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 08-31-2014, 01:59 PM   #1
Otaku
 
Otaku's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: South Dakota, USA
Default [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#8): Alternate Identity; Temporary Identity; Zeroed

Last Week: Altered Time Rate
Next Week: Ambidexterity

Alternate Identity (p. B39) is a Social Advantage with a cost of either 5 or 15 points, depending on whether is it Legal or Illegal, respectively. It can be purchased multiple times, each additional purchase yielding another identity.

Each identity, whatever relevant biometrics used to identify you in the setting (if any) are registered under another name, and you have an additional set of relevant identification documents (like birth certificate, licenses, etc.) for the alternate identity that is good enough to pass close inspection. Anything else that might be needed for the identity (additional wealth for example) must be supplied separately by buying the appropriate Advantage. You can lose this advantage if your two identities are officially connected, such as a government agency (excluding one that is supposed to already know).
  • A Legal Alternate Identity requires at least 10 points in a relevant social Advantage that justifies it, like Legal Enforcement Powers. It can be combined with a Secret Identity if appropriate, such as a "super" allowed to hold property under his "super hero" name.
  • An Illegal Alternate Identity costs 15 points. It costs more because it has to be discovered to be revoked by the government (or relevant government in the case of a spy), though as it is illegal there will be the appropriate penalties (as determined by the setting) if it is discovered, in addition to losing the Advantage

A Temporary Identity costs no character points as it is considered insubstantial enough to be below system resolution; pay the appropriate cash costs and/or make the appropriate Skill rolls. By default it is good for one week, after which a "discovery roll" is made by the GM. On a roll of 8 or less it has been "successfully" discovered; otherwise the process repeats again each week the roll is made, at a cumulative +1 per repeat. So after three weeks, the roll would be made at a +2 meaning 10 or less indicates the ID is no longer any good. The value in setting is usually negotiable, as is the quality: a "cheap" ID might measure its lifespan in days while a high quality (and presumably pricier) ID might last longer and/or start with a lower discovery roll.

Zeroed is, in a sense, the opposite Advantage; instead of having multiple official identities, you have none. As per p.B100, Zeroed is meant to include the highest authorities of the land, and setting specific methods of identification won't work on you. In a fantasy setting, magical divination cannot discover conclusive details, just as in a modern setting searches of government databases will turn up nothing.

You can't have an Alternate ID (that would just become your de facto ID even if the exact history is fraudulent), but you can use a Temporary ID. You need to decide the how and why you are Zeroed, and there is a built in drawback, at least for most settings: as you don't officially exist, you will usually lack any legal protection under the law. This can range from an inconvenience to incredibly dangerous as you'll lack legal protection. You also have to deal strictly in cash/commodities or blind account (such as a Swiss Bank Account), or go through a Temporary Identity or other person.

Thankfully Kromm clarified this trait and its intended usage:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Do realize that Zeroed isn't meant to be an initial condition that wears off the first time somebody takes your picture. It assumes maintenance, and some off-screen means of achieving that. You're Zeroed now and, a few weeks later when your picture shows up again, you're still Zeroed because whatever means made you Zeroed in the first place nuked the records. That's how it works.

Those whose worlds don't assume forces powerful enough to wipe out arbitrarily secure records shouldn't use Zeroed. Neither should gamers who just want to be mysterious Man With No Name types. If you're simply somebody who starts play with no identity and gradually builds up a permanent record, you're not Zeroed. You have something more akin to Zeroed as a one-use advantage (1/5 cost, 2 points, like Favor), if not just a perk.

Zeroed is for people who work for the MIBs . . . or have a backdoor into SkyNet . . . or possess supernatural abilities that completely transmute them every sunset . . . or serve Oblivius, God of Nothingness. It's an active trait. It isn't just an Unusual Background.
So...
  1. Have you used or encountered any of these Traits in play? If so how useful did they seem?
  2. Are there any related (supporting, competiting, etc.) that should be a part of this discussion?
  3. What are your thoughts on the pricing and requirements?
  4. Any ruling issues with these traits?
__________________
My 4e library consists of GURPS Base Set Characters and Campaigns, Power-Ups 2, Power-Ups 3, Powers, Powers: Enhanced Senses and Social Engineering, all provided through the kindness and generosity of others. Thank you!

