Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Karrak Seaborne (Final), Continued

Gifts and the Nel. They're always complicated in any sort of rigidly structured game system, so I never end up finalizing the Nel. I've almost reached that point with GURPS though, so yay for progress. There are a few ways I could choose to represent Gifts with GURPS though. The advantages, disadvantages, and the various modifiers are very very versatile, so I can basically come up with any ability I've displayed the Nel as using. However, that's a pain in the dick to do. There's another, easier, route. But that route feels too structured. Basically it amounts to adding modifiers to Magery until it functions like Gifts. It works quite well, but again, it's too structured for my tastes. 

I suppose there's a case to be made for using the Modular Abilities advantage to represent Gifts. These abilities aren't rigidly defined among the Nel. There isn't Nel kindergarten where they go and learn how to fling fire and create storms and stuff. They just use their Gifts to achieve what they want. 

Moving along. The route I am going to go will be similar to psionics in GURPS. Create an ability and charge FP or energy reserve points to use it. Since the innate power level of a Nel is dependent upon their court affiliation, it makes it very easy to give Nel like the Feronel and Utenel large, quickly recovering energy reserves while the Loronel and Sarownel get boned with greatly reduced ones. This allows me to modify Aubernel, Utenel, and Feronel Gifts to cost more FP, reducing their cost, which in the end allows them to have a larger variety of Gifts at their disposal along with Gifts that are generally more powerful than what the Sarownel or Loronel will bring to bear. 

I still have a lot of tweaking to do to the Nel. But they're closer to done than they have ever been. I had also written a shit ton here about the Gifts as Magery thing I was going to do, until I decided after finalizing it that I didn't care for it. Yay for beta testing! Anyway.

I'm going to start with Karrak's Gifts here. He has 40 points, as previously discussed.

Points From Karrak's Gift Crap: 40
Ally: Shitpanzee Swarm (75% points; Frequency of Appearance: 12, x2; Minion, +50%; Summonable, +100%; Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest, -30%; Gifts, -10%, 2 FP/minute, -10%) [12]
Buffered by the Sky: Damage Resistance 4 (Directional: Front, -20%; Force Field, +20%; Accurate: +2, +10%; Active Defense: DX/2+5, -40%; 1 FP/use, -5%; Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest, -30%; Gifts, -10%, Environmental: Air, -5%) [4]
Create 1 (Specific Item: Kussethian Sweet Potato Rum; Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest, -30%; Gifts, -10%) [3]
Obscure 4: Ash Cloud (Vision; Defensive, +50%; Area Effect: 8 yards, +100%; Maximum Duration: 20 seconds, -75%; Can Be Stolen With A Quick Contest, -30%; Gifts, -10%; 1 FP/20 seconds of use, -5%) [12]
Wind Jaunt: Super Jump 1 (Environmental: Air, -5%; Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest, -30%; Gifts, -10%; 1 FP/use, -5%) [5]
Wind Jaunt: Walk On Air (Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest, -30%; Gifts, -10%; Maximum Duration: 30 seconds, -.75%; 1 FP/30 seconds of use, -5%) [4]

First up, we see Ally: Shitpanzee Swarm. A favored ability of Karrak. So what do Shitpanzee swarms look like? I'm glad you asked.

Shitpanzee Swarm 
187 points
ST: 11 [9] DX: 13 [40] IQ: 6 [-80] HT: 12 [20]
Will: 10 [20] Per: 10 [20] Speed: 6 [0] Dodge: 9 [0]
Move: 9 [15] SM: +1 HP: 12 [2] FP: 13 [3]
Traits: Affliction 1: Monkey Shit (Irritant: Nauseated, +30%; Sense Based: Smell, +150%; Gifts, -10%) [27], Arm ST +3 [14], Bad Grip 2 [-10], Braichiator [5], DR 1 (Tough Skin, -40%) [3], Injury Tolerance (Diffuse No Brain; No Blood; No Vitals) [100], Teeth (Sharp) [1], Wild Animal (Bestial, -10; Cannot Speak, -15; Hidebound, -5; Fixed IQ, 0) [-30]
Skills: Climbing (DX+2/A) - 15 [8], Innate Attack: Projectile (DX+2/Easy) - 15

That right there represents a 9 foot wide swarm of chimpanzees flinging poop at people and causing them to be grossed out as they are assaulted by odors. The nauseated condition in GURPS applies a -2 to all attribute and skill levels when they are checked against, as well as a -1 to active defense levels. So basically Karrak spends two FP and a concentrate maneuver and rolls 3d against 12 to summon the little fuckers. On a success they appear and begin flinging poop with their Innate Attack skill of 15. On a successful hit, their victim rolls against their HT or becomes nauseated (assuming they are vulnerable to that, Nel aren't). 

Next we see Buffered By the Sky, this is a defensive ability from the Sorcerer bloodline Karrak uses in Pathfinder to represent his Gifts. Basically, as long as Karrak is aware of an attack, he can spend an FP and bring up a shield of wind in front of him to give him DR 4 against frontal attacks in addition to whatever DR he has from additional sources. I still have to do some research to figure out if he can do this wind shield and attempt a dodge. I'm leaning towards probably not.

Create 1 is just Karrak's ability to create a little over a gallon of rum (I think). The rum lasts for 10 seconds at a time and costs Karrak 2 FP every time he attempts to create it. Creating it requires a concentrate maneuver and a roll against his Will.  The rum only lasts 10 seconds, but he can stabilize it with character points and reclaim them when he destabilizes it. 

Next, we have his ash cloud. He can surround himself with an eight yard field of ash that penalizes vision related stuff with a -4 penalty to skill level. It's also defensive, so he isn't inconvenienced by it. There's a more powerful version I created that does some burning damage and makes people cough a lot, but that version cost like 40 points. 

Wind Jaunt is an ability from Karrak's Sorcerer bloodline. It lets him walk on air and stuff. I've chosen to represent it with increased jumping ability and the actual ability to walk on air. They both cost FP though, so carefully monitoring his FP would be important, and it would definitely be prudent for him to buy an Energy Reserve to power his Gift abilities.

So beyond what I've already said, how do Gifts work?

My current interpretation is to give each court an energy reserve that powers their Gifts. Each court also gains a type of regeneration associated with that energy reserve. However, I am currently thinking that I might just add a note to the Nel meta-trait and say there is no cap on how many FP they can have (normal human type characters are limited to FP no more than 30% higher or lower than their HT). This would make things slightly easier for me, as there's one less advantage to have to fucking track for them, and it also makes sense. Gifts are what the Nel are. They don't get tired or weary physically, so giving them massively beefy FP reserves coupled with a regeneration tie in makes sense to me.

Other than figuring that out, Gifts work like they do in Pathfinder. Nel are resistant to sorcery and the Gifts of weaker Nel and effects that protect specifically against magic (like the Magic Resistance advantage) and psionics (like Static: Psionics) have no effect on Gifts. Blackstone still distresses Nel and is somewhat resistant to Gifts, and so on.

