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Old 10-22-2019, 08:01 AM   #1
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Using Controllable Disadvantage [Perks]

Controllable Disadvantage is one those odd perks that does not seem that useful at first glance, but I have found that it possesses unexpected utility with a few disadvantages. For example, Controllable Disadvantage (Split Personality) could potentially give a character multiple mental templates for much cheaper than Alternate Form. Of course, it requires a Will roll, so a character needs a high Will to take advantage of the perk.

How have you used Controllable Disadvantage or how have you seen it used? Has it been useful? Has it been broken?
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:35 AM   #2
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: Using Controllable Disadvantage [Perks]

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
How have you used Controllable Disadvantage or how have you seen it used? Has it been useful? Has it been broken?
The Split Personality use is one of the broken cases - I wouldn't allow it for disadvantages where the entire point of the disadvantage is something is uncontrollable. Of course Berserk is already explicitly ruled out and I think everybody can see the issue with Controllable Disadvantage (Uncontrollable Appetite)

Not that the problem is *entirely* the fault of the perk. Split Personality has a fairly fundamental balance problem all by itself. This is particularly highlighted be the fact that there is a worked example (Manic-Depressive) actually in the disadvantage list for less than it would be worth taken as a Split Personality. Or consider the fellow who switches between two -5 point disadvantages, claiming -20 points for the combination.

I suspect there was an essential hidden requirement that the *personalities* are very different - they are *not* just different sets of disadvantages - that gets lost because the trait is written as if it is about a shift of disadvantages that then got augmented by letting you switch other mental traits. Seriously uncontrollably switching between two personalities that have exactly the same set of traits is a plausible enough problem isn't it? That's the base form, the shifting disadvantages and other traits, if any, ought to be the optional fluff.

Note that is it perfectly fair as a Controllable Disadvantage provided you not get to count the disadvantages included in any of the personalities against your point total. You could also do this by taking all of them as Controllable Disadvantages themselves, which would cost a bit more but let you mix and match them.
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Last edited by malloyd; 10-22-2019 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:05 AM   #3
awesomenessofme1
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Default Re: Using Controllable Disadvantage [Perks]

You may be able to use Controllable Disadvantage (Insomnia) as a cheap but unreliable and less effective way to force yourself to not fall asleep.
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:31 AM   #4
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Using Controllable Disadvantage [Perks]

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
Berserk is already explicitly ruled out
Berserk (15) [-5] with a high Will is pretty useful as you can Concentrate to do it voluntarily, will rarely do so involuntarily, and can easily pass the roll to snap out of it once you've downed a foe (which is 100% optional, so you can stay in the state until foes are downed)

An interesting combination might be Controllable Disadvantage (Bad Temper) since Bad Temper can trigger berserk automatically without the need to take a Concentrate maneuver, instead you just need to make that Will roll... presumably as a free action since PU2p12 doesn't mention needing to do a Concentrate maneuver to engage your Controllable Disadvantage?

It doesn't actually say it's a free action though, so saying it takes a Concentrate by default might be a good house rule, and make activating Controllable Disadvantages instantaneously (as free actions) a -10 to the usual Will roll?

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
and I think everybody can see the issue with Controllable Disadvantage (Uncontrollable Appetite)
*checks B159* not really... wouldn't this be useful if you really wanted to be dedicated to eating something and didn't want to be distracted from it?

Like say if the only way to break a necromancer's spell was to drink a wading pool full of blood (kinda channeling Harry Potter here) and normally you would be so nauseated by the process of doing so that you couldn't complete the task, but activating this would allow you to complete the task and overwhelm normal rolls (like Phobia: Blood ?) which might stop you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
Not that the problem is *entirely* the fault of the perk. Split Personality has a fairly fundamental balance problem all by itself. This is particularly highlighted be the fact that there is a worked example (Manic-Depressive) actually in the disadvantage list for less than it would be worth taken as a Split Personality.
While looking this up, I came across B164 quirk "Personality Change" which is described as Quirk-Level split personality. This seems very similar to Controllable Disadvantage, but I think it's [-1] instead of [+1] because the trigger is, rather than a will roll, an act you might otherwise want to do for other purposes, like drinking alcohol or casting Create Fire.

That actually leaves me wondering how exactly PC would be used in play... just how long after casting Create Fire do you suffer Pyromania for? It presumably ends at some point... maybe it just lasts the 1 minute duration?

I thought maybe you could just cancel it early... but then your pyromania would probably stop you from doing that... and in fact you might even be compelled to cast additional instances of create fire, or to pay FP+HP to Maintain the Create Fire spell until you fell unconscious or until perhaps a helpful ally knocked you out or cast "Counterspell" or "Steal Spell" or similar to end your connection to the spell and thus end your temporary pyromania which is tied to it?

I wonder if that should apply to any spells Create Fire is a prereq for, like Flame Jet or Heat or Fireball... I would think Explosive Fireball too, but if we go a step beyond immediate prereq, Heat is a prereq for Cold and having someone casting the spell Cold trigger temporary Pyromania might seem off-concept?

