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Old 04-11-2011, 02:32 PM   #1
JCurwen3
 
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Default Building In Nomine Abilities in GURPS 4e

Familiarity with In Nomine is required to be much use in this thread, but that doesn't mean that anyone with a good, healthy, crunchy knowledge of GURPS 4e rules can't chime in with suggestions!

This thread is for people who find the exercise of discussing and building powers and templates from fiction and other game systems using GURPS 4e's rules to be fun. It hopefully will be the go-to thread for GMs and players that want to see quality GURPS 4e conversions of In Nomine celestials and their abilities, whether to play a full-on In Nomine game using the GURPS system, to inject some In Nomine into an existing game, or just to see if some of the cool powers and templates could be fun and useful to add into their entirely non-IN games.

This thread is not the "Unofficial GURPS In Nomine for 4ed thread".

That thread (which is in the In Nomine - not GURPS - forum) was about trying to try to discuss and "write" a hypothetical future official GURPS: In Nomine for GURPS 4th Edition as a crowd-sourcing effort (initiated by players and not by SJG). It's 48 pages (at the time of this posting), with some good ideas, but mostly filled with arguments about which way is "best" or "right", differences in opinion regarding the philosophy of the project ("we convert entirely from scratch using GURPS 4ed" or "we convert the previous conversion, changing as little as possible"), and discussions concerning whether certain ways of doing things would be frowned upon by the Line Editor due to complexity or potentially confusing price structures if any of what was built would even ever be considered for a hypothetical revised GURPS:IN edition (that for all we know might never see the light of day).

I'm trying to change that thread's direction, with new rules and more focus.

On the other hand, it doesn't get nearly the traffic and eyeballs as the GURPS forum, and those it does may not know much about GURPS and its rules. For this reason, I'm creating this thread in addition to the other one. I'm happy to take it upon myself to do the job of cross-posting power and template builds to both threads. I think doing it this way will produce faster and better results.

I would like to propose some guidelines from the outset:
  • This thread is for interpretations of In Nomine powers and celestials in GURPS 4e terms.
  • There will be different ways to do the same thing - that's the nature of GURPS. For instance, celestials have vessels. One way to do that would be with Possession and IQ 0 puppets (my preference), another way would be a combination of Alternate Form and Extra Life (or Unkillable), and another way would be a modified form of Extra Life. These different ways are encouraged - the more the merrier. No one way is or has to be the "best" or the "right" one. Having the different ways built out means newcomers to the thread can pick their poison and choose the way they like best. The only requirement is obviously that the ways of building the abilities have to actually match the game effects (or close enough) as they are in In Nomine.
  • Saying In Nomine is a mouthful. So more often than not it will be abbreviated to IN. References to the original GURPS: In Nomine (a 3rd ed book), when it is referenced for inspiration (and for its inclusion of the Grigori) can and more often than not will be abbreviated G:IN.
  • The goal is RAW GURPS conversions. That means no new advantages, disadvantages, or skills. New techniques, spells, perks, quirks, and modifiers (enhancements and limitations) are fine though, and will be both necessary and encouraged. We're also avoiding infinite or absolute powers - no invulnerability, or "I win" abilities, for instance. Creative use of Cosmic enhancements is fine, but just not too creative (no use of Cosmic to make Injury Tolerance (Diffuse) work against area effect damage, for instance!). Also, Cosmic shouldn't be used (at any level) to get an ability to do something where there would be another established RAW way to do that.
  • Because it might come up, I take the stance that any advantage, disadvantage, etc. that is gained via an Affliction with Extended Duration: Permanent (+300%) is really permanent and behaves like a normal trait. That includes beneficial Afflictions of advantages - my ruling is always that a PC receiving advantages that way doesn't have to pay points for them, they're free. That's RAW (the rules only suggest GM's make PCs pay the points, they don't require it), and in some cases ruling that way is necessary in order to model abilities from fiction and other systems. It might be necessary occasionally here. I'm just saying this up front, because I'd rather not see this used (perhaps by me, perhaps by others) in a judicious and responsible manner as part of a power build (one that can always be rejected by any GM who doesn't like it), only to see it poo-pooed as being a "point crock" just on principle. Just saying, putting that card on the table.
  • When building powers or templates, colour isn't important. By that I mean that if use of certain advantages and modifiers creates the desired game effect (meaning it works identically or close enough to how it works in IN), the "colour" is largely irrelevant. GMs and their groups are free to interpret colour any way they want. For instance, Mind Control can be interpreted either as brute force domination or it can be interpreted as almost unfailing persuasiveness. The important thing is that the game effects work the way they're supposed to work.
  • Although it's not strictly necessary and I wouldn't want to put anyone off to contributing here, ideally when you submit power and template builds, you'd write them out according to the GURPS 4th Edition Formatting Guide guidelines. This can be downloaded here.
  • IN is an entire integrated game system. That means some conversions won't be perfect. The goal is to capture the spirit of IN, as well as trying to get the game effects as close as possible (things like durations of abilities and such). Also, IN has several moving parts, and often they interact. For instance, Forces (a concept with no parallel in GURPS) are important to a lot of IN abilities and effects. There are two main suggestions for doing Forces in GURPS: one is to use levels of Power Investiture as was done in G:IN (I like this method, personally, once you get past the name and the association with magic-using clerics), and another is to use Power Talent. As mentioned earlier, there are different suggestions for how to do vessels as well. So when you contribute a power or template build, please note which of these other "assumptions" you're using if they're relevant to your build.
  • Constructive criticism isn't only okay, it's encouraged. But no flaming people, no insults, no personal attacks, etc.
  • Contributions that aren't canonical IN are totally fine (they'll probably be interesting!), just please note that they're not canonical for clarification.
  • Keep in mind that not everyone will have the same level of knowledge of either IN, GURPS, or both. So try to be clear about your intent when contributing, and make a point of listing the source book's name and page number when citing a reference.

