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 09-05-2020, 06:39 PM   #121
kirbwarrior
 
kirbwarrior's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Dreamland
Default Re: GURPS Magic: The Least of Spells

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorenant View Post
I can't find it now but I swear I've seem Kromm saying TDMs doesn't apply to magic.
Sorry, that was my point. Taking them away seems off. Not only does that preclude trivial casting, but it also makes magic much easier than other tasks in scary situations that would normally get -10, such as the Driving example on Basic 345-346
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmicfish View Post
While I do not think that GURPS is perfect I do think that it is more balanced than what I am likely to create by GM fiat.
kirbwarrior is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2020, 07:45 PM   #122
Sorenant
 
Sorenant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Default Re: GURPS Magic: The Least of Spells

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirbwarrior View Post
Sorry, that was my point. Taking them away seems off. Not only does that preclude trivial casting, but it also makes magic much easier than other tasks in scary situations that would normally get -10, such as the Driving example on Basic 345-346
I understand you now, sorry for not catching it earlier.
Sorenant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2020, 02:06 PM   #123
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: GURPS Magic: The Least of Spells

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirbwarrior View Post
Not just these, but also allowing common TDMs to apply to magic use. Getting a +4 or even +10 to use spells in utterly regular situations would go a long way even just for Least Spells.
For those exploring the idea of applying TDMs... right above them on B345 is "Equipment Modifiers" too...

Perhaps this kind of "soft cap" would be useful rather than M8's "Magic Ingredients" hard cap?

"No Equipment" is "-10 for technological skills, -5 for other skills" so it should still be feasible to do magic without it. Merely a -2 for "improvised" could also allow some wiggle room (ie ran out of "eye of newt", next best thing is "eye of frog")

Plus it opens the door to +1/+2 for good/fine ingredients (purebred newts instead of wild mutt newts)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirbwarrior View Post
Ember might be so trivial to use that no roll is required just like no roll is required to find the corner store or walk a dog,
PU2p16 requires the "No Nuisance Rolls" perk for this when your effective skill is 16+, so if one were to allow something like NNR without the perk, the effective skill requirement ought to be much higher, like maybe 20+?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirbwarrior View Post
only FP
I take it that since this modifies effective skill and not base skill, it couldn't be used to cast spells in less energy?

It's less imposing in that case I guess, but it still makes for stronger spells which would be more capable of resisting attacks on them like Counterspell. Is that okay?

OTOH even if it doesn't give -1 cost tiers, TDM bonuses would increase chances of critical success (0 energy) and decreases chances of fails (1 energy wasted) or crit fails (full energy wasted) so it could influence long-term FP loss...

One useful point of comparison would be Magical Styles pg 25 Intuitive Cantrips. Using "Kindle" (M26) for example, would be competetive to NNR touch-casting Ignite Fire (M72) since it doesn't cost energy (and in fact synergizes if you do know the spell: -1 to FP cost on touch-casting)

Since Kindle only works on (B433) stuff that's Highly Flammable or higher, it presumably acts like Burning Attack 0.25, with -10% Mana-Sensitive -30% melee, and some kind of +40% enhancement that allows it to also function as -1 FP cost (touch only) for the Ignite Fire spell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorenant View Post
I can't find it now but I swear I've seem Kromm saying TDMs doesn't apply to magic..
PP6 mentions using them for psi under Using Psionic Skills - Situtional Modifiers. Feels bad if we couldn't do it for magic... you could presumably use it for Sorcery since both involve Powers rules.

The "Additional Contact" rules on PP6 also feel right for magic too.

PP6 is actually less generous than GURPs Magic in one way: to get a "Time Spent" bonus (even a tiny +1) isn't necessarily just double-time, but possibly way longer (like x60 time for a 1-second ability) because of the instruction to increase base time to 60 if less.

M9's optional AMR box (topright last par) OTOH just requires double time to get the +1. "Loudly and articulately" might be more audible than "clearly spoken" though (bonus to enemy Hearing rolls?) just as "softly spoken" (-2) probably would give a Hearing rolls penalty for enemies. That and "no incantation" seem to function a lot like Low Sig / No Sig.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirbwarrior View Post
Sorry, that was my point. Taking them away seems off. Not only does that preclude trivial casting, but it also makes magic much easier than other tasks in scary situations that would normally get -10, such as the Driving example on Basic 345-346
That does seem like an interesting balancing factor. Looking at how the driving examples progress seems to give sort of cumulative tiered penalties from the -0 "car chase" default
-1 if it's "high-speed" (not sure what you base that on, depends on Basic Move of the car?)
-1 to -2 if "busy freeway" (really unsure how to evaluate that)
-3 to -4 if "shooting a gun out of the window" (this doesn't mention freeway is busy) which is more than the usual "-2 for doing 2 things at once" and more akin to the -4 for "Dual Weapon Attack"
-5 to -6 if driving "in a blizzard" (I could see this coming in levels depend on thickness, much like darkness)
The 8/9 situation (-7/8 relative to the -1 "high speed chase" used in all) combines the previous two (shooting a gun + blizzard) but is a lesser range than merely summing them (where you would expect to see -8 to -10). This doesn't specify "out the window" though, so I guess it could refer to firing a gun inside the car, which could be easier?

