Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-27-2017, 01:37 AM   #1
Angle
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Default Running a Sliver Hive Quest in GURPS [MTG]

So I've run a couple of sliver hive quests (Forum games where the players collectively guide the actions of the game with their votes. See here and here, if you're curious.) and they've been alright, but I've been dissatisfied with the mechanics, on account of using my own hacked together systems. The solution here is obvious, though not particularly easy - Use GURPS.

In order to do that, though, I need to figure out how to do a few things that aren't in any of the books, at least not so far as I can tell. First and foremost, I need to figure out how to roll success for player actions - whether or not they manage to organize their slivers to gather food, dig a hive, research ecology, whatever. There are some rules relevant to this in pyramid 3-54, City Management, and some other ones in 3-52 on Lord of the Manor, but nothing that tackles the issue directly, and I'm hesitant to try and intuit a general principle to adopt. Fighting uses Mass Combat, obviously.

I also have a number of more minor questions, which I'll ask as I discover them, but that's the big one - how to do success rolls for an entire hive devoted to a major task over a long period of time. Also some advice on balance might be nice, but that's not nearly as much of a priority. I'll go ahead and post my existing writeup here for perusal, if anyone is interested.

Last edited by Angle; 01-29-2017 at 06:11 PM.
Angle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2017, 08:41 PM   #2
Angle
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Default Re: Running a Sliver Hive Quest in GURPS

And the existing rules I've got, including some basic template write-ups:

Slivers: Slivers are a race of magical mind-linked snakes with talons. They are an extremely eusocial hive species, with an incredible variety of different castes. They have three very unique racial magic abilities, and some less unique but still quite powerful ones.

First, they have a telepathic network that lets them share thoughts and coordinate, allowing them to operate together with unrivaled efficiency. Slivers have almost no loyalty or communication problems. They do still have individuality, but will usually follow orders

Second, slivers have a chance, first when born and then again when put into a situation that would mortally wound them, to gain a special ability of some sort. This ability depends on a number of factors - how the hive as a whole is doing, where they live, what they’ve been eating, if it’s an at-birth adaptation, or if it’s in combat it’ll probably be something focused on either countering the attacking threat or incorporating it.

Third, slivers share their abilities with other slivers. The range is usually relatively short, but it’s still large enough to cover a small battlefield.

Sliver Racial Templates:

Code:
Basic Sliver Racial Template [-63 points]
  Sliver Hivemind:
    Mindlink, 10,000 - 99,999 people (Hive), Racial (Slivers), -20% [40]
    Telecommunication: Burst 1, +30%, Sensie, +80%, Telesend, Racial, -20% [72]
  Sliver Mentality:
    Language: None, [-6]
    Increased Perception 2 [10]
    Chummy (Gregarious) [-10]
    Compulsive Communication, CR: 6 [-10]
    Decreased Intelligence, Doesn't affect Will or Per, -50% [-60]
    Bestial [-10]
    Hidebound [-5]
    Taboo Trait: Fixed IQ [0]
    Sense of Duty [-10]
    Selfless, CR:6 [-10]
    Slave Mentality [-40]
    Truthfulness, DR: 6 [-10]
  Sliver Morphology:
    Increased Strength 3, No Fine Manipulators, -40% [18]
    Damage Resistance 2, Tough Skin, -40% [6]
    Horizontal [-10]
    No Fine Manipulators [-30]
    No Legs, Slither [0]
    Claws, Long Talons, Hands [-11]
    One Arm [-20]
    Sexless, [-1]
    Increased Dexterity 1, No Fine Manipulators, -40%, [12]
Individual slivers will all have their own various differences, some of which can be quite major - Hive leader, like Sliver Queen, can buy off most of the mental disadvantages, for example, and will usually have vastly increased physical stats.

Sliver Hivemind: Slivers can speak mind to mind at a range of up to 0.1 light years. This is 10x faster than talking, and not dependent on language. It only works with other slivers.

Sliver Mentality: The average sliver isn’t very smart - usually about as smart as a dog, or IQ 4. Specials will usually be smarter, but even they usually top out at IQ 7 or 8. For human equivalent intelligences, you need to look to legendary slivers, the Queen, Overlord, Hivelord, and Legion. These slivers can be as smart as any human, having IQ in the 8-12 range usually, though sometimes much higher. Also of note, slivers have very different perspectives, culture, and morals to humans. They are a very eusocial species, one that considers the collective welfare first and foremost, and outright considers some individuals more valuable than others. They will not hesitate to sacrifice sliver lives for the good of the hive, if necessary, and will prioritize the survival of some individuals over others.

