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Old 08-02-2017, 08:22 AM   #1
Pentaclegram
 
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Default Need Help With Utter Dome Using Fixed Magic From GURPS: Fantasy

Hello again everyone! I'm having trouble puzzling out the interactions of limitations and enhancements with Fixed Magic, and I was hoping some knowledgeable stranger could shed some light on the situation. I would appreciate any help that anyone can offer.

I'm theorycrafting a Super character who uses Gravity as their power, and one of the abilities I had in mind was a completely impenetrable spherical barrier that could be used as an impenetrable defense or safe haven for a small amount of time. I was having an immense amount of trouble finding something suitable in Basic or Powers. The Utter Dome spell seemed perfect, though, and while googling I came across the Fixed Magic system from GURPS: Fantasy.

I initially built the spell as a power using the formula provided, where 14 was the prereq count, M2 was required, and points for the level of skill I wanted (14) was 4, which gave me a final point total of 14+5+4+4, or 27 points to cast a 1 yard radius Utter Dome with a cost of 6 fatigue, 4 to maintain.

Question 1: One of the issues I'm having is how to handle the Area of the advantage. Should I build the advantage as if the spell had been cast with a larger area, by using the Area Enhancement in Basic, or can I choose? Utter Dome has a base area of 1 yard, and I wanted a 4 yard radius (or so). Building it into the spell pre-conversion increases the fatigue cost but not the point cost (directly; indirectly, my character would need to buy Costs Less Fatigue to be able to afford it), while building it with the Area Enhancement does the opposite. Using the pre-conversion method would end up costing a lot more points because of the Reduced Fatigue Cost necessary to make it usable for more than a few seconds; approx. 400% compared to Area's 100%.

Question 2: Speaking of fatigue costs, Utter Dome as an advantage essentially has Costs Fatigue built into it, but designed for a duration of 1 minute. The plan was to use Reduced Duration to knock the duration down to 1 second. Costs Fatigue is a -5%/lvl limitation for a 1 minute activation, and -10%/lvl for a 1 second activation. How should I approach this? Building an unmodified Costs Fatigue/second into it seems like it'd be stacking with the already-included fatigue cost, but leaving it unmodified feels like it's not scaling properly. Is this simply how Reduced Duration is intended to work, and already built into the cost of the limitation?

Question 3: On the topic of duration... I wanted to be able to do something like block Dr. X's kaiser beam with Utter Dome using the Reflexive enhancement, maintain the 'spell' for a few rounds for VFRegeneration to kick in, then end the effect right before the start of my next turn. With Reflexive and the duration reduced to 1 sec, turn order becomes a bit trickier. Do I need to wait out the full duration of the effect for it to end, i.e., it ends on his turn, or can I end it prematurely through an enhancement? If so, where can I find it?

Question 4: Fixed Magic is, by default, magic(al), as in, requiring a mana field. My Super uses a Gravity Power Modifier worth -10%, and I'd like to replace the magical requirements with the ones I'm already using. I was thinking since the Magical modifier from Powers and my Gravity modifier are both -10%, I should be able to swap it over to Gravity as a -0% Limitation. Would that be the correct interpretation?

Question 5: Utter Dome has the standard casting time of one second, and after the cast takes an additional one second to form. Can I get around this with two separate Reduced Time 1 enhancements, one for each duration? Or, by RAW, will Reduced Time only affect the casting time?

Well, that seems to be it. Thanks for hanging in there! I apologize if the format makes it seem like an exam; I promise your answers will not be graded!

