Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Carpe Blogiem: Dungeon Fantasy Boxed Set Kickstarter Announced

So it's official: GURPS is sticking its toes into the Kickstarter pool. This. Is. Amazing. News. Seriously. Amazing. If you are a fan of GURPS and have complained over the years about Steve Jackson Games not using a Kickstarter to fund products for their RPG line now is the time to nut up or shut up. Even if you hate Dungeon Fantasy. Even if you prefer science fiction go back the damn Kickstarter. (Whenever that comes out - they're saying tomorrow sometime and I'll likely be talking about this again whenever they do start the Kickstarter.)

Also, I've decided to run as many Dungeon Fantasy posts on my blog as I can. Since I'm rather busy myself I thought I'd get some folks who enjoy GURPS, but lack a blog to help promote GURPS during this time. After all, we want this to fund and maybe do better than both Car Wars and Ogre! If you're interested drop me a PM or quote this and I'll contact you.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Hurt Locker: Tangler Pistol

So recently someone posted about the "goo guns" from the Incredibles on the forums. Since that is one of my favorite superhero flicks of all time I decided to poke at the idea of building a "goo gun" using metatronic generators.

New Binding Modifiers
First, some new modifiers for Binding (p. B40):

Cosmic, Enhanced Layering: This Cosmic variation comes in multiple levels. The first means that when you hit a target with a Binding to layer it, the ST increase is equal to 1/10 of your Binding level. For +100%, it's 1/5 your Binding level. For +300% it's 1/3 your Binding level.

Cosmic, Enhanced DR: This Cosmic variation comes in multiple levels. The first means that when you hit a target with a Binding its DR is equal to 1/2 your Binding level, not 1/3. For +100%, it's equal to your Binding level. For +300% it's twice your Binding level. 

Metatronic Generator: Tangler Wrist-Mounted Pistol
Here's a grapnel pistol that always seems to be in the superhero's arsenal.

Tangler Wrist-Mounted Pistol (EGP) (TL8^)
These sleek looking gauntlets (each weigh about 1.5 lbs. and can shoot 30 shots) contain multiple vials of a two-part compound that when compound great a sticky blob of expanding foam. On a hit, your target is pinned (p. B370) and rooted in place. He cannot change facing or select the Move or Change Posture maneuvers, and he gains a -4 to DX. Your target can attempt to break free, but you must win a Quick Contest of ST roll vs. 20 to do so. This takes 1 second. Failure results in 1 FP lost and the victim cannot attempt to break free again for another 10 seconds; on a 17 or 18 the victim becomes helplessly entangled and cannot escape on his own. Victims can only damage the goo with purely mental abilities (which take a -4 penalty) or innate attacks (which hit automatically). The blob has DR 10 and HP 20, at 0 HP it’s destroyed. Others attacking the blob risk hitting the victim on a miss (see Striking Into a Close Combat, p. B392). Anyone touching it risks being bound to the same spot as well! The goo persists for 8 hours before harmless degrading.

Multiple hits can layer the goo increasing the ST of it by two per hit. This weapon requires two forms of “ammo.” The first is the two-part compound and the second is the batteries, which shoot and mix the binary compounds. They also provide DR 4 to the forearms of the subject (on an arm hit, roll 1d, on a 1-3 the DR protects). Small, $560,000, 3 lbs. lbs. T or 2xA/60 shots. LC3.

GUNS/TL (PISTOL) (DX-4 or other Guns-2)
Spec. (see above)
[1] This attack has Selective Fire, allowing it to fire as if it had RoF 1-3.

Statistics: Damage Resistance 4 (Partial, Upper Arms, -30%; Superscience, -10%) [12] + Binding 20 (Conventional Firearm, Shots 30, Selective Fire, Slow Reload, +80%; Cosmic, Enhanced DR, +50%; Cosmic, Enhanced Layering, +50%; Engulfing, +60%; Extended Duration, 30,000x, +180%; Only damaged by corrosion or burning attacks, +20%; Reduced Duration, 1/10, -20%; Sticky, +20%; Superscience, -10%) [212]. Notes: This has the “Requires Extra Consumables” modifier (-0.2 CF) which increases the cost of the reloads to $56 per full reload of 60 shots, but has Concealable (+0.2 CF), which gives a +2 to Holdout rolls.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Aeon A-Team S01E01 - We Are Sentry

Dramatis Personae
Aysella Shinjitai aka Marionette (played by +Ann LS): a telekinetic who can detect Kyberian Energy, and boost or dampen other metahuman powers.
Hobs Ini-Herit aka The Alchemist (played by +Christian Gelacio): a straight-up matter controller with super-strength and devastating good looks.
Roth Reynard aka Red Zone (played by +Troy Loy): a super-genius with flame powers and a fear of heights.
Samuel Donick aka RePlay (played by +Curtis Johnston): A telepath who can do your standard mind-tricks, but is exceptionally good at altering memories.
Jacob C. Wikvaya aka Shaman (played by +Thomas Phelps): A plant, animal, and weather-controller. Also a criminal-mastermind (but not by choice).

Severus U. "Sue" Edgeworth (NPC Ally): Young angry man. "Super-normal" who's insanely good at hand-to-hand combat, infiltration, and other spy/military skills. What kind of name is Sue? It's the one he gave himself. Mock it at your own risk.

The PCs decide that with great power, comes greater responsibility. They worked well together during the events of 9/11 and the idea that they could use their powers in similiar situations binds them together. The fact that they all end up at Columbia College for different reasons reinforces the idea that they are to do something great together.

The Alchemist uses his abilities to control matter to conjure a small fortune over the next two years. Combined with the money that Marionette fronts the team they build a well-hidden base under Shaman's day-to-day business facade (a greenhouse with "made to order" vegetables, fruits, etc.). The Alchemist uses his abilities to create several underground tunnels and rooms underneath the greenhouse which they call "the Panopticon." Over the next two years they train together as a team, learn from their earlier mistakes, and are educated (suffering?) under the tutelage of Urich Rosenkrantz in how to fight. They start out small with quick patrols and build their way up through the neighborhoods of Brooklyn (starting in Crown Heights). Rumors filter through the populous of someone helping the cops keep the peace, though not who. Rumors also abound of strange events all over the globe of people being able to do unnatural, impossible things.