Last edited by Otaku; 10-28-2014 at 04:20 PM.
Otaku is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2014, 02:32 PM   #2
WingedKagouti
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Alternate Identity, Temporary Identity, Zeroed

One thing of note is that the One-shot/Favor version of Zeroed could easily be a Disadvantage in several settings, especially Cyberpunk, if the character doesn't have a noticable Patron backing him/her. In other settings, like no-magic medieval/renaissance, it's closer to a campaign feature if you travel far enough.
WingedKagouti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2014, 02:41 PM   #3
vicky_molokh
GURPS FAQ Keeper
 
vicky_molokh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kyv, Ukraine
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Alternate Identity, Temporary Identity, Zeroed

Back in one of my fantasy campaigns, a whole race had Zeroed, and a bad Reputation. They were impossible to tell apart with divination, and the records of individuals kept getting lost . . . the bad rep was in part inherited from the god who created them (he was involved in a betrayal), and in part a stereotype grown out of the fact that divinators could not trace a stolen object more precisely than 'answer fuzzy, probably one of the Eclipse Race did it'. Having a racial Forgettable Face (only for purposes of telling two Eclipses apart - their third eye made it easy to differentiate them from other races) helped the confusion too.

One player likes taking Zeroed, but only actually did take it for his character as part of the racial template mentioned above once.

One PC (of a different player) has a Legal Alternate identity in my current X-filish campaign. Nobody knows about it.
__________________
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 08-31-2014, 02:42 PM   #4
vicky_molokh
GURPS FAQ Keeper
 
vicky_molokh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kyv, Ukraine
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Alternate Identity, Temporary Identity, Zeroed

Quote:
Originally Posted by WingedKagouti View Post
In other settings, like no-magic medieval/renaissance, it's closer to a campaign feature if you travel far enough.
It's not a campaign feature, because you have to travel again to get rid of your new identity once people remember you in your new faraway land.
__________________
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 08-31-2014, 02:46 PM   #5
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Alternate Identity, Temporary Identity, Zeroed

The only campaign I've played in that used these traits was Madness Dossier, where most PCs live under a legal Alternate Identity, and the players don't have to worry about their real one.

In my Infinite Cabal campaign, the characters have stayed clear of worlds that have high-quality identification systems, and live under a variety of Temporary Identities. The campaign is set largely in Britain, which has never had compulsory ID systems except during wartime. Before the internet and credit cards, if you're obviously of adult years, don't drive and stay clear of the police, you can avoid any need to identify yourself.
johndallman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2014, 03:21 PM   #6
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Alternate Identity, Temporary Identity, Zeroed

Quote:
Originally Posted by WingedKagouti View Post
One thing of note is that the One-shot/Favor version of Zeroed could easily be a Disadvantage in several settings, especially Cyberpunk, if the character doesn't have a noticable Patron backing him/her. In other settings, like no-magic medieval/renaissance, it's closer to a campaign feature if you travel far enough.
A low tech no magic setting is one where Zeroed is simply impossible and that's all there is to it. There's no mechanism in such a setting to make your records disappear.
David Johnston2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2014, 04:27 PM   #7
Ashtagon
 
Ashtagon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: UK
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Alternate Identity, Temporary Identity, Zeroed

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
A low tech no magic setting is one where Zeroed is simply impossible and that's all there is to it. There's no mechanism in such a setting to make your records disappear.
Yes there is. Magic.
Ashtagon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2014, 04:30 PM   #8
simply Nathan
formerly known as 'Kenneth Latrans'
 
simply Nathan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Wyoming, Michigan
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Alternate Identity, Temporary Identity, Zeroed

I'd charge a Perk for these if I even allowed them (which, aside from "protection from divination Zeroed", I probably wouldn't to begin with). I have a hard time seeing these being worth the points.
__________________
Ba-weep granah wheep minibon. Wubba lubba dub dub.
simply Nathan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2014, 04:36 PM   #9
ErhnamDJ
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: OK
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Alternate Identity, Temporary Identity, Zeroed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
Yes there is. Magic.
He said there's not any magic.
__________________
"For the rays, to speak properly, are not colored. In them there is nothing else than a certain power and disposition to stir up a sensation of this or that color." Isaac Newton, Optics

My blog.
ErhnamDJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2014, 05:12 PM   #10
Ransom
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Alternate Identity, Temporary Identity, Zeroed

The Zeroed (Ninja) variant (which, IIRC, is found in one of the Action supplements) can be a lot of fun, and help greatly in making PC capers not lead to immediate and inevitable capture by the authorities.
Ransom is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
advantage, advantage of the week, aotw, basic, identity, week, zeroed

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 07:58 PM.


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