GURPS101: Deconstructing Supernatural Durability

And I’m back with another deconstruction post. This time I’m talking about Supernatural Durability. It represents that horror movie trope of being unable to kill the bad guy – or at least making it difficult.

So how does Supernatural Durability break down?

Supernatural Durability as Pieces Parts
So exactly what does this trait do and how does it do it?

  • You are completely immune to shock, physical stun, and knockout. Bought separately this is Immunity to Pain [30] (GURPS Powers: Divine Favor, p. 10)
  • At 0 or more HP you are immune to the effects of cripping injuries. Below 0 HP you halve Move and can be crippled. Bought separately this is Injury Tolerance (Unstoppable) (Only at 0 HP, -20%) [8] (GURPS Monster Hunters Power-Ups 1, p. 10) and Immunity to Crippling Injuries (Only at 0 HP, -20%) [12].
  • You are immune to unconsciousness. Bought separately this is Immunity to Unconsciousness [30].
  • You cannot die no matter how much injury you take as long as its not from a special source. This special source can be anything and follows the rules of Vulnerability (p. B161). This source must be an Occasional or higher rarity. Damage from this source reducing you to to the point where you must make HT rolls can kill you. If reduced to -5xHP by such a source or take -10xHP in one hit you die. Bought separately this is Unkillable 2 (Achilles’ Heel, Occasional, -30%; Achilles’ Heel, A single attack that does 10xHP or more, -30%; Can Stay Alert Even At -10xHP, +25%) [65].
  • Any other Vulnerabilities you have can kill you normally.

That comes to 145 points – which is close enough to 150 that it shouldn’t matter much.

Canon Supernatural Durability Special Modifiers

There are few modifiers which can be applied to this trait.

  • Hindrance (Limitation; GURPS Horror, p. 19): This makes it so you cannot return to life if specific conditions are met. If they are then your Supernatural Durability kicks in and you come back to life.

Supernatural Durability Switches

A few things that can be switched out instead of a vulnerability:

  • Two “Rare” sources of damage can be taken instead of a single “Occasional” one. Example: Beheading attacks and blessed weaponry.
  • A source of damage that can “stun” you counts as a “Rare” source, regardless of how common it is. This can be combined with the above or buy more Vulnerabilities. Example: Being stunned by stakes.
  • A Weakness worth up to -30 points can be substituted for Vulnerability. Example: Weakness to sunlight taking up to 1d every 5 minutes.

New Modifiers for Supernatural Durability

A few new modifiers I’ve posted on the forums or use in my own game:

  • Discorporation: At 0 HP or less, make a roll against Will or HT. Failure means you discorporate into mist, smoke, or similiar substance instead of dying. You reform after you’ve healed up to 1 HP or more and reform in the same spot your discorporated substance is. Winds or similiar forces that move your “remains” can move you from the spot you’re in. This is worth +30%. If you can move your ephemeral body at your normal Move this adds another +25%. Add Regeneration to speed up this process, possibly with “Only while discorporated” (-40%).
  • Monstrous Move: Your move is totally unaffected no matter what your current HP is. +5%
  • No Vulnerability: You must be take -10xHP damage to die. +100%.
  • Rare Vulnerability: You pick your vulnerability from the “Rare” category. +50%.

Example Build: Undying

You’ve been blessed or cursed by a higher power to be undying

Undying: Supernatural Durability (PM, -10%) [135]. Pick a source of vulnerability appropriate to whatever has blessed or cursed you.

Powering It Up:

  • For 75 points, downgrade your vulnerability to a Rare category.
  • For 150 points, remove your vulnerability completely. You cannot die except by taking -10xHP in one shot!

Picking Over the Bones

And that’s Supernatural Durability deconstructed. What should I do next?

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