Yrth houserules

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Bending Bars

For grabbing the bars and PULLING:

  • You must grab the object with two hands, brace yourself, and pull for four seconds -- exactly as for a two-handed lift.
  • Roll a Quick Contest of ST vs. the higher of the object's HP or HT. If the object has DR, subtract it from your ST.
  • If you win, the bar bends. If you lose, you may try again as a repeated attempt, but this costs 1 FP per attempt.
  • This is effectively an All-Out Attack. You have no active defenses during this time!

Very Rapid Healing

I will be using the following changes to the Very Rapid Healing advantage in stead of the usual rules. This is to balance it out with the more cheaply priced "Slow Regeneration" advantage - wherein you automatically regain 1 HP every 12 hours, and roll normally for Natural Recovery as well.

  • You don’t roll for Natural Recovery; instead you automatically recover 2 HP per day.
  • You double all HP gained on any successful roll of First Aid or Medical Care, but not from magical/supertech sources.
  • When rolling to recover from mortal wounds without losing a point of HT (p.423) or Permanent brain damage from suffocation (p.437), you fail only on a 17 or 18 - or only on an 18, if your HT is 17 or better!
  • You get a +5 to bleeding rolls if the optional bleeding rules are in use.

Creating or Permanently Improving Objects With Magic

Any spell which creates or ennobles something permanently has its duration changed to "1 hour", with half the energy cost to maintain. Created things which are consumed do have the same effect as if "real" things had been used. Cast Dispel Magic on it before it is consumed, however, and it will vanish prematurely. These spells count as spells "on" in the usual manner while being maintained.

To actually permanently create something, use the Enchantment rules and apply a ×50 casting cost multiplier to find the energy cost for the enchantment - however to permanently create something, you do NOT need the Enchantment spell. A pure Earth wizard can permanently transform earth to stone solo if he has 50+ mana on hand, although he really wants an assistant or four to spread the fatigue cost out. "Permanented" substances do not count as spells on, do not vanish in a No Mana Zone, and cannot be dispelled. Once "permanented", they're REAL.

Any temporary Created or Ennobled substance that is "used up" or "transformed" by mundane means (eaten, drank, breathed, alloyed...) becomes completely mundane and "permanented" as if it had been enchanted as per above. You can eat Created food and not be hungry when the mage releases the spell (or hurt as the nutrients and calories suddenly vanish out of your system if he maintained it long enough), although any leftover food will vanish. Bake Created earth and some straw into mud bricks before the spell is released, and the bricks will remain.

Transforming Created or Ennobled with magic (for example using Earth to Stone to make Created earth into stone) does not "fix" it - it will still vanish when the Create Earth spell runs out.

Creation and Ennobling Spells

Not a complete list! Work in progress!

  • Create Earth
  • Create Food
  • Create Water
  • Create Air
  • Essential Food
  • Essential Wood
  • Earth to Stone
  • Air to Water
  • Air to Earth
  • Water to Wine

Distill is not an Ennobling effect because it doesn't create more booze, it just destroys the parts of your liquid that aren't booze. Similarly Purify Earth either sorts out parts that are not "pure" earth or destroys them if they're small enough, rather than just turning them to pure earth.

Mature should technically count as Ennobling but I'm giving it a special exemption. I like old cheddar.

Zombie should also be an Ennobling spell, but for Genre reasons I feel that zombies should be fairly cheap to create 'permanently', but they only have a limited lifespan before rotting away, and they're also cheap to destroy. As such, I am treating Zombie as a special case Ennobling Permanent spell - your 8 mana does get the corpse up and shuffling around, but the magic is actively animating it, so it's vulnerable to a Dispel Magic as well as the usual Turn Zombie etc. Following the Ennobling rules and casting Zombie for ×50 the usual casting cost (ie 400 mana for a standard zombie) will make a that is Zombie immune to Dispel Magic and will merely de-activate in a No Mana zone, rather than "dying".

Permanent Spells

Unfortunately GURPS Magic was rushed out the door and many of the spell durations were not updated to 4th edition terminology. Emily will be maintaining a spotty list here of spells that have different durations in her games than listed in GURPS Magic.

Corrected Durations

Spell New Duration
Minor Healing Instant
Major Healing Instant
Great Healing Instant

Metamagic Perks

"Meta-magic" is the branch of thaumatology that deals with modifying how known and existing spells work, as opposed to identifying unknown spells or researching new ones.

For a wizard to work meta-magic on the fly -- rather than by casting a Meta-Spell such as Displace Spell or Penetrating Spell -- he needs a point in the Thaumatology skill and must possess the "Meta-Magic Perks" (see below) that correspond to all of the enhancements he wishes to apply.

