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Old 09-23-2009, 09:46 AM   #31
Kromm
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Default Re: Fat... where did the extra encumbrance go?

The reason why we reduced being hefty to a spectrum of cosmetic traits that primarily influence your ability to be spotted in a crowd of less-hefty people was that we could reach no useful consensus on what "fat" entailed . . . as evidenced by this thread. The 3e treatment was clearly plain old wrong for many real-world individuals. People sometimes have too much fat but also the muscle to carry it. Some people carry it all on their hips or thighs; others, on their belly; still others, on their chest. Then again, some people just have a little too much everywhere. And some people have the genes to live to 110 whilst overweight, while others are courting a heart attack at 35.

So if you're fat, the first thing you do is take a weight and a height that say "fat" to you. There are dozens of BMI and WHR calculators online. Pick one and use it.

Next, select some or all of your disadvantage points from this list (which runs from front to back through the Basic Set):
  • Reduced DX (moderately common, especially for those whose weight interferes with climbing, dancing, etc.; offset this with High Manual Dexterity if your fine DX is good)
  • Reduced HT
  • Reduced FP (very common alongside Unfit or Very Unfit)
  • Reduced Basic Speed
  • Reduced Basic Move (very common)
  • Reduced Appearance (nothing to do with "beauty standards"; extreme body weight can distort features, which is aesthetically bad even in pro-fat societies)
  • Bad Back (esp. if you carry it all on your torso)
  • Increased Consumption (esp. if the fat is due to a metabolic disorder)
  • Klutz (if your girth is enough to upset china shops)
  • Lame (if you're so heavy that you've damaged your knees for good)
  • Noisy (for those with labored breathing or elephantine footfalls)
  • Overweight, Fat, or Very Fat (not in fact required – only take these if you look fat!)
  • Unfit or Very Unfit (nigh-universal, and better than reduced HT for real effects)
  • Distinctive Features (if you wear the fat in some bizarre way, like Kim K.)
  • Incompetence (at any number of weight-sensitive skills; e.g., pudgy fingers could negate Pickpocket)
We don't have genes for fat because G-d or Nature is evil! Also consider spending a few points on positive traits from this list (ditto):
  • Increased ST (not as common as the next one)
  • Increased HP (extremely common)
  • DR (one level with Tough Skin seems entirely fair)
  • Penetrating Voice (a large resonant cavity very much helps here)
  • Resistant to Poisonous Bites (thick fat can largely negate many venomous bites in real life)
  • Temperature Tolerance (a real-world reason why some societies embrace fat)
Anyway, it's the Chinese menu nature of the situation that makes a single trait inappropriate.
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Old 09-24-2009, 04:46 AM   #32
The Benj
 
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Default Re: Fat... where did the extra encumbrance go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
Someone with 300lbs of muscle doesn't get ST 15 in GURPS. Someone who spends 50 points gets ST 15. You can buy that ST 15 if your character weighs 120 lbs or 400 lbs.

Therefore, the character who weighs 300, or 400 lbs and still has "only" ST 15 is carrying more "extra" weight than the character with ST 15 and 120, 150 or 200 lbs. Pounds are Pounds, whether they be muscle or fat; it's like the old nut about "which weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of lead" - they're both pounds.

If both characters have the same ST and the same pounds, then trying to differentiate "Fat" pounds from "Muscle" pounds is bogus.
It's about how much the character can actually cope with, thus why I advocate a new levelled Disadvantage, where each level is an encumbrance level. The fact that Pudgy Pete is lugging "20 extra pounds" according to his doctor isn't relevant, only that it means he's always at a minimum of Light Encumbrance. It should scale with his ST, not just be related to his weight.
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Old 09-24-2009, 06:56 AM   #33
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Default Re: Fat... where did the extra encumbrance go?

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Originally Posted by ericbsmith View Post
You seem to be missing the fact that someone who is fat carries that weight all day long. They naturally must have a great deal of lower body strength in order to do so. Underneath all that fat there is, literally, the musculature of a body builder.
IIRC, about a third of a typical excess weight is actually muscle.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:54 AM   #34
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Default Re: Fat... where did the extra encumbrance go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Benj View Post
It's about how much the character can actually cope with, thus why I advocate a new levelled Disadvantage, where each level is an encumbrance level. The fact that Pudgy Pete is lugging "20 extra pounds" according to his doctor isn't relevant, only that it means he's always at a minimum of Light Encumbrance. It should scale with his ST, not just be related to his weight.
I think that's kind of pointless, really. The net effect of "always carries 20 lbs of extra encumbrance (for ST 10)" is that it always lowers Move & Dodge by 1 for always being at Light Enc or worse, it lowers the maximum weight of equipment that can lifted, and it slightly changes when Move/Dodge penalties for carrying equipment come into effect.

You can simulate lowering Move & Dodge simply by lowering Basic Speed. You can lower how much weight you can lift by buying down Lifting ST (or, rather by buying down ST and buying up Striking ST and HP).

So really the only change that is made is when Move & Dodge penalties for carrying equipment comes into effect, and that is a very minor change. Nor is there any evidence that it's a change that garners any more realism. And it certainly doesn't make the game rules any easier - in fact it slightly complicates them. It also removes some flexibility from the system.

What if I want my Fat character to Move more slowly but not to have a lowered Dodge or Lifting ST? That's not possible if all Fat characters are handled by your "Carries Extra Encumbrance" disadvantage, where as it is possible in the current system. That makes it a net loss, IMO.
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Last edited by ericbsmith; 09-24-2009 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:20 PM   #35
The Benj
 
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Default Re: Fat... where did the extra encumbrance go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericbsmith View Post
What if I want my Fat character to Move more slowly but not to have a lowered Dodge or Lifting ST? That's not possible if all Fat characters are handled by your "Carries Extra Encumbrance" disadvantage, where as it is possible in the current system. That makes it a net loss, IMO.
I'm not suggesting it as a mandatory replacement for the current version of Fat, just another way of modelling it. It's adding an extra option, not removing the ones that are already there.
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Old 09-25-2009, 11:15 PM   #36
Flyndaran
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Default Re: Fat... where did the extra encumbrance go?

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Originally Posted by Asta Kask View Post
IIRC, about a third of a typical excess weight is actually muscle.
I can attest to that. When I was at my heaviest, I was stronger than now and certainly more than at my lightest... Eventhough I lost the weight through sensible diet and exercise.

I still would prefer positive and negative encumbrance like in the Gulliver rules. If you carry the weight wrong like in Kromm's example, then add bad back or other disadvantages. Just because fat would require more than one trait to cover it all, doesn't mean we should just throw up our hands in defeat.

Also, yay, I'm back.
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Old 09-25-2009, 11:21 PM   #37
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Default Re: Fat... where did the extra encumbrance go?

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Also, yay, I'm back.
Temporary ban, huh? Welcome back.
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