Some "murphy's" rules

Practice makes perfect

In RuneQuest, an untrained assassin with a dagger sneaking up on someone asleep on the floor has a 50% chance of missing completely with the attack.

The superman in the street

An average man in Golden Heroes will get up and walk away after having a safe dropped onto him from a height of 20 metres. This man would also be capable of throwing a television the same distance.

Total superiority

In Tunnels and Trolls, after two minutes of melee combat, no matter how large the battle, everyone on one side will always be completely unscathed.

The clash of feet

In RuneQuest, characters who know martial arts do more damage with a critical hit when kicking than with a critical hit when using a battleaxe.

It's tough on kids these days ...

An ordinary adolescent in Rolemaster has around 15 Body (Hit Points) and skill of about +15 in a weapon. Using the Creatures and Treasures supplement, he would easily be defeated by a rat, while an owl would finish several such opponents. Even removing a spider from the bath could result in serious wounds.

Cicero's ad diversos by megaphone

Civilised nobles in RuneQuest cannot read or write.

Dangerous as houses

Rolemaster requires Movement/Manoeuvre rolls for almost any action a character takes. Using the tables given, the average person will fall down the stairs at home once every 3 or 4 years.

Unbalanced combat

In AD&D 2nd Edition, a Ranger or Barbarian may use a weapon in each hand. He may use a longsword or a bastard sword in one hand and a shortsword in the other, but may not use two shortswords.

Dancing in chainmail

In GURPS, the more armour you wear, the easier it is to dodge.

Magnus ver Magnusson who?

In Champions: the New Millenium (Hero Games), a normal human at peak strength--without any super abilities--can *lift* a small semi truck.

Look out, he's not carrying anything!

In Archon Gaming's Noir RPG, one average person getting punched by another average person has just under a 50% chance of being permanently injured or even mortally wounded.

Beware that floater!

In GURPS Goblins, it is possible to have a character with a negative weight. My friend & I postulated that these floating goblins may be used as "fuel" for the elaborate balloons and dirigibles of the nobility.

Armour, what armour?

In Palladium FRPG (1st edition, I don't know if it still applies to 2nd), if you wear soft leather armour and a heavy crossbow bolt hits you where the armour covers, you will take absolutely no damage, but the armour will be in tatters.

Are we lost? But we followed the map!

In "The World of Synnibarr", the world is hollow and the inner surface is inhabitable. Even though the inner surface is described as spherical, the map wraps both N/S amd E/W, so it depicts a toroidal surface.

Heavy beeings...

I Powers & Perils, the height/weight ratio of faerrys is such that an average faerry has the build of an 6' man weighing 400lbs. They sure don't look that way on the pictures. (The problem is that the racial weight is given as a linear factor of the height, so a faerry, being half as tall as a human, is given half the weight, where it should have been 1/8th).

But coach, I'm GOOD at moving about!

In Ars Magica (3rd edition), you shouldn't try to use your dodge skill to evade arrows, as you need a _very_ good doge skill before dodging gives you a smaller chance of being hit than just being a moving target.

57 Channels and Nothing Shoots

While the pseudo-myelin based technology of BattleTech's 'Mechs is still beyond our ordinary production means, the range and apparent penetration capabilities of their "gun"-style weaponry is extremely close to those of 1940s-vintage hardware. The short-barrel armament of a first-version M1 Abrams tank had better range and accuracy characteristics.

Krusty the security consultant

Want to set a trap? Something that would imprison an intruder or douse him with acid? In Dangerous Journeys this is a subskill of Buffoonery - the professional skill if court jesters and clowns.

You can't learn to dodge

We are frequently told that Hit Points go up with level because characters learn to twist and turn and minimise the damage you take. In Palladium's Hero's Unlimited (and I think all other Paladium games, though I don't own any) this is made simpler because there are two types of hit points - one representing physical bits of the body to get shot off and the other a character's ability to twist and turn and so minimise the damage he takes in combat. Twisting and turning is fixed at the time of character generation, but physical blood and guts hitpoints go up with level.

You are wielding WHAT???

In the game Wizards (based on the animated movie), Strength + Size (called Might) is used to determine what weapons a character can use. It also is used to determine a damage bonus for HTH combat, but this bonus is very small -- the writers reasoned that bigger, stronger characters could use bigger, better weapons, so there was no need for large damage bonuses.

The problem? Well, the higher-damage weapons naturally have higher Might requirements. So, the only PC able to use the ultimate HTH weapon in the game, the battleaxe, would be a 6' tall Dwarf with maximum strength! Talk about a narrow target market...

We Can Deal With The Glass Jaw, Get Down The Gun Range!

In Living Steel someone with any unarmed combat skill (like a heavyweight boxer) will be stunned by *any* blow 98% of the time, unless he is skilled in Gun Combat.

Faster than a speeding bullet

In WEG's game TORG, a character at maximum natural talent for speed and no running training whatsoever can run a hundred meters in 4 seconds with a roll of 15 or better on 1d20.

Faster than a speeding bullet II

In Palladium's Ninjas & Superspies, a normal person with a maximum Speed attribute (24; already fast enough to break the world record for the mile, but within reach of current atheletes) and a maximum roll from the Running skill (+4D4 to Speed), can run 2-minute miles (~30 mph). And the duration of this running is based on the P.E. Attribute in rounds (15 seconds), so it can be kept up by an average (10) P.E. for 1.25 miles, and by a maximum P.E. (with no other physical skills but running, and +1 for the Running skill) of 25 for 3.125 miles, or effecively winning a 5k race in 6 minutes, 15 seconds!

They are unstoppable!

In Villians & Vigilantes there is no way to avoid paralyzation attacks. True quote: "No, not Paralyzation! Use Disintegrate, give us a chance!"

Aim at the arm! Aim at the arm!

In Cyberpunk 2020, an average person will ALWAYS survive a point blank shot from a 9mm pistol in the chest. A similar shot in the arm will kill them.

this by 2 due to the average Body Type, that's 11 points, a critical wound. Because the wound deterioation rules are missing from CP2020, that wound does not increase to mortal, ever. On the other hand, if you take 8 or more points of damage to a limb, you die straight out.

Thanks to:, Kevin Mowery (, David S. Miller (, Torben Mogensen (, Bryan J. Maloney (, Nick Eden (, Dan Davenport (, Gordon W. Rycroft (, Staffan Johansson (, Berg Oswell (, Keith Davies ( and Chris Lupton (

Last changed 1997-04-29 17:07 by Ola "corps" Ågren (