Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-28-2020, 12:16 PM   #11
naloth
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default Re: A Different Take on Imbuements

Here's another idea:

Treat each Imbuement as a skill but instead of specializing in a weapon, you use the lower of either your modified Imbuement or the relevant combat skill as a cap on your effective combat skill level.

Example: The character has Guns(Pistol)-14, Knife-12, and Armor Breaker-18. Armor breaker can get AP/2 at a -5, giving an effective skill of 13. Attacking with a Knife, the attack is AP/2 at skill 12 (Armor Breaker at 13 is higher than Knife at 12). Attacking with a Pistol would be skill 13 (Armor Breaker at 13 is lower than Pistol at 14).

You could further specialize the Imbuement skill as an Optional Specialty (usually saves 2 points) to go with just one weapon skill. The ability to imbue multiple weapon types could be further limited by the UB taken to allow Imbue skills.

Last edited by naloth; 07-28-2020 at 12:33 PM.
naloth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2020, 02:23 PM   #12
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: A Different Take on Imbuements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
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).
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".
__________________
My GURPS site and Blog.
Anthony is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2020, 03:50 PM   #13
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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).

Quote:
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.
__________________
GURPS Overhaul
Varyon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2020, 04:37 PM   #14
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.
naloth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2020, 05:56 PM   #15
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: A Different Take on Imbuements

Quote:
Originally Posted by naloth View Post
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.
Points being infinite is when you invest in a lot of skills rather than a high DX. Unless you only have a few DX-based skills of note - and a character with Imbuements is going to have more than one without, provided comparable characters - it's often more point-efficient to buy up DX than to buy up skill, for exactly the same reason you were complaining about (that aspect of) the Techniques. Now, if the GM sets limits to how much DX you can have, that's a reason to go the less-efficient skill route, but unless players are purposefully building weaker characters for roleplaying purposes (not that there's anything wrong with that), or are specializing in only one or two Imbuements (in which case the Technique problem doesn't come into play either), you're probably going to have most Imbuement-based characters with DX around the maximum available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by naloth View Post
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.
Again, an important thing to keep in mind is that, at the skill levels where this is feasible, every -2 they're letting their high skill soak is effectively +1 to the enemy's defense (as it's no longer available to sink into Deceptive Attack). A guy with Broadsword 35 and enough invested in each Technique for it to be usable (note I'm not requiring points be spent in the Techniques themselves, only that the character either have the appropriate Unique Technique Perk or equivalent) isn't able to drop his target's DR, attack from a distance, etc. all the time with no consequences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by naloth View Post
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.
Allowing for FP expenditure changes things quite a bit, as it means the one relying on Techniques doesn't need as many points invested in them. And while you probably wouldn't need all four together (there are others I could see being combined together more often, but I was specifically going for ones with the same penalty), I can guarantee any player who makes such an investment is going to find good reasons to use them together at nearly all times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by naloth View Post
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...
The initial idea was each option being a separate Technique, although with GM permission a character could combine them (but would have to purchase them as the combined version, no splitting them later; technically you could allow for splitting with Selectivity, but I'd avoid that). For example, normally a flaming attack would be its own Technique - Transmute Damage (Broadsword ->Burn), -2 with 1 FP - and making your attack function as though it were from a silver weapon would be a separate one - Transmute Damage (Broadsword ->Silver), -8 with 1 FP (Silver is Rare). Of course, a Silver Flame Technique - Transmute Damage (Broadsword ->Burn, Silver), -10 with 1 FP (-2 + -8) - seems acceptable, so I'd allow it. The advantage of purchasing multiple effects with a single Technique is a lower cost (you only have to pay the [+1] surcharge for a Hard Technique once, rather than twice) and a higher efficiency from FP expenditure (1 FP halves the cost of all the effects at once). However, I'm now considering the possibility of having each FP spent affect all of the Techniques, not allowing for zero FP expenditure, and either not allowing the points spent to completely negate the penalty or having a minimum penalty apply when using multiple such Techniques together (either -2 per Imbuement Technique beyond the first, or -2 for 2, -3 for 3, -4 for 4, etc).
__________________
GURPS Overhaul
Varyon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2020, 08:01 PM   #16
naloth
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default Re: A Different Take on Imbuements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
it's often more point-efficient to buy up DX than to buy up skill,
Provided you have enough skills at a high enough level *and* can afford that level of DX. The latter point is usually the key. For equal points +5 to Broadsword often more valuable than getting +1 DX to boost all DX skills, and you've made Broadsword even better.

