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Old 05-17-2018, 02:43 PM   #1
johndallman
 
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Default [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Dependency

Dependency [-1 to -175] is an exotic physical disadvantage. Your health and life are dependent on something external: you need to consume something unusual, have physical contact with a special object, or visit a specific place at regular intervals, and if you don’t, you take HP damage. This can kill you.

The cost of Dependency is highly variable, depending on how unusual the substance, object or place is, its legality, and how often you need it. The latter also determines how often you take damage, and how long you need to spend using whatever you’re dependent on.

Dependency isn’t the only way to represent special life support requirements: Maintenance and Restricted Diet can also be used for that. Doesn’t Eat or Drink, Draining, Increased Life Support (which is about logistics, not health), and Terminally Ill can also be connected to this disadvantage. With the Aging enhancement, Dependency can also be used for people who age rapidly without access to something special. While this is normally an exotic disadvantage, it can be used with the GM’s permission to represent mundane serious medical conditions, such as the need for special drugs or a mechanical ventilator. It appeared during the 3e period, apparently in Supers.

There are a wide range of things to have Dependency on in GURPS supplements. Widely-used ones include “Mana,” with many variations, “Sunlight,” “Water” and “Alien Atmosphere.” Odder ones include “The environment that caused my mutation,” “My vessel’s body,” “Blood of sapient beings,” “Commercial hormones,” “Anti-rejection drugs,” “Kidney dialysis,” “Toxic Waste,” “Sanctity,” “The area I’m responsible for,” “Rest in own tomb,” “My grove,” “Animal flesh,” “Coffin with soil of homeland,” “Grave goods,” “My kingdom,” “Own, non-decapitated, corpse,” “Sexual energy,” “Fear,” “Life energy,” “Creator’s will or desire,” “Funerary Amulet,” “Infant’s Breath,” “Luck, via Curse,” “Plot-device formula,” “Cave environments,” “Broadcast power,” and the good old “Weird Energy.” If an Alternate Form is meant to be very tiring or draining to use, that can be represented with Dependency on the normal form, probably with Fatigue Only (-50%).

There’s a character in my Infinite Cabal campaign who has Dependency (Mana, Weekly). He’s never been stuck anywhere without mana long enough to take damage, but it’s a constant background threat. What has Dependency done in your games?
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Dependency

I usually prefer Dependency: Mana (Constant) over No Mana Shutdown for living creatures to signify their bodies literally falling apart without magic.

I've also used it when I can't just "replace" food requirements with oddities;
One child-like race has Dependency: Hug from other PC race to represent a deep need for comfort
An oddball vampire character once had Dependency: Sunlight and Weakness: Direct Sunlight. It was quite fun watching said vampire try to work around both
A cult a GM made once had Dependency: Praying to represent their lives being so close to a deity that without prayer, they'd fall apart. It was great, the cultists tried to use it to "prove" their god existed when my party had met the actual gods who basically laughed at this cult. It, uh... escalated from there.

I made a super that had Dependency: Being lit on fire. She was, luckily, "immune" to fire damage, being thematically linked to the Phoenix.

I sometimes don't use Dependency if the requirement is similar to food, like how vehicles use gasoline. For instance, Unusual Biochemistry: Photosynthesis does this.
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Old 05-18-2018, 05:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Dependency

A fairly ordinary one would be medications.
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Dependency

What's the difference between dependency xyz and terminally I'll mitigator xyz?
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Old 05-19-2018, 04:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Dependency

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Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
What's the difference between dependency xyz and terminally I'll mitigator xyz?
The effects of stopping.
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:55 PM   #6
Fossilized Rappy
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Dependency

An interesting out of the way modifier for Dependency is Disfiguring, from Pyramid issue 3-63, which causes you to lose Appearance when you're deprived of the substance you depend on.

I've used it to replicate a vampire that becomes more monstrous when it doesn't feed.
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Old 05-20-2018, 08:01 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Dependency

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Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
What's the difference between dependency xyz and terminally I'll mitigator xyz?
While thinking through the answer to this I have come up with a question:

Can you heal the damage caused by a Dependency if you still haven't fed it? Via what methods?

I have always presumed natural healing via unattended HT rolls does not work, or seasonally and yearly are not really a major issue. Similarly, I presumed Regeneration does not work. I realize going back to look at the disad that there's no commentary either way.

Does the attention of a mundane carer (Physician or appropriate alternate based on what you are) help? Can the Healing advantage or healing college spells help?

Can you use the Draining advantage to heal yourself?
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Old 05-20-2018, 08:31 AM   #8
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Dependency

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I have always presumed natural healing via unattended HT rolls does not work, or seasonally and yearly are not really a major issue. Similarly, I presumed Regeneration does not work. I realize going back to look at the disad that there's no commentary either way.

Does the attention of a mundane carer (Physician or appropriate alternate based on what you are) help? Can the Healing advantage or healing college spells help?
I would say no. They don't help with the effects of hunger or thirst, and food and water are basically mundane Dependencies that aren't worth points. On the other hand, you can use magic to provide many things that people are dependent on, just as you can use it to provide food or water.
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Old 05-20-2018, 10:27 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Dependency

I think games that have lots of conjured food and water do it to simplify play without fully ignoring the issue.

But dependencies are intentionally bought by an individual, so should be difficult to solve by means other than supplying the needed "object". Not only would it garner "free points", but it would take away the spotlight from a tragic limitation.

(Not that anyone here was suggesting it be really easy.)
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Old 05-28-2018, 08:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Dependency

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Dependency [-1 to -175] is an exotic physical disadvantage.
In some ways, this is the "physical" version of the Uncontrollable Appetite disadvantage, in addition to being similar to some versions of Maintenance and Restricted Diet.
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