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Old 09-29-2019, 02:04 AM   #1
scc
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default [DF] How Many Abilities Should A Race Get?

I'm looking to add Succubi to the list of playable races for a DF game when I get around to running it.

Now my current thinking is that Succubi will be an add-on template that can be applied to female members of (just about) any race, my succubi won't be demons, rather they will be a sort of over-flow of creation, gathering the very energy of creation during sex and using it to fuel a limited Power.

as part of that I need to figure out how much stuff they have access to, both as part of their template and that can be brought later on, at this point I've got:
Attractive
Flexibility or Double-Jointed
Claws
Flight, Winged
Payload (Limited to clothing, makeup/perfume, assassin weapons, poison, and other spy/femme fatale gear)

The Power they get access to has the limitations of Requires Energy and ER Only for -10% and has the following abilities:
Healing
Smite Undead, an attack that damages undead
Shapechanging in some form.

I might also allow them access to some spells, most interestingly the one from Bio-Tech, plus maybe Body Control, Mind Control and Healing, this isn't actual magic, but rather involves the manipulation of the Cosmic energies of creation.

Need to figure out exactly what disadvantage(s) they have, but should include at least one related to sex.

Anyone want to add anything?
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Old 09-29-2019, 05:08 AM   #2
Mailanka
 
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Default Re: [DF] How Many Abilities Should A Race Get?

You can add as many abilities as you want; they tend to be self-limiting because GURPS has limited point budgets (ie, if you make your succubus worth 500 points, most DF player characters won't be able to afford to be a member of the race).

Beyond that, you should consider the mental load of the character. Personally, I prefer simpler races that you can describe in a few sentences that are more interesting than "Elves get +1 DX and IQ but -1 to HT and ST while Orcs are +1 ST and +1 HT and -1 DX and IQ." As a rule, I try to give no more than three distinct, well-defined abilities, and I largely build the template around that, though naturally get little cosmetic things ("...and Sharp Teeth.")

If you give them more than this, then the player starts to think more about their race than their occupational template, and this might not be a bad thing. There's a Pyramid Article about treating races as classes. In such a case, the succubus might have a whole range of unique abilities that she may or may not have access to. For example, if the GM wanted to include the Fae as a race, but you had to pick the Fae template as your template (There are no Fae Barbarians or Fae swashbuckler, only Fae, though they might have lenses or something) and there was a whole, unique magic system available only to them from which they drew unique abilities, from a player perspective that might be a lot of fun. From a GM perspective it might be a lot of work, so I'd think twice about it.
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Old 09-29-2019, 01:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: [DF] How Many Abilities Should A Race Get?

I tend to get carried away with giving a race traits but really find the best is a good description, basic traits and then sort of a power-up and optional list of traits.
The more traits you give them the more "baggage" they have and less likely to be played, unless all the traits are focused and its sort of an uber race.
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Old 09-29-2019, 01:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: [DF] How Many Abilities Should A Race Get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scc View Post

Need to figure out exactly what disadvantage(s) they have, but should include at least one related to sex.

Anyone want to add anything?
I'd like to take away a lot. Why would an overflow of sexual energy have wings and claws? Take away the "They're a demon" and those attributes have no point.
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Old 09-29-2019, 02:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: [DF] How Many Abilities Should A Race Get?

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
I'd like to take away a lot. Why would an overflow of sexual energy have wings and claws? Take away the "They're a demon" and those attributes have no point.
Thanks largely to Morrigan Aensland, wings have become pretty much a defining characteristic of succubi (generally batlike, but feathered or dragon-like aren’t uncommon). A second smaller set of wings on the head, shapeshifting, and energy draining via kissing or other intimate contact are also common, but not nearly as universal as the main wings. A succubus without wings generally doesn’t seem like a succubus (and is not uncommonly gets called something else, like a lilim). I’d assume the claws could be gotten rid of, however.

For me, when designing a new race, I typically think of any stat adjustments - those to attributes or indeed appearance - as fluff, since the player can adjust those as needed (there’s nothing stopping them from making a “weak” ST 10 orc, “strong” ST 10 halfling, “fragile” HT 10 dwarf, or whatever). What often really defines a race are those abilities humans don’t have, like flight or regeneration or fiery breath or whatever, as well as flaws that can’t be (entirely) bought off, like being greedy or weak to fire or sex-crazed or whatever. To avoid have too much to be viable (or at least viable outside of a specific role), you’ll probably want no more than three (and one or two is probably better) each of defining benefits and defining drawbacks. Note each benefit or drawback may have multiple traits - my feuyaner have “extremely hard to kill” as one of their benefits, and this is made up of a combination of Regeneration, Regrowth, and even a limited form of Unkillable; their other is the ability to gorge and “reprogram” their bodies (basically, slow semi-permanent shapeshifting), which is actually just a large collection of traits they can opt to add (either during character creation or as a later Power-Up). Their drawback of being weak to fire (they’re roughly based on trolls) is in the form of not only a Vulnerability, but also Limitations on their “hard to kill” traits, while their drawback of being disliked is simply covered by a single Social Stigma.

