Seize Everything
Seize Everything

Gutterpunk: Filling In the Details

And now for all the little things that I didn’t get around to in the main posts…

  • Your Brawn bonus will act as a bonus towards Unarmed attacks. Your Unarmed skill bonus is how experienced you are at hand-to-hand fighting, but no matter the experience raw strength certainly does play a part in it. Same with Dexterity for Ranged attacks. Armed attacks I’m not really sure about. I’m thinking that as long as the player can make a reasonable argument for it, they can use whatever stat they want (Brawn because it’s a club, Dexterity because it’s a stiletto dagger, etc).
  • Dirty Tricks: Declare what sort of dirty trick you’re trying (knee to groin, throwing sand in target’s eyes, that sort of thing). Roll Unarmed attack; if successful, defender is at -4 to all rolls and cannot dodge for the next two rounds. On a critical hit, target loses their next turn.
  • On second thought, maybe guns shouldn’t deal 2 hits default. Taking enough damage to qualify as a “hit” is already a pretty big thing.
  • Sneak Attacks: Everyone can make sneak attacks. A successful knife to the back / throat-slitting / sucker punch deals 2 hits instead of 1, 3 on a critical.
  • Heavier armors give you Dexterity penalties.
  • You can add your Dexterity bonus to your armor class.
  • More Disadvantage ideas: Destitute (no starting equipment), Hedge Mage (requires Mage advantage, can only cast Low Magic), and Frail (only takes two hits to kill).

Now let’s try making a character using this Gutterpunk system, see if it comes up with anything interesting. I’m going to try and make a down-and-dirty street fighter, more agile than heavy, quick on his feet and with a blade. Let’s call him Tim Quickfoot, just for the hell of it. Somewhere during this I’m going to decide whether or not I’m going to use 25 or 50 character points to create characters with. Let’s just add up however much this will cost along the way.


Dexterity +3 (12 points)

Brawn +2 (8 points)

That’s 20 points spent on ability scores. Wow. Maybe I ought to lower the cost on that. Or go with more than 25 points. Maybe not all the way to 50, but…Goddamn.

Total Points Spent: 20


Unarmed +3 (9 points)

Armed +2 (6 points)

Ranged +1 (3 points)

Dodge 3 (9 points)

Points on Combat: 27

Total Points Spent: 47

Wow. Yeah, definitely going to mess with the numbers. 25 points is not enough to give a character any personality.


Freerunning +4 (8 points)

Lockpicking +1 (2 points)

Drinking +1 (2 points)

Might end up making these just one point per point, as long as they’re forced to be reasonably specific. Ability scores cost more because they apply to lots of things: skills only apply to one very specific action.

Points on Skills: 12

Total Points Spent: 59

Okay. Running a little over 50. Maybe do disadvantages next…


Destitute (3 points): I figure this guy can handle himself with improvised weapons until he finds proper equipment.

Wanted: Dead (3 points): He’s got a price on his head, and hordes of fellow citizens willing to do a good deed by turning in his arrow-ridden corpse.

Oblivious (3 points): When rolling to determine if he’s noticed something, every roll except a natural 20 is a failure.

Points gained: 9

Total Points Spent: 50

All right. Looks like we’re going with 50-point character creation. This guy turned out well, I think. Let’s run down his stats again:


Cunning: +0

Charisma: +0

Brawn: +2

Dexterity: +3

Unarmed +3

Armed +2

Ranged +1

Dodge 3

Freerunning +4

Lockpicking +1

Drinking +1

Disadvantages: Destitute, Oblivious, Wanted: Dead

Armor Class: 13 (10 base +3 Dexterity)

Dodge die: 1d8 (which gives him a per-attack AC of 14-21)

Attacks Unarmed at +5, Armed at +4 (assuming whatever improvised weapon he’s picked up is club-like, and thus Brawn-based), and Ranged at +4.

Looking at it now, I gotta say, Tim’s a combat machine. A +5 attack for a starting character is mighty impressive. But, on the other hand, he did use damn near all of his points to get that high number, and he had to take three disadvantages to do it.

Which reminds me. I need to figure out how Unarmed combat is going to work. It takes more blows from fists than from clubs and swords to take someone down, and I feel I ought to recognize that somehow. I can think of a couple different systems off the top of my head: the problem is, all of them are stupidly complicated and downright unplayable. I’ll think of something.

In the meantime, despite all my misgivings while in the middle of it, this character creation system I have seems to work very nicely indeed. With just a few more tweaks, I think this game will be ready to play. Now I just need to finish writing up the sandbox-city that it’ll be set in.

Welcome to Tahmoor, Jewel of the West, City of Emeralds and Pearls, where the daggers are sharp and the demons are hungry and the labyrinthine streets of the Lower City only see the sun at noon…

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