Replacing ST rolls gets the nod!

All of GURPS is optional, more or less, though some is more optional than others. This is a bit of a rehash of

I’m on record as being not-a-fan of ST rolls. I even worked out an alternate system (granted, not a lot of playtest in that one) that really did away with ST rolls again.

So, when it came to Pickups, a generalization of the rules for lifting people up in Technical Grappling,  I asked PK and Kromm if they’d mind if I used the same table we’d worked out for grappling encumbrance, where you had a multiple of BL be a modifier, and basically asked what I’d roll against.  My rationale was that you’re straining to just lift him, and avoid injury. That’s a HT roll.

They agreed that in this case (a BOX on a very particular kind of move that really shouldn’t come up much in combat) it was an OK approach.

Not only that, when I defended this approach against some mild “hey, that’s weird” criticism on the forums (Criticism? On an internet forum? I am shocked! Shocked!), Sean doubled down:

FWIW, I officially endorse replacing all ST rolls with HT rolls for tasks that bring ST to bear, and using ST effects such as BL and damage to assess the results of success. ST has the annoying trait of being extrinsic where DX, IQ, and HT are intrinsic, and thus seems like a bizarre score to roll against – a bit like rolling against Basic Move, really. I do relent in situations where it’s clearly ST vs. ST, but even there I have to wonder if comparing thrust damage or something wouldn’t be more sensible. Interestingly, CP are found from thrust . . .

You still like ST rolls? Go right ahead and use them, of course! I even contemplated an alternate mechanic for Pickups where you do a Quick Contest of ST vs HP (and you think the modified HT roll is weird?). The basic rule for pickups is “you can’t, unless your target is less than 4xBL.” I thought that wasn’t quite right, since I can and have picked up someone closer to 6xBL in a match.

Anyway, I thought treating the weight-to-BL ratio as a modifier to a HT roll was better than a ST roll.

What about other stats?


+Cole Jenkins then asked a really good question. What about lifting someone with your brain?

If you’re using Telekinesis or a power, you could easily base the roll off of other things. Will would make a lot of sense, being supernatural durability. Maybe if you fail the roll, you take FP of exhaustion instead of HP of injury. Another way would be to use the (under-used, I think) affliction of Pain to represent impairment that doesn’t actually mean HP of injury. I’m less sold on others, but one could do DX to manipulate what are effectively extra arms. IQ is harder to rationalize for me, but I’m sure it could be done.

2 thoughts on “Replacing ST rolls gets the nod!

  1. " Will would make a lot of sense, being supernatural durability. Maybe if you fail the roll, you take FP of exhaustion instead of HP of injury. "

    I like this one (and this is likely what I will use in The Blight Years. It's simple and plays nice with the other rules.

    Also my sad unused Google+ page…

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