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Old 02-09-2018, 07:01 AM   #1
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Clueless

Clueless [-10] is a mundane mental disadvantage, whose effects are mostly social. You donít get the fine details and nuances of human interaction, which gives you -2 to reactions from most people when they realise it. This disadvantage appeared during the GURPS 3e period, probably in GURPS IOU, whose large stock of mad geniuses, hopeless nerds and weird aliens really needed it for characterisation.

Specifically, you usually fail to grasp colloquial language and humour aimed at you (IQ-4 to realise youíre the subject of a joke), cannot engage in sophisticated conversation (-4 to Savoire-Faire) and usually donít realise when someone is trying to influence you via Sex-Appeal (+4 to resist).

This is not No Sense of Humour: you can enjoy written and physical humour, and make (bad) jokes yourself, but youíll miss otherís witticisms. Nor is it Gullibility, since you have no special inability to realise when people are trying to take advantage of you, except in social situations. Those can be bad, since youíre at -4 to resist Fast-Talk on subjects like the interest of members of the opposite sex in you. There is a small upside, as anyone trying to use Rapier Wit on you is at -2 to their roll.

Most clueless people also have weird or annoying habits related to lack of social awareness, and you can take one or two of them as additional quirks. As far as I can see, this disadvantage is pretty much incompatible with Empathy, Smooth Operator, and other social-interaction advantages. It wonít keep you from having Wealth, Status and the like, although achieving them by your own efforts may have been hard. The Discworld RPG has a Literal-Minded disadvantage that is worth less if youíre also Clueless.

Clueless is a reasonably common disadvantage option on templates for technical or preoccupied folk, species that are naturally solitary, or come from societies very different from a settingís reference society, and the less sophisticated AIs. Like most Mental disadvantages, Madness Dossier has drugs to cause Cluelessness, which would actually be effective in damaging the credibility of witnesses. Power-Ups 6 has a quirk-level version, and Zombies are often Clueless, if they have enough mind to qualify for it.

I donít think Iím entirely clueless, but I have some aspects of it. Iíve never put it on a PC of mine, simply because roleplaying it would make communication harder in a game session.
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:41 AM   #2
RogerBW
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Clueless

I certainly used to have a mild form of this, though probably not the full ten-point version; I've put effort into fixing it. I can think of one person who probably does have it, without the OPHs that would often accompany it; he's simply very very bad at reading mood and body language, but he's aware of this and of what causes offence. Give him subtlety in text, and he's fineÖ
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Old 02-09-2018, 09:58 AM   #3
mhd
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Clueless

This is one of those disadvantages that sound like it would reflect the peculiar habits of a character, but people don't notice that this is way more intense than they probably want (aka. "self diagnosed Aspergers syndrome").

As a quirk it's perfectly okay and probably quite common, but as written it's either clinical or comedical. On the other hand, if the GM doesn't call you out on it all the time, you might get off rather cheap.

One of the reason I liked the "Pointless" flaws a lot better.
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Old 02-09-2018, 12:06 PM   #4
evileeyore
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Clueless

I've taken this on a few 'ivory tower intellectual' type characters before, like Wizards or scientist/engineers.



Personally, I have some very mild form of this. I never notice when someone is coming on to me unless they are extremely-the-top unsubtle about it* and I often miss some levels of humour or subtle conversation that involves me... at the time.

I figure it out later. Like hours, sometimes days later, but never in 'real time'.

I have zero problems understanding colloquial expressions, nor do I have OPHs on the level of 'leaves turn signal on'Ü. Also I can spot when someone is subtly flirting with others and easily engage in sophisticated conversation when I'm not the subject (even when I am the subject, but I've initiated the conversation or have some measure of knowledge that it is about me).

It's like I'm so anti-narcissistic that I can't believe it's about me, it must be about someone else.



* And I'm not really any more capable of resisting said unsubtle seductions. I'm just unlikely to notice the subtle ones.

Ü I do have some mild OCD habits and I don't much care what others think about them, but it's not 'oblivious to how others perceive them', but more 'your opinion isn't relevant to my interests' level. These are more Quirks than 'true' OCD though. It's habits like 'always puts things back where they belong', 'get's annoyed when things aren't returned to their proper storage places', 'hates leaving a mess for others clean up', etc.
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Old 02-09-2018, 12:35 PM   #5
mhd
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Clueless

Quote:
Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
It's like I'm so anti-narcissistic that I can't believe it's about me, it must be about someone else.
I'm like that when it comes to the aforementioned "come hither" looks but the exact opposite when my mental model would allow me to explain things as bad fo me: Someone's giggling/whispering? Has to be about me!

But then again, if we're not using every bit of social interaction as a separate moment, I'd be more than willing to just subsume this on a general interaction penalty (i.e. Mild Shyness). Clueless and other disads are often rather specific, which makes it hard fo me as a GM to remember all the special cases. Subsuming a lot of stuff with "Psych Disad: -X" might actually be an improvement.
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Old 02-09-2018, 04:37 PM   #6
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Clueless

Quote:
Originally Posted by mhd View Post
This is one of those disadvantages that sound like it would reflect the peculiar habits of a character, but people don't notice that this is way more intense than they probably want (aka. "self diagnosed Aspergers syndrome").

As a quirk it's perfectly okay and probably quite common, but as written it's either clinical or comedical. On the other hand, if the GM doesn't call you out on it all the time, you might get off rather cheap.

One of the reason I liked the "Pointless" flaws a lot better.
Oh please all it is, is a penalty on certain IQ skills. Assuming that you have above average IQ it means "slightly less than average".
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