Monday, August 25, 2014

Confusion at Gardmore Abbey

So for those of you that don't know, I was a player in a 4th Edition campaign running through the module Madness at Gardmore Abbey. The module centers on the aforementioned abbey and the legendary Deck of Many Things. Those of you familiar with Important Things know that the Deck of Many Things is an artifact that has been designated a campaign ender by all of the Internets. You give one to your players and your campaign is over. It's too disruptive an influence.

For instance, looking at the 1st Edition AD&D version, drawing the Talons card removes all magic items you carry. The Jester gives you 10,000 experience points or two more draws (25,000 experience in original 1975 D&D). Balance changes your alignment, Rogue turns one of your henchmen against you, Vizier gives you the answer to your next dilemma, Donjon imprisons you (a spell that puts you in suspended animation and secrets you away forever unless someone casts the reverse of the spell with a detailed biography on you, a less than complete biography releases 1d100 other imprisoned creatures), one card gives you 1d4 wishes. Etc, etc, etc. So yeah. Looking at these cards from previous editions, there's not much practical use for them in combat since they affect the person that draws them and no one else. In the 4th Edition module we played, this isn't the case.

To give you a frame of reference, I played an Eladrin (Elf+) Rogue focusing on gaining and maintaining combat advantage to deal sneak attack damage. My feats allowed me to have combat advantage against everyone on the first round of combat and to expend my Fey Step teleport ability to gain combat advantage against everyone adjacent to me. All of my encounter powers gave me combat advantage against my target till the end of my next turn, and my magic sword let me 1/day gain combat advantage against a target until the end of my next turn. So yeah. I also had a daily that gave me combat advantage against an enemy as long as I was adjacent to him. My other one was a stance that let me make an interrupt attack every time I was attacked via my AC or Reflex defense for the duration of an encounter.

So we're these adventurers wandering around this abbey for various reasons. First it's to combat some Orcs, then it's to clear out this temple of Bahamut. We start discovering that this order of Bahamut was hanging onto the Deck of Many things to protect the world from it because it is an artifact of destruction and chaos and such. Three hundred years ago the Deck destroyed the abbey somehow. We never found out how.

So we quickly start finding these cards by looting them from people. We find the Euryale card (she is one of the Gorgons of Greek mythology, sister to Medusa). Now in previous editions when drawn this card has caused you to turn to stone with no saving throw (OD&D), given you a permanent -3 to all saving throws vs. petrification (1st and 2nd Edition AD&D), and given you a permanent -1 penalty to all saving throws (3.5 Edition).

What happens when you draw the card in 4th Edition? Oh, you make an attack roll at +11 against the Fortitude defense of creatures in a 5x5 space and they get turned to stone. A miss or critical failure on your attack roll does not turn you to stone. That's it. You petrify people. Not exactly in keeping with the previous editions. It's actually kind of badass. 

According to my DM, when you collect all 22 cards and put them together to make them into a deck, there is a certain element of risk to them when used, but I don't know specifics. They can also be used as a tome implement. I don't know what additional effects they have beyond regular tomes though.

I like that there is an element of risk to the use of the cards when they are combined into a deck, but overall I am not pleased with the 4th Edition representation of the cards. They go from being a campaign destroying artifact to being a risk free toy you can use in combat. Unless you decide to put them together. But I suppose that makes sense, because 4th Edition is a game about cinematic high fantasy action economy based tactical combat and absolutely nothing else.

I have mixed feelings about the adventure overall. I enjoyed playing as a player and I enjoy this gaming group and the DM is a good DM, but the module itself is kind of ho hum. Which I suppose is expected in a WotC created module. They only go bug nuts crazy in the edition switch modules like the Vecna trilogy of modules from 2nd Edition and the Tearing of the Weave modules in 3.5 Forgotten Realms. I did manage to make it to 9th level in this module though, which is a lot higher than any previous attempt. To be fair, we started at 4th level then jumped to 6th because and then leveled normally.

One interesting thing that I thought was kind of neat on a personal level was that my character Erevan had decided not to use these cards. All it took was the knowledge that they destroyed the abbey and the order of Bahamut maintaining it and he was like nope. So over the half a dozen sessions I am just collecting these cards and stacking them next to me character sheet. At one point I had half of the entire deck sitting useless beside my character sheet. Everyone else is using these cards like crazy. One guy, a Fighter, made barging into a room and dropping down a card his main fighting style. He had the Euryale card. When we fought the dragon, I got Donjonned, which is the card that imprisons you. So as a player, and knowing these cards are completely safe to use, I was constantly tempted to throw them down to do cool shit. It was very frustrating, but it ended up working nicely in terms of RPing Erevan and the constant temptation to use these cards. 

I did use a card though. Once.

So we're nearing the completion of the module and we're missing like six cards (I had twelve cards at this point with the other four scattered among the other players) and I go to our friendly non evil NPC and ask how we defeat the deck. He asks if I have them all, I immediately go on the defensive and surreptitiously prepare to knife his face into oblivion. I have twelve cards hidden on my body with a Thievery check of 34, so each card can be found on my person after 12 successful DC 34 Perception checks. Misunderstanding is avoided (as well as face knifing) and the wizard does some research and discovers that the cards need to be removed from the prime material plane to be defeated. Which is weird. But whatever. Jacob, who is 18 and has never played anything but 4e (and is the guy with the Euryale card, until I stole if from him with Thievery) suggests we use a portable hole and bag of holding combo to shunt them out of this plane and into the Astral plane. 

We track down the last six cards and our wizard gets us a bag of holding and portable hole. I end up with twenty cards and Jacob ends up with the last two and refuses to give them to me. He wants me to give my cards to him, and I want him to give them to me. Neither of us is budging. I throw down Euryale and petrify him, combine the cards into the Deck of Many Things, drop the bag into the hole and shunt them off into the astral (which is a totally secure location no one ever gets to, so they'll be safe there). I ask my DM if Erevan survives this, and he has me make a check and I succeed, but he says Jacob's statue is sucked into the astral. I had forgotten Jacob's character was a statue and couldn't avoid the sucking vacuum like everybody else. 


Monday, August 18, 2014

Creature Feature 2: Great Beasts

There are some big ass critters in The Beast Lands, here's what some of them look like.

Great Catamount
205 points
ST: 20  [50] DX: 13 [60] IQ: 4 [-120] HT: 17 [70]
HP: 26 [6] Will: 11 [35] Per: 12 [40] FP: 17 [0]
Basic Lift: 80 lbs. Thrust: 2d-1 Swing: 3d+2
Basic Speed: 7.5 [0] Basic Move: 11 [20]
Dodge: 11 Parry: 0 Block: SM: +1 (336 lbs.)

Traits: Berserk (Self Control: 6, x2) [-20], Catfall [10], Claws (Sharp Claws) [5], Combat Reflexes [15], Damage Resistance 2 (Tough Skin, -40%) [6], Hard to Kill 2 [4], Hard to Subdue 2 [4], Night Vision 5 [5], Quadruped [-35], Striking ST +4 (One Attack Only: Bite, -60%) [8], Super Jump 3 [30], Teeth (Sharp Teeth) [1], Temperature Tolerance 1 (Cold) [1], Wild Animal [-30]
Skills: Brawling (DX+3/E) - 16 [8], Jumping (DX+2/E) - 15 [4], Stealth (DX+1/H) - 14 [8]

Great Razorback
129 points
ST: 24  [56] DX: 12 [40] IQ: 5 [-100] HT: 22 [120]
HP: 31 [7] Will: 12 [35] Per: 12 [35] FP: 22 [0]
Basic Lift: 115 lbs. Thrust: 2d+1 Swing: 4d+2
Basic Speed: 8.5 [0] Basic Move: 10 [10]
Dodge: 11 Parry: 0 Block: SM: +2 (800 lbs.) 

