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Old 10-24-2022, 05:35 PM   #21
Christopher R. Rice
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Racial Memory

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Originally Posted by ravenfish View Post
But Danger Sense, and Oracle, and Intutition all clearly state that they actually give the information (albeit necessarily leaving the details up to the GM). The only information (the minor version of) Racial Memory mentions at all is "deja vu" on a regular success and a full memory dump on a critical success. I agree that, for the advantage to be any good, one needs to read "vague but actionable knowledge" where the the text says "a feeling of deja vu", but, as far as I can tell, such a reading would be the GM house-ruling a change to what is a fairly clear statement in the book.

EDIT: In everything I've read, "deja vu" refers to a sense that one has already experienced what is happening, but I have never seen it used to imply any insight (accurate or otherwise) into what will happen next. If "deja vu" is being used here to mean not merely a sense of familiarity but also some context of the previous experience, the advantage would become a good deal less useless, but, as far as I can tell, that would be using words after the manner of Humptey Dumptey ("When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.").
How do you know something is deja vu without context? You don't. You need to know you've done a thing before to know you've done a thing before.
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Old 10-24-2022, 05:44 PM   #22
Donny Brook
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Racial Memory

Deja vu is a feeling you have been somewhere or experienced something before. It doesn't provide context.
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Old 10-24-2022, 05:46 PM   #23
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Racial Memory

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I haven't used it in play yet, but Racial Memory always seemed to me to be perfectly suited to a campaign setting based on the Dune novels.
Bene Geserit aspire to get a descendant that could remember female and male memory. They got more than they bargained for.
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Old 10-24-2022, 05:50 PM   #24
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Racial Memory

Joined trills have limited racial memory for all the trills joined to their partner. It is partly sealed (when full recall is desired a hypnosis like ritual has to be gone through as Ezri once did to solve a murder; Jax never did that because she really preferred to forget Joran).
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Old 10-24-2022, 05:53 PM   #25
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Racial Memory

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I would call a feeling to avoid white snake canyon because of the devil snakes that nest there that your great great great grandmother didn't useful. But hey, you do you.
15 point Racial Memory won't give you that much information without a critical success. In order for it to be useful you have to travel to a place where your ancestors recently used to live that but you have no Area Knowledge of. (Because Area Knowledge does the same thing, only better.). It has to be filled with dangers and opportunities that haven't changed in generations. (Because otherwise Racial Memory will be at best misleading.)

The GM has to work and work hard to make Racial Memory even half-useful. Compare Danger Sense, which costs the same and is far more generally useful.
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Old 10-25-2022, 09:34 AM   #26
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Racial Memory

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Compare Danger Sense, which costs the same and is far more generally useful.
That comes from the fact that, in GURPS, supernatural/exotic advantages seem to be divided into two groups: those so expensive for what they do that you'd be crazy to buy them, and those so cheap for what they do that you'd be crazy not to. Even if we were to accept Christopher Rice's reading, Racial Memory would be one of the former; Danger Sense is one of the exclusive members of the latter.
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Old 10-25-2022, 10:23 AM   #27
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Racial Memory

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. . . supernatural/exotic advantages seem to be divided into two groups: those so expensive for what they do that you'd be crazy to buy them, and those so cheap for what they do that you'd be crazy not to. Even if we were to accept Christopher Rice's reading, Racial Memory would be one of the former; Danger Sense is one of the exclusive members of the latter.
I'd put describe the former group as "Ones that need to be bought with limitations to be cost-effective." They also need to work with the grain of the campaign: to produce information that the GM wants to give you, mitigate GM mistakes, or otherwise not fight against the storyline.

As an example, take Racial Memory [40]. Apply limitations: Immediate Preparation Required (1 hour, -75%, Costs 3 fatigue, -15%. Reliable +2, +10%), for an actual cost of [8]. It takes an hour to use it actively, and it's tiring, but it's pretty reliable, with a roll against IQ+2. The usefulness of this is drastically dependent on campaign style and subject matter. It won't often be useful in an all-action Dungeon Fantasy campaign, but in the right kind of investigative game, it might be overly powerful.

In my occult WWII campaign set in India, it could be extremely useful. Presume, for example, that it's necessary to find out about the relationship between the origins of Hinduism and Zoroastrianism (the legends and the linguistic evidence about their origins have tantalising hints of connections). You head to an Indus Valley Civilisation site, put up a tent, and start consulting your ancestors' knowledge. The problem is likely to be too much, rather than too little, information.
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Old 10-25-2022, 10:37 AM   #28
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Racial Memory

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Deja vu is a feeling you have been somewhere or experienced something before. It doesn't provide context.
That's how I've always seen it too. It really doesn't seem to be a cognitive state, but an emotional reaction.
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Old 10-25-2022, 10:56 AM   #29
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Racial Memory

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In my occult WWII campaign set in India, it could be extremely useful. Presume, for example, that it's necessary to find out about the relationship between the origins of Hinduism and Zoroastrianism (the legends and the linguistic evidence about their origins have tantalising hints of connections). You head to an Indus Valley Civilisation site, put up a tent, and start consulting your ancestors' knowledge. The problem is likely to be too much, rather than too little, information.
The interesting implication of that, assuming that we take "your ancestors" literally, is that the utility of the advantage could vary wildly depending on how diverse your family background is (anyway, as a GM, if the campaign was fundamentally about historical research, I would probably forbid the [40 point version of the] advantage as bypassing the point of the endeavor, in the same way that I would disallow Detect:Treasure if the campaign were a big treasure hunt- so I suppose I should modify my thesis to say "some advantages are far too expensive and some are far too good for the price, but which are which can vary depending on campaign").
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Last edited by ravenfish; 10-25-2022 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 10-25-2022, 11:37 AM   #30
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Racial Memory

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The interesting implication of that, assuming that we take "your ancestors" literally, is that the utility of the advantage could vary wildly depending on how diverse your family background is . . .
Indeed. For the example, I'd be willing to believe that anyone born in India had an appropriate ancestor, and some of them might have more, but the UK-born character would be chancy.
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Originally Posted by ravenfish View Post
I suppose I should modify my thesis to say "some advantages are far too expensive and some are far too good for the price, but which are which can vary depending on campaign").
I think that's a lot more defensible.
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