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Old 06-14-2012, 10:26 PM   #1
Raekai
 
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Default Miscellaneous Help

I know I already posted today, but I still have a few questions that I've been dwelling on. The good news is that I got my campaign problems resolved and I'm now having fun with it. Instead of making a billion more posts over the next few days, I'm going to lay out all of my problems right here and right now.

1. Custom Wild Mana Generator. I'm trying to take this advantage and give it some nice limitations for my custom race. Basically, I want it to get whittled all the way down to 20 points as I'm on a smaller budget. I need it to last for a limited amount of time. It should cost 2 fatigue to start up and 1 to maintain. If need be, it can be limited by Emergencies Only. My main problem is how to price it being a time-limited ability that needs to be maintained. It could also have Requires Recharge (preferably as small as possible) if I needed to whittle it down more. If need be, this could take form as a new advantage.

2. Custom Rune Magic. This one is going to be a doozy. It's also for my custom race.
Verbs: Communicate/Insight (H/1), Control/Bind (H/2), Create/Growth (H/2), Imbue/Transfer (H/2), Move/Shape (H/1), Sense/Name (H/2), Strengthen/Heal (H/2), Transform/Transmute (H/3), and Weaken/Harm (H/2).
Nouns: Soul (E/1), Spirit (E/1), Body (A/1), Mind (A/2), Fire (A/3), Air (A/3), Earth (A/3), Water (A/3), Light (VH/4), Darkness (VH/4), and Nothing (VH/4).
Levels: Least (E/0), Lesser (E/1), Great (A/2), Greater (H/4), True (VH/8), Sage (VH/16).
The way this works is that it is tattoo rune magic for my custom race, the Neidolons. Now I don't remember what formula I used forever ago, but I remember trying to make it as balanced as possible. These runes are variable and may be mixed and matched to produce various effects. The difficulty for each spell is listed next to the fatigue cost of said spell. How this translates into an advantage is that each spell's fatigue cost is equal to the cost of the piece of advantage. The total advantage is called Neidolon Body and obviously has a variable cost. Now, the casting cost is much different. The levels are what dictate the casting cost. The fatigue costs next to those are the costs for the total spell (which takes number of runes involved seconds to cast). Least will get you a perk-level spell (1 or 2 points) that's really only good for a spark to start a fire or maybe a small bit of water to put out a candle flame or something. Lesser will get you a 10 point spell. Great will get you a 20 point spell. Greater will get you a 30 point spell. True will get you a 40 point spell. Sage will get you a 50 point spell (but I'll come back to Sage later). And yes, the runes require an activation roll. Each Neidolon can take any rune, but is limited to two elements and Nothing. There are a couple of special Neidolons that either get Light or Darkness instead of Nothing. Seidolons (the special Neidolons) are the only with access to the Sage rune and only have that level. However, to match up, the Sage rune allows for any level of spell to be cast. The Sage rune can replicate the effects of a True spell (40 points and 8 fatigue) but will be at a -1 since it is one step down from Sage. Sage may also go up in steps, but it's not often you find a Seidolon with 32 fatigue.
The Question: Is this fair? If you say no, please tell me why and what I could do to fix it. Again, I'm on a budget so I'd prefer not to raise point cost too much.

3. Custom New Advantage. This new advantage also plays a role with my race. However, it is special as it is only available to two of the Seidolons. This advantage would allow them to share runes. Let me explain. I said earlier that Seidolons could only have two elements. This advantage would allow each of them to have all four of the elements. As a drawback (again, to minimize costs), they could have linked HP. This could also have the same limitations as the Custom Wild Mana Generator I listed at the top of this post.

