Thursday, February 27, 2014

Triple Threat: Rat-Thing


Rat-Thing

Rat-Things are large (about a foot and a half long from head to tail) rodent with a human faces that are twisted with hate. Despite their size they are fiendishly strong and can bit off the finger of a grown man with a single bite.


Any Game System…

ST: 8                      HP: 10                 Speed: 6.00
DX: 12                   Will: 12               Move: 9
IQ: 10                    Per: 12                Weight: 40 lbs.
HT: 14                   FP: 12                 SM: -4
Dodge: 10             Parry: n/a            DR: 3

Bite (14): 1d+1 cutting.
Claw (14): 1d-1 crushing.

Traits:  Combat Reflexes; Filter Lungs; Flexibility; Frightens Animals (Not rodents); Fur; Reduced Consumption 3 (Cast Iron Stomach); Resistant to Metabolic Hazards (+8); Semi-Upright; Silence 2; Universal Digestion.
Skills: Acrobatics-10; Brawling-14; Climbing-15; Escape-14; Stealth-14; Urban Survival-13.
Notes: Sterile. Specimens with IQ 10 or higher may have access to magic appropriate to the campaign setting. If the GM is using Intrinsic Fright Check GURPS Horror, (p. 139) Rat-Things have a modifier of -1. 



Dungeon Fantasy…

ST: 8                      HP: 10                 Speed: 6.00
DX: 12                   Will: 12               Move: 9
IQ: 10                    Per: 12                Weight: 40 lbs.
HT: 14                   FP: 12                 SM: -4
Dodge: 10             Parry: n/a            DR: 3

Bite (14): 1d+1 cutting.
Claw (14): 1d-1 crushing.

Traits:  Combat Reflexes; Filter Lungs; Flexibility; Frightens Animals (Not rodents); Fur; Reduced Consumption 3 (Cast Iron Stomach); Resistant to Metabolic Hazards (+8); Semi-Upright; Silence 2; Universal Digestion.
Skills: Acrobatics-10; Brawling-14; Climbing-15; Escape-14; Stealth-14; Urban Survival-13.
Classification: Elder Thing.
Notes: Sterile. Some specimens may have access to magic. Those with a IQ of 10 or higher have Magery equal to (IQ - 10) and access to Wizard spells. 


Monster Hunters…

ST: 8                      HP: 10                 Speed: 6.00
DX: 12                   Will: 12               Move: 9
IQ: 10                    Per: 12                Weight: 40 lbs.
HT: 14                   FP: 12                 SM: -4
Dodge: 10             Parry: n/a            DR: 5

Fright Check: -1

Bite (14): 2d-1 cutting.
Claw (14): 1d-1 crushing.

Traits:  Combat Reflexes; Filter Lungs; Flexibility; Frightens Animals (Not rodents); Fur; High Pain Threshold; Injury Tolerance (Unliving); Language (Demontongue; Native); Reduced Consumption 3 (Cast Iron Stomach); Regeneration (Regular); Resistant to Metabolic Hazards (+8); Semi-Upright; Silence 2; Universal Digestion. Additionally, roll once on Demonic Variety (Monster Hunters 3, p. 19).
Skills: Acrobatics-10; Brawling-14; Climbing-15; Escape-14; Stealth-14; Urban Survival-13.
Notes: Sterile. Some specimens may have access to magic. Those with an IQ of 10 or higher have Ritual Aptitude 5 and 6 points in Path skills (typically Path of Body and/or Mind) plus a Thaumatology equal to their IQ. Those with IQ of 16 or higher have Ritual Adept. Use the skills listed under Demons in the Know Thy Enemy box in Monster Hunters 1 (p. 16). Three to four Rat-Things are a fair fight for one champion.



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Gamemaster's Guidepost: Character Points, Embodied



XP. Eeps. Exp. Experience points. Character points.Whatever you call them they are the currency that drives the player economy. In GURPS these are simply called "Unspent Character Points" (no abbreviation, however adoptive exists - CP is a GURPS Martial Arts: Technical Grappling term). In games that use GURPS Power-Ups 5: Impulse Buys or Influencing Success Rolls (p. B347) it's highly useful to have your unspent character points in a easily accessible, physical form so you can spend them quickly and easily. I've seen poker chips, die counters, and even "edible tokens" like M&Ms or other small candies. I personally like to use flat-backed decorative glass beads. You can get them for about $5 for a hundred or so at just about any department or crafts store. in my case (see below) I didn't like the color so I used some gold spray paint and a enamel protective coat. You'll need at least two sizes, one to represent a single unspent character point and the other to represent whatever multiple of unspent character points you like (I like using 1 for small tokens and 5 for larger ones). If you're like me, you'll probably want to get multiple token sizes so you can have multiple ratings.