So what does the Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest limitation mean? When a Nel wants to steal Gifts from another Nel (or Karrak) the initiate an attack with a concentrate maneuver. Then a quick contest occurs. Basically Will vs. Will. If the attacker fails, he doesn't do anything but flail against the Gifts of his target. If he succeeds, he can try to leech character points from the target equal to the margin of his success (rolling an 8 against Will 10 means 2 character points). If the defender also succeeds, the attacker only leeches character points equal to his margin of success minus the defender's (so if both the attacker and defender succeed by 2, no character points are stolen). If the defender gets a critical success on his defense, he kicks the attacker off of his teat and leaves him dazed for 1 round. If the attacker gets a critical success, he leeches character points equal to 1.5 times his margin of success and ignores the defender's margin of success (if he has one).

No character points are actually stolen until a full level of whatever advantage the attacker has latched onto has been leeched away via character points. How you determine what Gifts you're actually stealing is kind of determined by the attacker. They can actively seek out what they want to steal because all Nel can sense the other Gifts of Nel. I hope it goes without saying, but this stealing of character points only applies to advantages that have the Gifts, -10% limitation on them. So looking at Andorian, Karrak knows/assumes that Andorian has Damage Resistance 36 (Cold). Because of modifiers, each level of Andorian's DR for cold damage is only one point, so assuming Karrak isn't kicked in the teeth by Andorian's Will, he'll reduce Andorian's cold DR to 35 and gain a character point if he gets any margin of success. Regardless of your margin of success, you only steal one level or a particular Gift per attempt. But if there is more of an advantage left, you don't automatically break contact once you've stolen a single level. For instance, Karrak couldn't get a margin of success of like 8 and reduce Andorian's DR to 28 and stealing a single level wouldn't automatically break contact, that only happens if he fails his Will check, his defender gets a critical, or he completely steals an advantage. For larger advantages like Regeneration, it would take several rounds of leeching and then reduce the advantage to the next lower step, so after several rounds Regeneration (Extreme) [150] would be reduced to Regeneration (Fast) [100].

Additionally, the Will vs. Will quick contest can be modified by talents. There are various Nel talents. For instance, Aubernel start with Aubernel Talent 1 [10]. This provides a +1 modifier to lots of checks, including the Will check made to defend against the theft of Gifts when a fire related Gift is being stolen, or when an Aubernel is attempting to steal a fire related Gift. So Andorian already has a reasonable Will of like 11 or 12 plus several more points from his Utenel Talent. So he is rolling against like 16, while Karrak would only be rolling against 10. Good luck with that.

So just as an example, I want to show some of the powers the Nel have displayed in Pathfinder using the GURPS rules. 

Storm Rider [169]

Talent: Electricity, Utenel
Effect: Innate Attack (6d Burning; Aura +80%; Melee Attack: C, -30%; Surge +20%; Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest, -30%; Gifts, -10%, Link: Cannot Be Use Separately, +10%, 1 FP/use, -5%, Environmental: Open to the Sky, -5%) & Warp (Reliable 10, +100%; Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest, -30%; Gifts, -10%; 7 FP/use, -35%; Link: Cannot Be Used Separately, +10%, Environmental: Open to the Sky, -5%) 

So we've seen Andorian teleport as a lightning bolt in the RPs several times. The above ability is how he does it. We have Warp (teleport) and Innate Attack linked with the Link modifier. This means this particular 6d burning attack with Surge (the suggested minimum damage of a lightning bolt) cannot be used without also using the Warp advantage. We also see an Environmental advantage, which means that he can't use these powers without clear access to the sky. Surge just means that the Innate Attack does things to electricity like electricity does. Aura means that when Andorian uses this power he becomes a lightning bolt and anyone in close combat with him is going to get zapped by the 6d of burning damage. You'll also notice that together these abilities require 8 FP to use. You'll also notice that the Warp has Reliable 10. This means that Andorian has a +10 to his check to teleport. Teleporting instantly to Serethnem from Orcunraytrel incurs a penalty of about -18. His Aubernel Talent ameliorates the majority of the penalties. 

This next one is one I really, really, really fucking like.

Lightning Charge [152]
Talent: Electricity, Utenel
Effect: Enhanced Move 4 (Ground; Link: Cannot Be Used Separately, +10%; Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest, -30%; Gifts, -10%; Environmental: Open Air, -5%; 3 FP/use, -15%) & Innate Attack (6d Burning; Aura +80%; Melee Attack: C, -30%; Surge +20%; Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest, -30%; Gifts, -10%, Link: Cannot Be Use Separately, +10%; 2 FP/use, -10%) & Insubstantiality (Affects Substantial, +100%; Can Carry Object: Light Encumbrance, +20%; No Vertical Move, -10%; Noisy, -5%; Link: Cannot Be Used Separately, +10%; Environmental: Open Air, -5%, Maximum Duration: 1 Second, -75%, Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest, -30%; Gifts, -10%; 2 FP/use, -10%)

Looking at that one, you see that same Innate Attack as above, a lightning bolt aura. Then we have Insubstantiality. These two are linked together just like the two advantages above. We also see that Insubstantiality is limited to 1 second. You'll also see Enhanced Move. So, here's how this goes. You pay 7 FP and spend a ready maneuver and activate it all. The Enhanced Move would normally jump a lastborn's movement up to 168 yards per second. However, when you take a ready maneuver all you can do is make a step movement, which divides your normal movement by 10. So now you are incorporeal and made of lightning (the purpose of the Innate Attack with an aura) and you have a movement of 16 yards. You move and pass through the space of everyone you can, and as you do so you make a Brawling check to hit them as a lightning bolt passing through their space. Say hello to the spell Ride the Lightning in GURPS. I have such a nerdboner right now. 

Voice of Thunder [39]
Talent: Sound, Utenel
Effect: Innate Attack (5d Corrosion; Cone: 5 yards, +100%; Reduced Range: x1/10, -30%; Environmental: Air/Water, -5%; Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest, -30%; Gifts, -10%; 3 FP/use, -15%)

So that's what it looks like when Andorian screams like thunder at people. It's corrosion damage because he's basically using a blast of sonic force to tear people apart. I suppose, in theory, cutting damage would also work. It's environmental because it has to be in an environment possessing air or water, so it can't work in a vacuum (which doesn't transmit sound). It also hits a cone shaped area, which makes it harder to dodge, unless you have movement enough to actually dodge your way out of the area of effect. 

