Sunday, June 12, 2016

Encounter: Beelzebuddy

What's cooking, good looking? ;)
I want to create something a bit terrifying, but still manageable because my players are getting stronger. I want to focus on something with an affliction because I don't have a lot of interesting monsters with affliction abilities that are strong enough, so let's go with a giant tsetse fly! My target CER today is 60, which is stronger than my usual target of 30. Let's get cracking.

Ok, this fly looks about SM+2, if I use that picture as a guide with the "boxy" 3x2 shape. Further, we can take the standard giant fly from the GURPS wiki, and make it a bit bigger. Sizing this guy up, His ST should scale up to about 35? Yikes? We'll make it 25, which is about "nominal" for what an SM+2 creature should have. Adding all the key advantages, and putting this into our matrix of CER, this mundane giant fly (kinda an oxymoron?) breaks out like this:
Attack Skill4Active Defense0
Affliction0Damage Resistance2
Fatigue Points1Hit Points15
Total Offensive Rating (OR)24Total Protective Rating (PR)20

Cool, we are at 44 so far, leaving us with a paltry 16 points for afflictions. I want to have a nominal follow up attack for the proboscis bite, but I also want a more alien type of gas emanation as well. The best simulation I can think of for sleeping sickness is probably a cyclical roll with a primary effect of reduced attributes and pain, and a secondary effect of coma. -2 IQ, -2 DX, Moderate Pain, and Coma as a secondary effect, but requiring FP makes it worth 11 altogether. As an emanation, it's worth 11, but as a follow up for the regular bite, it's worth 22/5 = 5 when rounding up.

Attack Skill4Active Defense0
Affliction11Damage Resistance2
Fatigue Points1Hit Points15
Total Offensive Rating (OR)40Total Protective Rating (PR)20
This guy is at our perfect 60 CER, so let's stop now. We got a good thing now.

ST: 25HP: 25Speed: 5.75
DX: 12Will: 10Move: G5A10
IQ: 1Per: 10
HT: 11FP: 11SM: +2
Dodge: 8
DR: 1
Bite (14): Reach C-2, 2d+3 cutting, Follow Up Sleeping Sickness
Sleeping Sickness (HT-3): Contact Agent, IQ -2, DX -2, Moderate Pain, Secondary Effect, Coma Cyclic every day for 7 days. A successful roll ends the disease, and recovery begins after.
Miasma (14): Emanation, 5 yards. Costs 1 FP. Inflicts Sleeping Sickness.
Traits: Acute Vision 2; Discriminatory Smell; Doesn't Breathe (Oxygen Absorption); Extra Legs (Six; Cannot Kick); Flight (Air Move 10; Winged); High Pain Threshold; Horizontal; Injury Tolerance (No Vitals); Night Vision 5; No Fine Manipulators; Wild Animal.
Skills: Brawling-14
Class: Dire Animal
Notes: Easily defeated, but often comes in groups, if it infects the party, things can quickly go downhill. Successful Surgery rolls might be able to extract a miasma bladder (failure requires resisting Sleeping Sickness) an object that can be used in Alchemy for creating an elixir similar to a Pastille (see GURPS Magic, p. 213) for poisonous gasses.
This can be sold to an alchemist for a large amount of money (let's say, $1000?) or, if used by oneself, allows creation of a pastille elixir in the timeframe of Quick Gadgeteering without having the advantage. That is, an elixir can sublime in a matter of minutes to hours instead of days to weeks. It only lasts for one use. Let's say the useful component weighs 0.5 lbs.

Other Thoughts

I need stronger grappling and affliction based monsters for my party, and maybe some that are allowed to be intelligent too. If you have any ideas, let me know. I should probably return the favor and post this on the GURPS wiki since I basically just borrowed the Giant Fly and direfied it.


  1. Lovely, instant Tsetse...

    Cutting is fitting for the mechanism they open you up with (though I'd be tempted to give it armor pen of (.5) because it's giant bugparts. How would you handle effects of being fed on? Not an issue in combat, probably, but something I'm wondering about.

    Speaking of affliction based monsters, I had planned a human version of this:

    Seeks out new hosts by guiding the current one towards population centers. It's taken out whole frontier settlements, see, and the players need to go do something about that...

    I don't know if it counts as an affliction, but I had written once about a tree who's (sweet) fruit is edible, but the seeds implant themselves into your stomach lining, and grow shoots that eventually take you over like a puppet. This (eventually) kills you. Long term goal is to find a place to take root, but it takes a while to mature and they're plenty aggressive. You'll eventually zombify, then skeletafy, then you become a tree.

    You can see how both of these are inspired by Mohrg, though the latter has an end state while I don't think Mohrg do anything but jump hosts.

    1. Mechanically, the zombiefication process sounds like cyclic damage that eventually kills you, but instead of outright killing you, it leads to a fate worse than death.
      I was almost thinking of adding a corrosion based attack (projectile vomit) or follow up (regurgitating acid into a wound) but 1) a bit too squeamish to follow through, and 2) In gracefully hit the difficulty level of 60 CER perfectly with just the miasma effect.

    2. So you wouldn't consider it an affliction, then? Makes sense.

      What's this CER model based off of? I don't believe I've run into it. Sounds handy, though!

    3. Pyramid 3/77.
      It's something of a gauge for sizing up opponents. Starting 250 point Dungeon Fantasy characters to me seem to range from 30ish (for thieves) to upwards of 60 (for a dwarven Barbarian) and the CER is a barometric reading to let you know if a monster is weak, on par, challenging, etc. compared to a party. It's a bit mathematically cumbersome, taking me close to a minute per monster on the good ones, longer if they have a complicated version of Resistant or Weakness, but you only have to calculate it once.

    4. Roger, thanks for the point-to. I will admit that, while I read some issues of Pyramid, I've been horrid for keeping up with it. It's not always terribly clear which ones are and aren't relevant, so many slip past me.

      To date I've just been eyeballing it. Takes a bit to get a good feel for it, though, since players may or may not use combat options available to them. Last group I regularly DM'd with, I had one guy loving to make use of them, while another player used one, once, maybe.


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