Wednesday, July 22, 2020

TTJP B-Team Season 1 Session 7 & 8

The End, For Now

Session 7 was very short so I combined the reports for both sessions again.

The Final Trial

Gushou faced off against the temple guardian who calls himself the Gentle Master. This was an unarmed fight and Gushou took off his Shenshou so it would not help in the fight, even if it was just sitting on his arm.
His Brawling and Acrobatics skills against the Gentle Masters  mastery of 4 styles (Chin Na, Hsing I Chuan, Pa Ka Chuan, and T'ia Chi Chuan) but all he has to do is tag him three times before being tagged to win. Easy right? Oh, and the duel is among scattered rocks above a waterfall and falling in counts as a loss.
Gentle Master gets in the first hit and its not so gentle, though he pulled his punch.
Both have absurdly high Active Defense scores, though Gushou is relying on Acrobatic Dodge to help him out. After a few rounds of back and forth Gushou uses his saved Impulse Points to score a hit and his Wildcard points to assist his Acrobatic Dodges.
The player (me) forgot his style included Judo so he could have used wildcard points to hit with a sweep and maybe even used Rapid Strike at -3 to try a Throw,
Realizing it was just down to luck with who crit first Gushou used his saved points to improve his success to a crit and used Extra Effort for Flurry of Blows (So Brawling made two strikes at -3 skill or 15 or less). Without his Shenshou his fatigue was sharply limited though so this was an iffy strategy. In fact I miscounted and burned HP with rolls to stay conscious, a problem I would not have had if I remembered he had Judo as part of his wildcard style.
Gushou did manage to get in his three hits before the Master got in his second, but he was holding back as Masters sometimes do when just testing students. Also this cost him some points he was saving for the big fight with the head villain.
After the victory, everyone got complimented for their test, except Gushou who was told he needed serious training. But, he passed and thats what counted!

Training Montage!

After this the group was promised the sought after compass and they were offered personal training by the Gentle Master. This used the rules from GURPS Martial Arts, p. 147 The Training Sequence and allowed us to buy up our skills, specifically something he had or was part of our existing training (campaign limit of +1 level per training break or new skills up to base attribute level) and Gushou opted to learn Pa Ka Chuan as a new Wildcard style (trading in points he already had in Brawling, Meditation, and Wrestling) with a wildcard version of the Style Adaptation perk for Hsing I Chuan. That rounded out his unarmed combat abilities nicely, gave access to a couple of new Cinematic Skills and he still had enough points to increase his primary style and Flying Leap by +1 each.

Follow the Compass

At the end of the week our heroes were introduced to a young boy who we were told was the compass we were seeking. Basically this kid had the special ability to just find things and could lead us to whatever we wanted. After much debate we opted to chase the Dark Stranger in hopes of catching him before he reached his next target.
That ended session 7.

The Ambush!

We found the Dark Stranger and set up an ambush along the road for him. Gushou, having the best stealth went ahead in hopes he would pas him before rounding the bend and the rest of the group.  The idea was to cut off his escape and the rear group split into two parts, one on each side of the road.
As he passed Gushou and just before rounded the bend in the road Gushou struck him, though did not quite catch him by surprise. Gushou struck 5 times with his mighty magic chain whip (Using Rapid Strike and Flurry of Blows for 5 FP) but was dodged several so got in three hits. They hurt but seemed largely absorbed by his armor.
Shen Feng ran up using Heroic Charge and struck twice with Power Blow for massive damage,enough to require HT checks! Xhiu approached but could not reach him in time and Ann Rang also needed to close the distance to reach the target with his stars.
Had the latter two possessed the Stealth skill we might have had them closer but surprise was key here. For some reason our healer/artist and our burly man mountain never learned the skill.
The Dark Stranger summoned his jumping vampire minions and cast a large area spell that knocked Shen Feng unconscious.  Everyone else was out of range.
The jumping vampires quickly raced forward, 3 on the unconscious Shen Feng (who has a LOT of Chi)and 1 for everyone else. Gushou dodged his attacker and opted to attack the Dark Sorcerer again but critically failed and lost his turn (Jerk used his Villainous points), An Rang and Xhui were caught up with their vampires.  Xhui decapitated his and moved to do the same to the one on An Rang.
Gushou again went ll out on the Dark Sorcerer and pumped in some lightning this time.
The Sorcerer moved closer to Xhui and brought his glowing circle with him but with the aid of his protective tailsman he resisted and tried to cut off the targets head. Unfortunately the blade turned in his hand and he hit with the flat of the blade instead. Still did a lot of damage though. An Rang sunk a bunch of shuriken in him, though he dodged several. The next round Gushou took out a vampire and tried to hit the sorcerer but had exhausted most of his energy and did little damage.
Xhui got in another solid hit and then An Rang finished him off with a barrage of Shuriken (like a dozen).  That dropped the spell and Shen Feng woke up and the remaining 4? vampires fell unconscious and were quickly dispatched.
Xhui beheaded the sorcerer but we noticed the head inching towards the body so he staked it. Then when the body tried to craw to the head we shattered its limbs, finally deciding to cut it up into little pieces and bury them in separate boxes all over the countryside. Including at various temples.


