Monday, July 19, 2021

Overgrown Secrets: Shape Shifter

Known by the ever-descriptive title of "Shapeshifters", the shapeshifters filled the role of the "Devil We Know" in overgrown secrets, providing a stable but hostile community nearby that gave the PC's purpose to exist in the first place. So what is this new monster, and what role did they play in the setting?

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Overgrown Secrets: Crypt Spirits

My most recently GURPS game, "Overgrown Secrets", revolved around a single monster type: the crypt spirit. Mysterious Glowing undead with a voracious appetite for souls. We had fun short game, and I'm sharing this monster now so you can use it. I'm hoping to share more "Overgrown Secrets" material so you run the game with minimal preparation. But the core of the game was the crypt spirits, and I'm sharing them first.

Crypt spirits are humans who have preserved their soul using a magical metal apparatus whose secrets have been lost to time. They can survive indefinitely in this apparatus, but can do very little while inside. In order to act they must take over someone else's body and burn their host's soul as fuel. While possessing that body, they have great power, but they will need to consume a new body and soul within 40 days. Thus they are driven by their constant need for hosts to be anything more than a powerless consciousness in a crypt.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Rank for Free

In my recent games, I've started to give out rank, and occasionally status and social regard for free. There are a few caveats to watch for, but in general, it has worked out very well. 

Friday, April 30, 2021

Estimating Animal Template Costs

Having made the Generic Beast Template, I wondered how useful it would be for quickly estimating animal costs, especially for advantages like morph and allies.

When estimating, we'll be looking at the ballpark cost, simply picking the appropriate lenses, the correct strength, and possibly adding one or two extras for animals with really unique traits. Ideally, our estimate will be just a few points over the actual cost.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Robots as Spaceships: Walkers and Power Armor

So what is the difference between a combat walker and power armor? They seem to be a simple continuum starting with simple armor that strengthens the user and ending with giant mecha. Its not that simple though, and the more I've worked on making power armor and walkers work in Robots as Spaceships, the more distinct the two things become.

  • Power armor is worn, Walkers are piloted. 
  •  Power Armor only needs to bear its own weight and not get in its bearer's way. Walkers need to bear the weight of the pilot.
  • Power Armor must have its knees, elbows, shoulders, and hips in the same location as its wearer. Walkers can have these locations in the same places, but often do not.

Of course, art breaking that last rule is not exactly uncommon, but we can call that cinematic, and judge if it is a walker or power armor on a case by case basis.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

The Generic Beast Template

Sometimes in Gurps, the point value of an animal matters. The most common culprits are allies and alternate forms, but other situations may need point estimations as well. Estimating animal template costs can be hard, especially on the fly. So here we present the generic beast template, for help mostly in estimating animal costs.

This template isn't meant to represent any individual animal. Instead, its meant to represent a starting point from which to estimate and calculate other animal costs. We are focusing on costs here. Ideally, you should already have a stat block in mind. Gurps Campaigns has some, and Gurps Animalia has more. (Gurps Animalia is an top notch resource, and there is more Gurps stuff on that site). If we don't have an existing stat block, we can still use this template as a decent base, but it will take a bit more work.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Mounted Combat: Taking a Step


A while back I ran an old west sample combat that involved a lot of horses, and a lot of shooting from horseback while moving. One rule we noticed is that "If you are controlling a vehicle or riding a mount, take a move maneuver to spend the turn actively controlling it". But what if you aren't actively controlling your mount? what happens then? A trained warhorse has a lot more initiative than a motorcycle, and is both able and willing to make its own decisions. And they don't exactly stop moving just because their rider is no longer spending all of their energy moving them forward. We ended up allowing players to use their "Steps" to send subtle adjustments to their mounts.  Here is our system: