Friday, February 12, 2016

GURPS Hekinoe: Racial Templates

I need to kick it into gear here. This campaign for The Known World is taking stupid long. It's been in the works for over a year. I keep slacking and losing focus and getting distracted by shiny things (or ugly pixelated things in the case of Minecraft). Need to focus up. Magic is about where I want it, so it's time to move my ass along. I have an introduction and character creation chapter that's mostly complete. At least until I figure out what else needs to go in there. Heh. Those sections are followed by a section on optional rules and that sort of thing.

My thought is that following that stuff should be the races and nations of The Known World. The people and places are so integral to the setting, for obvious reasons, so they should come next. From time to time I've worked on the racial templates and gone back and altered them as I've become more familiar with the system. I feel like the time has come to finalize them. For reals. So let's do that.

The first thing we need to do as part of finalizing the racial templates is establishing a format for the entries. This isn't difficult, I've mostly already done it in the various entries. One thing I really truly want to hammer home in these racial templates is separating biological and cultural traits. So each racial template will consist of the actual racial template, a physical description of the race, and any noteworthy biological traits that are common to them. That's it. Anything else like attitudes and relations with other races, like you see in DnD race entries, is cultural information. Which will go in the cultural template section.

We're going to break the rules section into a fairly normal arrangement of parts: mandatory traits, optional traits, and features. Mandatory traits will contain the biological advantages, disadvantages, quirks, and perks of the race, as well as the character creation attribute ranges. Optional traits will govern special biological advantages, disadvantages, etc, etc, that some, but not all of the members of the race have. For instance, some Sereth retain the innate resistance to sorcery that their ancestors had when the Sereth and Vyanth were just the Vyanth. Features are special options and allowances that the race has. For instance, Rankethlek and Soulless have no FP, so they are immune to most effects involving FP, but they also can't use FP.

Before I get into the racial templates, I want to establish a sort of player character template. GURPS is a very very deadly game, especially with things like magic and firearms added into it. I like this aspect of GURPS. There's a reasonable chance for characters to die or be seriously injured in any combat. It's a design focus they had, because combat is typically deadly, so they made combat deadly. GURPS is a game where you're not throwing combat encounters at the players simply to wear away 10% of their resources. Which is the design intent of many DnD combat encounters. Even though I like this, I'd like player's to have an edge, because I like players to grow attached to their characters and for those characters to not drop like flies. 

First off, we give the template Weirdness Magnet [-15]. This is a disadvantages that I have re-purposed from what it exists as in the rules. I forget what it normally does. What it means in my campaigns is that as player characters, there are going to be things that happen to the players because they are player characters. There are going to be lots of unforeseen consequences to their actions. Some random mook they kill will end up having a extra powerful witch as a mother. Some random mook they maim, but don't kill, will end up surviving and swearing vengeance. Ancient supernatural entities will decide they are interested in the players. Etc. Weirdness Magnet is me recognizing that and granting you extra points because of it. 

The first two features are going to allow players to increase their HP and FP to 40% of their Strength and Health, rather than the normal 30%. So a normal character with a 10 in Strength and a 10 in Health can have 13 HP and 13 FP, but a player character could have 14 and 14. It's a small modification, but it is recognition that players are special. 

The second two features are going to allow players to purchase up to three levels of Hard to Kill and Hard to Subdue, rather than the normal two levels. Again, a small boon, but still one that definitely sets PCs apart from mooks. 

Player Character Template
0 points
Disadvantages [-15]

  • Weirdness Magnet [-15]

Feature: Player characters may purchase HP up to 140% of their Strength, rather than the normal 130%.
Feature: Player characters may purchase FP up to 140% of their Health, rather than the normal 130%. 
Feature: Player characters may purchase up to three levels of Hard to Kill, rather than the normal maximum of two levels.
Feature: Player characters may purchase up to three levels of Hard to Subdue, rather than the normal maximum of two levels. 

Alright, so that's the player character template. We'll move on to the races next week. Hopefully. Maybe. 

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