On 30 Nov 2003, at 13:28, cryptosnark wrote:
> You can also see where I might not have been thinking entirely
> clearly on this topic... I suspect that "Longevity" may be
> overpriced for its actual *in-game* effects; I'm still trying to wrap
> my brain around the subject and find an appropriate mental
For my games, I'll honestly never use it at all.
Extended life span (or even significant non-magical aging of any kind for that matter)
comes into play in maybe 0.001% of all RPG campaigns, in my experience.
An average campaign MAY have a year pass in game. A good, long running one may
pass a couple of years. But I have never seen, nor heard of, a campaign of any sort
that played through more than 2 or 3 in-game years. The only exception (which I don't
consider an exception) is campaigns that have a deliberate break with a very long
(years) downtime segment... that doesn't actually get played. Just "It's been 5 years
since the blahblahblah and you all have been sitting on your asses getting drunk."
I think this very point came up back when 1.1 was new... *looks through archives*
Yes, Shadow (what a surprise) was the one who commented on it (in his "Comments
on every last power in 1.1 that I have anything to say about" emails, dated 29 April)
I don't have the message number since I'm not using the website to search the
archives (just my email client) but here's a paste of his comments.
Longevity: Ludicrously expensive. I have never understood why point-
based games charge so much for this, which is purely color - how many
campaigns have you been involved in where aging was a real issue?
(GURPS finally wised up to this in their latest edition and made it
MUCH cheaper.) Basically, being unaging is not that big a deal.
Now, the "Self-Resurrection" enhancement is a whole 'nother kettle of
fish. It obviously is very powerful. But if you want it be
expensive, just make it expensive - don't feel you have to make
Agelessness expensive to reduce the sticker shock of Self-
Resurrection! (By the way, from a religious
perspective, "Revivification" is a much better word.)
I agree with everything Shadow had to say on this topic... it's heinously expensive.
One of my group's characters is a vampire, and her rather well written backstory had
her being born in 803 CE (3 years into Charlemagne's reign), and becoming a vampire
sometime before 830 CE (I can't remember exact dates, not that it matters much)
So it's been over a thousand years since she was born. Even for 14 EP, she'd still be
dead 300 years ago. 16 EP is atrocious just to have the ability to be born in dark-ages
Italy for flavour.
I could see MAYBE 4 EP for Agelessness as fair... 5 at the most. My chart would go
EP - Age ratio
1 - 1:2
2 - 1:4
3 - 1:8
4 - 1:16 OR Ageless. If 1:16, then Ageless is 5 EP.
In Fantasy terms, Half Elves and Halflings would have 1 EP, Gnomes and Dwarves
would have 2 EP, Elves would have 3 EP, and in all cases end up with more years
Race - Venerable Age - EP - New Venerable Age
Human - 70 years - 0 - 70
Dwarf - 250 years - 2 - 280
Elf - 350 years - 3 - 560
Gnome - 200 years - 2 - 280
Half-elf - 125 years - 1 - 140
Halfling - 100 years - 1 - 140
Self-Resurrection (I don't have any religious qualms about the name, but it is clumsy to
say, plus I have an idea that could necessitate renaming it) IS definately cool however.
The real question is... why does it have to be tied to Longevity? And why must it be
mystical-ish in nature? And why does it require some physical substance left? Why
could it not be highly variable - in the form of a "Pick and Choose your different
qualities" power like Aura/etc?
Things that could be variable:
What is required to be left of the character to return?
Where do they return?
Automatic or outside intervention required?
Is there a limited number of times they can return?
The first item could vary from "intact body" ie, no missing limbs, just damage that
could theoretically be healed from (naturally or with medical assistance) assuming it
wasn't lethal to begin with (like being shot up with an uzi, or run through on a lance)
"Relatively intact body" could be much the same, but some or all major organs/limbs
could be missing/irreparably damaged and still qualify for returning... like Murphy was
brought back(ish) in Robocop. He was shot through the brain (irreparably damaged
"Brain required undamaged" would be if the mechanism for return was transplanting
the brain into a new body, or regenerating one around it, with the idea being that the
brain IS the person. Alternately, it could be that the brain is the housing of the soul,
and the mystic resurrection power of the soul still needs the soul to, er, exist.
"Body fragment" would be the default... as long as some bit of the character remains,
he can be regenerated from it.
"Nothing" would be that the soul is not tied to the body, and can flit off by itself and
regrow a body through it's own powers.
Where do they return is fairly easy... I can see 3 options
1: At site of death - The remains required specified regenerate themselves where they
are. This would be coupled with "no outside intervention required". In theory, if the
remains were moved from the site of death, then the regeneration would happen where
it was moved to... so I guess this one would be better called "on location". In the case
of "nothing" remains, the remains couldn't be moved to force a regeneration elsewhere.
