Time to ACT BAD!


GURPS Action introduces two new special rules for abstracting away some modifiers and adding a way for PCs to cooperate to overcome challenges. The first idea is Basic Abstract Difficulty, or BAD.

BAD to the bone

BAD is a way to speed up adventures by abstracting away all of the various Basic Set and even Action modifiers into a single unified modifier called BAD. This stands in place for everything the PCs themselves don’t bring. BAD of -5, for instance, might represent infiltrating a secret base in the middle of the Arctic, with state of the art security systems, belonging to the Iceman, a villainous super who is devoted to bringing the Ice Age back by any means necessary. Rolls to infiltrate the base, crack the computers, free the hostages, and sneak past security are at -5. Most mook-level NPCs will have base skills of 15. Contested skills, while not reduced for the PCs, are increased for the PCs. The only place this does not apply is in chases, and in fights. The dice will fall where they may there.

How do I beat BAD?! ACT!!!

GURPS Action introduces the concept of Complementary Skills. This wonderful rule allows more than one PC to contribute to a scenario, and the key here is TEAMWORK. The heart of the Complementary Skill is a Primary Skill. Usually this is owned by the PC with the highest level in the skill the GM decides is important. One or more Complementary Skills can help that Primary Skill out, and the wonderful thing here is that these skills do not have to be used by one character.

A typical example of a Complementary Skill is the sexy dance. The player says that her character is trying to seduce the NPC into sleeping with her, with an exotic dance. The GM says that since that’s what she’s trying to do, Sex Appeal is Primary, and Dancing is a Complementary Skill. She rolls Dancing first. If she is successful, she gets a +1 to her Sex Appeal. If she fails, she gets -1. Critical results double those modifiers. She then rolls Sex Appeal with the modifier, and if she scores a high enough margin of success, she has a sex toy for the night.

How do I ACT BAD?

Here’s a hypothetical situation. Dizzy, having free time on her hands, and aware of a nasty plot by the Federation of Magic, wants to rescue Joanna Prosek, wife of Emperor Karl Prosek, and prevent the ramping up of anti-DBee Hysteria!

The GM rules that infiltrating the cabal of kidnapping sorcerers is taking on a powerful group of supernatural menaces. He sets the current BAD to -6.

The PCs get together and start planning. Tactics is the skill of use here, so we find the PC with the highest skill.

Time to ACT BAD!

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