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HMS Invincible
2011-01-29, 03:04 AM
Our shadowrun game fell apart so we decided to run GURPS instead. Everyone is new at the game, so I need a little help. The Technology level is 5, the point buy is 100, and the theme is wild west + magic/mysticism.

I initially set up a melee character who's armored to the hilt but I noticed a few things.
First, rifles hurt like hell. I almost died because a rifle one-shotted me for 25 damage. That's before the DR and the + 50% Piercing damage modifier. Second, melee just sucks. You have to run up to a guy who's like 50 yards from you and your move is 6 yards a round. Then you are out in the open with no way to survive.

I spent my points on 15 str, and 14 dex, leaving everything else at 10. I got 50 points of disadvantages and legal enforcement level 3. Put a couple skill points in guns(rifle) and 4 skill points in melee(thrusting greatsword)

What's the difference between the various melee weapons? I don't understand why I don't just pick a halberd or some 2h sword instead of the lower damage stuff.
Lastly, should I care how encumbered I am? Is having lvl 1 encumbrance that detrimental?

Tael
2011-01-29, 03:21 AM
Our shadowrun game fell apart so we decided to run GURPS instead. Everyone is new at the game, so I need a little help. The Technology level is 5, the point buy is 100, and the theme is wild west + magic/mysticism.

I initially set up a melee character who's armored to the hilt but I noticed a few things.
First, rifles hurt like hell. I almost died because a rifle one-shotted me for 25 damage. That's before the DR and the + 50% Piercing damage modifier. Second, melee just sucks. You have to run up to a guy who's like 50 yards from you and your move is 6 yards a round. Then you are out in the open with no way to survive.

I hate to say this but... duh. GURPS is a very realistic game. Even if you were a master martial artist or swordsman, would you just run straight at a trained gunman who was shooting at you?


I spent my points on 15 str, and 14 dex, leaving everything else at 10. I got 50 points of disadvantages and legal enforcement level 3. Put a couple skill points in guns(rifle) and 4 skill points in melee(thrusting greatsword)

What's the difference between the various melee weapons? I don't understand why I don't just pick a halberd or some 2h sword instead of the lower damage stuff.
Lastly, should I care how encumbered I am? Is having lvl 1 encumbrance that detrimental?

Read with care. Halberds are very unwieldy weapons, and I would personally never use one unless I was behind some kind of very reliable defense (battlements for example). If you are wielding a weapon 1 handed, it means that you obviously do things with your off hand. Like hold a shield, or a gun, or even another sword if you're feeling adventurous.

Encumbrance greatly depends on how nimble you feel you need to be.

Gahrer
2011-01-29, 08:29 AM
-Halberds are unbalanced so you can only attack every second turn.
-Halberds are two-handed so you cant carry a shield. (Shields are AWESOME in GURPS 4e.)

To balance out this two VERY large disadvantages it needs to have very high damage.

And, as Tael pointed out, GURPS is rather realistic. Bullets hurt a lot. Charging through the open against someone with a rifle will get you killed unless you have REALLY awesome armor / defense.

Edit: Light encumbrance gives you minus 20% movement speed (usually -1 yard/sec) and -1 dodge. If you are heavily dependent on mobility this will hurt a lot. If you hide behind cover shooting or casting spells it will matter a lot less.

jpreem
2011-01-29, 11:43 AM
Well there is a point that you didn't see very many heavily armored guys swinging a huge sword in the WILD WEST.
After the the rifles and revolvers are somewhat spread, these kind of tactics are kind of made obsolete = and as has been said GURPS tends to be realistic in that ways.

Maybe take a sneakier approach to your melee, it doesn't matter that they have a gun if the don't see you.

Tengu_temp
2011-01-29, 11:47 AM
There is magic in the setting. Maybe you should give yourself a spell that boosts your speed or makes you more resistant to bullets?

DukeofDellot
2011-01-29, 03:13 PM
Advice: Take non-weapon skills. You've spent too much on combat.

Fast Talk the guy with the gun. Convince him you're not a threat.

Or use Stealth to get up behind him and stab him in the back (there is not defense against this).

That way that you don't need extreme combat skill to stand up to him.