2: Near location - this one only really works for Nothing remains, and allows the body
to reform within a certain distance of the point of death. This is helpful if you die by
falling into an incinerator... On Location would revive you still in the incinerator (and
thus you'd die again), but Near Location would let you leave the incinerator itself and
come back in the broom closet nearby instead. This option could be applied to other
remains forms, representing the (basically) dead body (at least, once there's enough of
one) being animated by the resurrecting force to move to a preferable location. That
wouldn't help with the incinerator though.
3: Specific location - this one is the key to how I was seeing non-magical Self-
resurrection happening. Ever played System Shock? If not, here's the relevant part.
In each floor, there's a Resurrection Machine. Once you fix it, you're set. If you die
anywhere on that floor, the maintenance robots gather your remains and bring them
back to the machine, which then resurrects you to full and perfect health. This can be
done infinitely... this makes suicide bomber tactics quite valid and useful in some
situations. In this case, the specific location is the resurrection machine. Or it could
be some similar analogue like a clone vat lab or whatnot. In a mystical version, it
would be the lich's inner sanctum or the vampire's coffin or whatnot.
Unless remains are "nothing" or some real good explanation is given, this choice
would require "outside intervention" to operate - you couldn't be brought back until your
friends recovered your brain intact and brought it back to the lab to transplant into one
of your brainless clone backups for instance.
Automatic or outside intervention required?
Even though it's 2 things, I see 3 versions.
Automatic - the resurrection process happens by itself. The character will return from
the dead automatically given time.
Intervention required - normally goes with "Specific location". This means that some
outside force has to actually do something to revive the character. In the System
Shock example, the intervention is bringing them back to the machine. A mystic
intervention could be "read this scroll over my corpse" or such. Actually, I just read a
novel with a perfect example of this. The character keeps his life outside of his body, in
a magical egg that he leaves in safekeeping with a friend. Later on, he gets killed. The
friend becomes aware of this, and proceeds to recover his corpse and then cracks the
egg over the body, which brings him back to life. Mind you, his throat is still slit, but
the magic of it lets him live anyways and heal fast to boot. Basically, any case where
someone else (can be anyone, really) has to actually do something to initiate the
regeneration process falls under this
Special Intervention Required - This is a subset of the above. All the same details
apply, except that only a limited number of people can actually perform the intervention
for whatever reason. Perhaps the resurrection scroll must be read by a Catholic
Bishop, or another mage. Or only 6 scientists in the world actually know how to do the
brain transplant properly to put the old brain in the new clone... and the only one who's
friendly was just kidnapped by the villain who wants to have his own clone supply.
Basically, if someone or something specific and fairly uncommon or rare is required,
this is it.
Finally, the last option is "How many times?"
Can you revive an infinite number of times (like System Shock allows)? Do you only
have a limited supply of clones or resurrect scrolls? Can you buy/grow/scribe more?
Do you have Nine Lives? Or is your life-egg a one shot only deal?
Er, yeah, that was a lot.
Other overpriced power opinion: Unusual Physiology: Breathing.
In a nutshell, I think the cost for all types should be flat out halved.
4EP for filtration is very expensive, especially when you can duplicate that effect with
mundane realworld technology (namely, a gas mask) already.
I'd rate it at 2 EP (equivalent to a feat) because (at least the way I run it) Night-vision
goggles (the light amplifying ones aka passive, not the ones that see infrared and have
their own IR lamp on them to illuminate invisibly aka active) grant you the equivalent of
the Low-Light Vision feat as long as they're equipped. So you can spend 2 EP on a
feat to have Low-Light all the time, or you can spend a couple thousand bucks and
have 3 pound goggles that do the trick, but don't cost EP/feats.
By the same reasoning, I'd have UP: Breathing - Filtration be 2 EP, because you can
emulate it mundanely with a gas mask.
Air Supply is useful, but not as useful as, say, Darkvision IMO, or Danger Sense, both
of which cost only 3 EP. The circumstances it would come up are minimal, much like
Pressure Adaptation, and it can also be emulated conventionally (SCUBA gear)
although less conveniently than a gas mask. Not to mention, 6 EP is the equivalent to
a strong ability like Cause Unconsciousness, Hypnosis, Instant Evolution and Time
Thus I feel 3 EP would be a fair price for it.
Now that I look at it, Digest Anything is also seriously overpriced (base 6 EP)
considering that UP: Consumption - Need Not Eat At All also costs 6. (also a shade
high IMO, I'd say 5 EP would be more fair, and the GM inside me is saying "no more
than 4 EP!" esp. since a Ring of Sustenance duplicates it)
I see "still needs to eat, but can eat anything" as definately weaker than "don't need to
eat at all". It's possible to get stuck where you can't eat whatever is handy (concrete
walls and steel doors are rather hard to chew when one is imprisoned) and still starve.
I'd price it at 3 or 4 EP, max.
And then you have Need Not Breathe, which I feel is a good "basic" power at 4 EP...
it's still less useful than a lot of other 4 EP powers IMO (especially since a lot of
combat gasses are contact as well as inhalation), but definately has it's uses.
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