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Old 10-29-2013, 08:00 PM   #1
GreatWyrmGold
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Default Questions about Worm Parahumans' Powers in GURPS

Today, Worm posted its last chapter. Makes this as good a day as any to ask some questions I've been meaning to ask for a while.


Worm includes a lot of unique superpowers, and some of these piqued my interest. GURPS is one of the most flexible system in existence, but it does not include obvious advantages or disadvantages that correspond to these powers. Some examples are below; I may add more, and either way fully intend to link to good answers I receive. On that note, if you are a Worm fan who wants to know how to make your favorite parahuman in GURPS, feel free to ask. I will put your question and any answers in the OP as well!

WARNING: The following questions include unmarked minor spoilers with regard to the nature of many characters' powers! Major spoilers have been spoilered, but if you want to read Worm completely unspoilered, do not read the questions.

Ballistic
Power: Ballistic can turn any object or person he touches into a projectile, accelerating them to supersonic speeds compared to bullets. The projectile takes no damage from the acceleration, but unless the projectile is something/one like Glory Girl, the same will not be true upon impact.
How would you do this? It sounds a bit like one function of Telekinesis, but how would you restrict it to just that one?
Good solutions: Nereidalbel

Coil
Power: He can basically travel two paths, live in two universes where he made different choices, dismissing one and choosing the other at any time. His only limitation is that he can only have two "open" at once.
Forget rules, how would something like that work in a game? At all?
Good answers: the matrix walker

General
Most powers are limited by something called the Manton Effect, which is basically that you either cannot use your power on living organisms, or can only use your power on living organisms. For instance, most telekinetics can't throw people around, pyrokinetics can't burn the inside of your lungs, and force field users can't cut people in half with them. (Except Narwhal.)
Presumably, this would be an accessibility limitation, but what sort of cost would it be, if any? Presumably it would vary from person to person.

Glory Girl
Power: Glory Girl possesses what is in-universe known as the Alexandria Package: Flight, super-strength, and nigh invulnerability. In Glory Girl's case, the invulnerability it achieved via a force field right around her body. Glory Girl has a weakness, however: A sufficiently powerful strike will completely knock out the force field for a while. Sounds like Damage Reduction with the Ablative limitation? It isn't--no number of little, bug-based attacks do anything to it, and Tattletale's pistol just perfectly disables it. How would Glory Girl's force field be properly simulated?

Grue
Power: Grue can conjure darkness. This darkness spreads out and lingers for about 20 minutes. It also interferes with powers.
What advantage would conjuring darkness being? The power-weakening shouldn't be too hard, though. Right?
Spoiler:  

Good solutions: Nereidalbel, the matrix walker

Panacea
Power: Panacea can heal...kinda. While healing is the commonest application of her powers, they are much, much more versatile. She has threatened to give people cancer, make everything they eat taste like bile, or make them morbidly obese. She could do all of these (except maybe the obese one. She still has to follow conservation of mass.)
Spoiler:  

What advantage would cover all of this? Is it worth trying to figure out as anything except as a plot device? Is there any way to get something close to this as a PC?
Good solutions: the matrix walker

Scion and the Endbringers
Aside from being a great name for a rock band, Scion and the Endbringers are the most powerful beings on Earth. Scion is a golden man with no apparent limits to his power; the Endbringers are three massive humanoid monsters, nearly indestructible and wielding other massive powers, from the many attacks of Behemoth the Hero-Killer to the macroscale hydrokinesis and super-speed of Leviathan to the Simurgh's telepathy, telekinesis, and precognition.
Is there any point in statting these guys as anything more than plot devices? If so, how would you?
Spoiler:  

Good answers: Nereidalbel. Short version: "Not really."

