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Old 02-09-2018, 11:56 AM   #1
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Self-imposed mental disadvantages and training

Social Engineering, p12, has rules for training people in desirable disadvantages, at the usual rate of 200 hours per (negative) point.

The only occasion where I've been in a game where this game up, it didn't seem workable. This was a TL11 Royal Navy in Space campaign, where all the PCs started by going through officer training at the service academy. The course was designed to add Code of Honor (Naval Officer) and Sense of Duty (relevant Navy), like most such courses. Thatís [-20], which is 100 weeks of normal training.

That seemed like an awful lot, and was clearly not viable in a course that only lasts a year. British service academies are not universities, and only teach officer and service skills, but thereís a fair amount of that to get through.

The GM decided to waive the training time for disadvantages, and allowed us to take (and spend) the disadvantage points over the year. This seems reasonable for self-imposed mental disadvantages, as per B121, where (it seems to me) whatís really required is the commitment over time, altering your thinking.

Spending the points had to be done in a plausible way. This wasnít strictly defined, but advantages the could be discovered or developed were much preferable to points in skills.
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Old 02-09-2018, 01:04 PM   #2
RyanW
 
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Default Re: Self-imposed mental disadvantages and training

I suspect most such indoctrination results in a quirk (Loyal serviceman) at most rather than a full blown Sense of Duty in GURPS terms, otherwise you would have very few people leaving the service while still physically capable of serving.

I suspect most of the service loyalists converted Sense of Duty (Service) from another disadvantage. Sense of Duty (Nation) or Obsession (Join the service).
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Old 02-09-2018, 03:08 PM   #3
tanksoldier
 
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Default Re: Self-imposed mental disadvantages and training

I agree that you're really getting the "Proud" quirk, or a 1 point sense of duty.

The characters, or people in real life, may THINK they have these disadvantages but they aren't an ingrained part of their personality. You don’t acquire a 10 point sense of duty to the USArmy in 14 weeks of training, not if something similar wasn’t already there before. That pride and sense of camaraderie often disappears quickly when new recruits get to their first duty station and begin to experience the realities of the service.

Code of Honor: Soldier is developed over the course of an entire enlistment or career

Sense of Duty is usually held before enlistment, and may be the reason for enlistment. The details may get tweaked over the course of a character's training and service but the character had it before.

Many service members and officers may ACT as if they have a certain code of honor, because that's expected, but when the chips are down they often reveal their true colors... and even when they perform as expected it's out of a desire to avoid embarrassment and disgrace than because they actually hold those values in their hearts.

This is actually extremely common in the military. I knew a particular Command Sergeant Major who was a gung-ho and hardcore as they come.... and was found cowering in the back of his Hummer after his first ambush. He flatly stated that he was less than a year from retirement and wasn't going to get himself killed.

Last edited by tanksoldier; 02-10-2018 at 01:18 AM.
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Old 02-10-2018, 07:42 AM   #4
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Self-imposed mental disadvantages and training

Yes, speaking from personal experience as a veteran, the idea that Basic Training would give self-imposed disadvantages is laughable. It does seem to be a selection criteria for Special Ops though.
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Old 02-10-2018, 12:51 PM   #5
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Self-imposed mental disadvantages and training

How about a Delusion that you have a full Sense of Duty? ;-)
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Old 02-10-2018, 02:12 PM   #6
Flyndaran
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Default Re: Self-imposed mental disadvantages and training

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Yes, speaking from personal experience as a veteran, the idea that Basic Training would give self-imposed disadvantages is laughable. It does seem to be a selection criteria for Special Ops though.
I'm the only male member of my family that was never in the military. But from looking at them and their attitudes... yeah, that "loyalty training" must have a not so high success rate.

(One in army reserve, one in navy, one in air force, and our father was a marine in Vietnam. As a pacifist, I like to say that I'm in the fifth branch.)
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Old 02-10-2018, 08:59 PM   #7
tanksoldier
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Default Re: Self-imposed mental disadvantages and training

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
How about a Delusion that you have a full Sense of Duty? ;-)
That actually isn't a bad way to look at it.

However, I think one point quirks aren't unrealistic: Proud, Chauvinistic, a one point SoD or Vow...

...but even those would be unusual. The number of people who sign up JUST for college money, because they got their girl pregnant (or got pregnant themselves) or because they have no other options is high. More than 50% of Regular Army Soldiers don't complete their entire initial enlistment. Some of that is due to injury or other honorable causes, some of it is discharge in lieu of court martial, some of it is somewhere in between. I know that in the late 90s the California Army Guard had a 100% turnover every 3 years... when you consider that that enlistments were for 6 years and the long-service troops weren't going anywhere that meant that first enlistment troops were making it an average of 2 years thru a 6 year enlistment. The recruiters had an entire breakdown but that's the gist of it.

Furthermore, I'd say it's more likely that negative disadvantages would accrue during service... many, many veterans are bitter about their service and treatment by the VA and others afterward.

Last edited by tanksoldier; 02-10-2018 at 09:16 PM.
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