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Old 08-01-2017, 02:25 PM   #1
DataPacRat
 
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Niagara, Canada
Default Seeking build advice: Modern conspiracy character creation

I've been throwing together a character sheet, and could use some suggestions from other players and/or GMs on how to improve it. Any thoughts on how you'd build any of this differently, or nudges you'd give to one of your players?

Setting:
"You all meet in a [strikeout]tavern[/strikeout] deep-web forum..."

The world looks exactly like the real world. But somewhere there might be vampires, or aliens, or AIs, or the SCP Foundation, or something worse... Can Our Heroes figure out what's underneath the underneath and survive what's to come?


-----8<-----

Character Concept: The answer-getter guy.


GURPS Abilities: (Total: [25])
[-10] ST: 9
[-] Basic Damage: 1d-2 thrust, 1d-1 swing
[0] Hit Points: 9
[-] Basic Lift: 16 lbs
[-20] DX: 9
[60] IQ: 13
[5] Will: 14
[0] Perception: 13
[-10] HT: 9
[0] Fatigue: 9
[0] Basic Speed: 4.5
[0] Dodge: 7
[0] Basic Move: 4 yards/second

Zero-point items:
[0] Right-Handed
[0] Home Gravity: 1G
[0] Size Modifier: 0
[0] Native Technology Level: 8
[0] Cultural Familiarity: Western
[0] Language: English (Native)
[0] Citizenship: Canadian

Advantages: (Total: [126])
[2] "Cereal box reader": Language: French (Broken)
[6] "Geek cute": Pitiable (5); plus Perk: Appearance: Honest Face (1); plus Appearance: Average (0).
[5] "They're better company than most humans": Animal Empathy
[5] "Cryonic contract": Extra life (25), Unreliable (succeeds on 5-, -80%), Preparation Required (estimated 20+ years to develop revival technology, -80%) (Limitations capped at -80%)
[6] "Vest-o-stuff": Gizmos (5); plus Perk: Equipment: Doodad (pPowerUps9) (1)
[46] "Bayesian Analytical Training": Common Sense, Conscious (+50%, pPowers45) (15); plus Intuition (15); plus Oracle (Scholarly) (pDF11-32) (15); plus Perk: Controllable Disadvantage: Extreme Fanatacism (philosophy: prevent the permanent extinction of sapience) (1).
[4] "Personal Digital Library": Signature Gear, $20k value (2); plus Perk: Better Ebooks (1); plus Perk: Equipment Bond (1)
[5] "Flow state": Single-Minded
[5] "Bookworm mk 1": Talent: Academic, 1 level (pPowerUps3-6)
[5] "Bookworm mk 0": Talent: Antiquary, 1 level (pPowerUps3-6)
[20] "Bookworm v2.0": Talent: Computer Wizard, 4 levels (pPowerUps3-9)
[5] "I've read a /lot/ of scifi": Versatile
[1] "From Experience": Perk: Resistant to nausea from skunk spray, +3 (skunks described at pDF5-11.)
[1] Perk: Shtick: Standard Operating Procedure (digital backups) (pPowerUps15)
[1] Perk: Skill: Dabbler: Bicycling default+2, Cooking +2, First Aid +2, Hiking +2 (pPU2-16)
[1] Perk: Skill: Dabbler: Astronomy at default+3, Biology +2, Physics+2 (pPU2-16)
[1] Perk: Skill: Cross-Trained (Computer Operation) (pPowrUps16)
[1] Perk: Skill: Efficient (Computer Operation) (pPowerUps16)
[1] Perk: Skill: Efficient (Research) (pPowerUps16)
[1] Perk: Skill: No Nuisance Rolls (Computer Operation, installing software) pPU2-16
[1] Perk: Skill: No Nuisance Rolls (Computer Operation, repairing software) pPU2-16
[1] Perk: Skill: No Nuisance Rolls (Computer Operation, running programs) pPU2-16
[1] "Let me Google that for you": Perk: Skill: No Nuisance Rolls (Computer Operation, searching for data) pPU2-16
[1] Perk: Social: Pet (family cat) (pPowerUps18)
[1] Perk: Social: Pet (family dog) (pPowerUps18)

