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Old 03-21-2008, 12:03 AM   #1
t@nya
 
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Default Lock Opening Power

I'm trying to create a power in which someone can wave their hand and a lock opens, like the Lockmaster spell. The only way I can to do it is to have TK with Accessibility (only to open locks). This would, however, not be automatic, with the person having to roll against their Lockpicking skill at -6 (-10 for having no equipment, plus the +4 for TK). Even if the TK counts as improvised equipment, that still gives them a -1, in addition penalties if they don't have the Lockpicking skill. Adding levels of reliable can help offset this, but the overall result still doesn't have the flavour I'm after. Does anyone have any other ideas on creating this power.
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Old 03-21-2008, 12:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: Lock Opening Power

Allow him to take Control (Locks). It's a stretch, but it's basically a not-very-godlike Godlike control. I'd call it 20/level. (If you're really RAW-picky, make it Godlike as Control (Mechanisms) [30/lvl] and add an Accessibility limitation.) Add Ranged and Cosmic, No Die Roll Required and you're good.
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Old 03-21-2008, 12:19 AM   #3
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Default Re: Lock Opening Power

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev. Pee Kitty
Allow him to take Control (Locks). It's a stretch, but it's basically a not-very-godlike Godlike control. I'd call it 20/level. (If you're really RAW-picky, make it Godlike as Control (Mechanisms) [30/lvl] and add an Accessibility limitation.) Add Ranged and Cosmic, No Die Roll Required and you're good.
I hadn't thought of that and it does mimic the spell very well. The expense is the only problem, of course.
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:23 AM   #4
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Default Re: Lock Opening Power

Expense will usually raise its head when creating abilities useful in a civilized security or social situation. The countermeasures against typical PC actions in such cases are often expensive in terms of cash value (high-quality locks, guards, and other security measures can be very costly) and frequently regarded as "impenetrable" without special tools that are easily screened for at an outer, less-secure area (e.g., it's hard to smuggle in a gun or lockpicks if there's a metal detector at the public entrance). Thus, abilities like Insubstantiality, Mind Control, and Warp, which let the user change the ground rules, are intentionally priced high for game-balance reasons. They typically cost much more than the nearest comparable skill because they're either an order of magnitude more subtle and undetectable (compare Fast-Talk and Stealth to Mind Control and Invisibility), or because they totally obviate the need for tools (compare the suggested lock-opening ability to lockpicks).

This is, I'll grant, often an eye-opener in GURPS, which assumes that it's relatively easy to find a way to hurt people and to run away from being hurt, and therefore prices combat capabilities (DR, Extra Attack, HP, Innate Attack, etc.) modestly. The really expensive characters -- in terms of superhuman capabilities -- are the masters of information-gathering, social manipulation, technology, and thievery, as their accomplishments are generally more strategic than tactical, and can far more readily trash an adventure or a plotline. For instance, a psi who can telepathically control minds and psychokinetically spring locks is a one-man wrecking squad as far as the GM's plots are concerned, while a combat monster with skin like a tank and an energy blast that can level office towers is easily neutralized. So if you're working on a game or article about empowered spies and thieves, be sure to take this into consideration!
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: Lock Opening Power

Quote:
Originally Posted by t@nya
I hadn't thought of that and it does mimic the spell very well. The expense is the only problem, of course.
Of course, the power would give other abilities not offered by the spell, such as causing a lock to damage its internal works to become jammed; maybe changing the combination on a combination lock or changing the tumblers in a key lock to render a key unusable.
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:42 AM   #6
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Default Re: Lock Opening Power

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Originally Posted by SCHIFTY
Of course, the power would give other abilities not offered by the spell, such as causing a lock to damage its internal works to become jammed; maybe changing the combination on a combination lock or changing the tumblers in a key lock to render a key unusable.
So, what limitations would allow the spell just to open doors?
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t@nya
So, what limitations would allow the spell just to open doors?
A hefty Accessibility, I imagine... maybe -40% or so.
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: Lock Opening Power

If all you want to do is open locks without tools, you could kludge together something like this:

Start with an Accessory perk that grants lockpicks. This is worth 1 point, and lets the owner pick locks the slow, sure way, using visible tools that happen to be attached to her.

Now layer a bunch of modifiers on it:

Cosmic, Irresistible attack, +300% to let the ability work regardless of barriers. Normally, you can't pick a lock that only has an opening on the far side of the door, or that's inside an armored box. Presumably, these things aren't a limit here.

Cosmic, No die roll required, +100% to eliminate the Lockpicking roll and just have the thing work (there's still a hidden Lockpicking roll, at IQ-5 for the untrained, and any modifiers that reduce it below 3 would negate the ability).

No Signature, +20% to eliminate the normally visible tool and activity.

Ranged, +40% to make it work from afar, but with Short-Range 1, -10% to give it the -1/yard penalties typical of spells (this would interact with the hidden roll I mentioned).

Reduced Time 3, +60% to take the 60 seconds for a Lockpicking skill attempt down to something closer to the 10 seconds to cast Lockmaster.

So you get this:
Accessory (Lockpicks; Cosmic, Irresistible attack, +300%; Cosmic, No die roll required, +100%; No Signature, +20%; Ranged, +40%; Reduced Time 3, +60%; Short-Range 1, -10%) [7]
The effect is that the user can walk up to any lock and open it in about 8 seconds without the need to touch or manipulate it, as long as her IQ-5 or Lockpicking, at -1/yard and with security-level penalties, is 3 or higher.
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:59 AM   #9
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Default Re: Lock Opening Power

I love that power. :)

It's a pity that my GM doesn't allow us to use the Cosmic enhancement. :(
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Old 03-21-2008, 11:04 AM   #10
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Default Re: Lock Opening Power

Quote:
Originally Posted by t@nya
I love that power. :)

It's a pity that my GM doesn't allow us to use the Cosmic enhancement. :(
I'd have the argument, personally. Blanket prohibitions make sense for things that have a single, well-defined function. Cosmic, however, is user-defined -- just like Accessibility -- and begs determination on a case-by-case basis. If the GM forbids it outright, it'll be hard to do a lot of things "by the book" in that campaign. :(

(Sorry if that sounds critical! It's just that vast numbers of "GURPS sucks because it can't do X!" complaints stem from GMs forbidding the very game mechanics that allow the system to do X.)
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