Welcome to the second year of GURPSDay, and here’s the morning pull for you guys.

We’re currently drawing content from 76 blogs. Only 24 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 from the last seven days as of about 810am CST. 45posts.

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.
Continue reading “GURPS Day Summary Feb 17 – Feb 23, 2017”

Dramatis Personae

  • The Commander (Doug) – telekinetic super-soldier with a really angry dog (Yukio). The dog is a powerful ally (250-300 points) and very intelligent and very, very aggressive.
  • Zephyr (Merlin) – Real name Murui; Shaolin Kung Fu expert and super-speedster.
  • Eamon Finnegan (Kyle) – smooth talking gravity-master; a lawyer so good he can actually prove a negative.
  • Ezekiel (Christian) – Techno Master, Genius, Esper, Super Archer

Zephyr’s Driving School

We start off in media res, having flown to Egypt to track down the trail of dead bodies left by the last crystal skull. The Commander is asleep (because nothing exciting was happening), when suddenly a gang of thugs with three motorcycles and one jeep pull up behind us and move in to attack. One of them shoots the Commander in the shoulder – just a flesh wound – before he wakes up. This causes him to roll over before he starts snoring again.

Zeke fires four tangler arrows and three of the three motorcycles go down hard. The jeep is hurtling towards us. The Commander does not wake up. Eamon does a TK attack at the engine to try and make the thing throw a rod or burst a cylinder or something else vaguely non-powered. And the jeep goes down. Continue reading “Aeon Campaign S4E8: Where’s my mummy”

Setup

I got a Steam chat from someone with whom I regular interact over that channel. He was wondering out loud if Dungeon Grappling includes rules for kicking.

My first response was “that’s just an unarmed strike; DnD doesn’t do that level of specificity.” Fine, if unsatisfying.

Then he noted that what he really wanted to get a feel for, having been playing through Storm King’s Thunder, is why not have rules for a Storm Giant knocking a halfling across the battlefield like a ping-pong ball?

Ah! Well, yes. Dungeon Grappling does have rules for Flinging and Shoving, where you grapple someone and then you can use the rules to shove or fling them a certain distance.

Incidental Projectile

That got me thinking, though. There are of course rules for this in DnD, but not for incidental contact. You have to deliberately decide to shove your foe, which Dungeon Grappling extends to flinging.

But hrm and hrrrm, this is where game design rears its head. For whatever reason, the designers decided to make shoving a different mechanic than striking. One is a contest of Strength, the other a damage roll. There are reasons for this, of course, and those reasons are at the very least defensible.

But there’s a cost to this. An Ancient Red Dragon’s tail swipe does 2d8+10 damage from a Gargantuan creature. So 12-26 points. for a creature that might be the size and mass of a house. I’ve seen some pretty large imaginings of these guys, but even without, the basic size for a Gargantuan creature is 20′ x 20′ (or larger). So the size of a small two-car garage or so.

It would be interesting to relate size and damage to knockback power, though, so it’d be possible to have the Cave Troll knocking hobbits about.

This would mean finding a scale of damage that maps well to knockback, and a sensible mapping of such. Continue reading “The Kick is GOOD! (Casual knockback in DnD games)”

Welcome to the second year of GURPSDay, and here’s the morning pull for you guys.

We’re currently drawing content from 76 blogs. Only 24 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 from the last seven days as of about 720am CST. 45posts.

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.
Continue reading “GURPS Day Summary Feb 10 – Feb 16, 2017”

A hug is just a grapple that hasn’t achieved a submission yet. 

To help you celebrate St. Valentine’s Day, put the grip of love on friends and monsters alike. All variants of Dungeon Grappling are 14% off for today only!

Use the coupon code HUGS at checkout to claim your discount.

Head over to the Gaming Ballistic Store and put a product in a choke hold today!

Dramatis Personae

  • The Commander (Doug) – telekinetic super-soldier with a really angry dog (Yukio). The dog is a powerful ally (250-300 points) and very intelligent and very, very aggressive.
  • Zephyr (Merlin) – Real name Murui; Shaolin Kung Fu expert and super-speedster.
  • Eamon Finnegan (Kyle) – smooth talking gravity-master; a lawyer so good he can actually prove a negative.
  • Ezekiel (Christian) – Techno Master, Genius, Esper, Super Archer

Metahuman Politics

The situation evolves after we take down Blue Skies. As their use of metahumans to wreak havoc and do nefarious things comes to light, Senator Blackwell – a known anti-metahuman activist, uses that platform to become President Elect (and yes, the in-game date straddles the election of 2016).

