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Old 02-14-2020, 11:06 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default The Silver Harp : No-Mana Shutdown disadvantage vs "Mana-Sensitive" limitation

From GURPS Thaumatology:
T119 defines the "No-Mana Shutdown" disadvantage
T120 defines "The Silver Harp" (example of "enchantment through deeds" or "traumatic enchantment") as something with this disadvantage.

One thing that stands out to me is that instead of taking NMSD, you could instead save 20 points by taking the -10% Mana Sensitive limitation (B34/453) on 200 points worth of advantages instead...

The only obvious drawback to this is taking -5 penalties in Low Mana (and -10 in Very Low Mana as introduced in Thaumatology) to some rolls (not sure which ones) whereas No-Mana Shutdown only seems to cause problems in No Mana and work perfectly in LM/VLM.

T119 even specifies "For those that merely lose their special abilities – and for advantages that would normally be available to a wielder whether or not the item was “conscious” add Mana Sensitive (p. B34)."

I expect NMSD does not affect passive abilities, so even when The Silver Harp is shut down, she still retains protective elements like Damage Resistance, Injury Tolerance, Doesn't Eat or Doesn't Breathe in No Mana areas.

If we look at just the total of her active abilities though:

IQ+3 60
360v 25
Detect 10
Fearless 4
Mindread 39
Music 20
Nightvision 5
Telesend 39
Voice 10
This totals 212 points, so -10% Mana Sensitive would provide a discount of 21 points, even MORE than 'No-Mana Shutdown' except that it would just mean she would operate at below-normal capacity, rather than needing to be forced into a comatose state when in a No Mana area.

How she would apply -5 in Low Mana to Detect/Mindread/Telesend seems obvious but I'm not sure about the others.

Wouldn't it make sense to take the Mana Sensitive limitation on active abilities (except those which have "Can Be Wielded" or "Controls") you wouldn't want to be usable in No Mana areas, and then take No-Mana Shutdown on top of that?

I guess with physical advantages (360 vision, nightvision, voice) not taking Mana Sensitive on them means someone could non-magically possess the comatose harp and then use those abilities...

If I subtract those (25+5+10=40 points) the total is only 172 so Mana Sensitive on the mental abilities would only provide -17 points, but that still seems like a pretty good deal... and you can see how the total could get higher than 20 for very powerful creatures.

In terms of mental abilities, it seems like it would make sense to give the discount for them (they can't be used by anything, they effectively don't exist) being Mana Sensitive if one takes No-Mana Shutdown, similar to taking Striking ST discounts for No Fine Manipulators and then applies the NFM -30 atop that.
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