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Cheat Sheet

GURPS For Dummies

From GURPS For Dummies by Adam Griffith, Bjoern-Erik Hartsfvang, Stuart J. Stuple

Once you’ve developed your character and playing field in GURPS (Generic Universal Role Playing System) and you’re ready to roll, make sure your GM (Game Master) has the tables explaining the roll values for critical hits and misses. You can improve your combat strategy by understanding your character's attack and defense modifiers.

GURPS Melee Attack Modifiers

In GURPS, being successful in hand-to-hand combat involves skill and the right weaponry — melee weapons like daggers, smallswords, sabers, and large knives are effective. When your character is making a melee attack on an opponent during combat, figure your effective skill by

  1. Taking your base skill with the weapon or unarmed attack you are using.

    In some situations, another skill — e.g., Free Fall, Riding, or Environment Suit — will limit this skill.)

  2. Applying the relevant modifiers below.

    Modifiers are cumulative, but combined visibility penalties cannot exceed –10 (–6, if used to blindness). If any modifier marked with an asterisk (*) applies, adjusted skill after all modifiers cannot exceed 9.

A roll of this number, or less, is a hit.

Attacker's Maneuver

  • All-Out Attack (Determined): +4

  • Move and Attack: –4*

Attacker's Posture

  • Crawling or lying down: –4 (if attacker is crawling, he can only make reach "C" attacks)

  • Crouching, kneeling, or sitting: –2

Attacker's Situation

  • Affliction (coughing, retching, etc.): See Afflictions on p.428 in GURPS: Basic Set: Campaigns

  • Bad footing: –2 or more (GM's option)

  • Grappled: –4

  • Holding a large shield: –2

  • Major distraction (e.g., all clothes on fire): –3 or more (GM's option)

  • Minor distraction (e.g., part of clothes on fire): –2

  • Mounted, and mount attacked on its last turn: –2

  • Mounted, and mount's velocity relative to target is 7+: –1

  • Shock: –HP of injury received last turn (maximum –4)

  • ST below that required for weapon: –1 per point of deficit

  • Wearing a shield in close combat: –DB of shield

Other Actions by Attacker

  • Deceptive Attack: –2 per –1 penalty to foe's defense

  • Dual-Weapon Attack: –4/–8 with primary/off hand (–4/–4 w. Ambidexterity)

  • Evaluate: +1 per turn (maximum +3)

  • Off-hand attack: –4 (no penalty w. Ambidexterity)

  • Rapid Strike: –6 on both attacks (–3 with Trained By A Master or Weapon Master)

  • Striking into close combat: –2

  • Wild Swing: –5*

Target (choose one)

  • Hit location: 0 for torso, –2 for arm or leg, –3 for groin, –4 for hand or foot, –5 for face, –7 for skull; impaling and piercing attacks can target vitals at –3 or eyes at –9

  • Hit location, through chink in armor: –8 for torso, –10 anywhere else (e.g., eyeslits)

  • Weapon, to damage: –5 to hit a reach "C" weapon (e.g., knife) or pistol; –4 to hit a reach 1 weapon (e.g., broadsword); –3 to hit a reach 2+ weapon (e.g., spear) or rifle

  • Weapon, to disarm: as above, plus an extra –2 if not using a fencing weapon

Visibility

  • Cannot see anything: –10 (–6, if used to blindness)*

  • Cannot see foe: –6, or –4 if you know his location to within 1 yard*

  • Partial darkness, fog, smoke, etc.: –1 to –9 (GM's option)

GURPS Ranged Attack Modifiers

In GURPS, being able to inflict damage on your opponents' characters when attacking from a distance is quite handy. Some helpful weapons are spears, nets, harpoons, and axes, but remember that you can't redirect an opponent's attack. When making a ranged attack, figure your effective skill by

  1. Taking your base skill with your ranged weapon.

  2. Applying the target's Size Modifier (SM).

  3. Modifying for the target's range and speed.

    See Size and Speed/Range Table on p. 550 in GURPS Basic Set: Campaigns.

  4. Applying the relevant modifiers below.

    Modifiers are cumulative, but combined visibility penalties cannot exceed –10. If any modifier marked with an asterisk (*) applies, adjusted skill after all modifiers cannot exceed 9.

A roll of this number or less is a hit. If using rapid fire, you score one extra hit for every full multiple of Recoil by which you make your attack roll.

