Friday, October 31, 2014

Triple Threat: Raggedy Spirit



Raggedy Spirit
Dolls are creepy. Kids with dolls and vacant, empty eyes are creepier. Possessed dolls are even creepier than that. So what happens when you a have a willful child who dies and comes back as a ghost and his favorite toy happens to be his creepy doll that in life he carried with him everywhere? You get what those in the “biz” call a “raggedy spirit.” Raggedy spirits are no different from other “plane-locked” spirits (those who can’t affect the material world at all), except for the fact that they can animate toys – typically dolls. Worse, they can merge the toys into a cohesive whole producing nightmarish amalgamations of Teddy Ruxpin proportions. Resembling nothing more than dozens of dolls, teddy bears, and other toys seamlessly melded together – it might seem cute until it shreds your jugular and you bleed out on the floor. Even worse, they can separate into their toy components or form a child-size humanoid shape... The following statistics are for the spirit’s corporeal form (which is considered a magical construct). For its spirit form use the statistics for the Astral Entity metatrait (p. B263), but add Possession (Chronic (Onset, Exposure Time, 1 week, -40%), +12%; Puppet Only, -30%; Reliable 3, +15%; Specialized, Toys only, -60%; Spiritual, -20%) and Telekinesis 20 (Accessibility, Toys only, -60%; Animation, Non-flying, -30%; Cosmic, DX equals ST of object, +100%).


Any Campaign Setting...
ST: 12             HP: 24            Speed: 6.00
DX: 12            Will: 12           Move: 8
IQ: 10             Per: 10            Weight: 29 lbs.
HT: 12            FP: N/A          SM: -3
Dodge: 12       Parry: 10        DR: 2

Bite (14): 1d cutting. Reach C.
Claw (14): 1d cutting; Reach C.
Improvised Knife (14): 1d+2 cutting or 1d-1 impaling. Reach C. Typically a pair of scissors (-1 damage), pencil (-2 damage, no swing damage), or some other object sharpened into a shiv (-1 damage).
Other Improvised Weapon (6): Based on damage 1d-1/1d+2; Reach per weapon.

Traits:  Appearance (Horrific); Callous; Cannot Float; Combat Reflexes; Doesn’t Breathe; Doesn’t Eat or Drink; Doesn’t Sleep; Frightens Animals; High Pain Threshold; Immunity to Metabolic Hazards; Improvised Weapons (Knife); Injury Tolerance (Diffuse; Body of Swarm; Humanoid Form; Scatter, Can Affect Material World); Pressure Support 3; Sealed; Supernatural Features (Omens); Temperature Tolerance 10 (-25°F to 150°F); Unhealing (Partial; Additional toys); Vacuum Support.
Skills:  Acting-12; Brawling-14; Knife-14; Stealth-14; Wrestling-14.
Notes: Some Raggedy Spirits are composed of toys that can fly, if that’s the case, add an Air Move of 8, the Flying Swarm enhancement to Injury Tolerance (Diffuse), and remove the restriction on flying objects on Telekinesis. Some Raggedy Spirits can control larger (and thus more dangerous) amalgamated forms. For such beings increase TK level and refigure the statistics. If the GM is using Intrinsic Fright Check from GURPS Horror (p. 139), Raggedy Spirits have a modifier of -2.


For Dungeon Fantasy...
ST: 12             HP: 24            Speed: 6.00
DX: 12            Will: 12           Move: 8
IQ: 10             Per: 10            Weight: 29 lbs.
HT: 12            FP: N/A          SM: -3
Dodge: 12       Parry: 10        DR: 2

Bite (14): 1d cutting. Reach C.
Claw (14): 1d cutting; Reach C.
Improvised Knife (14): 1d+2 cutting or 1d-1 impaling. Reach C. Typically a pair of scissors (-1 damage), pencil (-2 damage, no swing damage), or some other object sharpened into a shiv (-1 damage).
Other Improvised Weapon (6): Based on damage 1d-1/1d+2; Reach per weapon.

Traits:  Appearance (Horrific); Callous; Cannot Float; Combat Reflexes; Doesn’t Breathe; Doesn’t Eat or Drink; Doesn’t Sleep; Frightens Animals; High Pain Threshold; Immunity to Metabolic Hazards; Improvised Weapons (Knife); Injury Tolerance (Diffuse; Body of Swarm; Humanoid Form; Scatter, Can Affect Material World); Pressure Support 3; Sealed; Supernatural Features (Omens); Temperature Tolerance 10 (-25°F to 150°F); Unhealing (Partial; Additional toys); Vacuum Support.
Skills:  Acting-12; Brawling-14; Knife-14; Stealth-14; Wrestling-14.
Class: Construct.
Notes: Some Raggedy Spirits are composed of toys that can fly, if that’s the case, add an Air Move of 8, the Flying Swarm enhancement to Injury Tolerance (Diffuse), and remove the restriction on flying objects on Telekinesis. Some Raggedy Spirits can control larger (and thus more dangerous) amalgamated forms. For such beings increase TK level and refigure the statistics.



For Monster Hunters...
ST: 12             HP: 24            Speed: 6.00
DX: 12            Will: 12           Move: 8
IQ: 10             Per: 10            Weight: 29 lbs.
HT: 12            FP: N/A          SM: -3
Dodge: 12       Parry: 10        DR: 2

Fright Check: -2

Bite (14): 1d cutting. Reach C.
Claw (14): 1d cutting; Reach C.
Improvised Knife (14): 1d+2 cutting or 1d-1 impaling. Reach C. Typically a pair of scissors (-1 damage), pencil (-2 damage, no swing damage), or some other object sharpened into a shiv (-1 damage).
Other Improvised Weapon (6): Based on damage 1d-1/1d+2; Reach per weapon.

