Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-13-2017, 11:36 PM   #1
Hellboy
On Notice
 
Hellboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Default complex sunburn / skin pigment and malnutrition rules?

I was curious about this since in B165 I was browsing the quirks section and noticed Albinism under Distinctive Features. It mentions this quirk (the impact of your appearance) is coupled with another disadvantage:

an albino (someone with no natural body pigment, resulting in pink eyes and pinkwhite hair and skin) would also have Weakness (Sunlight).
It doesn't actually mention the degree of weakness though... although I just noticed it DOES in the bottom half of that page.

you could combine the modified disadvantage Weakness (Sunlight; 1d/30 minutes; Variable, -40%) [-9] with the quirk Distinctive Features [-1] and rename it ďAlbinism,Ē giving you a new disadvantage worth -10 points
B161 has weakness list 1d/30 min as a -5 point base. Sunlight is classified as 'very common' for x3 making it 15 points.

Then Variable is a limitation specific to Weakness. So Heavy Clothing or Sunscreen halve the rate... (does that mean if you wear sunscreen underneath clothing it quarters it?) and GM can decide when sun is intense to double it...

In digging for stuff related to this came across http://www.sjgames.com/pyramid/sampl...OU.Spells.html which had both Sunblock and Sunburn spells. Sunburn mentions "Albinism, p. B27" and indeed, in 3e's main book, there is an Albinism trait worth -10 points... the same as the suggested price on 4e's B165.

It appears to operate a bit differently though. Firstly it doesn't have the Distinctive Features quirk effects built into it. There is no penalty to disguise/shadow or bonus for people to identify/follow you. It's actually MORE extreme: "always be remembered" and "never blend in". It also forbids average appearance, same as Dwarfism did in 3e.

1 dmg per 30 is less harsh than 1d per, on the other hand. I do like the idea of being able to alter a Weakness into a static "point per time period" to minimize the random element.

I wonder if we could do that via the Innate Attack system on B62?

Some attacks do only 1 point of damage. This counts as 0.25 dice. Once again, round cost up.
So maybe instead of base 15, a 1/30 minute version could be 4 points? Then a -40% variable would reduce it to 3 points.

Where that could be made up for is the vision penalties. 3e gave penalties to ranged attacks and vision rolls in direct sun, I think because you lacked pigments so it hurts your eyes more. Makes sense since http://www.visionaware.org/info/your...inism-6165/125 discusses light sensitivity.

In coming across a 2013 thread across sunburns http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=119384 it mentions the free Gurps Update PDF stats out Albinism: www.sjgames.com/gurps/resources/4eupdate.pdf

From page 14:

Albinism is used as an example under Modifying Existing Disadvantages (p. B165).
The example is given as a combination of Distinctive Feature (Albino) [-1], and Weakness (Sunlight, 1d per 30 minutes; Variable, -40%) [-9], for a total of -10 points.

However, this does not include poor vision in sunlight, which was part of the Third Edition
disadvantage. If you wish to simulate that effect as well, add Bad Sight (Nearsighted;
Only in direct sunlight, -30%) [-17], but note this does not exactly reproduce the Vision
and ranged attack penalties. If you are from a TL that provides ready access to sunglasses,
Bad Sight will take a special mitigator of -60%, reducing its value from -17 to -5.
This does give different results of course. 3e's Albinism did not penalize melee attacks like 4e's Nearsighted does, but I guess that also being penalized does make sense. Ranged doubling the distance for range modifiers actually means ranged attacks are BETTER at short distances...

-2 is the distance modifier for 3-5 yards normally, or 1.5-2.5 yards if you are doubling distances. the -1 for 2-3 yards is for 1-1.5 yards for someone with albinism... So maybe instead of a universal -2 for melee, nearsighted ought to give -1 for 1 hex, -2 for 2 hexes, -3+ for 3 or more?

Aforementioned thread refers to B434's sunburn rules. The vague "an albino will be near death" for "a day of full sun on unprotected skin" is well reflected... 1d6 every 30 minutes is 48d6 damage. NEAR death seems pretty generous. Even using 3e's old rules, 48 damage is still pretty much guaranteed death.

It seems this is a carryover from 3e's B130 including the 1d-3 for light-skinned Caucasians. A bit of rephrasing happened 3e to 4e:

3: Darker characters may itch, but arenít in as much danger. Details must be left to the GM
4: Darker-skinned individuals may itch, but arenít in much danger. Details are up to the GM
One thing about this though is... is we can reflect the damage that albinos suffer via a Weakness, instead of giving unstatted differences, shouldn't light-skinned Caucasians be given a lesser version?

