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Old 01-26-2018, 03:55 PM   #1
johndallman
 
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Default [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain is a mundane physical disadvantage that comes as a toolkit, rather than with a fixed cost. Essentially, you have something wrong with you that produces pain, for long enough and often enough to be a problem. This disadvantage appeared at GURPS 4e, as a generalisation of the 3e disadvantage Migraine.

Pain comes in levels, mild, severe, or agonising, which give penalties of -2, -4 or -6 to IQ, DX and self-control rolls for disadvantages that relate to keeping a cool head. If pain attacks happen when you should be sleeping, you don't get to sleep, and suffer sleep-deprivation penalties instead. An attack of pain lasts for some fixed time (the "interval") , which modifies the value of the disadvantage, and then you get to attempt a HT roll to recover. If you fail it, you carry on experiencing the pain until another interval has passed, and try again. Pain attacks are rolled for once a game day, at a time set by the GM according to your activities. They use the Frequency of Appearance value modifiers. The overall range of possible values is [-1] to [-90].

Clearly, Chronic Pain can take mitigator modifiers, which could reduce the level or interval, or reduce the likelihood of attacks. Drug side-effects could apply, or even be the cause of the disadvantage. This is mostly useful in character design for "old war wounds" and migraines. It's also important for side-effects of injuries, missing Dependency or Maintenance, and the like, and its occasional appearances as an option on character templates reflect this.

Bio-Tech has this disadvantage as a potential side-effect of drastic bioengineering, plus ways to treat it, including implants, physiotherapy and surgery. Fantasy-Tech suggests electrical treatments. Horror adds some disturbing reasons for Chronic Pain while Madness Dossier has ways to cause it. Infinite Worlds' Reich-5 has bio-tech Jumpers that suffer it; Low-Tech has treatments of its own. Martial Arts has lasting injuries that cause this disadvantage, as can Powers: The Weird radiation. Pisonic Campaigns points out pain as a Temporary Disadvantage, and Psis has more detail.

How has this disadvantage made itself felt in your games?

Last edited by johndallman; 01-26-2018 at 03:57 PM. Reason: Markup
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Old 01-26-2018, 04:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Chronic Oain

Could a kindly moderator correct the thread title? Please?

Edit: Thanks!

Last edited by johndallman; 01-27-2018 at 04:05 AM. Reason: Title fixed
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Old 01-26-2018, 04:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Chronic Oain

I think I've made one character with Chronic Pain, but just Quirk-level, really, a bad knee. Former paratrooper, an old wound which ended his military career, but left him more or less capable of adventuring, with an occasional painful twinge when he did something especially strenuous.

In Jade Serenity, Danny O'Toole's psionic abilities cause him Chronic Pain, migraine-level headaches, up to literal bleeding from cranial orifices. Game mechanically, he's got mild Chronic Pain with a very low frequency of appearance and Mitigator (Not using his powers), with use of his abilities increasing the frequency and worsening the severity.
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Last edited by Icelander; 02-12-2018 at 01:41 AM.
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Old 01-26-2018, 09:25 PM   #4
dcarson
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Chronic Oain

In my Batman Continues the Bruce Wayne NPC had both Chronic Pain and Bad Back to explain why he retired from the street. This with Tim Drake taking at least a year to recover from Bane and Cassandra Caine being pregnant made it time for the next generation to step up.
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Old 01-27-2018, 12:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Chronic Oain

A while back I wrote up a “generic” version of Chronic Pain: Chronic Affliction.

Chronic Affliction
Variable


You have a disadvantageous form of Affliction (p. B35), representing an injury, disorder, illness, or curse that afflicts you with an incapacitating or irritating condition regularly, perhaps when triggered by something in your environment.

Roll against the frequency of appearance for your affliction once per day. If you roll below this number, you suffer from a bout of your condition. The timing of this attack is up to the GM, but is usually during waking hours — you might wake up with it, or some trigger might set it off during the day.

The affliction endures for a fixed “interval,” after which you again roll against the frequency of appearance to recover. If you succeed, your ordeal is over — for today. If you fail, the attack continues for another interval, after which you may attempt another roll to recover, and so on.

