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Old 06-23-2022, 10:03 PM   #1
tbone
 
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Default Why holy water? And other questions about holy-powered PCs

It's been a while since I last posted a big batch of game questions. I have many more, but will restrain myself to small batches. Here are five questions related to clerics and holy warriors:


1) Why not just use acid?: Why stock up on holy water to fight vampires and the like? Holy water burns vampires like acid, which is cool – but know what else burns vampires like acid does? Acid. Which sizzles pretty much all enemies (and locks, grating bars, etc.), not just those with a rare Divine Curse.

Acid costs less, too! Sure, the clerical discount hands holy water the price advantage again, but the wee savings don't seem worth giving up acid's great usefulness. So, barring the GM granting other benefits to holy water, why not go all-acid? Maybe acid's danger factor (chance of acid vials breaking in a fall)? The chance of meeting a ghost affected by holy water but not acid? Special-order spotty availability? The "it's genre" factor of holy water? Something else I'm missing?

Just wondering whether anyone else has come across players asking "why holy water?".


2) Splash vs armor: How does holy water work against armor? Given 1d-3 dam, I guess the idea is that 1 or 2 points' worth might "get into" DR 1, and 1 point might work its way into DR 2... but I guess no water gets past DR 3.

No particular problem here. "Damage vs DR" is arguably an odd way of handling whether a liquid works its way into armor, but it'll do for simple resolution. (Obvious advice vs armored foes: Aim the water at exposed areas.) The question: Is there some alternate handling of liquid seeping through clothing/armor, tucked away somewhere in GURPS?


3) Extreme resistance: When a demon tries to use some evil magical effect on a holy warrior, do Resist Evil and Higher Purpose (Slay Demons) stack to create an awesome resistance roll? My understanding is "Absolutely!"; is that correct?


4) @confused: Exploits p90, under "Praying", says,
Quote:
"Critical success means a miracle; e.g., teleportation to safety by the delver’s god. (Gamers familiar with the computerized adventures of @ will find this comforting.)"
I guess I'm not familiar. What is this "@"?


5) Help me put this question to rest: What's the difference between Rest in Pieces and the Final Rest spell? At a glance, the latter seems the spell version of the former, but Rest in Pieces is a super-cheap advantage while Final Rest is one of the more hugely expensive spells available.

They would both seem to have the same general use of "stop your dead enemy from coming back as an undead or similar", but as the undead hunter profession in Companion 3 automatically has both the advantage and the spell, I gather the two abilities are intended to have distinctly different uses.

Looks to me like Rest in Pieces is indeed a cheap (no FP) Final Rest, but with the restrictions a) you have to have killed a living thing, not an undead, b) you have to have killed it yourself, and c) you only prevent the once-living corpse from returning as undead, not from returning as a resurrected living thing, some sort of automation, etc.

So, if any of a)-c) would be a problem, you want to use Final Rest, not Rest in Pieces.

Does that sound right? Or is there more to the distinction?
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Old 06-23-2022, 10:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: Why holy water? And other questions about holy-powered PCs

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I guess I'm not familiar. What is this "@"?
It's the main character in the text interface of a roguelike game.
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Old 06-24-2022, 02:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: Why holy water? And other questions about holy-powered PCs

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1) Why not just use acid?: Why stock up on holy water to fight vampires and the like? Holy water burns vampires like acid, which is cool – but know what else burns vampires like acid does? Acid. Which sizzles pretty much all enemies (and locks, grating bars, etc.), not just those with a rare Divine Curse.

Acid costs less, too! Sure, the clerical discount hands holy water the price advantage again, but the wee savings don't seem worth giving up acid's great usefulness. So, barring the GM granting other benefits to holy water, why not go all-acid? Maybe acid's danger factor (chance of acid vials breaking in a fall)? The chance of meeting a ghost affected by holy water but not acid? Special-order spotty availability? The "it's genre" factor of holy water? Something else I'm missing?

Just wondering whether anyone else has come across players asking "why holy water?".
The biggest and most obvious is that it's only dangerous to the bad guys. If you spill it on yourself, drink it, have it break in your backpack... no harm no foul.

Also if you have a priest with you, under the right circumstances he could make holy water, but acid takes a lot more effort.


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2) Splash vs armor: How does holy water work against armor? Given 1d-3 dam, I guess the idea is that 1 or 2 points' worth might "get into" DR 1, and 1 point might work its way into DR 2... but I guess no water gets past DR 3.

No particular problem here. "Damage vs DR" is arguably an odd way of handling whether a liquid works its way into armor, but it'll do for simple resolution. (Obvious advice vs armored foes: Aim the water at exposed areas.) The question: Is there some alternate handling of liquid seeping through clothing/armor, tucked away somewhere in GURPS?
I don't have a good answer for you, there probably is a mechanical GURPS answer but why.

