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Old 08-23-2014, 10:07 PM   #51
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Allies and Ally Group

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Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
...then I need someone to justify existence of Contacts and it still needs a major overhaul.
Contacts are needed to cover situations where the character has access to someone who will help but not in fact offer their full resources to the character's cause. Which is why they aren't complete characters and particularly why you don't pay for their full capability, because their full capability isn't available to the PC. And the reason why they aren't hirelings is because unlike hirelings, you don't need to negotiate and persuade to get them to help within the standard Contact parameters. It's an established relationship.
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Old 08-24-2014, 05:14 AM   #52
johndallman
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Allies and Ally Group

There is a problem with Contacts in that sometimes what you want from them isn't readily modelled by a skill. Thinking about people whom I might claim as Contacts, I realised that for some of them I might want them to use their own contacts, on the whole "six degrees of Kevin Bacon" thing, and that led to me to an idea for a generalisation of contacts.

You're buying some kind of resource, measured in character points, with availability and reliability modifiers. So it might be a skill, a further Contact, or something else. This offers the possibility of unifying Patrons and Contacts, with Patrons just being very large Contacts.
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Old 08-24-2014, 06:26 AM   #53
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Allies and Ally Group

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
There is a problem with Contacts in that sometimes what you want from them isn't readily modelled by a skill.
I've tended to regard a Contact's skill as a fairly abstract thing: your police contact with skill-18 has that skill level at "doing cop things", whether in person or by asking friends on the force. It might be a licence plate search, or bumping a crime report up or down the investigation stack, or an introduction to a pathologist who won't ask silly questions about that strange tissue sample, none of which is really a job for a straight skill roll in GURPS.

(I'm certainly influenced here by Dark Conspiracy, where you just had a "police" or "military" or "criminal" contact, and didn't even define them until you wanted to.)
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Old 08-24-2014, 08:21 AM   #54
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Allies and Ally Group

While typing up this latest response, I realized one of my mistakes. I had a lot I wanted to do with merging Ally, Contact and Patron. I didn't want to put it all out at once because I typically find it better to start small and then expand; if part of my idea is terrible it may be revealed as the discussion organically unfolds, and instead of wasting time making it clear I realize that and am no longer suggesting that particular aspect, it is easier just to have never mentioned it at all.

That doesn't help when I've made comments with it in mind, or worse yet forgot about it almost entirely. I have been attempting to build a case for why Contacts should be Allies because ultimately, I want the option of still having a Contact that functions akin to the current Advantage, but expanded because such a treatment makes sense for certain Allies and Patrons. Namely, the ones that are little more than an externalized Advantage or Skill. More on that after touching upon a few specifics.

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
If a Contact is just an externalized skill...
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Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
...then I need someone to justify existence of Contacts and it still needs a major overhaul.

We can apply this same kind of logic to Patrons and Allies; even when they are designed as fully realized characters, your interaction with them can be extremely limited.
I understand what the Contacts rule in GURPS is; I question the need of having a mechanic at all to represent an "externalized Skill", and if I do accept Contacts then I have to ask why the same concept isn't applied to Allies or Patrons.

This for example

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Contacts are needed to cover situations where the character has access to someone who will help but not in fact offer their full resources to the character's cause. Which is why they aren't complete characters and particularly why you don't pay for their full capability, because their full capability isn't available to the PC. And the reason why they aren't hirelings is because unlike hirelings, you don't need to negotiate and persuade to get them to help within the standard Contact parameters. It's an established relationship.
explains how Contacts function and what they are intended for, but it still doesn't justify them as a stand alone game mechanic. It strikes me as over complicating a hireling relationship, or failing to apply the same principles to Allies and Patrons, even though logically (as a game mechanic and as something we see in actual fiction) I see no reason not to treat them all equally e.g. just because the rules do it that way now isn't proper justification when debating whether or not an alternate rule should exist.

Contacts can sell you out if they are "Somewhat Reliable" or "Unreliable". If the character in question has a high enough Reliability that they won't sell you out... that isn't enough to justify elevating all would-be Contacts from Hirelings, which may have a good enough Loyalty to also not betray you. Conversely, Allies and Patrons only don't sell you out because of... GURPS tradition? The rules not taking that into account? This seems like a good mechanic (possibly a Limitation) to add.