To use meta-magic, the wizard states which Meta-Magic Perk(s) he will attempt to apply, specifies the level of any enhancements with multiple levels, and then attempts to cast his spell at +1 to FP cost and -1 to skill per +5% the enhancements are worth; e.g., since Overhead is +30% as an enhancement, it adds 6 FP and gives -6 to skill. Apply the extra FP cost and skill penalty to the wizard's cost and effective skill to cast normally; in particular, the FP cost is considered "extra effort," and therefore completely unaffected by spell skill (but see below).

Each Meta-Magic Perk costs a point -- just like any other perk -- and corresponds to the learned ability to modify any spell with a specific enhancement that's normally reserved for advantages. The GM determines which enhancements are allowed, and may limit applicability to specific classes of spells or even specific spells. Some recommended Meta-Magic Perks:

For any spell:

   Meta-Magic (Affects Insubstantial, +4 FP and -4 to skill)
Meta-Magic (Delay, Variable, 1-10 seconds, +2 FP and -2 to skill)
Meta-Magic (Long-Range, +10 FP and -10 to skill per step)
Meta-Magic (No Signature, +4 FP and -4 to skill)†
Meta-Magic (Reduced Time, +4 FP and -4 to skill per x1/2)‡

† Missile spells produce invisible missiles; other spells leave no magical residue to find with Information spells.

‡ Works exactly like the time reduction for high skill.

For Area spells only:

   Meta-Magic (Mobile, +8 FP and -8 to skill)

For Blocking spells only:

   Meta-Magic (Cosmic Defense, +10 FP and -10 to skill)

For Missile spells only:

   Meta-Magic (Accurate, +1 FP and -1 to skill per +1 Acc)
   Meta-Magic (Armor Divisor (2), +10 FP and -10 to skill)
   Meta-Magic (Double Blunt Trauma, +4 FP and -4 to skill)
   Meta-Magic (Double Knockback, +4 FP and -4 to skill)
   Meta-Magic (Explosion, +10 FP and -10 to skill)
   Meta-Magic (Guided, +10 FP and -10 to skill)
   Meta-Magic (Incendiary, +2 FP and -2 to skill)
   Meta-Magic (Increased Range, +2 FP and -2 to skill per step: x2, x5, x10, etc.)
   Meta-Magic (Overhead, +6 FP and -6 to skill)
   Meta-Magic (Underwater, +4 FP and -4 to skill)

Meta-Magic Techniques

If the GM permits, a wizard can learn a spell modified with a set of enhancements as an Average technique. This defaults to the spell at the usual meta-magic penalty, and cannot be raised past the wizard's level with the underlying spell. E.g., a wizardly assassin who has the perks Meta-Magic (Increased Range) and Meta-Magic (No Signature), and who knows the Lightning spell, could learn Lightning (Increased Range x5, No Signature) as an Average technique that defaults to Lightning-8. He could spend up to 8 points on this technique, raising his ability to conjure invisible, long-range bolts to the same level as his Lightning spell -- at an increased FP cost.

FP Cost Reductions

As the wizard masters a given technique he reduces the FP cost of performing that technique. For every three points in a technique, reduce the FP cost by one. Additionally, when the entire penalty is bought off, reduce the FP cost by a further point.

Example: Lightning (Increased Range x5, No Signature) has a base cost of 8 FP and a default of -8. If a wizard buys the technique up to Lightning-5, the FP cost is reduced to 7. If he buys it up to -2, the FP cost is reduced to 6. If he buys off the last two points of penalty, the FP cost is reduced to 5.

Unorthodox Use of Weapons

Often in fiction, and occasionally in reality, a warrior will be strong (or crazy) enough to use a weapon in a way it was never meant to be used. Read on!

One-Handed Two-Handers

As noted under ST (p. B270), a strong enough fighter can wield a two- handed melee weapon - one with "†" or "‡" on its ST statistic - in one hand. When doing so, use the weapon's two-handed statistics but apply a -1 to damage. The skill required to wield it may change:

Using Two-Handed Weapons in One Hand
Two-Handed Use One-Handed Use
Polearm Axe/Mace or Spear*
Spear Spear†
Staff Broadsword
Two-Handed Axe/Mace Axe/Mace
Two-Handed Flail Flail
Two-Handed Sword Broadsword

'*' Use Axe/Mace to swing the polearm, Spear to thrust with it.

'†' Most spears have a "†" next to ST on the second line of statistics - the one marked "two hands." Such weapons still use the Spear skill when wielded in one hand, however, and one-handed performance is given by the first line of statistics, not the rules above.