Point limits tend to be the limiting factor up to 250 points. Above 500 points, campaign limits usually tend to make more of a difference.

Quote:
are specializing in only one or two Imbuements (in which case the Technique problem doesn't come into play either), you're probably going to have most Imbuement-based characters with DX around the maximum available.
Now or with your suggestions? Just two techniques are still a problem if you don't require an initial investment (skill the base cost of two techniques). It also gives characters that focus on a weapon higher (and usually improving) base skill to default from.

Quote:
Again, an important thing to keep in mind is that, at the skill levels where this is feasible, every -2 they're letting their high skill soak is effectively +1 to the enemy's defense (as it's no longer available to sink into Deceptive Attack).
Yes, just like you're not poking eyeballs out either. In some cases Deceptive Attack won't be necessary because the target normally relies being able to soak the damage somehow (DR, healing, IT, whatever). If you're allowing a high weapon skill to essentially default all the tools you ever need to hurt anything without even investing any points in individual skills you've made any weapon skill the ultimate swiss army knife as well as an attack for the price of being ambidextrous.

Quote:
However, I'm now considering the possibility of having each FP spent affect all of the Techniques, not allowing for zero FP expenditure, and either not allowing the points spent to completely negate the penalty or having a minimum penalty apply when using multiple such Techniques together (either -2 per Imbuement Technique beyond the first, or -2 for 2, -3 for 3, -4 for 4, etc).
I figured buying them together reduced the overall fatigue cost. I'm torn on negating the fatigue cost. On one hand, tracking fatigue use is more paperwork (con). On the other, it's a very finite resource for limiting how many times an ability can be used (pro).
naloth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2020, 10:26 PM   #17
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: A Different Take on Imbuements

Quote:
Originally Posted by naloth View Post
Provided you have enough skills at a high enough level *and* can afford that level of DX. The latter point is usually the key. For equal points +5 to Broadsword often more valuable than getting +1 DX to boost all DX skills, and you've made Broadsword even better.

Point limits tend to be the limiting factor up to 250 points. Above 500 points, campaign limits usually tend to make more of a difference.
If you don't have enough points for +1 DX, you don't have enough points for +1 to several skills. Consider a character with a nominal DX of 12, and who the player wants to have Broadsword 20 [32], Shield 16 [12], Brawling 16 [12], and Judo 16 [20], and the player would also like him to have Armor Breaker (Broadsword) 20 [36] and Distant Strike (Broadsword) 20 [36]. If using Techniques for the latter two, DX 12 works fine*; if not, the character is much better off with DX 14, as this saves a net [8] (the cost of each skill goes down by [8], saving [48], while the +2 DX costs only [40] while also giving +0.5 to Speed (which is worth [10], making net savings arguably [18]). Indeed, DX 15 is still better, with no change in cost (4 skills reduce in price by [4], saving [16], while 2 skills - Shield and Brawling - reduce in price by only [2] each, saving [20], which is exactly enough for that +1 DX). If the player wanted his character to have a lot of Imbuement-style skills, it's possible to run into essentially the same situation as you mentioned for mages, with a sky-high DX (+Talent, if applicable) and [1] invested in a large number of Imbuement skills as well as all his combat skills. Having a lot of Techniques runs into a similar problem, with sky-high skill taking the place of sky-high DX, but unless the character is ultra-specialized (with only one or two DX-based skills of note), it takes longer for it to rear its ugly head.

If you're building the character as you play, of course, there are plenty of cases where it's better to get +1 to several skills over time rather than saving up for the full +1 to DX (as it means you get the benefit of the +1 sooner), but that's just an issue of building-during-play being less efficient than initial character generation.

