-Out Attack maneuver: a character who makes an All-Out Attack gets no defenses until everyone else has acted once!

For simplicity's sake, assume that all characters enter combat with all of their active defenses intact, even if they have not yet taken a maneuver.

Step and Wait: The Step and Wait maneuver deserves special treatment here. The act of choosing a maneuver defines the beginning of a turn: when a character's turn comes around during the sequence, he must choose a maneuver. Step and Wait is just like any other maneuver in this respect, and by choosing it, you are not delaying your turn until later - only your attack.

Initiative: "Initiative" is a term used to express the concept of "who goes next." In most cases, initiative should be determined by the Move value, as per the sidebar on p. B95. To determine the turn sequence of attackers with multiple attacks, use the following rule. The first attack uses the character's Move value; the second uses Move-1, the third Move-2, and so on.

If one fighter has an opponent pinned, or in an arm or leg hold, the immobilized fighter takes his turn normally if he is slower than his foe. If he is faster than his foe, he does not go first; he goes immediately after the foe who has immobilized him.

Source: Paraphrased from GURPS Compendium II, with permission.

3.17 What's the difference between Throwing and Thrown Weapon skills?

The Throwing skill allows you to throw anything. A Thrown Weapon skill is used to throw a specific "aerodynamic" weapon. Rocks, round/spherical grenades, and other non-aerodynamic items are thrown using the Throwing skill. If you don't have Throwing or an appropriate Thrown Weapon skill, your default is DX-3 to throw at a specific target, or DX if you just want to lob something into a general area. (see pp. B49, B52 and HT45).

3.18 How does Will work?

Will is actually a "figured" attribute, much like "Fatigue" (which equals ST), Hit Points (which equal HT) or Speed (which equals [DX+HT]/4). If you have Weak Will, your Will is equal to the lower of your IQ or 14, minus Weak Will. Otherwise, it is equal to IQ plus any Strong Will you may possess. Will is, in general, treated like any other attribute or skill; there are no special limits on how high or low it can be. The exceptions are when Will is being used to suppress a disadvantage and when a Fright Check is being made. In those situations, a Will roll of 14+ fails. This is not to say that the number called "Will" cannot exceed 13, only that certain specific Will rolls fail on 14+. Despite this, high Will has its advantages even when making Fright Checks; a character with (for example) Will 20 could make a Fright Check with any modifier from 0 to -7 and still only fail on 14+.

Interesting variant rules for Will and Will-related Disadvantages are presented in the Pyramid #9 article "The Much-Maligned Will", and are reprinted in GURPS Compendium I (p. CI8).

3.19 Do you declare the use of Luck before or after a roll?

The consensus seems to be that, for 15 points, it should be possible to use Luck after a bad die roll. Consider that to be the "official" ruling on the matter.

3.20 What are the rules for fighting with two weapons?

A character who attacks with two weapons is at -4 on both attacks when doing so, and has an additional -4 on the attack made with the weapon in his off hand (for a total of -8 and -4). To buy off the -4 for attacking with two weapons, use the Dual Weapon Attack maneuver; to buy off the -4 for using the off hand, use the Off-Hand Weapon Training maneuver (or Ambidexterity). See GURPS Martial Arts for these maneuvers. If he chooses the "extra attacks" option when making an All-Out Attack, he gets one extra attack, not double his usual number of attacks. In other words, he has 3 attacks instead of two - certainly not 4! Two of those attacks are made as outlined above (i.e., at -8 and -4); the third attack can be made with either weapon, and is at -4 if made with the off hand.

3.21 Why is crossbow damage based on ST?

The damage done by a crossbow is based on the ST of the bow, not of the firer. A PC may fire a crossbow stronger than his/her ST without penalty, but cocking the crossbow will take longer (p. B114).

GURPS Vehicles, Second Edition has rules for creation of low-tech weapons, including crossbows, that take into account changes in 1/2 Damage and Maximum ranges as the bow ST increases.

3.22 What is the tachi, and how is it different from the katana?

The tachi ("longsword") was an early Japanese sword: the original sword of the "samurai" and the direct ancestor of the katana. It originated in the Heian period (794-1185 AD), and was designed primarily as a cavalry weapon, spurred by the experience of the Tenkei War (939-941 AD). It was gradually relegated to a ceremonial role as the katana overtook it in popularity during the Kamakura period (1185-1333 AD).

Source: Draeger, Donn F. and Smith, Robert W., "Comprehensive Asian Fighting Arts." Kodansha International, Tokyo (1980).

The tachi typically sported a 24"-28" long blade (compared to a 25"-32" blade for the katana). Once its function became largely that of a court and ceremonial weapon, it became customary to lavishly decorate both the sword and its scabbard.

