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Old 10-25-2016, 03:50 PM   #41
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Giving mental disadvantages as results of behaviour?

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Originally Posted by Andreas View Post
Well, the Honesty advantage says that you get to make a self-control roll if there is a “need” to break the law.
Legalistic just says "To break the law out-right...". Obviously full Honesty requires more justification, but since most GURPS campaigns (I strongly suspect all, but can't say for certain) actually aren't slice-of-life games that worry about what you watch or read for entertainment, adventuring reasons usually are sufficient justification.
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It is not at all clear that you get to make such a roll for a trivial reason such as poker with your friends.
Social gambling is legal in many places (and times). Also, again this is (probably) a situation that never actually comes up in games about adventure fiction genres.

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I'm not trying to say that the bystander effect won't be reduced when the observers have good information about what is happening or that people in crowds lack empathy. People in the crowd who don't help might very well feel bad about it. However empathy is not the only reason people help each other (not wanting to get a bad reputation another reason) and following the crowd is a behavior that often comes naturally. For some people the thought of standing out by making a different decision than the crowd around you like that can even seem intimidating.
Well then how does this relate to the OP? Ordinary people can want to help, do nothing to help and feel terrible about it later (and I suspect probably do).

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Well, while I agree that it would be overly pedantic to require that you turn yourself in for a trivial crime that most likely won't result in a conviction even with your confession, what is left is still enough to make the disadvantage pretty much unplayable for many kinds of games.
It's inappropriate in games where the the PCs are expected to be criminals, yes.
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It would for example be very hard to deal with the Honesty disadvantage in many kinds of Monster Hunter games.
It's present on eight of the ten templates in Champions. This thread (especially this post and this one) may be enlightening (or not; I'm still not sure what I think about it).
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Old 10-25-2016, 04:07 PM   #42
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Default Re: Giving mental disadvantages as results of behaviour?

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Originally Posted by Andreas View Post
It would for example be very hard to deal with the Honesty disadvantage in many kinds of Monster Hunter games. .
Well clearly it wouldn't let you pull a Supernatural in which you run around impersonating FBI agents, but that isn't really necessary for what they do. It's just...something they do. Kolchak, Mulder, Buffy, Van Helsing...they'd all be fine most of the time.
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Old 10-25-2016, 08:56 PM   #43
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Default Re: Giving mental disadvantages as results of behaviour?

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Well then how does this relate to the OP? Ordinary people can want to help, do nothing to help and feel terrible about it later (and I suspect probably do).
The topic of this discussion has wandered a bit from the OP, but how common full-blown disadvantages are can be relevant for whether they are something you would almost inevitably develop from consistently acting in a certain way as described in the OP (which I don't think is a good idea for most games by the way. As you pointed out earlier, using Fright Checks is probably a better idea).

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It's present on eight of the ten templates in Champions. This thread (especially this post and this one) may be enlightening (or not; I'm still not sure what I think about it).
The general conclusion I draw from reading that thread is that Honesty as written in the Basic Set is unsuitable for most Monster Hunters games (with the PCs being members of a legal goverment task force being an exception).

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Well clearly it wouldn't let you pull a Supernatural in which you run around impersonating FBI agents, but that isn't really necessary for what they do. It's just...something they do. Kolchak, Mulder, Buffy, Van Helsing...they'd all be fine most of the time.
I was thinking more along the lines of the activities described in the GURPS Monster Hunters books, but I think the Honesty disadvantage would be problematic for some of your examples as well.

If I remember correctly, Buffy frequently featured crimes such as breaking and entering (occasionally there were also more spectacular crimes such as stealing an anti-tank missile from a military base...).

A lot of time has passed since I watched the X-files, but I don't remember Mulder being very careful with following the law (though as an FBI agent, Honesty would probably be far more manageable than if he was a vigilante) I have not watched Kolchak or Supernatural and I'm not at all knowledgeable about what laws applied to Van Helsing, so I can't really comment on those.
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Old 10-25-2016, 09:40 PM   #44
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Default Re: Giving mental disadvantages as results of behaviour?

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On the other hand, as Bill says, such behavior is often thematically inappropriate to begin with so the real solution is to talk it out and maybe boot the problem player if you can't come to an agreement.
Yeah, that's why you say, "This campaign is about ------s who ------." When the player agrees to the campaign, they accept the premise, and then you're entitled to hold them to it. You can say, during creation, "You have to build characters who will behave in such and such a way. You can figure out what their reasons are, but that's what the result has to be."

