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Old 04-05-2017, 08:03 PM   #41
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: The Rules of 14, 16, & 20

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Originally Posted by Hyrneson View Post
Are there any reasons or justifications beyond game balance for The Rules of 14, 16, & 20?
The rule of 20 is less about game balance than simulationism. Reed Richards has a superhuman intellect. Any actual IQ skill he has is up around 30. He just spends a point and he's that good. But he isn't that good at intellectual pursuits that he has simply never paid any attention to learning like the arts, history or social skills. Don't mistake me, he's good, he's just not inhumanly good the way he is at rocket design, physics, biology, chemistry, mathematics, electronics....
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Old 04-06-2017, 01:14 AM   #42
Andreas
 
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Default Re: The Rules of 14, 16, & 20

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Originally Posted by Critical View Post
You just said "large." -10 is a large penalty. If we're talking about a game where player characters have attributes as high as 20, a super frightening demon that imposes a -10 to fright checks is hardly over the top, and makes a material difference to someone with a high will.
I just said "large"? That post of mine don't even contain that word.

It could be over the top. Will 20 does after all only cost 50 points. Either way, I did not write that someone with Will 20 would react the same to all fright checks. Just that someone with sufficently high Will+Fearlessness (which would be 23+ for a -10 penalty) would.

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
If the total bonuses to Fright Checks exceed a certain number then you probably shouldn't roll at all. Seeing a corpse at a funeral is at least good for the bonus for preparation, and probably some others. Regardless, it is a silly thing to call for a Fright Check for.
Not for all people. It is not like no one freaks out wheen seeing such a corpse. Looking at modified Will (or rather what modified Will would be without the rule of 14), rather than just the bonuses to the fright check seems more reasonable, since that captures the mental resilience of the subjets as well.
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Old 04-06-2017, 05:54 AM   #43
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Default Re: The Rules of 14, 16, & 20

If high defaults off high stats bother people, they might want to consider By Default, in Pyramid 3/65, by Doug Cole. Essentially, defaults (and skills in general) are based off stat/2+5, greatly reducing the effect of high stats on defaults.
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:08 AM   #44
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Default Re: The Rules of 14, 16, & 20

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
And that is far more of a realism problem than defaults.

Then they didn't have that much IQ, they had something else. The rule of 20 is a patch for attributes being broken.
Of course, the problem with a lower attribute cap is that it does relatively little to rein in the usefulness of attributes at available levels, but simultaneously interacts in an undesirable way with the probability curve.

Currently, the work area of GURPS competence levels is 3-18. There's usually some amount of demand for tasks which range from "you've got no chance of succeed at this" to "don't bother rolling, you're sure to succeed" depending on which of the party members tries to perform the task. But if we restrict attribute levels to the 8-16 range (for example), we cannot satisfy that demand. In fact it's already somewhat hard to satisfy with the 8-20 attribute range.
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Old 04-07-2017, 01:51 AM   #45
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Default Re: The Rules of 14, 16, & 20

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
It seems at least narratively weird that a character would be equally spooked by hearing a song his dead grandmother liked playing from apparently nowhere and having her show up in person along with all her dead friends to pinch his cheeks and eat him all up. Does that mean that the two events are equivalent to the character?
The things that have freaked me out the most over the years follow no real logic like you suggest and, when weighed against things that didn't freak me out that might be considered "objectively worse," very much are narratively weird.
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Old 04-07-2017, 02:05 AM   #46
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Default Re: The Rules of 14, 16, & 20

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Well, because one case is seeing the dead body of someone you didn't know at a funeral, and the other is finding your daughter's mutilated corpse. Clearly the latter should cause more of a freak out than the former, but with Rule of 14 and high Will, it doesn't.
That is not clear to me at all. You are making an intuition or hunch-based claim, but I know of no evidence to support that position. Many aspects of the human psyche defy intuition. I am not saying you're wrong; I am just saying I do not share the same hunch.

