Thursday is GURPSDay, and may Thor make your games a bit more exiting today!

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

We’re currently drawing content from 86 blogs. Only 14 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 42 posts as of 11:30pmCST.

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 May 12 – May 18, 2017”

When Shawn Fisher emailed me that the US Army was looking at adopting a new medium machinegun, this one capable of accurate automatic fire at a range of over a mile, where the M-2 in .50BMG can only deliver single shots, I was intrigued. When I heard it was being considered in .338 Norma Magnum, I knew it was time for a reloading press.

The case and length were designed purposefully to launch the 300-grain, 8.6mm Sierra MatchKing bullet. It’s a long projectile, with an aproximate aspect ratio of 5.6 (compare the 5.56, 7.62, and 12.7mm standard projectiles at about 4:1). This will provide outstanding velocity retention and penetration with distance. The projectile length is an artifact – or more properly – a design intent, of the cartridge and projectile’s intended use: long-range precision marksmanship. Continue reading “Reloading Press: .338 Norma Magnum”

We kicked off a new campaign under Christopher Rice’s GMing hand. We are doing all sorts of interesting things with rules for this game. It’s still GURPS at the core, but we’ve got all sort of modular add-ons on trial. A card deck system, foibles and flaws from Pointless Looting and Slaying and/or Pointless Monster Hunting in play instead of quantified disadvantages, and a bunch of other stuff, including a lot of home-built magic.

The basic genre of the game is modern-day monster hunting. The quirk is that we’re going to game through our character development, starting as 12-14yo kids, and then doing some flash-forward stuff and time skips. So we’ll play through a bunch of sessions as teens, then flash forward to likely college-age stuff, then maybe once or twice more.

The soft premise is that we are chosen, for good or ill, by the great powers of the world – and by “great powers” we’re basically talking God, and specifically the God of the Bible. There’s a lot more nuance to it than this, and some very, very promising campaign themes and concepts and backstory that we all had some hand in nudging. But there’s a lot of depth to the cosmology here, and it’s very exciting.

Due to technical difficulties getting the transcript done, this is the summary of the first two sessions.

Meet Gabriel MacAlister

Gabriel (Gabe) MacAlister was born in December 1980. His father was a  hard-charging Delta forces type; his mother was a practicing nurse and missionary. He bounced all over the hottest spots in the world, and both his parents took service to others as the highest calling. Gabe spent his early years in North Carolina, but then went with his family to Beirut in 1982, departing from there having picked up a good deal of Arabic in 1984.

From there his mother and he went as missionaries to Ethiopia, for the horrible famines there, and Gabe accompanied her on life-saving and comfort-giving missions as best he could. More Arabic, and also picked up French when he had to live in Djibouti for a while, as Ethiopia had just gotten too horrible.

They rotated back to the USA in 1987, then redeployed to South America on anti-drug and pro-democracy actions for his father. This strengthened his Spanish. Then back to North Carolina for a year, and then back to Saudi Arabia for the run-up to Desert Shield. By this time, Gabe was 10, strongly multilingual, and had been running around in pretty rough places in the world for most of his life, learning confidence, wrestling and some brutal fighting, and survival, medical skills, and all sorts of things along the way from two very capable and hands-on parents. His mother had kept him humble and taught him urban survival and rural living, as well as his acting as her assistant in situations no child should ever have to see. His father kept him strong and taught him independence, self-reliance, and a savagely direct fighting style that meant that any bullying by local toughs only happened once.

The father saw fighting – lots of it – in Saudi Arabia: SCUD hunting, and other action, up until he and his unit ran into something horrible in the Iraqi desert. Only three people of an entire unit came out of that mission. Their debrief noted they’d been attacked and ambushed at night in close-in fighting by a foe that the never saw.

He suffered a seemingly-minor injury during that conflict that led him to decide that while fit to be a regular soldier, he could no longer keep up as a true member of SFOD-D; he and Maria elected to stop wandering, and bring their almost-teen-age son home, and start a new life.