So what I did was buy four sets of token (the fifth was given to me by L.A., she had found them in a thrift store and know that I would like them - guess which one?) and spray paint three of them. I'd've done all of them, but I ran out of gold paint. Anyways, I counted out about a hundred of the small and big red tokens, fifty of the small gold, fifty of the gold stars, and twenty of the large gold tokens. Then I decided on values:
  • Small Red: 1 unspent character point.
  • Large Red: 5 unspent character points.
  • Small Gold: 10 unspent character points.
  • Gold Star: 25 unspent character points. ('Cause, you know, Extra Life and all)
  • Large Gold: 50 unspent character points.
Once you have your tokens you're going to need a container for each player to keep them in (otherwise they're all over the place) and a container for you to keep unrewarded tokens. I like using old medicine bottles with the player's names. Very handy and portable. Once you have the tokens and their containers all you need to do is dish out the tokens to your players and then at the each game give the players their due. Players can then spend them as they like during the games and give them back to the GM when they purchase new traits for their characters. Some pictures...









Sunday, February 23, 2014

Triple Threat: Broodmother Meldein Spider



"Ollie grabbed for him, and I saw what was happening. At the same instant I understood
why the head of the man in the doorway was missing. The thin white cable that had
twisted around Buddy's leg like a silk rope was sinking into his flesh. That leg of his jeans
had been neatly cut off and was sliding down his leg. A neat, circular incision in his flesh
was brimming blood as the cable went deeper."


-- Stephen King, Dark Forces (1980)

Note: The following bear a remarkable resemblance from the creatures from the movie (I'd not read the book until after I saw the movie) - but came out of nightmare I had in 1998 - I converted them to GURPS for my Dream Wars campaign. Enjoy.

Meldein Broodmother Spider

Like their smaller kin, the Broodmothers are spider-like beings. One out of every ten thousand meldein spiders born become excessively large for one of its kind (about the size of a minivan) and develop a ovipositor sting. These ‘broodmothers’ are rarely encountered outside of their swampy homes and have thousands of their children at their beck and call.


For Any Game…
ST: 27             HP: 27            Speed: 7.00
DX: 14            Will: 11           Move: 9
IQ: 5               Per: 13            Weight: 1,000 lbs.
HT: 14            FP: 14             SM: +3
Dodge: 11       Parry: 12        DR: 12

Acidic Bite (16): 3d+2 impaling + linked 1d corrosion (10 one-second cycles).
Acidic Blood (-): When attacked Meldein spiders bleed on those who inflict any cutting, impaling, or piercing injury. It bleeds on the weapon that wounded it – or his foe, if attacked with Claws, Teeth, etc. – which immediately begins to corrode inflicting 1d corrosion damage (10 one-second cycles). Until the spider stops bleeding (see Bleeding, p. B420), the acid drips on everything nearby. Anyone grappling the spider automatically takes damage, anything else in the spider’s hex takes damage on a 9 or less. Roll once every second.
Corrosive Silk (16): As Silk entry but has a linked attack of 1d corrosion (10 one-second cycles).
Ovipositor (16): 3d+2 impaling + follow-up 2 points toxic damage. A successful HT-5 roll allows the target to avoid the toxic damage. Failure means the target takes the damage and must roll HT-5 every 10 minutes or suffer another 2 points, this repeats every 5 minutes for the next hour. If the subject dies at any point thereafter while still ‘infected’ 6d immature spiders hatch from the targets corpse and emerge 2d-1 hours later. This attack can only be used against targets underneath or in front of the spider.
Pull (-): As a ready maneuver, the spider can pull a bound subject. Roll a contest of ST. If any side can brace itself, it gains +2 per pair of legs. Should the puller win, the pulled moves a number of yards towards it equal to the margin of victory.
Silk (16): No damage (see Binding, p. B40). Range −/100. Optionally the spider may choose to hold onto a line of silk, see Pull.
Queen Mother (-): The Broodmother may attempt to designate one target for all other meldein spiders within eight yards of her. The target need only be detectable. This requires a Concentrate maneuver and a Quick Contest of HT vs. the Will of each spider (which is effectively 2, so don’t bother rolling). Victory means the spider attacks the marked subject, without further guidance, for minutes equal to margin of victory – or until this ability is triggered again to change targets. A tie or a loss means that particular spider can’t be controlled for 24 hours.

