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Old 01-21-2018, 03:57 PM   #1
Sorenant
 
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Default Code of Honor (Honesty), point value?

How much points should the following Code of Honor be worth? It's a mix of softened/limited Truthfulness, Honesty and a few different vows. I eyeball between -5 to -10, more likely the former than the other.
Code of Honor (Honesty): Respect the law, local customs and honorable people. Don't steal or cause material harm to innocents. Keep your word and avoid lies. Do not ignore pleas for sincere pleas for help.

Uninmportant Context: After reading a few threads about the Honesty disadvantage, I realized I've underestimate how crippling it is. I thought it would be an advantage for someone who's law-abiding but not blindingly so. No theft, no speeding, no illegal drugs and so on, but apparently someone with disadvantage would also have no trouble with any acts against human rights if it were committed by the state (say Pol Pot's open massacre of the religious). With this in mind I decided to use some Code of Honor to represent what I thought Honesty did. I consider the above writing a rough "draft" and I would be happy for any suggestion to improve it.
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Old 01-21-2018, 04:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Code of Honor (Honesty), point value?

I'm not sure this makes much sense as a Code of Honour, for two reasons.

1) All the existing Codes have an "in-group" to which they would naturally apply, some kind of distinct subculture relative to the wider population. This CoH/Honesty lacks that feature.

2) More importantly, the point cost depends on how much trouble the code would get you into through maintaining the code. Since it's basically "follow the law, or be good where the law is evil", it's basically no trouble at all unless your campaign is set in an inherently evil regime. In contrast, all five of the CoH in Basic contain elements of risk (either physical risk or loss of standing among the CoH's in-group) for the character that are unrelated to the law.

I don't think it's much more than a Quirk. It's basically free points in any campaign that isn't explicitly an "evil PCs" campaign. I'm open to being persuaded otherwise, but for that to happen, you'd need to show me how it could cause disadvantage to a character in a campaign set in a country that has a "good" government.
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Old 01-21-2018, 05:03 PM   #3
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Code of Honor (Honesty), point value?

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Originally Posted by Sorenant View Post
How much points should the following Code of Honor be worth? It's a mix of softened/limited Truthfulness, Honesty and a few different vows. I eyeball between -5 to -10, more likely the former than the other.
Code of Honor (Honesty): Respect the law, local customs and honorable people. Don't steal or cause material harm to innocents. Keep your word and avoid lies. Do not ignore pleas for sincere pleas for help.

Uninmportant Context: After reading a few threads about the Honesty disadvantage, I realized I've underestimate how crippling it is. I thought it would be an advantage for someone who's law-abiding but not blindingly so. No theft, no speeding, no illegal drugs and so on, but apparently someone with disadvantage would also have no trouble with any acts against human rights if it were committed by the state (say Pol Pot's open massacre of the religious). .
Well that's just false. An Honest person obeys the law. That doesn't mean they are automatically supporters of everything the state does. It means that (if they fail their self control check) they will be limited to expressing their disgruntlement in ways that are legal. Admittedly that could be suicidal in an oppressive dictatorship but it is a 15 point disadvantage.

And what is and is not legal is a complicated issue. For example an Honest person [B]can[B] rise up in rebellion. All they have to do is decide that the current people in charge did not take charge in a lawful manner or that they are ignoring the laws in their orders. Honest people expect everyone to obey the law, even those who have the power to make laws. Furthermore, the Honest person must make the call when laws conflict as to which takes precedence. If the Honest person is from a nation that is a signatory to the Geneva Convention, it may very well decide that orders to commit atrocities are illegal. If the Honest person is also a religious person it may decide that God's law is the highest law.
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Old 01-21-2018, 05:04 PM   #4
Sorenant
 
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Default Re: Code of Honor (Honesty), point value?

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Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
I'm not sure this makes much sense as a Code of Honour, for two reasons.

1) All the existing Codes have an "in-group" to which they would naturally apply, some kind of distinct subculture relative to the wider population. This CoH/Honesty lacks that feature.

2) More importantly, the point cost depends on how much trouble the code would get you into through maintaining the code. Since it's basically "follow the law, or be good where the law is evil", it's basically no trouble at all unless your campaign is set in an inherently evil regime. In contrast, all five of the CoH in Basic contain elements of risk (either physical risk or loss of standing among the CoH's in-group) for the character that are unrelated to the law.

I don't think it's much more than a Quirk. It's basically free points in any campaign that isn't explicitly an "evil PCs" campaign. I'm open to being persuaded otherwise, but for that to happen, you'd need to show me how it could cause disadvantage to a character in a campaign set in a country that has a "good" government.
Good point. I wholeheartedly agree this disadvantage is not as crippling as the ones it draws from but I disagree its merely a perk.
In a fantasy setting, you could for example have to investigate demonic influence in a court or some village, an amoral character would have the options to tresspass rooms and houses to look for clues, interrogate suspects without proof and maybe even use invasive spells like mind reading, wizard eye and echoes/images of past. An honest man would limit himself to more lawful methods like doing legwork to gather information and relying on non-invasive spells like Seek Magic to help him. It might be a stretch but I also could see a character in a Ancient Rome refusing to own a slave and being seem as a eccentric for some reaction penalty.
Similar limitations would apply on modern days setting but you could also have other situations. For example in a Zombies Day One campaign the character would not go loot walmart for food, a wounded spy wouldn't break into someone's house for respite and the superhero would restraint himself when fighting in a marketplace in fear of causing harm to the stands.
For futuristic games, the character will use underpowered ballistic weapons instead of powerful lasers to avoid collateral damage (not unlike modern special forces using SMG instead of rifles), he might also take the unconscious jovian neo-luddite terrorist to hospital from where he might escape and come back for revenge.

