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Old 10-12-2018, 02:37 AM   #1
johndallman
 
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Default [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Fragile

Fragile [-5, -10, -15 or -50] is an exotic physical disadvantage that comes in several forms. Youíre subject to special effects from various kinds of damage, although you donít take extra damage (thatís Vulnerability). The disadvantage is new under this name in GURPS 4e, although it had predecessors in the 3e period. The standard forms are:

Brittle [-15]: When one of your limbs is crippled by injury, it breaks off. If you make a HT roll, it comes off in one piece, otherwise, it is destroyed. If you fail any HT roll to avoid death, you fall apart, and go to -10xHP, destroying your body. Note that this is part of the Body of Ice and Body of Stone meta-traits.

Combustible [-5]: Your body will catch fire if you take 10+ injury from burning or explosive attacks. If you take a lesser injury from such attacks, but itís still a Major Wound, you get a HT roll to avoid catching fire. Once you are alight, you take 1d-1 burning injury each second until the fire is put out, or, presumably, you reach -10xHP. Extinguishing the fire can be done by immersing it in water, taking three seconds to roll on the ground, letting off a fire extinguisher at yourself, etc.

Explosive [-15]: You contain explosives, or some other very dense and unstable energy store. If you fail a HT roll to avoid death by three or more, or critically fail the HT roll (for knockdown and stunning) for a Major Wound, you explode. This reduces you to at least -10xHP, destroying your body, and causes a 6dx(HP/10) explosion at your position.

Flammable [-10]: You contain highly inflammable substances. Itís like Combustible, but you catch fire more easily. You must roll vs HT to avoid catching fire after a Major Wound from any kind of attack. This roll is at -3 for a burning or explosive attack, at -3 for an attack to the vitals, and -6 if both. If you are also Combustible, which is legal, if brave, you automatically catch fire if you take 10+ injury, or any Major Wound, from an explosive or burning attack. Once you have caught fire, a critical failure on any HT roll to avoid death means you explode, as per Explosive.

Unnatural [-50]: Youíre not naturally alive, and the universe wants you to stop. You automatically fail all HT rolls to stay alive at -HP or more.

Plenty of inanimate objects have one or more kinds of Fragile, and vehicle descriptions have short codes for this. All of these rules are in terms of injury, the harm taken after armour, DR and other protections. You can take more than one kind of Fragile, if you can rationalise this: Explosive and Flammable are a natural pairing, as are Brittle and Unnatural. You can also take Vulnerability or Resistance to appropriate damage types, although being Fragile against something youíre also immune to is not a valid disadvantage. You can also combine Fragile with Injury Tolerance, although that expressly requires GM approval, both to avoid abuses and to make sure you wonít die suddenly and unintentionally.

Fragile isnít a disadvantage thatís normally found on character templates, although itís quite common on weird monsters, from zombies onwards, and should not be confused with the equipment modifier Fragile. Adaptions has a quirk-level version, and Basicís Breaking Blow skill allows you to treat targets as (Brittle). Bio-Tech uses Fragile for bio-bombs and bio-blimps; DF tells us that demons arenít (Unnatural) on their home plane. Low-Tech uses this disadvantage for several items of equipment, and LTC2 for various barriers. Magic applies it to several magical creatures, and Death Spells uses a more severe version of (Unnatural). Powers: the Weird has uses for (Brittle), and Space adds (Tenuous), where if you fail the HT roll for a Major Wound from an explosion, your gaseous or swarm body is torn apart, killing you. Zombies have the complete set of forms of Fragile, between their various templates.

Iíve never used this, as such, as a player or GM. Iíve used machines as a GM that were easy to break, but handled that more narratively. Has it been important in your games?
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Old 10-12-2018, 08:34 AM   #2
ericthered
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Fragile

The Fragile I seem to use the most often is Unnatural, usually on magical constructs of one sort or another. And its oddly usually paired with some sort of unkillable. That's a dubious build, but it accurately represents a creature that disappears when badly wounded, but can be brought back.



I occasionally wish for a version of unnatural that has different instant death benchmarks, especially on that triggers at 0 HP.
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Old 10-12-2018, 08:43 AM   #3
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Fragile

Paired with tier-3 Unkillable in the "Conjured Servant" metatrait http://www.sjgames.com/pyramid/sample.html?id=5583

Also works with Supernatural Durability http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?p=104933

All at standard costs, so it's 100 total for either combination.

It could work with tier-2 Unkillable also, I don't know there'd be a point to tier-1 though. Automatically failing your HT rolls overrides the benefit of ignoring them.
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:02 AM   #4
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Fragile

I have used (Unnatural) it in a couple of build along with unkillable II or III(mortal,-20%*) and enough regen to go from -hp to full hp in one second. In those case, I priced it as a zero-point feature instead of a disadvantage, however.

Otherwise, I don't remember having PC with the disadvantage, except for infomorph in THS with variously fragile puppets.


*: mortal,-20% : limitation for Unkillable II/III that remove unkillable I effect.

Last edited by Celjabba; 10-12-2018 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Fragile

I've used it in combination Supernatural Durability to represent characters that act like they've been imported in from another game system... and are still operating under those rules.

In this context I've used "Double Unnatural", meaning you promptly drop dead at 0 HP, rather than -HP. No point value, it's been for monsters-y kinda characters. The reason for Double Unnatural + Supernatural Durability is to remove the "injured condition" from the character. Fie on your injury thresholds and consciousness and half move/dodge and shock and whatever! I'm from D&D 1st edition!

I've used Double Unnatural + Supernatural Durability + Unkillable 3 for writing up The Keeper from The Evil Within. The boss monster flat out ignores being injured until it drops dead, and then it respawns - and this is a game series where NPCs do react to injury, so it's not lazy programming. It's also notable (at least the first time) for "simply" dying from a bolt-action-rifle to the chest, which is out of character for boss monsters. It also slams. So I felt making sure it had about 30 HP and no negative HP worked out.
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Fragile

"Double Unnatural" has an official existence in GURPS Magic: Death Spells; see p. 5 of that supplement.
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:28 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Fragile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
"Double Unnatural" has an official existence in GURPS Magic: Death Spells; see p. 5 of that supplement.
Handy-dandy! I'm not making things up any more!
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Old 10-12-2018, 12:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Fragile

We have a DF game where odd things are allowed. One PC has Fragile: Brittle.

He is a terra-cotta warrior. He also has a version of unkillable where if destroyed he will inhabit another body from the army buried in the original vault. He's got a bunch of HP and some DR, but can't wear armor other than what he was carved with. It's a fun, if somewhat gimicky concept.
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:19 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Fragile

IIRC I once played a character who had two forms, one of which had Fragile: Unnatural and lots of HP. This meant that it was quite tough, but could theoretically just instantly die if exposed to enough damage.
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Old 10-16-2018, 04:44 AM   #10
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Fragile

GURPS Space, p. 221, has a new variation of Fragile.
Tenuous. Any critical failure on the HT roll for a major wound from an explosive attack means your body is dispersed, instantly reducing you to -10xHP and killing you. -15 points.
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