Traits:  Appearance (Horrific); Callous; Cannot Float; Combat Reflexes; Doesn’t Breathe; Doesn’t Eat or Drink; Doesn’t Sleep; Frightens Animals; High Pain Threshold; Immunity to Metabolic Hazards; Improvised Weapons (Knife); Injury Tolerance (Diffuse; Body of Swarm; Humanoid Form; Scatter, Can Affect Material World); Pressure Support 3; Sealed; Supernatural Features (Omens); Temperature Tolerance 10 (-25°F to 150°F); Unhealing (Partial; Additional toys); Vacuum Support.
Skills:  Acting-12; Brawling-14; Knife-14; Stealth-14; Wrestling-14.
Notes: Some Raggedy Spirits are composed of toys that can fly, if that’s the case, add an Air Move of 8, the Flying Swarm enhancement to Injury Tolerance (Diffuse), and remove the restriction on flying objects on Telekinesis. Some Raggedy Spirits can control larger (and thus more dangerous) amalgamated forms. For such beings increase TK level and refigure the statistics. Use the skills listed under Free-Willed Spirits in the Know Thy Enemy box in Monster Hunters 1 (p. 16). One raggedy spirits is a fair fight for one champion.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Carpe Blogiem: Games I'd Like to Play



I was asked by a couple people what I thought about Doug's post "Games I'd Like to Play." Well, I don't typically like to play games, but run them. It's really better off for everyone I'm playing with if I'm not actually a player. I tend to get cranky when things don't work like I expect them too and it just leads to folk being miserable. Besides that, I genuinely enjoy running a game and prefer crafting stories to just about any other activity. That said there are a few things I think I'd be willing to play in should there be a GM I trust and like.


FATE
Like Doug, I've read FATE back to front and if I never run it I'd like to play it at least once. It's the opposite side of the coin with GURPS on the other end. I like how your stats are intentionally vague, but descriptive. One of the best games I ever played in was when my girlfriend ran Amber Diceless. The end of that campaign was so wonderful I literally cried. How often does that happen? FATE reminds me of Amber Diceless - it has the same feel too it. Were I able to pick what sort of game I played (or ran) I think I'd choose a campaign based on ElfQuest. L.A. has the old chaosium ElfQuest RPG and the few times we played it I found myself wanting more. The setting itself would be perfect for FATE too given it's storied nature. I'd also play the Dresden Files RPG in a heartbeat. Regardless of whether I play in a FATE game I'll eventually be running one because I plan to write for EvilHat in the future.




GURPS: Dungeon Fantasy
My background is pretty varied, but it's mostly DnD from 2nd edition all the way to 3.5. I'd love to play in a DF game that emulated some of the common tropes you find in DnD...but it wasn't actually DnD.


GURPS: Madness Dossier
I'd love to play in Ken Hite's inspired setting - I don't think I could run it just because I always feel settings constrain my creativity and half of the fun of a GURPS campaign for me is creating new stuff for my PCs. Still...who wouldn't want to play a sandman facing the evil annunaki?


Night's Black Agents
I got a chance to read the book from cover to cover and...wow. I think I'm a Hite fanboy - he's certainly a role model. Any game designer who wants to go far should watch what Ken has done in his career. Anyways, NBA...Ken himself described it as "Jason Bourne combating vampires" and that is a very apt description. It does use the GUMSHOE engine which I don't particularly like, but a good GM could change that for me. The setting material for Night's Black Agents is pretty deep and though the idea is simple "Kill vampires till you reach Vlad" there is just so much more to it then that.


Nobilis
I've only gotten to play it once and the GM was just awful. That didn't poison me to the system however and The Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine RPG came out recently generalizing the rules more and I think it'd be a wonderful system to play in.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

GURPS101: Other Trained by a Master Advantages



Nothing helps build a character concept like the hint of some kind of secret or special training. In GURPS this can go be done in several ways, by taking high skills, having high attributes, or by taking advantages. The chief among these in the Basic Set are Gunslinger, Trained by a Master, or Weapon Master. These special traits allow you to ignore some rules, give access to others, or give a concrete advantage over those who are not specially trained. Gigermann asked:

"Our GM, inspired by How to be a GURPS GM, decided to cap skills at 18, requiring Trained by a Master to exceed that limit—that's all well and good. But what about a wizard? Or a psychologist? TbaM has no effect for non-melée skills other than as a really-expensive Unusual Background/Rule Exemption. How would you do it?"

That's actually a really good question and one that's come up before in a playtest. GURPS Magic: Plant Spells had Unusual Background (Trained by an Archdruid) that allowed characters to do a small number of (really) cool things. So were I constructing a system to create a "Trained by a [Specific Type or Role]" how would I do it? Well, maybe something like...


