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Old 02-06-2011, 03:14 AM   #1
Harry O'Gane
 
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Default Coffee and GURPS

Greetings,

I am doing a bit of coffee statistics for GURPS, and here is what I'm interested in:

1) Is caffeine addiction treated as an addiction worth [-5] points or is it treated as a quirk?

2) Can coffee substitute FP lost by missed sleep? If it can, how much? Since coffee can be prepared in various ways, how much of it would restore a cup of espresso, a cup of latte, a cup of cappucino and how much a cup of black Turkish coffee?

3) Does coffee increase anything temporarily, like perception?

Best regards,

Marko Zadro

Last edited by Harry O'Gane; 02-06-2011 at 03:23 AM.
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Old 02-06-2011, 03:23 AM   #2
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Default Re: Coffee and GURPS

That's pretty much a matter of opinion, I guess. Caffeine addicition should be a quirk, since withdrawal has no appreciable effects. It also doesn't recover any FP, you still need that sleep, coffee or no coffee, but it should grant a bonus to Will rolls you make to prevent falling asleep and might negate drowsiness. Likewise any advantage granted by caffeine's stimulating qualities is likely offset by it making you twitchy.

In general, coffee is simply too weak a drug to have much effect on GURPS's scale. After all, the much more powerful alcohol gives you only -2 to DEX and IQ, if you are really drunk. So, even a +1 bonus from coffee would be stretching credibility, IMO.
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Old 02-06-2011, 03:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: Coffee and GURPS

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Originally Posted by downer View Post
That's pretty much a matter of opinion, I guess. Caffeine addicition should be a quirk, since withdrawal has no appreciable effects. It also doesn't recover any FP, you still need that sleep, coffee or no coffee, but it should grant a bonus to Will rolls you make to prevent falling asleep and might negate drowsiness. Likewise any advantage granted by caffeine's stimulating qualities is likely offset by it making you twitchy.

In general, coffee is simply too weak a drug to have much effect on GURPS's scale. After all, the much more powerful alcohol gives you only -2 to DEX and IQ, if you are really drunk. So, even a +1 bonus from coffee would be stretching credibility, IMO.
A friend of mine once told me that he had a caffeine overdose from instant coffee. He said that it seemed as though shadows around him were moving on their own (shadows of inanimate objects, that is), and that it seemed like everything is in motion blur.

This happened after 5-6 cups drank in a short period of time.
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Old 02-06-2011, 03:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: Coffee and GURPS

Over use of caffeine can give you palpitations (irregular heartbeat). An increased heart rate can make you feel tired.
Coffee increases blood pressure - decaf does the same.
Coffee may be used to wake you up but an apple is actually more effective (don't know the Why but chewing, sugar, and no increased heart rate sounds good to me). Caffeine can actually cause fatigue - it works like a burst of adrenaline. Adrenaline isn't all nice - diarrhoea, vomiting, tremors...

A coffee use study showed that it improved work rates by <5%; coffee, no sugar, led to more work but more errors. Coffee plus sugar got more work done due to less errors.

Withdrawal will leave you miserable for a few days; possibly migraine level headaches. This about the only thing that's measurable in GURPS terms unless you want to count a strong dose of coffee/caffeine/taurine as temporarily negating 1FP but having to be paid back double...

PS taurine "energy" drinks should be diluted with an equal volume of water.
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Old 02-06-2011, 03:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: Coffee and GURPS

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...possibly migraine level headaches
Ahhhh, the memories.
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Old 02-06-2011, 04:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: Coffee and GURPS

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PS taurine "energy" drinks should be diluted with an equal volume of water.
Also that taurine has no effect on energy and is merely listed as a way to sell you a $3 can of caffeinated sugar water.* I've been told by a nursing professor that it's not an essential nor non-essential amino acid (and a quick check of Wikipedia verifies that) and while the body needs it, it's capable of producing it. (Unless you happen to be a cat, in which case it's an important nutrient for eye health.)

* One cup of coffee has more caffeine than a can of Red Bull.
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Old 02-06-2011, 05:01 AM   #7
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Default Re: Coffee and GURPS

I remember drinking triple cups 3 times in about an hour. Or about 9 cups... it did make me run around a bit.