These abilities seem pretty hefty as far as point costs, but they're meant to be modified, not taken as is. For instance, a Loronel or Sarownel couldn't afford to use any of them, except maybe Voice of Thunder. They don't have the FP for it. Nor do they really have the character points to account for them. An Aubernel or Utenel or Feronel could probably pull off a Lightning Charge (or appropriately themed variation), but they wouldn't have much else left for the next few rounds while their Gifts recovered and returned to them. Andorian, Nostathon, the Herald, these are the guys who have the points values and FP to effectively use this stuff. You'll of course find modern Aubernel and Utenel flinging fire and ice and lightning and such, but the damage is going to be scaled back, the points values smaller. They'll be slightly more inclined to pound on things when their fists or blades than Andorian or Evandor.

Most Aubernel have an ability suite called the Flames of War.

Flames of War [17]
Talent: Aubernel, Fire
Effect: Innate Attack/Alternative Attacks
  • Cone of Fire (1d Burning; Cone: 5 yards, +100%; Reduced Range: x1/10, -30%; Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest, -30%; Gifts, -10%; 2 FP/use, -10%) [6]
  • Fireball (1d Burning; Damage Modifier: Explosion 1, +50%; Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest, -30%; Gifts, -10%; 2 FP/use, -10%) [5]
  • Gauntlet of Flame (1d Burning; Melee Attack: C, Cannot Parry, -35%; Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest, -30%; Gifts, -10%; 1 FP/use, -5%) [1]
  • Rain of Fire (1d Burning; Area Effect: 16 yards, +200%; Persistent, +40%; Bombardment - 12, -10%; Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest, -30%; Gifts, -10%; 2 FP/use, -10%) [14]
That's kind of the basic Aubernel attack via Gifts, they sling a variety of fire at you. We've got a fire punch, fireball, a cone, and a sixteen yard wide area attack. It's pretty versatile and relatively cheap in points and FP required to use. You'll find it varies quite a bit depending on the Nel. There might be more damage or more FP use, wider areas, or more versatile forms. Mountain-kin will favor fiery punches while drake-kin will favor flying overhead and raining fire down on their foes. But again, this is the low end version. Here's the version Kolenarel might use. 

Flames of War [105]
Talent: Aubernel, Fire
Effect: Innate Attack/Alternative Attacks
  • Cone of Fire (6d Burning; Cone: 10 yards, +150%; Reduced Range: x1/10, -30%; Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest, -30%; Gifts, -10%; 4 FP/use, -20%; Selective Area, +20%) [54]
  • Fireball (6d Burning; Damage Modifier: Explosion 3, +150%; Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest, -30%; Gifts, -10%; 2 FP/use, -10%) [60]
  • Gauntlet of Flame (5d Burning; Melee Attack: C, Cannot Parry, -35%; Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest, -30%; Gifts, -10%; 1 FP/use, -5%) [5]
  • Rain of Fire (6d Burning; Area Effect: 16 yards, +200%; Persistent, +40%; Bombardment - 12, -10%; Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest, -30%; Gifts, -10%; 8 FP/use, -40%; Selective Area, +20%) [81]
That's significant increases all across the board. Lots of burny blasty shit. But again, this is the high end stuff. There would only be a handful of Aubernel using this collection of attacks. If we're talking about a Champion or Herald, you'd find the Cosmic: Irresistible Attack, +50% on the attacks, which means it would ignore DR and other forms of protection (including DR keyed to protect from fire). 

This next one might be familiar.

Song of Death [88]
Talent: Sokarnel, Sound, Utenel
Effect: Innate Attack (2d FP; Area Effect: 64 yards, +300%; Sense Based: Hearing, +150%; Emanation, -20%; Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest, -30%; Gifts, -10%; 14 FP, -70%; Overhead, +30%; Resistible: HT-5, -5%; Accessibility: Must Be Able to Speak; -5%)

You remember that time the Herald stormed through New Haven in a running battle leaving bodies in his wake? This is what he was doing. The damage is 2d FP, that means 2 - 12 Fatigue Points. The area effect is fairly obvious, it affects a 64 yard wide area. Sense Based: Hearing means the victims have to be able to hear him and it ignores DR. Emanation means the effect is centered on the singer and can't target creatures at range or have aim maneuvers taken with it to improve accuracy. Overhead means that cover doesn't protect against it. Resistible means that you can resist the 2d of FP damage by rolling against your HT-5 (meaning Karrak would need to roll a 7 or less on 3d). Accessibility just means the Herald has to be able to speak to use it. So if he's gagged or his mouth is sewn shut or Keroen erases his ability to speak (it happened one time), he can't use it. 

Normally, your ability to attack and move and do other attacking is pretty limited in combat. Typically, move and attacking or making multiple attacks carries heavy penalties. For instance, the Herald could not actually engage in swordplay while dodging about and singing his little song. However, there is an advantage called Extra Attack. Everyone with at least two hands can take this advantage. The Herald has Extra Attack 1 (Single Skill: Innate Attack, -20%) [20]. This means he can make one extra attack maneuver each round with the Innate Attack skill, which is the skill used to attack with the Innate Attack advantage, assuming it is a ranged Innate Attack. Melee Innate Attacks use the Brawling skill. 

So the Herald can run around hitting things with his sword and generally kicking ass while every second he does an average of 7 FP damage to everyone within 64 yards of him. There are some things you should know about FP. At 1/3 of your max FP (5 for Karrak), you halve your Move, Dodge, and ST (this has no effect on damage or HP). At 0 FP, you take 1 HP damage in addition to further FP damage, you also have to make a Will check to do anything other than rest or talk. If successful, you can do what you want, but if you fail you collapse into unconsciousness. On a critical failure you make a HT check and if that fails, you get a heart attack. If you hit -1xFP (-15 for Karrak, and he is also at at least -2 HP at this point, which presents its own complications) you are unconscious and don't wake up until your FP reach the positives (you recover 1 FP per 10 minutes of rest, which means sitting still). Further FP damage doesn't reduce you further into the negatives, it just deals hit point damage. 

Area effect attacks are tough to defend against. If you are in the area, you are affected by the attack. You can make a dodge and drop maneuver though. This lets you roll against your dodge +3 (13 for Karrak unless he's dealing with copious amounts of HP or FP damage) to move a step (your normal move divided by 10, but never less than 1 yard) towards cover or safety. Since this Song of Death is hearing based and cover doesn't protect you from that, you'd be diving to get outside of the radius. 

So on the surface 2d FP damage doesn't seem that bad. When you consider that the Herald can sing this song every single round while he can still engage in swordplay or use his other Gifts and that mortal creatures have 12-15 FP and after that's gone, yeah. It's another nasty ability. Normal banshee type wails and death touches typically get built as afflictions with the heart attack effect. That doesn't make sense for Nel. Why would Nel have an ability that causes heart attacks? They don't have heart attacks and are immune to effects that cause them. 

So yeah, those are some Gifts and a little bit about the Nel and how Gifts work in GURPS. The more you know!

