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Immortal Desires Detritus's GURPS World of Darkness PbP game.

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  #11  
Old 04-05-2007, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by SD Anderson View Post
It's been clarified replatedly on various .groups gurpsnet etc. . The character sheet nver was changed to reflect this. Your dodge equals your basic speed rounded down minus encumbrance. Various move enhancing powers and spells do NOT affect dodge while certain skills boxing and fencing, give a 1/8th skill bonus to dodging vs melee thrusting attacks.
I hadn't known about that. I think I would still like Celerity to give a little extra Dodging effectiveness, however. Since it hasn't come up yet, I'm going to ratchet down the Celerity dodge bonus equal to half the number of levels activated. So if you have Celerity 4 active, +2 to Dodge. In the long run this'll still help out the PCs, I think.
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:31 PM
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Perhaps even more relevant to vampires than moon phases: a sunrise/sunset calculator.
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Old 04-06-2007, 02:04 AM
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On the subject of sunset and twilight, since the sunset/sunrise calculator gives the times for civil & nautical twilight, I'm going to use them in the game in the following way:

If any part of the sun is above the horizon, that counts as "direct sunlight", and Kindred caught in it take 1d aggravated damage every minute they are exposed to it.

Between sunset and civil twilight, that will count as "indirect sunlight". That causes 1d of aggravated damage every three minutes. If you're in heavy, covering clothing, 1d aggro/5 minutes.

Between civil and nautical twilight, that counts as "twilight" as given in the GV:tM book, and does 1d of aggravated damage every eight minutes. Heavy clothing can negate this.

Also, any time sunlight aggravated damage occurs, you can spend a Blood Point to negate it.
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Old 04-20-2007, 04:13 AM
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One-handed shooting and reloading of shotguns can only be done at (Min ST + 5), normally. But, spend a blood point, and the +5 goes away entirely. Then use Min ST to avoid recoil penalties for one-handed shotgunning, and use the one-handed reloading manuever as a Hard manuever that defaults to (Gun skill - 4). Also, if your manuever score equals the Min ST + 5 of the shotgun, you don't need to spend a blood point to do one-handed reloading.
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Old 04-20-2007, 04:17 AM
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For Menachem:

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Old 04-23-2007, 11:20 PM
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FYI:

http://www.nola.com/printer/printer....3440.xml&coll=

Quote:
Saturday, April 14, 2007

By Sheila Grissett

East Jefferson bureau

Some 1,800 feet of concrete-capped floodwall along the west side of the 17th Street Canal is anchored by steel sheet pilings driven into the levee only 4.5 feet below sea level, making them 13 feet shorter than pilings that failed south of Hammond Highway during Hurricane Katrina and contributed to massive flooding in the city.

Just across the canal on the New Orleans side, where the Army Corps of Engineers soon plans to raise and widen the levee in the Veterans Memorial Boulevard area to guard against another failure, sheet pilings range from 5 to 14 feet deep, according to figures provided by the corps.

But corps engineers say the shallow sheeting poses no threat because water in the canal won't be allowed to rise against the floodwalls this storm season as it did with catastrophic results during Katrina, but will instead be restricted to a "safe" elevation, which is tentatively set at 6 feet.

Corps officials are confident in that assessment because they just wrapped up a year of "painstaking" testing, the most extensive technical analysis ever performed on the huge drainage canal separating Jefferson and Orleans parishes.

"We've done the analyses, and the results convince us that underseepage wouldn't cause the walls to fail anywhere in the 17th Street Canal because of the steps we're taking, which includes limiting the amount of water in the canal," said Walter Baumy, chief engineer of the corps' New Orleans district.

Other observers, including a number of independent experts who have conducted separate investigations into the levee failures, are not yet convinced, and they say the corps should get an independent evaluation of its analyses and conclusions.

Some of those investigators think that underseepage, which occurs when water seeps through soils underlying levees and undermines stability, contributed to some of the floodwall and levee failures during Katrina. And they're concerned about the shallow sheeting.

"The corps convinced itself in the past that their short-sheet design wouldn't be a problem, and our investigation proved that was a fatal flaw," said University of California-Berkeley engineer Bob Bea. "Now I'm hearing 4 feet, and even with a safe water level of 6, that gives me the heebie-jeebies."