Last edited by Pentaclegram; 08-02-2017 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 08-02-2017, 02:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: Need Help With Utter Dome Using Fixed Magic

First of all, I don't think a fixed spell is supposed to be treated like an advantage, Fantasy calls it a meta-trait only, and with all the changes you need to make to the advantage, I have another suggestion -- Payload or Jumper. But, for academic purposes:
Q1: As I've mentioned, I don't think you should treat it like an advantage at all and you shouldn't put any enhancements on it. Should you do, Powers suggests going with the cheaper approach. But I'd say you should buy high enough level of skill with the spell with a limitation "for energy discount only". And yes, it means a huge skill level.
Q2&3: Speaking of not treating it like an advantage: PK suggests aiming for a net +0% modifier while changing spells, and to ignore all the Fatigue-related modifiers. So you could balance between Reduced Duration, Reflexive, Reduced Time and maybe Cosmic (see further), to get a net +0% and this could be fair.
Q4: Yeah, I think it's fair to switch an inherent modifier into a different one with the same value. It's pretty much how clerical spells work: they exchange mana dependency for pact and sanctity dependency.
Q5: I'd say Reduced Time is fine for casting time, but to get rid of the forming time is to get rid of a serious inherent restriction, and I'd say it's a +50% Cosmic modifier.

Academics aside, I see two alternatives, both with the leading thought of creating your own dimension:
1. Payload (a bit dodgy) with the Cosmic from Powers, under Snatcher, and some other Cosmic enhancements that would let you hide in your own Payload.
2. Jumper -- with some enhancements to make it reflexive, have limited time, and reach only one dimension -- your own side-dimension, where you can't influence the outer world and the outer world can't influence you. I'd definitely go with that one.
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Old 08-02-2017, 02:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: Need Help With Utter Dome Using Fixed Magic

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Originally Posted by Gnomasz View Post
2. Jumper -- with some enhancements to make it reflexive, have limited time, and reach only one dimension -- your own side-dimension, where you can't influence the outer world and the outer world can't influence you. I'd definitely go with that one.
This is covered in "Lord of Your Own Domain" in Pyramid #3/63: Infinite Worlds II. However, I don't see how that is relevant to the OP, who seems to want a Sue Storm force bubble power.

I would suggest some combination of Injury Tolerance: Damage Reduction with Cosmic, round down and DR; both with Area Effect, Affects Others, Link and Super-Effort. Get it at a level where it stops most common attacks and can be boosted with Super-effort when you need to boost it to stop nukes or whatever.
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Old 08-02-2017, 03:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: Need Help With Utter Dome Using Fixed Magic

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
This is covered in "Lord of Your Own Domain" in Pyramid #3/63: Infinite Worlds II. However, I don't see how that is relevant to the OP, who seems to want a Sue Storm force bubble power.
Except Sue Storm doesn't have an infinite defense.
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Old 08-02-2017, 03:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: Need Help With Utter Dome Using Fixed Magic

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Except Sue Storm doesn't have an infinite defense.
Sure, I was only using her as an example compared to someone who makes their own pocket universe, which seemed completely irrelevant to me. So like Sue Storm except good vs. nukes.
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Old 08-02-2017, 04:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Need Help With Utter Dome Using Fixed Magic From GURPS: Fantasy

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Originally Posted by Pentaclegram View Post
I'm theorycrafting a Super character who uses Gravity as their power, and one of the abilities I had in mind was a completely impenetrable spherical barrier that could be used as an impenetrable defense or safe haven for a small amount of time. I was having an immense amount of trouble finding something suitable in Basic or Powers.
Did you go through the section on Absolutes in Powers, pp117-118 (I think)? There are a few options there for modelling "invulnerability". One that I've used a couple of times is the Insubstantiality build. The appearance of invulnerability part of that can be just a special effect or +0% modifier ("Successful attacks seem to hit, but have no effect"). Force field bubbles, or Utter Dome semblances, would just need AE+FF+AO added on to whatever other mods you put on Insub. Not necessarily the prettiest build, and certainly not the only way to do it, but it's an option.
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Old 08-02-2017, 06:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: Need Help With Utter Dome Using Fixed Magic

Sorcery: Protection and Warning Spells (link to store page), actually breaks Utter Dome into a purchasable ability, but, it loses its infinite defense capacity.

So, that would be a good starting place to look.
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:27 AM   #8
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Default Re: Need Help With Utter Dome Using Fixed Magic

Thanks for all the replies!

Thanks for pointing that out Not Another Shrubbery, I had not noticed the Absolute section. I'm not sure how well Insubstantial will work with the existence of the Affects Insubstantial attach Enhancement. Otherwise, mechanically, it does what I want.