All That Glitters Is Not Gold
Aysella, Hobs, Roth, Jacob, and Samuel
Gerald-Fitz's Jewelry, 56°F, Overcast
Saturday, March 6th, 2003, 10:00pm

251 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

While out on a patrol, the PCs come across a a robbery in progress at local jewelry store. The PCs encounter ten thugs exiting the store into a back alley. They'd split up into two groups: Sue and Marionette took them from the front, while the Alchemist, Red Zone, Shaman, and RePlay took them from the back entrance. Since all of Sentry is well-verted in free-running/parkour they run across the rooftops and streets. The battle is quick (this was a five second combat - long by some GURPS standards!). The PCs work well together as a team and using distractions, bindings, and other attacks win handily.

They interrogate the "man in charge." What they find out is disturbing. The criminals (many of them either first-time offenders on parole or career offenders) are being forced to commit crimes by a dirty cop named Stevie T. Zell. They recover the stolen jewelry and leave the crooks at the jewelry store zip tied together.

Sue tag's the crime scene with their logo: "We Are Sentry and We Are Watching."

Realizing they need to get evidence on the cops involved the PCs hatch a plan: the Alchemist creates duplicates of the jewelry with a GPS tracker embedded in the largest pieces. Asking where the thieves were supposed to drop their ill-gotten gains the PCs do it instead. Baiting the trap they wait. Hours go by until eventually someone shows up at the drop point, grabs the bag, and just as quickly leaves. With the GPS the PCs are able to simply follow the signal

Not All That Wander Are Lost
Aysella, Hobs, Roth, and Jacob
Slope & Sons Bodega, 66°F, Clear skies
Sunday, March 7th, 2003, 2:00am

216 5th Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215

Leapfrogging over rooftops and through side streets the PCs follow the jewels until they're dropped a a bodega off 5th avenue in Brooklyn. Inside, a uniformed police officer is buying snacks and energy drinks for his long night shift. Stealthfully, and with practice, he picks up the brown paper bag at the front of the door and continues to his squad car where he drives off.

After Action Report/Rules Notes
This one was pretty quick - the combat ate the most time (almost 4 hours!) and there were enough digressions that I kept having to rein folks back in. We also did a bit of world-building insofar as the PC's identities, costumes, etc. Overall, a good start to the whole "We're a superhero team."

One cool thing that did come up was the team's tagline:

"We Are Sentry.
And We Are Watching.
We Are Everywhere.
And We Will Not Forsake You."

That's kind of badass. Chris started on a logo as well, hopefully we'll see that soonish.

Session Soundtrack
"Voodoo People" by The Prodigy (especially during the two free-running/parkour scenes)
“The Unforgiven” by Metallica
“Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd

Aeon A-Team S00E02 - When the Towers Fell

Dramatis Personae
Aysella Shinjitai aka Marionette (played by +Ann LS): a telekinetic who can detect Kyberian Energy, and boost or dampen other metahuman powers.
Hobs Ini-Herit aka The Alchemist (played by +Christian Gelacio): a straight-up matter controller with super-strength and devastating good looks.
Roth Reynard aka Red Zone (played by +Troy Loy): a super-genius with flame powers and a fear of heights.
Samuel Donick aka RePlay (played by +Curtis Johnston): A telepath who can do your standard mind-tricks, but is exceptionally good at altering memories.
Jacob C. Wikvaya aka Shaman (played by +Thomas Phelps): A plant, animal, and weather-controller. Also a criminal-mastermind (but not by choice).

Sarah "Ras" Rasmussen aka Suicide Girl (NPC Ally): Girl with a deathwish. Gained superhuman powers after Aysella tried to save her from her wounds. This awakened her dormant abilities. Superhumanly strong, tough, and capable of extreme regeneration.
Severus U. "Sue" Edgeworth (NPC Ally): Young angry man. "Super-normal" who's insanely good at hand-to-hand combat, infiltration, and other spy/military skills. What kind of name is Sue? It's the one he gave himself. Mock it at your own risk.

Senior Trips are Worst Trips
Aysella, Hobs, Roth, Samuel, and Jacob
Fort Hamilton High School, 72°F, Clear skies
Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, 8:00am
Liberty St & Church St New York, NY 10006

The PCs and the the rest of their sensor classmates end up at the Sun-Green Holdings satellite office and financial wing on the 46th floor of the World Trade Center's south tower. The students are paying attention as best they can when the building is rocked by an explosion. The other students scream and the teacher (Mr. Markowitz) has enough of a head on his shoulders that they rush off toward the elevators to head down immediately. The PCs linger at the windows and watch as the plane and building become a towering inferno. Hobs hands Ras several firehouses tied to one another.
Ras gets a running start and leaps across to the north tower with the hose, her body impacting the glass window and shattering it. She ties it off and makes it taut and then Hobs turns it from rubber to steel so there is a makeshift beam. He then slings Samuel and Roth onto his back and runs across using his control over matter to adhere to the surface. Jacob stays in the south tower and begins calling up the plants to do his bidding from far below. He grows the plants thick to create a canopy for those below to be sheltered from the destruction from above. Aysella and Sue run across the steel beam after the other two, balancing themselves with sheer nerve.

Hobs makes it across and puts both Roth and Samuel down. He begins converting the water in the sprinkler system to liquid fire-retardant (Aysella's player uses her powers to boost his abilities so he can affect a whopping 80 gallons of material at a time). This makes it so that the lower floors have a harder time catching fire and giving people more time to escape. Roth extinguishes fires in huge swathes as he moves forward (using hie ability to detect the hottest fires and dealing with those first) with Samuel who uses his abilities to detect the still living minds of those trapped in the blaze. Sue and Roth begin freeing people from the places they are trapped in (either by fire or debris). Outside, Jacob finishes growing the massive canopy and controls the plants to bring him across and then to pull the people they've helped down and out of the tower.

Hobs uses his massive strength to remove debris and when that fails simply disintegrates it or phase through it. Aysella uses her TK to pull debris off of people or use the fire-retardant foam to dose it rapidly. The PCs go on and on, floor after floor, pulling out people who can be saved and dampening the fire as they go. Eventually, they hear screaming in Arabic (which Hobs translates as "The Americans are on the roof!") and the PCs head up the stairs. They hear gunfire next and slip into the stairwell. Sue, Aysella, and Samuel sneak past the gunmen in the lobby of a law firm. Hobs, Jacob, Roth, and Ras remain behind as the two groups work out a pincer attack. They all spot a man in white "leaking" smoke and fire in the lobby area.

Hobs chokes out one of the gunmen, while Jacob throws down some seeds and causes the plants to grow rapidly and bind several of the gunmen. Roth activates his heat sight again and uses that to target the gunmen with his powers after summoning a "pseudo-elemental."

