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Old 03-03-2019, 01:37 PM   #11
SilvercatMoonpaw
 
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Default Re: Disads: the Second Best CP Deal in GURPS

I kind of want Disadvantages to come with a frequency roll such that if you're not sure if it should come up in an adventure or situation you roll. Sure, some come with self-control rolls, but for others it would take the work out of having to decide if, e.g., an Addiction to an easy-to-obtain substance needs to be shoehorned in. (Of course by luck there's always a chance one comes up too often or infrequently for the price. I have no idea what to do about that.)
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Old 03-03-2019, 01:49 PM   #12
ericthered
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Default Re: Disads: the Second Best CP Deal in GURPS

I find that 60% or more of my players go for the disadvantage limit, back when I used one. by contrast, I often find myself looking at a template that asks for -35 or more in disads and thinking "nothing fits! I don't want to play that guy!"

I've started saying to players that my disadvantage limit is "They must be functional". I have a soft limit where I the GM will push back at around [-35], but that varies by character design, and the -35 is just a guess, and certain disadvantages get more slack than others.
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Old 03-03-2019, 01:54 PM   #13
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Default Re: Disads: the Second Best CP Deal in GURPS

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Soem GMs respond to this with Templates but Templates are themselves multiple lists of mandatory choices that have to be looked at.
I've come to the conclusion that, at least for some of my players, the best character creation method is to write out the character in plain text and then convert that to GURPS abilities. Possibly with significant help from the GM or another player.
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Old 03-03-2019, 01:56 PM   #14
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Default Re: Disads: the Second Best CP Deal in GURPS

Has anyone ever tried using the Heroic Flaws approach in "Pointless Slaying and Looting" (Pyramid #3/72: Alternate Dungeons, pp. 4-13)?
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Old 03-03-2019, 03:33 PM   #15
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Default Re: Disads: the Second Best CP Deal in GURPS

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Originally Posted by Celjabba View Post
[...]
This avoid the quest for the last n points of disads to get exactly to the limit, and allow the player to have the character they want to play, while keeping a limit in place to avoid unbalanced abuse.
that might works. I experience the same. The players start our with maybe -30 pts in disads the thing actually fit the character and then starts flipping through the book trying to find "more points".


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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
I've started saying to players that my disadvantage limit is "They must be functional". I have a soft limit where I the GM will push back at around [-35], but that varies by character design, and the -35 is just a guess, and certain disadvantages get more slack than others.
This is a really good guideline, but very, very subjective and so can lead to a lot of discussions.

I've started distinguishing between disads. My problem with many disads is when they have a lot that are all defining for the characters personality. If you have many disads that are more mechanical I don't mind it.

For instance, I don't mind a character with -1 ST, Skinny, Pacifisme (Reluctant killer), Impulsive, Overconfidence and Wealth (struggling) = total -45

Where someone with Impulsive, Overconfidence, Greed, Compulsive Carausing, Curious and Sense of duty Friends = total -45.
Such a character is going to be really, really hard to play if you want to live up to all those disads.


So the next game I'm going to run I will probably have a cap of maybe -25 pts. But then have a long list of disads that do not add to the cap.
(Alternatively I would not use a cap but let people choose 3 diads that are character-defining).


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Originally Posted by martinl View Post
I have had moderate success with "You get a bonus CP at the end of the session if your disads came up an a way that is interesting and inconvenient for your PC." I wish I could say it was a great success, but while it made play more interesting, and took the burden of remembering everyone's disads off the GM's shoulders, it also lead to a certain amount of resentment from players who thought it was the GM's duty to make sure they got a chance to display a disad each session, and a certain amount of disad grandstanding, where a player would try to shoehorn a disad into a scene when it was not really appropriate.
I have considered this for the longest time but been afraid to do it for all the reasons you list :(

Last edited by Maz; 03-03-2019 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 03-03-2019, 03:35 PM   #16
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Disads: the Second Best CP Deal in GURPS

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Has anyone ever tried using the Heroic Flaws approach in "Pointless Slaying and Looting" (Pyramid #3/72: Alternate Dungeons, pp. 4-13)?
Yes. They work very well, and I've played characters in CRR's games more than once with that system.
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Old 03-03-2019, 05:24 PM   #17
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Default Re: Disads: the Second Best CP Deal in GURPS

Like many of the other posters here, I have stopped using the default disadvantage rules presented in Characters.

As is always the case, players are encouraged to take underpriced traits and avoid overpriced traits. This leads to some disadvantages seeing much more play than others. Disadvantages with harsh mechanical effects see much less use than those that are up to the GM to enforce in play. If you don't have legs, then you just don't have legs. If you have a serious anger problem, the GM has to remember that and enforce it. And some of them are just priced kind of poorly anyway. It's much more an issue of many of them giving back too many points rather than the worst ones not giving back enough. Nobody is ever going to take Easy to Kill when they can take Fat instead, or No Sense of Humor, or any of the other much less impactful ones.

