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Old 03-28-2011, 01:28 PM   #11
JCurwen3
 
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Default Re: Leech (Steal Youth) Modifier Pricing, etc.

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Steal Youth should absolutely not be more expensive than Unaging + some useless Affliction. Even +0% at 25pts is dubious. IMO, ofc.
Leech (Steal Youth, +300%) is 75 points for level 1 + 12 points/additional level. Leech (Steal Youth, +450%) is 113 points for level 1 + 18 points/additional level.

That means that stealing just three months per second from a victim will cost you 99 points, just one shy of the 100 points it takes to get ATR. I think we can all agree one level of ATR is vastly more useful than that. You only really start having a solid chance to start inflicting penalties associated with aging whilst in combat by buying much higher levels, or if you have purchased other expensive things to keep your opponent from breaking contact or from attacking you back, or maybe increasing the cost of the Steal Youth power even more by adding things like Malediction and Ranged and maybe Area Effect, which would put it up there as much more costly than a level of ATR.

And all for something that gives you a spurious way to keep yourself Unaging and occasionally reduce the attributes of others through aging penalties, and making enemies along the way (enemies that may discover that killing you will restore their youth). Yeah, when we analyze it, the whole thing is just very broken looking. What's up with this?
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:37 PM   #12
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Default Re: Leech (Steal Youth) Modifier Pricing, etc.

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
A character with Extended Lifespan has more years to "soak up" aging effects with, and a character with Short Lifespan has less, so is very vulnerable to them and sees effects immediately.

Making a dog 10 years older is MUCH more punishing than making a human 10 years old, even if the dog is a puppy. And an elf hardly notices losing 10 years.

The alternative is to run a game with no age/lifespan related traits, and make all aging related effects based on percentage of lifespan, rather than non-relative units like months and years. This is the assumption in DF - so instead of aging for 8 years, you age for 10% of your lifespan, and the dog, human, and elf feel the effects equally - even though for the dog it might be 10 months, the human 10 years, and the elf 100 years (or more).
I guess that makes sense then. I wasn't sure whether it would be percentage of lifespan (adjusted based on the human average) or in absolute units. I haven't seen that bit of DF - where could I find it?

Would you rule the same regarding a character that had both Leech (Steal Youth) and either Extended Lifespan or Shortened Lifespan? Namely, that they got absolute time back, rather than proportional time? I'd have my reservations about that - a part of me feels like Extended Lifespan should do the same for rejuvenation (such as from Steal Youth) that higher HP does for Regeneration), but maybe that's just me. But a Leech with Shortened Lifespan - do they get extra months or years on top of their lifespan (negating their own disadvantage) or run the risk of rejuvenating themselves back to being kids, or what?
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:47 PM   #13
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Default Re: Leech (Steal Youth) Modifier Pricing, etc.

My first order suggestion for a patch is to shift the base unit (for the listed price) from "months" to "years". It does suddenly become much more useful on a combat scale vs many animals and animal-like monsters (not all, certainly, but definitely large swaths of the animal world).

Assuming your average adventurer is in his 20s-30s, you'd still have to hold them down outside of combat time to have a significant impact on them in a combat sense, but Stealing Youth has never been done on a significant combat scale in most games I've seen it used anyways. Ghosts in AD&D were doing on the order of 1d6 years of aging per fight, IIRC - Over one fight, most delvers won't notice that. However, face groups of ghosts, or face individual ghosts repeatedly, and encounter other sources of aging as you adventure (cursed items, fright checks, potion miscability backfires, whatever), and you find your character being nibbled to death in a way that's actually really difficult to fix.

It's effect on the character is a bit like radiation damage - it doesn't "heal" naturally, and healing it with supernatural/superscience healing sources is actually really hard in most settings. Getting a few rads per combat with "glowing ones" (radioactive zombies from Fallout) really adds up.

I suspect the base price is based on this factor - a built in "Cosmically difficult to heal" tax.

Optionally making Stealing Youth in terms of "months" a 1/12th cost version of the full advantage, so the base would then be 6.25 points, plus one point per additional level, for the "reverses on death or similar condition stated at character creation" version. ~9.4 points for the base, plus 1.5 points per extra level for the Really Permanent version.
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:52 PM   #14
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Default Re: Leech (Steal Youth) Modifier Pricing, etc.

