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Old 10-06-2019, 10:56 AM   #11
WingedKagouti
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Obsession

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Originally Posted by Pursuivant View Post
Since Obsession is more of a roleplaying disad rather than one which imposes penalties or limits combat options, it's potentially free points in campaigns where there isn't much chance for an Obsessive character to achieve their stated goal or where the Obsession clearly works to the character's advantage (e.g., "Master Kung Fu" for a martial artist who already spends hours in training each day and who is always attempting to boost his unarmed combat performance). In such cases, Obsessions should just be treated as Quirks.
I disagree, especially with the given example.

In this case, the Obsession essentially says "This character will not spend effort on doing anything that isn't related to getting better at martial arts", and points represent effort in improving oneself. A martial artist who has Obsession (Master Kung Fu) should always need to do a lot of explaining as to why they want to spend points on anything that isn't a skill or advantage directly related to improving their style. If the other disadvantages the character has don't degrade their performance as a martial artist, the character lacks motivation to do anything about them (even if the player might want them gone). Most social advantages should be passed by, except when they can help the character gain access to more training. Skills that aren't part of their martial art will not be picked up.

This is obviously not much of a disadvantage in a Dungeon Fantasy style campaign, especially if the party has another caharacter as their Face. But DF is all about maximizing your gains while minimizing your losses, so picking a disadvantage that doesn't do much is well within the spirit of DF. Even so, a DF character with that obsession is still limited, at least if the GM allows players to multi-class, as they shouldn't be allowed to pick a second class.

The martial artist is also very likely to not want to take part in a non-action investigative session, same with a social gathering if it's unlikely there will be other dedicated martial artists present to talk to. If the player just goes along with those things anyway, that could certainly carry a "bad roleplaying" penality (or at the very least counteract any "good roleplaying" bonuses).

As a non-mechanical disadvantage the GM has to be actively aware of it, both when planning each session (to make sure the obsessed character can find justification to participate) and during each session if the rest of the party decides to do something that would conflict with the disadvantage.
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Old 10-06-2019, 02:09 PM   #12
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Obsession

I think that's carrying it too far. I see Obsession more as something Inigo Montoya from Princess' Bride has. What he does has the greater purpose of avenging his father... but he's capable of doing other things to survive while he's waiting for his revenge.
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Old 10-06-2019, 02:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Obsession

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I think that's carrying it too far. I see Obsession more as something Inigo Montoya from Princess' Bride has. What he does has the greater purpose of avenging his father... but he's capable of doing other things to survive while he's waiting for his revenge.
And if he didn't survive he wouldn't be able to fulfill his Obsession. Most Obsessions will always allow for survival, but that does not mean the character will put in more than the minimally required effort (without other mental traits).
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:26 PM   #14
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Obsession

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And if he didn't survive he wouldn't be able to fulfill his Obsession. Most Obsessions will always allow for survival, but that does not mean the character will put in more than the minimally required effort (without other mental traits).
And remember that Inigo didn't handle things well after his first taste of failure.
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Old 10-06-2019, 09:12 PM   #15
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Obsession

Obsession as a racial or cultural trait - anyone have experience with that? Are there less severe options available?
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:50 AM   #16
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Obsession

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Obsession as a racial or cultural trait - anyone have experience with that?
Some breeds of dogs and food?
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:14 PM   #17
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Obsession

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Some breeds of dogs and food?
i remember an SF story where some alien member of a mostly human crew is learning to play Monopoly and just enjoying the socializing that takes place until he learns that it is all a proxy for land ownership. He immediately reads the rules and then insists that they use the rules as written and starts cleaning up. Seems that his people look at land acquisition as the determining factor in getting wives. Even as a proxy he would be obsessed with doing that.

How would you represent a cultural need to go someplace/do something? A biological need? Salmon-people swim upstream to spawn. Ponfar for Vulcans?

Is Duty or Sense of Duty a better choice? Vow?
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:25 PM   #18
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Obsession

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i remember an SF story where some alien member of a mostly human crew is learning to play Monopoly and just enjoying the socializing that takes place until he learns that it is all a proxy for land ownership (...)
It depends, if his obsession is “obsessed with following rules”, then it makes sense within the frame of the disadvantage.

What you describe sounds like a “bad habit”, something like “cultural background interferes with daily activities” or “obsessive compulsive about personal cultural background” (which is different from the “plain-obsession” disadvantage, IMO).

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(...) I'm fine with it being "free points" because 1) it means the Character (and Player) is 100% invested in the campaign premise, and 2) it's never, ever, just "free points" (...)
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It's also a good heroic motivation. See for example the Count of Monte Cristo, or Mahasamatman in Lord of Light, or the Batman.
These two sum it up for me.
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:36 PM   #19
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Obsession

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Obsession as a racial or cultural trait - anyone have experience with that? Are there less severe options available?
Every Obsession has a less severe option in the form of other psychological disads or quirks. I have thought of one race with with racial Obsession.

House elves from Harry Potter. They're obsessed with serving their masters. It's actually a better model for willing slaves than Slave Mentality.
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