The first factor of the -10 "A Driving roll to steer a car with the knees" sounds like PU2p16 "Hands-Free" perk which allows it at "no penalty" though I'm not exactly sure how you'd determine the "default penalty" for that situation. Probably less than -10 since there are other factors involved there. Feels like it ought to be a bit more than the -2 for "grappling with legs" though, especially if "off-hand" steering suffers a -4.

-10 actually doesn't seem like enough for that situation... it's only 1-2 points higher than the preceding one.

I guess maybe it's not meant to be linear/additive though since % chance of success drops more rapidly the more penalties you get.
Plane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2020, 07:46 PM   #124
kirbwarrior
 
kirbwarrior's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Dreamland
Default Re: GURPS Magic: The Least of Spells

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plane View Post
PU2p16 requires the "No Nuisance Rolls" perk for this when your effective skill is 16+, so if one were to allow something like NNR without the perk, the effective skill requirement ought to be much higher, like maybe 20+?
I think the most important part is how 'trivial' something is. For instance, Telesend requires an IQ roll to use... but in day to day use you'd be getting a +10 for 'utterly trivial use' and I wouldn't have you roll at all. I think for anything that would get a +4 from TDMs I would let a 16-17 not need to roll because it's assumed you'll succeed. The perk is so nice because it lets you succeed with +0 TDMs or even worse with lenient GMs if your skill is high enough without rolling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plane View Post
That does seem like an interesting balancing factor. Looking at how the driving examples progress seems to give sort of cumulative tiered penalties from the -0 "car chase" default
-1 if it's "high-speed" (not sure what you base that on, depends on Basic Move of the car?)
-1 to -2 if "busy freeway" (really unsure how to evaluate that)
-3 to -4 if "shooting a gun out of the window" (this doesn't mention freeway is busy) which is more than the usual "-2 for doing 2 things at once" and more akin to the -4 for "Dual Weapon Attack"
-5 to -6 if driving "in a blizzard" (I could see this coming in levels depend on thickness, much like darkness)
The 8/9 situation (-7/8 relative to the -1 "high speed chase" used in all) combines the previous two (shooting a gun + blizzard) but is a lesser range than merely summing them (where you would expect to see -8 to -10).
Which is just bizarre that this doesn't apply to magic. Apparently it's no different to cast a spell while (say) flying in a blizzard with heavy wind than it would sitting on your comfy chair at home with smooth jazz playing.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmicfish View Post
While I do not think that GURPS is perfect I do think that it is more balanced than what I am likely to create by GM fiat.
kirbwarrior is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2020, 08:26 PM   #125
William
 
William's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Default Re: GURPS Magic: The Least of Spells

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorenant View Post
I can't find it now but I swear I've seem Kromm saying TDMs doesn't apply to magic.
If he said that before Least of Spells came out it suggests a plausible argument that they're a class to which the pronouncement doesn't apply.

If you think about the genre conventions which are being assumed for Least Magic to exist, you're really assuming that there is a common, easily accessible form of magic -- exactly the assumption behind allowing positive TDMs and ignoring background rolls.

I would compare it to driving. We let 16-year-olds run around at literal breakneck speeds operating big tanks of explosive liquid with combustion engines nearby because they've been exhaustively engineered and overloaded with safety features. Most drives don't even require a roll -- one in 216 road trips does not end in a car crash -- and even Driving critfails usually don't result in fatalities. People can drive casually because it's safe and they can be easily trained to do it. A spell like Ember could certainly have had that sort of exhaustive engineering under the hood so that the average Joe can do it.

"Able to do the task casually" is, I think, a reasonable threshold for allowing TDMs or even forgoing low-risk rolls. It's only once you're in a survival situation where you face "start a fire or die of exposure, or get sick from unboiled water" that you're out of "straightforward task" range.

