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Old 07-10-2017, 03:48 AM   #1
kirbwarrior
 
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Default Intercede!; Catch-all ability for defending and resisting

I was playing another system a while back and my character's signature move from that system was to use a spell to resist (or defend) an attack or ability. She could use it on herself or anyone within the abilities range.

I like the idea a lot, and wanted to build it in gurps. My first thought was to take it as a wildcard skill. Will is 5pts per level, HT with no FP is 7pts per level, so the price seems close enough (pros and cons probably balance out). However, I'm not certain it's actually fair, or even sensible.

Is there a way to use this ability to help others? Is there a better way to build this power? I have looked over many of the books, but I'm not really sure where to look or what to base it on.

Thank you ahead of time.
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:46 AM   #2
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Intercede!; Catch-all ability for defending and resisting

You say "spell", so the first question is "what magic system"? Standard magic, magic-as-powers (individual spells built out of Advantages, like super powers), one of the systems in Thaumatology, RPM, Sorcery, etc.

In few of those systems do you need a skill that can be any skill (a wildcard skill).

To make a spell an Active Defense, it generally needs a trait for that purpose. A "Blocking spell" in standard magic, or the "Reflexive" Enhancement and "Active Defense" Limitations for abilities in magic-as-powers or Sorcery. See also the "Defending With Powers" rules in Powers (p167).
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Old 07-10-2017, 07:18 PM   #3
JMason
 
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Default Re: Intercede!; Catch-all ability for defending and resisting

Wildcard skills aren't really designed to to represent supernatural abilities. At least I've never seen them used that way (even Wizard! from DF1 is non-spell skills).

This sound more like an Affliction with the advantage enhancement. Depending on how exactly this power manifests, this could grant extra Will, HT, DR, Enhanced Dodge, or just give them Luck!
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: Intercede!; Catch-all ability for defending and resisting

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Originally Posted by JMason View Post
This sound more like an Affliction with the advantage enhancement.
That would be the general method for building a buff of some sort to make the target better able to defend themselves. Depends on how you interpret "defend".

Also, some concepts might get some mileage out of Affects Others -- perhaps the mage can extend their magical shield, psychically boost someone else's Will with their own, etc., while also enjoying the advantage themselves.

Assuming we're talking about standard Magic, is there an accepted general method for turning some spell into a Blocking spell? Reflex works if you have time to pre-cast, but how about on the fly, sort of the way Throw Spell turns other spells into Missile spells? What would be a fair cost for an advantage that let you "reflex-ify" any spell, during combat, fast enough to act as a Blocking spell? (One place to start might be Compartmentalized Mind, limited to defenses only, or "Reflex Only". But it seems like it would take several levels to get both Reflex and most choices for the defense spell to become instant cast.)

Last edited by Anaraxes; 07-10-2017 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 07-11-2017, 04:52 AM   #5
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Default Re: Intercede!; Catch-all ability for defending and resisting

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
You say "spell", so the first question is "what magic system"?
Anything other than "Sorcery" (or advantage-based) is much easier to slap something into. I could see Verb-Noun magic being able to do this without any changes. I'd love to find out how to do it with advantages if possible.
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Wildcard skills aren't really designed to to represent supernatural abilities. At least I've never seen them used that way (even Wizard! from DF1 is non-spell skills).
Wildcard skills can do quite a bit. Wildstyles are a variant and can have supernatural skills. And Magic! lets you use any magic in the default system.
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This sound more like an Affliction with the advantage enhancement. Depending on how exactly this power manifests, this could grant extra Will, HT, DR, Enhanced Dodge, or just give them Luck!
Those are all good ideas for setting up protection ahead of time. I was trying to think of a way to be able to do it in response.

However, now that I think about it, Word magic (both Verb-Noun and Realm) actually seem like they can mimic this idea (at a large penalty). Maybe it could be built as a technique for that system...
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Old 07-11-2017, 08:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: Intercede!; Catch-all ability for defending and resisting

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I was trying to think of a way to be able to do it in response.
The Reflexive Enhancement (Powers 109) is the go-to modifier to turn switchable abilities into reactive defenses.