Sue, Aysella, and Samuel head around the other direction and come across two men in American military uniforms firing at the Arab gunmen. One of them is badly injure and faints. Samuel rushes forward with his hands up shouting "I can help! I'm American!" and tends to the wounded soldier. The soldier's explain that they got separated from the rest of their unit and that the Djinn (the man in white at the entrance) had managed to phase in a bunch of his subordinates. Asyella suecpts they were looking for something and when she asks, the soldier (who introduced himself as "Trub" and his partner as "Snarf") needs to get to the roof with the package they took from the terrorists.

Back with the others, the Djinn causes the vines Jacob used to burst into flame as he turned "smoky" (in GURPS terms he has a Body of Smoke meta-trait along with Alternate Form). The four teens take out the other terrorists quickly (though non-lethally except for one who was shot by Jacob in the knee. Apparently. Shooting people in the leg in Aeon means they die. Weird). The Djinn explodes in flame, but Roth uses his own fire controlling powers to dampen him to the point that the other PCs can get in close and knock him out (though he does lose an eye to Roth).

Gathering up the terrorists and the wounded soldier, the PCs make their way up to the roof where they see a helicopter taking off. Not willing to leave even these mass-murdering scum to a sure death they head over to the north tower as before (using a transmuted length of firehose) and pull everyone there. The soldiers tell them to get of the building ASAP and wait for an evac from their people. Shaking hands with the PCs Trub tells them they saved his life and to look him up " Arkansas sometime." The PCs head down the north tower through various methods, but by now, people are jumping from the south tower. A force field appears under some to save them (note, this is the Commander using his powers to try and help). Aysella uses her own TK and her boosting abilities to make it bigger (this causes the Commander to pass out above and his prisoner, "the Combustible Man" to fall from the vehicle where he promptly explodes mid-air and reforms elsewhere). Jacob uses his abilities to provide ladders and "slides" for many of the trapped victims. Jacob unlocks his ability to control weather and causes it to rain to minimize the dust from the blasts as the second tower is hit by another plane. Thousands die. Thousands are are hurt, but it could have been worse. (in Aeon, the casualties are almost 20% less for the attack and 40% for the after effects)

Many other acts of heroism and valor are performed that day and people are publically thinking these "super-powered heroes."Aysella realizes this is not the right time and boosts Samuel who then wipes the minds of everyone in the city who saw them, the helicopter and ops team, the vines, and anything their powers did except for the force fields (which were latter attributed to the Commander). Instead, the PCs (along with the members of their class trip) helped in more mundane ways at Ground Zero. Afterward, the PCs make a pact to never let something like this happen again. Someone must watch out for the others they argued. Someone must be a sentry to America (and the world in general). They vow never to speak of their actions to others on that day and instead move forward with the idea that maybe they could make a difference.

After Action Report/Rules Notes
This play session was filled with a lot of emotion. It was a touchy subject and somehow we got through it without arguments. To say it was one of the most visceral game sessions I've ever ran is an understatement. We had to stop the game several minutes at a time so we could slog through the scenes. Still, it was some high-octane gaming and the ending was something we could all vicariously get behind: being able to do something at that horrific event.

The players really got to using their powers creatively and  collaboratively. As a GM this delighted me because that's exactly what supers do in fiction. Chris's clever use of Hob's matter control was outstanding. As was Tom and Ani's plant control and TK respectively. I hope the trend continues.

One thing that did occur to me during this game was a "Power!" Wildcard skill that completely replaces a Power Talent. It'll need some other bonuses - maybe bonuses to Power Defenses and/or access to some other traits that I've put in "Unusual Background" territory.

Session Soundtrack
"Heroes" by Peter Gabriel (In the aftermath of the attack as Aysella gets Samuel to wipe the minds of everyone in the area of their actions)
"Illume" by Fleetwood Mac
"Hero of the Day" by Metallica
"Dare You To Move" by Switchfoot
"Outlaws" by Clint Bajakian

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Gamemaster's Guidepost: Building Player Characters to the Concept

One thing that I pretty much always do in all games I run is building player characters "to the concept" vs. "on a point budget." As you can imagine, this threw some of my players in my Aeon campaign for a loop. Matter of fact, one player said:

"Wait, you want me to build this character for [X] points and then we negotiate for whatever else I might need?"
"I've...never done that before. How do we go about this?"

After that and a few email exchanges the player had their ideal character - everything they needed, but not everything they wanted. They suggested (along with a few others) to do a blogpost on the process, so here I am...a'posting. Now, I've talked about points and power levels before.

Building to the Concept
GURPS, being a point-based system sets a point budget for starting characters. The idea is that everyone has equal points to the characters should be fairly balanced. While this is somewhat true,as anyone who has run GURPS for any length of time can tell that you can build a murder machine on 150 points and someone who sucks at combat but is wealthy on 300 points. It just all depends. This is why I build "to the concept" vs. a point budget. Point budgets (in my opinion) are only for certain games or styles: Horror, Dungeon Fantasy, etc. They act as an artificial constraint forcing you to buy certain things and create your character a certain way. And this is fine, but the types of campaigns I tend to run are very much in the cinematic way (as in, it feels like a movie or TV show). This necessitates another way of building characters, a method involving the give and take between the GM and the player.

The Basic Rules
The GM needs to decide what point range his campaign will span. In general, 50% in either direction is good for most campaigns, but superhero or fantasy games can go well above that! You still need to decide on a point budget - this represents the average player character in your game. THis range of points is called "the Tolerance."

For example, the GM may decide to run an Avengers-like game. He decides the average point budget is going to 1,000 points, with a minimum of 500 points and a maximum of 2,500 points. That's a range of 50% to 250%, with an average of 1,000 points. The GM tells everyone to start with a 1,000 points and go from there.

Concept: Give and Take
Next, the GM should get with all players (individually or together) and ask them for as detailed a pitch as they can give about their character. This assumes that all are mature, responsible gamers, not point-counting munchkins! The GM should then ask as many questions as possible (having a set list of questions is a good idea!) about each concept and request modifications so that the character better fits the campaign and his vision of the world. This sort of give and take from the get-go ensures that all player characters are appropriate to the campaign and that the players are happy with their characters.

Next, each player lists "What The Character Must Have," "What He Needs," What He'd Like," and "What Would Be Cool."