Traits: Berserk (Self Control: 6, x2) [-20], Claws (Hooves) [3], Combat Reflexes [15], DR 5 (Tough Skin, -40%) [15], Hard to Kill 2 [4], Hard to Subdue 2 [4], No Fine Manipulators (No Fine Manipulators) [-30], Quadruped [-35], Striker (Tusks; Impaling; Limited Arc: Front, -40%; Cannot Parry, -40%) [2], Wild Animal [-30]
Skills: Brawling (DX+3/E) - 15 [8]

Great Skunk Bear (a.k.a. Moderate Southwest Ratel)
118 points
ST: 17  [21] DX: 12 [40] IQ: 6 [-80] HT: 19 [90]
HP: 22 [10] Will: 13 [35] Per: 12 [30] FP: 19 [0]
Basic Lift: 57 lbs. Thrust: 1d+2 Swing: 3d-1
Basic Speed: 7 [-15] Basic Move: 7 [0]
Dodge: 10 Parry: 0 Block: SM: +0 (113 lbs.)

Traits: Berserk (Self Control: 6, x2) [-20], Claws (Sharp Claws) [5], Combat Reflexes [15], Damage Resistance 3 (Tough Skin, -40%) [9], Discriminatory Smell [15], Flexibility (Flexibility) [5], Hard to Kill 2 [4], Hard to Subdue 2 [4], High Pain Threshold [10], Overconfidence (Self Control: 12, x1) [-5], Quadruped [-35], Teeth (Sharp Teeth) [1], Temperature Tolerance 1 (Cold) [1], Wild Animal [-30]
Skills: Brawling (DX+3/E) - 16 [8]

Great Ursine
127 points
ST: 30  [80] DX: 11 [20] IQ: 4 [-120] HT: 20 [100]
HP: 48 [18] Will: 11 [35] Per: 10 [30] FP: 20 [0]
Basic Lift: 180 lbs. Thrust: 3d Swing: 5d+2
Basic Speed: 7.75 [0] Basic Move: 9 [10]
Dodge: 10 Parry: 0 Block: SM: +2 (1,300 lbs.)

Traits: Berserk (Self Control: 6, x2) [-20], Claws (Blunt Claws) [3], Damage Resistance 5 (Tough Skin, -40%) [15], Hard to Kill 2 [4], Hard to Subdue 2 [4], No Fine Manipulators (No Fine Manipulators) [-30], Semi-Upright [-5], Teeth (Sharp Teeth) [1], Temperature Tolerance 2 (Cold) [2], Wild Animal [-30]
Skills: Brawling (DX+3/E) - 14 [8]

Great Viper
19 points
ST: 8  [-20] DX: 13 [60] IQ: 2 [-160] HT: 16 [60]
HP: 10 [2] Will: 10 [40] Per: 10 [40] FP: 16 [0]
Basic Lift: 13 lbs. Thrust: 1d-3 Swing: 1d-2
Basic Speed: 7.5 [0] Basic Move: 5 [-10]
Dodge: 10 Parry: 0 Block: SM: +1 (8')

Traits: Berserk (Self Control: 6, x2) [-20], Cold Blooded (Below 50 degrees) [-5], Damage Resistance 2 (Tough Skin, -40%) [6], Discriminatory Smell [15], Hard to Kill 2 [4], Hard to Subdue 2 [4], Innate Attack: Venom (2d Toxic; Cyclic: 1 Second, 4 Cycles, +400%; Follow-Up: Fangs, +0%: Resistable: HT-5, -5%) [40] Nictitating Membrane 2 [2], Teeth (Fangs) [2], Vermiform [-35], Wild Animal [-30]
Skills: Brawling (DX+3/E) - 16 [8], Stealth (DX+1/H) - 14 [8]

This great viper brings up a very important point. Points values do not equal combat effectiveness or survivability. The guys have advantages that cost more than the great viper would as a racial template. However, its Brawling skill is pretty damn good. If it hits and a player doesn't succeed at defending against it, we're looking at minimal damage from the bit. But then the venom hits the player, and most players are going to be resisting with a roll of 3d against 5 or 6 and take 2d damage. Then for the next four rounds they'll be doing the same thing. Averaging about 7 damage a round, and assuming failed resist rolls, we're looking at around 32 damage. Definitely sufficient to kill or nearly kill a player. So even though it has those measly 10 hit points, if it manages to successfully bite someone in the party, there's a reasonable chance they're dead. 

Great Wolf
161 points
ST: 16  [30] DX: 12 [40] IQ: 4 [-60] HT: 19 [90]
HP: 20 [4] Will: 11 [35] Per: 14 [50] FP: 19 [0]
Basic Lift: 51 lbs. Thrust: 1d+1 Swing: 2d+2
Basic Speed: 7.75 [0] Basic Move: 10 [15]
Dodge: 10 Parry: 0 Block: SM: +1 (192 lbs.)

Traits: Berserk (Self Control: 6, x2) [-20], Damage Resistance 2 (Tough Skin, -40%) [6], Discriminatory Smell [15], Hard to Kill 2 [4], Hard to Subdue 2 [4], Quadruped [-35], Teeth (Sharp Teeth) [1], Temperature Tolerance 2 (Cold) [2], Wild Animal [-30]
Skills: Brawling (DX+3/E) - 15 [8], Tracking (Per+1/A) - 15 [2]

So those are some great beasts of The Beast Lands and such. There are also great raptors and great eels, but I didn't feel like dicking around with eels and Innate Attack or birds. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Wild Dragon Appears!

Hypothetically speaking, let's say four pirate hetero lifebros are wandering around inside the imaginary landscape of a deity's brain hole and they encounter a dragon of all things. The dragon has like a really really good send of smell, and the lifebros can hear the thing coming so nobody is surprised when the pirate bros see the giant lizard burst from the trees into a clearing about ten yards away from them and it in turn sees them.

The four bros have been wandering around in this weird ass place for some time now, so they've all got weapons out and their various special effects popping. The dragon has a basic speed of 8, the Elduman has a 5.25, the Sereth has a 6.25, the sorcerer has a 5.5, and the actual pirate has a 6. So, the dragon goes first, following by the Sereth, the sorcerer, then the Elduman, and finally the actual pirate. 

Round 1
The dragon doesn't know what guns or Elduman or sorcerers are, but it's been around a while and has seen a sword. it doesn't like them. It uses a move maneuver and moves 8 yards towards the pirate. Noticing it is still 2 yards away from dining on man flesh, it uses a move and attack maneuver and moves the last two yards to the actual pirate and bites him. The dragon's Brawling skill is 9 (it's actually 16, but move and attack confers a -4 penalty and the skill level can't exceed 9), and it rolls a 9, so it hits. The actual pirate, being aware of his opponent is like fuck! and tries to twist out of the way. He rolls against his dodge, which is 11 (9 plus one from Enhanced Block: Dodge plus one from his magic ring), and gets a 10, dodging out of the way. The dragon, is peeved by this and attacks with a claw, rolling a 13 against it's Brawling skill of 16. Another hit. Karrak gets a 9 and manages to dodge out of the way. 

The Sereth, lingering about two yards behind the group, decides to take an aim maneuver with his beloved rifle and takes a step back, now being about three yards away from the dragon. His next attack with the rifle will be based off of an effective skills of 24. 

It's the actual pirate's turn, and he has this massive forty foot dragon breathing rotten, caustic breath into his face. Shit. He takes a move and attack maneuver and swings his black short sword into the dragon's snout. He rolls a 10 against his Melee Weapon (Shortsword) skill of 19.(-2 for moving and attacking, +1 for the sword's enchantment, +5 for the dragon's SM), which is a hit. The dragon, being a dragon, doesn't block or parry, it simply jerks its face out of the way of the blade and rolls a 16 against its dodge of 11. That's a fail on the dragon's part. The actual pirate's ST is 10 so his thrust damage is 1d-2 and his swing damage is 1d. The enchantment on the sword improves these to 1d-1 impaling and 1d+1 cutting. The sword itself is responsible for the impaling and cutting stuff, not the enchantment.  The actual pirate's swing does 7 cutting damage. The dragon has thick ass greenish brown scales, and a DR of 21 chews up that damage and spits it out. The dragon has no idea why the actual pirate swatted it on the nose with a rolled up newspaper.