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If you feel everyone everywhere should have at least a 1 in 6 chance of a freak out when confronted with anything that can cause someone without a relevant phobia to suffer such, Rule of 14 covers that. I don't feel that's accurate, however - last wake I went to didn't seem to have anywhere close to one in every 6 people get mentally Stunned upon seeing the deceased.
This probably means characters attending a wake shouldn't generally be making fright checks.
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Old 04-07-2017, 10:22 AM   #47
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Default Re: The Rules of 14, 16, & 20

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Originally Posted by Hyrneson View Post
Are there any reasons or justifications beyond game balance for The Rules of 14, 16, & 20?
More generally, they are, like a bunch of other rules such as critical success, failure and critical failure guarantees, minimums on defense rolls, bonuses for routine activities and so on, patches on the fundamentally unrealistic "resolve stuff by rolling 3d and comparing to scores that can span about the same range plus or minus constants" mechanic.

Arguments for or against their realism are disguised discussions about the lack of realism of that. If you are going to resolve stuff with dice and simple math, and not continuous probability functions with modifiers that change the function in ways that will require at least integration to compute your new odds, expect to end up either needing rules of this sort, having to live with the occasional clearly unrealistic result, or both.
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:12 PM   #48
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Default Re: The Rules of 14, 16, & 20

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Originally Posted by Critical View Post
That is not clear to me at all. You are making an intuition or hunch-based claim, but I know of no evidence to support that position. Many aspects of the human psyche defy intuition. I am not saying you're wrong; I am just saying I do not share the same hunch.
I doubt anyone has done a study to confirm something as obvious as that people are more emotionally affected by things that happen to close family members than total strangers, but alright, fair enough.

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Originally Posted by Critical View Post
This probably means characters attending a wake shouldn't generally be making fright checks.
Honestly, a Fright Check seems appropriate for someone who is, say, seeing a loved one for the first time since hearing the news, as seeing the actual body drives home that the deceased is, in fact, gone. I've certainly seen people who don't have issues at other wakes/funerals (implying no relevant Phobias or similar) react in ways not inconsistent with a failed Fright Check upon first viewing the body. It's just nothing close to one in six. Really, sir-pudding's suggestion that Fright Checks should be waived if there is a large enough bonus (personally, I'd revamp that to being waived if the target number is sufficiently high - 25 seems about right) should cover a lot of that - the people who are hit hard don't have as high of a positive modifier as everyone else (due to closeness with the deceased, being mentally unprepared, etc) and don't get to waive their roll. Of course, that just makes the Rule of 14 even worse - normally waiving the roll just means going from a 1.85% failure rate to 0% (which isn't a huge change), whereas with Rule of 14 you're going from a 16.2% failure rate to 0% (which is a pretty big change).

I don't know the actual probabilities of people suffering from the equivalent of a failed Fright Check, of course, but at least narratively, having everyone have at best a duality between "no chance of failure" and "one in six chance of failure" seems extremely odd, and I don't really see any benefit to it. In terms of game mechanics there might be a balance issue that Rule of 14 helps with, however (I personally don't think so).
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Old 04-07-2017, 10:14 PM   #49
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Default Re: The Rules of 14, 16, & 20

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Really, sir-pudding's suggestion that Fright Checks should be waived if there is a large enough bonus (personally, I'd revamp that to being waived if the target number is sufficiently high - 25 seems about right) should cover a lot of that - the people who are hit hard don't have as high of a positive modifier as everyone else (due to closeness with the deceased, being mentally unprepared, etc) and don't get to waive their roll.
It's also worth taking the advice from Campaigns (p.360) into effect. To paraphrase, not everything that's scary even warrants a fight check. What does require one should be something unnatural or unusually terrifying - as appropriate to your character. The GM should use common sense.
Almost no one goes to a funeral and triggers a fright check, that isn't unusual or frightening; you'll find a lot of people there sad, overcome with emotion etc., but terrified? No.
So someone with a very high resistance to Fright Checks should have most of them handwaved, not because of a strictly mechanical effect, but because that character probably just doesn't find many things truly unnatural or frightening.
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Old 04-08-2017, 05:11 PM   #50
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Default Re: The Rules of 14, 16, & 20

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Originally Posted by Hyrneson View Post
Are there any reasons or justifications beyond game balance for The Rules of 14, 16, & 20?
In my opinion the game is better without those rules, it is simpler and allows exceptional heroes to be as exceptional as the creator intended.
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