Thursday, January 24, 2013

Teleporting in GURPS DF

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy, out of the box, severely limits the Teleport spell. It forbids it outright, unless you spend a boatload of points for the privilege of a limited version, and you can't do that until later.

Why? Largely to limit mages ferrying people around, bypassing all physical obstacles, and going back to town at will to replenish supplies. GURPS doesn't limit you to once a day only if you get to 11th level, you can start with this spell and use it over and over. I've run a game with teleport, and "teleport across the entire campaign map to go pick up some rations and potions" happened pretty often. It could be fun, but it made dungeon obstacles a joke.

So DF bans it because it takes a good part of the challenge out of dungeoneering.

Over on the GURPS forums, Kromm suggested a way to write up the spell if you do want to include it.

Here is the whole thread: Limited Teleport for DF

Here is his writeup: Teleport writeup for DF

Short version? Can't see it, can't go there. And BAMF!

Note to my players: I may consider using this, but I'd replace the listed prereqs to "Magery 3, IQ 13+ and spells from 10 different colleges." Why? Really limits it to dedicated wizards, not to guys who pick up some wizardry just to teleport.


  1. Another potential limit that might work in your favor is "must know exactly where you are and exactly where you're going." By "exactly" I mean, "brought dwarven surveying instruments and spent eight hours mapping out the immediate area, then carefully drew landing diagrams and secured the place so it wouldn't get messed up."

    The biggest thing this would do is allow trips back to / out from town while skipping over the intervening bits. Depending on the nature of your game and your circumstances, this could be desirable. There are a couple side effects, though; for example, if they were invested in doing so, the PCs could secure some internal portion of the dungeon to use as their landing pad and new entrance. (That's not necessarily bad.)

    That all assumes you want to skip over the difficulties of getting people to and from the dungeon.

    1. My experience with that kind of approach is that it means the PCs can freely access things in town whenever they want to. Mages will memorize locations and will go back and forth. You can do it, but it'll immediately map closer to high-level AD&D games with lots of Teleport spells/items than to anything else. And once you open that up, the game won't be the same.

  2. What I have done to try to give the AD&D feel to wizards is to have two types of magical energy. The first is mana which allows a wizard to cast regular spells and then there is quintessence that allows the casting of reality busting spells like teleport, meteor swarm, time stop etc. Mana gets recharged as is normal for GURPS Magic but quintessence does not get recharged at all, it is from the distillation of mana to create a liquid called azoth which the wizard drinks and is stored as quintessence. That is one of the major reason why wizards go into dungeons in my world, because thee fairy races liked to distill mana and create potions of azoth for various unknown reasons. Wizards can store as many quintessence points as they have levels of Magery. So this allows the casting of a few trump card magical spells per session but they can still cast routine magic spells as well.

  3. My solution was to allow teleport but mages need to make a fear check equal to the amount of energy they put it. Skill does not help here.

    This means too many hops and its insanity time.

    I also reserve the right to inflict physical damage on people who do this too much.

    It came up last session in fact as an NPC escaped via teleport. One player grinning said "I want to see the dice."

    I rolled a 3 which lead to the discovery that the Great Old Ones love rap music. Its a long story

    1. Yeah , spells that weaken the fabric of reality might also let in Elder Things or demons who might attack. Or maybe just viewing things outside the veil of reality might give you information man was not meant to know.

    2. That's a good approach if you think the obstacle you're putting in the way is fun to play out. It's not, IMO, if your goal is to reduce use. I find it extremely difficult to gauge difficulties so it's valuable to use sometimes, but risky to use often.

      And like I said to Patrick, my experience is generally that letting people teleport will mean they do it a lot, regardless of cost.

      I'm more inclined these days to say "no" and not "yes, but I'm going to make it really unpleasant."

  4. Would you use Willpower to resist being teleported?

    1. With Kromm's version, it's self-only, so it doesn't need a resistance check. If you made Teleport Other available, I'd probably go with the "Higher of HT or Will."


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