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Old 08-23-2022, 07:59 PM   #1
EonMon
 
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Default How to Make My Idea For a Support-Based Super Power?

Hello, all. Thank you for taking the time to check out my thread. I saw a post on another website about playing supers in GURPS. That's a genre I've never tackled before so I thought it would be interesting to create a super powered character as a mental exercise.

I've always loved playing supporting roles in RPGs so I thought about creating a character based on that idea. My character concept was a hero whose power enables them to "amp up" another super's power. "Amping" would essentially just increase the power and/or intensity of another character's super power. What that entails would undoubtedly depend on the character getting "amped" but I found myself struggling to create this concept in GURPS. I've read through the Basic Set and skimmed Powers in the past but nothing stood out in my memory that would fit the bill on what I wanted to do.

The only thing I could think to do was give this character Affliction (Advantage) with the advantage they give be some form of Modular Abilities with a sort of "can only be used on powers" limitation. This seemed like it would be tedious to implement though. It would seem to me like the best way to actually play this advantage would be to have everyone else at the table specifically note what their abilities look like after spending those modular points and keep that info at the ready in case this character grants them the boost. I guess that seems like it would play fine but it just seemed like a big hassle to have to recalculate this info every time either another player or the player of this character spent CP on upgrading their respective powers. In the end, though, all of this is conjecture since this character was only ever intended to be a thought experiment.

My question for you all is how would you stat out this premise in GURPS (specifically 4e, not it matters much as far as I know)? Is there some Advantage or Skill that I'm missing out on that would do what I'm intending to do? I think this is an interesting ability and would love to see how it could be done in the system.

I also have one other question while I have you. Is there an Advantage in GURPS that allows you to borrow or clone another character's Advantages/Powers? For instance, gaining the ability to shoot a fireball by cloning another superhero's pyrokinesis. It would be done on a willing participant if that matters. That's just my idea of how this character would branch their super power out out and increase in strength as they gain CP to spend, so I was curious if it could be easy to implement or not. Thanks again for taking the time to read my ramblings.
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Old 08-23-2022, 08:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: How to Make My Idea For a Support-Based Super Power?

I think you're spot on with the Modular Ability and Affliction combo. Not that I've done the math, but try it both ways to see which is more effective, a single MA that can only be used to create abilities that Afflict some chosen Advantage on the target, or a single ability that Afflicts an MA on the target, the configuration of the MA chosen by the caster (to match an existing ability), not chosen by the target. (Both ways have multiples of the points Afflicted involved, but I'm too lazy right now to go see which way is cheaper ;).

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Is there an Advantage in GURPS that allows you to borrow or clone another character's Advantages/Powers?
Neutralize with Power Theft, Powers p.97.

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That's just my idea of how this character would branch their super power out out and increase in strength as they gain CP to spend
Spending the CP is the important bit. There's no fair price for an ability that lets you grant yourself more CP (by copying abilities, or anything else). So, "I copied Pyro's Fireball" is really just flavor text, quite fitting to the character, that explains why the character just dropped a bunch of earned CP into a Fireball ability. You don't have to build the fluff text or pay for it separately; that's just good roleplaying.
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Old 08-23-2022, 08:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: How to Make My Idea For a Support-Based Super Power?

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Originally Posted by EonMon View Post
Hello, all. Thank you for taking the time to check out my thread. I saw a post on another website about playing supers in GURPS. That's a genre I've never tackled before so I thought it would be interesting to create a super powered character as a mental exercise.
I'm running a supers campaign for three groups right now. It's crazy fun. :-)

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Originally Posted by EonMon View Post
I've always loved playing supporting roles in RPGs so I thought about creating a character based on that idea.
Me too! Most of the time when I play I play support types.


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Originally Posted by EonMon View Post
My character concept was a hero whose power enables them to "amp up" another super's power. "Amping" would essentially just increase the power and/or intensity of another character's super power. What that entails would undoubtedly depend on the character getting "amped" but I found myself struggling to create this concept in GURPS. I've read through the Basic Set and skimmed Powers in the past but nothing stood out in my memory that would fit the bill on what I wanted to do.
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Originally Posted by EonMon View Post
My question for you all is how would you stat out this premise in GURPS (specifically 4e, not it matters much as far as I know)? Is there some Advantage or Skill that I'm missing out on that would do what I'm intending to do? I think this is an interesting ability and would love to see how it could be done in the system.
So when I approached this problem in my campaign I looked at Neutralize/Affliction too and...I didn't like it. So I borrowed a concept from Pyramid #3/20: Infinite Worlds, p. 7. On that page is rules for "Control (Psi)" While superpowers are not exactly psi, this worked. I then buffed the rules a bit:

