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Old 12-12-2016, 03:43 PM   #1
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default A Different Take on Imbuements

This is meant to be something of an alternative to Imbuements, and makes use of a modified version of Godlike Extra Effort (P161). It also replaces many esoteric skills, such as Breaking Blow. Instead of skills, it uses Techniques, and divides them up into Cinematic and Supernatural.

Having access to these Techniques depends on the campaign. Typically, the Unique Technique Perk is sufficient to gain access to any one Cinematic Technique for one skill. Having access to a single Technique for all skills costs [3], all such Techniques for a single skill costs [5], and all such Techniques for all skills costs [15]. Optionally, Trained by a Master and Weapon Master grant access to such Techniques automatically. Supernatural Techniques are handled the same, but require an enabling Advantage, such as Magery - price is up to the GM, and some Techniques may require a higher level of the enabling Advantage. You must have the ability to buy up the Technique (that is, meet any Supernatural prerequisites and have Unique Technique or similar) before you can use it at default. Some GM's may opt to waive the need for Unique Technique for certain Techniques, making them available by default - for example, I intend to run a Fantasy campaign where armor gives much greater protection than is the GURPS default, and thus intend to give all characters access to Armor Breaker (see below).

An Imbuement Technique is built as follows - find the Enhancement you wish to add to the attack and apply a -1 per +10%. This is a Hard Technique, and has a built-in cost of 1 FP. You may spend more (or no) FP on the attack - divide the modifier by the number of FP spent (treat 0 FP as 0.5 FP). With GM approval, once you have determined the effective modifier you may add appropriate Limitations to reduce it further. Any given combination of Enhancements and Limitations is its own Technique, however. You may buy up the Technique to any level, but the end modifier is limited to half the penalty (round in favor of the character, as for Targeted Attack). Buying up beyond half is useful when you want to use the Technique without burning FP, or for Enhancements that have multiple levels. If your attack fails due to this penalty, you still spend FP and simply make a normal attack, which succeeds (if not spending FP, check if you would have succeeded had you spent 1 FP; if so, you make a successful normal attack; if not, your attack misses outright).

Optionally, a character can imbue his weapon, rather than each individual strike. Instead of paying the FP cost (and taking the penalty) on each strike, the character instead rolls against skill floated to Will, and suffers a -1 per +5%. The effect lasts for 1 minute - when the minute is up, the character must either let the ability lapse or make another roll. This actually uses the same Technique as the single-strike version, so you can build up from there rather than having a new individual Technique. Non-attack Imbuements are also possible, and typically use this trend.

An alternative to building things as Enhancements is to outright improvise an Advantage, like using Climbing skill for Clinging, Jumping for Super Jump, Running for Enhanced Move, and so forth. Multiply the point cost of the relevant Advantage by 5% to determine its worth as an Enhancement. For example, a higher level of Lizard Climb, instead of simply rendering unclimbable surfaces climbable again, makes the character function as though he had Clinging. Clinging costs [20], and is thus a +100% Enhancement.
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Old 12-12-2016, 03:51 PM   #2
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: A Different Take on Imbuements

Below are a few examples of Techniques. Some of them can be used defensively - keep in mind the penalty applies to skill, and is thus roughly halved for defenses.

Annihilating Weapon: This causes your weapon to always cause damage to the foe’s weapon when Parried, or when it successfully Parries. This is Destructive Parry (+40%), for -4 to skill. This Technique is typically Cinematic.

Armor Breaker: This adds an Armor Divisor to your attack. -5 for (2), -10 for (3), -15 for (5), -20 for (10), and -30 to outright ignore non-Cosmic DR. This Technique is Cinematic up to (3), Supernatural thereafter.

Bladebreaker: This makes your weapon function as though it were heavier for purposes of breaking or pushing aside Parrying weapons. This is Heavy (+10%/level), and is a -1 per +10% to weight, to a maximum of -10 and +100%. It doesn’t affect damage or MinST. This Technique is often Cinematic.
Despite the name, it can also be used defensively, to avoid breakage from Parrying a heavy weapon (although Unbreakable Blade, below, is usually a better option).

