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Old 03-28-2011, 08:26 PM   #21
Not another shrubbery
 
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Default Re: Leech (Steal Youth) Modifier Pricing, etc.

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Originally Posted by JCurwen3 View Post
Leech (Steal Youth, +300%) is 75 points for level 1 + 12 points/additional level. Leech (Steal Youth, +450%) is 113 points for level 1 + 18 points/additional level.

That means that stealing just three months per second from a victim will cost you 99 points, just one shy of the 100 points it takes to get ATR. I think we can all agree one level of ATR is vastly more useful than that. You only really start having a solid chance to start inflicting penalties associated with aging whilst in combat by buying much higher levels, or if you have purchased other expensive things to keep your opponent from breaking contact or from attacking you back, or maybe increasing the cost of the Steal Youth power even more by adding things like Malediction and Ranged and maybe Area Effect, which would put it up there as much more costly than a level of ATR.

And all for something that gives you a spurious way to keep yourself Unaging and occasionally reduce the attributes of others through aging penalties, and making enemies along the way (enemies that may discover that killing you will restore their youth). Yeah, when we analyze it, the whole thing is just very broken looking. What's up with this?
Steal Youth is not really meant to be something you use in combat. It's usually something you would use on a helpless (or cooperating) target. With the low return, you can take a lot of time to drain as much youth as desired from the victim. This gives you a way to avoid aging yourself (if Unaging was not an option), plus a way to bedevil others and even a way to age young characters, possibly to their benefit. None of which is to argue that you get a lot of value for the cost, mind you.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:19 PM   #22
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Default Re: Leech (Steal Youth) Modifier Pricing, etc.

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Originally Posted by Rev. Pee Kitty View Post
Sure you do. There's a direct, clear benefit to the PC in taking one over the other.

If you have Leech (Steal Life, +450%), your foes have no reason to try to hunt you down and kill you . . . well, except for revenge, obviously. They can kill you as dead as they want, but they're not getting their youth back, which means that if you get away, there's a strong incentive to just leave you be and focus on other means by which they can restore their youth (if any).

But if you have Leech (Steal Life, +300%), you have a huge target on your back. Every single person that you've ever affected is going to try to hunt you down and kill you to get their youth back. You've saved the points, but at the cost of having to run from anyone you leave alive . . .

This isn't just me speculating on intent, BTW. This came up in the playtest. Originally, the plan was to just make it a special effect whether the youth returned when you died -- until some of us pointed out that it actually makes a huge difference for the leecher!
Thanks for your reply. But if you read (I know, it was a rather long post, you're forgiven if you eye-rolled it after the first paragraph), I did anticipate that benefit (people know killing you won't restore you) as a justification for the whopping +150% difference in mod value.

And it doesn't cut it for me. First, people would have to be able to know your ability worked that way (whether killing you would help them at all, other than to feel vindicated). Unless it was part of a well-documented (in the campaign world) race's abilities (and even it is was, there are always more powerful exceptions in every race), how could anyone know that you dying would restore their youth (since you haven't died yet, being currently alive and all... barring resurrection methods). Second, it assumes revenge won't be a big enough incentive (have you met other humans?). Third, the way the ability works (slowly except at ridiculous costs - a month per second per level for 75 points for level 1 + 12 points/additional level), if you can make contact to steal their youth in any noticeable amount, they'll probably need to be prone or unconscious or something, and so you can probably age them to death instead of leaving an angry survivor. And fourth, it's another +150%!!! I could maybe get behind the idea of the benefit if it was only maybe +20% or something, but +150% is huge!

Are you saying you disagree with that?
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Old 03-29-2011, 12:44 AM   #23
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Default Re: Leech (Steal Youth) Modifier Pricing, etc.

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Originally Posted by JCurwen3 View Post
And all for something that gives you a spurious way to keep yourself Unaging and occasionally reduce the attributes of others through aging penalties, and making enemies along the way (enemies that may discover that killing you will restore their youth). Yeah, when we analyze it, the whole thing is just very broken looking. What's up with this?
In my opinion, it isn't priced for its' effectiveness if used on the player's opponents. It is priced for its' effectiveness if used on the player's characters.
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Old 03-29-2011, 12:59 AM   #24
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Default Re: Leech (Steal Youth) Modifier Pricing, etc.

