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Old 12-21-2020, 04:01 AM   #1
Ketsuban
 
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Default Statting the Valkyria

I'm in the process of trying to write up Valkyria Chronicles as a campaign setting. I don't think it's unreasonable for the players in a campaign to want to play a Valkyria (although I'll probably limit the party to one total) so I need to work out the appropriate point cost.

Just about everyone in the Valkyria Chronicles setting is distantly descended from the Valkyrur, a group who invaded Europa from the north, displaced the native Darcsen and settled. Rare individuals (always women) win some sort of genetic lottery and heal unusually quickly.

If one of these women undergoes extreme physical trauma such as a life-threatening injury, they can become a Valkyria - their eyes turn red, their hair turns silver, they glow with a blue flame and they gain the ability to move incredibly fast and shrug off essentially all conventional attacks. If they also take up a Valkyrian lance and shield they can use them to fire energy blasts capable of destroying a tank (to anyone else, Valkyrian weapons are just cool-shaped rocks). In addition, they can activate the Final Flame, sacrificing their life in a massive explosion.

The fast-healing is about the only easy bit, since that's just a level or two of Regeneration. After that it gets hairy:
  • How do you model traits you always have but which are disabled until you undergo significant trauma?
  • Would the ability to cause a particular class of weapon to do something nobody else can do be handled by Imbuement with limitations?
  • Social Regard (Feared) matches the way people react given the cultural significance of the Valkyrur - there's a religion, Yggdism, which venerates them - but you can't tell someone's a Valkyria by looking at them so it should only apply to people who know. What's the best way to handle this?
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Old 12-21-2020, 04:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: Statting the Valkyria

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketsuban View Post
I'm in the process of trying to write up Valkyria Chronicles as a campaign setting. I don't think it's unreasonable for the players in a campaign to want to play a Valkyria (although I'll probably limit the party to one total) so I need to work out the appropriate point cost.

Just about everyone in the Valkyria Chronicles setting is distantly descended from the Valkyrur, a group who invaded Europa from the north, displaced the native Darcsen and settled. Rare individuals (always women) win some sort of genetic lottery and heal unusually quickly.

If one of these women undergoes extreme physical trauma such as a life-threatening injury, they can become a Valkyria - their eyes turn red, their hair turns silver, they glow with a blue flame and they gain the ability to move incredibly fast and shrug off essentially all conventional attacks. If they also take up a Valkyrian lance and shield they can use them to fire energy blasts capable of destroying a tank (to anyone else, Valkyrian weapons are just cool-shaped rocks). In addition, they can activate the Final Flame, sacrificing their life in a massive explosion.

The fast-healing is about the only easy bit, since that's just a level or two of Regeneration. After that it gets hairy:
  • How do you model traits you always have but which are disabled until you undergo significant trauma?
  • Would the ability to cause a particular class of weapon to do something nobody else can do be handled by Imbuement with limitations?
  • Social Regard (Feared) matches the way people react given the cultural significance of the Valkyrur - there's a religion, Yggdism, which venerates them - but you can't tell someone's a Valkyria by looking at them so it should only apply to people who know. What's the best way to handle this?
1) Potential Advantages, B33. I would add an accessibility limitation to the percentage of points the character is required to invest up-front; for a normal person in their normal life, I would estimate this at -20% to even -30%. For an adventurer, -10%. Once the potential advantage is unlocked, the limitation would be removed, and the player would be required to pay full price.
2) I would just use an Unusual Background that keys into the ability to use the Power attached to said items. Said Power should probably also take an Advantage to reflect that stealing said weapon just leaves most people with a mundane weapon.
3) +0% feature, or Switchable; not certain. There would be a certain utility to being feared; however, it would be generally outweighed by the utility of not being feared, IMO.
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Old 12-21-2020, 07:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: Statting the Valkyria

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Originally Posted by Ketsuban View Post
Valkyria - their eyes turn red, their hair turns silver, they glow with a blue flame

...but you can't tell someone's a Valkyria by looking at them...
Um? Am I missing something here?
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Old 12-21-2020, 08:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: Statting the Valkyria

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Um? Am I missing something here?
Not when they're inactive, at least. When the transformation is off, they all share a certain look, but that look does not make a valkyria.

In a Campaign with multiple power sets, I'd build the lance as an innate attack. If it's just valkyria chronicles, I'd probably just charge an unusual background for the points.

Having played the game, I kind of get the impression the transformation strongly alerts your mental state, and paying for an ally or patron you direct but don't control may be appropriate.
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Old 12-21-2020, 09:21 AM   #5
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Statting the Valkyria

I'd build the combat monster form as an Alternate Form.

If the transformation trauma is something that happens once, and thereafter the character can switch at will, then the whole package is a Potential Advantage. The GM/table can decide for this game whether the player is going to have to save up enough CP to pay for the rest of the advantage before the change can happen, whether the character can just go into xp debt until it's paid off, or whether such transformations are just a free gift (probably along with the preference that you don't get any compensation for any Disadvantages acquired during play). If only one character is allowed to get a free huge combat boost, the other players might become unhappy -- depends on your group.

If the Valkyria form is only available during combat, not always triggered, but requires that life-threatening trauma each time, then the package has Emergencies Only. The value for this Limitation (-30%) is not particularly high. But then, turning into a invulnerable combat monster during combat is not exactly an undesirable thing. You might tweak it up if the triggering condition ("life-threatening injury") isn't expected to be common, but I wouldn't go much higher. This version of the ability sounds like it may be Unconscious and Uncontrollable (basically, up to the GM to decide when the transformation happens, though Uncontrollable also assumes it can happen at some inconvenient times as well).