Just as a special note, 6d of damage is a pretty excessive amount of damage that has a reasonable chance of nearly killing anything built within mortal parameters (human level ST and HP within 30% of that ST). A 6d attack deals an average of 21 damage before DR or wounding modifiers. Burning attacks don't have a wounding modifier, but even after a DR of 6, that's sufficient damage to reduce everyone in the party to 0 hit points, and at that point you're halving dodge and move and making HT checks to avoid collapsing. A 1d or 2d damage attack is comparable to what a creature of above average human ST can do with a one handed weapon can do or a small or medium caliber firearm can do. 

So, finally, in closing, never forget that Eran's Sereth long rifle does damage on par with what lightning bolts do. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Karrak Seaborne (Final)

We're winding down here (are we?). We've finally come to Karrak Seaborne. You know what I love about this guy? Nothing. He's dumb and smells funny and isn't even remotely pretty and he's a slow reader. Here's the rough draft. So now that I've discussed a lot of things about improving characters and advantages accrued during play and whatnot I can let it slip that Karrak's advancement will not be delayed by his Gifts, so there's a possibility Karrak will be massively powerful in comparison to the other characters. We'll see what it looks like after all of the gadget related disadvantages occur. So once again 250 character points, up to 75 points from disadvantages not stemming from racial template.

Racial template first:

Fell Human Descendants

-11 points

Secondary Characteristic Ranges: SM -1 - +1 (4’ - 7’)

Disadvantages: Short Lifespan 1 [-5], Unnatural Features 1 [-1], Unusual Biochemistry [-5]

Special: Fell Human Descendants may buy a single advantage possessed by another race template. This advantage cannot come from the Fallen, Fell Soulless, Rankethlek, or Soulless racial template.

So that's Fell Human descendants. They've got Unusual Biochemistry now, which means that there is a chance that chemicals and drugs and such designed for human (Uncout) biology won't work for them or will do weird things to them. The special option allows them to choose a single advantage from another racial template to purchase, and they may only do so at character creation. 

Karrak Seaborne
297 (250) points
19 year old Fell Human Descendant
6' 170 lbs. 

Points From Characteristics: 45
ST: 10 [0]
DX: 12 [40]
IQ: 10 [0]
HT: 12 [20]
HP: 13 [6]
Will: 10 [0]
Per: 9 [-5]
FP: 15 [9]
Basic Speed: 6 [0]
Dodge: 10
Basic Move: 6 [0]
Build: Average [0]
Size Modifier: 0
Appearance: Average [0]
Technology Level: 5 [0]
Cultural Familiarity Haven (Native)
Languages: Malstern (Native), Goebleen (Accented)
Wealth: Dead broke [-25]

Karrak is pretty mild in the stats department. The way I am converting stats is an 11 in Pathfinder equals an 11 in GURPS, 18 - 20+ equals a 13 in GURPS, and anything between 12 and 17 just gets a 12 in GURPS. This doesn't change things at all from the previous version of Karrak.

Points From Advantages: 114
Allies: Redshirts (25% points, Always Around x4, 11 - 20 x8) [32]
Ally: Jeremiah (75% points, Always Around x4) [12]
Ambidexterity [5]
Enhanced Defense (Dodge) [15]
Extra Attack [25]
Gunslinger [25]

This is completely unchanged from what Karrak has in his rough draft version. Ambidexterity lets him avoid the penalty for his off hand. The Enhanced Defense (Dodge) increases his dodge defense from 9 to 10. Extra Attack lets him have an extra attack maneuver each round. Mind you he can't make a double attack with both attack maneuvers, so he's limited to three attacks per round at this time. Gunslinger lets him get the full Accuracy bonus to his skill level when firing single shots with revolvers (half if he uses a longarm or uses rapid fire). 

Points From Perks: 2
Sure-Footed (Naval Training) [1]
Sure-Footed (Slippery) [1]

Those perks are new for Karrak. In GURPS, when you have bad footing due to terrain issues like heaps of corpses or blood and whatnot you have a -2 penalty to your attack skill. Those two Sure-Footed perks prevent that penalty from affecting Karrak when he is on a moving surface like the deck of a ship or a slippery surface like one coated by water (or blood). 

Points From Disadvantages: -45
Alcoholism [-15]
Code of Honor (Pirate's) [-5]
Short Attention Span (SC: 12) [-10]
Weirdness Magnet [-15]

So yeah, there's his old disadvantages plus a new one. Just like with Donovan, I've used the Short Attention Span disadvantage to represent Karrak's difficulties noticing things around him. Realistically, heh, his Alcoholism should be a quirk level disadvantage. It hasn't disrupted him in Pathfinder and he can create his own booze with his Gifts, so yeah. I also decided he should probably have Code of Honor (Pirate's) since he is the pirate of the group. Seems logical.

Points From Quirks: 0

Points From Racial Template: -11
Short Lifespan 1 [-5]
Unusual Biochemistry [-5]
Unnatural Features 1 [-1]

Points From Skills: 127
Acrobatics (DX+2/H) - 14 [12]
Artillery (IQ+1/A, TL 5 Cannon) - 10 [4]
Carousing (HT+2/E) - 14 [4]
Cartography (IQ+1/A, TL 5) - 10 [4]
Climbing (DX+1/A) - 13 [4]
Crewman (IQ+0/E, Airshipman/TL 5) - 10 [1]
Crewman (IQ+3/E, Seamanship/TL 5) - 13 [8]
Diplomacy (IQ-1/H) - 9 [2]
Escape (DX+0/H) - 12 [4]
Fast-Draw (DX+2/E, Pistol) - 14 [4]
Fast-Draw (DX+2/E, Sword) - 14 [4]
Fast-Draw (DX+2/E, TL 5 Ammo) - 14 [4]
Fast Talk (IQ+0/A) - 10 [2]
Gunner (DX+1/E, TL 5 Cannon) - 13 [2]
Guns (DX+3/E, TL 5 Pistol) - 16 [12]
Jumping (DX+0/E) - 12 [1]
Leadership (IQ+2/A) - 12 [8]
Melee Weapon (DX+3/A, Shortsword) - 15 [12]
Navigation (IQ+2/A, TL 5, Sea) - 12 [8]
Piloting (DX-1/A, TL 5 Lighter-Than-Air) - 11 [1]
Shiphandling (IQ-1/H, TL 5 Airship) - 9 [2]
Shiphandling (IQ+1/H, TL 5 Ship) - 11 [8]
Sleight of Hand (DX+0/H) - 12 [4]
Stealth (DX+1/A) - 13 [4]
Swimming (HT+2/E) - 14 [4]
Thrown Weapon (DX+2/Easy, Axe/Mace) - 14 [4]

Karrak has a decent selection of skills, unfortunately most of them are based on IQ, and his is only 10. That makes it slightly expensive. Oh well, it's only like half his character points tied up into skills. I've tried to make his airship handling skills lower than average as he's only theorized drunkenly about piloting one. It matches up fairly well with the capabilities of the group and his Pathfinder version. 

