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 08-29-2016, 09:59 AM   #1
Varyon
On Notice
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Food as Power?

So, I've been revising my Feuyaner a bit recently. For those who'd rather not read through the thread, the Feuyaner are a race with exceptional regeneration (regenerating even from death, so long as the body isn't burned/dissolved/eaten) and the ability to reprogram their bodies (basically, really slow but permanent shapeshifting, with limits). The important bit is that they have a theme of needing large quantities of food to power their abilities - their Fast Regeneration requires them to consume twice what their body normally needs, and they can boost their regen to Very Fast by taking 3 points of Starvation FP damage. They also spend some time needing to eat up to 8x as much as normal just to get by for a while if they "died" and came back, and reprogramming their bodies basically consists of gorging themselves for weeks or months at a time (it uses the rules for Intensive Training, gaining 1 character point per 100 hours and $1400 in food, with the Feuyaner managing 8 hours a day with HT 11- and 16 hours a day with HT 12+, but the time is spent eating and digesting and the money is spent on extra food instead of paying a trainer).

Now, while Required Disadvantage: Increased Consumption, and Backlash: Starvation FP damage sort of work, I think it would be interesting to have abilities that instead use up the food the character has recently consumed, dipping into Starvation FP once he or she runs out. For example, a Feuyaner might slowly, but constantly, burn through his food while Fast Regeneration is in effect, then burn through it extremely rapidly for Very Fast Regeneration.

This "Food as Power" concept isn't unique to my Feuyaner, of course. There's plenty of anime/manga where, formally (Naruto) or informally (One Piece), some characters are able to exceed their normal limits by making themselves very hungry. A (thus-far) minor character in The Stormlight Archives book series is able to metabolize food and/or fat reserves into Stormlight (essentially an Energy Reserve with a "bleeding" Special Recharge). The web serial Symbiote has the titular character frequently burning through concentrated food reserves (referred to as "juice") to boost his/Bob's body (although most of the food they go through is for building biomachines of various sorts, comparable to Feuyaner's ability to reprogram their bodies).

How would we build something like this? Backlash: Starvation FP damage would probably be -7% (Costs FP is -5%*, Hazard: Starvation is +40%), but you can avoid this - for a few FP - by having consumed extra food ahead of time. In theory, we could build this as an Either/Or Limitation (Hazard FP or Trigger+Preparation Required), but that would probably drop the Limitation value to -1% or lower per FP/meal, and that doesn't seem appropriate (this is a real drawback - you can't hold much food in you at a time, so you only get a couple "free" uses before you start hurting yourself). Additionally, what if we want to bring water into the equation - would it be appropriate to apply both Hazard: Starvation +40% and Hazard: Dehydration +20% to the same damage** (such that you can only recover it with extra food and water) for -8%?

On a related note, as written this Backlash isn't something that's appropriate for Fast Regeneration, as it works out to something like 1 Hazard FP (or meal) for the first HP restored, and 1 HFP for every additional HP restored, at the rate of 1 HP per minute, while for Very Fast Regeneration you're looking at 1 HFP for the first 60 HP restored, and 1 per 120 thereafter, at a rate of 1 HP per second, meaning Costs FP is actually less of a Limitation on VF Regen than it is on Fast Regen. Would it be appropriate to - at least for HFP which can't be restored by just sitting around for a bit - have the "per minute" cost on Fast Regeneration be read as "per hour" instead?


*Personally, I think -10% per FP - or maybe the -5% base for costing any FP and another -5% per FP I've seen suggested on the boards - is more appropriate, but I'm going to try to stick with RAW where I can for this discussion.

**Stepping away a bit from our example, I could also see abilities - or hostile attacks - that pull so much from your body they leave you thirsty, cold (or overheated), sleepy, and hungry, for all of Dehydration, Freezing (or Heat), Missed Sleep, and Starvation, a total of +130%, and -11.5% as a Backlash. Would that be legitimate? Note this means recovering the FP requires the character to eat and drink, then go to sleep in an area with a proper ambient temperature.
Varyon is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2016, 10:15 AM   #2
GodBeastX
 
GodBeastX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Behind You
Default Re: Food as Power?

Pretty sure that this would just be Costs Fatigue. If you look at how fatigue damage works for Innate Attacks, conditions come with the fatigue damage. The Costs Fatigue I feel like you can just specify that the fatigue has a condition associated with it, and Exhaustion is the default.
__________________
RPG Jutsu.com - Ninjas Play GURPS
GodBeastX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2016, 11:54 AM   #3
jason taylor
 
jason taylor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: Food as Power?