Skitter
The protagonist of the story, Skitter can control bugs. Worms, flies, spiders, crustaceans, mollusks, etc etc. She can get them to do just about anything they can do, from buzz around to weave silken costumes to flood peoples' lungs or rip apart their flesh. Thankfully, she usually sticks to stuff like the first two. Usually.
What kind of advantage would reflect this sort of power, the ability to so intimately control the actions of a creature?
Spoiler:  

Good answers: Nereidalbel, the matrix walker

Thinkers (well, some)
Many Thinkers get headaches when they overuse her power. In an extreme example, Tattletale gets basically incapacitated for a week or so as she recovers from a migraine caused by overuse of her power.
...Okay, you've probably heard this a lot, but what [s]advantage[/s] limitation would simulate this?
Good answers: Nereidalbel, the matrix walker

Tinkers
Everyone's least favorite opponents, Tinkers are basically like Iron Man and other heroes who make ultratech gear to let them beat all sorts of opponents. Sounds a bit like Gadgeteer...but then you realize that the sheer variety of gadgets is matched by the sheer variety of specialties. Some (like Bonesaw and Armsmaster, or of course Dragon) have such broad or versatile specialties as to be entirely awesome, while others (Kid Win) are extremely limited...and don't get me started on Leet. Any modifiers that would affect these specialties and give them appropriate point modifications?

Spoiler:  


I have others, but first I need to figure out how I managed to exceed the character limit. Heh heh, character limit. Because of all the characters.
Here we go...

Last edited by GreatWyrmGold; 11-02-2013 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:14 PM   #2
Nereidalbel
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Default Re: Questions about Worm Parahumans' Powers in GURPS

Ballistic sounds like Telekinesis with Push Only and either Melee C or Touch Only.

Coil is Duplication 1 with a Mind Link with some Cosmic on it. And World Jumper to, you know, go to another reality.

Manton Effect is either "Only on living things" or "Only on unliving things." World building decision on which applies to the undead!

Glory Girl has Ablative DR, Regeneration (Extreme): DR Only, and Bane: 0 DR. It'll take a LOT of poking to break that shield, but 1-shotting it is bad news for her!

Grue uses Obscure (Vision) and Neutralize: Power Theft.

Panacea is a *lot* of body control, on top of the Healing. Probably some Afflictions in there, too.

Scion...yeah, just stat their dice of damage, HP, FP, and DR.

Skitter is probably Control Bugs.

Tinkers are Backlash effects.

Contessa is either using a handful of psionic powers, or a divine favor.

Doorman is Warp with the Tunnel enhancement. His companion is a plot device, for when you just really need to know this one thing to advance the story.

Slug just has a touch only Mindwipe.
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:37 PM   #3
the_matrix_walker
 
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Default Re: Questions about Worm Parahumans' Powers in GURPS

Ballistic: Affliction (Added Advantage, flight, +400%)

Coil : It wouldn't work in a game well at all without a very Dedicated GM and extremely accepting players or a solo game. But to build it, use Super Luck (Alter Reality, +75%; Wishing, +100%; Time Spanning, +50%)

General "Manton Effect" : It would vary based on the power in question (not the person).

Glory Girl's Force field: I might change my answer on this once I give it a bit of thought.... but if you built two force fields, an ablative field inside the powerful field, with an accessibility that causes the outer field to drop if the inner field was damaged. that or just come up with a custom limitation that causes the field to vanish if penetrated.

Grue : Obscure Vision to create Darkness, Static with Resistible to interfier with powers
Spoiler:  


Pancea : Sound like Healing plus various metabolic Afflictions, Possibly a Modular Ability only for Afflictions or an Affliction with a modular enhancement,

Scion and the Endbringers: If they are not player characters, it doesn't matter. If they are, they are going to have limits.

Skitter: Mind Control with Area Effect and limited to the appropriate critters. I'd be tempted to take a trillion bugs as Allies with Minion if I could afford it.

Tinkers: Overuse of powers causing pain... This is good fodder for a new limitation, Probably an adaption of Backlash... I'll give this some thought and get back to you.

Contessa: Sounds the Intuition advantage, enhanced with Inspired and lots of reliable. Possibly Wild Talent or a Mod Ability for required skills that don't have defaults.