Building Unusual Background (Masterful Training)

Suggested Benefits
First, determine what benefits Masterful Training gives you using the following rules. In most cases you're going to simply get a reduction in penalties for a specific skill or task or the ability to purchase a trait otherwise off-limits to the rest of the campaign's players.  You might also get a enhanced default to a skill or even a default to a skill that normally doesn't have one! You might even get a benefit for a skill or task that others cannot get at all without Masterful Training. Add up all the benefits first and then round the final cost up to the nearest multiple of five.
  • Reduce a common penalty for a skill or task by half*  (Example: Trained by a Master's reduction of Rapid Strike penalties):
    • Single Skill or Task: 1 point
    • Small Group of Skills or Tasks (up to 6): 5 points
    • Medium Group of Skills or Tasks (up to 12): 10 points
    • Large Group of Skills or Tasks (13 or more): 15 points
  • Buy a skill or advantage that's normally off-limits†  (Example: Trained by a Master's Cinematic Skill access):
    • Small Group of Skills or Advantages (up to 6): 0 points
    • Medium Group of Skills or Advantages (up to 12): 1 points
    • Large Group of Skills or Advantages (13 or more): 5 points
  • Enhanced or Generous Defaults‡  (Example: Weapon Master's defaults for weapon skills):
    • Small Group of Skills (up to 6): 1 points
    • Medium Group of Skills (up to 12): 5 points
    • Large Group of Skills (13 or more): 10 points
  • Enhanced Benefits§ (Example: Gunslinger's Accuracy bonus):
    • Single Skill or Task: 1 point
    • Small Group of Skills or Tasks (up to 6): 5 points
    • Medium Group of Skills or Tasks (up to 12): 10 points
    • Large Group of Skills or Tasks (13 or more): 15 points
* Treat a task for a specific mode of attack as a single task for pricing. For example, "All Unarmed parries" would be considered a single task. Count techniques as half a skill. Optionally, halve the cost if you only reduce the penalty by 2/3 or double it if you ignore it. 
† Ignore Perks for this rule and count any trait worth 5 points or less as half a advantage. Use maximum levels for leveled traits. For example, if you can buy DR 3 this is a 15 point advantage and counts as a advantage - not half of one.
‡ If your benefit has a drawback (e.g., Weapon Master's enhanced defaults does not allow you to buy them up from that default) then halve the cost of the trait (round-up). 
§ GMs may wish to look at the Suggested Benefits for Wildcard skills from GURPS Power-Ups 7: Wildcards (pp. 00-00) for ideas.

Prerequisites and Aspects
If a trait has a prerequisite, subtract 1 from the final cost per such "buy in," but before rounding up to the nearest cost. If a trait has a aspected tier system (like Weapon Master) then apply a series of Accessibility modifiers to determine the final cost after rounding.


Examples
A couple of examples:

Trained by a Master
Using these rules Trained by a Master could be broken up as:
  • Cinematic Skill Access (Large Group): 5 points
  • Off-Limit Trait Access (Large Group): 5 points
  • Common Penalty Reduction - All Parries (Medium Group): 10 points
  • Common Penalty Reduction - All Rapid Strikes (Medium Group): 10 points
Gunslinger
Using these rules Trained by a Master could be broken up as:
  • Cinematic Skill/Technique Access (Small Group): 0 points
  • Off-Limit Trait Access (Small Group): 1 point
  • Enhanced Benefit (Full Accuracy Bonus for one-handed weapons) (Medium Group): 10 points
  • Enhanced Benefit (Half Accuracy Bonus for two-handed weapons) (Large Group): 8 points
  • Enhanced Benefit (Ignore Bulk penalty on Move and Attack and in close combat) (Single Skill): 2 point
  • Common Penalty Reduction - Gun Techniques and Fast-Draw (Small Group): 1 points

Picking Over the Bones
Kromm tossed out a few useful bits that I added to my own system because hell, they make plenty of sense to me so I used them here. Such a system might be too fussy for some gamers - if that's the case just find a similarly priced trait, alter it, and use it. You'll know if the price is too high or low after a couple of game sessions using it.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Triple Threat - Gwyllgi



Gwyllgi
Cu Sidhe (aka “fairy hounds”) are more or less immortal and can be found anywhere that the sidhe are found. For some sidhe who cannot afford to pay the Teind (their tithe to Hell) they sacrifice their beloved hounds instead of themselves. This results in a monstrous creature stuck somewhere between a Hellhound and a Cu Sidhe – the Gwyllgi. Highly prized by the lords of Hell they can often be found leading a pack of Hellhounds or other lesser demons and share many of the abilities of both a Hellhound and a Cu Sidhe. Resembling large dogs with fiery eyes and coal-black skin they are a terrifying sight to behold and are fond of killing their former masters if they can.

Any Campaign Setting...
ST: 18             HP: 18            Speed: 8.00
DX: 14            Will: 12           Move: 15/30
IQ: 10             Per: 14            Weight: 400 lbs.
HT: 14            FP: 14             SM: +1
Dodge: 12       Parry: 13        DR: 6 (Tough Skin)

Bite (16): 2d+2 cutting. Reach C, 1. Made as a Deceptive Attack (-1 to defend against).
Claw (16): 1d+3 cutting. Reach C, 1. Made as a Deceptive Attack (-1 to defend against).
Fire Breath (16): 2d burning. Range 10/20; no range penalties. Made as a Deceptive Attack (-1 to defend against).
Torso Grapple (16): No damage, but on further turns can squeeze (Choke or Strangle, p. B370) as ST 25 or worry. Made as a Deceptive Attack (-1 to defend against).
Worry (-): This can only be used after a target has been bitten. It does the same damage as the bite.