What You Must Have
These traits are imperative to your character concept. You cannot adequately portray the character concept without them. This is like flour, eggs, sugar, and milk when baking a cake. You can't have a cake without it.

What You Need
These are traits that help your character concept come to life. You could live without them, but the character would be as much fun. This is like vanilla flavoring or shortening when baking a cake. You can make one without it...but it might not taste too good.

What You'd Like
These are traits that would be useful and help you with your character concept, but they're not integral to it. They're like icing on a cake. It makes it taste good, but you can still eat the cake without it.

What Would Be Cool
These are traits that would enhance your concept, but aren't really needed at all. They're like sprinkles on your cake. Sprinkles are awesome...but they're sprinkles. You don't need them to enjoy good cake.

Finalizing the Character
Once you have all this information you start the process of GM-Player negotiation you help the player finalize his character. This usually involves tweaking the character a bit, adjusting attributes, skills, etc. Once the character sheet is finalized, the GM checks to make sure that the character's point budget hasn't exceeded his "tolerance range." Afterward, it's like building any other character in GURPS.

Picking Over the Bones
When it comes down to it, this sort of character creation feels like it belongs in a more freeform or indie game, but it works so well in GURPS if you let it. It's basically the only way I run games anymore. It lets my players do the things they want and it gives me control over exactly what is being done. This combines to create a perfectly delicious gaming sandwich: you get the free form creation along with the near-perfect game mechanics of GURPS.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

GURPS101: Illusion-Casting

"Are you ever not going to fall for that?"
-- Loki, The Avengers (2012)

The Illusion advantage (GURPS Powers, p. 94) is probably one of those things that should have been in the Basic Set, but wasn't.

Illusion as Pieces Parts:
So what does Illusion do and how does it do it?
  • This requires a Concentrate maneuver to use, but not special die roll.
  • You can create animated, 3D images of anything you can visualize in any spectrum you can see, with sounds you can normally hear.
  • To deceive another with your illusion roll a Quick Contest of your IQ vs. their Perception. Success means that illusion seems real to the victim. The GM decides how NPCs react, PCs decide how they react. You have to make a new Quick Contest if your victim interacts with the illusion in a way that wouldn't be possible (e.g., sticking your hand through an illusion of a wall)/
  • Sometimes a skill roll is required instead of just an IQ roll. This is often Artist (Illusion)
  • Illusion can be used to cause a Fright check, but you must win a Quick Contest of Artist (Illusion) vs. the higher of IQ or Perception.
  • Base Area is 2 yards round you (this can be a smaller area if you wish).
  • If your final modifier (see below) is a net bonus and your victim is aware you have powers, but not what those powers are, halve them!

Associated Penalties:
+4 if the victim is warned by someone else who knows the illusion is not real (or if you critically fail a role against someone else).
+10 if you create an illusion unsubtly and in plain sight.
+1 to +10 for an inappropriate illusion.
-1 to -5 for a believable one (e.g., you pull out a thermal detonator).
+4 per fake person after the first (cumulative).

Rules as Written Illusion Special Modifiers
A short list of modifiers for Illusion appear below, but here are a few generally useful ones. Reliable (GURPS Powers, p. 109) will allow you to more easily dupe your victims. Area Effect (GURPS Basic Set, p. 102) will allow you a larger radius. Ranged (GURPS Basic Set, p. 107) allows you to project illusions at a distance. Low or No Signature (GURPS Basic Set, p. 106) could reduce (or remove) the penalty for creating an illusion unsubtly and in plain sight. Persistent (GURPS Basic Set, p. 106) allows your illusion to last for 10 seconds after you concentrate (add Extended Duration normally for  a longer time).
  • Auditory (-70% Limitation: GURPS Powers, p. 95): You can only create sounds.
  • Broadcast (+50% Enhancement; GURPS Powers: The Weird, p. 33): Requires Mental, allows multiple people to see the same thing at once. Uses the same rules as Broadcast under Telecommunication (GURPS Basic Set, p. 00)/
  • Cosmic, Can heal as well as harm (+50% Enhancement; GURPS Powers: The Weird, p. 21): You can heal injury to the subject equal to your margin, but you must have Mental and Stigmata and suffer a -3 to repeated rolls doing so. See below for a breakdown on why this should probably be a +100% modifier, not +50%.
  • Extended (Variable; Enhancement; GURPS Powers, p. 95): Let's you fool senses other than auditory and visual range (including aural and visual ranges you don't have). Totally new senses cost +20% a level.
  • Hallucinating (-50% Limitation: GURPS Psionic Powers, p. 14): You don't control what the victim sees, you treat them as if they were hallucinating (p. B429).
  • Independence (+40%; Enhancement; GURPS Powers, p. 95): You no longer need to concentrate to maintain an illusion.
  • Initiative (+100%; Enhancement; GURPS Powers, p. 95): Gives the benefits of Independence and gives illusory people the semblance of free will. They act with your DX, IQ, and skills.
  • Mental (+100%; Enhancement; GURPS Powers, p. 95): LEt's you project images into a specific target's mind. This works on anyone you can see or touch; you take a -1 per person affected.
  • Static (-30% Limitation: GURPS Powers, p. 95): Your illusions are unanimate stilllife images.
  • Stigmata (+100%; Enhancement; GURPS Powers, p. 95): Allows you to use your ability to hurt someone else, but not if they are unconscious. Add a +300% Cosmic, Irresistible Attack to ignore even that if you want to be Freddy (WELCOME TO YOUR NIGHTMARE, BITCH!).
  • Visual Only (-30% Limitation: GURPS Powers, p. 95): You can only create images.