They moved back to North Carolina only briefly, packed their meager possessions, and decided on Boston. They had only been in their new apartment, and Gabriel in his new school, for perhaps three months when tragedy struck, and both of Gabe’s parents were killed in a horrible mass murder in 1993. This mass-murder is the tie that binds all of the PCs together – all of us lost our family that night, as sole survivors, like the Angel of Death passing over Egypt.

Dramatis Personae

Kamali Blackshear (12): Kamali is a young boy in his early teens. He is healthy and is of mixed ethnicity of Caucasian South African and native South African. He is a determined youth who believes in a justice of his own, likening himself to the knight of the round whom he has read deeply into. Just asthey stood against the darkness of their age so too does Kamali seek to do the same. For his sister, for his friends, and for the world.

Tag: “A knight without sword carrying faith nobody believes.”

Lorenzo DeModouco (13):

Amos M. Humiston (13) – A comfortable existence turned upside down, he’s still shell-shocked from what happened to his parents and has switched from a small and chatty boy to a small and quiet boy. Amos tends to quietly slip along after the group leaving a trail of books read behind him. And though he doesn’t volunteer himself quite yet, he’s always happy to help the best he can without showing off his intelligence, though that doesn’t stop him from being happy to do so when it’s possible.

Gabriel MacAlister (12) – Built like the natural athlete he is, he shows signs of growing even larger and stronger. A fairly quiet and hard working lad, always ready to lend a hand with any work, which he will do without complaint or obligating the other person to respond. Emphatically not a pushover or weak personality, but also not one to purposefully show off. Has been in many horrible places and seen many horrible things; he’s a bit of a compulsive planner as a result, as well as always feeling that most folks don’t really know how lucky they are.

Tag: “To serve others is the highest calling; to protect the meek the noblest endeavor.”

Timothy I Mitchell (14): Timothy possess an honest if forgettable face. He tends towards comfortable, though inexpensive clothing and durable running shoes, rounding off his typical attire is a deep pocketed jacket and a backpack slung over one shoulder. Timothy appears to be a poster-boy for bad kids, often finding himself in trouble with any and all forms of authority. A victim of neglect, driven to never become a victim again he often acts seemingly on impulse, taking any dare or challenge in his stride. Timothy doesn’t have friends, not in any real sense. Too few of the people who enter his orbit can deal with him in anything more than bite sized pieces, a fact which only further frustrates the young teenager.

Tag: “Darkness is within all of us, it’s how you use that darkness that matters”

Continue reading “The Chronicles of Ceteri (B-Team): Prelude and Ep2”

It’s been a LONG time since an open playtest has been run like this, and so I wanted to kick the rust off the landing gear (or maybe clean the barrel and action before firing would be more apropos).

Firstly: playtesting is fun. You get to see and influence a GURPS book that has already been written and commented on by Kromm or PK, and be part of the process that produces sourcebooks of fairly legendary quality of information. For both the Low-Tech, High-Tech, and Tactical Shooting playtests, we had testers with . . . unusual possessions and experience out in their yards in the rain or trying stuff for reality and sanity checking. Weighing museum pieces or modern combat armor for weights. Fun tidbits of research.

Secondly: yeah, the ideal candidate is a Special Forces jungle warfare instructor who has been playing and playtesting GURPS since 2004, and is taking a quick break between missions to playtest the book.

But as was once said: “Sure, the compass doesn’t point North. But we’re not trying to GO north, are we?”

Just because you’re not the perfect candidate doesn’t mean you’re not gonna make the list. Are you an enthusiastic player of a game where you’re yomping packs through a jungle in a combat zone? That’s very useful. Been a backpacker all your life, or have experience and merit badges in survival as an Eagle Scout. Way ahead of the curve. Heck, I’d argue that by virtue of living in Minnesota, I have a leg up on cold-weather survival, which we call “daily life” here (many are cold; few are frozen).

