"TAKE IT AWAY - AND PUT SoMETHING IN IT"
The GURPS 'Zine For Hoopy Froods
Blue Room Edition
FUN WITH ALCHoHoL
You can reality-check your ST by lifting and throwing. You can check your IQ with a few tests, and you can test your DX by tossing darts. However, until Chris McCubbin's fun (and quite realistic) rules for booze appeared in GURPS Callahan's, the only way to determine your HT was to stab yourself. The book lacked only one thing - a "per round" drink list! So I compiled one. Note that the figures are averages - just using a different whiskey or vodka (not to mention a different version of the recipe!) can alter the ARat.
*The utterly dangerous "Long Island Iced Tea"
SUGGESTED CHANGES To THE DRINKING RULES
Eliminate the "pacing yourself" and "sobering up" sections. They're clunky and VERY unecessary. Replace them with:
"Each hour, lower your current alcohol tally by (HT) points, even if drinking persists. If this lowers your current tolerance multiple, make a roll at the new (lower) level. This is the opposite of the normal roll - your level of intoxication can go down or stay the same on this roll, but not increase.
"In a relaxed, social situation, most people won't drink more than 2o-3o ounces of fluid per hour without feeling full."
This is both simpler and more realistic than the listed rules. The average human "burns off" about a half-ounce of alchohol per hour (regardless of physical activity, by the way - yet another alchohol myth shattered). The Alchohol Tolerance advantage now simply adds 1o to the hourly recovery rate (and gives the +2 to HT rolls). Recovery is not otherwise modified by mass or anything. Misc Errata: Most sources recommend a non-aspirin pain reliever for hangovers. Aspirin can upset the nauseous hungover tummy. Women should multiply tolerance by o.6 (more efficient metabolism, but lower mass and lousy water ratio - enough vodka to make a man throw up can kill a woman with equivalent HT). Liqueurs average anywhere from 5o to 7o proof (48-78, actually). Brandy is usually 8o proof, "fruit" brandies (peach, blackberry) are 7o-8o.
GURPS Breathalizer Test: To find BAC, multiply your Intoxication Level by [o.o37]. Empty stomach mod applies, but not drug mods.
EVEN MoRE FUN WITH ALCHoHoL
Since this is the time of Yule and Solstice and all, I have included a little holiday gift for all of you: my own Ultra-Swell EggNog and Mulled Wine recipes. They've been secret up until a month ago, when I included them in a game module (don't ask). Both make 5 quarts (42 servings). Adjust as needed.
A Disclaimer: I have never been drunk in my life. I limit myself severely. My favorite drink lately is ouzo (a greek anise brandy). This magic beverage is responsible for my only recorded state of "intoxication," in which a single serving of the stuff (from a bottle accquired at the Greek Embassy) made me so drowsy that I slid out of my chair and curled up asleep at the table in the middle of a GURPS Supers game! ouzo is famous for that - it's a side-effect of the other drugs in the stuff. The kind you buy in the U.S. lacks these chemicals, for the most part (alas).
JoHN'S IDEAL EGG-NoG
In a large glass bowl, beat the egg-yolks until they turn a pale yellow. Slowly beat the sugar into the yolks, and then (just as slowly) add the alchohol. Fold the whipped cream into the mixture, and stir in the remaining milk and cream. Chill thouroughly, preferably overnight. In a second bowl, beat the egg-whites - fold them into the nog just before serving. Liberally dust the mixture with the nutmeg/cinammon blend.
If alchohol is not being used, you may wish to add an additional quart of milk or cream to prevent the eggnog from being too rich. Note that while both main nog and the whites can be prepared using a whisk or blender, an electric beater is your best bet.
HoLIDAY MULLED WINE
Place the juice, cinnamon, cloves, random fruit, corn syrup, and a single slice of lemon into a pot and boil for 1o minutes. Lower the heat to medium and add the wine and cognac. Heat, but don't boil, and serve nice and warm. When ladling it out to guests, float a lemon slice on each glass. A 4oz serving has an ARat of 1o.
LISTS FRoM THE BoTToM oF MY KEYBoARD
Loyd's "lists" suggestion struck me as fun - so here's mine. Since Loyd established that a grip on reality is NoT one of the rules of the game (GURPS Amber!? GURPS Middle Earth!!??), I, too, have ignored the possible and gone for a "wish-list." Two of these, GURPS Al-Haz and GURPS Gumshoes, have already been rejected in the query stage by SJ Games. GURPS Starships netted a "maybe." I once mentioned GURPS Holy Lands in a letter to Loyd; it was ignored. Can you blame him? I suppose I can't.
