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Old 12-28-2020, 03:50 PM   #31
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Mage Blade

You could just purchase the lowest possible level of Burning Attack (that's either 1 damage for 0.25 dice or 1d-3 for 0.1 dice) and then use Extra Effort to boost the level.

To reflect higher magery allowing for higher damage, we know Magery is a Talent so just allow Talent to add to Will rolls for extra effort?

Powers 160 actually doesn't mention this like 172 (Temp Enhance) or 173 (abilites at default)

Maybe to keep it canon, 173 is the better approach: treat Magery 0 as the 5pt base advantage (since it isn't a talent) and the 1+ as bonuses to your UAAD roll.

"-2 per 25% of the starting ability’s point cost the default ability is worth" is convenient here: Burning Attack's usual base cost of 5 (same as Magery) for 1d drops down to 25% if it's a fixed 1 damage.

You could offset than -2 more easily with higher levels of Magery talent to influence this roll. Subsequently you might then use "Extra Effort" to boost the levels of your sword once you've gained it, though as mentioned before that doesn't benefit from Magery, so it could be better to make it strong to begin with.

RAW it seems like you could even make it 0.1 (1d-3) but I think there should be some kind of house rule that penalties must be less than dice for non-crushing attacks due to them getting minimum damage of 1 regardless of penalties. About the only drawback is that you need to EE-boost it 10x to get 1d instead of 10/3x.
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Old 12-28-2020, 04:00 PM   #32
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Mage Blade

Extra effort for abilities is explicitly mentioned in Powers. It gives a percentage increase to the level of the Innate Attack, with a bonus to Will equal to Talent, so going from 1d to 2d would require a (Will+Talent)-20 roll to succeed.
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Old 12-29-2020, 09:21 AM   #33
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Mage Blade

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Extra effort for abilities is explicitly mentioned in Powers. It gives a percentage increase to the level of the Innate Attack, with a bonus to Will equal to Talent, so going from 1d to 2d would require a (Will+Talent)-20 roll to succeed.
I took a 2nd look

P59 (Lifting ST) "Talent modifies Will and HT rolls for extra effort"
P160 "If using a power, add a bonus equal to your Talent."

I think I missed it the 1st time because it's not in the left column (where purple text for modifiers begins) but in the continuation at top of 2nd column.

Also interesting to note here that since it says IF using a power, this means these rules can work for active abilities that AREN'T part of a power too (there's just no Talent for it: but you could prob add the Reliable enhancement)

One of the advantages there is P156 "Crippled Powers" wouldn't apply, like w/ a Cosmic Power, a Wild Advantage crit-failing it's Extra Effort doesn't cripple any other abilities, just the 1 ability itself (unless Alternative Abilities).

Hm, given that, I guess if your advantage is not wild/cosmic and you like doing a lot of stunts/EE you're much better off taking Alternative Abilities: your abilities are gonna co-cripple each other anyway so may as well do AA. I imagine most foes have neutralize/static for a whole source/power rather than a specific ability anyway.
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Old 12-30-2020, 06:33 AM   #34
Johnny Angel
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Pennsylvania
Default Re: Mage Blade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plane View Post
You could just purchase the lowest possible level of Burning Attack (that's either 1 damage for 0.25 dice or 1d-3 for 0.1 dice) and then use Extra Effort to boost the level.

To reflect higher magery allowing for higher damage, we know Magery is a Talent so just allow Talent to add to Will rolls for extra effort?

Powers 160 actually doesn't mention this like 172 (Temp Enhance) or 173 (abilites at default)

Maybe to keep it canon, 173 is the better approach: treat Magery 0 as the 5pt base advantage (since it isn't a talent) and the 1+ as bonuses to your UAAD roll.

"-2 per 25% of the starting ability’s point cost the default ability is worth" is convenient here: Burning Attack's usual base cost of 5 (same as Magery) for 1d drops down to 25% if it's a fixed 1 damage.

You could offset than -2 more easily with higher levels of Magery talent to influence this roll. Subsequently you might then use "Extra Effort" to boost the levels of your sword once you've gained it, though as mentioned before that doesn't benefit from Magery, so it could be better to make it strong to begin with.

RAW it seems like you could even make it 0.1 (1d-3) but I think there should be some kind of house rule that penalties must be less than dice for non-crushing attacks due to them getting minimum damage of 1 regardless of penalties. About the only drawback is that you need to EE-boost it 10x to get 1d instead of 10/3x.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Extra effort for abilities is explicitly mentioned in Powers. It gives a percentage increase to the level of the Innate Attack, with a bonus to Will equal to Talent, so going from 1d to 2d would require a (Will+Talent)-20 roll to succeed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plane View Post
I took a 2nd look

P59 (Lifting ST) "Talent modifies Will and HT rolls for extra effort"
P160 "If using a power, add a bonus equal to your Talent."

I think I missed it the 1st time because it's not in the left column (where purple text for modifiers begins) but in the continuation at top of 2nd column.

