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Old 03-04-2018, 04:31 PM   #1
Sorenant
 
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Default Are Imbuements expensive?

Compared to vanilla magic, Imbuements lasts only a single turn, is more difficult (Very Hard) and doesn't receive bonus from Imbue advantage like spells do from Magery. The FP cost seems to compound the issue, although it is minimal at 1 FP, it is per activation so if a character use it too much in a fight their FP will be quickly reduced to below 1/3. If they save their imbuements, they will be for most time an inferior version of the dedicated fighter.
I'm not saying imbuements are useless, they clearly are not. The strongest mundane fighter would not be able to compete with Ghostly Weapon and a mystic archer with Guided Shot is better at headshotting someone at extreme range compared to a skilled archer. What I'm arguing is that it seems somewhat expensive compared to spells. It's not the best example but it is easy to point that even with only IQ 10 35 points in Magery 3 allows purchasing most spells at [1]-11 while 40 points in Imbue 3 only grants imbuements at [1]-7.
Am I being too pessimistic and missing some important advantage? Do you have any houserule specific to imbuements, like allowing use of Sorcery Alternative Rituals rules to save the FP cost or granting skill bonus from Imbue advantage?
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Old 03-04-2018, 04:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Are Imbuements expensive?

I don't get their appeal either, but they seem popular.
High buy in, Stat/skill dependent, fatigue, and short term use seem like way too severe of limitations for their cost. But again, I wonder if there's some in-play benefits I just don't see.
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Old 03-04-2018, 04:54 PM   #3
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: Are Imbuements expensive?

I'd argue that imbuements have two major benefits, compared to spells with similar effects. First is ease of use. Activating an imbuement is a free action, part of the attack that benefits from it. Spellcasting, on the other hand, always takes at least a second, and often more (all of the [Elemental] Weapon spells, for example, have at least 2-second or higher casting times). Also, spells become more difficult to cast when you have more active, whereas imbuements suffer from no comparable penalty - it's equally easy to imbue a weapon with a single effect as ten.

Second, imbuements are more flexible than spells, typically. An imbuer can pick up any weapon, and use applicable imbuements with it (perhaps at a default penalty, but still). A spellcaster has to cast their spell on a single weapon, and if that weapon is lost, or they just want to switch what they're using, they have to recast the spell. Also, there are times when you don't want your weapon being flaming or poisonous or what-have-you; with imbuements, that's easy to deal with, you just don't activate the relevant imbuement. With spells, such effects are either on all the time in most cases, forcing you to dispel them or find another weapon if you don't want the effect.


All that said, imbuements can indeed get pretty pricey to use, FP-wise. I'd argue that they're probably better balanced than spells, though - the question of how effective spells are compared to other abilities is kind of a long-running question in GURPS circles.

I do like the idea of using the alternate rituals from Sorcery to get around the FP cost - that's a pretty interesting suggestion! The trick would be to find alternate rituals that fit with imbuements - I don't think Sorcery's gestures would work very well, though magic words probably would. Basically, you'd need to find limitations that didn't take extra time to use, I'd say. To make the math work, they need to be -10% limitations as well.

There's no "easy to defend against" limitation, that I'm aware of, but I'd probably peg a generic +1 to any applicable defense at -10% (+1 to one specific defense, Block, Dodge, or Parry, would be -5%, I think). So you could use that. I think "choose two of 1) pay 1 FP, 2) must speak certain words while attacking, preventing you from using the imbuement if you're mute or otherwise limited in speech, or 3) give +1 to the opponent's defense" sounds pretty reasonable for activating an imbuement.
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Old 03-04-2018, 05:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: Are Imbuements expensive?

The high buy in is the biggest drawback butits comparable to Sorcery.
Magery is the most flexible but Imbuements can easily be more powerful and faster. There generally better suited to combat.
Also note that Imbuements can be merged with Sorcery, offsetting the price vs. flexibility. See GURPS Thaumatology: Sorcery p. 11.

As a power they can be used as an Alternative Ability, and I use the guideline in Sorcery for that.
So for a Powers based mage the cost can be significantly reduced.
As a House rule I treat Magery as a Power and allow different forms of magery or Imbuements as Alternative Abilities.
In my Chalice World setting I use Imbuements for Chi based powers along with GURPS Thaumatology: Chinese Elemental Powers and a Rune magic used by dwarven warriors.
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Old 03-04-2018, 07:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: Are Imbuements expensive?

You left some things out.

It only costs 1 FP if you aren't very good at it and want to be sure it activates that second. Otherwise you roll at -5 and get the imbuement effect for free. And there's no penalty for failing as long you don't fumble.

Casting it is a free action. No need to concentrate, wave your hands, or say the magic word.

It's DX based, not IQ based, meaning that it works with a warrior's primary attribute.

Magery is always mana dependent. Imbuements are probably going to work in places where Magery wouldn't.
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Old 03-04-2018, 07:11 PM   #6
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Are Imbuements expensive?

It depends on the source of the Imbuement. Imbuements can be chi, divine, magic, etc. It depends on the source on how to counter them.
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Old 03-04-2018, 07:16 PM   #7
Varyon
 
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Default Re: Are Imbuements expensive?

While I haven't used them in a game (being somewhat lacking in players - and, often, time), these rules would significantly reduce the buy-in cost. I really like the idea of using Sorcery's Alternate Rituals, although Requires Gestures would probably need to be replaced with something else (in a situation where Requires Gestures would prevent the ability from working, you probably wouldn't be able to make an attack either - or at least not one that isn't heavily penalized). Perhaps the Gestures would be some flashy action that partially telegraphs your attack, granting foes a +1 to defend? Or if that seems too limiting, maybe have the actions be a bit difficult to transition into an attack, for -1 to hit.
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Old 03-04-2018, 07:29 PM   #8
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Are Imbuements expensive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
It depends on the source of the Imbuement. Imbuements can be chi, divine, magic, etc. It depends on the source on how to counter them.
If there is a source. Some imbuements are just based on ludicrous cinematic skill. And many of the sources can't be messed with except by means such as distracting the martial artist from getting in his meditation time or somehow getting the paladin to violate his vows or otherwise alienate his divine patron.

Last edited by David Johnston2; 03-05-2018 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 03-04-2018, 10:11 PM   #9
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Are Imbuements expensive?

Imbuements with sources still suffer from Nullify, Resistance, Static, etc.
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Old 03-04-2018, 11:24 PM   #10
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: Are Imbuements expensive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Imbuements with sources still suffer from Nullify, Resistance, Static, etc.
They only suffer from Neutralize or Static if the source modifier includes the -5% for "anti-power" countermeasures. Sources like Chi or Divine don't include such a modifier, ergo Neutralize (Divine) or Static (Chi) don't exist.
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