Traits: Appearance (Monstrous); Bad Smell; Combat Reflexes; Dark Vision; Discriminatory Hearing; Discriminatory Smell (Emotion Sense); Divine Curse (Can be bound using True Name); Doesn’t Breathe; Doesn’t Eat or Drink; Doesn’t Sleep; Dread (Holy Ground); Dread (Iron; Can be trapped only; Insensitive); Dread (Religious Symbols; Cannot Be Trapped); Duty (Master); Energy Reserve 6 (Infernal*); Extra Attack 2; Fearlessness 3; High Pain Threshold (Accessibility, Not against holy attacks); Immunity to Metabolic Hazards; Injury Tolerance (Homogeneous; No Blood); Insubstantiality (Affect Substantial (Only if Summoned); Powerful Reversion; Substantial Only; Difficult Materialization (Only if Summoned)); Intolerance (Faeries); Intolerance (Religious or holy people and places); Invisibility (Substantial Only; Difficult Materialization (Only if Summoned)); Jumper (Spirit; Only if Summoned, Limited Access, Hell); Pacifism (Cannot Harm Innocents; Accessibility, Prevents direct harm of truly good folk only); Pack Tactics; Penetrating Voice; Quadruped; Resistant to Influence (+3); Sharp Claws; Sharp Teeth; Social Stigma (Demon); Soulseeker†; Striking ST+5 (Bite only); Terror 4 (Hearing or Sight); Turned Using True Faith;Unaging; Vulnerability (Blessed Weapons x2); Vulnerability (Iron x2); Weakness (Holy attacks; 1d per minute); Weakness (Iron, 1d/minute; Fatigue only); Weakness (Running Water, 1d/minute; Variable).

Skills: Brawling‑18; Innate Attack (Breath)-18; Intimidate-16, Jumping-18; Stealth‑16; Tracking-20; Wrestling-18.
Notes: Natural Biter 3. The Pack Alpha has an IQ of 12, as well as a Leadership and Tactics of 12; other statistics are the same. If the GM is using Intrinsic Fright Check from GURPS Horror (p. 139), gwyllgi have a modifier of -3. 
* This can be spent on any demonic racial ability as well as Extra Effort for Combat or any other “hellish” power (e.g., magic fueled by demons).
† This trait is Super-Memorization 1 (35) (ESP, -10%; Limited, Trait, Detect, -50%; Magical, -10%; Requires Per Roll, -5%). The Detect advantage is attuned to a specific target and is built as Detect (Specific Target; Analyzing, +100%; Cosmic, Ignores Countermeasures (Accessibility, Targets who belong in Hell only, -50%), +150%; Cosmic, No die roll required, +100%; Long-Range 1, +50%; Precise, +100%; World-Spanning, All, +100%).


For Dungeon Fantasy...
ST: 18             HP: 18            Speed: 8.00
DX: 14            Will: 12           Move: 15/30
IQ: 10             Per: 14            Weight: 400 lbs.
HT: 14            FP: 14             SM: +1
Dodge: 12       Parry: 13        DR: 9* (Tough Skin)

Bite (16): 2d+2 cutting. Reach C, 1. Made as a Deceptive Attack (-1 to defend against).
Claw (16): 1d+3 cutting. Reach C, 1. Made as a Deceptive Attack (-1 to defend against).
Fire Breath (16): 2d burning. Range 10/20; no range penalties. Made as a Deceptive Attack (-1 to defend against).
Torso Grapple (16): No damage, but on further turns can squeeze (Choke or Strangle, p. B370) as ST 25 or worry. Made as a Deceptive Attack (-1 to defend against).
Worry (-): This can only be used after a target has been bitten. It does the same damage as the bite.

Traits: Appearance (Monstrous); Bad Smell; Combat Reflexes; Dark Vision; Discriminatory Hearing; Discriminatory Smell (Emotion Sense); Divine Curse (Can be bound using True Name); Doesn’t Breathe; Doesn’t Eat or Drink; Doesn’t Sleep; Dread (Holy Ground); Dread (Iron; Can be trapped only; Insensitive); Dread (Religious Symbols; Cannot Be Trapped); Duty (Master); Energy Reserve 6 (Infernal); Extra Attack 2; Fearlessness 3; High Pain Threshold (Accessibility, Not against holy attacks); Immunity to Metabolic Hazards; Injury Tolerance (Homogeneous; No Blood); Insubstantiality (Affect Substantial (Only if Summoned); Powerful Reversion; Substantial Only; Difficult Materialization (Only if Summoned)); Intolerance (Faeries); Intolerance (Religious or holy people and places); Invisibility (Substantial Only; Difficult Materialization (Only if Summoned)); Jumper (Spirit; Only if Summoned, Limited Access, Hell); Pacifism (Cannot Harm Innocents; Accessibility, Prevents direct harm of truly good folk only); Pack Tactics; Penetrating Voice; Quadruped; Resistant to Influence (+3); Sharp Claws; Sharp Teeth; Social Stigma (Demon); Soulseeker; Striking ST+5 (Bite only); Terror 4 (Hearing or Sight); Turned Using True Faith;Unaging; Vulnerability (Blessed Weapons x2); Vulnerability (Iron x2); Weakness (Holy attacks; 1d per minute); Weakness (Iron, 1d/minute; Fatigue only); Weakness (Running Water, 1d/minute; Variable).
Skills: Brawling‑18; Innate Attack (Breath)-18; Intimidate-16, Jumping-18; Stealth‑16; Tracking-20; Wrestling-18.
Class: Demon.
Notes: Natural Biter 3. The Pack Alpha has an IQ of 12, as well as a Leadership and Tactics of 12; other statistics are the same. Gwyllgi could be considered "top dogs" in relation to greater and lesser hellhounds and are often summoned by black magic users to do their bidding. Additionally, thanks to their dual nature they can be affected by many of the same things that Faeries can be.
* Remove the Tough Skin limitation and triple this DR against Heat or Fire attacks.
This can be spent on any demonic racial ability as well as Extra Effort for Combat or any other “hellish” power (e.g., magic fueled by demons).
This trait is Super-Memorization 1 (35) (ESP, -10%; Limited, Trait, Detect, -50%; Magical, -10%; Requires Per Roll, -5%). The Detect advantage is attuned to a specific target and is built as Detect (Specific Target; Analyzing, +100%; Cosmic, Ignores Countermeasures (Accessibility, Targets who belong in Hell only, -50%), +150%; Cosmic, No die roll required, +100%; Long-Range 1, +50%; Precise, +100%; World-Spanning, All, +100%).


