Dungeon Fantasy Power-Ups

Return to GURPS Dungeon Fantasy


These are split by category, either universal type or occupational template.

Combat

Crack 'Em Up

5 points/level

Prerequisite: Whip.

Normally, cracking a whip for +2 damage imposes -4 to the attack roll; you can do it at no penalty. In addition, you can strike or entangle a target at any distance within your weapon's Reach (as opposed to first needing an action to change its length). Level 2 (the maximum) also allows your whip-crack attacks to ignore up to -4 in penalties (from hit location, Deceptive Attack, and so on). This power-up does not improve your Parry, entangling attacks, etc.

Perks: Reach Mastery (Whip) [1]. Level 2 adds Technique Mastery (Crack) [1].

Techniques: Crack (A) Whip [4]. Level 2 raises this to Whip+4 [8], but for balance reasons this can only offset penalties.

Garrote Mastery

5 points/level

Prerequisite: Garrote and Stealth, both at DX+2.

Because a garrote must target the neck, most assassins attack at -5 for hit location -- which they usually offset via Evaluate and/or All-Out Attack (Determined) -- plus another -2 if they must use an improvised garrote (e.g., rope). The opponent's only defense is to parry at -3, or -7 if stunned (which is the default assumption for anyone without Combat Reflexes who isn't expecting trouble).

You are no normal assassin, however! Your attacks suffer only -2 to target the neck, whether you're using a true garrote or an improvised one. You may offset this with bonuses from Evaluate and All-Out Attack, as usual. And with level 2 (the maximum), your foe also parries at -5, or -9 if stunned, virtually guaranteeing his failure to defend!

Perks: Improvised Weapons (Garrote) [1]. Level 2 adds Unique Technique (Stealthy Garrote) [1].

Techniques: Level 1 is Targeted Attack (Garrote/Neck) (H) Garrote-2 [4]. Level 2 changes this to Stealthy Garrote (H) Garrote-2 [8].

Notes: Stealthy Garrote is built as Targeted Attack (Garrote/Neck) (-5) plus an additional -2 to Parry (-4).

Power Block

1 point

Prerequisite: Damage Resistance with a power modifier.

In a pinch, you can attempt to double the DR that you obtain from your power against a single attack. For example, a druid with Damage Resistance 2 (Limited, Elemental; PM) could raise his DR to 4, though it would still be limited to elemental sources. It has no effect on any other DR (e.g., from armor or a racial template), only the powered DR. This is considered an active defense for all purposes (which means it's impossible if you just made an All-Out Attack); this usually means it's only the best option when your other active defenses are unavailable or heavily penalized, or when faced with a threat which cannot be avoided via another active defense (such as a large area-effect attack).

Your defense roll is against (Will + power Talent)/2 + 3, with another +1 for Combat Reflexes or Enhanced Time Sense. Success doubles your powered DR against this one attack; this normally lasts for only an instant, but against ongoing threats (e.g., a forest fire), success buys you a minute of doubled DR, after which you may attempt another power block to maintain it. However, failure drops your powered DR to 0 against this attack, and because this counted as an active defense, you cannot attempt another unless you took All-Out Defense (Doubled Defense).

If you have DR from multiple powers, you may attempt a single power block for all of them, using the lowest power Talent.

Perk: Extra Option (Power Block) [1].

Wrap 'Em Up

5 points/level

Prerequisite: Whip.

Whips are excellent at entangling, using the rules for lariats on p. B411. However, where most people attack at -4 to entangle, you attack at no penalty! Level 2 (the maximum) also allows your entangling attacks to ignore up to -4 in penalties (from hit location, Deceptive Attack, and so on). This power-up does not improve your Parry, damaging attacks, etc.

Perks: Level 2 adds Technique Mastery (Entangle). [1]

Techniques: Entangle (H) Whip [5]. Level 2 raises this to Whip+4 [9], but for balance reasons this can only offset penalties.

Utility

Magical Trapsmith†

7 points

Prerequisite: Traps at IQ+2.

You must specialize in Alchemy or Thaumatology when you take this power-up. (You may take it twice, for both.) When faced with a trap which requires that particular magical skill to spot, figure out, disarm, etc., you may instead roll against Traps skill.

Technique: Magical Trapsmith (A) Traps [7].

Note: This treats disabling either type of magical trap as something that can be done at a -7 penalty, commensurate with the -7 default penalty for magical skills like Thaumatology.

