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Old 11-29-2020, 04:06 PM   #21
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

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Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
Neither of those have to do with the subject of Allies. I don't think wandeirng from the topic will add clarity.
"Favor" is described as being a one-shot Ally.

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Hordes of zombies should be paid for with CP. For example, Ally (100 zombies; 25%; 15-; Minion, -0%) [54] would be appropriate for maintaining a horde of 100 zombies. The assumption would be that the character is replacing the zombies that they lose to angry villagers, hungry scavengers, and/or outraged priests. Otherwise, zombies created with the Zombie spell do not have any assumed plot immunity as a group and will end up being a mobile buffet for every scavenger nearby.
It seems like there's value in things besides permanent plot immunity, like in buying advantages like Extra Life which you might keep indefinitely until needed but then are gone once you've made use of it.

You can "make use" of a zombie after creating it, even if that might mean they go away later and you don't get a free ally replacement.

So one approach might be to define this as imparting yourself with a "Favor" ally...

One thing I'm not entirely clear with about Favor is how long it's supposed to last. Like 1 session worth of help? Doesn't seem to be a duration for when the debt is considered repaid and you lose the ally.

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
In truth, every crow, drog, insect, rat, etc. in the neighborhood should be stealing pieces off as they can, meaning that the average zombie should really only last for a week before the cumulative damage destroys them. Unless a necromancer is spending time repairing/replacing them, they are probably going to have trouble exceeding 100 zombies. Of course, preparing the bodies beforehand with poison would help mitigate the attrition, but that sort of effort is best represented by the Ally advantage.
I should prob note that when talking about zombie spell I'm not just considering the tasty zombie template but also the skel template which has fewer tasty munchies for scavengers.

Unless I tell a fleshy zombie to lie perfectly still (or maybe they just do that when lacking instructions?) it's hard to imagine that crows/rats would be brave enough to start eating them.

If this does become a problem couldn't you just give them instructions like "grapple and kill any vermin who attack you" ? I just don't know how long an Automaton is able to remember verbal instructions for.

Makes me wonder if disloyalty among automatons is just "I failed to obey master because he was boring so I forgot what he told me". Perhaps disloyalty is just failing to be a cool and memorable master and your minions zone out when you tell them to do stuff, whereas loyal ones you impressed with accomplishments are rapt with attention to your orders and remember what it was they're suppsoed to obey?
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Old 11-29-2020, 07:15 PM   #22
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Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
"Favor" is described as being a one-shot Ally.
Okay, then your case A is a point purchase of a one-shot Ally and it will function according to the rules for Ally.

Your case B is a point purchase of cash for points. Your character can spend the cash on whatever, but if she hires an NPC, that's not an Ally.
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Old 11-30-2020, 12:44 AM   #23
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Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

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Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
Okay, then your case A is a point purchase of a one-shot Ally and it will function according to the rules for Ally.

Your case B is a point purchase of cash for points. Your character can spend the cash on whatever, but if she hires an NPC, that's not an Ally.
I'm talking about the actual effects though: what would be different between going CP>Cash>Hireling vs CP>Favor ?
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Old 11-30-2020, 01:09 AM   #24
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Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

[QUOTE=Plane;2355587]
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what difference do you think there would be, if you earned a bonus CP to:

a) spent that bonus CP to buy a favor from a detective
b) spend that bonus CP to buy 10% starting wealth and put a detective on retainer
Game mechanically speaking? The second detective will doublecross you or just flake out if his reaction to you was low enough or the threats or bribes from your enemies are convincing enough. If you spent character points on the favour he will definitely play straight with you.

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Yet there's clearly still value in having something in your possession/control even if it lacks plot protection, even if it's offset to 0 by some implied drawback/disadvantage built into an equipment/mook metatrait (Enemy: Watcher being easiest to throw in)
It is not "offset to 0". Rather there are simply multiple game currencies.

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The cheapest gun (B278 derringer $100) is nearly 50% of the $250 average Starting Wealth at TL0, but looking at B27 there's this rule I only just noticed now about doubling price for each TL of separation, so since that's TL5 it would be >200>400>800>1600>3200 value.
But I specified "when you can buy or steal one off the shelf". You can't buy or steal one off the shelf in a TL 0 setting.

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If we just used a fixed value for equipment based on TL0 it sounds like the issue would be solved, the problem is basically how much equipment drops at higher TL/wealth while the price of advantages (even gadgets meant to emulate equipment) doesn't.
Since money and character points (and of course fatigue) are different currencies gained in different ways there would always be mismatches.

