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Old 08-30-2012, 09:19 AM   #31
Flyndaran
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It is argably biologically necessary, being one of the main reasons humans are not eaten despite being only of moderate strength individually. Few other creatures take revenge. It is only natural for that instinct to continue when dealing with human predators.
Many prey species will stomp to death juvenile predators that are no threat to them now... when the parents aren't looking of course. Revenge is just a bit more common for humans, because we can plan ahead and become far more effective.
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Old 08-30-2012, 11:24 AM   #32
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Many prey species will stomp to death juvenile predators that are no threat to them now... when the parents aren't looking of course. Revenge is just a bit more common for humans, because we can plan ahead and become far more effective.
While to quote a famous member of another species, "Fascinating".
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Old 08-30-2012, 11:27 AM   #33
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In any real world situtation, Honor gets reinterpreted according to circumstance. Many historical figures, who are praised for their honor by friend and foe alike, have clearly shaved things very close several times. Honor also seems to lack a reflexive property. People always seem to demand to be treated with greater honor and respect than the other guy. Honor is used regularly to get low status people to do risky and unpleasent things while allowing high status people to slide by. Thus Falstaff's declaration the "Honor is a bawd" Bawd equals Whore/Madam.

RPG Honor systems are generally romantic fantasies. Gangsters, Pirates, Knights, or fine Gentlemen, honor was generally honored in the breach.
A good description of honor is "making a behaviorial costume for yourself which you may or may not grow to fit into".
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:20 PM   #34
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I'd plunk down for the higher price and add requiered disadvantages. Omerta is antiethical with modern societies especially democracies. Anyone following Omerta would have to become a violent criminal sooner or later, and a subculture following Omerta would have to corrupt and or destroy any larger society it was a part of.
The exception would be when the larger society (tacitly or not) allows a subculture to operate that way internally, as long as it's contained within the boundaries. It's still not stable, but it can work that way for a while, I can think of various real-world examples.

(Not that they use omerta in a pure form, necessarily.)
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:29 PM   #35
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Sorry for the OTish reply.
I know, it's only a GURPS discussion over a movie based disvantage but I'm really uncomfortable with the heavy fictionalized romantic mafia portrait in the Godfather trilogy, all the rituals and codes that became a common trope in crime dramas (latest example the Tio Salamanca character in Breaking Bad).

I think the Godfather-like omertà code is a big fat Hollywood lie: a way to make criminal characters romantic leads.
Quite correct. Or rather, it's an exaggeration so huge that it verges on being a lie. Hollywood loves the Mafia, or rather the idea of it. Like other idealized fictions, their portrayal has little to do with reality. The 'honorable mafioso' is no more real than the cowboys portrayed by John Wayne or the ecologically aware sensitive New Age Amerinds of post-70s Hollywood.

Certain elements of how the underworld and organized crime operates do sort of reflect that idealized assumptions of the code, but of course the reality is shabbier, nastier, and quite unRomantic...and pragmatism tends to dominate.

As a general kind of thing, codes and habits like that tend to turn up when law enforcement is unable or unwilling to operate, or when for some reason a group has reasons to resist such operation, even when it's in their short-term interest. The results are unromantic, however.

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Old 09-04-2012, 11:26 AM   #36
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I'd plunk down for the higher price and add requiered disadvantages. Omerta is antiethical with modern societies especially democracies. Anyone following Omerta would have to become a violent criminal sooner or later, and a subculture following Omerta would have to corrupt and or destroy any larger society it was a part of.
I dunno if that's true. While I have called the police in my life, its never been because of a violent act committed against me that would require vengeance under Omerta as written here, so while following it would have changed my behavior, it doesn't appear that it would have required me to become a violent criminal. Now, certainly, some percentage of the people following it would become obligated to commit violent crimes under it -- but that percentage would be lower the lower the incidence of crime was in the society they were part of.

In its usual context the people following anything like it tend to be criminals, and often violent ones, but that's not a necessary and universal consequence of the CoH per se so much as its usual context.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:29 AM   #37
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Many prey species will stomp to death juvenile predators that are no threat to them now... when the parents aren't looking of course. Revenge is just a bit more common for humans, because we can plan ahead and become far more effective.
There's the famous case of the Tiger that escaped the San Fransisco zoo, in order to stalk and kill (in the zoo crowd) the teenagers (and only them) that were harassing her cubs.
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:54 PM   #38
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If this were worth -15 in one of my standard fantasy (now Dungeon Fantasy) games, the PC without it would be few and far between. Off the top of my head, I can't think of a single time when a PC did not act like this by default...

Nope. Can't think of a time when the PC's went to the king's men because they were personally wronged in some way (e.g., "Guards! That man just picked my pocket!"), nor can I think of a time when PC's didn't try to extract their own bloody vengeance.

The things Johnny pointed out in post 5 are just normal role playing for us, I guess.

If it were me, I'd put this on par with Bad Temper and Bloodlust at -10.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:47 PM   #39
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Another consideration that's been touched on upthread, but needs a larger look, is that groups, families, organizations, tribes, etc that follow something along the lines of this code often, maybe I should say usually, have some kind of mechanisms in place to limit the ability of individuals, esp. junior-ranking individuals, to get the group into wasteful, destructive vendettas.

The nature of those mechanisms can vary widely. For ex, there may be strict rules of behavior to keep the members of Group A from coming into direct contact with Group B except under controlled circumstances. If Billy Bob Corleone is under strict orders to Stay Out of the Hatfield's territory, and he follows those orders, the chances of a nasty encounter (and ensuing vendettas) with the House of Hatfield decrease.

(In this situation, Joe Hatfield is probably under similar orders from Old Man Hatfield.)

Alternatively, there might be unwritten rules about when the organization is obligated to back up the individual, and when it's free to throw him to the dogs without losing any 'face'. In that case, Patrov Harkonnen is free to mix it up with Janos Atreides, but since he did it without the blessing of the Baron, he's on his own with the Atreides when they come for him.

There are lots of ways it can work, but there are usually some kind of limits to keep it from blowing up on a daily basis.

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Old 09-06-2012, 02:55 AM   #40
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Sorry for the OTish reply.
I know, it's only a GURPS discussion over a movie based disvantage but I'm really uncomfortable with the heavy fictionalized romantic mafia portrait in the Godfather trilogy, all the rituals and codes that became a common trope in crime dramas (latest example the Tio Salamanca character in Breaking Bad).

I think the Godfather-like omertà code is a big fat Hollywood lie: a way to make criminal characters romantic leads.

In a less fictionalized way you could see it like a reputation bonus for made men (Follower of the code +2 "-10% Always show in public how strict you are") or a delusion for low level henchmen "The code is real".
Absolutely. Puzo is a great author, but his portrayal of the Mafia is heavily fictionalized.

I totally agree with your reputation/delusion idea. I could easily see "Reputation -1 "Thinks he's in a goddamn movie", other mobsters.
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