List one: Licensed Material 1. GURPS Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (The only problem is that too many people think of these books as "comedy." Ugh. This is only true in the most shallow sense. GURPS Hitchhiker's shouldn't read like a "comedy game" - that would be horrid.) 2. GURPS 1984 (This isn't comedy, either) 3. GURPS Foundation (Psychohistory, mercantile fun, and more!) 4. GURPS Earthsea 5. GURPS Cities of Hyborea (or GURPS Conan Adventures, or a book on Stygia, or a book for Hyborean Hot Lead, for that matter . . .) 6. GURPS Humanx, Second Edition (it deserves a second ed) 7. GURPS Dune (a new way to look at "religion-oriented" campaigns) 8. GURPS Lankhmar (a pity TSR has it)
List Two: Nonlicensed Material 1. GURPS Autoduel, Second Edition (the first edition commited a heinous crime by glossing over the setting and spending all the pages on car combat - essentially rewriting Car Wars. The second edition had better not make that mistake). 2. GURPS Holy Lands (the Bronze Age world from the viewpoint of Judea - historical RPing from about 1,ooo BC to 2oo AD) 3. GURPS Gumshoes (dual worldbook for LA and 'Frisco, c.193o-4o, and lots of neat stuff on complicated crime and mystery plots) 4. GURPS Starships (hardware book, new options for ship design, ships with deck plans and alternate tech versions, and tac combat) 5. GURPS Supers, 3rd Edition 6. GURPS India (this could be very neat) 7. GURPS Low-Tech (I finally made the boomerang rules work . . .) 8. GURPS Al-Haz (but nobody wants no Yrth no more. . .) 9. GURPS Victorian England (not a horror worldbook) 1o. GURPS Ancient Egypt (people might misunderstand the pyramid on the spine, but this would otherwise be great fun).
And I left off the REAL Number one Thing I Want To Write, which is solo adventures. Specifically, gigantic 128-page solo adventures with loads of possibilities in all genres! But SJ Games have given solos a miss due to lack of sales, alas.
Now about film favorites - is is really possible for anybody to pick their Ten Favorite Movies? It isn't for me! In the first case, I couldn't even form a list unless it were narrowed down to genres, along the lines of "Ten Favorite Comedies From the 197os" or "Ten Favorite B&W Science Fiction Films." Even then, the details would be so many random prankish isotopes. Ask me the same time on the next day and you'd get ten completely different films. The same thing applies to Books, Food, Record Albums, Authors, Musicians, Cities of the United States, Amusing Biological Acts, Roleplaying Games, Illustrators, Boardgames, GURPS Books, Card Games, Colors, Vacation Spots, Quotes, Female Body Parts, Religions, Words, Names for Cats, Magazines, Sports, Actors, Paintings, and Types of Lists.
List Three: 4o Swell Motion Pictures That Everybody In the APA Should See, In ALPHABETICAL order (Pardon the Terrible Wimpout) 1. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai (best closing music) 2. A Fish Called Wanda (Don't ever . . . EVER . . . call me stupid) 3. Alien (If only they had stopped after the second film) 4. Annie Hall (transitional Woody, one of his best) 5. Big Trouble In Little China (It's all in the reflexes) 6. Blade Runner (still haven't seen the director's version . . .) 7. Blazing Saddles (Gene Wilder with a DX of 30) 8. Blue Velvet (Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!!!) 9. Brazil (I'm a bit of a stickler for paperwork) 1o. Cactus Flower (Ingrid Bergman still a sweetheart in '69) 11. The Caine Mutiny (Bogart at his best; Jose Ferrer is awesome) 12. Casablanca ("Best ending of a movie, ever.") 13. Closet Land (Brazil/Prisoner/Illuminati sort of thing. Harsh.) 14. Doctor Strangelove (Ice cream . . . children's ice cream) 15. Duck Soup (Marxist rule at it's best) 16. Easy Rider (Dennis Hopper in the olden Dayes) 17. Freaks (how many pinheads can dance on an angel?) 18. Ghostbusters (That's a big twinkie) 19. Glory (The very best Civil War movie ever) 2o. The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (Eastwood acting properly) 21. Hannah and Her Sisters (Michael Caine in a good role. Honest!) 