Disclaimer: The following material consists of rulings on GURPS originally posted to electronic discussion forums, newsgroups, and mailing lists by Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch. Some of these statements have been taken out of context, or have been altered for clarity or brevity; therefore, these are not "official" rulings, and neither Sean Punch nor Steve Jackson Games is responsible for the accuracy of the modified content.

These were collected by Travis Foster c. 2004-2005.

And Limits


Those discussing this matter should note two things:

1. The suggestion is worded as follows: "In practice, most GMs will want to set a limit on the disadvantage points a PC may have." Note "PC." The abbreviation is used six times in the text. We do not even once mention NPCs, who are the GM's and who are therefore assumed to be following the GM's acceptable usage policy for disads.

2. The limit is on disads, not on points back from disads. The intent is in part to avoid a freak show. If everyone takes -200 points but claims -20 for it, it's still a freak show.

And Self Control Rolls

09-02-2004, 12:38 PM forums.sjgames.com Re: Lecherousness was underpriced?

The assumption that Will 10 is average is fallacious. I've run GURPS for 18 years, and the average Will of PCs is on the order of 13 overall, 14 in games with lots of spells and psi abilities to resist. Since GURPS prices things on the basis of what they are worth to PCs and not what they are worth to average Joes, I think that using 12 as the default frequency is justifiable. In practice, it actually takes PCs down a notch or two. And don't forget that self-control rolls are easily penalized in 4e … by afflictions, lack of sleep, other disadvantages, strength of stimulus, stress, etc. The old Will rolls in 3e mostly weren't modifiable like this.

09-02-2004, 01:44 PM forums.sjgames.com Re: Lecherousness was underpriced?

I've been over this once already with somebody else, but we didn't "change" anything from Compendium I. The rules in the Basic Set, Fourth Edition resemble those from CI, but we actually invented them from the ground up and only noticed afterward that CI had a very similar optional rule.

As for why we chose the numbers we did, I can only say that we felt 6-9-12-15 was a nice, easy-to-remember set of numbers that spanned the 3-18 range and left 3 and 18 available for special cases in later books. We didn't calculate all the probabilities or anything like that. It was a situation where simplicity trumped mathematics.

09-02-2004, 01:46 PM forums.sjgames.com Re: Lecherousness was underpriced?

Originally Posted by Luther

Good point. Do you think this balances out against the easier rolls?

Yes. Self-control modifiers are now affected by many effects in the game that used to just cost fatigue or give a DX penalty. And the GM has a clear rule that states that he can modify them under stress. This makes a 12 less of a sure thing than it once was.

Enemies: and Evil Twin

09-01-2004, 09:16 PM forums.sjgames.com Re: What happened to Evil Twin?

Yeah, we specifically break Enemies down into three categories: those who merely spy on or investigate you, those who bother or embarrass you, and those who try to put you away or kill you. And we suggest that middle category for Evil Twin.

09-02-2004, 12:45 PM forums.sjgames.com

Oh, Evil Twin is compatible with all three levels of intent … it's just that most Evil Twins use the middle level. Plenty use the lowest or highest one, too.

Enemies and the Rest of the Party


On Sat, 7 Feb 2004 00:43:03 +0000 (UTC), Daniel Howard wrote:

Is it really fair to allow one character to get character points from the Enemy disadvantage when the entire party has to deal with the consequences when the enemy shows up?

Seems fair to me, for two reasons:

1. As much as possible, the GM has an obligation to hose the character with the disad, not everyone else. If the Enemy is Mafia kneebreakers, they *can* just say "Youse guys stay out of it. Big Enzo likes you. It's this here punk we came for." If it's the FBI, they cops are probably out to arrest that one guy. They may question the others, but that's about it. And if it's a rival, well, he'll probably try to get the other PCs to *like* him, just to show up his enemy. Of course, the other PCs can fight the thugs, lie to the police, reject the rival, etc. with all the usual consequences … but at least they have a choice. The guy with the Enemy doesn't. Unless the Enemy is truly a psychopath, the GM should not have his first act be firing a LAW at a car holding all the PCs, kidnapping the other PCs and torturing them to make the guy with the disad show his face, etc. And if the GM allows psychopaths as Enemies, then he should make them worth fewer points. Generally, you can make a pretty good case for self defense if you rub out a maniac intent on killing you and everyone around you — and an Enemy you can take care of with a bullet shouldn't be worth as many points as one you have to pay reparations to, leave the country to avoid, or serve prison time to get rid of.

2. Part of the disad points you get from Enemy (or any other annoying disad) are for the fact that you will cheese off your pals, who have every right to avoid you, chew you out, smack you, etc. if you bring trouble down on their heads. The GM should support this, too. It only becomes a problem when the GM enforces party integrity against the will of the players when one member of the party is clearly someone best avoided. I'd say it's a *big* disadvantage if no one in your party wants to back you up or be seen in public with you because you're a menace, as you're losing the PC's #1 invisible advantage: a free group of powerful Allies.


09-01-2004, 11:05 AM forums.sjgames.com Re: Vindictive?

It's a Code of Honor or Vow if you make it a point of honor and could suddenly change your tack given sufficient incentive.

It's an Odious Personal Habit if you just go around being an unforgiving ass, and need therapy for it.

Either way, Stubbornness fits … and would be worth points separately.