Friday, November 22, 2013

You saw them here first - New DF Power-Ups in Felltower

Yesterday the newest issue of Pyramid came out. There is long series of Power-Ups for DF in there from Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch and I.

How that happened is that Steven Marsh mentioned the idea of a martial arts-centered Pyramid issue. I said, basically, okay, I have some power ups I've been sketching up for my DF martial artist. Sean said he already had a rough draft. And then the usual Sean-and-Peter-Show happened. We put 2 + 2 together, came up with awesome, and now it is out.

But you've seen some of these before, if you've been paying attention here.

Flawless Nocking and Flawless Fast-Draw were perks I made up for Scouts in my own DF game. It was maddening watching our scout roll two Fast-Draw rolls, then two bow nocking rolls, and then two to hit rolls to double-draw, double-load, and double-shoot his bow. The first four were all at the "only fails on a 17 or 18" level anyway, so it was just a lot of quick rolls to see if disaster struck.

It wasn't a huge issue in my old fantasy game, when we had one Heroic Archer and not all that many combats. But with two scouts and endless fighting, it just added a pile of rolls. I wanted a way to get rid of it . . . so I stole an idea from GURPS Supers and the "No Nuisance Rolls" perk. Normally they aren't allow for combat skills, but a) this is DF and b) it wasn't an attack, it was just readying an attack, and c) failure was annoying and not interesting.

So I came up with those two perks, which were promptly purchased by every scout since. It pays off for the player every turn - cut down a lot of nuisance rolls. It pays off the for GM for the same reason - given sufficient skill that failure is unlikely, it just happens and you can get on with it. Both Galen Longtread and Christoph (and his predecessor) have both of these.

Ramming Speed and Ultimate Ramming Speed are a collaboration between Sean Punch and I. I threw in Ramming Speed in my DF game as a freebie for slams, just to simplify them. Honus has been cheerfully taking advantage since before I put the rule into place. Pricing it as a perk is more fair, though. Ultimate Ramming Speed goes one further and is priced accordingly. Not cheap, but if you both want to be heavily laden and hit like a floored Mack truck, it's there for you.

Fist of Power was one I threw together for the SJG Forums in a rough form, and then re-tooled slightly for the article. The idea is simple - just make the most badass punch I could with the GURPS Martial Arts Technique Design System, without being so top-heavy with advantages that it wasn't cheap enough to get or interesting to use. So, a punch that's basically as hard as a kick (and which can leave you out of position if you miss.) Chuck Morris hasn't purchased it yet, but he almost surely will.

The Hundred-Handed Strike comes from Vryce's player's son playing Streetfighter on what feels like an endless loop in the background when he's over. You'd hear conk, conk, conk, conk . . . "Dad, I beat him!" over and over. But what would draw my eye is E. Honda's special move. So Sean and I put our heads together and came up with something in the same spirit as the hundred handed slap - but using two hands and doing enough damage to puree most DF opponents. The example text shows a guy taking a troll down to -10xHP in one second, with damage to spare. It's a once-per-combat win button. Not used yet in my game, but if we didn't have a special guest every game it wouldn't have been there at all.

Mr. Pushy is more Sean than me - but it's there because of Chuck "I Push Kick him!" Morris. Chuck's player loves the shove move, so I eventually wrote up a power-up for him to buy, and put it in the draft in a much more boring and expensive form. But Sean took it and fixed it to make it more DF-like and more appropriately DF-costed. Which is great, because while there are no doubt folks shaking their heads at the idea of not just doing maximum damage per turn, there are my guys who have needed to clear space on the battlefield and need more tools to do it.

There are others I wish I could have written. I did some of the upgraded power-ups (such as Peerless Slayer Training) but it was Sean that come up with working principle I used to make it happen. And ones like Willful Warrior that I mostly prompted into existence with "but with if . . . " questions and lots of "should it be possible do this, like so . . . ?" and "it should work like this" comments.

And that is a partial list of how some of these came about, and how you have seen them in play already, without quite realizing it . . .

I have to thank Sean for extending our Chain Belt references to yet another GURPS supplement line, though.*



  1. I would have bet money (and lost, apparently) that Willful Warrior came from TG's new rules on Concentrating and other stuff during grapples. Huh. :-)

    1. That one came out of a discussion of TG rules about grappling and concentrating, though, so you're more than half right!

  2. Replies
    1. I had to look that up and I still don't get the reference. :)


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