The Curious Case of Cosmic Chimeric Chirurgy
GURPS Powers: The Weird has some unusual abilities - most of them special cases of Cosmic with a few odds and ends. During the playtest of this book I stringently voiced many opinions on the power builds, and that doesn't disclude this new modifier for Illusion. First, it is weird (and that's ok, because that's the book), but it's not fairly priced. It's a pure math issue, in order to do what The Weird suggests (a Quick Contest lets you heal your target your margin in HP). Powers suggests that a subject of a beneficial ability can simply wave his roll to resist (see p. 40 of that book). Since Healing has no opposed roll it gets weird for actually someone with this Illusion enhancement, you might actually heal them at all if you read it strictly and nothing requires that you have to resist an ability (though some advantages such as Magic Resistance force you too as trade off for their protection). So let's just assume that you can heal a subject normally with a roll; i.e., they choose not to resist. This means that you can make an IQ roll and instantly heal them (on average) your IQ - 11 points of injury. If you pretend to be a doctor or performing First Aid you can get a +1 to +5 bonus to your roll (inverted from the normal penalty to your target's roll as they are not resisting). Oh, and you also can do this while projecting illusions into people's brains that can kill them. It's like saying "I have an Innate Attack that can hurt you or heal you." But that's not were it breaks down for me. Healing this way costs no FP unless you add that as a limitation. Since most folks are going to heal at most 12 HP your Healing advantage would look like this:
Healing (Capped, 6 FP, -10%; Injuries only, -20%; Reduced Fatigue Cost 6, +120%; Requires IQ vs. Will roll, -10%) [54]
Now, you need to also take into account that Stigmata and Mental are prerequisites, Soyour build looks like this:
Illusion (Mental, +100%; Stigmata, +100%; Cosmic, Can heal as well as harm, +50%) [88]
So the effective cost is 38 points if you take away the ability to create illusions (-25 points for the base ability) and hurt others (-25 points for Stigmata). So it's still cheaper than a comparable Healing ability. Gamers using this would be better off using a +100% modifier as that's much fairer (or even +75% if you're willing to use in between values for Cosmic modifiers) than +50%.

New Modifiers for Illusion 
Some new modifiers I've posted on the forums or use in my own game:
  • Can Be Damaged: Your illusions can be damaged and thus disrupted. Your illusions have HP equal to your Will/3. At 0 HP, it disappears. If your illusion is ever destroyed it takes another minute for you to use your ability again. If you've created multiple illusions each one disrupted gives others a +4 bonus to disbelieve your powers and an immediate roll to to disbelieve. -50%. If your illusions get DR equal to IQ/3, this costs -30% instead.
  • Chronoception: Your illusion alters with the subject's sense of time. This requires Mental (to affect time itself buy an appropriate Control!). Each level allows you to speed or slow the victim's perception of time by a factor of ±10 (e.g., 3 levels would allow you to speed time up by 1,000). This can only be used to follow a subject into thinking something happened. You can't use it to  actually age them! +30% per level.
  • Cosmic, Extended: Your illusion hits the target so fully that all of their senses are affected. This is +300%. If you can only affect one of the five basic senses and anything related to them (e.g. all hearing, sonar, ultrasonic, etc.) this costs +50% instead.
  • Cybernetic: As per the enhancement for Mind Reading (p. B69).
  • Damaging: Your illusions cause damage. Treat this as for Stigmata (Powers, p. 95), but damage is of an appropriate type and you must contend with DR just like a normal attack. You could, for example, "draw a pistol" and shoot a target - if you succeed the Quick Contest your target would take piercing damage equal to your margin of success. DR would  affect this damage normally. +50%.
  • Duplication: You can only create an illusion of something, somewhere, or someone you've seen before. Keep a list of what you can duplicate! -30%.
  • Fatigue Only: This requires Damaging or STigmata. Any damage you inflict is FP, not HP. -20%.
  • Flawed: Your illusions are not quite right. Decide how (e.g., everything you create is in black and white). This gives an automatic +3 to disbelieve them. -5%. The GM may decide that this is a leveled advantage - if so, each level gives others a +3 to disbelieve them and is worth -5%/level.
  • Limited Scope Illusions: Your illusions are specific. Price this as an Accessibility (Powers, p. 99). Notable examples include "Animals only" (-25%), "Weapons only" (-40%), and one specific thing (-80%); e.g., "Toyota Supras" or "Spanish Gold Doubloons."
  • Mobile: As per the normal enhancement (GURPS Basic Set, p. 107), except that it allows Move equal to your IQ/3 per level instead of just 1 Move per level. 

Telekinesis and Illusion 
Telekinesis can be purchased to make your illusions more solid or even cause damage. This requires a Link (+10% will due unless you wish to use Telekinesis for other things). This gives you a +4 on Quick Contests.

If your Telekinesis only works for Illusion this would be worth a -30% Accessibility. If your Telekinesis is limited to a ST appropriate for your level - this is worth another -20%. This allows your illusions to use real weapons if you provide them.

Example Build: Phantasm
Phantasm: Illusion (Can be damaged, Has DR, -30%; Damaging, +50%; Extended, Smell, +20%; Extended, Taste, +20%; Extended, Touch, +20%) [45]. Allows you to fool a subject with an illusion that affects vision, hearing, taste, touch, and smell. This appears within two yards of you, you must win a Quick Contest of IQ vs. Perception, and requires a Concentrate maneuver. Success means your target believes what he sees. This lasts for as long as you Concentrate. Your illusions can be attacked (treat them as having DR equal to IQ/3 and HP equal to Will/3). If reduced to 0 HP your illusion dissipates and you cannot use your ability for another minute. You can also damage your subject by succeeding Quick Contest of IQ vs. Will. Success means you inflict an appropriate damage type equal to the form your attack took and damage equal to your margin of success. Treat such damage normally, but the GM may allow every 4 points of damage to inflict a 1d of damage instead of a flat amount.

Powering it Up:
  • For 10 points you no longer need to concentrate to maintain an illusion, for 15 more points your illusory people seem real.
  • For 75 points your damage ignores DR.
  • For 75 points your illusion fools all senses your target has regardless of what they are.
  • For 10 points your illusions last 10 seconds after you stop concentrating. Add 5 points to increase duration to 30 seconds, 10 points for 100 seconds, 15 points for 5 minutes, and so on.
  • For 5 points your illusion can be up to 4 yards from you, for 10 points it can be 8 yards, 15 points it can be 16 yards, and so on.
  • For 10 points you can project your illusions up to 100 yards from your current location.

Picking Over the Bones
Like my previous in depth looking at the mechanical construction of an Healing and Clairsentience, Illusion is one of those powers that could use some love. Illusionists are cool - seriously - but they need a few modifiers to mimic some forms of fiction. Illusions are one of my favorite forms of supernatural ability and I think they can be quite dangerous (and versatile!) if used right.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

GURPS101: Injury Resistance

In GURPS there are three forms of damage: basic damage, penetrating damage, and injury. Basic damage is the amount rolled on the dice for the attack, penetrating damage is the amount after applying Damage Resistance and other protections (e.g., Injury Tolerance), and injury is the total amount of hit points you suffered from that attack. Seems easy right? Well, it can get complicated when you start adding in exotic protective advantages. But what happens if we start mucking around with that in-between stage that exists in the middle of penetrating damage and injury? Something interesting it turns out.