Go hunting recently? In the cold? Bring it on. Know how to dress warm (or dress cool) for extreme outdoor sports, but never held a gun? Useful.

Finally: a gaming group, enthusiasm for contributing, and an eye for detail and will to make constructive, on-point suggestions are what makes a good playtester. If you think that might sound like you, perhaps you should drop me a line? Best case you get in and change the book for the better, worst case is a polite “no thank you.”

GURPS telescopic sights work fairly simply. Each doubling of magnification gives a +1 bonus if you aim for a number of seconds equal to that bonus. So the “valid” scopes are x2, x4, x8, x16, etc. If you have a x1.5 scope, like the minor magnification on the Steyr AUG, you get nothing (+0 to Acc). If you have a x3 magnifier stacked in front of a collimating sight and use it as a telescopic sight, you get +1.

Them’s the breaks of breakpoints. Sometimes something is sub-resolution.

I was pondering based on an appropriately named thread on the SJG forums if there is a slightly different way to handle such odd powers: simply rewrite the Size and Speed/Range Table for your scope’s magnification, which is another way of saying calculate range penalties based on the effective range after accounting for magnification. Continue reading “Weak and Odd Scopes”

Thursday is GURPSDay, and may Thor make your games a bit more exiting today!

Welcome to the second year of GURPSDay, and here’s the first pull of the morning.

We’re currently drawing content from 85 blogs. Only 15 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 44posts as of 9pm CST.

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.

T Bone’s GURPS Diner (T Bone)

PK’s Game Recaps and Tidbits (PK Levine)

Dice and Discourse (Joseph Mason)

Concrete Lunch Gaming (Bob Loftin)

Shooting Dice (Hans-Christian Vortisch)

Generic Universal Eggplant (Enraged Eggplant)

Testsujin no Llama (Matt Riggsby)

Bat in the Attic (Rob Conley)

Dr. Kromm’s GURPS Livejournal (“Sean “”Dr. Kromm”” Punch”)

Ravens N’ Pennies (Christopher R. Rice)

Mailanka’s Musings (Daniel Dover)

Dungeon Fantastic (Peter Dell’Orto)

Octopus Carnival (Ubiratan Pires Alberton)

Dice and Lives (Joel Sammallahti)

Fragments of the Last War (Bryan Timms)

RogerBW’s Blog (Roger Bell-West)

MoeLane.com (Moe Lane)

GURB- The Generic Universal Roleplaying Blog (The_RyujinLP)

Gaming Ballistic (Douglas Cole)

World of Domibia (Canology)

One Yard Hex (Paul Stefko)

Reposted from the GURPS Forums Thread: Call for Playtesters – GURPS Tactical Shooting: Extreme Conditions

Steve Jackson Games is seeking playtesters for GURPS Tactical Shooting: Extreme Conditions, by Hans-Christian Vortisch. This is a supplement to the rules in GURPS Tactical Shooting – and by extension, to the GURPS Basic Set – concerning gunfights in extreme environments such as in winter, in the desert, underground, around water, and even in space!

We are primarily looking for playtesters who have experience with real guns and/or the hazards found in these extreme environments. Preference will be given to applicants who know how to shoot (current and former military servicemen, police officers, sports shooters, enthusiasts) and/or who have experience with survival and operations in extreme environments (scuba divers, spelunkers, folks with experience in the Arctic or desert or jungle, etc.). A number of slots will be reserved for people who expressly do not have such backgrounds, to check rules and descriptions for clarity and ease of use.

You should be familiar with the rules in the GURPS Basic Set, GURPS High-Tech, and GURPS Tactical Shooting. We expect the playtest to be very active for three or four weeks, and then to remain open to hammer out details for as long as the author requires after the initial feedback period.