Also interesting to note here that since it says IF using a power, this means these rules can work for active abilities that AREN'T part of a power too (there's just no Talent for it: but you could prob add the Reliable enhancement)

One of the advantages there is P156 "Crippled Powers" wouldn't apply, like w/ a Cosmic Power, a Wild Advantage crit-failing it's Extra Effort doesn't cripple any other abilities, just the 1 ability itself (unless Alternative Abilities).

Hm, given that, I guess if your advantage is not wild/cosmic and you like doing a lot of stunts/EE you're much better off taking Alternative Abilities: your abilities are gonna co-cripple each other anyway so may as well do AA. I imagine most foes have neutralize/static for a whole source/power rather than a specific ability anyway.

I need to re-read some of Powers. I use the book a lot, but there are still part of it that I'm not as familiar with it as I'd like to be.

If I wanted the blade to be an item powered by the user, would that be adding the gadget limitation to it?

I would be okay with that. Though, I'd need to figure out what happens if one user of a mage blade picks up a blade made for somebody else.

I suppose I could say that it simply doesn't work, but that answer doesn't feel quite as satisfying to me. Where I'm having trouble is that the concept falls into a middle ground between advantage and equipment.

I have the GURPS Power-Ups 1: Imbuements. That might be the better way of doing it.

Perhaps there's a basic model of mage blade which can be built, but then each individual user has the ability to channel their power through one differently and/or build one which is better suited to their own abilities.
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Old 12-30-2020, 07:27 AM   #35
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Mage Blade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Angel View Post
If I wanted the blade to be an item powered by the user, would that be adding the gadget limitation to it?
Depends on availability. Gadgets are meant to be rare items that are difficult and/or time-consuming to replace (Unique Gadgets are impossible to replace). Unless built with Useless to Thief or similar, they can be used by anyone, but will usually be eventually lost/destroyed/stop functioning/whatever unless a PC who snatches one up spends points on it, for entirely metagame reasons.

If, on the other hand, a mage can walk into Ye Olde Magick Shoppe and buy a Mage Blade hilt, but you still want its function to be dependent on the mage buying the ability, you just put a more basic Limitation on the Advantage, worth somewhere between -5% and maybe -15%.
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Old 12-30-2020, 09:06 AM   #36
Johnny Angel
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Pennsylvania
Default Re: Mage Blade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Depends on availability. Gadgets are meant to be rare items that are difficult and/or time-consuming to replace (Unique Gadgets are impossible to replace). Unless built with Useless to Thief or similar, they can be used by anyone, but will usually be eventually lost/destroyed/stop functioning/whatever unless a PC who snatches one up spends points on it, for entirely metagame reasons.

If, on the other hand, a mage can walk into Ye Olde Magick Shoppe and buy a Mage Blade hilt, but you still want its function to be dependent on the mage buying the ability, you just put a more basic Limitation on the Advantage, worth somewhere between -5% and maybe -15%.

My originally idea was a pretty blatant light saber knockoff.

As I understand it, there's typically some basic level of Force ability and/or living energy needed to use one. (Star Wars isn't always consistent with this, so it's not always clear.) I'm not hidebound to having things work the exact same way. I'm using the general idea for inspiration, but there will also be changes to "fix" things which I see as weird inconsistencies.

I think that would translate into a fantasy setting as meaning the requirements for wielding one (and having it be functional) would be to be a living being* and/or to have some form of magery.

In my older posts, the idea to sacrifice FP was intended both as a way to replace high-tech batteries and as a way the thematically explain the weapon being somehow linked to the user's life force.

I also like the general lore and idea behind how a lightsaber is built. It tends to be a very personalized process, with the user taking time to build one. Often, this involves attuning with a special crystal.

From what I can tell, this is similar to a fantasy mage having a magic focus. But there are also times when people are able to pick up a saber made for someone else and use it, so that leaves me with trying to figure out a few questions for myself:

Can a regular (non-mage) person use one? I am not sure yet. I'm thinking yes, but in a limited capacity.

Can a mage use one that was made for/by a different mage? I would say yes. At the same time, I believe there should be a difference between using one made for you and using one not made for you.

The answers might change as I sketch things out more. Right now, to answer your question about just strolling in and buying one: yes and no.

A basic model might be found, but would be very expensive and require knowing a guy who knows a guy because the materials to make one would be difficult to come by.
One which is attuned to a particular person would require much more time and effort. It couldn't just be bought. A mage would need to undergo the task of constructing and attuning to one.
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Old 12-30-2020, 10:53 AM   #37
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Mage Blade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Angel View Post
A basic model might be found, but would be very expensive and require knowing a guy who knows a guy because the materials to make one would be difficult to come by.
One which is attuned to a particular person would require much more time and effort. It couldn't just be bought. A mage would need to undergo the task of constructing and attuning to one.
My inclination here would be to have the basic model usable as gear (whether or not Magery is required is up to you, of course), with no character points involved. A personalized/attuned version would require the mage to have a Weapon Bond (for +1 to skill with it). The mage could further enhance the weapon by spending points - essentially, treat the character as though they already have the relevant Innate Attack/Natural Weapon/whatever Advantage you would have built the basic model with (ignoring any Limitation related to it being a weapon), then let them spend points on enhancing it. These extra points would be appropriate to have Gadget Limitations on.

