onsdag 25 april 2018

Laws of the Dungeon: Slam & Knockback

In this series I will write about GURPS rules we come across during delves that requires a few readthroughs and usually a few examples and live uses before they're stuck in my GM-head. And maybe a tweak or two. =)

During my last session the knight of the party wanted to body slam a goblin standing in a doorway to push the whole pack back and prevent them from running past him, a perfectly valid action. Since I had only skimmed through Slam-rules once yet I just ruled a successful contest of ST with the goblin will force him back one hex. The real Slam-rules are a little bit more complex than that.


To land a Slam on an enemy roll DX, Brawling or Sumo Wrestling (whichever you like, usually the one that is highest) to hit, ignoring the skillcap imposed by Move and Attack.

If you hit, your intended victim gets an active defence, a successful Dodge makes you run straight through and at least one yard past, if there's a wall right behind the victim, that will spell trouble for you. A successful Parry or Block is a valid defence aswell but has a fair chance of breaking the weapon or shield aswell as still causing Knockback.

The effectiveness of your Slam is calculated using your encumbered Move aswell as your HP (DF Slam is calculated a bit different but equally complicated to I'll stick to Basic rules). I rule that you need to build up at least some momentum to be able to utilize your full Move-score for a Slam, otherwise I would say it's more of a Shove than a Slam. If you start your turn standing still you need at least one yard between you and your victim to use half your Move (keep decimals) and at least two yards to use your full Move (running for more than one turn can increase your Move by 20%, Enhanced Move can make your Slams lethal). The Move score is relative aswell meaning that if you move with 7 yards/turn velocity toward the victim and the victim stepped back 1 yard during his last turn the relative Move will be 7-1 = 6, the opposite is true for a chicken race.

Then you just calculate Slam damage using HP * Relative Move for both attacker and victim (Move will be the same for both parties) and then converting the result to damage-dice using this table:

x < 25 = 1d-3 cr
x < 50 = 1d-2 cr
x < 100 = 1d-1 cr
x < 150 = 1d cr 
x < 250 = 2d cr
etc upwards

Attacker can benefit from AOA: Strong for a bonus of +1 per die, minimum +2), if using a shield you can use that to add the shields DB to your damage and at the same time let the shield absorb the damage to you on impact, this is called a Shield Rush.

The one rolling the least damage has to roll DX to avoid falling down (attacker wins on a tie). If attacker rolls double or more damage then victim falls down automatically. A Slam can also cause Knockback if enough damage is dealt.


If you hit someone with a crushing attack or a cutting attack that does not penetrate DR then that attack can cause the foe can be knocked back by the force of the blow. For every full multiple of the foes ST-2 he is knocked back one yard and has a chance of falling down or colliding with something. For every yard past one the DX-roll to stay on feet gets an additional -1.

Damage from falling

To calculate falling-damage you use the same method as for slam but instead of using the relative move you look up Move in the table below. If the landing is on a hard surface, double HP for the purpose of the calculation.

1 yard = Move 5
2 yards = Move 7
3 yards = Move 8
4 yards = Move 9
5 yards = Move 10

Example: In the above example the Knight (HP 15, Move 5) charged the front Goblin (ST 8, HP 8) who in his turn moved one hex toward the knight. The Knight has a DX-score of 15, he rolls a 9 and hits, the goblin tried to dodge but fails. The total relative Move is 6 which results in a "Slam-score" of 90 for the Knight (1d-1 cr) and 48 for the Goblin 1d-2 cr, the knight also opts using All-Out Attack(Strong) and gets +2 to the roll. The knight rolls a total of 6 while the Goblin rolls 4 which means the Goblin will be Knocked back one yard and has to roll to stay on feet. The Goblin misses his DX-roll to stay on feet and falls down. I rule that all falls from standing for Size 0 humanoids equal a one yard fall which can only hit upper body. The landing is on a hard surface which results in a "Slam-score" of 80 (5*8*2, Move 5, HP 8, doubled by hard landing) which means another 1d-1 cr of dmg to the Goblin. The roll is a measly 1 which means the goblins leather armour absorbs it this time. The Goblin will be out of combat for at least two rounds though before getting on his feet again.

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