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
Or consider the fellow who switches between two -5 point disadvantages, claiming -20 points for the combination.
I'm not sure you can. It says you select a package of "mental disadvantages and up to five quirks" so I think you would need to have at least 2 mental disadvantages per personality since it is plural?

If we look at the example of Bob Smith, all three examples have at least 1 quirk, so you could make a minimum of 1 mental quirk a distinctly separate requirement (ie must buy 1-5 quirks, not 0-5)

However I do notice in the case of the "party animal", aside from his quirk he only has one mental disadvantage (Compulsive Carousing) and the plurality requirement would have to be fulfilled by his -2 to Will.

In terms of a minimum "package price", checking B299's list (excluding -1 quirks) the cheapest might be taking a level of Fearfulness (-2, B136) and Sense of Duty: Individual (-2, B153) in combination with a quirk, which actually totals your proposed -5 minimum, except for 3 traits instead of 1.

Where that falls apart though is that you couldn't select fearfulness for the other personality (since they need to be different).

However you might be able to select 2 different pairs of SOD for the personalities?

- - -

*checks B156* Of the [-15] that it is worth, getting -1 to reactions at "all times" is something we could compare to B22's Odious Personal Habits, which is a -1 to reactions to "people who notice your problem" which is less often, since sometimes people won't notice OPH in some contexts, whereas it seems like "shallow and affected" is somehow always noticeable. So this might make it worth more than -5 (maybe -6?)

OPH is also aimed at "members of your own race" while MP seems like it would apply to all races, maybe being worth even more, perhaps -7?

Then there is also that additional -3 penalty for those who witness a change (max once per hour, triggered in ANY stressful situation) for people thinking you're a nutcase. Maybe that makes up the remainder of the -15?

Without those penalties, I don't know what the pricing of the remaining effects would be. Being able to swap mental disadvantages at will would normally be better than having either of those disadvantages fixed... my guess is it might operate something similar to Either/Or Limitations (ie you must swap between a -60 and a -25 disadvantage being worth -15?) pricing...

But with multiple personalities, you don't control it, it's a random roll or the GM's choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
I suspect there was an essential hidden requirement that the *personalities* are very different - they are *not* just different sets of disadvantages
Well basically, the -3 "he's crazy" penalty to those observing the shift would apply even if all you were doing was shifting between...
Sense of Duty (mom's brother) + Sense of Duty (mom's sister)
to...
Sense of Duty (dad's brother) + Sense of Duty (dad's sister)

Even though all that changes is who you're not willing to abandon, this is apparently just as crazy as swapping packages worth -100 in mental disadvantages. Realistically though, people might not even notice this, and just see you as someone dedicated to protecting family but who doesn't actually consistently protect one parent's siblings during in an emergency, which would otherwise be pretty normal, like not having any Sense of Duty at all.

Probably what might be better is to have tiered pricing levels for Split Personality where reaction penalties go up the more it is worth, but this is tied to requirement for a higher "package cost" so that more mental changes must happen to deserve those penalties.
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:08 AM   #5
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Using Controllable Disadvantage [Perks]

Anything that gives a conditional benefit might be useful as switchable. Looking at a list, obvious candidates include:
  • Bully (+1 interrogation and intimidation)
  • Cold-Blooded (reduced food consumption, resist temperature)
  • Dread (cut-rate detect)
  • Fat (swimming)
  • Lifebane (reasonably balanced, 1 point for repel insects seems fair)
  • Magic Susceptibility (make beneficial spells easier to cast)
  • Overconfidence (for reaction bonuses from young or naive)
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Old 10-22-2019, 02:00 PM   #6
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Using Controllable Disadvantage [Perks]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
  • Bully (+1 interrogation and intimidation)
I think you mean Callous. That one works, if the character's personal ethics will encompass the things you might do with it active.
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Old 10-22-2019, 02:57 PM   #7
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Using Controllable Disadvantage [Perks]

Controllable Disadvantage specifically applies to mental disadvantages.
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Old 10-22-2019, 03:27 PM   #8
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Using Controllable Disadvantage [Perks]

Asterisks for things which are physical so they don't qualify but listing them anyway since controllable non-mental advantages was proposed above...

Controllable Clueless would also be good for the +4 vs seduction

*Controllable Draining could be helpful if you wanted a way to suicide if captured

Controllable Easy to Read can give potential allies a bonus to understand you're being truthful toward them.

Controllable Fanaticism (Extreme Fanaticism) could give you a bonus to resist brainwashing

Controllable Fragile (Combustible or Explosive or Flammable) could help you use your body as a weapon.

Controllable Hard of Hearing : maybe some bonus against sonic attacks on your ear?

*Controllable Hemophilia: if you want to keep a doc busy spending more time on you

Controllable Honesty could give you a bonus to resist Greed if you have that as a permanent limitation. Or otherwise a bonus to Reaction rolls if your honesty is known (but then you'd have to use it a lot...)

Controllable Incurious : if you know that a room is full of dangerous stuff you just shouldn't touch, turn on before entering.

