February 12, 2016

Reloading Press: JHP Bullets

The GURPS rules for hollow point or expanding bullets in GURPS are pretty simple: you pick up one level of increased wounding modifier in exchange for having an armor divisor of (0.5), meaning that your projectile is really quite poor at penetrating armor, but pretty good at injuring people.

So 2d+1 (0.5) pi- would normally average 8 points of penetration through armor, and 4 points of injury on an unarmored person. Against DR 4, on the average it would be blocked. Why one would fire off a pi- hollow-point is beyond me, of course - the example just shows how the rules work.

A 9mm FMJ would be 2d+2 pi normally, and thus do 9 points of armor penetration, 9 points of injury, and 5 injury through DR 4. A 9mm hollowpoint would (in RAW GURPS) would punch through only DR 4.5 on the average, and do 13.5 points of injury against an unarmed person. Only one point (on the average) would punch through DR 4, resulting in 1.5 injury.

A .45 ACP would normally do 2d pi+, and in hollowpoint will do 2d (0.5) pi++. So again, against an unarmored person, 7 points of penetration and 10.5 of inury in ball, and 14 in hollow point. Through DR 4, 7 won't penetrate in JHP, but ball will do 4.5 injury.

In any case, the RAW is simple.

February 11, 2016

GURPS Day Summary Feb 5 - Feb 11, 2016

Thursday is GURPSDay, and below you can find the blog activity from the last seven days.

Over the last week, there have been about 50 GURPS-Related posts that have popped up on the radar screen, which is a nice chunk of reading material.

Some of the more recent entries are really good - stuff that would have fit well into Pyramid.

As always, if you're interested in having your blog consolidated here, navigate over to The Instructions Page and drop me a line.

Alternate Defenses for All-Out Attack

There are times to All-Out Attack in melee, and even Telegraphic All-Out Attack. They are few and limited, but they exist.

Tactical Shooting would have you using AoA(Determined) every time you want to use your sights or claim an Aim bonus. +Hans-Christian Vortisch does impeccable research and he's right - if you're aiming, you're not defending.

Still, the spectacular negative for not being able to avoid suddenly being cuisinarted or Swiss-cheesed means that even when people should be taking that option, they don't, for purely game-mechanical reasons.

So, some options to tone that down. These haven't been playtested, but I'm tossing out ideas that will make AoA a slightly more attractive option without it displacing things like Committed Attack, which sees constant use. It's just AoA that doesn't.

February 10, 2016

Melee Academy: Opening Moves for my Superhero

Welcome to another installment of Melee Academy! Today's topic is "Opening Moves."

Here are some other posts by other participants

Instead of a super-detailed, broad-brush essay on possibilities, I'm going to get specific and talk about my superhero from the Aeon campaign.

The Commander is a fun character to play. He's got a fully fleshed out background and a fairly well-varied power set.

And yet, he's a generalist. He's got a bit of TK - enough for things like 5d double-knockback crushing attacks with no wounding, a TK shield, and a few other things. He's got a lot of points in Wildcard skills, the five key ones being Fist!, Blade!, Shooter!, Ten-Hut!, and SEAL!.

Plus he has a combat suit and he's a super-soldier, so he's got very good stats, including ST 28 and ridiculous Will and Perception.

So for equipment, he has a battlesuit, which is really more like a soldier-enhancing skinsuit than a true battlesuit. It's got a sensor suite which is mostly non-functional, it provides DR20 everywhere, and enhances my ST and telekinetic abilities by a tetch. He's also got guns. He uses a REC7 carbine and a FN Five-seveN pistol, because I like both calibers.

His job, in the words of Tony Stark, is "Call it, Captain!"

February 9, 2016

Aeon S1E5: More than meets the eye

October 29, 2015

Dramatis Personae
  • The Commander (Doug) - telekinetic super-soldier with a really angry dog (Yukio). The dog is a powerful ally (250-300 points) and very intelligent and very, very aggressive.
  • Arc Light (Christian) - battlsuited gadgeteer with electrical powers
  • The Rat Queen (Emily) - brick with super-perception; made of actual rats
  • Eamon Finnegan (Kyle) - smooth talking gravity-master; Ultimate Fighting Lawyer, to borrow a phrase.
  • Zephyr (Merlin) - Real name Murui; Shaolin Kung Fu expert and super-speedster. 
Transformers are More Than Meets the Eye

We start the game headed off to Arc Light's secret, secret base underneath a light house in Hudson Bay. If there's no light house in Hudson Bay . . . that's how secret it is.


We all have to turn around as he enters his secret code (which he swears is not 1 2 3 4 5, because that's on his luggage).

