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Old 05-11-2023, 01:44 PM   #1
T.K.
 
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Default [SUPERS] What did not age so well... and how to make it work!

So, after a break of many years from GURPS, I got the urge to get back at it and with what might be a crazy idea for a new campaign...a mix of Supers (characters with Powers) and Cyperbunk (Setting, TL and plots).

Before we start fer realz, to get it out of the way, we are past the point of "Gurps can't handle it well enough" and whatnot.

My reach for help here is to produce a concise list of what used to break and/or did not age well in terms of mechanics, so that I can adjust, curate and/or prevent breaking things in the future with a good foundation from the get-go.
The idea of the campaign is to get PCs starting around peak human performance and go aaaalll the way to larger-than-life 4-Colors, so I can't simply ignore any side of the scale here.

If my memory still serves me to some degree, the stuff I remember:

Concern1 > ST - Scaling of Lift and Damage is off and falls off compared to powers stuff, like Innate Attack.

Improvement1 > Is KYOS still the "betterest" switch to go for? Other option would be to just leave it "as is" and curate accessability enforcing "role protection". Pros/Cons?

--

C2 > IQ (and probably DX) are too good.

I2 > Brake Per and Wil from IQ. Probably will leave DX as is.

--

C3 > Injure Tolerance, Regeneration, RD - Could break things in combat.

I3 > My current thinking is "Role-enforced limits", with Unusual Backgrounds to cover ups and downs, like "UA:Brick" allowing X more DR from campaign base, requesting more levels along campaign development to also unlock new limits and possibilities. Thoughts?

--

C4 > Weapons/Equipment (TL9 up to start of TL10) cost in relation to Powers, so that they keep being comparable-ish for the "first half of the campaign". Should it cost character points, money in-game, both, Advantages...?

I4 > So far, for campaign beginning/first arc, thinking of going with equipment found in Cyberpunk/UltraTech up to start of TL10, that can be purchased/accessed in-game, as expected, and stuff like Richness-level advantages could be fair game and eventually when game scale starts to pickup, switch that into gadgets and mechanical -10% or whatever style of powers.

--

Anything else that I'm missing and would be a big deal or corrections on my current plannings?

Thanks a lot!!

Last edited by T.K.; 05-11-2023 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 05-11-2023, 02:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: [SUPERS] What did not age so well...

Are you looking at using the 3/e or the 4/e treatment of supers?
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Old 05-11-2023, 02:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: [SUPERS] What did not age so well...

My more immediate concern would be the tone of the campaign if its combat heavy, particularly the interaction between Super PCs and a Cyberpunk world, in terms of exactly how gun-proof they are.

Lets say they can convinvingly beat a squad of well-armoured rifle-toting corporate enforcers. If thats the case, they will trivialise any lesser threat, which robs danger from more typical "street level" cyberpunk encounters. On the other hand, if they can't face that kind of response, well at some point that is going to happen if they defy the megacorps and it seems a bit lame to have supers defeated by goons with guns.

None of this is a criticism about the campaign setting, its just more where I would focus to begin with. You may already have this figured out of course.
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Old 05-11-2023, 02:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: [SUPERS] What did not age so well...

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
Are you looking at using the 3/e or the 4/e treatment of supers?
4e for sure
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Old 05-11-2023, 03:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: [SUPERS] What did not age so well...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr beer View Post
My more immediate concern would be the tone of the campaign if its combat heavy, particularly the interaction between Super PCs and a Cyberpunk world, in terms of exactly how gun-proof they are.

Lets say they can convinvingly beat a squad of well-armoured rifle-toting corporate enforcers. If thats the case, they will trivialise any lesser threat, which robs danger from more typical "street level" cyberpunk encounters. On the other hand, if they can't face that kind of response, well at some point that is going to happen if they defy the megacorps and it seems a bit lame to have supers defeated by goons with guns.

None of this is a criticism about the campaign setting, its just more where I would focus to begin with. You may already have this figured out of course.

Thanks for asking!

To not spoil much (since some of my players lurk these forums), a quick brief on part of the setting is that 3 BigCorps were pushing cybernetics and "chrome" advancement in their own specialized fields, making the first breakthroughs into TL10, profiting from the arms race caused by selling the new stuff to highest bidders left and right but eventually they all hit a dead-end = the limits on human body support for modifications and "chrome" and energy generation or thermal capacity of materials for guns/equipment.

In very general terms, the side effects of the new Tech were so grave for the human body that even for the most degenerate cases it was still unusable, with subjects dying in minutes after implants and similarly serious effects. On the equipment/weaponry side, they could not power it up correctly and no breakthrough on materials that could withstand thermal stress... which basically led to big money and market losses, since the product was basically garbage for practical use.

One of these BigCorps then eventually led the next step: "What if the base was just simply better?" What if humans felt less pain, or none at all, or had stronger muscle fibers? That led to a series of events that eventually produced the first individuals with powers in the setting... A FirstGEN worldclass Brick would be something along the lines of higher physical stats 14-18 range, DR2-3 max, HPT, HTK+3 max, HTS+3 max, extra HP up to +5, maybe some Strking ST.

So, sorry for the long wind-up, but the idea is that players would start around FirstGEN power level, clearly being above humans but still able to be brought down by armed groups.
As character points ramp up, I will scale weaponry accordingly for a bit, but eventually will allow them to simply outscale mundane weaponry and that is fine.
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Old 05-11-2023, 08:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: [SUPERS] What did not age so well...

Let's see....

Concern 1: Waht is the level of "superhuman" St you're anticipating? Up to 30 -35 or so buying ST straight is fine. It's when "4-color" ST gets into the hundreds (many comic book Supers have ST of 300 or greater) that the problems show up.