Hurled Melee Weapons

The table below gives the skill used to hurl a weapon not built for throwing. Such attacks are at an extra -4! Damage is the weapon's usual thrusting or swinging damage, as noted in the "Attack" column. Fighters with Throwing Art may use it at no penalty and gain its usual damage bonus. In all cases, Acc is 0; Range is ×0.5/×1 for weapons up to 4 lbs., ×0.2/×0.5 for heavier ones; RoF is 1; Shots is T(1); and Bulk is the Holdout penalty worked out in Hidden Weapons (p. 00).

Hurled Melee Weapons
Throwing Skill Melee Weapon Types Attack
Bolas Flail, Kusari, Two-Handed Flail Swing
DX swords* Thrust
Thrown Weapon (Axe/Mace) Axe/Mace, Two-Handed Axe/Mace Swing
Thrown Weapon (Knife) Knife Thrust
Thrown Weapon (Spear) Polearm, Spear, Staff Thrust
Thrown Weapon (Stick) sticks† Swing
  • Blades wielded with Broadsword, Rapier, Saber, Shortsword,

Smallsword, or Two-Handed Sword, hurled point-first for thrusting damage. If the GM permits Thrown Weapon (Sword), use it at no penalty - not DX at -4. See Kenjutsu (p. 00) for a style with this skill.

† Sticks wielded with the sword skills listed above use Thrown Weapon (Stick) at -4 and inflict swinging damage.

Extra Effort in Combat

You can use Extra Effort in Combat with an All Out Attack, with ONE exception: You can't use Mighty Blows (the Extra Effort for damage) with All Out Attack (Damage).

Kromm sez: "Mighty Blow is defined as throwing the same heavy blow that explains the damage bonus of AOA (Strong), but then burning energy to get your weapon back in line hastily afterward so that the blow counts as an Attack rather than as an AOA (Strong)."

Beating back your opponents defenses

A strong fighter can try to batter down his enemy's guard in preparation for an attack. This is a Beat. An option for a ready melee attack, it requires a Feint maneuver. Unlike a Feint, a Beat must target one particular defense:

  • If the fighter successfully blocked or parried an attack immediately prior to this turn, he can use the limb, shield, or weapon he defended with to Beat. He must target the weapon or shield he defended against - or his enemy's unarmed guard, if the foe attacked barehanded.
  • If the fighter attacked his enemy this turn or on the immediately previous turn, and his opponent successfully blocked or parried, he can attempt a Beat with the attack he just used. He must target the weapon or shield his adversary defended with - or his rival's unarmed guard, if the foe defended barehanded.
  • If the fighter has his victim grappled barehanded or with a weapon (via Entangle, Hook, etc.), he can target his opponent's Dodge or unarmed guard by pulling him off-balance or holding him in place.

Resolve the Beat as a Quick Contest of melee combat skills. This works like a Feint, but the initiator makes a ST-based skill roll. His victim may try either a DX-based skill roll to break contact or a ST-based roll to meet force with force.

If the aggressor wins, his margin of victory lowers the targeted defense like a Feint would. A Beat against a weapon or a shield affects its Parry or Block, one on an unarmed guard penalizes all barehanded parries, and of course Beats against Dodge affect Dodge. That defense is reduced against attacks from anyone! There's no effect on other defenses. The penalty lasts until the end of the next turn of the fighter who made the Beat.

Rock Dropping with Shape Stone

You have two options on how to pull this off:

  1. move the dropping mass directly. It will take one second of dragging the rock out of the ceiling before it falls on your second turn. This will require you to spend the FP to affect the entire volume. This will be relatively silent.
  2. Just hollow out a half inch or so around the block to drop. This will take several seconds to pull off, but will require affecting a much smaller volume. There will probably be prominent groaning and cracking sounds as the mass becomes poorly supported before dropping.

Neither option is "instant" ie one turn.

Implications (Tm)

Yes, the ceiling could give way when you try this trick. You can try an Engineering (Civil) roll at -10 to figure it instantly, or invest in Intuitive Mathematician (Level 2 of Lightning Calculator, 5 points) if you want to be able to 'run a simulation' in your head. If you pick up Intuitive Mathematician, you take one second, make an Engineering (Civil) roll, and on a success figure out how to drop the block without Bad Things (tm) happening. Failures do not mean Instant Death, but trust me, there will be badness. Crit-fails mean the ceiling comes down immediately, and I cackle wildly.