There'll almost certainly be more guidelines to add to that list over time, but I think that pretty much is it for now. If you can think of any, please suggest them! It's important that this be a thread approached with compromise, open-mindedness, and camaraderie. And remember, we're not trying to crowd-source the writing of the next G:IN (that way leads to madness, as well as a 40+ page thread that mostly doesn't go anywhere), we're getting together to build IN powers and templates and have fun.

Also, again, yes, there is a similar (and active) thread in the In Nomine forum. I will do the job of cross-posting builds in both places. I'm doing this because you can't have a thread that exists in two forums at once, and I don't want to exclude the smaller but predominantly IN group nor do I want to lose out on the far larger audience the GURPS forum has.
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Old 04-11-2011, 02:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: Building In Nomine Abilities in GURPS 4e

I'll start!

I think I've captured the Shedim resonance. Let me know what you think. My thought is that my next step is to do a couple of specific Demon Prince "enhancements" to the Shedim resonance next, and then do Kyriotates (since they're not as straightforward as all that).
Standard Shedim Resonance

Entering Host and Controlling His Mind:
Permeation (Living Flesh; Link, +10%; Meld 1, +150%; Terminal Condition, Host reduced to unconsciousness for 30 minutes, -20%; Terminal Condition, No longer in host, -0%) [12] +
Mind Control (Accessibility, Only on host, -10%; Based on Will, Own Roll, +20%; Independent, +70%; Link, +10%; Puppet, -40; Rationalization, +20%; Terminal Condition, Host reduced to unconsciousness for 30 minutes, -20%; Terminal Condition, No longer in host, -0%) [75] + Special Rapport (Accessibility, Only on host, -10%; Based on Will, Own Roll, +20%; Link, +10%; One Way, +20%; Terminal Condition, Host reduced to unconsciousness for 30 minutes, -20%; Terminal Condition, No longer in host, -0%; Transferable, +150%) [14]. 101 points.

Full Knowledge of Host's Thoughts:
Mind Reading (Accessibility, Only on host, -10%; Based on Will, Own Roll, +20%; Cosmic, No penalties for failure, +50%; Reduced Time 1, +20%; Sensory, +20%; Terminal Condition, No longer in host, -0%; Universal, +50%) [75].

