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Old 08-28-2017, 10:57 PM   #1
Wonazer
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Oregon
Default Flight and it's special limitations

I wanted to build an Avian racial template for my fantasy game, but I didn't want to give PCs the ability to fully fly. Looking at the special limitations, I noticed Gliding and Small Wings. Small Wings notes "You use your wings to steer and to stabilize your flight – not to lift." Gliding states, "You cannot gain altitude." I don't need both, do I? My template originally had Wings + Gliding. I'm thinking Small Wings would accomplish that as well, right? However, Wings+Gliding makes Flight cost [10]. Small Wings makes Flight cost [36]. Flight on its own is [40]. I must be missing something. Help?
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Old 08-28-2017, 11:13 PM   #2
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Flight and it's special limitations

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Originally Posted by Wonazer View Post
I wanted to build an Avian racial template for my fantasy game, but I didn't want to give PCs the ability to fully fly. Looking at the special limitations, I noticed Gliding and Small Wings. Small Wings notes "You use your wings to steer and to stabilize your flight – not to lift." Gliding states, "You cannot gain altitude." I don't need both, do I? My template originally had Wings + Gliding. I'm thinking Small Wings would accomplish that as well, right? However, Wings+Gliding makes Flight cost [10]. Small Wings makes Flight cost [36]. Flight on its own is [40]. I must be missing something. Help?
I think you're misinterpreting the word "lift." It doesn't mean just "the ability to gain altitude." Lift is the upward force that balances the force of gravity; if you don't have lift, then you fall—you don't maintain altitude.

Since Small Wings are stated not to provide lift, they aren't what holds you up in the air. You have antigravity, or a balloon, or jets, or rotors, or something like that to hold you up. The small wings are just control surfaces. If Small Wings are the only limitation you have, you're functionally a lot like a flying super, with just the need for wings to steer.

The flight of a bird, with Wings, uses the wings to provide the lifting force that holds the bird up. If it has Gliding, it has the further limitation that it can't maintain a steady altitude, but has to descend to maintain its speed. If its wings vanished or stopped working, it would fly like a rock. If a creature with Small Wings lost the use of its wings, it would still stay in the air till it chose to descend; it just couldn't steer. See the difference?
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Old 08-28-2017, 11:15 PM   #3
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Default Re: Flight and it's special limitations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonazer View Post
Looking at the special limitations, I noticed Gliding and Small Wings. Small Wings notes "You use your wings to steer and to stabilize your flight – not to lift." Gliding states, "You cannot gain altitude." I don't need both, do I?
If a creature has wings they need to stabilize their flight, and can only glide, not gain altitude, then yes, they need both. I think you're misunderstanding what Small Wings means when it says "not to lift". It's not saying that someone with Flight with Small Wings can't use flight to gain lift, it's saying that the small wings aren't necessary to gain lift. If someone cut or damaged their wings, they could still go up, they just wouldn't have good control while doing so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonazer
My template originally had Wings + Gliding. I'm thinking Small Wings would accomplish that as well, right?
The difference between someone with Flight (Gliding, -50%; Winged, -25%) and Flight (Gliding, -50%; Small Wings, -10%) is that the first character absolutely needs their wings to fly - if the wings are crippled or completely removed, they can't fly at all. If they jump off a cliff, they just fall. Whereas, the second character, if their wings are crippled, can still fly, they'll just suffer penalties to control their flight, and have to make rolls every time they want to land. Flight with Small Wings really needs another mechanism to explain how they actually fly, so I'd say your aerial race should probably have Flight with Gliding and Winged, not Small Wings. If you're concerned about the overall size of the wings, I'd suggest allowing reducing the limitation value of Winged by -5% to give them wings the same size as Small Wings, but still necessary to fly.

Hope all this clears things up!
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Old 08-28-2017, 11:17 PM   #4
Wonazer
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Oregon
Default Re: Flight and it's special limitations

You guys are wonderful. Thank you so much.

First time I've gotten a faster response than on the GURPS Discord! haha
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