Skills

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 Penalties

09-05-2004, 12:31 PM forums.sjgames.com Re: Aiming and Scopes

Originally Posted by dirtshredder

When I perform the aim manuver for the required length of time to get the scope bonus, do I also get the additional bonus for aiming longer than 1 second ( i.e. upto a +2).

Yes. As a general rule, if the Basic Set doesn't say "Ignore the usual effects and use these other ones instead," the effects stack. This goes for anything.

And Tech Level Penalties

08-25-2004, 11:11 AM forums.sjgames.com

Not quite. Technological skills based on attributes other than IQ have a flat penalty of -1 per TL of difference — in either direction — between the skill and the equipment. So if you're using Guns/TL6 to shoot a TL8 gun, you're at -2 … about the same as if you were using Guns/TL6 to shoot an unfamiliar TL6 gun. Of course, a character of any TL can learn Guns at any TL, because it's a DX-based skill. That would eliminate the penalty.

And Techniques

09-06-2004, 02:33 AM forums.sjgames.com Re: Is there a lot of errata needed or is it just me?

Originally Posted by Jonny Reload

And you also need to fix the cost table on page 230 for technique costs since I doubt you intended Hard Techniques at default to cost "0" points :-p

Huh? Why not? If you know a skill, you know ALL of its techniques at their default level for free — that's 0 points. So yes, we intended that. And yes, there is a jump from 0 to 2 points without a 1-point step in between. That 2-point entry cost is exactly what makes Hard techniques Hard.

Observation

09-06-2004, 01:27 PM forums.sjgames.com Re: Question about observation skill

Observation is the skill of professional scouts, used when the objective is to spot defenses and threats. Ordinary folks roll at their default — Perception-5 — to do this. In other words, Perception is good enough to spot things, but at -5 to spot the important things that would help an analyst deduce useful intelligence.

Ordinary Joe rolling Perception: "There was this government building with big doors. Some guys with guns and radios were around the front all day."

Scout rolling Observation: "It's a government lab with reinforced doors in front — north — and one-way fire exits on the east and west sides. Six guards with M-16s and body armor were patrolling the front in pairs on a five-minute cycle, reporting in by secure tactical comm every 30 minutes, and changing shifts every four hours."

The second would let someone with Intelligence Analysis deduce likely troop complements, threat levels, and the like based on what he knows about installations with those procedures, visible patrols, etc.

Professional Skills

08-31-2004, 12:05 PM forums.sjgames.com Re: Professional skills

Originally Posted by RGTraynor

I've a question: what was the rationale in turning certain crafts into Professional Skill specializations, thus eliminating them as separate skills (Glass Blowing, Distilling, Courtesan, Cooking), while leaving other crafts as separate skills (Farming, Masonry, Jeweler, Leatherworking)? Certainly I can't see the distinction what makes it any more needful to have a separate skill for people who work in wood (Carpentry remaining an independent skill) than for people who work in metal (Blacksmith now being a Professional Skill subspeciality).

We had to pick a few examples and expand on them, so we chose the ones we felt were most likely to see use. And note that Blacksmith still exists as its own skill, we just altered the name some; see Smith (p. B221).

Originally Posted by RGTraynor

While I'm on the subject … Netmaker maps to Knot-Tying? Wouldn't Knot-Tying be a skill subsumed under Survival or Seamanship, as with Abacus, as simply a standard skill those versed in such skills would possess?

Knot-Tying has little to do with netmaking. It exists as its own skill because the ability to bind bad guys, make nooses, etc. quickly and well is a common one in kung fu movies and Westerns … and plenty of experts in those genre pieces have no clue about seamanship, etc. — they're just "rope men."

09-01-2004, 10:59 AM forums.sjgames.com //Re: Professional skills //

Originally Posted by RGTraynor

And I would cast a very jaundiced eye on someone who claimed to know nautical AND surgical AND cowhand knots. Hence my previous statement; folks with various skills know the knots pertaining to those skills, and very few people who are neither surgeons, campers, sailors, farmers or cowhands learn knot tying.

Very few people learn Power Blow, but we still have it, because it makes sense in lots of genres. Ditto Knot-Tying: you see it in action movies. "Rope men" are not as cool as gunmen or swordsmen, but they're still an interesting archetype.

Techniques and combat

08-26-2004, 12:11 PM forums.sjgames.com Re: Thrown spear damage still whacked?

Well, there will be a GURPS Martial Arts one of these days that can handle various not-quite-All-Out-Attack moves as techniques …

Throwing Art

08-31-2004, 11:29 AM forums.sjgames.com Re: Throwing art - confusing

Originally Posted by LoganSaj

First of all, the prerequisite is either TbaM or Weapon master. If your character concept is strictly a throwing guy, TbaM wouldn't be a very rational choice.

That's mostly for the sake of future art … Martial Arts is very likely to expand on TBAM.

Originally Posted by LoganSaj

But, consequently, why would he need to buy weapon master with a weapon if throwing art gives him the same damage bonus, but with anything? If it is just for the reduced penalties for rapid strike, that doesn't seem very balanced.

The whole point here is this: Throwing Art replaces all other skills for hurling weapons, while WM lets you use potent cinematic skills, so the net effect is that a PC can take WM (Thrown Weapons) [35] and Throwing Art, hurl any weapon with that one skill, and use it to deliver Pressure Points and the like at range. Those who don't plan to do this needn't buy these abilities.