The base is shiny and well-kept, like a hospital (or psychiatric ward?) with little robots going around keeping things shiny.

"The floors are so clean . . . "

Zephyr believes that Arc Light has too much time on his hands. Or too much money. Or both. Clearly he's not helping the economy by outsourcing to automatons and nanobots.

February 8, 2016

Reloading Press: .45 ACP

The Reloading Press is an at-least-weekly feature here on Gaming Ballistic for 2016. Each week it looks at some interesting real-world cartridges and presents them with hopefully-useful information in GURPS Format.

.45 ACP / 11.43 x 23mm


The .45 ACP was designed and adopted between 1910 and achieved "final" approval in 1911, when mated with the winner of the platform competition, the now-legendary Colt M1911. Adopted as a result of reported failures to incapacitate the enemy in the Phillipine-American War (the Moro Rebellion) from both the .38 Long Colt and the .30-40 Krag. A bigger bullet with a bigger punch was requested, and this cartridge was modified from a .41-caliber cartridge then under current development by Colt and Browning. 

The basic inputs will be driven from the classic load - the 230gr full metal jacket round that formed the basic projectile more than a century ago. Fired from a 5" barrel at 250fps, this is in many ways the standard against which all other bullets are compared - if that standard isn't the 9mm. And if it is, the proponents of the .45ACP are willing to fight them about it.

February 6, 2016

Kickstarter: Great Northern Games' Council of Blackthorn

The guy who runs/owns/started Great Northern Games is a friend of mine from work. His first Kickstarter, Noble Treachery, was carried off quite well, and followed what I have to imagine is the pattern for successful crowdfunding efforts.

He and his team of playtesters designed, tested, revised, and finalized the game. Then he sourced the initial physical copy, and Kickstarted the improved art, higher-quality pieces and cards, and basically creating a high-quality boxed set. No design or play work remained to be done.

Well, he's coming around for a second try with Council of Blackthorn. He invited me to go see the pre-production copy at his desk, so once again the only thing he's really Kickstarting is the mass production of a high-quality physical copy.

The teaser video is well done: it's clear Jay learned a lot from his first effort (which was a stalwart effort in itself), and his efforts to source quality pieces and art have been further refined.

Check out the teaser video:


More evidence that the game is basically done - here's a photo of the already-sourced physical pieces. You can even download the rulebook.


Go to his Kickstarter page, listen to the pre-release reviews, and consider supporting his efforts.

And as always, if you're even feeling neutral about this, share it around, because networking only works if you cast the net wide!

February 5, 2016

Geek & Sundry on GURPS - some praise, some misconceptions

Image from Geek&Sundry Article. Pretty cool, actually.
Geek & Sundry just published a piece on RPGs that aren't D&D. The author, Jessica Fisher, paints a brief picture of four game systems that aren't the 800-lb gorilla of the RPG world: D&D in its various incarnations.

Interestingly enough, Ms. Fisher notes that she got her start playing GURPS, which probably places her in a veritable 1% class of gamers that didn't have their first RPG experience playing the market-powerhouse that is Dungeons and Dragons.
Actually, that's an interesting topic by itself - what was everyone's gateway into gaming, and what game was it? How old were you? For me, it was easy: Advanced D&D with Howard when I was maybe 10. I either bought or at least looked at Gamma World after that, but it was only when I got into high school that I really branched out. Ken and Mark and Carl were the primary GMs, and we played Twilight:2000, Champions, Robot Warriors, Bushido, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, GURPS, MERP, and Ringworld, just to name a few. 
 In any case, here's her summary from the piece itself:
Do you want to build anything? I mean anything. G.U.R.P.S. is the Generic Universal RolePlaying System created by Steve Jackson Games in 1986. It is a point based system, so instead of rolling to see what your character is like, you get an amount of points with which to buy traits. The basic rule books give you everything you need to build anything from a superhero to a space marine, or a swashbuckler to your basic every day Joe. Considering there are hundreds of supplements, reference guides, and fan created pages, you can really delve deep into creating your characters, worlds, weapons, and more. You can spend hours upon hours carefully spending points in order to create your perfect build, and that’s where the game either succeeds or fails. If you love number crunching, then G.U.R.P.S. is a great system, but if you don’t want to have a calculator on hand at all times while gaming, you might want to check out a more free-flowing system.
 So, on the one hand, it's great that GURPS is getting a shout-out, and for that, Ms. Fisher must be given some thanks. That being said, I think that the portrait she paints of GURPS reflects an impression of the system which is outdated and uncharitable, and does not reflect the current state of the game.
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