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Old 04-27-2015, 08:29 PM   #1
Morgan
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Default [MH] Would like help with some characters

Hello everyone!

I am creating some characters for a mini Monster Hunters campaign that I'm going to play at my local club. It is going to run for between 3-5 missions with the option to continue if people like it enough.

I'm using the Agents of ORCID article from pyramid 3/73. The characters are going to be a Commando, a Sage, a Sleuth, a Techie and a melee focused character. The characters are going to be around 500 ish points. The Commando, Sleuth and Techie were easy. I have two problems, however:

1. I'm unsure what to give the Sage instead of their magic. I'm not using it because I feel Ritual Path Magic to be a bit complex for a game that is only going to be four or five sessions long and the Sages abilities are less useful in the field. I would like them to have some minor supernatural gifts due to spending so much time studying the occult but I'm at a loss what to give them.

2. I am also struggling with making a melee character in a setting where an assault rifle deals 9d pi++ without giving the melee guy a load of extra points to buy weapon skills, strength and loads of attacks. I have tried using the Warrior and the Experiment templates and I didn't like the result of either. The Warrior didn't have a high enough skill to ensure the final word in melee and the Experiment didn't seem to do enough damage, at least compared to buckets of dice the Commando is going to be rolling every turn.

One point I should make is that I don't want anything electrical on the melee fighter. The character's background is that they are bioengineered human created specifically for killing monsters. I have no objections to weird and wonderful abilities with other limitations but I would like this to be the one character that isn't completely hosed by an EMP. I want their abilities to be a part of their DNA rather than cybernetic. Everyone else is chromed right up.

I would prefer to stick to characters that have a wildcard skill or two because I find them a bit easier for newer players. Three of my potential five players are familiar with GURPS and I'm fairly intimate with it and everyone else is pretty smart so the characters don't have to be too simple.

I have most if not all of the books for 4e and quite a few pyramids issues as well. I have a few quid I'm willing to drop on books that think are absolutely neccessary.

Whew. That was longer than I was expecting. So if any of you fine people have some solutions or even just some suggestions for me, that would be super duper and I shall be eternally grateful and will be your best friend forever.

Thank you very much!
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Old 04-27-2015, 08:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: [MH] Would like help with some characters

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Originally Posted by Morgan View Post

2. I am also struggling with making a melee character in a setting where an assault rifle deals 9d pi++ without giving the melee guy a load of extra points to buy weapon skills, strength and loads of attacks. I have tried using the Warrior and the Experiment templates and I didn't like the result of either. The Warrior didn't have a high enough skill to ensure the final word in melee and the Experiment didn't seem to do enough damage, at least compared to buckets of dice the Commando is going to be rolling every turn.
first: Which riffle are you using? that's a LOT of damage.

second: the warrior excels in MH because of liberal use of injury tolerance. homogenous does a lot to negate the commando's paper dice. And if you allow power blow...
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:00 PM   #3
Morgan
 
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Default Re: [MH] Would like help with some characters

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first: Which riffle are you using? that's a LOT of damage.

second: the warrior excels in MH because of liberal use of injury tolerance. homogenous does a lot to negate the commando's paper dice. And if you allow power blow...
Thanks for the quick reply. :)

The storm rifle in ultra tech does that much damage and the Warrior doesn't have the skill levels to soak the penalty for combat uses of power blow unless I pump it up or ignore the penalties for quick use.

The game is TL/9 for those unfamiliar with the Agents of ORCID article.

Last edited by Morgan; 04-27-2015 at 09:07 PM. Reason: Forgot my manners
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Old 04-28-2015, 01:00 AM   #4
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Default Re: [MH] Would like help with some characters

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Thanks for the quick reply. :)

The storm rifle in ultra tech does that much damage and the Warrior doesn't have the skill levels to soak the penalty for combat uses of power blow unless I pump it up or ignore the penalties for quick use.

The game is TL/9 for those unfamiliar with the Agents of ORCID article.
As was said, building monsters that are resistant to bullets in one way or another helps a lot. Maybe they need to be attacked with a special material, or maybe without a magically-enchanted weapon attacking them they can become diffuse or even insubstantial. Maybe they are human enough to wear TL-appropriate armor, which has split DR and is weak to cutting or impaling. Maybe they have high enough active defenses that without being able to deceptive attack it's going to be difficult to land a hit.

Another option is limiting the size of your weapons - maybe gauss and laser weapons are available, as well as conventional guns with fancy ammunition, but caseless ammunition never took off[1]. With rifles especially, if you make things that can get into close combat (by dropping from overhead, for example) you can cause the gun-wielders to take bulk penalties, as well as putting everything in range for your melee person.

