Daniverse House Rules

Daniverse House Rules in Effect

For all current campaigns, unless otherwise specified.

Pre-Rolls:
Each Player will record 10 (or more, if called for) unmodified checks on 3d6 prior to the start of the session (preferably the week before), to be used for secret GM checks on the Characters’ behalf. Unused rolls will be carried over to the next session.
Alignment:
Players may optionally assign their Characters a D&D “Alignment,” treated as a Quirk (for no point gain).
Permitted “Cinematic” Techniques:
Backbreaker, Dual-Weapon Attack, Piledriver, Roll with Blow, Pressure Point Strike; others, per campaign.
Permitted Exotic Traits:
True Faith (Campaign-dependent).
Take the Clock:
As described in Section IV.
Alternative Character Point Usage:
As described in Section II.
No “Cross-Dressing”:
I normally will not allow a male Player to play a female Character, or vice versa. Too damned confusing.
Partial Fatigue:
FP loss will be treated as for Partial Injuries, MA 136, “torso” location, replacing ST with DX (Probationary).
Player Combat Narrative:
In combat, on an success by 5+, the Player may dictate some "minor" effects of his success, with GM approval; reference: Player Guidance.

Miscellaneous GURPS GM Rulings & Precedents

For all current campaigns, unless otherwise specified.

Miscellaneous rulings:

  • Damage to limbs or other locations is to be tracked separately, and not totalled. Listed effects for HP loss are assessed according to the worst location-based total, @GMD.
  • An unspecified target is always “Torso.”
  • A miss on a specific body target may hit a "parent" location if the roll would have been good enough to hit the new location. For example, a miss against (torso) Vitals by two is still good enough to have hit the Torso itself, and should be counted as such, @GMD.
  • Splitting attention between 2 targets is a -4 penalty; Characters with Enhanced Time Sense are not subject to this condition.
  • Forward Observer Skill may “assist” Guns or Gunner when able to observe the strike of the round(s).
  • Bullets doing less than “blow-through” damage remain in the body.
  • Breakfall Technique may default from Parachuting Skill, applicable only to “appropriate” falls
  • Acrobatic Stand Technique may default from Soldier Skill (at TL7-8); in this case, a rifle, or similar gear, is considered standard equipment
  • The “Head” may be targeted at -4; on 1d6, hits to the “Head” = “Face” (1-4, from the front) or “Skull” (5-6, from front)
  • When fighting an off-handed fighter (FREX, left-handed, when you’re right-handed; “natural” or otherwise), penalties resulting from that opponent’s Deceptive Attacks and Feints are increased by -1, providing you have had no prior experience fighting off-handed fighters (treat as “Familiarity”; B169)
  • Visiblity/Cover in wooded areas is -1/5yds in dense vegetation, or -1/50yds in light vegetation. Over “vegetation vis penalty” on 1d6=Clear Line-of-sight; Ref: Vehicles 3e
  • Deceptive Attacks and Feints are more effective when the attacker is “off-handed” (FREX, left-handed, when you’re right-handed; “natural” or via Ambidexterity or Off-Hand Training), and the defender is unfamiliar or inexperienced; if either succeeds, add an extra -1 to the target’s defense penalty. Treat as a “Familiarity,” B169. Precedent: “Reverse Grip,” MA112
  • Deceptive Attacks and Feints are more effective when originating from a “non-standard” attack type (FREX, kicking or pummeling when using a broadsword), and the defender is unfamiliar or inexperienced; if either succeeds, add an extra -1 to the target’s defense penalty. Treat as “Familiarity,” B169. This bonus does not stack with the above “off-hand” effect (essentially, the same thing). An appropriate Style Familiarity Perk grants familiarity with all such ruses normally associated with that style, in addition to providing its listed bonus, as described. Precedent: “Reverse Grip,” MA112
  • If you use the same Deceptive Attacks/Feints twice on a foe in a fight, he defends at +1 against your third and later uses, unless it is “changed” (by description, @GMD). Precedent: “Targeted Attacks,” MA68/“Combinations,” MA80
  • A Beat (MA100) applies to opponent's Defense and Attacks; if you win by 5 or more the weapon is unready and you may immediately attempt to Disarm as a free action.; Reference
  • Attacks to limbs or extremities that do not successfully Cripple that location may still cause the listed effects for Crippling (B421; for example, dropping held items or falling down) on a failed DX check (@GMD)
  • On the first Turn of an Aim Maneuver with a ranged weapon of Acc 0 (or less, if that’s possible), it benefits from its +1 “Round 2” bonus, to the normal maximum of +2 (essentially, it starts its progression one Round earlier)
  • Will checks for Extra Effort (B354) may use a Will-based related-Skill instead
  • Cutting or impaling non-“pick” weapons that have inflicted more than half their basic damage are considered "Unbalanced" (cannot also Parry; from having to be forcibly removed from the target), and become “Stuck” (as for picks; B405) when doing more than full basic damage; picks (or similar weapons) follow RAW. Influenced by this thread
  • Knockdown: failure by 0 means you are stunned but stay standing, a failure by 1 means you drop to your knees, 2-3 you drop to crawling or sitting, and 4+ you fall all the way to lying down, either face-up or down; Reference
  • Guns Unfamiliarity penalties may range from -1 to -3; Reference