Barbarians

Rage barbarians may buy Damage Resistance 1-2 (PM, -10%; Tough Skin, -40%) [3 or 5]. However, their total DR from Rage and the Shirtless Savage lens cannot exceed 5. A rage barbarian may take the Power Block perk (see above), but his roll is based on HT instead of Will. (If he needs to power block with multiple powers, use the lowest effective active defense roll.)

Bards

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy bards are arguably missing one of the most basic power-ups attributed to their profession: the ability to craft songs that inspire a particular person to do better or doom them to failure. Each "Greater" song complete supersedes the lesser version, but you can take the two different types of songs (Inspiration vs. Despair) as alternative abilities.

Important note: Both types of song are limited by the Rule of 16! This is necessary for balance.

Song of Inspiration

18 points

As an action, you may encourage one of your allies via song; he must be able to hear you. Roll against Musical Instrument or Singing as appropriate, then divide your margin of success by 2 for non-combat tasks or 3 in combat. Your ally applies the result (minimum +1) as a bonus to a single skill or attribute roll that he makes on his next turn; he must choose before rolling. (You may later upgrade this song to Greater Song of Inspiration 1 by paying the 6-point difference.)

Advantage: Visualization (Bard-Song, -30%; Blessing Only, +0%; Hearing-Based, -20%; Reduced Time 6, +120%) [17].

Perk: Rules Exception (Minimum Visualization bonus is +1). [1]

Greater Song of Inspiration

24 points for level 1, plus 5 points per additional level

You may use the rules above, or give the bonus to all of your allies within a certain distance: Level 1 affects a two-yard radius, level 2 has a four-yard radius, level 3 covers an eight-yard radius, and level 4 (the maximum) influences a 16-yard radius.

Advantage: Visualization (Area Effect, 2 yards, +50%; Bard-Song, -30%; Blessing Only, +0%; Emanation, -20%; Hearing-Based, -20%; Reduced Time 6, +120%; Selective Area, +20%; Selectivity, +10%) [23].

Perk: Rules Exception (Minimum Visualization bonus is +1). [1]

Song of Despair

28 points

As an action, you may perform a dirge about how a particular foe (who must be able to hear you) is doomed to fail. Roll against Musical Instrument or Singing as appropriate, then divide your margin of success by 2 for non-combat tasks or 3 in combat. The foe applies the result (minimum -1) as a penalty to a single skill or attribute roll that he makes on his next turn. You choose what this applies to; if there's any doubt, it applies to the first such roll he makes on his turn. (You may later upgrade this song to Greater Song of Despair 1 by paying the 6-point difference.)

Advantage: Visualization (Bard-Song, -30%; Cursing, +100%; Hearing-Based, -20%; Reduced Time 6, +120%) [27].

Perk: Rules Exception (Minimum Visualization penalty is -1). [1]

Greater Song of Despair

34 points for level 1, plus 5 points per additional level

You may use the rules above, or penalize all of your enemies within a certain distance: Level 1 affects a two-yard radius, level 2 has a four-yard radius, level 3 covers an eight-yard radius, and level 4 (the maximum) influences a 16-yard radius. You may designate what the penalty applies to, if not, it affects the first roll each makes on their next turn.

Advantage: Visualization (Area Effect, 2 yards, +50%; Bard-Song, -30%; Cursing, +100%; Emanation, -20%; Hearing-Based, -20%; Reduced Time 6, +120%; Selective Area, +20%; Selectivity, +10%) [33].

Perk: Rules Exception (Minimum Visualization penalty is -1). [1]

Druids

Greener Thumb

Variable

Prerequisite: Green Thumb and Plant Empathy.

You have an improved understanding of plants and their ability to heal and/or harm others. Choose one of the following:

  • Greener Thumb (Pharmacy) adds your Green Thumb level to your Pharmacy (Herbal) skill. Its cost in character points equals your Green Thumb level.
  • Greener Thumb (Poisons) adds your Green Thumb level to your Poisons skill. Its cost in character points equals your Green Thumb level.
  • Greener Thumb (Pharmacy and Poisons) combines the two. Its cost in character points equals twice your Green Thumb level.

Advantages: Green Thumb adds Pharmacy (Herbal) and/or Poisons to its list of skills, using the rules for alternative Talent costs from GURPS Power-Ups 3: Talents, for a net +1/level (or +2/level for both) to its cost.

Shared Body

5 points

Prerequisite: Channeling.

You may remain awake, aware, and functional even while channeling a spirit. Your "passenger" may continue to speak and take simple actions (like writing) through you. If there's a conflict (e.g., it won't shut up), resolve it with a Quick Contest of your Will + Power Investiture + 5 vs. the spirit's Will; on a tie, the GM will decide how you two "compromise."