Theoretically, you could just buy more HP to deal with the splash over injury - but there may be a limit on how much additional HP can be bought in the campaign and there comes a point when more HP doesn't make sense. Kromm posted an interesting new advantage a while back called "Vitality Reserve" (I've since used it and put it into Pyramid because it's a damn useful trait). I've reprinted the text from the link below:
Consider adapting the Energy Reserve idea to HP instead of to FP. A "Vitality Reserve" should do what you want. To fully parallel the behavior of ER, it should be depleted independently of HP, not be subject to the ill effects of HP loss, heal in parallel with HP, and heal irrespective of rest. So VR would amount to HP that you can lose without shock, knockdown, knockout, or death, and that regenerate at the rate of 1 HP/day on a successful HT roll, regardless of conditions. Most of these advantages parallel Ablative DR (which is also independent of HP and not subject to the ill effects of HP loss). Moreover, neither affects what happens in slams and falls. The differences: 
Advantages of Ablative DR:
1. Stops damage, not injury; e.g., 1 point prevents 2 HP of injury from an impaling wound to the torso, 4 HP of injury from a skull hit, etc. 
Advantages of Vitality Reserve:
1. Soaks all injury, including that from disease, poison, and radiation; extreme dehydration and starvation; critical failures that result in direct injury; vampiric leeching; and Cosmic attacks that ignore DR.
2. Can be spent like HP for any ability that allows this, notably spells. 
I'd say that justifies simply pricing VR like HP, much as ER is priced like FP.
So that turns the normal damage progression:
Basic Damage - Damage Resistance = Penetrating Damage x Wound Multiplier = Injury - HP = Total HP lost
Into this:
Basic Damage - Damage Resistance = Penetrating Damage x Wound Multiplier = Injury - VR = Remaining Injury - HP = Total HP lost
Wound Multipliers are things like Injury Tolerance (e.g., Homogenous) and the modifier for damage types (e.g., cutting does 1.5 times damage after accounting for penetration). So what if we added another layer of protection? If you treat Vitality Reserve as something like "Injury Resistance (Ablative, -80%)" then the "cost" to have another layer of protection after Damage Resistance is 10 points a level. So what would it do? Well, its big bonus would be that it stops a point of penetrating damage would can be huge if you have other protective traits such as Injury Tolerance (Damage Reduction) or a high DR. Of course, it may not be a worthwhile purchase at lower levels simply because it's the very last thing you'd calculate before determining total HP loss.

So the damage progression would look something like this:
Basic Damage - Damage Resistance = Penetrating Damage x Wound Multiplier = Injury - VR = Remaining Injury - Injury Resistance = Final Injury - HP = Total HP lost
So a final write-up of "Injury Resistance" would look like this:

Injury Resistance
10 points/level
Your body can take more punishment than is normal. Your have an "Injury Resistance" or "IR" score . Subtract penetrating damage (damage after accounting for any Damage Resistance) from any attack after multiplying the injury for damage type, but before subtracting it from DR. Normal humans cannot purchase IR at all. The GM decides who can purchase this trait, but supers, robots, demons, and the like ought to have access to it. The following Damage Resistance modifiers can be used for this trait as well: Ablative (p. B46), Directional (p. B46), Limited (p. B46), Partial (p. B46), and Semi-Ablative (p. B46). A few special modifiers apply:

Special Enhancements
Wounding Resistance: Reduce the multiplier for damage type by one step per level of this trait when calculating damage: x4, x3.5, x3, x2.5, x2, x1.5, no multiplier, x0.5, x0.25, x0.2, x0.1, x0.05. +20%/level.

Picking Over the Bones
So this came up in a conversation with my friend +Hal Batty after he asked how I'd price a protective trait that subtracted from the total penetrating damage of an attack. It basically snowballed from there. The idea is (I think) sound, it adds some complications for gameplay, but no more than any other protective trait (e.g., Injury Tolerance). It would certainly make the creation of a few archetypes easier. And would be downright useful in a supers campaign. If you use this in game, drop me a line and let me know how it went.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Hurt Locker: Building an Ambush Point

GURPS After the End 2: The New World has some interesting (simplified) rules for sniper fire. This got me to thinking: How could I create a quick rule set for creating an ambush point/Sniper's nest? PK's wonderful little check lists (as I like to call them) such as the Hunting rules (The New World, p. 30).

Ambush Points & Sniper Nests
To create an ambush point use the following:

1. Decide if you are building an ambush point for a group of foes or a sniper's nest to attack others. To find an appropriate spot for an ambush make a Per-5, Survival roll at -3, Per-based Area Knowledge, Per-based Soldier, Per-based Strategy for large scale ambushes, or Per-based Tactics for small scale ambushes. Add any appropriate bonus or talent (e.g., Born Soldier). Success lets you proceed to Step 2. Critical success gives a +2 on all further rolls - you found the perfect spot! Failure means you have a location that will work, but gives a -1 to all further rolls. Critical failure is a disaster. For ambush points, he GM uses these rules and rolls for the leader of the opposing force at -1. For sniper's nests, this gives a bonus to spot the sniper equal to +10 + one-third the margin of success of step 2. For example, if they critically failed Step 1, and made the roll for Step 2 by three then others would gain a +9 bonus to spot them.

2. For ambush points, make a Tactics roll for small scale ambushes or Strategy for large scale ambushes. Optionally, make an IQ-based Survival roll at -4, Geography (Physical) at -4, or IQ-6 roll if better. Those setting up a sniper nest may use Camouflage, if better. Note your margin and proceed to step 3a for ambush points or step 3b for sniper nests.

3a. Success results in you setting up a "kill box". Those inside it must make a Perception roll or lose initiative for the first round! See Surprise Attacks and Initiative (p. B393). This allows the character to maneuver himself or his allies or gives you a bonus to hit/Active Defense or gives a penalty to Active Defenses/bonus to hit or a mix of these benefits (see the chart):

Effect            Margin Cost            Notes
Move             1 point per                Allows you to take a Step (p. B00)  
Attack            2 point per                Gives you a ±1 bonus to hit on the first round of combat. 
Defense         3 point per               Gives you a ±1 bonus to defend on the first round of combat. 

