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AlexanderHowl 10-20-2019 08:01 AM

Powered Knights/Monks [Fantasy/Powers/Supers]
One of the possible scenarios that could evolve in a fantasy or science fiction setting with powered characters is the evolution of powered knights or monks (the Jedi of Star Wars being a primary example of the latter). One of the interesting aspects of such individuals is the powered gadget (such as the Light Sabre of the Jedi) that identifies an individual as a powered knight or monk. For example:

Light Sabre: Burning Attack 8d (Force Sword; Armor Divisor, /5, +150%; Breakable, DR 10, Machine, SM-4,-30%; Can Be Stolen, Contest of ST, -30%; Melee, Reach 1-2, Destructive Parry, -10%) [72] plus Corrosive Attack 8d (Alternative Attack; Force Sword; Breakable, DR 10, Machine, SM-4,-30%; Can Be Stolen, Contest of ST, -30% Incendiary, +20%; Melee, Reach 1-2, Destructive Parry, -10%) [8]. 80 points. Notes: Some characters use two Light Sabers. In that case, add dual weapon (+10%) and increase costs by +4 CP and +2 CP, for a total increase of +6 CP.

Of course, this suggests that powered knights and monks are going to be high level characters. Powered knights and monks should probably average 500 CP, making them much more capable than their mundane counterparts. They should also probably also have cinematic abilities to augment their powered abilities.

So, do you use powered knights and/or monks in your fantasy and/or science fiction games? If so, how well do they work? What are the primary issues related to using them?

KBH 10-20-2019 08:24 AM

Re: Powered Knights/Monks [Fantasy/Powers/Supers]
Hi Alexander,

depending on your understanding of High Powered Monks I currently work on my conversion of Deathwatch, i.e., high powered (and genetically enhanced) Space Marines. By some people called monks, sincere their chapter structure resembles mostly monastic organizations.

You can find various conversions like here (in German]), there (general WH40k]) and humbly mine.

From my experience (roughly a dozen sessions), the power level works pretty well. :)

Edit When looking at my provided pre-gen characters, you'll notice that the attributes are way to high - which I recently learned by getting more and more into GURPS. As such I will take elite soldiers for instance from Seals in Vietnam as basis. However, I quickly ended up around 500 points in creation, although taking into account many disadvantages (i.e., chapter demeanors).


Varyon 10-20-2019 09:27 AM

Re: Powered Knights/Monks [Fantasy/Powers/Supers]
In one of my DF settings Iíve worked on, an available template is something like a fusion of Martial Artist and Ninja, leaning more toward the latter. The chi skills are replaced by special Techniques, and those who opt to eschew weapons tend to learn to augment their melee strikes by charging their fists with chi, which can even be used to strike at a distance (Crushing Natural Weapon, which can be improved with Ranged and Guided). That probably counts as a super-powered monk. Indeed, DF is filled with such - (Un)Holy Warriors, Mystic Knights (the Imbuement-using folks), etc.

Also, minor quibble - your Lightsaber build looks to have Destructive Parry at +10%, while the only published instance of it is +40%, and even that may be low, considering the massive advantage you have against foes armed with destroyable weapons (they canít attack you or Parry your attacks without risking destruction of their weapons, while you have no such restrictions).

AlexanderHowl 10-20-2019 11:15 AM

Re: Powered Knights/Monks [Fantasy/Powers/Supers]
Destructive Parry for Innate Attacks is a +10% modifier for Melee Attack (Powers, p. 103).

Varyon 10-20-2019 08:11 PM

Re: Powered Knights/Monks [Fantasy/Powers/Supers]

Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl (Post 2291389)
Destructive Parry for Innate Attacks is a +10% modifier for Melee Attack (Powers, p. 103).

So it is. That's far too much utility for +10% IMO, but I guess it's RAW. RAW I'll be ignoring, of course, but RAW nonetheless. Carry on.

Sorenant 10-20-2019 08:23 PM

Re: Powered Knights/Monks [Fantasy/Powers/Supers]
By powered knight/monk do you mean those with some sort of signature gear?
If not, I always liked to include Dragon Priests. As in a monk-like character that could emulate draconic traits. In combat, he could use fire breath, talons, sharp teeth , scale (flexible DR) and even grow wings.

AlexanderHowl 10-20-2019 09:19 PM

Re: Powered Knights/Monks [Fantasy/Powers/Supers]
You do not necessarily have to have Signature Gear, but you have to have abilities, either innate or through gadgets (Jedi have both).

ericthered 10-20-2019 09:23 PM

Re: Powered Knights/Monks [Fantasy/Powers/Supers]
I haven't played with them much. I ran one prominent NPC that felt like a powered knight, even if all the power was all actually from his sword. This was a solo campaign, and it was an NPC, so I don't know how helpful that is to your question.

I've got a game set up to run if I ever get the chance that centers around an order of empowered knights devoted to hunting monsters and their threatened obsolescence in the face of new weapons like the machine gun and radical political ideologies. The knights are somewhere between Jedi and Dragon Age's Templars. They are stronger and faster, and can detect each other and the monsters, but need a mystic substance to grant their powers. They can infuse metal they are touching with energy, getting +15 DR, +2d damage, and a (5) armor divisor. Several sub-orders have extra powers, including enhanced senses, Telecommunication, and immunity to projectiles fired from more than 10 yards away.

I'm not sure how that game will go if I run it. It was designed as an ISWAT scenario, with the knights as NPCs that can actually compare with the PCs, but I've grown fond of that world and may try to run it without pulling in world-hopping. I'm unsure how to balance it though, and I suspect at least one player would want to be something other than a knight.

Powered knights are a staple of fantasy in many forms of media. Dragon Age seems to have a lot of different types. DF has holy warriors. In settings with proper mages running around, powered knights aren't a huge balance issue. Sure, they're powerful, but so are the mages, and the powered knights can struggle to keep up with their more magical brethren. I've played short games featuring melee fighters with "powers" of one sort or another and it never feels like they steal the show.

On the other hand, powered knights sometimes show up as the ONLY powers available in a setting, and I think that often causes problems.

Sorenant 10-21-2019 10:58 AM

Re: Powered Knights/Monks [Fantasy/Powers/Supers]

Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl (Post 2291472)
You do not necessarily have to have Signature Gear, but you have to have abilities, either innate or through gadgets (Jedi have both).

I tried my hands on a house rule to make magitech battlesuits for high fantasy a while back, with the objective of giving Armored Core like options to martial characters. I ended up not using it but I think it was a fairly good attempt and I want to eventually go back and remake it taking the good suggestions I received in account.

Imbicatus 10-24-2019 10:57 AM

Re: Powered Knights/Monks [Fantasy/Powers/Supers]
One thing I really hate is using gadgets to replicate equipment that is available. There is no reason to create a gadget power for a force sword when they exist in the setting and can be bought with cash. If the technology to create force swords is a closely guarded secret then that is just a unusual background or high TL advantage.

Equipment is not a power, despite the old technology and magic quote.

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