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Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Character Building: Ice Abilities
So first off, if putting cold powers together, let's look at what we have that doesn't require reinventing the wheel.
First off, in the Basic Set, we have Freezing Hazard Fatigue damage, this is a +20% enhancement to fatigue damage on page 103 of Basic Set. The special rules for dealing with freezing fatigue loss are detailed on Basic Set p.430.
Take a look at the Body of Ice meta-trait on p.262 for a good list of typical strengths and weaknesses for an ice creature.
Next, in GURPS Powers we have the Cold/Ice power and talent on p. 124. Here, it is mentioned, and I'll say it out loud because I figure it is self-evident, that cold innate attacks that deal with launching ice missiles can be crushing (a hunk of ice) cutting (a sharp snowflake) impaling, or piercing (both, the classic icicle) Interestingly, the entry discusses the possibility of splitting up "cold" and "ice" into separate powers, and demarcates which might fall into different domains if the GM entertains the option of splitting the abilities into such groups. Also, p.137 and 138 have many practical examples of modified cold and ice abilities, illustrating interesting applications of the paralysis condition combined with cosmic modifiers and special features to represent freezing targets solid.
Moving on to GURPS Magic the water college, starting on p. 184 and the weather college, starting on p. 193 have myriad cold based abilities. Examples include Icy Weapon that causes weapons to do more damage, Ice Sphere which launches frozen projectiles, or Body of Ice to become a living being of frozen water.
Moving onto monster examples, Dungeon Fantasy 2 has the water as-Sharak on p.21, a wizard with a very powerful freezing breath attack. Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 1 has the gigantic Ice Wyrm on p. 20. Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2 has the glacial variety of mold on p.9 that does freezing damage passively, and frost puddings on p.13 that are encased in strong armor.
While I'm sure there is more, that's what I can easily recall and find in the books I own.
I thought I'd have something novel and interesting to add to these references, but really, they all have pretty good advice for building ice abilities, and worked examples for creatures that do well in cold environs. The Ice Wyrm entry in Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 1 for example has interesting thoughts on building a habitat for the ice wyrm, which is easily repurposed for other ice themed monsters. In any case, I don't think having a one stop shop quick reference is without value, so here it is for all posterity.