Traits: 360° Vision; Ambidexterity; Appearance (Hideous); Binding 15 (Engulfing; Extended Duration, x300; Link; Retractable; Sticky); Clinging (Move 4); Combat Reflexes; Corrosion Attack 1d-2 (Always On; Aura; Blood Agent, Reversed; Cyclic, 1 second, 10 cycles; Melee Attack, C); Extra Legs (Eight Legs; Cannot Kick; Long, Can walk over SM 0 or smaller subjects without needing to evade); Mind Control (Accessibility, Only to designate target; Area Effect, 8 yards; Based on HT; Emanation; Independent; Suggestion,; Spider Command); No Physical Attack (Arms)*; Semi-Upright; Super Jump 1 (15-yard jump†); Wild Animal.
Skills: Brawling-16; Innate Attack (Projectile)-16; Jumping-14; Stealth-16; Survival (Swampland)-12.
Notes: Four front legs count as a single pair of arms for manipulation purposes. If the GM is using Intrinsic Fright Check GURPS Horror, (p. 139) Broodmothers have a modifier of -3.
* See Modifying Beings With One or Two Arms under Extra Arms (p. B53).
† This is for a combat jump, outside of combat double this value.


For Dungeon Fantasy…
ST: 27             HP: 27            Speed: 7.00
DX: 14            Will: 11           Move: 9
IQ: 5               Per: 13            Weight: 1,000 lbs.
HT: 14            FP: 14             SM: +3
Dodge: 11       Parry: 12        DR: 12

Acidic Bite (16): 3d+2 impaling + linked 1d corrosion (10 one-second cycles).
Acidic Blood (-): When attacked Meldein spiders bleed on those who inflict any cutting, impaling, or piercing injury. It bleeds on the weapon that wounded it – or his foe, if attacked with Claws, Teeth, etc. – which immediately begins to corrode inflicting 1d corrosion damage (10 one-second cycles). Until the spider stops bleeding (see Bleeding, p. B420), the acid drips on everything nearby. Anyone grappling the spider automatically takes damage, anything else in the spider’s hex takes damage on a 9 or less. Roll once every second.
Corrosive Silk (16): As Silk entry but has a linked attack of 1d corrosion (10 one-second cycles).
Ovipositor (16): 3d+2 impaling + follow-up 2 points toxic damage. A successful HT-5 roll allows the target to avoid the toxic damage. Failure means the target takes the damage and must roll HT-5 every 10 minutes or suffer another 2 points, this repeats every 5 minutes for the next hour. If the subject dies at any point thereafter while still ‘infected’ 6d immature spiders hatch from the targets corpse and emerge 2d-1 hours later. This attack can only be used against targets underneath or in front of the spider.
Pull (-): As a ready maneuver, the spider can pull a bound subject. Roll a contest of ST. If any side can brace itself, it gains +2 per pair of legs. Should the puller win, the pulled moves a number of yards towards it equal to the margin of victory.
Silk (16): No damage (see Binding, p. B40). Range −/100. Optionally the spider may choose to hold onto a line of silk, see Pull.
Queen Mother (-): The Broodmother may attempt to designate one target for all other meldein spiders within eight yards of her. The target need only be detectable. This requires a Concentrate maneuver and a Quick Contest of HT vs. the Will of each spider (which is effectively 2, so don’t bother rolling). Victory means the spider attacks the marked subject, without further guidance, for minutes equal to margin of victory – or until this ability is triggered again to change targets. A tie or a loss means that particular spider can’t be controlled for 24 hours.

Traits: 360° Vision; Ambidexterity; Appearance (Hideous); Binding 15 (Engulfing; Extended Duration, x300; Link; Retractable; Sticky); Clinging (Move 4); Combat Reflexes; Corrosion Attack 1d-2 (Always On; Aura; Blood Agent, Reversed; Cyclic, 1 second, 10 cycles; Melee Attack, C); Extra Legs (Eight Legs; Cannot Kick; Long, Can walk over SM 0 or smaller subjects without needing to evade); Mind Control (Accessibility, Only to designate target; Area Effect, 8 yards; Based on HT; Emanation; Independent; Suggestion,; Spider Command); No Physical Attack (Arms)*; Semi-Upright; Super Jump 1 (15-yard jump†); Wild Animal.
Skills: Brawling-16; Innate Attack (Projectile)-16; Jumping-14; Stealth-16; Survival (Swampland)-12.
Classification: Dire Animal.
Notes: Four front legs count as a single pair of arms for manipulation purposes.
* See Modifying Beings With One or Two Arms under Extra Arms (p. B53).
† This is for a combat jump, outside of combat double this value.


