Over the past, in various GunDay posts, I’ve taken a look at the various Ultra-Tech weapons with a mind to both determining the feasibility of the weapons, and also checking their performance.

One of the more interesting posts, to me at least, was a ground-up redesign of a service pistol. The “ideal” pistol seemed to fire a 5.9mm projectile of unique engineered construction, which basically fired an advanced projectile that combined the AP capabilities of a tungsten tip along with a base that the tip gets pushed in to, which expands like the petals of the Ranger SXT modern-day JHP in order to enlarge the wound channel of the projectile to greater than 10mm, the threshold for pi+.

That gave us a projectile that wound up doing 2d (2) pi+, which wounds like a .45ACP and penetrates like a carbine, with a 20-round capacity that disappeared into a standard pistol grip.

Along the way, I also took a look at the Liquid Propellant (LP), Electrothermal-Chemical (ETC), and Electrothermal-Kinetic versions of various rifles, and found out (honestly, to my surprise) that all three were feasible with the right assumptions.

This particular article will take from all of those technologies in order to come up with a competitive TL9 rifle that’s an actual upgrade over TL8, and puts the right amount of power into the hands of the standard infantryman. Continue reading “Ultra-Tech Rifle: From the ground up”

I backed the Kickstarter by Goodman Games promising a collection of essays entitled “How to Write Adventure Modules that Don’t Suck” out of genuine interest and curiosity in the subject matter. 

In the first place, advice and considered thought on how to write adventure modules (which I’ll refer to as adventures or scenarios interchangeably in this review) can only help me consider how to make my own adventures should I put on my GM’s hat athwartships again.

On the other hand: I’m a game publisher now, with one in the can (Dungeon Grappling), two on the way (Venture Beyond and Dragon Heresy), and at least one or two more under consideration. All of those will need support in one way or another, and adventure support, while seemingly universally less profitable than core books on a per-unit basis, is taken as a strong sign of a vibrant well-supported game line. A good adventure showcases the rules, engages players, and generates conversation and “buzz” about the game that is way better than abstract reviews or other considerations.

So, I backed it with interest, and received the hardcopy a week or so ago.

Continue reading “Ballistic’s Report: How to Write Adventure Modules that Don’t Suck”

Yesterday I wrote about the construction and use of Viking shields: a roughly 30-36″ diameter shield (call it a medium shield) of very, very light construction (6-8 lbs), low face thickness (7-9mm at the thickest, including the up to 1mm of hide and glue covering, and maybe 2mm wood at the edge, with another 2mm or so of edge wrapping and facing on the edge), and sporting a buckler grip.

The shields as we use them are used very aggressively, and are considered the primary weapon. They are held out from the body with the shield arm at maybe half-extension, maybe a 45-degree bend at the elbow, and of course the shield extends half it’s diameter beyond that.

This means that with a “cooperative” opponent,  meaning one whom is using similar kit in a similar fashion, one can and does probe at Reach 2. The configuration is basically warrior (hex 0), shield (halfway into Hex 1), other guy’s shield (the other half of hex 1), foe (hex 2). The “feeling” drills require this sort of shield contact.

Shield (Buckler)

Note that the grip of the Viking shield is a buckler grip, with no strap or guige. The grip is frequently narrow enough that you can hold a spare weapon (such as an axe-haft or javelin)

Fight Defensively

One of the big things we’re trying to emphasize in how we are approaching combat is “fight to live.” While sport training tends to emphasize “first to hit” and aggressive priority on attacking in order to promote exciting behavior, winning the contest, etc, it doesn’t really take into account that if you also get spitted on a blade, that’s not so good.

Yes, that’s an overstatement. But look at how many double-kills (or double-wounds) you get in a lot of tournament fighting, and you’ll see what I’m getting at here.

In any case, the principle of the very light infantry fighting that we’re modeling here will be “fight to live.” Continue reading “Viking Shield Fighting in GURPS”

Thursday is GURPSDay, I’m back. Here’s an actual “before 9am” post, and I even wrote something this week, with a more GURPSy shield post that is in my head for today.

Welcome to the second year of GURPSDay, and here’s the pull for this week.

We’re currently drawing content from 89 blogs. Only 11 more to go until we’re pulling from 100! But we’ll need your help.

How? Two action items: post more, recruit more. It’s really that simple. More posters is more posts, and more interest in GURPS.

Below you can find the blog activity for the last week. There’s a whole lotta awesome GURPS going on. Read all the posts.

Not every blog posts about GURPS every week, but some are ridiculously prolific! The list is randomized, so different bloggers will be highlighted at the top of the post each week.

As always, if you’re interested in having your blog consolidated here, navigate over to The Instructions Page and drop me a line. Take special note of the RSS Settings Fix if you’re on WordPress.
Continue reading “GURPSDay Summary Jul 7 – Jul 13, 2017”

I’ve been building a lot of shields recently.