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Or, maybe by buying an ally of positive value you're getting to ignore whatever built-in compromise normally makes it a 0pt package?\

Like maybe GMs should always assume you either take the zombie as a dependent, his family finds out and becomes your Enemy, the zombie's spirit becomes your Watcher, etc.
No. He shouldn't. What such a GM should do is never use skill based magic in the first place. That way he won't be forced to fit square pegs into round holes.
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Old 11-30-2020, 01:25 AM   #25
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Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

No, I would not allow a zombie minion as a Dependent, as your PC likely does not that sort of relationship with their zombie minions (*shudder*). Minions really cannot be dependents because you are free to mistreat them, which runs counter to the idea of Dependent. Now, if you want that type of relationship with a zombie (*shudder*), you can just have some sort of free willed zombie that you take as an Ally and a Dependent.
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Old 11-30-2020, 06:15 AM   #26
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Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
No, I would not allow a zombie minion as a Dependent, as your PC likely does not that sort of relationship with their zombie minions (*shudder*).
Have a look at who The Walking Dead's Governor keeps in his locked room. (About season 2 or 3, iirc.)
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Old 11-30-2020, 07:16 AM   #27
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Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Hordes of zombies should be paid for with CP. For example, Ally (100 zombies; 25%; 15-; Minion, -0%) [54] would be appropriate for maintaining a horde of 100 zombies. The assumption would be that the character is replacing the zombies that they lose to angry villagers, hungry scavengers, and/or outraged priests.
Honestly, a character could maintain a 100-man horde without need of Ally, simply by casting the appropriate spell(s) enough times - Ally just means the GM shouldn't wipe them out off-screen.

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Otherwise, zombies created with the Zombie spell do not have any assumed plot immunity as a group and will end up being a mobile buffet for every scavenger nearby.
I don't know if this is the case for the Zombie spell, but in many settings scavengers aren't too crazy about eating the undead, as they've got too much "aura of death" about them (in most settings, animals tend to be scared of the undead, for similar reasons). Additionally, given they're still moving around, it's more likely a predator/scavenger switch-hitter (like dogs, admittedly) would be the ones going after them.

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
No, I would not allow a zombie minion as a Dependent, as your PC likely does not that sort of relationship with their zombie minions (*shudder*). Minions really cannot be dependents because you are free to mistreat them, which runs counter to the idea of Dependent. Now, if you want that type of relationship with a zombie (*shudder*), you can just have some sort of free willed zombie that you take as an Ally and a Dependent.
One doesn't have to be romantically involved with a Dependent, just have some sort of emotional attachment*, which could simply be a holdover from when they were alive (as in the case referenced by Daigoro). And a minion could certainly be a Dependent, if he/she tends to get you into trouble and/or the minion actually dying would inconvenience you beyond simply losing the Ally.

*Honestly, mechanically speaking I don't think that's necessary. Failing to protect your Dependent means gaining Disadvantages equal to twice the value of the Dependent; while this is typically mental, I could easily see a build where, for example, you are required to protect someone, and failing to do so means whoever appointed you becoming an Enemy, or any number of other consequences.


Of course, this is getting a bit afield of the original topic. For that, as others have noted, GURPS doesn't assume you gain some Advantage simply because you acquire the means of doing something similar to it otherwise. That said, I'm fine with often assuming the character has some virtual Advantage while this is in play, and can use character points to modify it (so you could use the Ally guidelines to buff up a zombie, or Innate Attack ones to buff up a weapon, or whatever), but that's markedly more complex.
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Old 11-30-2020, 05:58 PM   #28
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Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
The second detective will doublecross you or just flake out if his reaction to you was low enough or the threats or bribes from your enemies are convincing enough. If you spent character points on the favour he will definitely play straight with you.
Buying an ally/favor usually requires RPing your reaction up to good (15+) to earn the privilege of buying it (unless you buy them as unwilling) so for the purposes of this comparison I want us to assume that in both circumstances he has ascertained having improved their loyalty up to that level.

This brings an interesting thing to mind though: how would a PC go about actually assessing (estimating) the loyalty stat of an NPC when negotiating the purchase of them as an ally with the GM?

To avoid metagaming a GM wouldn't be obligated to tell "under the hood" stats like the Loyalty number to a player...

So is it possible you could only say "I want to buy this NPC as an ally" but the GM would actually make it secret whether they're priced as "Unwilling" or not, and the player would just guess based on their behavior how loyal they truly were?

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
It is not "offset to 0". Rather there are simply multiple game currencies.
"can't be traded in X country" (or time/dimension) seems like a good way to actually limit currencies if defining their possession as a trait of some kind

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What such a GM should do is never use skill based magic in the first place. That way he won't be forced to fit square pegs into round holes.
You'd face similar problems with something like Affliction (Advantage: Allies) as sorcery though: at what point short of permanent +300% should it become appropriate to start charging character points for allies gained by that spell, and what sort of discounts should you get for allies with a fixed duration who can be negated by Healing: Affliction?