Most players I know have PCs that either have paid for traits that never ended up coming into play (whether because they were selected merely for flavor or proved to be a poor investment); I have no reason to assume Allies and Patrons* are any different. If we focus on an actual story... again Contacts only function as GURPS contacts because the GM chooses to restrict the story. If the GM is willing to do that for Contacts, why not for an Ally or Patron? It isn't a foreign story concept or game mechanic.

The latter is especially true in video games (that's still a setting that some use GURPS to represent), where you can get "helper characters" that pretty much exist to give your character access to something useful, including combat traits, but which the story has agreed not to further explore so it doesn't need to detail them (including for combat purposes). If a player can have an externalized Streetwise Skill, why not an externalized sniper Ally, good for one shot and then he/she/it bails (hit or miss). If logically unavailable due to the circumstances... they are logically unavailable. You have a contract between player and GM: this "Ally" provides nothing more than the occasional long range "extra attack" with neither the player nor the GM demanding any more of it.

So my ultimate goal, which I incompetently forgot as I advocated for Contacts always being fleshed out characters (yes, I am that stupid though I realize this probably just looks like a pathetic attempt at flip-flopping) was to allow something that functioned the way Contacts do now, just still built out of an Ally. This would hopefully give a more accurate CP value as well as allowing the concept to expand; the niche Ally or Patron, that can sometimes be unreliable without being an Unwilling Ally/Patron, and is priced based on what relevant trait(s) are coming into play. So when neither player nor GM ever have need for such a character to come fully into play, no one has to whip up a Character sheet, but if they do want them to come into play, it is still an option.

So... agree or disagree, hopefully now I've got more or less the entire "concept" out there instead of trying to take baby steps and ultimately making it more complicated (when I was trying to keep it simple). @_@
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:17 AM   #55
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Allies and Ally Group

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
There is a problem with Contacts in that sometimes what you want from them isn't readily modelled by a skill. Thinking about people whom I might claim as Contacts, I realised that for some of them I might want them to use their own contacts, on the whole "six degrees of Kevin Bacon" thing, and that led to me to an idea for a generalisation of contacts.
.
Contacts are already generalized by the fact that you don't buy their actual skill level. You buy their effective skill level, which represents their own contacts, equipment, Rank, whatever.
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:30 AM   #56
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Allies and Ally Group

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Originally Posted by Otaku View Post

So my ultimate goal, which I incompetently forgot as I advocated for Contacts always being fleshed out characters (yes, I am that stupid though I realize this probably just looks like a pathetic attempt at flip-flopping) was to allow something that functioned the way Contacts do now, just still built out of an Ally. This would hopefully give a more accurate CP value
The problem is, you'd frequently be paying for things you couldn't make use of because a contact is not an ally.
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:33 AM   #57
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Allies and Ally Group

hi guys! i don't understand the disvantage limit that an ally can have:

i have a 150 CP +100 disvantage Hunter ( inspired by Destiny, the new Bungie Game ^^ ) so i want 6 drones at 25% of my CP.

that means 37 CP + ? Disvantage.

PS: how many IQ they need have to talk with them and give them simple orders, like " go stealth and record a video " or just Fight and protect me.

thanks and sorry for the second OT question :)

Last edited by pax360volt; 08-24-2014 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:44 AM   #58
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Allies and Ally Group

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Originally Posted by pax360volt View Post
hi guys! i don't understand the disvantage limit that an ally can have:

i have a 150 CP +100 disvantage Hunter ( inspired by Destiny, the new Bungie Game ^^ ) so i want 6 drones at 25% of my CP.

that means 37 CP + ? Disvantage.

PS: how many IQ they need have to talk with them and give them simple orders, like " go stealth and record a video " or just Fight and protect me.

thanks and sorry for the second OT question :)
There is no disadvantage limit for Allies because Allies are designed by the GM.
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:54 AM   #59
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Allies and Ally Group

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PS: how many IQ they need have to talk with them and give them simple orders, like " go stealth and record a video " or just Fight and protect me.
IQ 6, for understanding language (with syntax, metaphors etc.) and being able to use tools.
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Old 08-24-2014, 12:00 PM   #60
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Allies and Ally Group

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Originally Posted by pax360volt View Post
that means 37 CP + ? Disvantage.
Whatever disadvantage limit the GM decides to use (or not) when he makes them. In practice they probably aren't going to have any, because all of their disadvantages are going to be "racial" unless he wants to make six radically individual robots.
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PS: how many IQ they need have to talk with them and give them simple orders, like " go stealth and record a video " or just Fight and protect me.
IQ 3 in order to understand commands related to its' work. See p. B458.
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