Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-23-2016, 08:04 AM   #1
VariousRen
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Default [Powers] Limitations and Uses of Control

Backstory, skip to the end for properly stated questions:

I recently switched my group over from a custom made magic system (Quite similar to word magic in Thaumatology) to a combination of Sorcery and RPM. The RPM side is working great, and everything seems to be clearly defined enough to be useful, but general enough to be improvised.

Likewise, Sorcery has been great for almost everything, but I've run into a problem with the Control advantage. I think it's just my inexperience with the advantage in particular and Powers in general, but I'm having a hard time understanding what should and should not be possible with it.

The concept that is causing problems is an elementalist, who creates and controls various materials. Create and Control are obvious, straight forward advantages for this. Perfect! In our last game the players were on the high sea, got into a ship-on-ship battle, and ended up with a 6ft square hole at the water line thanks to the enemies ram. The wizard asked if he could use his Control 2 (Water) spell to stop the water from entering the ship after the ram was removed so they wouldn't sink immediately.

Some very quick and rough calculations ended up with something like 2 tons of water entering the ship every second through a hole that size, so I ruled that no, he couldn't do it (control 2 only effects 40lb of material). But after thinking about it, only the surface of the material would need to be controlled, making a screen of water to hold the rest of the ocean back. Some more thinking made me realise I don't really understand how limited Control is suppose to be!

So my questions:

1. How many levels of control(water) would you need to hold back the ocean through a 6ft square hole?

2. Can you use control to make a surface that holds back the rest, instead of controlling an entire amount of the material (A balloon of controlled material to move other stuff around)?

3. The speed of your control is given in an absolute Level yards/sec. What happens when you use control to force something against something else?

4. If I have control (wood) and an increased range enhancement, can I use that to deflect arrows before they hit me if I'm prepared?

5. How much of the material must you be in contact with to Control it? Could you leave a very thin string of the material leading away from the main mass to you so you can control it at a distance?
__________________
I run a low fantasy GURPS game: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdo...YLkfnhr3vYXpFg
World details on Obsidian Portal: https://the-fall-of-brekhan.obsidian...ikis/main-page
VariousRen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2016, 09:23 AM   #2
Gnomasz
 
Gnomasz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Poland
Default Re: [Powers] Limitations and Uses of Control

1. Going with my sense of plausibility, I'd say You need to know with how much force the water pushes in (so, pressure and area), multiply it by earth's gravitational pull and You get a mass… But that's ridiculously unplayable. I'd borrow and reshape the limits on gases to say You can stop a circle wall with a [level] radius, but that seems too cheap. The quickest way I can think of is to figure out the mass of wood or steel "removed" by the ram and use that amount of water. Still a drag, I'm afraid.

2. I don't think so. You can impede someone's (or something's) movement, but You can't move anything indirectly.

3. Generally, I'd say you can slow it down or make it faster by the value of speed determined by Your level of Control.

4. I'd say no, as it isn't telekinesis. I'd say you can bend them slightly, making their flight less predictable, giving Your foe a penalty to hit You, as per Getting Tricky.

5. You don't need to keep that string, even. You only need touch to establish control, not to maintain it.
__________________
My irregular blog: The other game's 3. ed. sorcery in GURPS
Gnomasz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2016, 10:14 AM   #3
Lia Valenth
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: America
Default Re: [Powers] Limitations and Uses of Control

This is hard to answer because Control is so ill defined. In many cases it depends on the genre of the game you are playing. However, my answers would be,

1) No idea. My first thought is 10 levels, but a a 6ft by 6ft by 6ft square hole would be 2x2x2 yards, so if you could control 8 cubic yards of water I'd allow it. 8 cubic yards is about 13,484 lb. That would require 11 levels of control. So, ya, 10-11 levels should be allowed to do that. Depending on the genre I may allow someone with as few as 8 levels, but probably not less than that.

