Tuesday, 30 June 2020
Sorcery: Geneforge Shaping
It's time to fulfill my first patron request - do a writeup of some Geneforge stuff. I played the first game in the series a long time ago, but not for long, because the game decided to wipe my save files, so I got too salty to replay it. But from what I remember, I liked it a lot. I will try to GURPSify it based on what can be looked up on the game's wiki and on the requester's words.
The game tells a story of the Shapers - wizards whose trademark abilities are summoning "creations" from thin air and creating various living beings and tools. Something like a cross between a summoner and a bio-tech wizard. Speaking of bio-tech, GURPS Bio-Tech has some guidelines on biogadget creation, but I think that here it would be more appropriate to use Metatronic Generators from Pyramid #3-46. The gadgets should either be self-powered or require food or nutrient solution baths instead of power cells. I suggest treating the life creation ability as the following sorcery spell based on Enchant.
Full Cost: 37 points.
Casting Roll: IQ or Bioengineering.
Duration: Truly Permanent.
This spell allows the caster to create a living being (a bio-gadget that can fling spines, a skullcat (GURPS Bio-Tech, p. 96), an owlbear, etc.) from nothing but internal magical energies. The process of creation is identical to the process of enchanting (see Chapter 3 of GURPS Thaumatology: Sorcery), but instead of spells, the enchanter “enchants” a racial template. Form multipliers should be ignored for this sort of enchantment. The enchanter cannot use this spell on an already living being, he can only create new ones from scratch. Each failed casting roll accumulated one point of additional disadvantages. The GM determines the nature of these disadvantages in secret, and they may not even be obvious once the creation is complete. Genetic defects from GURPS Bio-Tech could be used for inspiration. In any case, the racial template of the created being must be approved by the GM – each setting can have its own assumptions on what life forms can be created this way.
Statistics: Affliction 1 (HT; Accessibility, Only to create life, -10%; Based on IQ, Own Roll, +20%; Cumulative, +400%; Extended Duration, Truly Permanent, +300%; Limited Use, 1/day, -40%; Melee Attack, Reach C, -30%; Sorcery, -15%; Special Enhancements, see GURPS Thaumatology: Sorcery, p. 31, +1,080%)  + Extra Option (Limited access to meditative study for life creation) . Note: The actual cost of 182 points is divided by five due to this ability being character-point powered.
Conjuring beings from thin air quickly can be treated as the following summoning spell. Keep in mind that to be able to cast other spells while the creation is summoned the character must be able to maintain at least two spells simultaneously.
Full Cost: 30 or 75 points.
Casting Roll: IQ or Bioengineering.
This spell manifests a magical creation into being to act as the caster commands. The term “creation” here encompasses any living being that the caster has created via the Create Life spell or any other living being that the GM find appropriate for such summoning. It is suggested for the GM to require the summoner to take a perk for every type of being that he can summon, but haven’t created with Create Life. Otherwise, this spell may be too flexible.
The creation appears within the arm’s reach. It has no weapons or armor when created, but uses what it is given.
If the creation is killed, the summoner must wait a full day to call replacements. Dismissing the creation is a free action, but the creation can only be dismissed if it is physically present. The summoner can only cast the basic (30-point) version of this spell if his point total is at least 2 times bigger than the creation’s. The improved (75-point) version lets the summoner conjure creations with point totals equal or lower than his own.
Statistics: Ally (Creation; Built on 50%; Constantly, no roll required; Adjustable, Creations, +150%; Conjured, +100%; Minion, +50%; Requires IQ Roll, -10%; Sorcery, -15%) . The improved version increases the maximum point value of the ally to 100% [+45].
The Shapers can also use Alchemy. Those who are familiar with it more than I am may treat it as a specialty of the Alchemy skill, if they deem it different enough from the traditional alchemy.
Shapers as characters, I believe, should be built as sorcerers with either unlimited Sorcerous Empowerment (they are wizards who can not only create life, but also cast other spells), or with an optional scope limitation. I think that limiting them to colleges of Body Control, Healing, and Food (plus the two spells above) for a limitation value of -20% would fit the flavor. Also, if you want them to feel more "druidic", consider replacing the Magical, -10% power modifier with Nature, -20%.
What about the creations themselves? That's a matter for another post. Or posts.