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Old 11-22-2012, 08:22 PM   #1
Sunrunners_Fire
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Default [Build Advice] Ectoplasmic Shaper

Disclaimer: I am the GM. Suggesting that I speak to my GM about the details isn't helpful. :grins:
Disclaimer: My games use the multiplicative modifiers optional rule; yours might not. Please keep that in mind when checking the point values of things.
Disclaimer: House Rule: Create $Foo does not require stabilization with character points, instead it requires purchasing any additional duration past the default 10 seconds as per the Extended Duration enhancement.



I have a character that I am creating for a game that I am going to be running online; it will be used as an example build and as either a PC or as a NPC within the game (depending on if one of the players wants to play this character as their own or not).

His 'core' power is relatively simple: He can create ectoplasm, shape it into a variety of forms as he creates it (simple objects mostly) and then manipulate those objects with his mind. It'll sometimes do this all on its' own, both defensively and offensively ... whether he wants it to or not.

I'm currently modeling that as:
  • Control Ectoplasm 15 (Collective, +100%; Link (Create Ectoplasm), +20%; No Die Roll Required, +100%; Reduced Time 21, (+420%; Long Task Only, -80%) +84%; Reflexive, +40%; Own Ectoplasm Only, -20%; Power Modifier, -20%; Uncontrollable, -30%) [200]
    Note on Cost: (10 * 15) * (1 + 1.00 + 0.20 + 1.00 + 0.84 + 0.40) * (1 - 0.2 - 0.2 - 0.3) = 199.8, rounded up to 200.
  • Create Ectoplasm 15 (Extended Duration (x3000), +140%; Link (Control Ectoplasm), +20%; No Die Roll Required, +100%; Reflexive, +40%; Power Modifier, -20%; Uncontrollable, -30%) [150]
    Note on Cost: (5 * 15) * (1 + 1.40 + 0.20 + 1.00 + 0.40) * (1 - 0.20 - 0.30) = 150
    Feature: Able to maintain creations without having to re-create them. Maintaining ectoplasm merely adds the time it is maintained to the creation's duration. Cannot create new ectoplasm while maintaining existing ectoplasm.

This allows him to create up to 2,250 lbs of ectoplasm and optionally shape that ectoplasm into any object (or objects) that takes no more than 168 labor-hours to make as a free action; plus the ability to reshape existing ectoplasmic objects, etc ... not a bad deal for [350].

He has a handful of tricks that he has practiced sufficiently that they aren't power stunts anymore. I'll be writing them up in another post later. Any questions? Stuff I should clarify? Spot any mistakes in my rules usage or math? Optimizations that I missed? House Rules that I don't realize are house rules?

Last edited by Sunrunners_Fire; 12-05-2012 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:38 AM   #2
Walrus
 
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Chelyabinsk, Russia
Default Re: [Build Advice] Ectoplasmic Shaper

Hello.

Is this character somewhat like Spawn from Image Comics? Then I'd go with Modular Abilities instead of Create/Control.

Anyway, it's Supers territory, so I'd recommend looking for inspiration in Supers, particulary Blaster and Shaper templates and maybe Improviser in the case of MA.

And for the cost. This isn't the way of how Multiplicative Modifiers work. This is really very cheap: you have not only discount from each limitation on enhancements, you get them summed. Correct usage of MM for Control is

(10 * 15) * 2.00 * 1.20 * 2.00 * 1.84 * 1.40 * 0.8 * 0.8 * 0.7 = [831]

Additive comparison: [150]*3,74 = [561]

But I doubt that you can really use Specific item for your "ectoplasm". You should clearly define its probable properties anyway, but I feel that at least Small Category or even more is suited better for supposed variety.

And where did you get that Reduced Time (Long Tasks only)? Again, it's ridiculously cheap and it isn't the way how Control works. I'd suggest using Altered Time Rate (Non-Combat Speed -60%, One power only -10%, PM -20%).
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:16 AM   #3
starslayer
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Default Re: [Build Advice] Ectoplasmic Shaper

I agree with what Walrus has already said.

I further feel that you might need to give us some examples for what exactly this PC is going to do with 'ectoplasm'.

When I look at this combination I am looking at ectoplasm as some sort of whispy frail gellatin-like substance.

If ectoplasm is really just a misnomer for 'everything under the sun, but with a 'spectral' rationelle- then its actually create everything with 'magic' or 'undead' or similar modifier.

Finally create only makes a single material- if the concept was 'makes complex devices instantly (IE Gun, crossbow, car)' then create is the wrong ability altogether, at least without a bunch of cosmic modifiers.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:27 AM   #4
munin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Vermont, USA
Default Re: [Build Advice] Ectoplasmic Shaper

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunrunners_Fire View Post
... He can create ectoplasm, shape it into a variety of forms as he creates it (simple objects mostly) and then manipulate those objects with his mind. ...
  • Note on Cost: (5 * 15) * (1 + 1.40 + 0.20 + 1.00 + 0.40) * (1 - 0.20 - 0.30) = 150
    Feature: Able to maintain creations without having to re-create them. Maintaining ectoplasm merely adds the time it is maintained to the creation's duration. Cannot create new ectoplasm while maintaining existing ectoplasm....
I agree with Walrus and starslayer. If ectoplasm can assume the material properties of anything (to make a sword that won't hit like jello, etc.), then "ectoplasm" should be considered a Create category at least as large as "Solid" (a Large Category worth 40 points/level, p. P92). Although "ectoplasm" might be one "specific item" as an element, you've defined it as being as useful as a Large Category, and you should pay for that.