Full Knowledge of Host's Memories:
Mind Probe (Accessibility, Only on host, -10%; Based on Will, Own Roll, +20%; Cosmic, No penalties for failure, +50%; Invasive, +75%; Reduced Time 1, +20%; Sensory, +20%; Terminal Condition, No longer in host, -0%; Universal, +50%) [65] ([13] as an alternative ability).

Notes: This is the standard Shedim resonance. The demon must win a Quick Contest of Wills with its intended host. Success means it enters the host's body and can control its host's mind. During this time, the Shedite will have instant and full knowledge of its host's memories, thoughts, and feelings. If the demon attempts to force the subject to act against his principles (e.g., commit suicide or harm a loved one), there is another Quick Contest. If the victim wins, he breaks free, and the Shedite cannot possess him again for 24 hours. 189 points.
Note that I decided against basing this on Possession. GURPS Possession is complete and total control over the target, with no mechanic to allow for Quick Contests of Wills in the face of forcing the subject to go against his principles (including making him do something that could kill him). It also isn't kind to possessing entities that are inside the body when it dies (a Shedite gets a point of dissonance but more or less can shrug off the host dying). And, finally, Possession leaves the victim with no memory - you may have ruined their lives, but you haven't corrupted them, only deeply confused them. So a build with Mind Control and Permeation (Flesh) seemed best.

Further note that I didn't add in a power modifier (I wasn't sure what we were doing with that), and also didn't consider adding things like Low or No Signature (again, didn't know what we were doing about that, whether we were using expanded Low and No Signature rules in Powers and Psionic Powers, and also in light of Symphonic disturbances which would be the signatures of certain abilities I assume). Finally, some of the things that the In Nomine check digit did are not included and again, I wasn't exactly sure what we were doing with that (probably tying to margin of success or failure in GURPS, but applying that to ongoing attempts to use the abilities and also to modify durations seemed... complicated).

I'm hoping for feedback, constructive criticism, corrections where there are errors, suggestions, etc. on the above build.

And as I said, next stop, a couple of Shedite Band Attunements, for Malphas and Saminga. And then Kyriotates.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: Building In Nomine Abilities in GURPS 4e

I suspect that trying to balance this stuff finely against "normal" GURPS may not be worth the effort. So setting-specific conventions may be quite broad. With that in mind, I'd like to propose the power modifier "celestial powers", which is worth the usual -10%.

It also means that the normal "visible" effects of powers become Disturbance. That means that normal people and animals won't notice, but celestials, Soldiers, Saints, undead and so on (the main actors in IN) can notice them at some distance, and without needing line-of-sight/hearing, or anything else apart from being conscious.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Building In Nomine Abilities in GURPS 4e

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
I suspect that trying to balance this stuff finely against "normal" GURPS may not be worth the effort. So setting-specific conventions may be quite broad. With that in mind, I'd like to propose the power modifier "celestial powers", which is worth the usual -10%.

It also means that the normal "visible" effects of powers become Disturbance. That means that normal people and animals won't notice, but celestials, Soldiers, Saints, undead and so on (the main actors in IN) can notice them at some distance, and without needing line-of-sight/hearing, or anything else apart from being conscious.
The -10% seems right... just like Magic or Psi, there are anti-powers that can shut them down. Part of the power modifier, yes, would be a -0% that defined the "signature" of powers as their Disturbance. Certain Attunements and other conditions basically add Low or No Signature to uses of powers (no Disturbance).
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:57 PM   #5
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I'd define each of the Forces as a Focus for the same Source; so there'd actually be 3 different PMs. This lets you use Power Talents in place of Force levels for Songs and so on.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:58 PM   #6
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I would like to propose that wherever we use Low and No Signature, that we use the expanded rules on p. P103 and Psionic Powers, p. 20.

Basically, there are two kinds of signatures:
  • "Real world" signature - mundane effects anyone can see, and
  • "Psychic" signature - noticeable by Detect. In this context, this is Disturbance, and Symphonically aware beings have Detect (Disturbance).
Both use the extra detail rules, such that every -2 to rolls to notice is +5%, up to -10 (+25%) when there is truly No Signature.

