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GURPS Combat Cards

by Tycho [tycho@holli.com]

I have developed a new system to control combat which is working very well for my group and thought I would share it with all of you. To those of you who thought of this years ago, I WISH YOU HAD LET ME KNOW!

I have developed a series of cards which have all of the combat manuevers on them, one card for each manuever. Each card has all the various move, attack, and defense possibilities for that manuever printed on its card. There are also check boxes for things like "One of three" or such, to help remember how far you have proceded with each an action. On the "Aim" card for instance there is "turn 1 ACC bonus, turn 2 ACC bonus +1, etc." Each player has a set of cards and the play proceeds as follows:

  1. The players and the enemies establish their initiative order by ranking them by move scores.
  2. Starting at the top of the initiative list each player declares their action and lays out the appropriate card on the table.
  3. When everyone has declared their action and you get back to the top of the list, the first player gets to perform what ever manuever they have on the table, and they then immediatly declare their next action by laying out the card for their next action. Then player 2 in the rank performs their declared action and immediatly plays the card for their next declared action, and so on.
This is very usefull for visualizing what action your character is involved in and show what all your defense choices are, for instance you know when that all-out attack card is out there you are not going to get an active defense! It also makes combat seem a more flowing thing as everyones "turn" is not exactly in sink with everyone elses turn. The cards were very easy to make, I just used MS Word 6.

I hope this idea will be useful to some of you!

[Tycho has included his design of the cards in MS Word format, and you can download them here as a ZIP archive (34 kb). -- Incanus]