*Unless you allow characters to freely take DX! (DX [20] and -0.25 Basic Speed [-5], net [15], in which case the character would still be better off with DX 12 + DX! 2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by naloth View Post
Now or with your suggestions? Just two techniques are still a problem if you don't require an initial investment (skill the base cost of two techniques). It also gives characters that focus on a weapon higher (and usually improving) base skill to default from.
Some investment is required, in the form of Unique Technique (or Weapon Master, in campaigns where everyone with Weapon Master knows the Imbuement Techniques). And, honestly, I'm not entirely certain how you intend for the skills you've suggested to work (unless you want them to be identical to the existing Imbuements, but that defeats the entire purpose of the thread).

Quote:
Originally Posted by naloth View Post
Yes, just like you're not poking eyeballs out either. In some cases Deceptive Attack won't be necessary because the target normally relies being able to soak the damage somehow (DR, healing, IT, whatever). If you're allowing a high weapon skill to essentially default all the tools you ever need to hurt anything without even investing any points in individual skills you've made any weapon skill the ultimate swiss army knife as well as an attack for the price of being ambidextrous.
I assume the GM will design opponents and encounters with the existence of these skills in mind. If allowing for sufficient skill that this is problematic, a foe who is meant to stand up to attacks by having high DR may either have even higher DR or have Hardened on (some of) their DR, so that the character must take a markedly higher penalty for Armor Breaker to get through.

Also, like Sorcery, this isn't meant to be something where the player can work up whatever Enhancements he likes on the fly for a given attack, but rather has a list of Techniques to choose from (although the player might work with the GM to design a custom option, such as the Silver Fire from a previous post, and something like that I'd certainly require the character to invest some more points into it). Looking back, I see I never explicitly stated this, my apologies if it caused any confusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by naloth View Post
I figured buying them together reduced the overall fatigue cost. I'm torn on negating the fatigue cost. On one hand, tracking fatigue use is more paperwork (con). On the other, it's a very finite resource for limiting how many times an ability can be used (pro).
Yeah, a part of me likes requiring at least 1 FP be spent, as it makes the choice to use such a Technique more of a thing, rather than the player being inclined to use it all the time. That's also why I think it's a good idea to require some sort of penalty when using several together, as otherwise there's the inclination that if you're going to spend FP for an imbuement, you might as well do all of the ones you've bought up in one go. Letting each FP spent apply to all the Techniques is largely for reduced complexity, as well as I think when combining two into a single Technique (again, like Silver Fire) a small reduction in cost is more appropriate than a massive increase in FP efficiency.
__________________
GURPS Overhaul
Varyon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2020, 08:19 AM   #18
naloth
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default Re: A Different Take on Imbuements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
If you don't have enough points for +1 DX, you don't have enough points for +1 to several skills.
Yes, which is the point. Limited points means you can't have everything. You would have to choose between what you focus on knowing that more points in DX will make you more well rounded with lower skill levels across multiple skills you need. The alternative would be focusing on a few skills, which is already a build in assumption for the game.

The problems with putting everything on a single skill is:
1) Effectively you've made the "attribute" for boosting Imbuements 4/lvl.
2) Every weapon skill is now capable of dozens of new tricks, and all you have to do is boost your base weapon skill to make them all better (at 4/lvl).

Quote:
Consider a character with a nominal DX of 12, and who the player wants to have Broadsword 20 [32], Shield 16 [12], Brawling 16 [12], and Judo 16 [20]
Do your players actually build stuff like this? One primary attack skill, quite a bit for a shield that you use in emergencies, and two CC skills which overlap quite a bit. For the less points and DX 12 I'd expect Brawling-14 [8], Broadsword-24 [58], Shield-12 [1]. Broadsword on the offense. Brawling if you need to do something punch something when you don't have your sword handy. Shield to use in an emergency (which as a defense you'll likely be combining with AoD or Retreat). For a medieval knight, I'd expect Wrestling to replace Brawling with Knife as a backup (or hidden) striking weapon.

