Thursday, 30 March 2017

Buffing the Martial Artist: Alternate Blind Fighting

As mentioned in the post on Chi Skills, Blind Fighting is cool but annoying for DF Martial Artists because it involves rolling dice twice every time you want to attack or defend, and starts at a pathetically low level.  Instead, let's build Blind Fighting as a Chi Ability.

The easiest option, and therefore the one that I'll use, is just Vibration Sense.  It only requires one roll per foe per encounter instead of dozens, and the base price is less than it would take to get Blind Fighting up to a reasonable level.

On the downside, it requires a reasonably high Perception, which the Martial Artist doesn't have, but that's something I'm going to look into in the future.  It also doesn't work in water, but that's pretty negligible.

It ends up looking like this:
Vibration Sense (Chi, -10%) [9]

If you want to offer a powered-up version that works in water and ignores penalties, you can use this:
Vibration Sense (Sense of Perception, +100%; Chi, -10%) [19]

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Buffing the Martial Artist: Chi Skills

The vanilla Martial Artist, much like the Bard, suffers from being split across too many areas: mundane Attributes and Skills, mundane Advantages, Chi Abilities, and Chi Skills.  Judging by their high DX, low ST, and Acrobatics, they are meant to fill the same niche as a Swashbuckler, but with some neat tricks from Chi Abilities and Chi Skills instead of pure martial skill.

Chi Abilities are pretty much fine, and 20 points doesn't dig too far into the rest of the budget.  Chi Skills, however, are simultaneously a huge point dump (44 at least, when you count in Chi Talent), and many are nearly unusable due to low skill levels.  Part of the problem is needless breadth; a 15-point Talent and 7 barely usable skills is far worse than a 5-point Talent and 5 consistently-useful skills.  Further, many skills are based in IQ, Will, or Per, which are pathetically average.  In addition, several of the skills are simply not very interesting or useful, leading to an unnecessarily bloated skill list.

My idea is to split the 15-point Chi Talent into three 5-point talents instead, encouraging specialization in a narrow group of actually usable (Skill-14+) chi skills.  This will require paring down the list to only 15 Chi Skills from 20, and then splitting them into thematic groups.  To start, let's go through the Chi Skills.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Buffing the Martial Artist: Alternate Unarmed

Unarmed Martial Artists are an option in DF, but they're pretty terrible, for a number of reasons:
  1. Thrust damage is terrible, and while they can stack up many +1/die bonuses, those are all from power-ups (Claws (Blunt) and Seven Secret Kicks from DF11, and Fists of Power and Unarmed Master from Pyramid #61, if you use that), and on top of that they still need to buy ST up to 19 (17, if you take the maximum two levels of Striking ST allowed in vanilla DF1) to really start to get much use out of the bonuses.
  2. Weapons that parry unarmed attacks deal damage.  This is somewhat fixed if you rule that Trained by a Master allows Martial Artists to ignore this as a special feature (which I do).
  3. The need to be at Reach C for punches and judo throws is a significant tactical hurdle.
  4. Karate and Judo are Hard skills, and Martial Artists only get starting skill levels of 17 and 16.  Also worth noting is that they'll never get bonuses for Balanced weapons, Accurate enchantments (though this could be ruled to apply to gauntlets), or Weapon Bond.
My first solution was to allow ten levels of Striking ST (Unarmed Only -40%, Chi -10%) [2.5/level], but that still requires 8 levels (and all 20 starting Chi Power points) to get up to a 2d attack, while other templates, like the Barbarian and Knight, get well past 3d base swing damage, thanks to weapon damage and Weapon Master bonuses.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

GURPS Free Cities Session 42: The Temple of Baphomet

Locke Landen - Human Bard (265 points)
Morgan Merkle - Human Mentalist (260 points)
          Brother Maurice- Human Initiate of Avandra, the goddess of freedom and luck (127 points)
Sindri Blackshield - Tiefling Knight (260 points)
Virgil the Grim - Human Barbarian (268 points)

Day 121 (Cont.):
Weather: Perfect
Date: Peris 8th, 2526
Morgan, Sindri, and Maurice rested, but Locke and Virgil grew bored and decided to explore.  Virgil boosted Locke up the north wall before climbing up himself, arriving in a cavernous room.  To the west was a set of tarnished brass double doors blocked by collapsed stones, to the east a brass statue of a minotaur holding an axe overhead situated on a brass disc on the floor, and to the north a narrow passageway.