Attacker's Maneuver

  • All-Out Attack (Determined): +1

  • Move and Attack: –2 or –Bulk of weapon, whichever is worse

Attacker's Situation

  • Affliction (coughing, retching, etc.): See Afflictions on p. 428 in GURPS Basic Set: Campaigns

  • Bad footing: –2 or more (GM's option)

  • Close combat: a penalty equal to the weapon's Bulk statistic

  • Damaged weapon: –HP of injury received last turn (maximum –4)

  • Major distraction (e.g., all clothes on fire): –3 or more (GM's option)

  • Minor distraction (e.g., part of clothes on fire): –2

  • Shock: –HP of injury received last turn (maximum –4)

  • ST below that required for weapon: –1 per point of deficit

Attacking from Moving Vehicle or Mount

If weapon is not in a stabilized mount, the combined bonus for Accuracy, Aim, bracing, and targeting systems cannot exceed the vehicle's SR.

  • Air vehicle: –1 for a handheld weapon, 0 otherwise

  • Exposed rider hanging on side of vehicle/mount and shooting over/under it: –6

  • Ground vehicle, good road: –1 for a handheld weapon, 0 otherwise

  • Ground vehicle, bad road: 0 for a stabilized turret or stabilized open mount; –1 for a fixed mount, hardpoint, or carriage; –2 for an external open mount; –3 for a handheld weapon

  • Ground vehicle, off-road: –1 for a stabilized turret or stabilized open mount; –2 for a fixed mount, hardpoint, or carriage; –3 for an external open mount; –4 for a handheld weapon

  • Space vehicle: 0

  • Turning in exposed saddle/seat of vehicle/mount to fire at foe behind: –4

  • Vehicle/mount dodged last turn and you're not the operator/rider: –2, or –4 if flying

  • Vehicle/mount failed control roll: penalty equal to margin of failure

  • Water vehicle, calm water: 0 for a stabilized turret or stabilized open mount; –1 for a fixed mount, hardpoint, or carriage; –2 for an external open mount; –3 for a handheld weapon

  • Water vehicle, rough water: –1 for a stabilized turret or stabilized open mount; –2 for a fixed mount, hardpoint, or carriage; –3 for an external open mount; –4 for a handheld weapon

Opportunity Fire

  • Checking target before firing: –2

  • Hexes watched: 0 for 1 hex; –1 for 2 hexes; –2 for 3–4 hexes or a line; –3 for 5–6 hexes; –4 for 7–10 hexes; –5 for 11+ hexes watched

Other Actions by Attacker

  • Aim for one turn: +Accuracy of weapon

  • Braced weapon: +1 if you are stationary and took a turn to Aim

  • Dual-Weapon Attack: –4/–8 with primary/off hand (–4/–4 with Ambidexterity)

  • Extra Aim: +1 for 2 seconds, +2 for 3+ seconds

  • Off-hand attack: –4 (no penalty with Ambidexterity)

  • Pop-up attack: –2, and no Aim possible

  • Rapid fire: 0 for 2–4 shots; +1 for 5–8 shots; +2 for 9–12 shots; +3 for 13–16 shots; +4 for 17–24shots; +5 for 25–49 shots; +6 for 50–99 shots; +7 for 100–199 shots; and so on.

GURPS Critical Hit Table

In GURPS, when your characters are involved in combat, a critical success is a really good result from your skill roll. In general terms, a roll of 10 under your skill is a critical success, although a 6 is the highest number you can score a critical on. That is, a roll of 7 against a skill of 17 is still not a critical. A roll of 3 or 4 is always a critical, no matter what your skill level. All doublings or triplings of damage refer to basic damage (not injury). In all cases, the target gets no active defense against the attack.

Roll Effect
3 The blow does triple damage.
4 The target’s DR protects at half value (round down) after applying any armor divisors.
5 The blow does double damage.
6 The blow does maximum normal damage.
7 If any damage penetrates DR, treat it as if it were a major wound, regardless of the actual injury inflicted.
8 If any damage penetrates DR, it inflicts double normal shock (to a maximum penalty of –8). If the injury is to a limb or extremity, that body part is crippled as well. This is only a “funny-bone” injury: crippling wears off in (16 – HT) seconds, minimum two seconds, unless the injury was enough to cripple the body part anyway.
9, 10, 11 Normal damage only.
12 Normal damage, and the victim drops anything he is holding, regardless of whether any damage penetrates DR.
13, 14 If any damage penetrates DR, treat it as if it were a major wound, regardless of the actual injury inflicted.
15 The blow does maximum normal damage.
16 The blow does double damage.
17 The target’s DR protects at half value (round down) after applying any armor divisors.
18 The blow does triple damage.

GURPS Critical Miss Table

In GURPS, the flipside of critical successes are critical failures, or misses in character combat. Like critical successes, critical failures mean an extreme result from a roll — in this case, a bad result, but not necessarily the end of the world. A roll of an 18 is always a critical failure, and a roll of a 17 is a critical failure as well if the skill in question is 15 or less. A roll of 10 over skill is also a critical failure.