The sorcerer, being sorcerous, begins casting a spell. He concentrates and moves away from the dragon (now being about 3 yards from the big lizard). The ambient sorcerous energy of this deity's brain hole appears to be similar to The Known World and the sorcerer has ten energy at his fingertips and his Magery allows him to pour 2 energy into his spell. A smoking ball of incandescent fire glows from within the barrel of the sorcerer's firearm and he rolls an 11 against his skill of 15 with the fireball spell. 

The Elduman takes a concentrate maneuver and steps away from the dragon as it thrashes and bites at the actual pirate. The Elduman is now one yard from the dragon. The Elduman normally has a psionic Energy Reserve of 10, but he activated his Elduman Resilience about 30 seconds ago, so he's down to 9. He burns another 3, bringing him down to 6 and slams psychic crush into the dragon's brain hole. He rolls a 9 against his Will of 9 and "hits" with his psionic power. His Will is actually 10, but psychic crush takes a to hit penalty of -1 per yard from the target you are, just like spells. The dragon attempts to resist this psychic intrusion, and rolls a 10 against his Will of 10 and glares at the Elduman. Since psychic crush is a malediction, the hit/resist stuff is actually a quick contest. To affect the target, the Elduman needs to win the quick contest, so since it's a tie, the dragon successfully resists.

The actual pirate steps back one yard after his ineffective swing and branishes his pistol. Taking an attack maneuver, he rolls against his effective Guns skill of 21. A hit. The dragon rolls a 12 against an 11 on his dodge. The bullet cracks into its scales, 11 damage from the 2d+1 firearm. Doing nothing. The actual pirate drinks heavily as a free action.

At the end of this first second of combat, everyone is still at max hit points. The Elduman is down to 6 points of energy in his energy reserve (but he still has energy in his ring and regular FP to spend) and is one yard from the dragon, the sorcerer is casting his spell about three yards from the dragon and has two energy in it so far. The Sereth is hanging back and getting a seemingly unnecessary bead on the forty foot long lizard.

Round 2
The dragon spits acid at the Elduman and rolls a 6 against his Innate Attack skill of 16. The Elduman tries to dodge and rolls an 11 against his dodge of 9 and takes 13 points of corrosion damage. His Elduman Resilience is up and running, so that slides down to 7 corrosion damage. His clothing has a DR of 1, so that's down to 6 damage. Because it's corrosion damage, the Elduman's clothing is pretty much ruined and won't protect him anymore. The Elduman takes 6 damage, reducing him to 4 HP. He's just taken a major wound (one that did more than half his HP in damage) and he rolls an 11 against his HT of 10. This is a failure and the Elduman falls to the ground, stunned. He can defend himself at -4, but he can't take any actions on round 2 and will make a HT roll at the end of his turn to recover. This continues till he recovers.

The dragon turns its attention back to the actual pirate, now quite pleased with itself. It lunges towards the actual pirate and makes an attack maneuver with its teeth, rolling a 13 against its Brawling of 16, a success. The actual pirate rolls a 14 against his dodge of 11. The dragon rolls 3d and does 15 cutting damage to the pirate. Our actual pirate calls on his Gifts (paying one FP to do so, reducing him to 14) and rolls an 11 against the 11 needed to activate Buffered by the Sky. The 15 cutting damage is reduced by 4 to 11 and then hits his pirate outfit, which I'm assuming is roughly equivalent to leather armor and has a DR of 2, dropping us to 9 hit points of damage. It's cutting damage and the actual pirate has no Injury Tolerance or anything so it gets multiplied by 1.5 to 13 damage and drops him to 0 hit points. He rolls a 4 against his HT of 12 so he isn't dazed or knocked down. Every time you take damage in GURPS, there is something called a shock penalty equal to the damage you take, capping at -4. So the actual pirate will make all his rolls next round at -4 to DX and IQ. Plus, he's taken some damage, so he halves his move and dodge (making them 3 and 6). This is from being at less than 1/3 hit points. For being at 0 hit points he makes a HT roll at the end of every one of his turns unless he takes do nothing maneuvers and makes no active defense rolls. This continues until he is not at 0 hit points. If he fails he passes out. For every full multiple of his HP (-13, -26, -39, etc) into the negatives he gets, he'll make the roll at a -1.

Our dragon still has one attack maneuver left, so he swipes at our actual pirate with a claw and rolls an 8 against his skill of 16. The actual pirate rolls 10 against his adjusted dodge of 6. Several things happen like they did on the last attack with the net result being our pirate takes an another 9 damage, putting him at -9 HP. This changes nothing from the statistics given above.

But wait, there's more. The dragon has a poisonous bite that does stuff. The damage from its bite got through the actual pirate's Damage Resistance, and the Affliction for the venom is a follow-up attack to the dragon's bite, so it automatically hits the actual pirate and he has to make a HT-2 roll. He rolled a 7 against his adjusted HT of 10, so he resists the toxin coursing through his bloodstream. It's probably easier because all of the blood is pouring out of his body instead of lingering in his circulatory system.

The Sereth takes his shot and rolls an 8 against his Guns skill of 22 (16 base, -9 for targeting the eye, +8 from the aim maneuver, +5 for the dragon's SM, +1 for the Weapon Bond perk, and +1 for his bracers) and puts a silenced round into its eye. He deals 27 damage, which manages to punch through the dragon's scales for 6 damage. This blinds the eye (giving the dragon the One Eye disadvantage) and multiplies the damage by 4 for 24 damage, reducing the dragon to 7 hit points. Meaning its move and dodge are halved (4 and 6). The dragon doesn't take the -4 shock penalty due to have High Pain Threshold.

It's our actual pirate's turn again, so he takes move maneuver and pays a FP (reducing him to 13 FP), and moves straight up 3 yards into the air, away from the dragon. Then he rolls a 9 against his HT of 12 and remains conscious.

The sorcerer is up and takes a concentrate maneuver and puts two more energy into his spell (4 total) and casts it through his revolver at the dragon. He rolls a 7 against his Innate Attack skill of 17 (14 base, -3 for distance, +1 for revolver giving him an increased reach, and +5 for the dragon's SM). The dragon rolls an 11 against its adjusted dodge of 6, a hit, and a ball of fire smacks it in the side and deals 18 burning damage, which the thick scales totally rebuff.

The Elduman's turn rolls around and he derps around on the ground, but manages to roll a 7 against his HT of 10 to recover his wits.

At the bottom of the second round, we have the actual pirate at -9 HP and 13 FP. We have the Elduman on the ground looking less dazed and at 4 hit points, the sorcerer feeling some performance anxiety, and the Sereth looking smug.

Round 3
The dragon has one eye now, so he's at -1 DX in combat. So his speed drops to 7.75 (he still goes first), his move drops to 7 and is halved to 4. His dodge is 10 and halved to 5 and his Brawling skill drops to 15.

The dragon makes a move and attack maneuver and charges towards the Sereth and rolls a 9 against his adjusted Brawling of 9 as it tries to bite the bullet slinging fuck in half. The Sereth rolls a 12 against his dodge of 10. Ouchie. The dragon does 6 cutting damage (seriously?! two 1s and a 4? fuck off dice roller app!) which impacts the Hound's hide armor's DR of 4. Eran ends up taking 3 damage (because of the 1.5 multiplier of cutting damage), which reduces him to 9 HP. He looks up at the actual pirate with a confused expression on his face as if to say, "What's the big deal?"

As if feeling some manner of performance anxiety, the dragon seeks to compensate for that display and slashes at the Sereth with its claws. It rolls a 4. Ahem. Well. That would be a critical hit, so the Sereth doesn't get a defense against it. I did not intend for that to happen and I wrote the Sereth's smarminess in before rolling it. So yeah, the dragon rolls 3d on the critical hit table and gets an 11, which is normal damage. That was anti-climactic. So the dragon rolls 3d+1 for its slash and deals 14 cutting damage, which drops to 10 after DR and jumps back up to 15 once it hits flesh. This drops the Sereth to -9 hit points. Oh look, he and the actual pirate can be bleeding their guts out besties.

So now the Sereth has the -4 to DX and IQ shock penalty. He also rolls a 12 against his HT of 12 because he took a major wound (injury equal to 1/2 his hit points or more) and avoids being knocked down and stunned like the Elduman was. Because he's at less than 1/3 of HP, he also halves his move and dodge down to 3 and 6. Because he's at 0 or less HP, he'll have to make a HT roll to remain conscious if he decides to do anything other than a do nothing maneuver on his turn.