Doorman: That's Warp with Tunnel and Extended duration.

Doorman's Unnamed Companion: sounds like Afflicition (Added Advantage: ) that added the sensory powers you wanted.. they would vary depending on the scope of the visions.

Slug: If he wipes all their memories, sure, Amnesia, I've seen it used with selective effect to wipe out particular memories. Another way to go is to use Mind Control suitably limited to erasing memories.
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:56 PM   #4
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Questions about Worm Parahumans' Powers in GURPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
Ballistic
Afflict: Super Jump (x12). This is the "involuntary" Affliction that makes the ability affect the target once, like an offensive Warp. Since it's a ont-shot, the target won't have Jumping when they land to absorb the impact. 12 levels gives a multiplier of 4096, times an assumed broad jump distance of 2 yards (7 feet for Move 5 per B352), so speed is 8192 / 5 = 1638 yards/sec, a bit higher than most high-performance rifle bullets. Or if you make the target jump straight up, it rises 2275 yards (per the Jumping rules) for a falling velocity of 220 yds/sec or 22D crush for the average human (HP 10).

Quote:
Coil
Power: live in two universes where he made different choices
Jumper. I suppose the intent is to take back bad choices by moving to the other world? (Not that all choices are always nice binary ones.) Basically a save-game-and-reload ability.

Quote:
General
the Manton Effect, which is basically that you either cannot use your power on living organisms, or can only use your power on living organisms. Presumably, this would be an accessibility limitation, but what sort of cost would it be, if any? Presumably it would vary from person to person.
Or ability to ability. "Not on living organisms" is a pretty big limitation for Mind Control. (Who'd even take it?) It's a moderate limitation on TK. (No remote Grappling to render people helpless, but you can still wail on them in other ways, and have full use on all those inanimate objects. Probably need some examples. I assume the player gets to choose which form? In which case it's actually the middling ones that are hardest.

Last edited by Anaraxes; 10-29-2013 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:45 AM   #5
GreatWyrmGold
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Default Re: Questions about Worm Parahumans' Powers in GURPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
Ballistic sounds like Telekinesis with Push Only and either Melee C or Touch Only.
That's a thing?

Quote:
Coil is Duplication 1 with a Mind Link with some Cosmic on it. And World Jumper to, you know, go to another reality.
I suppose you could say that.
The big question is how to do it in an actual game. Is it even possible to do that?

Quote:
Glory Girl has Ablative DR, Regeneration (Extreme): DR Only, and Bane: 0 DR. It'll take a LOT of poking to break that shield, but 1-shotting it is bad news for her!
That...doesn't sound quite right. It sounds like a single powerful enough shot would knock out the force field for maybe a second before it came back at full strength, and (I'm guessing, since I don't know what Bane does) makes Glory Girl weak/very harmed by attacks when her force field is down. That doesn't sound much like what happened in the story.

Quote:
Grue uses Obscure (Vision) and Neutralize: Power Theft.
1. Obscure...don't remember that advantage.
2. Power theft?
Spoiler:  


Quote:
Panacea is a *lot* of body control, on top of the Healing. Probably some Afflictions in there, too.
...Noted.

Quote:
Skitter is probably Control Bugs.

Tinkers are Backlash effects.
I'm learning about a lot of advantages I never knew existed!
(And I think you meant Thinkers for that second one.)

Spoiler:  


Quote:
Originally Posted by the_matrix_walker View Post
Scion and the Endbringers: If they are not player characters...
Hm. An Enbringers campaign...yeah, probably wouldn't work well in the end.

Quote:
Tinkers: Overuse of powers causing pain... This is good fodder for a new limitation, Probably an adaption of Backlash... I'll give this some thought and get back to you.
Noted. Again, pretty sure you meant Thinkers.