Again, I agree these are occasional cases that doesn't come plague the player as often the full blown disadvantages would but they do exist and probably should warrant at least -5 points, especially if you consider it also imply containing other Code of Honors like Stays Bought, an honest person would do his best to follow through the job he was paid for and would never betray the employer unless he betrays you first (eg the pack you were hired to deliver was a bomb).
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Old 01-21-2018, 05:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: Code of Honor (Honesty), point value?

I disagree that Disadvantages aren't worth points just because they fit the desired campaign or characters. Sense of Duty (Adventuring Group) may be an assumed norm in many campaigns, but it still limits the choices of players.

This Disadvantage provides a wealth of potential adventure hooks by defining motivation for a character. As such, it's easily worth -5 and I wouldn't balk at -10, if the character expected to interpret it strictly and frequently risk his life, reputation and everything else to keep it.
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Old 01-21-2018, 05:21 PM   #6
Sorenant
 
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Default Re: Code of Honor (Honesty), point value?

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Well that's just false. An Honest person obeys the law. That doesn't mean they are automatically supporters of everything the state does. It means that (if they fail their self control check) they will be limited to expressing their disgruntlement in ways that are legal. Admittedly that could be suicidal in an oppressive dictatorship but it is a 15 point disadvantage.

And what is and is not legal is a complicated issue. For example an Honest person [B]can[B] rise up in rebellion. All they have to do is decide that the current people in charge did not take charge in a lawful manner or that they are ignoring the laws in their orders. Honest people expect everyone to obey the law, even those who have the power to make laws. Furthermore, the Honest person must make the call when laws conflict as to which takes precedence. If the Honest person is from a nation that is a signatory to the Geneva Convention, it may very well decide that orders to commit atrocities are illegal. If the Honest person is also a religious person it may decide that God's law is the highest law.
One of the threads I mentioned in the first post is the one you goes into a lenghty discussion with Icelander regarding this disdavantage. Speaking of which, after all, does Superman have Honesty? He fights for what's right and is otherwise very law-abiding, that's his schtick, but he also causes property damages and engages in vigilante activities. Captain America also falls in it, he has his very honest code of honor that upholds the law but he's also often at odds with said law (ie fighting terrorists while technically being a terrorist himself under sokovia accord).
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Old 01-21-2018, 06:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: Code of Honor (Honesty), point value?

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
I disagree that Disadvantages aren't worth points just because they fit the desired campaign or characters. Sense of Duty (Adventuring Group) may be an assumed norm in many campaigns, but it still limits the choices of players.

This Disadvantage provides a wealth of potential adventure hooks by defining motivation for a character. As such, it's easily worth -5 and I wouldn't balk at -10, if the character expected to interpret it strictly and frequently risk his life, reputation and everything else to keep it.
Instead of making it worth -5 or -10 depending on the effect, I'd settle with -5 for this one and make a separate CoH named "Heroic" or something worth -10 that would be a genre agnostic version of CoH (Xia) from MA.
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: Code of Honor (Honesty), point value?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorenant View Post
How much points should the following Code of Honor be worth? It's a mix of softened/limited Truthfulness, Honesty and a few different vows. I eyeball between -5 to -10, more likely the former than the other.
Code of Honor (Honesty): Respect the law, local customs and honorable people. Don't steal or cause material harm to innocents. Keep your word and avoid lies. Do not ignore pleas for sincere pleas for help.
I'd place it at -15, mostly because of that responding to sincere pleas. That has a lot of potential to get you into trouble. For the part that just causes you to behave like a civilized person I'd go with -5.

Quote:
Uninmportant Context: After reading a few threads about the Honesty disadvantage, I realized I've underestimate how crippling it is.
There's actually quite a lot of disagreement about that - I always point out that the text itself is contradictory - and SJG has consistently failed to clarify it. It does continue to get used in official products as a suggested trait in templates where the more pathological form would utterly cripple the concept of the template though, so I think it's actually rather clear the authorial intent isn't supposed to be nearly as extreme as some people insist it is.

I think most of the extreme interpretations require you to read the first paragraph and stop. It appears much less crippling if you read the rest of it, never mind think about the implications of it needing to be broadly acceptable enough to earn a reaction bonus even in places the laws aren't very popular.
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:34 PM   #9
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Code of Honor (Honesty), point value?

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Originally Posted by Sorenant View Post
One of the threads I mentioned in the first post is the one you goes into a lenghty discussion with Icelander regarding this disdavantage. Speaking of which, after all, does Superman have Honesty? He fights for what's right and is otherwise very law-abiding, that's his schtick, but he also causes property damages and engages in vigilante activities.
Causing property damage to save human lives is not illegal. The law allows for such things. Nor for that matter is intervening to stop a felony in progress.
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: Code of Honor (Honesty), point value?

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Causing property damage to save human lives is not illegal. The law allows for such things. Nor for that matter is intervening to stop a felony in progress.
Depends on where and when.

When Superman was originally written his activities were closer to legal than they would be now - if for no other reason we have more civil rights law now.
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