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Old 12-29-2014, 11:21 AM   #31
Jonas
 
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Default Re: How Far is too Far with Cursed?

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
Eventually, the other characters in the fellowship are going to do the realistic thing, and ditch the jinx. Tell him to leave. At swordpoint if necessary. Unless, of course, they are somehow able to see the invisible rotating "I am a player character" hologram above his head.
Or they have legitimate IC reasons for not just ditching a character or may actually enjoy the trouble despite your assertion otherwise. Of course thats if they ever even figure out ICly who's causing it in the first place as the characters also have no real way of seeing a given characters stats floating above their head either. Even then assuming they would eventually run them off as a certainty is giant assumption of many things including player group, campaign theme, GM-Player contract, character concepts, group interests et et. Seeing as every group is unique. which is something Gurps deliberately tries to cater to, such a blanket statement is foolhardy at best.
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Old 12-29-2014, 11:29 AM   #32
oneofmanynameless
 
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Default Re: How Far is too Far with Cursed?

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Originally Posted by Xplo View Post
If your player is actually enjoying having a Cursed PC, you're probably running it wrong.

And if you feel like "that's going too far - what's the point of a disad that can't be fun?", well, you're not wrong. I've never taken Cursed, and I've never seen anyone take it.
If the player thinks of themselves as their PC then it would take a pretty masochistic person to enjoy being cursed. But otherwise, I can see someone enjoying playing a character who gets ruined at every turn. Could be cathartic, or amusing, depending on how it plays out!

That said, its important to know your PC: if they would ever complain that you might be too hard on their character for having this disad then you shouldn't let them take it! Have them take Bad Luck instead!
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Old 12-29-2014, 11:32 AM   #33
oneofmanynameless
 
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Default Re: How Far is too Far with Cursed?

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I've had three different characters with this in my games since 4th edition came out - all played by different players. They knew what they were getting into and it made thematic sense for the characters. One had committed a awful crime and was cursed by his strega grandmother to "suffer without equal" in order to keep the rest of his family from killing him. The player took it all in stride and when he finally atoned the curse came back one more time and he died while making sure the other characters escaped a trap that should have killed them all. One was just "born under a bad sign" and made it through twenty-three sessions before the player said "I need to retire this character," which I agreed to. We'd talked about possible outs, but eventually we came up with a EPIC way for his character to go out and to help restart a flagging campaign. Basically, the character committed suicide - something he'd never do under any circumstances. My other players grew obsessed with finding out why and after nearly twenty sessions they discovered there was no "why." Stuff just happens sometimes. It didn't help that the player absolutely refused to explain why when they questioned him about it (for nearly 6 months he did that!). It added a hint of normalcy to a otherwise gonzo game. The last was a dwarven warrior who betrayed his oaths and got his entire clan killed - he ran away when they needed him most and the gods cursed him. He actually got it removed after he faced his fears, helped take back his homeland, and freed his remaining kin who "languished in durance vile," but he was one-armed, dragon-scarred, and broken by the end.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that Cursed can be used for a role-playing tool if you're clever and have players who fully understand the consquences they are getting into. "Oops, you forgot to reload. You're out of ammo - so's you're backup. Time to scrap." "Your car catches on fire - one in a million factory defect. You need to bail out going 40 mph or take burning damage." Sure, you made your Active Defense roll, but your shield breaks." "You have a magnificent night with the woman of your dreams...but it turns out she was looking for a one-night stand - and she's married - also her husband is the governor and knows what you did. Cheers."

How far should you go? You ever have a terrible GM? Just a godawful jerk with a chip on his shoulder but no one wants to GM so he's stuck doing it and he resents everyone for it? We've all met that guy or at least head about him. Imagine what that guy would do - then go one step beyond. I use that methodology and just so the game isn't "all about" the Cursed character I roll a d6+1 and that's how many times the character gets screwed that session - and they build up (I tell the player straight up "Something bad is going to happen X times - remember to remind me if I forget"). I've never had even one complaint when I frame it like that to the player and it turns something that's normally "Nah, I'm good" into "Maybe...if the character is right for it."
I agree with this.
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Old 12-29-2014, 12:03 PM   #34
johndallman
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Default Re: How Far is too Far with Cursed?