For Monster Hunters…
ST: 27             HP: 27            Speed: 7.00
DX: 14            Will: 11           Move: 9
IQ: 5               Per: 13            Weight: 1,000 lbs.
HT: 14            FP: 14             SM: +3
Dodge: 11       Parry: 12        DR: 18

Fright Check: -3

Acidic Bite (16): 3d+2 impaling + linked 2d corrosion (10 one-second cycles).
Acidic Blood (-): When attacked Meldein spiders bleed on those who inflict any cutting, impaling, or piercing injury. It bleeds on the weapon that wounded it – or his foe, if attacked with Claws, Teeth, etc. – which immediately begins to corrode inflicting 2d corrosion damage (10 one-second cycles). Until the spider stops bleeding (see Bleeding, p. B420), the acid drips on everything nearby. Anyone grappling the spider automatically takes damage, anything else in the spider’s hex takes damage on a 9 or less. Roll once every second.
Corrosive Silk (16): As Silk entry but has a linked attack of 2d corrosion (10 one-second cycles).
Ovipositor (16): 3d+2 impaling + follow-up 1d toxic damage. A successful HT-5 roll allows the target to avoid the toxic damage. Failure means the target takes the damage and must roll HT-5 every 10 minutes or suffer another 2 points, this repeats every 5 minutes for the next hour. If the subject dies at any point thereafter while still ‘infected’ 6d immature spiders hatch from the targets corpse and emerge 2d-1 hours later. This attack can only be used against targets underneath or in front of the spider.
Pull (-): As a ready maneuver, the spider can pull a bound subject. Roll a contest of ST. If any side can brace itself, it gains +2 per pair of legs. Should the puller win, the pulled moves a number of yards towards it equal to the margin of victory.
Silk (16): No damage (see Binding, p. B40). Range −/100. Optionally the spider may choose to hold onto a line of silk, see Pull.
Queen Mother (-): The Broodmother may attempt to designate one target for all other meldein spiders within eight yards of her. The target need only be detectable. This requires a Concentrate maneuver and a Quick Contest of HT vs. the Will of each spider (which is effectively 2, so don’t bother rolling). Victory means the spider attacks the marked subject, without further guidance, for minutes equal to margin of victory – or until this ability is triggered again to change targets. A tie or a loss means that particular spider can’t be controlled for 24 hours.

Traits: 360° Vision; Ambidexterity; Appearance (Hideous); Binding 15 (Engulfing; Extended Duration, x300; Link; Retractable; Sticky); Clinging (Move 4); Combat Reflexes; Corrosion Attack 1d-2 (Always On; Aura; Blood Agent, Reversed; Cyclic, 1 second, 10 cycles; Melee Attack, C); Extra Legs (Eight Legs; Cannot Kick; Long, Can walk over SM 0 or smaller subjects without needing to evade); Mind Control (Accessibility, Only to designate target; Area Effect, 8 yards; Based on HT; Emanation; Independent; Suggestion,; Spider Command); No Physical Attack (Arms)*; Semi-Upright; Super Jump 1 (15-yard jump†); Wild Animal.
Skills: Brawling-16; Innate Attack (Projectile)-16; Jumping-14; Stealth-16; Survival (Swampland)-12.
Notes: Four front legs count as a single pair of arms for manipulation purposes. Use the skills listed under Cryptids in the Know Thy Enemy box in Monster Hunters 1 (p. 16). A broodmother is a powerful boss monster, and is often surrounded bya small horde of meldein spiders; a team will need serious preparation to take one out.
* See Modifying Beings With One or Two Arms under Extra Arms (p. B53).
† This is for a combat jump, outside of combat double this value.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

GURPS101: Spell Kits For Casters - The Gatemaker



"One man only had perished in the fire. When the last of the Hydes was buried in this place of shade and stillness, the sad urnful of ashes had come from a distant land; to which the family had repaired when the mansion burned down. No one remains to lay flowers before the granite portal, and few care to brave the depressing shadows which seem to linger strangely about the water-worn stones."

-- H. P. Lovecraft, The Tomb (1922)

In a previous post, I talked about various "wizardly" archetypes and how you might create them using RPM. In this post (and successive ones if it proves popular), I'm going to outline the best spells to take for Ritual Mastery, a possible list of conditional spells/charms/potions/etc., a list of traits, and a typical course of action for such a character in combat. Let's start with the Gatemaker:

Higher Purpose (Gate) adds to spells...