With its dominance once more established, the dragon spits a gob of acid towards the actual pirate and rolls a 16 against its adjusted Innate Attack skill of 15 (16 normally, -1 for the actual pirate being 6 yards away).  A miss.

It's the Sereth's turn now so he decides to take a ready maneuver and drink a potion, he also steps back one yard from the dragon. He rolls a 7 against his HT of 12 and remains conscious. The potion (lovingly crafted by the sorcerer healer bro bro) restores 4 hit points, bringing the Sereth up to -5 HP. Wooo!

Planning to essentially do the same thing, the actual pirate rolls an 11 against his HT of 12 and remains conscious to quaff a potion. The potion restores 3 HP, bringing him to -6. He also flies another yard up and away from the dragon.

The sorcerer takes a concentrate maneuver and steps towards the Sereth, poking him in the shoulder with the barrel of his revolver. He draws 4 energy from the sorcerous energy of the environment and rolls a 10 against his skill of 16 with the major healing spell. Because his skill level is so high, the cost drops to 3 and leaves 14 sorcerous energy accumulated around him (10 from concentrating to cast fireball, 10 from concentrating to cast major healing, -4 for fireball, -4 from major healing, +1 refund for skill level from fireball, +1 refund for skill level from major healing). Sorcerous energy hazes around the Sereth and he heals 8 HP, bringing him to 3 HP.

The Elduman still lying on the ground and somewhat leery of drawing the dragon's attention again, pays 3 energy (reducing him to 3 in his reserve) and activates his telekinesis for a minute and grabs a grenade from the actual pirate's belt and hurls it at the dragon from above. The grenade is a special one made by a short one-eyed chemist the group knows, it just explodes when jostled to much. The Elduman rolls a 10 against his effective Throwing skill of 13 (base of 8 for defaulting to DX-3, +5 for the dragon's SM). The dragon, still focused on the actual pirate, sees the shimmering force and the small object, and it rolls a 15 against its dodge of 6 and the grenade smacks it in the back. The grenade explodes, dealing 32 crushing damage to the dragon, which is reduced to 11 points of damage, dropping the dragon to -5 HP.

So at the bottom of the second round, everyone is still kicking and the dragon is down to -5 HP.

Round 4
The dragon, having never encountered the flaming nonsense of a grenade, and never having been injured this much in three seconds of battle before, and being a big animal that is moderately intelligent, and being a figment of the deity's memories, retreats. The group, being somewhat worse for the wear, but not dead, decide to not hunt down the giant lizard in an illusory forest inside a deity's brain space. The actual pirate drinks heavily over the course of several ready maneuvers. 

This is just an example of actual GURPS combat, all the rolls are legit. It was equal parts playtest and educational example. There are a few things to remember though.

The first is that the player characters are made as a translation, not a conversion. I took Pathfinder created characters and translated them the best I could to GURPS. What I mean by this is that in Pathfinder, Psions use Intelligence as their primary statistic, whereas in GURPS, psionics mostly use the Malediction modifier, which bases their powers off of Will. So instead of having a 13 in Will for 15 points, Donovan has an IQ of 13 for 60 points and a Will of 10 for -15 because his Wisdom was 10 in Pathfinder. If Donovan had been built from the ground up in GURPS, he would look differently.

The second thing to remember is that I gave the dragon it's full Damage Resistance on its eye hit location, instead of its Nictitating Membrane DR. This means that Eran's first shot would have done around 80 damage and put the dragon at -49 hit points. Which means a HT save or die, then another one at -62.

The third thing is that a DR of 21 is way the fuck high. If this had been a campaign event, I would have tweaked it so the small caliber revolvers the group carries could penetrate it. If we want to go the "realistic" route, creatures with scales or shells should have the Semi-Ablative, -20% modifier on their Damage Resistance, which would mean that every ten points of damage dealt to the creature reduces its innate DR by 1.

Fourth thing, hand grenades deal explosion damage. This is special because when you total the damage and deal it to the target (if there is one), you then divide it by 3 times the number of yards bystanders are from the explosion site, rounding down. So everyone within one yard of the dragon would have taken 10 crushing damage, everyone within two yards would take 5 crushing, everyone within three yards would take 3 crushing, within four to five yards would take 2, six to ten yards would take 1.

I also didn't muck about with the retreat option for an active defense. If you are attacked with a melee weapon, you can take a step move (basic move/10, but never less than 1 yard) and gain +3 to your dodge defense, but you're are still vulnerable to their close range melee attacks.

I also did not do anything with armor piercing rounds, which the Pathfinder version of the group has access to, which would have given Karrak's revolver a chance of actually damaging the dragon. I also didn't have Karl or Karrak fan hammers or thumb to increase their shots per round (and thus their chances of high damage, though this is only relevant if I had given them armor piercing rounds). If we're being honest, I also fudged the whole psychic crush thing that occurred on the first round because I didn't want to repeat the Pathfinder battle. I also had Eran aim instead of just shooting the dragon on the first round, he had plenty of bonus without the +8. I made these choices because I wanted to give everyone a chance to do something in GURPS.

I also fudged several maneuvers. With Donovan's telekinesis and the grenade I handwaved that Donovan already had it activated in my head (which takes a ready maneuver, just as it should have for Karrak to start walking on air) but it also takes a ready maneuver to pick up an object to throw with telekinesis, so Donovan wouldn't have been able to throw the grenade until the third round. Karrak's Buffered By the Sky also got fudged. I think you can use it in addition to making an active defense like a dodge, but I'm not 100% positive. However, if you use it more than once per round you get a cumulative -4 penalty to it every time you use it after the first. I didn't include the rolls in the second round where he gets dropped from 0 to -9 HP, but reducing his chance to activate Buffered By the Sky would have failed if he had done it with a -4 penalty, which would have put him at -13 HP and forced a HT roll to not die.

This wasn't a totally legit GURPS fight, but it is a much better example than the previous test battle from a few years ago where the Doctor rapid fired lasers at the Robot and reduced him to 0 HP and I thought he was dead. Additionally, I probably forgot a modifier or thirty somewhere in there. I wrote this post in the back of a moving ambulance rattling around on I-75 and using my phone as reference, dice roller, and calculator. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Creature Feature 1: Dragons

What do Hekinoe's dragons look like in GURPS? I'm glad you asked!

Dragons will have the Wild Animal meta-trait, minus the fixed IQ taboo trait. So they have Bestial [-10], Cannot Speak (Cannot Speak) [-15], and Hidebound [-5]. They also have the Quadruped meta-trait, which has Extra Legs (Four Legs) [5], Horizontal [-10], and No Fine Manipulators (No Fine Manipulators) [-30].

Young Adult Dragon (50 years old)
243 points
ST: 20  [50] DX: 14 [80] IQ: 5 [-100] HT: 14 [40]
HP: 20 [0] Will: 10 [25] Per: 12 [35] FP: 14 [0]
Basic Lift: 80 lbs. Thrust: 2d-1 Swing: 3d+2
Basic Speed: 7 [0] Basic Move: 7 [0]
Dodge: 10 Parry: 0 Block: 0 SM: +1 (9')

Traits: Affliction 1: Venom (Moderate Pain, +20%; Follow-Up: Teeth, +0%) [12], Ambidexterity [5], Claws (Talons) [8], Cold Blooded (Below 50°) [-5], Damage Resistance 6 (Cannot Wear Armor, -40%) [18], Discriminatory Smell [15], Extra Attack 2 (Brawling Skill Only, -20%) [40], High Pain Threshold [10], Innate Attack: Acidy Spit (2d Corrosion) [20], Nictitating Membrane 2 [2], Night Vision 9 [9], Quadruped [-35], Resistant (Occasional: Disease; Immunity, x1) [10], Resistant (Common: Poison; Immunity, x1) [15], Striker (Tail; Crushing; Limited Arc: Behind, -40%; Reach: 1, +100%; Clumsy: -1, -20%) [7], Teeth (Teeth) [1], Unaging [8]. Wild Animal [-30]
Skills: Brawling (DX+0/E) - 14 [1], Innate Attack (Projectile, DX+0/E) - 16 [1], Stealth (DX-1/A) - 13 [1]