House Traits & Maneuvers:

  • New Maneuver: Move & Ready; DX-2 to avoid tossing the readied item; subject to other conditions; Reference
  • New Maneuver: All-Out Ready; Standard AoA rules, no DX check req.; Reference
  • New Perk: Ready & Aim; Allows a "free" Aim (doesn't count against limited rounds of Aim vs ST; Pyramid 3/33, "The Deadly Spring") during the final Ready maneuver before firing a bow; Reference

Power Ups 5: Impulse Buys

In my 3e days, I developed a system for spending CPs for re-rolls and such after playing Deadlands, which uses poker chips for this purpose. I have had, in the past, the tendency to have nights when I am forsaken by Lady Luck, and I liked the idea of having a backup plan, allowing the use of points/chips/whatever to make up for Lady Luck’s inattention. As a GM, allowing CP usage in this manner also means that the Players will never truly be “stuck” by a situation where their failure, due to die-rolls (or lack of creativity), has left them unable to pick the lock, find the clue, charm the girl, etc. Using this system means that a bad dice night never has to ruin your game.

After a number of iterations of my own rules to this end, GURPS published Power Ups 5: Impulse Buys, which made nearly all the effects I wanted into “official optional rules.” What follows is an accounting of the Impulse Buys that I allow in my campaign(s).

Paying Fate's Price:

Plot Points
Bonus Points, Starting Points, Sacrifice, Friends, Debt
Karma Points
Paragon (only for Impulse Buys for "paragon" actions or against "renegade" actions) vs Renegade (only for Impulse Buys for "renegade" actions or against "paragon" actions)
Luck Points
Replaces standard Luck Trait at 2 per Level
Note: These points are now considered to be persistent and/or cumulative across Sessions; no longer temporary, and do not regenerate per Session (except Luck Points, as specified).

Spending Limitations:

TBD

Buying Success:

Critical failure to failure: 2 points*
Failure to success: 1 point*
Upgrade margin of success: 1 point
Success to critical success: 2 points*
Buying Failure
Critical success to success: 2 points*
Success to failure: 1 point*
Failure to critical failure: 2 points*
Cursing Mooks
Enemy failure to critical failure: 2 points
Buying Effect or Defense vs. Effect
Per two dice set to 1 or 6: 1 point
Per die for exact table result: 1 point
One-Use Perks
Immunity to (Specific Disease/Hazard), Low Rejection Threshold, or No Nuisance Rolls: 1 point/use; not Rules Exemption
* Costs are cumulative. Nuisance rolls, or similar situations don't count; @GMD.