[quote]
, and the player would also like him to have Armor Breaker (Broadsword) 20 [36] and Distant Strike (Broadsword) 20 [36].
[\quote]
Now that we have a more realistic expectation of what a player might take, let's look at those costs.

Based on the technique method, the players already has both of your Imbuements a Broadsword skill. His base is "24" is in this example for zero points rather than "12" for 4 points.

Based on the skill method, there's still room for 2 Imbuements to be at DX+2 or higher, though you are getting to the point where a bit more DX would be good. Note that Brawling was aiming for DX+2 regardless so you're not saving points by getting a +1 there and Shield is a backup skill that you don't save anything on by raising DX. Here's where we hit the two fundamental issues: 1) 20 points worth of savings is harder to come up with than 4. 2) raising a few skills to a high level often is more efficient than buying up DX to obscene levels.

Quote:
Having a lot of Techniques runs into a similar problem, with sky-high skill taking the place of sky-high DX, but unless the character is ultra-specialized (with only one or two DX-based skills of note), it takes longer for it to rear its ugly head.
I don't consider having 2-3 skills that are DX based raised to 8+ points as "ultra specialized." We're just discussing which DX based skills you would buy, rather than the quantity, since you're using the same amount of points.

For supers and cinematic fantasy characters, I don't see primary skills in the 20s as an issue. I'd expect it so they can do nigh impossible (-10 type penalty) feats with a high chance of success.

Let's consider where this is introduced to fantasy characters that already buy primary skills up into the 20s. For the price of an UB, they can suddenly develop powers? Note that if they don't have to buy the technique to use it (if it can just be defaulted), then any master with skill 20+ will get a plethora of tricks for the low cost of 5 points (per weapon skill, 15 for all).

I also don't see a reason to raise up multiple techniques under your system. If you have to invest techniques to use them, just do that for the ones you want then raise skill.

Quote:
Some investment is required, in the form of Unique Technique (or Weapon Master, in campaigns where everyone with Weapon Master knows the Imbuement Techniques). And, honestly, I'm not entirely certain how you intend for the skills you've suggested to work (unless you want them to be identical to the existing Imbuements, but that defeats the entire purpose of the thread).
I consider how you buy them to be more of a matter of point accounting. Using existing limitations and different mechanics is a good idea. Simply introducing a system so that Imbuements would be super cheap or nearly free for Weapon Masters seems questionable and unnecessary.

Quote:
I assume the GM will design opponents and encounters with the existence of these skills in mind. If allowing for sufficient skill that this is problematic, a foe who is meant to stand up to attacks by having high DR may either have even higher DR or have Hardened on (some of) their DR, so that the character must take a markedly higher penalty for Armor Breaker to get through.
Sure, any GM needs to take into consideration what the players will bring to bear. That being said, giving the players easy means to have every tool on hand to deal with any vulnerability removes quite a bit of the challenge as well.

Quote:
Also, like Sorcery, this isn't meant to be something where the player can work up whatever Enhancements he likes on the fly for a given attack, but rather has a list of Techniques to choose from (although the player might work with the GM to design a custom option, such as the Silver Fire from a previous post, and something like that I'd certainly require the character to invest some more points into it). Looking back, I see I never explicitly stated this, my apologies if it caused any confusion.
No worries. Personally I would make it so that you need to make a minimum investment to use these regardless if they are techniques or skills. It makes it clear what the character can do.

Quote:
Yeah, a part of me likes requiring at least 1 FP be spent, as it makes the choice to use such a Technique more of a thing, rather than the player being inclined to use it all the time. <snip> Letting each FP spent apply to all the Techniques is largely for reduced complexity, as well as I think when combining two into a single Technique (again, like Silver Fire) a small reduction in cost is more appropriate than a massive increase in FP efficiency.
Yes, I would initially do it this way as well.
naloth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2020, 09:12 AM   #19
munin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Vermont, USA
Default Re: A Different Take on Imbuements

I did something similar a while back. I made each enhancement-based imbuement a Hard Will-based skill (various power stunts, plus Skills for Everyone) but with a 5-point/level prerequisite advantage "Ensorceled Armament" (based on a Power Talent) to act like Magery in that it allows you to use skills to "do stuff" (apply power stunts to your gear), "soak up" the initial penalty, and also act as a base for Using Abilities at Default.