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Originally Posted by JCurwen3 View Post
I haven't seen that bit of DF - where could I find it?
Annoyingly, hidden under the Elf template, Dungeon Fantasy 3 Page 6:
They’re also long-lived, but this has no effect in dungeon
fantasy – monsters with aging attacks always afflict victims in
proportion to racial life expectancy. Thus, elf templates omit
Unaging.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCurwen3 View Post
Would you rule the same regarding a character that had both Leech (Steal Youth) and either Extended Lifespan or Shortened Lifespan? Namely, that they got absolute time back, rather than proportional time? I'd have my reservations about that - a part of me feels like Extended Lifespan should do the same for rejuvenation (such as from Steal Youth) that higher HP does for Regeneration), but maybe that's just me. But a Leech with Shortened Lifespan - do they get extra months or years on top of their lifespan (negating their own disadvantage) or run the risk of rejuvenating themselves back to being kids, or what?
I would rule the same. It's quite a bit like having regular HP Leech and only 2 or 6 or 8 HP total HP. Also compare a character with 2 or whatever HP, and a Weakness or Dependancy - that damage is disproportionately BAD for them, but they get no extra points back.

GURPS specifically scales healing with higher-than-19 HP, but not with less-than-10 HP, and it specifically only does this with HP, not other attributes or traits - not when recovering ablative DR, not when recovering Energy Reserve, nada.
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:57 PM   #15
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Default Re: Leech (Steal Youth) Modifier Pricing, etc.

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
My first order suggestion for a patch is to shift the base unit (for the listed price) from "months" to "years".
That I can really get behind. From the pricing and everything, and compared to the ability as it presents itself in other systems (like AD&D's ghosts), I almost think the whole "months" instead of "years" thing is an error, and wasn't intended to be that way. Errata maybe?
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:19 PM   #16
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Default Re: Leech (Steal Youth) Modifier Pricing, etc.

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
Annoyingly, hidden under the Elf template, Dungeon Fantasy 3 Page 6:
They’re also long-lived, but this has no effect in dungeon
fantasy – monsters with aging attacks always afflict victims in
proportion to racial life expectancy. Thus, elf templates omit
Unaging.
I would rule the same. It's quite a bit like having regular HP Leech and only 2 or 6 or 8 HP total HP. Also compare a character with 2 or whatever HP, and a Weakness or Dependancy - that damage is disproportionately BAD for them, but they get no extra points back.
Thanks for the DF reference. Those monsters with aging attacks - are they using spells or other alternatives to Leech (Steal Youth), or is it an alternate rule for any and all aging attacks? Or is it even an alternate rule? Maybe this is how it should work in GURPS across the board if the Extended or Short Lifespan is part of a racial template instead of as a separate power, because the passage does specifically refer to racial life expectancy (but then, of course it does, it's right amongst the racial templates, so it might not mean anything). I don't know. Anyway.

I kind of agree with you on your ruling that the rejuvenation from Steal Youth be in absolute time units rather than based on proportion - except if the DF rule applied to racial Lifespan advantages, I think in this case the rule should go both ways and Leeches with racial Extended or Short Lifespan should benefit proportionally too.

Ignoring the DF racial Lifespan rule (which might only apply to DF), would you agree that Steal Youth would only rejuvenate you back to the "age of maturity" according to the lifespan chart on p. B154 by Short Lifespan. That is, for normal humans it's 18 years, all the way down to Short Lifespan 4 where it's 1 year. Which would mean a character with Short Lifespan 4 and Leech (Steal Youth) might need to "feed" more often, but he reaches his "youth limit" after feeding on only a few years, after which he is just aging others rather than stealing youth from them. Does that make sense?
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:29 PM   #17
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Default Re: Leech (Steal Youth) Modifier Pricing, etc.

EDIT: I totally forgot the quote button. I'm going to drive home, and then take another stab at this post with the rest of the discussion addressed in it :)

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Originally Posted by JCurwen3 View Post
Thanks for the DF reference. Those monsters with aging attacks - are they using spells or other alternatives to Leech (Steal Youth), or is it an alternate rule for any and all aging attacks?


Undefined :)

I don't think any of the creatures in Dungeons, Allies, Summoners, or Clerics actually HAVE aging attacks.
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:56 PM   #18
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Default Re: Leech (Steal Youth) Modifier Pricing, etc.

