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 09-09-2018, 10:01 PM   #11
JazzJedi
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Default Re: Empathy with low IQ

I use the Rule of 12 for all advantages that require attribute rolls, such as Danger Sense, Eidetic Memory, and so forth. Tying these advantages to attributes was a mistake, IMHO. Then I charge 2 points per +1 to the effective skill of these advantages. So Danger Sense (15) costs 21 points. Having more than skill 16 makes no sense for these advantages (since rolls of 17-18 are auto fails), so it works out nicely.
JazzJedi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2018, 10:00 AM   #12
Lord Azagthoth
 
Lord Azagthoth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Helmouth, The Netherlands
Default Re: Empathy with low IQ

Quote:
Frankly, the Empathy mechanics badly need fixing. As written, it would be a plausible tactic for a low-IQ character to take Sensitive and then act on the opposite of what it tells them.
Penalize him for bad roleplaying.

As a GM I roll for the PC's Empathy, not the player himself, just like any Sense Roll. They wouldn't know if they succeeded, failed, or had a critical. They just have my description as a GM of what the character thinks.
__________________
May the Force be with us all

Dark Lord Azagthoth

GURPS 4th Star Wars
GURPS 4th Star Wars Forum
Lord Azagthoth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2018, 11:04 AM   #13
Flyndaran
Untagged
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Forest Grove, Beaverton, Oregon
Default Re: Empathy with low IQ

You would actively penalize someone for trying to make something they spent points on be advantageous?
__________________
Beware, poor communication skills. No offense intended. If offended, it just means that I failed my writing skill check.
Flyndaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2018, 01:00 PM   #14
Extrarius
 
Extrarius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Psionic Ward
Default Re: Empathy with low IQ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Azagthoth View Post
Penalize him for bad roleplaying.[...]
Wouldn't it be appropriate for a character to eventually realize "I get these strong feelings about people, but they always seem to be wrong", which would make it wholly appropriate roleplaying?
Extrarius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2018, 02:14 PM   #15
Kelly Pedersen
 
Kelly Pedersen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Default Re: Empathy with low IQ

For the "low IQ means you can succeed at Empathy by assuming the opposite result" issue, I think the solution is fairly simple: just don't assume that "the GM lies" means "the GM tells you the literal opposite of the truth", but rather "the GM gives you false information designed to mislead you". So if a successful Empathy roll would tell you "this person seems suspicious, like they're intending to betray you", the GM could instead say "They seem perfectly trustworthy", "they're being upfront with you, but planning on betraying their other friend", "they'll be trustworthy if you meet their price, otherwise watch out!", or any number of other variations. And sometimes, throw in truthful answers even on a failure, to keep the situation uncertain.

As to the original question in the thread, I'd argue that Empathy probably isn't very worthwhile if you've only got a 50% chance of being right, but it isn't actually harmful. There are numerous traits that probably aren't worth buying if you don't have the attributes to support them (Danger Sense comes to mind, for example), but that's just standard game design - GURPS assumes that certain traits depend on certain attributes to support them. You can change that assumption (for Empathy, either Reliable, or Based on (Attribute) will do the trick here), but you have to pay for that.

And I don't actually agree that the character with a 50% chance of Empathy is actually worse off than one without it, because the knowledge you gain from Empathy doesn't dictate specific actions to take in response. Going back to the original example, where the Queen is an impostor, the characters aren't forced to either spy on the queen or immediately denounce her - they can simply wait and watch, being alert, now that they know she's suspicious, for any activities that would betray her treachery. And even if they decide to gather more information by actively spying, that's still a better situation than if they didn't know she was an impostor at all. Spying may be risky, certainly, but it's not guaranteed to fail and get them caught, and it might very well pay off hugely, allowing them to confirm the Queen is false, leading to rewards and accolades. And that wouldn't be possible without the information provided by Empathy. More ways of getting information is always better, basically, because it gives you more options for things to do.
Kelly Pedersen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2018, 08:56 PM   #16
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Empathy with low IQ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
You would actively penalize someone for trying to make something they spent points on be advantageous?
Advantages can help you glean accurate information, but gleaning accurate information can put you into situations which are disadvantageous if accurately roleplaying your character results in dangerous reactions to whatever information you learn.