Clinch Strike: This allows a melee weapon with a minimum Reach greater than C to be used at a lesser Reach. This assumes the weapon has Extra Reach (+20%) and upgrades it to Extra Reach (+50%), for -3 per yard of reduction to minimum Reach. Going from Reach 1 to Reach C is instead Extra Reach (+30%), for -1. As this is essentially a more lenient version of Close Combat, any reduction is simply Cinematic.

Conceal: This is only usable to imbue a weapon, not for an individual attack. It is Switchable (+10%), requiring a Will-based roll at -2. While in effect, the character can take a Ready maneuver to make the weapon temporarily cease to exist, or a Ready maneuver to make that same weapon reappear later. Taking an additional -2 for Hidden (+20%) changes these to free actions. In either case, the weapon automatically reappears in or near the character’s hand (or wherever it was when Concealed) if the ability lapses. Conceal can be done with Holdout rather than a weapon skill (and can be used on non-weapons). It is Cinematic with objects that can be concealed, Supernatural with those that cannot.

Crane Technique: If do right, no can defense. This is Cosmic, No Active Defense (+300%), for -30 to hit. It’s almost never worthwhile without spending additional FP to reduce its cost. A character can apply Cosmic, Defensive (+50%) to their defense to be allowed to defend against it, however, at -5 to skill (either -2 or -3 to defense, depending on skill level). This Technique is typically Cinematic.
EDIT: The idea of such a massive penalty being negated by such a small one has never sat quite right with me. I think a Cosmic Active Defense Technique should have the same base skill penalty as the Technique it is negating, so that -30 to hit imposes a -15 to defense if the character has the Cosmic Active Defense Technique. To account for other Techniques that might have a qualitative effect on your defense, use the same trend - every -2 to hit needs a -1 to defense to negate. A character can resist a Technique based on his own skill with it, or may train up a generic Cosmic Block/Dodge/Parry Technique that works against all such.

Distant Strike: This allows a melee weapon to strike further away than usual. This is Extra Reach (+20%/yard), for -2 per additional yard. This strike is counted as a melee attack. For longer distances, Ranged (+100%) with Increased Range (1/2D Only +10%) and Blockable (-10%), for -10 to hit, makes the attack function as an Acc 3, Range 1xST attack that can be Blocked or Parried like a melee attack. If range needs to improve further, increase by +1 SSR for every additional -1 to hit. A single additional yard is Cinematic, anything further is Supernatural.
A weapon imbued with Extra Reach (rather than Ranged) has the bonus apply to both minimum and maximum Reach - the weapon becomes awkward to use in close quarters. To change this, increase the cost of Extra Reach to +50%/yard (+30% for the first yard if the weapon can normally strike at Reach C).

Flawless Stance: This is only usable to imbue a weapon, not for individual strikes, and makes the character functionally incapable of missing with his strikes while in effect. This is Cosmic, No Dice Roll Required (+100%), requiring a Will-based roll at -20. So long as the character’s effective skill stays above 3, his attacks automatically succeed, although the foe still has a chance to defend. Optionally, the GM may allow the character’s Parry to benefit as well, although that probably elevates things to +300% and -60 to the Will-based roll. This should usually be Supernatural.

Ghost Slayer: This allows a warrior without special equipment to harm insubstantial beings. It is Affects Insubstantial (+20%), for -2 to skill. With a further -1 to skill, the character can make the attack only affect Insubstantial foes (if used to imbue a weapon, this lets the character choose how it functions for each individual attack; this is Affects Insubstantial, Selective (+30%)). This is typically Supernatural.

Spiteful Wound: This leaves a lingering wound that simply will not heal without special circumstances being met. This is Cosmic, Unhealing Damage (+100%), for -10 to hit. See PU4, p.8 for guidelines on appropriate healing conditions. This is specialized by healing condition. The condition typically dictates if the effect is Cinematic or Supernatural.

Transmute Damage: This changes the weapon's damage type to something else, and must be specialized per type changed to. If the damage type is equivalent to or cheaper than your weapon's current damage type (as an Innate Attack or Natural Weapon), this is Extra Damage Type (+20%), for -2. If it is more expensive, determine what modifier would increase your current damage type's price to be equivalent, and add this to the price of Extra Damage Type. For example, doing Cutting damage ([7]) with a Crushing weapon ([5]) is a further +40% Enhancement, for a total of -6. Transmute Damage can be Cinematic (such as striking with the flat of a blade), but is typically Supernatural.
Optionally, the GM may allow this to change an attack’s nature for purposes of interacting with Vulnerabilities and the like. This is -2 to mimic something Very Common, -4 for Common, -6 for Occasional, and -8 for Rare. Again, this is specialized per nature changed to. This use is usually Supernatural.