For the succubi OP is describing, the benefits would be “good at seduction/sex” (Attractive, double-jointed, possibly a Talent involving skills found on certain bioroids in BioTech), “winged flight” (needed, cause it’s a succubus; related, while not part of the Morrigan archetype, I’d be tempted to add a tail), and “sex-fueled superpowers” (shapeshifting is an odd man out there, but see later). Note some of these may be mixed together - succubi might always have wings, but need to burn tantric energy (or whatever you opt to call it) to actually fly. They may also be able to use it to make themselves more attractive (blending it with the first category).
For drawbacks, their wings/tail (and common profession) may make them distrusted or otherwise looked down upon, for “discriminated against” (social stigma), and they’re probably “sex-crazed” (at least Lecherousness, possibly even Unnatural Appetite, and Odious Racial Habit could probably be worked in).
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Old 09-29-2019, 02:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: [DF] How Many Abilities Should A Race Get?

Mailanka should have linked to this blog post of his, as it's both excellent and relevant. Quoting the most relevant bit from it:
Quote:
A template with about 3 big things to remember is vastly superior to a template of equal cost that has 20 little, itty-bitty traits.
Racial templates to be picked up in character creation doesn't have to include all traits. A Vampire might have superhuman strength and agility besides all sort of abilities, but only after they mature. A starting PC Vampire might have no extra ST compared to base race, but only a few core traits like Vampiric Bite. The rest would come later as power-ups.
If I were making a Succubi playable template, I'd start with something like Nymph from DF3 (high universal appearance, voice, charisma, perfume perk, allure talent, sex dependency or lecherousness) and give power-ups that can be later bought granting draining through sex, winged flight, outright mesmerism/fascination, and so on.

Last edited by Sorenant; 09-29-2019 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 09-29-2019, 03:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: [DF] How Many Abilities Should A Race Get?

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Originally Posted by scc View Post
Anyone want to add anything?
Why no Incubi?
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Old 09-29-2019, 07:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: [DF] How Many Abilities Should A Race Get?

Succubi should probably also have Morph (Cannot Memorize Forms, -50%; Mass Conservation, -20%; No Signature, +20%; Retains Shape, -20%; Takes Extra Time, 2x, -10%) [20].
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Old 09-29-2019, 09:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: [DF] How Many Abilities Should A Race Get?

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Succubi should probably also have Morph (Cannot Memorize Forms, -50%; Mass Conservation, -20%; No Signature, +20%; Retains Shape, -20%; Takes Extra Time, 2x, -10%) [20].
Care to explain? It looks like some sort of disguise ability, but I don’t see how No Signature would work (normal Morph doesn’t put a big “I’m actually a person turned into a wolf!” sign above the morphed character’s head, and it’s hard to explain people not noticing, say, a lady’s hair changing style and color while she shrinks and becomes more curvy while they’re looking at her*). I’m guessing “retains shape” means she remains humanoid, but does that include her wings? Winged succubi with shapeshifting powers almost always have the ability to hide their wings, so this seems a bit off if it does. I guess it depends on how you define “shape,” but “number of limbs” seems like it would be a pretty important part of that!

*Change blindness means someone might not notice if they see her before and after the change, but that’s not guaranteed to work. It also doesn’t require any sort of Enhancement, just that the GM realize it’s a thing and play NPC’s appropriately. I suppose No Signature could make it guaranteed, but that feels like it steps too much on the toes of character’s whose whole schtick is being ultra-perceptive. Perhaps the variable form of Low Signature would be more appropriate, as it would simply penalize the check to notice a change?
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Old 09-29-2019, 10:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: [DF] How Many Abilities Should A Race Get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post
You can add as many abilities as you want; they tend to be self-limiting because GURPS has limited point budgets (ie, if you make your succubus worth 500 points, most DF player characters won't be able to afford to be a member of the race).
DF has racial based Power-Ups that allow you to buy extra stuff after creation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Thanks largely to Morrigan Aensland, wings have become pretty much a defining characteristic of succubi (generally batlike, but feathered or dragon-like aren’t uncommon). A second smaller set of wings on the head, shapeshifting, and energy draining via kissing or other intimate contact are also common, but not nearly as universal as the main wings. A succubus without wings generally doesn’t seem like a succubus (and is not uncommonly gets called something else, like a lilim). I’d assume the claws could be gotten rid of, however.
Succubi having wings pre-dates that by a lot, like dating back to at least the Bible. And bat wings didn't start there either, and Morrigan is one of the ones that has the weird bit where the wings are attached to the hips, not the back, which creates more problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorenant View Post
I'd start with something like Nymph from DF3 (high universal appearance, voice, charisma, perfume perk, allure talent, sex dependency or lecherousness) and give power-ups that can be later bought granting draining through sex, winged flight, outright mesmerism/fascination, and so on.
Universal Appearance doesn't work for sexual attraction.

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Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
Why no Incubi?
Those are a LOT rarer, and they don't always exist even when Succubi do.
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