Saturday, January 30, 2016

Encounter: Booze Hound

You want a drink, brother?
Continuing my concept of developing encounters using the list of GURPS afflictions as a guide and CER to balance them for low level, today we come to Tipsy and Drunkenness. A monster that can do both! A diffuse alcohol elemental in the shape of a dog!


Starting out, mechanically, these afflictions cost 2 points in CER for Tipsy, and 4 for Drunk. I feel like making a diffuse monster, and this will also eat up a huge piece of the budget: 20 points. If we want to re-balance this for a low level, we will need to gimp stats real bad or give this dog some incredible weaknesses.

Attack Skill0Active Defense0
Affliction4Damage Resistance20
Fatigue Points0Hit Points0
Total Offensive Rating (OR)4Total Protective Rating (PR)20

With just that, we have eaten up a ton of the budget already. Thinking about what we can do for free points, let's lower his HP and Active Defenses a teeny bit, and Fatigue Points too. A shambling shifting pile of beer in the shape of a dog could be reasonably clumsy defense-wise. Let's lower the will too due to the constant concentration of maintaining the intricate form.

Attack Skill0Active Defense-2
Affliction4Damage Resistance20
Fatigue Points-2Hit Points-2
Total Offensive Rating (OR)2Total Protective Rating (PR)14
OK, still pretty strong, but meh; Diffuse is a pretty powerful defensive ability, and it is really gonna goof up a weak enemy's balance. Being based a bit on a dog, let's give it an enhanced move for a weird slam attack, and some teeth.

Attack Skill4Active Defense-2
Affliction4Damage Resistance20
Fatigue Points-2Hit Points-2
Total Offensive Rating (OR)15Total Protective Rating (PR)14
OK, this feels good. A little bit better than a mere annoyance, but, like I said, Diffuse does some bad things to stats, and I think it's unfair that it is hard to have balanced and interesting diffuse enemies at a low level. Let's see what this looks like in regular stats now.

ST: 10HP: 8Speed: 3
DX: 10Will: 8Move: 6, Enhanced 12
IQ: 6Per: 18
HT: 10FP: 8SM: +0
Dodge: 6Parry: N/ADR: 0
Bite (12): Reach C, 1d-2 Cutting
Slam (12): Reach C, Typically 1d crushing damage at full speed. 1d-3 crushing without any acceleration.
Tipsy Emanation: Coming within 2 yards of a booze hound requires a roll of HT-2 (+1 for alcohol tolerance, -1 for alcohol intolerance) Failure inflicts Tipsy for margin of failure minutes, lowering IQ and DX by 1 (Drunken Boxing perk works as expected)
On Tap(12): Range 100 yards, Acc 0 Booze Hound spits a crazy contact agent: alcohol that seeps through the skin! Any non-porous DR stops it and the sealed advantage is immunity, but if this doesn't exist, the target must roll HT-4 (with bonuses or penalties for alcohol tolerance/intolerance) or become Drunk for margin of failure minutes.
Traits: Chummy, Laziness (12), Injury Tolerance (Diffuse), Alcoholism, Alcohol Tolerance, Enhanced Move 1 (12), Jealousy
Skills: Brawling-12, Innate Attack (Tap)-12, Hobby Skill (Catch Ball)-14, Connoisseur (Fine Spirits)-14


Similar to a dust bunny, a booze hound is something of a trickster spirit, but less mean spirited than the dust bunny. He is the congealed remains of half-finished drinks from parties when the fun is taken elsewhere, leaving him with a grudge. The booze thinks, "I'm fun too. Take me with you," but it is inanimate, so it can't say this out loud. If enough half filled mugs, steins, flutes, and tumblers lie around long enough with no human supervision, the spirits coalesce into... a spirit
The booze hound is more lonely and resentful than straight up mean. A good humored party ready to play and make merry might be able to assuage it without resorting to violence. Indeed, if one befriends a booze hound in an abandoned haunted wine cellar perhaps, it can lead them straight to the good stuff. The contention however lies in whether it is logistically reasonable to have a small party in the middle of a dungeon delve.

Other Notes

There are a bunch of ways to make this encounter more dangerous. Obviously, I took a few bites out of its stats just to make it weaker; adding those back in would make it almost an entire "tier" higher in terms of CER. Tier? I feel like having a bit of experience, that CER seems to have a grain of 5 points; that is, each 5 points normally feels one degree more difficult than something 5 points lower. Stronger attacks could take the form of Jell-O shots. A more substantially armored version might wear ablative wooden cask armor. A tougher bite or scratches could be performed by broken beer bottles. It could have babies called micro-pups. An alcoholic character might be driven to heights of ecstasy, obsession, or fanaticism in its presence. Some brewers or aficionados may want one captured and/or tamed for it's excellent taste in alcohol, to either help rate wines, or perhaps to perfect their brewery techniques, and as they can become friendly in the right circumstances, this might not be unheard of.

Precis - A mostly friendly, but potentially intoxicating foe.

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