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Old 06-11-2020, 02:28 PM   #1
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Default [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Uncontrollable Appetite

Uncontrollable Appetite [-15*] is an exotic mental disadvantage with a self-control roll. You need to consume something that comes from other sapients (such as a vampireís need for blood) and you have difficulty controlling your appetite. This disadvantage appeared at GURPS 4e, as a generalisation of several 3e disadvantages.

Your appetite is for something well-defined that isnít easily obtained, and must be acquired through deception or violence (one of the 3e disadvantages that went into this was Murder Addiction). You need to make a self-control roll when you have a chance to indulge; if someone tempts you deliberately, or you can perceive large quantities, you roll at -2. If feeding restores your lost hit points, you roll at -1 per hit point youíre currently down. If you fail your roll, you have no choice about feeding, and must make a second roll to stop once you are satisfied. If you fail that, you donít stop until youíve had all that can be obtained from your victim. For many Uncontrollable Appetites, this will kill them.

Discworld elaborates considerably on this disadvantage for its vampires, and Characters has an iconic example. Fantasy has more vampires, and Horror provides a fine construction kit for blood-suckers of all types. Powers points out that this disadvantage may trigger abilities related to feeding, which are very popular in Zombies.

I canít help feeling that this disadvantage needs some limitations to create versions that donít involve killing people, but create appetites that are hard to satisfy in other ways. Addiction is a bit too tied to substances that have to be taken regularly, in the style of present-day narcotics. Have you done interesting things with it in your games?
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Old 06-12-2020, 05:22 AM   #2
WingedKagouti
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Uncontrollable Appetite

I've used it (almost) exclusively for werewolves, demons, vampires, spirits and similar entities that either don't care about the safety of their victims or just can't control themselves for some reason.
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Old 06-12-2020, 07:26 AM   #3
RogerBW
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Uncontrollable Appetite

We already have Compulsive Behaviour (and Dependency, Addiction or Restricted Diet if you actually need the thing rather than just desire it). I really don't see that Uncontrollable Appetite (Human Blood) is usefully distinct from Compulsive Behaviour (Drink Human Blood).
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Old 06-12-2020, 07:34 AM   #4
ericthered
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Uncontrollable Appetite

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Originally Posted by RogerBW View Post
I really don't see that Uncontrollable Appetite (Human Blood) is usefully distinct from Compulsive Behaviour (Drink Human Blood).

If you look at the details, there are some important distinctions.



Uncontrollable appetite explicitly adds a mechanism for killing your subject rather than just indulging, which is important for this sort of mechanic.



Compulsive behavior has a "Bad Attitude" clause that uncontrollable appetite does not.



They could be combined, but as it stands, those two features separate them, and those features are not trivial.
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Old 06-12-2020, 07:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Uncontrollable Appetite

Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerBW View Post
We already have Compulsive Behaviour (and Dependency, Addiction or Restricted Diet if you actually need the thing rather than just desire it). I really don't see that Uncontrollable Appetite (Human Blood) is usefully distinct from Compulsive Behaviour (Drink Human Blood).
You MUST perform a Compulsive Behavior at least once a day if at all possible. You only indulge in an Uncontrollable Appetite when presented with an opportunity and failing a self-control roll. Someone with an Uncontrollable Appetite can go indefinitely without succumbing to their disadvantage; someone with Compulsive Behavior cannot.

An Uncontrollable Appetite is also a supernatural disadvantage, which means it's not a natural human trait. You could buy off a Compulsive Behavior just by saying you got over your problem, maybe by getting therapy. To buy off a supernatural disadvantage would require dealing with the supernatural cause.

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Uncontrollable appetite explicitly adds a mechanism for killing your subject rather than just indulging, which is important for this sort of mechanic.
No it doesn't. It just says you continue to indulge in your Uncontrollable Appetite if you fail your second self-control roll. If your Uncontrollable Appetite damages the victim, this might lead to death, but there may be non-lethal forms of Uncontrollable Appetite. The description of the disadvantage mentions sex: apparently a supernatural desire to rape someone is a possible form of the disadvantage. This wouldn't have to lead to death if the second self-control roll is also failed. Horrific crimes, yes, but not necessarily murder.
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Old 06-12-2020, 08:14 AM   #6
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Uncontrollable Appetite

Yes, you could have a supernatural creature with an Uncontrollable Appetite for human feces, though I would suggest having other traits as well (Bad Smell and Odious Personal Habit at a minimum). Such a creature might harm people indirectly through spreading diseases and parasites, but they would probably not directly harm people. In fact, it might avoid them, as it may feel disgusted by its uncontrollable appetite.
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Old 06-12-2020, 08:18 AM   #7
ericthered
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Uncontrollable Appetite

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Yes, you could have a supernatural creature with an Uncontrollable Appetite for human feces

Would that really require "force or guile"? And do you really have to obtain it from other sapients?



I'm not so sure that even a blood bank vampire qualifies for Uncontrollable appetite.
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Old 06-12-2020, 10:01 AM   #8
Andreas
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Uncontrollable Appetite

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
An Uncontrollable Appetite is also a supernatural disadvantage, which means it's not a natural human trait. You could buy off a Compulsive Behavior just by saying you got over your problem, maybe by getting therapy. To buy off a supernatural disadvantage would require dealing with the supernatural cause.
I don't think that is the case? A vampire who improved his self-control does not seem like an inappropriate justification for removing (or reducing the severity of) Uncontrollable Appetite. They would still have the desire for blood (the removal of which might require a supernatural solution), but they just wouldn't have to act on it.
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Old 06-12-2020, 10:48 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Uncontrollable Appetite

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I don't think that is the case? A vampire who improved his self-control does not seem like an inappropriate justification for removing (or reducing the severity of) Uncontrollable Appetite. They would still have the desire for blood (the removal of which might require a supernatural solution), but they just wouldn't have to act on it.
That would depend. Is the self-control number a reflection of the vampire's willpower, or is it a reflection of the strength of the supernaturally-induced appetite?

In any case, when I said "buy off," I meant remove the disadvantage entirely.
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Old 06-12-2020, 10:59 AM   #10
Andreas
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Uncontrollable Appetite

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That would depend. Is the self-control number a reflection of the vampire's willpower, or is it a reflection of the strength of the supernaturally-induced appetite?

In any case, when I said "buy off," I meant remove the disadvantage entirely.
Both probably.

Yes, removing it entirely would be what happens when the vampire's self-control gets good enough that it never fails to control it. The same justification which can be used to raise the self-control number, can be used to remove it entirely.
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