House Rules Rationales
This is where I try to explain my thinking on these rules.
Basic Attributes Rationales
The constraint on numbers and points expenditures is intended to
encourage players to build reasonable characters and not ones with
freakishly high attributes and freakishly low skills.
Strength (ST) Rationales
- Extra Effort - I want to apply the more far-reaching optional
rules [CII 171] because I like to allow characters a little
more breathing space with their options, so I adopted them all.
- Throwing distance and damage - They look good.
- I like swapping Fatigue and Hit Point, with Fatigue based
off of HT and hit points based off of ST because the mechanics
of GURPS present ST as muscle power and mass, rather than endurance,
which HT is usually used for. There are many cases of
people in RL that have high HT but low ST as well as people
that have high ST and low HT. Consider these:
- High ST and low HT - Probably just a big person or a mesomorph
that puts on mass easily, but without regular exercise, gets
fat. It could also easily reflect someone that was a
weightlifter/athlete "back in the day". They might
have arms like tree trunks, but you could probably lose them
easily in a foot race. With the standard GURPS approach, they
would end up being easier to beat down (lower hit points)
and have better endurance (higher Fatigue).
- Low ST and High HT - Slim build, probably a runner, cyclist,
swimmer, or competition ballroom dancer. With the standard
GURPS approach, this person would be harder to kill (higher
hit points) but have less enudrance.
Dexterity (DX) Rationales
- Justify the concept: you had to do something to become dextrous.
- I think it is absurd that a naturally gifted crafstman is
also naturally predisposed to being a swordsman and acrobat.
Looking at the skills, there are some obvious categories to
split DX into, Manipulation, Agility, Aim, and Reflexes.
Manipulation would refer to one's ability to do fine work, the
precision and coordination of their hands and fingers.
Agility would cover moving one's body with grace. Aim
would cover ranged combat skills. Finally, there's good
old Reflexes, which should probably smack of IQ in some fashion.
Well, let's trudge through the list and see what I come up with
[DX Breakdown Table].
- To complicate matters further, there are skills that are
not well delineated and include distinctly IQ-based aspects
as well as distinctly DX-based aspects, e.g. some craft skills.
- Well, having three or four attributes with appropriate points
costs and then figuring skill ratings out based on this would
be a real pain in the butt. So, I need to figure out what
it is I am really trying to prevent:
- A mighty warrior is not necessarily a good craftsman
- A marksman is not necessarily a good swordsman
- A Unix guru that spars with wooden swords on the weekend
does not necessarily have a high DX, although he may be hell
on wheel with a rattan broadsword.
- Dai Blackthorn, an example character in the main book,
really bothers me. He has spent a mere 14.5 points on
a measly 5 DX-based skills and one of them is a 1/2 point
skill, yet he has a stunning DX 15 (60 pts).
- So, we come back to my notion of justifying one's concept
and requiring minimum expenditures on skills.
- Require a number of points spent on DX skills based on
- the score itself, or
- the points spent on DX.
- Require a certain number of skills.
- Require a certain number of skills at 1 point or more.
- My first impulse is to just require as many points spent
on DX-based skills as are spent on DX and similarly for IQ.
- OK, let's get some data. I have some faith in the templates
from the books Warriors and Wizards. Let's
look at the points spent on DX, DX-based skills, IQ, and IQ-based
skills [Point Breakdown
Table]. Overall, the Warriors book reflected
PCs with 58% as many points on DX-based skills as DX, and more
points on IQ-based skills than IQ.
- Justify the concept: you had to do something to develop your
- See DX Rationales as well.
- Sense rolls are not based on IQ, use a base 10 instead.
I have a big problem with Sense rolls being based on IQ.
If my time as a researcher has taught me anything, it's that
the two are not related. Let me be very clear. Perception
relates to detecting things with your senses. It not only
accounts for working sense but also the attentiveness to notice
things. What a character can do with what they notice
is based on their skills. A high Perception may tell you
that a background hum has just changed in pitch, but only knowledge
will tell you what it means. I also have seen senses completely
abused in other campaigns. Hopefully this will not happen
- Also see Will rationales.
Will (WL) Rationales
- Will is not based on IQ, use a base 10 instead.
- Frequency of Submission - Because a strong-willed person
can dramatically reduce the effect of disadvantage and I don't
want to make up rules for the reduction in points cost.
Also, this allows for the possibility that a strong-willed person
can have an Achilles heel. One nice example is Clint Eastwood's
character in Unforgiven.
and Lowering Figured Quantities Rationales
I don't want figured quantities to exceed the realistic bounds of
the their base attributes. I do not want to have a lethargic
fat ass with a high Speed, nor do I want a world-class decathlete
with a low Speed.
Physical Appearance Rationales
Wealth and Status Rationales
Acute Senses Rationales - I
limited it to two levels to avoid abuse. I added Touch because
it seems logical. Important things that would be noticed by
touch would be subtle textures, heat/cold, soft flows of air, some
nasty alien creature's anesthetic-oozing brain sucking proboscis,
etc. See Perception discussion under
Intelligence (IQ) Rationales.
Alertness Rationale - See Perception discussion under
Intelligence (IQ) Rationales.
Poor Senses Rationales - see Acute
Senses Rationales above.
Equipment and Encumberance Rationales
Completing Your Character Rationales
Character Development Rationales
Random Characters Rationales