Away from my books, but roughly, here's what you'd be looking at (note I may be misremembering some of the modifier values here). Let's say a basic model mage blade does 1d(2) burn with Reach 1. That would be Innate Attack 1d burn (Armor Divisor +50%; Destructive Parry +30%; Melee Reach 1 -20%) [5], which you have for free as soon as you pick up a mage blade. If you want your personal weapon to be 3d(5) burn with Reach 1-2, that would be Innate Attack 3d burn (Armor Divisor +150%; Destructive Parry +30%; Melee Reach 1-2 -10%) [55.5], rounding up to [56] - you pay [51] for the enhancements, but take appropriate Gadget Limitations (such as Can Be Stolen and Breakable) and apply them to the [51]. Note Can Be Stolen must have Useless to Thief - the thief can certainly use the base mage blade without issue (it's just gear, provided he has appropriate Magery if you require that), but it will only do 1d(2) burn and only have Reach 1.
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Old 12-30-2020, 11:57 AM   #38
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Mage Blade

I would use a version of the enchantment rules from RPM. Basically, every 200 hours spent working on an enchantment invests 1 CP into the item on a successful roll (RPM uses Path of Magic, but I would be just as comfortable with Thamatology for non-RPM magical systems).

For example, let us say that you wanted a Blade of Light. A Blade of Light could be 2d Burning (Armor Divisor, /5, +150%; Breakable, DR 10 and SM-6, -20%; Can Stolen, Contest of ST, -30%; Melee Attack, 1-2, Destructive Parry, Dual Weapon, +0%; Magical, -10%) [19]. With two years of effort, and a 19 successful Thamatology rolls, you would have a Blade of Light. A wealthy collector might be able to purchase it for the equivalent of 600 × Average Income, 10 years income for a person with Wealth (Wealthy), but it would be difficult to find a seller.
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Old 12-30-2020, 01:31 PM   #39
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Mage Blade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Angel View Post
If I wanted the blade to be an item powered by the user, would that be adding the gadget limitation to it?
Gadgets mean you need some kind of thing to use your ability which can be either damaged or stolen.

In former case it can be repaired, in latter case it might be usable by enemies against you immediately (they don't need to buy the advantage) where in other cases it would take time to repurpose it (they'd need to buy it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Angel View Post
I'd need to figure out what happens if one user of a mage blade picks up a blade made for somebody else.
B117 just halve the limitation value for "can be stolen" to prevent this.

If they need to be special-tailored to a user to be usable you'd probably want to take "Unique" too. That'd mean losing character points spent on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Angel View Post
I suppose I could say that it simply doesn't work, but that answer doesn't feel quite as satisfying to me.
CBS immediately works for others unless halved.

If you halve it they might still be able to use it: just not immediately. IE maybe you need to attune yourself to a mage blade to be able to use it and that takes a few hours or something.

If you want to restrict who can use the blade you could take "only while" accessibility which is restricted to abilities you have which others lack. B110 has that for altered forms and playing a trumpet, not sure if you could take it while "only while using Magery".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Angel View Post
Where I'm having trouble is that the concept falls into a middle ground between advantage and equipment.
It can end up being cheaper to design equipment as characters minion (allies) than as gadgets.

I just hand-waive why equipment isn't listed this way is because it's 0pt by being dependents too.

Unlike allies if they're killed you don't get new ones, because you failed to protect your dependent and have to gain a new disadvantage: in this case the loss of an advantage (ally).

There's normally a cap on the number of dependents you can have (2 like Enemies) but this does not apply to "Dependent Allies" because that's not technically a net disadvantage (negative points) so you could have unlimited ally-dependents (equipment, hired goods, etc) who the GM isn't obligated to replace like normal allies because the +1/-1 is lost on their destruction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Unless built with Useless to Thief or similar, they can be used by anyone
The weird thing about that is how it seems to function like 'free points' to anyone who steals your gear. You could have PCs thieving from each other and getting instant improvements.
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Old 12-30-2020, 05:57 PM   #40
Pbuckley
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Default Re: Mage Blade

I did something like this with "Spirit Swords". They used Thrusting Damage Progression with Will instead of Striking Strength.

They used a homebrewed kind of damage "Spirit Damage" that ignored DR, but had a .5 Wounding Modifier against Physical Beings, however spiritual beings (Ghosts or Demons) took full damage, but their DR worked against it. (Though if they where insubstantial or diffuse they would take damage normally). Constructs and inanimate objects where unaffected.

Here I'd just use Burn with the (2). For simplicity. Though you could have the Users Magery determine the weapons damage bonus.

Magery 0=-1
Magery 1= 0
Magery 2=+1
Magery 3=+2
Magery 4=+3
Magery 5=+4
Magery 6=+5

Which would be quite strong, but not overly so.

Last edited by Pbuckley; 12-30-2020 at 06:01 PM.
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