3b. Success results in a concealed area you can shoot from using the rules for Sniping (After the End, p. 45), substituting your Camouflage roll for Stealth. You're automatically considered to be "in the shadows" Remember to take your distance in account for the range penalties and don't forget any gear you're using (e.g., flash suppressors)!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Boil and Bubble: Water Elementalism Magical Style

GURPS Thaumatology: Magical Styles presents an interesting way to spice up your campaigns.
With it you can create flavorful magical methodologies for your campaigns using standard
GURPS Magic. The following style assumes that you can only learn one magical elemental
style or have a capacity to learn multiple styles (which is rarer).

...if you'd like to read more, consider becoming a patron!

Note: the link to the actual content for patrons is here.

The Hurt Locker: The Rood Blades

In Pyramid #3/82: Magical Creations I wrote “The Hunter’s Reliquary” which gave Monster
Hunters champions a new tool in their arsenal: relics. I didn’t have enough space for all relics,
so here’s another one of the leftovers....

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Note: the link to the actual content for patrons is here.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Designer's Notes: Above the Law

Pyarmid_3_93_cops_and_lawyers_cover_1000This article was something rather interesting to write - it came from a kernel of an idea from my Aeon supers campaign: how do powers and the law interact? There is a tiny section in GURPS Basic Set about Spell Legality - but that's it. So I got to thinking, how could I expand it? How could I make it fit a world where superpowers are real? This led to a lot of speculation between myself and a few of my more trusted playtesters/peer reviewers. My first draft included a lot of specific cases - which I quickly discarded in favor of more generalized ones. It also included a new game mechanic: Malefaction Class. Which I also eventually discarded (but see below).
All in all it took me about 66 hours to write, 69 hours to edit, 6 hours worth of research (mostly in generalized laws in the Western world), and 80 hours of revision (it was a PITA to revise).

Malefaction Class
Control Rating determines how a given government might treat a person’s actions. But how could you classify a given action’s legality? The rules for Control Ratings give a generalized approach, but what about something more detailed? Many actions a character could commit have a “Malefaction Class” (MC). MC rates how a legal given action is or how socially acceptable it is. The repercussions of committing such an action depends on the actions MC and the society’s “Control Rating”; Control Rating and Legality Class (p. B507).

A given action only has an MC if it’s likely to be controlled. Obviously, there will be societies where there are exceptions; for example, public displays of affection might be MC4 in a puritanical society.
Each action within a given society’s government has a “Malefaction Class” (MC). Some modern-day examples include:

MC4 – Lawful. The action is legal in most societies, but some tightly controlled groups might restrict or license it. Examples: Travel within the society’s bounds; access to “everyday” information or libraries; growing produce for personal use.
MC3 – Semi-Lawful. The action is licensed, requires registration, or has conditions attached to it in most societies. Examples: Self-Defense; manufacture or selling of LC3 items; growing produce to sell to others; assisted suicide.
MC2 – Illegal, Misdemeanor. The action is illegal, but in a limited or minor way. Examples: Attacking someone else; theft of inexpensive items; accidentally killing someone; prostitution or sex work; vandalism; arson; fraud.
MC1 – Illegal, Felony. The action is illegal. Examples: murder (premeditated or otherwise), theft or embezzlement; rape/sexual assault; robbery; producing, using, and/or selling of LC2 items (especially recreational drugs).
MC0 – Illegal, Capital Crime. The action is heinous and condemned by all sane societies. Examples: Genocide; wholesale serial murder; treason.

Control Rating and Malefaction Class
Malefaction Class interacts with Control Rating as follows:

MC = CR +1 or more: Performing the action has no legal consequences.
MC = CR: Performing the action likely has no legal consequences. If the GM needs a quick method of determining if something is illegal, roll 3d against 5 + CR. If something is an illegal, you can either be fined a small amount (1d ¥ 0.01 ¥ Average Starting Wealth) or be imprisoned for (CR ¥ 1d) weeks. House arrest may be an option at the GM’s discretion.
MC = CR - 1: Performing the action has minor to moderate legal consequences. Either be fined a modest amount (1d ¥ 0.1 ¥ Average Starting Wealth) or be imprisoned for (CR ¥ 1d) months. House arrest may be an option at the GM’s discretion for first-time offenders.
MC = CR - 2: Performing the action has moderate to major legal consequences. Either be fined a modest amount (1d ¥ Average Starting Wealth) or be imprisoned for (CR ¥ 1d) years.
MC = CR - 3 or worse: Performing the action has major to severe legal consequences. Either be fined a large amount (1d ¥ 1d ¥ Average Starting Wealth) or be imprisoned for (CR ¥ 1d-1) decades. Especially vicious crimes might result in death or life imprisonment.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

GURPS101: Powers Negation and Mimicry

My small circle of Aeon players (well, it's not really small anymore - there's like 20 of them) have been providing lots for me to chew on recently. It has put me in a position where I have to really look at the rules for character traits when trying to create new superpowers. One thing I noticed while trying to create the all-pervasive power mimic was how freaking ungainly the Power Theft modifier is. That led me to looking at Neutralize. (Note: For the purposes of this discussion I will be using the write-up ofr Neutralize from GURPS Powers (p. 97), not the Basic Set.)

Neutralize as Pieces Parts:
So what does Neutralize do and how does it do it?

  • You must specify a given source of abilities you can neutralize: Psionic, Magic, Super, etc.
  • You may only neutralize powers from a given source. Your ability works on nothing else. To affect more sources buy more Neutralize powers (we'll get into this a bit down below).
  • You must touch your victim for your abilities to work on them. This requires a Attack maneuver in Combat. 
  • If you hit you must make a Quick Contest of your Will vs. your victim's Will. Your victim gets a bonus to resist equal to his best talent (if he has multiple power talents for a given source). 
  • If you win, your victim's powers (all of them of a given source) are neutralized for minutes equal to your margin of victory. For abilities with persistent or gadgets that create an on-going effect this is how long their powers are negated after the on-going effect.
  • Once you strip someone's powers away you can't use this ability on them against until they regain their powers.
  • If a subject is neutralized by multiple attackers then only the longest duration is used. They are not additive.
  • Neutralize never affects Talent, powers from another source, or "wild" powers (those that do not have a Power Modifier).
  • Neutralize can also affect non-powers (cinematic skills, spells, etc.) normally as long as they negate the appropriate source.