'Won't be a problem'

Seepage wasn't found to be a significant contributor to major floodwall breaches by the Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force, a 150-member team of scientists, academicians, and engineers from within and without the corps that performed its own probe into hurricane protection system failures.

But because there is always the potential for underseepage -- especially when canals are near sand deposits -- Baumy said his agency did extensive seepage testing as part of its 17th Street Canal analysis.

"Yes, the sands are close to the surface in parts of the 17th Street Canal, just like they are near the (breach areas) of the London Avenue Canal," Baumy said. "But we have ways to analyze underseepage, and we've done that, and it won't be a problem at the 17th Street Canal."

In addition to using new floodgates and a reduction in pumping, if necessary, to limit the amount of surge allowed into the canal during future storms, the corps also confirmed last week that it plans to quickly begin building earthen levees as much as 6 feet higher and 30 feet wider to buttress a 450-foot section of the canal's east bank near Veterans Memorial Boulevard.

That decision was made after corps engineers concluding the yearlong analysis of the canal determined the bottoms of sheet piling are within two feet of unstable, subterranean sand layers that run close to the surface of earthen levees in that area of the canal.

More restrictive safety standards adopted since Katrina require that there be at least 5 feet of clay, which is less porous than sand, between the bottom of pilings and any sand strata.

The corps wants to finish the remediation work by the June 1 start of hurricane season to provide additional protection to this substandard section of levee.


Flex factor

Katrina taught that the increasing pressure of rising water can -- and did, in breaching floodwalls on the 17th Street and London Avenue canals -- cause the walls to flex. That movement, in turn, broke open a tension crack between the wall and the levee on the canal side, which then filled with water all the way to the bottom of the sheet pilings and quickly brought down levees and floodwalls.

There is some disagreement between various forensic teams as to what happened at each site after the cracks literally split the levees in half.

Despite those differences, which Bea likened to figuring out which way a train ran by looking at its tracks, all investigators agree that the primary failure mode was that of deflection, water bending the walls until wall and levee sections split apart.

"We don't expect a crack to form in this area because of the steps we're taking, but if that did happen, we've sealed the area in clay so that water can't get into the crack," Baumy said. "Sealing it will shut off the quick seepage path."

In the area targeted for remediation, which includes 350 feet of floodwall north of Veterans and 100 feet to the south, sheet pilings range from a depth of 5 to 14 feet below sea level.

But just across the canal -- where corps engineers say most of the pilings were driven to only 4.5 feet deep because earthen levees on the Jefferson Parish side are wider, higher and stronger -- the pilings are so short that there is at least the minimum 5 feet of clay cover between them and the subsurface sand.
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Old 04-23-2007, 11:20 PM
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Conclusion of article:

Quote:
Skepticism

Corps officials called it "good news" that the west levee is more robust and there's plenty of clay between the sheet pilings and the sand layers.

But there are some doubters.

Stephen Nelson of Tulane's department of earth and environmental sciences has studied and written extensively on the role that sand played in levee blowouts on the London Avenue Canal, and he hopes the corps' optimism is warranted.

"I'm very concerned about the east and west sides of the 17th Street Canal because there's basically the same situation with sand on the south end of that canal that we have on the north end of the London canal," he said. "And knowing that, it makes me wonder why they aren't repairing everything south of Veterans.

"But you're telling me that the corps is telling you they've done extensive testing there to calculate (the probabilities) of failure," Nelson said.

"Assuming that they looked at it using more modern techniques than were used previously, and assuming that there is no underseepage at 6 feet -- and I'm willing to believe that's true if they've done it right -- then it's probably safe," he said. "I'm not an engineer, but I know I really want to read their report myself."

Corps engineers are tentatively planning to deliver a final version of the analysis to New Orleans and Jefferson Parish leaders this month, and Baumy said he expects that it will recommend the safe water level remain at 6 feet for the coming season.

He said he also hopes that the results of his agency's "rigorous, methodical and painstaking" work will reassure residents and elected officials who have asked over and over about the canal's post-Katrina status.


Geotechnical profile

As part of the analysis, Richard Pinner, chief of the corps' geotechnical branch in New Orleans, said 64 additional soil borings were performed to build a thorough geotechnical profile of the canal.

