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Old 02-11-2019, 10:40 AM   #41
Andreas
 
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Default Re: Skill for laying low in an urban area

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
The things you are calling 'stupid' are generally unavoidable for people without extensive preparations, training or experience and connections. Which in GURPS implies skills that you roll against. For the vast majority of the people reading this, if you don't use electronic banking or credit cards, you couldn't afford to go on the run, disappear or even lay low. Most people I know either have no cash at all on them, or they only have a minimal amount that would not buy more than one trip by taxi or one meal. Having enough cash on you at all times to pay for a train ticket away from where you live and then a place to stay when you get somewhere else, that's really unusual.
"carelessly using your credit card" is what I called stupid and I also clarified in a later response to you that you can take a calculated risk to withdraw money with your credit card depending on the circumstances.

Whether most people could afford to go on the run depends greatly on how long they have to do so, the standard of living they want and whether they have time to prepare before running away.

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Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
To put it another way, shooting or stabbing someone is not technically hard, but GURPS still has Guns skill and Knife skill because "in war, everything is simple and the simplest things are difficult." Ditto for lockpicking, driving, etc. Under stress and in unfamiliar conditions, people often make mistakes.
Not shooting or stabbing someone does however not require a skill roll. Same for not lockpicking and not driving etc.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:45 AM   #42
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Default Re: Skill for laying low in an urban area

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"carelessly using your credit card" is what I called stupid and I also clarified in a later response to you that you can take a calculated risk to withdraw money with your credit card depending on the circumstances.
In GURPS, when you have to calculate whether something is an acceptable risk in the circumstances and how to take precautions that minimize the risk, you generally roll against some skill, whether at default or not.

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Whether most people could afford to go on the run depends greatly on how long they have to do so, the standard of living they want and whether they have time to prepare before running away.
Sure. And what you use to prepare are Allies, Contacts and other social advantages and a range of skills.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:55 AM   #43
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Default Re: Skill for laying low in an urban area

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
In GURPS, when you have to calculate whether something is an acceptable risk in the circumstances and how to take precautions that minimize the risk, you generally roll against some skill, whether at default or not.


Sure. And what you use to prepare are Allies, Contacts and other social advantages and a range of skills.
Or you know, just getting one big cash withdrawl before you go on the run.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:02 AM   #44
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Default Re: Skill for laying low in an urban area

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
In GURPS, when you have to calculate whether something is an acceptable risk in the circumstances and how to take precautions that minimize the risk, you generally roll against some skill, whether at default or not.


Sure. And what you use to prepare are Allies, Contacts and other social advantages and a range of skills.
For difficult judgements perhaps, but plenty of it is also player decisions or things that you are assumed to automatically succeed at. For example, it is not difficult to figure out that you are better of witdrawing cash at the start, than using your credit card for every expense along the way when you know that people will start hunting you a day or so from now.

The default money you get by not having any Wealth disadvantages can also be very useful for preparations.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:04 AM   #45
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Default Re: Skill for laying low in an urban area

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Or you know, just getting one big cash withdrawl before you go on the run.
If you have a card that allows a cash withdrawal of any size, sure. Which, in a society that increasingly doesn't have any need for cash, is not that common, in my experience.

Checking typical cards in Iceland, you can generally get around $300 from an ATM if you are not withdrawing from your own bank. If you are withdrawing from an ATM from your own bank, you can get up to $1,000 for the basic cards that most everyone has and up to $7,000 for cards that are meant for travelers, if you are withdrawing from an ATM specifically targeted for the use of such cards. No idea how to find one of those and don't know anyone who has ever needed to withdraw that kind of money from an ATM.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:15 AM   #46
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Default Re: Skill for laying low in an urban area

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For difficult judgements perhaps, but plenty of it is also player decisions or things that you are assumed to automatically succeed at. For example, it is not difficult to figure out that you are better of witdrawing cash at the start, than using your credit card for every expense along the way when you know that people will start hunting you a day or so from now.
It's not difficult because you are rolling at default Criminology or Streetwise, gained from typical media concerned with cops and criminals, and there is a +10 TDM for just being able to state a basic fact repeated in all the media, without necessarily being able to do it yourself. This means that anyone with IQ 9+ is probably going to succeed even if they don't have any relevant skills and people with IQ 11+ and/or some level of Dabbler related to knowing how skip-traces are done will have such high probabilities of success that a GM can declare there is no need to roll.

If you had to do this for real, under a time pressure and with all sorts of things you really needed to accomplish before you left, there wouldn't be a +10 TDM anymore. There might be a +4 to +6 TDM if you had prepared beforehand and got some warning, but that still gets into the territory where actually having a skill level higher than default starts to be useful.

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The default money you get by not having any Wealth disadvantages can also be very useful for preparations.
If a PC is going to start with his beginning Wealth specifically stored in a form ready for going on the run, I'd generally demand that the backstory explained why and that would tend to come with skills related to this reason.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:19 AM   #47
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Default Re: Skill for laying low in an urban area

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Or you know, just getting one big cash withdrawl before you go on the run.
Just about every bank I know of has a limit on how much you can withdraw at once, usually about $500 or $1000. Which won't get you far. Dinging all your cards at once will set off alarm bells at the bank, and they may abruptly lock your cards before you're done as a fraud precaution.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:20 AM   #48
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I know very few people who will have more than $50 on them during a typical day, because every single transaction uses a card. I've seen people ask their friends for cash money, because they needed to pay some weird person trying to sell art or provide service without paying taxes, but none of my friends or gaming group ever have more than a couple of bills worth no more than $50, usually more like $10 to $20.

