Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Crafting: Changing Enhancements/Limitations into Cost Factors

Almost anything here
can be found in the basic
set. Besides all the stuff
I completely made up.
Small post today, but I feel like I have the seed of a novel idea for creating stronger weapons, and it is so simple, someone somewhere has probably said it, or wrote something about it in a Pyramid issue. So here are my thoughts.

First off, negative cost factors are generally an order of magnitude smaller than good cost factors. That is, a positive enhancement to a weapon, like Fine or Very Fine costs multiple times what the normal weapon costs. On the other hand, negative cost factors like Cheap are often on the order of magnitude of tenths.
So here is my simple proposition, where in fact there does not yet exist an equivalent modifier for a certain effect you wish to apply to a given weapon, item, tool, etc. An enhancement might be made by multiplying it's cost by 10. EG: The Cone enhancement for a 1 yard wide "cone" is +50%. As a cost modifier for a bow, that might be .50 x 10 = +5CF, meaning a bow that can hit everyone in a straight line with one arrow would cost an additional 500%.
On the other hand, an advantage limitation would be equivalent to its original value. Extra Recoil,  for example, costs -10% per +1 to recoil. A Self-Loading Rifle, 7.62mm (Basic Set - Characters, p.279) that had a recoil of 4 instead of 3 would get a Cost Factor of -0.1, and cost $560.

Other Thoughts And Closing

Some cost factors might feel a little underpriced. I'm almost thinking that the Cone enhancement example is a good case. I think some enhancements might benefit from a multiplication by 20 instead of 10. Still, this is meant for the case of fantastic, unrealistic, and neato weapons and treasure that can do things that normal things can't do, and how do you put a price on "sword that's ridiculously cool?"
A follow-up attached to a weapon can be handled in numerous ways, like using the Sorcery enchantment system. I think a simple conversion of EP to CF might work, if you just like the idea of linear scaling instead of a straight additive cost adjustment. I think it will make the follow up more expensive in the great majority of cases, but it gets you a discount sometimes, and more importantly, it might encourage interesting strategic discussions and thoughts along the lines of, "do I want a really expensive plain weapon, or a cheap stick with cool powers?"
The prices don't need to mean the item needs to exist either. There are other subsystems in GURPS that just depend on knowing a monetary value, like using something as a Power Item, for example. For myself, I just like to gauge what my players are capable of buying for themselves, and giving them things that are just slightly better if they can earn it, and dollars are usually the easiest way to make that comparison.
Also, for a list of existing Cost Factors for weapon customization that are definitely raw, take a look here.

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