Thursday, July 19, 2018

Mystical Powers Part 5 - Stat Block for Abilities

As I prepare to write abilities, it strikes me that I may need a template for making these easily parsed by player and GM alike. Now, I could use the format from GURPS Powers, but those are extremely condensed and don’t really explain how the ability is meant to function. I could also use the format from GURPS Psionic Powers, but again, this doesn’t really quite meet the needs for this set of powers. So I’m going to rely on both common sense and the precedent set forth in GURPS Thaumatology – Sorcery, GURPS Powers – Enhanced Senses, and GURPS Powers – Divine Favor. I’ll make my own!

So what do I need, exactly? Obviously, the name of the ability and a description of how it works. Since powers can enhance skills, these should each get their own line. Also, if abilities have any sort of prerequisite structure, there needs to be a “prerequisites” line. And you’re probably wondering how I haven’t mentioned the character point cost of the ability at its different levels...and so am I. Finally, it might be nice to include a statistics block that shows the raw build with all advantages, modifiers, and costs.

A few conditional lines might help facilitate understanding and using active powers, too. A line for each of activation roll and activation cost. I am not directly including Skills Enhancing Abilities (Powers, p. 161) because it tends to be too conditional for a single line. Such applications will get their own paragraph in the description.

So I’m currently thinking of a block that looks like this:

Ability Name

00 points / level
Activation Cost:
Activation Roll:
Complimentary Skills:


Skills Enhancing Abilities description

Enhanced Skills:


Once I use it a few times, I’ll probably go back and tweak it, but this should probably suffice for now. One thing I’d like to note, however, is that the price per level may differ from level to level. In these cases, I’ll use the same format as in Psionic Powers for brevity’s sake.

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