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Old 05-02-2023, 12:10 PM   #11
Talonos
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Default Re: Calculating "Power Level" or "Combat Score" in GURPS

One of my players in an Isekai-style campaign asked for the ability to see the "power level" of his foes. I warned him that it would be misleading, often inaccurate, would not take into account specific tactical implications, etc, and he said he was fine with that; he liked the story prospects of sometimes having the power levels be misleading. So I use the guidelines under "it's a threat", from the aforementioned pyramid magazine.

It's working out well. He's had some times where the reported power-level was straight up misleading (A woman with a threat score that was very low because her round-by-round DPS was low, but she had a crossbow, meaning all her damage was concentrated in one very dangerous round per six rounds) and other times where the ability came in very handy. ("Wait, this town guard's got how high of a power level? Maybe he's more than what he's pretending to be...") I hide the formula from the players, and they seem to be enjoying messing around with stuff to see how it affects the power rating. ("Here, hand me your sword and scan me again, I want to see how much it raises my power level!" followed by "Weird! It doesn't boost my power level as much as it boosts yours! It must take into account the skill with the weapon, because I'm not as good with swords as you!")He seems to be enjoying it, but that's because in some ways we're embracing the trope of "power level is a crock" that zoncxs mentioned. Trying to figure out when to trust it and when to ignore it has made for some interesting decision points.

Implementation notes: I have a spreadsheet I can use, where I just throw numbers into it and get a the threat rating out the other end, which speeds play if people want to "scan" everybody under the sun.
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Old 05-02-2023, 12:49 PM   #12
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Calculating "Power Level" or "Combat Score" in GURPS

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Originally Posted by Talonos View Post
One of my players in an Isekai-style campaign asked for the ability to see the "power level" of his foes.
I like your implementation here. Out of curiosity, does the character get the full CER, or do they only get a measure of the target's offensive capabilities (I recall the article breaks it up into an offensive rating and a defensive rating, then combines them for the total CER)? Either option is going to throw even more variability into things - if it's the full CER, the character won't know if a given target has a really high one because they have high damage output (meaning you'd want to take them out quickly), high defenses (in which case you'll probably want to take out their support first so the party can gang up on them), or because they're an overall well-balanced - but powerful - foe (in which case you probably still want to get rid of their support first, but you need to make certain someone is keeping the target busy while you're doing that). If it's only the offensive side, then a character with a modest value may wind up markedly more difficult to fight than expected (due to being really difficult to harm), while one with a really high value might be a glass cannon that you can take out easily.
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Old 05-02-2023, 01:04 PM   #13
Talonos
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Default Re: Calculating "Power Level" or "Combat Score" in GURPS

I've been giving them the full CER, which, indeed, has led to a lot of head scratching at times. For instance, they still haven't figured out that "HP restored by your best healing spell" is factored into the "Threat Rating" equation, and still think the NPC healer they found has some hidden secret martial art powers (or something) that he's hiding, which explains the healer's unexpectedly high Threat Rating.

If they find out and object to healing's inclusion in the threat formula, my planned response is: "If healing's not a threat, then why do people always try to take out the healers first?" ;)
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Old 05-02-2023, 01:31 PM   #14
Varyon
 
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Default Re: Calculating "Power Level" or "Combat Score" in GURPS

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If they find out and object to healing's inclusion in the threat formula, my planned response is: "If healing's not a threat, then why do people always try to take out the healers first?" ;)
Healing is absolutely a threat - heck, most MMO's beyond the earlier ones have healing generate aggro (the variable that's used to determine who in the party a given enemy prioritizes attacking) at a pretty high rate - and importantly it applies to all the enemies. A blaster-type spamming damaging area effects and a healer generate aggro at fairly comparable rates IIRC. Also, considering CER includes defenses, healing would certainly be accounted for there - healing spells and Regeneration fill similar niches, so if one gives a boost to CER, the other absolutely should as well. Further question - do you give them a straight numerical value ("The orc has a CER/Threat Rating of 67"), or is it more comparative ("The orc seems to be more dangerous than you, but less dangerous than your healer")? I can see room for both - although in the latter case I might be inclined to steal the color-coding from City of Heroes and similar (in CoH, enemies who are 4 or more levels below you are dark gray, those who are 3 below are light gray, 2 below are green, 1 below are blue, equal are white, 1 above are yellow, 2 above are orange, 3 above are red, and 4+ above are purple; there's also an adjustment for rank, with underlings being at -1, minions at +0, lieutenants at +1, bosses at +2, and supervillains at +5).
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Old 05-02-2023, 07:02 PM   #15
Otaku
 
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: South Dakota, USA
Default Re: Calculating "Power Level" or "Combat Score" in GURPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talonos View Post
One of my players in an Isekai-style campaign asked for the ability to see the "power level" of his foes. I warned him that it would be misleading, often inaccurate, would not take into account specific tactical implications, etc, and he said he was fine with that; he liked the story prospects of sometimes having the power levels be misleading. So I use the guidelines under "it's a threat", from the aforementioned pyramid magazine.
That's beautiful! XD
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My GURPS Fourth Edition library consists of Basic Set: Characters, Basic Set: Campaigns, Martial Arts, Powers, Powers: Enhanced Senses, Power-Ups 1: Imbuements, Power-Ups 2: Perks, Power-Ups 3: Talents, Power-Ups 4: Enhancements, Power-Ups 6: Quirks, Power-Ups 8: Limitations, Powers, Social Engineering, Supers, Template Toolkit 1: Characters, Template Toolkit 2: Races, one issue of Pyramid (3/83) a.k.a. Alternate GURPS IV, GURPS Classic Rogues, and GURPS Classic Warriors. Most of which was provided through the generosity of others. Thanks! :)
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