Points From Techniques: 18
Close-Quarters Battle (Default+4/A, Guns: Pistol) - 20 [4]
Close-Quarters Battle (Default+4/A, Melee Weapon: Shortsword) - 19 [4]
Dual-Weapon Attack (Default+4/H, Guns: Pistol) - 15 [5]
Dual-Weapon Attack (Default+4/H, Melee Weapon: Shortsword) - 15 [5]

We've got the Dual-Weapon attacks for when he starts making all out attack maneuvers in combat. The Close-Quarters Battle technique is a technique that lets him buy off the -2 or Bulk penalty of a weapon when he moves and attacks in combat. Karrak is used to boarding actions, so it seems like he'd know what's he's doing and be good at charging around shooting and slashing. Just so we're clear, the CQB doesn't improve his Gun skill or his Melee Weapon skill to 20 and 19 when he moves and attacks, it just means that whatever penalty is applied from his weapon's Bulk will be subtracted from those, rather than his base skill level. If the result ends up above his base skill level, it drops down to the base skill level. Then you apply whatever other fucking modifiers there are.

Points From Special Crap Accrued During Play: 7
Ally: Gob (100% points, around fairly often: 9 or less x1) [1]
Andorian's Boon: Buy Off Short Lifespan 1 [5]
Andorian's Boon: Doesn't Breathe (Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest -30%, Gifts -10%) [12]
Andorian's Boon: Doesn't Eat or Drink (Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest -30%, Gifts -10%) [6]
Andorian's Boon: Unaging (Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest -30%, Gifts -10%) [5]
Andorian's Boon: Weakness: REDACTED (1d per 5 minutes, Rare) [-5]
Andorian's Boon Side Effect: Rapid Healing (Rapid; Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest, -30%; Gifts, -10%) [3]
Andorian's Boon Side Effect: Temperature Tolerance 2 (Cold/Hot; Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest, -30%; Gifts, -10%) [2]
Independent Income 5 [5]
Reputation: Defended the Warrens From the Warren Hunters (+3 reaction modifier, affects large class of people: Goebleen x1/2, recognized all the time x1) [8]
Duty: Assist Keroen Skathos (almost all the time, moderately hazardous) [-15]
Vow (Do No Harm to the Feronel or Sokarnel) [-10]

We see Andorian's boon covering Karrak's immortality with caveats, along with all the other special crap that has been previously discussed. He also has some Temperature Tolerance modifying how comfortable he is due to the influence of Gifts, so now Karrak is fine in temperatures between 23 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit. He also has Rapid Healing because of his Gifts investment. It's not the regeneration of Nel, but it does let him improve his recovery time from natural healing and make him more resistant to crippling injuries.

As far as gear, Karrak has a revolver comparable to Karl's, just without the modifications for fine quality, it has enchantments for +1 to attack skill and +1 to damage, along with the loyal sword enchantment that will call it to his hand. He also has a ring that will increase his dodge defense by +1 (just like everybody else that has a Ring of Deflection in Pathfinder). He has Bracers of Armor in Pathfinder, but that sort of thing would only protect his arms in GURPS, so the only equivalent would be an entire suit of leather armor with the fortify enchantment on it to increase each piece's DR by 1. I'm not doing that because Karrak doesn't wear armor. Everything else Karrak has on Bob is fairly mundane in nature.

Ok, so right here was a bunch of stuff about how I'll represent Gifts in GURPS. I thought I had it settled and squared away, but I think I need to dick around with it just a wee bit more before I start typing about it. There are two ways I think I can go: Gifts as advantages or Gifts as reflavored magic. Reflavoring magic works extremely well, but it feels very structured, which is not what Gifts should be. Basing them on advantages works extremely well and feels very free form, which is appropriate. It just requires a shit ton of tweaking and whatnot. Either way I go, I can accurately represent all the crap Karrak can do with his Gifts. I just need to settle on which form I want to use is all.

Karrak Seaborne (except for Gifts) everybody. Wee.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Karl Anglesmith (Final)

Once more into the breach and all that nonsense. We're here today to build Karl Anglesmith. Here's the draft version of Karl. As always, we'll establish that we're building him at 250 points and up to 75 points worth of disadvantages. We'll also start with his racial template. 

Elduman Descended Uncout
1 point
Secondary Characteristic Ranges: SM 0 (4’ 6” - 6’ 6”’)
Advantages: Extended Lifespan 1 [1]
Special: Elduman Descended Uncout may buy abilities designated as exotic and supernatural, as long as they apply psionic modifiers to them. The GM has final say in determining what may be bought as a psionic ability.

So there we go. Nice and easy. Karl just lives longer than a regular Uncout. Since he's part Elduman, we can see from the special option there that he can take some advantages as psionic abilities if he likes. 

Karl Anglesmith
274 (254) points
Owes 4 character points on Signature Gear (Father's Gun is Permanent)
23 year old Elduman Descended Uncout
6' 6" 190 lbs. 

Points From Characteristics: 99
ST: 10 [0]
DX: 11 [20]
IQ: 12 [40]
HT: 11 [10]
HP: 13 [6]
Will: 12 [0]
Per: 13 [0]
FP: 11 [0]
Basic Speed: 5.5 [0]
Dodge: 8
Basic Move: 5 [0]
Build: Average [0]
Size Modifier: 0
Appearance: Average [0]
Technology Level: 5 [20]
Cultural Familiarity The Beast Lands (native), Haven [2]
Languages: Uncout (native), Asosan (accented) [4], Blacktongue (accented) [4], Goebleen (accented) [4], Malstern (accented) [4], Mork (accented) [4], Serevish (accented) [4], Vyanvish (accented) [0], Wretchtongue (accented) [2]
Wealth: Dead broke [-25]

So that's pretty much how it looks. Karl is from The Beast Lands, so his TL starts at 1 and he had to buy that up to 5 for a chunk of change, and he knows like a billion languages too, so that's kind of expensive. He's dead broke because like the other three fuckheads, he refuses to grow up and get a job. He also pays 2 points for his cultural familiarity with Haven, rather than 1 point, because a Bronze Age hunter gatherer society is way different from an Industrial Revolution era pirate nation. 

Points From Advantages: 75
Allies: Redshirts (25% points, Always Around x4, 6 - 10 x4) [24]
Ally: Santos (75% points, Always Around x4) [12]
Magery 0 [5]
Magery 2 (Radically Unstable: Stabilization Roll -10%, Can't Use FP -10%, Extravagant Rituals 1 -10%) [14]
Reliable Sorcery [20]

So we have Redshirts and Santos as we did last time. Looking at it this time, you'll see that I didn't include the Signature Gear like I did last time. This is because Karl right started out with what he thought was his fathers gun, a .36 revolver. Then during play he recovered the real version of the gun and the pocket watch. He wouldn't have paid points to gain them during character creation or play time. I've also separated Magery 0 from higher levels of Magery because the cost is different and you can't modify it. I've also gone with the idea that Karl has enchanted his firearm so he can channel spells with it instead of saying he can't cast spells without it. I've also factored in the new mandatory modifiers for sorcerers and included the Uncout specific one. You'll also note that I've included Reliable Sorcery on there to indicate Karl has worked to stabilize his spells. So when Karl casts a spell, his base misfire in The Known World is 14, but in Orcunraytrel it just remains at 16, rather than increasing to 17. Currently we will need 4 points worth of physical disadvantages to cover Karl's sorcerous crap. 