  • ...to sense gates, extradimensional portals, time shifting doors, etc.
  • ...to create gates inside of targets to cause damage.
  • ...to actually create gates (as you stated above).
  • ...to give a bonus to Active Defenses by creating a portal in front of you.
  • ...that allow you to physically spy on others (think GURPS Magic's Wizard Eye).
  • ...that allow you to move physical portals elsewhere (or their destination).
  • ...that change the destination of another gate spell case by someone else.
  • ...and so on.

 

Ritual Mastery/Conditional Spell List:

  • Conjure Gate (see below)
  • Create Pocket Dimension (GURPS Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic, p. 40)
  • Distant Attack (see below)
  • Fast Port (see below)
  • Phase Bolt (see below)
  • Redirect Attack (see below)
  • Spatial Anchor (see below)
  • Track Traveler (GURPS Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic, p. 40)

 

Character Traits:

  • 3D Spatial Sense or Absolute Direction (Magic, -10%) [5 or 9].
  • Absolute Timing or Chronolocation (Magic, -10%) [2 or 5].
  • Compartmentalized Mind 1 (Limited, Path of Crossroads only, -30%*; Magic, -10%; No Mental Separation, -20%) [20/level].
  • Damage Resistance (Force Field, +20%; Limited, Path of Crossroads or Teleportation effects, -40%; Magic, -10%) [3.5/level].
  • Detect (Spatial Anomalies; Magic, -10%) [9].
  • Energy Reserve (Mana Reserve; One Power, Path of Crossroads only, -50%*) [1.5/level].
  • Higher Purpose (Gate) [5/level].
  • Jumper (Time; Magic, -10%) [90].
  • Magery (Ritual Path; Limited Scope, Path of Crossroads, -30%) [7/level].
  • Racial Skill Bonus +1 to +3 (Path of Crossroads) [2/level]. GMs may allow specialist casters to possess this trait (see p. B452 for details), though he should probably require them to start out with it. He may even allow the Natural at (skill) trait.
  • Resistant to Teleportation or Path of Crossroads (+3 or +8; Magic, -10%; Switchable, +10%) [5 or 10].
  • Ritual Adept (Limited Scope, Path of Crossroads, -30%) [28].
  • Skills: Area Knowledge, Body Sense, Hidden Lore (Gates or Particular Dimension), Innate Attack (Projectile), and Navigation/TL (any).
  • Temporal Inertia (Magic, -10%) [14].
  • Unaging (Magic, -10%) [14].
  • Warp (Magic, -10%) [90].
* Even if the caster has no points in any other Path, he still receives this discount because he can use other Path skills at default.


Tactics in Combat:
The Gatemaker is actually quite good at combat, perhaps owing to the fact that he can move around so quickly, summon gates into targets, and redirect damaging attacks. You're going to want to have several charms worth of Redirect Attack and Phase Bolt spells if you plan on being in combat often and the occasional Fast Port or Conjure Gate spell when things go pear-shaped. Additionally, Gatemakers will want to some skill in unarmed, armed, and ranged combat if they can afford it - especially when using the Skirmish Porting technique (see below). Casters will also find this extended Speed/Range chart useful for long-range spells.


New Technique:

Skirmish Porting

Hard

Default: prerequisite skill-5*.
Prerequisite: Any unarmed combat, Melee Weapon, or Ranged Weapon skill; cannot exceed prerequisite skill.

           When making teleporting and making a Move and Attack (p. B00) you use this technique instead of your regular skill and ignoring the skill cap on melee attacks.
* For ranged weapons add the Bulk Modifier of your weapon to this penalty; you may then buy this penalty off, though if you use another similar weapon your technique level can never grant you a net bonus to skill.


New Rituals:

Conjure Gate
Spell Effects: Greater Create Crossroads.
Inherent Modifiers: None.
Greater Effects: 1 (x3).

This spell creates a gate that delivers the caster (and anyone else who weighs 300 lbs or less and who steps through it) up to 500 miles away to a destination of his choosing when he casts the spell. The gate lasts for 10 minutes or whenever the caster ends the spell.

Typical Casting: Greater Create Crossroads (6) + Speed, 500 miles (34) + Range, 500 miles (34) + Duration, 10 minutes (1) + Subject Weight, 300 lbs. (3). 234 energy (78x3).


