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MyGURPS - New Techniques

New Techniques

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Once in a while, I'll find the need to create a new technique -- often to help someone on the forums. These are usually pretty specific and only aimed at the one particular campaign, but once in a while I'll build something that I think is fairly universal. This is the home for these techniques.

Realistic Techniques

I allow anyone to both use and improve these techniques in my games.

Backstab (Hard)

Default: Prerequisite skill-2; cannot exceed prerequisite skill.

Prerequisite: Any impaling or piercing melee weapon skill.

You may use this technique when making an impaling or piercing attack from behind. It may be delivered as a normal attack or a special form of All-Out Attack. Either way, you may take a step (before or after) if you wish. If the victim is aware of your presence, he defends at +2 (or +3 if you've backstabbed him before or he's otherwise expecting you to) -- enough to cancel the usual penalty against a runaround attack.

If made as a normal attack, success means you hit his vitals, for +2 damage (or +1/die, if better) in addition to the usual wounding multiplier.

If done as an All-Out Attack, you are at an extra +1 to skill! If successful, you do +4 damage (or +2/die) to his vitals before the wounding multiplier. But successful or not, you have no defenses until your next turn! This is thus best used against foes weak enough to be killed in one shot.

(Built as either Attack or All-Out Attack (Strong) delivered as a Telegraphic Targeted Attack to the Vitals. Added effects: Does +2 damage or +1/die extra (-4) and Restricted target (vitals only from behind) (+1). The All-Out Attack version adds Can only Step instead of taking half Move (+1).)

Balanced Swing (Hard)

Default: Prerequisite skill-3; cannot exceed prerequisite skill.

Prerequisite: Any melee weapon skill.

When using an unbalanced weapon (one with "U" in the Parry), you may attack with Balanced Swing to return your weapon to the guard position immediately after your strike. This lets you parry with it normally afterward, effectively ignoring the "U." In Martial Arts terms, this is a special type of Defensive Attack without the damage penalty; it thus cannot be used with Committed Attack or All-Out Attack, both of which prevent parries anyway, or with any of the other options for Defensive Attack.

(Built as +2 damage (-4) but only to cancel out the -2 damage when doing a Defensive Attack to keep an unbalanced weapon ready (+1).)

Lying (Hard)

Default: IQ or Acting; cannot exceed IQ+4 or Acting+4.

You have trained specifically in the art of telling falsehoods without any "tells" (e.g., furtive eye movements, changes in breathing patterns). Use your Lying level in Quick Contests against Detect Lies (or Body Langauge being used as Detect Lies), to feed false information to a foe using Interrogation, or to deceive a polygraph used with Electronics Operation (Medical). Lying does not help you fake emotions, impersonate other people, play dead in combat, etc. -- only for the specific situations above.

If you buy this technique based on IQ, and later improve Acting to IQ+1 or greater, you may transfer the points spent on Lying (IQ) over to Lying (Acting).

(Done as a Hard technique due to serious potential consequences for failure, and because this makes up a significant part of what Acting skill is good for.)

Cinematic Techniques

While anyone may attempt these techniques, one of Trained by a Master, Weapon Master, or Unusual Training is required to improve them. This is strictly a judgment call, of course, and may vary in certain settings.

Backstab Around Armor (Hard)

Default: Backstab (same skill)-7; cannot exceed Backstab-4.

Prerequisite: Backstab.

As for Backstab, but when targeting an armored foe, you also bypass half of his DR by attacking through the armor's chinks (p. B400). Using a rondel dagger (or other weapon which can ignore -2 of the armor chinks penalty) adds +2 to skill when using this technique; it does not improve a normal Backstab.

Note that this technique defaults to Backstab. If you have not improved Backstab, then Backstab Around Armor effectively defaults to weapon skill-9.

(Replaces Targeted Attack to the Vitals with one to the Vital Chinks. Left as a Hard technique, despite being an "add-on," to emphasize that these are two different hit locations.)

Bludgeon (Average)

Default: Prerequisite skill-5; cannot exceed prerequisite skill.

Prerequisite: Any appropriate Melee Weapon skill (see below).

You angle your swing to spread the force out over as large an area as possible. If this hits, your attack does normal damage for most purposes, but this damage is doubled for figuring blunt trauma (p. B379) and knockback (p. B378)!

To bludgeon, your weapon must meet the following requirements:

  1. It must do crushing damage.
  2. It must be rigid.
  3. It must be used for a swung attack.

For an additional -1 (which cannot be bought off), you may ignore requirement #1, as long as the GM agrees that your weapon could reasonable be used for a blunt impact of some sort (e.g., hitting with the flat of your axe or sword blade). If you hit, your attack does crushing damage instead of its usual damage type, and this damage is doubled for blunt trauma and knockback, as above!

This is often made as a Committed Attack or an All-Out Attack!

(Custom effect: "Damage is doubled for blunt trauma and knockback." (-5). For those curious, this penalty was derived by first figuring the theoretical penalty for "Does +3.5 damage per die," which would be -14. This penalty was then multiplied by 3/8, a fraction figured from looking at the limitations No Blunt Trauma, No Knockback, and No Wounding. Rounded in favor of the user due to the extra restrictions, none of which are onerous enough to justify being called a "drawback." And yes, this was inspired by the end of this OOTS strip!)

Instant Shot (Hard)

Default: Bow-8 for most archers, Bow-5 if you have either Heroic Archer or a version of Weapon Master that includes bows, or Bow-3 if you have both. Cannot exceed Bow.

Prerequisite: Bow-16+ and Fast-Draw (Arrow)-16+.

You draw, nock, and fire an arrow all in one smooth motion as a single attack (one maneuver instead of three). This replaces the three rolls normally required for quick-shooting bows (GURPS Martial Arts, p. 119).

(This technique buys off the normal Bow penalty, plus another -1 for "Only one Bow roll required instead of two" and -1 for "No Fast-Draw roll required." The minimum skills make this fair; in effect, you're simply avoiding nuisance rolls.)

Magical Trapsmith (Average)

Default: Traps-7. Must specialize.

Prerequisite: Traps at IQ+2.

This is a separate technique for "Alchemy" or "Thaumatology." When faced with a trap which requires that particular magical skill to spot, figure out, disarm, etc., you may instead roll against this technique. (This is justified by comparison to the usual IQ-7 default for esoteric arcane knowledge skills.)

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