Unbreakable Blade: This makes the weapon far more resilient to damage or breakage from Parrying a heavier weapon. This is Resilient (+10%, +20%, or +40%), upgrading the weapon’s quality for breakage purposes - Fine and x2 DR for -1, Very Fine and x5 DR for -2, or Indestructible for -4. This can also be used with Cheap weapons, first upgrading to Good and normal DR for -2 (negates Fragile (-20%)). This Technique can be Cinematic or Supernatural.

Vicious Strike: For a thrusting attack, this makes damage based on Swing (Swing Capable, +30%), for -3. For any attack, this can increase the Wounding Modifier - every +0.5 to the modifier is -5 (+50%), unless the attack is Pi-, in which case the first +0.5 is -9 (+87%) to be consistent with Transmute Damage, above. Getting Swing damage on a Thrust and/or increasing WM by 50% or less is Cinematic, increasing WM by more than 50% is Supernatural.

Non-Attack Techniques

Lizard Climb: This allows you to climb walls that are otherwise impossible to climb, at -5 to Climbing. This is Cosmic +50%. As described above, this can be upgraded to emulate Clinging - allowing you to climb along ceilings, as well as boosting speed to 0.5xMove, for -10 (+100%). Lizard Climb is typically used with a Will-based roll to imbue oneself (doubling the above penalties, but lasting for 1 minute per use). This Technique is typically Cinematic.

Sprint: This allows you to temporarily boost your sprinting speed, emulating Enhanced Move. This is -5 to Running for every +1 SSR (x1.5, x2, x3, x5, etc) to Top Speed. Highly skilled practitioners can reach Top Speed instantly - this is Enhanced Move with Instant Acceleration +50%, for -8 for +1 SSR, -15 for +2 SSR, -23 for +3 SSR, and so forth. This Technique is typically Cinematic, although going faster than +2 SSR is typically Supernatural.

Vanish: Stealth usually requires you to be in an area where concealment is possible, but this Technique allows you to hide in plain sight at -5 to Stealth. This is Cosmic +50%. The 1-second Vanish is used as a stop-gap to reach an area where concealment is possible, or to get into position for a sneak attack; the 1-minute version - calling for a Will-based roll at -10 - is often more useful. Vanish is typically Cinematic.

Last edited by Varyon; 01-26-2017 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 07-27-2020, 02:58 PM   #3
naloth
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default Re: A Different Take on Imbuements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Having access to these Techniques depends on the campaign. Typically, the Unique Technique Perk is sufficient to gain access to any one Cinematic Technique for one skill. Having access to a single Technique for all skills costs [3], all such Techniques for a single skill costs [5], and all such Techniques for all skills costs [15].
This seems a bit low for what you can do with them. I'd suggest making it an advantage (perhaps 25 or 40 points) that you can take limits against such as category (only certain weapons or weapon skills) or quantity (only 1-4 techniques).

Quote:
An Imbuement Technique is built as follows - find the Enhancement you wish to add to the attack and apply a -1 per +10%. This is a Hard Technique, and has a built-in cost of 1 FP.
Using Enhancements and Limitations is great. There are tons of modifiers already created and adapting them for this seems like a good idea.

The mechanics of Techniques, though, are problematic. First off, Techniques are rather cheap, and even though you've capped the effective level, it's just not much of a point investment compared to what you could do with Imbuements or other advantages. Second, this encourages high skill since everything is based off the skill value. Third, 4 techniques would pay for a skill level anyway. Any trickshot archer would invest mostly in skill and put the bare minimum required to use the Technique (zero if they can be defaulted, otherwise 2 points per trick).

What they did with Imbuements probably works better here as well. Make them skills (D/H or D/VH) with a penalty as above for use and a mandatory weapon skill specialization. I'd make a single attack using the lower of your Imbuement skill or weapon skill.