Active Defense (Powers 112) approaches the problem from the other direction. It's a sub-category of Requires Attribute Roll, so it takes an always-on defensive trait, and not only makes it require an attribute/skill roll to work (like a Parry, Dodge, etc), also requires awareness of the threat. DR works all the time; DR with Active Defense only flickers into being to catch an attack you know about.
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Old 07-11-2017, 04:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: Intercede!; Catch-all ability for defending and resisting

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Assuming we're talking about standard Magic, is there an accepted general method for turning some spell into a Blocking spell? Reflex works if you have time to pre-cast, but how about on the fly, sort of the way Throw Spell turns other spells into Missile spells? What would be a fair cost for an advantage that let you "reflex-ify" any spell, during combat, fast enough to act as a Blocking spell? (One place to start might be Compartmentalized Mind, limited to defenses only, or "Reflex Only". But it seems like it would take several levels to get both Reflex and most choices for the defense spell to become instant cast.)
I think there is a spell that lets you turn a spell into a Blocking spell. You have to use it ahead of time, however. Maybe at -10 you'd be allowed to do it in response?
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The Reflexive Enhancement (Powers 109) is the go-to modifier to turn switchable abilities into reactive defenses.
Can it be used on Affliction? I assumed it couldn't be.
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: Intercede!; Catch-all ability for defending and resisting

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Originally Posted by kirbwarrior View Post
I think there is a spell that lets you turn a spell into a Blocking spell.
"Reflex". Very similar name to the "Reflexive" Enhancement :)

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Can {Reflexive} be used on Affliction? I assumed it couldn't be.
Well, Affliction is a kind of Innate Attack, and you wouldn't normally make attacks Reflexive (instead using Aura or the like if you want an auto-attack-them ability). But the description for Reflexive reads:

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Reflexive is for defenses that take a second to activate, senses that require a second of concentration (e.g., Detect), and anything the GM feels serves a purpose similar to either.
The concept here is "defending and resisting" (it's even in the title! :)), so it seems to fall into the last clause. Not all Afflictions are really attacks, as it's also become the generic "give others Advantages" build, not just "attack them with debilitating Conditions that aren't HP damage". I'd say Afflictions could be defenses.

You could also Afflict an ability that itself had Reflexive while the Affliction itself did not, but that's the way to building a pre-cast buff that lets someone defend themselves later.
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Old 07-11-2017, 08:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: Intercede!; Catch-all ability for defending and resisting

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
The concept here is "defending and resisting" (it's even in the title! :)), so it seems to fall into the last clause. Not all Afflictions are really attacks, as it's also become the generic "give others Advantages" build, not just "attack them with debilitating Conditions that aren't HP damage". I'd say Afflictions could be defenses.
Hmm, I never thought about that. It actually does make a lot of sense.

Related question; Is Luck open-ended like Super Luck? Can you continue to take more levels of it? There are some really cool build you can do with Affliction with Cumulative, and if Luck is open-ended, then I can give someone Luck as a defense that they use on their next roll. That sounds like a very cool way to something similar.
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: Intercede!; Catch-all ability for defending and resisting

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Is Luck open-ended like Super Luck? Can you continue to take more levels of it?
Luck has several named levels: "Luck" (60 minutes), "Extraordinary Luck" (30 minutes), "Ridiculous Luck" (10 minutes). The pattern looks like the cost doubles and the time drops by a factor of 2 or 3, so if there were another level (which there isn't), it'd probably be 120 CP for a 5 minute cooldown.

Super Luck isn't open-ended per RAW. Its description says you can only take it once. The text also explicitly allows both Super Luck and Luck, so Super isn't the topmost level of the Luck chain, but another ability in addition to your "normal" Luck.
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