4. Custom Compartmentalized Mind. This is another advantage that I want on a budget. I'd like to whittle the cost by giving it some serious limitations too. I want it to be restricted to only be used for the Custom Rune Magic. It could also have accessibility to work only when the caster is berserk. Personally, if it wouldn't be super complicated, I'd actually like the user to have a chance of getting possessed when using it. The Neidolons are technically supposed to have a malevolent spirit living inside of them (but I kind of cut that out of GURPS for simplicity's sake). How could I model this? The spirit inside of them does want to protect their host body, but wants to cause just as much destruction it can. So maybe it could have a hint of Emergencies Only too to represent the spirit kicking the host into full gear if the spirit realized that the host was in danger. If need be, this could take form as a new advantage.
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: Miscellaneous Help

1) Wild Mana Generator (Costs Fatigue, 2 FP, -10%; Emergencies Only, -30%; Maximum Duration, 10 minutes -50%) [20]. Requires a Ready maneuver and 2 FP to activate. Pay 1 FP per minute thereafter to a maximum of 10 minutes. Once deactivated, you must wait 5 minutes before re-activation (Maximum Duration is in GURPS Powers, p. 111).

You could also remove Emergencies Only and increase Maximum Duration to "Less than 30 seconds", -75%.

2) That was a lot of text. Can you give an example?

3) The usual way to represent limited access to spells is with limitations on Magery. So most Seidolons would have Limited Elements, Two Elements, -20% on their Magery (like Limited Colleges from GURPS Thaumatology, p. 25), while the two special Seidolons wouldn't.

4) Limited, Magic would be -5%, because there isn't much else they could do with their Compartmentalized Mind anyway (see GURPS Psionic Powers, p. 13). Not helping with possession is No Mental Separation, -20% (GURPS Psionic Powers, p. 14).

Is the spirit activated by Berserk or does it trigger Berserk? The first is Accessibility, Berserk Only, -10% (Berserk can be activated by choice so not much of a limitation) and the second is Temporary Disadvantage, Berserk, -25% (see GURPS Powers, p. 106).
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:50 PM   #3
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To Munin:

I like what you did with the Wild Mana Generator. The more and more I think it through, the better it sounds. Originally, I had planned to make it "Less than 30 seconds" but I thought that 30 seconds can accomplish a LOT with Wild Mana if you get your rolls right.

So my Seidolon named Raekai wants to cast a something equivalent to ice dagger. He decides the best way to do this is use the runes Create, Water, Transform, and Move. He wants it to be pretty powerful so he goes with the Greater level. Total, that's five runes, and five seconds. The cost of Greater is 4 fatigue. This gets him 30 points to spend on his spell. So he modifies an impaling innate attack to get what he wants and it ends up being 28 points. To save time, of course, I would have a list of pre-determined attacks ready. He's ready to cast. This will take him five seconds, but that's no problem with compartmentalized mind because he can still fight at the same time. He rolls against (each rune or the lowest of his rune skills and activation but I haven't decided yet) but he's at a -2. Why? Because he has the Sage rune and Greater is two steps down from Sage.

The problem with that is they don't use Magery. I'm not trying to represented limited access, I'm trying to represent taking a limit off. How would I represent that through a special advantage? Or should I just make it a 10 point or so Unusual Background and save time? I just thought of that.

I'm gonna bump that to -10% because the Neidolons can technically learn other magic, but this wouldn't help with that. Let me explain a little further on the spirit. The Neidolons have a spirit embodiment of some sort of sin inside them. They are fleshed out personalities with names like Hunger, Avarice, Asperity, Hatred, etc. They offer the host power but use that link to try to take over the host body for their own agenda. Like Greed would want to go rob a bank or Hunger would attempt to rape everyone in sight. However, the other side of this is that they are attached to their host body and would rather not see it die.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:00 AM   #4
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Default Re: Miscellaneous Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raekai View Post

2. Custom Rune Magic. This one is going to be a doozy. It's also for my custom race.
Verbs: Communicate/Insight (H/1), Control/Bind (H/2), Create/Growth (H/2), Imbue/Transfer (H/2), Move/Shape (H/1), Sense/Name (H/2), Strengthen/Heal (H/2), Transform/Transmute (H/3), and Weaken/Harm (H/2).
Nouns: Soul (E/1), Spirit (E/1), Body (A/1), Mind (A/2), Fire (A/3), Air (A/3), Earth (A/3), Water (A/3), Light (VH/4), Darkness (VH/4), and Nothing (VH/4).
Levels: Least (E/0), Lesser (E/1), Great (A/2), Greater (H/4), True (VH/8), Sage (VH/16).