Quote:
You may spend more (or no) FP on the attack - divide the modifier by the number of FP spent (treat 0 FP as 0.5 FP).
Having to calculate this for each skill is a bit annoying, but something that can be done in advance. I'm just use a flat -5 or -10 to ignore the fatigue cost, applied to the Imbuement skill prior to assessing if it's lower than your weapon skill. For increases Powers 161 already lets you add +1 skill per point of fatigue.

Quote:
Optionally, a character can imbue his weapon, rather than each individual strike. Instead of paying the FP cost (and taking the penalty) on each strike, the character instead rolls against skill floated to Will, and suffers a -1 per +5%. The effect lasts for 1 minute - when the minute is up, the character must either let the ability lapse or make another roll. This actually uses the same Technique as the single-strike version, so you can build up from there rather than having a new individual Technique. Non-attack Imbuements are also possible, and typically use this trend.
I like the idea here, but I'd have to try it out to get a feel for it. You definitely get a lot more for each FP.
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Old 07-27-2020, 11:12 PM   #4
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: A Different Take on Imbuements

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Originally Posted by naloth View Post
This seems a bit low for what you can do with them. I'd suggest making it an advantage (perhaps 25 or 40 points) that you can take limits against such as category (only certain weapons or weapon skills) or quantity (only 1-4 techniques).
That can work as well, but I was largely working off of a combination of how Techniques work and how GURPS tends to price "bundles." Unique Technique [1] per Technique is typical. [3] for having a Wildcard Perk of sorts is also in keeping with GURPS. [5] to have it work for all uses is consistent with GURPS' general "5 is all" trend (seen with things like Off Hand Weapon Training -> Ambidexterity). [15] to combine the two is simple multiplication. Still, if you feel the above undercharges, feel free to use whatever pricing you'd prefer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by naloth View Post
Using Enhancements and Limitations is great. There are tons of modifiers already created and adapting them for this seems like a good idea.
It also has the advantage of being rooted in already-existing rules, whereas I think with Imbuements the authors largely just went with a prerequisite that felt "right" (granted, that's where a lot of Enhancement/Limitation values come from, but there are a lot more to work off of).

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Originally Posted by naloth View Post
The mechanics of Techniques, though, are problematic. First off, Techniques are rather cheap, and even though you've capped the effective level, it's just not much of a point investment compared to what you could do with Imbuements or other advantages.
In general, even ignoring the cap (which I'm starting to think would be a good idea, honestly) you'll likely end up paying more to be able to do some nifty trick with a sword than you would to have an Innate Attack or Natural Weapon that let you do the same thing when completely unarmed. There may be some cases where the above works out to be a bit cheaper, however.

Quote:
Originally Posted by naloth View Post
Second, this encourages high skill since everything is based off the skill value. Third, 4 techniques would pay for a skill level anyway. Any trickshot archer would invest mostly in skill and put the bare minimum required to use the Technique (zero if they can be defaulted, otherwise 2 points per trick).
Yes, this is a general problem with Techniques, and probably exacerbated here due to the fact a character likely has one or more mundane Techniques with the weapon already. Making separate skills doesn't help a lot either, it just means the character is even more encouraged to pump everything into a high DX. Also, it's likely to make things far too expensive.

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Originally Posted by naloth View Post
Having to calculate this for each skill is a bit annoying, but something that can be done in advance. I'm just use a flat -5 or -10 to ignore the fatigue cost, applied to the Imbuement skill prior to assessing if it's lower than your weapon skill. For increases Powers 161 already lets you add +1 skill per point of fatigue.
...
I like the idea here, but I'd have to try it out to get a feel for it. You definitely get a lot more for each FP.
This is based on Godlike Extra Effort (P161), which is -1 per (5xFP spent)% and lasts for 1 minute. I opted to double the effectiveness for instantaneous effects like attacks (much as things like Cost FP are worth twice as much if assessed per second rather than per minute), and for flavor used skill instead of straight attribute (which GURPS treats as equivalent), and also simplified attack-related rolls by making them DX-based and combining the "did I use the effect" and "did I hit" into a single check.