I personally would just assign the 1d-3 damage depending on my GM perception of how the encounter is going for the PCs. I don't get as wrapped up in the simulationist ideal as some. The idea is too fiddly to worry about a mechanic. If its chain then presumably under it is some kind of cloth that will soak some of the fluid up and might end up causing repetitious damage later in the encounter. Leather might soak in on the surface but not actually seep through to the other side. A Breastplate could lead to interesting fluid positioning after it runs down and goes... where?

IMO this just become a GM toy that you can use to legitimately edge an encounter that is going badly through no fault of the players (GMs sometimes make mistakes that we need to try and fix on the fly), or you can just hand wave ignore it if the encounter seems properly balanced or maybe the chars came up with a really good tactic and you feel like your monster needs an edge so that it at least feel like it was somewhat difficult.

Those ~3 points should not have been the basis for their entire plan.....

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3) Extreme resistance: When a demon tries to use some evil magical effect on a holy warrior, do Resist Evil and Higher Purpose (Slay Demons) stack to create an awesome resistance roll? My understanding is "Absolutely!"; is that correct?
I don't have this one memorized and I should probably not answer till I checked, but off the cuff I would say yes. IIRC There is nothing in either that excludes the other AND the PC had paid points for both.

I mean basically the PC is going up against the exact thing he is sworn to destroy. No reason he wouldn't have a solid edge.

In an "It seems overpowered discussion", the GM allowed the build and created or at least selected the adventure. If you want to make it more challenging then let the Demon have some non-demonic minions or something. But barring that, this is what the character was theoretically built for they are supposed to be walking talking demon kryptonite.


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4) @confused: Exploits p90, under "Praying", says,

I guess I'm not familiar. What is this "@"?
Someone got this one already


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Originally Posted by tbone View Post
5) Help me put this question to rest: What's the difference between Rest in Pieces and the Final Rest spell? At a glance, the latter seems the spell version of the former, but Rest in Pieces is a super-cheap advantage while Final Rest is one of the more hugely expensive spells available.

They would both seem to have the same general use of "stop your dead enemy from coming back as an undead or similar", but as the undead hunter profession in Companion 3 automatically has both the advantage and the spell, I gather the two abilities are intended to have distinctly different uses.

Looks to me like Rest in Pieces is indeed a cheap (no FP) Final Rest, but with the restrictions a) you have to have killed a living thing, not an undead, b) you have to have killed it yourself, and c) you only prevent the once-living corpse from returning as undead, not from returning as a resurrected living thing, some sort of automation, etc.

So, if any of a)-c) would be a problem, you want to use Final Rest, not Rest in Pieces.

Does that sound right? Or is there more to the distinction?
I don't have the books handy but in the interest of trying to answer this completely I'll try from my memory of the mechanic (this one will be subject to change once I can check my own work).

Final Rest is a spell, so there is casting mechanics involved but theoretically it's available to any spell caster as a spell. It takes a long time to cast in a hot zone scenario and has slightly different qualifiers.

Rest in pieces (came later and is based on the spell, not the reverse) is, I believe, intended to be a cinematic version of same that a monster hunter can use 'at will'. It also has the advantage of allowing a situation where you administer the coup de grace to a party member, Rest in Pieces till you can get the body safely back to the temple for rez, with no danger that the Demon overlord will turn your own party member against you as an undead.

"Victor, I'm not going to make it. We both know it. Don't let them turn me into one of those things. Promise me."
"I promise, but I won't rest until I bring you back to me. God wouldn't do that to us."
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Old 06-24-2022, 04:04 AM   #4
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Default Re: Why holy water? And other questions about holy-powered PCs

1. Acid can melt locks. Holy water reasonably has other uses than as a grenade vs. undead. Obvious uses are pouring on altars and shrines, and on cursed things. It's probably reasonable for example to give +1 or +2 to rolls for cleansing and treating curses (Exploits p. 24) and for sanctifying altars (Exploits p. 89) by sacrificing a vial of holy water. Some puzzles may be solvable by using holy water as well. It's also pretty traditional for sabotaging vampire soil (which Norlond Blóðþrysta at least require to rest).
2. Armor protects at 1/5th DR versus grenades unless otherwise noted (Exploits p. 44.). This seems to mean that holy water can effectively hurt undead with armor DR of 5 or less, whereas acid (which expressly armor treats normally) must first corrode through DR to reliably do damage.
3. Stuff stacks normally, so yeah.
5. Final Rest works on corpses, you can cast it as part of funerary rites. Rest in Pieces works when you kill a living foe, this makes it pretty unsavory for funeral purposes. Rest in Pieces also doesn't prevent resurrection, so you might want to cast it anyway on someone you want to stay dead.