The levels are what dictate the casting cost. The fatigue costs next to those are the costs for the total spell (which takes number of runes involved seconds to cast). Least will get you a perk-level spell (1 or 2 points) that's really only good for a spark to start a fire or maybe a small bit of water to put out a candle flame or something. Lesser will get you a 10 point spell. Great will get you a 20 point spell. Greater will get you a 30 point spell. True will get you a 40 point spell. Sage will get you a 50 point spell
Your example has different number then the Levels so I am not sure how your figuring the cost.
Normally you would buy each Rune as a skill and add them together for your base casting cost. It sounds like the levels are a cap but I dont get your math or explanation.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:08 AM   #5
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Default Re: Miscellaneous Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
Your example has different number then the Levels so I am not sure how your figuring the cost.
Normally you would buy each Rune as a skill and add them together for your base casting cost. It sounds like the levels are a cap but I dont get your math or explanation.
No, it's how I wrote it. Greater is (H/4). It's a hard spell that costs 4 fatigue. So this is the cost of the spell. The numbers next to the others spells are also supposed to be fatigue costs, but are not. Instead, since this is a level-based system, they are used solely for the cost of the runes. Example: The water rune costs 3 character points to have.

To even this out a little, the costs for the levels double while the effective strength they have only goes up by 10 points each time. What I mean is that a Greater rune will give you 30 character points to work with. You use those 30 character points to come up with an innate attack that serves as the spell. It might seem a little overpowered, but the time it takes to cast and the fatigue cost are not represented in the spell.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:13 AM   #6
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OK, so this is for a magic as Powers setup?
OK then if each level represents your max cap you can build a power for your base and then normally you would buy each spell as an AA for 1/5 cost.
However you could also use Defaults for Everyone and instead of using the rolls under that rule replace it with your Runes.
Then each level represents a power level
So going with your numbers.
Least 1 or 2 points
Lesser 10 points
Great 20 points
Greater 30 points
True 40 points
Sage 50 points

So Least is pretty much a Perk but each other levle costs a progressive 10 points and the max gets you 50
Using your Runes to replace the penalties and such for Defaults for Everyone I would call a Feature. It has some advantages but your paying for the skill levels and your limited by special effect, a FP cost, etc.

So make your Rune Casting roll and you can build a power at up to the level you bought. Not sure if this is balanced but it seems ok on the face of it and it would have to be play tested or at least looked at.

Now if I came up with a totally different interpretation of what you wanted let me know :)

EDIT: Wrote all that up while you were responding to Munin and my first post.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:37 AM   #7
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I think what you're saying is it, but I'm going to flesh out an example of how it would be in play.

Raekai is currently paying 32 character points for his Runed Body advantage. The runes he has are Create/Growth (H/2), Move/Shape (H/1), Transform/Transmute (H/3), Earth (A/3), Water (A/3), Light (VH/4), and Sage (VH/16). That's 2+1+3+3+3+4+16 character points, or 32 character points.

For the hell of it, let's say he has each skill at level 15. He's pretty good at this stuff. He's fighting a fire elemental so he decides he wants to go with that ice dagger attack again from earlier. He uses Greater to give himself 30 points to create an innate attack out of, he uses Create/Growth to call something into existence, he uses Water to call the water into existence, he uses Transform/Transmute to turn the water into ice, and he uses Move/Shape to hurl the ice dagger at the fire elemental.

With his 30 points, he created a Innate Attack (Impaling) 3 (Fragmentation [1d] +15%). The total is 28 points. He makes his rolls against all of his runes (at -2 because of the Sage rules) and rolls against whatever Innate Attack skill to hit. And since it's a Greater level attack, it costs him 4 fatigue.