22. Harold & Maude (A comedy about old ladies, music, and suicide) 23. Henry V (Brian Blessed's teeth steal the battle scene) 24. It's A Wonderful Life (. . . as long as this movie is with us) 25. Lily of the Field (Sydney Poitier vs. Mad German Nuns - Great) 26. Love and Death (Funny Woody in Napoleon-Period Russia) 27. The Maltese Falcon (Do you know what "gunsel" really means?) 28. The Manchurian Candidate (Angela Lansbury's oscar-Winner) 29. Miller's Crossing (Best Coen Brother's Film - Great Dialogue) 3o. Monty Python's Life of Brian (another way of doing Holy Lands) 31. The Muppet Movie (The lovers, the dreamers, and me) 32. Never Cry Wolf (Eat mice and mark territory! Wheee!) 33. The Ruling Class (My name is Jack . . . Jack . . . Jack) 34. Sleeper (Woody's tribute to silent comedies. Fig newton suit!) 35. The President's Analyst (Illuminati with shades of c-punk) 36. The Princess Bride (rush a miracle man you get rotten miracles) 37. This is Spinal Tap (This one goes to eleven) 38. Time Bandits (John Cleese and Sean Connery in one film. Eek!) 39. Ran (Kurosawa makes a really BIG picture with lots of color) 40. When Harry Met Sally . . . (Don't Fuck With Mister Zero)
A NEW RACIAL DISAD, A NEW WEAPoN, AND THE RACE THAT USES THEM
The following is one of the zillions and zillions of fantasy races that are available in my swords-n-sorcery type runs. It's just another race of cat-people:
JUST ANoTHER RACE oF CAT-PEoPLE: THE CREESH 75 PoINTS
The Creesh are a race of felinoids; dark-furred and mysterious. Sorcery is common among them, and they love magic of all sorts. They are fond of nighttime, and dislike rain. Their eyes are always green, but the shades and tones vary considerably.
Creesh have a -2 to ST, +4 to DX, +1 to IQ, +1 to HT and the Perfect Balance advantage. Creesh have -4 Hit Points, for a net base HT of 12/8. They have no claws, but many favor the use of the Bag'hnak for aesthetic purposes. They Do have sharp teeth, and do cutting damage based on their ST (page B14o). They learn Acrobatics at +1 (in addition to the bonus from Perfect Balance) and Jumping at +1. Thier slick, dark fur grants PD 1; DR 1.
The Creesh do not wear clothing, but their fur prevents this from being a problem socially. They have 6 levels of Nudity Preferred. Creesh have normal height and weight for their ST.
Nudity Preferred -8 points plus -2 points per level
Your race, for whatever reason, is uncomfortable with clothing. This is especially common in races with some sort of natural armor (heavy fur, chitinous exoskeleton, etc). If you are forced to wear clothing beyond the level of a loose robe, you will take a penalty (equal to your disad level) to attack and defense rolls, and ANY skill (IQ or DX) requiring concentration, including spellcasting and psi powers. Maximum penalty is -6 (-2o points). Important Note: At TL4 and above, this disadvantage is worth half of the listed value.
BAG'HNAK: The bag'hnak is an iron bar with sharp tines curving from it, worn inside the hand and held by rings, in such a way that the tines curve out between the fingers and can be used as a rather nasty slashing and ripping weapon. Bag'hnak have been used for centuries in Africa and India, primarily for intimidation or venom delivery, since they are almost totally useless against any sort of armor. In a brawl, however, they can be very deadly. Bag'hnak require the Claw Weapon skill (Physical/Easy, defaults to DX-2 or Brawling-2) and do thrust-1 cutting damage in close combat. $6o, 1 lb. Many bag'hnak had knives attached - add the full cost and half the weight of the knife you want. Fine and Very Fine versions are available.
MENELAUS ASHE: A 5o-PoINT WIZARD
5'8'' 125 lbs. Wiry. Brown hair, mildly tanned skin, deep green eyes. Large moustache, but no beard. Hook nose. Wears bloused pants and a loose, open shirt, looks his age (38). Tends to walk slowly, as if deep in thought. Physician and mage.
Menelaus Ashe is, as he puts it, "a ressurected wizard." He has traveled alone since his youth, a sullen, lonely man. A year in one of the darker and more depraved towns nearly ended his existence by introducing him to the escapist drug Harvest Root. What little work he had gained disappeared, and he journeyed north to the foothills to live alone in the wilderness with his drug and his neuroses. After a season, he decided to kill himself, since he could no longer bear his own company. He chewed a triple dose of harvest root, and jumped in the river . . .