So there we go. That's your average young dragon, a 9 foot long lizard. The venom causes the irritating effect moderate pain, which penalizes skill and attribute rolls. It's got a tail it can hit folks with, and some teeth and claws, along with the acidy spit. It's only 249 points, so it's probably fairly easy for a group of three 250+ point characters to defeat, but it's not something to scoff at. This guy has a minimum of 3 attacks per second. If he doesn't want to have any active defenses when attacked, he can make one attack maneuver an all-out attack and turn that into 4 attacks per round. His claws are going to deal 1 - 11 damage, and if that gets through damage resistance, it's cutting or impaling damage so it will have a multiplier of x1.5 or x2. The bite is only going to deal 0 - 10 cutting but if it gets through damage resistance, it has the venom attached to it too. If if feels like its prey is t0o armored to hurt, it can back up and spit acid at them. But again, this is a young guy and adventurers have been unimpressed with baby dragons since the seventies. In most fantasy stuff, dragons just keep getting tougher and tougher the older they get. So do these guys. I'm going to stick with the concept of age categories from Pathfinder/DnD, because I like them.

So at each age category, this guy is going to improve in capabilities, so I'll add this stuff to the template:

Age Category Improvement: Young Adult to Adult
47 points
Traits: SM +2 (15') ST +2 (cost factors in adjustments for increase SM) [-2], HT +1 [10], Affliction: Venom 2 [12], Damage Resistance +3 (Can't Wear Armor, -40%) [9], Innate Attack: Acidy Spit (3d damage) [10], Nictitating Membrane +1 [2], Skill Increases (DX+1/DX+1/DX+0) [6]

Age Category Improvement: Adult to Mature
29 points
Traits: SM +3 (21'), ST +3 (cost factors in adjustments for increase SM) [-3], HT +1 [10], Damage Resistance +4 (Can't Wear Armor, -40%) [12], Innate Attack: Acidy Spit (4d corrosion damage) [10]

Age Category Improvement: Mature to Old
31 points
Traits: SM +4 (30'), ST +3 (cost factors in adjustments for increase SM) [-9], HT +1 [10], Damage Resistance +4 (Can't Wear Armor, -40%) [12], Innate Attack: Acidy Spit (4d corrosion damage) [10], Nictitating Membrane +2 [4], Skill Increases (DX+2/DX+2/DX+1) [6]

Age Category Improvement: Mature to Old
40 points
Traits: SM +5 (45'), ST +3 (cost factors in adjustments for increase SM) [6], HT +1 [10], Affliction 3: Venom [12], Damage Resistance +4 (Can't Wear Armor, -40%) [12], Nictitating Membrane +2 [5]

One note, you'll see that as we increase the the ST, there's a negative points value. This is because due to SM and No Fine Manipulators there is a 50% reduction in the cost of ST. No Fine Manipulators shave's of 40% of the cost of ST and each SM shaves off another 10%. This is to compensate for the fact that every SM increases makes the character/creature easier to hit. So an old dragon is attacked with a +5 to skill. After SM gets to +4, and we hit an 80% cost reduction for ST we suddenly jump up in costs for ST increases. You cannot get a cost reduction bigger than 80% on anything in GURPS, regardless of modifiers. There's no cap on how much you can increase a cost by though.

So by the time we increase the points of the dragon by 63% (to 386, still well below three 250+ point adventurers) we've got a creature with a DR of 21, a bite that does 3d-2 cutting damage with a venom that is resisted at HT-3, a tail that does 3d+1 crushing, claws that do 3d-1, spit that does 4d corrosion damage, that has at least 27 hit points, a basic speed and move of 8, and a base dodge of 11. Oh. And it still has three or four attacks per round. I'd probably increase the potency of the venom at ancient age, along with increasing the ST bonus per age category to +4 and the damage resistance to +5. I'd also probably pepper a few IQ increases in there as well, just for shits and giggles.

I'd also create template variations for the variations of dragons found in Hekinoe. Ambush dragons would start out with a higher DX and lower ST and increase ST and SM at a slower rate. Bestial dragons would start out with a higher ST and HT and have the Berserk disadvantage. Brood Dragons would have some Injury Tolerance, increased initial Damage Resistance, along with Allies with the Summonable enhancement. Hehehehe. Cave dragons would have an in initial SM of 0 and increase at a slower pace, but would also have a tunneling ability and Camouflage with an Environmental modifier, probably a higher initial Damage Resistance as well. Clacker dragons would have Striking ST on their bite and their Innate Attack would be split between burning and corrosion damage, or I might just add incendiary to it as a damage modifier. Some types of clacker dragons also fly/flew (the surface types are mostly extinct) so they'd have Flight. Crystal dragons would have Resistant to psionic attacks, probably upgraded to Static at higher age categories, along with Camouflage with an Environmental limitation. Fell dragons would get Magic Resistance, remain at SM +1 and probably have a higher initial IQ. The Nel dragon would have Static (Gifts; Resistable) and its venom would have the Cosmic enhancement so it could affect Nel.

Dragons. Now where did I put those dungeons?

Edit After the Fact: Based on data from a post that will appear Wednesday, and some slightly realistic considerations, I'm modifying dragons. Their Damage Resistance will now have the Semi-Ablative modifier for -20%. This reduces their base template by 6 points and the age category templates by 3, 4, 4, and 4 character points. I intend to represent all Damage Resistance that stems from bone or scales or shells or chitin or whatever with this modifier in my campaign world.

Friday, August 8, 2014


Dear self, you were right, you needed scotch for this. 

Nel are such a fucking pain in the dick to create in GURPS. There's the base Nel meta-trait, which is worth 286 points by itself and comes with several features:

Feature: Nel may buy FP up to 150% of their HT, rather than 130%. This includes any HP increases from their court meta-trait.
Feature: Nel may buy HP up to 150% of their ST, rather than 130%. This includes any FP increases from their court meta-trait.
Feature: Nel may buy up to 5 levels of Hard to Kill and Hard to Subdue, rather than just the normal 2 levels. 
Feature: Since Nel have no system of currency or understanding of economics, they automatically start play with Dead Broke, but this is considered to be a 0 point feature because they do not have any sort of economy or currency. 

Then each court needs to have its own meta-trait. The Sokarnel are the most powerful, so their meta-trait is the biggest (233). The Aubernel and Utenel are weaker, but still powerful, so their meta-traits are only 75% of the Sokarnel's (176/175). The Feronel are powerful too, but their creator is an absentee ruler and they're geared more towards physical stuff and not throwing Gifts around, so they're 75% of the Sokarnel's meta-trait as well (176) but with more physical/combat related advantages. Then we have the Loronel, who are one of the weaker courts, so they're meta-trait is only 50% of the Aubernel, Utenel, and Feronel templates (89). But they're also geared towards more physical related crud, so that's where their innate talents lie. Then we have the Sarownel, who are part Utenel and the weakest of the Nel and are also savages geared towards more physical pursuits. So their meta-trait is only 50% of the Loronel's (44). 

Then we have the actual Nel racial templates and each court's race has to be a fucking extra special little snowflake. It's easy on the characteristic part, as I just need to plug in the stats. All Nel are basically clones to a certain extent, so they start out with all the same stats, which means I can just build the characteristics and don't need to worry about ranges or bonuses or anything. But almost every court has its own variation on each racial template. I hate Nel, they're a fucking pain in the dick. Except I love them in GURPS. In Pathfinder I'm able to represent Nel tolerably badly (the assumption being that any class based system would do a shit job of representing the Nel in its rules, but Pathfinder's shit job is tolerable, mostly), but GURPS is perfect. They're so pretty and perfect and match what's in my head.

My nerdboner could cut glass right now.

So anywhosen:

Steve S. Sarownel Junior
564 points
43 minute old Sarownel Lastborn
7' 180 lbs. 

