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. 

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