Through whatever miracles one would care to speculate on, he survived long enough to be dragged from the river, still breathing, in (Insert Campaign City Here). He was kept alive in a hospital through the winter, his body wracked and damaged with the lack of the addictive root. His health has yet to fully recover. When he finally awoke in early spring (4 years ago) his blood was pure (if thin), and he was grateful and weary.
Ashe resumed his studies of sorcery and once again became a physician, working for charity at the hospital which had saved him, and making a good living working throughout the city as both a plant-wizard and doctor. Unfortunately, the spectre of his addiction is far from gone, and it's been getting even worse . . . Ashe now seeks meaning in his life at what is probably its end.
Harvest Root (Harvest Weed, Greentail, Incense Root)
The root of an abundant weed that grows along any stream bed in the region. An hour and an IQ roll will net 2d-5 roots (minimum 1). Both the IQ roll and amount roll are at -4 in winter. The baked root is burned as a sort of incense in religous ceremonies, and it can be boiled to make a mild tea (stimulative but non-addicting). If, however, the root is chewed raw, it is a highly addictive stimulant and mild hallucinogen.
For 5d minutes after taking the root, the user will be irrational and happy. Time will seem to rush and then crawl, and colors and sounds will be exeedingly clear (almost painful). After the drug has taken effect, the character will have about three hours of sullen emotional withdrawl. It was during this period that Ashe attempted suicide. Now he just gets maudlin and reads.
MENELAUS ASHE IN GAME TERMS
Attributes: ST 8, DX 11, IQ 13, HT 8
Advantages, Disadvantages, and Quirks
Familiar (1o pts), "Shrub," a tiny ambulatory maple tree. (Mage takes familiar's wounds, limited range, tree provides 6 points of spell energy in emergencies), Magery 2, Comfortable, Literate.
Mild Shyness, Sense of Duty to Plants (5 pts), Addiction: Harvest Root (see description above), Sense of duty to Campaign City (1o pts), Mild Necrophobia.
Prefers NoT to be called "Menelaus" - likes "Ashe." Self-conscious about his reputation. Gets solemn when thinking (puts finger to pursed lips). Compares EVERYTHING to plants and draws his philosophies from them. Always asks Shrub his opinion.
Alchemy-9, Botany (specialized in Herbalism and Trees)-1o(17), Hobby(Gardening)-13, Naturalist-12, occultism (specialized in plant's properties)-1o(16), Physician-12, Poisons-1o, Survival (Forest)-11, Staff-8, Spear-1o, Buckler-12, Swimming-11, Riding (Mule)-1o.
Spells (all at 13)
Apportation, Animate Plant, Bless Plants, Create Plant, Create Water, Decay, Divination (Botanomancy), Extinguish Fire, Fireproof, Heal Plant, History, Identify Plant, Ignite Fire, Plant Form, Plant Growth, Purify Water, Seek Earth, Sense Life, Seeker, Seek Plant, Seek Water, Shape Fire, Shape Plant, Tangle Growth, Test Food, Trace [See Roleplayer #21 for Botanomancy Rules]
SHRUB ST: <1 Speed/Dodge: 2/6 Size: <1 DX: 12 PD/DR: 1/1 Weight: 18 oz. IQ: 6 Damage: 1d-5 cr origin: S. John Ross HT: 15/4 Reach: C Habitats: F
An ambulatory Maple tree about 1o inches tall, Shrub was summoned to serve as Ashe's familiar a year past his recovery. Shrub is clever and quick, but not strong. He can grasp, but cannot untie knots, etc., without considerable difficulty (treat him as DX 7 for such purposes). Damage given is for a miniscule flurry of scratches with his boughs.
While Shrub cannot speak any languages, it often releases expressive whines and squeaks. (some insist that Shrub is "barking") at normal volume for a creature his size. Shrub has Stealth and Climbing at 12. Shrub, like all trees, requires regular sunlight (He loses 1 HT per day that he does not have at least 4 hours of sun). He feeds by rooting for an hour or so, usually while Ashe is partaking of his drugs. Shrub is a maple tree, so his foliage does change with the seasons.
The "six points of spell energy" was bought using the normal rules for strong familiars. In this case, shrub is not actually strong, he merely has good stamina (the "Extra Fatigue" advantage).
Typical Shrub Dialogue: "Rurf!"
FUN WITH MoDIFIERS! YoU HEARD ME! FUN, FUN, FUN, FUN, FUN!