Player Guidance

Minor change: 1 point
Moderate change: 2 points
Major change: 3 points
After critical success: -1 point*
Fleeting change: -1 point*
Trading Points for Money
Per 10% of campaign average starting cash (w/ suitable excuse): 1 point
Favors in Play
NPC is present and renders aid: 0.8 x base cost of Ally, Contact, Contact Group, or Patron, rounded up
NPC appears and renders aid: 1.6 x base cost of Ally, Contact, Contact Group, or Patron, rounded up
One-Use Perks
Brotherhood, Disposable Identity, Doodad, Friend, Honest Face, or Standard Operating Procedure: 1 point/use
* Added to cost of change. Minimum cost is 1 point.

Survival

Deflect disadvantage: 0.5 x size of disadvantage cost, rounded up
Flesh wound: 1 point per ¼ HP, minimum 1 HP (unless injury is already under ¼ HP)
Keep Dependent alive: 0.5 x size of Dependent cost, rounded up
Miraculous recovery: 25 points
Resurrect Ally: Ally cost
Second wind: 1 point per ¼ FP, minimum 1 FP (unless loss is already under ¼ FP)
One-Use Perks
Dramatic Death: 1 point/use

Amazing Feats

Opt-in option (cinematic or optional combat rule—may include cinematic bow damage): 1 point/use, @GMD
One-Use Perks
Controllable Disadvantage, Rest in Pieces, or normally off-limits combat perk: 1 point/use, @GMD

Colored Dice

This concept was introduced to me through an article written by someone else (whom I would credit here, if I could remember who it was). In the absence of that article, I will summarize the idea it presented. Basically, in any situation where one is rolling multiple dice (of any denomination), one could use differing colors to indicate other aspects, saving an extra die roll. For instance, when rolling for damage, one might specify an off-colored die to indicate hit-location. Some game systems already incorporate this concept to a degree (the D6 system’s “wild die” or Feng Shui’s positive/negative dice is an example). This could be taken further, by giving each die its own color and “condition,” to provide more specific details as to what condition influenced success or failure. The following example is the one I use in my games: Dice of three different colors may be used when called for by the GM; normally white, red and black.
  • White = Mental (IQ, Knowledge, Perception, Vision (PR))
  • Red = Physical (DX, Skill, Precision, Hearing (PR))
  • Black = External (Luck, Outside Influences, Coincidence, Taste/Smell (PR))
The die that had the greatest effect on the success or failure of a check is considered to indicate the condition that most influenced the outcome (success is most affected by the color of the lowest die, failure is most affected by the color of the highest die); ties are either arbitrated or re-rolled, @GMD. For example, as a Character attempts to Dodge an attack and fails, and the “Black” die shows a 6 result (the highest), it would be determined that some sort of outside influence or bad luck was the cause of his failure…tripped on a rock, perhaps?  If the “Red” die were the highest, indicating that DX or Skill were the cause of his failure, then it could be said that he didn’t react quickly enough to the attack.  If the “White” die were the highest, it could be said that he didn’t quite see the attack coming in time. Any of these factors are merely semantic, and have no game effect on success or failure, except to provide a better “description” of what happened.

Checks, and Degrees of Success

General Difficulties:

GURPS 4e introduced its own difficulty definitions (B345-346), so I am currently using them. I have included my old system, here, for the sake of those who may not have access to 4e, or prefer 3e.

Click Here to View the Old 3e Stuff

Exceptional Success (xSucc):
A final success of more than 5 may be considered an exceptional (but not Critical) success at GMs discretion.  On an exceptional success on a combat check, the GM may allow the Player to adjust the hit location by one step, add +1 to unmodified damage, or -1 to the defender’s active defenses against that attack.
Marginal Success (mSucc):
A final success of less than 2 may be considered a marginal success at GMs discretion. I don't have any concrete examples of what I might do in this situation—mostly just used for color, I expect.
Marginal Failure (mFail):
A final failure by less than 2 is a marginal failure at GMs discretion. For example, a marginal failure on a PR check might notice something but is quickly dismissed. A Marginal Failure may warrant a second chance (e.g. a catch missed by one “tips” the object in the air, allowing a second catch attempt on the next turn). On a Marginal Failure on a combat check, the shot may strike a random location rather than the intended one.
Exceptional Failure (xFail):
A final failure of more than 5 may be considered an exceptional (but not Critical) failure at GMs discretion. I don't have any concrete examples of what I might do in this situation—mostly just used for color, I expect.