ST: 15 [18] DX: 16 [0] IQ: 10 [0] HT: 13 [0]
HP: 19 [2] Will: 10 [0] Per: 11 [0] FP: 17 [0]
Basic Lift: 34 lbs. Thrust: 1d+1 Swing: 2d+1
Basic Speed: 7.25 [0] Basic Move: 7 [0]
Dodge: 10 Parry: 12 Block: 0
Build: Average [0] SM: +1 GM: +2 Appearance: Average [0]
TL: 0 [0] Cultural Familiarity: Sarownel (native)
Languages: Nel (native) Wealth: Dead broke [0]

Traits: Ambidexterity [5], Battle Rage (Striking ST +2; Can Be Stolen With a Quick Contest, -30%; Gifts, -10%; Accessibility: Only In Battle, -5%) [6], Extra-Attack (Brawling Only, -20%) [20], Nel Meta-Trait [264], Sarownel Meta-Trait [44], Sarownel Lastborn Template [182]
Skills: Acrobatics (DX-1/H) - 15 [2], Bow (DX-1/A) - 15 [1], Brawling (DX+2/E) - 18 [4], Camouflage (IQ+2/E) - 12 [4], Climbing (DX-1/A) - 15 [1], Jumping (DX+1) - 17 [2], Leatherworking (DX+0/E) - 16 [1], Stealth (Per+1/A) - 12 [4], Tracking (Per+1/A) - 12 [4]

So Steve here is basically a newborn. One day he was just there and wandered around the swamps of the Sarownel lands and found a pack or war party or clan or whatever you want to call it to hang out with. Or he was born strong enough to start one on his own. This Sarownel Lastborn has 74 character points beyond what every Sarownel has, so he's a newb. His Brawling skill is 18, but that's just because his DX is so high in the first place. FYI, sometimes in GURPS things come down to actual skill and not your skill level. For instance, a Brawling of 18 at DX+2 is better than a Brawling of 16 at DX+4, but the 16 skill level is more skilled than the 18. So if you ever run into a situation where skill matters more than innate talent or base skill level, the 16 will have an advantage over the 18. GURPS is weird like that. 

So when Steve punches someone, he uses his thrust damage, and does 1d+1 damage (2-7). This would normally be crushing damage and have no modifier after penetrating armor, but Steve has Claws (Sharp Claws), so he does cutting damage with his punches. So he multiplies damage by 1.5 if any gets through armor (assuming the target doesn't have Injury Tolerance of some kind to reduce it). With his Battle Rage thing, Steve's ST jumps up to 17 in a fight, but only if he's dealing damage, so his damage jumps up to 1d+2 cutting damage with his punches. He's also probably wearing some ratty, poorly cured, leather armor. It's probably basically rawhide. Like an entire suit of this dog toys. This grants him DR 3 in all hit locations except his head. Because leather is flexible, it doesn't protect as well against blunt trauma so that's something to bear in mind. With all that factored in, his DR against most attacks is around 6. 

So Steve's base value of points as a Nel is 490 points. If Steve were an Aubernel Lastborn, his base points would be 619 points. As a Feronel it would be 627. Steve the Loronel would be 531. Steve the Sokarnel would be 682. Steve the Utenel would come in at 618 character points. So you can see that the Aubernel, Feronel, and Utenel all kind of flutter around one another, but the points start to drop off when we hit the Loronel and Sarownel range. Sokarnel sit at the top of the pyramid all silent and still and lurking and shit.

Sokarnel are creeps. You don't even know.

Each of the Nel meta-traits and templates do factor in some disadvantages. The Utenel for instance have the Manic-Depressive disadvantage, the Aubernel have Impulsive. The base Nel meta-trait incorporates 55 versions of the Incompetence quirk (you can't learn a skill and any of its defaults you use to do it do so at an additional -4, so a Nel uses Guns at DX-8, rather than DX-4 and has to buy of the Incompetence quirk for Guns before he can actually buy the Guns skill). Each court also has its own Code of Honor as well.

Nel also have two very important disadvantages, Oblivious and Bad Sight. Oblivious only applies to mortals, so its only worth -1 point, not -5. It means that when dealing with mortals, Nel don't understand the reasons behind their emotions. So Nel are at -1 to use or resist Diplomacy, Fast-Talk, Intimidation, Savoir-Faire, Sex Appeal, and Streetwise during interactions with mortals. It doesn't seem like much, but imagine how embarrassing it was watching Andorian and Evandor fumbling around trying to rule mortals that they weren't inclined to smite to resolve interpersonal conflict.

The other disadvantage is Bad Sight (Nearsighted). Normally this confers a -6 to Vision on spotting things more than one yard away, a -2 penalty on melee attacks, and when figuring out penalties for ranged attacks due to distance you double the range. So a target 2 yards away (no penalty) counts as being 4 yards away (a -2 penalty to skill level). This Nel Bad Sight disadvantage only applies to creatures and environments without Gifts (reducing its points value as a disadvantage). So these penalties are irrelevant in combat against other Nel or in environments with a heavy Gifts presence like Grenaldeen or inside Keroen's hill. So if a Nel attacks Donovan in melee, he does so at -2 to skill level. If he attacks Karrak, no penalty.

So this brings us to the Nel ability to sense Gifts. Bad Sight isn't really Nel having piss poor vision, it's that they are native to a place where they don't rely on vision as much, so they aren't as adept at noticing things with vision. Their eyesight is fine, they just don't automatically process sensory information from their sight without thinking about it like we do. Creatures like Andorian, Callifay, Evandor, Kolenarel, and Vandella would have bought off the Bad Sight long ago (along with a good portion of their Nel Incompetence quirks). Nel hear things and smell things and see things, and some of them do so very well (primordials all have Discriminatory Smell for instance), but non-world traveler Nel rely on their ability to sense Gifts as their primary sense.

Up in the statistics for Steve, you'll see his Size Modifier listed as +1, next to that you'll see GM: +2. GM is Gifts Modifier. This is the total of all character points spent on the character that have the Gifts, -10% limitation on them divided by 100 (round down). All Nel can sense Gifts and one another and whatnot. They can sense Nel almost anywhere on Hekinoe, there are just penalties the further away you are from them. It involves making a Sense check, which is basically just a Perception check. Steve's Perception is 11, so he'd roll 3d against 11 to check for Nel. It gets modified by distance though.

Distance Penalty
10 yards or less: 0
30 yards: -1
100 yards: -2
300 yards: -3
1/2 mile: -4
1 mile: -5
3 miles: -6
10 miles: -7
30 miles: -8
100 miles: -10
300 miles: -11
1,000 miles: -12
3,000 miles: -13
10,000 miles: -14
 Add an additional -2 per factor of 10 (30,000 miles is -15 and 100,000 miles is -16, etc)

Just a note, if the distance between two Nel falls between two ranges, default to the farther distance. Using this information, if Karrak and Steve are 15 yards apart and Steve is searching for Karrak, but Karrak is hiding, Steve can roll against his Perception at -1 to see if he knows precisely where Karrak is, and Karrak can do the same. Coming back to the Gifts Modifier, Gifts Modifier is a bonus applied to these range penalties. So when Steve tries to search for Karrak by sensing his Gifts, he does so with the -1 penalty. Karrak however does so with a +1 modifier against Steve, because Steve's Gifts are large enough that they can be picked up on if Karrak is looking for them. Another thing to mention is that when your distance modifiers and your GM combine to push your modifiers for being sensed by Gifts into the positives (like Steve's do in the example with Karrak), you are automatically sensed by Nel within range, they don't have to actively hunt for you. It also applies to attack and defense rolls when attempting to steal or defend against the stealing of Gifts from other Nel.

If you can sense another Nel via your own Gifts, you can sense what they're doing with their Gifts and the nature of those Gifts. So when he can sense Karrak, Steve knows Karrak's Gifts are extending his life and are making a swarm of shitpanzees (who I now like to imagine as being similar to the darklings Jackie Estacado summons) and a constant stream of liquor and Karrak knows that Steve is enhancing his physical strength with Battle Rage in battle. You can tell if they are injured or uninjured, if they are dying, if they are conscious/unconscious, and if they are moving and how fast and in which direction. This is why you will rarely find Nel cloaking themselves with their Gifts. Invisibility is useless when your invisibility coats you in a sheathe of your own Gifts that other Nel can sense.