Find the point cost of Chronic Affliction by choosing an Incapacitating or Irritating condition (or, at the GM's option, a simple Attribute Penalty), determining the base cost, and then multiplying that cost to reflect the duration and frequency of attacks. Drop all fractions.

Condition
Chronic Effect has a base cost equal to one-quarter the value of the respective enhancement to Affliction (p. B35-36).

Interval
Multiply the base cost to reflect the length of the affliction's interval:
  • One-hour interval: ×0.5
  • Two-hour interval: ×1
  • Four-hour interval: ×1.5
  • Eight-hour interval: ×2

Frequency of Appearance
Multiply the base cost to reflect the frequency at which the affliction occurs:
  • Attack occurs on a roll of 6 or less: ×0.5
  • Attack occurs on a roll of 9 or less: ×1
  • Attack occurs on a roll of 12 or less: ×2
  • Attack occurs on a roll of 15 or less: ×3

Triggered Afflictions
Some afflictions are triggered by a particular condition; e.g., sneezing caused by exposure to pollen. Instead of a frequency of appearance, select a trigger, which modifies the cost of Chronic Affliction based on its rarity. Instead of rolling for recovery, you recover automatically after the interval is up if you are no longer exposed to the trigger; otherwise, the attack continues for another interval.

Multiply the base cost to reflect the rarity of the triggering substance or condition:
  • Rare (e.g., exotic minerals or radiation): ×0.5
  • Occasional (e.g., microwave radiation, intense normal cold, airborne pollen): ×1
  • Common (e.g., smoke, nearby magic, horses, loud noises): ×2
  • Very Common (e.g., sunlight, living plants): ×3

Examples
  • Arthritis: Chronic Severe Pain (2 hour interval; 9 or less) [-15].
  • Divine Curse: Chronic Terrible Pain (1 hour interval; Rare Trigger, Holy water and artifacts) [-3].
  • Hay Fever: Chronic Sneezing (2 hour interval; Occasional Trigger, Pollen) [-5].
  • Narcolepsy: Chronic Drowsiness (8 hour interval; 9 or less) [-25].
  • This Is Very Ridiculous: Chronic Unconsciousness (8 hour interval; Rare Trigger, Hearing a particular obscure Russian idiom) [-50].
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Old 01-27-2018, 01:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Chronic Oain

+1 to chronic affliction! It models very well some forms of allergy, mental conditions, sobrenatural disadvantages and divine curses. I don't know if it has been playtested but I like it.

IMO it deserves to be "official" in an hypotetical future revision of Basic Set or in a "Power up" supplement :)
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Old 01-27-2018, 07:21 AM   #7
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Chronic Oain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celti View Post
A while back I wrote up a “generic” version of Chronic Pain: Chronic Affliction.
I quite like this! It neatly fills a niche that so far hasn't been. I do have one quibble, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celti
Condition
Chronic Effect has a base cost equal to one-quarter the value of the respective enhancement to Affliction (p. B35-36).
This price works fine for most irritating and incapacitating conditions, but I think Sleep is a bit over-priced. -38 points is a bit high, I think, given that you can be woken up from sleep pretty easily, and you're not really in danger of falling asleep again as long as you're doing something active. And if you can't be woken up, you're basically just suffering from Unconsciousness. I'd suggest either lowering the value of Sleep, or just disallowing it entirely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celti
Narcolepsy: Chronic Drowsiness (8 hour interval; 9 or less) [-25].
I'm curious, where did you see Drowsiness given an Affliction price? Or did you price it yourself? If the latter, what's the game effect you gave it?
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Old 01-27-2018, 07:53 AM   #8
Celti
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Chronic Oain

