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Old 12-05-2021, 05:59 AM   #1
Phantasm
 
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Default Which traits are Forbidden in your games?

Every game is different. Every GM is different. There are traits that are considered heroic and those that are fairly villainous. There are traits that are not part of the world setting. And there are traits that screw over the players by their very nature, making their characters essentially unplayable.

Simply put, which traits - advantages and disadvantages alike - do you not permit in your games?

My own list:
– Amnesia (Total)
– Appearance (Horrific, Monstrous, Transcendent)
– Cannot Learn
– Chronolocation
– Destiny
– Dominance
– Illuminated
– Infectious Attack
– Jumper (Time)
– Lifebane
– Pacifism (Total Non-Violence)
– Slave Mentality
– Temporal Inertia
– Terminally Ill
– Timesickness
– Unique
– Wealth (Dead Broke)
– Weirdness Magnet (this includes the variants in Supers such as Origins Magnet)

As you can tell, I don't do a lot of time travel shenanigans.
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Old 12-05-2021, 06:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: Which traits are Forbidden in your games?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
As you can tell, I don't do a lot of time travel shenanigans.
When I read "Chronolocation" I actually thought that meant you do a lot of time-travel shenanigans.

Hm, let me think.....
- Destiny (both Advantage and Disadvantage)
- Bully
- Cannot Learn
- Lecherousness
- Loner (EDIT: Okay, I'm told this is more like "Hates when people watch them work", which I'd be fine with)
- Sadism
Note: Quirk-level versions of these might be okay.

I might also be wary of Disadvantages such as Chronic Depression and Manic-Depressive due to personal experience with depression (if for no other reason than I might not want to dwell on my own memories), but I wouldn't outright ban them.

Everything else I'm willing to give a shot in the right context, though mental disadvantages will receive more scrutiny than most.

Last edited by SilvercatMoonpaw; 12-05-2021 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 12-05-2021, 07:05 AM   #3
johndallman
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Default Re: Which traits are Forbidden in your games?

There are many that I'd tell a player were not applicable, depending on the game. The only one I've ever forbidden was Cursed, because it demands too much GM time and thought.
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Old 12-05-2021, 07:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: Which traits are Forbidden in your games?

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
There are many that I'd tell a player were not applicable, depending on the game. The only one I've ever forbidden was Cursed, because it demands too much GM time and thought.
Yeah, I can't think of any that I would rule out of every game, although Mind Control *almost* makes it.
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Old 12-05-2021, 07:23 AM   #5
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Default Re: Which traits are Forbidden in your games?

I couldn't make a list that's universal. I mean... there are a tonn that would be out for a gritty WW2 game. A different set for a wacky Tick-inspired supers game, and different still for a one-shot greek gods game.

Each game has unique needs.
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Old 12-05-2021, 08:18 AM   #6
whswhs
 
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Default Re: Which traits are Forbidden in your games?

I don't think I've ever explicitly forbidden a trait, other than for its not being applicable to the genre, as when I don't allow exotic or supernatural traits in a campaign about mundane human beings. But there are traits I don't like and don't recommend to players, notably Luck/Unluckiness and Intuition—I don't care for the mechanics for either, and where Luck is concerned, it seems best suited to games with a lot of narrative causality, which I don't usually go for.

I would tend to discourage players from taking disadvantages that have self-control rolls, as those mostly seem too extreme to be viable in any plausible social milieu. The quirk levels of those traits are better for normal personality variations.
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Old 12-05-2021, 09:48 AM   #7
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Default Re: Which traits are Forbidden in your games?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilvercatMoonpaw View Post
- Loner (unless it was a one-on-one game)
I was going to comment that a Limitation to make it function at only Quirk level toward other PC's (basically, the character doesn't mind their presence quite so much)... but then I reread the description. Loner seems to be more "hates for people to watch you work" than "hate to be around people." A thief with Loner would largely be able to function within an adventuring party (although he'd largely keep to himself), but when he needed to pick a lock, disarm a trap, or similar, the rest of the party best keep their distance - and stop trying to watch, this is tricky enough without you breathing down my neck! That interpretation makes the base refund of [-5] make a lot more sense.

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I would tend to discourage players from taking disadvantages that have self-control rolls, as those mostly seem too extreme to be viable in any plausible social milieu. The quirk levels of those traits are better for normal personality variations.
I believe I've seen suggestions that, if the character fails their SC roll, then rather than the character with Bloodlust being forced to break stealth to attack the guards, or the character with Lecherousness being forced to make a pass at the client's wife while he's standing right there, the character simply takes a penalty based on the Margin of Failure on other rolls for a bit. The player can avoid this penalty by simply giving in to the result - either immediately or after a bit, if the player decides he/she'd be better off just breaking stealth / risking the job / etc, rather than continuing to take a sizable penalty (and in some cases, this can let the character get into a better situation to give in - attack after one guard leaves, maneuver the client out of earshot so you can hit on his wife, whatever). Basically, the character is distracted by their particular compulsion, making them less competent until they indulge or enough time has passed.

How much penalty (equal to MoF? a multiple? a fraction?), how long it should last (my inclination would be for the rest of the "scene"), and if it would appropriate to reduce the refund for SC-mitigated traits... I don't know.
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Old 12-05-2021, 09:56 AM   #8
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Default Re: Which traits are Forbidden in your games?

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
I was going to comment that a Limitation to make it function at only Quirk level toward other PC's (basically, the character doesn't mind their presence quite so much)... but then I reread the description. Loner seems to be more "hates for people to watch you work" than "hate to be around people." A thief with Loner would largely be able to function within an adventuring party (although he'd largely keep to himself), but when he needed to pick a lock, disarm a trap, or similar, the rest of the party best keep their distance - and stop trying to watch, this is tricky enough without you breathing down my neck! That interpretation makes the base refund of [-5] make a lot more sense.
Should probably be called something else, then.
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Old 12-05-2021, 10:05 AM   #9
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Default Re: Which traits are Forbidden in your games?

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Originally Posted by SilvercatMoonpaw View Post
Should probably be called something else, then.
Yes, but GURPS has a number of traits of which that could be said. Honesty has nothing to do with telling the truth; Acting does not help you play a part on stage or screen; Delusions are not necessarily untrue . . .
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Old 12-05-2021, 10:13 AM   #10
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Default Re: Which traits are Forbidden in your games?

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Should probably be called something else, then.
Yeah, some GURPS traits have names that, while not strictly inaccurate, are less-than-ideal. Honesty is a big one - the GURPS trait means being law-abiding (which is one of the definitions for the word), while most people expect it to function like Truthfulness (always tell the truth).
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