Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Weapon: Fast-Ready, No Armor Divisor Whip

Aw geeze, that whip doesn't
look realistic at all!
Hey friends, before you say it, I get that GURPS whips are different from other whips. I understand they are a more tactical weapon that enable lateral strategies like disarming and the like.
But you see, GURPS is a game of pretend, and if the idea of whips being useful in a fight is super offensive to you, please leave with your innocence in tact while I ply the world with a mountain of hubris.

Neutralize the Negatives

First off, while designing this whip, there are two serious problems (for me) that need to be addressed first, and they have been touched on lightly.
  • Long Whips have horrendous ready times
  • Most whips have an awful 0.5 damage divisor
So, first off, I covered the first issue... almost in a post on combination ready maneuvers. In fact, I statted out the technique for whip and two readies, and it came about as 32 points. Adding to that is a one point hand spun perk because I heard a lot of people raise issue with the annoyance of rolling against a skill three times in a row, so here is some quick napkin math on the relative odds of succeeding a roll twice in a row.

Skill Level Odds of Succeeding Twice Equivalent Single Roll
3 0.03% 0
4 0.03% 0
5 0.21% 0
6 0.86% 0
7 2.62% 5
8 6.72% 5
9 14.06% 6
10 25.00% 7
11 39.06% 9
12 54.86% 10
13 70.22% 11
14 82.34% 12
15 90.95% 14
16 96.33% 15
17 96.33% 15
18 96.33% 15

Reading this graph, for example, succeeding with a skill of 13 twice in a row is like succeeding against a roll of 11 once. On top of the 32 points for the privilege of performing two readies in a single turn, we will add in a 1 point perk for the ability to exchange two dice rolls for one. For lack of a better name, let's call this "Compressed Nuisance Rolls (Whip Readying)."

Metatronic Generator Rules
We have a 33 point "power-up" now, and we can convert this into a weapon enhancement using metatronic generators.

Tons of weapon customization
rules. Here's my review,
by the way.
We are describing a weapon a melee weapon that has a "whip-like" (it is, in fact, a whip) range of 1-4 yards, meaning we get a 15% discount to the 33 points, meaning 29 points. Using the weird rules for calculating the size modifier of a whip that is 3ish yards long (assuming it isn't entirely 4 yards because some of the length of the 4 yard reach comes from the arm) A whip counts as apparently SM +1. This is considered a semi-portable Power Source, and each point costs $150 for this "self charging" device.

To have a 4 yard whip at TL3 or Dungeon Fantasy that can be readied quickly in the same turn it is used, add $4,350 to its price.

Now the 0.5 Armor divisor problem is actually pretty easy and discussed in Low-Tech Companion 2. We add a +10 CF to the whip for the cost of getting rid of the armor divisor and for getting rid of the subtracted damage from removing the armor divisor by using cinematic weapon rules. Altogether, when adding this altogether, we get a whip with stats like this:
TL Weapon Damage Reach Parry Cost Weight Strength
3* Fast-Ready AP Whip sw-2 cr 1-4 -2U $5,230 8 9

Other Thoughts and Closing

I just wanted to make something that had all the advantages of a whip with a lot less drawbacks. It just so happens, it comes out to be pretty expensive, but heck, a 4 yard swing damage weapon you can use every turn is pretty valuable, even if I leave the weak parry on it. I guess you could apply the Dwarven enhancement to the whip if you wanted to parry with it as well, and then it'd be kinda insane. I folded the technique and perk into the cost of the weapon which has some pros and cons: It saves character points, but it is also h*cka expensive in GURPS bucks. Alternatively someone Trained by a Master or who is a Weapon Master could probably get a discount, and of course, someone with the 32 point technique and the perk could just chop $4350 off the price. I was thinking of statting out a few more whips, but I got tired after the first one, and thinking that this "base" whip is already so expensive, anything to make it better would just make the price even more crazy, so I'll stop here and let your imagination work for me.


  1. Nice! I'm working on a concept for an upcoming modern pulp/street level supers game, and I wanted a Whip Guy, this will be useful!

    1. Oh man.. This guy is coming together NICE. I can't thank you enough for showing me how to upgrade the whip. Now I'm figuring out his imbue skills, took a couple nice perks.. He's become this parkour whip master, this will be *so* much fun!

    2. Wow! That's cool to hear! Glad you found this useful!


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