Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Encounter: Indescribable Monkey

Mostly irrelevant.
A kinda play on words, despite that which is on Washizu's back is obviously a cat, we were talking about removing monkeys from one's back. This is a demonic enemy that slowly weighs down it's opponents with mental exhaustion until they are unfit to defend themselves. Let's see what we can get with that premise.


Today, I'm using CER to balance this monster, and for some reason, I feel like 80 is a good number to shoot for, which makes it a reasonable challenge for 1 strong 250 point character in Dungeon Fantasy, or 3 "support" users.
The main elements that I want are :
  • Intangibility.
  • Fatigue damage
  • Persistence
That is, basing this around the metaphor, it's the anthropomorphization of the idiom which translates to having an unshakable, persistent distraction. So let's see, let's start with a 2d fatigue attack, and the insubstantiality, and an affliction and go from there.

Attack Skill15Active Defense0
Affliction10Damage Resistance0
Fatigue Points0Hit Points0
Total Offensive Rating (OR)39Total Protective Rating (PR)0

I decided, by mechanical effect, the most appropriate affliction to represent a mind wandering relentlessly in combat would be Dazed, I plan on having it be a persistent aura with an area of effect, that automatically hits but gives a will roll to resist, meaning that attack skill is automatically 15. As per the aside on p.33 of Pyramid #3/77, the Insubstantiality adds 20% to the total CER value, so it isn't accounted for, but that means we are now mathematically shooting for a CER of about 67 (80 * 5/6), and that gives us 28 more points.
Now that we have gotten this far, I think we need to add more monkey like traits, particularly agility in terms of active defense and move. I decided to use the stats for a macaque monkey as well from GURPS animalia for some more ideas. So adding Brachiator also makes sense, but doesn't exactly change the CER values. I'll add unfazeable as well, because I don't want people mind controlling it to an easy victory, and it makes sense for a demonic entity.

Attack Skill15Active Defense8
Affliction10Damage Resistance0
Fatigue Points0Hit Points0
Total Offensive Rating (OR)43Total Protective Rating (PR)16
I've got about 8 more points to work from. I decide to spread it out evenly among Hit Points, Health, and Fatigue.

Attack Skill15Active Defense8
Affliction10Damage Resistance0
Fatigue Points3Hit Points3
Total Offensive Rating (OR)46Total Protective Rating (PR)21
An OR of 46 and a PR of 21 times 1.2 gives us a CER of 81 when we round up, let's see what this monster looks like now in terms of GURPS stats.

ST: 13HP: 13Speed: 9
DX: 14Will: 14Move: 10
IQ: 8Per: 12
HT: 12FP: 13SM: -2
Dodge: 12Parry: 11DR: 0
Punch (16): Reach C, 1d crushing, affects substantial
Teeth (16): Reach C, 1d, affects substantial
The Monkey on Your Back (16): Range 10/100, Acc 3, The monkey flings something indescribable at you, which is really difficult to wash off, but only you can smell the distraction and shame. If you cannot defend against it, you are wracked with worry and suffer 2d fatigue damage. This will recur for three days, once a day. To remove the cyclical effect, you must accomplish whatever trivial task you are preoccupied with according to the GM, at which point you have a will-2 roll to not imagine something else to worry about. Single Minded gives a +2 bonus to will. Affects substantial.
Distracting Aura: 4 yard reach, every turn a character spends within the 4 yard radius of the monkey, she must roll against will or be dazed as they remember something trivial that begins to distract them. Unless interrupted, this lasts for minutes equal to margin of failure. Single Minded gives a +2 bonus to will. Affects substantial.
Traits: Brachiator, Insubstantial, Perfect Balance, Unfazeable, Fur, Impulsiveness (9)
Skills: Acrobatics-14; Brawling-16; Climbing-19; Innate Attack (?!!?!)-16; Intimidation-13; Stealth-14; Survival-12
Class: Demon
Will attempt to use acrobatics for extra frustrating dodging. The monkey flings something that no one can quite understand and everyone is too afraid to identify. Some weirder demonologists might be interested in the material though. Extracting it requires a method to deal with the insubstantial and the subject must be alive, perhaps asleep. Roll against Hazardous Materials (Magical) with success gathering a half pound or $500 worth if you can find a buyer. Failure means you find yourself suddenly awash in a barrage of guilt over how disorganized your backpack is, and why you haven't spoken to your loved ones in such a long time, consider this a one minute daze after which you can roll against will to recover, or an ally can pull you back to reality if he is around.


  1. Why Afflict Dazed and not Disadvantage(Addiction)? The monkey on one's back in the idiom is usually a drug, isn't it?

    1. That's one interpretation. I meant for this to be a Dungeon Fantasy style monster and I wanted to use something not so subtle. I was originally thinking of a combination of Obsession, Clueless, and Indecisive for, probably, similar to the reason you are suggesting (though yours might be a better fit, all in all) but decided I preferred the more cut and dry, if not "gamey" application of the daze effect.


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