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Old 06-26-2016, 05:16 AM   #1
scc
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default Modeling Energy Beings

OK a while back I was working on a re-write of Magic and I ran into a bit of a problem with Elementals. I wanted to do two things:
1) Expand the list of Elementals so that for every Body Of spell there was a corresponding Elemental, and
2) In conjunction with (1) develop a system so that Elemental stat blocks can be more easily created.

Unfortunately doing this ran into a problem: What exactly is and Elemental? Something rather important when you're trying to figure out how something like an Air Elemental can be hurt by physical weapons. Eventually I came up with the answer that Elementals are self-perpetuating packets of energy that can create a body from their surrounding environment.

Soon enough I realized two things:
1) This approach could describe any number of things, nut just Elementals, things like magical spirits, to sci-fi energy beings, right up to gods
2) This is simply a slight change to Unkillable.

Below are the basic rules for this modifier to Unkillable, which I believe should normally be a limitation on par with Achilles Heel.

Energy Being
This is only available for Unkillable 2 or 3. Rather then turning into an energy matrix when you body is destroyed at -10xHP, you are always an energy pattern that may create a body out of the surrounding environment that is destroyed at -10xHP, if you took Unkillable 2 is new body must be constructed from the remains of the old. Your ST and HP scores, if any, represent those of the body you can construct, while HT and FP are for you energy matrix, should for any reason these stats be needed for your physical body they default to 10.

Instead of physical damage being able to destroy you when your FP is reduced to 0 you are destroyed. If you have Unhealing once per turn any number of HP and FP can be freely traded, at a ratio of 1 FP to 1 HP, modified as per usual for high HP.
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Old 06-27-2016, 12:58 PM   #2
Flyndaran
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Default Re: Modeling Energy Beings

Interesting way. I would have gone with Insubstantial with manifesting aka Can Affect Substantial only allowed when around enough of its suitable element.
That allows at least some hypothetical genre dependent ways of hurting or killing it. Gods may not have that, but it at least allows hope for characters to win against NPCs/monsters.
Unkillable 3 can really wreck a game with truly unstoppable foes/heroes.
Unkillable 2 leaves the idea of what residue character "source" material exists if it's an energy being.
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Old 06-27-2016, 06:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: Modeling Energy Beings

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Interesting way. I would have gone with Insubstantial with manifesting aka Can Affect Substantial only allowed when around enough of its suitable element.
That allows at least some hypothetical genre dependent ways of hurting or killing it. Gods may not have that, but it at least allows hope for characters to win against NPCs/monsters.
Thats the way I would tend to lean as well.
If they cant be killed Unkillable is an Extra but if they are merely hard to hit I go with Insubstantial.
Some, especially Spirits could of course have both.
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Old 06-28-2016, 04:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: Modeling Energy Beings

I did look at things like Insubstantial, but was never really happy with what I got. It doesn't quite fit for Air and Fire ones and I wanted all Elementals to have a common set of traits.

And this isn't an option for players, but rather things they may ally with or the like, cases when you need points values.
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Old 06-28-2016, 07:48 AM   #5
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Default Re: Modeling Energy Beings

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Originally Posted by scc View Post
I did look at things like Insubstantial, but was never really happy with what I got. It doesn't quite fit for Air and Fire ones and I wanted all Elementals to have a common set of traits.
I'm confused. I can see Insubstantial being inappropriate for an earth or metal elemental. But neither Air nor Fire can be picked up or damaged by mundane means. So insubstantial sounds like a perfect fit for Air and Fire elementals. So what is the problem?
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Old 06-28-2016, 08:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: Modeling Energy Beings

I think elementals depend on the setting. While GURPS typically shows them to be manifestations of the four elements, existing much as those elements, other media present them differently.

For example, Fire Elementals from different media/lore:

http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/...20130710142941

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0eVEqgbs_R...eElemental.jpg

http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/...20100907232352

http://img00.deviantart.net/7515/i/2...ar-d3iimhy.jpg

From Demon looking creatures to walking burning rocks. So being a tangible being is possible with a fire elemental or with any elemental. Some even argue their bodies aren't truly the element, but solidified magic that takes on the properties of the element. When dealing with magic, lots of possibilities exist =)
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Old 06-28-2016, 03:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: Modeling Energy Beings

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Originally Posted by Emerald Cat View Post
I'm confused. I can see Insubstantial being inappropriate for an earth or metal elemental. But neither Air nor Fire can be picked up or damaged by mundane means. So insubstantial sounds like a perfect fit for Air and Fire elementals. So what is the problem?
That's the thing, they can't walk though walls or the like, and giving them a pass on physical damage is probably a bad idea
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Old 06-28-2016, 03:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: Modeling Energy Beings

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That's the thing, they can't walk though walls or the like, and giving them a pass on physical damage is probably a bad idea
I think Environmental might work as a limitation in that earth based physical objects block air and fire.
That also acts as a way to injure as anything that negates air or fire should affect them. I think.
I'm in the process of creating a kind of insubstantial gremlin with Environmental: Electricity that can't penetrate metal grates or anything like Faraday cages. Even though he's most certainly not physical at all.
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