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Old 11-09-2018, 03:09 PM   #1
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Greed

Greed [-15*] is a mundane mental disadvantage, with a self-control roll. You want wealth: it calls to you, and you’ll answer that call, even when you should not. This disadvantage appeared at GURPS 1e, and hasn’t changed in its essence.

You need to make a self-control roll any time you have a prospect of gaining wealth by any means. Small pay-offs, by comparison with your current wealth (GM decision) are less tempting, but you have -5 to self-control rolls if you are Poor or Dead Broke. If you have Honesty, you get +5 to resist a dubious transaction, and +10 for definitely criminal acts. This disadvantage can be combined with Compulsive Spending, a classic combination for pirates, or with Kleptomania, when your self-control rolls to avoid stealing valuable things are penalised.

Greed is a pretty common disadvantage on published character templates, especially for criminals, mercenaries and people in profitable professions. Discworld has a Dwarfish variant, which is about gold; Banestorm dwarves have basic Greed on their template, although many buy it down or off, and Fantasy dwarves usually have it at 15-. Dragons commonly have it, and it often motivates fraudulent Martial Arts teachers. Power-Ups 6 has a quirk version, and Social Engineering points out that it’s fairly easy to bribe the greedy.

I have some history with this disadvantage. I took it (at 12-) on a character with a criminal background who’d been recruited into MI5. I expected that there would be opportunities for gain in being a magical counter-intelligence agent. In fact, there were remarkably few, and most of those presented major risks of being caught. Getting regular pay, and working in a team with honest and principled people slowly eroded the character’s Greed, until now it’s been replaced by Charitable (15-) and Honesty (15-).

How has Greed entertained in your games?
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Old 11-09-2018, 06:59 PM   #2
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Greed

In my fantasy campaign Tapestry, Bengta, the ship captain, took Greed at (12). Just recently the Dola's Fortune got back from a voyage of more than 18 months, and made huge returns on trading—they had $144,000 in gains to divide up. However, Bengta's share, based on her contributions, was only $8000. So I took the player aside and pointed out that the character sheet had Greed, and asked if she wanted to roll to resist trying to get more than her share. She did. Since she had Sense of Duty (shipmates), I allowed her the same +5 as for Honesty, and she made the roll. But I was glad to give the player a moment of suspense!
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Old 11-10-2018, 01:44 AM   #3
evileeyore
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Greed

I've found that Greed is the most ... drama causing Disad my Players can take. There's always the one Player, you know the type, "But it's in my Character's nature to steal from the party, he has Greed!"


Personally I never take it. Being a dirty communist deep in my heart, I find it's the one disad I just can't properly do justice to. I can play Miser (once the Character get's resources, they hoard them), but I just can't play Greed.
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Old 11-11-2018, 10:31 AM   #4
RogerBW
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Greed

This seems like a fairly extreme version of the disad, but I think I'd be inclined to say "Greedy doesn't have to mean Stupid".

Consider for example how many "amazing investment opportunities" one gets if one doesn't have a good spam filter. I don't think that a Greedy character should necessarily have to make a self-control roll for every single one of those, because if they did they'd rapidly also have reduced Wealth. At the very least, I'd allow a generous IQ roll as well as the self-control roll.

Similarly, if your PC is a criminal and a bunch of other criminals say "you're the man we need for this huge job", it's not only a self-control roll to turn it down; they might be tempted, but they can still ask "why do you want me rather than all those other guys with a similar skill set". (Which doesn't necessarily mean automatically turning it down, of course; this is still a disadvantage, and they'll be prone to believe the story they're told.)

On the other hand some people do fall for obvious scams (sometimes from greed, sometimes from desperation), and the scams are designed to appeal to the psychology of the sort of people who fall for them, so perhaps I'm over-thinking this.
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Old 11-11-2018, 04:21 PM   #5
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Greed

Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerBW View Post
Similarly, if your PC is a criminal and a bunch of other criminals say "you're the man we need for this huge job", it's not only a self-control roll to turn it down; they might be tempted, but they can still ask "why do you want me rather than all those other guys with a similar skill set". (Which doesn't necessarily mean automatically turning it down, of course; this is still a disadvantage, and they'll be prone to believe the story they're told.)
Here I'd say you don't necessarily even need to roll. "Show me the money" is an entirely in character response for any Greedy character. This is a job offer, and Greed doesn't require you to accept *bad* job offers. I'll pay you $5 to go the Desolation of Ashes and recover the Lost Tome of Doom from the Temple of the Gibbering God of Flaying doesn't need a roll. Not even if you are Dead Broke and the $5 is on the table. Though you might need to roll not to snatch it up and run.

These guys will need to build at least a plausible case the reward is disproportionate to the effort you'd need to put in and risks you'd need to take. Greed may make you a *little* more inclined to buy their story underestimating the difficulties, but they still need at least a faintly plausible pitch before I'd insist you roll.
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