Campaign Rules (Sea Dogs)

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  • Reference TL: 4
  • Reference Culture: Western
  • Reference Language: English
  • Magic System: RPM, Syntactic (WoD)
  • Relaxed social issues for female adventurers


Will be using GURPS standard before campaign start, and afterward, will refer to GURPS Swashbucklers (3e) for prices, jobs, etc.

Starting Characters

Recommended GURPS Swashbucklers (3e), "Character Types" for reference

  • 175/-75/-5
  • No unused Quirks ("placeholder" Quirks are allowed, so long as they are playable)
  • "Mundane" (no "supernatural") w/ exceptions allowed on a case-by-case basis
  • Basic Realism: "Cinematic" traits disallowed; "maybes" allowed
  • Check "realistic limits" for Derived Stats (usually limited to ±2)
  • 100% Starting Wealth allowed (but means PC has no home/property)
  • Free Campaign Perk: Brave—conditional, for being properly British

"Treasure Map"

PCs will each have a specified personal objective of some sort: literal "treasure map," someone to rescue, someone to kill, someplace to locate, etc.


  • 1 point per session
  • Blocks of 5+ points at extended downtimes or post-adventure, at GM's discretion
  • Improvement Through Study may be used; points earned are bonus points
  • Maximum of 1 point per session, between sessions, awarded for "helping to tell the story" via the blog (or similar means)

Official Options in Effect

  • Dungeon Fantasy 16: Wilderness Adventures
    • "Old Elven Tree Tricks" for simplified Attack from Above, p. 39
  • Low-Tech Companion 2 - Weapons and Warriors
    • "Armor-Piercing Weapons," p. 12
  • Martial Arts
    • "Parrying with Two-Handed Weapons," p.123 (both dual-Weapon and Multiple Parries)
  • Power-Ups 5: Impulse Buys (Plot Points): see Olympus Wiki
    • General Purpose: Communal pool of points available based on a multiple of the number of players plus 2d6, the amount of which will remain a GM secret.
    • Special Purpose as needed: Planning Points, Tactics Points. A skill success scores 1 SP Plot Point plus one additional for every full multiple of 3 by which the roll succeeds.
    • A "use" of Luck may be traded for a single Plot Point at GM's discretion
  • DFRPG (Probationary)
    • "Slams, Tramples, and Overruns" (Exploits p.40)
    • "Falling" (Exploits p.67)
    • "Fright Checks" (Ref?)
  • Pyramid 3/54 Social Engineering p.26 "Speaking in Tongues" for language learning defaults
  • Pyramid 3/44 Alternate GURPS II p.18 "Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously" for language comprehension defaults
  • Fantastic Dungeon Grappling (Probationary)
    • Replaces/supports Basic Set grappling rules as appropriate
  • 3e GURPS High-Tech
    • Additional "black-powder weapons" considerations from "Guns, Sails and Empires," p.31-53
      • Use 3e loading times
      • Hurried Loading on p.34 under "Loading Matchlocks"

House Rules in Effect

  • Rule of Three: Can be considered "familiar" with something after three "real/serious" encounters, at GM's discretion
  • Take the Clock: When conditions allow for subsequent attempts at a failed check, rather than re-rolling, one may use the Time Spent mechanics, as written, to boost the already-rolled result until available time is spent or the result becomes a success.
    Example: Check missed by 1 becomes a success after taking 2x time. Obviously, a failure by more than 5 can't benefit fully from this rule.
  • Animals: I will be using the animal stats from this site, rather than the Basic Set—a little more well-thought-out, IMO.



For good play or good idea, at GM's discretion or by player agreement, a PC may be immediately awarded a Benny. This may be used on any die roll, for any reason, before or after the roll is made, granting a +1 per Benny to said roll's result.

  • No limit on accumulation
  • No expiration
  • No limit on number allowed to be used on a given die roll
  • No other use but die roll bonus
  • Obeys normal rules; no exemptions
  • Won't enable an "impossible" action
  • Bonus may be applied to another PC's or NPC's roll as desired
  • In case of Luck usage, applies to "chosen" reroll


Will be using Pyramid 3/103, "Mad as Bones" (pp. 4-9) by Christopher Rice, in its entirety. "Sources of Stability" from Night's Black Agents p. 35-37 may be considered for restoration of Stability Points.

Revised Disadvantage: Terminally Ill

  • Base of -15 points
  • Take Quirks (like "coughing fits") or Disads (like Chronic Pain) to represent the symptoms
  • Every in-game month, make a HT check with all the usual conditions
    • Potential bonuses for taking it easy, being under physicians' care, or penalties for rough living
    • Failure equals death
    • In lieu of dying, take a new health-related Disadvantage of your choosing, at a value equaling or exceeding the margin of failure, and make all future illness-related HT checks at a cumulative -1
    • Crit Failures accumulate a -2 future penalty, rather than the usual -1
    • Crit Success reduces the cumulative penalty by 1
    • No Plot Points allowed on the illness checks, though they may be used to delay the effects a bit as appropriate

Miscellaneous Rulings

See Daniverse

  • Deceptive Attacks and Feints are more effective when the attacker is “off-handed” (FREX, left-handed, when you’re right-handed; “natural” or via Ambidexterity or Off-Hand Training), and the defender is unfamiliar or inexperienced; if either succeeds, add an extra -1 to the target’s defense penalty. See "Rule of Three." Precedent: “Reverse Grip,” MA112
  • Use visibility modifiers from Vehicles 3e when appropriate
  • Deceptive Attacks and Feints are more effective when originating from a “non-standard” attack type (FREX, kicking or pummeling when using a broadsword), and the defender is unfamiliar or inexperienced; if either succeeds, add an extra -1 to the target’s defense penalty. Treat as “Familiarity,” B169. This bonus does not stack with the above “off-hand” effect (essentially, the same thing). An appropriate Style Familiarity Perk grants familiarity with all such ruses normally associated with that style, in addition to providing its listed bonus, as described. Precedent: “Reverse Grip,” MA112
  • Attacks to limbs or extremities that do not successfully Cripple that location may still cause the listed effects for Crippling (B421; for example, dropping held items or falling down) on a failed DX check (@GMD)
  • On the first Turn of an Aim Maneuver with a ranged weapon of Acc 0 (or less, if that’s possible), it benefits from its +1 “Round 2” bonus, to the normal maximum of +2 (essentially, it starts its progression one Round earlier)
  • Will checks for Extra Effort (B354) may use a Will-based related-Skill instead
  • Knockdown: a failure by 1 means you are stunned but stay standing; a failure by 2 means you drop to your knees; 3 you drop to crawling or sitting; and 4+ you fall all the way to lying down, either face-up or down; Reference. In all cases, if you were holding anything, you drop it, as normal (per B420).
  • Defending in Darkness: Darkness penalties applied to attacks are applied by half to defenses as well; Reference
  • Luck usage spent on a secret roll may be "refunded" by the GM if he decides it wasn't really necessary

New/Changed Maneuvers

  • New Maneuver: Move & Ready; DX-2 to avoid tossing the readied item; subject to other conditions; Reference
  • New Maneuver: All-Out Ready; Standard AoA rules, no DX check req.; Reference
  • An individual Change Position "maneuver" may be executed during any maneuver allowing movement of more than a Step at the cost of three Movement Points (or all remaining Movement Points if fewer than three are allowed) (probationary)

Ship Combat

Will be primarily using Don't Give Up the Ship! (Ref) by Arneson, Gygax, & Carr (TSR), GURPSified here and there. See here for details.