I'm going to take these points in reverse order for reasons I hope will become obvious:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
I'm curious, where did you see Drowsiness given an Affliction price? Or did you price it yourself? If the latter, what's the game effect you gave it?
Drowsy is listed as an Irritating Condition on page B428, but Affliction does not give it a price, no. I priced it with those effects at +50% (or a base cost of 12.5 points), the same as Daze, as it seems generally just as limiting. You can also justify a price of +50% as follows: the penalties of Daze are roughly the same as those for Moderate Pain, at +20%, while the tendency to fall asleep can simply be treated as Secondary Sleep, +30% (+150% / 5).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
This price works fine for most irritating and incapacitating conditions, but I think Sleep is a bit over-priced. -38 points is a bit high, I think, given that you can be woken up from sleep pretty easily, and you're not really in danger of falling asleep again as long as you're doing something active. And if you can't be woken up, you're basically just suffering from Unconsciousness. I'd suggest either lowering the value of Sleep, or just disallowing it entirely.
This is a problem with anything that afflicts Sleep with a duration. An easy solution is to take a cue from the above: If you're woken up while still in the duration of a Sleep affliction, you suffer from Drowsy and are thus liable to fall back asleep (and have attribute penalties in the meantime).
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Old 01-27-2018, 09:12 AM   #9
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Chronic Oain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celti View Post
Drowsy is listed as an Irritating Condition on page B428,
Whoops! Sorry, I searched for "Drowsiness" rather than "Drowsy" in my PDF, and I guess I didn't read the actual Irritating Conditions section very thoroughly. My bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celti
I priced it with those effects at +50% (or a base cost of 12.5 points), the same as Daze, as it seems generally just as limiting. You can also justify a price of +50% as follows: the penalties of Daze are roughly the same as those for Moderate Pain, at +20%, while the tendency to fall asleep can simply be treated as Secondary Sleep, +30% (+150% / 5).
I definitely see the logic of pricing Drowsiness at at least the same as Moderate Pain. However, I'd argue that the extra +30% isn't justified. The value of Secondary effects on Afflictions, it seems to me, are priced on the assumption that Affliction can target someone over and over. Hit someone with Sleep enough times, and even if they have to fail their HT roll by 5 or more, they will do so eventually. Whereas the sleep effect from Drowsiness is one roll every two hours, and they have to be inactive hours to boot. The odds of actually failing that just aren't that high. I'd price the sleep effect at no more than an extra +10%, personally, for a total of +30% as an Affliction enhancement, or 7.5 base cost in your Chronic Affliction scheme.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celti
This is a problem with anything that afflicts Sleep with a duration. An easy solution is to take a cue from the above: If you're woken up while still in the duration of a Sleep affliction, you suffer from Drowsy and are thus liable to fall back asleep (and have attribute penalties in the meantime).
This, I definitely agree with. I might even argue that if you fall asleep and are woken prematurely, you count as having some levels of missed sleep, so even after it wears off, you still need to sleep a couple more hours the next time you actually sleep properly, just to recover.
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Old 01-27-2018, 09:59 AM   #10
Celti
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Chronic Oain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
I definitely see the logic of pricing Drowsiness at at least the same as Moderate Pain. However, I'd argue that the extra +30% isn't justified. The value of Secondary effects on Afflictions, it seems to me, are priced on the assumption that Affliction can target someone over and over. Hit someone with Sleep enough times, and even if they have to fail their HT roll by 5 or more, they will do so eventually. Whereas the sleep effect from Drowsiness is one roll every two hours, and they have to be inactive hours to boot. The odds of actually failing that just aren't that high. I'd price the sleep effect at no more than an extra +10%, personally, for a total of +30% as an Affliction enhancement, or 7.5 base cost in your Chronic Affliction scheme.
I certainly wouldn't complain about +30%, but "Secondary Sleep" wasn't my only point of comparison — Daze, +50% is "Do nothing until something shakes you out of it" — quite similar to having fallen asleep — and Daze is strictly a one-time thing where Drowsiness is persistent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
This, I definitely agree with. I might even argue that if you fall asleep and are woken prematurely, you count as having some levels of missed sleep, so even after it wears off, you still need to sleep a couple more hours the next time you actually sleep properly, just to recover.
Say, that's an interesting thought! Simply treat a Sleep affliction as "You fall asleep immediately because you are now X hours short on sleep", where X is the duration of the affliction.
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