Part of this is just because I like working with wood. The crafting aspect of it is very satisfying, and is more visceral than blogging, obviously. But it started with me doing research for Dragon Heresy. I’ve always been skeptical of the bonuses from shields in D&D, and the AC bonus from 5e is nothing to write home about. You carry a shield and get a bit of a boost . . . and maybe you can do some fun things, but mostly not.

GURPS gives more versatility, and a nice defense bonus that +2 takes a defense roll of 8-, or 25% chance of success, to 10-, which is 50%, which doubles the odds of a successful defense. Of course, the benefit changes with the skill and equipment of both combatants, but basically, the 3d6 curve makes a +2 bonus a reasonably big deal, the equivalent of about +5 in the flat-curved d20 distribution, or the equivalent of giving disadvantage on attack rolls when attacking into the shield.

Huh. That’s not bad, actually.

But I digress.

Actually, I don’t digress. While the martial arts classes are cool (and that’s one of the reasons I keep doing them), the reason I did it in the first place was to get a personal feel on what a shield does for you, how you use it, and how much protection they can actually provide.

Viking Shields

The first thing to clarify here is that this discussion is only about shields modeled after those that were said to have been in use from about 700AD through 1000AD. These are fairly interesting in their construction and dimensions . . . but “these” has an issue, and that issue is that there is substantial dearth of evidence on what these things actually were. Continue reading “Vikings, Shields, and Game Rules”

Thursday is GURPSDay, and I’m starting to get back on my game, but still not there yet.

Welcome to the second year of GURPSDay, and here’s the pull for this week.

We’re currently drawing content from 89 blogs – we picked up two more. Only 11 more to go until we’re pulling from 100! But we’ll need your help.

How? Two action items: post more, recruit more. It’s really that simple. More posters is more posts, and more interest in GURPS.

Below you can find the blog activity for the last week. There’s a whole lotta awesome GURPS going on. Read all the posts.

Not every blog posts about GURPS every week, but some are ridiculously prolific! The list is randomized, so different bloggers will be highlighted at the top of the post each week.

As always, if you’re interested in having your blog consolidated here, navigate over to The Instructions Page and drop me a line. Take special note of the RSS Settings Fix if you’re on WordPress.
Continue reading “GURPSDay Summary Jun 30 – Jul 6, 2017”

I’m not an artist, and I don’t play one on TV. Nonetheless, for Dungeon Grappling, and even more so for Dragon Heresy, I’ve taken it upon myself to fill the role of Art Director for my works. This is good, because it allows me to directly influence and drive how my works are presented to the public. It can also be very bad, because I’m not even close to a pen-and-paper artist, and so my art direction tends to fall into three categories.

  1. Text descriptions of what I want the scene to be. These can be quite long.
  2. Photo images that go along with (1).
  3. Stick figures

Yeah, stick figures. Continue reading “The importance of reference images (art direction)”

I want to apologize for my ridiculously sparse content production this last . . . month? I had a business trip to Thailand, which despite what seems like lots of time on planes and with downtime in the hotel, is mentally draining. For me at least. It’s basically the creative equivalent of being hit with a hammer. Not in a good way.

Then immediately after I got back, my wife had to nip off to Italy for a 10-day martial arts tournament and seminar. So I’m in charge of my 7yo and 3yo daughters, which does not give me a ton of time to dig in to anything creative during the day (well, for the weekends).

This week is going to be a bit better. The 4th of July work schedule for most folks is pretty slim, and my kids are at school/camp MWF, which should give me some creative time. Further, +David L. Pulver and I are making below-the-waterline progress[1] on Venture Beyond, and I can see a time coming soon where the game goes to playtest and final layout.

For Dragon Heresy, there is slow progress being made, but it IS very slow. We’re in the middle of a bit of a rate-limiting step, where the things I want to do right now are unwise to do until that step is done, otherwise much time is wasted.

Still, my apologies for not throwing anything down for a while. I’ll try and rectify that soon.

[1] This is a synchronized swimming reference. Above the waterline, all is graceful and still and nice. Below the waterline, churning like a piranha-great white shark smackdown. If such a thing could happen. The key reference is all the hard, frantic work happens where no one can see it.

Thursday is GURPSDay, and I’ll admit it – jet lag and a weird week had it sneak up on me this week. So only one run of the script.

Welcome to the second year of GURPSDay, and here’s the pull for this week.

We’re currently drawing content from 89 blogs – we picked up two more. Only 11 more to go until we’re pulling from 100! But we’ll need your help.

How? Two action items: post more, recruit more. It’s really that simple. More posters is more posts, and more interest in GURPS.

Below you can find the blog activity for the last week. There’s a whole lotta awesome GURPS going on. Read all the posts.

Not every blog posts about GURPS every week, but some are ridiculously prolific! The list is randomized, so different bloggers will be highlighted at the top of the post each week.

As always, if you’re interested in having your blog consolidated here, navigate over to The Instructions Page and drop me a line. Take special note of the RSS Settings Fix if you’re on WordPress.
Continue reading “GURPSDay Summary Jun 23 – Jun 29, 2017”