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Old 10-08-2019, 04:08 AM   #1
awesomenessofme1
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Default Not sure where to round an Environmental limitation

I'm trying to build a sand-based super. Several of their abilities have the limitation Environmental (Requires large amount of sand). I'm not sure where to put it, because it seems to fall right between two "canonical" levels. Needing earth to shape is worth -20%, and needing to be in a desert is -40%. Which way should this be rounded? Or would it be OK to just make a mid-level? That was my first thought, but the levels as described in Powers seem pretty discrete.
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Old 10-08-2019, 06:05 AM   #2
Anders
 
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Default Re: Not sure where to round an Environmental limitation

Going with -30% is perfectly fine.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: Not sure where to round an Environmental limitation

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Originally Posted by awesomenessofme1 View Post
I'm trying to build a sand-based super. Several of their abilities have the limitation Environmental (Requires large amount of sand) (...)
Hey there! If you want to be more precise, you could try using GURPS Power Ups – Limitations.

It discusses “either/or” limitations; the guidelines state that the final value must give less of a discount than either of the base limitations, and that this approach is mathematically fair.

I could give it a try for you:

If some of your abilities “require dirt to work” (-20%), and others “work while in the desert only” (-40%) this is a -8% limitation.
The book says you could round this down to a -10%.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:56 AM   #4
awesomenessofme1
 
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Default Re: Not sure where to round an Environmental limitation

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Originally Posted by Hide View Post
Hey there! If you want to be more precise, you could try using GURPS Power Ups – Limitations.

It discusses “either/or” limitations; the guidelines state that the final value must give less of a discount than either of the base limitations, and that this approach is mathematically fair.

I could give it a try for you:

If some of your abilities “require dirt to work” (-20%), and others “work while in the desert only” (-40%) this is a -8% limitation.
The book says you could round this down to a -10%.
Huh? It's not either/or. It has nothing to do with dirt or being in a desert, it requires a substantial amount of sand, which is more difficult to arrange than having dirt or earth and less difficult than being in a desert.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: Not sure where to round an Environmental limitation

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Huh? It's not either/or (...)
I see, that’s OK.

Requiring large amounts of sand (a material) is not the same as requiring an environment (place).

In a few words, environment talks about places: A city, the desert, in dense vegetation, in a gravity field etc. And, your -20% for “earth”, would qualify for very common; that’s a -5% (the earth). Indeed, touching the ground is -20% (but this still is about being in a certain place).

Besides, anything from a -30% to a -40% is too much. Think about other -30% advantages:

"Emergencies only" is worth -30%, it means you lack control of your advantage. You cannot decide whether it is an emergency or not.

Another example would be "works only in direct sunlight" which is -30%. Sunlight is quite common, but hours of daylight sunlight (HDS) is something else. You roughly have HDS for one third of the day. It means your advantage is off for 2/3 of the day (and you cannot change this, you cannot make the sun provide you with more HDS in a given day).

Compared to these 2 examples, requiring a large amount of sand to make your advantage work is not as significant. You can easily pick places, situations and locations to have your powers work when you need them (e.g. you could drive a truck, loaded with sand). Nothing really deprives you from using the advantage; also, sand is not very hard to find or even expensive.

In other words, “an environment with large amounts of sand” is different than “requiring lots of sand”. If you want the environment limitation, then that would be a -20% for “works in the wasteland” (so to say).

Maybe, the limitation you need is "Requires material component", which is worth -10%. It gets an another -5% if for some reason the material is rare; I could say that requiring large amounts of sand qualifies for this. This would be a -15%.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: Not sure where to round an Environmental limitation

If it makes you feel better, the original version of Environmental (for Binding, B40) read "from -20% to -40%". It's really a scale, not discrete categories with hard boundaries. As with all modifiers, the game you have in mind affects the probability of being in particular environments ("underground" isn't unlikely in a dungeon crawl game; "vacuum" isn't all that rare in an SF game).

I'd be happy with -30% for this one.

You probably want to come to an agreement between GM and player before the game starts on what amount generally counts as "a sufficient quantity" of sand. Frex, things you might find in a city:
  • Child's sandbox / landscaping
  • Stream/river bed
  • (Rail)road bed (sand-clay, ballast, often underneath or mixed with other stuff)
  • Artificial turf football field (often has several inches of sand underneath)
  • Home improvement store
  • Construction sites
  • Pond / lake bed
  • Concrete plant
  • Glass factory
  • Beach

RAW examples for comparison:

-5%:
Air
In a gravity field
On a planet

-10%:
Contact with dust
In the presence of microbes
Light
Pebbles or equivalent (TK Bullet)
Inhabited areas
Mechnically coupled to the ground

-20%:
Must be touching ground
Touching the ground (and not flying or standing on an artificial surface)
Requires vegetation or soft ground nearby
Trees or tall buildings (for Brachiator)
Attack shapes existing earth
Strong, direct light
Turns the ground to goo (Binding)
In a city
In the wilderness
Outdoors

-40%:
Swamp
In the desert
Furniture, tree limbs, etc
Dense vegetation
Light sources or electricity energetic enough to do damage
Violent storm in area
Underground

-80%:
In quicksand
In lava
In vaccuum
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