Then take Area Knowledge for the area, Heraldry, Detect Lies or Psychology, Observation, and Survival. Know who's going to attack you before they do so. Then take Survival, Stealth (can't say that enough), and Camouflage so that you can't be found at night and therefore can't be slain while asleep. Take a few conversation skills and a little reputation and try not to piss off random NPCs. Be sure to give him a couple skills that might be able to land him a job if money's ever tight (even if this never happens, having a few obscure tricks is always nice).

Now give your character reasons to have these skills. Figure out other skills he'd logically have, and round out the character. Now that you have some flavor, see if your GM is willing to off him on a moment's notice.

Yuki Akuma
2011-01-29, 03:17 PM
Armour isn't useful in GURPS between TL4 and TL9 or so. Because guns.

Try the magic system if you don't want to use a gun (why the hell are you playing a law enforcer in the wild west without a gun?). Some spells are frighteningly awesome.

Darkone8752
2011-01-29, 03:20 PM
Like said before, GURPS is generally more realistic. Consider cinematic rules, powers, or some magic. The GM has to be prepared to tweak if he wants someone to be able to face down a gunslinger with a sword. TV Action Violence (p417) is probably the easiest way I can think of doing this.

Also remember range penalties, and that if you do get into melee, you will tear through them with little trouble. The rifles that do pi+ damage at TL5 are 1 shot deals, with multiple second reloads.

On a side note, you spent ALOT of points on ST/DX. Skills are important in GURPS, as well as advantages. A few points in Combat Reflexes will do a great deal of good for a fighting character.

HMS Invincible
2011-01-31, 01:47 AM
I was worried that my melee skills weren't going to be useful so I can shoot a gun very well.
What are good base stats for a gunslinger? I'm not sure if it's the low point buy, but each player in our group had to specialize in one thing, and that was it. We couldn't' afford anything else.
In otherwords, if I can roll under 15 to succeed, is that good, average or bad?

Ragitsu
2011-01-31, 02:06 AM
You're approaching this the wrong way.

GURPS isn't designed to handle cinematic gameplay...from the get-go. Heck, to expect GURPS to handle all levels of reality/genres "as is", will result in disappointment.

BUT, it can handle cinematic gameplay, if you use the right options.

See: Flesh Wounds, TV Action Violence, and Advantages like Enhanced Dodge (perhaps with an Accessibility Limitation towards gunfire)/Luck/Trained By A Master/Weapon Master. There are likely many more options out there, but none are coming to mind at the moment. Bam. Your melee character is now more capable of handling shooters.

Ragitsu
2011-01-31, 02:07 AM
I was worried that my melee skills weren't going to be useful so I can shoot a gun very well.
What are good base stats for a gunslinger? I'm not sure if it's the low point buy, but each player in our group had to specialize in one thing, and that was it. We couldn't' afford anything else.
In otherwords, if I can roll under 15 to succeed, is that good, average or bad?

AFTER Range Modifiers and a slew of other potential modifiers (Cover, Hit Locations, degree with which you aim, etc), yes, 15 is a very good number to have to roll at or under.

BEFORE? Depends on all relevant conditions.

By the way, I recommend you ask the GM if you can buy the basic form of the Gunslinger Advantage for cheaper, as it definitely isn't worth 25 Character Points as is. Or, you could get the High-Tech version, which adds some nifty features.

Ragitsu
2011-01-31, 02:11 AM
Armour isn't useful in GURPS between TL4 and TL9 or so. Because guns.

Decidedly not strictly true. It depends on the armor, and what your opponents will be wielding.

Take TL8 for example:

If you have a basic concealable vest, you are basically immune to shotgun shells and strongly protected against many non-AP/APHC pistol calibers. It also helps make carbines survivable.

If you have a basic tactical vest, you are still immune to shotgun shells, now immune to most non-AP/APHC pistols calibers, and carbines hurt much less. Trauma plates also help.

You can get rifle grade protective armor, but of course it will be pretty heavy. Doesn't decrease it's value, though, when it stops a 7.62 NATO round from one hit KO'ing you in the Vitals.

---
To my knowledge, armor's capability to resist gunfire isn't so hot at TL5, but it's never completely useless. On the other hand, compared to nowadays, guns are also weaker, less accurate, and have less range.