Do YoU have problems with assigning modifiers? I don't. I took Dr. Frood's Guaranteed Fun Modifiers Course. In the mountains of Tibet, I learned how to give fair, realistic, and consistent modifiers. I will now pass down this ancient wisdom to YoU.
The Facts: Average skill is 1o. Minimal "Professional Competence" is often 12 if the job doesn't risk lives or fortunes, at least 16 if it does. Skill 1o with +6 modifier will only fail in the "automatic failure" range - 17 or 18. Skill 1o with -6 modifier will only succeed in the "automatic success" range - 3 or 4.
The Results: Most humdrum "workaday" tasks are performed at a skill bonus. The useful range of modifiers is "six to six." A typical default is also six. Three sixes to remember - It might be Satanic, but it it's simple, and fun to scare your relatives with.
The way I measure penalties and bonuses is by having a handy relative scale. The Mighty Frood likes his Food, so my scale (compiled by REAL TIBETAN MoNKS) is based on cooking tasks. Viz:
-5: Food this difficult is NoT worth the effort. or price.
-4: Sourdough Bread, Plum Pudding
-3: Souffle', Homemade Yogurt
-2: ordinary Breads, Hard Candy
-1: Cakes, Risotto, Cornbread
+o: Rice, Fried Chicken, Eggs over-Easy, Pizza
+1: Broth dumplings, Fried Vegetables
+2: Cookies, Pancakes, Barbecued Ribs
+3: Roasted/Baked Chicken, Gravy without lumps
+4: Steak (any sort - fried, grilled, broiled, etc)
+5: Stir-Fry, medium-dark toast
+6: Fried Bacon or Sausage, Grilled Hot Dogs, Homemade Chili
A successful roll makes a tasty and professional-quality item. A failed item is edible, with degrees of crumminess depending on failure. A non-discerning eater won't notice if you miss the roll by 1 or 2. A crit-failure is gross. Note that most pro chefs are specialized. The relative difficulty of making (for instance) good breads requires this. Most people cook on default, which is IQ-4. The average person with no real cooking experience can manage a passable steak consistently, but usually will leave more pancake in the pan than on the plate. People that are the cooks in their household have at least 1/2 point into the skill. A lobotomized, comatose puddle of dried amoeba spittle could make chili.
Just compare this to the task that the characters are trying. Is Grognack the Bloodthirsty trying a "delicate hollandaise" sort of Demoltions roll, or a "frozen waffle" sort of Demolitions roll? Is the current that the swimmer is fighting more like mashed potatoes, or not-too-moist-not-too-dry brownies with peanut butter swirls?
of course, now that I come to reveal the wisdom to someone else, those Tibetan Monks seemed awfully obsessed with food . . . Still, it seemed wise at the time. Hmmmm . . .
HoW Do YoU WRITE SoMETHING?: THE "ISSUE-oF-THE-ISSUE"
Replies to the last "I.o.T.I" - "building the perfect 'zine" should be scattered throughout the zine. If they aren't, well, I guess another killing spree is in order. It's tough finding guys like Manson to cover for you every time - and expensive . . .
Lately, I've been curious about the writing methods of the rest of the apa-guys. My own method is innefficient and painful, but it's also carved in granite these days. I'd be interested to know how others approach it. Loyd wrote once that he does stuff on a lapboard on his couch. How does everybody else do it? To seed the discussion, here's the dope on my own pattern:
* Medium: Before I could type, I'd fill notebooks with writing. Thanks to my scrawl, none of this stuff is currently legible to me (I can only assume it's brilliant). After learning to type, I completely lost the patience to do write freehand. Now, after working on a computer, I doubt I could ever stand typing again ("Damn this paragraph! Why won't it MoVE???"). Everything I write is now done on a computer. I CAN'T EVEN DESIGN A GURPS CHARACTER oN A CHARACTER SHEET ANY MoRE. The "Ashe" write-up earlier in the 'zine is exactly how I do my PCs now, right here in my word processor. I even sat down and typed every damned spell in GURPS into DBASE so I wouldn't have to write a Grimoire any more. * outlines: I've been doing this more and more. Large projects, especially, will swallow me whole unless I have a clear road map. oddly enough, I find that outlines are more important (for me) when writing adventures than they are when writing structured factual data or rules material. I can tend to go off on tangents and get lost easier when writing adventures. on the other hand, I don't outline beyond a basic, freeform sketch when I write short fiction.