Roll Effect
3, 4 Your weapon breaks and is useless. Exception: Certain weapons are resistant to breakage. These include solid crushing weapons (maces, flails, mauls, metal bars, etc.); magic weapons; firearms (other than wheellocks, guided missiles, and beam weapons); and fine and very fine weapons of all kinds. If you have a weapon like that, roll again. Only if you get a “broken weapon” result a second time does the weapon really break. If you get any other result, you drop the weapon instead
5 You manage to hit yourself in the arm or leg (50% chance each way). Exception: If making an impaling or piercing melee attack, or any kind of ranged attack, roll again. If you get a “hit yourself” result a second time, use that result — half or full damage, as the case may be. If you get something other than “hit yourself,” use that result.
6 Same as 5, but half damage only.
7 You lose your balance. You can do nothing else (not even a free action) until your next turn, and all your active defenses are at –2 until then.
8 The weapon turns in your hand. You must take an extra Ready maneuver before you can use it again.
9, 10, 11 You drop the weapon. Exception: A cheap weapon breaks; see 3.
12 Same as 8.
13 Same as 7.
14 If making a swinging melee attack, your weapon flies 1d yards from your hand –50% chance straight forward or straight back. Anyone on the target spot must make a DX roll or take half damage from the falling weapon! If making a thrusting melee attack or any kind of ranged attack, or parrying, you simply drop the weapon, as in 9.
15 You strain your shoulder! Your weapon arm is “crippled.” You do not have to drop your weapon, but you cannot use it, either to attack or defend, for 30 minutes.
16 You fall down! If making a ranged attack, see 7 instead.
17, 18 Your weapon breaks; see 3.

GURPS Active Defense Modifiers

In GURPS combat, defending your character by avoiding and effectively absorbing a hit is sometimes more important than landing a hit. Good weapons for defense are shields and armor, but remember not to weigh your character down. When performing a dodge, block, or parry, figure your active defense roll by

  1. Taking your calculated Dodge, Block, or Parry score.

    The Combat Reflexes and Enhanced Defenses advantages increase these values above their base.

  2. Applying the relevant modifiers below.

    All modifiers are cumulative.

A roll of this number, or less, means you avoid the attack.

Defender's Equipment

  • Parrying with dagger or knife: –1 to Parry

  • Parrying with kusari or whip: –2 to Parry

  • Parrying with quarterstaff: +2 to Parry

  • Shield or cloak: +DB of shield, except vs. firearms

  • Unarmed parry vs. weapon: –3 to Parry (+0 vs. thrust, or with Judo or Karate)

Defender's Maneuver

  • All-Out Attack: No defense possible!

  • All-Out Defense (Increased Defense): +2 to one of Dodge, Block, or Parry

  • Move and Attack: Dodge or block only; you cannot parry

Defender's Posture

  • Crawling or lying down: –3

  • Kneeling or sitting: –2

Defender's Situation

  • Above attacker: +1 for 3' difference, +2 for 4', or +3 for 5'

  • Affliction (coughing, retching, etc.): See Afflictions on p. 428 in GURPS Basic Set: Campaigns

  • Bad footing: –1 or more (GM's option)

  • Below attacker: –1 for 3' difference, –2 for 4', or –3 for 5'

  • Can't see attacker: –4, and a block or parry requires a Hearing –2 roll

  • Close combat: Only reach "C" weapons can parry

  • Distraction (e.g., clothes on fire): –1 or more (GM's option)

  • Encumbered: Penalty equal to encumbrance level to Dodge, or to Judo, Karate, or any fencing Parry

  • Mounted: Penalty equal to difference between 12 and Riding skill (no penalty for Riding at 12+)

  • Stunned: –4

Nature of Attack

  • Attack from behind: No defense possible (defense at –2 with Peripheral Vision)

  • Attack from side or "runaround" attack: –2 (no penalty with Peripheral Vision)

  • Attacker used laser sight: +1 to Dodge if dot is visible

  • Deceptive Attack: –1 per –2 the attacker took to his attack

  • Dual-Weapon Attack: –1 if both attacks strike the same target

  • Flail: –4 to Parry/–2 to Block (–2/–1 vs. nunchaku); fencing weapons can't parry at all

  • Successful feint: Penalty equal to attacker's margin of victory

  • Thrown weapon: –1 to Parry, or –2 to Parry if weapon is small (1 lb. or less)

Other Actions by Defender

  • Acrobatic Dodge: +2 to Dodge if Acrobatics roll succeeds, –2 if it fails

  • Dodge and Drop: +3 to Dodge vs. ranged attack

  • Feverish Defense: +2 (costs 1 FP)

  • Multiple parries: –4 to Parry per parry after the first, cumulative (halved for fencing weapons and for Trained By A Master or Weapon Master)

  • Off-hand parry: –2 to Parry (no penalty with Ambidexterity)

  • Retreat: +3 to Dodge, or to Boxing, Judo, Karate, or any fencing Parry; +1 otherwise

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