At TL6, it gets better. Then, at TL7, you get the basics of what will become refined at TL8. TL9 has some better armor than nowadays, of course, but things like APDS start to become common...

As for TL10 and above? Yeah, the armor piercing capability of weaponry gets insane. You can still "balance" firearms/energy weaponry with armor, but it'll take work. Hello, force fields!

Ragitsu
2011-01-31, 02:19 AM
Or use Stealth to get up behind him and stab him in the back (there is not defense against this).

There's the Danger Sense Advantage :smallbiggrin:.

Ragitsu
2011-01-31, 02:50 AM
What's the difference between the various melee weapons? I don't understand why I don't just pick a halberd or some 2h sword instead of the lower damage stuff.

Many reasons why.

1. Smaller weapons weigh less, so add to Encumbrance less.
2. Smaller weapons are more concealable.
3. Smaller weapons require less clearance (room to swing/thrust in), and so work better in close quarters.
4. Smaller weapons may be more legal to own.
5. Smaller weapons can be thrown/thrown more easily.
6. Smaller weapons can more easily be wielded with a shield.
7. Smaller weapons can more easily be dual-wielded.
8. Smaller weapons have a lower ST requirement, but still open up options like Cutting and/or Impaling damage.
9. Smaller weapons tend to draw less attention. By this, I mean, on average, a two-handed sword wielding warrior will likely be considered a bigger threat, so the one with the smaller weapon may be able to get in closer.
10. Smaller weapons are cheaper.

By the way, some large weapons become unbalanced/unready after attack. Not a problem if you are a highly skilled warrior with ways to compensate, but more of a risk to typical warriors (though countermeasures like armor, of course, can help).

Yuki Akuma
2011-01-31, 06:32 AM
Ragitsu, there's an edit function.

Also, OP: you're spending far too many points on stats and not enough on skills. You could easily get the same target numbers (or higher!) for the same amount of points if you spent them on skills.

Unless you're regularly using more than twenty DX skills or something.

Ragitsu
2011-01-31, 06:46 AM
Ragitsu, there's an edit function.

Thanks for the heads up.

However, I guess you missed "Last edited by Ragitsu" on four of my above posts.

TalonDemonKing
2011-01-31, 09:41 AM
30 in a weapon skill gives you a 13 to parry. Enhanced Defense: Parry and Combat reflexes gives you a 15 total.

Follow up with Parry Missle Weapon and/or Precongitive Parry (IDHMBWM); and start cutting down those bullets!

Also, I think theres some sort of perk or technique to fix halberd unweildiness-ness

Jayabalard
2011-01-31, 11:07 AM
Thanks for the heads up.

However, I guess you missed "Last edited by Ragitsu" on four of my above posts.I think that was more referring to the quintuple post.


Armour isn't useful in GURPS between TL4 and TL9 or so. Because guns.This, and it's especially the case at the low end of that. You're basically the guy with the sword in Indiana Jones. At the top end of that you start getting relevant armor for some targets (those concealable vests cover the abdomen + vitals and that's pretty much it iirc), but it's nothing compared to the pre-gun tech levels.

If you're going to be primarily melee combatant at TL 5, without a lot of optional rules to allow for it, you should probably add in some disadvantages to cover your obvious mental instability :smallbiggrin:.

Zuljita
2011-01-31, 02:49 PM
let me chime in with the others saying basically "don't bring a knife to a gunfight". It just won't work without some serious cinematic rules. That or you being able to mitigate the advantage of guns. One major thing thats working against you is that gurps melee characters need to invest in ST, DX and HT to pull it off, using a gun lets you take ST out of the equation. If you are set on melee try controlling the battlefield. you need to be up close and personal before the shooting starts, or not be seen till you can stab someone.

kyoryu
2011-01-31, 05:08 PM
Ragitsu, there's an edit function.

Also, OP: you're spending far too many points on stats and not enough on skills. You could easily get the same target numbers (or higher!) for the same amount of points if you spent them on skills.

Unless you're regularly using more than twenty DX skills or something.

Depending on how long the campaign goes - and frankly, what I'm about to say was true in 4e, and may have changed in 3e.