For Monster Hunters...
ST: 18             HP: 18            Speed: 8.00
DX: 14            Will: 12           Move: 15/30
IQ: 10             Per: 14            Weight: 400 lbs.
HT: 14            FP: 14             SM: +1
Dodge: 12       Parry: 13        DR: 9 (Tough Skin)

Fright Check: -3

Bite (16): 2d+2 cutting. Reach C, 1. Made as a Deceptive Attack (-1 to defend against).
Claw (16): 1d+3 cutting. Reach C, 1. Made as a Deceptive Attack (-1 to defend against).
Fire Breath (16): 2d burning. Range 10/20; no range penalties. Made as a Deceptive Attack (-1 to defend against).
Torso Grapple (16): No damage, but on further turns can squeeze (Choke or Strangle, p. B370) as ST 25 or worry. Made as a Deceptive Attack (-1 to defend against).
Worry (-): This can only be used after a target has been bitten. It does the same damage as the bite.

Traits: Appearance (Monstrous); Bad Smell; Combat Reflexes; Dark Vision; Discriminatory Hearing; Discriminatory Smell (Emotion Sense); Divine Curse (Can be bound using True Name); Doesn’t Breathe; Doesn’t Eat or Drink; Doesn’t Sleep; Dread (Holy Ground); Dread (Iron; Can be trapped only; Insensitive); Dread (Religious Symbols; Cannot Be Trapped); Duty (Master); Energy Reserve 6 (Infernal*); Extra Attack 2; Fearlessness 3; High Pain Threshold (Accessibility, Not against holy attacks); Immunity to Metabolic Hazards; Injury Tolerance (Homogenous; No Blood); Insubstantiality (Affect Substantial (Only if Summoned); Powerful Reversion; Substantial Only; Difficult Materialization (Only if Summoned)); Intolerance (Faeries); Intolerance (Religious or holy people and places); Invisibility (Substantial Only; Difficult Materialization (Only if Summoned)); Jumper (Spirit; Only if Summoned, Limited Access, Hell); Pacifism (Cannot Harm Innocents; Accessibility, Prevents direct harm of truly good folk only); Pack Tactics; Penetrating Voice; Quadruped; Resistant to Influence (+3); Sharp Claws; Sharp Teeth; Social Stigma (Demon); Soulseeker†; Striking ST+5 (Bite only); Terror 4 (Hearing or Sight); Turned Using True Faith;Unaging; Vulnerability (Blessed Weapons x2); Vulnerability (Iron x2); Weakness (Holy attacks; 1d per minute); Weakness (Iron, 1d/minute; Fatigue only); Weakness (Running Water, 1d/minute; Variable).
Skills: Brawling‑18; Innate Attack (Breath)-18; Intimidate-16, Jumping-18; Stealth‑16; Tracking-20; Wrestling-18.
Notes: Natural Biter 3. The Pack Alpha has an IQ of 12, as well as a Leadership and Tactics of 12; other statistics are the same. Use the skills listed under Cryptids in the Know Thy Enemy box in Monster Hunters 1 (p. 16). One gwyllgi is a fair fight for one champion.
* This can be spent on any demonic racial ability as well as Extra Effort for Combat or any other “hellish” power (e.g., magic fueled by demons).
† This trait is Super-Memorization 1 (35) (ESP, -10%; Limited, Trait, Detect, -50%; Magical, -10%; Requires Per Roll, -5%). The Detect advantage is attuned to a specific target and is built as Detect (Specific Target; Analyzing, +100%; Cosmic, Ignores Countermeasures (Accessibility, Targets who belong in Hell only, -50%), +150%; Cosmic, No die roll required, +100%; Long-Range 1, +50%; Precise, +100%; World-Spanning, All, +100%).

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Designer's Notes: Dungeon Fantasy Video Gaming



Overall writing this article was fun. I got to mix two of my favorite things: RPGs and video-games. Who wouldn't want to do that? I also wanted to do something so out there and cool that Steven would accept it - with his "Well, I can see why 'traditional' dungeon-fantasy campaigns wouldn't want to do that, but that's cool idea, and I want to put it in my campaign." I tried hard to strike a balance of playability and complexity. I think I achieved that, but only time will tell otherwise. Overall it took me about 50 hours of writing, editing, reviewing, and revising to get this in top form. This was also one of the articles affected by a rogue third-party macro for Excel that made my life hell for a few months. I had to go back and check every single article I'd submitted (not a inconsequential amount!) to see what had been changed. The macro had just completely killed some sentences by getting rid of pronouns like "he" and nuking contractions. It was a miserable month when I found out and I did my best to fix the problem which results in about a hundred man-hours of extra work.
Anyways, back to DFVG - did I mention it was fun? Because it was REALLY fun. I got to go back over the tropes covered by some of my favorite video games like Disgaea, Final Fantasy, Legend of Zelda, Thief, and even Vagrant Story (Gawd how I love that game - if you've never played it, I feel sorry for the hole that you carry around in your soul that only it can fill). One thing I didn't come up with was the title head for the tropes > rules section, "Video Game Achievements Unlocked," but Nikki Vrtis did - and I freaking love it. I just got to call that out. It was perfect. Thanks again, Nikki (and Steven)! I feel that with my article you could probably emulate just about any "rogue-like" fantasy game using GURPS Dungeon Fantasy. Now, for the outtakes (the real reason you're probably reading this):


