Recently I've started tinkering with a fantasy martial arts setting.

One of the inspirations was Jade Empire. or to be more precise, the styles found therein. While the martial, weapon and even magic(to some extent) styles are easy (or even trivial), support styles are a bit more complicated - mostly due to the fact that in the source material they don't deal damage but instead deliver status effects.

I'd like to model the abilities themselves on my own, so I'm not looking for ways to model the concept of support styles (IIRC Innate Attacks or Imbuements should do the trick well enough).

For now I'm somewhat stumped on the style that briefly slows enemies on each hit, since I couldn't find anything that would slow things. (Or it was in magic or psionics sections?)

Clarification: in the source material, targets affected basically act in slow motion. Performing physical actions (like walking or attacking) takes more time (I'm not sure how it should affect jumping and the like)

Here's the description (from https://jadeempire.fandom.com/wiki/Heavenly_Wave) if it's of any help:

Fighters skilled in Heavenly Wave learn techniques that can slow their opponents to a crawl. While this Support style does no damage on its own, a master can manipulate the chi in the area around opponents, rendering them sluggish and easily defeated. Even the most lightning-fast of foes can be slowed to a turtle's pace with the skillful application of Heavenly Wave.

Therefore, the problem to solve is: Is there an already existing definition of "slowing" effect? If not, how can it best be modelled?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ What do you mean by «slowing»? Other systems usually have particular things in mind (e.g. decreased movement range). There are many processes inside a living being which can be slowed. GURPS assumes simulationist approach, so we should be more precise. \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 7:40

3 Answers 3


Based on the clarifying description, you probably want to Afflict them with Decreased Time Rate (a disadvantageous form of Altered Time Rate), which makes targets which failed their resistance rolls to do everything more rarely (slowly). Against a normal target, this halves the speed of all activities. Against targets with Altered Time Rate, this will merely reduce the target's ATR by one.

It's pretty expensive though, because it's pretty powerful, bordering on the utility of incapacitation in a serious combat.


In GURPS: Magic there are 2 possible spells that also can be used:

Slow (Movement Spell) M:145

Slows down the subject a great deal; in effect, the subject has one level of Decreased Time Rate for the duration of the spell.

Cost: 5/4 for 10 seconds

Slow Time (Gate,Area,VH) M:86

Time in the area slows down. ...

Cost: 2 for half speed for 1 Minute, other options available

(there are also some more specialized variants like Slow Fire, Slow Fall, Slow Healing)


Being slowed ("things take longer to do") is generally modelled by Decreased Time Rate Disadvantage (from Basic Set p.129), that causes someone with that disadvantage to act every other turn (as mentioned in @vicky_molokh- unsilence Monica's answer and @Seth R's comment)

There is one problem with this method: it is both too much and too little (at least in my opinion).

Too little because the target is just as good at attacking dodging and parrying (except the whole "act half as often" thing with DTR) so if you walk up to a "slowed" opponent and try to punch him, he's going to parry/Dodge/block as if nothing was wrong.

So to model "they can't defend easily because they are slowed" one could use the inverse(or "negative levels") of Enhanced Defences(B51) for both Dodge and all Parries. (Note: I'm not sure where (if at all) it is defined (but it seems rather intuitive))

To sum up, for a "milder" slow one could use a penalty to basic move, Dodge and Parry (to model slower movement (and thus difficulty in dodging or parrying attacks)) and adding DTR (instead of our alongside move penalty) for more "heavy-duty" slows .

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You could also decrease how often they got to take a turn or decrease the number of actions they have in a turn (if they have multiple), but I expect that would be a very expensive power. \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 7:47
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @nick012000, it is. That's essentially what Decreased Time Rate does. It's a 100 point disadvantage. \$\endgroup\$
    – Seth R
    Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 18:30

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