I can also see it not applying, but personally I'd probably let spells like these get used in the background most of the time. That feels like much of the point to me. Heck, there are some options for allowing defaults for spells, and these seem to me like good candidates for those even if they're not allowed to more serious spells. (Which would be reasonable, as bigger spells are something you don't usually encounter in daily life, whereas these would be.)
William is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2020, 09:00 PM   #126
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: GURPS Magic: The Least of Spells

Quote:
Originally Posted by William View Post
Most drives don't even require a roll --
one in 216 road trips does not end in a car crash
B466 requires one in "any potentially hazardous situation" but apparently even a "fierce storm" only generates a roll "every few hours"...

I think maybe "On a critical failure, disaster is inevitable!" is not meant to refer to the 1st roll, but rather "a second control roll, at a hefty penalty, to keep a major problem from becoming a
total disaster" ?

If that's the case then a crit fail on the 1st roll would just be "More severe failure means a major problem"

If you want to minimize the risk further (especially if we consider jockeying for position on a crowded freeway as "combat") then we could borrow the Martial Arts options of "MoS on Tactics rerolls" which smart drivers could use to reroll their fails.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirbwarrior View Post
I think the most important part is how 'trivial' something is.
For instance, Telesend requires an IQ roll to use... but in day to day use you'd be getting a +10 for 'utterly trivial use' and I wouldn't have you roll at all.
I think for anything that would get a +4 from TDMs I would let a 16-17 not need to roll because it's assumed you'll succeed.
The perk is so nice because it lets you succeed with +0 TDMs or even worse with lenient GMs if your skill is high enough without rolling.
I think all that should matter is finally effective skill, so if +4 from TDMs on base 16 gives you 20 and that's your "No Nuisance Rolls without a perk" cutoff, then to get that from +10 TDM on telepathy you'd need a before-TDMs skill 10 or more with Telesend.

My guideline for No Nuisance Rolls is probably to look at walking... if that is "Trample My Hex" then you default trample at DX...

Average human DX 10 +4 for targeting a hex (size mod) +4 for telegraphic attack (sentient pavement is going to dodge this easily, beware) brings is up to an effective skill of 18...

Let's just say an average no-nuisance walker takes "Committed Attack: Determined" to boost their skill up to 20: so yeah, 20+ sounds like a good guideline.

If there's bad lighting though (say -2) you're going to need to do AOA:Determined to keep that up to 20.

That or if you wanted to keep you defences up, I would allow "Time Spent" bonuses on trampling. Normally I would only allow this for grappling but since this relies a lot on weight for doing damage, you should still be able to do some even if you take 30 seconds to place your foot properly.

This way even a DX 1 (minimum for being alive) creature limited to effective trampling 9 on usual maneuvers (13 on AOA:determ) could get another +5 to bring them up to 18: still below the 20 threshold but pretty close.

Another idea is to allow Evaluate bonuses but double them ("dropped their guard" from unarmed crit table 13, pavement has no guard) so you can build up to a +6. Plus use Kromm's idea of ignoring MA's limit and stacking Evaluate w/ Telegraphic Attack.

I think someone also posited allowing "Time Spent" bonuses for Evalate similar to how High-Tech shooting does for Aim, but only against immobile foes? In that case, using Time Spent for Evaluatex2 should sub for using it for Trampling itself (makes more sense conceptually to analyze the ground then step, rather than balancing on 1 leg for 30 seconds: not even Decreased Time Rate does that!)
Plane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2020, 12:12 AM   #127
kirbwarrior
 
kirbwarrior's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Dreamland
Default Re: GURPS Magic: The Least of Spells

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plane View Post
I think all that should matter is finally effective skill, so if +4 from TDMs on base 16 gives you 20 and that's your "No Nuisance Rolls without a perk" cutoff, then to get that from +10 TDM on telepathy you'd need a before-TDMs skill 10 or more with Telesend.
The problem with that mentality is when you have characters with an attribute of 20+ and points in a myriad of skills. If 20 is the cutoff, then that means that this character can casually do dangerous things without even rolling such as combat. Mind, that might be the goal to let people with absurd enough numbers never roll because 'of course you succeed'. I focus on trivial things (+4 and higher) because those are things that are assumed to succeed anyway (+4 because most job skills are assumed 12, +4 goes to 16, 16 is close enough)
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmicfish View Post
While I do not think that GURPS is perfect I do think that it is more balanced than what I am likely to create by GM fiat.
kirbwarrior is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2020, 12:46 AM   #128
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: GURPS Magic: The Least of Spells

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirbwarrior View Post
The problem with that mentality is when you have characters with an attribute of 20+ and points in a myriad of skills.
If 20 is the cutoff, then that means that this character can casually do dangerous things without even rolling such as combat.
No Nuisance Rolls perk explicitly forbids it for being used for combat rolls, so I would extend that to the no-perk version @20ish too.

