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Old 07-13-2013, 06:37 PM   #31
Flyndaran
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Default Re: Updating/recreating GURPS Mage the Ascension to 4ed

At best an Avatar is a mysterious non-physical patron, while weaker versions are occasional allies.
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Old 07-13-2013, 06:59 PM   #32
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Default Re: Updating/recreating GURPS Mage the Ascension to 4ed

Just a drive-by note about mixing things up with the other books - werewolves, and to a lesser extent vampires, owe GURPS a ludicrous amount of points. Werewolves are the worst offenders by far, having an unpriced advantage of default 10 rage points which can be spent for one-or-many extra actions per second, never mind everything else you can do with them.

This was a point where pentophilia ganged up with decimal-obsession and the conversion just went septic; werewolves in the original never got that many rage points by starting, and definitely couldn't have 15 or 20, and still only spent them 1:1 for extra actions. I understand the urge to have all starting stats at 10 in a very GURPSy way, but scaling up the starting Rage should have resulted in proportionately scaling up the cost for an extra action, and charging Werewolves for the extra advantage needed to actually use rage points on those actions anyways.

If I am proud of nothing else in my playtesting with SJG, it's proposing and campaigning for the GURPS In Nomine conversion avoid trying to rescale spendable resources to be ten-centered.

Vampires didn't exactly avoid the problem either, but at least they weren't getting ATR for free. Watch out for this sort of thing lurking around in the Mage stuff too; I haven't looked at the mechanics in GM:tA lately, so I can't point at anything specific and intone "Beware! Bewaaaaaare!". Just kind of a general heads-up :)
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Old 07-13-2013, 09:10 PM   #33
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Default Re: Updating/recreating GURPS Mage the Ascension to 4ed

The gurps versions of WOD material was the horrible in terms of gurps-iness, playability, balance, and loyalty to source material.
I don't blame the authors... or at least not solely as I'm sure it was group fumble by many people. No one's perfect, so I harbor no ill will.
Thankfully Thaumatology includes most of the WOD's good unique concepts without their insanely bad mechanics.
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Old 07-14-2013, 12:03 AM   #34
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Default Re: Updating/recreating GURPS Mage the Ascension to 4ed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inquisitive Raven View Post
The problem here is that the Avatar Advantage includes Store Raw Magic, but it isn't just that. It has features in Storyteller that don't translate well to GURPS like being a semi-autonomous part of of a character's soul that functions as a sort of spirit guide, e.g. by setting challenges for Seekings. It's that "functions as a spirit guide" part that's presumably what drives up the point cost of Avatar, but how do you represent it in game? I suppose that you could call the Essence a zero point feature of the Avatar and use it as guideline to choosing mental and maybe social Advantages and Disadvantages, but what else?
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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
At best an Avatar is a mysterious non-physical patron, while weaker versions are occasional allies.
Game mechanically, Avatar in G:MtA is a store for quintessence and a cap on the amount of quintessence a character could spend in in turn. It's role as a spirit guide and in initiating Seekings could be used more as a plot device than an advantage that the PC could call on or expect regular help from.

As far as Essence goes, I definitely see it as a 0 point feature. If a player wants to pick some other traits, like Code of Honor, Obsession, or maybe a Higher Purpose that express their PC's essence, that would be fine, but I don't think it should be required.

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Originally Posted by Inquisitive Raven View Post
Re: Wildcard Skills

Why do you have Occult! listed under Verbena rather than, say, Order of Hermes? It seems more intuitive to me to have some analog of the Shaman skill for them; you could call it Witchcraft! possibly replacing some of the wilderness skills with agricultural skills like Gardening. Also, I think you need an urban version of the Shaman! skill for Dreamspeakers that includes things like Scrounge and Streetwise in place of some of the nature related skills.

Let's see, Medicine! should actually be an available option for Euthanatos, a surprisingly large number of them are healing specialists. The watchword here is "triage." They started out doing medical triage, but about two thousand years ago, they got into what might be called spiritual triage and that's where their rep comes from. There's also a branch called the Lakshmists who are focused almost entirely on chance, many of them hang out at casinos and jigger the results so that people they think are deserving win at the expense of rich jerks. I'm not sure what kind of wildcard skill you could give them.

While all members of the Akashic Brotherhood are trained in martial arts, it's not the primary focus for all them. Some of them are more spiritual leaders or philosophers. You might want to make Cleric! or Scholar! available to those.
The list of wildcard skills was really just off the cuff examples, I didn't mean it to be an exhaustive list of what was available to each tradition, or even that a PC would be required to take any wildcard skill at all. The idea was more to give some ideas of wildcard skills that fit the stereotypes and represent possible unconventional but non-magical training, experience and knowledge that being a member of one of the mystic traditions could provide. I do like some of your suggestions for possible wildcard skills for some of the traditions.
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Old 07-14-2013, 12:34 AM   #35
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Default Re: Updating/recreating GURPS Mage the Ascension to 4ed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
Just a drive-by note about mixing things up with the other books - werewolves, and to a lesser extent vampires, owe GURPS a ludicrous amount of points. Werewolves are the worst offenders by far, having an unpriced advantage of default 10 rage points which can be spent for one-or-many extra actions per second, never mind everything else you can do with them.

This was a point where pentophilia ganged up with decimal-obsession and the conversion just went septic; werewolves in the original never got that many rage points by starting, and definitely couldn't have 15 or 20, and still only spent them 1:1 for extra actions. I understand the urge to have all starting stats at 10 in a very GURPSy way, but scaling up the starting Rage should have resulted in proportionately scaling up the cost for an extra action, and charging Werewolves for the extra advantage needed to actually use rage points on those actions anyways.

If I am proud of nothing else in my playtesting with SJG, it's proposing and campaigning for the GURPS In Nomine conversion avoid trying to rescale spendable resources to be ten-centered.

Vampires didn't exactly avoid the problem either, but at least they weren't getting ATR for free. Watch out for this sort of thing lurking around in the Mage stuff too; I haven't looked at the mechanics in GM:tA lately, so I can't point at anything specific and intone "Beware! Bewaaaaaare!". Just kind of a general heads-up :)
Thanks for the heads up. I'll keep an eye out for that. I remember seeing you (or someone else) mention this issue with GURPS: Werewolf before. If I ever get around to werewolves and vampires as PCs, I'll keep an close eye on it.

As far as mages go, I haven't run across anything that they get for free, although some of the costs in G:MtA are a bit out of line with standard GURPS costs. Dream, for example, is essentially a version of Modular Abilities that costs 3 per level. When I worked out as best I could how much it would cost to recreate, it came out to 13 per lvl. Spheres actually cost more than equivalent realms from Thaumatology work out to, and Avatar costs more than Raw Magic Store.

Mages' spendable resource is quintessence, which gives +2 to skill for casting per point spent, which can be a big deal, but isn't all that exploitable. It also doesn't come cheap. Each 10 points spent on the Node advantage in G:MtA gives one point of quintessence per month. Anything else has to be found, stolen, fought for, etc. -- until a character has Prime sphere at level 5 and can recharge his or her Avatar outside of a node.

It may be that Mage escaped the worst of the WoD GURPSification problems. It didn't introduce a new stat, treating most of the WW traits as leveled advantages instead.
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