Thursday, 26 January 2017

Meta: D'oh!

As I'd mentioned in previous posts on and on the forum thread, my work has been heating up a lot recently – I'm writing this at 10PM in a hotel room in Barcelona, having been working since about 10AM! This is why there's only been one post this week instead of the normal two. It's also why there'll likely be no posts for another week – I'm off to Amsterdam at the weekend for another week and almost certainly won't have the spare time or energy to write more posts there. And unlike Mailanka I don't have a massive queue of posts to fall back on!

So that's it for the next week or two but there is some good news. I've finally managed to put together a group for a space opera GURPS game! As long as my players consent, I'll likely be posting things like after-action reports, character profiles, setting details, etc., which will be much easier and faster to create and result in slightly less interruption when I inevitably become busy with jetting off to exotic locales to make powerpoint presentations.

In the meantime, Thursday is GURPS day as always, so head over to Gaming Ballistic to check out what's been happening in the GURPS-o-sphere this week.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Equipment Locker: Mystery Crate I

I often come up with bits and pieces of equipment that don't really fit into any larger theme. I like combing through GURPS Ultra-Tech and the Pyramid magazines devoted to sci-fi to come up with combination gadgets or gear inspired by existing equipment. And rather than let these sit on my computer with no-one seeing them, I thought I'd throw a few of them together at once and put them in a post, as a random grab bag of technology.

So let's open the first crate and see what's inside.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Equipment Locker: Lightning Guns, Galvanised

I made a post a while ago about back-converting electrolasers to lethal electricity weapons and mentioned at the end of the post that I'd use my then-upcoming expansions to the beam design system to give them a more traditional progression and spread of weapons. And now I've finally got around to it! Check after the jump for the details.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Playbook: Attribute Penalties in Different Gravity

Jumping on Earth (left) and on the Moon (right)
I was writing up some character creation advice for a sci-fi game I hope to run soon and begun trying to explain how to buy advantages to represent experience with working in different gravities, as the setting lacks artificial gravity.

In order to give advice, I had to understand the rules, so I went through and read them (GURPS Basic Set, p. 350).

I quickly found them confusing, badly explained and broken. So in an effort to make them easier to understand and use (especially for newer players) I made some modifications.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Grimoire: Elemental Melee Spells

GURPS Magic lacks a lot of the 'traditional' spells that games like D&D have. This is probably by design; most damage-dealing spells in D&D are variations upon "you do fire damage" or "you do lightning damage" and so on for each element. GURPS takes a more basic approach, with one or two spells per school that deal damage with an amount you can choose.

That said, there are still some gaps. One of the things that was conspicuous was the lack of sword spells, so that mages could brandish blades of pure fire. Lightning Whip is a great spell... but why not do the same for other elements or colleges? After the jump are a few simple spells that fill these gaps.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Cross-Post: First GURPSday 2017

I always dutifully read through the GURPSday listings, as I prefer it to using the content threads on the forums. I find much it more digestible, an easy way to get an overview of what the GURPS-o-sphere is doing recently without being bombarded with huge amounts of content. So here are a few of my stand-out blogs and posts from the first week of 2017!

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Ars Mundi: Coldfire

The Great Archmage Talistandra Orvalus XII is credited with the discovery – posthumously, of course. Her death baffled the College for months before enough of the event was reconstructed using divination and scrying magic. Orvalus' remains were found in her tower, along with the burnt remnants of her books, clothes, bookshelves, wands, staves, cat, owl and collection of novelty tea cosies, all scorched and clearly destroyed by flames. Yet when her apprentice arrived later that day, he found the entire tower covered in a thick layer of frost, even though it was a pleasantly balmy day in early spring.

Like any true academic, Orvalus was absolutely delighted about her discovery, even as it burnt her alive.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Dramatis Personae: Monica Harmann, Street Speedster

If you're in downtown Manhattan at the right time of night, and you look in the right direction at the right time, you might see it. The hobos have seen it, but they also say they've seen lizard people and UFOs. But everyone who's seen it describes it the same way. A blur of blue, black and gold, streaking across the sides of the high skyscrapers. If you're really lucky, they say, you might see it take to the air, where it slows down as it reaches the apex of its long arc, crossing two city blocks in one leap. If you look closely, it looks like a young woman, her long blonde hair flying free in the breeze as she soars twenty stories in the air.

But that's impossible, right?

Monday, 2 January 2017

Equipment Locker: Prismatic Muskets

One of my earliest posts was about redpowder, a weird science alternative to gunpowder that produces lasers instead of explosions. I gave some instructions for how to convert the statistics for ordinary gunpowder weapons into prismatic weapons, though it always felt a bit awkward explaining how to do it rather than showing you.

Since the first post on redpowder was largely talking about it as a setting element, this will be a much more equipment-focused post, with the intent to make the rules easier to follow. I'll present some sample prismatic arms, and restate and update the rules for redpowder weapons, and include some brand new options.