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Originally Posted by JCurwen3 View Post
, it's disappointing that there isn't a cost structure for aging, starting at maturity (18 in humans) and sliding upwards towards the various aging thresholds.
.
Yeah. That way people could get loads of free points for being old even though they'll never reach an aging threshold. Then they could spend those points on being better athletes than those feeble 21-year olds.


And yes, Leech W/Steal Youth is expensive and worthless in combat. If you want combat aging, leech characteristics and maybe appearance or Afflict them to the same age. I'm good with Steal Youth being worthless in combat because it's a monstrous power for monstrous characters.
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Old 03-29-2011, 02:45 AM   #25
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Default Re: Leech (Steal Youth) Modifier Pricing, etc.

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Originally Posted by Sunrunners_Fire View Post
In my opinion, it isn't priced for its' effectiveness if used on the player's opponents. It is priced for its' effectiveness if used on the player's characters.
But that's no good. Do you know any other examples of pricing in GURPS based on effectiveness when used against PCs but not by them? Pretty much the rest of the pricing across GURPS works both ways.

If this was supposed to be an ability "only for NPCs", then it could have been listed among things like the "Absolutes" (like invulnerability, stopping time but still being able to manipulate things, etc.) that the system intentionally won't handle because they're unbalanced.

Besides, I argue your point about its effectiveness used against player's characters. Is it effective? Unless you're attacked by multiple Leeches or attacked when paralyzed or by one when asleep, it won't often produce any negative game effects. The cost of draining a year per second is 207 points (75 + (12 x 11)). Assuming a character in their late 20s to late 30s, it could take 20-30 seconds of uninterrupted contact to get them to their first aging threshold when they still (based on their HT score and a bit of luck) might not gain in-game penalties. The only thing that can be said to harm PCs would be the loss of the character concept of playing a younger person vs an older one. Which would bother me if I was playing that character, but technically isn't a disadvantage, game mechanically (or else it would have been listed with negative point values to be 40 as opposed to 30). And it certainly isn't very useful to the PCs opponents.
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:17 AM   #26
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Default Re: Leech (Steal Youth) Modifier Pricing, etc.

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Yeah. That way people could get loads of free points for being old even though they'll never reach an aging threshold. Then they could spend those points on being better athletes than those feeble 21-year olds.


And yes, Leech W/Steal Youth is expensive and worthless in combat. If you want combat aging, leech characteristics and maybe appearance or Afflict them to the same age. I'm good with Steal Youth being worthless in combat because it's a monstrous power for monstrous characters.
Pricing an ability to seemingly penalize it for being "monstrous" isn't very GURPS. A lot of fiction portrays heroic monsters - some GMs and players might like playing in that genre. Some might even enjoy playing villainous characters and GMs might enjoy GMing that, on occasion.Pricing an ability to seemingly penalize it for being "monstrous" isn't very GURPS. A lot of fiction portrays heroic monsters - some GMs and players might like playing in that genre. Some might even enjoy playing villainous characters and GMs might enjoy GMing that, on occasion. It can make for good drama, good roleplaying. If it's an NPC "monstrous" ability, why not make it worth a 1000 points, or a million?

As far as your comment about people getting free points for playing older characters, there are solutions to that - restrictions on what percentage of your points you can spend on physical attributes and abilities. Although a guy in his 40s (less than a decade from his first age threshold) will often be more skilled, have higher wealth, maybe improved social status, or a reputation built up over the years. If his life was spent "in the trenches", as it were, he might be a more deadly warrior too. Remember, even if they put those "free points" into DX or IQ, in a few years time they'll start to run the risk of losing them - FOR "FREE" (failed aging rolls just reduce your point total and your attributes, they don't give you anything back for the losses). Or, the rules could suggest negative point values, but not applicable at character creation, only gained through in-game aging (natural or otherwise). Sort of like how the "time spent" rules let you turn time spent training or studying into points slowly over time - it could be an after-character-creation effect, which makes the most sense and is the simplest way to handle it.

