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Old 05-13-2016, 03:21 AM   #1
NorthernKnight
 
Join Date: May 2016
Default Really tricky Advantage for new GM - Help please?

So, for starters, i'm a fairly new GM, i'w run GURPS as a GM for about 8 months. And now, i'm pretty stuck on the design of an advantage, and i need a retake on how to approach it. It's part of a complete racial template.
So, let me describe what i'm trying to do.

The race advantage in question, is temporary camouflage. Once a creature flays/shed it's skin, it becomes the same coloration as it's surroundings. Think organic gillie-suit, or a lesser version of the Cameleon advantage.
Then, a number of days after the flaying/shedding, the skin slowly starts graying and after about a year, it's completely grey.

So, before i start jumping in with my own thoughts, what are yours?

EDIT: Clarification
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Old 05-13-2016, 03:55 AM   #2
Mailanka
 
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Default Re: Really tricky Advantage for new GM - Help please?

It's not Chameleon, because it doesn't adapt, not on a scale fast enough to matter for the Chameleon advantage.

It's closer to the "Limited Camouflage" perk from Power-Up Perks, except it can change. Thus, it sounds like a modular advantage that is limited to only Camouflage perks, slowly wears out, and requires some time to change skin. I haven't done the math, but I doubt, altogether, that it would come to more than 2 points.
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Old 05-13-2016, 05:05 AM   #3
Culture20
 
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Default Re: Really tricky Advantage for new GM - Help please?

How long does it take before the creature can shed its skin again? One year?
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Old 05-13-2016, 05:19 AM   #4
NorthernKnight
 
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Default Re: Really tricky Advantage for new GM - Help please?

The amount of time taken between shedding skin is voluntary, aka, the creature chooses when to shed or not to shed.

The Benefit of Shedding is camouflage. The cost is a little bit of raw skin.
(Maybe a 1 hp cost or similar, or the loss of their racial High Pain Threshold for a limited duration)

Having old grey skin is status, and fresh, more "camouflage" skin is less status.
Originally it developed as a mechanism for hunting and hiding in dense canopy jungles. And has trough time evolved into a status symbol.
A skilled hunter doesn't need camouflage, or, a person not needing fresh and camouflaged skin is already well off and has accomplished what he needs in life.
That sort of mentality. I can go deeper into if someone is interested but trying to keep it brief for now.

I'w strongly considered older and grayer skin to climb up towards 2 or 3 points fo DR, so it's always a trade-of between what you get and don't get.
Aka, making it a (Correct me if i'm wrong) modular advantage.
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Old 05-13-2016, 05:22 AM   #5
NorthernKnight
 
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Default Re: Really tricky Advantage for new GM - Help please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post
It's not Chameleon, because it doesn't adapt, not on a scale fast enough to matter for the Chameleon advantage.

It's closer to the "Limited Camouflage" perk from Power-Up Perks, except it can change. Thus, it sounds like a modular advantage that is limited to only Camouflage perks, slowly wears out, and requires some time to change skin. I haven't done the math, but I doubt, altogether, that it would come to more than 2 points.
Thank you for that info, i'l go check it up immediately.
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Old 05-13-2016, 08:18 AM   #6
Mailanka
 
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Default Re: Really tricky Advantage for new GM - Help please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernKnight View Post
Aka, making it a (Correct me if i'm wrong) modular advantage.
I was thinking about a modular advantage to begin with, though mind you it's a very limited version (it requires a bunch of stuff and takes, say, a month between changes, you can't use it to grow quills or to become super-intelligent or to shoot fireballs). You can include Limited Camouflage in the set, so in effect the race has a few different "skin modes" they can be in.
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Old 05-13-2016, 08:26 AM   #7
Culture20
 
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Default Re: Really tricky Advantage for new GM - Help please?

So they literally could shed their skin every second if they were in a location where the background changed as quickly? How long does it take to shed their skin? For most reptiles or insects this takes a while.
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Old 05-13-2016, 08:59 AM   #8
Culture20
 
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Default Re: Really tricky Advantage for new GM - Help please?

One level of Chameleon, Accessibility:Only in environment where activated -?%, Costs HP (usually -10%, but it's a one-time cost for a month or more, so maybe -5%), Extended Duration: x1000 +120%, Temporary Disadvantage: Social Stigma (not gray) -5%, Takes Extra Time x2 (4 seconds to rip the skin off) -20%
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Old 05-13-2016, 11:22 AM   #9
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Default Re: Really tricky Advantage for new GM - Help please?

Interesting advantage. I'd be really tempted to just house rule it. Something like...

Versatile Skin (5 points)
The being can shed their skin (taking 30 seconds), and when they do, the layer remaining matches the coloration of its surroundings (+6 camouflage bonus to Stealth when still, +3 when moving, when in the same kind of environment the skin was shed in), but the skin is thin enough to cause other problems. The thin skin is pretty raw and sensitive, giving a -3 to resist any pain effects that relate to the skin (counters high pain threshold), and does not provide any DR.

Each month, the camouflage degrades as the coloration is lost and the skin turns grey, resulting in a reduction of the camouflage bonus by 1 (round down for the halving done for the bonus while moving). But the benefit is that the skin thickens and provides more protection. Every two months, the pain sensitivity penalty reduces by one (until it reaches zero), and the DR goes up by 1 (to a maximum of 3). When the camouflage bonus and pain penalties are gone, and the DR is maxed out, the skin is leathery and gray.

Special Appearance Reaction Modifier (5 points)
As a racial Advantage, Versatile Skin has become part of the culture. It is considered impressive to not have to use the camouflage, and to allow one's skin to reach the fully mature gray form is a valued status symbol. In combination with the Versatile Skin advantage, this advantage grants a reaction bonus equal to the current DR of the skin.
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Old 05-13-2016, 12:14 PM   #10
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Really tricky Advantage for new GM - Help please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernKnight View Post
Having old grey skin is status, and fresh, more "camouflage" skin is less status.
Chameleon is 5 CP / level. Social Regard is 5 CP / level. So, this looks like an opportunity to use a stacked Alternate Ability: AA { Chameleon or Social Regard } [6/level]. You might have, say, 2 levels, and have +2 Chameleon, or a bit later +1 Chameleon and +1 SR, and later yet +2 SR. You can voluntarily reset to the all-Chameleon state by shedding your skin.

Normally you can switch between abilities in an AA at will, whereas here you can't willingly shift toward Social Regard, or even increment back toward Chameleon. So that's probably worth an additional limitation. I'm tempted to go with -20% just to cancel out the 1/5 AA cost :) As for the clock to automatically shift to gray skin, just decree it to be so as part of this custom Limitation. (That's not going to be easy to build.)

The original description -- taking on the coloration of your surroundings -- seems to me to imply that you can't change your coloration later. Shed in the forest, you get no Chameleon bonus in the city or later in the desert. This might be worth a Limitation on the Chameleon component as the Chameleon bonus often wouldn't apply, but if characters can re-Chameleon at will, then not.

The SR part of the AA also likely rates a Limitation, as the SR presumably only applies to members of the chameleon race that are impressed with your grey skin. That would be normal price if the chameleons are the "reference society" for the campaign -- most of the people the PCs interact with -- or it might rate a discount if chameleons are just occasional aliens in a human society, most people aren't impressed by that gray skin, and society as a general rule doesn't particularly respect such chameleons.
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