Bell Digest vol01p10.txt

Subject: The AreQueue Digest,  Volume 1,  Number 10

This issue:
	GURPS weapons			(Elliot Wilen  [Thanks!])
        RQ Size				(Steven A. Schrader)
        Height versus weight		(Andrew Bell)


Editor's note:  Starting next issue,  I will no longer write replies to things
that are in the current issue.  That way I hope to encourage other people to
respond more,  since there won't be  "Oh,  Andrew said something like what I
would have said,  so I don't really need to add anything."  We have more than
30 people on the list now,  so we should have a good pool of contributors.


From: 8hum190@violet.Berkeley.EDU

Subject: GURPS weapons

Although they're getting a bit inconsistent about it, here's how
GURPS weapons work.

Depending on your strength, you have a basic damage for thrusted and
swung weapons. The latter is higher, because of the lever effect.

Each weapon has a damage listing (or two, if it can be used to
attack in more than one way). E.g.: broadsword does swung+1. Heavier
weapons and those with their weight concentrated at the end do more
damage, so a small mace does swung+2. (This is compensated by having such
unbalanced weapons require time to ready in between blows.) Since
armor absorbs in GURPS, this set-up allows your maces and axes
to penetrate armor more easily. But that's not all. Edged weapons
get a 1/2 bonus to damage which actually makes it through armor.
Pointed weapons get a full bonus. Also, chain mail absorbs
less against pointed weapons.

So let's take a classic case: Guy de Troyes is fighting off a Viking
raid when he gets hit by Viking triplets, each with a strength
of 11, and wielding a small mace, broadsword, and spear, respectively.
Each one rolls a 4 on his damage roll. The first one is doing
d6+1 damage (swung), +2 for the small mace, for 7 points of damage.
Subtract 4 for Guy's chainmail and he takes 3 points. The second one
does d6+1 (swung), +1 for the broadsword. Subtract 4 for the chainmail,
which leaves 2 points, but multiply this by 1.5 to get 3 points of
actual damage. The third does d6-1 damage (thrust), +2 for the spear.
Subtract 2 for the chainmail, and multiply by 2 to get 6 points of
damage. (Guy collapses at this point, obviously.)

Now, suppose Guy was dumb enough to go into battle without
armor. He's got zero absorption, and consequently takes
7 points from the mace, 9 from the sword, and 10 from the spear.
But suppose it's five hundred years later and he's fighting
Englishmen while wearing light plate armor (absorbs 6). He
now takes 1 point from the mace, *nothing* from the sword,
and *nothing* from the spear.

I actually tried an approach like this for RQ a long time ago--before
I got RQ III. Back then, I decided that the method (damage multiplication
of 1.5 for edged, 2 for pointed weapons) would work if you increased
everyone's hit points by a 1-1/2 or 2 times. However, it only makes
sense if you make sure that crushing weapons do more basic damage,
before absorption and multiplication. I don't think this is the case
(generally) with the present damage tables, so they'd need to be
rewritten a bit. Quick fix: give all club-type weapons an extra +1.
This only works to a point, though (no pun intended). The damages
seem to have been devised originally with both the weight and the
sharpness considerations in mind. (But obviously without
the ability to represent the full nuances of different effects vs.
different types of armor.)

The real solution (in my opinion) might just be to adopt the GURPS
damage/armor values, then work from there. Unbalanced weapons
could be treated as in GURPS, or else take a SR penalty.


[My only comment here is that you should do better damage with a weapon that
is sized appropriately,  so the independence of the weapon damage and the
damage bonus is not that undesirable.  I would like to see differing sizes of
various weapons where a person is best with a properly sized (and balanced)
weapon.  This is,  of course,  getting into advanced rules.  Assuming we ever
get to the point of writing up a modified rules set for RuneQuest,  I will
probably break certain sections down based on how detailed the person wants to
    I would also like to see size be more of a factor than constitution in a
person's hit points,  so you might consider 2xsize + con as the hit point
    Does GURPS use hit locations?  You didn't mention any in your example, but
in RQ it's usually the damage per hit that's important, as opposed to the total


From: S9S%PSUVM.BITNET@CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU  (Steven A. Schrader)

Subject: BITNET mail follows  (RQ Size)