1d6/30min is the lowest you can go, and I already am suggesting reducing that to bring it in line with 3e's lower and non-dice damage for Albino. So how to make it less extreme?

Using the "Limitations on Disadvantages" guideline on page 6 of Power-Ups 8, it would seem like the solution is to create an advantage called "No Weakness (Sunlight)" and then limit that.

Then, you could limit it severely for people only slightly darker than albino (like the fair skinned caucasians) and less severely for people who are very dark. It shouldn't really be completely unlimited for anybody though. As The Colonel pointed out in 2013, "dark-skinned people can also get sunburn. Just not as easily..."

As for what is appropriate, well, I figure using Unreliable from B116. Perhaps light-skinned caucasians would have 5 or less activation for -80% while a very dark brown-skinned person would probably have 14 or more activation for -10% ?

It might make sense to throw HT checks into this too. Maybe a higher HT allows you to be less likely to burn? That gives you a -10% base, although I guess there wouldn't be any benefit in taking it if you were already at -80% unless there's some kind of enhancement to offset it.

I am wondering about the point imbalance this causes though. This inherently makes darker-skinned characters have higher point values.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4067096/ suggests light skin helps with vitamin D production but I'm not sure what the closest thing is for "GURPS Nutrition" for dealing with things like Vitamin D deficiencies. This appeals to me as someone who enjoys Harvest Moon type video games. Giving fairer-skinned a small advantage for producing Vitamin D faster would make sense but to apply it you would need rules for vitamin deficiencies in the first place.

This did get approached in a few threads:
*Mar 2008 http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=37543
*Aug 2008 http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=43675
*Jun 2009 http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=59605

Fish mentioned rickets, but I think that only occurs with Vitamin D deficiencies in children. I think Osteoporosis could be an eventual issue.

Perhaps Dependency (B130) and Restricted Diet (B151) of various kinds are built into the human default of the GURPS rules? If we can figure out what these are then modifications to them (for example, mitigation of the dependency on vitamin D in food by exposure to skin) could differ based on skin tone.

"Limitations on Disadvantages" might be a solution here too if there are any gaps. If Dependency is still too severe (although it goes all the way to 'yearly' which makes sense for vitamins and minerals...) then "No Dependency" with limits on it could fill in more differences.

Many non-humans who can produce vitamin C from glucose, for example, have a HUGE advantage over us (and fellow Happlorini, guinea pigs, bats, and capybaras) in avoiding scurvy... that is theoretically possible to approach in GURPS stats. If you were designing a canine species (pretty sure dogs can make vitamin C from sugar) then giving them a scurvy-prevention advantage (probably doesn't hurt in curbing blood sugar either) would be pretty cool. To figure it out you'd have to figure out the "can't make vitamin C" disadvantage limitation inherent to the human baseline.
Hellboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2017, 07:10 AM   #2
RyanW
 
RyanW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Southeast NC
Default Re: complex sunburn / skin pigment and malnutrition rules?

In the European/North American climate probably most common for games, normal skin ranges are best treated as zero point traits. Notably dark skin could combine "Perk: Highly resistant to sunburn" with "Quirk: Must go out of the way to get vitamin D or suffer -1 on aging rolls." Albinism would remain a disadvantage.

In a game set in a much sunnier environment (tropical, or Tatooine), you could treat fair skin as a small disadvantage. I wouldn't limit a Weakness disadvantage but rather invent a smaller one.
__________________
RyanW
For sale: Turing test cheat sheets
Check out my GURPS (et al) wiki, Sweetcandle. Latest addition: Avatar style bending in Fate Core
RyanW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2017, 03:33 PM   #3
Nemoricus
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default Re: complex sunburn / skin pigment and malnutrition rules?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellboy View Post
Many non-humans who can produce vitamin C from glucose, for example, have a HUGE advantage over us (and fellow Happlorini, guinea pigs, bats, and capybaras) in avoiding scurvy... that is theoretically possible to approach in GURPS stats. If you were designing a canine species (pretty sure dogs can make vitamin C from sugar) then giving them a scurvy-prevention advantage (probably doesn't hurt in curbing blood sugar either) would be pretty cool. To figure it out you'd have to figure out the "can't make vitamin C" disadvantage limitation inherent to the human baseline.
For the most part, I would treat this sort of metabolic variation as a 0-point feature. To continue with the dog example, caffeine and theobromine are toxic for canids, and this can be considered a balancing factor for their lack of a Vitamin C requirement. Dogs are also much more sensitive to the amount of Vitamin D in their diet, while humans have to go out of their way to overdose on it.