Senator Blackwell

Blackwell is a freshman republican senator in the United States Congress from South Carolina with a military background who pushes strongly for the registration and regulation of metahumans. He is a gifted public speaker and negotiator. Former 82nd Airborne medic. Actively competitive shooter with both rifles and handguns. Senator Blackwell is a part of the National Security Caucus and is on friendly terms with the HPA (Human Pride Association – a group pushing for marginalization or eradication of metahumans). Senator Blackwell was elected in 2014 to the senate from South Carolina after challenging and defeating Lindsey Graham in the primary. Blackwell has dark hair, hazel eyes and a wide build. He walks with a faint limp from a bad landing during training at Fort Bragg.

We were in and out of hearings being debriefed and, in no small part, manipulated despite our best efforts into the various plans of the politicians. We keep our district in tip-top shape while we’re doing it, with no super-villainy of note happening. Eamon is doing everything can to leverage his metahuman rights foundation to counter the machinations of the HPA and their goals. He’s more or less creating a legal crapstorm that will try and angle multiple cases into the supreme court to circumscribe their actions.

The Commander spends some of his downtime studying magic and the occult with Zephyr. He’s been leveraging the power of his tatoo without the proper knowledge for too long.

The testimony eventually draws to a close, and there’s enough proof of criminal wrongdoing that we were able to wrap up and identify most of the “bad guy” aspects of the Blue Skies organization. Many go to jail, but many were just cogs in the machine or subcontractors. The higher-ups go away for a very long time, because our investigation was just too thorough. The data from their own servers was particularly damning, and there was a bit of fratricide and ratting-out and deal-making. The CTO, in particular, is now on probation for life working foe AEGIS.

No good dirty rat.

On the other hand, all of the metahuman-related malfeasance enables Blackwell to come to power, leveraging the absolute certainty that Blue Skies was, in fact, using metahumans, many willingly, to gain power and influence and money. Continue reading “Aeon Campaign S4E7: Executive Disorder”

Dungeon Grappling is now available on Amazon through CreateSpace.

The paperback (softcover color print) is a matte rather than a gloss cover, and had to get some layout tweaks for margins and borders. The colors are a tetch darker but the contrast is higher, so some subtle details come out differently than the DriveThruRPG product. It’s still a nice book.

The Kindle version (MOBI file) is also now available. This is the same file that was distributed to backers.

When All You Have is an Arm Lock . . . 

From the (backers only) Kickstarter comments came a note that bears, um, noting:

Hey Douglas — what would you recommend when grappling a creature that has a paralyzing attack? Classic example is probably a Ghoul. I would think only a suicidal player would attempt to grapple something like that as it seems like an automatic hit and save required every round. Any thoughts on that?

I think he’s hit the nail on the head there in his own question.

There’s a song by Jim Croce “You don’t mess around with Jim,” where the advice is

“You don’t tug on superman’s cape;

You don’t spit into the wind

You don’t pull the mask off that old lone ranger;

And you don’t mess around with Jim.”

I think wrestling a ghoul falls into that category!

More seriously, just as hitting something with an axe isn’t always the best answer to every provocation, just because there are (hopefully!) good rules for grappling doesn’t mean you should play to a monster’s strengths.

If you MUST grapple a ghoul, use a ROPE (a lariat, for example, or a whip if your GM lets you make a grappling attack with one). Or a web spell.

Or bash it to death with a pollaxe, because sometimes that is the right answer.

In closing: grappling is another, and obviously I would add crucial, axis of conflict that GMs and players can bring to the fight. You can go for immobilization or you can go for pain or you can go for strangulation or crippling injury. But it’s not always the best answer, and figuring that out can be part of the challenge. There are Norse monsters like draugr that can only be overcome by first grappling it back into its grave.

And then there are paralyzing ghouls one would be unwise to touch. Continue reading “Grappling is the only answer!”

Welcome to the second year of GURPSDay, and here’s the morning pull for you guys.

We’re currently drawing content from 76 blogs. Only 24 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 from the last seven days as of about 720am CST. 51 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.
Continue reading “GURPS Day Summary Feb 3 – Feb 9, 2017”

I thought I’d try and sweep up the reviews that have come in for Dungeon Grappling into one place. I may have missed a few, and if that’s the case, please ping me and I’ll add it!

Dust Pan Games (Mark Van Vlack)

“My quick impression after reading through the rules quickly is this. Dungeon Grappling is very well thought out and very well produced supplement for fantasy games. As a supplement “Dungeon Grappling” will be best used by players and game masters who believe grappling is under-served by the rules normally provided in traditional fantasy games. While there is a bit of extra set up and book keeping involved, the result is more detailed and eloquent grappling for your game.