In general, in long-running campaigns, bumping your attributes as high as possible initially is the best mathematical strategy. It is far more point-efficient to buy a high DX or IQ than to bump even a modest number of skills to higher and higher levels.

While the "high skill" character may have higher initial levels, 50 points or so down the line the "high stats" character will almost always overtake them.


let me chime in with the others saying basically "don't bring a knife to a gunfight". It just won't work without some serious cinematic rules. That or you being able to mitigate the advantage of guns. One major thing thats working against you is that gurps melee characters need to invest in ST, DX and HT to pull it off, using a gun lets you take ST out of the equation. If you are set on melee try controlling the battlefield. you need to be up close and personal before the shooting starts, or not be seen till you can stab someone.

While GURPS can do cinematic, it doesn't do it well out of the box. And there's a reason you didn't see people going around the old west with melee weapons.

Ragitsu
2011-01-31, 05:23 PM
using a gun lets you take ST out of the equation.

Not entirely. Large caliber firearms tend to have a significant ST requirement.

theguineapigguy
2011-01-31, 06:11 PM
Like other people said, gurps is not very cinimatic without major rule changes; you can't charge someone who has a lever action carbine and who's 50 yards (half a foot-ball stadium) away, and hope to reach him. People in the wild west didn't use swords for a good reason, they just aren't as effective.

The reason that two handed weapons aren't practical is that you can't use a sheild, and sheilds are very effective (shield 16 gives a block of 15, making you basicly invincible against TL3 weapons)

It would be awsome to see someone charging a rifleman while armed with nothing but a two-handed sword though. If you had more points you could pick up enhansed time sense and parry missile weapons to parry bullets.

I used a pole axe for a charicter once instead of a halbered because the strenth requirment for using a halberd without it being unreadied was too high.

HMS Invincible
2011-02-10, 04:42 AM
We managed to get the gist of the fat pile of skills that is GURPS, but I'm still confused about how shotguns work. Take the pump shotgun. It's 2x9 and it does a 1d+1 damage. Does that mean you roll twice with it in order to attack? 2x9 means the RoF is 18 right? If I get 2 under with one attack, does it do 2d+2 damage?

Ragitsu
2011-02-10, 04:59 AM
nXy = you can fire it n times every second. The number of shot (tiny metal balls) for each attack is y (unlike a normal automatic weapon, however, all shots/metal balls are fired at once). If you fire multiple times per second, multiply the number of shots times pellets to get your Rate of Fire

So, if I were to slam fire a Benelli M4 (3x9) three times in a second, the attack is resolved normally (Roll against Guns - Shotgun), but at RoF 27.

If I were to blow through two shells with a slower hunting shotgun (2x9), the attack is resolved normally (Roll against Guns - Shotgun), but at RoF 18.

Remember to apply DR against each individual shot/metal ball/pellet. If you're hitting an opponent with DR 0 multiple times with 1d+1 pi shot, great. If they have DR 3 armor, then expect a good amount of the shot to not penetrate at all.

Shpadoinkle
2011-02-10, 09:38 AM
Armour isn't useful in GURPS between TL4 and TL9 or so. Because guns.

Try the magic system if you don't want to use a gun (why the hell are you playing a law enforcer in the wild west without a gun?). Some spells are frighteningly awesome.

Pretty much this. Magic and guns are going to trump everything else unless you take some pretty hefty disadvantages for more points, and even then, assuming favorable conditions, you'll only be able to be "competitive." You'll never outshine them with a melee-centric character.

There's a reason modern armies rely heavily on guns instead of swords or spears anymore.

Yuki Akuma
2011-02-10, 09:39 AM
GURPS Dungeon Fantasy does give some neat things for melee-centric characters, though. Try tracking that series down.

valadil
2011-02-10, 09:46 AM
Try the magic system if you don't want to use a gun (why the hell are you playing a law enforcer in the wild west without a gun?). Some spells are frighteningly awesome.

Care to elaborate?

We did character creation last night. I'm trying out a caster for the first time. All the other casters I've seen have been underwhelming. I've still got some points for spells and I think I've got some decent stuff selected, but I don't really know where the bar is set for a spell to be considered worthwhile.

