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Old 10-01-2019, 08:12 PM   #1
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default How to portray shunning?

Any wisdom on how to portray characters or races who make a point of shunning members of certain other groups?

This isn't mere Dislike, nor does it imply any particular hatred of the shunned person/group. Instead, it represents, emotionless, passive community-wide refusal to engage with the shunned, combined with as non-violent attempts to remove them from the community should they not leave on their own.

Historically, think of the Ostracism practiced by the Ancient Greeks, or community-wide shunning or "disfellowshipping" practiced by modern Amish and some fundamentalist Christian or Jewish sects. In those cases, anyone who aids someone who is ostracized/shunned risks suffering the same treatment.

Examples from SF/Fantasy include your snootier elves or ultra-advanced aliens. They don't harm outsiders, but make a point of avoiding them and quickly transport intruders far away from their domains, possibly with their memories wiped. If they need something from "lesser" beings, they take it by peaceful means, usually by teleporting it away, and possibly leaving something that they consider to be of equal value in its place.

I can see 3 ways to handle this:

Code of Honor - Could be built into several existing codes, or it could represent a CoH of its own.

Disciplines of Faith - possibly built into DoF (Ritualism) or (Asceticism) or a new version.

Intolerance - Make Shunning a -50% limitation to Intolerance, because you aren't required to react at -3 to those in the "hated" group. People you shun still react badly towards you, however.

In any case, cost should probably be based on the size and importance of the shunned group, based on Frequency of Appearance, and top out at about -10 points, similar to the more severe versions of the disads listed above.

Conversely, "Shunned by X Group" is a potential Quirk, which represents a very limited Social Stigma.
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Old 10-01-2019, 08:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: How to portray shunning?

Usually shunning is done by the powerful against those without power.
If thats thecase I would make being shunned a Social Stigma.
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Old 10-02-2019, 03:34 AM   #3
malloyd
 
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Default Re: How to portray shunning?

I'd go with Social Stigma myself, but

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pursuivant View Post
Intolerance - Make Shunning a -50% limitation to Intolerance, because you aren't required to react at -3 to those in the "hated" group. People you shun still react badly towards you, however.
this is a misunderstanding of what a reaction penalty is. Yes you absolutely are required to react to the "hated" group (shunned people) at (much worse than) -3. The whole point of shunning is you will refuse requests for aid or information, refuse to buy or sell from them etc. They aren't about actually hating anybody, let alone attacking them. Anybody you are refusing to deal with is on the receiving end of something comparable to a Bad or worse reaction roll, which requires at least a -12 to guarantee.
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Old 10-02-2019, 05:22 AM   #4
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Default Re: How to portray shunning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
Usually shunning is done by the powerful against those without power.
If thats thecase I would make being shunned a Social Stigma.
Concur - social stigma, modified by extent of the shunning and prevalence of the group.
For example being shunned by the Amish would be a big deal in a campaign set in Amish country, not so much in LA.
Any shunning liable to lead to violence should either turn the stigma way up or be replaced with something more like enemy (that is, if, rather than just stone-wall you, shunners actively abuse you and then start throwing stuff if you don't disappear at once).
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Old 10-02-2019, 06:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: How to portray shunning?

Yep social stigma, the less prevalent and powerful the relevant society is in context the less shunning is an impediment.
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Old 10-02-2019, 09:39 AM   #6
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: How to portray shunning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pursuivant View Post

Intolerance - Make Shunning a -50% limitation to Intolerance, because you aren't required to react at -3 to those in the "hated" group.
This behaviour isn't milder than vanilla intolerance at all. A total refusal to interact is a set hostile reaction.
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Old 10-02-2019, 09:55 AM   #7
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Default Re: How to portray shunning?

It effectively turns the civilized area into a harsh desert devoid of resources, trade, social interaction necessary for most species mental health, etc.

That the shunners don't hate the shunned is important for role playing. But Gurps (dis)ads are about the external effects, not internal mindscapes.


Even many real world bigots will accept trade from those they despise if they can profit off it enough.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:13 AM   #8
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Default Re: How to portray shunning?

Being shunned, especially if by a large/important group not the mention by the majority of the people around you, certainly is a Social Stigma.

However, having to shun somebody is a restriction of the freedom of action of a playing character belonging to the relevant group. Thus I reckon it has to be a Disadvantage for such a character, too.

I suppose that if the character already is under some self-imposed mental Disadvantage like Disciplines of Faith, having a large point vaule such as -15, the requirement to shun lapsed members can be factored into that. It's just one of many other commandments (it's certainly not the most limiting aspect of being an Amish today, for instance).
However, if there is no other larger Disadvantage to package the shunning into, I'd say it's a Quirk or a Quirk-level Intolerance [-1].
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Old 10-02-2019, 12:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: How to portray shunning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
However, having to shun somebody is a restriction of the freedom of action of a playing character belonging to the relevant group. Thus I reckon it has to be a Disadvantage for such a character, too.
Well maybe. Usually though it's part of your obligations to your culture or community that everybody has - like the ones that restrict your freedom to steal from your neighbors, have sex with sheep, eat babies or worship demons.

I've occasionally considered letting characters take a -5 point Code of Honor (decent person), or conversely compelling characters that don't conform to community standards to buy a Sociopath advantage, docking them their next few earned xp to pay for it when they start displaying this disregard for social norms, and there is a case to be made for that, but RAW GURPS doesn't usually charge you for conforming to some cultural norm or not.
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Old 10-02-2019, 12:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: How to portray shunning?

If a group is shunned because of a cultural prejudice or because that group can't live up to their end of the social contract for some reason it would be a social stigma.

If the shunning is some weird tradition like Menstrual Huts or a voluntary segregation like soldiers returning home from war deciding to live in isolated communities. it's hard to say how that would work. It could be represented as intolerance or social regard or any number of social Advantages or Disadvantages. It would depend a lot on the specifics of that tradition and how people would act if it was broken.
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