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Old 02-17-2018, 08:55 PM   #1
Otaku
 
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Default [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#53): Extra Head, Extra Mouth

Previous Thread: Extra Attack
Next Thread: Extra Legs

If you're new to this series or just want to leave feedback about it, check out the Introduction Thread. If you need help finding something we've already discussed, johndallman is maintaining an index of which traits we've discussed. This is especially handy if the trait you are searching for happens to have been part of a multi-subject review.

Basic

We will deviate from my usual practice of starting with the alphabetically earlier trait and begin with Extra Mouth (p. B55) is an Exotic, Physical trait that costs 5 CP per level, or as the text puts it, "per mouth". This is one of those traits where the name is spot on; each time this trait is purchased, your character will have one more mouth past the default of one. This additional mouth can do anything your primary mouth can do: bite, breathe, eat, and speak.* A secondary mouth can allow you to bite twice in a turn, cast two Spells in a turn, carry on multiple conversations, etc. if you also buy the appropriate, additional traits like Compartmentalized Mind (p. B43), Extra Attack (p. B53-54), etc.

Extra Head (p. B54) is also an Exotic, Physical Advantage, this time costing 15 CP per head (level). Again, this is exactly as the name would lead you to believe; your body has more than one head, and unless you take Limitations that state otherwise, will include all the benefits of one level of Enhanced Tracking (p. B53) and Extra Mouth (above) per head. Each Extra Head contains an extra copy of your brain (memories, personality, skills), but not a full, additional mind (take Compartmentalized Mind for that), just a spare in case the other is destroyed. Speaking of which, if you have this trait, you cannot suffer more than [2 x (HP/# of heads)] points of damage from a single head or neck blow.

A single head can be rendered unconscious independent of the other(s); the other head(s) continue to function as normal under such circumstances. Having a spare head means that a normally fatal head injury, such as from a critical head blow, merely destroys that particular head. It will inflict maximum damage, and the method of destruction depends upon the nature of the attack. [Basic] includes one specialized Limitation just for Extra Head: "Extraneous" (p. B54) means your Extra Head does not house a spare brain, or at least, not one housing a copy of your memories, personality, and skills. A single attack can do no more than [1.5 x (HP/# of heads)] to an Extraneous Extra Head, but it can't serve as a backup if your main head is injured or destroyed e.g. even if the Extra Head is perfectly fine, the destruction of the primary head will still kill the character. An Extraneous Extra Head still includes all the benefits of Enhanced Tracking and Extra Mouth, however.

Other Supplements
  • GURPS Powers contains fleeting mentions of Extra Head and Extra Mouth, usually just while explaining more advanced rules not centered around them.

Past Editions

Barring some embarrassing oversight, I do not have access to any past edition books that contain earlier versions of these traits; not even GURPS Update lists them. I recall seeing an option for Giants in GURPS Fantasy Folk, allowing them to take an Extra Head; if someone still has a copy of that (or another supplement with the Third Edition version of either trait), feel free to give us an idea of how Extra Head and/or Extra Mouth worked under the older rules. For that matter, if they actually appear before Third Edition, a synopsis of those rules would be welcome as well.

Useful Links

Feel free to suggest any existing threads or other, appropriate links on this matter. All I currently have is this interesting thread where someone suggests using Extra Mouth to help model a pincer, including what (as far as I know) are non-RAW Limitations for stripping away things like being able to actually breathe, eat, or speak from said mouth. For better or worse, the proposed build is one of the last few posts in a seven post thread.

Discussion Starters

This is (usually) a generic list of questions for those who want to participate in the discussion but need a little help. If you already know what you want to say, feel free to skip these. ;)
  • Have you ever taken either of these traits for one of your PCs or NPCs? How did it work out?
  • Is there anything either of traits do really well?
  • Is there anything you think these traits could or should do differently?
  • Any related traits you believe are necessary for full discussion? Go ahead and bring them up, but remember that this is a thread for Extra Head and Extra Mouth.
  • Any thoughts on how the 4e version of these traits compares to them in earlier editions?

*The text in [Basic] doesn't mention if your secondary mouth includes a sense of taste, but that seems to be implied given that would be the one oddball capability a normal mouth has that is conspicuously lacking.
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Last edited by Otaku; 03-03-2018 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 02-18-2018, 03:42 AM   #2
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#53): Extra Head, Extra Mouth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
I recall seeing an option for Giants in GURPS Fantasy Folk, allowing them to take an Extra Head; if someone still has a copy of that (or another supplement with the Third Edition version of either trait), feel free to give us an idea of how Extra Head and/or Extra Mouth worked under the older rules.
It's basically similar, still [15], but with some more details for giants. Each head that's unconscious or dead reduces the giant's IQ by 3, and if a head is deafened, the giant is Hard of Hearing.
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Old 02-26-2018, 01:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#53): Extra Head, Extra Mouth

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
It's basically similar, still [15], but with some more details for giants. Each head that's unconscious or dead reduces the giant's IQ by 3, and if a head is deafened, the giant is Hard of Hearing.
In 4e, those would probably inverted disadvantages with limitations:
  • IQ -3, IQ +3 (Accessibility: extra head is conscious, -??%)
  • Hard of Hearing, Not Hard of Hearing (Accessibility: extra head is conscious, -??%)
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Old 02-26-2018, 02:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#53): Extra Head, Extra Mouth

