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Old 10-13-2017, 01:12 PM   #1
Cowrie
 
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Default Elemental Creation Questions

I'm creating a setting that has, in addition to humans, a set of four elemental races, gnomes (Earth), salamanders (Fire), sylphs (Air), and undines (Water). However, I'm having some issues in creating some of their templates.

First of all, the sylphs are lighter than air and have that limitation on their flight. However, they also have a pair of wings that, while not providing lift, are necessary for both steering and propulsion, unlike the Small Wings limitation that only needs them for steering. How much would you eyeball as the cost of a limitation where injured wings cause a reduction in air speed, up to the point of potentially being able only to hover if both wings are crippled? -15% or -20%?

Second, I want the salamanders to be able to comfortably swim in magma, which based on the numbers given in Powers should require DR 30. Even limited to heat/fire, that amount of DR pushes the cost for the salamander template way higher than I want it to be. However, Power-Ups 2 - Perks lists Immunity to a specific damaging hazard as a valid fantasy perk. Do you think, considering that, it would be reasonable to make Immunity to heat and fire a valid full-fledged version of the Resistant advantage, at least for a racial template? And if so, what rarity level would you peg it at, Common or Very Common? I mean, limited defenses considers heat/fire to be common, but I'm not sure if those rarity levels are comparable to those for the Resistant advantage.
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Old 10-13-2017, 01:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: Elemental Creation Questions

I would allow the perk if they can immerse themselves in fire or magma but it wont protect from attacks.
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Old 10-13-2017, 01:57 PM   #3
Cowrie
 
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Default Re: Elemental Creation Questions

You misunderstand. The perk requires a much more specific hazard, the example given for fire/magma related hazards being "mount doom". I want them to be protected from all sources of heat and fire, which would presumably count as a fully-fledged immunity instead of a perk. I also want them to be protected from fire-based attacks, though I'm not sure if there will be any magma/lava-based attacks, so if the community doesn't think an immunity should protect from damaging attacks, it might be reasonable for me to give them the immunity and maybe 6 or 7 points of limited DR.
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Old 10-13-2017, 02:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: Elemental Creation Questions

On the Flight question, I'd say that the limitation of "Needs wings for propulsion but not staying aloft" is pretty much halfway between Winged and Short Wings. I'd call it -15% if the creature can, even without wings, just "drift" down safely and doesn't need to roll for landing, or -20% if it does need to make a roll to land if its wings are disabled.

A slightly more complicated alternative, but one that might actually save more points, would be to buy down the sylphs' Air Move, but put a mitigator on the disadvantage thus created, of "intact wings", which I'd price at -70%.

For the fire immunity, I think you're going to have to bite the bullet and accept that this simply is going to be an expensive trait, if you want it to apply to fire attacks as well as ambient temperature. I absolutely don't think that Resistant is the right trait to avoid actual damage - for that, you're going to have to pay for Damage Resistance or Injury Tolerance (Damage Reduction). I don't believe you can take the Immunity to Specific Hazard perk and assume that, because it happens to mention Resistant in its description, that it's then balanced to use Resistant to be immune to damage on a larger scale.
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Old 10-13-2017, 02:10 PM   #5
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Default Re: Elemental Creation Questions

GURPS doesn't have immunities and you should give the salamanders enough DR to withstand the damage + Temperature Tolerance not to die from heat-induced fatigue (and maybe Tunneling for swimming in lava, i think it's quite thick).

That being said, if you just tax the race an arbitrary amount of points for their immunity to fire in your game, no GURPS police will hunt you. Just be wary if you have a munchkin in your group: they might try and abuse the immunity to fire damage.


As for the sylphs, I'd read propulsion as part of "steering" and kept it as Small Wings.
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Old 10-13-2017, 04:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Elemental Creation Questions

Thanks for all the advice! As of right now, I'm just statting up some world-building for fun, so munchkin players aren't a huge issue. Also, upon further reflection, seeing as I'm not giving any of the other races particular protection against energy associated with their element, it's probably unbalanced to give Salamanders too much DR against fire-based attacks. However, they should still be capable of dealing with environmental magma and fire. How much do you think a limitation on DR, Accessibility, Only Against Environmental Hazards, should be worth?