- edit -

The game is in an alternate history. TL4. Most of it corresponds to somewhere between the 15th and 17th century in the real world. I've got IQ 14 and Magery 3 (which is the limit in this game). We're using GURPS Magic 4th ed.

Yuki Akuma
2011-02-10, 09:51 AM
Missile spells are nice, and they get around the whole "melee is worthless" issue handily. Some even have utility uses, like Ice Sphere, which explodes into a gout of water when it hits.

But then again you'll have utility spells as prerequisites anyway.

I also like Sunbolt, because... magic lasers.

Great Haste is a must - it gives you two actions per round instead of one. Grace/Might/Wisdom/The Health One can also be handy, and you can use them to buff allies too.

A well timed Body Control spell like Spasm can totally ruin weapon users, and Body Control also has some good offensive spells (as well as the aforementioned Grace/Might/The Health One).

And Cloud-Vaulting is just awesome. Bounce on clouds to travel miles!

Also: you want Recover Energy. Power stones are nice but they take forever to recharge. Make yourself recharge faster.

Also there's a restriction for FP - "spells only". Something like -10 to -30% (I forget exactly, and don't have my books). If you've bought a lot of FP, see if your GM will let you apply that to get some points back.

Ozymandias
2011-02-10, 09:55 AM
If this setting is going for the whole "High Plains Drifter" type of mytho-western, I'd stay away from "I cast lightning bolt" type of spells and go with something more subtle. A mysterious character who uses magic to enhance his revolversmanship could be a really neat character that isn't just a copypasted Wayne/Eastwood stereotype (although it's still far from original I guess).

Probably better than a swordsman, anyway...

Yuki Akuma
2011-02-10, 09:57 AM
Oh, also, something to note about missile spells: they are slow. Think "single-shot musket" slow. This is why Great Haste is useful.

(Actually Great Haste is useful to anyone, ever. Get it. There is no reason not to. It doesn't even have many prerequisites - and its prerequisites are also nice.)

valadil
2011-02-10, 10:07 AM
Missile spells are nice, and they get around the whole "melee is worthless" issue handily. Some even have utility uses, like Ice Sphere, which explodes into a gout of water when it hits.


I hadn't taken too many of these because I don't have a ton of dex. 11 or 12 I think.




Also: you want Recover Energy. Power stones are nice but they take forever to recharge. Make yourself recharge faster.



Got it :) That's one think I learned from the casters I've seen before.


Also there's a restriction for FP - "spells only". Something like -10 to -30% (I forget exactly, and don't have my books). If you've bought a lot of FP, see if your GM will let you apply that to get some points back.

Oooh. I should definitely look into that. We weren't allowed to buy a ton of fatigue, so I think I'm at 15. I have no idea if that's a lot or not.

I agree that the body control spells have a ton of utility against weapon users, but they're just so similar. It seems like most of them target HT and cause a rude status effect. Coming from D&D I'm expecting a little more variety, if not in effect then at least in what defense they target.

Yuki Akuma
2011-02-10, 10:14 AM
Grace can up your DX - heck, take Enchanting spells and you can make Gloves of Grace or something.

Also: Of course Body Control spells are resisted by HT. They're Body Control. If you want spells that are resisted by Will or Per, you want Mind Control or Illusion and Creation.

Lamech
2011-02-10, 01:21 PM
Your forgeting the mighty missile shield, and its big brother reverse missiles. Best spell ever in a game with guns. Get an ally mage and have him buff the whole party with it every day.

valadil
2011-02-10, 01:24 PM
Best spell ever in a game with guns.

Is it worth it in a pre-gun game? (Or rather in a game where guns exist and one or two might show up, but mostly we'll be dealing with melee?)

Lamech
2011-02-10, 02:19 PM
It gives basically immunity to ranged attacks, so it works against bows and what not too. But you lack the overwhelming power of being the only side able to use guns effectively. (Or if they have it missile shield too, the overwhelming handicap of not having guns.)

I might spend the point it takes to get it (as opposed to the bunch it takes to perma-maintain), if you face the occasional danger of ranged attacks. Also look into bladeturning if swords are the weapon of choice. Not quite as overpowering as missile shield and a lot of melee attacks get around, but still good.

P.S. The above was made with the assumption you were making a mage character, and pumped a bunch into IQ and magery...

