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Old 03-25-2020, 05:48 PM   #1
Arith Winterfell
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Indiana, United States
Default Leech and Touch Attacking

So I'm trying to create a Leech power for a necromancer character, and I was reading that the base power requires prolonged touch, usually a grapple. What modifiers do I add to make it an attack that only requires touch (not skin to skin, just one hit on an opponent drains the Leech level of HP). I figured the close attack might, but that's a reduction in cost rather than raising the cost, so that didn't seem right.

Or would I need to do something like set it up as a malediction first, then applying close range, no parry to that instead of the ranged modifier?

What's the right approach here?
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:11 PM   #2
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Leech and Touch Attacking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arith Winterfell View Post
I'm trying to create a Leech power for a necromancer character, and I was reading that the base power requires prolonged touch, usually a grapple.

What modifiers do I add to make it an attack that only requires touch (not skin to skin, just one hit on an opponent drains the Leech level of HP).

I figured the close attack might, but that's a reduction in cost rather than raising the cost, so that didn't seem right.

Or would I need to do something like set it up as a malediction first, then applying close range, no parry to that instead of the ranged modifier?

What's the right approach here?
The canonical way to make a non-grappling Leech seems to be adding Malediction which makes it a touch-based Malediction unless you also add Ranged on top of it.

The reasoning was something like if you remove that requirement you need some way to substitute that with some other requirement, which strikes me as really strange, since there's still dodging if you did Ranged on it's own...

Two modifiers worth taking into account for this are found in Powers: The Weird, albeit for Innate Attack: Requires Grapple and Half Damage Without Grapple.

They're found on page 21 and "Apply damage after each full second the hold is maintained." is I'm guessing how Leech is supposed to work too...

They're merely -10 or -5 compared to the minimum +100% spent on Malediction, but then Malediction does so many other things (allows you to affect insubstantial foes, removes active defences, etc)

Given that Talent (and presumably Reliable) adds to your rolls to grapple with Leech normally, you lose that benefit when you make it a non-grappling attack, so I don't even know why you need Malediction.

The final key if you want to build from the raw "just use Malediction" approach to make it less Maledicty is in Power-Ups 8 page 18 called "Weaponized".

Basically:
1) buy Ranged+Malediction pair for Leech
2) buy Weaponized
3) buy Melee -30%

Needing to buy ranged then buy melee seems convoluted but Weaponized is only available for Ranged Maledictions so it seems necessary.

But once you make it a ranged attack you can re-make it melee by applying Melee.
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Old 03-26-2020, 05:29 AM   #3
Arith Winterfell
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Indiana, United States
Default Re: Leech and Touch Attacking

Interesting! But drat, while I actually have both Powers and Powers: The Weird, I lack Power-up 8 . . . so I have no idea how to do things with the "Weaponized" version.

I suppose I will just go ahead and use Ranged + Malediction, as at some level I liked the image of the necromancer just reaching out a sucking the life force out of foes at a short distance, which is what I thought Malediction 1 did (as it uses Magic rules of -1 per yard distance rules).
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:36 AM   #4
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Leech and Touch Attacking

The main purpose of Malediction is to let the effect ignore DR. That's why it's classed as a penetration modifier.

The ranged penalty in the description of Malediction is only relevant if you have a ranged attack to start with. The assumption the text usually seems to have is that an "attack" is an Innate Attack, so ranged. (Not a rule, just one of those unconscious biases authors and editors have.) But Leech doesn't have a range, so if you want the ability to work at a distance, you'd also have to add Ranged -- at which point the Malediction range penalties (and increased costs) become relevant.

I suppose you could argue that Leech already has the DR-ignoring ability built in. Grappling doesn't penetrate DR, but the base form of Leech works that way -- so why the need for Malediction? (RAW is pretty clear about requiring Malediction+Ranged for a ranged form.)

