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Old 09-30-2016, 12:22 PM   #1
Ranger1751
 
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Default Powers as techniques

So I've been working on converting some other rpgs and video games to gurps, and I had a friend recommend this. Design a power as normal for gurps 4e, but ignore the normal power perks. Instead assign the power to a believable skill, divide the final cost by 5 this will be the default level of the new technique. The GM will obviously have to decide new techniques difficulty, but the player can now use the power as a technique based on the skill. Yes they must pay for the power as normal but the perks for the base skill will add to your success chance.
What do y'all think, I'm mostly concerned with balance?
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Old 09-30-2016, 12:46 PM   #2
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Default Re: Powers as techniques

Sounds intriguing, but I'm not sure I follow. Can you give us a worked example or two?
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Old 09-30-2016, 01:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Powers as techniques

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger1751 View Post
Yes they must pay for the power as normal but the perks for the base skill will add to your success chance.
What do y'all think, I'm mostly concerned with balance?
I'm not really sure what perks (1 point advantages) have to do with this and I think you may be confusing "power" with "ability" (which is pretty common but confusing), otherwise this really just sounds like a variation on Skills for Everyone, GURPS Powers p.162. Have you looked at GURPS Psionic Powers which uses Skills for Everyone pretty extensively?

Last edited by sir_pudding; 09-30-2016 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 09-30-2016, 01:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: Powers as techniques

I think the proposal is
  • build an ability the usual way, with Advantages and modifiers, to determine its CP cost
  • divide the CP cost of that ability by 5
  • use that value as the default penalty for a Technique
  • pick a skill (no doubt including new ones like "Telepathy" or "Psi") for the Technique
  • pick a difficulty level for the Technique (because they have to have one)
Then, rather than spend CP to buy the ability as normal, you just use the Technique instead. Put points into the base skill or the Technique to get better.

If that interpretation is correct:
As usual with the Technique rules, there will be little point to spending CP on Techniques unless you only have one or two. You'd just buy up the base skill as far as possible, to attain universal mastery. This suggests that those skills should be as narrow as possible for power sources that have a lot of abilities. (It's probably better to go even further, and add a "Power" rating along with the skill, to soak up many more points than the 4/level of a single skill. That is, revert to the 3e method of doing psionics. Or you could look at it as a variant of Realm magic, with the ritual magic rules for determining individual spell difficulty.)

Abilities acquired this way will be far cheaper than they will be via the normal method. Even a single 100-point ability will turn into a -20 penalty, which you can buy off for 80 points into the base skill (+20 levels). Two 100-point abilities cost that same 80 points total (look at it as 40 points each), and it just gets more cost-effective from there.

Last edited by Anaraxes; 09-30-2016 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 09-30-2016, 01:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: Powers as techniques

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Then, rather than spend CP to buy the ability as normal, you just use the Technique instead.
Probably not, "Yes they must pay for the power as normal", assuming "power" is being misused to mean "ability" here. Although I suppose the OP could just be referring to power talent here, not sure.
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Old 09-30-2016, 01:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Powers as techniques

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Probably not, "Yes they must pay for the power as normal"
You're probably right.

Quote:
assuming "power" is being misused to mean "ability" here.
By far the more common casual usage in my experience :) It takes me conscious effort to remember to use "power" and "ability" as specific GURPS jargon.
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Old 09-30-2016, 01:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: Powers as techniques

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
By far the more common casual usage in my experience :) It takes me conscious effort to remember to use "power" and "ability" as specific GURPS jargon.
Sure, but misuse of terms of art does cause confusion, as in this case.
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Old 09-30-2016, 02:31 PM   #8
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Default Re: Powers as techniques

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post

Abilities acquired this way will be far cheaper than they will be via the normal method. Even a single 100-point ability will turn into a -20 penalty, which you can buy off for 80 points into the base skill (+20 levels). Two 100-point abilities cost that same 80 points total (look at it as 40 points each), and it just gets more cost-effective from there.
Keep in mind Alternate Abilities and Power Stunts.
Its not as crazy as it may sound. Though I prefer the way Psionic Powers does it.
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Old 09-30-2016, 02:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: Powers as techniques

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Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
Keep in mind Alternate Abilities and Power Stunts.
Its not as crazy as it may sound. Though I prefer the way Psionic Powers does it.
Speaking of which, I currently have an Earthdawn conversion thread over at RPGNet which uses the Psionic Powers framework for the pseudo-magical abilities of Earthdawn adepts:

https://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php...il-I-get-bored)

This approach should work very well for many video game powers.
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Old 10-01-2016, 12:39 AM   #10
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Default Re: Powers as techniques

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger1751 View Post
So I've been working on converting some other rpgs and video games to gurps, and I had a friend recommend this. Design a power as normal for gurps 4e, but ignore the normal power perks. Instead assign the power to a believable skill, divide the final cost by 5 this will be the default level of the new technique. The GM will obviously have to decide new techniques difficulty, but the player can now use the power as a technique based on the skill. Yes they must pay for the power as normal but the perks for the base skill will add to your success chance.
What do y'all think, I'm mostly concerned with balance?
There are actually several canonical ways to do this.

First, buy a wildcard power (let's say Telekinesis!) and multiply its cost by 4. Telekinesis is 5 points per level, so if we bought 5 levels (25 points), we'd pay 100 points. Any advantage that could reasonably fall under the penumbra of TK (DR with force field, binding, innate attacks, afflictions, summonable allies created from TK-animated substances) that costs equal to or less than the base cost (the 25 points), you can use. So, you could have, for example, Flight.

The second is to use alternative abilities: You buy your power (TK), and then buy additional powers that are less than or equal to the base cost, and divide their cost by 5. So, again, with 25 points of TK, I could buy flight for 4 points.

But the one closest to what you're talking about is found in Powers (and used in detail in Psionic Powers). You can use any power whose cost is less than or equal to your base power (so I can use Flight with my TK of 5), but you're at a -2 per 25% of the cost of the base power. Since flight (20 points) is 80% of TK 5 (25), it's -8 (-7 if my GM is willing to split hairs). I must pay 3 fatigue to use my power this way.

Psionic Powers uses "Skills for everyone," which means you use skills in place of your base control rolls. Thus, I would have a "Telekinesis" skill, usually Mental Hard. Given that the -8 for using TK as flight comes off my skill, I can buy it off as a technique.

That's the "GURPS RAW" way of doing powers as techniques.
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