Trained ST and Guns Skill

GURPS Technical Grappling introduced the concept of Trained ST, which is a skill-specific boost to ST provided by repetitive muscle coordination. The principle of the thing is that the more you practice something, the better you can coordinate your power to achieve greater equivalent power.

This makes tons of sense for weapon use (something like the Weapon Master damage bonus), is already in place for unarmed striking skills, and was already in place for unarmed grapples as well. The Strongbow perk is basically Trained ST for archers.

Gun Fu


At some point, skill does not overcome ST

During a discussion over the last week, it occurred to me that it would be reasonable to extend this to firearms, with more skill in Guns (Whatever) allowing an increase in the allowed ST of the shooter.

As per usual, to prevent craziness (my ST 5 person can shoot a gun with ST 10 required because he’s at DX+10!), I recommend reading the Trained ST table as providing a percentage boost  (round normally) to ST, rather than a flat add. That being said, for human-normal scaling (ST 8-20 or so), the flat-add table works fine. It only hurts a bit at the very low end, and doesn’t give a commensurate boost at high ST, but it’s fine.

Trained ST Progression

Still, the question really is “what progression should be used?” Slow, Average, or Fast?

Original Caption: “Proper grip helps control recoil”

Well, Guns is a DX/Easy skill. So at 2 points spent, you’d earn your first +1 on the trained ST table with the Fast progression. Average would be 4 points, and Slow would be 12 points.

3 points gets a +1 to Lifting ST, and 5 nets a point of Striking ST. Of course, regular full-on ST is 10 points.

I think the Average progression is a good compromise. You’d get a decent bonus for moderate training (+1 or +10% to ST with 4 points invested at DX+2), but will still need to sink a total of 12 in to get another +1 at DX+4. So a ST 9 person can fire a M1911 with practice (and that feels right to me), but that same person is going to need to get to DX+7 for 24 points spent to hande a Desert Eagle using flat adds. To go from ST 9 to ST 12 would be even more expensive using the percentage boost, since to get to ST 12 you’d need +40%, not +30%, which would be at DX+10, for 60 points invested in Guns.

Parting Shot


For those that wish to do so, adding Trained ST to the game using Guns skills probably won’t break anything. I recommend using the percentage add to ST method for this, and further suggest the Average Trained ST progression.

2 thoughts on “Trained ST and Guns Skill

  1. Since this discussion has come up again, sort of, it occurs to me that if you did this you probably ought to revise all Min ST stats up a bit, because the listed value assumes a trained shooter that can handle the weapon.

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