Prospective playtesters should email the Lead Playtester, Douglas Cole, at dhamptonc@gmail.com with [TSEC] (for “Tactical Shooting: Extreme Conditions”) in the subject line. Include your Warehouse 23 username (if you have one), your preferred email address for the closed playtest mailing list, the correct spelling of your name as it may appear in print, and a few words on why we should pick you: qualifications, experience, current gaming group(s), etc.

*** *** ***

Yeah, that’s me as Lead Playtester. I did it for High-Tech and the original Tactical Shooting, too. If you’re going to apply, please be thorough and explicit in your email to me giving your credentials, even if we know each other well! Both the playtest and the book should be tons of fun.

Thursday is GURPSDay, and May the Fourth be with you today! (And for the right denomination: “And also with you.”)

Welcome to the second year of GURPSDay, and here’s the first pull of the morning.

We’re currently drawing content from 85 blogs, having picked up Matt Riggsby’s Tetsujin no Lllama. Only 15 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 44 posts as of 850pm CST.

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 “GURPS Day Summary Apr 28 – May 4, 2017”

A brief digression into advanced conventional gun technology in GURPS Ultra-Tech.

There are two advanced technologies for firearms in GURPS Ultra-Tech. Liquid Propellant slugthrowers improves piercing damage by +1 per die (about 28%) with the boosted velocity version, and there’s a low velocity option that cuts damage in half, but we don’t care that much about that. Electrothermal-Chemical weapons increase damage by 1.5x. There are also Electothermal-Kinetic weapons, discussed in a Designer’s Notes for Ultra-Tech, Fourth Edition article, which are even more badass, multiplying damage by 2x.

What does that mean in terms of weapon design?

The Ballistics Model

My model – and remember, all models are wrong, some are useful – takes the peak pressure and maintains it for a certain distance down the barrel. This adds Pressure x Barrel Bore Diameter x Burn Distance in energy to the bullet: a straight-up application of energy equals force times distance. After that, it assumes that the propellant is all burned, and that the chamber and barrel and bullet form a pressure vessel, with the instantaneous pressure calculated using the ideal gas law. One can then calculate the instantaneous force at a given length down the barrel, and sum the product of that force over the distance – you’re performing an integration: E = Integral of F dx.

That’s wrong.

It just is. It’s not unusable, but it’s a simplification. It neglects the non-ideal component of the pressure equation, and it really ignores the fact that as the bullet is driven down the barrel, there is an opposing force of friction acting to retard the projectile. So while in real life, there’s an optimal barrel length after which more barrel is a hindrance to velocity, my model assumes that the bullet will continue to be accelerated pretty much forever.

That it falls off over distance, though, means that you need more and more barrel to actually get a GURPS-useful boost in velocity. So in practice, while it’s “wrong,” it’s not so wrong by so much that it doesn’t provide a useful and self-consistent model. Perfect? No. Usable? Yah.

But given the way that the program works, there are really only a few ways to add energy to the projectile. Continue reading “Ultra-Tech Firearms: Liquid Propellant and ETC”

In the last installment, a few of the basic weapons from the Rifles section of GURPS Ultra-Tech were examined. The basic premise was to see if the designed stats make sense, and evaluate them against an assumed mission statement: deliver 3d-6d injury after penetrating whatever armor the target is wearing. The typical foe was assumed to be a TL8 trooper wearing roughly DR 35/10d worth of hard/soft armor combination. This might be the TL8 Assault Vest + Trauma Plates (DR 12/5 + 23) or Advanced Body Armor (the generic form of DragonSkin, assumed to be as effective as the manufacturer claims).

Last time, we covered the basic Assault Rifle, and a derived hunting rifle firing the same ammo, the gatling carbine, and the 15mm payload rifle.

Today we finish up with some oddities, large-caliber specialty weapons that are either overdesigned or mis-applied in many cases. Continue reading “Gunday Continued: Ultra-Tech Rifles (Part 2)”