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Old 05-21-2013, 01:29 PM   #1
Dustin
 
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Default [Divine Favor] Is Smite underpriced?

I'm generally in love with the Divine Favor rules, but something just caught my eye. Smite (Divine Favor p.12) gets an Accessibility limitation of -50% for affecting Malign Supernatural Beings Only. Does the Malign part seem like a bit of a point crock to anyone else? It's a bit like taking Enemies Only as a limitation. This is basically a -50% cost break, to have an Area Effect that you can lob repeatedly in close quarters without worrying about your allies (supernatural or not), and without the need to buy Selective Area +20% (B108).

Affecting supernatural beings only is a legitimate limitation; you can't Smite a dire rhino, I'm cool with that. It's "malign" that I'm concerned about.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: [Divine Favor] Is Smite underpriced?

Malign in this case means apposing holy force, basically Holy and unholy are malign to each other.

If you're on the side of the celestials, you can't smite a dire rhino nor an angry rhino that thinks you are an enemy... you can only smite an infernal rhino

If you were on the side of the demons you could use it only to smite a celestial rhino , not other types.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Divine Favor] Is Smite underpriced?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustin View Post
I'm generally in love with the Divine Favor rules, but something just caught my eye. Smite (Divine Favor p.12) gets an Accessibility limitation of -50% for affecting Malign Supernatural Beings Only. Does the Malign part seem like a bit of a point crock to anyone else? It's a bit like taking Enemies Only as a limitation. This is basically a -50% cost break, to have an Area Effect that you can lob repeatedly in close quarters without worrying about your allies (supernatural or not), and without the need to buy Selective Area +20% (B108).

Affecting supernatural beings only is a legitimate limitation; you can't Smite a dire rhino, I'm cool with that. It's "malign" that I'm concerned about.
It's not clear, but I wouldn't assume 'malign' and 'hostile' are synonymous. I'd assume smite only blows up supernatural critters that in a certain other game would have Always Evil in its stat-block.
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Divine Favor] Is Smite underpriced?

At least some of that accessibility is legitimate: you can't smite Stone Golems, Giant Apes, Electric Floating Jellies, Obsidian Jaguars, and many other high DR opponents, nor can you smite random diffuse monsters. It can be a painful limitation.

Also, without a true Selective Effect enhancement, you can have other problem. If you have someone who registers as a malign supernatural entity among your allies (like a Dungeon Fantasy Half-Infernal), then smite takes them out, too. It's a bit of a corner case but I've run into it a couple of times in play.

And remember, the base cost of Smite's Innate Attack is only 5, so even forcing people to take Selective Attack and reducing the value of the limitation is only going to increase the cost by 3-4 points at most, and since Smite is taken as an Alternate Ability anyway, that's really 0-1 points.

tl;dr: Smite doesn't have a limitation (Enemies Only). It has a limitation (Some Enemies Only).
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Divine Favor] Is Smite underpriced?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustin View Post
Does the Malign part seem like a bit of a point crock to anyone else? It's a bit like taking Enemies Only as a limitation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by roguebfl View Post
malign in this case means apposing holy forece, basical Holy and unholy are malign to each other.
What rogue said. Here, "malign" means "malign to your deity." If you're a Christian preacher, then your Smite is mainly useful against demonic things. If you worship Loki, then it's useful against things like Elementals of Order. And so on. Basically, Smite affects whatever supernatural beings your religion is supposed to be fighting against.
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: [Divine Favor] Is Smite underpriced?

Note that I can see justification for a new miracle -- call it "Controlled Smite" -- that's far less restrictive and actually does work like Dustin thought Smite did. I think it has the potential to be a little bit too useful, but should be balanced as long as the GM keeps a tight control on what a "supernatural being" is.

Controlled Smite
Learned Prerequisite: Divine Favor 8
Learned Prayer Cost: 9 points

As for Smite, except that it does only 2d-1 damage (still in a 4-yard radius) but affects any supernatural creature of the caster's choosing. He can target the undead, spirits, demons, elementals, etc., regardless of whether they're considered "malign" to his god -- while also ensuring that any supernatural allies in the area are safe.

