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Old 08-10-2017, 12:10 PM   #1
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Default Acquiring perks & advantages on a realistic setting

Hey there, I am playing in a realistic campaign and I would like to give my PC the perk "deep sleeper" and the advantage "less sleep 3". The abilities are more or less available in the setting; I could have added them in the beginning, but the campaign had an unexpected turn and now they seem more and more of use to me.

Basically we were working as "cleaning operatives" but the campaign entered a stage in which we are detectives or spies. So I think it is proper to be ready for a “longer night”.

I am aware there are techniques to afford a better sleep, and to efficiently reduce sleeping time. Such as Napoleon did back on his time. Or such as some military groups enforce for special situations and the like.

Surely this depends on the GM, but I would like to hear your thoughts about this, and perhaps get to a plausible idea of how to justify the abilities.

Thank you,
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:45 PM   #2
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Default Re: Acquiring perks & advantages on a realistic setting

These seem like the kinds of things that are regularly picked up in situations where sleep is precious. I have two friends who served in the military and came out with Deep Sleeper. One also picked up reduced sleep. They both said it was a product of the insane schedule in basic training.

As GM, I would require these to be bought in stages. 5 points per in-game week in sleep-related advantages seems like a good spending limit. Of course, you'd also have to have earned the points somehow. You don't get to use downtime to "study" advantages.
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: Acquiring perks & advantages on a realistic setting

I'd allow you to buy the Deep Sleeper perk in play, and I'd probably allow purchasing one or two levels of Less Sleep as well. I think I'd draw the line at 3 levels, though. I'm skeptical that being functional on five hours of sleep is something you can learn, rather than being something you're born with. I actually suspect that a lot of the people who claim to be perfectly functional with a shorter sleep actually have a perk that lets them avoid rolls to fall asleep when they've lost FP to missed sleep until their FP is down to 1/3 of their total, instead of the usual 1/2.
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Old 08-10-2017, 02:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: Acquiring perks & advantages on a realistic setting

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Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
I'm skeptical that being functional on five hours of sleep is something you can learn, rather than being something you're born with.
Trust me, you can.

For various definitions of "functional".


I'm routinely functional on four hours of sleep (sometimes less). Granted my "normal" sleep requirement is only 6 hours... so there may be some bleed over there.

Also, that functional is with skill and stat penalties. I know I'm less responsive, alert, and competent when I've gotten less than a solid 6 hours. I can see the differences. Also functionality drops off faster and more sharply as I near the "awake for 18 hours" mark.

For the past 2 years I've only gotten a solid 6 hours of sleep three times. It shows these days. I tend to start nodding off when I've hit 16-17 hours awake, whereas when I'm getting a proper amount of rest, I can easily push past 18 hours of activity (I used to do that all the time, at least once or twice a week - of course I'd "sleep in" the next to get my 6 hours), often (probably every few months) even skipping sleep for one or two at a time if I had too much to do (of course I'd completely crash following that).

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I actually suspect that a lot of the people who claim to be perfectly functional with a shorter sleep actually have a perk that lets them avoid rolls to fall asleep when they've lost FP to missed sleep until their FP is down to 1/3 of their total, instead of the usual 1/2.
Where as I've long been sure that that isn't how human bodies and fatigue work at all and that the GURPS system is an abstract gamist setup that very poorly mimics reality in this regard (but does so adequately for gameplay).

[EDIT]
it occurs to me that you might be suggesting a houserule here. It sounds intriguing... however...

I think something akin to PK's Long-Term Fatigue is at play. I still have burst activity capacity. That's still as it was... mostly (I think? Like I can still fight (LARPing and SCA) for as long as I used ot... but... I definitely feel more winded afterward, adn I'm "pressing harder" to keep going than I used to. I think?). But what's really gone is the long activity capacity. After 8-10 hours of hard work, I don't have the "get-up-and-go" I used to have (yes, I'm also older). Instead putting in 10 hours and then still going out or bustling around the house doing chores, I just plunk down and rest till It's time to sleep.

Like I could still get out and run, at my regular speed. I could even jog as far as I used, if I could motivate to (I do sometimes). But... the motivational energy is gone. The capacity to just hop up and bust out 2-4 more hours of work post work is gone.

And the longer I go without getting a good solid 6, the worse it's been getting.




But on topic: Like khorboth I'd require Ads and such to be purchased with points acquired from play. However if they've got the points, just let them get what you feel is reasonable.

I'd limit Less Sleep to 2 levels for a realistic campaign (or a campaign with Down Time point earning).
[/EDIT]

Last edited by evileeyore; 08-10-2017 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: Acquiring perks & advantages on a realistic setting

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post

For various definitions of "functional".


I'm routinely functional on four hours of sleep (sometimes less). [...]
Also, that functional is with skill and stat penalties.
Sorry, I guess I should have said "unaffected" rather than "functional". I know myself how you can deal with less sleep than the full 8 hours (I've had sleep apnea for years before I finally got treatment for it), but you're definitely at less than 100% effectiveness. But I've heard people claim that they can deal with only four hours of sleep and be at their best, not just able to do stuff, and that's what I'm skeptical of.