This was our last session, the GM opted to restart us as kids with new characters. I opted to try another spirit based character as its something in the setting but so far I am 0 for 2 in the game lasting long enough for the character to grow in and explore that role.  Since a shaman fits well with the Face archetype and that appears to be my role in the group its time to try and break that streak.
I had fun with Gushou and learned what I wanted about the Kusari in GURPS. Two of the other players have decided on their characters, Calvin wants to try to be an archer and Christian is opting for a "guy with big weapon" which worked out rather well for him in this series.
We wont be playing next week, but hopefully have everything ready the week after that.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Why this Kickstarter is a Great Time to take a fresh look at GURPS!

So the latest GURPS Kickstarter has achieved its funding and all stretch goals, I think to no ones surprise. As of this writing its at $50,740 with 2,401 backers.
1,062 at the $3 level to get all 12 PDFs.
407 at the $30 level to get all the PDFs and $30 credit towards additional GURPS PDFs.
280 at the $99 level to get 12 PDFs plus $125 credit towards additional GURPS PDFs.
98 at the $49 New to GURPS level to get the PDFs plus the GURPS Basic Set in PDF.
And we have 53 hours to go!

The number of total backers is great as many of those are new to GURPS, or at least the kickstarter GURPS.  And the New to GURPS level is an exciting benchmark as well, especially since some people will have chosen the higher $99 level instead so they get that sweet discount.
The $3 level is probably mostly current GURPS people who have most of the supplements they want already, though it likely also includes some just looking to get a taste.

I think this campaign was successful enough that we will see more like it, perhaps an annual event. The idea was inspired by the CEO Phil Reed who has done several systemless projects, including some like this. If you like ANY RPG you should follow him. Seriously.

A few people have posted ideas to help people figure out what to spend that credit on when Backerkit comes out in a week or two.
Matt Riggsby, a popular and prolific author posted this on his blog.
Peter Del'Orto the author of the Megadungeons book posted this list

So here is my list...
First, if your new to GURPs This page should be helpful, especially the linked FAQ and Primers. But it really boils down to build what you want (with setting and campaign guidelines) and to do something you typically roll 3d6 under the appropriate skill or attribute level.
Ok to my list...
Tricked Out Rides, Boardroom and Curia: Tomorrow Rides, and Action 7 Mercenaries support the GURPS Action line which is a series of supplements aimed at playing GURPS as a movie action hero.
Monster Hunters Encounters 1 and How to be a GURPS GM: Ritual Path Magic support the Monster Hunters line (Someday it will get a category on the main GURPS book page) which is designed to emulate modern secret magic or alien hunting settings. Series like The Dresden Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Shadow Hunters, The Librarian, Warehouse 13, Men in Black, and many more. Ritual Path Magic is also popular in fantasy settings or those where variety is desired over closed spell lists.
Dungeon Fantasy Adventures 3: Deep Night and the Star and Dungeon Fantasy 21: Megadungeons support the Dungeon Fantasy line, easily the most popular GURPS genre sub line. Basically its old school dungeon crawling but in GURPS so allows more flexibility and detail to those who want it. For those tired of constraining character classes or want extra options like specifically targeting hit locations, feints, and putting some tactics into your games its a great choice. And for those who want to skip some of those details they can, even in the same game where the swashbuckler stabs for the vitals the barbarian could swing for the neck or the warrior could just ignore all that and strike at the torso or rely on luck for a more deadly hit.
Reign of Steel: Read the Sky is an adventure set on the post apocalyptic Reign of Steel setting where the machines took over the world. Its a Third Edition setting but has had updates for the current and Fourth Edition. Worth mentioning that all the Third Edition settings (and there are many) are easy to update to the current edition.The change was more a matter of streamlining and very few rules actually changed, mostly the difference is point costs and a lot of clarification based on common questions.
Hot Spots: The Incense Trail is yet another in a series of historical Hot Spots and Locations (not all historical and even the historical are set up for dropping into your settings). These are good inspirational books helpful in a lot of ways.
Template Toolkit 3: Starship Crew by the GURPS line editor and publisher of many GURPS books will help players and GMs quickly build crew for starships (likely easily tweaked for sailing vessels too). This is a good example of a typical GURPS supplement, you wont need it to do the job or play that kind of campaign but it helps by saving time with examples and guidelines and makes missing important traits less likely.  Typically some rules are clarified or explained in how they can be applied to the subject and often add a few new traits to better model that subject.
SteamPunk Setting: The Broken Clockwork World is a setting book supporting the Steampunk genre, currently at three books and some Pyramid articles. Though its yet to get a Topic or Series entry in the GURPS book page (You would think the CEO merited more attention to his material!).
Horror: Beyond the Pale is a creepy horror adventure by two prolific authors and one of my favorite setting writers in J. Edward Tremlett. The horror genre has quite a few GURPS books in it.


