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Old 10-10-2019, 12:45 PM   #1
johndallman
 
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Default [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Odious Personal Habits

Odious Personal Habits [-5, -10 or -15] is a mundane mental disadvantage which is highly customisable. You habitually behave in some way, chosen at character generation, which causes a reaction penalty, of -1, -2 or -3. This disadvantage appeared in the GURPS 3e Basic Set.

The reaction penalties are at full value for members of your own race. Other races may react differently, by not noticing, liking them, or disliking them far more, which is up to the GM. Some races may have Odious Racial Habits, which are just like OPH, but shared by most or all members of the race. For humans, body odour is a [-5] example, constant spitting is [-10], and no examples are provided for [-15]. It’s perfectly possible to have more than one OPH if you really want to, and they don’t usually require any special justification to buy off.

Odious Personal Habits are fairly common disadvantage options on published templates; Odious Racial Habits are a quick way of characterising races: Discworld and Banestorm use them a lot. There are far too many published examples to list, but the more entertaining ones include “Asking for Spare Body Parts”, “Continuous Singing”, “Creepy Manner and Wilfully Enigmatic Behaviour”, “Eats other Sapients”, “Full-Time Cool”, “Hitting People”, “Inability to Loose the Bloodstains”, “Licks Himself”, “Moral Posturing”, “Non-stop Idea Factory”, “Raised in a Barn”, “Talks Like a Pirate”, and “Wild Melodrama.”

There are only a few additional rules for OPH. Power-Ups 6 provides details on quirk-level ones, and Powers: Totems and Nature Spirits uses them for the strange behaviour that being “ridden” by your totem causes, while Social Engineering has OPHs acquired through pretensions to higher Status.

I don’t seem to have used OPH much as a player, or GM’ed for characters who had them on their character sheets. I do recall a guest player in the Witch World campaign I played long ago who took the quirk “Bumptious” and played it to the point of being awarded a [-10] OPH, but he was just a good actor, honestly. Have Odious Personal Habits enlivened your games?

Edit: A Kromm posting on the distinction between Odious Racial Habits and Social Stigma.

Last edited by johndallman; 10-12-2019 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 10-11-2019, 04:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Odious Personal Habits

I sometimes end up taking an OPH as part of the unfortunate tendency to make warrior or geek types socially hopeless as a way of getting points that doesn't impact their primary game function. (Which is okay until it leads to entire parties of social incompetents, with maybe one grossly over-qualified face-person if one is lucky, sometimes played by the most socially incompetent player at the table.) My new Monster Hunter Techie has "Habitual Fast-Talk", for example (and I think that rates far more as an OPH than as a mere quirk, whatever the Power-Ups book says). I think that roleplaying it is already beginning to get on some other players' nerves...

I do think that the examples quoted in the rulebook for OPHs (carried over from the 3rd ed text, as I recall) under-estimate the social effects of annoying behaviour, really. "Constant Spitting" would make you an effective outcast in many places, I'm sure, and implying that somebody has to be some kind of gross monstrosity to get -15 seems a bit strong, given how easy it is to get to -3 reactions in other ways.

The other big problem I observe with this disadvantage is the sense that the penalty shouldn't kick in until the observer has had a chance to get annoyed by the habit -- even if players don't try arguing the point, GMs may be uncomfortable having NPCs react to something which they can't have seen yet. But one of the big problems with reaction penalties should be first encounters going bad -- and other reaction penalties, with similar points values, do logically kick in on sight. On the other hand, most OPHs should have interesting side-effects (such as penalties to Stealth or Disguise).

So in my Totally Imaginary GURPS 4.5, this disad gets its description totally rewritten, even if the cost ends up much the same.
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Old 10-11-2019, 09:06 AM   #3
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Odious Personal Habits

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So in my Totally Imaginary GURPS 4.5, this disad gets its description totally rewritten, even if the cost ends up much the same.
This one often falls under the old adage "Buy what your getting, not the Name".

Say someone wants OPH (Fidgets and makes noises). I'd split this onto OPH (Fidgets) [-5] and Noisy 1-2 [-2/-4].
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Old 10-11-2019, 11:22 AM   #4
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Odious Personal Habits

I had a character with OPH (Dad Jokes). Fun to play.
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Old 10-11-2019, 01:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Odious Personal Habits

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I had a character with OPH (Dad Jokes). Fun to play.
I would think that would be a quirk except in a hyperconfucian society.
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Old 10-11-2019, 02:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Odious Personal Habits

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
I would think that would be a quirk except in a hyperconfucian society.
"Dad Jokes" are really repetitive and common jokes that "Dads" are supposed to tell because small children can find them funny and haven't heard them before. At least the first time. Laughy Taffy uses a lot of dad jokes. They're not about mocking fathers, at least not 99% of the time.

"Your Mom!" Jokes, on the other hand, would qualify. I'm grateful those seem to have mostly passed.

Trying to use kid's slang at every possible opportunity probably qualifies as an OPH.
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Old 10-11-2019, 04:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Odious Personal Habits

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Trying to use kid's slang at every possible opportunity probably qualifies as an OPH.
Or just as bad, OPH: Uses "Made up slang from niche shows and books".

Frex; anyone saying/writing 'TANSTAAFL' gets a -1 Reaction penalty from me... (so in my case it's a Quirk level Intolerance)
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Old 10-11-2019, 06:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Odious Personal Habits

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
Frex; anyone saying/writing 'TANSTAAFL' gets a -1 Reaction penalty from me... (so in my case it's a Quirk level Intolerance)
Do people actually say 'TANSTAAFL' or do they say what the letters stand for?

I suppose people could have OPH (Speaks in acronyms) and be the person that actually says "LoL" and "ROFL" and stuff like that.
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Odious Personal Habits

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
Or just as bad, OPH: Uses "Made up slang from niche shows and books".

Frex; anyone saying/writing 'TANSTAAFL' gets a -1 Reaction penalty from me... (so in my case it's a Quirk level Intolerance)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Žorkell View Post
Do people actually say 'TANSTAAFL' or do they say what the letters stand for?

I suppose people could have OPH (Speaks in acronyms) and be the person that actually says "LoL" and "ROFL" and stuff like that.
But which has the higher point value, people who refuse to explain the reference or acronym if asked, or those who insist on explaining even if not asked?
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Odious Personal Habits

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Do people actually say 'TANSTAAFL' or do they say what the letters stand for?
Yes. I once knew someone that did... which has fuled my Intolerance for this particular forced attempt at invented slang.

Quote:
I suppose people could have OPH (Speaks in acronyms) and be the person that actually says "LoL" and "ROFL" and stuff like that.
I actually say 'lol' (pronounced like loll, not 'ell oh ell'*) in the real world. So... guilty as charged.



* Which... I know people who say 'ell oh ell', so... yeah.

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But which has the higher point value, people who refuse to explain the reference or acronym if asked, or those who insist on explaining even if not asked?
Yes.
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