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Old 11-24-2020, 01:29 AM   #1
RedMattis
 
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Default Duplication + Shapeshifting

How would you handle a character with duplication which creates their "duplication" in a body different from their original? F.ex. a person who creates "sand-copies" of himself which have a body-of-sand meta-trait.

Here is how I wrote up duplication for the template:

Duplication (Construct, +60; Can only be created in a time-consuming way under specific circumstances, -30%; Shared Mind (Can only fully focus on one body at a time. The other body gets -3 to actions and cannot take the concentrate action), -10%; Needs to stay within 30 meters of the original body, -10%)
Shapeshifting (Can only be created in a time-consuming way under specific circumstances, -30%; Duplicate-Body Only and Always On, -40%)

Both ended up a bit hacky-looking, and the Shape-shifting one almost feels like it should just be a "other body" enhancement/limitation on the Duplicationn abillity.

For the shared mind I did the following:

Mindlink (Single Person)
Telesend (Video, +40%, full communion, +20%, One Individual, -80%)
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Old 11-24-2020, 05:27 AM   #2
ericthered
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Default Re: Duplication + Shapeshifting

I've had a PC use a similar build in a game before: its a strong combination. It was too much on that particular PC, but it was only one element among many.

Powers page 75 has "Projected Form" for shapeshifting, which is a simpler way of doing the body abandoning thing.
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Old 11-24-2020, 05:52 AM   #3
RedMattis
 
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Default Re: Duplication + Shapeshifting

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Powers page 75 has "Projected Form" for shapeshifting, which is a simpler way of doing the body abandoning thing.
In this case I figure the entity can control both bodies though. It probably has more in common with the Naruto series' various "clone" techniques.

And yes, I suspect it might be a bit too strong as well. I think it is Shape-shifting in general that makes it easy way to break stuff.

A character who can shape-shifts into a dog, cat, and bear almost ends up overpaying for the three similar forms. A huge hideous monster who can shape-shift into a gorgeous human-sized angelic form basically gets to be awesome at both social situations and hulk-smash for the meager cost of 15. (slightly more if he wants to shape-shift instantly, but still).

Controllable or highly specialized "Allies" is also an easy way to break stuff.

I feel like making a character which controls multiple different bodies can end up really busted without even trying to abuse the rules. I think the issue lies in Shape-shift, Ally, and Duplication having a fixed cost despite essentially scaling with your total character point value.
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Old 11-24-2020, 06:00 AM   #4
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Default Re: Duplication + Shapeshifting

The character Harem from https://grrlpowercomic.com/ is a teleporter/duplicator. She can teleport without destroying the original (if she wants), and she can have a maximum of five bodies. She only has one consciousness that is shared.

Each body has reflexes, but her mind is a singular common one. She has made each body look as different as possible (hair dye, makeup, clothing), and they each have names.

I just find the character interesting, and have some ideas about how I'd create this character in GURPS. I usually do this with characters that I find interesting.
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Old 11-24-2020, 06:01 AM   #5
ericthered
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Default Re: Duplication + Shapeshifting

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Originally Posted by RedMattis View Post
In this case I figure the entity can control both bodies though. It probably has more in common with the Naruto series' various "clone" techniques.
I thought you stuck "shared mind" on the build. Doesn't that limit you to one body acting at a time?

Quote:
And yes, I suspect it might be a bit too strong as well. I think it is Shape-shifting in general that makes it easy way to break stuff.
With the character I experienced, it was a high IQ and magic oriented spirit that spun off combat monster avatars. High divergence does crazy things. duplicate is a particuarly potent combination with it.

The character I'm remembering is literally the most powerful PC I've ever GM'd though.
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Old 11-24-2020, 06:10 AM   #6
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Default Re: Duplication + Shapeshifting

I've built these when brainstorming ideas, but neither has seen the light of play:

Trine [124]:
Alternate Form 2 (Reflexive +40%; Reduced Time 4 +80%; Once On Stays On +50%; Absorptive Change, Extra-Heavy Encumbrance +25%; Non-Reciprocal Damage +50%) [104]; plus Wealth (x5) [20]; to cover monetary costs for 3 characters.

In a game where you operate as part of a party, itís probably better to pick three more closely complementary roles, such as cutpurse, apprentice, archer; squire, skirmisher, brute; agent, cutpurse, apprentice; or even three distinct apprentice builds (illusionist, elementalist, mentalist, for instance).

For the true Trine, you might add Gadget limitations to the Alternate Form... but since all three beings are bound to it, maybe it can neither be stolen nor broken, in which case it doesn't matter. If it can be broken and stolen, at which point you would be stuck in whatever form until you could repair or retrieve it, then add Gadget: DR 15, SM-6, Stolen by stealth/trickery, won't work for thief, -30% to the Alternate Forms, reducing cost by 9


Siamese Twins [88]:

Duplication 1 (Always On -10%) [32]; Mindlink (to twin) [5]; Telesend (Sensie +80%; Twin Only -80%) [30]; Alternate Form (twin form; Always On -10%; Twin Only -30%) [9]; Synchronize [1]; Teamwork (Self) [1]; Wealth (Comfortable: x2) [10].


