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Old 08-21-2009, 04:06 AM   #1
talam
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Default Magic Weapons: Innate Attack vs Signature Gear

I'm porting a Cortex-based steam-tech fantasy game of mine to Gurps 4e. Because of how character creation is so much more extensive, I've been making random characters to try and familiarize myself with the system, in the hopes that I can adequately help my players if they have problems.

My current 'what the hell' is magic weapons. I've searched the faq and tried sifting deep into the forums (I got till page 8) but haven't really found any solid solution yet. My issue is thus:

On the faq: it says that a good way to represent magic weapons is using innate attack. For melee-weapons, the Melee attack modifier with the ST-Based enhancement was the way to go. Fine, dandy.

However, within the Magic section of the Basic set and Gurps: Magic, it details how much magic weapons would cost. Something like energy cost * 25 = $ for enchantment alone. Also good.

My confusion comes from the point disparity between the two, and little quirky issues. For one character, I'm building twin short swords, with an armor divisor mod of 3, the ability to affect insubstantial and +1 to damage.

To build this with innate attack - Melee attack (c, 1) -20%, ST-Based +100%, Dual +10%, Affect Insubstantial +20%, Armor Divisor (3) + 100%, Switchable +10%. Since the weapon gives a +1 to damage, I'd use .3 of a die, it's cutting damage, so it's .3 * 7 modified by a +220% modifier which comes out to 7 points.

To build this with signature gear - Penetrating weapon at Armor Divisor 3 is 750 energy points, Puissance at +1 is 250 and Ghost weapon is 250 per pound. A single short sword is 2 pounds, so Ghost weapon is 500. Add it up, that's 1500 energy points needed to load a short sword with those enchantments. Since it's $25 per energy point, that's $37500. Since I'm setting it roughly at TL 5-ish, average starting wealth is $5000, so every point of signature gear gives me $2500. Which means to buy just one short sword, it costs 15 points in signature gear. If I want both, that's 30.

So at this point, I'm trying to see what kind of benefit there is getting the short swords via signature gear instead of innate attack and/or the best method overall. A quirk I'm having with innate attack period is how exactly do you hit with a melee innate attack: it says that the innate attack skill is only for ranged and that brawling is for the other stuff, but I'm trying to represent magic short swords. I also want to be able to use fast-draw as well. As a GM, I can just say 'use short sword instead and fast-draw is a go' but I'm trying to figure out if there's a by-the-book way I can solve this.

Last edited by talam; 08-21-2009 at 04:09 AM.
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:27 AM   #2
nick012000
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Default Re: Magic Weapons: Innate Attack vs Signature Gear

There are rules in Powers for using alternate skills for powers. Off the top of my head, they amount to "If it makes sense for the power, go for it."

There's also optional rules that alter the amount of Energy Points you get for a point of Signature Gear rather dramatically in Supers.
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Old 08-21-2009, 07:40 AM   #3
carllarson
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Default Re: Magic Weapons: Innate Attack vs Signature Gear

This could be a matter of apples and oranges. Its using two different means to determine value, Advantages or Spells.

My answer would be to use the part of the system you are using everywhere else.

If you are using Powers, and so Innate Attack with suitable modifiers, you need nothing more, you paid in points not cash. To convert to a cash value, apply the points for IA as Signature Gear, or Points for Cash, and there is your cash cost.

If you are using Magic, and so spells and equipment enchanted with that system, there are cash costs inherent in the enchanting rules, which you can then directly use for Signature Gear or Points for Cash.

Basically, stay consistent with how your world is using magic, whether Magic or Powers.
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:35 PM   #4
Refplace
 
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Default Re: Magic Weapons: Innate Attack vs Signature Gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by carllarson View Post
This could be a matter of apples and oranges. Its using two different means to determine value, Advantages or Spells.

My answer would be to use the part of the system you are using everywhere else.

If you are using Powers, and so Innate Attack with suitable modifiers, you need nothing more, you paid in points not cash. To convert to a cash value, apply the points for IA as Signature Gear, or Points for Cash, and there is your cash cost.

If you are using Magic, and so spells and equipment enchanted with that system, there are cash costs inherent in the enchanting rules, which you can then directly use for Signature Gear or Points for Cash.

Basically, stay consistent with how your world is using magic, whether Magic or Powers.
Yes to this. Staying consistent will help point balance issues later.
What one GM does compared to another is less important then internal consistency within a campaign.
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:59 PM   #5
talam
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Default Re: Magic Weapons: Innate Attack vs Signature Gear

Well, it would seem to me that if I'm going to have magic, I should be using Magic. The only problem is that I've read up some topics and I'm a bit leery as to how Magic balances with other stuff. I think what I'm going to have to do is just keep on making characters, with the framework of 'Spells as spells, not advantages', and see how it turns out.