The other oddball effect is just the extended contact requirement. Leech works on a per-second basis, if you maintain contact for that full second (as opposed to just tapping the target once during your one-second turn). That's part of the "color" package, since it's supposed to be a vampiric ability. The ranged form presumably assumes that you're still draining over whatever the ranged link it -- important when the black beam linking you to your target is obvious (see No Signature if you don't want the effect to be obvious). So, you might add a level of Reduced Time and count that as changing "full second of contact" to "momentary contact", while still taking the usual full action. (Normally Reduced Time on a single action makes it an instant "free action". Leech is the only place I can think of that has the notion of "entire turn" versus "brief touch", both taking up the one action in a one-second turn, yet being somehow distinguishable intervals of time.)
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:38 AM   #5
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Leech and Touch Attacking

The other option is to just drop a Cosmic modifier on it. The typical +50% seems balanced enough.
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:50 AM   #6
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Leech and Touch Attacking

One other thing I forgot OP, Power-Ups 1: Imbuements pg 14 has "Vampiric Weapon" which might interest you, but that links the HP you receive to how much injury you can inflict, which you might not want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arith Winterfell View Post
Interesting! But drat, while I actually have both Powers and Powers: The Weird, I lack Power-up 8 . . . so I have no idea how to do things with the "Weaponized" version.
It's also on page 21 of GURPS Psionic Powers if you have that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
The ranged penalty in the description of Malediction is only relevant if you have a ranged attack to start with. The assumption the text usually seems to have is that an "attack" is an Innate Attack, so ranged.

(Not a rule, just one of those unconscious biases authors and editors have.)
I wouldn't say an UNconscious bias, given that Malediction (B106) has the gun icon which B102 says is intended for "Attack Enhancements and Limitations" so legally these modifiers are...
intended only for Affliction, Binding, and Innate Attack, and for advantages modified with the Ranged enhancement
That's why it seems justified to have already touch-based abilities like Leech or Possession pay the +10% toll (+40% ranged -30% Melee Attack) to shift into a touch + Quick Contest rather than some other default thing (like requiring ongoing grapple, or 1-sided Resistance Roll)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
I suppose you could argue that Leech already has the DR-ignoring ability built in. Grappling doesn't penetrate DR, but the base form of Leech works that way -- so why the need for Malediction? (RAW is pretty clear about requiring Malediction+Ranged for a ranged form.)
I remember reading explanation somewhere it's all about finding a substitute for the grapple...

The -10% for "requires grapple" on Innate Attack, that inverted relationship is sometimes seen (like P108 Long-Range 50/lvl vs P112 Short-Range 10/level)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
The other option is to just drop a Cosmic modifier on it. The typical +50% seems balanced enough.
Nov 2006 Kromm quote supporting exactly that here: http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?p=313188

It perfectly replicates the pricing dichotomy between Long/Short range so it just seems perfect.

If you wanted to reduce Leech to "Half Damage Without Grapple" from Powers: The Weird, then I would speculate +25%

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Normally Reduced Time on a single action makes it an instant "free action". Leech is the only place I can think of that has the notion of "entire turn" versus "brief touch", both taking up the one action in a one-second turn, yet being somehow distinguishable intervals of time.)
We can't use RT on attacks to make them less than 1 second anyway (0-second abilities are only for non-attacks) but I agree it makes sense in the case of Leech since we're just talking about approaching 1 second from multiple seconds.

The +50% removes the need for a grapple (maintained contact during waiting time) but Kromm didn't mention it removing the 1 second delay you have to wait after attacking for them to lose the HP and for you to gain the HP...

So +70% could be for the HP exchange happening at the exact moment of attack, rather than after the 1-second delay.

Also since you need to use an attack to actually activate leech (it's not just some passive thing you can activate as a free action whenever someone hugs you) that's actually in addition to a grapple, so you'd need to use AOA:Double to Punch+Leech in a single turn...

I could see taking a 2nd level of reduced time (+90%) or you could think of it as Link +20% (same price) to be able to combine punch+leech-initiation into a single attack so you don't need to take AOA:Double.
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Old 03-26-2020, 02:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Leech and Touch Attacking

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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
One other thing I forgot OP, Power-Ups 1: Imbuements pg 14 has "Vampiric Weapon" which might interest you, but that links the HP you receive to how much injury you can inflict, which you might not want.
I have so many issues with how base Leech works that I replaces it with a new version based on Vampiric Weapon being 15 or 30pts (15 for one attack or weapon). Then you just add an IA that does damage how you want. Toxic Attack 0d+1 with Melee (C, Can't Parry) and Ignores Defenses seems close enough.
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Old 03-27-2020, 08:36 AM   #8
Arith Winterfell
 
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Default Re: Leech and Touch Attacking

Wow. That's a lot of good potential options to keep in mind. Really useful! Thanks everyone! :)
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