Spoiler:  


Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Afflict: Super Jump (x12). This is the "involuntary" Affliction that makes the ability affect the target once, like an offensive Warp. Since it's a ont-shot, the target won't have Jumping when they land to absorb the impact. 12 levels gives a multiplier of 4096, times an assumed broad jump distance of 2 yards (7 feet for Move 5 per B352), so speed is 8192 / 5 = 1638 yards/sec, a bit higher than most high-performance rifle bullets. Or if you make the target jump straight up, it rises 2275 yards (per the Jumping rules) for a falling velocity of 220 yds/sec or 22D crush for the average human (HP 10).
Um...yeah, about solutions like these...Ballistic only used his power on a human once that we see. 99.9% of the time, he's firing trash, ball bearings, automobiles, or something like that.
Inanimate objects can't jump.

Quote:
Jumper. I suppose the intent is to take back bad choices by moving to the other world? (Not that all choices are always nice binary ones.) Basically a save-game-and-reload ability.
Ayup.

Quote:
Or ability to ability. "Not on living organisms" is a pretty big limitation for Mind Control. (Who'd even take it?) It's a moderate limitation on TK. (No remote Grappling to render people helpless, but you can still wail on them in other ways, and have full use on all those inanimate objects. Probably need some examples. I assume the player gets to choose which form? In which case it's actually the middling ones that are hardest.
Yeah, which side depends a lot on the ability. Obviously, someone like Skitter or Panacea is going to be on the only-affects-living-organisms half, while someone like...people I haven't mentioned, such as Faultline and Parian are on the only-affects-nonliving-stuff side.

Alright, I will add the best answers to the OP. Possibly along with some other parahumans that I forgot last night.
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:25 AM   #6
Gold & Appel Inc
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: One Mile Up
Default Re: Questions about Worm Parahumans' Powers in GURPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
That's a thing?
See the special Repulsion Limitation on 4e Powers p 83.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
That...doesn't sound quite right. It sounds like a single powerful enough shot would knock out the force field for maybe a second before it came back at full strength, and (I'm guessing, since I don't know what Bane does) makes Glory Girl weak/very harmed by attacks when her force field is down. That doesn't sound much like what happened in the story.
You could limit her DR to "only the first X amount of damage per round" and just say that she's vulnerable for the rest of the second after taking that much abuse, rather than do the big, expensive Ablative DR / Regenerate DR kludge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
1. I'm trying to be a bit delicate when it comes to spoilers. Some folks here might want to read the story...
(Okay, I screwed up a spoiler. So sue me.)
If we're really going to discuss this, you should probably just put a note along the lines of MASSIVE SPOILERS AHOY! in the OP and consider the entire thread a massive spoiler. People who want to read the story without spoilers should know better than to read a discussion of how to build its superpowers first.

Regarding Coil: Coil is better than a World-Jumper. He doesn't visit an alternate timeline that is always there in parallel to his own, he creates alternate timelines at will (one at a time), and can choose which of the two to collapse and which to "keep." In terms of game effect, he's at the very least Unkillable x3 (with Achilles' Heel: Killed in both timelines simultaneously) and has a boatload of other "do-over" type advantages from being able to eg: torture someone for information and then make it so it never happened from their perspective while still possessing that information. Not sure how to best model that, but it's going to cost a lot.

Last edited by Gold & Appel Inc; 10-30-2013 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:31 AM   #7
Nereidalbel
 
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Default Re: Questions about Worm Parahumans' Powers in GURPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
That...doesn't sound quite right. It sounds like a single powerful enough shot would knock out the force field for maybe a second before it came back at full strength, and (I'm guessing, since I don't know what Bane does) makes Glory Girl weak/very harmed by attacks when her force field is down. That doesn't sound much like what happened in the story.
Bane means your regeneration doesn't work from a specific damage type or in a specific condition. In this case, the ablative forcefield can regenerate nearly instantly, as long as it still has 1 DR left. If you don't want her to die immediately after, give her some Tough Skin DR in addition to the forcefield.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
2. Power theft?
You temporarily gain the powers you shut down. Note that this does NOT give you everything you need to know about how to use them, beyond knowing that this one explodes, this one hits at a mile, and that one just sucks.
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:44 PM   #8
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Questions about Worm Parahumans' Powers in GURPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
Ballistic only used his power on a human once that we see. 99.9% of the time, he's firing trash, ball bearings, automobiles, or something like that.
Psi Powers builds "TK Bullet" simply as an Innate Attack. That presumes you're "firing" small objects with your TK as the special effects. You could still make an argument for cars, I suppose (bigger but slower, same total energy). But at some point you probably want to just make it an Alternate Ability with TK, so you can throw anything.