They would also have logistic considerations such as taking extra rations or stopping a journey to forage.
__________________
"The navy could probably win a war without coffee but would prefer not to try"-Samuel Eliot Morrison
jason taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2016, 02:28 PM   #4
Wavefunction
 
Wavefunction's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Default Re: Food as Power?

I'd treat this as Energy Reserve (Abilities Only, -10%; Special Recharge, Eating, -70%) [0.6/level]. For every 10 minutes you spend eating you regain 1 FP, you can then spend that FP on your abilities (but not for extra effort or power stunts).
Wavefunction is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2016, 03:09 PM   #5
McAllister
 
McAllister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Food as Power?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavefunction View Post
I'd treat this as Energy Reserve (Abilities Only, -10%; Special Recharge, Eating, -70%) [0.6/level]. For every 10 minutes you spend eating you regain 1 FP, you can then spend that FP on your abilities (but not for extra effort or power stunts).
I think this is the winner. "Food eaten but not yet digested" isn't a game-relevant resource to anyone else, so instead of trying to make it so for this race, use the ER.

I'd say the modifiers "can spend FP with the Starvation enhancement from their personal pool if the ER is empty" and "ER slowly empties on its own" probably cancel out, so just specify that that's how it works, use the modifiers Wavefunction listed, and it sounds good to me. Does that match your intent?
McAllister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2016, 07:28 PM   #6
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Food as Power?

I'd just go with Costs Fatigue (Hazard: Starvation) and then extra fatigue to represent the ability to stock up ahead of time.
__________________
My GURPS site and Blog.
Anthony is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2016, 07:28 AM   #7
Wavefunction
 
Wavefunction's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Default Re: Food as Power?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavefunction View Post
I'd treat this as Energy Reserve (Abilities Only, -10%; Special Recharge, Eating, -70%) [0.6/level]. For every 10 minutes you spend eating you regain 1 FP, you can then spend that FP on your abilities (but not for extra effort or power stunts).
Rather than basing it on the time spent we can convert it to quantity. GURPS assumes one meal takes about 30 minutes to eat (see the Slow Eater disadvantage), that means one meal is equivalent to 3 FP. Traveler's rations weigh about 0.5 lbs., but they're the bare minimum to be considered a meal. Let's say 0.6 lbs. for 0.2 lbs. per FP. Now you need some rules for overeating. Perhaps say that you can eat up to two full meals without problems, after that roll HT at -1 per additional 0.2 lbs. of food, failure causes vomiting.
Wavefunction is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2016, 03:31 PM   #8
Varyon
On Notice
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Food as Power?

Here's what I came up with to respond to GodBeastX's comment yesterday, but didn't get around to posting. I'll reply to the others at the end of the post:

My bigger issue is that I want the characters to be able to "front-load" some of the cost by taking in extra food and water beforehand. That's something akin to Preparation Required combined with Trigger, but where the Preparation can potentially be done multiple times (eat/drink a lot more) but has an expiration (extra food/drink eventually gets processed through the body). The Preparation should ideally also have some sort of delay - basically some of the "Preparation Time" doesn't actually require Readies/Concentrates (so a Feuyaner can't just throw a ball of pemmican in his mouth and start healing, he needs a bit of time for it to go through some digestion, but he doesn't have to sit around doing nothing while he's waiting) - although it would be great if the character could have the option of using Readies/Concentrates to speed it up.

So, yeah, pretty much a big complicated mess. I think having Takes Extra Time or Preparation Required or similar be passive (that is, you can act normally while the ability is "charging up") is worth roughly half normal. Being able to go faster by actually taking the needed time (or a fraction thereof) would be RAW Takes Extra Time or Preparation Required as an Either/Or Limitation. For being able to build up multiple Preparations, I'd probably go with Limited Use (Fast Reload; the reload time is automatically subsumed into the Preparation time) tacked onto the Preparation Required (and replaces Trigger), and just say that getting half the number of uses with half the Preparation and ammunition (that is, one use per meal when you can have up to two meals stored) is a Feature (technically it makes Preparation Required a bit less limiting, but probably not enough to mess with it). Preparations going "bad" is going to be similar to Immediate Preparation Required (which is x1.5), although not nearly as strong of an effect (as IPR is functionally "Use within 1 second"). I'd eyeball "Use within 24 hours" (the longest that can count) as around 1.02x, 12 hours as 1.05x, 1 hour as 1.15x, 1 minute as 1.25x, and 1 second as 1.5x. Note these are roughly based on the prices of Regeneration (12h is [10], 1h is [25], 1m is [50], 1h is [100]). In the process of looking that all up, I might have an answer for the Fast Regeneration problem - Extended Trigger (PU8, 18) has half value for 10 minutes, 1/4 for 1 hour, and 1/8 for 8 hours. It might be appropriate to apply that trend elsewhere.