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Originally Posted by Fanny View Post
Extra Mouths can bite, breathe, eat and speak. They give another combat option and make you harder to suffocate, harder to starve, and harder to silence. What should limitations which remove 1-3 of these be worth?
The basic bite attack is a rather limited crushing striker - instead of
  • Reach C,1,
  • counts as a weapon,
  • redundancy with other extremities,
  • and bonus damage per die,

it's
  • reach C,
  • can be damaged on a parry normally as an unarmed attack,
  • damage is to a Face hit location (with the special problems with Knockdown/stun)
  • and suffers a damage penalty.

That's basically a perk, so -20%.

I might call breathing and speaking -20% each (both can be urgent) while eating is a more long term problem that you usually have more opportunities to escape, so only another -10%.

Yes, that doesn't add up to 100%, I'm not sure this can be carved up into sensible chunks (it's hard to separate breathing and speech...) to make individual traits. If you're bound and determined, then breathing and speaking would be -30% each and eating would be -20% but I don't think it's totally fair.
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Old 02-26-2018, 10:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#53): Extra Head, Extra Mouth

One of the interesting uses I've seen for Extra Mouth is mounting it on a Striker to create a pincer. I think I saw it somewhere on these message boards, but I obviously didn't find it again before posting this thread. Anyway, the reason I bring that up is knowing how to "remove" the other aspects of being a second mouth would be very useful for such a build.
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Old 02-27-2018, 01:39 AM   #6
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#53): Extra Head, Extra Mouth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
The basic bite attack is a rather limited crushing striker - instead of
  • Reach C,1,
  • counts as a weapon,
  • redundancy with other extremities,
  • and bonus damage per die,

it's
  • reach C,
  • can be damaged on a parry normally as an unarmed attack,
  • damage is to a Face hit location (with the special problems with Knockdown/stun)
  • and suffers a damage penalty.

That's basically a perk, so -20%.

I might call breathing and speaking -20% each (both can be urgent) while eating is a more long term problem that you usually have more opportunities to escape, so only another -10%.

Yes, that doesn't add up to 100%,
Actually if your limitations add up to 100% you are being too generous with their value.

Last edited by David Johnston2; 02-28-2018 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 02-28-2018, 05:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#53): Extra Head, Extra Mouth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
The basic bite attack is a rather limited crushing striker
Only if you aren't using Martial Arts. If you are, add:
  • Can bite and grapple as a single attack (see MA 115)
  • Can automatically damage grappled opponents.
It's not entirely clear how you do that in GURPS with a non-bite attack, though there are a number of real world animals that do so (e.g. crabs, lobsters, scorpions, maybe praying mantis).
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Last edited by Anthony; 02-28-2018 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 03-01-2018, 02:46 PM   #8
Otaku
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#53): Extra Head, Extra Mouth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fanny View Post
Does it cost more to have an Extra Mouth somewhere besides your face?
RAW doesn't specify that it must be on your face; could be an oversight, but to give you an idea, I assumed it was anywhere because why would you have a second mouth so close to your original?

Note that if you have an entire Extra Head, that trait already includes having an Extra Mouth for no additional cost.
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Old 03-03-2018, 12:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#53): Extra Head, Extra Mouth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Only if you aren't using Martial Arts. If you are, add:
  • Can bite and grapple as a single attack (see MA 115)
  • Can automatically damage grappled opponents.
It's not entirely clear how you do that in GURPS with a non-bite attack, though there are a number of real world animals that do so (e.g. crabs, lobsters, scorpions, maybe praying mantis).
A praying mantis's forelimbs should be able to do those things IMO. As it happens, somewhere on these forums I've seen a "crab claws" build based off of extra mouth with some limitations relating to the inability to do anything mouth-like other than biting.
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Old 03-03-2018, 03:13 PM   #10
Otaku
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#53): Extra Head, Extra Mouth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Only if you aren't using Martial Arts. If you are, add:
  • Can bite and grapple as a single attack (see MA 115)
  • Can automatically damage grappled opponents.
It's not entirely clear how you do that in GURPS with a non-bite attack, though there are a number of real world animals that do so (e.g. crabs, lobsters, scorpions, maybe praying mantis).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowrie View Post
A praying mantis's forelimbs should be able to do those things IMO. As it happens, somewhere on these forums I've seen a "crab claws" build based off of extra mouth with some limitations relating to the inability to do anything mouth-like other than biting.
Not sure if it is the same one you were looking for, but here is the one I mentioned earlier. I think the relevant posts are

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
Yeah, that was my first impulse. Why reinvent the wheel? Just buy each pincer as Extra Mouth (Can't Breathe -20%, Can't Eat -20%, Can't Speak -20%) [2] and you're good to go.
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_matrix_walker View Post
Having reviewed MA p.115, I think that treating the claws as Extra Mouths is the best way to tackle this.
I don't have Martial Arts, so I don't understand that last post, but it looked important. ;)
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