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Old 12-12-2015, 09:27 AM   #1
dfinlay's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2008
Default Modular Abilities, Alternate Abilities and Consumables

This came up in another thread and I thought it deserved it's own.

If you can set a Modular Ability to something that can be used up, like HP, VR, FP, ER or Ablative DR, what happens when you switch to a new MA? It's clear to me at least that it being used up shouldn't be completely forgotten about: ie., you shouldn't be able to switch to ER, burn it all to cast spells, switch to Flight, then back to ER and burn it all again. This could give you effectively infinite of the resource, especially if you take a reflexive cosmic MA so you can switch it instantly.

Thus, a first interpretation might be that you keep track of the fact that the FP version of that MA is drained and it either recovers only when the MA is in that form or always but whenever you set the MA to FP until it's recovered, you don't get the full amount.

But then what about a whole bunch of similar consumables? What if you switch it from HP to VR to VR (crushing damage only) to HP (costs FP) to Ablative DR? Even being able to use it all up as HP then use it all up as FP and then switch it to flight seems a bit OP (but then again, it is MA). So maybe draining a consumable should drain all consumables it could be (ie., keep track of what percentage of maximum it's at for all of HP, FP, etc. as one variable). Then, though, what rate does it recover at? Can you use it all up as VR then switch to ER so it refills faster (or even to AP if you use The Last Gasp)?

Maybe it's best to simply say the Modular Ability can't be changed until the resource is back to full, though this does seem pretty limiting.

Same questions apply for Alternate Abilities where one or more of the settings are consumable.
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Old 12-12-2015, 10:01 AM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Modular Abilities, Alternate Abilities and Consumables

If you have similar consumables, make them global to the MA. Rather than saying A, B, and C each have their own ER, buy one shared ER on which A, B, and C are all dependent.

An entire AA set is disabled if any one of the abilities runs out of ammo. However, nothing in RAW prevents you from using N-1 shots on each ability. Again, you could have a global ER to share if you want use of any ability to reduce the resources available to all the others.

If a player insists on individual resources, then I'd agree with your suggestion of only allowing each to recharge when that ability is "swapped in". For long recharge times out of combat, pick the proportion each is deemed to be swapped in. Limited Use ("per day") don't all recharge instantly at midnight; prorate them throughout the day, and then take the appropriate proportion. If the player doesn't want to favor any particular ability, just divide it up evenly.

Though I'd most likely just disallow any such compound ability where the individual abilities all had wildly varying resource pools and recharge types and constraints simply as being more annoying that it's worth.

I'd expect some sort of coherent explanation for why the abilities are limited at all, other than "I just needed to make it -20% cheaper to fit under the cap so I threw on Limited Use." And if the ability has a good reason for being compound -- that is, there's some logical in-setting reason for the abilities to all be exclusive aspects of the same underlying power -- then it seems likely that they'd share a global resource pool as well.
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Old 12-12-2015, 03:51 PM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Default Re: Modular Abilities, Alternate Abilities and Consumables

For alternate abilities I use:
-If you use the last charge the whole alternate ability is disabled. But if you have even one point left you can freely switch away.
-Powers regenerate only when active.

Thus say you have 10 ER and a power with 4 daily uses as alternate abilities.

You use 9 ER and switch to the alternate ability. The regeneration of your ER stops until you make it active again.

You use 3 of the daily use power and switch to ER. The daily recovery of the daily ability stops until it is switched in.

You use 10 ER or 4 daily uses and you cannot switch as the whole power is disabled until you gain at least one use.

And so on.
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alternate abilities, modular abilities

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