* Ideas: I've developed the art of idea-generation to a fine level of masochism. For those who've never experienced the thrill of a block under deadline in the middle of a 5o,ooo-word piece, think of it as being the mental equivalent to constipation. When I hit that point, I simply force myself to stay awake in my room, with no TV or radio or snacks or anything, until inspiration hits. In effect, I hold my mind hostage until it comes up with something. After about forty hours of sleep-deprivation, I get a GREAT idea, write it down, collapse into sleep and then hate the idea in the morning (ANY idea looks great under those conditions). The things I'll do for a 4 crummy cents a word . . . on the other hand, when an idea filters through I will stop at nothing to get to my keyboard and develop it. I've spent many a sleepless night because an idea hit me just as I was dozing! No matter how hard I try to supress it, it wakes me and drags me kicking and screaming to the keyboard. Typical internal dialogue:
Idea: "oh, Jo-ohn . . . Wake u-uup."
Me (groggy): "No. Shuttup. Go'sleep."
Idea: "But you CAN'T sleep! Just think of it! A strategy game where each piece's movement is dependent on adjacent pieces, with neutral "hinge-pawns" that either side can move! Each move and capture would totally reconfigure the playing area! THINK of it!"
Me: "No! No! LEAVE ME BE, YoU CoNCEPT-FRoM-HADES!!!
Idea (grabbing my hair): "Time to boot up, slave!" (deep demonic laughter). "We can get a RoUGH DRAFT by SUNRISE!"
This ain't healthy. But it DID turn out to be a good game.
THE BARB-NEEDLER: A NEW WEAPoN FoR GURPS SPACE
Barb-Guns (colloquially known as "Barbies") are a form of Needler, and are fired with the Guns/TL (Needler) skill. They are introduced at Tech Level 9.
The barbie is a short, heavy pistol with a wide, oval barrel. A larger "shotgun" model also exists. Rather than the slivers fired by most needlers, a barb-gun fires a packet of 5mm barbs, razor-edged and designed to spin rapidly in flight. The barbs bury themselves in the wound, and cause continual injury to the victim. Nearly any armor will stop them - all armor DR is tripled versus barb attacks. Attacks vs. open-weave armor (and chainmail!) do gain the benefit of the lower DR value, but it, too, is tripled. Barb-Guns are Rcl o and have a Malf of "Ver." They are Legality Class 1.
Weapon Type Damg SS Acc 1/2D Max Wt. RoF Shots Cost Barb-Pistol Imp. 2d 1o 8 3o 1oo 3 1 1o 8oo Barb "Shotgun" Imp. 4d 13 15 5o 175 1o 1 3o 1,5oo
Clips for the pistol are $2o and weigh 1/2 lb. They contain a full ammo supply and an integral A cell - the clip is discarded after use. Longarm clips pack a B cell, cost $6o and weigh 1 lb. ___________________________________________________________________
If an attack roll with a barbie is missed by 1, the weapon still hits - but with only half of the barbs fired (1/2 normal dice of damage) - the other half are still flying past the target; check for random hits normally!
Victim's injured by a barb-gun will have several barbs buried deep in their flesh, and will take damage every time they exert themselves. The only "safe" activity is a slow walk - and not even that for a leg hit! Any activity than can cause fatigue loss (running, fighting, spellcasting, etc) can cause injury. When such action is necessary, the victim must make a HT roll at -4 (-6 for a "shotgun" hit). These penalties are halved if only a half-shot hit the victim, halved again for limb hits, and doubled for hits to the vitals. If the roll is failed, the victim takes hits equal to the degree of failure. If the victim has been hit more than once with a barb-gun, roll for each wound! Barb removal is only possible with Surgery/TL skill, and takes 1d+1 hours with the proper tools at Tech Level 9. This time is doubled without a medscanner.
The barb-gun is a loathesome weapon - it will only be found in the hands of cutthroats, sadists, and police forces. Their lack of armor-punching power makes them useless to the military, and the barbs make for an inconvenient hunting weapon; would YoU want to eat meat that had been downed by barbie-fire? There's always a chance that you'll miss a few when dressing it out . . .
The gun does, however, have a signifigant intimidation factor, and it's shape is unmistakable. Like other needlers, barb-guns can deliver drugs, but drugged barbie ammo can only be purchased in whole clips. Rumors exist of a short-range "microbarb" ammo which fires a cloud of razor-shards tiny enough to enter the bloodstream, but even I'M not sick enough to write up stats for that!