I basically worked off the assumption that having a weapon gave the character a Natural Weapon (Pyramid #3/65) with various modifiers (for Reach, weight, damage, being a Gadget, etc), then let the character use Godlike Extra Effort to temporarily boost the weapon, just as he/she might be able to do with a Natural Weapon. And, of course, "penalty suffered under these specific circumstances" (that is, when using this particular flavor of Extra Effort) is prime grounds from a Technique.
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Old 07-28-2020, 08:03 AM   #5
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: A Different Take on Imbuements

Destructive Parry is +10% in Powers (p. 103), not +40%, so that would be a -1 default. In addition, there should probably be a 2 ER/FP cost, just like with Temporary Enhancements (Powers (p. 172-173). So Imbuements would become similar to Psionic Powers in that regard, though they should require the Imbuement Advantage of the appropriate level for any Imbuements Techniques (Cosmic modifiers should probably only be allowed for Imbue 3, and only if it possesses the Cosmic (+50%) modifier). Imbuement Techniques would be Hard Techniques and would only apply to the specific combat skill.

For example, Penetrating Strike would require Imbue 3, would cost 2 FP, and would be replicating Armor Divisor, so it would be -5 for /2, -10 for /3, -15 for /5, -20 for /10, with the technique reducing the overall penalty by one per level, to a minimum penalty of '0'. It would cost 21 CP to completely negate the penalty. Of course, this would likely be more expensive for lower damage attacks than just using a variation of the Modifying ST-Based Damage rule (Powers, p. 146).
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Old 07-28-2020, 08:40 AM   #6
naloth
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default Re: A Different Take on Imbuements

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Destructive Parry is +10% in Powers (p. 103), not +40%, so that would be a -1 default.
For the bulk of these, the modifier values are based on Natural Weapons modifiers.
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Old 07-28-2020, 09:56 AM   #7
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: A Different Take on Imbuements

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Originally Posted by naloth View Post
For the bulk of these, the modifier values are based on Natural Weapons modifiers.
My primary issue with that is that the rules were not playtested by the larger community, as they were from an article in Pyramid rather than being part of a published books and supplements. The modifiers from the books and supplements have presumably been playtested, so they are somewhat balanced. It is a minor disagreement though.

As for the balance of the techniques, they should not allow for reduced FP costs because they are not separate skills (unlike Imbuements). Imbuements are balanced because they have a much higher cost that techniques, so being able to waive FP cost is a reward for developing the skill. Having someone with Karate-35 being able to take a -10 for Armor Divisor /3 is unbalanced if there is a way to avoid the FP cost, especially since they can do so without buying up the technique.
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Old 07-28-2020, 09:11 AM   #8
naloth
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default Re: A Different Take on Imbuements

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
That can work as well, but I was largely working off of a combination of how Techniques work and how GURPS tends to price "bundles." Unique Technique [1] per Technique is typical. [3] for having a Wildcard Perk of sorts is also in keeping with GURPS. [5] to have it work for all uses is consistent with GURPS' general "5 is all" trend (seen with things like Off Hand Weapon Training -> Ambidexterity). [15] to combine the two is simple multiplication. Still, if you feel the above undercharges, feel free to use whatever pricing you'd prefer.
That helps to see how you arrived at the costs. Largely I see the upfront cost as a balance to how cheap it is to add abilities later. Going from 1 (one technique, one skill) point -> 3 (one technique all skills) is something that can be done in a single session like adding a skill. You might even also have points to drop into the technique as well.

Quote:
In general, even ignoring the cap (which I'm starting to think would be a good idea, honestly) you'll likely end up paying more to be able to do some nifty trick with a sword than you would to have an Innate Attack or Natural Weapon that let you do the same thing when completely unarmed. There may be some cases where the above works out to be a bit cheaper, however.
At low levels that's certainly true. It ramps up quickly with high attributes, talents, and raw base damage. A character with the points to having starting skill values in the 20s could reliably default many (inexpensive) advantages cheaper than buying them normally.

Ideally any system would scale well for 150 point characters as well as 1000+ point characters.

Quote:
Making separate skills doesn't help a lot either, it just means the character is even more encouraged to pump everything into a high DX. Also, it's likely to make things far too expensive.
Yes and no... Yes, there will always be breakpoints. DX is more expensive and only worthwhile if you're bringing up quite a few skills rather than just one. It's better to improve 1 skill than 4 techniques. It takes 5 skills to be worth a point of DX, which spread equally between multiple skills would require 20 techniques to be worthwhile. It moves the problem to a different break point. It does not solve that problem.