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Originally Posted by Ghostdancer View Post
... just so the game isn't "all about" the Cursed character I roll a d6+1 and that's how many times the character gets screwed that session ...
That, of course, brings up the question of "How much happens in a session?" I tend to run rather talky games, which can go several sessions between combats. Having to arrange for five separate bad things to happen to one PC in a session would make it all about him.
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Old 12-29-2014, 12:10 PM   #35
naloth
 
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Default Re: How Far is too Far with Cursed?

As a GM, I rather enjoyed having a cursed character. He was the designated bad luck for the team. If something wrong was going to happen (and even if it wasn't normally going to happen) it happened to him 90% of the time. Sometimes just to make a point on what could go wrong.
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Old 12-29-2014, 12:53 PM   #36
Christopher R. Rice
 
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Default Re: How Far is too Far with Cursed?

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
That, of course, brings up the question of "How much happens in a session?" I tend to run rather talky games, which can go several sessions between combats. Having to arrange for five separate bad things to happen to one PC in a session would make it all about him.
I too have talky games - until the bashing begins - in that case I grade it using a variation of Player Guidance:

1: Something believable and probable happens that's inconvenient - but not dangerous or at least TOO dangerous (car breaks down, the merchant does not have what you are looking for and REALLY need no matter what, instant Poor reaction roll, etc.)
2: Something believable, but outre happens (gun jams in a firefight, grenade you just threw is a dud, you get confused by the police as some wanted criminal, etc.)
3: Something unbelievable happens (your car catches fire while you're in it, a turkey falls on your head from a airplane transporting it from above - you get a Active Defense at -4, everything you own is damaged from what the insurance company calls a "act of God" or "focre majore," and so on)

I then tick off however many bad things have happened and go from there. Easy peasy.
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:41 PM   #37
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Default Re: How Far is too Far with Cursed?

The one PC with Cursed in one of my games lasted a session or two before being fatally struck by lightning.

Not a GM fiat bolt from the blue. There was a bad thunderstorm, and the characters chose to walk through it rather than stay in shelter until it passed. A bad idea for anyone, let alone someone with Cursed.

The player was okay with it. And the other players thought it was funny. Yeah, try to get 30 more disad points than everyone else, you munchkin.
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:50 PM   #38
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Default Re: How Far is too Far with Cursed?

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The player was okay with it. And the other players thought it was funny. Yeah, try to get 30 more disad points than everyone else, you munchkin.
If I ran for Prime Minister of the Munchkins, I'd get elected in a heartbeat. I don't always powergame, but when I do, I prefer turning it up to 11. As a sometimes-Munchkin, let me put this to rest: if I take Cursed while powergaming, I might as well look my GM in the eye and say "I think you're a complete idiot, I assume you're going to lose your copy of my character sheet and not admit it, and I think you couldn't successfully control a washing machine, let alone a group of gamers."

If I actually take Cursed, it's because I want to play a tragic character. Other people might take Cursed because they want a lot of spotlight and/or because they think hilarity will ensue, but if I actually want to put together a build that's going to smack the crap out of any reasonable threat, someone who's going to distinguish theirself as the alpha badass of the party, the last thing I'm going to give the GM is a "take me out of commission whenever you feel the need to" button.
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Old 12-29-2014, 07:44 PM   #39
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Default Re: How Far is too Far with Cursed?

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if I actually want to put together a build that's going to smack the crap out of any reasonable threat, someone who's going to distinguish theirself as the alpha badass of the party, the last thing I'm going to give the GM is a "take me out of commission whenever you feel the need to" button.
No kidding.

Cursed doesn't have to manifest as grand Wagnerian pathos and woe. I could just decide the PC fails all their skill rolls, forever. No spotlight, no jinx, just an unending streak of hopeless ineptitude.

Or I could decide that Rocks Fall, No One Dies - but Cursed Guy is knocked out. For the rest of the session. I wonder if the other PCs will drag his body around, or just leave it at the motel?

Both of these would be petty and punitive to the player, but they're also examples of how to de-munchkinfy a Cursed PC, and they're completely within the scope of the disad.
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Old 12-29-2014, 07:51 PM   #40
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Default Re: How Far is too Far with Cursed?

The Curse of Sennacherib: anyone with whom you make camp winds up dead before morning. You, of course, are untouched.
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