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Give a bonus or penalty equal to its level to rolls to use Extra Effort.
Negate or grant up to +10%/level of enhancements or limitations.
Give a bonus or penalty equal to level/2 to activation rolls for all purposes.
For every full three levels of Control, reduce or increase the effect of an ability by 10% (e.g., if you had six levels you could treat Affliction 10 as Affliction 8 or as Affliction 12).
For every full five levels of Control, reduce or increase the character point cost of an ability by 10% (e.g., a 50-point ability could be increased to a 60-point ability with Control 5).
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The only thing I could think to do was give this character Affliction (Advantage) with the advantage they give be some form of Modular Abilities with a sort of "can only be used on powers" limitation. This seemed like it would be tedious to implement though. It would seem to me like the best way to actually play this advantage would be to have everyone else at the table specifically note what their abilities look like after spending those modular points and keep that info at the ready in case this character grants them the boost. I guess that seems like it would play fine but it just seemed like a big hassle to have to recalculate this info every time either another player or the player of this character spent CP on upgrading their respective powers. In the end, though, all of this is conjecture since this character was only ever intended to be a thought experiment.
It's a huge hassle, which is why I went with Control.


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Originally Posted by EonMon View Post
I also have one other question while I have you. Is there an Advantage in GURPS that allows you to borrow or clone another character's Advantages/Powers? For instance, gaining the ability to shoot a fireball by cloning another superhero's pyrokinesis. It would be done on a willing participant if that matters. That's just my idea of how this character would branch their super power out out and increase in strength as they gain CP to spend, so I was curious if it could be easy to implement or not. Thanks again for taking the time to read my ramblings.
Yes. By RAW Neutralize can do that, but it's kind of broken in some regards. See here for a full deconstruction on Neutralize.
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Old 08-23-2022, 09:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: How to Make My Idea For a Support-Based Super Power?

Hmm, Christopher's idea is an interesting take that I hadn't thought of. I'll have to give his method a try and see how it works out in a game.

I agree that it's a glaring oversite in GURPS. Hero has the Aid power that lets you, temporarily, increase the points in a power (yours or someone else's). Consequently, it also has the Drain power which lets you lower the points someone has in a power. Which led to the "I'm going to Aid/Succor Jessica's Presence while Damien Drains the enemies' Presence" so Jessica's Presence attacks were much more hilarious.

(Those and Naked Modifiers--give me some Naked Modifiers, and not just because I'm a pervert!)

I would be tempted to build something off of the Hero method as it's a bit easier than Control. It just requires the other players to know the Points-per-level of their abilities. Eyeballing it, I'd charge [10] for a 1d CP boost that drains at the rate of 1 CP/second. It's a Touch-range ability, like Healing. You want range, it'll cost you.

But, that's me.
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Old 08-24-2022, 02:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to Make My Idea For a Support-Based Super Power?

Affliction (HT; Aid, +200%)
Aid: Will +1 [5]; Energy Reserve 5 [15]
I would limit this to Extra Effort only, but the value will vary by GM so I left it out to make it simple.
The above lets you boost someone's ability to use Extra Effort and also add Ultrapower as an Affliction or perhaps just with Useable by others, +50% if that was allowed in the setting. Further you could add Healing FP only for Extra Effort.
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Old 08-25-2022, 08:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: How to Make My Idea For a Support-Based Super Power?

Thanks for the replies, folks.

Quote:
I think you're spot on with the Modular Ability and Affliction combo. Not that I've done the math, but try it both ways to see which is more effective, a single MA that can only be used to create abilities that Afflict some chosen Advantage on the target, or a single ability that Afflicts an MA on the target, the configuration of the MA chosen by the caster (to match an existing ability), not chosen by the target. (Both ways have multiples of the points Afflicted involved, but I'm too lazy right now to go see which way is cheaper ;).
Hmmm... That's an interesting idea too. I think both are valid, but the more I think about it the more I really enjoy the idea of just giving the other players some number of character points that they then get to spend how they please. I like it because it allows the other player to choose how they want to "amp" their own super power, so they can keep it more in line with their own character and how they think it should work. It would also allow them to possibly create multiple different templates that they choose from when they receive the boost. So, for example, a super with pyrokinesis could create templates that add damage, add skill levels, and turn their attack into an AoE respectively.

