|High heels increase height, appearance, and sex-appeal of the wearer. That makes them popular with some types of GURPS adventurer characters. Played realistically, it is not without drawbacks to wear high heels. On the positive side is that the real-world benefits of high heels can be described in GURPS terms, too. Read on and enjoy.|
High Heel Walking (P/E), defaults to DX-4, Acrobatics-4, Acting -3, or Performance -3.
This is the skill of walking in high heeled shoes. It is unusual for males in the twentieth century, but some male actors or performers need it anyway (and see the note on cowboy boots at the end). It is rather common for females. The height and shape of the heels and footwear gives modifiers to this skill. Someone with a sucessful High Heel Walking skill roll is able to tell wich of the following modifiers apply to a given pair of footwar once she has tried it on.
|Low heel height (less than 1'')||No need for a skill. Walk right ahead.|
|Medium heel height (1'' to less than 2'')||+2|
|High heel height (2'' to less than 4'')||This is the default; there is no modifier.|
|Very high heel height (4'' to less than 6'')||-1|
|Extreme high heel height (6''+)||-2|
|Thin heels (a.k.a. stiletto heels)||This is the default; there is no modifier.|
|Shoes or boots providing good stabilization
(e.g. boots, if not made from soft materials)
|Shoes or boots providing average stabilization
(e.g. pumps or courts)
|This is the default; there is no modifier.|
|Shoes or boots providing no significant stabilization at all
(e.g. sandals, sling backs, mules, ballet heels)
|High quality footwear (not aesthetic quality, but quality of built);
costs about five times as much and is rare
|Very high quality footwear;
costs more than five times and up to 30 times as much
and is very rare
|Unfamiliar or new shoes or boots until one has practiced for some time
(It also takes some time of walking to mould new footwear to your feet.)
here for a graphic comparison of heel heights with skill modifiers.
The default are thin heels of medium height (2''-4'') and providing average stabilization, which get no modifiers. The terrain also gives certain modifiers (see table to the right). If moving carefully only one yard per second (Move 1), frequently looking down, high heel walking skill rolls are at +4.
|A critical success with this skill will make the wearers movements
very feminine and graceful. This gives a +2 to Sex
Appeal and may provoke jealously from members of your own sex, just
like very beautiful appearance (p. B15), resulting in -2 on reaction modifiers.
It also boosts selfconfidence, giving +2 on Will rolls.
A normal success allows normal movement (but see the next paragraph). A failure may have unpleasant consequences. Refer to the High Heel Walking Skill Failure Table.
|Wearing high heels for any prolonged period is painful and possibly damaging to the feet. The higher the heel the more the feet will suffer. Make a HT roll for every 30 minutes of actually walking (not just sitting) in high heels. Use the modifiers for the High Heel Walking skill with a further -2 if wearing footwear with a narrow or pointed toe box (quite common). Failure results in a sensation of pain (DX-1 and IQ-1 until 30-HT minutes after putting the footwear off). The GM may require a roll against the average of Will and High Heel Walking after every 30 minutes that high heels are used for walking (15 minutes for very high heels) to resist resting the feet and putting off the heels for some time. High Pain Threshold (p. B20) or enjoying Sexual Masochism (see GUPRS Sex) helps. This is avoided at TL8+ with surgical modifications, described as "Archwork" in GURPS Bio-Tech (p. BIO63).|
Note that feet in pain tend to swell (increasing volume). Make a HT roll. If failed, it is extremely painful (DX-2 and IQ-2 while it lasts) to put on the same footwear on swollen feet after once taking it off. The swelling might last for 1d hours.
High heels adversely affect speed of movement. Normal move is reduced to 2. A move of 3 to 6 counts as running with high heels and is at -2 to skill. Make a skill roll for every 10 yards (!) of running in high heels. Note that this is usually a quick way of breaking your ankle, heels, or both. A move over 6 is impossible with high heels. Running with High Heels may be improved as a special maneuver:
Running in High Heels (Average), defaults to High Heel Walking-2
Dancing in Heels (Average), defaults to High Heel Walking-2
Long boots give an additional +1 (cinematic female pirates know this instinctively). Some males react badly on anyone larger than themselves, giving in that case a reaction modifier of -1. For possible adverse social effects of sexy footwear see high heels and Savoir-Faire.
If high heels are worn they may provide modifiers to Sex Appeal rolls, depending on the preferences and inclinations of the target. Make a Reaction roll (p. B205) to determine the general reaction of an NPC to high heels. Fetishists, if attracted by high heels, give a bonus to that Reaction roll of +4. On a Poor or worse result the target does not like the high heels for some reason, giving -1 on attempts to seduce him. A Good result gives +1, a Very Good result +2, and an Excellent result indicates a high heel lover, giving +3 to Sex Appeal.
Any failed roll against the High Heel Walking
skill will spoil attempts of using Sex Appeal to some extend. See the High
Heel Walking Skill Failure Table. However, it is not always necessary
to walk with high heels in order to use them for sex appeal.
|Pony heels are footwear that has no practical application beside
sex appeal. Giving a woman a very exotic look they appeal only to the more
extraordinary tastes, adding a further +1 on Sex Appeal skill for rolls
to seduce those who like it that way. These unusual shoes and boots are
very rare and hard to find. Prices are accordingly high. With some practice
one can learn to walk with them:
Prerequisite: High Heel WalkingThis maneuver allows walking with pony heels without further penalties. Pony heels adversely affect movement. Normal move is reduced to 2. A move of 3 to 6 counts as running with pony heels and is at -2 to skill.
|Treat high heels of shoes or boots providing less than good stabilization
as inappropriate for repeated serious kicking. Roll one die. On a 1-2 the
heel breaks on the first hit, doing normal damage (see below), but is unavailable
for subsequent kicks. On a 3-4 the heel broke in an unlucky way, doing
normal damage to the wearers foot. On a 5-6 the shoe is dropped: You are
barefoot. If you wear boots, treat a roll of 5-6 as a normal hit.
For high heels of shoes or boots providing good stabilization use the
|The cinematic rules are simple. No needed skill, no pain, no reduced move, no interference with other skills, no failure. True heroines never stumble or break their ankles. Use only raised Appearance and Sex Appeal, plus the possible use in combat.|
Broad medium height heels give you a +4 bonus on the High Heel Walking skill.