Someone with low IQ can act stupidly in response to learning the queen is evil (spying on her incompetently and getting caught) via Empathy, but you might also learn the queen is evil by using Penetrating Vision to witness her doing an evil act.

That's all part of the disadvantage which is low IQ, and why Common Sense is an advantage. Buying the reliable enhancement on Common Sense sounds like a good idea if your low IQ character is making a lot of mistakes like going after evil queens without proper prep. If they can't figure out a plan to defeat her, at least they'll know their own limits.
Plane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2018, 03:02 AM   #17
vicky_molokh
GURPS FAQ Keeper
 
vicky_molokh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kyv, Ukraine
Default Re: Empathy with low IQ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Extrarius View Post
Wouldn't it be appropriate for a character to eventually realize "I get these strong feelings about people, but they always seem to be wrong", which would make it wholly appropriate roleplaying?
And this is how human children learn to flip the up and down they see.
__________________
Vicky 'Molokh', GURPS FAQ and uFAQ Keeper
The Eye of Eclipse Phase. A Discord server focusing on Roleplaying, Sci-Fi, Transhumanism, and discussion of other assorted topics, from tech to boardgames, from politics to philosophy.
vicky_molokh is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2018, 03:44 AM   #18
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Re: Empathy with low IQ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
For the "low IQ means you can succeed at Empathy by assuming the opposite result" issue, I think the solution is fairly simple: just don't assume that "the GM lies" means "the GM tells you the literal opposite of the truth", but rather "the GM gives you false information designed to mislead you". So if a successful Empathy roll would tell you "this person seems suspicious, like they're intending to betray you", the GM could instead say "They seem perfectly trustworthy", "they're being upfront with you, but planning on betraying their other friend", "they'll be trustworthy if you meet their price, otherwise watch out!", or any number of other variations. And sometimes, throw in truthful answers even on a failure, to keep the situation uncertain.
Exactly. The information gained on a failed roll doesn't have to be related to the information the player would have gained if the roll succeeded. Given that the useful information is that queen is an impostor and the Empath failed his roll, the GM can say anything, ranging from "the queen seems completely trustworthy" via "you don't get a read on the queen" to "the queen looks alert, but you get the feeling that she's really tired" or "you get an impression that the queen has the hots for you". (The latter could make for some interesting role play...)
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.
coronatiger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2018, 03:52 AM   #19
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Re: Empathy with low IQ

Even if the character knows that what they feel is usually wrong, they shouldn't just flip the result.

If the queen is an impostor, and the player receives "the queen seems tired", all they could deduce is that the queen probably isn't particularly tired.

Even if the players have some other reason to believe that something isn't quite right about the queen, if the Empath gets "you get the feeling that the queen is in love with that young nobleman with the green coat", the players couldn't deduce that the queen is faithful (romantically) to the king; she could very well have an affair with someone, just not the one in the green coat. But if the queen is an impostor planted by a foreign power, the players could be going on a wild goose chase if they try to find her secret lover.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.
coronatiger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2018, 04:41 AM   #20
Phil Masters
 
Phil Masters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: U.K.
Default Re: Empathy with low IQ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Azagthoth View Post
Penalize him for bad roleplaying.
So, penalize the character for taking an advantage that doesn't even work?

And even if the advantage, as written, is supposed to include the delusion "I'm always right", it wouldn't have to infect the other members of that person's group. If they notice that he's almost always wrong about people, they'll start working on that principle, and physically restraining him from acting on his instincts.

The advantage, as written, creates an active perverse incentive to engage in "bad roleplaying". The problem isn't with the players, it's with the bad rule writing (which should have been caught in the 4e playtest process, so I accept a small share of the guilt).

Nor does this make sense to me on any kind of simulationist level. If someone has an intuitive sense for other people's moods and emotions, one assumes that they get a correct reading when it works, and when it doesn't work -- the obvious thing to happen is surely no reading at all. That's the general rule with GURPS success rolls; when they work, they work, normal failures mean that they don't work, critical failures mean that you break something or it all goes pear shaped. The same principle should apply to Empathy and Sensitive.
__________________
--
Phil Masters
Creator of The Small Folk - Wainscot Urban Fantasy Roleplaying.
Discworld Roleplaying Game author, Transhuman Space Line Editor.
My Home Page.
Phil Masters is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

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 04:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.