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Old 04-13-2018, 05:43 PM   #1
Sorenant
 
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Default Imbuement for cheap?

A while ago I made a thread with similar question from which I got good answers but because I have a new question and the last thread ended up derailing into a discussion about the Neutralize advantage so I decided to make another thread.

Long story short, is there any optional or house rule that makes imbuements "cheaper" to use on characters with small to moderate point budget?

I ask this because as I said last thread I find Imbuements to be too expensive to be used. First of all there's the high buy-in: most useful imbuements requires Imbue 3 which costs 40 points, then there's the VH skills and the talent to help with those. This wouldn't be too bad considering the versatility of this power if not for the second point: It requires FP to activate. Unless you buy more FP or EP, which is hard considering the above mentioned buy-in and the rest of the character, most characters will have around 10 FP to use before getting exhausted, which means 10 attempts or less if using multiple skills.
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Old 04-13-2018, 06:42 PM   #2
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: Imbuement for cheap?

I feel the same answers as last time also apply to your questions: "useful" imbuements can be purchased at levels 1 and 2 of Imbue, and if you want to avoid the FP cost, buying up the skill to a level where you can regularly soak the -5 for no FP is a reasonable option.

Or, again as suggested before, you could take a page from the Sorcery system, and replace the straight-up FP cost with a "choose two of these limitations from among three or four options". To be balanced, each of those options should be worth about -10% (counting "Costs 1 FP" as a sort of stealth -10%, rather than -5%). So, you could have choices of "costs 1 FP", "requires an elaborate kata" (Takes Extra Time 1), "Makes your attack very obvious, giving a bonus to opponent's defense" (I figure a limitation of "Gives +1 to defense rolls against it" is worth -10%), and "Makes you really obvious, both visually and spiritually" (basically a combination of two -5% Nuisance Effects for being obvious in two different ways). Using this scheme, your imbuers would have the choice of any of the above two options, which provides a good set of tactical choices and should preserve some of their FP, at least when they're in situations where they can afford to be non-stealthy, have their attacks defended against more often, or attacking less often.

Other options exist to reduce the cost of Imbue as well. If you think you'll only be taking a few imbuement skills, the Limited Skill option is valid. Limiting Imbue to only improving a specific category of weapons or armor is also valid, though you have to make sure that's actually a limitation: "Broadsword only" is probably worth -50% or so on Imbue, because lots of other imbuement skills would default to Broadsword, which would be cut off by this, whereas "Whip only" might be worth only -30% or so, since very few things default to Whip.
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Imbuement for cheap?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorenant View Post
A while ago I made a thread with similar question from which I got good answers but because I have a new question and the last thread ended up derailing into a discussion about the Neutralize advantage so I decided to make another thread.

Long story short, is there any optional or house rule that makes imbuements "cheaper" to use on characters with small to moderate point budget?
<shrug> You can just arbitrarily change the point cost if you feel so inclined, but for low point total character it often makes sense to get single skill imbuements so you can just do that one awesome trick.
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: Imbuement for cheap?

Imbuement 3 with limitation on source (chi/psi/whatever, -10%) and nr of skills (3, -40%) is 20 points. You can further add something like nuisance effect, -5%, and takes 5 recharge, -10%, for a total of 14 points.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:36 AM   #5
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Imbuement for cheap?

You could also shift over to action points and charge fewer AP than the AP:FP ratio.

So if 1 FP is 10 AP, anything LESS than 10AP will be a more favorable exchange ratio than the usual cost for these, and therefore can be tuned for "cheap."
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Old 04-14-2018, 01:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: Imbuement for cheap?

Thanks for the replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
I feel the same answers as last time also apply to your questions: "useful" imbuements can be purchased at levels 1 and 2 of Imbue, and if you want to avoid the FP cost, buying up the skill to a level where you can regularly soak the -5 for no FP is a reasonable option.
I admit there's good imbuements available at level 2 (eg Guided, Telescoping, and Ghostly) but Imbue 3 unlocks the really good stuff that makes it worth getting like Penetrating, Shockwave, and Cutting.
Raising skill to soak the -5 is not hard if you use the Efficient Imbuement option but for characters with modest point budget it's difficult to have the extra points needed after all the buy-ins. On the other hand, as David Johnston2 said on the last thread, one could roll at -5 and hope for the best without any penalty except on critical failures. It's unreliable and the critical is scary but it's an interesting option for low point characters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
Or, again as suggested before, you could take a page from the Sorcery system, and replace the straight-up FP cost with a "choose two of these limitations from among three or four options". To be balanced, each of those options should be worth about -10% (counting "Costs 1 FP" as a sort of stealth -10%, rather than -5%). So, you could have choices of "costs 1 FP", "requires an elaborate kata" (Takes Extra Time 1), "Makes your attack very obvious, giving a bonus to opponent's defense" (I figure a limitation of "Gives +1 to defense rolls against it" is worth -10%), and "Makes you really obvious, both visually and spiritually" (basically a combination of two -5% Nuisance Effects for being obvious in two different ways). Using this scheme, your imbuers would have the choice of any of the above two options, which provides a good set of tactical choices and should preserve some of their FP, at least when they're in situations where they can afford to be non-stealthy, have their attacks defended against more often, or attacking less often.
Sorry for not replying on the last thread but I really like those, thanks for suggesting. What do you think about a limitation that requires some sort of "amplifier"? For example, quarterstaff with power stones embedded or swords with magical etchings on the blade (using the styling option)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
Other options exist to reduce the cost of Imbue as well. If you think you'll only be taking a few imbuement skills, the Limited Skill option is valid. Limiting Imbue to only improving a specific category of weapons or armor is also valid, though you have to make sure that's actually a limitation: "Broadsword only" is probably worth -50% or so on Imbue, because lots of other imbuement skills would default to Broadsword, which would be cut off by this, whereas "Whip only" might be worth only -30% or so, since very few things default to Whip.
I would rather not vary the limitation depending on the weapon. Whips are not very effective already, I don't think they need to be punished anymore.