Edit: It also keeps you from defaulting really high techniques off one skill. When I have time, I'll push more numbers but it seems like building you've made a one weapon master really efficient and potentially abusive:

One skill, very high for defaults (say 25+ skill level). Each level increases all your techniques by +1 for 4 points.
UB for any number of super techniques off that skill = 5 points
Each super technique = 2 per technique (presumably you need to buy and cannot default)

A generalist spends more than twice that (3xUB cost, double the skills cost).

Quote:
This is based on Godlike Extra Effort (P161), which is -1 per (5xFP spent)% and lasts for 1 minute. I opted to double the effectiveness for instantaneous effects like attacks (much as things like Cost FP are worth twice as much if assessed per second rather than per minute), and for flavor used skill instead of straight attribute (which GURPS treats as equivalent), and also simplified attack-related rolls by making them DX-based and combining the "did I use the effect" and "did I hit" into a single check.
I like the ideas. I just haven't worked enough examples to see how balanced it is.

Last edited by naloth; 07-28-2020 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 07-28-2020, 03:50 PM   #9
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: A Different Take on Imbuements

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
In addition, there should probably be a 2 ER/FP cost, just like with Temporary Enhancements (Powers (p. 172-173).
It seems odd Powers has two different methods of doing largely the same thing (Temporary Enhancements and Extra Effort). Given the two, I prefer the latter, so would prefer to go with that here.

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Originally Posted by naloth View Post
For the bulk of these, the modifier values are based on Natural Weapons modifiers.
Indeed, and as you note, +40% really seems more appropriate than +10%, particularly given my suggested system. -4 to make Parrying your attack a Bad Idea, or -2 to do an Aggressive Parry, makes sense; -1 and +0/-1 (depending on skill level) to do the same doesn't.

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Originally Posted by naloth View Post
That helps to see how you arrived at the costs. Largely I see the upfront cost as a balance to how cheap it is to add abilities later. Going from 1 (one technique, one skill) point -> 3 (one technique all skills) is something that can be done in a single session like adding a skill. You might even also have points to drop into the technique as well.
That's more of a GM question than a mechanics question; I mean, you can easily go from human-normal night vision to having better night vision than a cat in a single session by the same process.

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Originally Posted by naloth View Post
At low levels that's certainly true. It ramps up quickly with high attributes, talents, and raw base damage. A character with the points to having starting skill values in the 20s could reliably default many (inexpensive) advantages cheaper than buying them normally.

Ideally any system would scale well for 150 point characters as well as 1000+ point characters.
If you have skill in the 20's, your opponents (other than the ones you can largely steamroll over) probably have comparable defenses. Yes, somebody with Karate 35 can reduce an opponent's DR to 1/3rd normal with no FP cost and still roll against a 15, for a pretty solid shot at a hit, as AlexanderHowl notes. What's important to keep in mind, of course, is that doing so is effectively giving his opponent a +10 to defense, as if the karateka wasn't burning all his skill for armor penetration, he could have done a -20 Deceptive Attack.

Where I think a real problem might come in is when the character is using a weapon that is unreliant on his own ST for damage (for anything based on ST, he could have purchased an Innate Attack or Natural Weapon or similar to capitalize on it), so GM's will need to be careful when deciding if the abilities can apply to things like firearms, force swords, etc.

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Originally Posted by naloth View Post
Yes and no... Yes, there will always be breakpoints. DX is more expensive and only worthwhile if you're bringing up quite a few skills rather than just one. It's better to improve 1 skill than 4 techniques. It takes 5 skills to be worth a point of DX, which spread equally between multiple skills would require 20 techniques to be worthwhile. It moves the problem to a different break point. It does not solve that problem.
It doesn't move the breakpoint at all, but rather just adds more skills. A character with Broadsword, Shield, Spear, Knife, and Acrobatics is well-served by just adding +1 DX once the skills reach the point where each additional +1 costs [4]. A character with Broadsword, Shield, Annihilating Weapon (Broadsword), Armor Breaker (Broadsword), and Distant Strike (Broadsword) is similarly well-served by just adding +1 to DX - it would cost [20] to give a +1 to each, so he might as well spend that [20] on DX, get the same effect, and also improve other skills, Basic Speed, and so forth.

