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Old 05-02-2017, 01:34 AM   #1
GilliganIII
 
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Default ADHD in Gurps?

So I was wandering through 4e advantages and disadvantages working on building a Gurps version of myself, and I think I found an interesting advantage/disadvantage combination.

I was thinking about how ADHD is sometimes described as long periods of inattention punctuated by moments of hyperfocus and this sprung forth;


ADHD = Single-Minded + Short Attention Span CP = -5

I looked at the rules for each and the only contradiction seems to be a -5 to notice interruptions while obsessed, versus the Self-Control Roll every time a distraction occurs.

So while it feels like a good description of the confusion someone with ADD feels when they excel in some areas and drag far behind in others, I wonder if it's too complicated to actually work mechanics-wise?
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Old 05-02-2017, 02:17 AM   #2
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Default Re: ADHD in Gurps?

It seems like a wierd combination but I dont see an issue with it or it being too complicated.
When trying to focus on something roll against Short Attention Span to see if you can stay focused than get the benefit of Single-Minded unless something occurs to roll again.
The one potential issue is that Single-Minded can make it harder to get distracted so lower the value of the Disadvantage. You could handle that by applying Single-Minded as a mitigator to Short Attention Span.
But I would be ok as GM not worrying about it.
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Old 05-02-2017, 02:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: ADHD in Gurps?

Speaking as someone who also has ADD (I lost the Hyperactivity part somewhere in my teens), the combination of Single-Minded to represent the hyper-focus along with Short Attention Span for representing the inability to focus on things that you are not interested in makes perfect sense.

In addition, at least in my case, I'd also tack on Laziness to represent the inability to do what you're supposed to in order to operate in modern society when you need to - like looking for job when you've been laid off. But that's just me.
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: ADHD in Gurps?

I would suggest that there's another trait in GURPS that represents difficulty in focusing on things you aren't interested in: Absent-Minded. You might take a look and see if that better fits your experience.
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:07 AM   #5
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Default Re: ADHD in Gurps?

Absent-Mindedness fits my experience much better, FWIW. Dextroamphetamine isn't quite a mitigator though so probably would need to be a new kind of mitigator limitation, that only is partially effective.

Last edited by sir_pudding; 05-02-2017 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:35 AM   #6
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Default Re: ADHD in Gurps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Absent-Mindedness fits my experience much better, FWIW. Dextroamphetamine isn't quite a mitigator though so probably would need to be a new kind of mitigator limitation, that only is partially effectively.
I think that's perfectly valid for mitigators in general. My reading glasses are a mitigator for some of my visual limitations, but they aren't a perfect substitute for having 20/20 vision!
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:44 AM   #7
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Default Re: ADHD in Gurps?

If you think of ADHD and autism as disorders concerning dopamine transfer déficits, it makes sense.

In both cases, when a critical mass of interest is achieved single minded focus is possible, and when this massive interest is not present, the problems appear.

In case of ADHD short attention span, being easily distracted, etc. In the case of autism the end result is similar, it becomes a matter of degree
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Old 05-02-2017, 11:43 AM   #8
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Default Re: ADHD in Gurps?

As another ADHD-inattentive-type person, I think what I'd want to model if I were trying to model it would be that it's unpredictable which of wandering attention or hyperfocus would apply. My noodling here is more about what (at least one person's) ADHD is like and less about fitting it into existing GURPS infrastructure.

So for IQ/Per tasks involving prolonged attention, like Research or doing stake-outs or sentry duty with Observation, or sense rolls for passively noticing something, you make a roll (against Will with a task difficulty modifier for how engaging the character would find the task, maybe) where failure means a penalty to the subsequent roll and success means a bonus.

With maybe different costs for different likelihoods of one vs. the other (or the size of the bonus/penalty). With maybe a possibility of modifying quirks or perks that you're always single-minded or absent-minded in some narrow realm.
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Old 05-02-2017, 05:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: ADHD in Gurps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
In addition, at least in my case, I'd also tack on Laziness to represent the inability to do what you're supposed to in order to operate in modern society when you need to - like looking for job when you've been laid off. But that's just me.

I too have this problem. I often find myself exploring abstract gaming concepts late into the night.

I think the Absent-Mindedness is great for showing the downside of extreme ADD effecting the every day, but it lacks the focusing potential of the "disorder" and the seemingly impossible ability of people with ADD to accomplish even the most daunting tasks overnight. I think Uncontrollable works in that some seem to be able to buy off the limitation as they grow older while others do not.

I like the Unreliable limitation for it's different levels of activation and how that would compare the different levels of severity in ADD. It could be applied to Single-Minded. This in turn combined with Absent-Mindedness would produce an almost perfect combination of the momentary bursts laser focus plus a general complete lack of focus.

A truly severe case would then be;

Single-Mindedness [w/Unreliable Activation number 5 (-80% or -4points)] 1 point (5-4=1)
+
Absent-Mindedness -15= -14 w/o Mitigator (Pharmaceutical or other)

A truly less extreme case would simply be -10.5 disadvantage with an activation number of 14.

For some diagnosed with ADD there eventually seems to be no Single-Mindedness and so then of course it would just be Absent-Mindedness.

Pharmaceuticals and other substances have proven to "mitigate" the "short attention span" of some or most ADD'ers, but those carry their own disadvantages and some even completely eliminate the advantage of the "disorder".

This is my opinion on the subject, and as always I eagerly await to hear all of yours as well.

Edit; Missing quotes at the end of "short attention span"
Edit; spelling

Last edited by GilliganIII; 05-02-2017 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:34 PM   #10
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Default Re: ADHD in Gurps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GilliganIII View Post
I think the Absent-Mindedness is great for showing the downside of extreme ADD effecting the every day, but it lacks the focusing potential of the "disorder" and the seemingly impossible ability of people with ADD to accomplish even the most daunting tasks overnight.
Well, when I proposed Absent-Mindedness, I wasn't proposing to have it take the place of Single-Minded; I was just proposing it as a better way to represent the failure of attention side. I sort of assumed you would combine the two. I'm afraid it didn't occur to me that that might not be obvious!
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