Advantages: Channeling adds Aware (+50%) for +5 points.

Note: This may be allowed to any template with Channeling. The Specialized limitation does not affect its cost.

Spirit Sight

5 points/level

Prerequisite: Medium.

You can see any spirit with whom you are communicating. This may give you insight into its nature; e.g., it's often easy to tell how a ghost died. In effect, this is a weaker version of Astral Vision or See Invisible (Spirits), as it kicks in only after you've sensed and begun a conversation with the spirit.

Level 2 (the maximum) allows you to invert this ability, helping a spirit manifest (visually, not physically) so that everyone can see it. The spirit must already be able to do so -- its Invisibility must be Usually On (as for the Spirit meta-trait), not Always On (as for Astral Entity) -- but your aid allows it to become visible without paying the usual 1 FP per second. This is physically taxing for you! You must make a HT + Power Investiture roll every minute to keep it up; if you fail, successive attempts cost fatigue as per Unreliable (p. B116). Essentially, this is a less fatiguing alternative to the Materialize spell, but one that works only on spirits (not astral entities) who must be cooperative.

Advantages: Level 1 adds Visual (+50%) to Medium for +5 points. Level 2 adds Alternative Enhancements (+100%) to Medium for +10 points, where the alternatives are Manifestation (Requires HT Roll, -10%) (+90%) or Visual (+50%).

Note: This may be allowed to any template with Medium. The Specialized limitation does not affect its cost.

Martial Artists

While GURPS Dungeon Fantasy's Chi Talent is a powerful advantage -- and a bargain! -- it does make it harder to create a focused martial artist. In addition, the gulf between a martial artist's DX and all of his other attributes/characteristics is so wide that it makes it very difficult to excel at (e.g.) IQ-based Chi Mastery skills without feeling like you'd be better off just focusing on the DX-based ones. That's why I've created the following Talents, which are available for martial artists only. I made sure they were evenly balanced between IQ, HT, Will, and Per, since anyone who wants to focus on just one has a simpler way to do so (just buy that attribute/characteristic up).

Focused Chi Talents

5 points/level

Martial artists may use these Talents to improve their Chi Mastery skills. However, do not take all three, as you are better off simply spending those 15 points/level on Chi Talent. In fact, a martial artist may always pay the difference to convert a level of one or two focused Talents to full Chi Mastery. With GM permission, a starting martial artist may trade in one or both levels of Chi Talent for an equivalent number of character points spent on these Talents.

These Talents do not provide a reaction bonus. However, every full three levels of these Talents (whether in one Talent or multiple) give +1 on all rolls to use Chi Mastery abilities and count as a level of Chi Talent for the purpose of meeting prerequisites.

Your Chi Talent level plus your level in any one of these Talents cannot exceed the campaign's limit on Chi Talent (usually 6). For example, if you have Chi Talent 4, you could take at most two levels of any of these Talents. The GM may allow exceptions to this rule.

Path of Insight: You have an almost supernatural awareness of the connection between the body and the mind. Add its level to Autohypnosis, Breath Control, Precognitive Parry*, Pressure Points, Pressure Secrets, and Sensitivity*.

Path of Life Force: You are adept at channeling your inner strength to powerful effect, from hostility to healing. Add its level to Breaking Blow, Esoteric Medicine (Chi), Flying Leap, Kiai, Power Blow, and Zen Archery.

Path of Mist: You slip away from both the perceptions and attacks of others, a silent threat in the darkness. Add its level to Body Control, Blind Fighting, Hypnotic Hands*, Invisibility Art, Mental Strength, and Mind Block.

* From GURPS Martial Arts, if you allow martial artists to take skills from that book.

Scholars

Extemporaneous

Variable cost per level

Prerequisite: Wild Talent. Also Eidetic Memory for level 3+ or Photographic Memory for level 8+.

When you use your Wild Talent, add your Extemporaneous level (maximum 10) to the controlling attribute. For example, if you have IQ 13 and Extemporaneous 5, and you use your Wild Talent to cast a spell, your effective spell level would be 18.

This power-up's per-level cost equals your Wild Talent level. For example, if you have Wild Talent 3, Extemporaneous costs 3 points/level; a +4 bonus to all your Wild Talent uses would thus cost 12 character points.

Advantages: Wild Talent acquires a new enhancement: Reliable, +5%/level for 1 point per level of Wild Talent.

Shamans

May take the Shared Body and Spirit Sight druid power-ups, above.


Return to GURPS Dungeon Fantasy