For example, the Armor Divisor enhancement is +50% at its first "level" so a Temporary Enhancement to add it would require a Will-5 roll, thus the Armor Divisor Augmentation skill requires Ensorceled Armament 5 [25] as prereq but then rolls without penalty (as skills initially should), with the option to take further penalties for higher levels of Armor Divisor.

There were five types of armament ensorcelment skills:
  • Ameliorations reduce or remove a limitation (using Temporary Enhancements, treating removal of limitations as enhancements, with penalties arbitrarily doubled).
  • Augmentations add or improve an enhancement (Temporary Enhancements).
  • Follow-Ups add a follow-up effect (Using Abilities at Default to convert the Ensorceled Armament advantage into a follow-up effect).
  • Reinforcements increase the effectiveness of armor (Extra Effort to increase the DR level of the armor, with the penalty reduced by limiting it to a specfic damage type).
  • Transformations change the nature of an attack (Using Abilities at Default to convert the Ensorceled Armament advantage into a ST-Based advantage, often playing very fast and loose with what you're allowed to apply ST-Based to).
Using the Ensorceled Armament advantage as a prereq worked out well. I had a bunch of skills that became available for every level from 1 to 8 (even surprisingly some for levels 6 and 7), though I did some funny things with some of them (for example, the Independent enhancement starts at +70% but then I applied "Cancellation, +10%" so you could choose to stop it and "Reduced Duration, x1/60, -35%" to get it down to combat time, which made it end up at +52.5% for a -6 penalty):
Armament Ensorcelment Summary
Armament Ensorcelment Skills are organized here by their minimum required Ensorceled Armament level (EA). Each skill is followed by its types in parentheses: (A) for Armor, (M) for Melee, (R) for Ranged, and (S) for Shield. Skills marked † require specialization.

EA 1: Accurate Augmentation (R), Cyclic Augmentation (MR), Delay Augmentation (MR), Dual Augmentation (M), Incendiary Augmentation (MR), Increased Range Augmentation (R), Jet Augmentation (R), Low Signature Augmentation (AMRS), Malfunction Amelioration (R), No Blunt Trauma Augmentation (MR), No Knockback Augmentation (MR), No Wounding Augmentation (MR), Reach Augmentation (M).

EA 2: Affects Insubstantial Augmentation (AMRS), Destructive Parry Augmentation (M), Double Blunt Trauma Augmentation (MR), Double Knockback Augmentation (MRS), Extra Recoil Amelioration (R), Hardened Augmentation (A), Partial Amelioration (A), Surge Augmentation (MR), Underwater Augmentation (MR).

EA 3: Burning Reinforcement (A), Corrosion Reinforcement (A), Crushing Reinforcement (A), Cutting Reinforcement (A), Electrical Reinforcement (A), Fatigue Reinforcement (A), Fragmentation Augmentation (MR), Impaling Reinforcement (A), Overhead Augmentation (R), Piercing Reinforcement (A), Piercing Transformation (MR), Supernatural Reinforcement† (A), Toxic Reinforcement (A).

EA 4: Ablative Amelioration (A), Affects Substantial Augmentation (AMRS), Burning Transformation (MR), Crushing Transformation (MR), Flexible Amelioration (A), Radiation Follow-Up (MR), Radiation Transformation (MR), Ranged Augmentation (M), Rapid Fire Augmentation (R), Toxic Follow-Up (MR), Toxic Transformation (MR).

EA 5: Absorption Augmentation (A), Area Effect Augmentation (MR), Armor Divisor Augmentation (MR), Burning Follow-Up (MR), Corrodible Amelioration (A), Electrical Transformation (MR), Explosion Augmentation (MR), Guided Augmentation (R), Homing Augmentation (R), Long-Range Augmentation (R), Reflection Augmentation (A), Side Effect Augmentation (MR).

EA 6: Cone Augmentation (R), Cutting Transformation (MR), Independent Augmentation (MRS).