Disadvantages: (Total: [-65])
[-20] "Civilian": Combat Paralysis (-15); plus Pacifism (Reluctant Killer) (-5)
[-3] "Non-24-hour sleep/wake disorder": Extra Sleep (averaging 10.625 hours of sleep out of every 25.5); plus Controllable Disadvantage: Insomniac (1)
[0] "Semi-permanently Unemployed": Independent Income (government cheque): $800/month (20); plus Wealth: Poor (Starting Wealth: $4,000) (-15); plus Debt: -$200/month (-5); plus Status 0 (monthly cost of living $600) (0)
[-1] "Schizoid": Oblivious (-5); plus Shyness, Severe (-10); plus Quirk: Uncongenial (-1); plus Indomitable (15)
[-7] "Occasional anhedonia": Chronic Depression, resist 15-
[-2] "Asthma": Unfit, Mitigator (inhalers)
[-1] "Short and wide": Build: Overweight
[-10] "Moe": Bad Sight (Nearsighted), Mitigator (glasses)
[-15] "Live forever or die trying": Obsession (Immortality), resist 12- (-10); plus Cowardice, resist 15- (-5); plus Unusual Background: Cryonicist (0)
[-5] "Furry fan": Xenophilia, resist 15-
[-1] "My brain's screwed up enough already": Quirk: Teetotaler

Skills: (Total: [59])
[1] Area Knowledge: 2016, TL8 (city: Niagara) IQ/E 13-
[-] Astronomy IQ-6+3 = 10-
[-] Bicycling DX-4+2 = 7-
[-] Biology IQ-6+2 = 9-
[20] Computer Operation/TL8 19+4 = 23-
[1] Computer Programming/TL8, IQ/H: 11+4 = 15-
[1] Connoisseur (Computers) IQ/A+1 x+1 = 13-
[1] Connoisseur (Literature, optional specialty: SF&F) IQ/E+1 12+1 = 13-
[-] Connoisseur (Literature) IQ/A 11-
[-] Cooking IQ-5+2 = 10-
[1] Current Affairs/TL8 (Science & Technology) IQ/E 13-
[1] Current Affairs/TL8 (Regional: Niagara) IQ/E 13-
[-] Electronics Repair/TL8 (Computers) CompOp-5 14+4 = 18-
[1] Expert Skill (Computer Security) IQ/H 11+4 = 15-
[-] First Aid IQ-4+2 = 11-
[1] Geography/TL8 (Regional: Niagara) IQ/H 10-
[1] Hidden Lore (The Dark Net) IQ/A 12-
[-] Hiking HT-5+2 = 7-
[1] History (region: Niagara) IQ/H 11+1 = 12-
[1] History (Computer Science) IQ/H 11+1 = 12-
[1] Hobby (comics) IQ/E 13-
[1] Hobby (scifi) IQ/E 13-
[1] Hobby (RPGs) IQ/E 13-
[1] Literature (optional specialty: SF&F) IQ/A+1 11+1 = 12-
[-] Literature IQ/H 10-
[1] Mathematics/TL8 (Applied) IQ/H 11-
[1] Occultism (optional specialty: Hermetic syncretism) IQ/E 12-
[-] Occultism 10-
[1] Philosophy (Bayesianism) IQ/H 11-
[-] Physics IQ-6+2 = 9-
[8] Research/TL8 IQ/A+2 13+1+1 = 17-
[12] Speed-Reading IQ/A+1 16+1 = 17-
[-] Typing, CompOp-3, 20-
[1] Writing IQ/A+1 12+1 = 13-

Unspent Points: Total [5]



Base Points: 150
Disadvantages: 65
Total: 215

Attributes: 25
Advantages: 126
Skills: 59
Unspent: 5
Total: 215

----->8-----
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Old 08-01-2017, 04:33 PM   #2
johndallman
 
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Default Re: Seeking build advice: Modern conspiracy character creation

I'd put the Intelligence Analysis default on the sheet, and maybe put a point or so into it. The Truth-Seeker talent (PU3p17) would also be worth considering: this chap looks like he'd have a conspiracy-orientated worldview.
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:04 PM   #3
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Seeking build advice: Modern conspiracy character creation

I would be afraid that you had created an NPC. No Skills particularly for use in the field and absolutely not even basic aptitude for it (reduced HP, HT, Dodge and Move). This guy should probably be left behind at HQ and called on only when his Research skill was necessary. That appears to be what he'd want too.