  1. if the victims figure out what's going on, they can move out from under the forming hazard if they have time, or try to make Retreating Dodges if they don't. If the Retreat doesn't take them far enough out from under the block, they're hosed even if they roll well. Generally any trolls that see you trying this trick on other trolls will probably not get caught by surprise by it unless you otherwise manage to distract/stun/whatever them. They're a little thick, but not totally useless.
  2. I've redone the math. For future reference, 1 cu. yd. blocks of limestone will be assumed to weigh 3000 lbs., ganite blocks (if it comes up) to weigh 4000 lbs. And I'm gonna make up a more useful falling damage table with cube roots and all for the next time you try this to speed things up a little.

Heroic Archer

Heroic Archer, 20 points

You can perform amazing feats with any weapon that uses the Bow skill. When you Attack or All-Out Attack with a bow, you may add its Accuracy bonus to skill without taking an Aim maneuver. If you do Aim first, you get +1 after one second or +2 after two or more seconds, in addition to Acc.

When you Move and Attack, you don't get your bow's Acc bonus but may ignore its Bulk penalty. Ignore the extra -1 or -2 to Bow for a Flying Attack (p. 00) or an Acrobatic Attack (p. 00), too. This lets you shoot at full skill even while running, jumping, sliding down banisters, etc.

You can disregard Bulk in close combat as well (see Weapons for Close Combat, p. B391). You never get an Acc bonus there, but you do shoot at full skill. This makes the Close Combat technique (p. 00) redundant for you.

You can use Quick-Shooting Bows (p. 00) to improve rate of fire not only with Attack or All-Out Attack, but also with Move and Attack. Regardless of your maneuver, halve the -6 to skill for this stunt. On an Attack or All Out Attack, add Acc to the second Bow roll (to hit) but not the first (to ready). Likewise, halve the penalty to use Dual- Weapon Attack (p. 00) to shoot two arrows at once; DWA (Bow) defaults to Bow-2 for you, not to Bow-4.

Finally, when you use Fast-Draw (Arrow), total all applicable penalties from Multiple Fast-Draw (p. 00), Fast-Draw from Odd Positions (p. 00), and Move and Attack (p. 00), halve the result, and round in your favor.

You can combine Heroic Archer with any Weapon Master specialty that covers bows. This gives you the damage bonus for Weapon Master and all of the above benefits - and makes the quick-shooting penalty a mere -1!

Cosmic DR

Cosmic is a lovely fun enhancement. Cosmic: Irresistable attacks (+300%) ignore Damage Resistance. Cosmic: Defense (+50%) DR cannot be bypassed by Cosmic: Irresistable attacks.

Simple, so far, neh?

There's also Hardened DR, and attacks with Armor Divisors. Attacks with Armor Divisors get to divide DR before applying the attack. It comes in levels, +50% each. They give you a divisor of 2, 3, 5, 10. Hardened DR cancels out levels of Armor Divisor. If you have Hardened 2 armor, and get hit with a Armor Divisor 10 attack, it knocks it down to a Armor Divisor 3 attack. +20%/level.

Here's where some wierdness crops up and the house rule creeps in. Hardened DR says the levels of Armor Divisor are 2, 3, 5, 10, 100, and "Ignores DR". But you can't buy that much Armor Divisor.

Kromm said that Cosmic: Irresistible is the same as Armor Divisor 6 (which if you DID extend it would in fact cost +300% - the same as Irresistible).

The problem I have with this is fairly mundane Hardened 1 or 2 armor starts actually helping against attacks which shouldn't be affected by armor at all - if my attack involves teleporting a few pounds of your flesh away, why should it matter that you're wearing ceramic plate inserts on your Dragonskin(tm) ballistic armor?

Ghostly attacks, Gods and their weapons, it's all messy.

So. My house rule:

  1. You can buy FIVE levels of Armor Divisor, still at +50% each. The progression is 2, 3, 5, 10, 100.
  2. There is no Cosmic: Irresistible Attack. Instead, buy Armor Divisor 100, +250%, Cosmic: Unstoppable Force, +50%. Note that this costs the same as the old Irresistible Attack enhancement, and you should substitute this combination for Irresistible Attack on any printed ability.
    Cosmic: Unstoppable Force without Armor Divisor will usually have no significant game effects.
  3. Hardened for DR can only buy 5 levels, for +100%. If you want to stop something that completely bypasses DR, buy Hardened 5, +100%, and Cosmic: Immovable Object, +50%. This specifically counters Cosmic: Unstoppable Force. This does NOT make your DR work against Malediction, Sense Based, Respiratory Agent, Contact Agent on an Area attack, etc.
    Cosmic: Immovable Object without Hardened will usually be meaningless.

Attacks using those modifiers should be defended against with Protected Sense, Resistant, Filter Lungs or Doesn't Breathe, Sealed, and similar defenses. These advantages can be Hardened and Immovable Objects.