Sliver Morphology: Slivers vary greatly in morphology, but a few general traits hold true. Slivers usually have no legs, instead slithering around like snakes. They have a single striking limb, on their chest, with a scythelike talon. They have thick, leathery skin, and sometimes also scales. Their tails split into two tendrils, which they can use to cling to surfaces.

Sliver Specials: Many slivers have innate abilities that they share with all other slivers nearby.

Sliver Special Template:
Affliction 10, Always On, -20%, Only on Slivers, -60%, Area Effect 10, +500%, Advantage X, +10X% [120 + 2X] (uses multiplicative modifiers. No HT roll necessary.)

Sliver Magic: Slivers have some innate magical abilities. First, hive leaders are innately capable of bonding to lands, and can draw upon this power and redistribute it to the hive. Secondly, many sliver special types give some innate magical ability. These aren’t spells, but they do give you something to spend mana on, and many magical skills will still apply.

Sliver Civilization: Slivers are TL 0 in terms of mental technologies, like counting, memorization, and knowledge, and TL -1 in terms of physical technologies, with the exception of burrowing. Nevertheless, they do have the capability for technological development and tool use, they just have very little in the way of existing technologies.

Last edited by Angle; 01-28-2017 at 03:12 PM.
Angle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2017, 02:15 AM   #3
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Running a Sliver Hive Quest in GURPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angle View Post
First and foremost, I need to figure out how to roll success for player actions - whether or not they manage to organize their slivers to gather food, dig a hive, research ecology, whatever.
Well, when you're dealing with this kind of problem with a mass of humans, who between them are definitely capable of carrying out the task, the basic skill roll is Leadership.

For these creatures, I think you need to consider how they decide to do something, and how they organise themselves. Do they have leaders, or is there some different approach, such as a "hive unity" roll?
__________________
Index of "Skill of the Week" threads. Index of Techniques.
johndallman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2017, 02:35 AM   #4
sir_pudding
Wielder of Smart Pants
 
sir_pudding's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ventura CA
Default Re: Running a Sliver Hive Quest in GURPS

The Magic creatures have queens and overlords.
sir_pudding is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2017, 03:04 PM   #5
Angle
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Default Re: Running a Sliver Hive Quest in GURPS

Yeah, they have leader units. I was considering maybe an administration roll? I think for the most part, though, the deciding factor in whether or not it works should be whether or not the creatures carrying out the action are capable of it. How good the leader is at organizing them shouldn't make a huge difference, at least not after they reach the point of basic competence. Here's an example of a leader, with the name linking to the relevant card:

Code:
 Sliver Queen Racial Template [-63 points] (Uses multiplicative Modifiers)
   Sliver Hivemind:
    Mindlink, 10,000 - 99,999 people (Hive), Racial (Slivers), -20% [40]
    Telepathy (Alternative abilities): [103]
      Possession, Telecontrol 1, +50%, Mindlink required, -40% [90]
      Telecommunication: Burst 1, +30%, Sensie, +80%, Telesend, Racial, -20% [63]
   Sliver Mentality:
    Language: None, [-6]
    Increased Perception 2 [10]
    Chummy (Gregarious) [-10]
    Compulsive Communication, CR: 6 [-10]
    Bestial [-10]
    Hidebound [-5]
    Sense of Duty [-10]
    Truthfulness, DR: 6 [-10]
  Sliver Morphology:
    Increased SM 6 [0]
    Increased Strength 65, Size 6, -60, No Fine Manipulators, -40% [130]
    Increased Basic Move 5 [25]
    Extra Attack 1 [25]
    Enhanced Move (ground) 2 [40]
    Damage Resistance 15, Tough Skin, -40% [45]
    Damage Resistance 20, Hardened 1, +20% [120]
    Horizontal [-10]
    No Fine Manipulators [-30]
    No Legs, Slither [0]
    Claws, Long Talons, Hands [-11]
    Increased Dexterity 1, No Fine Manipulators, -40%, [12]
    Parthenogenesis [0]
Also, should I not give them Horizontal? I mean, no fine manipulators and one arm make it kind've irrelevant. :/