Conclusion: It’s legit. If you think your game will have or should have more grappling, it’s easily worth the purchase.”

ENWorld (Random Bystander)

These grappling rules are unlike any other grappling rules I have ever tried or read. They are fun and easy to use. They flow naturally, and make sense. At no point was I left wondering “How did this happen?” or “Why did this happen?”

Read more: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?500121-Dungeon-Grappling-Kickstarter-is-now-live!#ixzz4YFpCS1bV

Games and Geekdom. (What do I know about Reviews?).

“it’s a solid, interesting product for multiple game systems, and it has value beyond literally using it at the table, just to see a well thought out breakdown of the game mechanics used in multiple similar, but different games. In other words, it’s well written, well thought out, and it will be useful and interesting for a wide range of gamers from a variety of systems.

Much like the Book of the Tarrasque, this book showcases what small press publishers can do with a topic that it just doesn’t make sense for major publishers to address.

**** (out of five)”

Misdirected Mark #246.

They took a look at the preview, and in summary:

  • They said it treats grappling the same way that they treat the Tarrasque in their own book, and said that in a positive way
  • Mentioned all the things you can do with it
  • Specifically called out that the book was “gorgeous”
  • Made postive mention of The Art of Dungeon Grappling, with 50% going to St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, and 35% going as a bonus to the artists.

Castalia House (Jeffro Johnson, In the Mail).

“as much as I love the old games, I have to say… the grappling rules in basically everything in the bad old days were just plain garbage. Just like with old school mega-dungeons and the AD&D domain game, it’s taken a surprisingly long time to sort this out. You’ll probably want two copies, though: one to use with your big pile of ACKS books… and one to loan out to your new school acquaintances! (And I have to say… this book really does set off the ACKS line rather nicely…!)

Check it out!”

Quick Review: Dungeon Grappling – YouTube

Dungeon Grappling – eBook Review | Follow Me And Die!

I have already done a review of an advanced copyPDF, and book for Dungeon Grappling. Doug did above I beyond and along with the PDF released two eBook formats ePub & mobi.

I fired up my Kindle and loaded it up. It is Black & white with no graphics for speed at the table. All the content is otherwise the same. It has the linked table of contents and index like the PDF.

It has a clean and crisp layout. I’ve not tried using my Kindle at the table, but I may have to give it a go.”

Quasar Knight’s Fantasy Blog: KickTracking: Dungeon Grappling.

The book itself is 53 pages, full-color. The artwork is very good, and the meat of the mechanics can be summed up in the use of Control Points, a kind of pseudo-hit point system reflecting how “beaten into submission” a target is in regards to grappling. I can’t help but feel that won’t really cut down on “book-keeping clutter,” for as it is another value to keep track of in regards to hit points, spell slots, etc. Even more so if multiple creatures are grappled or grappling in the same fight.

The book seems rules-heavier than I like, but in regards to individual systems it does seem to make fighters, monks, and martial types quite competent in grappling in Swords & Wizardry. However, in Pathfinder  the problem of huge monsters having extremely high CMD (Combat Maneuver Defense) values is still a problem as the CMD is substituted for a target’s Grapple DC (or the overall defense value when people try to grapple you). As for 5th Edition, the Athletics skill is still important for various grappling moves and defenses, meaning that Bards and Rogues with Expertise and raging Barbarians are still the best class choices for this.

Although I was expecting a more quick and dirty rules-lite option in lieu of a gradient scale, the professionalism and early delivery of the KickStarter  helped earn trust from Gaming Ballistic and any future projects they might have in store.”

Castalia House Blog (Brian Renninger).

“I have greeted with enthusiasm Douglas Coles supplement Dungeon Grappling which introduces an excellent approach to adding wrestling and other unarmed combat to role playing games by adapting systems most players are familiar with. Dungeon Grappling has already been reviewed (see below) in several places so I won’t repeat what has already been said elsewhere other than to give a hearty recommendation for its use. Rather than a review, I thought I’d give a couple examples of how it might work in play.”

Follow Me and Die! (Final PDF Review)

“The PDF comes in at 53 pages, it has awesome art, and the table of contents is hyperlinked. The index also contains hyperlinks to the page numbers. Color coding of the section headers is continued in the table of contents and the index. There is a background image, but unlike most of them I have seen, here it is faded out so I can actually read the text. Attention to the details of both usability and legibility in the text is awesome!

One can take all of this system, or just the parts they need. I play AD&D, and its grappling system is so cumbersome that few dare try it. I plan to implement this in the games I run and an upcoming special project game on Roll20.”

 

Methods and Madness.