I really like the idea of granting an open-ended boost that allows the other player to choose how it is used. The singular Modular Abilities that could then be used to create multiple different types of Afflictions is also really interesting, too. Not quite what I had in mind for this character but super creative and one that I will keep in the back of my mind for the future :)

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Neutralize with Power Theft, Powers p.97.
That's close to what I wanted but not quite. I should have specified more what I wanted in my original post. I had envisioned the ability to copy the Power of an ally (most likely in part, not in full) without taking away their own power. Honestly, though, I think this is just yet again another use of Modular Abilities with some sort of "can only clone nearby powers" limitation on it. I guess I just can't escape using Modular Abilities on this character, lol

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Spending the CP is the important bit. There's no fair price for an ability that lets you grant yourself more CP (by copying abilities, or anything else). So, "I copied Pyro's Fireball" is really just flavor text, quite fitting to the character, that explains why the character just dropped a bunch of earned CP into a Fireball ability. You don't have to build the fluff text or pay for it separately; that's just good roleplaying.
This is very true! I love me some flavor text, but I think I may have unintentionally left out some context that further explained exactly what it was that I wanted to do. My intent was having an ability that allows this character to temporarily clone the abilities of another nearby super. Realistically, this is just Modular Abilities with the aforementioned "can only clone nearby powers" limitation and Limited Use to boot. I'm a sucker for this kind of environmentally dependent ability where what exactly it does/can do depends on outside factors. I also wanted to make sure that no copied ability ever lasts for very long! That's part of the fun.

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I'm running a supers campaign for three groups right now. It's crazy fun. :-)
Ah! I'm so jealous! The post I mentioned at the start of the thread was actually a looking for game post that I was unfortunately too late to respond to. I'll have to keep my eye out for another supers game at some point in the future. All of this theory crafting has me wanting to actually play this character in a real campaign now lol

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Me too! Most of the time when I play I play support types.
Support characters are just too fun. I love being able to pump up another member of the party and watch them feel badass as their character does something cool with my help :)

Quote:
So when I approached this problem in my campaign I looked at Neutralize/Affliction too and...I didn't like it. So I borrowed a concept from Pyramid #3/20: Infinite Worlds, p. 7. On that page is rules for "Control (Psi)" While superpowers are not exactly psi, this worked. I then buffed the rules a bit:
This one is pretty perfect. I really like what you've listed out here. Since making the thread, my idea of what exactly I want to do with this character's Power has changed but this is exactly what I wanted to do originally. I think it's a much more elegant solution than Affliction and Modular Abilities, too.

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Yes. By RAW Neutralize can do that, but it's kind of broken in some regards. See here for a full deconstruction on Neutralize.
Beautiful. I haven't read this yet but I love deep dives and deconstructions of game mechanics like that so I will definitely commit to reading that when I get the chance. Thanks for the link!

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I agree that it's a glaring oversite in GURPS. Hero has the Aid power that lets you, temporarily, increase the points in a power (yours or someone else's). Consequently, it also has the Drain power which lets you lower the points someone has in a power. Which led to the "I'm going to Aid/Succor Jessica's Presence while Damien Drains the enemies' Presence" so Jessica's Presence attacks were much more hilarious.
I can't believe this isn't already an Advantage in GURPS. The game is really good at predicting most things a player might want to do already, so it's a bit of a bummer that this isn't in the source books yet. At least we've managed to find some ways to represent it regardless since the game is so flexible. That's the best part of GURPS!

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I would be tempted to build something off of the Hero method as it's a bit easier than Control. It just requires the other players to know the Points-per-level of their abilities. Eyeballing it, I'd charge [10] for a 1d CP boost that drains at the rate of 1 CP/second. It's a Touch-range ability, like Healing. You want range, it'll cost you.
I really like this interpretation too. I worry about how it might actually play in combat but there's really only one way to find out. This is one of the things I love most about GURPS though. I had a very specific thing I wanted to be able to do with a character in the game and we've somehow managed to find three or four different ways of making that concept work already.

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Affliction (HT; Aid, +200%)
Aid: Will +1 [5]; Energy Reserve 5 [15]
I would limit this to Extra Effort only, but the value will vary by GM so I left it out to make it simple.
I thought about something like this but the problem I had with it was that I wanted to ensure that the Power I was building could be used in as many situations as possible. I worried that with something that added to another character's attributes would limit the ability of this character to use their Power to help in certain situations. Still, this is another cool ability that I'm enjoying seeing all worked out like this.

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The above lets you boost someone's ability to use Extra Effort and also add Ultrapower as an Affliction or perhaps just with Useable by others, +50% if that was allowed in the setting. Further you could add Healing FP only for Extra Effort.
I had no idea what Ultrapower was before reading your response. So, uh... thanks for informing me that GURPS Supers was a thing as well. I thought Powers was the only superhero or superhero adjacent source book I could acquire. I'll have to pick that one up at some point.