Since these only scratch the surface of the differences between dog and human metabolisms, it's much simpler to assume that, if a species can subsist on the same general food sources as a human, any differences can be treated as a zero point feature. If the differences are more substantial, where they cannot subsist on the same general food sources, then one or both of Restricted Diet or Unusual Biochemistry would apply.
__________________
For GURPS reviews and Psi-Wars inspired content, check out my blog at Libris Ludorum!
Nemoricus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2017, 07:08 PM   #4
Flyndaran
Untagged
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Default Re: complex sunburn / skin pigment and malnutrition rules?

Scurvy takes the vast majority of people months to develop. Gurps doesn't go much for time frames beyond that.
Vitamin C is in many foods. I get all mine from Brussels sprouts, for example.

Excessive amounts of vitamins is a growing problem in paranoid Western society though. Difficult to OD on with real food does not mean many people won't find ways to OD with pills. Some OTC tablets have more than ten times RDA, for example.
__________________
Beware, poor communication skills. No offense intended. If offended, it just means that I failed my writing skill check.
Flyndaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2017, 09:08 PM   #5
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: complex sunburn / skin pigment and malnutrition rules?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellboy View Post
It doesn't actually mention the degree of weakness though... although I just noticed it DOES in the bottom half of that page.
At least in part, that's because it varies with the role of albinism in the story, which can range from purely descriptive (essentially a Distinctive Feature) to more sun sensitive than most vampires. And real dyschromias do span a good bit of that range. On the more severe end, they also include vision defects (problems not just of light sensitivity, but of focusing and simple reduction of the number of photoreceptors). There are likely neurological effects too - pigmentation cells arise embryologically in the neural crest, humans have a *lot* of neuromelanin in the brain even relative to most primates, let alone other mammals, and the synthetic pathway for melanin strongly overlaps that of dopamine and related neurotransmitters - but they aren't so severe as to be obvious in humans, and for historical reasons it's relatively difficult to obtain funding to do studies to prove blonds really are dumb or all white people are brain damaged. There is some evidence for difference in pain response (stronger for some stimuli, weaker for others) though.
__________________
--
MA Lloyd
malloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2017, 09:44 PM   #6
Flyndaran
Untagged
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Default Re: complex sunburn / skin pigment and malnutrition rules?

Those pain differences are very noticeable among redheads. Much more sensitive to dental pain but less to skin. Which is probably a good thing with how prone they are to sunburns. Of course that's about presence of pheomelanin rather than just lack of eumelanin.
__________________
Beware, poor communication skills. No offense intended. If offended, it just means that I failed my writing skill check.
Flyndaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2017, 03:20 PM   #7
Hellboy
On Notice
 
Hellboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Default Re: complex sunburn / skin pigment and malnutrition rules?

Beriberi (Vitamin B) and Scurvy were in compendium ii for 3e. Not sure if in 4e but wondering if nutrition needs for all creatures can be modeled as traits as a baseline for making needs greater or smaller.
Hellboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2017, 03:36 PM   #8
Flyndaran
Untagged
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Default Re: complex sunburn / skin pigment and malnutrition rules?

Nutrition is so horribly complex for our one species, that I think this issue if looked at at all should be eyeballed for comparison prices.
Remembering that never having to eat ever is only 5 points, so you don't have much wiggle room for gradations.
Hypercarnivores like cats probably fit for Restricted Diet: Animal products with substitution for -5. So that side doesn't have much wiggle room either.
__________________
Beware, poor communication skills. No offense intended. If offended, it just means that I failed my writing skill check.
Flyndaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2017, 07:04 PM   #9
Railstar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Default Re: complex sunburn / skin pigment and malnutrition rules?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellboy View Post
Aforementioned thread refers to B434's sunburn rules. The vague "an albino will be near death" for "a day of full sun on unprotected skin" is well reflected... 1d6 every 30 minutes is 48d6 damage. NEAR death seems pretty generous. Even using 3e's old rules, 48 damage is still pretty much guaranteed death.
It's likely that "a day" in this context is not 24 hours of uninterrupted direct sunlight, but just several hours of sun exposure over the course of the day.
Railstar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2017, 09:57 PM   #10
Hellboy
On Notice
 
Hellboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Default Re: complex sunburn / skin pigment and malnutrition rules?

I figured a full day to be 16 hours, isn't the night 8 hours long?
Hellboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.