Sunday, November 20, 2011

GURPS Greyhawk: Quivering Palm

Quivering Palm

Default: Pressure Secrets-10.
Prerequisite: Pressure Secrets; cannot exceed Pressure Secrets skill.

The most terrible technique gained by knowledge of Pressure Secrets is that fabled attack which allows the user to set up vibrations in the body of the victim, which ultimately will result in death. The attacker touches his victim (possibly requiring a roll against an unarmed combat skill if in combat, at -2 in addition to hit location modifiers as with other combat uses of Pressure Secrets) and rolls a success of his Quivering Palm technique to set up the deadly vibrations. If the technique is attempted, then the attack will not do normal damage. Any armor DR will protect against this technique entirely, though a strike through chinks in armor or to an otherwise unarmored location will allow the technique to work, and DR from tough skin has no effect. The touch can be attempted casually or in combat; a victim with the Trained by a Master advantage can attempt a roll against IQ-3 or Pressure Points skill to know that the vibrations have begun. Otherwise, no effects are apparent until the victim starts losing HP.

Beginning one hour after the vibrations have been set up a Quick Contest between the victim's HT and the attacker's Quivering Palm technique is rolled. If the victim fails, he loses 1 HP; critical failure makes the loss 3d HP. This continues every three hours until the victim manages to gain a critical success in the Contest or wins three Contests in a row (these results will end the effects of the vibrations) or until he dies. No medical skill other than Esoteric Medicine will alleviate this loss of HP, and only Esoteric Medicine will allow the reason for the loss to be diagnosed. Roll a Contest of Skills between the healer's Esoteric Medicine skill and the attacker's Quivering Palm technique; success alleviates the effects of the Quivering Palm for 24 hours. Three successful Contests in a row will end the vibrations. The person who inflicted the Quivering Palm can remove its effect by touching the target if he chooses (and the target allows himself to be touched). Magical healing or advantages which affect healing can restore lost HP as normal, but cannot end the vibrations.

(Largely, I am putting this here so that I don't need to keep my copy of GURPS Martial Arts 2nd Edition for 3E sitting in my stack of books to use.)

Removing this from the Greyhawk background, this could be renamed "Hand of Death", which was the original name of the ability when it was a skill in GURPS 3E. This version is a technique, obviously, and is appropriate to the martial arts of the Monks of Oerth. Like the Pressure Secrets skill itself, it should probably be treated as a Cinematic Technique.

This version of the technique is OGL. I think that it has been reworded enough to pass muster.

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