But because no values are listed, not even suggestions, your suggestion to "Afflict them to the same age" isn't possible, because what would that cost?

And, playing devil's advocate, what would be monstrous about a character that maybe also had Short Lifespan 3 or 4 that stole a few months here and there from unsuspecting people (you can do this with a hug) to stay alive and not rapidly decline due to age? Are you saying you would just let yourself grow increasingly debilitated in that condition until you died? At no point would you think "if I only take a few months max per person, who would know or miss it"? Or stick to targeting "bad" people (killers, rapists, that sort of thing, not petty criminals). I know I would do it. I think most people would, and if they deny it, well, that's probably more a lack of self-awareness and/or honesty on their part. It's a worthwhile character concept. And it'd be grossly overpriced compared to just getting Unaging and being done with it if all you wanted was to be safe from aging.
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:25 AM   #27
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Default Re: Leech (Steal Youth) Modifier Pricing, etc.

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Originally Posted by JCurwen3 View Post
But that's no good. Do you know any other examples of pricing in GURPS based on effectiveness when used against PCs but not by them? Pretty much the rest of the pricing across GURPS works both ways.
I answered your question. Not liking the answer doesn't impact on the answer's correctness. :)

Quote:
If this was supposed to be an ability "only for NPCs", then it could have been listed among things like the "Absolutes" (like invulnerability, stopping time but still being able to manipulate things, etc.) that the system intentionally won't handle because they're unbalanced.
GMs build characters too. We have published guidelines for effective invulnerability, I can build an actual invulnerability and I know I can build a power that stops time while still allowing the user to act. None of these things are cheap, but the system does allow you to do them.

Quote:
Besides, I argue your point about its effectiveness used against player's characters. Is it effective? Unless you're attacked by multiple Leeches or attacked when paralyzed or by one when asleep, it won't often produce any negative game effects. The cost of draining a year per second is 207 points (75 + (12 x 11)). Assuming a character in their late 20s to late 30s, it could take 20-30 seconds of uninterrupted contact to get them to their first aging threshold when they still (based on their HT score and a bit of luck) might not gain in-game penalties. The only thing that can be said to harm PCs would be the loss of the character concept of playing a younger person vs an older one. Which would bother me if I was playing that character, but technically isn't a disadvantage, game mechanically (or else it would have been listed with negative point values to be 40 as opposed to 30). And it certainly isn't very useful to the PCs opponents.
It violates the player's concept of the character. It doesn't have to be effective (combat-wise; mechanically speaking) to do this. Player's don't like things that violate their character concepts.

Besides, combat effectiveness isn't the only guideline for trait pricing.

Leech (Steal Youth) is priced the same as Leech (Steal DX) and Leech (Steal IQ). The difference in effects between (Steal Youth) and (Steal DX)/(Steal IQ) are so extreme that "priced according to its' effects on the player characters" is a reasonable explanation, as I can think of no reason for the price.

Can you think of another explanation that fits the facts we have available to us?
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:38 AM   #28
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Default Re: Leech (Steal Youth) Modifier Pricing, etc.

Steal IQ/DX/ST/HT doesn't do what it's named either. It reduces an attribute and grants you FP/HP. Seems like a hassle for what it does for the price given.
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:49 AM   #29
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Default Re: Leech (Steal Youth) Modifier Pricing, etc.

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Steal IQ/DX/ST/HT doesn't do what it's named either. It reduces an attribute and grants you FP/HP. Seems like a hassle for what it does for the price given.
If you wish Leech to increase your traits, buy the traits you want with (Trigger, Leeched HP, -30%). Or Neutralize with Power Theft (if the GM allows "Natural Biology", or whatever you want to call it, as an affectable non-power source per the textbox).
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Old 03-29-2011, 05:09 AM   #30
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Default Re: Leech (Steal Youth) Modifier Pricing, etc.

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Originally Posted by Sunrunners_Fire View Post
If you wish Leech to increase your traits, buy the traits you want with (Trigger, Leeched HP, -30%). Or Neutralize with Power Theft (if the GM allows "Natural Biology", or whatever you want to call it, as an affectable non-power source per the textbox).
I think one or both of those could work. I'll try to give them a spin later and see how they fair as options.
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