GCS/The effects of Size Modifier

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This page is listing of the various rules relating to Size Modifier, with page references, along with house rules relevant to the GURPS Chaos Scar game, which treats Size Modifier as an attribute with a point cost.

See original sources for details about RAW.

It is based on the Size_Modifier article for the Borderlands game.

Key of page reference abbreviations (All refer to 4e sources)
B Basic Set
BIO Biotech
DF Dungeon Fantasy
F Fantasy
HT High Tech
LT Low Tech
LTC Low Tech Companion
MA:TG Martial Arts: Technical Grappling
P Powers
S Space
UT Ultra Tech

Higher SM

Is a disadvantage. It costs -15 points/level.

Intrinsic Effects

Positive

  1. Houserule: You may NOT buy ST, Arm ST, Lifting ST, Striking ST at reduced cost.
  2. Houserule: Gain DR with Tough Skin limitation equal to one third the Linear Measurement (in yards) on the Speed/Range Table (drop all fractions).
    For SM 1-2, this is +1 DR. for SM 3, this is +2 DR. For SM 4, this is +3 DR, for SM 5, this is 5 DR.
  3. Easier to intimidate others, harder to be intimidated by others (relative SM +1 or more, B202)
  4. Better access to grappling options
    1. Can squeeze torso (relative SM +1 or more, B371)
    2. Easier to pin others, harder to be pinned by others (relative SM +1 or more, B370)
      There are different, but similar effects in GURPS Martial Arts: Technical Grappling (MA:TG9, MA:TG18).
    3. Easier to hit when you grapple (relative SM +1 or more, B402)
      This is removed in GURPS Martial Arts: Technical Grappling, which is being used in this game.
    4. Immune to Constriction Attack (relative SM +1 or more, B43)
  5. Increased reach (absolute SM +1 or more, B402)
  6. Can trample/overrun (relative SM +2 or more, B404, B432)
  7. Longer poison delay (absolute SM +1 or more, B438)
  8. Eat less frequently (absolute SM +1 or more, BIO63) but longer meal times.
  9. Eat proportionately less amounts of food compared to total body mass (absolute SM +1 or more, S149) but still more in absolute terms.
  10. Larger weapons do more damage (absolute SM +1 or more, DF1:27, LTC2:20) (but cost more and weigh more)
  11. More vertical reach for lifting friends up, or for reaching things on high shelves, ledges to pull yourself up onto, dangling ropes or chandeliers, and high hit locations on taller characters. (DF2: 7, DF2: 8)

Negative

  1. Easier to be hit (absolute SM +1 or more in ranged combat, relative SM +1 or more in melee, B19)
  2. Easier to be noticed (absolute SM +1 or more, B19) by Vision (absolute SM +1 or more, B358) or Vibration Sense (absolute SM +1 or more, B96).
    Note the GM will extend this to Imaging Radar, Sonar, Para-Radar, and similar effects.
  3. More vulnerable to Parasitic Possession (relative SM +1 or more, B76)
  4. Harder to be camouflaged (absolute SM +1 or more, B183)
  5. More damage from extreme pressure (absolute SM +2 or more, B435)
  6. Larger equipment costs more and weighs more (absolute SM +1 or more, BIO63, DF1:28, HT10, P50, UT16, LT8, LTC2:20) - this includes armour and weapons.
    1. Eat more food overall (absolute SM +1 or more, BIO62-63) requiring you to carry heavier rations, which cost more. Noticing a theme?
  7. Require more space and life support (absolute SM +1 or more, BIO63) often requiring you to stoop or crawl in small environments (Taking posture penalties in combat).
    1. Harder to fit under low hanging ceilings and doorways without crouching or crawling, or through narrower cracks/holes (or even doors) without an Escape roll (absolute SM +1 or more, No page reference, GM's common sense note).