Last edited by sir_pudding; 06-24-2022 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 06-24-2022, 06:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: Why holy water? And other questions about holy-powered PCs

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1. Acid can melt locks. Holy water reasonably has other uses than as a grenade vs. undead. Obvious uses are pouring on altars and shrines, and on cursed things. It's probably reasonable for example to give +1 or +2 to rolls for cleansing and treating curses (Exploits p. 24) and for sanctifying altars (Exploits p. 89) by sacrificing a vial of holy water. Some puzzles may be solvable by using holy water as well. It's also pretty traditional for sabotaging vampire soil (which Norlond Blóðþrysta at least require to rest).
Anyone played Darkest Dungeon? They've go the same sort of idea - in most cases Holy Water is useful for sanctification, removing taints and that sort of thing. Sir Pudding has run through the basics ... perhaps another good idea would be giving a bonus against unholy diseases (ghoul/zombie bites etc.?) when it's used as a wound wash?
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Old 06-24-2022, 07:47 AM   #6
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Default Re: Why holy water? And other questions about holy-powered PCs

Also, in a pinch you can drink the holy water. Considerably more hazardous with acid.
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Old 06-24-2022, 08:10 AM   #7
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Default Re: Why holy water? And other questions about holy-powered PCs

You can easily make more holy water in the field if you #dip water into the holy water.
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Old 06-25-2022, 07:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Why holy water? And other questions about holy-powered PCs

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Perhaps another good idea would be giving a bonus against unholy diseases (ghoul/zombie bites etc.?) when it's used as a wound wash?
I like that idea. If holy water is something that well-prepared delvers should carry, I like to provide multiple potential uses for it.
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Old 06-24-2022, 05:41 AM   #9
KarlKost
 
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Default Re: Why holy water? And other questions about holy-powered PCs

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Originally Posted by tbone View Post
It's been a while since I last posted a big batch of game questions. I have many more, but will restrain myself to small batches. Here are five questions related to clerics and holy warriors:


1) Why not just use acid?: Why stock up on holy water to fight vampires and the like? Holy water burns vampires like acid, which is cool – but know what else burns vampires like acid does? Acid. Which sizzles pretty much all enemies (and locks, grating bars, etc.), not just those with a rare Divine Curse.

Acid costs less, too! Sure, the clerical discount hands holy water the price advantage again, but the wee savings don't seem worth giving up acid's great usefulness. So, barring the GM granting other benefits to holy water, why not go all-acid? Maybe acid's danger factor (chance of acid vials breaking in a fall)? The chance of meeting a ghost affected by holy water but not acid? Special-order spotty availability? The "it's genre" factor of holy water? Something else I'm missing?

Just wondering whether anyone else has come across players asking "why holy water?".
The only one answer I can come up with (besides "it's cool") is that holy water wont screw over anything else besides the big baddies. That means, you can use it to identify vamps and other bbb (big bad bosses) hiding and disguised as humans.
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Old 06-24-2022, 05:50 AM   #10
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Default Re: Why holy water? And other questions about holy-powered PCs

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2) Splash vs armor: How does holy water work against armor? Given 1d-3 dam, I guess the idea is that 1 or 2 points' worth might "get into" DR 1, and 1 point might work its way into DR 2... but I guess no water gets past DR 3.

No particular problem here. "Damage vs DR" is arguably an odd way of handling whether a liquid works its way into armor, but it'll do for simple resolution. (Obvious advice vs armored foes: Aim the water at exposed areas.) The question: Is there some alternate handling of liquid seeping through clothing/armor, tucked away somewhere in GURPS?
I dont think it would work that may; the only way to avoid damage would be to be hermetically sealed. I dont think DR would stop damage in this case.



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Originally Posted by tbone View Post
3) Extreme resistance: When a demon tries to use some evil magical effect on a holy warrior, do Resist Evil and Higher Purpose (Slay Demons) stack to create an awesome resistance roll? My understanding is "Absolutely!"; is that correct?
Absolutely. You always get what you paid for.



Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone View Post
5) Help me put this question to rest: What's the difference between Rest in Pieces and the Final Rest spell? At a glance, the latter seems the spell version of the former, but Rest in Pieces is a super-cheap advantage while Final Rest is one of the more hugely expensive spells available.

They would both seem to have the same general use of "stop your dead enemy from coming back as an undead or similar", but as the undead hunter profession in Companion 3 automatically has both the advantage and the spell, I gather the two abilities are intended to have distinctly different uses.

Looks to me like Rest in Pieces is indeed a cheap (no FP) Final Rest, but with the restrictions a) you have to have killed a living thing, not an undead, b) you have to have killed it yourself, and c) you only prevent the once-living corpse from returning as undead, not from returning as a resurrected living thing, some sort of automation, etc.

So, if any of a)-c) would be a problem, you want to use Final Rest, not Rest in Pieces.

Does that sound right? Or is there more to the distinction?
You already answered your own question. That's exactly it - Rest in Pieces is much more situational, and Final Rest is an all purpose spell.
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