Creating Super-Melee Weapons for GURPS Supers
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1 - Step One: Finding a base.
This is a relatively simple procedure that may cost the character as little as two points, depending on what weapon one uses for a base weapon. After one chooses a base weapon he would like to build the basis of his super-weapon with, you calculate the amount of points it will cost to “buy” this weapon. You decide how many points it costs to “purchase” this weapon using the gadgeteering rules on purchasing equipment using character points. (“Gadgets for non Gadgeteers” sidebar, pg. 67). You always assume that the character makes the “average” income for her time period (15,000 dollars for modern and futuristic campaigns). For weapons of a similar or lower tech level, this will almost always equal to 1 point.
Let’s say you wanted to make a super character that used the light-saber as his base super-weapon. You would figure the “dollar-cost” using the invention rules on pg. 68 to determine how many points it will cost you to buy that base at your tech level. All inventions will be at least “complex.”
Example: Let’s say in a TL 7 campaign, you wanted to use a TL 9 futuristic weapon as the base melee weapon, envisioning you character using a mono-wire sword as her weapon of choice. Instead of figuring the cost of that weapon at TL 9 in the GURPS UltraTech book, you would consult the table instead. The GM decides that it is a complex weapon, and consulting the table, she calculates the sword will cost her 1,250,000! Divided by 15,000, the total rounded up is 84 points. It will cost her that much to use that type of weapon as her character’s base (you might want to include the sword cost as well if you were actually calculating a monowire sword, but less than a thousand dollars more wont make much of a difference in the point cost). If her GM’s campaign actually took place in TL 9, using this weapon as a base would probably only cost her one point!
If a high-tech weapon is the only additions you require to your super-melee weapon, you may want to skip to step 4.
2 – Step Two: Super Bonus
The next step is figuring out how powerful your sword is compared in comparison to its normal counterpart. If you were trying to make Thor’s hammer, you would probably have to conclude that it would be more powerful than a normal hammer. You can add one die to the total damage the hammer does in combat by buying power points (you use the weapon skill instead of the super power skill for determining skill to use the melee weapon.)
It cost 10 points per die of damage you want to add to the weapon. The GM may allow you to spend 7 points for every die, if there is no possibility that your weapon could be used for impaling damage.
Note: The reason this “power” costs much more than normal powers is because a super wielding a super weapon may already be adding 4-10 ore more dice to the effectiveness of the weapon already! This also helps ensure that a character with more melee power is more likely to be effective in melee combat than a super who can easily buy “bonus dies”. For example, it may cost a character 90 points to use a laser as a 10d impaling weapon weapon, at the same cost (90 points), a 30 ST character can use a super spear for a 12d+3 weapon. It is a melee weapon, but it is still a significant increase in power. A 90 ST character would have a 19d+3 weapon!
3 – Step Three: Assign Other Super Powers
Assign any super powers if desired to your weapon as if it were a super gadget (rules on pg. 68). If you would like to make, say, a thunder spear, you could attach a lighting super power to it (and attach the “touch only” limitation if you want this power to be an “on contact only” ability). Any extra damage you give to your weapon will be two separate damage rolls, unless you buy the link advantage AND make sure that the type of the weapon damage and power damage are of the same type or “lower”. For instance, a 2d sword that does 8d laser damage on impact (?) and bought with the link advantage would to 10d damage impaling when thrusting, and 10d damage cutting when swinging (laser is a impaling power). You can add cutting or impaling enhancements to change the type of damage a power does. (Note: For simplicity reasons, the GM should rule that any weapons use the “highest” type of damage possible (crushing lowest, impaling highest) for that weapon if any powers and weapon damage is to be linked at all.
NOTE: You may think it may be better just to buy the 1d damage bonus power instead, but remember, a linked lightning weapon will do lightning damage, so if someone is hit with a lightning (linked) sword and a has a cutting invulnerability (or an armor that that is effective against cutting weapons) will effectively be useless against this super sword for game purposes. (It may STILL be better to buy the weapon increase “super bonus” power, but come on, it’s “ROLEplaying” :p. A Gm could rule that the “Super Bonus” power was unavailable and that all extra damage could only be explained through the regular super-power effects).
4 – Step Four: Making Your Uber Weapon a Super Weapon!
A gadget (which your super-sword of doom technically is) has many advantages over a normal item. The main one is that it is that by default they are unbreakable and un-stealable. After you tally all the other point cost to your weapon, it’s you have three options. Have a 5% enhancement to make it an official gadget (the GM may rule this enhancement may only need to apply to the cost of the actual weapon and not to damage bonuses and powers because those are already implied to have those attributes in the gadgeteering rules). You can take the “attached permanently” enhancement in order to simulate a super who can make a weapon appear “magically” using a ready action (10%). Or you can apply the breakable and can-be-hit limitations to the final cost.
5 – Kick Butt using melee combat rules in your super campaign!
Reduced Super Bonus Cost, Along With Mandatory Resilience Advantage:
Instead of charging 10 points per power level for the damage bonus, you can set the point cost to a more reasonable level if you make stronger characters buy an advantage in order to use the weapon at their full strength. This assumes that some supers with super strength are too strong to use the weapon with their full strength without breaking it, so their super weapons need to be made of tougher stuff. With this advantage used, the bonus power cost power level is 4 for weapons only used for crushing, 5 for cutting and crushing, and 6 for impaling.
ADVANTAGE: Resilience: 12 per level
This advantage applies to super-weapons only. One level allows it to be wielded by a ST 20 individual at the full damage allowed for her strength. Ever additional level allows a character with 10 more ST or less use the weapon with her full strength.