Ambiguous

  1. Increases the size of a Jumper Tunnel (absolute SM +1 or more, B64) or Permeation Tunnel (absolute SM +1 or more, B75)
  2. Costlier to be affected with Regular spells (absolute SM +1 or more, B239)
  3. More likely to block line of sight (absolute SM +1 or more, B389)
  4. Attack can count as Large-Area Injury (relative SM +7 or more, B400)

Optional But Suggested

In addition, higher SM can be justification for some traits, but you'd have to actually pay for the traits themselves:

Positive

  1. "Realistic" larger creatures have higher ST (BIO64)
  2. "Realistic" larger creatures have longer lifespans (S159)
  3. "Realistic" larger creatures might more easily see low wavelengths (S162)

Negative

  1. "Realistic" larger creatures might have a penalty to their sense of touch (S162)

Ambiguous

  1. "Realistic" larger creatures have higher weight (FEATURE, BIO64)

Lower SM

Is a advantage. It costs +15 points/level.

Intrinsic Effects

Positive

  1. Harder to be hit (B19) - absolute SM for ranged combat, relative SM for melee combat.
  2. Harder to be noticed (B19) by Vision (B358) or Vibration Sense (B96)
    Note the GM will extend this to Imaging Radar, Sonar, Para-Radar, and similar effects.
  3. Immune to Parasitic Possession (relative SM +0 or less, B76)
  4. Undetectable by Non-Imaging Radar (SM -1 or less, B81)
  5. Simpler to grapple a prone, kneeling, or sitting opponent (relative SM -2 or less, B370)
    Might be different, but probably similar, in Technical Grappling.
  6. Smaller equipment costs less and weighs less (DF3:8, HT10, UT16, LT8, LTC2:20)
    1. Eat less food (BIO62-63) which requires carrying less weight and spending less money.
  7. Require less space and life support (BIO62) meaning less chance for cramped combat conditions.
  8. Attacks require Vision roll to notice (OPTIONAL, relative SM -10 or less, P76)
  9. NOT IN USE: Easier to target armor chinks (OPTIONAL, P76)
  10. Easier to get inside armor/body (OPTIONAL, relative SM -13/19 or less, P76)
  11. Easier to fit under low hanging ceilings without crouching or crawling, or through narrower cracks/holes without an Escape roll (No page reference, GM's common sense note).

Negative

  1. Vulnerable to Constriction Attack (relative SM +0 or less, B43)
  2. Harder to intimidate, easier to be intimidated (B202)
  3. Harder to pin, easier to be pinned (B370)
  4. Shorter poison delay (B438)
  5. Eat more frequently (BIO63) but meals will be faster.
  6. Smaller armor provides less DR, smaller weapons do less damage and have less Reach (DF3:8, LTC2:20)
    Better Fantasy Armor rules have different rules for how armor interacts with SM, but still restrict useful DR levels.
  7. Impossible to target out-of-reach hit locations (OPTIONAL, P76)
  8. "Realistic" smaller creatures eat proportionately greater amounts of food† (S149) - but still less in absolute terms.
  9. Less vertical reach for lifting friends up, or for reaching things on high shelves, ledges to pull yourself up onto, dangling ropes or chandeliers, and high hit locations on taller characters. (DF2: 7, DF2: 8)

Ambiguous

  1. Reduces the size of a Jumper Tunnel (B64) or Permeation Tunnel (B75)
  2. Less likely to block line of sight (B389)

Optional But Suggested

In addition, lower SM can be justification for some traits, but you'd have to actually pay for the traits themselves:

Positive

  1. "Realistic" smaller creatures can purchase lifting ST to carry heavier proportional loads, offsetting some of the ST penalty listed under suggested negatives below (F51)
  2. "Realistic" smaller creatures might have a bonus to their sense of touch (S162)
  3. Smaller creatures can take the Parasitic limitation on Possession and still effect more targets - your victims must have higher SMs than you. (B76)

Negative

  1. "Realistic" smaller creatures have lower ST overall (BIO63)
  2. "Realistic" smaller creatures have lower IQ (BIO63)
  3. "Realistic" smaller creatures have shorter lifespans (S159)
  4. "Realistic" smaller creatures have lower weight (FEATURE, BIO63)