So that's some stuff about Nel and crap. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Gob, Son of Gul, Son of Gar (Final)

Alright, now it's Gob's turn. We start with our racial template.


6, 7, or 8 points
Attribute Ranges: DX 13+
Secondary Characteristic Ranges: SM -2 - -1 (3’ 5” - 4’ 5”)
Advantages: Animal Empathy (Rat Dogs Only) [1], Dark Vision [25], Flexibility (Flexibility) [5]
Disadvantages: Skinny [-5], Short Attention Span (SC: 12) [-10], Short Lifespan 1 [-5], Unusual Biochemistry [-5]
Special: Some Goebleen have particularly savage, almost tusk-like teeth. These Goebleen are typically larger and burlier than their brethren (always having a SM of -1) and may purchase Teeth (Sharp Teeth) [1] at character creation.
Special: Goebleen that have purchased their TL up to 4 or 5 may opt to take the Goebleen Gunslinger [1] perk. 
Special: Some Goebleen still practice The Old Ways, or The Way of Shadows. Goebleen may purchase the Unusual Background: Old Ways Initiate [5] at any time. Being initiated into The Old Way takes approximately one month of game time. This unusual background allows the Goebleen to purchase certain advantages and spells specific to shadows and darkness. 

The Mountain Goebleen template varies only slightly. They don't have Short Attention Span, their Size modifier is 0 because they're generally around 5 feet tall, and they don't have to buy the Unusual Background to access the advantages and skills associated with the Old Ways. 

That's a pretty light racial template. Gob has the 7 point version. Animal Empathy lets you roll an IQ check to determine an animals mood and it lets you use influence skills on animals just as you would other sapient creatures. It only applies to rat dogs though. Dark Vision lets you see black and white in the dark. Flexibility makes you better at slipping out of bonds and stuff. Goebleen Gunslinger is a perk that represents the Goblin feat of the same name. It lets Goebleen count their ST as one point higher when using single handed firearms like revolvers. Most weapons have a minimum ST requirement. This doesn't mean you cant use them, it just means you need to make a ready maneuver after attacking with them, which limits your actions during a turn significantly. The other special account for bigger and beefier and toothier Goebleen like Gor. The final special account for the Old Ways and the Goebleen having the option of pursuing them with training.

So now we'll build him at 250 points with up to 75 from disadvantages. So here goes.

Gob, Son of Gul, Son of Gar
279 (250) points
18 year old Goebleen
3' 5" 70 lbs. 

Points From Characteristics: 145
ST: 10 [0]
DX: 13 [60]
IQ: 11 [20]
HT: 11 [10]
HP: 12 [4]
Will: 11 [0]
Per: 12 [5]
FP: 13 [6]
Basic Speed: 6 [0]
Dodge: 9
Basic Move: 6 [0]
Build: Skinny [0]
Size Modifier: -2
Appearance: Average [0]
Technology Level: 5 [15]
Cultural Familiarity: Goebleen (native), Mountain Goebleen [1], New Haven [2]
Languages: Goebleen (native), Asosan (accented) [4], Giant (accented) [4], Malstern (accented) [4]
Wealth: Comfortable [10]

That's all pretty standard stuff to understand at this point. Unlike everybody else, Gob comes from money. Comfortable means you get double the campaign starting wealth. In Orcunraytrel, that's 750 gold. In The Known World, it's 5,000 marks. That's because higher TLs have higher starting wealth. So even coming from money, Gob starts with about a third of the cash an average person from The Known World would have. One thing to note about Size Modifiers that I'm not sure I mentioned before, they apply to Vision checks to spot you and combat rolls to hit you. So folks attacking Gob have a -2 to their skill level. 

Points From Advantages: 62
Allies: Cousins (25% points; Frequency of Appearance: 9, x1; Size: 6 - 10, x6) [6]
Allies: Cousins With Guns (25% points; Frequency of Appearance: 9, x1; Size: 6 - 10, x6) [6]
Ally: Gor (75% points; Frequency of Appearance: 9, x1) [3]
Ally: Shadow (50% points; Frequency of Appearance: 12, x2; Summonable, +100%; Sympathy, -25%; Magic, -10%) [7]
Gizmo 1 [5]
Magery 1 (One College Only: Light and Darkness, -80%; Radically Unstable Magery: Stabilization Roll, -10%; Can't Use FP, -10%) [2]
Silence 2 (2 FP/minute, -10%; Magic, -10% [8]
Warp (Range Limit: 20 yards, -45%; 3 FP/use, -15%; Magic, -10%; Anchor: Darkness/Shadows He Can Touch, -20%; Reliable 3, +15%) [25]

So Gor is an ally that Gob has, but he isn't around that often, so his frequency of appearance is low. The other ally is Gob's shadow. He's only built at 50% of Gob's points (125), but he will be built using the Shadow Form advantage, but it won't be switchable so it comes out to a -20 disadvantage. Plus that shadow won't have any ST, which will be an extra 100 character points right off the bat. So at a minimum, the shadow will be built at 245 character points. Not too shabby considering he'll have minimal skills. The Sympathy limitation means that if Gob or the shadow gets mind controlled, stunned, or knocked out they both are. Magery 1 is part of the Old Ways and it follows the previously discussed rules for GURPS magic in Hekinoe. Silence is another part of that and when activated with a ready maneuver and some FP Gob will increase his Stealth by 2 (for 17) while he's moving, or 6 (for 21) if he is standing still. Warp is another piece of the Old Ways and lets Gob jump through shadows. It's short range and only lets him jump up to 60 yards, and it carries a penalty of -8 if he does it without spending any time concentrating (meaning he has to roll 3 or lower on 3d to do it successfully), but fuck it, he can jump through shadows. He can also reduce that -8 by spending FP in addition to the listed cost of FP. As Gob gains character points, this is an advantage I would be modifying more and more. I'd probably add the enhancement that lets Warp be used to reflexively dodge as well. Gizmo is a neat advantage that lets you once per game session per level pull out something you could reasonably have but didn't specifically say you do have, regardless of circumstances. So you can have a grenade after being stripped naked and searched. Or pull out a wad of cash (assuming you have cash at home) after being mugged. It fits with Gob's host of alchemy crap and explosives crap and having various odds and ends on his person. Gizmo is the equivalent of Batman's utility belt. 

Points From Perks: 3
Always Has a Cousin... [1]
Goebleen Gunslinger [1]
Weapon Bond (Grandpa Gar's Revolver) [1]

Always Has a Cousin is sort of a perk level version of Contact. The equivalent of I know a guy who knows a guy who does whatever. He also has the Goebleen Gunslinger perk and the Weapon Bond perk that gives him a +1 to skill level when he uses his grandpa's revolver.

Points From Disadvantages: -57
Addiction (Tobacco) [-5]
Code of Honor (Goebleen's) [-5]
Duty: Cousins (Quite Rarely: 6) [-2]
Duty: The Goebleen Nation (Fairly Often: 9) [-10] 
Duty: The People of Freebooter's Crossing (Fairly Often: 9) [-10]
Intolerance (Asosans) [-5]
Intolerance (Giants) [-5]
One Eye [-15]

Gob likes to smoke, we all know this, so he has an addiction. The Goebleen Code of Honor is fairly open ended. It generally focuses on protecting family and women and not being a raging douchebag, unless your enemies are Asosans. Or Giants. Or like weirdly stupidly tall. Or are riding horses. Or don't like rat dogs. You get the idea. Gob talks about his cousins a lot, and sometimes he calls on them for help. Duty is a disadvantage with a points value based on how often and how hazardous the duty is, and the punishment for failing to do it. So every so often (on a 6 or less) he has to go and do something as a favor to one of his cousins. Sometimes it's dangerous, other times it isn't. The points value is -2 because it doesn't happen often, isn't always hazardous, and there's no real punishment for not doing it. His Duty to the Goebleen and Freebooter's Crossing (something I could have added to the rest of the group's characters, but forgot about) are a little more frequent, dangerous, and carry heavier penalties for abandoning, so they offer more points. Intolerance towards Asosans and Giants means that Gob reacts at -3 to Giants and Asosans in terms of social interactions, and they react to him from -1 to -5, depending on how much of a raging racist douchenozzle he's being. One eye just means that Gob has a penalty on hand eye coordination tasks and has a -1 to DX when using a ranged weapon, unless he makes an aim maneuver.