Now, that ****** the fire elemental off. It's about to launch an inferno of an attack. Raekai decides to go with a Greater level defense (using Reflexive on an Innate Attack). He uses Greater to give himself 30 points to create an innate attack out of, he uses Create/Growth to call something into existence, he uses Earth to call the water into existence, he uses Transform/Transmute to turn the earth into stone, and he uses Move/Shape to create the wall in front of him.

With his 30 points, he created something different this time (obviously). He created a Innate Attack (Crushing) 2 (Area Effect [2 yd] +50%, Damage Limitation: No Wounding -50%, Persistent +40%, Reflexive +40%, Wall: Rigid [any shape desired] +60%). The total is 24 points. And, again, since it's a Greater level defense, it costs him 4 fatigue.

Now, since it's reflexive, the stone wall pops up and helps Raekai protect himself from the fire elemental's attack.

There... I did my best. Haha. I don't know how to explain it any better.

EDIT: I'm off to bed for the night and will be back in the morning. Problems 1 and 2 are more or less figured out. I still need the best way to go about 3 and 4. Thanks to everyone who has helped so far and who will help.

EDIT: I am now awake and ready for some more help!

Last edited by Raekai; 06-15-2012 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:37 PM   #8
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Alright, I hate to bump my own thread, but it's been twelve hours and I still need help solving half of my problems. I'll at least make this post useful and summarize what has been going on.

1 and 2 have been worked out and okay'd (however, I wouldn't mind any input). I will now post 3 and 4 with some clarifications and ideas that have been touched on in the thread (these will be in italics). I will also tack on a question 5.

3. Custom New Advantage. This new advantage also plays a role with my race. However, it is special as it is only available to two of the Seidolons. This advantage would allow them to share runes. Let me explain. I said earlier that Seidolons could only have two elements. This advantage would allow each of them to have all four of the elements. As a drawback (again, to minimize costs), they could have linked HP. This could also have the same limitations as the Custom Wild Mana Generator I listed at the top of this post. It has been suggested to do this with Magery, but the problem is that the Seidolons/Neidolons do not use Magery with their runes. Instead of adding a limitation, I need an advantage that will negate the racial limitation.

4. Custom Compartmentalized Mind. This is another advantage that I want on a budget. I'd like to whittle the cost by giving it some serious limitations too. I want it to be restricted to only be used for the Custom Rune Magic. It could also have accessibility to work only when the caster is berserk. Personally, if it wouldn't be super complicated, I'd actually like the user to have a chance of getting possessed when using it. The Neidolons are technically supposed to have a malevolent spirit living inside of them (but I kind of cut that out of GURPS for simplicity's sake). How could I model this? The spirit inside of them does want to protect their host body, but wants to cause just as much destruction it can. So maybe it could have a hint of Emergencies Only too to represent the spirit kicking the host into full gear if the spirit realized that the host was in danger. If need be, this could take form as a new advantage. It has been suggested that this could work as Compartmentalized Mind with a -10% limitation with either Berserk Only, -10% (Berserk can be activated by choice so not much of a limitation) or Temporary Disadvantage, Berserk, -25%. I like this idea a lot, and I will most likely implement this.

5. Neidolon/Seidolon Spirits. Earlier I said: The Neidolons have a spirit embodiment of some sort of sin inside them. They are fleshed out personalities with names like Hunger, Avarice, Asperity, Hatred, etc. They offer the host power but use that link to try to take over the host body for their own agenda. Like Greed would want to go rob a bank or Hunger would attempt to rape everyone in sight. However, the other side of this is that they are attached to their host body and would rather not see it die. I just need a way to implement this as some kind of advantage/disadvantage deal. I have no idea about how to go about it. Let's take it from this angle. The Neidolon spirit is literally a spirit for all game purposes, but is stuck inside its host. When the host tries to tap into the spirit's power (Compartmentalized Mind, and possibly higher Fatigue or Alternate Form), the spirit attempts to possess the host for the spirit's own agenda as I talked about earlier. The other thing is that since the spirit will die if the host body dies then the spirit will also give the host access to the spirit's power if the host is in danger.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:51 PM   #9
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In general, we recommend waiting at least 24 hours before bumping (unless you have something new to add, which you did, a bit). It's an international forum with lots of time zones.

