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Old 02-09-2009, 04:26 PM   #1
Woodman
 
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Default Alternate Form, how to limit the time one can stay in a form?

Hi,

In fiction there are several examples of shapeshifters, who can only stay in their alternate form for a limited time, but the RAW dont give an easy way to modell this in GURPS, as all the limitations and enhancements only affect the ability to change. I think there should be some simple sollution on how to model the following cases
1. The char can only stay in his Alternate Form for a limited time, like with the maximum duration limitation
2. The Alternate Form drains some kind of resource of the base form (likely FP)
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:37 PM   #2
transmetahuman
 
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Default Re: Alternate Form, how to limit the time one can stay in a form?

1. In addition to multiplying the difference in form costs by 90%, reduce that difference by the percentage of the desired Max Duration. Also (or instead, if the AF costs less than the base form) put the Max Duration limitation on the 15 points base price.

2. Give the Alternate Form a Dependency, Fatigue damage only. RAW* says to make it Dependent on being in the other form for a pretty miniscule price break - I think Common. Personally I think it should be Rare for the same reason that abilities of the AF can be Always On even though they don't always affect the character - these kinds of things treat the form in isolation from the base form. Don't modify the base cost of AF or the AF's 90% at all (but that form will be cheaper because of the Dependency disadvantage).

*can't remember which book it's in, probably either Fantasy or Thaumatology

Last edited by transmetahuman; 02-09-2009 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:16 PM   #3
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: Alternate Form, how to limit the time one can stay in a form?

Quote:
Originally Posted by transmetahuman
2. Give the Alternate Form a Dependency, Fatigue damage only. RAW* says to make it Dependent on being in the other form for a pretty miniscule price break - I think Common.
Very Common, actually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by transmetahuman
Personally I think it should be Rare for the same reason that abilities of the AF can be Always On even though they don't always affect the character - these kinds of things treat the form in isolation from the base form.
Gotta disagree. Dependencies are always rated on how hard it is to fulfill the condition. Given that transforming takes ten minimal time, and can be done more or less at will, I can't see how "turning back into my normal form" could be less than Common. It's like Dependency (Water) - it's just too easy to get to be worth many points.

Of course, you could always slap some levels of Reduced Time on the Dependency, to get it to burn FP faster and be worth more. Two levels of Reduced Time means you'd be burning 1 FP/15 seconds, which is still combat effective, and now you're getting -22 points back for that Dependency. That's not bad, I'd say.

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Originally Posted by transmetahuman
*can't remember which book it's in, probably either Fantasy or Thaumatology
Thaumatology, p. 212
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Old 02-10-2009, 02:24 AM   #4
transmetahuman
 
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Default Re: Alternate Form, how to limit the time one can stay in a form?

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Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen
Gotta disagree. Dependencies are always rated on how hard it is to fulfill the condition. Given that transforming takes ten minimal time, and can be done more or less at will, I can't see how "turning back into my normal form" could be less than Common. It's like Dependency (Water) - it's just too easy to get to be worth many points.
Your AF can have a Burning Aura Attack with Always On; you don't need to put Switchable on its DR. The traits are always on in that form. The FoA of Captain Marvel's Justice Society Allies wasn't adjusted because they didn't know Billy Batson from a hole in the wall - the Billy form just didn't have the Ally advantage. But when some of them found out his secret ID, the Billy form took those separately, not gaining anything because his Captain form already had them. Your vampire form doesn't take Draining or Uncontrollable Appetite with an Accessibility limitation (Only while being a vampire).

Likewise, there is no way for your Spirit Warrior form to alleviate the Dependency while staying in that form. If the alternate form instead had, say, Dependency (gallons of dragon's blood irradiated in the year 208 BC and blessed by Oberon king of the faeries), the end result would be exactly the same: he'll take fatigue damage until he shifts back.

It's based on a rule of thumb that I evolved before I ever read that bit in Thaumatology (which btw I thought was a brilliant way of dealing with it), not on any real issue with the stinginess or generosity of the points. I was just trying to explain why you don't need a slew of Switchables and Accessibilities to use AF or Morph, and extrapolated the rule of thumb to the new situation.

Whenever I evolve these kinds of rules of thumb to explain GURPS traits, Kromm* always ends up disagreeing with me. :) So call it a house rule (house meta-rule?) that'll probably never catch on, but I guess I have an orderly mind that likes this kind of general internal consistency.

* And in this case, Phil, and the RAW. I'm not trying to persuade anyone, just explaining my thinking.

Last edited by transmetahuman; 02-10-2009 at 02:45 AM.
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Old 02-10-2009, 03:08 AM   #5
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Default Re: Alternate Form, how to limit the time one can stay in a form?

