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Old 11-26-2017, 03:48 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2017
Default GURPS FAQ question regarding innate attacks delivered through weapons

I have asked related questions several times on this forum, but I've found a section in the FAQ

that almost answers my current questions. Almost. Note these sections:

First, you need to define your Innate Attack normally. Since the attack depends on the presence of a sword, your innate attack should have either an Accessibility (only while wielding magical sword, -40%) or some of the Gadgets limitations (Breakable, Can be Stolen, etc.).
If on a weapon hit both physical and innate attacks are applied independently of each other, add Link (weapon, +10%).
The latter section implies that without the Link, the innate attack can be performed at the same time as the weapon attack, and the damage is cumulative. Is this true? If not, how is it possible to do this without fiddling with different point values for different weapons?

This line seems to imply that it is true:
...or it can also represents damage a certain weapon deals in addition to its normal, physical attack (for example a Flaming sword that inflicts fire damage in addition to its normal cutting and impaling damage).
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Old 11-26-2017, 07:10 AM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: GURPS FAQ question regarding innate attacks delivered through weapons

An Innate Attack is normally a ranged attack that you activate using an Attack maneuver. Normally you can't use an IA at the same as as making a normal (mundane, unenhanced) melee attack. That melee attack also requires your Attack maneuver. And you can only do one thing per turn (barring Advantages like Altered Time Rate, or magic like Great Haste).

"Link" is an Enhancement to abilities that lets you activate more than one at a time. It's meant to let you combine two or more effects that are often bought separately, but are logically part of this particular ability, for some reason. The 10% charge covers the cost for not having to take two turns to activate the two abilities (one to swing, one to launch the IA). The +20% version lets you choose whether or not to use the IA when you swing. (This might matter if there's something you didn't want to kill, or it's dark and you're trying to be sneaky, or perhaps you're hitting something that gets healed by fire, or would explode if ignited, or the IA also has some cost like using up FP. With the +10% version, you just always get fire on your sword even if you don't want it.)

All that done, you have an IA that fires whenever you do a melee attack. Note that that's really a separate attack, even though they both happen on the same turn. As separate attacks, the sword would have to penetrate DR, and the fire IA would also have to penetrate DR. So you're also likely looking for the Follow-Up "penetration modifier" (a kind of Enhancement); see B105. Making the IA a Follow-Up means that the IA doesn't make its own to-hit roll or penetrate DR. It hits if the sword attack hits, and if the sword penetrates DR, the IA doesn't also have to penetrate DR. (The simple method is to add the damage together -- but you might still have different injury modifiers on the sword (say cutting) and the IA (say burning), which means you might want to roll them separately, or use different-colored dice, or whatever.)

The Accessibility you add to the Innate Attack will limit which weapons you can add the IA to. "Any melee weapon" is less limiting than "any sword" is less limiting than "swords forged in Gondolin for the goblin wars" is less limiting than "this one particular heirloom"; the broader the category, the less the Accessibility on the IA would be worth. But if you do add an Accessibility, the IA simply can't be used at all when you attack with a different weapon. If the ability says "swords only", you can't make your mace burst into flame.

Imbuements (GURPS Power-Ups 1) were invented precisely because it's kind of awkward to build (magical) abilities that add to your (equipment-based) melee attacks. It's a slightly different way to get to the same end -- a character with the ability to make any weapon (sword, etc) they pick up burst into flame, as opposed to having a sword that does that for itself.

Last edited by Anaraxes; 11-26-2017 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 11-26-2017, 07:22 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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Default Re: GURPS FAQ question regarding innate attacks delivered through weapons

The complete quote is:
  • If your innate attack has the same range as your sword, add Melee and one of the following modifiers:
    • If on a weapon hit both physical and innate attacks are applied independently of each other, add Link (weapon, +10%).
So you'd have to have the Melee Attack limitation, meaning that your Innate Attack is subject to the rules of that limitation. Without Link this means that the Innate Attack *is* your weapon. There is no underlying 'normal' weapon on which the Innate Attack sits upon, and thus the Accessibility limitation would be not applicable†. Note that the FAQ states 'either/or' regarding the Accessibility/Gadget limitations.

†: At least not in the sense that there is a weapon separate from the IA with which you would have to attack for the IA to work.
Feel free to add 'IMO' where appropriate.

Last edited by Imion; 11-26-2017 at 07:32 AM.
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