Thursday, February 9, 2017

Designer's Notes: Necro-Psi

I've done a lot of work creating new powers for GURPS Psionic Powers one of my biggest regrets was not getting credit on that book (I playtested it - but got no credit). I think my love for the system PK put together as much as my regret in not earning that credit has driven me to producing new and varied content for Psionic Powers. A lot of the material on my blog and in my articles are due to this.

I'd been thinking about Necro-Psi for a good long time. It finally crystallized on a night in late November when I decided that I wanted to have everything written up in case Steven put up another Psionics issue of Pyramid. It flowed pretty rapidly and I got close to 4,000 words done in about an hour making it one of the fastest articles I've ever written. The rest was added (especially the section on Obscure) after a couple of forums posts and conversations with peers, friends, and players in my current game. Revision took even less time because I knew what I wanted and only needed to make sure all the builds functioned as intended.

All in all it took me about 6 hours to write, 40 hours to edit, 0 hours worth of research (all from my head pretty much), and 20 hours of revision. I spent a further hour looking over the preliminary PDF for any issues.

As always, I try to have odds and ends taken from the article for your use, dear reader. So here is an ability I thought too obvious that I culledfor space.

Skill: Reap (Will/Hard).

This ability causes a target to die. It does this by negatively charging the natural psychic energy within the subject. This in turn begins to shut down the target's bodily functions. This only works on living subjects. You must touch your subject and succeed in a roll of your skill vs. the lower of the target's Will or HT (add their DR to this roll). Failure means the subject begins to die. Treat this as a Heart Attack (p. B429) that takes a minute to fully set in.

Statistics: Affliction (Based on HT or Will, +40%; Cancellation, +10%; Heart Attack, +300%; Melee Attack, Reach C, Cannot Parry, -35%; Necrokinesis, -10%; No Signature, +20%; Onset, 1 minute, -10%; Requires Will vs. Will roll, -15%) [40/level]. Additional levels increase Affliction a level at a time for 40 points.

Dust to Dust
Prerequisites: Reap-10; Cannot exceed Reap. 

You do 3d toxic damage on a successful roll per level. If this is enough to kill the target in one hit (more than 2xHP) the subject simply dies instead. Optionally, you may choose to do 1d+2 toxic damage. If the subject is reduced to 0 HP or less from a single hit they simply die. In either case the subject turns to dust if they die.

Statistics: Using Abilities at Default to trade Affliction for an Innate Attack: Toxic Attack 3d (Based on HT or Will, +40%; Melee Attack, Reach C, Cannot Parry, -35%; Necrokinesis, -10%; Requires Will vs. Will roll, -15%; Symptom, Disadvantage (Fragile (Unnatural)), 1/3 HP +150%) [28]. Since this is worth 70% of the base ability, this roll is at -6. There is no penalty for different abilities. The higher level of this technique adds a "super" form of Fragile (equivalent to Terminal Illness at -100 points) as Symptom. This cost becomes  27 points, but halves the damage so that it because it does 1d+2.

Prerequisites: Reap-8; Cannot exceed Reap. Reap 2+. 

You can use your ability at range. Doing so halves your level (thus requiring you have at least two levels of Reap or by taking a further -7 on your roll). You take -1 penalty per yard you are away from your subject, though by accepting a further -5 penalty you can take normal range penalties (p. B550).

Statistics: Swap out  "Melee Attack, Reach C" (-35%) and "Requires Will vs. Will roll" (-15%) for Malediction 1 (+100%). Halving the level reduces the penalty, resulting in a -8 to the roll (rounded up).

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