As far as accompanying Temperature Tolerance, considering that the amount of Temperature Tolerance needed to be comfortable in magma as well as higher end human comfort zone is beyond excessive in point cost (over 150 points for a HT 10 race), do you think it would be fair to use Resistance to model an immunity to extremes of heat in the sense of their forcing HT rolls and fatigue? And if so, what rarity would you place that at?

On the topic of the lower end of Salamander comfort zone, they have Cold-Blooded, stiffening below 65 degrees F, and also a Weakness to temperatures below 50 degrees F. The description for Weakness notes intense normal cold as being occasional, but below 50 degrees isn't remotely intense, and I'm not entirely certain if it would be closer to Common or Very Common in rarity. Any thoughts
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Old 10-13-2017, 05:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: Elemental Creation Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowrie View Post
Also, upon further reflection, seeing as I'm not giving any of the other races particular protection against energy associated with their element, it's probably unbalanced to give Salamanders too much DR against fire-based attacks.
I think DR 4 to 5 would be reasonable against fire-based attacks. This is enough to negate 1d of damage, which is enough to feel useful without being overpowering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowrie View Post
However, they should still be capable of dealing with environmental magma and fire. How much do you think a limitation on DR, Accessibility, Only Against Environmental Hazards, should be worth?
That would probably be worth -60% in most games.

I don't see much point in building this as DR. The point cost is too high for this stunt to be worthwhile. I still think that the Immunity to Specific Environmental Hazard perk is the best model for this. I'd price this less generic version as an advantage worth between 2 to 5 points.
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Old 10-13-2017, 06:53 PM   #8
Cowrie
 
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Default Re: Elemental Creation Questions

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Originally Posted by Emerald Cat View Post
I think DR 4 to 5 would be reasonable against fire-based attacks. This is enough to negate 1d of damage, which is enough to feel useful without being overpowering.
Yeah, I landed on DR 5 against heat and fire for the reasons you described.

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Originally Posted by Emerald Cat View Post
That would probably be worth -60% in most games.

I don't see much point in building this as DR. The point cost is too high for this stunt to be worthwhile. I still think that the Immunity to Specific Environmental Hazard perk is the best model for this. I'd price this less generic version as an advantage worth between 2 to 5 points.
Considering that it would also have the -40% limitation Heat/Fire only, if you calculate the 25 additional levels of DR needed for magma with a limitation cap of -95% (which Power-Ups 8 says is allowable for severely limited traits), it comes in to a smidge over 6 points, suggesting that 5 points for an immunity to environmental magma and fire would be fairly reasonable for this build at least.

Do you think this should still be accompanied by something to stop heat from forcing HT rolls and fatigue loss?
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: Elemental Creation Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowrie View Post
You misunderstand. The perk requires a much more specific hazard, the example given for fire/magma related hazards being "mount doom". I want them to be protected from all sources of heat and fire, which would presumably count as a fully-fledged immunity instead of a perk. I also want them to be protected from fire-based attacks.
Are their attacks fire based? What if they want to fight each other?
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Old 10-14-2017, 07:25 AM   #10
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Default Re: Elemental Creation Questions

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Originally Posted by Cowrie View Post
Do you think this should still be accompanied by something to stop heat from forcing HT rolls and fatigue loss?
Okay, as this thread is already more about game design and how to apply GURPS to it, than about GURPS RAW;
I think it absolutely depends on the campaign. Sometimes it's just a Rules Exemption perk and it only helps you once during a 2-years long game. Sometimes every other session is in the middle of a volcano and the grand finale is in Pompeii.

If you're building the world for your group, and you intend the magma swimming to be just a flavor thing that doesn't really come up in a campaign, you shouldn't charge your players much for those immunities, they might feel like you forced them to waste points. If, however, it's supposed to be a rather open world for many different adventures, and where an adventuring party of fire-wielding salamanders might wreck havoc in an area, leaving completely unscathed thanks to their tolerance: yeah, the race should pay a lot for DR, being accustomed to the temperature and the low oxygen in a fire.

That being said, the fatigue loss due to heat is a metabolic hazard and Resistant works well for it. Being a specific environmental syndrome, it's Rare. So Immunity is just 5 points.

DR should cost more if you want salamanders to be resistant to fireballs. If you're concerned with template cost balance, you can give other races other supernatural abilities. Also, may I suggest Night Blindness disadvantage for the salamanders? When you live in a source of light, you might not be well accustomed to darkness.

You could also find this thread helpful, especially post #13.
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