Super powers for racial abilities?

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shinryu
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Super powers for racial abilities?

#1 Postby shinryu » Thu May 24, 2012 8:19 pm

Out of curiosity, has anyone tried to use the Power Point costs out of Super Powers as the relative point cost for racial abilities? I realize this is not the intent of the system, but does it work out reasonably well?

As my working example, I'm trying to adapt Shadowrun's vampires (who are very definitely not classical vampires, so unfortunately the Horror Companion template is a no-go). So I am thinking that we start with the base +2 abilty points and then add:

Absorption (physical damage, 4 pts; technically they should regenerate but this is probably too expensive at 15 pts and and this seems a reasonable compromise, also considering I am using gritty damage in my adaptation so most characters can't soak at all)

Undead (4 pts)

Immunity to disease/toxins (1 pt as per racial ability)

Ageless (1 pt)

Starting Strength d8 (3 pts as per racial ability)

for 13 total points. Balancing with

Power Negation (Sunlight, -2)
Major Allergy (Sunlight, -2)
Power Negation (Wood, -2)
Minor Weakness (Wood -1)
Major Habit (Human blood, -2)
Two advances to raise Spirit (-2, emulates the Essence Drain in Shadowrun)

for -11, leaving them at +2.

I'm also assuming the Power Negation is only affecting the Absorption and possibly the bonuses from Undead, here, since I can't imagine Ageless going away and the others are technically racial abilities. Does this seem reasonable? Anyone else tried something similar and got good results?

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#2 Postby jpk » Thu May 24, 2012 10:32 pm

Are you trying to make vampires a balanced, playable PC race? I don't recall that being an option in Shadowrun, but it's been a while.

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#3 Postby shinryu » Fri May 25, 2012 1:03 am

yeah, they've been playable since 4th ed at least. maybe third. they're very potent, but not much worse than a beefed up troll really.

in general, though, i'm wondering if this is a viable strategy for arbitrary races or if anyone else has given it a shot and had good results.

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#4 Postby jpk » Fri May 25, 2012 1:13 am

Again, it's been a long time, but I think you'd be okay with building races using the super powers rules from SPC, but I think you'd have to build all your races with those rules to an equal cost basis.

I suspect that means a lot of extra skills, attributes, and Edges for the humans!

I've not done it before, but it seems like it would be okay so long as all races were equally balanced and you try to avoid the races that are +20-18=+2 versus +3-1=+2. And even that as an issue will depend on your group and how often the negatives actually come into play.

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#5 Postby steelbrok » Fri May 25, 2012 4:42 am

I used the SPC to convert the races in Ashen Stars, seemed to work well, each of the non-humans had about 5PP (the humans used a different mechanism to balance) to allow for extra limbs, armour etc

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#6 Postby Zadmar » Fri May 25, 2012 5:52 am

shinryu wrote:Out of curiosity, has anyone tried to use the Power Point costs out of Super Powers as the relative point cost for racial abilities? I realize this is not the intent of the system, but does it work out reasonably well?

As I've mentioned before, it's certainly not an exact science, but you can use it as a rough guideline - for example:

Wall-Walker: +1 racial ability, 1 PP NE/SPC power.
Burrowing: +1 racial ability, 2 PP NE/SPC power.
Aquatic: +2 racial ability, 1 PP NE/SPC power.
Reach: +1 racial ability, 1 PP NE/SPC modifier.
Pace: Pace 10 is a +1 racial ability, Pace x2 is a 1 PP NE/SPC power.
Edge: +2 racial ability, 2 PP NE/SPC power.
Armour: +2 armour is a +2 racial ability, +3 armour is a 2 PP NE/SPC power.
Hardy: +3 racial ability, 4 PP NE/SPC modifier.
+1 Size: +2 racial ability, 2 PP NE/SPC power.
Flight: +2 racial ability, 2 PP NE/SPC power.

shinryu wrote:Absorption (physical damage, 4 pts; technically they should regenerate but this is probably too expensive at 15 pts and and this seems a reasonable compromise, also considering I am using gritty damage in my adaptation so most characters can't soak at all)

You'd need to take Absorption for both Kinetic and Slicing, that's 8 points. Why not use the Healing power instead? I don't know what vampires are like in Shadowrun, but in a lot of fiction vampires can heal people by feeding them their blood - if that's not the case here, just make it a trapping that it only works on the vampire. You could perhaps also rule that the Fatigue is recovered by drinking blood rather than by resting.

Healing is a normal action, but Extra Actions is 3 PP, and you could probably reduce that to 2 PP as it's limited to a specific ability (the same as the Phaser modifier for Intangibility). Thus for a total of 4 PP they'd be able to use Healing once per round as a free action.

shinryu wrote:Undead (4 pts)

Difficult one to balance, personally I'd be inclined to break it down as follows:

+4: +2 Toughness
-1: -2 Charisma
-2: Don't benefit from the healing skill
+2: Roll for natural healing once per day
+2: Don't bleed out or suffer permanent injuries
+4: Nerves of Steel and Improved Nerves of Steel
+2: Immune to called shots

shinryu wrote:Ageless (1 pt)

Unless this has some mechanical benefit (eg some opponents have entropy based powers) I would suggest leaving it as flavour (like Elves in SWD), or making it a trapping of another ability, rather than assigning it its own racial ability cost.

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#7 Postby shinryu » Sat May 26, 2012 12:53 am

These are good thoughts, particularly as they point out some ways in which the Undead ability is actually not appropriate as such when I think about it, since the Shadowrun vampires actually explicitly suffer extra damage from called shots and don't really have any specific pain resistance/wound penalty offset. Thanks! Using Healing makes sense (I had actually been using that in an earlier adaptation, but hadn't been inflicting the Fatigue penalties), as well as regaining Fatigue from blood. So, how about:

Healing (4 points, self only, free action)
Strength d8 (3 points)
Immune to toxins and disease (1 point)
Thermographic vision (1 point, forgot about that)
D6 Vigor (2 points)
D6 Agility (2 points
Don't bleed out and can't suffocate (2 points)



There's no specific benefit from Ageless, so we won't worry about that.

No benefit from Healing skill (-2 points)
No cyberware (-1?)
Major Habit (Human blood) -2
Power Negation (Sunlight) -2
Power Negation (Wood) -2
Minor Weakness (Wood) -1
Minor Allergy (Sunlight) -1
Spirit requires 2 advances to raise -2

So that leaves them at +15 and -13, but probably pretty balanced then, keeping in mind that they will be pitted against cybernetic trolls with miniguns and such.

Now forward to ghouls!

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#8 Postby jpk » Sun May 27, 2012 11:26 pm

shinryu wrote:Healing (4 points, self only, free action)

You'd mentioned you weren't inflicting the fatigue penalties. I'm also guessing that it isn't your thought that if they're Incapacitated, they can't heal.

If that's the case, then I think you're actually talking about giving them True Regeneration, which is 15 points.

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#9 Postby shinryu » Sun May 27, 2012 11:34 pm

indeed, i had not been previously charging the fatigue penalties, but i think i would now for balance. true regeneration, though technically accurate, is far too powerful unless it's basically the single only thing you get for being a vampire.

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#10 Postby Zadmar » Mon May 28, 2012 8:11 am

You could also use the Regeneration edge from 77IM's Arcane Abilities (lets you make one natural healing roll per day as a normal action), or Rapid Regeneration from my Supernaturalis rules (spend a benny to heal wounds). I think you could reasonably classify both as +3 racial abilities (77IM's is Seasoned, the Supernaturalis one has a requirement you could ignore).


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