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Old 01-12-2018, 05:34 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default [Basic] Disadvantage of the week: Charitable

Charitable [-15] is a mundane mental disadvantage with a self-control roll (SCR). You are very aware of others' needs and feelings, and want to help people who need it. This applies to everyone you come into contact with, including legitimate enemies. If you should resist the urge to help, make a self-control roll, with failure meaning you do it anyway, even if that's against orders or puts you at risk. Charitable first appeared during the GURPS 3e period, where it was described as a "weak sense of duty to everyone," which seems like a legitimate way to play it. Responsive is a quirk-level version of this disadvantage.

Charitable is a reasonably common disadvantage option on templates, especially for healers. Taking it is a commitment that you aren't just looking out for yourself, and it may keep fantasy holy warriors and priests somewhat connected to ordinary people's reality. Space makes it a common disadvantage for gregarious species, and Zombies explores its interaction with victims of zombie plagues.

As far as I can see, Charitable is not confined to financial help. We associate "charity" with money simply because Western society does so many things via money. However, it's a lot easier to be nice if you aren't worried about where your next meal is coming from.
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:32 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: near London, UK
Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the week: Charitable

IMO the counterpart Advantage is Empathy, which lets you use your awareness of other people's feelings.
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Old 01-12-2018, 09:36 AM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2012
Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the week: Charitable

Charity is the father of strength.

That was the creed of a religious knight I once played. Not quite his motto, which was either “Better to do right and die than to do wrong and prosper”, or “Better to die for the Kaiser than live for myself” (he was from a very Holy Roman Empire inspired background), but I don’t think I ever rolled a self-control check for that character’s Charitable.

Body Language & Diplomacy to spot ruses? Sure. Once he knew it was a ruse the self-control check wasn’t necessary (Diplomacy allows him to predict the possible outcome when negotiating, which was really good when it came to figuring out whether they wanted help for their problem).

Another factor is defining “help.” Usually the character satisfied Charitable with legitimate enemies by sparing their lives, treating their wounds, and releasing prisoners if it looked like death or slavery was going to happen if he kept them. Often in fights someone would be taken out of the fight after a crippling injury, so if he disabled 3 out of 5, he could normally convince the remaining 2 to drop their weapons so they could help their remaining companions to safety. He would take their weapons unless they were in a dangerous environment.

Often against people he fought with a quarterstaff instead of his sword (with the Two-Handed Sword skill) so his enemies wouldn’t bleed out. In combat, if he stunned someone with an arm/leg injury, he would move onto the next target rather than finishing that other one off.

It helped that this guy was Wealthy, and so didn’t need money all that much, and was in a religious order who was fairly supportive of his behaviour. He was also heavily armoured enough to use Sacrificial Dodge fairly frequently or throw himself into danger for the sake of others. In many ways he was from a background that made it easier to be Charitable.

In essence, Charitable was mercy to his enemies, kindness to strangers, and loyalty to friends.
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charitable, disadvantage of the week

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