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Old 10-19-2015, 06:11 PM   #1
Jose
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Default [4e] Mage and (non-lethal) figting.

So Im playing with a group in forgotten realms and I made a character, a witch called Nadya.
The character is a joy to play and the personality is nice, shes the kind, calm and non-violent mage who uses her intellect to get around problems and is acting as a healer for the group.
Ive run into a problem in that my GM makes the game combat heavy (Nothing wrong per say, but playing a somewhat non-violent character...) and Im not sure what to do there.

Now plan was when I made her to have her be more dangerous asleep than awake: Shed have a powerful possession ability she could use when she slept. However GM changed his mind as to the pricing- which happens but I kept the narcolepsy and used the spare points on IQ. She can enter and manipulate peoples dreams which makes for an incredibly powerful ability.
However as the game is combat heavy I kinda feel like Nadya aside from her healing and the occasional haste spell is hard to find a way to develop.
I feel that not killing people is more her way and looked into weaponizing the flesh to stone spell. But its too expensive even with a 10 FP powerstone.
I'm considering the following "Builds:"

Quote:
Classic mage:
A) IQ, Will, Per ved 15. 10 pts.
B) HT-14. 30 pts.
C) Innate attack-14, sword-14, judo-14. 20+16+12 = 48 pts.
D) Projectile spell (Enjoy ranged healing.)

Optional:
Buy of one eye: 4000 Gold Crowns AND 15pts.
DX upgrade. 20 pts.
Magery 3. 10 pts.
ST 13. 30 pts. (For minimal acceptable DMG)
Shield (Something to cower behind...)
Essentially the classic mage that can also fight although not very good and lacking the capability of the specialized fighter to dish out pain. Also buying physical combat skills while she is below HT 14 is of questionable use.
She still feels kinda useless in combat, even with this...

Here is where it gets hairy:

Quote:
Extra Arm 1 (Extra-Flexible, +50%; Long 1, +100%) [25]
Arm ST 15 (One Arm) [45]
Extra Arm 2 (Extra-Flexible, +50%; Long 1, +100%) [50] = 50-point package, costs 10 when bought as an AA.
Extra Arm 5 (Extra-Flexible, +50%) [75] = 15 points when bought as AA.
Extra Arm 8 (Extra-Flexible, +50%; Weak, 1/4 normal ST, -50%) [80] = 16 points when bought as AA.
Constriction Attack (Engulfing, +60%; Extra Arm Only, -60%) [15]
"If you wanted to, you could also try and figure costs for Injury Tolerance (No Blood; Homogeneous or Diffuse; Reduced Crushing Damage; Extra Arm Only) to simulate the hair being, well, hair, and thus a bit more resistant to battering than other body parts."
Injury tolerance (No blood 5, homogeneous 40, extra arm only -60%) [18]
and some Judo...
As she has quite a fascination with her long hair using it in game as a multitude of tentacles could be amusing and actually efficient: It can with its range deliver healing spells to nearby comrades and entangle badguys.
Combined with shadow magic it can make for some pretty horror movie-ish effects. But its a very, very big point sink and doesn't work until most of the things have been bought. Nadya bleeding out from having her hair cut would be weird...

My GM really wants me fire balling stuff to oblivion but I dont think that fits my character so far. She doesn't feel like the one to just blow people up with a fireball and she cant hit. Not to mention FP.
Both above still allow me to best opponents without killing them (Though hurting them is entirely another affair but they can be healed...).
I kinda want a non-lethal solution.

Lets look at Nadya:

ST: 10 HP: 10
DX: 10 Wi: 14
IQ: 15 Per: 15
HT: 11 FP: 11

Advantages:
Beautiful (12), Magery 2 (25), Voice (10) Power: Control dreams (10), Power: Enter dreams (6), Ally: Familiar (20)
Deep sleeper (1), Sexy pose (1).

Disadvantages:
Narcolepsy (Refluffed epilepsy) (-30), Sense of duty: Friends and family (-5), Absentminded (-15), Phobia(Cats) (-5), Delusion: "Cats are guardians of the night" (-5), One eye (-15), Susceptible* "All magic" (-30).
Unusual features (purples eyes and pointy ears) (-1), Never cuts her hair (-1), will blabber on about dreaming (-1), Broadminded (-1), Twirls her hair (-1), Likes to sleep (-1).

Skills:
Acting-15, Detecting lies-15, Diplomacy-16, fast-talk-16, sex appeal-12, Merchant-15, Singing-13, Artist(Illusion)-17, Dreaming-17, Thaumatology-13, Housekeeping-15, Auto hypnosis-12, Search-14, first aid-15, Area knowledge Cormyr-15, Survival(woodlands)-15, Diagnosis-15, Intimidate-14, Carousing-12, Lock picking-14, Camoflage-15, Brawling-9.

