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Old 12-03-2017, 10:04 PM   #21
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the week: Bestial

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
In society, not necessarily human society. Ravens can communicate abstract concepts like displacement, and lie to each other,so they appear to get along in their own society in ways that aren't exactly non-sapient.
I don't think any of that is at odds with Bestial, unless maybe you rate raven society as possessing 'civilized' standards of morality or propriety" or perhaps a concept of property significantly distinct from other wild animals.
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:22 PM   #22
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the week: Bestial

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
...
Or as S.M. Stirling puts it, a human being may pretend to love you to get you to feed them, but an animal really does love you because you feed it.
Saying that requires telepathy or at least MRIs to determine veracity of apparent emotion based behavior.

It all still seems to be a word that only describes humans regardless of how little the actual definition excludes non-humans.
I expect that for sapience, but didn't for bestial. But I suppose I should have.

We had a cat that lied and affected a limp to get sympathy tuna or attention. So it's not even a primate/corvid only complexity.
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:25 PM   #23
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the week: Bestial

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I don't think any of that is at odds with Bestial, unless maybe you rate raven society as possessing 'civilized' standards of morality or propriety" or perhaps a concept of property significantly distinct from other wild animals.
That's just using another ill defined word to avoid defining bestial clearly. Bestial is for non-humans and means lacking civilized behavior/thought. Okay, then what's civilized actually mean? It's what only humans have...
...and we're back to square one.
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Old 12-03-2017, 11:32 PM   #24
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the week: Bestial

Looking at Meta-traits, the mental difference between a domesticated animal and a wild animal is the Bestial trait... Tell me the mental difference between a feral cat and a pet cat and I think you'll have the answer.
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:25 AM   #25
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the week: Bestial

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Saying that requires telepathy or at least MRIs to determine veracity of apparent emotion based behavior.

It all still seems to be a word that only describes humans regardless of how little the actual definition excludes non-humans.
I expect that for sapience, but didn't for bestial. But I suppose I should have.

We had a cat that lied and affected a limp to get sympathy tuna or attention. So it's not even a primate/corvid only complexity.
In the first place, I think that's nonsense, and specifically the kind of nonsense that philosophers come up with. We can perceive emotion in human beings from external signs; we don't need to be able to example the state of a fictitious immaterial minds by a fictitious psi power, or even the state of the nervous system inside the skull, to make such judgments.

If it were necessary to do so, then we could not learn to name or recognize our own emotions, because when, for example, we felt fear, other people could not know that we were feeling fear, or say, "What you're feeling is fear" or "Don't be afraid"; they could only make random guesses. And conversely, when we saw other people acting fearful, we could not look inside their heads, and could not see that they were experiencing fear, and thus could not know what the thing was that the word "fear" referred to, and could not know whether it referred to our inner states of fear, or anger, or ecstacy, or boredom, or whatever.

Obviously we're not infallible in recognizing other people's emotions. But neither are we infallible in recognizing our own, or for that matter in recognizing fairly obvious external things like colors or tastes or shapes. And yet we are able to learn the relevant words and to use them with a fair level of reliability. So the argument "We don't know what emotion X is feeling because we aren't infallible in identifying it" doesn't hold water.

And in the second place, your story about the cat seems to contradict your own assertion about the unknowability of mental states. If you cannot know what another being is feeling then how could you have known that your cat was deceiving you on those occasions, rather than genuinely experiencing pain in one or more of its legs that just happened to occur at those times?
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:12 AM   #26
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the week: Bestial

My story about the cat assumes that what she did is for the obvious reasons. It's your story that assumes the reasons are mere mockery of what they would be if a human did them. They aren't "real" thoughts or motivations.
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Old 12-04-2017, 05:25 AM   #27
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the week: Bestial

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
That's just using another ill defined word to avoid defining bestial clearly. Bestial is for non-humans and means lacking civilized behavior/thought. Okay, then what's civilized actually mean? It's what only humans have...
...and we're back to square one.
GURPS, for good or (mostly) ill, is constantly anthropocentric.

My suggestions:
-Pick what you're going to treat as full-on civilized societies. The default is probably humans and, if present, any non-humans that form societies that are mostly the same as human society. If the main reference society for the game is something else, count that and probably any societies mostly the same as it!

-Give Bestial to anything that doesn't know how to engage with any society that falls within that regardless of sophistication otherwise. Don't give Bestial to anything that does participate in those societies regardless of lack of sophistication otherwise.

-In the event that your game actually has no such society, don't use Bestial for anything.

In effect, it's a 'can't fit in' disadvantage.

Also, members of a species that's both smart and not learning-disabled can probably learn their way out of Bestial. For some (generally not so smart) species, the plasticity necessary for such learning only exists in early development.
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Old 12-04-2017, 11:01 AM   #28
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the week: Bestial

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
And, for that matter, corvids not only can not only trade tokens to human experimenters for rewards, but also claim and save those tokens in anticipation of a later opportunity to trade.
Corvids are a 'scary' tool-making creature and it is probably good for humans that they lack thumbs and complex language skills. And are tiny.
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:08 PM   #29
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the week: Bestial

I think this may be a case for following Wittgenstein's advice, "Don't ask for the meaning; look at the use." That is, instead of focusing on how to parse the text, see how Bestial is applied in the rules. In particular, I note that the Wild Animal meta-trait includes it but the Domesticated Animal doesn't. It can't be a matter of a dog or a horse understanding human concepts of property and contracts and the like. If you can define what it is that a dog does in relation to human societies and a wolf fails to do, you have some idea what this trait is about.
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:10 PM   #30
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the week: Bestial

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Personally, I've never used this disadvantage. I could see an interesting game based on lycanthropes gradually buying it off, or a shaman or Discworld witch with animal companions. What have you done with it?
In my vampire campaign, one of the PCs has this with the Mitigator of daily fresh blood: he's got to drink one HP worth of blood each night over and above what's required to sate his Draining, or he wakes up the next evening with Bestial. Very inconvenient.
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