You've probably got too many Talents and it's possible none of them make sense for your character compared to more IQ. In particular having only 1 level of Talent almost never pays off. An efficient fit for choosing even a 5 pt Talent usually requires that you need 4 or more Skills covered by it all at an equally high level.
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:07 PM   #4
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Seeking build advice: Modern conspiracy character creation

The number of Perks appears to exceed the suggested limits.
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Old 08-02-2017, 02:47 AM   #5
DataPacRat
 
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Default Re: Seeking build advice: Modern conspiracy character creation

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
I'd put the Intelligence Analysis default on the sheet, and maybe put a point or so into it. The Truth-Seeker talent (PU3p17) would also be worth considering: this chap looks like he'd have a conspiracy-orientated worldview.
IA is a good point. As mentioned elsewhere in the thread, three talents may already be pushing it; but maybe "Higher Purpose: Acquire Knowledge" (pMH1-24) might be a suitable replacement for a level of it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
I would be afraid that you had created an NPC. No Skills particularly for use in the field and absolutely not even basic aptitude for it (reduced HP, HT, Dodge and Move). This guy should probably be left behind at HQ and called on only when his Research skill was necessary. That appears to be what he'd want too.
This is more a matter of play and setting style. Some of the inspirational characters for this one are from the CSI and DC superhero TV shows, the support-team members who send data to the heroes through wireless headsets; but the expectation is that there aren't going to be any front lines vs hidden bases, as soon as the AI (or whatever) once again figures out where the PCs are and that they're a threat, they'll have to pack up and move. The plan is to emulate the Cyberpunk 2020 RPG nethacker: give him his digital gear, stuff him in a van, and add 'escort the squishy data guy' as a secondary goal to any other plans.

With some luck, depending on the nature of the universe, once the nature of the threat is revealed, some power-ups will be able to be acquired.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
You've probably got too many Talents and it's possible none of them make sense for your character compared to more IQ. In particular having only 1 level of Talent almost never pays off. An efficient fit for choosing even a 5 pt Talent usually requires that you need 4 or more Skills covered by it all at an equally high level.
Now there's some crunch I'll need to calculate. I've had some sort of impression that it's easier to upgrade an existing talent than to buy a new one from scratch, but that doesn't seem to be even a house-rule.

Let's see - CompOp and Research are both high enough that it takes at least 4 points to improve them, so any Talent that gives at least one level of either, plus at least one point in another skill, would be worth the cost. Computer Wizard improves CompOp and Expert CompSec; Academic improves Research and Writing; and Antiquarian improves Research and History. So in all three cases, using the talents seems to be cheaper than buying relevant character skills.

As for buying IQ, I've already bought it up to 13 to save on skill points. Almost all of the IQ skills are now 1-pointers, so I didn't think it was worth buying up to 14, but let me see. IQ comes in 20-point chunks - 10, if I buy back down Per and Will; CompOp, Research, and Speed-Reading are all in the 4-point-per-level range; so if I buy up IQ one more time and them down one level, I'd save 2 points (and increase all the other IQ skills to boot). If I did that again, Research only costs 2 per level, so it would be a net gain of 0 points (but all the other IQ skills would rise, so it's still worth doing).

Well, it looks like I've got some fiddling to do, since after that, the costs of the Talents come back into question. Thanks for pointing it out. :)


Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
The number of Perks appears to exceed the suggested limits.
"What suggested limit? There's a suggested limit on Perks?" (finds pPU-3). Ah - so there is. Hm.