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
<shrug> You can just arbitrarily change the point cost if you feel so inclined, but for low point total character it often makes sense to get single skill imbuements so you can just do that one awesome trick.
I'm not fan of arbitrary changes, it's one of the reasons I prefer GURPS and its solid framework for tweaking things.
Your don't disagree with your suggestion, low point characters shouldn't be able to pull out the same tricks are high powered badasses, but the high buy-ins makes it inefficient to pick only a single skill. Even if a I allow the character to buy off "one skill only" limitation later, a character who wants only Penetrating imbuement would have to pay 8 points for the limited Imbue 3 and 8 more points to raise the skill to DX. With 16 points he could have bought Targetted Attack to chinks for similar effect (though not every DR has chink to target) or something else useful and reliable (that doesn't require rolls).

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Originally Posted by Ji ji View Post
Imbuement 3 with limitation on source (chi/psi/whatever, -10%) and nr of skills (3, -40%) is 20 points. You can further add something like nuisance effect, -5%, and takes 5 recharge, -10%, for a total of 14 points.
I haven't thought of the requires recharge limitation, it's an interesting option.

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Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
You could also shift over to action points and charge fewer AP than the AP:FP ratio.

So if 1 FP is 10 AP, anything LESS than 10AP will be a more favorable exchange ratio than the usual cost for these, and therefore can be tuned for "cheap."
In which book can I find Action Points?
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Old 04-14-2018, 02:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Imbuement for cheap?

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In which book can I find Action Points?
The Last Gasp, in Pyramid #3/44
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Old 04-14-2018, 02:57 PM   #8
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Default Re: Imbuement for cheap?

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Originally Posted by Sorenant View Post
I admit there's good imbuements available at level 2 (eg Guided, Telescoping, and Ghostly) but Imbue 3 unlocks the really good stuff that makes it worth getting like Penetrating, Shockwave, and Cutting.
On the melee side:
Annihilating Weapon and Telescoping Weapon only require Imbue 2.

On the ranged side:
Arching Shot, Banking Shot, Far Shot, Guided Weapon, and Scattershot all only require Imbue 2.

For all attacks:
Burning Strike, Cutting Strike, Ghostly Weapon, and Fatiguing Strike all only require Imbue 2.

You can be a murderously effective archer with just Arching Shot, Guided Weapon, and Scattershot, by standing behind your allies and Arching your shots over them and above your target's shield, targeting their vital bits because you don't have to deal with range penalties, then having your attack explode within them.

A melee combat with Annihilating Weapon and Telescoping Weapon is pretty versatile, too.

I've played an mystic knight that only had Imbue 2 through most of a campaign. Buying up to Imbue 3 was way down on my list of goals: it enabled some neat stuff, I guess, but I had plenty of excellent stuff with Imbue 2 as it was.
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Old 04-14-2018, 03:13 PM   #9
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: Imbuement for cheap?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorenant View Post
I admit there's good imbuements available at level 2 (eg Guided, Telescoping, and Ghostly) but Imbue 3 unlocks the really good stuff that makes it worth getting like Penetrating, Shockwave, and Cutting.
Well, your mileage may vary. But personally, I feel there are a number of Imbue 1 skills that can make very nice tricks at need. Especially when you treat them as "a cool thing I can do", rather than building your whole character concept around "I'm a person who imbues things". If you're a ghost or spirit hunter, for example, Ghostly Weapon or Spiritual Armor can make a big difference in effectiveness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorenant
Raising skill to soak the -5 is not hard if you use the Efficient Imbuement option but for characters with modest point budget it's difficult to have the extra points needed after all the buy-ins.
You could also allow purchasing Imbue Talent with a limitation of "only to reduce penalties for No Fatigue Cost", which I'd peg at -50%. For 20 points, reducing the penalty to all your Imbuement skills to only -1 for no FP is actually pretty good, as long as you've got 2 or more imbuement skills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorenant
What do you think about a limitation that requires some sort of "amplifier"? For example, quarterstaff with power stones embedded or swords with magical etchings on the blade (using the styling option)?
To be worth the -10% that the "alternative rituals" scheme suggests, such an item would have to be very expensive, I think. I'd peg it at 100% of campaign starting wealth, personally. So, at TL 3, that would be $1000 at least in quality and styling and such.

Note also that you'd either have to replace one of the suggested options I provided, or, if you were going to make "use an expensive focus item" as an optional fifth "ritual", you'd have to have people choose three of the options, not two - the math works out so that it's "two choices out of three or four options", "three choices out of five options", "four choices out of six", and "five choices out of seven". I don't recommend going higher than that, because it becomes too difficult to remember all the options and choose them in play.
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