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GURPS Manga Rules
By Don (firstname.lastname@example.org).
With all the books and information out for GURPS, there's still two types of story not covered by the rules. These are Western-style toons, and Japanese animation style games. Note that both of these types of story encompass a great many genres, and are not actually a type of story unto themselves, but are a way of telling a story. To this end, I present the following two traits that allow for either type of story to be played as a game.
Toonability: cost: 30
This advntage makes the character a toon, much like the Warner studio's characters, like Bugs Bunny. It has the following effects:
There is no blowthrough for toons; they take full damage from any attack.
- The character is treated as having only two hit locations; head, and body. (Roll a 1d; 1-2=head, 3-6=body.) Other areas can be targeted normally, however. Any head hit requires a HT roll, or the character is stunned.
- Toons can not die. Make all rolls from damage normally, but an unconscious toon is stunned, and a dead toon is zonked. A stunned toon can act normally, but all rolls are at -10. (They're in bad shape.) Stuns last 1d turns, after which all HT is restored. A Zonked toon can perform no actions, and must make a HT roll every turn. The amount by which they make the roll is returned to their HT. (Critical successes double it, critical failures subtract the difference from your HT total. You must've wandered in front of a bus or something.) Once HT is back up to a positive number, the character is only stunned.
Other actions can be done with the Wild Takes skill. All toons have this skill.
Wild Takes (P/H): defaults to DX-8; prerequisite: Toonability advantage
This skill represents the overall control the toon has over themself, and their environment. It can be used for the following effects:
- Negate damage: A successful roll, minus the damage taken, will reduce stun time to 1 turn, or bring a character from zonked to stunned instantly. May only be done at the time damage is taken. The character must provide some toon rationale for this effect. (eg: a nuke hits the character, who should by all rights be zonked for a good long time, however, the character makes a successful roll, and is only stunned, exclaiming that "it's only a flesh wound." In this case, the player would have to supply the funny voice for the roll to count.) A critical success for this roll is always a success, no matter what the number needed.
- Negate any bad effect: This allows the character to avoid surprise, hypnotism, persuasion, etc. Roll a Quick Combat of Wild Takes skills (substitute IQ for non-toons) to see if you resist the effect. Again, this requires either roleplaying, or a rationale (eg: the toon falls prey to another character's Sex Appeal). Hoping to negate the effect, our hero enters into a contest of skills. He hopes to melt like a candle, and ooze off, reforming out of the range of the opponent's influence. Failing the roll, he just melts, and the GM states that he is stunned by the intense discomfort of turning into a puddle of icky goo.)
- Summon forth any desired item: The difficulty of the item in question is up to the GM, and should be situational, based on appropriateness, and humour. This item can be used once, except on a critical success, in which case the item is permanent. Example: Our hero reaches int his pocket, hoping to summon forth a weapon with which to bop our foe. The roll is a critical failure, and instead our hero pulls out the rabid shark that's been in there since his day at the beach last week.
- Negate damage to equipment: This roll can only be made if the character is currently in the presence of the item in question, and requires an explanation too. A successful roll negates any damage to the item, just like a character.
The most obvious use of this trait would be to run toon versions of the characters in an already existing campaign. For inspiration, just watch some TV. (Depending on the campaign, the GM may wish to detail out the effects of toon damage on real people, and vice versa.) An ambitious GM could allow a toon in a regular group, possibly for a Space or Supers campaign. Toons could also be used as funky fiends for a Horror, Atomic Horror, or Fantasy campaign.
GURPS Japanese Animation
Actually, for the average no-name characters in these stories, the basic rules work quite well, although anyone who's watched any Japanese film knows that the main characters (good and bad) are always capable of incredible stunts, simply by virtue of their main-characterness. To represent this requires only the addition of one new trait:
Manga Hero: cost 20
This trait turns the character into the hero of any Japanese comic or film. It bestows the following abilities:
People wishing to run a more serious game can limit the amount of points that can be saved at any time. (Either with an arbitrary number, like 10, or based on an attribute, such as HT, or ST, or the level of your martial arts skill.) This trait can be combined with toonability, although a character with both loses 50% of their height, and 25% of their weight. (That's an SD joke, folks!)
- Multiply jump distances by 5
- The character suffers no penalty other than the initial damage for amputated limbs.
- The character doesn't suffer the effects of shock and trauma
- The character will appear to bleed profusely from any hit, but suffers no ill effects from blood loss.
- The character may permanently spend unspent character points for a reroll of any roll, (1 point) or to double the damage from any attack (2 points per attack) Points may also be spent to negate damage. Each point spent negates 1 dice of damage. (So, an attack that did 2dx100 points would be reduced to 1dx100 with one point, or no damage with two. That's how it works, folks. Rent a copy of Bubblegum Crisis 5 to see this roll in action, where Priss takes a hit from an orbital satellite, which only pops her helmet - she's fine - but is later injured by a knife, and she's in armour. (She ran out of points.) Points must be spent before the damage roll is made, but after a hit has definitely been scored. Every dice stopped, however knocks the character back 5 feet. (That's why the last fight with the villain always takes place on a building, or mountain, or other high place.) This can also be done for any equipment the character is currently using.
Neither of these traits are meant to stand alone as a separate campaign type, but rather, modify the campaign. So, you could run a Toon Space game, or a Manga Old West game, or how about Toon Ancient Rome, or Manga Vikings?