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Old 10-30-2015, 04:16 PM   #1
Seraphim
 
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Default Converting Cabal spirits to 4e

In my spare time, I've been converting Cabal into 4e. Most of the templates provided in Cabal are simple to convert, but I am having trouble with the one for spirits (Cabal pg. 94-97). I start with the Spirit metatrait (Basic pg. 263), with the following changes:

Perception seems simple enough. They have Empathy, Detect (Supernatural beings), and the perk "Can hear own name being spoken anywhere" from Horror (pg. 78).

Movement is mostly covered by the Insubstantiality advantage, but these spirits are able to "ride" in a vehicle at the cost of 1 FP/hour. Is that minor enough to handwave or should it be a modifier on Insubstantiality? Also, how should their ability to instantly transport themselves into the presence of someone who ritually invokes their name be handled? I was thinking about a modified Warp, but this ability implies they can instantly travel across any of the Realms.

Communication seems to me to be that spirits have both Mind Reading, probably limited with the Telecommunication limitation, and Telecommunication (Telesend) advantages.

Dream Travel is one of the first major stops for me. At first, I thought it was something like Jumper (Dream World), but now I'm not so sure. Cabal says on pg. 95 that the spirit can communicate with the person whose dream they have entered (which they can already do via their telecommunication) and, at worst, give that person a Fright Check from a nightmare. I suppose this is best represented as Terror, Active with some Accessibility limitation for being "Only in dreams." Does that sound correct to you?

Possession is mostly the Possession advantage, except that Cabal spirits have a much smaller time limit, which can vary by spending more FP and taking a minus to their Will roll. I'm not sure exactly how to model that.

The Poltergeist Effect would appear to be easiest to model as Telekinesis with Variable and a variable Costs Fatigue limitation.

Probability Alteration is difficult for me because I don't know how to model it without making a complicated grouping of Afflictions (Luck, Unluckiness, etc.). I'm not aware of a system in 4e that lets you modify rolls like this power is written up.

Materialization is mostly covered by the Insubstantial and Invisibility advantages. However, spirits are able to create sounds at varying fatigue costs. I think this implies Cannot Speak (Insubstantial only), but how to represent the ability to spend fatigue to make sounds? They're also able to change their visible forms, which sounds like Morph (Cosmetic) to me.

Last, spirits in Cabal do not have Unaging from the default Spirit metatrait. They have to roll once per month, modified by various circumstances, or lost an HT until they hit 0 and die. Is this sufficiently represented by Short Lifespan 4?

I haven't even started looking at the modifiers for the Spirit Form listed on page 97.
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Old 10-30-2015, 04:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Converting Cabal spirits to 4e

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seraphim View Post
Movement is mostly covered by the Insubstantiality advantage, but these spirits are able to "ride" in a vehicle at the cost of 1 FP/hour. Is that minor enough to handwave or should it be a modifier on Insubstantiality?
I would likely rate that as a perk level thing.

Quote:
Also, how should their ability to instantly transport themselves into the presence of someone who ritually invokes their name be handled? I was thinking about a modified Warp, but this ability implies they can instantly travel across any of the Realms.
Warp Jump allows both warping and jumping at same time.

Quote:
Dream Travel is one of the first major stops for me. At first, I thought it was something like Jumper (Dream World), but now I'm not so sure. Cabal says on pg. 95 that the spirit can communicate with the person whose dream they have entered (which they can already do via their telecommunication) and, at worst, give that person a Fright Check from a nightmare. I suppose this is best represented as Terror, Active with some Accessibility limitation for being "Only in dreams." Does that sound correct to you?
likely

Quote:
Possession is mostly the Possession advantage, except that Cabal spirits have a much smaller time limit, which can vary by spending more FP and taking a minus to their Will roll. I'm not sure exactly how to model that.
Reduced duration on the base possession and a power technique to increase the duration.