Last edited by Angle; 01-28-2017 at 03:09 PM.
Angle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2017, 03:33 PM   #6
sir_pudding
Wielder of Smart Pants
 
sir_pudding's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ventura CA
Default Re: Running a Sliver Hive Quest in GURPS

Most Horizontal creatures have No Fine Manipulators.
sir_pudding is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2017, 08:22 AM   #7
Angle
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Default Re: Running a Sliver Hive Quest in GURPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Most Horizontal creatures have No Fine Manipulators.
Hmm, that's a good point. So maybe it applies in this case? Slivers are basically snakes with an additional taloned limb. They move by slithering, with their heads held semi-upright and their limbs used for balance. They don't have any feet to kick with, though I guess they can slap people with their tails? Yeah, okay, I guess everything on it applies to them. They would take the -1 to damage per die when tail slapping, and would move at half speed if they were using their claws to hold something, and would need to stop to do anything more complicated, like attack. Though I might allow them to do full move and also act, with a successful DX check, maybe? I mean, it should be possible, just not easy.

What about success rolls? Does anyone have any advice on how to manage those? Right now I'm leaning towards just rolling against the average skill of the group, with an administration roll by the queen as a complementary roll (The usual -2, -1, +1, or +2 depending on failure or success).

Edit: Wait, hold up. Maybe I should just do the monthly actions like job rolls? And have them deliver their value in goods and services. I can even take the occupations straight from Low tech 3, page 45. Just use the average skill of the group, and multiply times the numbers in the group.

Edit Edit: Lets try an example. So I have 20 Slivers gathering food, as per the gatherer occupation, with Area Knowledge 12 and Survival 12. So I roll against a 12, and get 10, margin of success 2. That gets me $400, +20%, so $480, * 20, or $9600 in gathered food. If slivers are living at an effective status of -1, then that would have them consuming $300 each, allowing me to support 32 slivers off those 20. That seems pretty reasonable. :/

Edit Edit Edit: It does raise some questions, though. Mainly, these creatures aren't human, so they're needs and desires would vary greatly, thus changing their cost of living. Also, I'm not sure how status and cost of living would work with them. The hive leader, for example, should probably be Status 8 to the others, but should they have the cost of living that goes along with that? I don't think so. It does make sense that they would have a greater cost of living, given that they're SM +6, but I don't think they'd care for the gold and finery that humans tend to take as a sign of status. :/

Last edited by Angle; 01-29-2017 at 09:41 AM.
Angle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2017, 09:33 AM   #8
sir_pudding
Wielder of Smart Pants
 
sir_pudding's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ventura CA
Default Re: Running a Sliver Hive Quest in GURPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angle View Post
What about success rolls? Does anyone have any advice on how to manage those? Right now I'm leaning towards just rolling against the average skill of the group, with an administration roll by the queen as a complementary roll (The usual -2, -1, +1, or +2 depending on failure or success).
I don't think that GURPS is really the best system for wargaming out entire civilizations. That said, the No I in Team rule can handle simultaneous individual rolls against a single skill by a group.
sir_pudding is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2017, 09:52 AM   #9
Angle
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Default Re: Running a Sliver Hive Quest in GURPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
I don't think that GURPS is really the best system for wargaming out entire civilizations. That said, the No I in Team rule can handle simultaneous individual rolls against a single skill by a group.
Which Pyramid was that from? I found the Team Up! one with the rules for coordinated action, but I'm not finding that particular rule. :/

As for whether or not GURPS is suitable, I actually think it should work pretty well. Better than any other system I've found, or any I can hack together myself.

Edit: Ah, I think I found it. You mean the Team Effort rules in social engineering, page 33, yes? Those will do nicely. The complementary skill rules on page 32 of Pyramid 3-65 are also quite handy. See, this is why I wanted to use GURPS - there are rules for just about everything, and where there aren't, you can usually just push the existing rules a bit and make them work. :P

Last edited by Angle; 01-29-2017 at 10:16 AM.
Angle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2017, 01:36 PM   #10
sir_pudding
Wielder of Smart Pants
 
sir_pudding's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ventura CA
Default Re: Running a Sliver Hive Quest in GURPS

It first appeared in Action 2: Exploits, like right after Complimentary skills.
sir_pudding is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
magic the gathering

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.