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Old 11-22-2019, 03:52 AM   #1
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Default [Basic] Disadvatage of the Week: Post-Combat Shakes

Post-Combat Shakes [-5*] is a mundane mental disadvantage with a self-control roll. You suffer significant mental after-effects from being involved with combat, which might put you off the whole idea. This disadvantage seems to have appeared in Compendium I for GURPS 3e.

After a fight has ended, you need to make a self-control roll, which may have penalties for gory or gruesome events, at the GMís option. If you fail it, treat it as if you failed a Fright Check: roll 3d, add the margin of failure, consult the Fright Check table and apply the results immediately. This goes well with Berserk or Flashbacks, and might be an intermediate stage in buying off Pacifism (Reluctant Killer).

Post-Combat Shakes is a fairly common disadvantage option on templates for characters who arenít experienced with violence, and shows up on a few who are acquiring that experience, such as TL6 infantrymen. Fantasy: Portal Realms recommends it as a one-off occurrence for people who didnít know they had Combat Reflexes, while Madness Dossier has drugs to cause this disadvantage. Itís a part of the Psionic Powers crippling rules, and of Tactical Shootingís PTSD rules.

From experience in play, this is a disadvantage that bites surprisingly hard if you have a self-control roll of 12- or worse and fights are commonplace events in the game. You fail often enough that you start accumulating additional quirks and suffer fairly time-consuming reactions. If you just want to be someone whoís morally troubled by combat, take an appropriate quirk.

How has Post-Combat Shakes played in your games?
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Old 11-22-2019, 11:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvatage of the Week: Post-Combat Shakes

One of my early 4e characters took this disadvantage, because I didn't know the system well yet; the first time it came up, he managed to acquire an extra 10-point Phobia. I don't think I've even considered taking the disadvantage again without houseruling the effects.

It appears on several templates in Dungeon Fantasy and in the DFRPG (which has alternate fright check rules). I'd never consider taking it in such a game, and warn people off of it.
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Old 11-22-2019, 12:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvatage of the Week: Post-Combat Shakes

Originally Posted by Harald387 View Post
I don't think I've even considered taking the disadvantage again without houseruling the effects.
Yeah, anytime I see the fright table I steer clear. A house rule for making such effects temporary was suggested in the thread about phobias. I think it applies here as well.
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Last edited by ericthered; 11-22-2019 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 11-23-2019, 08:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvatage of the Week: Post-Combat Shakes

I've seen it a few times in various recent campaigns. A dragon-blooded wizard in one of my current DFRPG games* has it. It's often taken as a lesser form of cowardice or pacifist. In longer campaigns, it seems to be on the list of disads that the player will slowly buy off (or replace) as the character evolves. Nobody has gained any dramatic new disads from it yet, but the aforementioned wizard is likely to see a lot of action, so we'll see how that goes.

* DFRPG + additional races from DF3.
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Old 11-25-2019, 03:03 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvatage of the Week: Post-Combat Shakes

Frequent fright checks will eventually make a character unplayable, and taking this disadvantage is asking for fright checks after one of the more common sorts of PC activity. A lot of people will be twitchy and useless for a bit after an exciting situation (adrenalin/epinephrine leaves lots of interesting chemicals washing around the bloodstream, producing effects which one can learn to overcome), and it would be good to be able to emulate that in GURPS, but this is a much bigger version.

It's unfortunate that the peaked probability curve of 3d6 means that "gain a new quirk" shows up way more often than one might like it to (most fright checks are only failed by a point or two in the games I've played).
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disadvantage of the week, post-combat shakes

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