Virgil walked up to the statue to examine it, but when he set foot on the disc the weight of the statue shifted, and the axe slashed across his torso before he could dodge.  Locke noticed that there was smoke coming from the "wall" behind the statue, and realised that it was illusory.  He walked through and found a 30' long, 6' wide hallway, ending at a small circular chamber containing a broken pentagram.

In the center of the pentagram were an evistro demon and a six-armed woman with a snake tail instead of legs, but neither Locke nor Virgil got close enough to see exactly what they were doing.  Not quite willing to engage the demon(s?), they walked back through the "wall" and returned to the party.  After two healing potions, a bunch of healing, and two hours of rest, Sindri was back on his feet and Maurice had recovered enough FP to be somewhat useful.

Friday, 17 March 2017

GURPS Free Cities Session 41: Carnage Demons

Locke Landen - Human Bard (252 points)
Sindri Blackshield - Tiefling Knight (260 points)
Virgil the Grim - Human Barbarian (258 points)

Player Absent:
Morgan Merkle - Human Mentalist (259 points)
          Brother Maurice- Human Initiate of Avandra, the goddess of freedom and luck (126 points)

Day 119 (Cont.):
Weather: Thunderstorm
Date: Peris 6th, 2526
The red men demons continued to maul each other on the floor as the Windstorm subsided, while the eagle pecked Morgan in the chest repeatedly.  The party converged on Morgan to help him, but the storm elemental hit Virgil with a lightning bolt from behind, stunning him.  Maurice healed Morgan, and Virgil and Sindri finished off the eagle before moving onto the demons.

Morgan failed to Mind Stab the (brainless) elemental, while Locke tried and failed to Mind Control it.  The hostile demon was finished off, and Sindri began climbing one of the standing stones to get within range of the elemental while Morgan, the only person with a ranged attack, occasionally hit it for 2 damage hit Kinetic Lash.  The elemental took more shots at Virgil's back, but missed most of them.

Sindri fell off, and, after about 10 more seconds of firing lightning at the party without a response, the elemental got bored and flew off.  Locke ordered the mind-controlled dire wolf and demon to lie down and close their eyes, which resulted in their swift deaths.  Sindri inspected the altar, which was covered in blood drawings of a minotaur surrounded by knee-high stickmen, but found nothing else of note.

Maurice noticed that the druid's brigandine was divinely enchanted, and upon closer inspection it was also Fine, had a nice fur trim, and a brass bull head in the center, so Locke took it to sell.  After some healing, the party rested for the night.

Friday, 10 March 2017

GURPS Free Cities Session 40: The Mystery of the Druids

Locke Landen - Human Bard (252 points)
Morgan Merkle - Human Mentalist (259 points)
          Brother Maurice- Human Initiate of Avandra, the goddess of freedom and luck (126 points)
Sindri Blackshield - Tiefling Knight (258 points)
Virgil the Grim - Human Barbarian (258 points)

Day 117:
Weather: Rainy
Date: Peris 4th, 2526
The group decided to head back to Heyfield, as from there they could follow one of the streams from the lake on their map, and wouldn't risk getting lost.  They made good time, and, after passing by a very familiar glade with a giant tree, arrived in view of the lake by nightfall.  Virgil didn't have a tent, so he lost 1FP for sleeping in the open.  Fortunately, they weren't attacked.

Day 118:
Weather: Rainy
Date: Peris 5th, 2526
The rain continued as they travelled west around the lake.  Around noon they found a marble statue of a woman wearing a crown, and whose legs were replaced with swirling water.  Brother Maurice identified this as Melora, the goddess of the wilderness and oceans, and suggested that he could probably sanctify it if given an hour.

The rest of the party agreed to rest, and, once the hour was up, a warm breeze gently caressed them and gave them a level 2 Bless.  Now slightly faster (thanks to boosted Hiking from the Bless), they continued on, and passed by a pool of crystal clear water, where Virgil washed his face, and the others filled their canteens, though nobody drank any.

They camped for the night just shy of where they suspected the druids were.  This time, Virgil found a good campsite, and didn't lose any more FP.