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Old 07-06-2022, 11:27 AM   #41
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Default Re: Why holy water? And other questions about holy-powered PCs

D&D had the 'holy water sprinkler' variant of morning star.
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Old 07-07-2022, 04:30 AM   #42
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D&D had the 'holy water sprinkler' variant of morning star.
I thought DF had that but the closet items I found, the Aspergillum of High Power in DF7 p36 and the Sprayer in DF8 p26, merely irrigate without impact.
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Old 07-07-2022, 04:35 AM   #43
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I thought DF had that but the closet items I found, the Aspergillum of High Power in DF7 p36 and the Sprayer in DF8 p26, merely irrigate without impact.
As noted above, "Dungeon Saints" in Pyramid #3/36: Dungeon Fantasy.
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Old 07-07-2022, 04:46 AM   #44
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Of course I found it in a Pyramid right after I posted that.

Pyramid #3/36 Dungeon Fantasy, p. 12: "New Weapon Modification: Aspergillum."
Good find; thanks!

I assume this mace is built in some way that water is only expelled upon sufficient impact, without otherwise dripping out. (Maybe magic makes it work.) However it works, it looks fun.
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Old 07-07-2022, 09:51 AM   #45
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I assume this mace is built in some way that water is only expelled upon sufficient impact, without otherwise dripping out. (Maybe magic makes it work.) However it works, it looks fun.
The rules say to roll 1d after every attack (I added in parries and "sufficiently vigorous" movement, like falling down, Dive and Drop, etc) and on a 1 the reservoir is emptied.
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Old 07-07-2022, 10:00 PM   #46
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The rules say to roll 1d after every attack (I added in parries and "sufficiently vigorous" movement, like falling down, Dive and Drop, etc) and on a 1 the reservoir is emptied.
Right. So I was just idly wondering why the water doesn't spill or drip out when the wielder is just walking around with it. Gotta hold it upright, maybe?

(Acceptable answer: "The engineering doesn't matter; it sprays when you fight, and doesn't drip otherwise. Quit asking questions and go hit some demons." : )
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Old 07-08-2022, 07:03 PM   #47
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Default Re: Why holy water? And other questions about holy-powered PCs

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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,

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?
Because vampires are originally a subchristian legend. They are supposed to be demonic or at least associated with devils (if I remember Dracula was cursed for becoming Protestant for reasons of state). Holy water works on them not because of it's chemical properties but because it is holy.

As I said it is "subchristian". By that I mean it is from a weird combination of orthodox (meaning "reasonably sound in doctrine" not big O orthodox meaning, "Greek Rite") Christianity and peasant animism. It is of course heresy to say that a virgin would become a vampire (essentially be damned just because Satan says so) by being bitten by a vampire but vampires being afraid of holy water would be something they are familiar with.

That is why the ideas of vampires being intimidated by the icons of different religions does not work. Vampires were made in Eastern Europe and had the context of the lives of peasants who lived their. If for instance they were frightened of golems instead of holy water they would be a different sort of monster.
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Old 07-08-2022, 08:48 PM   #48
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Because vampires are originally a subchristian legend...
Even in a dungeon game, it's fun to revisit the origins of classic monsters. Especially one with as rich a background as vampires, what with the associations with demons, disease, and more. (I like that the game labels the holy water susceptibility "Divine Curse", not something bland like "Weakness".)

So I'm all for the holy water effect, complete with the background you describe. FWIW, though, I'm just asking about the in-game tactical reasons for prepping PCs with anti-vampire holy water. It's a literary and gaming classic, to be sure, but in this particular game, it seems a tactically worse choice than tossing acid or even rocks at a vampire.

(The easy solution: Boost holy water dam to make it worthwhile and interesting - something Monsters sagely encourages with "Divine Curse and Dread are extremely variable; the GM is welcome to change the particulars." I'll suggest precisely that in my next #DailyHouserule tweet, Day 159 and counting. Please follow, GURPS people!)
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Old 07-08-2022, 11:21 PM   #49
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IIRC there's a Spanish folk tale where someone's holy water fails to function as intended specifically because he refused to allow it to be used as emergency drinking water, with the antagonist explaining that water that had been withheld from someone dying of thirst could not possibly be considered consecrated to God. That may or may not be official theology.
Thereís a similar but even more involved treatment in Ruskinís early fantasy story The King of the Golden River (1907).
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Old 07-10-2022, 07:39 AM   #50
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Default Re: Why holy water? And other questions about holy-powered PCs

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IIRC there's a Spanish folk tale where someone's holy water fails to function as intended specifically because he refused to allow it to be used as emergency drinking water, with the antagonist explaining that water that had been withheld from someone dying of thirst could not possibly be considered consecrated to God. That may or may not be official theology.
I would say if the writer was on to something. More it's effect is increased by the holiness of the users intention. Now I won't say that is official theology a shocking number of internal quarrels are over petty liturgical issues (a classically stupid one being whether to use the oldsters or youngsters hymns; which is easily solved by going half-and-half). And holy water is a liturgical issue in the first place. But that story is in the spirit of official theology. After all refusing to aid someone thirsting with holy water is kind of like a priest crossing the street to avoid being made unclean and leaving the job he is supposed to do to a Samaritan.

In any case that story sounds like a pretty important lesson.

Now in game terms a lot can be done by making it a factor of the holiness of the user's intentions. If he goes vampire hunting out of pride his holy water does not work as well as if he does it honestly to save people under the Fiend's oppression. If the character is a cleric it might be a further encouragement to roleplaying a cleric seriously.
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