Now, if they don't follow that, on one hand, their teammates may intervene. I had that happen many years ago, when one member of a superteam attempted theft and another member shut down their powers to stop them; the arguments went on for months. On another hand, the world may produce consequences of a social nature, all the way up to the world's great powers assembling an elite strike force to take them down. On the third hand, as you say, you can talk with them. My formulation was, "You need to modify your character to fit these limits, and we can talk about how to do that; or if you can't, you need to resign." The one player I had to say that to chose to resign both times.
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:22 PM   #45
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Default Re: Giving mental disadvantages as results of behaviour?

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Originally Posted by Andreas View Post
I was thinking more along the lines of the activities described in the GURPS Monster Hunters books, but I think the Honesty disadvantage would be problematic for some of your examples as well.

If I remember correctly, Buffy frequently featured crimes such as breaking and entering
Not especially. And note that if you are, say, rescuing an abduction victim who is due to be eaten alive, the law recognizes that as justification, meaning no crime has been committed. It is NOT illegal to break into someone's house if you have a reasonable belief that by doing it you might be saving someone's life. That's ignoring the fact that few of the hostile demons had houses. They tended to have lairs or squats instead. Buffy didn't just normally bust into people's homes on the premise that they might be a monster. An honest monster hunter tends to operate on vampire rules. If a target actually has a legally owned home, the honest hunter gets them to invite the hunter in.

And activities like what?
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:33 PM   #46
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Default Re: Giving mental disadvantages as results of behaviour?

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Sure, but doing so for your enemies even in situations where it would pose significant danger to yourself and when you don't have a duty to act is uncommon. Not non-existent, but rare.

For example consider the bystander effect. Under the right conditions a large majority of people choose to not help even when the one who needs help is not an enemy.
Sometimes that can be caused by the assumption that someone else is already helping or that one cannot help. I remember seeing a homeless drunk passed out on the library lawn and knocking on the door to tell the staff then departing. I simply assumed that once the information was given to someone with a telephone my help was counterproductive and left.
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Old 10-26-2016, 03:26 AM   #47
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Default Re: Giving mental disadvantages as results of behaviour?

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Not especially. And note that if you are, say, rescuing an abduction victim who is due to be eaten alive, the law recognizes that as justification, meaning no crime has been committed. It is NOT illegal to break into someone's house if you have a reasonable belief that by doing it you might be saving someone's life. That's ignoring the fact that few of the hostile demons had houses. They tended to have lairs or squats instead. Buffy didn't just normally bust into people's homes on the premise that they might be a monster. An honest monster hunter tends to operate on vampire rules. If a target actually has a legally owned home, the honest hunter gets them to invite the hunter in.
I recall her spending a significant amount of time investigating suspicious suspects supernatural activity. Not just dealing with imminent threats and sometimes that involved entering buildings which were closed to the public at the time. The targets having a lair or squatting does not necessarily remove the problem. You are not allowed to break into a building just because it is owned by some unknown third party.

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And activities like what?
The activities described in MH2. Having to avoid breaking laws (and doing your best to prevent others from doing so as well) not only greatly limit the party's options during the investigation part of the game. It has an even greater effect on the killing monsters part.

Only striking when the monsters pose an imminent threat to someone, so that what would otherwise be illegal behavior is justified, would be a huge burden for the PCs (though some sorts of MH games are exceptions, such as when the PCs are part of a legal government task force). Also depending on the specifics of the game, Honesty could be problematic for the keep the supernatural secret part of the game as well.

Last edited by Andreas; 10-26-2016 at 03:35 AM.
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Old 10-26-2016, 10:49 AM   #48
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Default Re: Giving mental disadvantages as results of behaviour?

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
Sometimes that can be caused by the assumption that someone else is already helping or that one cannot help. I remember seeing a homeless drunk passed out on the library lawn and knocking on the door to tell the staff then departing. I simply assumed that once the information was given to someone with a telephone my help was counterproductive and left.
It can also come down to "I'm not sure what to do, I might make things worse, I might even get hurt."

You're generally counciled to yell "Fire" instead of "Help" because people know what to do if there's a fire, and fire spreads, which means if you don't do anything about it, it might come and get you anyways. So the uncertainty is removed, and the risk element is, paradoxically, removed because you might get hurt responding to a fire, but you might get hurt if you leave it be too, which comes out as a wash in many peoples minds.
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