Statistics: Burning Attack 2d-1 (Accessibility, Supernatural Beings Only, -30%; Affects Insubstantial, +20%; Area Effect, 4 yards, +100%; Cosmic, Irresistible attack, +300%; Divine, -10%; Emanation, -20%; Low Signature, +10%; Selective Area, +20%) [45].

Controlled Smite (Enhanced)
Learned Prerequisite: Divine Favor 11
Learned Prayer Cost: 17 points

As for Controlled Smite, but does 3d-1 damage in a 16-yard radius.

Statistics: Burning Attack 3d-1 (same, but raise Area Effect to 16 yards) [83].
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: [Divine Favor] Is Smite underpriced?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PK View Post
Note that I can see justification for a new miracle -- call it "Controlled Smite" -- that's far less restrictive and actually does work like Dustin thought Smite did. .
I don't think you're quite getting Dustin's issue. It goes something like this. The restriction on Smite is a real limitation. It means that the attack is no use against attacking humans, animal monsters, and yes hostile supernatural entities that are not opposed to your god in general but just want to kill you in particular.

But that limitation isn't all bad because it means your attack never hurts anyone you should be associating with or innocent bystanders. So to some degree the limitation on when it is useful is balanced by the fact that you can use it without hesitation any time you think you are faced with a demon. Or at least much more freely than a normal area effect attack Bearing that in mind, should the limitation be as high as 50% or should it be a little lower?
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: [Divine Favor] Is Smite underpriced?

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
But that limitation isn't all bad because it means your attack never hurts anyone you should be associating with or innocent bystanders.
PCs do all sorts of things they aren't supposed to. It's definitely a limitation when you are in the same group as a half-demon or whatever. It's also bad when the Angels come for you.

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Old 05-21-2013, 07:04 PM   #9
PK
 
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Default Re: [Divine Favor] Is Smite underpriced?

Some limitations can be exploited for personal gain. That's just the way of it. For example, if your attack is "Only usable against women," and you're a team of five male PCs assaulting a tribe of Amazonian women, then you're going to be able to go hog-wild without worrying about collateral damage. Good for you! That doesn't change the fact that it's still a -20% Accessibility limitation, because at heart the very real drawback is that you've paid character points for an attack that is completely useless against half of the humans that attack you, and (assuming a 50/50 split of human foes vs. animals, etc.) about 3/4 or so of the things that are going to attack you in general!

In the case of Smite, you have the benefit that you can use it without worrying about hurting normal humans, animals, etc. But the reason you have that is that you've paid all these character points* for a powerful attack . . . that's literally useless against over 99% of the foes you're going to face! You've given up so much utility that you'd normally get from a Burning Attack. An elemental is on your tail? Useless. You're attacked by a pack of wolves? Useless. A gang member is coming for you? Useless. You need to blast down a door to escape the room? Useless. You need to start a fire? Useless. There's simply a huge degree of utility that you lack because of that Accessibility limitation.

Now, if the GM is running a game where your characters are going to be battling demon after demon after demon after demon, to where "99%" isn't even close to accurate, then he should consider revising the value of Accessibility as described in GURPS Powers -- but it's still going to be some form of Accessibility limitation.

* Yes, I feel comfortable saying "all these" despite its low nominal cost, because you have to figure the cost of your Divine Favor as well. Even the lowest level of Smite is a minimum 54-point buy-in.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: [Divine Favor] Is Smite underpriced?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustin View Post
I'm generally in love with the Divine Favor rules, but something just caught my eye. Smite (Divine Favor p.12) gets an Accessibility limitation of -50% for affecting Malign Supernatural Beings Only. Does the Malign part seem like a bit of a point crock to anyone else? It's a bit like taking Enemies Only as a limitation. This is basically a -50% cost break, to have an Area Effect that you can lob repeatedly in close quarters without worrying about your allies (supernatural or not), and without the need to buy Selective Area +20% (B108).

Affecting supernatural beings only is a legitimate limitation; you can't Smite a dire rhino, I'm cool with that. It's "malign" that I'm concerned about.
Compare to: (No Wounding, (-50%; GM Determined Target List Only, -20%) -40%; No Incendiary Effect, (-10%; GM Determined Target List Only, -20%) -8%), -48% rounded to -50% due to GURPS' assumed pentaphilia. Given that the acceptable target list can and will change ... I'm comfortable with the rounding.
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