RAW Either/Or Limitations are probably going to round all the above to "Not a Limitation" (<<-5%), so I'll be using an alternate scheme for that. It seems most fair to me for two equal-value Limitations to be at 80% total cost (so two -10% Limitations as Either/Or would be -8%), while for unequal Limitations you'd use a larger fraction of the cost of the less-limiting Limitation. I'd say 85% for 1.5x, 90% for 2x, 95% for 3x, and 100% for 5x, but cap things at 99%. So, if you're looking for alternates to Costs HP -10%, Costs 2 FP -10% makes the whole thing worth -8%, Costs 3 FP -15% is -8.5%, Costs 4 FP -20% is -9%, Costs 6 FP -30% is -9.5%, and Costs 10 FP -50% is -10% (capped to -9.9%). Note this is only appropriate if the two Limitations have no real relationship to each other - Females Only -20% or Natural Redheads Only -40% would be legitimate to map as Either/Or for -18% (90% of the lesser Limitation, which is -20%), but Females Only -20% or Males Only -20% would not be legitimate to map as Either/Or for -16% (80% of -20%), since it's not really a Limitation (unless there are potential targets who don't count as being male or female, but then the Limitation should be an Accessibility based on their prevalence). When more than two Limitations are involved, start with the most expensive for combining them.


So, all told, let's say our Feuyaner can hold up to 2 extra meals and 1.5 extra quarts of water (roughly 2/3 the necessary daily amount) at a time, but these extra meals only last for up to 12 hours. Eating and drinking the extra food and water is quick (and can probably be done on the go - Feuyaner on the march likely carry pemmican, and will basically just throw a handful in their mouth and wash it down with water without breaking step), and the Feuyaner has the option to either sit around for a minute to get his body to process it quickly (making it ready to fuel his abilities) or keep moving around as normal, in which case it isn't usable for 10 minutes (they can mix resting with moving around if they want; every second resting is worth 10 seconds moving). They can burn 1 HFP (Hazard FP; Starvation+Dehydration) or 1/3rd of a meal and .25 quarts of water to have 10 minutes of Fast Regeneration, and can burn 3 HFP or 1 meal and 0.75 quarts of water to have 1 minute of Very Fast Regeneration. For Fast Regeneration, that's [Backlash: 1 FP (Starvation +40%, Dehydration +20%) -8%] or [[Preparation Required, Passive, 10 minutes -15%] or [Preparation Required, 1 minute -20%] + [Limited Use 6 (Fast Reload) -5%]]. The first Either/Or to deal with are the two versions of Preparation Required - -15% is the smaller of the two, and -20% is within 1.5x its price, so we'll go with 85%, or -12.75%. This means our Preparation Required (Either) + Limited Use is -17.75%. We multiply this by 1.05 to account for the Preparation and "Ammo" only lasting 12 hours, for -18.6375%. Combining that with -8%, we end up with -7.6% (95%), but this gets halved (for lasting 10 minutes) to -3.8% for an end cost of [24.05]. If we double the worth of Costs FP, that's instead -13.6% (85% of -16%), halved to -6.8% and [23.3]. For the [25] for Very Fast Regeneration, the case is the same as the above, but with 3 HFP (-24%) and only 2 uses (-15%). This means our Preparation Required (Either) + Limited Use is -27.75%, boosted to -29.1375% for only lasting 12 hours. Combining that with -24%, we end up with -20.4% (85%), for [19.9], and a total cost of [43.95] (round to [44]) for the trait. If we double the worth of Costs FP, that's instead -26.22375% (90% of -29.1375), for [18.444065], and a total of [41.7440625] (round to [42]) for the trait. The two levels of the trait sharing "ammo" is a Feature.
Technically, as built, the character would have to burn 4 uses of FR to activate VFR, and would have VFR for 1 minute and FR for the next 9 minutes. To change this so the character burns 1 use for 10 minutes of FR or 3 uses for 1 minute of VFR, FR is actually built as [Costs 1 HFP or Prep+6 uses; 10 minutes] or [Costs 3 HFP or Prep+2 uses; 1 minute]. Combining -3.8% and -20.4% is -3.762% (99%) and [24.0595]; if doubling the worth of Costs HFP, the total is -6.732% (99%) and [23.317] - either way, it makes no difference to the end cost of the full trait ([44] or [42]).

