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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

GURPS 4e character creation in 10 minutes or less! Possible? See below.

I met again the bugbear of "slow chargen in GURPS" today. So I decided to share my method that results in at least semi-optimised GURPS characters, all in under 10 minutes.
The best part is, I developed it in order to introduce newbies to GURPS 4e and let them make their own characters. It worked.


So:
Pick your ads and disads first. If you have an idea of what you want them to be, it's fast.
Pick all the skills you want, without levels yet.
Group them by attributes. Divide points between them roughly per the number of skills, or decide which kind of skills are more important for the character concept.
Count the skills for each attributes. If your archetype calls for more skills based on Strength, Dex or IQ, or exactly the same number, than the cost of raising it by 1 point, the choice is easier - pick all the skills at 1 point, dump the rest at the attribute. If they're less than that, but over 50% of the points to raise the attribute, take them each at 2 points. (So, if you need 8 skills based on ST, take them each on 2 points, because 1 point is mandatory, and 1 point/skill more gives you a 1-level increase). After that, only increase the attribute.
If the skills are less than that, you can take them at 4 points each, then raise the attribute.
Only if the (total number of skills)*4 is less than the cost of raising an attribute (say, only 4 skills on IQ), raise them and leave the attribute at basic!

Is that realistic? Well, guys, if you spend so much time practising skill sets that depend on a given quality, it's likely this quality is going to improve as well. A strong person is much more likely to learn to do strength-related jobs just by being shown the basics. And yes, this results in characters that are roughly at similar level in their skills, but that's what the XP during the campaign is for.
OTOH, with this method you can start playing almost immediately. Which is what some people are complaining about. So, use it!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Exalted of the Wulin: my LotW hack for the Exalted

The big, dirty secret is that I've actually written a lot of Exalted conversions. Here is one people actually wanted to see on RPG.net.


Exalted of the Wulin
All Exalted splats are created using a Loresheet. For an example, let me show you Solars.
All techniques and Secret Arts can be used out of combat. If they do, you don't recover spent Chi until next scene. If a combat starts this scene, tough luck for you!
In a combat, the Exalted mobilise all their powers, but out of it, they're not as focused. They were created to be living weapons, the martial artists that can topple the Primordials - and they excelled in this.
It's governance afterwards where they turned out to suck mightily...

Castes are renamed: Dawn is Warrior (duh!). Eclipse is Courtier. Zenith is Priest. Twilight is Predictionist. And of course, Night is Doctor. Yeah, doctor - who else would be better at sneaking and poisoning, not to mention using nerve strikes? There's a reason why Ebon Shadow relies heavily on that.
Anima banners give you away, unless you're a Night that pays 2 Chi at the start of every round. Zeniths can use 1 Chi per a zombie to send their souls to reincarnation. For 1 Chi, Dawns can deal 1 more Ripple to crowds and Lesser Legends. And Eclipses can create a free Major Passion Hypoactivity, based on Predictionism, which states you get -10 on everything until (atonement condition set by the GM) happens, if you break a Vow.
The difficulty to remove it is 150! So, basically, ain't going to happen, barring extraordinarily circumstances.

The Great Curse is gone! What PC needs mechanical incentives to act like an obsessed demigod in a world of cutout figures? (Yeah, I'm joking, but not much).
Well, almost: designate an Orthodox Virtue. Each time you get a Deed in its Selfish counterpart, apply the limit breaks that corresponds most closely!

All PCs starting as Celestials get a free 15 pts of Entanglement, as per the rules, and a 10 points extra that they can only use on this Loresheet. They have to buy it (well, only the Solars, of course).

Solaroid Exaltation (5 pts)
0: You get a free +20 to all Skill rolls related to your Caste, as well as to combat*. This counts as a Loresheet bonus, so it stacks with everything.
5: Status: Lawgivers (with spirits that recognise it, mostly).
-5: Enemy of the Immaculate order, the Bronze Faction and pretty much everyone in the setting.
5 Flaw: You can have the Hunted by the Wyld Hunt disadvantage! It can be free if it's your first or second disadvantage.

2: Lunar ally: you've found your Lunar Mate! What can he or she tell you about yourself?
2: Technique: the Lunar can teach you the Eight-limbed demon god technique, allowing you to use your Unarmed with Paired.
-2: Your Lunar Mate is suspicious of Solars, knowing the stories of what has happened in the First Age. Apply a +5 bonus to their attempts to resist your suggestions.
-3: ...and he or she knows them first-hand. Apply a +10 Bonus to their attempts. And they're at least 1 Rank above you, more likely 2 Ranks. Did you hurt them way back when? That's determined by whoever purchased you this Deed.

3: Gold Faction allies: they will provide you with training!
3 Technique: Palm knows no distance - combine Unarmed and Ranged.
-2: They will also instil into you a respect for them. Get a Paired Passion/Inspiration condition: You get a +5 when following the advice of Viziers, but a -5 when acting against it.

5: Achievement: You have attracted the attention of a Deathlord, who wants you as an ally - maybe even as a non-Abyssal ally.
Alternatively, you could have them chasing you in order to make you an Abyssal, but that would be a Disadvantage.

10: Achievement: You have learned to master your Essence! Add 1 point of Enlightened Chi.

*Non-Solaroid Celestials would get a +15, DBs would get a +10, and Spirit-Blooded and heroic mortals would get a +5 to the same.


...And so on, and so forth. I can write this Loresheet until it becomes longer than some systems, but that's not the point. I'm sure individual Wulin Sages can and will add to it!