  Decimeters  Meters      Feet     Inches      Mixed         SR
  ----------  ------      ----     ------      -----         --
       1        0.1    0.32808     3.9370       0'3"          3
       2        0.2    0.65616     7.8739       0'7"          3
       3        0.3    0.98424     11.811      0'11"          3
       4        0.4     1.3123     15.748       1'3"          3
       5        0.5     1.6404     19.685       1'7"          3
       6        0.6     1.9685     23.622      1'11"          3
       7        0.7     2.2966     27.559       2'3"          3
       8        0.8     2.6246     31.495       2'7"          3
       9        0.9     2.9527     35.432      2'11"          3
      10        1.0     3.2808     39.370       3'3"          2
      11        1.1     3.6089     43.307       3'7"          2
      12        1.2     3.9370     47.244      3'11"          2
      13        1.3     4.2650     51.180       4'3"          2
      14        1.4     4.5931     55.117       4'7"          2
      15        1.5     4.9212     59.054      4'11"          2
      16        1.6     5.2493     62.992       5'2"          2
      17        1.7     5.5774     66.929       5'6"          2
      18        1.8     5.9054     70.865      5'10"          2
      19        1.9     6.2335     74.802       6'2"          2
      20        2.0     6.5616     78.739       6'6"          2
      21        2.1     6.8897     82.676      6'10"          2
      22        2.2     7.2178     86.614       7'2"          2
      23        2.3     7.5458     90.550       7'6"          2
      24        2.4     7.8739     94.487      7'10"          2
      25        2.5     8.2020     98.424       8'2"          2
      26        2.6     8.5301     102.36       8'6"          2
      27        2.7     8.8582     106.30      8'10"          2
      28        2.8     9.1862     110.23       9'2"          2
      29        2.9     9.5143     114.17       9'6"          2
      30        3.0     9.8424     118.11      9'10"          2
      31        3.1     10.170     122.04      10'2"          2
      32        3.2     10.499     125.99      10'5"          2
      33        3.3     10.827     129.92      10'9"          2
      34        3.4     11.155     133.86      11'1"          2
      35        3.5     11.483     137.80      11'5"          2
      36        3.6     11.811     141.73      11'9"          1

Since how heavy a person is makes no difference to how fast a person can
hit a target, I reasoned that the authors must have been refering to a
persons reach when making a strike rank modifier for size.  I added a
characteristic to a character called Height(HIT).  Hit is in decimeters
or tenths of a meter.  The HIT strike rank is figured by 1/3 of the
persons HIT and indexed on the weapon length chart, if a creature has a
reach.  I have broken down the strike ranks above.  As for HIT's of
certain creatures, below are the following suggestions:

All creatues that strike with their bodies have HSR of 3
Creatures using weapons use their reach.  Some sample HIT's of humanoids
are as follows:
Name                  HIT
Broo               1D6+15
Centaur            1D3+18
Dragon                 Use whatever HIT you feel they would be
                       Note John Redden's dragon does a good indication
                       of size.  The rest can be done on my chart
Duck               2D3+10
Dwarf               2D3+9
Elementals             In elemental form up to GM, in other from use that
Elf                2D3+13
Fachan                 32
Giant                10D6
Halfling            1D3+8
Human Man          2D3+14
Human Female       2D3+13
Minotaur           2D6+17
Nymph              2D3+13
Ogre               2D4+20
Orc                2D3+13
Satyr              2D3+15
Skeleton               As Form previosly
Cave Troll         2D4+25
Dark Troll         1D4+18
Zombie                 As Form Previously

The other system of dealing with height/weight split is not bad, but I
think separating them is in order.  Who has not seen or read about the
fat bartender or the skinny mage(muscles atrophy?).  Also I would allow
people to diet, or gain wait.  If they diet, maybe a roll under
something to see if they accomplished it?  I have not thought out the
rules yet.  Something Like the ...(his he going to mention it) ... AD&D
(ohhhh, he did) Wisdom.  Something that the characters can not control,
much as real life.  Also perhaps The HIT roll can be added into the
skills of Agility and stealth.  Also I do not beleive that HIT has
anything to do with damage inflicted.  Perhaps mass can be explained as
momentum?  Well I should sign off now



From:  (Yours truly)

Subject: Height versus weight

I disagree that complete separation is the way to go.  Weight is in large part
a function of height,  so taller people should be heaver.  Perhaps the best
way to create PC humans is to use height as the basic measure,  determine a
weight from that,  and use an average when both stats are important.  Height
should be less variable than RQ size, otherwise we'll often have people more
than twice the height of others. We can then use that height to generate a
weight size,  and from there roll a build factor to get fat or thin people.

I prefer bell-shaped attribute distributions for height,  as opposed to the
linear form you proposed last ish.  We'd want such to average around 5' 10"
for males,  5' 5" for females (human,  of course,  different races would have
different numbers).  Perhaps from that roll 4d8, subtract 18, and add that
number of inches to 5' 10".  This gives a minimum male height of 4' 8" and max
of 7' 2",  use different dice if the extremes are too big or too small for
your taste.

Based on the height, we then generate a basic weight related to almost the
cube of the height.  I will try to come up with one and put it in a later

I allow PCs to pick their size anyway,  but such a system is good for
generating NPCs.

Small suggested rules mod:  remove strength from the manipulation modifier.
Picking locks,  playing instruments,  concealing objects,  and palming things
just isn't strength dependent.

Another rules mod:  make throw an attack skill.

Yet another:  Take strength over 10 as a modifer to range for thrown weapons
and things such as "strength" bows.  Thus an 18 strength gives you 1.8 times
the range,  which is fairly reasonable.  I would also extend the short range
and the like.

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