Source: Weland, Gerald, "A Collector's Guide to Swords, Daggers and Cutlasses." New Burlington Books, London (1991).

3.23 Why are some close-combat weapons Reach C only when a punch is C, 1?

For blackjacks and neko-de, Reach C, 1 makes more sense. The proper use of the blackjack is to weight a punch - it's not really a swung club at all. It is used with a punch-like thrusting motion or hammer fist-type motion, and like a punch or knife, should be Reach C, 1. Likewise, the neko-de is used with karate punches, and should also be Reach C, 1.

OTOH, slashing wheels and combat fans are fanciful rather than efficient, and require "draw cut" motions to be effective. This is only really possible in close combat for short-ranged weapons like these. I might allow a Reach 1 slash at -2 damage, though.

Source: Dr. Kromm

Even a simple punch is Reach C, 1, and a kick is 1 (C, 1 with Karate skill). The reason a punch can extend as far as a kick is that any stance even close to karate will have a definite lead hand and rear hand. A punch from the rear arm will only have Reach C, while a jab from the lead arm can reach out to 1.

Source: Kevin J. Chase

3.24 What does the Fit advantage (p. CI25) provide?

The Fit advantage provides a +1 to all HT rolls (including rolls to avoid stunning, unconsciousness, or death) and double-speed recovery of fatigue. It can not speed the recovery of fatigue spent casting spells or powering psionics; this includes the 1 point non-mage spectators can contribute to ceremonial magic (p. M15). It does not contribute to a character's Move or Dodge, it does not provide an extra hit point, and it does not provide any bonus to HT-based skills such as Singing, Running, or Sex Appeal. It also does not aid recovery time from stunners, paralysis guns, drugs, or other effects that measure time in the form of X-minus-HT.

Sources: Dr. Kromm and Kevin J. Chase

3.25 How do the "Defaulting to Other Skills" and "Improving Skills with Defaults" rules work?

Basically, when you have two skills that default, you can treat your default level in the one you did not study (call it skill #2) as if it were a learned level when it comes time to improve that skill. However, if you improve the original skill (call it skill #1), this does not automatically increase skill #2 once you have improved skill #2 from default. You have to pay any outstanding point cost first. Finally, you may switch the direction of a default if that would be beneficial, as long as you pay any outstanding point differences.

EXAMPLE: I'm a character with DX 12 and Shortsword-14.

I've spent 8 points on Shortsword. This gives me a Broadsword default of 14 - 2 = 12, the same as if I had spent 2 points on Broadsword and learned it at 12. In other words, I have Shortsword-14 [8 points] and Broadsword-12 [0 points]. If I raise Shortsword to 15, Broadsword becomes 13 for free, et cetera.

I leave Shortsword at 14 for now and decide to raise Broadsword from its default level of 12 to level 13. Skill 13 would normally cost me 4 points, but since I already have a default at the 2-point level (skill 12), I only need to pay the difference. I do this and have Shortsword-14 [8 points] and Broadsword-13 [2 points]. Without the benefit of a default, that would be Shortsword-14 [8 points] and Broadsword-13 [4 points].

Now I decide to raise Shortsword to 15 for another 8 points. My Broadsword default becomes 13, the same as if I had spent 4 points on it. The 2 points I've spent are not enough to raise it to 14, because that would cost 4 points, so I am stuck with Broadsword-13 until I pay the two outstanding points. In other words, I have Shortsword-15 [16 points] and Broadsword-13 [2 points] until I spend another two points on Broadsword to get Shortsword-15 [16 points] and Broadsword-14 [4 points].

Suppose I stop improving Shortsword and start working on Broadsword until I am at Shortsword-15 [16 points] and Broadsword-18 [36 points]. If I wish, I can turn around, spend the extra points to buy Broadsword up from DX instead of Shortsword, default Shortsword from Broadsword and spend the points in Shortsword to improve it from default. This means I have to spend 4 points more on Broadsword to have it at 18 based on DX. This gives me a Shortsword default of 16, and the 16 points I have in Shortsword raise that to 18, giving me Broadsword-18 [40 points] and Shortsword-18 [16 points].

Source: Dr. Kromm

3.26 Do damage bonuses affect a weapon's maximum damage?

All-out-attacks and weapon quality do not increase a weapon's maximum damage. Maximum damage represents the largest wound the weapon can inflict; a sharper blade (read "fine weapon") or all-out-attack merely allows you to do this using less ST.

