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Old 06-24-2021, 04:34 PM   #1
johndallman
Night Watchman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Neutralize

Neutralize [50] is an exotic mental ability that allows you to turn off other peopleís powers. By default, it applies to all abilities with a single power source, but this can be modified. This advantage appeared at GURPS 4e, based on the GURPS Psionics ability of the same name, but was generalised in Powers.

Using Neutralize requires a touch (a successful Attack, if the target is resisting), and winning a Quick Contest of Will with the target. The target adds their best Talent applicable to the trait youíre Neutralizing; you get to add any Talent applicable to your Neutralize ability to the contest of Will, but not to the attack roll. If you win, the targetís trait is shut down for minutes equal to your margin of victory. This does not affect their Talents, traits from different power sources, or ďwildĒ advantages without a power source. If you critically fail your Will roll in this contest, your Neutralize is crippled for 1d hours. You canít affect the target again with Neutralize of that trait until the duration has expired. If several Neutralizers attack the same target, only the longest duration applies, they donít add together.

The Neutralize in the Basic Set is Neutralize (Psionics), but you can take this ability for any available power source in the setting. Taking Cosmic, +300%, lets you affect all power sources, although your targets still get to resist in the Quick Contest. Other special enhancements include Power Theft, +200% or +300% (a bit complicated) and Precise, +20% to affect just powers of your choice within a source. Adding Ranged and Extended Duration is obviously useful. Special limitations include One Power, ‑50%, which only lets you affect a single power within a power source, One Ability, ‑80%, which only lets you affect a single ability, and Derange, ‑20%, which gives all the targeted traits Uncontrollable, rather than turning them off.

Psionic Powers adds more modifiers, and pre-built abilities, plus a note that while you canít steal Talents with Power Theft, you do get +6 to default skills. Derangable, +10% gives you the choice between negation and making powers uncontrollable; Power Theft, Weak, +100% only lets you steal part of someoneís powers, and Interruption, ‑50% lets you negate a usage of a power without turning off the power-userís ability. There are also important clarifications on the Ranged enhancement for psionic campaigns, and the new Weaponized enhancement for psi-tech devices.

Neutralize (and Static) can affect abilities that donít have a power source: magical spells are not always bought as powers, but should be affected by Neutralize (Magic), and a box on p. 97 of Powers explains how this works.

Neutralize does not have to use the same power source as the traits it targets. There could be magical, high-tech or biological ways to negate psionic abilities, for example, and some of them suggest modifiers, such as Gadget limitations for high-tech, or Based on HT for drugs. Powers has guidance on anti-powers, and deciding which powers can Neutralize other powers. It also has Neutralize attacks for crippling, on p. 156.

Assorted additions to Neutralize in GURPS supplements include a Neutralizer weapon in Monster Hunters 1, and a comprehensive ability, costing [250], in Powers: The Weird. Thaumatology: Sorcery has several Neutralize (Magic) effects for various purposes.

I donít believe Iíve ever used this advantage, as GM or player. Itís quite expensive unless youíre building a character around it, can fit it into an Alternative Ability set, or know that a very specific usage will be common. What have you done with it?
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Old 06-24-2021, 06:56 PM   #2
Emerikol
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Eastern Kentucky
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Neutralize

Seems like it might be more an NPC thing than a PC one. But I suppose if you were a mage hunter or psi hunter it might be handy. You are right though that 50 is a lot.
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Old 06-24-2021, 09:46 PM   #3
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Neutralize

An additional reason that it's a relatively rare advantage is because it is designed for a small subset of all possible campaigns - high-powered campaigns where powers are allowed, genre conventions make it possible to neutralize powers, and PCs start with enough points to make Neutralize a valid choice.

That is, psionics, supers, and certain sorts of fantasy campaigns.

Players might also skip Neutralize based on the assumption that "a good offense is the best defense." The same 50+ points used to buy Neutralize also gets you a powerful ranged attack power which can be used a far wider variety of foes.
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Old 06-25-2021, 04:30 AM   #4
WingedKagouti
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Neutralize

It's only really useful if it's either Cosmic or in a campaign/setting where there's only 1 or 2 power sources.
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Old 06-25-2021, 05:05 AM   #5
ravenfish
 
Join Date: May 2007
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Neutralize

As far as I can tell, Neutralize doesn't work out much cheaper than an incapacitating Affliction-- which also effectively stops power use by the target, and has the considerable advantage of not being limited to targets who depend on a particular power.
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Old 06-25-2021, 05:36 AM   #6
WingedKagouti
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Neutralize

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenfish View Post
As far as I can tell, Neutralize doesn't work out much cheaper than an incapacitating Affliction-- which also effectively stops power use by the target, and has the considerable advantage of not being limited to targets who depend on a particular power.
Incapacitation only stops active use, Neutralize stops both active and passive use. Damage Resistance is probably the easiest place to see where the distinction applies.
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Old 06-25-2021, 07:53 AM   #7
Emerikol
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Eastern Kentucky
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Neutralize

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pursuivant View Post
An additional reason that it's a relatively rare advantage is because it is designed for a small subset of all possible campaigns - high-powered campaigns where powers are allowed, genre conventions make it possible to neutralize powers, and PCs start with enough points to make Neutralize a valid choice.

That is, psionics, supers, and certain sorts of fantasy campaigns.

Players might also skip Neutralize based on the assumption that "a good offense is the best defense." The same 50+ points used to buy Neutralize also gets you a powerful ranged attack power which can be used a far wider variety of foes.
This is a great point. With GURPS I always have to remind myself that it encompasses so much more than the typical roleplaying game.
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Old 06-25-2021, 08:05 AM   #8
Not another shrubbery
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Neutralize

I've only tinkered with it. Despite liking the idea, it's kind of unsatisfying in its mechanics and cost/effect *shrug*
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Old 06-25-2021, 08:22 AM   #9
RogerBW
 
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Location: near London, UK
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Neutralize

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pursuivant View Post
Players might also skip Neutralize based on the assumption that "a good offense is the best defense." The same 50+ points used to buy Neutralize also gets you a powerful ranged attack power which can be used a far wider variety of foes.
And in many games is more fun to deploy. Oh, I'll just stand over here going "om" while you beat up the bad guysÖ Power Theft gives you rather more options, though.
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Old 06-25-2021, 09:53 AM   #10
ericthered
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Neutralize

I've had fun with the following build:


Neutralize (Magic -10%, sword gadget-40%, sword range -20%, linked +10%, reliable +4 +20%, neutralize creations only -20%) [13]

This is attached to a magic sword , and when the sword hits magical creations, they are destroyed. Its made for a necromancer-heavy game, but it would be really fun to use in any game with a lot of summoners, elementals, or necromancers.
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