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Old 07-04-2020, 01:21 PM   #1
phayman53
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Default Temporarily mitigating a character's odious personal habit

One of the disadvantage options listed for DF Scouts is "Odious Personal Habit: Unwashed Bushwhacker" [-5] for a -1 to reaction rolls. There are other disadvantages like this where a character's normal appearance or behavior is a disadvantage, but realistically it would be something that was possible to mitigate with some effort. Most people have seen the scene in a movie where the normally disheveled or otherwise uncaring about his or her appearance character cleans-up for a special occasion and is actually quite presentable/attractive. Another example of this is Aragorn in LotR, who normally is dirty and poorly dressed because of his life as a ranger, but when he on rare occasion (at least before the end of the books) cleans-up, he is actually incredibly lordly.

As a GM, how would you handle a player with an appearance based OPH like "Unwashed Bushwhacker" to clean-up for a special occasion even though they have the disadvantage? Would you just require them to take some time (maybe an hour or two), require a skill roll (maybe against an appropriate Savoir-Faire, or are their other, better skills?), or just not allow it because it is a disadvantage instead of a perk?

I tend to lean toward extra time and some skill roll (though someone making the roll for the character in order to help them get presentable would be appropriate). I don't think this preserves the inconvenience of the disadvantage while not enforcing always having a -1 when it could be mitigated realistically.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-04-2020, 02:37 PM   #2
khorboth
 
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Default Re: Temporarily mitigating a character's odious personal habit

If it's a one-time thing, I'd probably allow it with a roll against an appropriate skill. Possibly with a Will roll as well to submit to such treatment. This makes sense to me since OPH implies that there's an ingrained personality trait they are going against. If it became a common practice, I'd ask the player to either buy off the disadvantage or buy it down due to the mitigator.

I'd also be willing to accept an alternate temporary OPH. In Bad Smell, it's allowed to cover up the particular bad smell with another equally strong bad smell. Likewise, I'd probably allow someone with OPH (Dresses really badly) to temporarily substitute OPH (fidgets uncomfortably) or OPH (complains about everything) when the party talks him into court garb.

In Bad Sight, there's a mitigator modifier for glasses. I'm hesitant to apply it so broadly as to let it happen with an OPH, but as long as it's still usually a problem, there could be some wiggle room.

In the example of Aragorn, I think he was buying off the disadvantage and embracing his nobility.
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Old 07-04-2020, 02:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Temporarily mitigating a character's odious personal habit

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Originally Posted by khorboth View Post
In the example of Aragorn, I think he was buying off the disadvantage and embracing his nobility.
While I agree with this for the end of his story arc, there are times earlier in his story where he sets aside his ranger garb and cleans himself up (in Rivendell as I recall, and certainly when he re-meets Arwen in Lorien during their backstory in the appendix to LotR), only to once again resume dressing and appearing like a ranger.
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Old 07-04-2020, 03:06 PM   #4
Celjabba
 
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Default Re: Temporarily mitigating a character's odious personal habit

A good exemple would be Toph from Avatar:The Last Airbender
She goes bare footed, covered in dirt, being a slob and swearing with the best of them - by choice. She is still a well educated child of high society and can clean up very well when truly needed (although she will likely complain all the way).

As long as it remain exceptionnal, I would let a player go against their OPH, with perhaps one will roll at the start, and another to avoid reverting to their usual self mid-performance, unless they roleplay a temporary disadvantage (bad temper, or another OPH as suggested by khorboth) in which case I would probably drop the will rolls.

It is an habit, not a feature set in stone. The disads description, "You usually ..." certainly allow flexibility.

If they can switch it on/off at will, it become a quirk and will need to be bought off.

Last edited by Celjabba; 07-04-2020 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 07-04-2020, 05:13 PM   #5
dcarson
 
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Default Re: Temporarily mitigating a character's odious personal habit

A bomus to the Will roll from another party member using Influence skills makes sense also. Several Quirks have you at -1 on IQ and Perception rolls while distracted by the Quirk beign a problem. So that is another possibility.
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Old 07-04-2020, 07:20 PM   #6
whswhs
 
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Default Re: Temporarily mitigating a character's odious personal habit

I really think that if it can be set aside when you need to, I might prefer to treat it as a quirk-level OPH. Letting it be set aside with a Will roll really is too cheap, given that Will can be bought up, and that many player characters and literary heroes will have high Will. Aragorn, for example, was able to face down Sauron in a palantir and emerge still sane, though shaken; that argues for high Will.
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Old 07-04-2020, 08:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Temporarily mitigating a character's odious personal habit

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I really think that if it can be set aside when you need to, I might prefer to treat it as a quirk-level OPH. Letting it be set aside with a Will roll really is too cheap, given that Will can be bought up, and that many player characters and literary heroes will have high Will. Aragorn, for example, was able to face down Sauron in a palantir and emerge still sane, though shaken; that argues for high Will.
I agree. This is where self-control rolls usually come in, but we don't have that to fall back on here. And this is why I would only allow it if appropriate, and even then only once or twice before demanding that the player put some points into buying it off. This should stop people from buying up Will for a once or twice per game effect. This sort of thing should be a rare exception and not a general rule.
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Old 07-05-2020, 03:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: Temporarily mitigating a character's odious personal habit

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I really think that if it can be set aside when you need to, I might prefer to treat it as a quirk-level OPH. Letting it be set aside with a Will roll really is too cheap, given that Will can be bought up, and that many player characters and literary heroes will have high Will. Aragorn, for example, was able to face down Sauron in a palantir and emerge still sane, though shaken; that argues for high Will.
Aragorn also gets a hefty bonus for being the legitimate heir of Isildur. That plays a huge role in Middle-Earth.
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Old 07-05-2020, 04:30 AM   #9
whswhs
 
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Default Re: Temporarily mitigating a character's odious personal habit

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Aragorn also gets a hefty bonus for being the legitimate heir of Isildur. That plays a huge role in Middle-Earth.
While that's a fair point, his Will is still pretty impressive.
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Old 07-05-2020, 04:54 AM   #10
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Default Re: Temporarily mitigating a character's odious personal habit

Oh yes.

I think the way I would do this is to make the character suffer some other disadvantage while he is in fine clothes. He could be short-tempered and suffer from Bad Temper (12) in the meantime. The fact that he loses out points-wise (-5 vs. -10) makes it fair that he gets to trade one disadvantage for another. And he should resent doing this, and not do it often.
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