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Old 08-30-2021, 08:17 AM   #71
RedMattis
 
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Default Re: How to protect merchant from mind control?

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Originally Posted by bocephus View Post
You seem to play a very different game to the one(s) Im familiar with.

Thats not how I or anyone I know plays "50% of the point total for disads", *I* for sure don't play anything like that, and "up to 80 typically"?!?!?
NEVER heard of anything more than 50+5 ever, and that can already get hard to play.

50+5 is my Max period regardless of the point totals (excepting a few disads that are 50 or more for one disad, if they are appropriate). For a 125-150 game I cap disads at ~25 and 5 points of quirks. I will make some concessions above 25pts of disads if the individual can give me some pretty compelling RP/back story to work with AND their RP ability is already known to me. This is because 1) I dont want to have to manage a PC that cant keep track of their own disads (its unfair to the other PCs if people take disads to get a bigger point pool then never limit themselves based on it), 2) Im ok if it gives me something I can use to add to the overall story.

I have been known to impose temporary and permanent disads on PCs as part of game play so I want a pad to not leave them with a hard to play character OR having such a combo of disads that giving them something like a cripple condition for a few weeks of game time ends up really screwing a disad maxed char. Or a character thats carefully built with a manageable combo of disads that gets undone when you drop some phobia or anger management condition.
Yeah, really. The only time I see people with that many points in disadvantages is if they are playing a sapient animal or something terribly cursed like a vampire. ...and the GM is typically the one making race/meta-templates like those.

-

Anyway, as for protecting Merchants, I think it has been said a few times here before, but...

Mind Controlling someone subtly and getting a bit too good of a deal might slip by, but tricking a merchant to selling so low that he loses money or outright robbing them via Mind Control might well work on most Merchants right there and then. Afterwards UNLESS the mage was more subtle than just magically robbing the Merchant, then the merchant or people around them will figure out what the Mage is up to and it won't take long until torches and pitchforks come out.

Assuming the City Guard, Thieves Guild, Mages Guild, or local Count doesn't catch the mage first.

At least in my fantasy setting I don't play fair with the 'encounters' either. If three guards show up to arrest the mage and the party just straight up murders them, then they can expect to get f.ex. ambushed by a small army and dragged into prison.

Of course I try to avoid TPK's, so I'll probably make up some reason for at least some of the characters to get a shot at freedom instead of just getting publicly executed. "A little bird told me that the mage might have had worked his magic on you bunch. How about you help me out to prove that you are of higher character than 'Mage Dark Mc. Evilguy', hm?"
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Old 08-30-2021, 08:29 AM   #72
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Default Re: How to protect merchant from mind control?

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Originally Posted by WingedKagouti View Post
I expect that most groups usually stick to that guideline.
I mean, you can definitely make character that use the full disadvantage budget, but that many disadvantages will typically be crippling in its own ways.

Odious and poor-reputed people get such bad reactions so people don't even need a reason to blame them for theft. Dead Broke can't own Powerstones (or they'd have to buy it off). Lecherous Bad-tempered Obsessive Gamblers with poor CR values will get into terrible situations even before they try to mentally assault merchants, etc. Even stuff like being one-eyed, one-armed, wheel-chair-bound guy with a phobia of spiders is a pain for a scammer because it makes it trivial for others to identify them "Hey Sarah, I think the guy George warned us about rolled into the city. Let's close the shop and see how this goes down. And maybe capture a spider somewhere."

As long as the GM doesn't permit power-gaming disadvantages (radiation weakness in a setting without radiation, etc.) I wouldn't view those as anything resembling free points. Lots of disadvantages would actively or passively get in the way of scamming.
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Last edited by RedMattis; 08-30-2021 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 08-30-2021, 09:00 AM   #73
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Default Re: How to protect merchant from mind control?

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Originally Posted by bocephus View Post
You seem to play a very different game to the one(s) Im familiar with.