A lot of that, but not all of it, is the control roll mechanic that's supposed to balance these traits. The control roll mechanic feels awful for me as a GM. The mental burden this mechanic creates is enormous. And then the players figure out that I'm not able to actually use the control rolls, and this encourages them to then load up on these mental disadvantages. The prices on those should all be much, much lower, because the way they work in play is that the player tries to roleplay them when they remember they have them, but that there isn't any actual enforcement of them. They all end up functioning as the quirk-level versions because getting this weird game mechanic involved in roleplay is clunky and unnatural, so GMs just don't do it.

One of the things we've been doing for years in the IRC channel is only allowing the quirk version of these mental disads, and that does help. That opens the door to cheese like lowered subattributes, though. And then you start to see that a lot of the disads that are left over, like the missing body parts and whatnot, aren't necessarily worth the amount of points they give. At least in comparison to the other disads you could take to reach your limit. You can do stuff like make a character who doesn't need equipment and give them Dead Broke, or lower their Status and then give them Second Class Citizen. Then you have stuff like Code of Honor and Fanaticism where you get lots of points to play your character how you were going to play them anyway. It's a much better deal to load up on that kind of stuff than it is to make your character a hemophiliac or blind or whatever. And there are a ton of ways in there to nickel and dime your way to a huge amount of disads. A compulsive behavior here, a vow there, a code of honor, some disciplines of faith, and you can keep going until you end up with -75 worth of stuff that really doesn't impact your character very much at all.

Or you can do like in Dungeon Fantasy and load up a huge amount of negative reaction modifiers. This runs into the same problem as the control rolls on the disadvantages: GMs usually don't use the clunky reaction rules either, so taking hits to your character's reactions doesn't really matter in play. There's not a functional difference between -2 and -5 and -7. The GM just ends up roleplaying it all the same.

It's always going to be a game of players trying to find the disadvantages that they can ignore the most. I feel like the biggest reason why they're currently able to get away with that so much is that the game mechanic chosen to enforce the disadvantages is extremely difficult for the human brain to use. It just feels weird for the GM to jump in and stop the action because there's a 25% chance that the character might not actually do the thing that the player is having them do. And that then creates a feedback loop where it encourages players to take those disadvantages, which leads to characters with more disadvantages for the GM to remember and enforce. And you end up at the table with upwards of thirty disadvantages to remember and enforce and make control rolls for, and it's impossible.

I'm reminded of an old Soviet saying. I would alter it slightly: We pretend to roleplay the disadvantage, and they pretend to enforce them.

Which would be fine if it didn't create perverse incentives during character creation. Players are encouraged by all of this to make characters with lots and lots of mental disadvantages, which I don't believe they would otherwise do if it weren't for the incentives created by these various factors.

And it's just not fun to sit there and try to reach your disadvantage limit. This is something I've done many times. I heard "100 points with up to 50 in disads" and make my 150-point character, then go to fill in the disads after I've whittled the 200 points of abilities I picked out down to 150. And that's when those gears start turning. Sure, I'll want some of them to represent my character. But then I inevitably end up looking for those last fifteen or twenty points that I don't want, but that I need to take. Then the question becomes: "Which of these are the least impactful?" And there's always something there I can take that won't matter all that much. That I can just ignore once I'm in play. "Oh, my guy is Greedy," I might say occasionally, but it won't really matter. It won't really be a part of who they are. There's just too much on the GM's plate for them to enforce that disadvantage and make them Greedy. And I know that while I'm making my character, and my players know that when making their characters. It creates this weird decision making process during character creation that no one enjoys. It's a part of the game, but not a fun part.
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Old 03-03-2019, 05:46 PM   #18
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Disads: the Second Best CP Deal in GURPS

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Originally Posted by ErhnamDJ View Post
L

As is always the case, players are encouraged to take underpriced traits and avoid overpriced traits. This leads to some disadvantages seeing much more play than others. Disadvantages with harsh mechanical effects see much less use than those that are up to the GM to enforce in play. If you don't have legs, then you just don't have legs. If you have a serious anger problem, the GM has to remember that and enforce it.
I have seen Legless but never Bad Temper.
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Old 03-03-2019, 05:57 PM   #19
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Default Re: Disads: the Second Best CP Deal in GURPS

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Originally Posted by Apollonian View Post
I've come to the conclusion that, at least for some of my players, the best character creation method is to write out the character in plain text and then convert that to GURPS abilities. Possibly with significant help from the GM or another player.
I haven't played GURPS in some time, but this is, to me, the essence of generating a character in any game system, or when writing a story. Once you start to feel that you know her, you can start working on numbers.
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:05 PM   #20
SilvercatMoonpaw
 
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Default Re: Disads: the Second Best CP Deal in GURPS

I wonder if it would help any to do something like cap number of Disadvantages instead of points. Probably not.
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