Thursday, October 15, 2015

Yet another thing I like about GURPS - making Power-Ups

Another thing I like about playing GURPS in general, and GURPS DF in particular, is how flexible and mold-able it is.

I had occasion yesterday and today to go and look at some of the power-ups that Sean and I wrote for Pyramid 3/61 and ones I did for assassins in Pyramid 3/50.

Making new Power Ups for DF is a lot of fun.

Making new Power-Ups for GURPS is a lot like cooking - you re-arrange the ingredients into a new recipe. Costs for X are the same across the board, so +2 damage or -1 to defend or halving DR or whatever are all costed the same across the board. I'll even just throw the word "balanced" in here to annoy people who think "balance" is the same as "evil" or "Hurting Wrong Fun."

So it's never a question, for me, of "How much should this cost?" but rather a combination of "Do I really want to allow this?" plus "Wouldn't this ability be awesome?" and "Did I choose the right ingredients to make it?" There is a lot less random judgement calls and a lot more choosing the right elements and assembling them. There is art involved, but the art isn't deciding if something is worth X points but rather saying, "What would work here?"

In DF, since characters are more disposable and power abuse is part of the fun, I feel a lot more freedom to try out ideas and see how they work out.

Every time I see what other people (especially Sean Punch, to be honest) do with Power-Ups it inspires me to make more new ones. I put a bunch in Barbarians and I have a few more racked up and ready to go.

It's nice to have such a solid base for inspiration, a bunch of players to try it all with, and a solid and flexible rules system to tie it all together. There is a little work involved, but it's great fun to go and find out what the system will let me do or how much something costs and not just doodle stuff down and hope it's balanced. Crazy powers tend to have crazy costs, and if someone wants to dump a lot of points to do a lot, DF is the game for that.

I'm going to go finish a couple of those Scout power-ups I've idly mentioned to my players . . .


  1. Yeah, it's absolutely great what having access to the guts of the system lets you do.

    On those scout power-ups, are you preparing Dungeon Denizens: Scouts? :P

    1. At the moment, just preparing for a Scout. I'm tired of their being one obvious path of Power-Ups for each and every Scout, so I came up with a few that don't play well together so there will be actual choices.

    2. Really?! I am so pumped to learn about them!

    3. You're the test case, assuming you make next game session and survive to have points to spend on Power-Ups. Heh-heh-heh.


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