In both cases, you are effectively paying points to play multiple lower point characters in place of one, but you do get some further benefits: the latter includes total knowledge of each other's sensory situation and the ability to instantly sync up; the first lets you swap characters in place instantly, and while being one the other two are essentially tucked away in a pocket dimension (albeit, they can't really rest there). So the traditional fighter/thief/wizard, for instance, would let you swap between them as the situation called for it--but all would be weaker than a fighter, thief, or wizard built on their own.

Something similar is possible for a shapeshifting artifact... E.g., hat/shield/sword... or an individual bound to an object using the Siamese Twin package.
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Old 11-24-2020, 07:25 AM   #7
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Duplication + Shapeshifting

Having "duplicates" that are different from the original is powerful because it gives you access to lots of different abilities. In that, it's like Shapeshift or Modular Abilities. It's not a Limitation; it's an Enhancement.

The "only one dupe is active at a time" Limitation is a limit. A chief advantage of Duplication is that you get multiple Maneuvers at a time; it's like ATR. That's a great deal of the cost of Duplication. And if you don't want that, it's probably better not to start with that Advantage as a base and then try to limit it away.

I'd build each "dupe" with Alternate Form (so basically a -10% discount for not being able to use them both at once), but the cost for several dupes is several times the base character cost. (The fact that the original body is still around, but inactive, is an interesting detail that deserves to be reflected in the build. But in this case, the standard AF discount isn't not so much "can't have both sets of traits at once" as it is "my combat monster build isn't
as perfectly effective as I might wish because Squishy Me is still a target on the map".) You get the "only one is active" effect for free; it's the nature of the base Advantage.

The long time to construct another Alternate Form over a long period of time is really just a background detail, much like allowing off-screen retraining of any pile of character points to reshape a character. Combat-time reallocation(~1s, like the Cosmic MA pool, wishing a new ability into existence on the spot when you need it) is powerful. Adventure-time reallocation (~ 1m) is useful. "Only during downtime" (~1 day) is an inconvenience if you're travelling during your adventure, and other wise negligible.

"Can Change Between Adventures" isn't really a Limitation on Alternate Form (or most other traits). It's an anti-player-boredom measure where the group decided they're willing to let the characters change a lot, trading rigorous consistency for fun. The martial artist returns to his sensei and becomes a master swordsman instead of flying fists. Or maybe takes up the spiritual side of his discipline and becomes a healer. If you're willing to allow that kind of change, then "I trash my combat monster form and make a medical robot to replace it" is in the same ballpark.

The hard-core realists would go with a "once spent, they're gone" approach to CP. If you want to change, feel free to spend more CP to get that healer training (or build a new AF). And feel free not to use the the old abilities, but you don't get the CP you spent back; maybe they even decay from lack of use. In that case, the future-proof adaptable pool of points ability is Modular Ability. Almost always impractically expensive because of the RAW pool multipliers. The construct change time and circumstances make an MA slot cost cheap, and you might also allow that concept to justify a lower pool multiplier.

The cheap way to do it is probably to use Ally Group and make them Summonable. (Notice how the discount for identical Allies doesn't even kick in until 6+ allies. This is a reflection of the earlier point about the variety of abilities being powerful.) That gives you the multiple-Maneuvers advantage that isn't part of this concept, so you'd need to invent a "only one Ally at a time" Limitation. That'd logically be somewhere between the single Ally cost and the 5 (or however many) Ally cost, scaling up a bit with more Allies which is to say more abilities potentially on tap. So maybe just grab the Alternate Attacks / Alternate Abilities rule and dub it "Alternate Allies" -- your Ally Group costs as much as the most expensive Ally, Summonable, plus 1/5 of the cost of each additional Ally in the Ally Group. Want multiple Allies of the group up at once, then pay for the N most expensive before switching to the 1/5 cost, as with AAs.
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Old 11-24-2020, 09:25 AM   #8
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Duplication + Shapeshifting

In the case of the sand copies, I would actually represent them differently. If the copies are robust, I would represent them as Ally (15-; 100%; Minion, +50%; Special Abilities, +50%; Summonable, +100%) [45], with the character summoning a 'new' ally time. If the copies are fragile, I would represent them as Ally (15-; 50%; Minion, +50%; Special Abilities, +50%; Summonable, +100%) [18], with the character summoning a 'new' ally time. In the case of Harem, I would represent her as multiple allies with Mind Link.
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Old 11-24-2020, 10:12 AM   #9
Plane
 
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Default Re: Duplication + Shapeshifting

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedMattis View Post
How would you handle a character with duplication which creates their "duplication" in a body different from their original? F.ex. a person who creates "sand-copies" of himself which have a body-of-sand meta-trait.
The simplest to me would be that we somehow cannibalize the Duplicate advantage so that it can be 100% emulated by a Summonable Ally advantage.

Would it be that hard?
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Old 11-24-2020, 11:58 AM   #10
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Duplication + Shapeshifting

It depends of the level of free will and how much different the dupes are from the original. You could have Ally (100%; Constant; Reliable, +10 +50%; Summonable, +100%) [50] for the ability to always create 'new' dupes with great sympathy for your goals (Reliable really only applies as a reaction modifier for interacting with your dupes and getting them to go along with your plans). Since your dupes do not have to purchase Ally and have equivalent level of capabilities, they would manifest different abilities than the primary.
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