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Old 10-20-2014, 08:14 PM   #1
Otaku
 
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Default [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#15): Binding

Last Week: Arm ST; Lifting ST; Striking ST
Next Week: Blessed

Binding (p. B40) is one of the "attack" Advantages in the Basic Set, along with Affliction (which we have covered) and Innate Attack (which we have not). If they weren't so broad individually, I'd have merged them all into one but there is more than enough meat for discussion here. It is a Physical, Exotic Advantage that costs 2 points per level. Binding attacks hold a target in place; like many such Advantages you need to consider what specific mechanics you want, justified by the flavor of the character and setting. By default it is a range attack with 1/2D -, Max 100, Acc3, RoF1, Shots N/A and Recoil 1: as there is no half-damage range as there is no damage to halve.

Assuming you hit your target, they are "grappled" as per p. B370. The victim is rooted in place at -4 to DX plus unable to select the Move or Change Posture maneuvers or even change facing. The effective ST of the Bind is equal to its Level, but (by default) you can layer attacks onto an already bound victim for +1 per layer. Still sticking to the default build, the Binding victim can break free by winning a Quick Contest of ST (or Escape Skill) versus the ST of the Binding; failure means a lost of 1 FP but may try again and whether it succeeds or fails the attempt takes one second.

Unless you take the appropriate Enhancement, another option for someone trapped through Binding is to attempt to destroy it; the victim attacks at -4 unless using an Innate Attack (which hits automatically). There are not special penalties for those unaffected by Binding to attack the Binding of someone else (though penalties that would apply regardless, like lighting and footing would still apply). There is a risk of hitting the victim on a miss or through over penetration. Each point of damage reduces the ST of the Binding by 1 and it is destroyed at ST 0 (freeing the victim) but it also has DR equal to 1/3 the Binding level (rounded down).

Modifiers
Besides the generic modifiers from the Basic Set, Binding has six exclusive to it. Engulfing (+60%) means the attack pins the victim: no speaking or moving of limbs! The victim can still attempt to break free via ST (but no Escape), damage the binding with an Innate Attack or to use purely mental abilities. Escape attempts now take 10 seconds, and on a 17 or 18 the victim fails so badly that he no longer can escape on his own. Only Damaged By X (variable) means that only certain damage types (burning, corrosion, crushing or cutting) can damage the Binding. The value is +30% if only one of those applies, +20% for any two and +10% for any three. I am uncertain if this means that only those four types of damage can affect a Binding in the first place or if those are just the only ones the book felt like dealing with (a hypothetical Binding that can only be damage by Impaling damage is either somewhat odd, diabolical or perhaps both).

Sticky (+20%) is treated as being persistent but only to those touching the original target of your attack. Unbreakable (+40%) means that your binding cannot be destroyed though a target can still attempt to break free. Moving onto Limitations, Environmental (variable) means your Binding works by manipulating some existing aspect of the environment and won't work if such a thing is lacking in the current location. Examples are -20% for something that requires the victim actually be touching the ground (not sure if that means "earth" or any sort of ground or even the floor) to -40% for something like the victim must be standing in dense vegetation. One Shot (-10%) I do understand; it simply prevents layering your Binding to increase its ST.

Other Sources
The GURPS FAQ has one entry for Binding:
Quote:
Originally Posted by GURPS FAQ
3.2.32 How exactly does using a Binding power differ from grappling a target? What is similar? How does it interact with very-high-ST targets?

As written, unmodified Binding has two effects: it grapples and it roots in place. The first effect works just like any grapple: the target suffers a DX penalty. This DX penalty is not affected by relative ST. The rules are clear on where the ST exception applies: "If you grapple a foe of more than twice your ST, you do not prevent him from moving away." That says nothing about the DX penalty. Having a chihuahua hanging off your knee should certainly give -4 when kicking, for instance. So regardless of Binding level, the target is at -4 DX.

The second effect isn't grappling, but a Binding-specific limitation on the target's ability to use Move and Change Posture maneuvers. This just works; it doesn't matter what ST scores are involved. The main place where ST does matter here is in breaking free.

So yes, it is possible to make a ST 1,000 target waste a turn breaking free of a Binding with ST 1. He does, after all, get a chance to dodge the attack. He can certainly use the usual multiple-attacks options to break free and do something else, though. Also, if merely walking through a force field does thrust damage "for free" for the purpose of forcing one's way through something (Powers, p. 108), then the GM could fairly rule that this applies here as well, allowing strong targets to brush aside low-ST Bindings.
GURPS Powers includes two additional Enhancements, Constricting and Suffocating on p. 43, as well as guidelines for simulating well known Bindings from fiction by combining various Modifiers.

So in your experience, how has Binding worked out? Is it well balanced, over or under powered, confusing or straightforward? Any particularly memorable uses or builds? Other Binding related topics you feel are worth discussing?
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Last edited by Otaku; 11-03-2014 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 10-21-2014, 02:32 AM   #2
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Binding

I have never used Binding.

Is it the forum's opinion that I am missing out?
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Old 10-21-2014, 02:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Binding

A Rapid Fire (300) Selective Area Area Effect at level 1 seems to be one of the more powerful builds. I once played an Improvised Morph who was supposed to be swashbuckly and versatile; I ended up mostly morphing this web launcher, and relegated to a support role, because it was that good.
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Old 10-21-2014, 05:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Binding

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
A Rapid Fire (300) Selective Area Area Effect at level 1 seems to be one of the more powerful builds. I once played an Improvised Morph who was supposed to be swashbuckly and versatile; I ended up mostly morphing this web launcher, and relegated to a support role, because it was that good.
To be fair, Rapid Fire past a certain limit (and definitely at 300) is kind of over powered for it's price.