I don't have the Sorcery: Protection and Warning splat, but I can imagine that the versions they offer are very expensive, and if they don't offer absolute defense then it wouldn't be worth it.

I would like the Injury Tolerance + DR with Super-Effort, Area and Affects Others, except I don't believe Super-Effort can be combined with DR by RAW, unless I'm missing something. Which I very well may be, as I'm not too familiar with any of the Super-related rules. Additionally, Injury Tolerance applies after subtracting DR from basic damage. That means that purchasing DR at all is sort of useless; i.e., say a nuke does 5000 damage to the dome, -100 for purchased DR amount, then the remaining 4900 is divided by the damage divisor. With that math, it would be better to use only a damage divisor of 10,000 or 100,000 with the Cosmic: Round Down enhancement, depending on how much damage is likely to be seen in the campaign. With all the modifiers that will be thrown on it, that's likely to be several thousand points.

The pocket dimension version using Jumper is a really smart idea, though. It serves it's purpose as an absolute defense (by not being there when the attack goes off) and looks relatively affordable compared to the alternatives. Link it to a Crushing Attack (Wall, Impermeable) with No Wounding, and you've got exactly what I asked for, actually.

Additionally, it bypasses the wonky nature of the Insubstantial version. such as enemies with Affects Insubstantial somehow killing you through your 'absolute defense'. It would be perfect, except for the equally wonky fact that the Wall has only a small amount of HP and DR. It would be thematically uncool if an enemy fired a machine gun at it, broke it, and discovered that you and your allies are nowhere to be found. I'm sure most GMs would let you have that, though, considering the wall is merely cosmetic and you already paid for the defense aspect.

All in all, I'll probably end up going with the Jumper version, as it appears to be the most feature-complete and affordable.
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Old 08-04-2017, 09:08 AM   #9
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Default Re: Need Help With Utter Dome Using Fixed Magic

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Originally Posted by Pentaclegram View Post
All in all, I'll probably end up going with the Jumper version, as it appears to be the most feature-complete and affordable.
Note that it does imply your force bubble must be opaque, as it's hard to see out of a pocket dimension; you could get around that by adding in Clairvoyance with the World-Spanning enhancement from Powers p109, and I'm pretty sure there's another to make it into a projected image other people in your pocket dimension could see.

My biggest problem with both the Insubstantial and the Wall+Pocket Dimension builds is that they don't offer the same sort of cover to things behind your dome that you'd expect. The Insubstantial build offers no cover, and the Wall+Pocket Dimension only offers whatever the protection of the wall is.

Side note: You can and should get around the Affects Insubstantial problem with Cosmic: Defense (+50%), which will prevent "causal" Affects Insubstantial use on you. It still won't protect against Cosmic attacks with Affects Insubstantial.

The Pocket Dimension is not invulnerable to the World-Spanning enhancement, BTW, and Cosmic won't help you against it here.

Re: Damage Resistance and Injury Tolerance: Damage Reduction.
I personally find the Cosmic: Round Down approach highly suspect. I don't think that's even appeared in Pyramid - it's certainly a forum-invented enhancement and I think it's grossly undervalued at +50% considering that it creates nigh invulnerability in a game system that doesn't like it. A more legit approach which is perfectly vanilla is to add Extreme Regeneration (Accessibility: Only When Using Forcefield, -10%; Accessibility: Only vs Damage Taken Through Forcefield, -40%).
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Old 08-04-2017, 12:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: Need Help With Utter Dome Using Fixed Magic

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Re: Damage Resistance and Injury Tolerance: Damage Reduction.
I personally find the Cosmic: Round Down approach highly suspect. I don't think that's even appeared in Pyramid - it's certainly a forum-invented enhancement [...]
Not going into the argument about the balance of it, but the enhancement and its value are definitely not forum-invented. They're right there in GURPS Powers: "... the GM may rule that those with Cosmic, +50% only suffer this if the injury is at least 1 HP after applying the divisor.", p. 119.
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