Thanks for the help and any extra insight is welcome.
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:20 PM   #6
raven_walker
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Default Re: Magic Weapons: Innate Attack vs Signature Gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by talam View Post
Well, it would seem to me that if I'm going to have magic, I should be using Magic. The only problem is that I've read up some topics and I'm a bit leery as to how Magic balances with other stuff. I think what I'm going to have to do is just keep on making characters, with the framework of 'Spells as spells, not advantages', and see how it turns out.
That's the best way to get a feel for Magic - it balances pretty well against itself, but not so much against anything built with advantages/Powers. There can also be issues with some specific spells, so it pays to really read through Magic (or at least all the spells a player takes.)
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:30 PM   #7
tanniynim
 
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Default Re: Magic Weapons: Innate Attack vs Signature Gear

I'll just agree with what everyone else here has said. If you have spellcasting NPCs or PCs in your campaign who are creating these items fairly regularly, use Signature Gear and Magic. If not, use Innate Attack. I can't stand Magic, so personally, I'd go the Innate Attack route.
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Old 08-21-2009, 05:15 PM   #8
vitruvian
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Magic Weapons: Innate Attack vs Signature Gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by talam View Post
To build this with signature gear - Penetrating weapon at Armor Divisor 3 is 750 energy points, Puissance at +1 is 250 and Ghost weapon is 250 per pound. A single short sword is 2 pounds, so Ghost weapon is 500. Add it up, that's 1500 energy points needed to load a short sword with those enchantments. Since it's $25 per energy point, that's $37500. Since I'm setting it roughly at TL 5-ish, average starting wealth is $5000, so every point of signature gear gives me $2500. Which means to buy just one short sword, it costs 15 points in signature gear. If I want both, that's 30.

So at this point, I'm trying to see what kind of benefit there is getting the short swords via signature gear instead of innate attack and/or the best method overall. A quirk I'm having with innate attack period is how exactly do you hit with a melee innate attack: it says that the innate attack skill is only for ranged and that brawling is for the other stuff, but I'm trying to represent magic short swords. I also want to be able to use fast-draw as well. As a GM, I can just say 'use short sword instead and fast-draw is a go' but I'm trying to figure out if there's a by-the-book way I can solve this.
For signature gear, instead of using $, you can use the optional method of getting a certain number of energy points per CP in Signature Gear. At the regular 25 energy per CP, that would be even worse, at 60 CP. However, since this sounds like a setting with a lot of enchantments available, you could go with the higher 1000 energy per CP ratio, netting the two swords for a measly 3 CP in Signature Gear. Ref p. 131 of Fantasy for these options, by the way. It looks like if you just decrease the $ cost of enchantments by 90% by some means, you'll get the same result.

As far as Melee Innate Attacks - it spells out in the Innate Attack skill description, of all places, that you use Brawling, but you as GM should certainly feel free to allow other skills instead - after all, none of them are going to be less expensive than an Easy skill, are they?
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:08 PM   #9
Celjabba
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Luxembourg
Default Re: Magic Weapons: Innate Attack vs Signature Gear

Martials arts, pg 47 note that using combat skills for innate attack is a special effect for flavor, with no point cost.

fast drawn would only be necessary if you take a gadget limitation.
Otherwise,
It may look like sword, but it appear or disappear in hand with a ready maneuver, due to it being switchable.
The sword look is just a special effect, unless you take gadget limitations.

Innate attack are usually 'more cinematic', so using the fantasy rules of 1000 Energy for 1 point of sig gear bring the 2 cost more or less in line.
(The 25$ cost is for fantasy setting with -rare- magic items.)

The innate attack can be reduced with gadget limitations, if they are physical sword that can be disarmed/stolen/.... And possibly a -10% magic power modifier.
By the way, if the innate attack have not a gadget modifier, you as GM must decide what it can or cannot parry. Allowing it to parry any melee attack is a nice gift to the player, but it is not necessarily so.

Hope this help

Celjabba

Last edited by Celjabba; 08-21-2009 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:08 PM   #10
Maz
 
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Location: Denmark
Default Re: Magic Weapons: Innate Attack vs Signature Gear

In general, if there are cool equipment availeble in campaign, be that magical, ultratech or simply big guns, then it is always much cheaper to get the stuff through signature gear than through Innate Attack.

Innate attack should only be used to create stuff when you could not otherwise get it through signature gear (if for instance magic items or ultra tech is not normal, but your character has it anyway) OR if everyone and everything uses powers.


To make it simple:
If the character could have bought it with money, then use Signature gear. If not, then Innate attack (or other advantages for other stuff).
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