Associated Penalties:

Rules as Written Neutralize Special Modifiers
Here is a list of modifiers for Neutralize and where they can be found and a description of when you might need them. Reliable (GURPS Powers, p. 109) will ensure that your ability almost always negates your target's powers. Ranged (GURPS Basic Set, p. 00) will let you use this ability at range with the normal range penalties (p. B550).
  • Based on HT (+20% Enhancement: GURPS Basic Set, p. 102): With this enhancement you can switch the Quick Contest of Will to Will vs. HT (which might be useful for some foes). With "Based on Will or HT, +40%" you use the lower of a target's HT or Will - which is almost always worth the investment.
  • Cosmic (+300% Enhancement; GURPS Powers, p. 97): Lets you affect powers of any and all sources.
  • Cosmic, Irresistible Attack  (+300% Enhancement; GURPS Basic Set, p. 102): Lets you ignore even Protected Power when negating powers. It doesn't say it, but I'd also let it negate Power Talent as well.
  • Derange (-20% Limitation; GURPS Powers, p. 97): You neutralize your target's control over their powers, not the powers themselves.
  • Derangble (+10% Enhancement; GURPS Psionic Powers, p. 16): You fully neutralize your target's control over their powers, not the powers themselves or just neutralize the powers.
  • Interruption (-50% Limitation; GURPS Psionic Powers, p. 16): You don't negate powers, but a single instance of them. For example, you could force someone with Telekinesis to drop something they are levitating, but not the ability itself.
  • Ony Ability (-80% Limitation; GURPS Powers, p. 97): You  neutralize one specific ability (e.g., Telepathic Mind Probe).
  • Ony Power (-50% Limitation; GURPS Powers, p. 98): You neutralize one specific power (e.g., Telepathy).
  • Power Theft (+200% or +300% Enhancement; GURPS Powers, p. 97): You steal your target's powers when you negate them. This costs +200% if you keep the powers until you return them (a free action) or +300% if instead of gaining the powers you gain their point value to boost your own abilities.
  • Power Theft, Weak (+100% Enhancement; GURPS Psionic Powers, p. 16): as for Power Theft but you only neutralize and steal one ability.
  • Precise (+20% Enhancement; GURPS Powers, p. 97): You select which powers are neutralized.

New Modifiers for Neutralize
Some new modifiers I've posted on the forums or use in my own game:
  • Extended Power: You can affect another power source. This is only available in a campaign with three or more power sources. This costs +50% per power source. To affect all powers, by Cosmic (+300%) instead. 
  • Power Theft, Multiple Instances: You can steal multiple powers from multiple victims. THis is a leveled enhancement. Each level costs +300% and allows you to steal another set of powers. You can still only use one power set at a time (it takes a Ready action to switch power sets). If you can do this as a Free Action (allowing you to essentially use all powers whenever you want) this costs +600% per additional instance.
  • Power Theft, Strong: When you steal a power you can continue to neutralize other abilities normally. This costs +300%. If you can swap powers as a free action from a source you've just neutralized this costs +400% instead.
  • Power Sharing: You share the abilities you affect  you don't neutralize them. Your target continues to have access to his abilities, but you gain access to them, too. You cannot "create" more points of abilities than already exist, though; the point value of the shared abilities can't exceed the final, modified value of your Neutralize advantage, and you must choose what abilities those are when you affect your target. You can't use Neutralize again until the shared powers wear off or you give them up (a free action on your turn). Power Sharing is mutually incompatible with Power Theft. (Note: this is from a Krommpost, but I included it here because it's a helpful modifier!) +150%.
  • Power Sharing, Multiple Instances: As for "Power Theft, Multiple Instances" but for Power Sharing only.
  • Power Sharing, Strong: You share powers normally (as above), but you also get a "power pool" that you can put points into. These points add to your final total for determining how powerful an ability you can borrow. +200%.

A Saner Version of Power Theft
As it sits, if you have Neutralize with Power Theft and you neutralize a power-user with a 1,000 points in power you now have a 1,000 points to play with for several minutes. In combat that's a lifetime. So how could you even this out a bit? Well, Kromm provides the answer in his Power Sharing enhancement.

Power Theft
When you steal powers you gain them normally, but they cannot exceed the total value of your Neutralize advantage. You also now have a power pool that allows you to increase this amount. Each point in your power pool costs one character point and increases the value of your Neutralize for the purpose of what powers you can steal. Modifiers never affect the points in the power pool - add them after. The cost remains the same. For the +300% version of Power Theft, you may only ever gain the point value of your power pool + Neutralize to add to your own abilities.

Example: Hal has "Neutralize (50) (Power Theft, +200%) [200]" allowing him to steal other powers. Since he has 50 points in his power pool he can steal up to 200 points total. He could steal Merlin's Corrosion Attack 20d [200] without any issues, but stealing Doug's Control Gunpowder 50 [250] would reduce him to level 40 since those extra 10 levels cost 50 points over his maximum stealable value.

Example Build: Power Mimic

Power Mimic: Neutralize Super (0) (Low Supernatural Signature, +10%; No Signature, +20%; Power Sharing, Strong, +200%) [165]. Allows you to steal a target's powers by touching them and making a Quick Contest of Will rolls. Success means you get access their full ability up to 165 points. If the ability exceeds that value then the GM decides what you can do with your power. The target still keeps his ability when you "borrow" it.

Powering it Up:
  • For 25 points, you can affect another power source. (Extended Power 1, +50%)
  • For 150 points, you can affect all power sources. (Cosmic, +300%)
  • For 20 points, you can affect your target at range. This uses the normal Range/Speed modifiers. (Ranged, +40%)
  • For 150 points, your target's protections against neutralization are ignore. (Cosmic, Irresistible Attack, +300%)
  • For 150 points per instance, you can borrow an additional power set (which takes a Ready maneuver to switch) (Power Sharing, Multiple Instances, +300%/instance)
  • For 2.5 points, you can get a +1 to your Will rolls to use Neutralize.
  • For 1 point per point in the power pool, you can emulate more powerful traits.

Picking Over the Bones
Like my previous in depth look at the mechanical constructions of  traits (like Healing and Clairsentience) a lot is revealed when you break down the ability. I know the "Peter Petrelli Build" is somewhat controversial, but that's more a problem with the writers of Heroes not thinking through the implications of a given super power. But it's possible when constructing a special modifier to do just that. Luckily, Kromm came in and delivered such a modifier to use GURPSers.

GMing Neutralize can be hard for the same reason being the combat monster on a team of non-combatants is hard: You only really do one thing well and when you do it you tend to dominate that area. So it's tricky. "Power mimicry" has its own pitfalls as PK notes here. Alternatives are obviously Modular Abilities and/or Morph. Though really, I'm not sure how that would function. Which was why I liked the Power Sharing modifier over either of them. It feels better to have it all in a self-contained trait.