I thought of having AF with a Will roll each round with a cumulative -1 to Will. If one wants it to be more of a stamina thing rather than a concentration then use HT.
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Old 02-10-2009, 04:14 AM   #6
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: Alternate Form, how to limit the time one can stay in a form?

Quote:
Originally Posted by transmetahuman
Likewise, there is no way for your Spirit Warrior form to alleviate the Dependency while staying in that form. If the alternate form instead had, say, Dependency (gallons of dragon's blood irradiated in the year 208 BC and blessed by Oberon king of the faeries), the end result would be exactly the same: he'll take fatigue damage until he shifts back.
Hmm. It's an interesting point, but one problem springs to mind. I've always assumed that Dependency doesn't let you heal the damage incurred until the Dependency's condition is met. So while the character with Dependency (reverting to natural form) and Dependency (dragon's blood) may stay in their alternate form for the same length of time, the character with the dragon's blood requirement would find it much harder to return to their alternate form until they found a good supply of dragon's blood to restore their FP.
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Old 02-10-2009, 06:07 AM   #7
Twyll
 
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Default Re: Alternate Form, how to limit the time one can stay in a form?

Why not simply use a Limitation? What you ask just calls for it, doesn't it? Fore example a modified "Costs Fatigue" changed to "Costs Mana" so that you can still use FP in your Alternate Form. You could use another Energy Reserve if you like, see Powers p.119.
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:30 AM   #8
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Default Re: Alternate Form, how to limit the time one can stay in a form?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen
Hmm. It's an interesting point, but one problem springs to mind. I've always assumed that Dependency doesn't let you heal the damage incurred until the Dependency's condition is met. So while the character with Dependency (reverting to natural form) and Dependency (dragon's blood) may stay in their alternate form for the same length of time, the character with the dragon's blood requirement would find it much harder to return to their alternate form until they found a good supply of dragon's blood to restore their FP.
Hmmm, good point yourself. I'm pretty sure you're right about not being able to heal damage until the condition is met - but the default AF doesn't have Non-Reciprocal Damage, the base form takes proportional damage. In fact the whole point of using this technique for Spirit Warriors depends on shared fatigue damage, at least to emulate 3e Voodoo.

So, would it be logical to hinder the base form's healing or fatigue recovery because of a disadvantage only the other form has? I'm talking about other kinds of Dependency, like the irradiated dragon blood example. There's also the hypothetical case of an Afflicted Dependency that then wears off - would you say that no longer having the Dependency would also then allow the damage to be healed without meeting the condition? I think most GMs would, and I think I'd rule that the base form isn't hindered by the AF's Dependency's unhealing (which the character no longer "has"). But I could see it going either way, and of course the RAW agrees with you.

Last edited by transmetahuman; 02-10-2009 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:44 PM   #9
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: Alternate Form, how to limit the time one can stay in a form?

Quote:
Originally Posted by transmetahuman
So, would it be logical to hinder the base form's healing or fatigue recovery because of a disadvantage only the other form has?
What I would probably rule in that case is that a Dependency in an Alternate Form creates a sort of limited Non-Reciprocal Healing. You still heal normally in your base form. However, if you don't meet the criteria for the Dependency, the alternate form's HP/FP don't heal - that is, when you transform back, you'll find yourself down by the same ammount of HP as when you shifted out.
So someone who's Dependency is "my normal form" of course qualifies for the Dependency, and heals normally, not worrying about tracking damage to the alternate form separately. However, the guy with the Dependency to irradiated dragon blood might be able to heal the 5 HP of damage while he's in his natural form, but unless he spends at least one time period with some irradiated dragon blood before transforming again, those 5 HP are going to come right off again the next time he transforms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by transmetahuman
There's also the hypothetical case of an Afflicted Dependency that then wears off - would you say that no longer having the Dependency would also then allow the damage to be healed without meeting the condition?
An Afflicted Dependency, though, really does go away. The Alternate Form Dependency is more put on hold, IMO. I'd certainly allow the Afflicted Dependency's damage to be healed once it wore off, it's true.
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Old 02-12-2009, 04:10 AM   #10
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Alternate Form, how to limit the time one can stay in a form?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodman
Hi,

In fiction there are several examples of shapeshifters, who can only stay in their alternate form for a limited time, but the RAW dont give an easy way to modell this in GURPS, as all the limitations and enhancements only affect the ability to change. I think there should be some simple sollution on how to model the following cases
1. The char can only stay in his Alternate Form for a limited time, like with the maximum duration limitation
2. The Alternate Form drains some kind of resource of the base form (likely FP)
What prevents you from using the Maximum Duration limitation in this case?
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