Abroad, I may carry more cash, but I noticed that my friends who live in Denmark and the Netherlands almost never have any cash, so it's not purely an Icelandic thing. More and more, you just don't use cash in modern European countries.

The only time I see anyone with $100 or more in cash is when someone is paying for goods and services under the table, because they are avoiding taxation or the goods are stolen, or when someone is buying drugs. So, it's more of a thing I see professionally than a part of daily life for people without skills like Streetwise.
I hadn't realized things had gone so far. Of course, I reached adulthood around 1970, when customs were presumably different even in Europe; my experience might not be typical even in the United States.

As much as anything else, this is an expenditure control strategy. If I take cash out of my wallet, I feel the outlay emotionally. Putting something on my debit card feels less real; there's not the psychic barrier of, "No, I don't have enough money for that." Takiing out a certain amount each week is a way of defining a "petty cash" amount that I'm prepared to spend without advance planning and without first checking my bank balance.

In any case, you're quite right that my habitual cash balance wouldn't last me long if I needed to pay for a place to stay with it. I might not even be able to get one; I first got a credit card after dealing with hotels that expected every guest to have one.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:31 AM   #49
Andreas
 
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Default Re: Skill for laying low in an urban area

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
If you had to do this for real, under a time pressure and with all sorts of things you really needed to accomplish before you left, there wouldn't be a +10 TDM anymore. There might be a +4 to +6 TDM if you had prepared beforehand and got some warning, but that still gets into the territory where actually having a skill level higher than default starts to be useful.
In the scenario I mentioned, the character had a day to prepare. That is not a very harsh time preasure.

If the time gets much shorter, then that can become harder. On the other hand you might just have thought through the scenario sometime in the past. Either like I have done just now, or by hearing about how some criminal using their credit card got caught like that. I don't think that is at all unusual.

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If a PC is going to start with his beginning Wealth specifically stored in a form ready for going on the run, I'd generally demand that the backstory explained why and that would tend to come with skills related to this reason.
Sure, but that is not needed to be able to prepare for running away though. Having a small amount of cash and being able to withdraw some on short notice is not at all implausible.

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
Just about every bank I know of has a limit on how much you can withdraw at once, usually about $500 or $1000. Which won't get you far. Dinging all your cards at once will set off alarm bells at the bank, and they may abruptly lock your cards before you're done as a fraud precaution.
Even much less than that can make it much easier than having nothing. If I had to run away right now, I would strongly prefer having $50 over $0.

Last edited by Andreas; 02-11-2019 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:34 AM   #50
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Default Re: Skill for laying low in an urban area

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I hadn't realized things had gone so far. Of course, I reached adulthood around 1970, when customs were presumably different even in Europe; my experience might not be typical even in the United States.
The United States are, in my experience, a lot more open to cash-based transactions than the Northern European countries. And, of course, there are places, even in the modern TL8 world, where cash is still king. It's just that most of us don't have the skills to get to most of these places without using photo ID for travel.

And, honestly, if I was GM-ing, I'd still require Streetwise or other skills useful in similar conditions for a lot of the day-to-day challenges of being a person without identification or legal residence permits in a foreign country, even if that was a country where you could use cash for almost everything. Quite simply, Streetwise is not confined to those who are criminals by choice, it's a basic life skill for anyone who is trying to live in urban areas, but remain outside of mainstream society and avoid official notice.

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
As much as anything else, this is an expenditure control strategy. If I take cash out of my wallet, I feel the outlay emotionally. Putting something on my debit card feels less real; there's not the psychic barrier of, "No, I don't have enough money for that." Takiing out a certain amount each week is a way of defining a "petty cash" amount that I'm prepared to spend without advance planning and without first checking my bank balance.
It makes sense. I've even done it myself, but I can't keep it up, precisely because the hassle of trying to obtain cash from ATMs is too much bother for me. Since everything is done by card anyway, why bother to look for ATMs every time the small supply they give you each time runs out, not to mention keeping track of bills and coins (ugh!), having to wait for a teenager who rarely sees money to figure out how to count your change, etc.?

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
In any case, you're quite right that my habitual cash balance wouldn't last me long if I needed to pay for a place to stay with it. I might not even be able to get one; I first got a credit card after dealing with hotels that expected every guest to have one.
Indeed. I used to use a debit card for everything as a teenager, but had to get a credit card specifically to travel in Europe, as I was simply unable to book hotel rooms without one. Thinking about it, I'm pretty sure every time I've gotten a room in the US, I've also used a credit card, even in motels. I don't have to pay with the credit card, but they need it on file, so that they can charge something if I were to cause any damage to their property.

There are skills to avoid this, but for normal people who are not rolling against any skills, any place that will rent you a room, whether by the night or for longer periods, pretty much requires that you have not only a valid form of identity papers, but also some way they can charge a credit card or otherwise claim your money for damages if you steal or ruin anything and then run away in the night.
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Last edited by Icelander; 02-11-2019 at 11:54 AM.
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