You also might want to give him the Throwing skill if he's going to throw random things a lot.
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:18 PM   #9
GreatWyrmGold
 
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Default Re: Questions about Worm Parahumans' Powers in GURPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
You could limit her DR to "only the first X amount of damage per round" and just say that she's vulnerable for the rest of the second after taking that much abuse, rather than do the big, expensive Ablative DR / Regenerate DR kludge.
Again, that's not what the original power was. Tattletale shot Glory Girl, her force field was out for a while. Moreover, it isn't "X damage over Y time," it's more like "One shot dealing X damage".

Quote:
If we're really going to discuss this, you should probably just put a note along the lines of MASSIVE SPOILERS AHOY! in the OP and consider the entire thread a massive spoiler. People who want to read the story without spoilers should know better than to read a discussion of how to build its superpowers first.
99% of the powers can be discussed without major spoilers. The other 1%, I'd prefer to be spoilered.

Quote:
Regarding Coil: Coil is better than a World-Jumper. He doesn't visit an alternate timeline that is always there in parallel to his own, he creates alternate timelines at will (one at a time), and can choose which of the two to collapse and which to "keep." In terms of game effect, he's at the very least Unkillable x3 (with Achilles' Heel: Killed in both timelines simultaneously) and has a boatload of other "do-over" type advantages from being able to eg: torture someone for information and then make it so it never happened from their perspective while still possessing that information. Not sure how to best model that, but it's going to cost a lot.
Coil's power is at the point where it's probably easier to ask how it could play out at the table than how a player might get it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
Bane means your regeneration doesn't work from a specific damage type or in a specific condition. In this case, the ablative forcefield can regenerate nearly instantly, as long as it still has 1 DR left. If you don't want her to die immediately after, give her some Tough Skin DR in addition to the forcefield.
Ah.

Quote:
You temporarily gain the powers you shut down. Note that this does NOT give you everything you need to know about how to use them, beyond knowing that this one explodes, this one hits at a mile, and that one just sucks.
I had guessed, I just didn't realize it existed.
A common theme here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Psi Powers builds "TK Bullet" simply as an Innate Attack. That presumes you're "firing" small objects with your TK as the special effects. You could still make an argument for cars, I suppose (bigger but slower, same total energy). But at some point you probably want to just make it an Alternate Ability with TK, so you can throw anything.

You also might want to give him the Throwing skill if he's going to throw random things a lot.
As to the first: That doesn't sound anything like Ballistic's power.
As to the second: Can you throw cars at supersonic speeds?
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:31 PM   #10
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Questions about Worm Parahumans' Powers in GURPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
As to the first: That doesn't sound anything like Ballistic's power.
I have only your description to go on. "Firing ball bearings" would be a classic TK Bullet.

It's not necessarily the case that any fictional superpower consists of one single GURPS ability. That's one reason Alternative Abilities exist.

Quote:
As to the second: Can you throw cars at supersonic speeds?
With enough ST, sure. Though you probably want Super-Effort in this case to keep the price down. There are some past threads about building bricks that have some some tips and houserules on different ways to build very high ST; some of those might be applicable to TK ST.

I don't think the throwing rules actually mention a velocity. Using the collision rules and taking damage as figure of interest, a ST of 20+17 = 37 would give a Super-Effort damage that's about the same as a 46 HP sedan (B464) at Mach 1 (about 150d crushing).
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