No rolls would also prevent critical successes, so even if you did allow it on combat rolls, some might still prefer to roll.

For less of a hard cap: GMs just need to be good about hunting penalties to cause problems.

Ignoring B421 is important here:
Defensive reactions that don’t require a maneuver to perform – active defenses, resistance rolls, Fright Checks, etc. – never suffer penalties for attribute reductions.
MA opened the door to that (DX penalties from grapple impeding active defences) so we just need to take that to the next level and apply it to EVERTHING (shock impeding active defenses, shock impeding IQ rolls such as trying to break out of Mental Stun, shock impeding will rolls, shock impeding Fright Checks)

Don't forget B360's rule of 14 for fright checks!

B359 "Influencing the PCs" is also great here:

When an NPC makes a successful Influence roll against a PC, the GM should apply the NPC’s margin of victory as a bonus or penalty (as appropriate) to the PC’s die rolls when dealing with that NPC
So let's say NPC intimidates you by MOV of 2: suddenly you're -2 to hit them AND -2 to defend against them.

I'd say apply that to Fright Checks too, except use the MOF since that's a 1-sided roll.

In fairness that ought to work both ways though.

The interesting thing is this could "death spiral" because starting off with -1 could make you loser your next influence contest by 2, and so on, until you're accumulating -20 or something, seemingly without end.

It doesn't exactly say in Basic how long the effects of an influence contest are meant to last for though... or how long it takes to use them...

*checks Social Engineering 30* not seing anything...
78 shtick "allow you to make Influence rolls instantly" so I figure a minimum amount of 1 second...

Kinda tempted to say base time is 10 seconds just because that works so much better with "Time Spent" tiered -1 skill per -10% time discounts.

Pg 56 assumes 1 minute for Observation...
Pg 25 assumes 1 minute for Body Language, 1 hour for Psychology...

Those three are all I can find... and still none seem to give a duration indication.

One thing I would think is if you failed an influence roll, the MOV your victim got in the contest should probably wipe out that amount of accrued penalties you got from previous successes.
Plane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2020, 01:09 AM   #129
kirbwarrior
 
kirbwarrior's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Dreamland
Default Re: GURPS Magic: The Least of Spells

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plane View Post
No Nuisance Rolls perk explicitly forbids it for being used for combat rolls, so I would extend that to the no-perk version @20ish too.
That doesn't quite explicitly work when training often involves attacking in a safe environment; training dummies, safe weapons, not using full strength, etc. Those are trivial combat rolls. Unless you mean rolls during combat time, which can make sense but even then NNR can work there (travel rolls to cross a gorge for your Move maneuver might be no harder than usual and I would allow that, I've seen plenty of people allow NNR for Fast-Draw outside of contests).

Back to the topic; I really like the idea of letting TDMs affect Least Spells. In fact, I'd likely also go a step further and hand pick specific normal spells that could be affected, too; Light is basically a convoluted Accessory: Light and letting people use it by spending FP without a roll seems fine in trivial circumstances.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmicfish View Post
While I do not think that GURPS is perfect I do think that it is more balanced than what I am likely to create by GM fiat.
kirbwarrior is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2020, 07:10 PM   #130
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: GURPS Magic: The Least of Spells

KW came across something possibly relevant here.

Psionic Powers 8's Varying Difficulties box "Just Like Riding a Bike"

Uses 3 reqs, a minimum TDM bonus like you suggested, effective skill 15 (which is LESS than the NNR perk... weird) and it being unresisted.

Looking back to 3e... Psionics 6 also had this:

A die roll is required only if there is a significant question of skill or if the skill is somehow opposed.
For instance, no skill roll is needed to shove someone with TK, just as you don't roll vs DX to pick up a book.
However a roll would be required to move something to a precise spot, especially if you want to move it fast.
I'm of the "I want to roll DX to pick up a book" (that's just a change posture / ready I think RAW) nature, but "JLRAB" seems like a kind of basis for unpaid NNR requiring even less skill.

The big distinction (since "resisted" seems a lot like "combat" or at least "adventuring situations") is probably the minimum +3 from TDR you would require, making the rule inapplicable to situations with +2 or below regardless of what final effective skill is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirbwarrior View Post
That doesn't quite explicitly work when training often involves attacking in a safe environment; training dummies, safe weapons, not using full strength, etc.

Those are trivial combat rolls.
We can probably fine some helpful guidelines to this outside of magic/fantasy, in the guns supplements.

HT85 "Plinking vs. Combat Shooting" for example gives usual non-combat situations the TDM, advising a +4 on average.