Extended Duration is explicitly not allowed for Create (p. P94). If you want objects to last longer than 10 seconds you need to spend points to stabilize them (or use Gizmos or Snatcher). Consider allowing players to buy one-use ER (25 for 1 cp; GURPS Supers, p. 114) and spending those to stabilize cheap items (each one-use ER stabilizes 0.4% starting wealth worth of items: e.g., $80 at TL8) -- but don't allow them to use regular FP or regenerating ER, only one-use ER bought with character points.

If 350 points is your budget, consider just buying Snatcher (Permanent, +300%) [320], possibly with Creation, Large Items, More Weight, Reduced Fatigue Cost, Reduced Time, Specialized (simple items, -10%?), and "Nuisance Effect, Objects look fake, -5%" (p. P128). To fit the enhancements in the budget, consider applying the Costs Character Points mechanic (GURPS Supers, p. 114; but unfortunately unnamed there) as a 1/5 "limitation" to the Permanent enhancement (PK once told me in a PM that that sounded reasonable), so that the player has to pay for permanent items (possibly again using the one-use ER method for cheaper items, balanced by requiring more character points for expensive items rather than just "one cp per use").

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
... This isn't the way of how Multiplicative Modifiers work. This is really very cheap: you have not only discount from each limitation on enhancements, you get them summed. Correct usage of MM for Control is

(10 * 15) * 2.00 * 1.20 * 2.00 * 1.84 * 1.40 * 0.8 * 0.8 * 0.7 = [831] ...
Actually, Sunrunners_Fire used MM correctly: "...Total the enhancements and apply them first. Then total the limitations (reducing any total over -80% to -80%) and apply them to the result. ..." (p. P102).
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:37 AM   #5
Walrus
 
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Default Re: [Build Advice] Ectoplasmic Shaper

Quote:
Originally Posted by munin View Post
Actually, Sunrunners_Fire used MM correctly: "...Total the enhancements and apply them first. Then total the limitations (reducing any total over -80% to -80%) and apply them to the result. ..." (p. P102).
Ouch. Really. Sorry, that was counter-intuitive for me.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:19 PM   #6
Sunrunners_Fire
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Default Re: [Build Advice] Ectoplasmic Shaper

Sorry for the response delay. Life happened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
Is this character somewhat like Spawn from Image Comics? Then I'd go with Modular Abilities instead of Create/Control.
Artless is his own thing. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
But I doubt that you can really use Specific item for your "ectoplasm". You should clearly define its probable properties anyway, but I feel that at least Small Category or even more is suited better for supposed variety.
I didn't include the material properties in my post as they aren't especially relevant to how the mechanics are structured. Ectoplasm is a clearly defined substance with its' own properties and nature within the campaign's setting. It is not code for 'whatever I feel like making it act like' absent other traits acting on it to generate that behavior.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
And where did you get that Reduced Time (Long Tasks only)? Again, it's ridiculously cheap and it isn't the way how Control works. I'd suggest using Altered Time Rate (Non-Combat Speed -60%, One power only -10%, PM -20%).
Hmm:
  • Altered Time Rate 33 (Super Speed, +20%; Limited (One Ability (Control Ectoplasm)), -30%; Non-Combat Speed, -60%; Power Modifier, -20%) [792]
    (100 * 33) * (1 + 0.20) * (1 - 0.80; limitations exceed floor) = 792.

... is a tad excessive for the ability to shape a temporary created substance into a simple single-material crafted object (taking no more than 700,000 seconds (194~ hours) to craft).

I'll poke around at the idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by starslayer View Post
I further feel that you might need to give us some examples for what exactly this PC is going to do with 'ectoplasm'.
Working on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by munin View Post
Extended Duration is explicitly not allowed for Create (p. P94). If you want objects to last longer than 10 seconds you need to spend points to stabilize them (or use Gizmos or Snatcher). Consider allowing players to buy one-use ER (25 for 1 cp; GURPS Supers, p. 114) and spending those to stabilize cheap items (each one-use ER stabilizes 0.4% starting wealth worth of items: e.g., $80 at TL8) -- but don't allow them to use regular FP or regenerating ER, only one-use ER bought with character points.
My apologies, I didn't think to call that out as a house-rule in my original post. I'll be sure to emphasize that in the campaign's house-rule document (and I'll edit it into the original post for this thread).

Quote:
Originally Posted by munin View Post
If 350 points is your budget, consider just buying Snatcher (Permanent, +300%) [320], possibly with Creation, Large Items, More Weight, Reduced Fatigue Cost, Reduced Time, Specialized (simple items, -10%?), and "Nuisance Effect, Objects look fake, -5%" (p. P128). To fit the enhancements in the budget, consider applying the Costs Character Points mechanic (GURPS Supers, p. 114; but unfortunately unnamed there) as a 1/5 "limitation" to the Permanent enhancement (PK once told me in a PM that that sounded reasonable), so that the player has to pay for permanent items (possibly again using the one-use ER method for cheaper items, balanced by requiring more character points for expensive items rather than just "one cp per use").
That'd build out as:
  • Snatcher (Creation, +100%; Extended Duration (x3000), +140%; Large Items, +50%; More Weight (1 ton), +80%; No Die Roll Required, +100%; Reduced Fatigue Cost 2, +40%; Reduced Time 4, +80%; Reflexive, +40%; Power Modifier, -20%; Specialized, -10%; Uncontrollable, -30%) [234]
    80 * (1 + 1.00 + 1.40 + 0.50 + 0.80 + 1.00 + 0.40 + 0.80 + 0.40) * (1 - 0.20 - 0.10 - 0.30) = 234.

... which is a bit more expensive that the current Create but well within his powers budget; the power interactions are different though. Hmm. I'll poke at the idea for a bit and see what I come up with.
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