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Old 06-05-2023, 10:57 PM   #1
Donny Brook
 
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Default Help defining an Advantage

I've got a character who is a cunning rogue from the area of Duffield in southwest Virginia, within a poke of the Cumberland Gap.

He's had a patchy relationship with the law having a career spanning smuggling, moonshining, cock fighting, check-kiting, meth cooking and still more besides. (Still, for all, not a totally bad guy.)

He's got this thing where when he has to give his name he uses Fast-talk to confuse what the person taking it understands. To elaborate, his proper name is William DeWayne Lamont. So, for example, he might give last name first or first name last or other similar misdirections resulting in his name being recorded across various places as Lamont William DeWayne, D. Wayne Lamont, Billy Dee Lamont, William DeWayne, Lamont William, D. Wayne William, etc.

So far in the game he's in, this has all been in back story and role play.

But what if this were adapted to Advantages. How effective an Advantage would the explanation above plausibly allow? I'm thinking it might invoke variations on Alternate Identity and Zeroed. But which? And with what Modifiers?

I'd be grateful for perspectives.
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Old 06-06-2023, 02:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: Help defining an Advantage

Mm. I don't think it's really an Advantage at all. If he doesn't actually have the paperwork for alternative identities, and he doesn't take any pains even for rudimentary disguises, and he isn't actually zeroed? If this is a culture where people just don't ask questions much or check IDs, then that surely applies to everyone else around.

If anything, I'd think this was a Disadvantage, perhaps a Compulsive Behavior. Whatever benefits might accrue to someone trying to look up "Lamont Williams" and turning up nothing is more than offset by the onus on your poor guy to remember which name he gave to which person, which if he used Fast Talk to come up with something on the spur of the moment wouldn't be a light task.
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Old 06-06-2023, 04:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: Help defining an Advantage

I would say it is a quirk , and possibly a perk level alternative identity if the GM agree.

Nowhere near zeroed.

It is not an unusual tactic ( when you run compliance checks against terrorism/money laundering databases, you will run into long list of aliases for various persons of interest - which create false positive more than anything else :( by the way )

So in modern societies, the name game work at the local/human level but usually fail as soon as someone look deeply into it.

Last edited by Celjabba; 06-07-2023 at 06:20 AM.
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Old 06-06-2023, 05:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: Help defining an Advantage

Yeah, I also wouldn't compare this to zeroed.
Perhaps a rebranded talent that just boosts fast talking and the like, with some fitting name.

This is just...conmanship lol.
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Old 06-06-2023, 06:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: Help defining an Advantage

Donny Brook, if you are asking if it's an advantage, I'd agree with RGTraynor, Celjabba & Lovewyrm that it's probably not much of one. Or at best it's a successful use of the fast-talk skill.

However, if you are saying that you want an advantage that lets you use fast-talk to protect your true identity...
I'd say it could be either of alternate ID or zeroed.
If you want the effect to be you can't locate any records of him: zeroed.
If you want the effect to be he gets confused with other people: Alt.ID.
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Old 06-06-2023, 09:40 AM   #6
Donny Brook
 
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Default Re: Help defining an Advantage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinman View Post
Donny Brook, if you are asking if it's an advantage, I'd agree with RGTraynor, Celjabba & Lovewyrm that it's probably not much of one. Or at best it's a successful use of the fast-talk skill.

However, if you are saying that you want an advantage that lets you use fast-talk to protect your true identity...
I'd say it could be either of alternate ID or zeroed.
If you want the effect to be you can't locate any records of him: zeroed.
If you want the effect to be he gets confused with other people: Alt.ID.
I'm trying to extrapolate an Advantage from what the character has been doing.

He's not exactly Zeroed, because records of him under is real name do exist. He doesn't exactly have an Alt. ID because he doesn't have credentials for the names he gives. Maybe it's more like Forgettable Face but it's his name that's 'forgettable'.
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Old 06-06-2023, 02:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: Help defining an Advantage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
Maybe it's more like Forgettable Face but it's his name that's 'forgettable'.
That'd be a Perk "Confusable Name" and it'd add +1 to Fast-Talk rolls when he's trying to confuse the mark into not remembering his name well enough to ID him that way.

Or, it's just the outcome of his Fast-Talk skill rolls that his marks generally have a hard time remembering his name because he says it differently a few times to confuse them.
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Old 06-06-2023, 08:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: Help defining an Advantage

Quote:
Originally Posted by mburr0003 View Post
That'd be a Perk "Confusable Name" and it'd add +1 to Fast-Talk rolls when he's trying to confuse the mark into not remembering his name well enough to ID him that way.

Or, it's just the outcome of his Fast-Talk skill rolls that his marks generally have a hard time remembering his name because he says it differently a few times to confuse them.
I'd call it a 0-pt feature. It either confuses them, so they don't remember his name clearly enough (if he makes his fast-talk roll). Or, if they hear any of his aliases, they can identify him through them (if he fails his fast-talk roll). Either way, it's not an advantage. It's basically a feature of how he uses his Fast-Talk skill.

He is not Casey Orville Jones. It's just a way of explaining how he uses his skills.
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Old 06-07-2023, 06:06 AM   #9
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Default Re: Help defining an Advantage

I agree, it's mostly the outcome of his use of the Fast-Talk skill. I'd let them take a perk for their habit of giving their name out weird for a +1 to Fast-Talk when wanting to hide their name as a kind of Standard Operating Procedure -way, similar to what someone above mentioned.

I'd probably also allow them to take a Quirk for "Never says their name the same way twice in a row" to get a penalty to reactions from members of the local bureaucracy as they get frustrated whenever they have to deal with this character and then let the character handle any issues that come up with proper identification and such...
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Old 06-08-2023, 08:18 AM   #10
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Default Re: Help defining an Advantage

Agreed that routine use of Fast Talk to confuse people about his actual name is just skill use, not an advantage.

If you want there to be a backstory advantage, call it a Perk (Hard-to-Research Name) which gives -2 to -4 to rolls (using Criminology, Law Enforcement or Research) to associate multiple name permutations with a given person.

Prior to computers, having to slog through records looking for variants of William, DeWayne, and Lamont might just be enough to gum up records searches by law enforcement. That would be an advantage for a criminal, but a massive hassle if he was an honest citizen. These days, that's basic search engine stuff and relatively unusual names like DeWayne and Lamont would stand out.

It's a fun idea and offers some ideas for name-based perks or quirks:

Confusing Name: +2 to Fast Talk to confuse people as to what your real name is.

Distinctive Name: +2 to listener's IQ rolls to recall your name or to find it using Administration, Law Enforcement, Research, etc. skills. A perk if you're in a trade where you want public recognition or have to deal with bureaucracy on a regular basis, a drawback if you require anonymity.

Aptonym: +1 to Reaction rolls related to your profession in any situation where your name might be an advantage ("Royal Justice, Attorney at Law, ask for me by name.").

Unintentionally Anonymous Name: -2 to Law Enforcement, Research, etc. rolls to sort your identity out from all the other people with variants of the same name. ("Not John Smith, John S. Smith. No just S, there's no actual middle name. No, not 'Justice' . . . only the initial.)

Unintentional Aptonym: Minor Unusual Background which allows you to claim some advantage despite lacking formal qualifications, like Private Major Major Major being able to buy Rank 4 due to a paperwork error or Mr. Doctor Doctor being able to claim Status 1 and feign medical qualifications because people assume he's Dr. Doctor, MD.
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