Distant Attack
Spell Effects: Lesser Create Crossroads.
Inherent Modifiers: Damage, Special.
Greater Effects: 0 (x1).

This spell allows the caster to attack any subject up to 50 yards away with a weapon he already has in hand or using unarmed attacks. This attack can do no more than 3d+2 (the average swing damage of ST 20). This effect lasts for 10 minutes.

Typical Casting: Lesser Create Crossroads (6) + Damage, 3d+2 (10) + Duration, 10 minutes (1) + Range, 50 yards (8). 25 energy (25x1).


Fast Port
Spell Effects: Greater Create Crossroads.
Inherent Modifiers: None.
Greater Effects: 1 (x3).

This spell creates a gate underneath or beside the caster that is close enough to step through. It delivers the caster to a spot of his choosing up to 100 yards away instantly. This can be cast as a Blocking spell (GURPS Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic, p. 00) - doing so allows you to make a special Active Defense roll (Path of Crossroads / 2) +3. Success means you dodged the attack and take no damage. Failure means you were still affected, but end up in your new location. Critical failure means you take 1d injury as parts of your body are left behind at your old location.

Typical Casting: Greater Create Crossroads (6) + Speed, 100 yards (10) + Range, 100 yards (10) + Subject Weight, 300 lbs. (3). 87 energy (29x3).

Phase Bolt
Spell Effects: Lesser Create Crossroads.
Inherent Modifiers: Damage, Internal Impaling (Selective Effect).
Greater Effects: 1 (x3).

This spell teleports pieces of your target out of his body in bloody chunks and spray of gore. If he fails to resist this spell he takes 3d impaling damage that ignores DR. You may only use this spell on targets who are within 50 yards of you. The caster may target specific Hit Locations if he wishes.

Typical Casting: Lesser Create Crossroads (6) + Damage, Internal Impaling 3d (Selective Effect, +20%) (12) + Range, 50 yards (8) + Subject Weight, 300 lbs. (3). 29 energy (29x1).

Redirect Attack
Spell Effects: Lesser Create Crossroads x2.
Inherent Modifiers: None.
Greater Effects: 0 (x1).

This Blocking spell (GURPS Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic, p. 00) allows the caster to create a temporary gate in front of him and another anywhere within 100 yards of him allowing to redirect any physical or energy attack that is not a cone or area-effect.

Typical Casting: Lesser Create Crossroads (6) + Lesser Create Crossroads (6) + Range, 100 yards (10). 22 energy (22x1).


Spatial Anchor
Spell Effects: Lesser Destroy Crossroads.
Inherent Modifiers: Area of Effect + Bestows a Penalty, Spatial effects.
Greater Effects: 0 (x1).

This ritual gives a -5 penalty on all skill rolls with abilities that involve teleportation, dimensional hopping, etc. within 20 yards of the chosen area. This includes most Path of Crossroads effects and these effects persist for 24 hours, though it may be renewed normally.

Typical Casting: Lesser Destroy Crossroads (5) + Area of Effect, 20 yards (12) + Bestows a Penalty, -5 to Spatial effects (32). 49 energy (49x1).

Note: Just as a warning - if I find a place for any of the following spells within my official body of work I'll take them down and point them as a reference to whatever text they end up in.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Gamemaster's Guidepost: The Soundtrack of Your Game



The following might not be useful for all GMs, because it relies pretty heavily on a gaming style I've come to call "Cinematic Chic." Cinematic Chic is a gaming style that apes the hyperkinetic drama of action movies, fast-paced TV shows, and so on. The game play is fast, and the drama is high. I've learned to properly build both of those things you really need to learn the pace at which your players run and how far, and fast you can push them at once. Given that I've also learned that while you cannot effectively control the environment, you're in while gaming - you can often control the atmosphere. Atmosphere, if properly done, can build the drama. Since you need your players paying attention to you while you are running your game the best thing to build the atmosphere is going to be aural stimulation. Now you could go the route of some GMs and purchase endless ambient noise tracks or use sound-mixing software (I've seen this used before, but I cannot vouch for it myself). You can do that...but really, that's a lot of time you could better spend on your campaign. What I like to do is build playlists for the campaign. Then I pick a particular song that I think suits either the story arc we're on or that particular game session and make sure that's played first and last. It's really simple stuff when you think about it, but music choice can have a lot of impact on what you're trying to do. For example, if you're going to be running a session with lots of combat, a frenetic, upbeat playlist is going to liven up your players. For GMs using GURPS Power-Ups 5: Impulse Buys (a favorite of mine if you haven't been able to tell from the amount of times I've referenced it on this blog) you might even consider letting each player pick a "theme song" for their character and then giving them free impulse points when that song comes on - just make sure you randomize your play list! Another good thing to do is associate a particular song with either an event or NPC. For example, if Bad Moon Rising always plays on nearby radios when supernatural evil is close this becomes an embedded metatextual tool that the players can use to know when the fit is about to hit the shan. This works especially well with NPCs, who get their own "theme songs," which allow the players to recognize when they're about to meet an old friend/enemy.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Gaming Ballistic: Shot through the heart, and you're to blame