Thats not how I or anyone I know plays "50% of the point total for disads", *I* for sure don't play anything like that, and "up to 80 typically"?!?!?
NEVER heard of anything more than 50+5 ever, and that can already get hard to play.
As WingedKagouti points out, [-75] plus [-5] worth of Quirks is the default limit for [150] characters, but I do agree at that point the character may well be too dysfunctional. I think [-50] worth of Disadvantages (plus 5 Quirks) is readily workable - this is the level the characters built with Delvers to Grow are at, and while that's focused on dungeon delving you could easily create a hustler of some flavor with them. Even at a lower level of Disadvantages, you can readily find some points to put into other spells and skills that complement your spell selection, seeing as spells are at skill 15 (VH) or 16 (H) with only [1] put in them, and mundane IQ/Per/Will-based skills are going to generally be at 13 (H) or 14 (A) with only [1] put in them.

I'll concede it's an issue to keep track of Disadvantages, particularly if they have a lot of them. Delvers to Grow is set up so the player just chooses two Disadvantage packages, each of which generally has three components, although some have two or even four, that add up to [-25]. This makes it a bit easier to keep track of when something might come into play, but you really do need player investment when it comes to Disadvantages.
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Old 08-30-2021, 09:02 AM   #74
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Default Re: How to protect merchant from mind control?

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Originally Posted by RedMattis View Post
I mean, you can definitely make character that use the full disadvantage budget, but that many disadvantages will typically be crippling in its own ways.
Certainly, but players looking for a few extra points will likely try to find a way to squeeze in something that doesn't cripple their core concept too much. And yes, something like 40-50 points in Disadvantages tends to give character a reasonable amount of minor flaws and a single major flaw. Someone with 75 points in Disadvantages will likely have 2-4 major flaws that can be exploited along with a couple of minor flaws, but they're almost certainly still going to be able pull their weight in whatever field they're supposed to cover in the party.

Things can of course get way out of hand once you have a party of 4-6 players all with 75 points worth of Disadvantages.

Quote:
As long as the GM doesn't permit power-gaming disadvantages (radiation weakness in a setting without radiation, etc.) I wouldn't view those as anything resembling free points.
Disadvantages that have no effect in a setting/campaign are never worth any points.
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Old 08-30-2021, 09:05 AM   #75
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Default Re: How to protect merchant from mind control?

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Originally Posted by WingedKagouti View Post
Disadvantages that have no effect in a setting/campaign are never worth any points.
Agreed. Just making sure we're on the same page on that.
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Old 08-30-2021, 08:20 PM   #76
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Default Re: How to protect merchant from mind control?

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Originally Posted by WingedKagouti View Post
From Basic p11:

I expect that most groups usually stick to that guideline.

Nope. None of the GURPS GMs in my extended gaming circle ever has gone more than -50. Not all of us go that high. I have a group of five PCs, each with 3-4 heavy Disads, the game isn't going to be dominated by any plotline I craft, it's going to be dominated by the Disads. No thankew.
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Old 08-30-2021, 09:12 PM   #77
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Default Re: How to protect merchant from mind control?

Wealthier merchants may have a trinket enchanted to turn red for an hour or two if mind control magic is used on the wearer. When a customer leaves the tent, guards stop them and glance at the trinket. It could be the tent, a lantern on the table, the merchant’s scales… Just the knowledge that such enchantments are available turns the tactic from “get rich quick” to “calculated risk”.

There could be other strategies such as the merchant has a business partner who watches for something hinky and has no say over price but is the one the guards listen to on who leaves safely. You’d have to mind control two people without either of them noticing. Or it could be like a dead man’s switch, where the merchant jingles his bracelets every minute or so. If he stops jingling, the guards investigate.

This may have come up already, but even charm spells have limits. If a very dear, long lost friend showed up at your place of business, you still aren’t going to let them walk away with valuable merchandise.
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Old 08-30-2021, 09:59 PM   #78
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Default Re: How to protect merchant from mind control?

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Originally Posted by clu2415 View Post
This may have come up already, but even charm spells have limits. If a very dear, long lost friend showed up at your place of business, you still aren’t going to let them walk away with valuable merchandise.
GURPS Charm spell doesn't have those kind of limits.
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