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Old 05-15-2017, 11:40 PM   #1
Otaku
 
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Default [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#42): Doesn't Sleep, Less Sleep

Previous Week: Doesn't Eat or Drink, Reduced Consumption, Universal Digestion
Next Week: Dominance, Infectious Attack, Slave Mentality

The intent of this thread is to discuss the selected traits in their entirety. Postings are meant to be weekly, but (as with this one), delays will happen.

The discussion begins with how the traits were written in [Basic]. I only copy and past entries from GURPS Lite because it is available as a free download; I will paraphrase entries from [Basic] simply because it is at the heart of the discussion so I cannot leave it out entirely, plus it can sometimes help to hear the same thing said in a different way. I'll mention other supplements that cover the topic but will not go into exacting detail because they are not an actual part of [Basic], and are usually covered in something that is for sale. ;) I would also like to include links to other useful sources (threads, blogs, etc.), and if it seems worth it, the rules for the traits from past editions.

Sharing thoughts and experiences on the matter means people will be free to praise, criticize, or merely report on the traits being discussed. I'll avoid sharing my own thoughts and try to minimize my bias. Except where it is necessary, such as when I don't really understand the trait all that well myself. Thanks to the index of topics johndallman created as is maintaining, it is much easier to keep track of what we've covered and where also lessening the need for me to try to cram every remotely related trait together or keep them all separate (whichever might make them easier to find). Another benefit is today's situation: we have three traits (Doesn't Eat or Drink, Reduced Consumption, and Universal Digestion) that were too long to list out in the thread title.

Basic

We'll begin with Doesn't Sleep (p. B50), which is an Exotic, Physical Advantage that costs 20 CP and removes the need for a character to sleep, allowing it to ignore all the usual drawbacks from missing a night's (or nights') rest. Next is Less Sleep (p. B65), a Mundane, Physical Advantage that costs 2 CP/level. Each level reduces the amount of sleep a character needs each night by one hour; a realistic human may take up to four levels, allowing that person to get by on just four hours of sleep per night. Sleep is not the same as being unconscious, and I am uncertain how to properly define the two in GURPS terms.

The rules for GURPS assumes a character needs eight hours of sleep per night. A character allowed to violate the normal four level cap on Less Sleep (such as a superhuman or non-human) could just take eight levels of Less Sleep to avoid the need to rest for 16 CP, four less than Doesn't Sleep. This is not a glitch in the system, however; Doesn't Sleep has been stated to also include Immunity to Sleep, which would be worth 5 CP on its own. That means there is a discount for purchasing Doesn't Sleep over Less Sleep Lv8 and Immunity to Sleep separately.

Other Supplements

GURPS Powers does discuss Doesn't Sleep, but not in a lot of detail; it mostly comes up when explaining certain concepts (like passive Advantages), powers for which it is appropriate, etc. Less Sleep isn't mentioned at all. These aren't criticisms; I just need to draw a distinction between how these are covered and how some past advantages are used much more extensively. There is an Enhancement that I feel is worth mentioning; "Reciprocal Rest" (p. P75) is a 30% Enhancement for Shapeshifting... which is also mentioned in GURPS Update page 11 (hence me actually giving the cost). Powers contains more details for it, though, and we'll discuss its Third Edition counterpart in the appropriate section.

GURPS Power-Ups 3: Talents contains a brief mention of Doesn't Sleep with regards to how it may interact with the Job Training Talent. No reference to Less Sleep, and again I only mention either because I am trying to be thorough, not because I actually expected to see anything about either trait in this supplement.

Third Edition

Doesn't Sleep can be found on page 53 of Compendium I, and is just a slightly reworded version of what you'll find in Basic Set: Characters. Less Sleep can be found on page 27 of Compendium I and is (again) almost the same as its Fourth Edition counterpart. The big change is that it costs 3 CP/level and the cap is five levels instead of four. There are two traits that didn't make the jump to Fourth Edition (and are closely related to Doesn't Sleep/Less Sleep) that I believe are worth including in the discussion.

First is Reciprocal Rest (Compendium 1, p. 43) for 15 CP, listed in the "Occult and Paranormal" section of Compendium I. To take this Advantage, you needed a character with multiple forms; Third Edition had numerous traits that could provide such a thing, and Fourth Edition unifies these under the Shapeshifting (p. B83-B85). As with its modern Enhancement treatment, the Third Edition Advantage allows you to treat any alternate form not currently in use as if it were resting. This does not require the resting form be unaware of what is happen with the active form; one modified the trait(s) accordingly if it did involve any such disconnect. With even one additional form to shift between, a character could function as if it had Less Sleep Lv8 with appropriate time management between forms.

Second is Reduced Sleep (Compendium I, p.64), from the Racial And Super Advantages section. It was priced at 10 CP and caused the FP loss associated with missed sleep to apply weekly instead of daily. Pages 173 and 174 of Compendium II provide more detailed rules for rest (and the effects of missing sleep), and this entry for Reduced Sleep does explain how the Advantage works when those are in effect. GURPS Update says to simply use Doesn't Sleep or Less Sleep to model this effect in Fourth Edition, a decision I agree with as I've been misunderstanding Reduced Sleep for the last 20 years!