Spells:
Major healing-16, Haste-15, flesh to stone-15, Stone to flesh-15, earth to stone-15, Earth to stone-15, Lend energy-15, Lend vitality-15, Relieve sickness-15, Sound-15, Simple illusion-15, Sense foes-15, Sense danger-15, Minor healing-15, shape earth-15, Complex illusion-15, watchdog-15, inspired creation-14, Illusion disguise-16, Cure disease-16.

*GM made this one up...

So whats a good way to grow her?

Also first post, yippee!
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Old 10-19-2015, 06:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: [4e] Mage and (non-lethal) figting.

Going the direct damage route like you're GM wants is rarely the most efficient use for mages in Gurps. Battlefield control and buffing are what they're best at in combat in my experience. Shape earth is a good example. It can provide a thin opaque screen so archers can't see you to shoot at you. Make it thicker and you can raise a wall around you're group except for a small gap to funnel them through. Sure they could try hacking through the dirt but it'll be blind with good cover DR. Or you could try to have it wrap around a group of enemies to keep them contained while others are dealt with.

With illusnary disguises you might be able to more easily scout a place out to know how to deal with them.

And haste is second only to great haste in helping fighters not die as you boost their dodge by 3! The increased move can be quite helpful too. And great haste is awesome in that it gives them an extra turn every turn for ten turns. Which can triple their damage output if they do a double attack followed by a normal attack on their turn.

And if he'll let you have it Bless is probably one of the best spells period as it modifies ALL your rolls by 1 or more in the positive direction, not affecting critical failures. IE. If you're effective skill is 16+ you only (crit) fail on an 18 as a 17 is a normal failure and modified to 16 or less which is a success. And like I said it affects all rolls positively, skills checks, damage, defenses, etc... And it will save the persons life... just read the description and get it if your GM will let you!

And you can try to find creative uses for other spells you may pick up. I recall hearing about a mage who used a "Dye" spell to turn some effectively invisible air elemental pink.
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Old 10-20-2015, 12:49 AM   #3
Jose
 
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Default Re: [4e] Mage and (non-lethal) figting.

Shape earth is very, very slow. 2 move per turn slow, I could see some applications though. Making a mud wall and freezing it just like Cao Cao did could be really cool but its very circumstantial.
Best use I can find for it is spider holes for the party to hide in, I could see the fun in the angry goblin mob running over the party without ever noticing anything. Combine this with the plant spells book and fun things will happen.

Spells Im planning is: Grace and regenerate. I do like the body of metal / stone but feel the FP price is to steep (Even though delay could make things interesting.) and might is too deadly on the buffed character to be of value. But being able to put grace and haste on party members is a very useful thing.

Another of my big problems is the fatique point cost for stuff. While powerstones are available they are also very expensive (Which is quite reasonable, its professional equipment like a figthers armor and sword.) but they recharge at 1 FP each day. So its not like they are bad, infact they are very good.
But things add up and burn those precious FP, add to that below 3 Nadya will have trouble keeping up.

Last edited by Jose; 10-20-2015 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 10-20-2015, 01:00 AM   #4
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Default Re: [4e] Mage and (non-lethal) figting.

Also, the reason why the spells which take someone out of the fight immediately like Entombment, Flesh to Stone, and Total Paralysis cost many FP is that they work on anyone and they are better than killing the target (you can always smash the statue/slit their paralyzed throat, but if you kill someone you can't decide to hold them for ransom later).

I second that the direct-damage spells are about as good as a bow and arrows, so rarely a good use of a mage's time in combat. (In a cinematic game, where archery can have Heroic Archer and bows with cinematically good stats, they are worse). On the other hand, they only require one hand, so you can use them without putting down your Staff.
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Old 10-20-2015, 02:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: [4e] Mage and (non-lethal) figting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose View Post
Also first post, yippee!
Welcome to the forum(s)! We're a generally friendly (if odd and occasionally strongly opinionated) bunch. Make yourself at home. :)

I don't post very often, often lurking months in silence. You posted a character that caught my attention because she has purple eyes, and I'm somewhat irrationally fond of All Things Purple. For that reason, I'm offering this advice: talk with your GM about what sort of play experience he wants for his campaign and what sort of characters he feels are appropriate for that play experience. From what you've stated so far, it seems the character you've created is problematic. She's not a bad character, mind you; she just seems inappropriate for the campaign in much the same way an omni-competent rugged action hero is not appropriate for a "co-eds in a cabin" slasher flick. I'd hate to think of your character (with her purple eyes) being stuck in narrative limbo (or worse, getting killed) in a combat-heavy campaign, and I'd hate to think of you being frustrated as a player because there's little she can do (and few opportunities for her to do it).