A team from the corps' St. Louis district came to New Orleans to design and help execute a field test in which pumps were installed at 32 points along the canal to determine permeability -- just how fast could water seep from the canal at different water elevations.

"We're applying only current criteria, the best criteria," said Tim Ruppert, project engineer on the canal analysis.

John Bivona, assistant chief of the engineering division, said every IPET recommendation was incorporated into the work.

"Every lesson learned, we applied in this analysis," he said.

Baumy said the document will include 170 or so plates detailing assumptions, methodologies, and data behind multiple seepage, pump and soils tests performed on all reaches of the canal, but it won't be handed off to local elected officials until specialists in the corps' Rock Island district and at corps division headquarters in Vicksburg, Miss., finish reviewing the work.

And that, in and of itself, is a big problem, said Bea, a member of the Independent Levee Investigation Team financed by the National Science Foundation to study failures in the region's hurricane protection system.

The corps is reviewing its own work when experts independent of the agency should scrutinize it instead, said Bea, a former chief engineer for Shell Oil in New Orleans who began his career with the corps.


Outside checks urged

Bea and his colleagues, along with members of the state-fielded Team Louisiana investigators, have said the corps must open itself to true outside collaboration and review -- not just talk about doing so.

"When are these guys going to learn? This is like running into the gang of bullies who beat you up yesterday and having them say, 'Trust us today,' " Bea said. "Nineteen months after Katrina, they're still checking their own work. They should be inviting peer review and welcoming collaboration as a way of showing that they really want to move forward together."

Bea does applaud the remedial work the corps has planned at the canal.

"Increasing the soil levee section to seal that damn tension crack is excellent," Bea said. "As water comes up in the canal, it can't get down into the crack. Bravo."

And he also expects that the technical work on the analysis has been superior.

"I'll bet they've done an excellent job on the engineering mechanics. I'm sure they've been working that hard," he said.

"Where I fear that the void in this will show up is in the word 'safe'. The corps doesn't know how to answer the question, 'How safe is safe enough.' And until they decide to increase the factor of safety above 1.3, all bets are off.

"A hallmark of the corps' thinking has been setting the bar too low, and from everything I see and hear, that isn't changing," he said. "A safety factor of 1.3 isn't sufficient to protect people, their home and their lives."


Safety math

A factor of safety is the technique engineers must use to account for unforeseen variables that might affect their designs, such as defects in materials or uncertain soil conditions.

It's a way of overbuilding, of using extra-strong components or redundant systems, to ensure that if something unforeseen goes wrong -- be it nutria damage or an undetected layer of dangerous material at the tip of a sheet piling -- there's a sufficient margin of safety to prevent failure.

In this case, the corps uses a 1.3 safety factor for levees and floodwalls, regardless of whether the structures are protecting a dairy farm or the city of New Orleans.

By Bea's calculations, even with a water elevation capped at 6 feet, there's still a 20 percent to 30 percent likelihood that there will be a breach if the safety factor remains at 1.3.

Moving it up to 1.7 would reduce the probability of failure to 5 percent or 10 percent, and ratcheting it up to 2.7 would leave a probability of another break at 1 percent or less.

Bea said it is crucial that IPET release its oft-delayed, one-of-a-kind risk and reliability analysis that will tell residents just how much risk they're assuming by living behind the current levee system, as well as how much that risk will diminish with improvements to the system.

The IPET team has announced repeated delays, saying it is taking longer to complete the complex project than envisioned. The latest target date for release is May.

"It's the people exposed to the hazard that have to understand what it is and how likely it is, and then they can decide how much risk they are willing to assume," Bea said.

"Once the people in New Orleans see that analysis, which the corps owes them, I expect they'll have something to say about whether a 1.3 factor of safety is acceptable at the 17th Street Canal, the London Avenue Canal or anywhere else where they are trying to live and rebuild and put their lives back together," Bea said.
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  #18  
Old 04-28-2007, 04:30 AM
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On augmenting disciplines (Celerity, Fortitude, Potence), I've decided to use a variation on the alternate rules presented in GV:tM.

