Monday, January 11, 2016

Encounter: Bottle Genie

Nyaah Nyaah. Nyan Nyan, Ni Hao Nyan
Genies vary wildly from appearance to appearance. Some are friends, some aren't. A lot grant wishes, some don't. But this time I'm talking about the genie from Link's Awakening. He is a boss that can't be hurt directly; he has to be attacked via his bottle. If his bottle is destroyed, so is he. Let's see how we might model this in GURPS.

First thing is that he is insubstantial. He has a fireball attack he can use, but he uses it slowly. He can affect substantial as well, so he has a fireball spell and he has a punch. We will give him incredibly fast mana recovery to represent his ability to use fireballs infinitely, but we don't want his attack to be too strong. All together we have this so far:

Attack Skill0Active Defense0
Affliction0Damage Resistance0
Fatigue Points20Hit Points0
Total Offensive Rating (OR)26Total Protective Rating (PR)0

Ok, so super fast mana recovery, and a weak punch and a fireball make him pretty strong already. Insubstantiality by itself is not included in these points, but comes as a 20% bonus after the fact... unless your entire party has abilities to work around that. Let's add a few things, like a skill level, some HP, and some DR. Let's make him a little fast and willful too. Include some supernatural defenses in there like immunity to metabolic hazards and doesn't eat, drink, or sleep. Also adding unfazeable.

Attack Skill10Active Defense0
Affliction0Damage Resistance8
Fatigue Points20Hit Points10
Total Offensive Rating (OR)38Total Protective Rating (PR)28
So now we are up to 66. With our 20% bonus, that's another 13 for a total of 79. Let's add rapier wit because he likes taunting as well. Let's round out his defenses in case a mage tries to completely short circuit the encounter, so we add 2 to dodge, and 2 to DR.

Attack Skill10Active Defense4
Affliction1Damage Resistance10
Fatigue Points20Hit Points10
Total Offensive Rating (OR)39Total Protective Rating (PR)34
All together with the 20% bonus, we are at 88. It's a little low, but I think it's challenging enough anyway, so let's write him up now.

ST: 14HP: 20Speed: 7 
DX: 12Will: 12Move: 8
IQ: 12Per: 12
HT: 10FP: 10SM: +1
Dodge: 10Parry: 10DR: 2
Punch (15): Reach C, 1d crushing.
Fireball (17): 1/2D 25, Max 50, Acc 1; 1d burning per second of concentration. Costs 0 to 2 FP to cast.
Traits: Immune to Metabolic Hazards, Doesn't Eat, Doesn't Drink, Doesn't Sleep, Insubstantial, Affects Substantial, Regeneration (Very Fast) FP only, Magery 1, Ally (Bottle, Sympathy, Worth 25% or less), Unfazeable, Rapier Wit
Skills: Brawling-15, Fireball-15, Innate Attack (Missile) - 17, Create Fire-12, Shape Fire-12, Ignite Fire-12, Public Speaking-15

But that is also only half of the encounter. The other half is a bottle that isn't even worth thinking about. It has 20 HP, and can't protect itself, and has no move. Altogether, whatever that adds up to is a negative CER, but we always floor at 1, so the bottle has a CER of 1.

Other Notes

This boss in the game required Link to grab the bottle and throw it against the wall at the right time because it is immune to his sword. A quick mental calculation says that making the bottle immune to cutting and impaling would give it a CER of 8 if that matters.
In Zelda, the bottle was in plain sight. Other options are to hide the bottle and make the challenge figuring out where it is, and why it is important. It is a common trope, so I'm sure you can think of something or get inspiration somewhere.
Taking unfazeable off might make an interesting situation where the players could negotiate against the genie by holding the bottle hostage.
The genie can be easily powered up by upping its magery and FP to do stronger fireballs. Against wizards that can affect insubstantial, more hit points, (Improved) Magic Resistance, or DR might be necessary.
An interesting twist is a totally living substitution for the jar, requiring the players to play hide and seek with a guy who knows the terrain way better, or could be a deadly combatant.

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