Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-10-2010, 05:25 PM   #1
Edges
 
Edges's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: GMT-5
Default The cost of Zeroed

It's been pointed out in another thread that Zeroed can give some resistance to supernatural detection. I can see how that would be an advantage in some campaigns.

But the other aspect of Zeroed, no records, seems like double edged sword. Among other things, unless you also take Alternate Identity, you have no ID. Not having ID is a big disadvantage in many campaigns.

What was the thinking behind making Zeroed a flat point advantage rather than an UB, an advan/disadvan as determined by the GM, or a 0-point feature to which Resistant (Supernatural Detection) could be added?
Edges is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 06:21 PM   #2
8th Orbital Army
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Default Re: The cost of Zeroed

If society is complex enough that most people have official ID, then not having one should be a disadvantage. If you can get by without official ID, then most people will.

If you're Zeroed and have an Alternate ID, then isn't that "fake" ID just your base identity? What I mean: In reality you are John Smith, Ghost in the Machine. Your existence has never been documented, you have never been enrolled in school, applied for a loan, owned a car, etc. ..., but you have an alternate identity of "Joe Blow", an average guy with a high school diploma, a clean driving record, and a license and insurance for a cheap used car. You get caught outside GlutCoDyne's Corp. Labs after that big break-in, arrested and booked for trespassing. The cops take your finger prints, DNA sample, retinal prints, etc., label them "Joe Blow" and stick you in cell block 42.

So in what sense are you now John Smith, Ghost in the Machine, and not Joe Blow, the B&E suspect that the cops have records of?
8th Orbital Army is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 06:38 PM   #3
sir_pudding
Wielder of Smart Pants
 
sir_pudding's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ventura CA
Default Re: The cost of Zeroed

I've always had this trouble with Zeroed. It seems to me that in any society that it would be meaningful in it's generally a disadvantage. I don't think I've ever found a use for it in a game.
sir_pudding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 07:34 PM   #4
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: The cost of Zeroed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edges View Post
It's been pointed out in another thread that Zeroed can give some resistance to supernatural detection. I can see how that would be an advantage in some campaigns.

But the other aspect of Zeroed, no records, seems like double edged sword. Among other things, unless you also take Alternate Identity, you have no ID. Not having ID is a big disadvantage in many campaigns.
There's nothing about being Zeroed that that keeps you from carrying ID.
David Johnston2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 07:47 PM   #5
lachimba
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sydney
Default Re: The cost of Zeroed

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
I've always had this trouble with Zeroed. It seems to me that in any society that it would be meaningful in it's generally a disadvantage. I don't think I've ever found a use for it in a game.

How about these:

GURPS Black Ops?

Any special operations campaign where your Patron or other source can give you temportary IDs?

Powers game where you are insubstantial or can possess or mind control others to do things for you?

I am thinking about it for a fantasty game for someone who cast a spell to remove all evidence of himself from the world. So no background and divination and correspondence magic against him will be limited.
lachimba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 07:51 PM   #6
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: The cost of Zeroed

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
I've always had this trouble with Zeroed. It seems to me that in any society that it would be meaningful in it's generally a disadvantage. I don't think I've ever found a use for it in a game.
The Uses for Zeroed

When the cops run the fingerprints at the scene of a crime, they will not find a match.

When you use Hacking to put a fake identity into the computer, the corporation's chief of security will take a long time to be sure that it is fake because there's nothing out there to contradict it. Just some blank spots that could be someone else's database hiccuping.

When you get on the plane, you will never be on the No-Fly List.

When the spies run their facial recognition program they will not get a hit.

When the warrant goes out for your arrest because they've figured out that you weren't who you said you were? Your address will not be on file. Your car will not be registered so they can link it up with your. They will not be able to find your friends and family to track you down.
David Johnston2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 07:58 PM   #7
lexington
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Default Re: The cost of Zeroed

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
The Uses for Zeroed

When the cops run the fingerprints at the scene of a crime, they will not find a match.

....

When the spies run their facial recognition program they will not get a hit.
But these two will only work once because then you're in the database.

It seems like Zeroed is best once civilization is well established but before mass communication is available.
lexington is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 08:10 PM   #8
lachimba
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sydney
Default Re: The cost of Zeroed

Quote:
Originally Posted by lexington View Post
But these two will only work once because then you're in the database.

It seems like Zeroed is best once civilization is well established but before mass communication is available.
Agreed that I can't see much use for it in a GURPS Lowtech campaign without supernatural elements.

The description in GURPS Characters recommends that in pre information age fantasy setting zeroed is about magical (or something similar) shielding of your past.

I would rule that psychometry or divination spells or whatever can't go into your past. Time travel might find you, but then again maybe not. Maybe you just appeared out of nowhere at the start of your campign. Maybe the memories of your allies or contacts has been edited to write you in.

Additionally because you have 'no true name' magicians can't use that in their spells to target you.

I think Zeroed is actually better value in a Fantasy setting.
lachimba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 08:11 PM   #9
Refplace
 
Refplace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Yukon, OK
Default Re: The cost of Zeroed

Quote:
Originally Posted by lexington View Post
But these two will only work once because then you're in the database.

It seems like Zeroed is best once civilization is well established but before mass communication is available.
There was a story by Roger Zelazny called "My Name is Legion"
It describes zeroed as an advantage very well.
Without giving details away the guy would erase and implant any records through a very effective back door.

And if your records get put out there, fake or real as things start building up on you then you lose the advantage. So you need to maintain it with effort, luck, or special abilities.
Or something more...
But other advantages can be lost in game too, doesnt mean you dont take them.
Refplace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 08:15 PM   #10
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: The cost of Zeroed

[QUOTE=lexington;931894]But these two will only work once because then you're in the database.

Yes, this is the fundamental logical problem with Zeroed. You can't [stay] zeroed and do anything that requires an identity, not even with a "false" ID, because information about that false ID would then be on file and linked to you. If you are zeroed you can't hold a legal job (no taxpayer ID or proof of immigration status, not that you'd have many offers given you can produce no proof of prior employment or education that might qualify you for anything), cash a check, buy or rent a place to live, enroll in a school, get married.... If you have no family or friends, live in a ditch and make a living doing illegal jobs for cash, you might be able to stay zeroed for a while.
__________________
--
MA Lloyd
malloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
krommpost, zeroed

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.