Gaming Ballistic: Shot through the heart, and you're to blame: +Peter V. Dell'Orto  discussed how much damage is required to kill in GURPS hand to hand combat the other day. In it, he notes: Yeah,... (read on for further awesomeness!)

Triple Threat: Meldein Spider



"David Drayton: What do you know about this mist?
Wayne Jessup: I don't know, man, I've got nothing to do with it.
David Drayton: That's not what the MP said in the pharmacy before the spiders came out of his skin."

--The Mist (2007)

Note: The following bear a remarkable resemblance from the creatures from the movie - but came out of nightmare I had in 1998 - I converted them to GURPS for my Dream Wars campaign. Enjoy.

Meldein Spiders

Meldein spiders are a found in swamps. They typically reach the size of a small dog and are really only dangerous when they’re swarming during mating season. They possess a terribly corrosive bite and despite the fact that they look like spiders they have both teeth and a digestive system optimized for a carnivorous diet. They also have the capability to spin corrosive webbing, which if given enough time can eat through metal or even stone! They can even retract the webbing they spin to bring prey closer to them.

For Any Game…
ST: 8                      HP: 8                     Speed: 6.00
DX: 12                   Will: 11                Move: 6
IQ: 4                      Per: 13                  Weight: 25 lbs.
HT: 12                   FP: 12                    SM: -4
Dodge: 10             Parry: 11              DR: 1

Acidic Bite (14): 1d-2 impaling + linked 1d-2 corrosion (10 one-second cycles).
Acidic Blood (-): When attacked meldein spiders bleed on those who inflict any cutting, impaling, or piercing injury. It bleeds on the weapon that wounded it – or his foe, if attacked with Claws, Teeth, etc. – which immediately begins to corrode inflicting 1d-2 corrosion damage (10 one-second cycles). Until the spider stops bleeding (see Bleeding, p. B420), the acid drips on everything nearby. Anyone grappling the spider automatically takes damage, anything else in the spider’s hex takes damage on a 9 or less. Roll once every second.
Corrosive Silk (14): As Silk entry but has a linked attack of 1d-2 corrosion (10 one-second cycles).
Pull (-): As a ready maneuver, the spider can pull a bound subject. Roll a contest of ST. If any side can brace itself, it gains +2 per pair of legs. Should the puller win, the pulled moves a number of yards towards it equal to the the margin of victory.
Silk (14): No damage (see Binding, p. B40). Range −/20. Optionally the spider may choose to hold onto a line of silk, see Pull.

Traits: 360° Vision; Ambidexterity; Appearance (Hideous); Binding 8 (Engulfing; Extended Duration, x300; Link; Reduced Range, x5; Retractable; Sticky); Clinging (Move 6); Combat Reflexes; Corrosion Attack 1d-2 (Always On; Aura; Blood Agent, Reversed; Cyclic, 1 second, 10 cycles; Melee Attack, C); Extra Legs (Eight Legs; Cannot Kick); No Physical Attack (Arms)*; Semi-Upright; Super Climbing 3; Super Jump 1 (9-yard jump†); Wild Animal.
Skills: Brawling-14; Innate Attack (Projectile)-14; Jumping-12; Stealth-14; Survival (Swampland)-12.
Notes: Four front legs count as a single pair of arms for manipulation purposes.If the GM is using Intrinsic Fright Check GURPS Horror, (p. 139), Meldein spiders have a modifier of +0.
* See Modifying Beings With One or Two Arms under Extra Arms (p. B53).
† This is for a combat jump, outside of combat double this value.