Zuljita
2011-02-10, 02:40 PM
P.S. The above was made with the assumption you were making a mage character, and pumped a bunch into IQ and magery...

This! If you are doing a mage go all out. get your int as high as you can get away with (magery too). A GM I played with made the mistake of not restricting my magery in a gurps dungeon fantasy game... 10 levels of magery later i was casting 2 point lightning bolts/acid balls at *no* cost not to mention all the other utility spells i was using for free all the time. I am AFB but there are several breakpoints where 1 point in a spell will usually get you enough skill in the spell to reduce the spells FP cost by 1 or more, hitting this breakpoint can be far more valuable than having more FP to spend.

valadil
2011-02-10, 03:26 PM
P.S. The above was made with the assumption you were making a mage character, and pumped a bunch into IQ and magery...

I pumped a bit, but didn't go completely all out. My original concept for the caster was more of a tribal leader/spokesman who just happened to have some magical schooling. IQ covers social skills, so that was no problem. Magery is limited to 3. I started with a 15 IQ, but that was too expensive so I lowered it to 14. That still puts my magic at 15 by default, which is happy, but could be better. I think I need to do some more spell shopping to see if I can get away with any more IQ. Dropping other stats in favor of buffs seems like it has potential.

HMS Invincible
2011-02-10, 04:07 PM
nXy = you can fire it n times every second. The number of shot (tiny metal balls) for each attack is y (unlike a normal automatic weapon, however, all shots/metal balls are fired at once). If you fire multiple times per second, multiply the number of shots times pellets to get your Rate of Fire. I thought in the rules that you couldn't shoot more than once if you didn't have extra attack. Do guns fire up to their rate of fire normally?

So, if I were to slam fire a Benelli M4 (3x9) three times in a second, the attack is resolved normally (Roll against Guns - Shotgun), but at RoF 27.

If I were to blow through two shells with a slower hunting shotgun (2x9), the attack is resolved normally (Roll against Guns - Shotgun), but at RoF 18.

Remember to apply DR against each individual shot/metal ball/pellet. If you're hitting an opponent with DR 0 multiple times with 1d+1 pi shot, great. If they have DR 3 armor, then expect a good amount of the shot to not penetrate at all.
So if you hit with both barrels, you roll 18 dice in total for damage? The DR per RoF does balance this out a lot more than I thought it did. Still, 18 or 27 dice is a lot of dice to be rolling. Since the RoF is so high, doesn't the attacker get a bunch of bonuses from RoF?

I just been through 3 sessions, and we just got out of a Indian (read magical) caused zombie infestation. The first thing I found out is that my legal enforcement advantage isn't worth anything in the frontier towns... of god damn ST. [email protected]@@ argrgghh =\ Anyway, I'm thrown in jail sans my weapons. Wouldn't you know it, the town we're sent to investigate just happens to have a massive fair with hundreds of civilians grouped together. My deputy decides to be a whoremongering alcoholic and passes out in the whorehouse. And our mysterious fellow adventurer with a mask is alone in the spooky forest. And that's when the screaming starts...

Long story short, we leave the burning town with sacks of money on a train that was scheduled to arrive 3 hours past the infection start. We didn't save anybody in the town, stopped the infection, or even found out what exactly caused it. To top it off, my alcoholic deputy shows signs of bite marks on his body...But on the plus side, I have enough points to buy every DX related skill on the skill list.

The Cat Goddess
2011-02-10, 05:14 PM
I second the recommendation of getting Missle Shield/Reverse Missles.

Get Missle Shield as a Knack (I don't recall if Knacks exist in 4e though... my group still plays 3e) if you can.

Even Deflect Missle (the blocking spell that only deflects one missle per casting) is good, especially around low rate-of-fire weapons.

HMS Invincible
2011-02-19, 04:41 AM
I've been getting hammered by poor terrain/conditions and being forced to defend a fixed point. How do I get around dark areas? And what's good advice to increase my mobility? I'm thinking upping my stealth from 13 to 15. And just try to attack>move>stealth. It's better than trading blows with groups of zombies who get tons of attacks because there are so many of them. This way, I can hit them, bait them away from the objective, and then stealth away.