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Old 03-07-2019, 11:22 PM   #1
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Killjoy

Killjoy [-15] is a mundane physical disadvantage, although a very rare one in normal humans. You have no functional pleasure centre in your brain, changing your motivations in many ways. This disadvantage appeared during the 3e period, probably in Cyberpunk.

You cannot feel pleasure, of any kind. If you once had pleasure centres, you may remember what pleasure was like, but the GM has the option to rule that you can't, or that the memories lack meaning. You have -3 on all use of skills where pleasure is important, specifically including Carousing, Connoisseur, Erotic Art and Gambling. If you try to use those skills, you will suffer reaction penalties, of -1 to -3, when your lack of appreciation becomes clear, although bad reactions indicate rejection or ridicule, rather than violence.

Some societies might inflict this condition via some kind of brain modification, as a punishment. It seems definitely cruel and unusual, but has the advantage that the victim won't seek revenge, being unable to take any pleasure in that. There are minor upsides, in that you're immune to the Ecstasy condition and Sex Appeal skill.

Killjoy is occasionally found on published character templates, usually for people who have been modified too much, or servants of Things Man Was Not Meant To Know. Plus Zombies. GURPS supplements suggest various uses for it, as a prisoner-control technique in AtE; a drastic cure for compulsive pleasure-seeking in Bio-Tech, or a punishment applied by undead in Fantasy. High-Tech points out that it can be an effect of psychiatric medication, Horror has it as a consequence of serious problems with one's conscience, a spiritual Affliction, or a disadvantage of robots, and Madness Dossier naturally has ways to cause it. Thaumatology offers it as a side-effect of Magic Resistance, and Alchemical Baroque as a consequence of a ghost's decaying humanity. Transhuman Space: Changing Times has a version with a -20% limitation Will still seek revenge, in a calm way. and Ultra-Tech has implants that can cure it.

This is another disadvantage I've never used, and haven't hankered for. Have you?
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