2) I disagree with Gnomasz here, by definition you almost have to be able to do this. If I have Control (Air) moving the air I control by definition means I have to move the air that it is moving through out of the way. That's what I figure anyway.

3) In theory you increase/decrease its speed by the amount you can move it. If it is the same material this kinda works, but this does not really work when you are slowing other things. For example moving air past someone at 6 yards/second is not going to slow them to a stop if they have a speed of 6. You could do some physics calculations, but that is too clunky...hmm...

4) No*. Lets say an arrow flies at about 100 yards/second (this may be way off). If you have control (wood) 100 then, sure, you should be able to do this by just droping it's velocity to 0. With more likely levels of Control, say 2-5, no you just can't effect it's speed or trajectory fast enough. As pointed out by Gnomasz though, you should be able to give something like -1/level to their shot and maybe damage.

5) I think Gnomasz is right.
__________________
The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.
Lia Valenth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2016, 10:27 AM   #4
VariousRen
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Default Re: [Powers] Limitations and Uses of Control

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lia Valenth View Post

4) No*. Lets say an arrow flies at about 100 yards/second (this may be way off). If you have control (wood) 100 then, sure, you should be able to do this by just droping it's velocity to 0. With more likely levels of Control, say 2-5, no you just can't effect it's speed or trajectory fast enough. As pointed out by Gnomasz though, you should be able to give something like -1/level to their shot and maybe damage.
I ended up deciding that it would be a power block, so each level of power gives 1 DR of slowing the projectile down (and requires the spell to be ready since it's sorcery). I like the idea of giving either -1 to hit per level, or 1 DR per level depending on if you are bending the projectile, or matrix trying to stop it dead.
__________________
I run a low fantasy GURPS game: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdo...YLkfnhr3vYXpFg
World details on Obsidian Portal: https://the-fall-of-brekhan.obsidian...ikis/main-page
VariousRen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2016, 11:35 AM   #5
Refplace
 
Refplace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Yukon, OK
Default Re: [Powers] Limitations and Uses of Control

Quote:
Originally Posted by VariousRen View Post
So my questions:

1. How many levels of control(water) would you need to hold back the ocean through a 6ft square hole?

2. Can you use control to make a surface that holds back the rest, instead of controlling an entire amount of the material (A balloon of controlled material to move other stuff around)?

3. The speed of your control is given in an absolute Level yards/sec. What happens when you use control to force something against something else?

4. If I have control (wood) and an increased range enhancement, can I use that to deflect arrows before they hit me if I'm prepared?

5. How much of the material must you be in contact with to Control it? Could you leave a very thin string of the material leading away from the main mass to you so you can control it at a distance?
In this case I would rely on #2 to answer #1.
How fast is the water rushing in? You need that much Control to stop it, less slows it down. That is a simple way to handle the mass and pressure.
Mostly this would be an eyeball it kind of thing in play.
But once you sealed the hole Control would be a great bilge pump.

Moving something else is more like a shove or slam, so based on Mass and possibly ST.

Power Block or Parry are good choices for the Arrows.
If your fast enough and can do it at range a tiny bend in the arrow is going to throw it off course. However I would let Control act as a Power Block even without range.
The bullet stopping power of Neo in the Matrix should be doable with Control IMHO. See Power Block in Powers for details.
__________________
Looking for group in my area
My GURPS official contributions
My GURPS fan contribution and blog:
REFPLace GURPS Landing Page
My List of GURPS You Tube videos (plus a few other useful items)
My GURPS Wiki entries
Refplace is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2016, 12:23 PM   #6
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: [Powers] Limitations and Uses of Control

Quote:
Originally Posted by VariousRen View Post
3. The speed of your control is given in an absolute Level yards/sec. What happens when you use control to force something against something else?
If I were doing this one I'd equate Control to Telekinesis to ST.
__________________
Bill Stoddard

A human being should know how to live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse. Specialization is for insects.
whswhs is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
control, powers, question, sorcery

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.