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Old 05-25-2010, 09:14 PM   #1
nik1979
 
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Default Your Alternate Description

I'm curious, what are the alternate descriptions people have given to their players with regard to how advantages, skills and abilities work. I'm wondering how some people would interpret things differently given what they particularly know. Attaching reasons help explain why it has been changed to suit your purposes. I'm interested to see what other perspectives I may be missing out on.

No canon or copied from RAW descriptions as per forum and copyright rules.

An example I can give are as follows.

Common Sense (non-canon)
10 points
Any time you start to do something the GM thinks your character would know better or you fail to consider something very obvious from his position, he will will roll against your character's IQ. A successful roll means he must warn you. This advantage lets the GM help the player speed up consensus building so the group would less likely be locked with indecision.

Reason: I find it not very helpful as to make an advantage that stops a "stupid" player from taking certain actions. In what I've learned about avoiding group think in critical thinking, an environment where people can comment with out fear of ridicule for minor oversight is very important. Calling a misjudgment or error as stupid makes me wonder, If there are residual emotions in the formulation of this rule particular to a bottom rung member of the group. Also, if the course of action really was stupid then it would be obvious to all the other players given their non-verbal cues. Even if the mistaken player would be oblivious, letting him "walk into that one" when they can easily avert it in character if they are present. Wouldn't the advantage serve better as to speed up consensus building so that players can move quickly to the next part having explored thoroughly all options even that of the GM's opinion on a successful secret roll.

The Games pace and realistic Pace are different. Everything is hurried in a game compared to situations where in reality you have ample time to think about it, even in life or death situations.

In situations that there is no time think, judging the act as stupid throws out the obvious predetermining context: "No time to think".


Empathy (non-canon)
5 points/level

You have a powerful intuition with regards to reading people's emotions or interpreting their behavior.
When you employ empathy the GM rolls secretly, you cannot see learn if you have succeeded or failed except from the events that follow the interaction.
You get +1 to Body Language, Diplomacy, Detect Lies and Fortune-Telling skills, Interrogation, and to Psychology rolls and +1 reaction rolls/level when dealing with those who appreciate sympathy.

Reason: The way empathy was described, it was some magical ability when these days its been studied enough to be identified as a valuable mostly understood attribute.
The Empathy as described by RAW speaks of a whole other kind of ability from that Empathy in psychology describes. I would separate the "psychic" or "magical" empathy as some other thing.
Since Good Role-playing, Game-theory, and decision requires Empathy, updating the description and ability to fit the more agreed upon and scientifically observed how it works helps make a good premise to build over various rational strategies.
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:21 PM   #2
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Your Alternate Description

This Empathy could be called something like Interview Talent.

Any number of GURPS advantages have names which cause various people to disagree with the description. There's a sort of saying around the forum, "buy the effect, not the name". So, if you think
Quote:
The way empathy was described, it was some magical ability
and magical abilities are out of place in your game, you just disallow the RAW Empathy as being exotic and out of place.
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:44 PM   #3
nik1979
 
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Default Re: Your Alternate Description

I'm not here to correct the system, I'm just giving my home-brew opinion. I'm curious about how other people's homebrew opinions are. I am aware that my reasons are very subjective. Although i am wondering what other unique opinions and takes there are regarding certain descriptions.

As per Interview talent: why Interview? I am aware Language and its use is really different for different groups of people, like the way empathy is described by academic vs one who doesn't subscribe to the scientific opinion. I'm curious why "interview", and how does it communicate the concept more effectively in your thoughts.

To disallow empathy because the RAW has a different definition as an scientific body makes me wonder how "sacred" is the RAW to that function of the game. Why not just simplify by changing it and the effect to suit a clear and accepted definition I can easily reference?
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:03 AM   #4
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Default Re: Your Alternate Description

Quote:
Originally Posted by nik1979 View Post
I'm not here to correct the system, I'm just giving my home-brew opinion. I'm curious about how other people's homebrew opinions are. I am aware that my reasons are very subjective. Although i am wondering what other unique opinions and takes there are regarding certain descriptions.

As per Interview talent: why Interview? I am aware Language and its use is really different for different groups of people, like the way empathy is described by academic vs one who doesn't subscribe to the scientific opinion. I'm curious why "interview", and how does it communicate the concept more effectively in your thoughts.

To disallow empathy because the RAW has a different definition as an scientific body makes me wonder how "sacred" is the RAW to that function of the game. Why not just simplify by changing it and the effect to suit a clear and accepted definition I can easily reference?
What psychology calls "empathy," GURPS would likely call a Talent. In fact, the skill bonuses and reaction bonuses you are assigning it, as well as its cost, implies you are building it as a Talent, although you should drop the requirement of rolling against it to get the bonus.
What GURPS calls Empathy psychology would likely call "hogwash." GURPS Advantages have names that work decently well but are not set in stone. Just as Trained by a Master should not literally require you to train under a master, Empathy shouldn't be taken to refer to the definition from psychology.

Of course, I see nothing wrong with your fix (except for the requirement to roll against it for the bonus). Technically, however, what you've done isn't a true fix - rather, you have deleted the Empathy Advantage and created an Empathy Talent to take its place. And that works perfectly well as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 05-26-2010, 01:44 AM   #5
nik1979
 
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Default Re: Your Alternate Description

Am I to assume that very few people takes that utilitarian approach to the system, following it as far it doesn't contradict knowledge we are certain of and adjusting it to fit personal world view?

the questions and examples were made with the intent of find out if people have made personal ventures to specifics and come out with an improved understanding of the matter and applies it to their games in the form of rules tweaks. Its a nasty habit of mine to check sources and redifine things to better suit a more consistent description of the idea. especially since the game gives us so many concepts to work with like: what it means to be a "normal" human, what is quality of life, what is the value of life, etc. All sorts of explorable concepts that can be the meat of the hard decision making in a dramatic game.
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