The individual perks that seem most relevant to the character are the SOP, 2 Dabblers, and 2 Efficients; should the perks I've bundled up with other Dis/Advantages should be counted separately?
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Old 08-02-2017, 06:23 AM   #6
DataPacRat
 
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Default Re: Seeking build advice: Modern conspiracy character creation

It's been pointed out to me that even a loner character like this should still have some Contacts, even if he doesn't have any Allies or Patrons. I've been thinking about Contact Groups, and am wondering how these would best be built:

Contact Group: "Online Gaming Forums", (eg, SpaceBattles, certain subreddits, here): Good at fielding hypothetical "if monster X is vulnerable to Y, have you tried Y2 instead of Z?" questions. Maybe build this as a Talent's skill-bonus with "extra time" and "needs access to net" Limitations? Or is this what Contact Group is for in the first place?

"Furry Fandom": A friendly bunch: a small Claim to Hospitality for couch-crashing could work.

"Fan Cons": Reading 'Contact Group', it only mentions getting info; do Contact Groups also work like Contacts in getting favours, like getting access to people who know how to build randomly-weird items?
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Old 08-02-2017, 09:44 AM   #7
Emerald Cat
 
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Default Re: Seeking build advice: Modern conspiracy character creation

Quote:
Originally Posted by DataPacRat View Post
[5] "Cryonic contract": Extra life (25), Unreliable (succeeds on 5-, -80%), Preparation Required (estimated 20+ years to develop revival technology, -80%) (Limitations capped at -80%)
This Advantage will only be useful if the campaign lasts 20+ years with those limitations. Campaigns rarely cover 20+ years of in universe time. So I wouldn't bother with this one myself.
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Old 08-02-2017, 09:50 AM   #8
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Seeking build advice: Modern conspiracy character creation

Quote:
Originally Posted by DataPacRat View Post
It's been pointed out to me that even a loner character like this should still have some Contacts, even if he doesn't have any Allies or Patrons.
Ordinary people you know aren't Contacts, at best they are the Friend perk, but even that is usually overkill. You can assume that any given character has existing relationships with ordinary NPCs.
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:45 AM   #9
DataPacRat
 
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Default Re: Seeking build advice: Modern conspiracy character creation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerald Cat View Post
This Advantage will only be useful if the campaign lasts 20+ years with those limitations. Campaigns rarely cover 20+ years of in universe time. So I wouldn't bother with this one myself.
Those particular Limitations are a bit fuzzy, meant to describe real-world cryonics, which has an uncertain chance of success and an uncertain date of payoff. It's mostly in the charsheet as background colour, a side-effect of the "Bayesian Techniques" training group - looked at another way, it's the Unusual Background cost for this mostly-non-cinematic character to get Common Sense, Intuition and Oracle. (With an off-chance of forming the basis of jumping campaigns into a more science-fiction setting. :) )

I'm pretty sure that this isn't how "Preparation Required" is supposed to work in the first place, so if anyone who's spent more time reading on Limitations can suggest a better build, I'm open to suggestions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Ordinary people you know aren't Contacts, at best they are the Friend perk, but even that is usually overkill. You can assume that any given character has existing relationships with ordinary NPCs.
Fair enough, though I think I'm going to keep the new furry fandom couch-crashing Claim to Hospitality, as soon as I figure out how to decide how many points it'd be worth.
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Thank you for your time,
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"Does aₘᵢₙ=2cē/Θ ? I don't know, but wouldn't it be fascinating if it were?"

Last edited by DataPacRat; 08-02-2017 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 08-02-2017, 11:10 AM   #10
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: Seeking build advice: Modern conspiracy character creation

Quote:
Originally Posted by DataPacRat View Post
I'm pretty sure that this isn't how "Preparation Required" is supposed to work in the first place, so if anyone who's spent more time reading on Limitations can suggest a better build, I'm open to suggestions.
You're right, Preparation Required isn't appropriate here, since Preparation Required actually requires the character to be spending the time doing the preparation.

I'd just call it a new limitation for Extra Life, "Delayed Return". I think Extra Life already assumes that there's some delay between your "death" and return - at least long enough for your enemies to go "Well, they must be dead" and leave - but a longer delay definitely seems like a limitation. I'd say that a guaranteed delay of 1 day would be -10%, a week -20%, a month -30%, three months -40%, six months -50%, a year -60%, two years -70%, and three years or more -80%.
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