Friday, August 5, 2011

Armor Being Sold For CPs?

There are going to be two basic "types" of Armor listings in the Powers section of the book: standard pay-by-level armors (which I've shown) and a list of one-offs armor (not sold in various levels) which will have a fixed cost. These latter will be listed for (a) simplicity (you pay 1 AP for "thick hides") and (b) will be sold with AP and CP costs meaning they are easily suitable for alien/fantasy races.

Let Me Talk About That For A Second
In general anything that is not a 'standard' 'human' ability requires APs. This isn't entirely hard and fast and in some cases could be philosophical (potentially real but very unusual abilities are sold with APs, some people may believe psychic powers are real, etc.) however, in general if you can fire plasma beams out of your eyes or have armored skin that's going to cost you APs.

This works because one of our learnings from a whole lot of playing Champions (and its children: Danger International and Fantasy Hero) and GURPS was that in games where you are often mixing normal people with paranormal abilities, dividing up points creates certain synergies.

For example, it doesn't "cheapen" extraordinary skills: if you have 600 points in GURPS with which to buy anything you want, being the world's best physicist is incredibly cheap. Now, maybe it should be--and that's a viable discussion (and, in fact, you can use GATs, Generic Archetype Traits, to do things like that) but it helps prevent people from being 'accidental ninjas' ("Hey, it was just cost-effective to have a super high DEX and SPD! My guy isn't supposed to be super fast--but what the heck!").

It also makes it easy to do things like distinguish super-powered Navy Seals from "Spy Kids" who might have some exceptional domains (hand to hand combat) but lack a full-spectrum of training. There's more to say here--but it's a complex issue and I want to focus on the Armor thing.

The Armor Thing
So why am I going to sell some kinds of Armor for CPs? The reason is that for making certain kinds of fantasy or alien races it's very, very handy to be able to charge things in CPs rather than APs. For example, if you are playing fairly low-level Fantasy and want to have the PCs start with 4 or even 0 APs, how does anyone play an elf? Elves live a long time, have (maybe) night vision, and so on?

One way is with the Class system I've described elsewhere: this would give some roles (classes) AP to use at the start of the game and others would be expected to have equipment to deal with it. This works for /role-in-the-party/ but it isn't good for "race" which is only part of that.

So we want to do something else. The solution is to have a section of abilities (Senses, some kinds of bio-mods like longevity, etc.) that are paid for with CP or AP. Thus, a selection of "light-weight" armors will fall into this category.

Another Armor Question
There's another armor question that I'm working on. There are two stats for Armor types that are not tracked by the simulator. These are:

  • Can you wear "normal" armor on top of it?
  • Is it visible (as armor)
The first is only meaningful in games where you can find or buy normal armor and would be expected to. Super hero games wouldn't count unless it was some kind of everyone-wears-kevlar super-agents game or something. 

For the second, it's a matter of surprise: if you appear totally human until someone takes a shot at you that's an advantage over appearing like an armored hulk (they'll shoot something heavier). Of course armor could be intimidating ... so ...

Basically neither of these are currently being factored into price but I think they could be to the tune of +1 or +2 ADP or DP (something minor) but I haven't decided yet.



  1. Hey, this is totally unrelated to the topic at hand. I was reading your book Wonderland, and I really love it. All the ideas in there are bizarre and wonderful.

    But all the spelling errors sort of ganged up on me to reduce my enjoyment of it. Not enough for me to put it down in disgust, but enough to track you down and see if I could offer to edit those out for you.

  2. By all means: send corrections to (our guy who can do some of the editing).


  3. Before you do anything: contact him first so you can get on the same page. He's aware of your offer.