Also, just to check, this work-up is for PC characters or for Allies of PCs? Because there's the standard "don't worry about points or exact ability write-ups for NPCs" advice...


3) "I need an advantage that will negate the racial limitation."

If you mean negate a racial *disadvantage*, then they just buy off the disadvantage. An elf who doesn't have the usual racial Sense of Duty (Nature) [-15] simply buys No Sense of Duty (Nature) [15] on top of their racial template (p. B262).

If the magic has some inherent limit that you the GM have (arbitrarily) decided upon and they are not subject to that limit, then that's just an Unusual Background. The cost depends on how much extra power it provides them, and upon how much of a surprise factor it is in fights ("What?! No one can do that! We didn't plan for that!"). If there are only two people in the entire world with this kind of flexibility, then you're probably looking at a 50+ point Unusual Background (the starting point for godlike magic among mortal magic), but it could be as little as a perk per extra option. Basically, the Unusual Background should be priced so that a player would think twice about whether to spend points on a "useless trait that just grants access to other traits" or on traits which actually can be used.


4) Going back a bit: The limitation value for Rune Magic Only isn't based on what you could learn, but on what you can do now. So it would be -10% if they actually know another magic system and can't use their Compartmentalized Mind for it. If they only know one magic system, then limiting the CM to that is worth only -5%.


5) If the internal spirits have personalities and talk to the character, then you should write up character sheets for them (including supernatural abilities of Possession, etc.) and role-play them as NPCs.

But if they just act as emotions, occasionally overcoming the character, just describe them as advantages and disadvantages bought by the character (the fact that it's a spirit acting out becomes unimportant -- the effect is that the character takes actions just like if they failed a self-control roll or whatever and the player should role-play it). To describe the combination as a deal, make the disadvantages prerequisite for the advantages (for self-imposed disadvantages, which could theoretically be bought off or occasionally ignored, put Required Disadvantage on the advantages or include it in the power modifier).
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:18 PM   #10
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I'll definitely keep that in mind. Thank you.

This is for my two PCs in my upcoming campaigns as well as a race that the other players could choose as well. The first campaign isn't that big of a deal since I will be the one running it (while simultaneously playing it), but the other is going to be run by my current GM. He's not strict, but he prefers that I do the absolute best I can to balance things.

3) Hmm... I like the idea of just using an Unusual Background now. It definitely won't be priced at 50 points (or just 1 for that matter) because although it is a surprise, it's part of the Destiny advantage for those two characters.

4) Oh, that makes sense. I see. "Why get the extra -5% if you're never gonna learn the other magic anyway?" kind of deal.

5) Yes, your first example is closer to what I had in mind. I don't know if you, or anyone else, are familiar with Naruto, but the manga has a very similar situation. I'll just explain anyway. A demon lives inside this guy. The guy can communicate with the demon (generally through an inner-world type deal). This demon is essentially sealed inside of him. Whenever he is emotionally-stressed (Stress Atavism or Berserk, maybe?), the demon tries to gain possession over his body. Likewise, the guy can try to tap into the demon's power for his own use, but the demon tries to possess him. Then if the guy is close to death, the demon may lend his power because he doesn't want the guy to die because if the guy does then so does the demon. However, spoiler alert, they end up becoming friends and helping each other out. So, I was thinking that this could be bought originally as an Enemy which over time could become an Ally. My question is: How do I represent the demon's effect over the guy? How do I represent the emotional instability leading to possession? How do I represent the demon giving him advantages and possibly leading to possession? How do I represent the demon giving him advantages if he needs them to survive? And lastly, how do I represent the possible change of relationship?
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