Overall, I am impressed with the work. Most problems I’ve noticed were fixed by turning the page – literally. “Wouldn’t it be better if…?”, “Oh, okay”; “But what about …?”, “I see, he thought of that too”. The author has provided multiple options for most mechanics – for example, when I wrote about Fifth Edition stunts, I mentioned some ups and down of using  using damage as a gauge of effectiveness instead of skill contests, and Douglas provides both options.

The book includes grappling for characters, monsters, spells, etc. It considers monks, thieves and other classes; it mentions using weapons when grappling and taking from your enemy. In short, Dungeon Grappling has all I could expect from a book like this. I would recommend it for anyone wanting to add more grappling to a 5e or S&W / OSR game.

RPGGeek.

“This supplement actually has me excited about grappling in my games again. I think it will make the fights easier and more exciting with better defined and more predictable outcomes. Basically, these are the grappling rules I’ve always wanted.”

The OmnusCritic. (preview review)

The OmnusCritic provides a 21-minute video review of the book, evaluating it and giving a passing grade on four criteria: aesthetics, writing, mechanics, and value.”

The Round Table with James Introcaso. (during the KS)

Less a review than a 75-minute discussion of the project, game rules for grappling, and other motivations and aesthetics animating the design. Still, if you really want to hear a passionate discussion of why grappling should be more important in fantasy RPGs . . . look no further than this conversation.

Tenkar’s Tavern. (preview review)

what I have looked at looks good. He even addresses rulesets with descending AC. I’ll give this a closer look over the coming week. Did I mention the buy in is just 5 bucks? Seriously. Currently PDF only, 5 bucks to solve my RPG grappling issues that have dogged me for the last 33 years or so? Priceless…”

Ravens’N’Pennies. (preview review)

“Dungeon Grappling is a cohesive set of rules that works across multiple iterations of Dungeons and Dragons. For those familiar with his work on GURPS Technical Grappling Doug approaches the problem in the same way, but tweaked for a different game engine – and it works surprisingly well. To tell you how easy it is I’ve not looked at the new Dungeons and Dragons, glanced at Swords and Wizardry, and gave up on Pathfinder a while back. The system he presents was intuitive, easy to understand, and provides a lot of flavor. In short, it’s a module you can just bolt on and go.”

Dungeon Fantastic.  (preview review)

“I’d urge you to check out this Kickstarter. Doug’s got a solid product here – I’ve seen it (I mean, its origin was a co-authored article and I’m the co-author) and it is good. It’s really superior to most of the clunky, ineffective, or downright risky grappling rules that come with so many games. Take a look and give it a chance.”

Follow Me, and Die! (preview review)

“This is something that has been needed in RPG’s for a long time. The Grappling Rules in AD&D are notoriously challenging to implement in play. The short and simple system introduced in Manor #8 is expanded in these pages. It gives a bare bones system and adds options and touches on how it can be used in specific systems. The basic rules will work for variations of the original game and clones, as well as later editions and variants of the original game.

The system is built on a basis of normal combat resolution. I like this approach. Use what is there instead of building a new system that doesn’t feel right. Another good example of this is what James Spahn did in White Star with vehicle combat using the same format as individual combat. I can’t think of a situation not explicitly covered in these rules.”

Original Edition Rules. (preview review)

“Dungeon Grappling is a supplement for your old-school RPG that gives a fast, simple, and robust system for moderating unarmed combat. We loved this system so much that we used it as inspiration for unarmed combat in the Guardians super hero role playing game, and has become the de facto system for all our Original Edition rules. ” The author of this review is Thomas Denmark, who wrote the Guardians superhero RPG with David Pulver.

Bat in the Attic. (preview review)

The basic idea is that there a better way of dealing with grappling. Doug developed a set of mechanics that takes the same basic mechanics of rolling to hit and inflicting damage and turns the result into something meaningful when it comes to grappling. He did this for GURPS and now he doing this for classic DnD, Pathfinder, and DnD 5e with the kickstarter.”

Shane Plays Radio. (during the Kickstarter)

This 30-minute live radio show got into a lot of things, but was a bit light on the details of the Dungeon Grappling Kickstarter itself. That was my fault.

Gothridge Manor. (preview review)

“When I run a game I like to have options available for my characters…good options. The way grappling stands in most games it isn’t a good option and the players don’t consider it when in combat. With Doug’s system, combat doesn’t need to be all or nothing. Kill or be killed. In this way it allows for more roleplaying. I’ve never liked the subdual rules of most fantasy RPGs. Basically it’s a crappy way of patching a hole over something the developers couldn’t figure out. Doug has figured it out. And it’s good. And it’s useful. And it doesn’t slow down play.”