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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
Have a look at who The Walking Dead's Governor keeps
That's "loved one" (x2) which is probably much more rare than "friend" (x1) or "acquaintance" (x1/2) zombies.

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Minions really cannot be dependents because you are free to mistreat them, which runs counter to the idea of Dependent.
I think this depends on the FOA rolls, whether they "appear as an ally" or "appear as a dependent" or both.

Normally when you fail the FOA roll for a Dependent you don't need to worry about protecting them because they're not present in the adventure, so that safety should still apply if they are solely "present as an ally".

This wouldn't make them immune to harm, it should just mean that you shouldn't face consequences for neglecting them like docked bonus CP for bad RP.

Instead of facing "you let your dependent die" penalties, you basically face "you let your ally die" penalties instead, which aren't as bad.

You should still lose the disadvantage and have the points reassigned, of course. Though I think the option of "use their value as an ally to pay off your dependent debt" sounds like a fair approach, so long as you don't qualify for a situation where you would lose points spent on an ally, like pointlessly killing them.

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Failing to protect your Dependent means gaining Disadvantages equal to twice the value of the Dependent
Where do I find this 'twice' thing? B131 says "you must make up the bonus points you got for him"

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
GURPS doesn't assume you gain some Advantage simply because you acquire the means of doing something similar to it otherwise.
My point is more that it COULD so long as whatever traits you gained in play added up to 0.

IE similar to many gender differences (groin vulnerability, ability to carry children) which don't get statted but in theory could just be 0pt meta-traits composed of advantages for male/female benefits and disadvantages for male/female drawbacks.

Another point of comparison would be the "built-in Damage Resistance" that skull DR is considered to be in the design notes of Thin Skull perk (Power-Ups) and "No Skull DR" disadvantage (Weird/Toolkit2)

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
That said, I'm fine with often assuming the character has some virtual Advantage while this is in play, and can use character points to modify it (so you could use the Ally guidelines to buff up a zombie, or Innate Attack ones to buff up a weapon, or whatever), but that's markedly more complex.
"Modifying ST-Based Damage" rules would be another example of built-in or virtual advantages (anyone with ST above 0 has a Crushing Attack)
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:23 PM   #29
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
Buying an ally/favor usually requires RPing your reaction up to good (15+) to earn the privilege of buying it (unless you buy them as unwilling) so for the purposes of this comparison I want us to assume that in both circumstances he has ascertained having improved their loyalty up to that level.
Buying an Ally usually requires spending the character points when you initially create the character. Acquiring Allies in play is very unusual. If it happened, if the guy playing "Thatman" said "You know, Thatman could use a kid sidekick" and spent the points, then suddenly he'd meet an aspiring vigilante juvenile looking for a father figure. What would even be the point of spending points on making an already rabidly devoted NPC into an Ally?

Quote:
This brings an interesting thing to mind though: how would a PC go about actually assessing (estimating) the loyalty stat of an NPC when negotiating the purchase of them as an ally with the GM

To avoid metagaming a GM wouldn't be obligated to tell "under the hood" stats like the Loyalty number to a player...

So is it possible you could only say "I want to buy this NPC as an ally" but the GM would actually make it secret whether they're priced as "Unwilling" or not, and the player would just guess based on their behavior how loyal they truly were?
No. An Unwilling Ally is somehow coerced into service. How could the character not know that he was using some kind of blackmail or other means of coercion?



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You'd face similar problems with something like Affliction (Advantage: Allies) as sorcery though: at what point short of permanent +300% should it become appropriate to start charging character points for allies gained by that spell, and what sort of discounts should you get for allies with a fixed duration who can be negated by Healing: Affliction?
You can't afflict a social advantage.

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That's "loved one" (x2) which is probably much more rare than "friend" (x1) or "acquaintance" (x1/2) zombies.
I don't see why. Being in love with who zombie used to be seems like the only reasonable way to treat it as a Dependant.
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:59 PM   #30
Plane
 
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Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
What would even be the point of spending points on making an already rabidly devoted NPC into an Ally?
So the GM is obligated to put them in your next session if you roll your FOA.

You might not have to spend anything though, SE suggests it could just be given as a RP reward from GM, kind of like bonus CP that they've chosen how to spent for you.

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
No. An Unwilling Ally is somehow coerced into service. How could the character not know that he was using some kind of blackmail or other means of coercion?
If it was a third party rather than the PC who coerced them.

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
You can't afflict a social advantage.
Seems unclear if summonable allies still count as social due to "converts from social" phrase.

If that were the case, you could always afflict Modular Abilities and use the social modifier from Powers, unless that converted MA into a social advantage.

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Being in love with who zombie used to be seems like the only reasonable way to treat it as a Dependant.
What if you were just friends with whoever the zombie used to be? Or they were your old employer/employee?

Or maybe neither: maybe necromancers just get fond of their newly created minions.
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