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Old 09-19-2019, 05:50 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Numb

Numb [-20] is a mundane, though quite rare in the real world, physical disadvantage. You have no sense of touch, and limited proprioception, which has a variety of drawbacks, and no helpful aspects. This disadvantage appeared at GURPS 4e.

You numbness does not protect you from heat or cold, pain, or shock, but you feel injuries as generalised shock, rather than in a specific area of your body. You canít do First Aid on parts of your body you canít see. You have a limited sense of pressure and weight, sufficient to allow you to walk and carry things. You canít distinguish textures by touch, or work by touch in any other way, which rules out touch-typing, playing most musical instruments, and much of the Escape skill. To do work that requires hand-eye coordination, you must be able to see clearly what youíre doing and take twice as long. If you canít meet those conditions, you effectively have Ham-Fisted 1, giving you -3 to DX for any task that would be aided by High Manual Dexterity. If you are Ham-Fisted anyway, this adds to it.

Numb is common, though not compulsory, for characters and robots with the Machine meta-trait, and Bio-Tech provides it as a species modification, or a result of not-quite-high-enough-TL brain transplants. Magic has a spell that inflicts Numb, and Bodies of Wood or Leaves are Numb by default. Martial Arts makes it a possible effect of severe neck injuries, and Powers: Enhanced Senses uses it in cunning ways. Psionic Powers has a psi attack that can inflict Numb, but Psi-Tech brains-in-a-jar have it already. Space describes aliens with shells or carapaces, and Ultra-Tech has missiles built as characters, who need Numb. Zombies may be Numb, but it doesnít matter much to them.

One of the Infinite Cabal PCs has this, as part of his not-exactly-alive state. He got a mitigator for it after a while, and decided with that, he did not want to return to life. How has it played in your games?
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Old 09-19-2019, 08:38 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: 100 hurricane swamp
Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Numb

Hello, hello, hello... Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me, is there anyone at home?

Sorry, if I seem insensitive, I don't have any particular feeling for this disad.
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Old 09-19-2019, 09:15 PM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Numb

While I did use Numb in constructing the Sensory Refocus ability, and assumed it as background for Feelers, I'm actually not entirely comfortable with it as a trait. It seems to me that GURPS uses it for machines, and elementals, and the like, to say that they don't have a superficial sense of touch, and that, for example, they may still feel pain but can't say where it hurts. But if I hit a computer, or a rock, I don't think that it feels pain at all; any "pain" is a metaphor for something entirely different. I don't feel as if Numb is really as extreme as it ought to be.
Bill Stoddard

A human being should know how to live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse. Specialization is for insects.
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Old 09-19-2019, 09:37 PM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Numb

I usually have it as one of the disadvantages given by sensory deprivation attacks. An Affliction with Disadvantages (Blindness, Deafness, No Sense of Smell/Taste, and Numb) is just +95% and, with Incapacitation (Hallucination), it only goes up to +145%. Add Malediction 1 (+100%), Extended Duration (Permanent, Medical Treatment) (+150%), and you have a nasty little 50 CP attack.
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disadvantage of the week, numb

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