This is the benefits table:

1 dot = 4 points, +1 to relevant attribute for 10 minutes
2 dots = 8 points, +2 to relevant attribute for 30 minutes
3 dots = 16 points, +4 to relevant attribute for 1 hour
4 dots = 24 points, +6 to relevant attribute for 2 hours
5 dots = 48 points, +10 to relevant attribute for 6 hours

Normally you activate both the bonus and duration at the same level. The variant rule in the GV:tM allows you to individualize the bonus and duration as long as their combined level doesn't exceed twice the character's level in that discipline. So you could, for example, activate a +10 augmentation (level 5 bonus) for 10 minutes (level 1 duration) for a cost of 6 fatigue or 3 blood points (or any combination of blood and fatigue that adds up to an effective expenditure of 6 fatigue) if you have 3 dots in the appropriate discipline.

What I will say is that you can granularize your augmenting discipline as proposed above as long as neither the bonus or duration goes above your PC's level in that discipline. If one of bonus or duration exceeds a PC's discipline level, the PC pays as if activating the full-blown power at that level. This represents extra effort when your grasp exceeds your normal reach.

Thus:

2 dots -- +2/10 min. or +1/30 min. = 3 fatigue, but +4/10min. or +1/1 hour = 6 fatigue.

3 dots -- +4/10 min. or +1/1 hour = 4 fatigue, +4/30 min. or +2/1 hour = 5 fatigue, but +6/30 min. = 8 fatigue and +10/10 min. = 10 fatigue.

4 dots -- +10/1 hour or +4/6 hours = 10 fatigue.

This took a lot more space to write out than I thought it would. Just ask if you have any questions.

EDIT -- On "stacking" successive applications of augmenting disciplines, I will say that if you activate an augmenting discipline twice, the bonuses overlap (in D&D 3.x parlance), BUT if you spend an extra blood point, you can make the bonuses stack. If you want to stack a third casting of an augmenting discipline, it costs two extra blood above the normal cost for activating the discipline, and so on for successively stacked castings. The limit of the number of castings you can stack is equal to your character's level in the discipline. This combines with the granular activation, so it would take a Vampire with 3 dots in an augmenting discipline 35 blood to get +50 ST for 10 minutes, for example, if all the activating is paid for in blood.

That means a vamp with Potence 5 could conceivably activate 5 +10 bonuses for a cost of 10 extra blood points beyond the normal activation costs in fatigue and/or blood.

If this proves too complicated to keep track of, I'll scale back the complexity some...
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Last edited by Detritus; 06-26-2007 at 03:49 PM. Reason: Changed 25 blood to 35 blood in the +50 ST example.
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Old 05-27-2007, 04:03 PM
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Ninth Ward of New Orleans
Lower Ninth Ward
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Old 06-26-2007, 03:55 PM
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Default PC Hunting Shticks

In an effort to work up some hunting mechanics to avoid RP'ing it out every time it comes up, this is what I've come up with. You have to make a skill roll for an appropriate skill (Sex Appeal, Diplomacy, Shadowing, etc.) to identify and lure away a target. With another successful skill roll beforehand, it may be possible to increase the effective skill level against a particular target.

I will also rule that under normal circumstances, the PCs are savvy enough to hunt without incurring the need for a Stealth roll to cover their tracks. In unusual circumstances, or if you press your suit after a failed skill roll, there will be Stealth rolls to hide your hunting.

Here are the skills:

Jocelin - Sex Appeal 17 (Effective skill level when dealing with those who dig chicks.)

Add half of success margin (rounded down) of Dancing roll to Sex Appeal skill level when in a dance club or the like.

Menachem - Diplomacy 15

Add success margin of Mesmerize roll (minimum +1) to Diplomacy skill level.

Jack - Shadowing 13

Add success margin of Streetwise roll to Shadowing skill level.

Leo - Shadowing 14

Add success margin of Streetwise roll to Shadowing skill level.

Jocelin and Menachem are more social hunters, while Jack and Leo are more of the stalker type of hunter. You may try any method you wish, but given the characters, these are your best bets for smooth hunting, as I see it.

EDIT -- Almost forgot, Leo and Jack have the option of summoning animal prey for feeding as well. I'll post mechanics for that when I get a chance to work them out. There's also a table for how much blood pool is available from different animals. The two most relevant ones are that cats have 1 Blood Point, and dogs have 2.
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