Closing Thoughts

This probably got removed because it was a bit superfluous: 

"Why videogames? Better yet, why try to emulate a videogame in a tabletop role-playing game? Why not just play a videogame? The answers to these questions vary from person to person, and GM to GM. But most likely the answer is: because it would be totally cool. Obviously, many things that work in videogames are not going to work in a tabletop game, but as this article proves – some do."


Geo Effects
Named after the trope of the same name, probably the easiest way to represent this is to use Mana Levels for everything and discard all other "energy types" (e.g., Sanctity). Therefore chi-based powers get a -5 penalty in Low-Geomana areas and those who have purchased clerical spells, but lack Power Investiture can cast them in areas of "High Geomana." The GM could also come up with a chart that gives specific bonuses in specific areas of his campaign world - but that would be a setting design decision rather than a hard and fast rule.


Got My Teamspeak On
Playing modern cooperative games often involves the use of VOIP programs (like Teamspeak or Skype) and allows the players to more coordinate their actions. In GURPS, this is best defined as the Telecommunication (Telesend) advantage (p. B91).

Teamspeak!: Telecommunication (Accessibility, Only other members of my party, -30%; Broadcast, +50%; Can tell if sending is successful, +10%; Long-Range 1, +50%; Reliable 10, +50%; Secure, +20%) [90]. Note: Allows players to telepathically communicate with members of their delving party without actually speaking.

If all player characters or important NPCs have this ability, this is simply a design switch.


Hot Swappable Character Party
In many RPG video-games there are a pleothra of characters you can choose from - but only a limited number at a time (typically about 4, which is also a typical average size for a gaming group...). To emulate this each player creates anywhere from 2 to 6 characters that they'd want to play and then picks off one to start. At any point later on the player can ask the GM to "swap" a character with any of his others. This may be combined with Dots on a Map, Quick, Save the Game!, or both representing a need to be at a "save" or "warp" point before a character may be swapped out.


Where's My Pallet-jack Thingy?!
In some games despite a character's immense strength or lack of physical capabilities lifting a box is always the same and can be done by anyone - with enough time. Don't try. It won't work. What you need is a pallet-jack thingy! When this feature is active, specific objects are designed as "Puzzle-based" which means that they can be moved by anyone with no rolls - it merely takes time. Figure out how long it would take a character with ST 10 to move the object and then multiply that time by 10. See p. B352 for more details on lifting and dragging. If a object couldn't be moved by a person with ST 10, instead scale up the ST until it's at the bare minimum to move it and then add 10% to the final time per point of 10 the required ST score was. This costs the normal FP. For example, a box that weighs 500 lbs. that needs to be pushed one hex would require a ST of 18 to pick up and shift one hex in 1 second for 1 FP. If it's a "puzzled-based" box then ST wouldn't matter, but it would take 18 seconds to shift one hex and would still cost 1 FP.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Triple Threat: Tooth Fairy




Tooth Fairy
Zahnfee, hammaspeikko, petite souris, ratoncito pérez, and many more and too numerous to list are all names for one creature: the tooth fairy. In the last century this dangerous creature has been whitewashed and made “acceptable” for children. Most zahnfee (the typical name others call them) are creatures out of a nightmare resembling a large rat with a too small head, too big jaws, tattered looking insectile wings, a thin emaciated body, and spindly arms and legs that end in razor-like chitinous claws. Their diet consists almost solely of bones and other calcium rich flesh and have acidic saliva, blood, etc. Additionally, if they aren’t any nearby prey they can hibernate for decades at a time when they don’t have a proper food source. The strength of their bite is out of proportion to their size and while one zahnfee might be dangerous to a child or surprised adult, they like to swarm their targets. They are distantly related to pixies – though the pixies would never claim them. There are rumors of a renegade faction of zahnfee who are less brutal and more intelligent than their kin. They are said to restrain their ravenous hunger by eating only the dead or what others willfully offer them and many cryptozoologists believe that they may be responsible for the stories that resulted in the tooth fairy’s image changing in the 20th century.

For Any Campaign…
ST: 6              HP: 8             Speed: 6.00
DX: 12            Will: 12           Move: 6 (Air Move 12)
IQ: 7               Per: 12            Weight: 10 lbs.
HT: 12            FP: 12             SM: -5
Dodge: 10       Parry: 10        DR: 1 (Tough Skin)

Acidic Blood (-): 1d-3 corrosion (three 1-second cycles) + linked 2d+2 corrosion. The linked attack doesn’t actually inflict any damage. Instead, roll dice normally and count all corrosion damage for the purposes of how much DR is lost. The tooth fairy must first have suffered any cutting, impaling, or piercing injury. They automatically bleed on weapons that wound them – or their foe, if attacked with Claws, Teeth, etc. – which immediately begins to corrode. Until he stops bleeding (see Bleeding, p. B420), the acid drips on everything nearby. The tooth fairy may intentionally inflict damage on themselves (they often bite their tongues so they can bleed on targets when they bite them) to activate this ability.
Bite (14): 1d(3) impaling. Reach C. Treat as a weapon (Striker), not as a body part.
Claw (14): 1d-3 cutting. Reach C. Treat as a weapon (Striker), not as a body part.