TS26 Precision Aiming (Extended Aiming Table from Time Spent) requires IQ rolls to go beyond the usual '3 seconds' cap for Aim bonuses (failure you lose ALL) so "Precision Evaluating" or "Precision Concentrating" could be options to extend that to melee/magic?

TS9 "Non-Combat Bonuses" is similar. One element of the potential cap of +10 here involves Rangefinging (TS27) but I don't think that'd apply to melee.

NCBs “no risk to self” bonuses applying should depend a lot on the factors as we see them.

"nobody else shooting" for example might more broadly be thought of as "nobody else attacking" (ie no +1 if someone's punching you, it's not just gunshots that are scary).

A better idea ("risk" in particular) is to evaluate whether or not an attack is even capable of harming you. If in an "all things ideal" situation of critical hits it's still impossible, then even if someone is attacking/shooting you it shouldn't matter.

For example: if someone is shooting a pathetic-range gun at you (B275 max-400 Wheel-Lock for example) and you're confident you are safe at 500 yards away (bullet just can't reach you) then you should get that +1 regardless of the shooting.

Or: maybe you know you're in range, but you know the 20 DR provided by your mega-armor will always stop the pathetic 1d Piercing bullets, so it's just an annoying distraction like a buzzing fly, to be fired upon by this while trying to snipe.

Perhaps whether you get this is passing some kind of fright check? You get bonuses for awareness of weapons (IQ based roll against appropriate weapon skill?) where in a pass you correctly know it's Max and to eyeball how far they're shooting from (Observation?) you can then evaluate if you're in or out of the Max.

This could actually lead to situations where you're IN range but wrongly think you're out of it, and getting the bonus. In this case ignorance is narrowly advantageous. Like blindness protecting you from sight-based fear penalties! OTOH getting a "no risk" bonus might not be worth the shock penalty to your roll if a bullet actually does graze you!

A new hearing/sight roll might be appropriate for bullets narrowly missing you. That could indicate "I overestimated the distance between us" or "I underestimated the max". Or to evaluate "wow, this is actually chipping away at my suit's ablative DR, maybe the bullets are higher-damage than I assumed".


Quote:
Originally Posted by kirbwarrior View Post
Unless you mean rolls during combat time, which can make sense but even then NNR can work there (travel rolls to cross a gorge for your Move maneuver might be no harder than usual and I would allow that, I've seen plenty of people allow NNR for Fast-Draw outside of contests).

Rereading PP2p16, the NNR perk is actually more limited than I remember:
not directly relevant to such adventuring situations as combat, investigation, and theft.
Of course the perk is broader too. It's not just one skill but "specific background task" whcih could be multiple skills. Area Knowledge / Driving / Navigation is one such example in the intro and the "Transporter" example, with "Swinging" covering Perception/Observation, Acrobatics and Innate Attack (ie for retractible binding)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirbwarrior View Post
Back to the topic; I really like the idea of letting TDMs affect Least Spells. In fact, I'd likely also go a step further and hand pick specific normal spells that could be affected, too; Light is basically a convoluted Accessory: Light and letting people use it by spending FP without a roll seems fine in trivial circumstances.
I'd just say they affect all spells but GM would have to decide what each tier represented.

Skipping the roll is skipping the chance to spend no FP at all on a critical success or whatever other benefits exist.

We might arguably view Enchantment like an example of this. Thaumatology 108:

the GM could simply eliminate the requirement for a skill roll at the climax of the process
..
GM should probably limit this change to Slow and Sure enchantment – Quick and Dirty work is supposed to be chancy
That approach would probably affect the Powerstone economy a little bit. My guess is you'd have guys starting off using QAD then as more is at risk on a fail, switching to SAS to avoid exploding their powerstones.

How pressing that need is would also depend on stuff like how many enchanters have Unstable Casting, Stable Casting, if it's being done in Low Mana (though I'm unclear how that influences crit fails to be less bad for powerstones) or Wild mana, etc.

T109 doesn't make this "no final roll" a guarantee against quirking of course, if you're using the daily rolls for Long Tasks to determine 'hours out' from 'hours in'
a failure (or at least a critical failure) might give the item a “quirk” or other odd feature, rather than result in outright disaster
Limiting it just to crit fails seems better to me, since you could have a lot of normal failures piling up rolling this every day for weeks/months on end.

When we compare base time needed to enchant 100 energy (1 hour for QAD, 800 hours for SAS) you're spending way more than the 30x Time Spent you would get a +5 for, so maybe that would be a logical explanation for how it would be stable enough to instead erquire a crit fail to emulate a normal fail, and a normal fail to do nothing but waste time.
Plane is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
magic, trivial spells

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 04:49 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.