Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Size (Does Matter)

I'm still testing toxins and pincers: The scripts are taking a long time to run (maybe I need to reboot?) and I'm concerned about data quality for some of the toxin results (two unlike--but similar toxins came out identically powered for the 32 AP test and that ... makes me wonder).

But in other news, I'm working on a plan for Size.

In JAGS the way you play a grizzly bear or a giant or a godzilla (correctly called a Kiaju--the genus of those things) is by buying Size to make you bigger. This is in addition to getting claws and teeth, a huge club, or nuclear breath. Size is like "Strength" except:

  • You MUST have at least 1 STR per 5 BLD.
  • You MUST have at least +1 DP per 1 BLD.
  • You get bonuses To-Be-Hit (which may vary depending on if the attack is Ranged or HTH) as you get bigger
  • You get +1 CON above some level (roughly the weight of a tiger)
  • You get more 'Stride' in the form of bonuses to ground movement
  • Your bio-weapons (or just fists) get more Reach
  • You may get +1 Large Weapon Bonuses to hit things that are smaller (there are some optional rules around this)
This is all pretty complex. Let's see a simple example:

Example: I am creating a creature that weighs 300lbs and I plan to get that by buying Size (aside: there are other ways to get BLD and such, but Size is the most complete package). I start with a base character that weighs 150lbs. I need 150lbs of Size. So here's what that's like: (1) It will require 10 BLD (150 lbs). That means the package MUST also come with +2 STR and +10 DP. If I can just "buy Size by the BLD-pt" then I get +10 BLD and the package must include the other stats. (2) I can see on a chart that this size gives me +1 to be hit at Range and gives me a modest stride increase. (3) There is no Reach or CON increase and my humanoid size, if I am humanoid, is estimated at 6'6".
Okay, so how do you "sell Size"?

Selling Size
The JAGS convention is that Traits usually cost either 4 or 8 AP per level (it's not a rule but it's a guideline) and if you are buying STR/BLD you must specify whether the character will be Armed or Unarmed. The question is: "Does the character commonly use a PEN-damage HTH attack?" If yes, you pay the Armed cost and if not you get the Unarmed Cost.

So far, so good.

The problems here are as follows:

  • My costing-methodology works very well for attacks but we have never tried it out with the mix of attacks (STR/BLD) and Defenses (DP). I'm testing now to see what happens and by the end of this post maybe I'll have some stats for the preliminary run.
  • None of this tells us how to cost for +'s to be hit and CON (both of these are, costed correctly, a percentage of your TOTAL AP points). 
  • As we would like to sell Size "by the BLD-pt" that breaks the 4/8 AP rule pretty immediately.
Decisions About Unarmed Size
I have to determine what my "rule" will be for Unarmed Size. As stated above, the requirements for STR and DP are minimums. A creature must be strong enough to "lift itself" (the requirement that each +5 BLD have a corresponding +1 STR) and it must be "appropriately tough" for its size (the requirement that each pt of BLD have a corresponding Damage Point). However, those are minimums.

Creatures with Unarmed Size (like giant superheroes or, like, horses) will be either cheaper, stronger, or have more DP than their equally sized Armed brethren. I need to decide what I'm going to do about that--and it's probably going to be some combination of the three. Testing shows that Unarmed characters can be cheaper and stronger (although they must, of course, keep the BLD the same since that's what you are buying).

What About CON, +'s TBH, Stride, and Reach?
It looks like those will come off a table and you'll index your size (BLD) and Total AP and see what the cost is for these "extras." As bonuses To-Be-Hit are bad for you, this may well wind up be negative points (you get points back)--or maybe we can just give you more DP (my preferred position) and that's what you'll be looking up.

I'm not sure yet.

End Note
I'm still doing some testing--but one consequence of an ability that adds DP as well as Damage is that the ALL ARMOR guy comes out way, way better than the others for reasons I'm not entirely clear on (well, I'm mostly clear--the ALL DP guy gets an additional multiplier for his DP that does not apply to the Size DP granted). I'm still running the scripts for the 16, 32, and 64 AP levels.


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