*Controllable Infectious Attack (B140) should probably be banned since that's basically just Dominance (B50) of course like everything else in this list with an asterisk, it's physical and not mental so it's already banned.

*Controllable Missing Digit : in case someone is Worrying your hand and you want to protect it!
**Controllable One Hand should cover that (and extremity targeting in general) but limit you more
***Controllable One Arm should cover BOTH (and limb-targeting in general) but limit you EVEN more
****Controllable One Eye so that nobody can blind you, but they could probably still stab your brain through your eye-hole?

*Controllable Motion Sickness : for when you want to vomit on someone

Controllable Paranoia: when you know you should even keep an eye on close friends when there are aliens controlling everyone!

Controllable Sense of Duty - like with honest, MAYBE a reaction bonus? But since both are based on being KNOWN to have it, if you only switch it on occasionally you probably WON'T be known to have it. Maybe it means you can fake it and get the bonus until you decide to stop, whereas other people trying to fake being dutiful/honest simply CAN'T and NEVER get the bonus?

*Controllable Shadow Form should be banned for same reason as Infectious Attack, already has advantage version

Controllable Sleepwalker is just a COOL OPTION. Maybe you want to walk around all creepy-like in your sleep. Do we have a trait representing people who thrash around in their sleep like Tom Payne's character in Prodigal Son who straps himself into restraint to stop from falling out of bed due to nightmare convulsions?

*Controllable Slow Healing could be useful if you want to stop someone with Vampiric Bite from healing themself at your expense, or maybe if you have a beneficial advantage hit onto you via Symptoms

Controllable Split Personality: the ability to swap mental disadvantage packages but instead of happening randomly during stress, it happens whenever you want it? Sounds useful! In fact kind of makes those disadvantages themselves controllable by extension? Or would swithcing it on just switch on the ability to swap personalities due to stress?

*Controllable Supernatural Features : removing body heat or reflection or shadow is useful for sneaking around or intentionally scaring people

Controllable Supersensitive: you can know when people are within 20 yards and roughly how many.

Controllable Timesickness: a warning system that you got teleported through time in case it happened and you weren't actually aware of it, being stunned will let you know!

*Controllably Unfit (Very Unfit) : in case you don't want to recover your FP so fast because an evil mage keeps stealing it from you to power his world domination spells.

*Controllable Unhealing : as with Slow Healing, as with Unfit but with HP-leechin' vamps.

*Controllable Weak Bite: for when you want to grapple someone with your mouth without hurting them very much

Controllable Weirdness Magnet: because you are bored and you want to be more like April O'Neil on her birthdays in "Rise of the TMNT" and meet interesting friends.

Controllable Workaholic : initial reaction bonus, then turn it off before you get a penalty!

Controllable Xenophilia: so that you can finally give that Cute Vampire a chance at love when you know they deserve it, but can deactivate this to prevent you from doing Tentacle-Shaking to excess. Plus the obvious bonus to your Fright Checks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
[*]Lifebane (reasonably balanced, 1 point for repel insects seems fair)
Only just noticed this is has the mental icon and not the physical icon, which is weird, it seems conceptually like a physical thing.

I guess it's intended here if you possess someone you take your lifebane along for the ride so that it's an indication an evil spirit is inside them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
[*]Fat (swimming)[*]Magic Susceptibility (make beneficial spells easier to cast)
Controllable Magic Susceptibility 5 to give +5 to people trying to heal you would be pretty useful :) Wouldn't that also help to offset the penalty you have when trying to heal yourself (-1 per missing HP) ?

Since that might be taken as all-or-nothing (ie you can't just do CMS1 if you have CMS5) maybe the Variable enhancement (1.1 rounds up to 2, no longer a perk) should be required if someone wants that option?

Or would you require them to spend 5 perks buying all possible versions of MS as controllable? Same concern with Controllable Fatness (3 tiers). This is also a concern for Xenophilia since it's Fright Check bonuses ascend the lower your self-control roll is while it's on.

Both of these are physical rather than mental. Given the restrictions, the perks should probably be called "Controllable Mental Disadvantage". Maybe CMDA for short?

Based on modular abilities (+100% to get a physical instead of mental) maybe Controllable Physical Disadvantage (CPDA) should cost 2 points rather than 1?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
[*]Overconfidence (for reaction bonuses from young or naive)
Controllable Megalomania for same reason!
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Old 10-22-2019, 05:07 PM   #9
awesomenessofme1
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Default Re: Using Controllable Disadvantage [Perks]

Uh... Controllable Disadvantage absolutely is available for physical disadvantages. It's just listed in the "Physical Perks" section.

"You can inflict one specific physical disadvantage on yourself by making a HT roll, at -1 per additional attempt per hour. This must be an easily faked problem: breaking wind at will to get Bad Smell, talking strangely to emulate Disturbing Voice, dislocating your shoulder to simulate the effects of One Arm, and so on. Epilepsy is off-limits it already includes similar mechanics." - PU2:13
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Old 10-22-2019, 05:35 PM   #10
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Using Controllable Disadvantage [Perks]

I missed that. I would suggest that a controllable supernatural or exotic disadvantage would require abilities though.
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