And, of course, it's important to keep in mind these Techniques can be used together. For example, and getting a wee bit ridiculous, with Armor Breaker (Broadsword), Distant Strike (Broadsword), Spiteful Wound (Broadsword), and Transmute Damage (Broadsword ->Burn, treat as Silver), all at Default +20 for [21] each ([84] total), a character could use a sword to deliver a fiery slash to a foe up to ST yards away, treating the target's DR as 1/3rd normal, and deal a wound that counts as though it came from a silver weapon (for interaction with Vulnerabilities and the like); said wound would require some sort of special intervention to be able to heal, not healing on its own. The [84] this costs would be enough for an impressive +21 to skill, which would only be enough to offset the penalty for doing one of the above at a time.

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
As for the balance of the techniques, they should not allow for reduced FP costs because they are not separate skills (unlike Imbuements). Imbuements are balanced because they have a much higher cost that techniques, so being able to waive FP cost is a reward for developing the skill. Having someone with Karate-35 being able to take a -10 for Armor Divisor /3 is unbalanced if there is a way to avoid the FP cost, especially since they can do so without buying up the technique.
Feel free to disallow the ability to do this for 0 FP. Honestly, IIRC part of my deciding to allow for that was noticing that double the penalty for Armor Breaker at the (2) level was comparable to Chinks in Armor (with an additional -2, but also working against flexible and natural armor).

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
That's overly cheap if the technique can be bought up (most universally useful attack adjustments, such as rapid strike or attacking chinks in armor, cannot be improved at all). My equivalent to this was "-1 per 5%, can be improved up to a maximum of -1 per 10%". Another variant is "-1 per 10%, to both skill and ST; raising the technique affects the skill adjustment".
Rapid Strike can be improved, albeit in a limited form, with a Combination. Chinks in armor is explicitly called out as a legitimate choice for the Targeted Attack Technique (indeed, the comparison to Armor Breaker is also why I initially went with only being able to cut the penalty in half). I felt -1 per +10% worked alright for instantaneous effects, for the reasons I stated upthread, going with the harsher -1 per 5% for effects that lasted a minute per use.
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Old 07-28-2020, 04:37 PM   #10
naloth
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default Re: A Different Take on Imbuements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
It doesn't move the breakpoint at all, but rather just adds more skills. A character with Broadsword, Shield, Spear, Knife, and Acrobatics is well-served by just adding +1 DX once the skills reach the point where each additional +1 costs [4]. A character with Broadsword, Shield, Annihilating Weapon (Broadsword), Armor Breaker (Broadsword), and Distant Strike (Broadsword) is similarly well-served by just adding +1 to DX - it would cost [20] to give a +1 to each, so he might as well spend that [20] on DX, get the same effect, and also improve other skills, Basic Speed, and so forth.
Points being infinite, sure, buy infinite DX. My experience has been that players that want multiple skills can't usually spend enough on just DX and get the primary skills they want to the level desired. Even with more points, the desired skill level just gets higher.

That puts us back to discussing the merits having having to spend 20 points for a +1 in multiple abilities vs spending 4 points for a +1 in most of those abilities. Obviously making the cost a bit higher will force more choices: higher DX for all skills, one high weapon skill for deceptive and other attacks, or points split between multiple skills.

This also forces diversity in other ways. If the broadsword master needs to invest in building a new skill up from DX to master a new trick it's a far different situation than dropping 2 points into a technique to default it from an already high skill. My gut feel is that most of the characters will end up with as high of a skill as they can afford, then defaulting techniques to minimum cost (2) points.... It's a lot like all those IQ 14 Magery 3 wizards floating around that spend 1 point in spells.


Quote:
And, of course, it's important to keep in mind these Techniques can be used together.
The +21 and a bit of fatigue would do at least 2 at a time. I suspect you wouldn't need all 4 together very often.

For purchasing, would that be four techniques or one technique with 4 modifiers? From the initial read, it looked like the latter forcing them to be used together if bought that way.

Edit: another thought for having multiple techniques that you could combine at will is that each point of fatigue used to decrease the penalty goes a lot further on techniques with high defaults...

Last edited by naloth; 07-28-2020 at 04:49 PM.
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