Low Signature is the term used up to -6 (+15%), and No Signature is the term used thereafter, at the +20% and +25% levels. These terms are for "real world" mundane signatures.

Low Psychic Signature and No Psychic Signature are terms used for Disturbances, as per Psionic Powers.

I think this is important considering the importance of Disturbance (power signatures) in IN.
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
I'd define each of the Forces as a Focus for the same Source; so there'd actually be 3 different PMs. This lets you use Power Talents in place of Force levels for Songs and so on.
I came to warm to the Power Investiture model, but that could work too.

In either case, though, I think it makes sense to add to the Power Modifier(s), now that I think about it, that their powers can only be fueled by essence (an ER) for -5%. I never see IN characters getting fatigued using their abilities. They're clearly not spending FP, it's essence.

I'd also propose that whatever is used as the model for doing Forces (Power Investiture levels, or levels of Power Talent) gets bundled within its price a point of essence (Slow Recharge, 1/day, -60%). This keeps them tied together as they are in IN. And Kyriotates would have to buy Forces (however they're built) bundled with levels of Compartmentalized Mind.

EDIT:
One thing to note though - we need to keep in mind that there is such a thing as Word Forces that Word-bound celestials have. Not sure how that fits in with stuff.

Also, can power modifiers be nested? Because we could have a PM for each realm (Cel, Eth, Cor), but it'd be useful, I think, if they all had built into them a super-PM, which I'm going to call Symphonic.
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Last edited by JCurwen3; 04-11-2011 at 04:11 PM. Reason: Remembered Word Forces, and also suggested nested PMs.
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:10 PM   #8
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I came to warm to the Power Investiture model, but that could work too.
Power Investiture is a Power Talent.

Quote:
In either case, though, I think it makes sense to add to the Power Modifier(s), now that I think about it, that their powers can only be fueled by essence (an ER) for -5%. I never see IN characters getting fatigued using their abilities. They're clearly not spending FP, it's essence.
Shouldn't that be on specific abilities? Not all abilities cost essence.

Quote:
I'd also propose that whatever is used as the model for doing Forces (Power Investiture levels, or levels of Power Talent) gets bundled within its price a point of essence (Slow Recharge, 1/day, -60%). This keeps them tied together as they are in IN. And Kyriotates would have to buy Forces (however they're built) bundled with levels of Compartmentalized Mind.
Sure.
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: Building In Nomine Abilities in GURPS 4e

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Power Investiture is a Power Talent.
Yes, but it's also like Magery (which is also a Power Talent), in that it makes it possible to case spells (in this case, Songs), without it you can't.

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Shouldn't that be on specific abilities? Not all abilities cost essence.
I've seen mods used at the PM level even though they wouldn't affect all the power's abilities. But in this case, the text "if they canít, add -5% to the power modifier" suggests it, and it makes it a lot easier to manage if it's built in at the top.
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:32 PM   #10
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Yes, but it's also like Magery (which is also a Power Talent), in that it makes it possible to case spells (in this case, Songs), without it you can't.
Sure, but that's what I mean. A ten point Talent for each Force that adds to songs. I just wouldn't call it Power Investiture, since it has it's own beneficial and limiting options distinct from other Powers that use PI. I'd simply call them Corporeal Talent, Ethereal Talent, and Celestial Talent.
Quote:
I've seen mods used at the PM level even though they wouldn't affect all the power's abilities.
I don't think that applies to Costs ER which logically can apply to nearly any ability.
Quote:
But in this case, the text "if they can’t, add -5% to the power modifier" suggests it, and it makes it a lot easier to manage if it's built in at the top.
What are you quoting here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCurwen3 View Post
Also, can power modifiers be nested? Because we could have a PM for each realm (Cel, Eth, Cor), but it'd be useful, I think, if they all had built into them a super-PM, which I'm going to call Symphonic.
That's the way Powers always work. Symphonic is a Source, the three realms are Foci.
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