Traits: Appearance (Monstrous); Bad Temper (12); Can Be Turned Using True Name*; Combat Reflexes; Dark Vision; Divine Curse (Can be bound using True Name); Divine Curse (If asked something three times they must make sure it’s true/comes to pass); Divine Curse (Keep to the letter of any promise); Dread (Iron); Dread (Uttering their True Name aloud); Hidebound;
High Pain Threshold; Increased Consumption 1; Invisibility (Can Carry Objects, None, +10%; Glamour, Will-5, -5%; Substantial Only, -10%; Switchable, +10%); Jumper (Spirit; Costs Fatigue, 5 FP, -50%; Limited Access, Underhill, -20%; Special Movement, must be able to walk, -10%; Special Portal, any reflective surface, -20%; Tunnel (Takes Extra Time 5, -50%), +20%); Lifting ST+4 (Bite only); Low Empathy; Metabolism Control 5 (Hibernation); Odious Personal Habit (Capricious); Odious Personal Habit (Eating people); Reduced Consumption 2 (Cast-Iron Stomach); Regeneration (Slow; Bane, Iron); Resistant to Metabolic Hazards (+3); Restricted Diet (Calcium-rich flesh); Revulsion (Iron); Sadism (12); Sealed (Acid Resistant); Silence 4; Striking ST+4 (Bite only); Temperature Tolerance 4; Unaging; Unusual Biochemistry; Temperature Tolerance 4.
Skills:  Brawling-14; Stealth-14; Wrestling-14.
Notes: Reproduces by laying eggs in bones, teeth, etc. – usually of corpses or skeletons…but not always. Mating season induces a frenzy (treat them as being Berserk without a self-control modifier) and often swarms of bone-eating little monsters. If the GM is using Intrinsic Fright Check from GURPS Horror (p. 139), Tooth Fairies have a modifier of -1.

(Tooth Fairy Swarm)
ST: 6              HP: 48                       Speed: 6.00
DX: 12            Will: 12           Move: 6 (Air Move 12)
IQ: 7               Per: 12            Weight: 10 lbs.
HT: 12            FP: 12             SM: -5
Dodge: 10       Parry: 10        DR: 1 (Tough Skin)

Acidic Blood (-):As for Tooth Fairy but roll once; an additional attack hits per point of margin by which they succeed.
Bite (14): As for Tooth Fairy but roll once; an additional attack hits per point of margin by which they succeed.
Claw (14): As for Tooth Fairy but roll once; an additional attack hits per point of margin by which they succeed.

Traits: As for Tooth Fairy.
Skills:  As for Tooth Fairy.
Notes: As for Tooth Fairy. Composed of 3 to 18 creatures, average of 10 to 11 (roll 3d). If the GM is using Intrinsic Fright Check from GURPS Horror (p. 139), Tooth Fairy swarms have a modifier of -6.


For Dungeon Fantasy…
ST: 6              HP: 8             Speed: 6.00
DX: 12            Will: 12           Move: 6 (Air Move 12)
IQ: 7               Per: 12            Weight: 10 lbs.
HT: 12            FP: 12             SM: -5
Dodge: 10       Parry: 10        DR: 1 (Tough Skin)

Acidic Blood (-): 1d-3 corrosion (three 1-second cycles) + linked 2d+2 corrosion. The linked attack doesn’t actually inflict any damage. Instead, roll dice normally and count all corrosion damage for the purposes of how much DR is lost. The tooth fairy must first have suffered any cutting, impaling, or piercing injury. They automatically bleed on weapons that wound them – or their foe, if attacked with Claws, Teeth, etc. – which immediately begins to corrode. Until he stops bleeding (see Bleeding, p. B420), the acid drips on everything nearby. The tooth fairy may intentionally inflict damage on themselves (they often bite their tongues so they can bleed on targets when they bite them) to activate this ability.
Bite (14): 1d(3) impaling. Reach C. Treat as a weapon (Striker), not as a body part.
Claw (14): 1d-3 cutting. Reach C. Treat as a weapon (Striker), not as a body part.

Traits: Appearance (Monstrous); Bad Temper (12); Can Be Turned Using True Name*; Combat Reflexes; Dark Vision; Divine Curse (Can be bound using True Name); Divine Curse (If asked something three times they must make sure it’s true/comes to pass); Divine Curse (Keep to the letter of any promise); Dread (Iron); Dread (Uttering their True Name aloud); Hidebound;
High Pain Threshold; Increased Consumption 1; Invisibility (Can Carry Objects, None, +10%; Glamour, Will-5, -5%; Substantial Only, -10%; Switchable, +10%); Jumper (Spirit; Costs Fatigue, 5 FP, -50%; Limited Access, Underhill, -20%; Special Movement, must be able to walk, -10%; Special Portal, any reflective surface, -20%; Tunnel (Takes Extra Time 5, -50%), +20%); Lifting ST+4 (Bite only); Low Empathy; Metabolism Control 5 (Hibernation); Odious Personal Habit (Capricious); Odious Personal Habit (Eating people); Reduced Consumption 2 (Cast-Iron Stomach); Regeneration (Slow; Bane, Iron); Resistant to Metabolic Hazards (+3); Restricted Diet (Calcium-rich flesh); Revulsion (Iron); Sadism (12); Sealed (Acid Resistant); Silence 4; Striking ST+4 (Bite only); Temperature Tolerance 4; Unaging; Unusual Biochemistry; Temperature Tolerance 4.
Skills:  Brawling-14; Stealth-14; Wrestling-14.
Classification: Faerie.
Notes: Reproduces by laying eggs in bones, teeth, etc. – usually of corpses or skeletons…but not always. Mating season induces a frenzy (treat them as being Berserk without a self-control modifier) and often swarms of bone-eating little monsters. Tooth fairy blood, bile, etc. can be harvested – each 1d fairies yields one vial of Alkahest with a Alchemy roll.

