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Old 09-05-2020, 01:46 PM   #1
Haserway
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Default Dynamic Code of Honor?

So, I want to create a character with a certain frame. The best example woule be, I guess, the Ghost of Tsushima. The character has a Code of Honor (samurai), but struggling with harsh reality of war and has to seek a compromise with himself all the time, utilizing dirty guerilla tricks and tactics (stealth attacks etc), which confronts his Code of Honor.

I want to make a mechanic that would represent his "downfall", when he comes to "dirty" tactics and his "enlightment" when he goes along his Code of Honor and fights fairly and openly.

Firstly I thought about Higher Purpose. That would totally ignore his Code of Honor, though. So I'm a bit in confuse now.

Could it be also, for example, a system that has dynamic value of CoD? Closes example is "Humanity" in VtM. If so, how could I make it work in GURPS?

Any advice is vital and highly appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 09-05-2020, 04:03 PM   #2
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Dynamic Code of Honor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haserway View Post
Firstly I thought about Higher Purpose. That would totally ignore his Code of Honor, though. So I'm a bit in confuse now.
I think you can do this by buying Higher Purpose with the Fickle limitation (GURPS Powers, p. 110), and adding some explanation about what Fickle represents. The limitation says

Quote:
Your ability is or seems sentient,
and sometimes reacts poorly. Make an
unmodified reaction roll whenever you
wish to use it.
The character is actually rolling against his subconscious' opinion of him. The GM gets to set modifiers to the reaction roll according to your recent behaviour, angst, and so on.

Last edited by johndallman; 09-06-2020 at 05:54 AM.
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Old 09-05-2020, 05:11 PM   #3
Gold & Appel Inc
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Default Re: Dynamic Code of Honor?

I'd use Higher Purpose with a Pact limitation. Follow your CoH, you get the bonus. Break it and you don't. Easy-peasy.
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Old 09-05-2020, 05:44 PM   #4
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Dynamic Code of Honor?

If you want more tracking of the downfall and enlightment story, you might consider the Corruption mechanic from Horror. Cheat on your CoH, and you accumulation Corruption points. Their first casualty is the Higher Purpose. But you could add other Disads, too.

To make the player choices more difficult, one such "disad" from accumulated Corruption could be Higher Purpose -- but for the cheating rather than proper behavior. So, the player has to choose to skip his bonus in order to work his way back up to the neutral or enlightened states, keeping to the CoH even when it's less effective mechanically -- or just take the easy way out and keep his corrupted bonus, just remaining corrupted?
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Old 09-06-2020, 03:50 AM   #5
Anders
 
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Default Re: Dynamic Code of Honor?

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Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
I'd use Higher Purpose with a Pact limitation. Follow your CoH, you get the bonus. Break it and you don't. Easy-peasy.
Doesn't Higher Purpose come with a Pact limitation already?
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Old 09-06-2020, 08:14 AM   #6
Gold & Appel Inc
 
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Default Re: Dynamic Code of Honor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders View Post
Doesn't Higher Purpose come with a Pact limitation already?
Not really. You normally get the bonus if you're doing your Purpose, and adding a CoH Pact would mean that you only get the bonus if both conditions are met - doing your purpose the right way according to the code. The actual discount would be rounded away for anything other than campaigns in which multiple levels of HP are allowed, and probably just 1 point even then, making it more of an RP thing anyway.
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Old 09-06-2020, 09:03 AM   #7
Stormcrow
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ronkonkoma, NY
Default Re: Dynamic Code of Honor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haserway View Post
Firstly I thought about Higher Purpose. That would totally ignore his Code of Honor, though.
If he's constantly compromising his principles, he doesn't follow a Code of Honor. Higher Purpose is exactly what you want: you define a code exactly like a Code of Honor, you get a bonus whenever you act under that code, and you suffer the whatever consequences are appropriate whenever you violate the code (e.g., a bad Reputation, a penalty to rolls, a Guilt Complex, whatever the GM decides).
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Old 09-07-2020, 02:17 PM   #8
pawsplay
 
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Default Re: Dynamic Code of Honor?

Sounds like a Quirk (Samurai Code of Honor, Ignores it in the face of contingencies) plus a Sense of Duty.
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Old 09-07-2020, 06:25 PM   #9
jason taylor
 
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Default Re: Dynamic Code of Honor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haserway View Post
So, I want to create a character with a certain frame. The best example woule be, I guess, the Ghost of Tsushima. The character has a Code of Honor (samurai), but struggling with harsh reality of war and has to seek a compromise with himself all the time, utilizing dirty guerilla tricks and tactics (stealth attacks etc), which confronts his Code of Honor.

I want to make a mechanic that would represent his "downfall", when he comes to "dirty" tactics and his "enlightment" when he goes along his Code of Honor and fights fairly and openly.

Firstly I thought about Higher Purpose. That would totally ignore his Code of Honor, though. So I'm a bit in confuse now.

Could it be also, for example, a system that has dynamic value of CoD? Closes example is "Humanity" in VtM. If so, how could I make it work in GURPS?

Any advice is vital and highly appreciated. Thank you!
In ''Chrysanthemum and the Sword'' Ruth Benedict goes into much detail about the duties owed to different categories. They can come out to dreadful, and to the Western mind, just plain "weird" interpretations (one being a man who abandoned a wife against his own will because of his nagging mother's outrageous jealousy at the competition for her boy's affection).

Allowance for these sort of contradictions were already written into the system. And did come out in strange ways.

What you have to do is make it sound like something a samurai really would care about. One suspects he is not going to care about power to the people, per se. Though conceivably he might care about giving the people a break from corrupt rent collectors (on the other hand, even that sounds more like a time for a "Please Spare Him, My Liege" moment than for learning to fight dirty).

One way to get familiar is to read the Sano Ichiro mysteries. Sano is always an honorable samurai, always having to deal with conflicts, usually with justice (him being a crime-fighter). And so on.

One point to remember though is that the Samurai who made the Kirosawa type of movies are descendants of the ''survivors'' of the feudal wars, which included such things as giving muskets to peasants and promoting those of them that distinguished themselves. History does not show them overburdened by a desire to fight fairly and openly. And come to think of it the plot description of Yojimbo sounds kind of like what you are talking about.

For that matter some of that about fighting fairly and openly sounds amusing. Savo Island was not a prime example of that. The Night Surface Action of Friday the Thirteenth on the other hand would warm the heart of any Samurai were it not for the inconvenience that Japan lost.
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Old 09-09-2020, 11:16 PM   #10
pawsplay
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Dynamic Code of Honor?

Pretty much everything I needed to know about the honor of historical samurai, I learned when I read up on iaijutsu. Iaijutsu is the art of drawing a sword and killing in one stroke. It has forms for both standing and sitting attacks. The most likely scenario when you would be sitting or kneeling in front of an enemy you wanted to kill would be a peaceful meeting, perhaps enjoying a nice cup of tea...
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