Points From Perks: 1
Weapon Bond (His Father's Gun) [1]

Just like Eran has a bond with his master debating optimized Sereth long rifle, Karl has a bond with his father's gun. Good for him. 

Points From Disadvantages: -34
Chummy (Chummy) [-5]
Code of Honor (Pirate's) [-5]
Missing Digit x2 (Finger) [-4]
Social Stigma (Second Class Citizen) [-5]
Weirdness Magnet [-15]

So Karl still likes people and still reacts well to them and doesn't like being alone off on his own, he still has a pirate's code of honor. I've added in Missing Digit (Finger) once for each hand to act as 4 points of fleshwarped disadvantages for Karl because of his webbed fingers. This means that he operates at -1 DX with his hands. I've also added in the Social Stigma (Second Class Citizen) from the sorcerer template. This means that every NPC he meets that realizes he's a sorcerer (not hard with the webbed fingers) reacts at a -1. I should also mention that even though he has Second Class Citizen and not the Monster version of the Social Stigma disadvantage, people will still react to him as if he had Social Stigma (Monster) if it is appropriate (The New Empire). 

Points From Quirks: -3
Dreamer [-1]
Nosy [-1]
Responsive [-1]

I've got three quirks here that weren't here before. Dreamer means that sometimes when Karl wants to work on a project like building a bunch of special ammo in preparation for going and doing a thing or doing some specialized research, he ends up getting distracted thinking about how he'll go do that thing instead of actually doing it. He's also a little nosy, he likes to know things and ask people questions about things, and sometimes people don't like that. He also has Responsive, which just means that he's generally inclined to go help people if they ask him. 

Points From Racial Template: 1
Extended Lifespan 1 [1]

Yup. Karl's racial template is super boring. Everyone else has all these cool advantages and disadvantages and stuff. Karl is fucking white bread. 

Points From Skills: 50
Armoury (IQ+2/A, TL 5 Small Arms) - 15 [8]
Crewman (IQ+0/E, TL 5 Seamanship) - 13 [1]
Diplomacy (IQ-1/H) - 12 [2]
Fast-Draw (DX+0/E, Ammo) - 11 [1]
Fast-Draw (DX+0/E, Pistol) - 11 [1]
First Aid (IQ+0/E, TL 5) - 13 [1]
Guns (DX+1/E, TL 5 Pistols) - 12 [2]
Innate Attack (DX+3/E, Projectile) - 14 [8]
Lockpicking (IQ+0/A, TL 5) - 13 [2]
Machinist (IQ+1/A, TL 5) - 14 [4]
Naturalist (IQ-1/H) - 12 [2]
Occultism (IQ+1/A) - 13 [4]
Stealth (DX+0/A) - 11 [2]
Thaumatology (IQ+1/VH) [12]

Blah blah, skills and stuff. Pretty similar to what has come before. I've added in First Aid because Pathfinder Karl has some ranks in Heal and I've replaced Survival with Naturalist, which represents practical knowledge of the wilderness and I figure that he might have some of that since he grew up in The Beast Lands and stuff. Innate Attack is the attack skill for spells. In GURPS you have to target your...er...target when you throw lightning bolts at them, and to do that you use the Innate Attack skill. 

Points From Techniques: 2
Careful Caster: Healing College (Default+1/H) [2]

This is a technique from one of the recent blog posts. This means that when Karl incurs a penalty to his reliability check due to the amount of energy he pours into a spell, he automatically reduces that penalty by 1. Adding the two points for this technique into the tally of his sorcerous crap doesn't move us into needing another point of disadvantage for his warped body. 

Points From Spells: 62
Air: Purify Air (Will+Magery-2/H) - 14 [1]
Air: Create Air (Will+Magery-2/H) - 14 [1]
Air: Shape Air (Will+Magery-2/H) - 14 [1]
Air: No Smell (Will+Magery-2/H) - 14 [1]
Air: Air Vision (Will+Magery-2/H) - 14 [1]
Air: Walk on Air (Will+Magery-1/H) - 15 [2]
Air: Lightning (Will+Magery+0/H) - 16 [4]
Earth: Seek Earth (Will+Magery-2/H) - 14 [1]
Earth: Shape Earth (Will+Magery-1/H) - 15 [2]
Earth: Earth to Stone (Will+Magery-1/H) - 15 [2]
Enchantment: Enchant (Will+Magery-1/H) - 15 [2]
Enchantment: Golem (Will+Magery-2/VH) - 14 [1]
Enchantment: Staff (Will+Magery-1/H) - 15 [2]
Enchantment: Powerstone (Will+Magery-1) - 15 [2]
Fire: Ignite Fire (Will+Magery-2) - 14 [1]
Fire: Create Fire (Will+Magery-2/H) - 14 [1]
Fire: Shape Fire (Will+Magery-2/H) - 14 [1]
Fire: Fireball (Will+Magery-1/H) - 15 [2]
Fire: Explosive Fireball (Will+Magery+0/H) - 16 [4]
Healing: Lend Energy (Will+Magery-1/H) - 15 [2]
Healing: Lend Vitality (Will+Magery-1/H) - 15 [2]
Healing: Minor Healing (Will+Magery-1/H) - 15 [2]
Healing: Major Healing (Will+Magery+0/VH) - 16 [8]
Illusion and Creation: Simple Illusion (Will+Magery-2/H) - 14 [1]
Illusion and Creation: Illusion Disguise (Will+Magery-2/H) - 14 [1]
Light: Light (Will+Magery-2/H) - 14 [1]
Light: Continual Light (Will+Magery-2/H) - 14 [1]
Light: Night Vision (Will+Magery-2/H) - 14 [1]
Light: Dark Vision (Will+Magery-2 /H) -14 [1]
Making and Breaking: Inspired Creation (Will+Magery-1/VH) - 15 [4]
Mind Control: Keen Vision (Will+Magery-2/H) - 14 [1]
Protection and Warning: Armor (Will+Magery-2/H) - 14 [1]
Protection and Warning: Block (Will+Magery-1/H) - 15 [2]
Protection and Warning: Shield (Will+Magery-2/H) - 14 [1]
Sound: Sound (Will+Magery-2/H) - 14 [1]

This version of Karl has a lot more spells. He can heal and protect and golem and throw fireballs and lightning. We're now up to 103 points of sorcerous stuff though, and we've only spent 4 points on disadvantages, so now we need six more points of disadvantages. 

