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Old 11-29-2011, 07:48 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Canada
Default Teleport-walking?

I'm talking about extremely short range, line-of-sight only teleportation performed as a Move action with no special skill checks or chance of being turned inside out, stunned, or accidentally teleported to the Himalayas - Teleportation that is able to be used as a regular, reliable movement mode that covers ground no faster than regular old walking or jogging, not as a long-range rapid transport, nor as a fortification-bypassing intrusion power.

What's the point of this sort of teleportation? After all, it seems to be stripping out all the "Fun" bits, for both the player (teleporting over and around all your GM's carefully placed puzzles and problems) and for the GM (chance to have the player teleport right into a situation they could have seen coming if they'd bothered walking, or waiting for the inevitable critical failure and a chance to cackle maniacally).

I've got a character in a D&D game with the ability to teleport 4 yards as a move action, at will, indefinitely (with all her magic items - without them she goes 1 yard per port). And having seen it in play for months, I can identify some benefits.

1) Pure Style. Being able to sneer at NPCs about how the petty bonds of time and space are beneath you is perfect for some characters; this is a source of endless entertainment for myself. Even if I'm really only bip-ing around a few yards at a time, it gives my gnome something amusingly trivial to be snooty about.

2) As good as short duration flight for bypassing some hazards or obstacles, without bypassing the entire fun of the adventure. Most GMs can forgive you for skipping over pits, traps, and up to the tops of short walls. Most GMs can't forgive you for teleporting into the heart of the supervillains/evil-high-priests/whatevers lair and skipping the rest of the adventure. Planning adventures around having a teleporter in the party takes special work - the teleport-walker mostly avoids that problem for the GM.

NB: A teleport-walker may be able to skip through some barriers - a barred gate doesn't block line of sight, glass doors or doors with windows may also count depending on the GM and/or exactly which limitations are on your power. But generally these are the kinds of barriers that pcs could eventually open on their own - splitting up the party so the teleporter can get mugged on the other side of the barrier while trying to find a way to open it is usually a GM-friendly tactic.

3) Opening up interesting, but mostly modest, combat tactics. It's good for penetrating an enemies front line, but is unlikely to get into their actual back ranks or completely out of reach of the front line fighters (if they're willing to retreat or abandon the front line....) It might bypass some Wait actions, chances to be Tripped/Armed Inderdicted, etc. but it's not going to deal with every Wait action, and unless the entire party can do it, you'll have to be very careful not to get yourself too isolated or you'll give the enemy a chance to shoot you in the back.

So I'm trying to price this out in GURPS, but I need help with some (almost all) of the modifiers.

The base is clearly Warp.
  • Gyroscopic is clearly required, and is about the only limitation I'm sure about :)
  • Range Limit canonically caps out at 10 yards for -50% but I'm looking for even shorter - 3 yards for -55% seem reasonable?
  • Normally Warp requires a lot of concentration time and a skill roll - but you can trade preparation time for skill penalties and reduce it down to "instant". I'm looking to fix this as "counts as movement for Move, Move and Attack, and All Out Attack" with no attached skill roll. There are no modifiers to do this simply. The only way around the roll-and-penalties situation that I can see is Cosmic: No Roll Required combined with just enough Reliable or some inverted version of Reliable to get the characters modified IQ-5ish+(Anti-)Reliable for 1 second down to an effective skill of 7 or less (to enable 1 Second and prevent No Time teleportation)... starts at +100%, for an IQ 10 character no further modifications are required.
  • ... But that would still require a Concentrate action and precludes Move and Attack and All Out Attacks, where the movement is provided by a teleport instead of running or flying or whatever. "Counts as movement" Is an unpriced enhancement, I'll pencil it in as +50% as a "cosmic", which if it removes the Concentrate requirements seems sort of reasonable.
  • Having to perceive the destination directly - not being able to use CCTV, ESP, scrying, etc OR to use your own memories to reach a location seems like a big limitation. Bigger if you can't teleport through "sealed" barriers, like glass doors, or require a minimum "gap" size beyond a peephole in order to "see" through something.
  • Add an optional Power modifier to taste.

Optional, and interesting to contemplate, is something to allow a "teleport step" - as in a 1-yard step that can be used for "Step and" actions, or in Retreating, or so-forth.

Even more speculatively, for higher "speed" teleport-walking, that might go to 2-yards and so forth, following the same progression as regular Move.
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