Useful Links

As always, feel free to suggestion additions to this section. :)
Discussion Starters

This is a generic list of questions if you need them; if you already know what you want to say, feel free to just chime in.
  • Have you ever taken any of these traits for one of your PCs or NPCs? How'd it go?
  • Is there anything these traits do really well?
  • Is there anything you think these traits should do different, whether it means adding, subtracting, or just changing aspects of it?
  • Any thoughts on how the 4e version of these traits compares to them in earlier editions?
  • Feedback about BAotW threads in general, such as how I structure them?
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Last edited by Otaku; 05-28-2017 at 02:01 AM.
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:52 AM   #2
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#42): Doesn't Sleep, Less Sleep

Less Sleep is taken moderately often in my games. Doesn't Sleep less so, due to being exotic, and thus usually a part of a racial template.

I miss Reduced Sleep. It is a trait that produces a sleep pattern quite distinct from just loading up on Less Sleep.
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:19 AM   #3
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#42): Doesn't Sleep, Less Sleep

Someone who takes Less Sleep could spend extra time training... And end up with a net benefit in regards to points. Same for Doesn't sleep. Cheap way to improve your improvement rate and as such I only allow it on some templates that have some actual build-in weakness that they can't remove to keep it fair. Or I just take it up OOC with the player that he can't use the extra time to train because it would be cheesing the game.
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:32 AM   #4
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#42): Doesn't Sleep, Less Sleep

Most of the GM's I've played with don't bother keeping track of things like missed sleep. Those that do want their players to suffer the consequences of missed sleep, so they wouldn't be happy about players taking these advantages. This limits their effectiveness.

The biggest advantage in the campaigns I've played would be the extra time to study skills between adventures. Every level of Less Sleep means an extra hour of study a day. No Sleep means an extra 8 hours! It's a little thing, but it's helpful in long campaigns.
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#42): Doesn't Sleep, Less Sleep

Less Sleep is popular in my games. One player in particular loves it. Perhaps coincidentally, in real life, that player is the one most likely to miss the end of a session 'because it's already 11' and he's yawning all the time. He's also a big fan of 'power naps' and the like, to the point his characters might take some bizarre sleep schedule/plan as a limitation on Less Sleep.

I think I've only seen one Doesn't Sleep. Dr. Michael Anderson, author, stage magician, dreamweaver. Also creepy oneirovore who pretends to sleep whilst cavorting the other people's dreams. To which he is Addicted.
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Old 05-16-2017, 09:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#42): Doesn't Sleep, Less Sleep

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
I think I've only seen one Doesn't Sleep. Dr. Michael Anderson, author, stage magician, dreamweaver. Also creepy oneirovore who pretends to sleep whilst cavorting the other people's dreams. To which he is Addicted.
I would prefer <i>somniivore</i> or <i>oneirophage</i>. . . .
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Old 05-16-2017, 09:11 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#42): Doesn't Sleep, Less Sleep

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I would prefer <i>somniivore</i> or <i>oneirophage</i>. . . .
Oneirophage it is. Well, Dr. Oneirophage, I guess. After all, he didn't go to the Yale School of Medicine and do four years of Evil Residency at the Manhanock Asylum for the Criminally Insane to be called Mister.

Somnivore sounds like someone who eats in his sleep. Probably messily.
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Old 05-16-2017, 09:26 AM   #8
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#42): Doesn't Sleep, Less Sleep

Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterAndWindSpirit View Post
Someone who takes Less Sleep could spend extra time training... And end up with a net benefit in regards to points. Same for Doesn't sleep. Cheap way to improve your improvement rate and as such I only allow it on some templates that have some actual build-in weakness that they can't remove to keep it fair. Or I just take it up OOC with the player that he can't use the extra time to train because it would be cheesing the game.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doormatthew View Post
Most of the GM's I've played with don't bother keeping track of things like missed sleep. Those that do want their players to suffer the consequences of missed sleep, so they wouldn't be happy about players taking these advantages. This limits their effectiveness.

The biggest advantage in the campaigns I've played would be the extra time to study skills between adventures. Every level of Less Sleep means an extra hour of study a day. No Sleep means an extra 8 hours! It's a little thing, but it's helpful in long campaigns.
This is the most common use I've seen. My first gurps game was a play by post space exploration game with months of in-game time between destinations.

Yeah, I got lots of less sleep advantages and time spent work sheets. I can't think of a more ideal setup to abuse that loophole.

In my current game one player's character could use the advantage. Its a city management game (the town just got banestormed), so there are lots of little isolated incidents various characters may or may not be a part of. He's manic-depressive, and if he rolls manic too many times in a row, he stays up all night trying to do work.

He's the only character I require to track sleep, because he's constantly missing it. The others I don't, because they seem to get enough sleep, even when doing nightly guard duty. And its actually fun, because the player role-plays being unwilling to sleep and it makes all sorts of hilarious drama when people tell the most important man in the city he needs to go to bed.
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Old 05-16-2017, 09:32 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#42): Doesn't Sleep, Less Sleep

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Somnivore sounds like someone who eats in his sleep. Probably messily.
That's why I put in the extra -i-. Somnus, somni-, sleep; somnium, somnii-, dream. Though I suppose that could also be someone who dreams about food!

(When you dream of eating, does the food have any taste? In my dreams, food is more like the abstract notion of food, without nutritive value or actual flavor.)
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Old 05-16-2017, 09:37 AM   #10
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#42): Doesn't Sleep, Less Sleep

When I built an example character for Götterdämmerung, The Scarlet Woman, I gave her Less Sleep 3. She's a superhero who patrols the streets of Victorian London, looking for mistreatment of prostitutes and hunting Jack the Ripper; being able to go without sleep is idiomatic and helps her carry on a somewhat normal life despite needing to spend 12 hours a week in self-training just to keep her abilities functioning.
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