A third option is having at least some of the fights happen in places where stray shots would be a Bad Thing. Power plants, gas stations, areas with gas leaks, hospitals, etc. The average gunslinger, especially if they are trying to pump out a lot of damage, is going to miss with a substantial portion of their shots. And if those 4 shots in the burst that miss the monster light the whole place on fire, it's a reason for those with guns to slow down while your melee person gets to hack away with impunity.

[1] Maybe caseless ammunition never took off because it doesn't play well with the special ammunitions for whatever reason, and you can give your players a choice between a 7d pi battle rifle that can take explosive and incendiary ammunition at RoF 10 or the 9d pi++ Storm at RoF 3. Maybe personal armor advanced faster and the (2) from lasers or the (3) from gauss weapons is seen as 'more important' as long are you aren't fighting unarmored monsters that are doing cutting and crushing rather than piercing damage.
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Old 04-28-2015, 01:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: [MH] Would like help with some characters

You might get some mileage out of my Designer's Notes for "The Department of Occult Defense" as Frick and I collaborated on some material to intermingle the two (as did the other authors in that issue except for HANS).
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Old 04-28-2015, 01:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: [MH] Would like help with some characters

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Originally Posted by Morgan View Post
Thanks for the quick reply. :)

The storm rifle in ultra tech does that much damage and the Warrior doesn't have the skill levels to soak the penalty for combat uses of power blow unless I pump it up or ignore the penalties for quick use.

The game is TL/9 for those unfamiliar with the Agents of ORCID article.
The storm rifle in UT does pi+, not pi++ (that's errata). Also, why are you using TL 9 stuff?

If you need to pay points for power-blow, pay points for power-blow. Most of the time it's worth it (and it may just mean lots of Will, if the character also focuses on Intimidation and any other will-based skills).

Finally, as others have noted, monsters tend to be immune to bullets, or highly resistant to them. You might be able to bless a blade but not a gun, and so on.

Of course, if you mean it in a general sense, like this is some sort of black ops game where you have a cyber-ninja and a cyber-soldier both fighting aliens, and you note that in a TL 9 setting that melee is inferior to gunfire... well yeah. Melee is inferior to gunplay. If you want melee characters in a setting that also features gunplay, you need to establish things that make melee a viable choice, rather than rely on default GURPS assumptions, because, out of the box, GURPS realistically treats blades as inferior to bullets.
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Old 04-28-2015, 03:12 AM   #7
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Default Re: [MH] Would like help with some characters

A rifle that does 9d pi+ is wonderful, but only very slightly better than sword that does 2d cut if the target only needs 10 points of damage to be taken out of the fight.

I often use the rules from High-Tech that cap wound size (maximum damage a Piercing or Impaling attack can do is equal to the wounding modifier times its hit points) for monsters with injury tolerance to reduce the instant lethality of firearms even if I am not using the same rules for PCs.
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Old 04-28-2015, 04:45 AM   #8
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: [MH] Would like help with some characters

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Originally Posted by Morgan View Post
1. I'm unsure what to give the Sage instead of their magic. I'm not using it because I feel Ritual Path Magic to be a bit complex for a game that is only going to be four or five sessions long and the Sages abilities are less useful in the field. I would like them to have some minor supernatural gifts due to spending so much time studying the occult but I'm at a loss what to give them.
Instead of the supernatural, you can take a bunch of Advantages from GURPS Characters, and modify them so that they are abilities coming from sheer intellect.

I'm thinking ones that gives the character oracular abilities, but tweaked to represent non-supernatural genius. The bog standard Very Blessed is one option, although doesn't lend itself too well to Enhancements. You can reduce the time it takes, though, to much less than an hour, and add Reliable on top (a huge stack of Reliable can counter-act the effects of the character choosing to rush the process).

Medium is one of the ones I'm thinking of, although of coures as written Medium doesn't have anything to do with smarts and learning. But I seem to recall there was a Digital Oracle version of Medium somewhere, perhaps in GURPS Powers? That's not entirely right either (although it is orders of magnitude more right than vanilla Medium) but can serve as inspiration for a 2nd variant that is right for the Sage.

Oracle is another such Advantage that might be worth looking into. In either of those cases, you need to think hard and in advance about what benefits can be gotten from them and how they are used.

Also take ones that are already on the Sage occupational template, and build powered-up versions of them. For instance, I imagine that Intuition is already there. So say that Sages can still buy the vanilla Intuition during character creation, but they can also, then or later, beef it up with a huge stack of Enhancements including Reliable - and if you can squeeze in some kind of Cosmic, do so.

Common Sense too. Not much in itself, but add some Reliable, maybe squeeze in a Cosmic too to make it more impressive.

Modular Ability can be used to represent Cramming of skills in anticipation of their situational need during a given endavour. Look to DF volume 4 or 5 (the one titled "Sages") for Super-Memorization, but feel free to beef up the cost. DF is tuned for a budget of 250 points, while MH is 400 points, so a Sage can afford to buy a more useful but also more expensive Modular Ability.