Further Fleshwarped Disadvantages: -6
Cannot Float [-1]
Skinny [-5]

Boom. Karl is kept sorcerously skinny and he can't float. This puts us at like 244 character points. I don't particularly feel like weeding through spells again and adding more of them and whatnot, so I'm just going to leave it as is. 

Points From Special Crap Accrued During Play: 24
Ally: Gob (100% points, around fairly often: 9 or less x1) [1]
Andorian's Boon: +1 IQ [20]
Andorian's Boon: +1 Will [5]
Independent Income 5 [5]
Reputation: Defended the Warrens From the Warren Hunters (+3 reaction modifier, affects large class of people: Goebleen x1/2, recognized all the time x1) [8]
Duty: Assist Keroen Skathos (almost all the time, moderately hazardous) [-15]

Most of this is pretty familiar at this point. Karl's Reputation bonus with the Goebleen is one point higher than everyone else's because he's closer to Gob and the Goebleen than Donovan and Eran. His boon from Andorian is also there, just some IQ and Will bumps. So that's what Karl looks like. Let's move onto his gear.

Karl's Father's Gun (Fine Quality .36 Revolver)
Damage: 2d+1 p
Accuracy: 3
Range: 120/1300
Weight: 2.5/.24
RoF: 1 
Shots: 6(3i) 
ST: 10* 
Bulk: -2 
Recoil: 3
Cost:  (Base $275
LC: 3
Enchantments: Accuracy +1 (250 energy), Puissance +1 (250 energy), Staff (30 Energy)

Karl's dad's gun, yeah. Assuming it's made out of steel and factoring in The Known World's misfire chance and the fact that this gun has been around for over two decades and was used by a crazy pirate fuck. Those are some super seriously long odds when you're checking to see if the unreliability level is going down every month. So here's what I'm willing to do, and this is purely 100% concession to players liking their shit. There is no in world mechanic for this. It is again 100% rules and is never to be mentioned in character or referenced. I will allow the purchase of the Signature Gear advantage to make an enchanted item permanent. It will be purchased based on the cost of the item. The price of enchanted items is listed as $33 per point of energy, meaning Karl's dad's gun would cost $17,490. So with the campaign's overall TL being 5 and starting wealth being 5,000 (assuming you're not dead broke), Signature Gear costs 1 point per $2,500, so to completely prevent Karl's dad's gun from being unstable it would cost 7 character points. Again, this is an option that exists outside of the background material. Mention it once in character, imply, allude, sarcastically comment, and it's gone. So we'll add Signature Gear 7 (Father's Gun is Permanent) [7] to Karl, even though he only has 3 character points left. We'll just say he owes 4 and has to pay them off before he buys anything else. This variant of Signature Gear does not protect gear the way the normal version does, it only protects against enchanted item unreliability. If you lose it or it gets broken, sorry about your luck. Unless of course you bought it with Signature Gear in the first place.

Karl also has a ring with a Deflect +2 enchantment on it, add +2 to all his defenses. He also has a ring enchanted with Monk's Banquet so as long as it can eat up 6 energy per day from the environment, he doesn't need to eat or drink. Both of these items are from Orcunraytrel so they're ok as far as exploding when used.

Karl Anglesmith everybody.

Edit After The Fact: Eric had a few thoughts about Karl that were fairly smart, considering he actually plays the character. So we're going to modify Karl slightly. The first thing he wanted to do was add Language Talent for 10 points, which brings his total up to 284/264. Language Talent reduces the cost of languages though, so we end up saving 12 character points on languages with a net reduction of 2 points (272/252). He also thought Code of Honor (Soldier's) [-10] fit Karl better than a pirate code, and I agree (267/247). He also felt it appropriate for Karl to have Overconfident, and I agree to a certain extent. Overconfident means that any time I feel Karl is being too cautious, I can make him roll a self-control check and force him to go ahead as if he is fully confident he can handle things. However, Karl is generally concerned about the well being of his allies and friends, so I'm going to make the self-control roll a 12 or less, meaning the disadvantage is only worth -5 (262/242). Karl also learned Nel (Accented) when Eric decoded my little letter substitution code in the RPs (264/242). Eric also decided he wanted Karl to have the Selfless disadvantage. This means that any time anyone asked for help or needed help or money or whatever, Karl would make a self-control roll to put his own needs (including survival) above those of others. I used the Responsive quirk to represent Karl's general nature as a good guy, so we remove that first (265/243). Now Karl is a nice guy, but he isn't stupid or suicidal, so we again only make the self-control roll a 12, meaning the disadvantage is only worth another -5 points (260/238). This means we now have 12 points of stuff to buy for Karl. I'm not going to muck about with it, but buying more spells seems reasonable to me, which would require another physical mutation quirk or whatever, so it would really be 13 more points of stuff. Regardless, Karl would end up being built with 250 points and be something like a 277 point character. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sorcery (Final...?), Part 3

So enchanting items works differently than other magic in Hekinoe. Even in Pathfinder, you don't roll for misfire when you create an enchanted item, you do when the item is used. There is an entire college of enchantment spells, spells that modify and add magic to items. Some spells from the other colleges also have an option to place them on items as well, but that's more of a one use thing. I think. I need to research it. The rules I'll discuss here apply to those items as well.

I've shown that magic loot is more reliable than spells a sorcerer casts on the fly. This makes sense as the chaotic energy of sorcery is bound into a box of sorts, making it much more limited in scope and ability to overpower the structure of a spell. It's contained and safely bound and cut off from the endless supply of sorcerous energy that exists in Hekinoe. Magic items also just tend to explode instead of doing weird mostly dangerous things. The base misfire chance of a magic item is a 16. What constitutes as using the magic of an enchanted item is generally defined (but ultimately the GM's call) as any time its magic would be used. An enchanted sword is used to attack, an enchanted suit of armor absorbs damage for you, and so on. For enchanted items with constant effects, like something that protects you from fire while you are swimming through a lake of lava or something that purifies air while you are in toxic air, checking to see if the item misfires will be done once per minute.

Fun fact, if an item is enchanted to deal damage, it deals that damage before it explodes and the damage from the explosion is dealt to you and the target (assuming it's a melee weapon). The more you know!

Several factors can affect this reliability. The base unreliability of an enchanted item is 16, so you roll against 16 with 3d to see if it explodes and even with modifiers and factors and such you can never get it above 16. The first factor is the sorcerous unreliability of the region. The Known World's sorcerous unreliability of 13 reduces the item's reliability by -2. In Orcunraytrel there is no misfire chance when an enchanted item is used. So in The Known World, when you attack with a sword enchanted to hit better you roll 3d against 14. On a 15 or higher, the sword explodes in your hand. Bear in mind that the region an enchanted item was made is what determines this, not where it currently is. So enchanted items made in Orcunraytrel and brought to The Known World function just fine.