Quote:
Probability Alteration is difficult for me because I don't know how to model it without making a complicated grouping of Afflictions (Luck, Unluckiness, etc.). I'm not aware of a system in 4e that lets you modify rolls like this power is written up.
There is none. You could just ignore it and use afflict luck/unluck or build an afflict that has variable FP cost and as example increases or reduces any attribute with a limitation "single roll only".. or something similar

Quote:
Materialization is mostly covered by the Insubstantial and Invisibility advantages. However, spirits are able to create sounds at varying fatigue costs. I think this implies Cannot Speak (Insubstantial only), but how to represent the ability to spend fatigue to make sounds? They're also able to change their visible forms, which sounds like Morph (Cosmetic) to me.
spend fatigue to make sounds=Create(sound)
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:05 PM   #3
Mailanka
 
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Default Re: Converting Cabal spirits to 4e

I've tinkered pretty extensively with trying to convert the GURPS Cabal stuff into 4e. One thing I've noticed is that Kenneth Hite is more the sort of GM who will simply make use of stuff that is already there rather than make things to spec. That is to say, if he would do GURPS Cabal 4e now, I expect he would make use of completely different mechanics if they presented an easier path to more-or-less what he wants. Thus, you shouldn't worry about too strict a conversion.

My Cabal notes are not complete, but I worked quite a bit on Spirits, combining them with some stuff in Horror (also Hite's material). They're not perfect, but they're a start:

(I have more notes, on the spirits themselves, and I can try to answer any questions you have, though I'll be busy for the next couple of days, so I don't know how often I can get back to you, but also realize I made these notes more than a year ago, so I may have lost some of my train of thought)

Spirit Powers

Spirit Possession: 20

Possession: [20]
  • Spiritual -20% [-20]
  • Variable fatigue cost: -62% [-70]
  • 5 fatigue -25% and Maximum duration 3d seconds -75% [-100]
  • 10 fatigue (Paid once -50%) -25% and Maximum 3d minutes -50% [-75]
  • 15 fatigue (pain once -50%) -37% and Maximum duration 3d days -0% [-37]
  • Nuisance Effect: Underlying Personality can sometimes push itself out with a contest of wills (but not if they are a puppet) -10% [-10]
  • Bonuses and penalties based on how emotionally stable the character is.

Spiritual Strings: 9
  • Add Chronic to Possession +20% [20] (9)
  • Resisted with Contest of Wills -15% [-3]
  • Once per day -40% [-8]

Dream Walking: 6
  • Remove Project Thoughts Only (Accessible: Only on sleeping victims -20%) [5]
  • Perk: Dream Manipulator [1]
  • You may use the Dreaming skill to control any dream you happen to be participating in.
  • Poltergeist Effect: 20 for ST 10 (4 if AA for Greater Poltergeist)
  • Telekinesis (Spirit -10%, Reduced Range 1 yard -30%, Costs variable fatigue: 1 FP per ST per second -50%, Only while Insubstantial -20%, Affects Substantial +40%) (2 per level)

Greater Poltergeist Effect: 30 for ST 10
  • Telekinesis (Spirit -10%, Costs variable fatigue: 1 FP per ST per second -50%) (3 per level),
  • Probability Alteration: 13
  • Visualization (Spirit -10%, Blessing +0%, Based on Will +20%, Costs Variable Fatigue (+2 per +1 to max of +10), -55%, Immediate Prep 10 minutes -45%) [2]
  • Visualization (Spirit -10%, Cursing +100%, Based on Will +20%, Costs Variable Fatigue (+2 per +1 to max of +10) -55%, Immediate Prep 10 minutes -45%)) [11]

Spectral Touch: 4
  • Touch +5% to Insubstantial

Spiritual Shadow 18 + 6 per level
  • Affliction (Severe Flashbacks +10%, Malediction +100%, Will roll rather than contest +0%, Uncontrollable -30%, Unconscious -20%, Spirit -10%) [15 +5 per level]
  • Secondary Affliction (Split Personality +15%, Malediction +100%, Will roll rather than contest +0%, Uncontrollable -30%, Unconscious -20%, Spirit -10%)
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:13 PM   #4
Mailanka
 
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Default Re: Converting Cabal spirits to 4e

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seraphim View Post
Perception seems simple enough. They have Empathy, Detect (Supernatural beings), and the perk "Can hear own name being spoken anywhere" from Horror (pg. 78).
I had...