 So what am I buying with my pledge? A few Pyramid back issues, GURPS Fantasy (I own a printed copy but PDFs are more handy) and a few Classics like GURPS China that I used to own in printed form but lost over the years.
The $3 pledge is a great value for anyone, 12 books for that price is awesome, even if your only interested in 1 of them. Likely several will have something of interest, even to non GURPS players. GURPS uses plain English measurements and terminology so adapting its material to other systems.
I and others are hoping newcomers will be impressed enough with the writing they decide to give my favorite system a try.
Maybe you'll even like and buy some of my work!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

TTJP Season 1 Session 5 & 6 The Quest!

This is a combined report, session 5 didnt have much to report here.
GM Link

Session 5 We Get a Quest

So after slaying the giant 9 headed bird the group checks out the shrine. Its pretty and glows when they enter, but the caretaker has been killed and his head is in the central fountain. Gushou takes the head out and they bury it with Gushou preforming a burial ceremony. The place is infected with dark chi but the group is unable to figure anything out from the clues.
That is when the dragon of the lake shows up, hes a big one, SM+7 at least!

Gushou takes the lead in talking with it, though most have various questions. The dragon explains that there are several temples, one for each element (this one is Water) and that should the dark chi sorcerer infect all of them something very bad will happen.  Something that hasn't happened for thousands of years. He asks the group if they will stop him and most of the group vow to do so. Then he asks Gushou to extend his arm and breaths on it. When hes done, Gushou has an animated map on his right arm showing the path to a temple with a powerful compass that can led them to the remaining temples.

Session 6 The Thunder Demon Encounter

As the group travels to the mountain temple they come across a shrine being attacked by a  large demon. Only SM+1, though a refreshing change...
Shen Feng and Xhui close in to attack, Gushou stays 3 hexes away taking advantage of his weapons long reach, and An Rang uses hos shurikens.
It attacks first as they close in and Shen Feng reflects its lighting back at it. Unfortunately that causes it to grow to SM+2.
It dodges some of our attacks and deals heavy damage with its claws,plus using a Kiai attack to stun.
Its a tough fight, Xhui takes some heavy damage, as does his horse but Gushou manages to absorb the damage using his weapon.
Xhui uses his trademark Deceptive -5 (-10 skill) double attack to the neck. He does pretty good damage, though never enough to cut the neck off.
Shen Feng does the most damage using his butterfly swords for two strikes a turn with the largest damage of thr group thanks to his Power Blow ability.
Gushou lost 3 turns to being stunned from the Kiai and hits the third hardest of the group but hits the most often. He can do a Rapid Strike 2 for three strikes with each being a Deceptive Attack for -3 defense at a net -4 skill due to a combination of his wildcard skill (house rules grant the half bonus as additional penalty when using Deceptive Attack so -2 skill nets him that -3) and his weapons magic properties plus Weapon Master so he only takes -1 per extra Rapid Strike. In this case he gets +3 from Demon Bane and uses Flurry of Blows, halving that Rapid Strike penalty so he was able to make 7! strikes per turn, though it burns up a lot of fatigue. Definitely a sprinting type move when desperate!
He opted out of doing lightning damage :)
An Rang does the least amount of raw damage in the group but is able to strike from range and with precision. He blinded the demon which was an important contribution to taking it down, and dealt the finishing blow. Plus he heals us after, probably should keep him around :)
Speaking of which we lost the mermaid, turns out she was the dragons daughter and she stayed with him.

Session 6 The Mountain Shrine

The group reached a stand alone mountain with a narrow path headed up. After some delay while AnRang tried and failed to convince the group to haul his camping gear for him he settled on taking just a blanket and pillow. At the top we find a caretaker who tells us to meditate in the temple and thetrials will be the next day. Everyone except An Rang manages to meditate and he has a less restful night. There are to be four trials.
Trial of Mind goes to An Rang who has to solve a riddle, he passes but takes some lightning damage for a misstep.
Trial of Body goes to our strongest member Xhui who has to lift a really heavy statue. He passes.
Trial of Will goes to Shen Feng who has to stick his hand in the statues mouth and hold it there, despite increasing levels of pain. He also passes.
Trial of Combat is a duel which goes to Gushou. He has to play tag, first person to touch the other three times wins. Its among some rocks at a waterfall and if he loses he is told he will die. We end the session there as its getting late and the fight is expected to take a bit.