Taking the Average:

AKA “Take 10.” When not under duress, if one's effective skill level is 10+, then that one is allowed to forgo a dice-roll and assume a minimal success. No extra time need be taken for that task, except as Time Spent (B-346) is used to boost the effective skill.

Taking the Maximum:

AKA “Take 20.” When not under duress, if one's effective skill is 20+, then that one is allowed to forgo a dice-roll and assume a maximal (non-Critical) success. No extra time need be taken for that task, except as Time Spent (B-346) is used to boost the effective skill.

Taking the Clock:

When conditions allow for subsequent attempts at a failed check, rather than re-rolling, one may use the Time Spent mechanics, as written, to boost the already-rolled result until available time is spent or the result becomes a success. Example: Check missed by 1 becomes a success after taking 2x time. Obviously, a failure by more than 5 can't benefit fully from this rule.

Abstract Chases, Races and Dogfights

I developed this ruleset for GURPS 3e. Since then, SJG has published GURPS Action 2: Exploits, which contains good rules for exactly this sort of thing, which has rendered this section effectively defunct. I highly recommend you pick up that book if you're using 4e. I have left the old stuff here, just in case.
Click Here to View the Old 3e Stuff

Other Rules Systems

Open Die Rolls:

I mention this here, in the event you (the reader) have not encountered this before, as I use them on occasion in some of my rules. In some systems, they use what is referred to as an “open” roll. This means that when you roll the die (whatever type) and come up with the “top” number, you roll again and add the next result to the total, continuing every time you roll the “top” number again (i.e. on a d6, you re-roll when it comes up a 6...if the next roll comes up a 5, you have rolled a total of 11 on one d6).

Long Turns

Sometimes one-second Turns are way too slow. In those instances, I use Long Turns. This is a standard set forth in several existing “abstract” rules-situations in GURPS, such as naval or space combat, expanded for more “mundane” use. I use LTs on any long “task” that could do with a bit more structure, but does not warrant the Combat Turn treatment. A standard Long Turn is ~5min, but will vary from instance to instance. How far a character can walk or run in one Long Turn is normally based on half the Move score over the specified time (considered “long distance”), and only one or two “long” skill attempts are normally possible (more at GMs discretion). If called for, the sequence of action-declaration in Long Turns goes from the lowest IQ score to the highest, giving higher IQ characters more time to think it over (in case of ties, normal combat sequence applies). Anyone declaring that they are taking orders from another character will go directly after that character’s Sequence, regardless of their own IQ. Long Turn Sequence affects only the declaration of action—the action itself is considered simultaneous for all participants. Certain Advantages or Disadvantages may change a character’s Long Turn Sequence (ordered by IQ for multiple instances); some examples include the following:
  • Characters with Impulsiveness always go first.
  • Characters with Careful or Common Sense always go last.
If a PC enters combat, or action requiring the use of Combat Turns (hereafter referred to as an Engagement), only the involved parties go to Combat Turns, while others are frozen until either combat is resolved or they become involved (at GMs discretion). The Engagement ends when all combatants either cannot or will not attack, or when the overall action changes (i.e. all combatants are running somewhere that will take several turns to reach, or are hunkered down waiting for another to make a move).

Swinging

This section is rendered defunct for 4e by entries GURPS Martial Arts and GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 2. I highly recommend picking up either or both of those books. I would only make this addition to those rules, that one's speed during the swing will generally be equal to one's Move used going into it (except on really long swings), and will take a logical number of Turns to complete the swing based on that Move. I have left the old 3e rules I worked up here, just in case.
Click Here to View the Old 3e Stuff