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Old 12-22-2020, 04:56 PM   #1
Proteus
 
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Default Question re: Limited Use and Preparation Required (in Modular Ability)

I'm converting an ability from an old supplement for That Other Game, but it brings up a question about how the Limited Use limitation interacts with Preparation Required limitation when using Modular Abilities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Book of Eldritch Might
Graven Image.. The graven one can inscribe one image of an animal, beast, or magical beast on her flesh.... Inscribing this image takes 10 minutes, and it can be activated at any time afterward as a free action. When activated, the image leaps from the graven one's body and becomes a real version of that creature. It remains for one minute per level or until slain, obeying the graven one's mental commands (issued as free actions).
That seems to translate pretty clearly as:
Graven Image: Mindlink (Graven Image) [5] + Modular Ability (5 points base + 3 per point; Limited, only Allies with Minion and Summonable, -50%; Preparation Required, 10 minutes, -30%; Requires Skill Roll, vs. Artist, +0%; Social, only social advantages, +0%, Temporary Disadvantage: Distinctive Feature, tattoo, -0%) [1 point base + 0.6 points per point of abilities] + Telesend (Accessibility: only with Graven Image, -80%) [6]. 12 + 0.6 points per point of Ally advantage.
Allies would take Minion (+50%), Summonable (+100%), Limited Use (1/day, -40%), and Maximum Duration (up to 10 minutes, -50%), for a total of +60%. Assessing those modifiers after the 4x for Constant Availability, you get the following levels:
  • 17 points for a 25% Ally.
  • 20 points for a 50% Ally.
  • 24 points for a 75% Ally.
  • 32 points for a 100% Ally.
  • 51 points for a 150% Ally.
Now, my question: is there something more limiting than Limited Use?

Limited Use (1/day) doesn't seem to quite fit the ability's initial description. If a "graven one" uses the ability, the image shouldn't reset after 24 hours, despite the limitation's name. In fact, if the character is imprisoned and denied access to artistic equipment, the ability will never reset.

On the other hand, the situation doesn't seem on a level with "One-Time Powers" from GURPS Supers, in that there is a way to reset the power, so vaporizing character points along with the power doesn't make sense, and a 1/5 multiplier for the whole power does seem rather munchkinish.

In the ability as built above, Preparation Required applies to the Modular Ability. Should it also apply to the Ally advantage itself contained in the slot, reducing its modifier cost from +60% to +30%, and representing the fact that, not only does the reallocation of points require preparation, so does any simple "reloading" of the initial ability?

I could see this question also applying to Vancian spell systems, which would encounter the same difficulty with Limited Use (1/day) not reflecting the fact that spell-book study is required not only to change the repertoire of spells, but also to re-enable them after their single allowed casting.

Thanks for any help that the GURPS collective can provide!
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Old 12-22-2020, 06:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Question re: Limited Use and Preparation Required (in Modular Ability)

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Originally Posted by Proteus View Post
In the ability as built above, Preparation Required applies to the Modular Ability. Should it also apply to the Ally advantage itself contained in the slot, reducing its modifier cost from +60% to +30%, and representing the fact that, not only does the reallocation of points require preparation, so does any simple "reloading" of the initial ability?
This might be the simplest and cleanest solution, IMO.
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Old 12-22-2020, 06:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Question re: Limited Use and Preparation Required (in Modular Ability)

Limited use would not be on the Minion ability, but on the modular ability like with preparation required.

Limited use on modular abilities means that every time you use it you have to redo/reorganize/ spend the allotted time needed to use it again.

In your example, once the user has prepared the ability, they can use it only once per day. If they use it then they have to again spend 10 minutes preparing it. I assume the cost of the modular ability is 5 base and 4 per point. The 4 is because it is subject to external influence, such as needing art supplies. If not, you need to add that limitation into the cost.


Also, You can't have social only on the ally ability because it has the summonable modifier, which turns it into a supernatural advantage instead of a social one.
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Old 12-22-2020, 07:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: Question re: Limited Use and Preparation Required (in Modular Ability)

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Originally Posted by zoncxs View Post
Limited use would not be on the Minion ability, but on the modular ability like with preparation required.
But that would mean that the Modular Ability could only be rearranged once per day... which is not part of the original description. The one-time usage limit is on the abilities, not on their allocation.

Quote:
I assume the cost of the modular ability is 5 base and 4 per point. The 4 is because it is subject to external influence, such as needing art supplies. If not, you need to add that limitation into the cost.
I assumed a cost of 5 per slot and then 3 per point. Per Powers p. 63. the per-point cost is 3 if rearranging slots is any two of costly, slow, or subject to external interference. The engraving process is certainly subject to external interference. Other variations of Modular Abilities seem to set a second per point as "slow," so I'm assuming that qualifies even before the Preparation Required.

Quote:
Also, You can't have social only on the ally ability because it has the summonable modifier, which turns it into a supernatural advantage instead of a social one.
Wouldn't that just make them supernatural social abilities? "Supernatural" would seem to belong to a different axis of descriptions than do the categories Physical, Mental, and Social.
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Old 12-22-2020, 07:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: Question re: Limited Use and Preparation Required (in Modular Ability)

As I think on it, Limited Use isn't really appropriate at all for the modular abilities themselves: theoretically, looking at the initial description, one could invoke the single use of the power, take ten minutes to re-engrave, invoke again, and so on and so on, for far more than a single use per day. The limitation lies in the need to prepare, not in any rationing by time period.

So we need a Modular Ability in which re-allocation of points is limited by Preparation Required, and in which the allocated slots are themselves limited by the same Preparation Required (in that re-enabling them after use amounts essentially to the same process as re-allocation of points).

But is it double-dipping if both the Modular Ability and the modules themselves use Preparation Required (10 minutes, -30%) to represent this process, and the modules then don't take Limited Use (1/day, -40%)?
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Old 12-22-2020, 08:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: Question re: Limited Use and Preparation Required (in Modular Ability)

Ah, yeah, my mistake on the limited use part then and cost. I agree with the above. Limited use is not needed because preparation required makes you have to rearrange the points, even if you are using the same thing again.


You are also right that it is still a social advantage, its just no longer a mundane social, but a supernatural social one. I forget that GURPS has two "classes" for advantages/disadvantages:

Social, Physical, Mental.
and
Exotic, Supernatural, Mundane.
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