Spirit Sight [5]
  • Empathy (Based on Perception +20%, Spirit -10%) [15]
  • Detect (Supernatural Beings; Spirit -10%) [18]
  • Blindness (Mitigator: Mana -60%) [-20]
  • Numb (Mitigator: Mana -60%) [-8]

The idea here was that they can only touch you/see you if mana allows it. It also means that if you ward yourself, they can no longer see or touch/feel you. This does not prevent them from hearing/smelling you. Thus, if you're standing in a protective circle, hold your breath and be very still!

I also had the perk you mentioned.

Quote:
Communication seems to me to be that spirits have both Mind Reading, probably limited with the Telecommunication limitation, and Telecommunication (Telesend) advantages.
I had...


Spirit Communication (-1 per hex) [36]
Mind Reading [30] (18)
  • Projected Thoughts ony -20%, [-6]
  • Spirit -10%, [-3]
  • Short Range 1 -10% [-3]
Telesend [30] (18)
  • Fatigue 1pS -10% [-3]
  • Spirit -10% [-3]
  • Short Range 2 -20% [-6]

They need to be fairly close to make it work, and they can only read what you're deliberately thinking. That is, you can sort of sub-vocalize towards them and they will know, but they won't pick up every stray thought, or dig deep into your psyche

Quote:
Dream Travel is one of the first major stops for me. At first, I thought it was something like Jumper (Dream World), but now I'm not so sure. Cabal says on pg. 95 that the spirit can communicate with the person whose dream they have entered (which they can already do via their telecommunication) and, at worst, give that person a Fright Check from a nightmare. I suppose this is best represented as Terror, Active with some Accessibility limitation for being "Only in dreams." Does that sound correct to you?
See my powers notes.

Quote:
Possession is mostly the Possession advantage, except that Cabal spirits have a much smaller time limit, which can vary by spending more FP and taking a minus to their Will roll. I'm not sure exactly how to model that.
See my powers notes.

Quote:
The Poltergeist Effect would appear to be easiest to model as Telekinesis with Variable and a variable Costs Fatigue limitation.
See my powers notes.

Quote:
Probability Alteration is difficult for me because I don't know how to model it without making a complicated grouping of Afflictions (Luck, Unluckiness, etc.). I'm not aware of a system in 4e that lets you modify rolls like this power is written up.
See my powers notes.

Quote:
Materialization is mostly covered by the Insubstantial and Invisibility advantages. However, spirits are able to create sounds at varying fatigue costs. I think this implies Cannot Speak (Insubstantial only), but how to represent the ability to spend fatigue to make sounds? They're also able to change their visible forms, which sounds like Morph (Cosmetic) to me.
I had...

Insubstantial (80) [40]
  • Always On -50% [-40]
Invisibility (40) [34]
  • Substantial Only -10% [-4]
  • Visible Reflections (Sensitive people only) -5% [-2]

I also made them homogenous, etc, because if they do fully materialize, they won't behave like normal people. They're not living flesh, they're sort of condensed ectoplasm or... something. Also note that I have a few additional powers.

My assumption was largely that not every spirit will work the same way. I wanted a grab bag of tricks.

Quote:
Last, spirits in Cabal do not have Unaging from the default Spirit metatrait. They have to roll once per month, modified by various circumstances, or lost an HT until they hit 0 and die. Is this sufficiently represented by Short Lifespan 4?
I went ahead and gave them unaging. You may have a point, though.

I'd also recommend Horror and Monster Hunters for additional insights in how to handle spirits.
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:53 PM   #5
Seraphim
 
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Default Re: Converting Cabal spirits to 4e

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post
I've tinkered pretty extensively with trying to convert the GURPS Cabal stuff into 4e...
Wow, this is some great stuff! I really appreciate you sharing these notes. Please, if you have more, share those as well!
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: Converting Cabal spirits to 4e

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Originally Posted by Seraphim View Post
Wow, this is some great stuff! I really appreciate you sharing these notes. Please, if you have more, share those as well!
I'll second this request.
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