I think this would work fairly well - a moderately injury Feuyaner can burn a little food and water (or 1 HFP) to heal 10 HP over the course of 10 minutes, while a more severely injured one can burn thrice as much to heal 60 HP over the course of 1 minute (note that with the way Regeneration scales with HP, these are really "Heals 1xHP over 10 minutes" and "Heals 6xHP over 1 minute"). VFR is technically a more efficient use of food and water than FR here, but only when the character has suffered (or expects to suffer very shortly) 3xHP in injury, and I'm actually intending to throw further Limitations onto VFR*, so that shouldn't be an issue. Similar builds might be possible for other "Food as Power" concepts - I think what was holding me back before were the problems that are resolved by floating the Extended Trigger concept to other Limitations and that RAW Either/Or Limitations are a horrible deal - I think my proposed system gives a better discount, although GM's will want to keep an eye out to make certain it isn't being abused (as with the Either Males or Females example).

...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
They would also have logistic considerations such as taking extra rations or stopping a journey to forage.
Correct. This is part of why I think Limited Use (Reload) is appropriate - for VFR, the "ammo" is comparable in price to an arrow ($2 for rations) and weighs a good deal more (0.5 lb for food and 1.5 lb for water, total 2 lb, instead of 0.1 lb for an arrow), but is easier to improvise (simple foraging). For FR, it's closer in both regards to a slurbow dart ($0.67, 0.17 lb for food, 0.5 lb for water, total 0.67 lb, instead of $0.50 and 0.03 lb for a slurbow dart).

(continued next post)
Varyon is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2016, 03:31 PM   #9
Varyon
On Notice
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Food as Power?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavefunction View Post
I'd treat this as Energy Reserve (Abilities Only, -10%; Special Recharge, Eating, -70%) [0.6/level]. For every 10 minutes you spend eating you regain 1 FP, you can then spend that FP on your abilities (but not for extra effort or power stunts).
I'm loathe to use Energy Reserve for powering only a few abilities, as one can easily end up in a situation where "Limiting" your ability costs more than just buying it outright. Additionally, Special Recharge, while I mentioned it as a possibility upthread, is really meant for cases where the character needs to use a specific ability (Leech, Absorption DR, etc). While a GM could probably float it as-is for using rare events/materials to recharge, recharging when eating would be much less of a Limitation, although I couldn't tell you how much it would cost. It would probably be better to come up with an expanded version of Special Recharge that allows for other methods - I'd probably do it by using the relevant "Only While <X>" Limitation (probably an Accessibility) and halving its value. So, a plant-themed character who recharges his ER during the day would buy it with Daytime Recharge Only -10% (from Daytime Only -20%). I'd argue you could do similar for an ability that recharges all the time but is only available for use under certain conditions. So, a nocturnal-themed character could have Night Use Only -10% (from Night Only -20%). Heck, you could combine the two into a super named Daylight Savings or similar, for Daytime Recharge Only -10% and Night Use Only -10% - the character recharges during the day and uses the ER at night (might want to tack on some Slow Recharge while you're at it).
(Note this is a case where my above handling of Either/Or Limitations would be abusable - recharging only during the day is clearly much less of a Limitation than being available only during the day, but an Either/Or of Daytime Only -20% and Special Recharge -70% would combine to -19.8%, which is virtually indistinguishable from the Daytime Only Limitation)
Of course, the above doesn't help me figure out how much it would cost to only recharge while eating. Each Costs ER Only -10% (as McAllister suggests, treating "Can Use Hazard FP instead" and "ER Slowly Drains" as an overall Feature is probably alright) on the [25] for Very Fast Regeneration (from Fast Regeneration) saves [2.5], so as long as "Recharges Only While Eating" is worth more (less? More negative, however it's best to describe that) than -5% we'll at least be saving some points. It's a bit more problematic for Fast Regeneration, where Costs ER Only (10 minutes) -5% saves us [1.25], meaning Recharges Only While Eating would need to be worth at least -50% to save points there).

Still, I'll think about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by McAllister View Post
Food eaten but not yet digested" isn't a game-relevant resource to anyone else, so instead of trying to make it so for this race, use the ER.
Indeed. I've done this in my build above with Limited Use (Fast Reload).