Apply maximum damage limits after adding up all modifiers except for Weapon Master or Throwing Art. If damage exceeds the maximum, then lower it to the maximum. Once you've done that, apply the modifier for Weapon Master or Throwing Art. This will allow a Weapon Master or Throwing Artist to exceed maximum damage.

Source: Dr. Kromm

3.27 Why does Toughness cost so much more than Damage Resistance?

DR is a racial advantage (or a Supers advantage), while Toughness is an individual advantage that represents how much better at taking damage a character is compared to the rest of his/her species. An Unusual Background is included in its cost.

For example, a sentient insect character with racial DR of 5 (15 points) could not buy more Damage Resistance, but could buy up to two levels of Toughness (another 25 points), making it an exceptional DR 7 bug.

Source: Dr. Kromm

3.28 What rolls are affected by Shock due to injuries?

Shock lowers DX and IQ, -1 each per point of damage taken. This reduction lasts until the end of the victim's next turn. He can still act during that turn, but at the given penalty.

Shock does not affect:

Shock does affect:

Source: Dr. Kromm

3.29 How do Emapthy and Danger Sense work as psionic powers?

At the GM's discretion, these two advantages may be replaced with more-or-less equivalent psionic powers. They are not exactly the same as the original advantages, but very close.

Here's how it works: Both Empathy and Danger Sense are 15-point advantages. Since ESP power costs 3 points/level and Telepathy costs 5 points/level, this makes Danger Sense equal to ESP level 5 and Empathy equal to Telepathy level 3. They are both full-fledged, unlimited psionic power (as opposed to one-skill-only powers). It just happens that Emotion Sense and Precognition are the only psi skills that can be used at "default".

ESP's only benefit without training is that you get an IQ roll - similar to that for Precognition - to sense immediate threats.

Telepathy's only benefit without training is that you get an IQ roll - similar to that for Emotion Sense - to get a general "feel" for someone you're talking to. Range is about 1 yard, or "conversational distance".

Source: Dr. Kromm

3.30 What damage does a chainsaw do in GURPS?

According to GURPS Horror, a chainsaw does simply "Swing+4, cutting damage. DX-2". GURPS Undead has additional rules for chainsaws, as well as nail guns, lawn mowers, and other power-tool frolics on the page 125 sidebar. Kids, don't try this at home.

3.31 Which rifles in High-Tech and Special Ops have the scope included in their Acc?

Unfortunately, there is no good way to tell this outside of the few weapons explicitly stated as including (or not including) their scope's bonus in the weapons tables. For added fun, a few of them included bonuses for a bipod or tripod mount in the Acc figure, too.

Most rifles have an Acc in the 10-12 range; a reasonably safe assumption is that any rifle with an Acc higher than 11 represents the rifle plus some bonus. A quick-and-dirty way to reverse-engineer the numbers is to assume that the rifle itself has a maximum Acc of 11, maybe 12. Raise the rifle's Acc by one if the weapon description includes the term "hand-picked" or "high-quality". Add one if it is "bipod-" or "tripod-mounted". Anything left over is the scope.

Fortunately, in the new 2nd edition GURPS Special Ops and 3rd edition GURPS High-Tech,all rifles are listed as RifleAcc + ScopeAcc.

3.32 When do I need to roll on the Random Hit Location table?

When you cannot decide where to attack and want to leave it up to chance, or any time an attack is truly random: a trap, a stray bullet at long range, etc.

Source: Dr. Kromm

3.33 Do I have to apply the hit location penalty after rolling on the Random Hit Location table?

It depends. You do for hand attacks, where the table is just a way of picking your hit location when you cannot decide. But you do not for accidental hits, such as a bullet fired into a crowd.

Source: Dr. Kromm

3.34 Is PD reduced for high damage?

Only for bullets. PD is -1 per (Armor DR)/2 dice of damage; see p. HT6.

Source: Dr. Kromm

3.35 While dodging multiple attacks, my leg gets cripple. Can I still dodge the other attacks?

Yes, but since your leg is crippled, you're on the ground and dodging at -3 against all the attacks still left (and another -4 for being stunned).

Being knocked to the ground with a crippling wound does mean that those whostrike after you fall are more likely to hit.

Source: Dr. Kromm

3.36 How do the misfire rules work exactly?

It works like this:

Example 1: I have skill 16 and a weapon with Malf. 16. If I roll a 17, it's a normal miss but a malfunction. An 18 is both a critical miss and a malfunction - so I just have the malfunction (it takes priority).

Example 2: I have skill 5 and a weapon with Malf. 16. If I roll a 15, it's a critical miss but not a malfunction. A 16+ is both a critical miss and a malfunction - so I just have the malfunction.

Source: Dr. Kromm

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