Communication is key. Better to make certain you and your GM (and the other players) are on the same page in the same book up front the easy way than the hard way three weeks or three months or whatever down the road.

Best of luck! I wish you satisfaction in your gaming. :)
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Old 10-20-2015, 03:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: [4e] Mage and (non-lethal) figting.

Mental Stun, it's effective, it's cheap, it's only got a few prerequisites, and it fits the theme of a witch messing with peoples minds.
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Old 10-20-2015, 03:10 AM   #7
Nereidalbel
 
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Default Re: [4e] Mage and (non-lethal) figting.

Investing in Recover Energy will do wonders for any mage that doesn't rely on Leech to recharge their FP/ER.

With your current spell list, you have some awesome battlefield control. Move 2 may seem slow on Shape Earth, but, you can drop people into sink holes with it, raise barriers to protect yourself, and give your archers the high ground.

For expanding your spells list, it seems appropriate enough to go from the earth/stone spells into some of the metal ones. Nothing like blunting swords or ruining armor!
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Old 10-20-2015, 03:40 AM   #8
Jose
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Default Re: [4e] Mage and (non-lethal) figting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathulhu View Post
Mental Stun, it's effective, it's cheap, it's only got a few prerequisites, and it fits the theme of a witch messing with peoples minds.
True that, Im considering drunkeness, foolishnes and daze among others. So yeah they can be very effective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
Investing in Recover Energy will do wonders for any mage that doesn't rely on Leech to recharge their FP/ER.

With your current spell list, you have some awesome battlefield control. Move 2 may seem slow on Shape Earth, but, you can drop people into sink holes with it, raise barriers to protect yourself, and give your archers the high ground.

For expanding your spells list, it seems appropriate enough to go from the earth/stone spells into some of the metal ones. Nothing like blunting swords or ruining armor!
Yeah, that's one of my problems with this specific spell: How do I sinkhole some sucker, I can say create a hole underneath my enemy but the book says he can simply step away.
Another application I'm thinking of is hollowing out the ground without actually making a hole, so when he steps on this hex he risks falling down a 2 hex deep hole. Not sure how to avoid it, though the example in the base book mentions dx-6 / Acrobatics to avoid falling down the pit (Its only a quick example on page 502.) or erecting a pillar of earth is a good way to stop a charging foe. But then again spending fatigue points just to block a single hex.
Are there any good threads on the shape earth spell? google doesn't give me that much. I'm sure I'm not the first to ask this question.

@the_seeker.
Thanks, truth be told Ive used this forum as a sort of guide/FAQ/supplement for a long time. People here seem helpful and nice.
Also yeah, I like my character but I hope to make my character useful to the group even without becoming the goddess of damage, support casters can do alot of tricks and unlike many d20 systems the GURPS spells require more from the player in terms of creativity.
I can for example see lots of potential in a good bunch of spell but applying them is the hard part, its a kinda complicated cost/benefit analysis. Though Im really considering the delay spell and manastones, Im not sure about how practical delay is but if it can be used right it an be a total game changer.
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Old 10-20-2015, 06:22 AM   #9
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Default Re: [4e] Mage and (non-lethal) figting.

Well, truth to be told Fireball'ing away is a losers proposition in RAW GURPS, so you opting for other spells is actually a smart move. Leave doing damage to those that don't need to expend resources to do so. Look for spells that disable an enemy directly, or that impose heavy penalties for your offensive arsenal. Look for buffs for the rest. Bless and Curse are both awesome. Curse in particular might not seem like much, but it's unresisted, and it will lower resistance to other spells, active defenses, etc. Don't dismiss the clause that says that a curse can be expended to turn success into failure for particularly significant rolls. What's more significant than failing a resistance roll or active defense against something that will take you out of the fight?

EDIT: of course if you want your GM to hate you, take delay, hang spell, and maintain spell. Then expend some time in the morning precasting your slow expensive spells, rest to recover the ST, and use them immediately in combat, with no energy expenditure. It's the fastest way to convince a GM to start houserulling Magic or to switch to another system.

Speaking of other magic systems, blasting wizards work much better under Sorcery than under GURPS Magic
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Last edited by Kuroshima; 10-20-2015 at 06:27 AM.
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Old 10-20-2015, 06:44 AM   #10
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Default Re: [4e] Mage and (non-lethal) figting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose View Post
Yeah, that's one of my problems with this specific spell: How do I sinkhole some sucker, I can say create a hole underneath my enemy but the book says he can simply step away.
Hit them with a cheap, simple spell to keep them from moving first. Many kinds of illusions and various Stun effects can keep somebody still for 1 second, as can anything that knocks people down.

If you can convince your GM to allow it, Compartmentalized Mind with No Mental Separation, Magic PM, and Spells Only allows you to dual-cast at no penalty. Highly effective for stunning somebody while the ground below them sinks.
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