If you want to get reasonably priced Steal Youth, I suggest using Affliction: Old Age (price per year is unclear; I might just use a staged affliction of some sort), plus Unaging (Accessibility: must age someone else).
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Old 03-28-2011, 04:52 PM   #19
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Default Re: Leech (Steal Youth) Modifier Pricing, etc.

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If you want to get reasonably priced Steal Youth, I suggest using Affliction: Old Age (price per year is unclear; I might just use a staged affliction of some sort), plus Unaging (Accessibility: must age someone else).
I see where you're coming from. Although this wouldn't help model a character who was given / developed / paid for / was afflicted with Steal Youth later in life and wanted to "be young again". Still, if we had pricing for forcing aging, that would be better.

It's unfortunate (or, rather, perhaps even annoying) that there aren't better rules for age and aging. I think the aging mechanic is fine, great even, and the rules on the advantage Extended Lifespan and the disadvantage Short Lifespan are fine.

The problem is the rules don't take into account that being closer to that next aging threshold (50, 70, and 90 for humans) where you need to make your HT rolls to avoid attribute loss should be worth points. You certainly don't get bonus points for starting the game older as some systems suggest as a result of experience (if you did, we could use those bonus points as a suggestion for what the cost of being older was). And all of this ignores the effects of aging on appearance - let's just be honest and not beat around the bush, but a 45 year old human (still 5 years away from their first set of aging related HT rolls) does not look like they used to when they were in their 20s, and that's all I'm going to say on the matter.

Being closer to attribute decline and already having faced what I'll delicately call a "change" in appearance should be worth points. But none are given. That's kind of why we're in this quagmire over this rather poorly priced power (Leech with Steal Youth) - if we did have point values to associate with being closer to the various aging thresholds, we could just build a cool little power with two linked Afflictions (with Cumulative), one that ages the victim (by adding levels of "time" onto them), and the other that rejuvenates the guy with the power (by subtracting them).

But the problem is what would a year (or, for that matter, five) cost in points? I know if I was forced to choose between spending points on skills or advantages or wealth or anything compared to spending points on staying young (and the character was me, in real life), I'd spend them on the youth more often than not. But many campaigns don't even last long enough in campaign-time to feature aging. Of course, that didn't stop Unaging from being priced at 15 points, which I've read many consider too expensive for little benefit. Not to mention that someone must think the ability to age others and rejuvenate yourself (Leech with Steal Youth, +300%) is worth a whole hell of a lot to make it cost 75 points to steal a month per second at the first level and 12 points per additional month per second. Even if we went with Bruno's suggestion that it should be a year per second instead of a month, it still seems way overpriced (just 12 times less overpriced, as in not grossly and obscenely overpriced). Given these kinds of valuations, it's disappointing that there isn't a cost structure for aging, starting at maturity (18 in humans) and sliding upwards towards the various aging thresholds. The lack of this cost structure makes it impossible to model abilities that would just age a victim (instead of stealing their youth for your own benefit) or reverse their aging. If spells and tech can do it, why not powers?

Still, so it goes. Rant done.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:41 PM   #20
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Default Re: Leech (Steal Youth) Modifier Pricing, etc.

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Originally Posted by JCurwen3 View Post
Maybe I'm missing something here, but it seems... off. According to the description, the +300% version is permanent and not normally reversible by means (like magic or powers or tech) that wouldn't also assist in reversing any aging (even from the +450% version). The only difference is that if you die, your victims get better.

Really almost without exception, GURPS prices of traits and modifiers according to their relative utility to their wielder, whether that wielder be a PC or NPC. But this one, at least to me, seems to be a pretty strong exception to that. 'Cause, you know, you don't generally get much benefit from the fact that your enemies continue to be screwed after you're dead.
Sure you do. There's a direct, clear benefit to the PC in taking one over the other.

If you have Leech (Steal Life, +450%), your foes have no reason to try to hunt you down and kill you . . . well, except for revenge, obviously. They can kill you as dead as they want, but they're not getting their youth back, which means that if you get away, there's a strong incentive to just leave you be and focus on other means by which they can restore their youth (if any).

But if you have Leech (Steal Life, +300%), you have a huge target on your back. Every single person that you've ever affected is going to try to hunt you down and kill you to get their youth back. You've saved the points, but at the cost of having to run from anyone you leave alive . . .

This isn't just me speculating on intent, BTW. This came up in the playtest. Originally, the plan was to just make it a special effect whether the youth returned when you died -- until some of us pointed out that it actually makes a huge difference for the leecher!
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