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Old 08-18-2015, 08:01 AM   #72
vicky_molokh's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kyïv, Ukraine
Default Re: (Unofficial) FAQ of the GURPS Fora

Q: Some traits are obvious, some aren't. Some take the Low Signature / No Signature enhancements, others take the Visible limitation. E.g. just how obvious is DR (Damage Resistance) supposed to be? What other principles are there to figuring which applies?
First, a bit of a basic split from GURPS Powers:
Originally Posted by Powers, p. 163-164
If the ability isn’t based on a mental-
influence advantage (e.g., Mind
Reading or Mind Control) or another
trait with explicitly invisible effects,
isn’t totally passive, and isn’t enhanced
with No Signature (p. B106), then the
buyer must describe a set of effects that
are obvious to one or more ordinary
human senses. These occur whenever
he uses the ability. Observers notice
them automatically, barring obstruc-
tions or missing senses.
[ . . . ]
Advantages with invisible effects,
such as Clairsentience and Telekinesis,
are genuinely undetectable to normal
senses – even if their consequences are
obvious, like a rock tossed with TK –
unless given the Visible limitation
(p. 112).
Originally Posted by Powers, p. 228
Some supers with relatively subtle
powers, such as the ability to absorb
the energy of others’ attacks and use it
for themselves, even make a point of
boasting about their abilities . . . when
they’d surely do better to keep quiet
and exploit the ensuing surprise. GMs
may choose to allow supers to take the
Visible limitation (p. 112) when a
power is not actually visible but the
character’s bragging and behavior
make its effects obvious anyway.
Absorbing energy of enemy attacks is surely a form of DR with Absorption.

A more direct exchange with Kromm:
Q: How obvious is DR (Damage Resistance) to onlookers? Does it include any incoveniences? Is there a point to making it Switchable?
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Damage Resistance is normally "always on," per the first paragraph of Turning Advantages Off and On (p. B34). It has no crippling bulk or appearance issues by default, so "it never inconveniences you."

There's little value to being able to switch DR on and off. You must still add Switchable, +10% if you wish to do that, though. Presumably, if you want such a feature, you have ways of making it useful. You can balance that cost with Nuisance Effect and so on to get DR at +0% that's funny-looking or bulky when on, out of the way when off. This isn't a net drawback, because once again, it has its uses. If nothing else, it's really annoying to have to subtract DR from the HT rolls for beneficial Afflictions, or to turn aside hypodermics when you need to be immunized against plagues!

Finally, you can take limitations that shut down or reduce the availability of your DR. These are most often such things as Accessibility and Uncontrollable. If you have a drawback like that, then you don't need Switchable as well.
Kromm later elaborates further:
Originally Posted by Kromm's email
Normally, DR isn't visible. It may BECOME visible if:

* it has a modifier -- not necessarily a limitation -- that renders it
active rather than passive (true for the Active Defense limitation and
the Switchable enhancement), or outright states that it transforms the
DR into something visible;

* it has a power modifier that always has some visible special effect,
which isn't necessarily a drawback worth points when balanced by some
small positive special effect;

* it is justified by a perk like Feathers, Fur, or Scales; or

* its visibility is an effective zero-point racial feature, like being
a tank or being a mammoth, either of which is obviously tough to those
who know what it is (aliens would have no reason to know that a mammoth
has tough skin and may never notice that if they never dissect one and
their ultra-tech weapons cleave right through DR 4, while stereotypical
cave-men would know about the mammoth but not realize they can't spear
a tank);

However, if a human-looking super or android has armored skin, that is
not automatically visible. Attacks will soon reveal the truth, but that
isn't the same as the super or android looking like a mammoth or tank
all the time.

The author of MH notes a genre-specific handling for Monster Hunters:

Q: Are Claws retractable if no modifiers are applied to them? If yes, how hard are they to notice? Or do they get in the way all the time?
Originally Posted by PK View Post
You pretty much have three alternatives with Claws.

1. You cannot retract them at all. Buy Claws normally, and probably also Poor Grip to reflect the issues with holding equipment, etc.

2. The claws don't get in the way, due to either good design or the ability to partially retract them (but where they're still completely visible and obvious). Buy Claws normally.

3. You can retract your claws fully, so that they're impossible to even notice when you have them withdrawn (without x-rays, etc.). Buy Claws with the Switchable (+10%) enhancement.
Originally Posted by PK View Post
The cost of Claws assumes that they don't get in your way and make life difficult -- if they do, that's a separate disadvantage. Otherwise, it's safe to assume that you can retract them somewhat, so they're not in your way, but so that they're still very visible and noticeable.

You only need to add Switchable (+10%) if you want to be able to conceal them completely -- as if they actually retracted fully back into your hand, like Wolverine's do (in the movie and most of the comics).
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Yes. Switchable is intended to let you pass as someone without the advantage. If all you can do is avoid the logical drawbacks of an always-on physical ability . . . well, that's the default situation for an advantage. Anything worse is Nuisance Effect or similar.
Vicky 'Molokh', GURPS FAQ and uFAQ Keeper
The Eye of Eclipse Phase. A Discord server focusing on Roleplaying, Sci-Fi, Transhumanism, and discussion of other assorted topics, from tech to boardgames, from politics to philosophy.

Last edited by vicky_molokh; 10-09-2017 at 09:55 AM.
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