You can let the Sage buy Slots for Skills, or for Languages or CFs, and perhaps also for some fairly cheap intellectual Advantages that he won't want to have all of the time, although I can't really think of many save for Eidetic Memory which a minority of Sages might not want to have all of the time. Maybe Photographic Memory vs Language Talent vs one or two other 10 pointers. Because if there aren't a sufficient variety of Advantages to fill into the slots, then Modular Ability won't be attractive.

One possibility is to take two 5-point slots for Modular Ability for mental advantages. That way you can have Language Talent (occupies both slots, unless Limited to Reading Only which strikes me as a reasonable -50% especially as it does not include Writing), and Eidetic Memory for 1 slot or both slots to get Photographic Memory, as well as Social Chameleon for 5 points (to fit into a wide variety of social contexts - although arguably that's not a core concept ability of the Sage; same with Versatile). But it's a start, find a few more 5 point Advantages and you'll have something to work with (maybe levels of Higher Purpose (Seek Knowledge), although GMs may be reluctant to allow stacks bigger than 3 levels, even if some of the 4+ levels come from Modular Ability and so aren't available all the time).

One alternative to Modular Ability, or a complement to it, is Wild Talent, although I think I like Reawakened better (see further down).

If you want to represent the Sage occupational template as the exemplar of sheer intellectual brilliance, you can also take Extra Life and build some kind of Master Ploy ability out of it, where the Sage turns out to have anticipated the lethal situation and prepared for it, so that he actually turns out to not be dead after all, some minutes or at most an hour or two after having died.

You can do the same with Luck, instead of (or in addition to) Extra Life, but there's an expanded version of Gizmo, based on anticipations, in the GURPS Action-themed issue of Pyramid v3 that I think is actually more appropriate for that than Luck (whereas Extra Life is very expensive (keep in mind it's one-use-only) and amazingly awesome when used in the way outlined above).

Luck might work better if taken as Aspected (Knowledge Skills or Intellectual Skills Only) and furthermore Only To Reroll Critical Misses, to show your character as almost never being wrong (compared to all the lesser brains around him who will roll 17 or more 2% of the time).

I don't know if it's in the PDF, but a stack of 3 levels of Higher Purpose (Seek Knowledge) could be good. It's not much, a mere 15 points out of a budget of 400, but every little helps...

Then there's Reawakened, Aspected to Knowledge Skills only. Doesn't dig much into your 400 point budget, but is the perfect excuse for buying knowledge skills on an ad hoc basis.

I've deliberately left out advantage builds that are better suited thematically for other occupational templates, such as the Sleuth who might benefit hugely from Rev. PK's Detect (Clues) advantage, proposed on here a year or two ago (in a thread about a GURPS Action variant campaign), or Psychometry with Hypersensory (although Hypersensory would probably make sense for some Sage abilities). Both the Sage and the Sleuth are geniuses, but in different ways, and it's worthwhile to try to maintain that capabilitistic differentiation (especially in a high-point budget game such as MH, and even more so if you remove the point sink that is RPM as that makes capabilitistic convergence more likely to occur).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgan View Post
2. I am also struggling with making a melee character in a setting where an assault rifle deals 9d pi++ without giving the melee guy a load of extra points to buy weapon skills, strength and loads of attacks. I have tried using the Warrior and the Experiment templates and I didn't like the result of either. The Warrior didn't have a high enough skill to ensure the final word in melee and the Experiment didn't seem to do enough damage, at least compared to buckets of dice the Commando is going to be rolling every turn.
Here I think the solution is to stop thinking about damage and instead looking for other ways to be useful in combat. For instance, tripping the foe, or disarming the foe, or rendering him unconscious. Innate Attack able to compete with a 9d rifle is going to be crazy expensive, so I believe you'd do much better to not pursue that.
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Old 04-28-2015, 06:04 AM   #9
Morgan
 
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Default Re: [MH] Would like help with some characters

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Also, why are you using TL 9 stuff?.
The game is set at TL 9. You even quoted the part where I said that ;).

But in all seriousness thank you very much everyone for all your replies.

I have a better idea what to do now but I'm not running these games for a few more weeks so if anyone else has any ideas feel free to jump in. I'll be checking this thread regularly so I will see your posts.

Thanks again :).
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Old 04-28-2015, 09:41 AM   #10
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Default Re: [MH] Would like help with some characters

As for the sage, why don't you give him a few pre-made spells. If they are set up as conditional rituals they are very useful in the field.

In my MH game that lasted 2 years the warrior char was brutally effective.
Don't forget to apply weapon master bonuses & the use of wildcard points.
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