For Dungeon Fantasy…
ST: 8                      HP: 8                    Speed: 6.00
DX: 12                   Will: 11                Move: 6
IQ: 4                      Per: 13                 Weight: 25 lbs.
HT: 12                   FP: 12                   SM: -4
Dodge: 10             Parry: 11              DR: 1

Acidic Bite (14): 1d-2 impaling + linked 1d-2 corrosion (10 one-second cycles).
Acidic Blood (-): When attacked meldein spiders bleed on those who inflict any cutting, impaling, or piercing injury. It bleeds on the weapon that wounded it – or his foe, if attacked with Claws, Teeth, etc. – which immediately begins to corrode inflicting 1d-2 corrosion damage (10 one-second cycles). Until the spider stops bleeding (see Bleeding, p. B420), the acid drips on everything nearby. Anyone grappling the spider automatically takes damage, anything else in the spider’s hex takes damage on a 9 or less. Roll once every second.
Corrosive Silk (14): As Silk entry but has a linked attack of 1d-2 corrosion (10 one-second cycles).
Pull (-): As a ready maneuver, the spider can pull a bound subject. Roll a contest of ST. If any side can brace itself, it gains +2 per pair of legs. Should the puller win, the pulled moves a number of yards towards it equal to the the margin of victory.
Silk (14): No damage (see Binding, p. B40). Range −/20. Optionally the spider may choose to hold onto a line of silk, see Pull.

Traits: 360° Vision; Ambidexterity; Appearance (Hideous); Binding 8 (Engulfing; Extended Duration, x300; Link; Reduced Range, x5; Retractable; Sticky); Clinging (Move 6); Combat Reflexes; Corrosion Attack 1d-2 (Always On; Aura; Blood Agent, Reversed; Cyclic, 1 second, 10 cycles; Melee Attack, C); Extra Legs (Eight Legs; Cannot Kick); No Physical Attack (Arms)*; Semi-Upright; Super Climbing 3; Super Jump 1 (9-yard jump†); Wild Animal.
Skills: Brawling-14; Innate Attack (Projectile)-14; Jumping-12; Stealth-14; Survival (Swampland)-12.
Classification: Dire Animal.
Notes: Four front legs count as a single pair of arms for manipulation purposes.
* See Modifying Beings With One or Two Arms under Extra Arms (p. B53).
† This is for a combat jump, outside of combat double this value.


For Monster Hunters…
ST: 8                      HP: 8                     Speed: 6.00
DX: 12                   Will: 11                Move: 6
IQ: 4                      Per: 13                  Weight: 25 lbs.
HT: 12                   FP: 12                    SM: -4
Dodge: 10             Parry: 11              DR: 1

Fright Check: +1

Acidic Bite (14): 1d-2 impaling + linked 1d-2 corrosion (10 one-second cycles).
Acidic Blood (-): When attacked meldein spiders bleed on those who inflict any cutting, impaling, or piercing injury. It bleeds on the weapon that wounded it – or his foe, if attacked with Claws, Teeth, etc. – which immediately begins to corrode inflicting 1d-2 corrosion damage (10 one-second cycles). Until the spider stops bleeding (see Bleeding, p. B420), the acid drips on everything nearby. Anyone grappling the spider automatically takes damage, anything else in the spider’s hex takes damage on a 9 or less. Roll once every second.
Corrosive Silk (14): As Silk entry but has a linked attack of 1d-2 corrosion (10 one-second cycles).
Pull (-): As a ready maneuver, the spider can pull a bound subject. Roll a contest of ST. If any side can brace itself, it gains +2 per pair of legs. Should the puller win, the pulled moves a number of yards towards it equal to the the margin of victory.
Silk (14): No damage (see Binding, p. B40). Range −/20. Optionally the spider may choose to hold onto a line of silk, see Pull.

Traits: 360° Vision; Ambidexterity; Appearance (Hideous); Binding 8 (Engulfing; Extended Duration, x300; Link; Reduced Range, x5; Retractable; Sticky); Clinging (Move 6); Combat Reflexes; Corrosion Attack 1d-2 (Always On; Aura; Blood Agent, Reversed; Cyclic, 1 second, 10 cycles; Melee Attack, C); Extra Legs (Eight Legs; Cannot Kick); No Physical Attack (Arms)*; Semi-Upright; Super Climbing 3; Super Jump 1 (9-yard jump†); Wild Animal.
Skills: Brawling-14; Innate Attack (Projectile)-14; Jumping-12; Stealth-14; Survival (Swampland)-12.
Notes: Four front legs count as a single pair of arms for manipulation purposes.Use the skills listed under Cryptids in the Know Thy Enemy box in Monster Hunters 1 (p. 16). One champion should be able to handle three to four spiders.
* See Modifying Beings With One or Two Arms under Extra Arms (p. B53).
† This is for a combat jump, outside of combat double this value.