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Old 02-09-2021, 08:55 AM   #1
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default hostile spirits "wearing" Path of Protection: Ward down, advantage? Sorcery?

I was checking out Thaumatology 158 and aside from how POP:W affects "supernatural" beings (Will roll to get past if insubstantial, higher of Will/ST if corporeal) where it says the GM decides who qualifies, there's also mention of being able to spend FP to wear down the Power, which can weaken it in respect to them and possibly in general.

Is "hostile spirit" meant to basically mean the "intangible supernatural" category previously talked about?

T159 revisits "corporeal supernatural" a 2nd time (free thrust) so if it was just the same 2 categories that'd make it a lot simpler. It does not mention "magically summoned" a 2nd time so I'm not sure if they also get the free thrust... the previous mention seemed to treat them like the same thing.

(I guess in theory you could be both "magically summoned" getting the benefit of being able to sub ST for Will,

I'm guessing 'supernatural' somehow works out to be a 0pt feature and the drawback of "I can't walk through Wards" is offset by the benefit of "I have special options for wrecking wards", since Wards have a purpose besides stopping supernatural creatures: stopping magic, so it's not like you're only getting the ability to stop something which only hampers you as a result of having the ability to hamper it.

Though maybe I'm wrong about this? If a creature's attacks (FP or thrust) end up lowering the Power of a Ward, does that only benefit their Will (or ST) rolls to attempt to cross the boundary, or would it also lower the Power in respect to a penalty applying to spells they cast across it?

It seems the form that benefit takes depends on whether you have insubstantiality ("intangible"/"spirit" ?) or not ("corporeal") as that determines the form of "free attack" you get against Wards:
1) striking ST thrust ~damage~ (needing "Power damage" to get Power-1)... does that take an attack maneuver? Or is it a "once per second" free action?
2) FP ~damage~ (needing "Power damage to get Power-1) same Q: is that a free action or does it maybe take a Concentrate maneuver?
In either case there's a 1d6 second cooldown period (didn't notice that at first glance), though I guess that just gives them time to do other stuff. Probably something along the lines of "Takes Recharge" although 1-6 sounds like a better deal than a fixed 5.

In either case, I'm assuming this is probably a "touch" ability (must be pressed up against the Ward boundary?) or else if there's a longer range we probably would've been told? "Dispel Ritual" OTOH could target a Ward from a distance, not sure what else.

Only in latter case (incorporeal creatures spending FP) is there a "overall power drops vs everything" although since "initial Power" is specified I think you still keep using that to figure out ~damage~ required to keep lowering power.

I was thinking how the corporeal benefit (thrust per second) resembles how DR works in powers (P108) and how Ward might be modeled on this if using Sorcery to emulate it.

That however is to get a "make an opening to step through" type effect, not "permanently weaken" so I think it would need to be Ablative? But then I'm stuck on how you would get "ablates separately per attacker".

Maybe Ablative -80% then apply something like "All or Nothing - 10%" to "not Ablative +80%" getting +72% for a net -8% ?

As for the "spends FP to get damage" alternative I thought about that as an innate attack but that would be hard (there's effectively unlimited damage) so I thought since insubstantial creatures don't enjoy this thrust benefit, maybe in some way it could be designed to substitute?

DR w/ force field seems to have a weakness which scales up with the striking ST of walkers/punchers thrust, so having a weakness which scales up with the FP of insubstantial foes might in some way balance out though I'm not sure how you'd stat it out, so a handwaive might be easier.

How would you end up getting something like "the penalty I inflict on spells cast across my Ward is tied to the DR" though, if that's how it works? I guess if the penalty can't be reduced it would be a lot easier.

Also not sure how the "new one cannot replace it until the first is eliminated or removed by its caster." is meant to work either. I could understand the prespecified duration running out (which actually doesn't sound like either of those two conditions) but is there even a way to prematurely cancel your own Path/Book spells?

Unlike standard magic (you can spend 1 FP to terminate early) I don't know how a caster would actually do this. All I can figure is maybe using T138's "Conditional Rituals" you could opt to stipulate "the ritual effect ends prematurely if I will it to" ? A zealous mage who fears being coerced / mind-controlled into cancelling it might avoid putting that in though (preventing themselves from ending it prematurely) I guess?

I assume for Combined Efforts (T132) that it's the singular "leader" who specifies these parameters, though I'm not sure what their capacity is to "sneak in" parameters without tipping off helpers. That's probably easily with unskilled supporters (T129: Acolytes) but the CE rules involve other mages with skill in the same ritual, so I'd assume they have some capacity to discern any deception going on, like if they wanted there to be no "premature end" condition but you tried to put one in.

Conditional Rituals also makes me wonder if you could tailor the effect of Ward like "function at lower Power in respect to X" so that for allies it won't impede their magic or movements?

Or possibly even "ignore X" which might differ from Power 0 where in exchange for being immune to the spell, an incorporeal supernatural creature (spirit?) loses the ability to contribute to lowering it's overall power. So you could for example have a "Power 2 Ward" for keeping out low-power 1FP spirits which ignores powerful roaming 2FP spirits capable of destroying it and letting the 1FP spirits through?
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