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Old 10-24-2016, 05:41 PM   #1
Vodrilus
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
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Default Giving mental disadvantages as results of behaviour?

How does the hivemind feel about GM's dishing out mental disadvantages to PC's due to extremely consistent role-play throughout a campaign?

For a bit of context, I've been running a campaign of hard-ish science fiction for a while now, and one particular PC has a very consistent track record of killing everybody he could plausibly kill without breaking the law (or, in other words, being a murder hobo). Somehow, this has been mostly OK with the rest of the party. I've been toying with the ide of dishing out Bloodlust [-5] to this PC to reflect his growing eagerness to kill.

I'm mostly running on Basic Set, with Spaceships and a little Space. Are there supplements already for this kind of thing?

I won't, of course, require anyone else to judge the fun/engagement-factor in this specific instance of the problem, as I'm probably far better suited to handle the situation due to actually knowing my players. I would much rather hear more general, theoretical remarks, or perhaps your own experiences.
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Old 10-24-2016, 05:43 PM   #2
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Giving mental disadvantages as results of behaviour?

You could start inflicting fright checks on him based on his own actions, and tracking Stress and Derangement. You could probably use the "realistic" madness table in Horror.
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Old 10-24-2016, 08:17 PM   #3
VariousRen
 
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Default Re: Giving mental disadvantages as results of behaviour?

I wouldn't impose disadvantages, because the player isn't actually out of control of their actions when they kill people.

In one of my weekly games I play a fighter-wizard who is most definitely callous (In D&D he would be solidly chaotic evil). He is not, however, Callous with a capital C, because he's perfectly capable of acting and reacting normally to people. In your case Bloodlust would be for a character who must kill people when they get the chance, your player has just shown a fondness for that particular route over the alternatives.

Instead I would look at advantages that reflect the characters particularly large experience with murder and suggest they pick that up, or inform them that it's available when it otherwise wouldn't be. Your murder-fond player might grab a level or two of fearlessness, or maybe you change the definition of scary for them with respect to fright checks.
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Old 10-24-2016, 08:43 PM   #4
whswhs
 
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Default Re: Giving mental disadvantages as results of behaviour?

I don't think you should hand out disads that either indicate a chosen ethical standard or involve a loss of self-control, especially as there are experience point penalties for not roleplaying the disad. Players can choose to give up control of their characters' actions, or lose it to an attack such as Mind Control (Conditioning) or to a Fright Check, but GM fiat will be resented.

What you can do, though, is hand out social traits. Is the character doing this stuff in a setting where their behavior will become known? Give them a Reputation: Ruthless killer, shows no mercy, -3. This will result in adversaries refusing to surrender, or even targeting them first, or in ordinary people refusing to have anything to do with the other party members because of the obvious threat. Or give them Social Stigma (Criminal Record, Minority Group, or Monster). Or even have someone pursue them, not as a formal enemy, but as a recurring threat. This might be a monster/villain/Big Bad who sees them as a threat; or a relative of someone they killed, who wants revenge or wergild; or the lawful authorities, who take a dim view of murder hobos.
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Old 10-24-2016, 08:46 PM   #5
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Giving mental disadvantages as results of behaviour?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vodrilus View Post
How does the hivemind feel about GM's dishing out mental disadvantages to PC's due to extremely consistent role-play throughout a campaign?
I am not a fan. It's like the difference between being a habitual drug user and being a drug addict. Some habitual drug users are not in fact addicts. They break off their use when it becomes a problem for them or no longer as gratifying and don't experience great difficulty in doing so. There is no good reason to impose a compulsion on the character to do the thing that the player is going to have them be doing all the time anyway.

However, there is a good reason to impose social disadvantages on a character who is leaving a string of unnecessary corpses behind him.
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Old 10-24-2016, 10:44 PM   #6
Donny Brook
 
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Default Re: Giving mental disadvantages as results of behaviour?

Why would you do that?

Do you want him to stop or something?
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Old 10-24-2016, 11:39 PM   #7
whswhs
 
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Default Re: Giving mental disadvantages as results of behaviour?

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Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
Do you want him to stop or something?
I'm kind of baffled at the idea that you wouldn't want him to stop.
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Old 10-25-2016, 12:12 AM   #8
Purple Haze
 
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Default Re: Giving mental disadvantages as results of behaviour?

He does not have Blood Lust. With Blood Lust he would kill even when there could be negative consequences.

What do you hope to accomplish? Give him an extra disad so that he gets more character points to spend? Give him an extra disad so the the arbitrary number on his character sheet goes down? Modify his behavior in some way?

In my games killing people one could have captured has large negative consequences. One loses the ability to collect ransom, to collect many rewards, to sell them into slavery, to recruit them as mercenaries or followers, or even to interrogate them. Further, it is often the case that characters can throw up their hands surrender, it would be a shame if an NPC held a grudge.
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Old 10-25-2016, 02:07 AM   #9
finn
 
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Default Re: Giving mental disadvantages as results of behaviour?

  1. Giving him Bloodlust will force him to continue killing, so unless you want him to continue killing, don't give him Bloodlust.
  2. Even if you want him to continue killing, forcing mental disads on PCs will be rarely fun for the player. It should be left to his choice, and not forced upon him.
  3. Personally, I would allow him to exchange other disadvantages he already has, but is not enjoying role-playing, with Bloodlust. Role-playing disads should be fun, and he enjoys killing.
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Old 10-25-2016, 02:22 AM   #10
McAllister
 
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Default Re: Giving mental disadvantages as results of behaviour?

Essentially, we don't know how to help you accomplish your goals because we don't know what they are.

That said, I'd offer the player the opportunity to take Bloodlust, and give them the points for it based on their control number.
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