Points From Quirks: -6
Dislikes Biting Goats [-1]
Always Has A Cousin... [-1]
Constant Twitching and Sneaking [-1]
Dislikes Horses [-1]
Phobia (Quirk Level; The Underhel) [-1]
Thinks Being Tall is Weird [-1]

These are a host of little minor penalties accrued because Gob is a quirky little dude. Always Has a Cousin... is on there because it is annoying to constantly hear about how he has a cousin who does thing X. So he has a penalty to social interactions when he talks about them excessively. The constant twitching and sneaking he also does is irritating. He also has a penalty on being in deep underground places due to the presence of the Underhel. Quirks and perks are almost always a 1 point penalty or bonus, unless they're super duper specialized or a very very minor effect. They're typically based off of pre-existing advantages and disadvantages, but don't have to be. For instance, Thinks Being Tall is Weird would just be a -1 to skill level when Gob tries to use dialogue type skills to read anyone taller than 5 feet high. Dislikes Biting Goats is a -1 penalty to skill level when in melee combat with biting goats because their teeth are fucking huge and right by Goebleen faces, so they're leery of getting close enough to hit them. 

Points From Racial Template: 6
Animal Empathy (Rat Dogs Only) [1]
Dark Vision [25]
Flexibility (Flexibility) [5]
Short Attention Span (SC: 12) [-10]
Short Lifespan 1 [-5]
Skinny [-5]
Unusual Biochemistry [-5]

Yup. Looks like a Goebleen to me. 

Points From Skills: 81
Acrobatics (DX+1/H) - 14 [8]
Alchemy (IQ+1/H; TL 2) - 12 [8]
Armoury (IQ-1/A; TL 5 Small Arms) - 10 [1]
Camouflage (IQ+2/E) - 13 [4]
Climbing (DX-1/A) - 12 [1]
Current Affairs (IQ+0/A; TL 2; Regional: Goebleen) [2]
Escape (DX+0/H) - 13 [4]
Explosives (IQ+1/A; TL 5; Demolition) - 12 [4]
Fast-Draw (DX+0/E; Ammo) - 13 [1]
Fast-Draw (DX+0/E; Pistol) - 13 [1]
Filch (DX+0/A) - 13 [2]
First Aid (IQ+0/E; TL 2) - 11 [1]
Guns (DX+2/E; TL Pistols) - 15 [4]
Jumping (DX+0/E) - 13 [1]
Lockpicking (IQ+0/A; TL 5) - 11 [2]
Melee Weapon (DX-1/A; Knife) - 12 [1]
Naturalist (IQ+0/H) - 11 [4]
Observation (Per+0/A) - 12 [2]
Pickpocket (DX-1/H) - 12 [2]
Shadowing (IQ+1/A) - 12 [4]
Sleight of Hand (DX+0/H) - 13 [4]
Stealth (DX+2/H) - 15 [12]
Survival (Per+0/A; Arctic) - 12 [2]
Survival (Per+0/A; Underground) - 12 [2]
Throwing (DX+0/A) - 13 [2]
Tracking (Per+0/A) - 13 [2]

There's a lot of stuff here that we've already covered before. Most of it centers on shooting things or hiding from things or knowing things. Alchemy is used to make alchemical elixirs and pastes and potions. I'll discuss that more later. One thing I do want to mention. Gob's Stealth is 17 if he is moving and 21 if he is standing still when he activates his Silence ability. In addition to that, anyone trying to spot him will have a -2 to their Vision check to see him due to his size. 

Points From Alchemy Recipes/Techniques: 0
Alchemical Antidote (Alchemy-3)
Battle (Alchemy-2)
Healing (Alchemy-1)
Invisibility (Alchemy-4)
Stealth (Alchemy-2)

So the way alchemy works is that various alchemical things have a recipe and you have to have a recipe before you can make a potion/paste/tab/etc. Each potion is crafted using the Alchemy skill, but some of the more complicated ones default to it with a penalty. Gob's Alchemy skill is 12, but healing potions default to Alchemy-1, so Gob has to roll against 11 when crafting it. Each potion takes time and reagents to make, so there is a cost to it. You can also buy techniques for each recipe. So Gob could buy the healing potion technique at default+1 for 2 character points and be able to use his Alchemy skill level of 12 when crafting healing potions. Unlike Pathfinder, GURPS alchemy is purely magical in nature and not pseudo-magitech.

Points From Spells: 14
Light and Darkness: Blur (W+M-2/H) - 10 [1]
Light and Darkness: Continual Light (W+M-2/H) - 10 [1]
Light and Darkness: Blackout (W+M-1/H)  - 11 [2]
Light and Darkness: Darkness (W+M-1/H) - 11 [2]
Light and Darkness: Hide (W+M-1/H) - 11 [2]
Light and Darkness: Invisibility (W+M/H) - 12 [4]
Light and Darkness: Shape Darkness (W+M-1/H) - 11 [2]

Gob has some spells from being initiated into the Goebleen Old Ways. They're all fairly straightforward in what they do. Blur applies a -1 to -5 penalty to skill level when attacking Gob while it's active. Continual light continually makes light. Blackout creates an area of darkness no one can see into or out of, Dark Vision can penetrate it, but not Night Vision or Infravision. Darkness creates an area of darkness you can see out of, but not into, and it blocks Night Vision and Infravision, but not Dark Vision. So just imagine a hundred Goebleen running around a battlefield all wearing this spell and each fighting from a 3 yard wide blob of darkness. Hide inflicts a -1 to -5 penalty on Sense rolls to see the target and makes a Vision roll mandatory to see the subject even when they're in plain sight. A Vision roll is just your Perception plus any vision related modifiers from situations and advantages and stuff. Invisibility makes you invisible. This inflicts a -4 dodge penalty on defenders, and if the defender makes a Hearing-2 roll, he can parry at -4. If the defender is completely unaware of his target, he can't make any defense roll. Shape Darkness lets you alter the shape and dimensions of darkness created with the Darkness or Blackout spells. 

Points From Techniques: 2
Eye Patches Are Awesome! (Default+1/H) [2]

This is a technique of my own creation. Gob lost his eye, which confers a penalty to DX when using ranged weapons. This technique buys off this penalty when using ranged weapons.

Points From Special Crap Accrued During Play: 29
No More Underhel! (Bought Off Underhel Quirk Phobia) [1]
Independent Income 5 [5]
Land of Shadows Training: Magery 0 [5]
Land of Shadows Training: Unusual Background: Old Ways Initiate [5]
Reputation: Told His Uncle Off (+2; Affects Small Class of People: His Cousins, x1/3; Recognized All the Time, x1) [3]
Sensitivity Training With Donovan (Bought Off Intolerances) [10]

There is no Underhel anymore, so Gob's quirk level phobia of the Underhel is rendered irrelevant. He also spent a month in the Land of Shadows with the witches of his people being initiated into The Old Ways, so the Unusual Background and Magery 0 are added on there as well. He also has a Reputation because most of his cousins are terrified of his uncle Gor, so they think he's ballsy for refusing to come home and stop hanging out with his pirate friends. There were several RPs where Donovan touched on how stupid it is for Gob to hate Asosans and Giants for the sake of hating Asosans and Giants for all the shit they've done in the past and Donovan eventually changed Gob's mind about some of his opinions on Giants and Asosans. Gob should probably have some Rank and Status due to the fact that he is technically the heir to the Goebleen Nation, but he doesn't really act like the prince of a nation, his father is immortal (with caveats), and he doesn't really have much to do with the business of running the Goebleen Nation, so I haven't included that stuff.

Gob has some gear, but it isn't particularly unique compared to the stuff the other guys have. His grandpa's gun is comparable to Karl and Karraks, but silenced. His leather armor is enchanted for a bonus to DR. He carries a few grenades and some alchemy crap. That's about it.

So there's Gob.