(Tooth Fairy Swarm)
ST: 6              HP: 48                       Speed: 6.00
DX: 12            Will: 12           Move: 6 (Air Move 12)
IQ: 7               Per: 12            Weight: 10 lbs.
HT: 12            FP: 12             SM: -5
Dodge: 10       Parry: 10        DR: 1 (Tough Skin)

Acidic Blood (-):As for Tooth Fairy but roll once; an additional attack hits per point of margin by which they succeed.
Bite (14): As for Tooth Fairy but roll once; an additional attack hits per point of margin by which they succeed.
Claw (14): As for Tooth Fairy but roll once; an additional attack hits per point of margin by which they succeed.

Traits: As for Tooth Fairy.
Skills:  As for Tooth Fairy.
Notes: As for Tooth Fairy. Composed of 3 to 18 creatures, average of 10 to 11 (roll 3d).


For Monster Hunters…
ST: 6              HP: 8             Speed: 6.00
DX: 12            Will: 12           Move: 6 (Air Move 12)
IQ: 7               Per: 12            Weight: 10 lbs.
HT: 12            FP: 12             SM: -5
Dodge: 10       Parry: 10        DR: 1 (Tough Skin)

Fright Check: -1

Acidic Blood (-): 1d-3 corrosion (three 1-second cycles) + linked 2d+2 corrosion. The linked attack doesn’t actually inflict any damage. Instead, roll dice normally and count all corrosion damage for the purposes of how much DR is lost. The tooth fairy must first have suffered any cutting, impaling, or piercing injury. They automatically bleed on weapons that wound them – or their foe, if attacked with Claws, Teeth, etc. – which immediately begins to corrode. Until he stops bleeding (see Bleeding, p. B420), the acid drips on everything nearby. The tooth fairy may intentionally inflict damage on themselves (they often bite their tongues so they can bleed on targets when they bite them) to activate this ability.
Bite (16): 1d(3) impaling. Reach C. Treat as a weapon (Striker), not as a body part.
Claw (16): 1d-3 cutting. Reach C. Treat as a weapon (Striker), not as a body part.

Traits: Acute Hearing 3; Appearance (Monstrous); Bad Temper (12); Combat Reflexes; Dark Vision; Dread (Iron; Can be trapped only; Insensitive); Extended Hearing (Low); High Pain Threshold; Immunity to Metabolic Hazards; Increased Consumption 1; Intolerance (Religious or holy people and places); Language (Tuath; Native); Lifting ST+4 (Bite only); Low Empathy; Magery 0; Metabolism Control 5 (Hibernation); Odious Personal Habit (Eating people); Reduced Consumption 2 (Cast-Iron Stomach); Regeneration (Slow; Bane, Iron); Restricted Diet (Calcium-rich flesh); Sadism (12); Sealed (Acid Resistant); Silence 4; Striking ST+4 (Bite only); Temperature Tolerance 4; Ultrahearing; Temperature Tolerance 4.
Skills:  Brawling-16; Stealth-16; Wrestling-16.
Notes: Reproduces by laying eggs in bones, teeth, etc. – usually of corpses or skeletons…but not always. Mating season induces a frenzy (treat them as being Berserk without a self-control modifier) and often swarms of bone-eating little monsters. Affected by Path of Spirit (instead of Body/Mind) magic; Always scars from wounds inflicted by iron; Can be turned using True Name (use the rules for True Faith); Native DR does not protect against iron weapons or attacks; Sterile; Use the skills listed under Free-Willed Spirits in the Know Thy Enemy box in Monster Hunters 1 (p. 16). One tooth fairy swarm is a fair fight for one to two champions without iron weapons or for two to three without iron weapons. A single tooth fairy does not pose much of a risk for even a junior hunter.

(Tooth Fairy Swarm)
ST: 6              HP: 48                       Speed: 6.00
DX: 12            Will: 12           Move: 6 (Air Move 12)
IQ: 7               Per: 12            Weight: 10 lbs.
HT: 12            FP: 12             SM: -5
Dodge: 10       Parry: 10        DR: 1 (Tough Skin)

Fright Check: -6

Acidic Blood (-):As for Tooth Fairy but roll once; an additional attack hits per point of margin by which they succeed.
Bite (14): As for Tooth Fairy but roll once; an additional attack hits per point of margin by which they succeed.
Claw (14): As for Tooth Fairy but roll once; an additional attack hits per point of margin by which they succeed.

Traits: As for Tooth Fairy.
Skills:  As for Tooth Fairy.

Notes: As for Tooth Fairy. Composed of 3 to 18 creatures, average of 10 to 11 (roll 3d).