Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Digging In To GURPS Powers

Here’s my first attempt at building something with GURPS 4e and Powers.  I noticed early on that this ain’t anything like designing vehicles for Car Wars.  With Car Wars, you pick a body-size and start loading it up with goodies– it’s not much more complicated than going grocery shopping provided you can add and multiply.  With GURPS, you think of a character or power… and then you attempt to model it with the rules.  This makes things much more subjective and you can waste a lot of time figuring out the best way to do things and then still feel like you’ve made a bad design decision or broken a rule.

Anyways, the advantage I’ve worked up was inspired by several different games of the 80’s.  First was the “Solar Power” from Heroes Unlimited.  Basically it just gave a die of damage per level of your character.  This was pretty disappointing.  Transdimensional Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had an entry on mutant stegasauruses with funny solar powers resulting from the weird plates on their backs.  This was more interesting.  I played Gamma World back then a lot more than the Palladium stuff, so I attempted to come up with some new mutant abilities for that game, but eventually abandoned it in frustration.  But now with GURPS Powers, I’ve got the tools to actually finish my rough ideas….

Heat Wave (+300%) Affliction-1 (Biological, -10%; Cone 13 hexes wide, +180%; Contact Agent, +150%; Stunning, +10%; Secondary Affect– Attribute Penalty -4 to ST, DX, and HT and -2 to IQ, +20%; Increased 1/2 D x5, +20%; All-Out, -25%; Costs 3 FP, -15%) [40]

This attack creates a wave of intense heat that stuns the victims and in some cases causes a heat exhaustion that can last minutes.  At range 1-10, the attack is resisted with a HT roll.  At range 11-20, the attack is resisted at HT+3.  (Note that the victim can roll each second to break out of the stun if he fails the first time.)  If the resistance roll is missed by 5 or more the victim suffers the attribute penalty.  Note that it actually costs 4 FP to use because of the biological modifier.

A note on the cone: it’s 1 hex wide at range 1-3, 3 hexes wide at range 4-6, 5 hexes wide at range 7-9, 7 hexes wide at range 10-12, 9 hexes wide at range 13-15, 11 hexes wide at range 16-18, and 13 hexes wide at range 19-20.

I just spotted a possible error in my design….  Do I need to pay the +10% for stunning when the Attribute Penalty is only a secondary affect?  Hmm….  Dunno.  Well… I’ll hit the books.  I cringe at the thought of posting this on the SJGames board– it’d break my heart at this point to find out that there’s a much more appropriate way to build this thing after I spent 2 hours fiddling with it!

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3 responses to “Digging In To GURPS Powers

  1. Pingback: Example Super “Sci-Fi” Abilities in GURPS 4e « Jeffro’s Car Wars Blog

  2. Chris Goodwin August 17, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    Two hours to build one power?

  3. jeffro August 21, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    Yeah. I think I was going overboard with this. It’s probably better just to mostly stick with core abilities and just add only one or two modifiers here and there for thematic reasons. But reading through the sample powers just blows my mind. I just don’t see how to get good enough to make the “right answers” for modeling things the way the authors did there.

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