There is a factor of time to consider in enchanted items. The longer a magic item persists, the more unreliable its enchantments become. Which is why you don't find a lot of loot and ancient artifacts lying around in caves. It sits in a hole for three hundred years and an ant walks over it and activates the magic and the thing explodes. The sorcerous unreliability of a region also determines how often you check to see if the magic has degraded, in The Known World you check once a month. So you have a freshly created enchanted item with a base misfire of 16. It was made in The Known World, this reduces it to 14. When using its magic you roll against 14 to see if it explodes and once a month your roll against 14 to see if its enchantments degrade. If you fail that check, you reduce the 14 down to 13 and make all future checks against that. 

How much magic you cram into an item affects its reliability as well.

Sorcerous Energy Use Unreliability Penalties (Enchantment College)
  • 1 - 250: 0 (1 burn)
  • 251 - 3348: -1 (1d burn)
  • 3349 - 6441: -2 (1d burn 1d cr ex)
  • 6442 - 9534: -3 (1d+2 burn 1d+2 cr ex)
  • 9535 - 12627: -4 (1d+4 burn 1d+4 cr ex)
  • 12628 - 15720: -5 (2d burn, 2d cr ex)
  • 15721 - 18813: -6 (2d+2 burn 2d+2 cr ex)
  • 18814 - 21906: -7 (2d+4 burn 2d+4 cr ex)
  • 21907 - 24999: -8 (3d burn, 3d cr ex)
  • 25000+: -9 (8d cor ex)

You can see that a lot more energy goes into enchanting an item than into casting regular spells. In an area of normal sorcerous energies in The Known World you can pull 25,000 energy to you in like 42 minutes or so (assuming you only spend one concentrate maneuver a round) and then get on with casting the enchantment. Mind you, there are sixty rounds per minute, so enchanting isn't something you should do in the midst of combat. 

So what does all that crap on the list mean? 

If you put 250 energy or less into an enchanted item, it doesn't modify the unreliability at all. So in The Known World you enchant an item with a base unreliability of 14. If you go over 250 energy with an enchantment, you reduce that by the listed amount. If you do manage to pour 25,000 energy into an item, you're looking at rolling against 5 when you use it. The numbers and crap in the parentheses are damage notations. So when an enchanted item with 250 energy in it explodes, it just does 1 point of burning damage. Burn damage is fire, cr is crushing which is blunt force, and ex is explosion. So when you are figuring out all the damage on the notations with an ex on them everything nearby takes damage as well equal to the damage dealt to whoever is holding or wearing the item divided by 3 times the number of yards they are from the explosion site. So let's say you are holding an item and it has 251 energy in it and it goes off. You take 1d burn and 1d crushing. We'll go with 3 and 3 so it's simple. Everything within a yard of you takes 1 burning and 1 crushing damage, and anyone beyond that takes nothing. At the 25,000 level of energy you see the damage as 8d cor ex, which is corrosion and explosion. So when an item of that level goes off, it deals 8 - 48 corrosion damage, which is like disintegration. There's so much sorcerous energy bound into the object that when it goes off it just disintegrates stuff. It also degrades the damage resistance of targets as well. With an average roll for 28 damage, everyone within a yard of you takes 9 corrosion, two yards takes 4, three yards takes 3, four yards takes 2, and five to nine yards takes 1 corrosion damage. Enchanted items are dangerous, mkay.
One more thing has an impact on the reliability of enchanted items, the materials they are made out of. This is based on the general toughness and durability of the object's material.
Enchanted Item Material Reliability Modifier
  • -2: Paper
  • -1: Bone, glass, gold, Meroteth obsidian, obsidian, silver, tin.
  • 0: Leather, Necropolis obsidian, wood.
  • +1: Beast hide, brass, brick, bronze, concrete, greatwood, iron, steel, stone.
  • +2: Dragonhide, shipbronze, springsteel.
  • +3: Wolf-iron.
This is not a comprehensive list. Generally speaking, 0 and +1 modifier materials are normal relatively durable materials commonly used to create things. As we move up and below those two, I try to place materials based on their relation to items in the 0 and +1 category. So beast hide (super tough hide from the great beasts of The Beast Lands) is tougher than regular leather, and dragon scales and hide is tougher than beast hide. Iron and steel are different, but close enough in nature that they get lumped into the +1 category. Bronze and iron are close enough in durability (aside from bronze having a lower melting point) that I'm comfortable with them on the same level). Moving up, shipbronze and springsteel are tougher than bronze and steel. At the +3 level we have wolf-iron and its legendary durability. Like I said, not comprehensive and not necessarily finalized. I also plan on adding in some modifiers for quality of the weapon, but I have to research those in GURPS and figure them out before I do that. GURPS already has a system of modifying weapons and armor based on quality and materials, but I need to make it a little more comprehensive to account for special materials and such. 

So what does all this mean? So lets say we have a sword with the puissance enchantment on it. This provides a +1 to damage with the sword and requires 250 energy. We're in The Known World so we are starting with an unreliability of 14, and 250 energy doesn't decrease that. We're making the sword out of steel, so we jump up to 15. Every time you deal damage with the sword, you roll 3d against 15 to see if it explodes and deals 1 burning damage to the hand you are holding it in and whoever you just hit in the face with it. Wear a leather glove and you'll be fine.

So that's the gist of enchanting objects and their unreliability. 

I have some words on sorcery in general that I would like to share. After all of that crazy nonsense and tables and modifiers and whatnot from these three posts, you might have realized that sorcery is overly complicated and adds a lot of notations and record keeping to the game. This is deliberate. I have never made any secret of my dislike of magic in my Hekinoe campaign, nor have I made it a secret that there are specific background reasons it is the way it is. I have been known to rage about Eric calling magic broken, because it isn't. At least not to Karl Anglesmith. It works just like it always has. You will never find a sorcerous artifact or secret spell that doesn't follow these rules or a secret history record that says sorcery worked just fine once.

The reason the rules are overly complicated and clunky is because I want them to be. If I come up with an idea related to magic and immediately come up with a more refined and intuitive way of resolving it, I always opt for the more complicated and clunky and less intuitive option. This is because I am trying to use rules to convey the frustration and difficulty of becoming a sorcerer and commanding sorcery to do your bidding. I also have a tendency to just reshape the way misfires are done, or at least what the rolls mean in terms of the effect of a misfire. I do this because I am trying to convey the random chaos of a completely unpredictable force that mortals literally cannot hope to control. 

It's ultimately all about flavor. Yeah, there are less frustrating ways to make sorcery function that reduce the amount of extra rolls you make, but fuck that. Sorcery is fucked up and complicated and a pain in the dick to deal with. That's the choice you make when you decide you want to become a sorcerer.

Final note, if anyone has any questions or thoughts or feels like I didn't talk about something I should have, please ask me.