As for Binding itself, I've only ever used it once, as part of a super powered "dice" ability, the character formed dice made of energy in his hand and threw them at the opponent, each of his 6 abilities had a 1 in 6 chance of activating. Sadly, I only ever got to play him once, but his first roll did chain down the Super who was built up to be near unstoppable, so I was pretty satisfied with it. It makes a great way to stop opponents without damaging them.
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Old 10-21-2014, 06:10 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Binding

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leynok View Post
To be fair, Rapid Fire past a certain limit (and definitely at 300) is kind of over powered for it's price.
Not really. Past a certain level, every doubling of RoF gives +1 to hit, and thus +1 shot hitting the target (at Rcl 1). The only times I've seen it grossly exploited is when combined with Area Effect, to justify having all shots hit the target. That is clearly not the intent of 4e's Rapid Fire mechanics.
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Old 10-21-2014, 06:40 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Binding

Quote:
Originally Posted by vierasmarius View Post
Not really. Past a certain level, every doubling of RoF gives +1 to hit, and thus +1 shot hitting the target (at Rcl 1). The only times I've seen it grossly exploited is when combined with Area Effect, to justify having all shots hit the target. That is clearly not the intent of 4e's Rapid Fire mechanics.
Thing is, they don't hit the target, but even after the scatter the target falls within the affected areas (the AE has to be very high level for this to work on all shots).
I mean, you shoot three hundred 'grenades' into a big room. Where do you think they will fall?
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Old 10-21-2014, 07:04 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Binding

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Thing is, they don't hit the target, but even after the scatter the target falls within the affected areas (the AE has to be very high level for this to work on all shots).
I mean, you shoot three hundred 'grenades' into a big room. Where do you think they will fall?
The scatter rules don't make allowance for Rapid Fire attacks at all. Yes, logically they all have to land somewhere. But the way the Rapid Fire rules and enhancement are written clearly assume single-target attacks, which is why "fixing" this situation with a houserule leads inexorably to gross munchkinism. 3e had very different rapid fire rules, more amenable to tracking exactly where every shot landed, but they were apparently too complex for people to handle.

My preferred approach for cluster-bomb attacks is to build the effects rather than the fluff. The effect is to fill a wide area with overlapping attacks, for a relatively consistent degree of damage within the area that falls off rapidly at the edges. So just build it like that - a single-shot Binding with a much wider area and higher ST. If this attack can be "tightened" for greater effect within a smaller area, buy that as an Alternative Attack.
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Old 10-21-2014, 07:20 AM   #8
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Binding

Quote:
Originally Posted by vierasmarius View Post
The scatter rules don't make allowance for Rapid Fire attacks at all. Yes, logically they all have to land somewhere. But the way the Rapid Fire rules and enhancement are written clearly assume single-target attacks, which is why "fixing" this situation with a houserule leads inexorably to gross munchkinism. 3e had very different rapid fire rules, more amenable to tracking exactly where every shot landed, but they were apparently too complex for people to handle.

My preferred approach for cluster-bomb attacks is to build the effects rather than the fluff. The effect is to fill a wide area with overlapping attacks, for a relatively consistent degree of damage within the area that falls off rapidly at the edges. So just build it like that - a single-shot Binding with a much wider area and higher ST. If this attack can be "tightened" for greater effect within a smaller area, buy that as an Alternative Attack.
This is more an indication of the problems with RoF rules in general. My point about a room is that even if the GM picks the worst possible arrangement of scatter (e.g. putting stuff at the edges of the room or of the Range of the attack, whichever is worse for the situation), the huge area effects will still cover the targets. It's kinda scary with Selective Area, but not without it (where it's too prone to collateral damage).

That being said, I wonder if there's a Krommquote or non-Basic rule explaining how Scatter interacts with RoF.
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Old 10-21-2014, 10:15 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Binding

I know one GM who used Binding with Engulfing for a petrification attack rather than an Affliction of permanent paralysis, heart attack, or a meta-disadvantage of "my body is now immobile stone".
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Old 10-21-2014, 11:36 AM   #10
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Binding

Note that GURPS: Supers provides Super-Binding for Binding, which is basically Super-Effort for Binding. +400%, look up your binding level on the Super-Abiliies table (speed/range table) etc.

Constricting and high levels of Binding and/or Super-Binding make this a potent damaging attack in its own right. Suffocating isnt as useful, as lots of targets in Supers games dont breathe, and the remainder take a long time to drop unconscious from lack of air. Constricting is better.

Binding (Super-Binding +400%; Unbreakable +40%; Constricting +75%) [12.3/level], especially at 8+ levels, can do gruesome things on a hit, as it does margin of victory on a ST vs (Binding Super Level) contest... Against non-super-ST targets, that can be death in 1 or 2 turns, and significant damage even to Super-ST targets who dont massively out-compete your binding ST.

Add Selectivity +10% (12.5 /level) to have the option to not squeeze targets like tubes of cherry toothpaste.

Constricting can be useful even in non-Supers games without Super-Binding, 4.3 /level for binding is pretty cheap for what it does. It mimics a rather expensive Innate Attack (Crushing, cyclic 1 second, Resistable, lots of cycles +50%xlots) [5 + 2.5xlots/level].

That build got a lot of play in one Supers style campaign. Disable and damage on a hit proved a valuable attack to have.
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