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Old 05-16-2020, 05:05 PM   #1
MrCrowley
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Default TL8 over stimulation disadvantage

So I have a sorcerer from your typical TL3-4 fantasy world that gets dropped into modern American big city. While life-or-death combat and monsters are relatively familiar experiences to her, she feels overwhelmed by the dense populations, the imposing skyscrapers, and the constant noise of everyday life here. She can usually function with a low-level but unyielding stress in the back of her mind, but movie theaters, nightclubs, and similar loud environments may driver her to a panic attack.

This isn't a psychological condition, it's just a result of being trapped with more stimuli than she's ever known and is not uncommon among others like here. In time, she'll get used to her new world and buy off the disadvantage.

But does anyone know what disadvantage would model this? The closest I can find is Confused but its effects are far too broad.
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Old 05-16-2020, 05:22 PM   #2
Phantasm
 
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Default Re: TL8 over stimulation disadvantage

Sounds very similar in effect to the Confused disad, IMO. You might want to start there, though you want to give it a different name for clarity's sake.
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Old 05-16-2020, 05:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: TL8 over stimulation disadvantage

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCrowley View Post
But does anyone know what disadvantage would model this? The closest I can find is Confused but its effects are far too broad.
How about Shyness, with 'strangers' interpreted rather liberally? Or perhaps Chronic Depression, where when the world gets to be too much, the character wants to retreat to a quiet room to recover?
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Old 05-16-2020, 06:20 PM   #4
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: TL8 over stimulation disadvantage

Sounds similar to a few Phobias to me (Crowds, Loud Noises, not so broad as Machinery / Technophobia), probably at -10 for the described problematic situations. Mechanically seems like a match: a self-control roll, with failure causing a Fright Check (perhaps that panic attack).

Why do you rule out "psychological conditions" -- especially since the description is a psychological condition? The phrase evidently means something that seems incorrect to you for the character. But any mental Disadvantage seems like it would be a psychological condition to me (not to mention a few Advantages).

Last edited by Anaraxes; 05-17-2020 at 05:13 AM.
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Old 05-16-2020, 07:25 PM   #5
Not another shrubbery
 
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Default Re: TL8 over stimulation disadvantage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
Sounds very similar in effect to the Confused disad, IMO. You might want to start there, though you want to give it a different name for clarity's sake.
Yea. You might limit it, but the description looks like the best fit.
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Old 05-16-2020, 08:11 PM   #6
MrCrowley
 
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Default Re: TL8 over stimulation disadvantage

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Why do you rule out "psychological conditions" -- especially since the description is a psychological condition? The phrase evidently means something that seems incorrect to you for the character. But any mental Disadvantage seems like it would be a psychological condition to me (not to mention a few Advantages).
I mean it isn't caused by trauma and isn't a medical issue. She just has to get used to his alien world of loud noises and constant activity. If you've ever seen Hanna (2011) there's a scene where our hero is surrounded by a boiling electrical kettle, a loud TV, a humming ceiling fan and the buzz of flickering florescent lights ad starts to panic from the sensory overload. That was my inspiration for this if it clears things up.

Phobia is a good idea for this. I'll probably go with that

Last edited by MrCrowley; 05-16-2020 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 05-17-2020, 05:23 AM   #7
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: TL8 over stimulation disadvantage

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Originally Posted by MrCrowley View Post
I mean it isn't caused by trauma and isn't a medical issue.
I see; thanks!

Lots of good possibilities in the thread, so just fall back on the common GURPS proverb, "buy the effects and not the name". If you like the feel of the Phobia mechanics for this character, then go with that, and rename it to keep the proper flavor. Might want to tweak the results of the Fright Check table, too. (Low level results are mostly stuns, which sounds appropriate for trying to sort out sensory overload. Maybe not so much some of the more cinematic ones up toward the middle, like having your hair turn white or acquiring new Phobias -- unless of course that sounds like fun :))
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Old 05-17-2020, 05:50 AM   #8
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Default Re: TL8 over stimulation disadvantage

Maybe you could reskin Supersensitivity?
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:37 AM   #9
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Default Re: TL8 over stimulation disadvantage

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCrowley View Post
I mean it isn't caused by trauma and isn't a medical issue. She just has to get used to his alien world of loud noises and constant activity. If you've ever seen Hanna (2011) there's a scene where our hero is surrounded by a boiling electrical kettle, a loud TV, a humming ceiling fan and the buzz of flickering florescent lights ad starts to panic from the sensory overload. That was my inspiration for this if it clears things up.

Phobia is a good idea for this. I'll probably go with that
Phobia sounds like a bad fit, mostly due to the effects of a failed roll running the risk of causing massive (semi)permanent issues.

The first two levels of Phantom Voices could be used to represent some of the effects of someone unfamiliar with an environment reacting to things natives ignore.

But Confused is the most natural fit. It is quite literally the "Sensory Information Overload" disadvantage and taking it with a Self Control of 15 would let the character fuction normally in most situations.
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:52 AM   #10
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Default Re: TL8 over stimulation disadvantage

This seems exactly like Confused to me. If that's more severe than you want, consider a better self-control roll or the Mitigator modifier.
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