EA 7: Corrosion Follow-Up (MR), Electrical Follow-Up (MR), Fatigue Follow-Up (MR), Freezing Follow-Up (MR), Growth Transformation (M), Impaling Transformation (MR).

EA 8: Aura Augmentation (M), Binding Transformation (MR), Corrosion Transformation (MR), Fatigue Transformation (MR), Obscuring Transformation† (MR).
Using EA as a base ability upon which to apply Using Abilities at Default was tricky. The penalties depended on the point cost of the advantage so what happens if you apply modifiers that change the cost of the advantage? I decided to just ignore that problem.
munin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2020, 12:59 PM   #20
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: A Different Take on Imbuements

Quote:
Originally Posted by naloth View Post
The problems with putting everything on a single skill is:
1) Effectively you've made the "attribute" for boosting Imbuements 4/lvl.
2) Every weapon skill is now capable of dozens of new tricks, and all you have to do is boost your base weapon skill to make them all better (at 4/lvl).
For (2), I feel the fact you can't use your weapon skill for other effects - improved hit location, Deceptive Attack, Rapid Strike, etc is a sufficient deterrent, although you clearly disagree. For (1), that comes down to "How much should it cost?" which I'll get back to later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by naloth View Post
Do your players actually build stuff like this? One primary attack skill, quite a bit for a shield that you use in emergencies, and two CC skills which overlap quite a bit.
I'll readily admit my experience with GURPS is more theoretical than practical. The reason to have a decent Shield skill is primarily so Block is useful in situations where it's required (such as against arrows or the like, which cannot be Parried without Parry Missile Weapons; if your Parry has been reduced too much due to things like repeated Parries, going against flexible weapons, Techniques that specifically reduce Parry, etc; or if you'd rather not risk your weapon Parrying a specific attack, such as if it was used with Annihilating Weapon, was from a particularly heavy weapon, etc), although the utility of having a shield bash or shield rush is also nice. For unarmed combat, I'd actually prioritize grappling over striking, but both are useful. The high Judo skill is so the character isn't helpless if he gets grappled by an enemy (and Judo rather than Wrestling largely because I feel the former is more than useful enough to justify the +1 to difficulty; if there were a DX/E grappling skill, however, I'd have likely gone with that). High Brawling is so the character can still put up a fight if he finds himself unarmed, but doesn't have to tie himself down with a grapple (although admittedly, Judo is of some use there, as he could rely on Judo Parry->Throw for purposes of striking foes). Lack of knife was because I was expecting the character to be able to default from Broadsword, although looking now that's not actually an option - but is easy enough to add in, with [1] in Shortsword, allowing the character to default off the 18 he has in that (from Broadsword 20) to have Knife 15; this doesn't really have any impact on the analysis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by naloth View Post
20 points worth of savings is harder to come up with than 4.

(...)

I don't consider having 2-3 skills that are DX based raised to 8+ points as "ultra specialized." We're just discussing which DX based skills you would buy, rather than the quantity, since you're using the same amount of points.
I don't consider 2-3 skills that are DX-based being at the [8] or higher level to be ultra-specialized (although having only 2 is still fairly specialized). However, we must keep in mind that, with Techniques, the point at which it is a better option to purchase +1 skill instead of +1 to each Technique is typically when you have 3 or more Techniques. From a "we don't want the character to be able to invest in one thing to increase everything" standpoint, a character with 2 DX-based skills at [8+] and three imbuements is better off investing in DX than their skills (at least until they no longer have 5 skills at [8+]), so we're roughly in the same boat either way - we've gained nothing beyond a higher absolute cost by making the imbuements skills rather than Techniques.