Whew. I really ought to respond more swiftly next time so that there's not as much to respond to. Thanks again for the responses, everyone. This has been a really positive experience so far :)
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Old 08-25-2022, 08:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: How to Make My Idea For a Support-Based Super Power?

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Ah! I'm so jealous! The post I mentioned at the start of the thread was actually a looking for game post that I was unfortunately too late to respond to. I'll have to keep my eye out for another supers game at some point in the future. All of this theory crafting has me wanting to actually play this character in a real campaign now lol
Hey, man. Send me your dets via PM and if I get a spot we can chat. :-)

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Support characters are just too fun. I love being able to pump up another member of the party and watch them feel badass as their character does something cool with my help :)
They really are. I was always the cleric or paladin when I played DnD because I could soup up my fellow players to be awesome or heal them so they could be more awesome.

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This one is pretty perfect. I really like what you've listed out here. Since making the thread, my idea of what exactly I want to do with this character's Power has changed but this is exactly what I wanted to do originally. I think it's a much more elegant solution than Affliction and Modular Abilities, too.
It's got 6 years of actual playtesting behind it too so it's been tweaked and evolved a bit as I've gone. Been in it's current state for about 2-3 years.

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Beautiful. I haven't read this yet but I love deep dives and deconstructions of game mechanics like that so I will definitely commit to reading that when I get the chance. Thanks for the link!
No worries. :-)
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Old 08-26-2022, 04:41 AM   #8
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Default Re: How to Make My Idea For a Support-Based Super Power?

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Originally Posted by EonMon View Post
The only thing I could think to do was give this character Affliction (Advantage) with the advantage they give be some form of Modular Abilities with a sort of "can only be used on powers" limitation. This seemed like it would be tedious to implement though. It would seem to me like the best way to actually play this advantage would be to have everyone else at the table specifically note what their abilities look like after spending those modular points and keep that info at the ready in case this character grants them the boost. I guess that seems like it would play fine but it just seemed like a big hassle to have to recalculate this info every time either another player or the player of this character spent CP on upgrading their respective powers. In the end, though, all of this is conjecture since this character was only ever intended to be a thought experiment.
Nah, using Thaumatology: Sorcery as a guide you want Variable Enhancement, this exact modifier: "Variable Enhancement, Any 1-point trait, Margin-Based, +300%" means that for every point you succeed on a skill role, probably your attack role to hit, you grant your target a single point worth of Advantages.

Sorry, I've been having some similar thoughts along these lines, wanting to work out a Cheerleader support class for DF, and have been doing some research.
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Old 08-26-2022, 07:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: How to Make My Idea For a Support-Based Super Power?

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Hey, man. Send me your dets via PM and if I get a spot we can chat. :-)
That's so generous of you! Thank you so much for the offer. I will definitely take you up on it~ :)

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They really are. I was always the cleric or paladin when I played DnD because I could soup up my fellow players to be awesome or heal them so they could be more awesome.
My one and only D&D character was a sad Dwarven Forge cleric who was the only person who voted against making him the party leader since the group was so smitten with him, haha. I loved that boy and his slow descent from Lawful Good to Chaotic Evil...

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It's got 6 years of actual playtesting behind it too so it's been tweaked and evolved a bit as I've gone. Been in it's current state for about 2-3 years.
It looks like it. All of the specifics are so... specific. It has the feel of something that's been run through more than a couple challenges, lol

Quote:
Nah, using Thaumatology: Sorcery as a guide you want Variable Enhancement, this exact modifier: "Variable Enhancement, Any 1-point trait, Margin-Based, +300%" means that for every point you succeed on a skill role, probably your attack role to hit, you grant your target a single point worth of Advantages.

Sorry, I've been having some similar thoughts along these lines, wanting to work out a Cheerleader support class for DF, and have been doing some research.
I really ought to get the Thaumatology books. Unfortunately, I don't have them yet. I don't have any reference to how they play but from what little I could find on Google (to be fair I really didn't search too much), this seems like it's doing something similar to what I want. Though, again, I don't have any of the Thaumatology books so I would probably skip out on this. Thank you for the suggestion though! I hope the support class ends up working well at the table :)
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Old 08-26-2022, 07:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: How to Make My Idea For a Support-Based Super Power?

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I really ought to get the Thaumatology books. Unfortunately, I don't have them yet. I don't have any reference to how they play but from what little I could find on Google (to be fair I really didn't search too much), this seems like it's doing something similar to what I want. Though, again, I don't have any of the Thaumatology books so I would probably skip out on this. Thank you for the suggestion though! I hope the support class ends up working well at the table :)
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