Overall we probably chose the best member for each fight, Shen Feng probably would have been better at the duel as his unarmed combat skills are the best in the group, possibly his Acrobatics too. However Gushou is easily the second best with Brawling -18 and Acrobatics -18 as well. This is likely to go down to whomever gets lucky, though Gushou has some wildcard and Destiny points saved up.


This is a highly cinematic campaign, using Chambara rules from GURPS Martial Arts, Extra Effort, Wildcard skills, high point totals, and artifact level weapons.
Te above details and other behind the scenes stuff I post help showcase some of the capabilities of GURPS. In this setting were duplicating feats from various Wuxia and Xing novels and movies. Think Jackie Chan, Untamed, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, etc.
Hopefully Gushou wins his duel, I rather like him.  However I learned what I needed to about Kusari in GURPS so if I have to build a replacement I will, and go for something different. So far I am happy with his combat ability, he is third in damage but hits more often and at a better reach than most. Basically he is second or third place in pretty much everything the group has dealt with so far, though a bit disappointed in social aspect. Session 5 was supposed to be a social one but there were really no important skill rolls other than a HT roll to see if the map took.  He was specifically told to be the Face man for the group but two others can handle it pretty well if needed and the leader tends to do it the most, fitting as party leader so no complaints.
Social capability in GURPS is pretty cheap points wise, he has 37 points in advantages, 30 points in musical skills, and 48 points in Talker! a wildcard skill that handles all the influence skills at IQ+2, leaving room for improvement. His advantages pull the biggest weight in this regard.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The GURPS PDF Challenge and Speculation Post

So Steve Jackson Games has a new kickstarter running and this one is a bit of an experiment.

12 PDFs for $3!

Spend just $3 to get one PDF plus the rest of the set of twelve that are unlocked by the stretch goals.  Spend a bit more and you can get other existing PDFs from W23.
Here are the announced PDFs.
GURPS Action 6: Tricked-Out Rides (by Sean Punch) . . . A system for quickly customizing cars, SUVs, vans, and pickups.
GURPS Action 7: Mercenaries (by S.A. Fisher) . . . A look at freelance military action, from the 1970s to present.
GURPS Boardroom and Curia: Tomorrow Rides (by Steven Marsh) . . . An organization that encourages you to drive dangerously.
GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Adventure 3: Deep Night and the Star (by Matt Riggsby) . . . A cosmic fantasy adventure.
GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 21: Megadungeons (by Peter V. Dell’Orto) . . . Tips and advice for designing dungeons-as-campaigns.
GURPS Horror: Beyond the Pale (by Christopher R. Rice and J. Edward Tremlett) . . . A truly creepy modern-day adventure.
GURPS Hot Spots: The Incense Trail (by Matt Riggsby) . . . A visit to historical trade routes linking the Indian Ocean with the Mediterranean.
GURPS Monster Hunters Encounters 1 (by Christopher R. Rice) . . . Mini-adventures for modern-day monster slayers.
GURPS Reign of Steel: Read the Sky (by Roger Burton West) . . . An SAS adventure set after the robot apocalypse.
GURPS Steampunk Setting: The Broken Clockwork World (by Phil Masters) . . . A setting that smashes together the modern and the steampunk.
GURPS Template Toolkit 3: Starship Crew (by Sean Punch) . . . A complementary set of templates for those who operate big spaceships.
How to Be a GURPS GM: Ritual Path Magic (by Christopher R. Rice) . . . A guide to using GURPS Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic.

As of me writing this post most of these are already unlocked, on the first day of a 12 day campaign.  12 days for 12 PDFs.
This is hardly the first successful GURPS kickstarter, what makes this one different is these are a variety of unrelated titles. The idea is that a bunch of small titles at a ridiculously cheap price, makes a great sale to introduce GURPS to people and reward existing fans with a bunch of small titles that we dont see anymore since the closing of Pyramid.
As of now at $25k+ and just over 1,000 backers its a success. How many of these are existing fans and how many new ones? That is the real important question and I hope everyone passes the word around.
Several of the books can be used with GURPS lite, a free PDF and most at least easily understood. Even better the Basic set is included at one of the reward levels as an intro set.
So if you like roleplaying games I urge you to drop $3 and give this one a look, or drop $49 and get these plus the full rule set.
This list gives you a clear example of the high quality the company puts into its material and the variety of genres it supports.