I also did a double espresso challenge at work with a mate by drinking a double espresso on the hour every hour of work. After about the 4th we did talk crap quickly for a bit.

Redbull is a great pick me up, due to quantity I'd say it is better than a coffee. Their is also Redbull shots which are really mental.

They do not compare to amphetamines or cocaine. Then again coffee does not have long lasting harmful effects as narcotics.

Studies have see that coffee is good for the liver, well in helping to resist Hepatitis C. However, not enough results have come through but indications are looking at Coffee as the medicinal benefit
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Old 02-06-2011, 06:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Coffee and GURPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry O'Gane View Post
2) Can coffee substitute FP lost by missed sleep?
No, but I'd say it can roughly double the max food-based FP recovery. You still need to eat the food, but if you're already stuffing yourself American-style, caffeine can mean you get less padding and more FP.

It increases metabolism, which makes it easier to stay awake(one of the symptoms of sleepiness is metabolism reduction), which might be plusses to resist going from Drowsy to sleeping, or rolling less often. You still suffer the penalties from just being Drowsy, though they might be partly credited to distraction instead.

At higher doses the mind-racing, heart-racing, and jitters can make it hard to get to sleep. (That's probably Short Attention Span, in GURPS terms, except falling asleep also counts as a task that requires concentration.)

Recovering 1 FP now but losing 2 FP later is a stronger stimulant, getting into the prescription and illegal drugs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry O'Gane View Post
3) Does coffee increase anything temporarily, like perception?
In people with (some kinds of?) ADD, it can reduce their symptoms in a fashion similar to Ritalin. My boss is in a middling category, where caffeine basically doesn't affect him except in massive doses, but Ritalin still helps his ADHD. So it can act as a mitigator for Short Attention Span. Whee :J

The metabolism boost is probably what it's "for".

Quote:
Originally Posted by ciaran_skye View Post
* One cup of coffee has more caffeine than a can of Red Bull.
Dunno about Red Bull per se, but the energy drinks I've checked have a cup of coffee worth of caffeine per 2oz. (You do have to check the various herbal caffeine sources, which are more expensive but basically just caffeine.)

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Originally Posted by obatron View Post
If I don't have my daily 2 cup coffee dose by a certain point in they day (usually within 2-3 hours of waking), I'm told I can be a tad bit grumpy which apparently is just a nice way of saying argumentative, sarcastic, and a tad bit mean.
That's a pretty good description of the typical caffeine down. People who get migraines from it are rarer… It's a lot like PMS, really. Except in the forehead :J

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xplo View Post
Note that caffeine addiction wears off fairly quickly;
Yeah, that's my real problem with statting it as an Addiction. Sure, it's an addiction, but for most people it'll go away with a week of inaction.

A particular character or race could have an unusual reaction to caffeine, if the GM agrees; only the price is fixed across characters in that regard. In one fantasy setting I wrote up, elves could take ginger as a Cheap, Incapacitating, Highly Addictive, and Legal drug. And it can be taken as a Mitigator or Trigger.
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:24 AM   #9
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Default Re: Coffee and GURPS

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Originally Posted by downer View Post
That's pretty much a matter of opinion, I guess. Caffeine addicition should be a quirk, since withdrawal has no appreciable effects.
You don't count three or four days of killer headaches as "appreciable"? In GURPS terms I think I'd call the ones I've had "Severe." Of course I've never drunk coffee, but many sodas feed the same addiction.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 02-06-2011, 10:20 AM   #10
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Default Re: Coffee and GURPS

I've never seen or heard about any such effect from caffeine in either sodas or coffee. I wouldn't consider myself addicted, but I do drink a lot of caffeinated beverages, and whenever I don't for a few days, nothing happens. I've never met anyone who feels anything but a bit of tiredness and uneven temper when they stop drinking coffee and similar beverages, and I would bet that they, as someone said, use the coffee as a mitigator for being bad morning persons.

I frankly have trouble believing that any such effects occur and are not entirely psychosomatic.
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