Quote:
Originally Posted by McAllister View Post
Does that match your intent?
Intent, yes, but as above I generally dislike using ER for cases like this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
I'd just go with Costs Fatigue (Hazard: Starvation) and then extra fatigue to represent the ability to stock up ahead of time.
As it currently stands, doing this would mean the character would be paying extra points in order to be able to use the ability once every few days - Costs 3 Starvation FP -21% reduces the cost of Very Fast Regeneration (from Fast Regeneration) from [25] to [20], while buying the 3 extra FP to make up for it would cost [9] (end cost [29]). "Only Counts Toward Offsetting Starvation" could be legitimate Limitation, although I'm not certain what it would be worth (it would have to be at least -50% to have the combination not cost more than VFR alone). Starvation FP recovers at a rate of 1 FP per day, and only if you basically sit around and do nothing but eat and rest (while I'd love to have some better rules for Hazard FP recovery, that's what we've currently got to work with**), so the character will have to be useless for 3 days each time he uses his ability.


*In case anyone is curious, the RAW build for this would be something like Temporary Disadvantages: Blindness, Cannot Speak, Deafness, No Sense of Smell/Taste, Numb, Quadraplegic -200%, which is ridiculous considering Backlash: Unconsciousness -200% has the same cost but is worse (1 minute minimum, HT roll to recover every minute, while with the above the character could opt to cancel it as soon as he hits full HP or starts taking serious damage). I prefer handling Temporary Disadvantage a bit differently, however, which in this case basically means that as long as the ability costs less than [200], the character can get it at 1/5th cost (if it costs more, he gets a [-160] discount). The full build for the Feuyaner's Regeneration is actually Normal Regeneration [10] + Fast Regeneration (Cost 1 HFP or 1/9th daily food+water) [14.43] + Very Fast Regeneration (Cost 3 HFP or 1/3rd daily food+water, Alternate Ability) [3.98], total [29] ([28] if doubling HFP) with VFR as an Alternate Ability to Not a Vegetable [200], which in turn negates the Disadvantage Vegetative State [-200] (a metatrait of the above Disadvantages). Note that, in this case, if the worth of HFP isn't doubled from RAW, the character could instead be built as Fast Regeneration [25] + Very Fast Regeneration (Cost 3 HFP or 1/3rd daily food+water, Alternate Ability) [3.98] for the same [29], which would make his Fast Regeneration work at all times (even when "dead," thanks to Feuyaner also having a form of Unkillable).

**With the current rules, combining Starvation and Dehydration arguably isn't legitimate, since both essentially have the same recovery condition (rest for a day with sufficient supplies), but then that raises the question of why the two have different prices. Honestly, "Chronic Hunger" and "Chronic Thirst" (both comparable to Chronic Pain) as Disadvantages would make sense, and missing meals/water would cause characters to ocassionally suffer those effects, getting worse and more frequent as they continue missing meals/water and eventually causing damage. That damage might call for days of rest with full rations to recover, but the initial effects shouldn't (initial effects would basically end upon getting a single proper meal/drink, but would come back more rapidly until the character managed to keep up on rations for some amount of time; eating/drinking more than usual would allow a character to offset the effects for longer but risk an upset stomach, like Wavefunction suggests). A brief Google search notes British units during the Boer war sometimes surviving on half rations for over a month; in GURPS, even a cinematically awesome stiff-upper-lipped Brit with HP 15 and FP 15 would be at -1xHP and 0 FP (or -1xFP, I forget if FP can go negative) after 30 days of half rations - and that's assuming he's still getting the full needed amount of water.
(To make certain I wasn't confusing GURPS rations with military rations, I decided to take a closer look at some of the GURPS statistics for meals. The 750 lb grain per year for a warrior in LTC3 is consistent with a 3600 kcal/day diet - which is what modern military rations supply - and the hardtack and MRE meal sizes (1 lb and 1.5 lb, respectively) in High Tech correspond to 1200 kcal/meal, for 3600 kcal/day again. Pemmican, on the other hand, appears to assume only a bit over 2000 kcal/day - from what I can tell, Pemmican is typically around 50% protein and 50% fat, so the 0.75 lb/day from High Tech corresponds to 2200 kcal/day. Jerky is listed alongside Pemmican in HT, despite it typically being almost entirely protein - 0.75 lb of it is going to be around 1400 kcal/day; better to go with the 0.5 lb values for jerky in most other GURPS books, which works out to just shy of 3000 kcal/day. Trail mix is similarly around 3000 kcal/day. Overall, it looks like GURPS tends toward 3000 kcal/day - skimpy for military, excessive for sedentary (unless you have to deal with cold temperatures without modern heating; LTC3 suggests around 3000 kcal/day for sedentary). For consistency, I'll probably end up adjusting most meal weight to meet 3000 kcal/day, so those marching Feuyaner above would be eating 1/3 lb pemmican per meal, not 1/4 lb.)
Varyon is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

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 10:42 AM.


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