So, now let's look at what it arguably should cost. Note this is under the assumption characters have the option of buying Natural Weapons - in a setting where that isn't possible, a higher Unusual Background cost may be appropriate. The cost of the Techniques, with the cost of 1 FP, is [1] per +10% worth of Enhancements, with an additional surcharge of [1] for being a Hard Technique (also, potentially an Unusual Background, but we'll ignore that for this analysis). A character with a Natural Weapon is already getting all the points invested in the base ability worth of functionality, so we can largely ignore that (always having a weapon "on hand," rather than being reliant on gear, is well worth the points). The highest base cost, outside of oddities like Corrosion and Fatigue (which aren't available as weapons to our imbuers anyway), is for Impaling, at [8]. The cost to add any of the abilities we can get from the Techniques is therefore [0.8] per +10%, and we need another [0.8] on the initial Advantage for Selectivity so that we can turn any imbuement on and off as needed. So, a character with Natural Weapon is paying less for more functionality (no weapon required, no FP cost) than our character with imbuement Techniques. This doesn't work as well for weapons that don't make direct use of the character's ST (like firearms, force swords, etc), of course, but I don't think "It doesn't work for guns" makes the approach invalid for things like swords and bows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by naloth View Post
I also don't see a reason to raise up multiple techniques under your system. If you have to invest techniques to use them, just do that for the ones you want then raise skill.
It's assumed that a character with several imbuement Techniques would only have one or two (maybe three, if they often combine them) that they favored, and would use the defaults for the others, just as is already the case for Techniques. Of course, any game I'd use this in I'd also make use of Tech!, meaning the DX 12 guy who can reliably use even -10 Techniques at default doesn't need somewhere around skill 25 [52], as skill 16 [16] and Tech! (Broadsword+9) [25] will serve (Tech! has the added advantage of "highly-skilled" combatants not having to have extreme Parry, preventing the GM from constantly having to throw them up against comparably-skilled foes to challenge them).

Quote:
Originally Posted by naloth View Post
I consider how you buy them to be more of a matter of point accounting. Using existing limitations and different mechanics is a good idea. Simply introducing a system so that Imbuements would be super cheap or nearly free for Weapon Masters seems questionable and unnecessary.
Honestly, I feel "Weapon Masters can trade skill for extra effects" is a good thing, likely to result in more interesting situations. If you prefer not to have this effect in play, the system isn't a good fit for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by naloth View Post
Sure, any GM needs to take into consideration what the players will bring to bear. That being said, giving the players easy means to have every tool on hand to deal with any vulnerability removes quite a bit of the challenge as well.
Some of the Techniques may be problematic in this fashion - in particular, Ghost Strike is a very low cost (-2 to hit and 1 FP per attack) solution to dealing with Insubstantial foes (who have to pay a great deal for that ability, and a good deal more if they can do anything beyond floating around making funny faces at the enemies who can't harm them). Of course, that's largely due to the fact that Affects Insubstantial is arguably underpriced, being a mere +20% to negate an [80+] Advantage. Honestly, +50% seems more fair (for -5 under my system, and putting it between Common and Occasional*, which is arguably a bit too common but not as bad as the previous match to Very Common). It does mean characters who have atrocious Active Defenses (or don't bother to defend at all, like berserkers) but rely on things like DR, IT:DR, Regeneration, etc are perhaps a bit less viable, and stealth becomes a stronger force-multiplier for characters with access to imbuement Techniques (for the former, things like Armor Breaker, Vicious Strike, Spiteful Wound, etc can reduce/negate their advantages; for both, the attacking character is unreliant on Deceptive Attack, and can in fact use Telegraphic Attack, allowing them to safely soak the penalties). I don't feel this would break the game - particularly considering how effective targeting the Eyes Slits is (-10 to hit to negate all DR and get a total WM of x4; -10 to hit and 1 FP is only enough to get AD (3), +1 to the WM, or AD (2) and +0.5 to WM with the imbuement Techniques) - but perhaps it would at your table.

*Technically, GURPS doesn't charge you for things like this - if you want to say your burning innate attack is a holy flame (for interactions with Limited DR, IT:DR, Vulnerability, etc), that's considered a Feature. Personally, I think there should be a cost; while I'm not sure what it should be for your summoned sword to always count as Silver, say, I do feel the ability to change it is about right at +20% for Very Common, +40% for Common, +60% for Occasional, and +80% for Rare.
__________________
GURPS Overhaul
Varyon is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
imbuements

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:11 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.