How exactly would you put "life-threatening injury" in game terms? To me, it sounds like "enough injury to require a HT check".

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Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
Um? Am I missing something here?
I don't know the setting. I just assumed it was analog "can't tell they're a werewolf by looking" -- referring, that is, to the un-transformed form, not the actual Valkyria/werewolf form, which would be pretty obvious. (Throw some Supernatural features into the package.) But the character reverts (I assume) to their normal human form when the life-threatening emergency passes.

Last edited by Anaraxes; 12-21-2020 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 12-21-2020, 09:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: Statting the Valkyria

Is the physical trauma a one-time requirement, or do Valkyria require significant trauma each time they transform? The former is either a Potential Advantage or - perhaps more appropriately for a game - something that's already unlocked at the start of play (or already paid for, with a scene in the first or second session serving to unlock it). The latter is some sort of Trigger on the powerset.

As for the powers they gain when wielding Valkyrian weapons, that's probably an Accessibility Limitation on the power. If such weapons are sufficiently uncommon, you may wish to use (or at least adapt) Gadget Limitations.

As for Social Regard, I'd suggest instead using Reputation. If it's easy to demonstrate one is a Valkyria, you may want to consider giving them Claim to Hospitality (optionally with an Enhancement to be one-way) with followers of Yggdism. Personally, from what you've described (not familiar with the setting), I'd be inclined to give them Alternate Form (Valkyria), and have that negate their Reputation but grant them full-on Social Regard. Basically, Reputation when they're "human," to represent those who are in the know, and Social Regard when they're going all-out, because what they are is blatantly obvious.
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Old 12-22-2020, 01:28 AM   #7
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Default Re: Statting the Valkyria

Thanks for your help, everyone, I have a much better handle on how to handle something like this now.

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How exactly would you put "life-threatening injury" in game terms? To me, it sounds like "enough injury to require a HT check".
I was going to go with "death check" rather than "HT check" but this is basically how I was intending to play it, yeah.

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
I don't know the setting. I just assumed it was analog "can't tell they're a werewolf by looking" -- referring, that is, to the un-transformed form, not the actual Valkyria/werewolf form, which would be pretty obvious. (Throw some Supernatural features into the package.)
Basically, yeah. Spoiler for a game from 2008: This character looks like this in Valkyria form.

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Is the physical trauma a one-time requirement, or do Valkyria require significant trauma each time they transform?
The former.
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Old 12-22-2020, 06:34 AM   #8
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Default Re: Statting the Valkyria

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I was going to go with "death check" rather than "HT check" but this is basically how I was intending to play it, yeah.
From what you've posted, this was my leaning as well (possibly with the initial transformation having a sudden healing surge to bring the character back up to full, although depending on what level of Regeneration you give Valkyria, that may not be necessary). If you wanted to be really harsh, in theory you could have it be that the character needs to essentially fail a Death Check by 1 or 2 (for Mortal Wounds) to trigger the transformation (optionally, require them to purchase Hard to Kill 2, and state that they transform only if this makes the difference).

I still feel it's more appropriate as something the character either starts play with or is essentially railroaded to get in an early session, rather than something that is gained in play by passing a Death Check, particularly as the latter option requires the character to be sub-par* until and unless the requirements for transformation are met, and then they are either back on par or markedly superior to the rest of the party, depending on how you handle the cost.

*Honestly, it seems appropriate to elevate the Valkyria character(s) above the others - essentially, she should be a soldier roughly on par with the others when not transformed, with the transformation serving to boost her above them. There are a few ways to handle this, such as giving the more-mundane characters more narrative Advantages (Luck, Destiny, etc) to make up the difference, or just accept that only one of the players is playing the "main character" of the story.

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Originally Posted by Ketsuban View Post
Basically, yeah. Spoiler for a game from 2008: This character looks like this in Valkyria form.
Broken links are broken. Looks like you wanted this for the before and this for the after.
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Old 12-22-2020, 09:41 AM   #9
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Default Re: Statting the Valkyria

A death check does sound more appropriate. I just didn't know if you wanted to push the character that far. If you really wanted to price it all out, you could build in some one-time insurance like an Extra Life or One-Use Only Unkillable 1. But I'd probably just handwave it. (It'd probably actually be free anyway with enough thought put into the build -- say, make an Extra Life an AA with the Valkyria transformation, so when the player uses the Extra Life, it's gone, leaving the Valyria as the only thing in the AA group and thus always selected.)

The sub-par problem is a classic problem with point-buy systems. Get the powerful race template, less points left over for actual attributes and skills, and thus while perhaps equal to the normal humans, the character is definitely a poor example of that race. (Which at least gives him a reason to hang around with his fellow losers.) If fairness is a potential problem, then I'd probably give all the PCs a Potential Advantage package of equal value (possibly in secret, or perhaps 1-on-1 consultation with each player individually). You're then still stuck with the unfairness if some of them wait longer for their powerups than others*, but that's not terrible.

--
* This is the D&D 1e wizard argument, trying to balance being OP at the end of the level cycle with being underpowered at the beginning. But that's just unfun for some characters on one end of a seesaw while unfun for others at the end. It might be fair, but the point of a game isn't to have exactly fair unfun. Constant fun would be much better.
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Old 12-22-2020, 11:01 AM   #10
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Default Re: Statting the Valkyria

An important thing to remember about the Valkyria is that they are limited by only being able to be in their invincible alternate form for a few minutes before reverting back to being vulnerable. Even so you could only build them with wildly more points than anyone else in the campaign.
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