[/quote]
Where as I've long been sure that that isn't how human bodies and fatigue work at all and that the GURPS system is an abstract gamist setup that very poorly mimics reality in this regard (but does so adequately for gameplay).[/QUOTE]

It's true, the existing rules for missed sleep are very much a fudge. Apparently, the average person has to stay up for 16 hours past their bedtime before they're at risk of drowsing off? If I was building more realistic sleep rules, I'd probably say that any FP lost to sleep gave you a risk of drowsing off, requiring a Will roll at +5, but a penalty equal to the amount of FP you'd lost from missed sleep. Once you lost 1/3 of your FP, even a successful roll would give you -1 to DX, IQ, and self control, rising to -2 at 1/2 FP, and -3 at 2/3rds.
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: Acquiring perks & advantages on a realistic setting

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But I've heard people claim that they can deal with only four hours of sleep and be at their best, not just able to do stuff, and that's what I'm skeptical of.
When I was routinely getting my regular amount of sleep I could often go 24+ awake without any noticeable decrease in functionality.

I couldn't do it all the time, or even go more than 36ish... I know by hour (say) 48 I would be getting pretty mentally deficient (noticing things I wasn't focused on was almost impossible - it's like I had mental 'tunnel vision'). Past about hour 60ish I'd feel it physically. A bone weariness that'd make wanting to keep going difficult. By hour 80 I'd be taking 20 minute cat naps on the table while the last bread was baking (I might have been able to stay up.... but there was no need to so I didn't). That would take a bout 4-6 hours and was the end of those very difficult (but profitable) shifts. I also know that if I'd have had the time to do the work in proper shifts (say starting a day or two earlier) I could have done the work in less overall time, that past day 2 I was seriously slowed down (but by then the hardest part was past and it was just baking and boxing/bagging) and since everything was on a "timer" it just had to be done.

I know this because as a baker I pulled a lot of 3-4 day shifts. Not in a row or even in the same month, but over the course of a year it was often a 'necessity'.

Quote:
Apparently, the average person has to stay up for 16 hours past their bedtime before they're at risk of drowsing off?
That sounds about right... noting my edit to my earlier post and your very generous +5 to Will to avoid falling asleep.

Quote:
If I was building more realistic sleep rules, I'd probably say that any FP lost to sleep gave you a risk of drowsing off, requiring a Will roll at +5, but a penalty equal to the amount of FP you'd lost from missed sleep. Once you lost 1/3 of your FP, even a successful roll would give you -1 to DX, IQ, and self control, rising to -2 at 1/2 FP, and -3 at 2/3rds.
That sounds good. I'd probably do -1 at 1/3rd and -2 at 2/3rds... but then that's based purely on my own personal experience. I don't think my stats/skills are above 12's and I didn't suffer too unduly (granted I may have had generous "routine work" bonuses).

I may also have some advantages at play. I know I only need 6 hours of sleep, so if 'most' everyone else needs 8, then there is that.

I also think the GURPS fatigue rules are unduly harsh, that humans have far more capacity for endurance than the rules actually give us, but... they do work.
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: Acquiring perks & advantages on a realistic setting

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
When I was routinely getting my regular amount of sleep I could often go 24+ awake without any noticeable decrease in functionality.

I couldn't do it all the time, or even go more than 36ish... I know by hour (say) 48 I would be getting pretty mentally deficient (noticing things I wasn't focused on was almost impossible - it's like I had mental 'tunnel vision'). Past about hour 60ish I'd feel it physically. A bone weariness that'd make wanting to keep going difficult. By hour 80 I'd be taking 20 minute cat naps on the table while the last bread was baking (I might have been able to stay up.... but there was no need to so I didn't).
You probably would have been in better shape if you started taking those cat naps on day one around the 16 hour mark. Another thing that GURPS is completely unable to deal with, but that's OK.

Me, around hour 18 I become very cold and rapidly develop a violent tremor. I begin to hallucinate if I stay up for ~22 hours without stimulants. So that's some sort of quirk susceptibility to sleep deprivation.
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:57 PM   #8
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Default Re: Acquiring perks & advantages on a realistic setting

As I've thought about this more, depending on the feel of the game, I might impose a penalty to FP during the period where you're "working" on the sleep. If the path to Less Sleep is sleep deprivation, then you're sleep deprived while gaining it. Probably only 1 or 2 FP down, maybe 1d-3. Something along those lines. Again, it depends on the feel of the game.
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: Acquiring perks & advantages on a realistic setting

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You probably would have been in better shape if you started taking those cat naps on day one around the 16 hour mark. Another thing that GURPS is completely unable to deal with, but that's OK.
Probably but the amount of bread and crackers that needed to be baked set a very rigid schedule. One that only really slacked off at the very end, when It was literally "Okay, all this dough finally needs to be baked and that's all I have to do" thus allowing for naps between putting racks into and taking them out of the ovens.
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: Acquiring perks & advantages on a realistic setting

There is a lot about adding advantages in GURPS Social Engineering: Back to School. Though it doesn't say much about adding physical advantages. I suppose Less Sleep might count as that.
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