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, for "helping to tell the story" via the blog (or similar means)
  • Individual Plot Point awards during play for above-and-beyond RP

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)
  • Martial Arts - Technical Grappling "Baby Steps"; Ref1, Ref2
  • 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

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.

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
    • Not sure if Crit Fails deserve special treatment or not
    • Considering allowing Crit Success to reduce 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

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)



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; effects will be adjusted for GURPS (details TBD)


This is a non-human representation of something or someone you value: a religious medal or crucifix, your country’s flag or your father’s dog tag, a picture of your innocent niece or a voice mail from your dead wife. Seeing it or handling it — a few minutes of meditation or reverence — reminds you of why you fight, why you must stay intact. If you do so during an operation, you may immediately refresh 1 pool point of Stability; you may do this only once per session. If you lose your Symbol, you lose 1 rating point of Stability at the end of the operation if it remains lost. Some Symbols cannot be so lost; if you rally at the sight of the Union Jack, you lose no rating points of Stability if someone burns a British flag. If, however, you used a flag patch from your mate’s uniform as your Symbol, you would lose the point if it got stolen. The Symbol should ideally be connected somehow to your Drive, if only in your agent’s own mind. If your Symbol is ever proven valueless — you uncover proof that Jesus was a vampire, your country is behind the undead menace, your dead wife faked her death to go over to the other side — you immediately lose 3 rating points of Stability.


This is the person you seek out for human contact, to make the pain and stress recede for the time being: your current girlfriend, a friendly bartender, your old handler. A name and identifying phrase are sufficient. You may not use fellow agents on your team; they go through the same stresses you do and remind you of the horrors you confront. It’s permissible, but risky, for multiple agents to lean on the same folks as members of their support network. Relying on others is a source of strength, but also of danger. Once you come to the attention of monstrous conspiracies, they may use your loved ones against you. They may corrupt them, turn them to evil or inhumanity, or take the tried and true route of subjecting them to horrible tortures. If you can spend six hours — of talk, quiet companionship, sex and sleep, athletic training, or other normal human interaction — with your Solace during an operation, you may immediately refresh 2 pool points of Stability; you may do this only once per session. This time must be safe from violent or supernatural interruption. If you spend at least a day of such interaction with your Solace between operations, you may fully refresh your Stability pool. Again, this time must be safe from violent or supernatural interruption. If your Solace ever betrays or rejects you, you immediately lose 2 rating points of Stability. If your Solace is ever turned by a vampire or killed, you immediately lose 3 rating points of Stability.


This is the person and place you would flee to without thinking: your old trainer’s cabin in the Alps, your mother’s house in Scotland, your best friend’s apartment in Paris, a beachfront condo in Ibiza you’ve bought under another name. Simply knowing that such a refuge exists gives you hope that you can some day escape the shadowy world in which you dwell. At the end of any session in which your place of Safety remains inviolate, you may refresh 1 pool point of Stability. It is very poor tradecraft to actually flee to your place of Safety. Even if the vampires, hostile intelligence and security services, or other conspiracies don’t already have the place wired, your flight there would put your would-be refuge in their crosshairs. In the very unlikely instance that you get there unobserved, you can refresh your whole Stability pool there, as well. If your place of Safety has an owner or caretaker, you can activate them as a free contact (without spending any Network points) with a rating of 6. You can only activate this contact once during the entire life of your character. If your place of Safety ever turns you out, or its owner (e.g., your old trainer, your mother, your best friend) betrays you, you immediately lose 3 rating points of Stability. If enemies destroy your place of Safety or its owner, you immediately lose 3 rating points of Stability.

Replacing Sources of Stability

You can, if you wish, rebuild your Stability rating using experience points after losing a Source of Stability. Once you spend any experience rebuilding your Stability, you may replace the lost Source with another of the same type: if the opposition killed your girlfriend (your previous Solace), you can meet another girl and find Solace in her arms, or find Solace confessing to a priest instead. The Director should work this new ideal or NPC into the story, probably with a brief scene or two centered on this new relationship. You can never replace a Symbol that has proven valueless or a destroyed place of Safety during the campaign. You can still, however, replace a lost Symbol (a burned photograph of your son) with another (a new photo of him, downloaded off his Facebook page and onto your phone).

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.