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Old 06-30-2022, 11:15 AM   #25
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Why holy water? And other questions about holy-powered PCs

Thanks for the many answers. To comment on them en masse:

1) Why not just use acid: In the end, falls and other accidents sound like one of the biggest downsides of acid: there's a pretty good chance of vials breaking. Plus, holy water can have whatever miscellaneous beneficial uses the GM comes up with. (Along with emergency use as drinking water. Mmm, Dei-licious!)

Re the idea of using holy water in exorcisms, etc.: Definitely sensible. I recently came up with my own use for holy water & other "clerical consumables" as aids in "cleansing" tasks. Nothing fancy, or original: I just stole the idea from P. Dell'Orto's lovely Spell Components piece in Companion 3, treating consumables like holy water as a college component (replacing "college of spells" with "Turning, Exorcism, and other miscellaneous cleansing tasks"). I'll be tweeting the idea, and follow-ups to it, from tomorrow.

2) Splash vs armor: Thanks, all, for the reminder to reduce armor to 1/5 vs liquid grenades like acid or water. That makes some difference.

Even with that, though, there's a problem that a vial of acid or water isn't going to do any damage at all unless the target has DR 3+; otherwise, it breaks on the shield or falls to the ground to break, and Exploits 44 makes clear that "Corrosives and contact poisons must hit a person (not a shield or the ground) to work".

So against unarmored Dracula, it seems you really have to open the vial and splash him up close. Sounds easy enough to game – similar to a throw, but really short Range? I don't recall seeing any written rules for this sort of "splash a container of liquid" action, but I'll bet it's somewhere in the system...

Another thing about holy water as a weapon is this: Even if you manage to splash Drac with holy water or break a vial on him, 1d-3 dam isn't at all exciting. You'd probably do much better chucking rocks at him.

I'm thinking holy water dam vs vulnerable undead should be doubled (or made a neat 1d; close enough), just to make it interesting. Either that, or improvise more fun effects. ("A direct hit! The vampire claws at his face in pain, clearly stunned for a moment.")

3) Extreme resistance: I guess my question stems from the occasional rule that says "You can claim a bonus from A or B, but not both", and for some reason thinking that Higher Purpose + Resist Evil might be such a case. But as far as I can tell they stack just fine, and that's A-OK.

The results can be impressive. The undead hunter pre-gen in Companion 3 resists vampiric mental attacks, for example, with Will 15 + 3 for Higher Purpose + 3 for Resist Evil = 21!

4) @ confused: I see, it's the main character in the text interface of a roguelike game. Is this a specific game, though, or a common element in several games? Just curious.

5) Help me put this question to rest: I don't mind the idea that Final Rest has a huge fatigue cost. I'm guessing the intent is that the spell serve as the final, difficult task in the Big Quest to put away the ever-respawning Arch-Villain, Once And For All This Time. Sounds good to me.

Given that big cost, I was simply surprised to see the similar-ish Rest in Pieces as a cheap perk. But a close look shows significant differences, and, as far as I can tell, the 1-pt cost seems fine.

Thanks, all!
T Bone
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