Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-05-2013, 07:34 PM   #21
starslayer
On Notice
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Default Re: How to manage water torture?

Yea, I have to agree, the more 'PC' versions of torture like waterboarding or tazing will be no more effective then simply wailing on them with a baseball bat, or hooking them up to a car battery, or any of the extremely inventive measures invented in the middle ages. The only real change is that the torturer is not going to need either the low empathy disadvantage or make several rolls to avoid getting PTSD from having done that to a person.

IE- it's gentler on the torturer, not the victim.

Similarly with using threats to loved ones as a form of torture- if you are putting them in eminent distress and emotional or physical agony, your torturing them, from there perspective no different then the dental tools or the rack; just easier to stomach on the side of the torturer. If you fail to put them in eminent distress and emotional/physical agony then your making threats.
starslayer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 10:16 AM   #22
vicky_molokh
GURPS FAQ Keeper
 
vicky_molokh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kyv, Ukraine
Default Re: How to manage water torture?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
I think the Agony bonus is included in the Torture bonus (side point: man are the rules for torture generous. The interrogation skill is already pretty generous on how easy it is to get people to answer, and a +6 bonus is huge).
Yes, the +6 bonus is huge. However, if answering the question results in a possible death, this gives +6 to the target. If 'merely' imprisonment or exile, +4. This need not be a capital-S secret - any information with the same consequences for the target or the target's close friends/loved ones/etc. counts.

Also, rather importantly: while a single roll only requires 5 minutes, if the interrogator loses or ties in the Quick contest, the target is free to be silent or lie. And if you ask the same question again, under the same conditions, you get the same result, automatically, no roll allowed. So you can't just brute-force an interrogation by 'roll until you succeed'.

Oh, and also remember that if you employ torture and succeed by 5 or more, you don't get to force your target to tell the truth. Instead, the target tells you what you want to hear. And if the target critically failed the Will roll, no amount of Detect Lies, Body Language and/or Empathy will be able to spot the lie, because the subject will genuinely believe what you want the subject to tell you.
__________________
Vicky 'Molokh', GURPS FAQ and uFAQ Keeper
Also, GURPS Discord is a nice place for (faster) Q&A and overall GURPS dicussion.
vicky_molokh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 02:07 PM   #23
starslayer
On Notice
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Default Re: How to manage water torture?

I have to post the relevant XKCD link.

http://xkcd.com/538/

If the victim in any situation is trying to keep a 'petty' secret, torture is going to be extremely effective, wrench+drugs, water torture, whatever; the victim is going to spill it unless they are of damned near superhuman will. If they resist the first few times, they try the password, confirm that was not it, and resume the torture.

Up the anty, there is a password, and putting in the 'wrong' password will destroy the data, AND that data has peoples lives at stake AND there is no guarantee that the victim actually knows the password- well, now you have a problem... (and likely a +6 or more bonus to resist interrogation)
starslayer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 07:42 PM   #24
Peter Knutsen
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Europe
Default Re: How to manage water torture?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
I think the Agony bonus is included in the Torture bonus (side point: man are the rules for torture generous. The interrogation skill is already pretty generous on how easy it is to get people to answer, and a +6 bonus is huge).
Getting a torture victim to start talking is extremley easy. If you've got Callous, anyway.

The challenge lies in not "telegraphing" to the victim what it is you want him to say, because once you've broken him, his mindset becomes 100% about pleasing you, so he's desperate to guess exactly what it is you want him to say. So if you suspect that the Romans did it, but you want him to tell you who did it, you have to prevent him from figuring out what your own suspicion is.
Peter Knutsen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 07:44 PM   #25
Peter Knutsen
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Europe
Default Re: How to manage water torture?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
  • Pain doesn't give a bonus.
  • Agony gives a +3.
If both actually give a +6 then what's the point of Agony's bonus?
Presumably lesser forms of pain gives a bonus less than +3. IIRC, GURPS' scale-of-pain fits so that there are lesser steps of +1 and +2, and then +3 for Agony. Or if not then close to it.

It's probably just an oversight, that the rules for using torture wasn't given a close review, because it's not something the PCs do very often in a traditional campaign.
Peter Knutsen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 07:46 PM   #26
Peter Knutsen
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Europe
Default Re: How to manage water torture?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maz View Post
+3 if you use severe threats

The +6 for torture is probably a max. Some likely talk before you reach "agony" pain. but once you've started inflicting any sort of pain, the threat of MOAR PAIN sis there. So I think the +6 is assuming you are some point reach Agony-levels. If you for some weird reason is incapable or unwilling to inflict that level of pain (and do not have more creative ways, like exploiting phobias), then I think the +6 should be lower.
I don't have personal experience torturing people, but my impression is that pain-maximization is quite difficult to achieve without risk to the victim's life. Anyone can hurt a tied-down victim, but to cause massive pain, you need to know how the body works and what the vulnerable spots are.
Peter Knutsen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 08:22 PM   #27
Xplo
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Default Re: How to manage water torture?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
I don't have personal experience torturing people, but my impression is that pain-maximization is quite difficult to achieve without risk to the victim's life. Anyone can hurt a tied-down victim, but to cause massive pain, you need to know how the body works and what the vulnerable spots are.
I don't either, but I have to question whether pain-maximization was ever a real concern for historical torturers; it seems they were content to learn effective techniques by simple experience, not by making any real scientific study of the subject (or of anatomy). That includes the Nazis and the Japanese, who seemed to perform sadistic human experiments out of some need for mustache twirling rather than because most of those experiments had real scientific merit.

In any case, causing "massive pain" doesn't seem like a very difficult thing to do, and one suitable method is probably just as effective as another. There are no doubt historical victims of mild torture that were grateful that they weren't subjected to worse, and may even have survived to say so in writing... but in general, once you're shattering someone's hand in a vice or giving them fifty lashes, they're unlikely to think "thank god they haven't thought to blowtorch my feet, because that would really sting".

Fiction widely holds that people will pass out after crossing a certain threshold of pain, and that the real challenge (at least in the short term) isn't keeping the victim aliive, but keeping him awake and sensible. I don't know how accurate this is.
Xplo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 08:46 PM   #28
Agemegos
 
Join Date: May 2005
Default Re: How to manage water torture?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xplo View Post
Fiction widely holds that people will pass out after crossing a certain threshold of pain, and that the real challenge (at least in the short term) isn't keeping the victim aliive, but keeping him awake and sensible. I don't know how accurate this is.
I have had renal colic, a dental abscess that was nearly as bad, and a broken leg that was nowhere near. The pain of the renal colic was so severe that I couldn't stand nor perform voluntary movement. The pain was emetic, paralysing: but it didn't threaten my consciousness (nor make me feel overwhelmingly truthful).

On the other hand, I have fainted from sitting up too suddenly after a doctor looked into my ear with an otoscope.
Agemegos is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
historical, low tech, rules, torture

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:38 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.