Thursday, January 30, 2014

GURPS Magic Notes 21: Swarm Familiar

Swarms are pretty cool, and freaking scary. A bug, a small snake, or a small bird is not much of a threat, but a swarm of them is freaking scary. The main thing about a swarm is that its a Injury Tolerance: Diffuse, which is pretty much what makes it a swarm. There are options for Swarm in GURPS Powers but I don't have the book, so I'm choosing to work without it (because I've run the limit of my Xmass buying spree). Its ok because the creature is not going to use the options in that book. The GM can just run with what ever is here and his imagination.

Swarm Sizes and HP is important, to take note off. The bigger the swarm, the larger the area it occupies in a Tactical Hex. At SM+0 if it is Verminform or Horizontal it occupies two hexes long (see B392 and B460), at SM+1 its occupies similar to a Horse at 3 hexes long , and at SM+2 to SM+3 like an Elephant. You can say the weight and size of the bugs can help you calculate HP. Consider the Size the Area of which the bugs can be targeted, and Larger Area means cheaper HP cost.

Swarms are not their Individual Animal. When stating them out, they don't have the dex or ht of the animal its composed off, instead you imagine it as an entire entity.

The Swarm Examples

Ravenous Poisonous/Toxic Lizards or Bugs or Rats 

108 point template
This can be any crawly and clingy animal or insect that can be a swarm. It can be ravenous mice, rats, ants, spiders, small lizards,

In Haven, ants, cockroaches, and rats are Ideal because there will always  be supplies for them. Although because cockroaches can fly and cling they are easily 112 point worth or Powerful Familiars. Wielders may suffer Odius Personal Habit (Minor Bad Smell; B22) or Bad Smell (B124).

Note that these creature swarms can manipulate objects (see one arm) and can EAT. Some swarms can be valuable, character with Spider Swarms can harvest the silk as a 0pt Feature or Cockroaches can be sold to the Chinese market.

Abilities and Characteristics [-54]:
ST 10 [0]   HP33 (+23HP, -20% HP cost discount) [56] SPD4.25
DX8 [-40] Will10 Move 6 [10]
IQ3 [-140] Per10 [70]
HT9 [-10] FP9 SM+3 (10 hexes)
Dodge10 Parry- DR-

Traits [154]: Increased Consumption 6 (B129; 48 lbs of matter) [-60]; Universal Digestion (B95) [5]; Bad smell [-10]; Clinging [20]; Night Vision 5 [5];  Social Stigma (Monster) [-20]; Dead Broke [-25]; Status -2 [-10]; Duty, Extremely Hazardous to Master (Freq-15) [-20]; Appearance (Horrific, Universal +25%) [-30]; Injury Tolerance (Diffuse, see B60 and B380; Swarm, powers 53,   +160%) [260]; Regeneration (Regular, 1HP / hour; Accessibly if more of the swarm components are around, -20%) [20]; Unkillable 1 (B95; Achilles Heel, Fire, -50%) [25]; Cannot Speak [-15] (B125); Innumerate [-5] (B140); Illiterate [-3] (B24); No Language [-3] (B24); Hide Bound [-5].

Swarm Mild Poisonous Bites (Toxic Attack 1 point damage, 1cp; Contact Agent, -30%, B111; Cyclic, 10 seconds, 6 cycles, +300%, B103; Area Effect, 2 yards radius, +50%, B102; Melee Attack, Reach C-1, Cannot Parry with Attack, -25%, B112; Resistable, HT-5, -0%; ) [4]

Swarm Overbearing/Binding Attack (Binding 1 level, 2cp, B40; Engulfing, +60%, B40; Area Effect, 2 yards radius, +50%, B102; Melee Attack, Reach C-1, Cannot Parry with Attack, -25%, B112) [4]

Skills [2]: Stealth-12 [2];
Class: Animal, Familiar, Swarm

Cockroach Swarm Special Familiar

109 point template
Normal People would be struck by fear seeing a Swarm of Cockroaches this big and Concentrated. The first thought is to kill it with Fire (area attacks are really  the best way to deal with such see B380). Bug spray helps, a nasty area attack of it will help very much (kill it or knock it out).

This same template can be use for bats and other flying and crawling swarms.

Abilities and Characteristics [-64]:
ST 10 [0]   HP33 (+23HP, -20% HP cost discount) [56] SPD4.25
DX8 [-40] Will10 Move 2 [-10] Flying Move-6
IQ3 [-140] Per10 [70]
HT9 [-10] FP9 SM+3 (10 hexes)
Dodge10 Parry- DR-

4500 lbs of Cockroaches

Traits [173]: Increased Consumption 6 (B129; 48 lbs of matter) [-60]; Universal Digestion (B95) [5]; Bad smell [-10]; Flying (Fly Move-6; +2 move) [44]; Clinging [20]; Night Vision 5 [5];   Social Stigma (Monster) [-20]; Dead Broke [-25]; Status -2 [-10]; Duty, Extremely Hazardous to Master (Freq-15) [-20]; Appearance (Horrific, Universal +25%) [-30]; Injury Tolerance (Diffuse, see B60 and B380; Swarm, powers 53,   +160%) [260]; Regeneration (Regular, 1HP / hour; Accessibly if more of the swarm components are around, -20%) [20]; Unkillable 1 (B95; Achilles Heel, fire, -50%) [25]; Cannot Speak [-15] (B125); Innumerate [-5] (B140); Illiterate [-3] (B24); No Language [-3] (B24); Hide Bound [-5].

  • Swarm Mild Poisonous Bites (Toxic Attack 1 point damage, 1cp; Contact Agent, -30%, B111; Cyclic, 10 seconds, 6 cycles, +300%, B103; Area Effect, 2 yards radius, +50%, B102; Melee Attack, Reach C-1, Cannot Parry with Attack, -25%, B112; Resistable, HT-5, -0%; ) [4]
  • Swarm Overbearing/Binding Attack (Binding 1 level, 2cp, B40; Engulfing, +60%, B40; Area Effect, 2 yards radius, +50%, B102; Melee Attack, Reach C-1, Cannot Parry with Attack, -25%, B112) [4]

Skills [2]: Stealth-12 [2];
Class: Animal, Familiar, Swarm


Current Campaign the Kaeneen are mages that use Swarms. Although they take a lot of drawbacks in order to wield them, with this base, you can pretty much figure out how much of a drawback a mage needs to be able to wield such creatures.
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