C2 is mostly a problem with players who decide "The One Who Dies With The Most Skills Wins!" (Gurps Delusion #1). Give players lots of stuff to spend pts on in comparison to how many pts they have and the problem might moderate itself.

C3: What do you think "RD" is the abbreviation for? I'm not flashing on it.

C4: It sounds like you're worried about mundane equipment not being as good as Powers. It's probably more common for weapons and (especially armor) that characters can buy with money only to unbalance the game.

As an example a player who (somehow) has the equivalent of an AK-47 built into his cyborg body is going to have to pay c. 66 pts for it based on some quick calcs I did. Mostly because he can't take Gadget Limitations for it.

Even if you make other players pay pts for their AKs they can take Gadget Limits and the cost goes down to 18 pts.

The problem with Armor is worse because Gurps charges more for DR that can stop a given attack than it charges for that attack.

My concern would be with regular equipment overshadowing expensive cyber stuff.

Your I4 is why Bill asked what edition you were using. Cyberpunk is an un-updated 3e book and doesn't even use the same TL scale UT does. You're not going to be able to easily mix the two.
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Old 05-12-2023, 09:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: [SUPERS] What did not age so well... and how to make it work!

Quote:
Originally Posted by T.K. View Post
C2 > IQ (and probably DX) are too good.

I2 > Brake Per and Wil from IQ. Probably will leave DX as is.
Separating Per and Will from IQ while keeping the latter at [20]/level is fairly common, so should be workable. You might also want to consider checking out the guidelines from Power Ups 9: Alternate Attributes when splitting up IQ and DX - at least I assume that book has some good guidelines, I don't own it myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by T.K. View Post
C3 > Injure Tolerance, Regeneration, RD - Could break things in combat.

I3 > My current thinking is "Role-enforced limits", with Unusual Backgrounds to cover ups and downs, like "UA:Brick" allowing X more DR from campaign base, requesting more levels along campaign development to also unlock new limits and possibilities. Thoughts?
I'm going to assume "RD" was a hastily-written "DR." For Injury Tolerance, the options from Characters probably aren't going to be available to your cyber-supers. IT:DR from Powers may be; if you're trying to keep things relatively low-level, you may want to restrict that to a low level and/or require characters to take it against only up to Common threats, making Very Common and Universal (no Limited Defenses modifier) to worry about. Limiting Regeneration to 1/hour will basically just mean that characters don't have to go weeks between fights; heck, even 1/minute is typically going to have no impact on any given encounter (which are usually over well before 60 rounds have passed), it will just mean slow attrition won't work on characters with the trait.

For DR, you're going to have an issue in the other direction - even if you lump cut and pi into a single Common category, getting the equivalent of a nanoweave bodysuit (DR 18* vs pi/cut, DR 6* vs everything else) is going to cost be something like DR 6 (Flexible -20%) [24] + DR 12 (Flexible -20%; Limited Defenses: Pi/Cut -40%) [24], for a total of [48]... for something that everyone else can get for 6 lb (negatable with Payload 3 (Exposed -50%) [1.5] for characters with ST 10, less for those with higher ST) and $900 (well below the $25,000 you get for [1] invested in Signature Gear at TL 10; it's even below the $5,000 you get for trading [1] for Starting Money). Generally speaking, a character who purchases abilities that mimics gear at TL 7 or higher (in some cases even at lower TL's) is at a serious disadvantage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by T.K. View Post
C4 > Weapons/Equipment (TL9 up to start of TL10) cost in relation to Powers, so that they keep being comparable-ish for the "first half of the campaign". Should it cost character points, money in-game, both, Advantages...?

I4 > So far, for campaign beginning/first arc, thinking of going with equipment found in Cyberpunk/UltraTech up to start of TL10, that can be purchased/accessed in-game, as expected, and stuff like Richness-level advantages could be fair game and eventually when game scale starts to pickup, switch that into gadgets and mechanical -10% or whatever style of powers.
An idea I've had in the past is, when you want abilities that you could also get with gear, build the gear as a Gadget, then reduce the price to what it would be if purchased as Signature Gear, and finally remove those Gadget Limitations from the new cost to get a "fair" cost for the ability. That will keep characters who purchase abilities as powers and those who purchase them as gear fairly balanced.
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Old 05-12-2023, 10:08 AM   #8
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Default Re: [SUPERS] What did not age so well...

If you're willing to put in the time and brain-power to "fix" GURPS for different genres, I've had good experiences with fine-tuning things with GURPS Power-ups 9: Alternate Attributes. For Supers that would probably mean separating out Will and Perception from IQ, maybe separate Reflexes out from Dexterity and, of course, doing something about Strength. If you're not focusing on fights, introducing a Presence stat also makes sense. Niche-protection in the vein of Dungeon Fantasy probably makes sense too.
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Old 05-12-2023, 11:34 AM   #9
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Default Re: [SUPERS] What did not age so well...

Quote:
Originally Posted by T.K. View Post
A FirstGEN worldclass Brick would be something along the lines of higher physical stats 14-18 range, DR2-3 max, HPT, HTK+3 max, HTS+3 max, extra HP up to +5, maybe some Strking ST.
Bricks are supposed to be able to take damage. A lot of damage. Think about the two large bricks in Marvel: the Hulk and the Thing. Buildings falling on them don't bother them.
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Old 05-12-2023, 01:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: [SUPERS] What did not age so well...

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Bricks are supposed to be able to take damage. A lot of damage. Think about the two large bricks in Marvel: the Hulk and the Thing. Buildings falling on them don't bother them.
They also do huge amounts of damage to the scenery, crashing through multiple feet of reinforced concrete. A RoboCop-level full cyborg is usually stopped by anything more than interior walls.
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