Most superhero or point-based RPGs usually have a disadvantage for starting play with an addiction. Usually this entails using the substance you are addicted to within a certain time period or else suffering debilitating effects.
There are obvious role-playing considerations to make for something like this, but has anyone reading this ever seen a good system for detailing how a character would acquire an addiction? The slow buildup of reliance upon something, such as alcohol or heroin.
Edit: I would imagine that some kind of roll would be made to resist indulging the newfound addiction and eventually this would get harder and harder to resist until finally you would say "This character is addicted." But what about the euphoric effects of indulging the addiction? There is a certain empowering 'high' that one gets when succumbing to the urge of smoking a cigarette, or compulsively checking their oven burners fifteen times. How do you compensate for that effect as well?
Any game books that you could recommend that give good advice on how to bring an addiction into play within a game would also be appreciated.
John Wick is making an RPG, and not too long ago he brought up poison. I tend to not be very satisfied with the rules for poisons in RPGs, but his ideas were pretty cool. He made a few debilitating poisons, but he also made some very specific poisons for his game. The mechanics were simple. These poisons kill. No saving throw, no escape clause. If you get hit by the poison, you die.
In L5R, when the Scorpion Clan book came out, they did something quite similar. Most poisons had the same effect - they killed you.
For the RPG book I'm working on, I'm thinking of taking a hard line on poisons. A number of the poisons weaken you over a period of time, but I'm seriously considering making some 'ack! thud!' type poisons for the game as well.
I'm curious, what do you think of the following scenario:
You're playing a game. There's a war going on, a big one. Let's say you're playing the fantasy version of WWII. Hell, the game is set in WWII, and your characters are part of a secret society of magical whatevers on an epic quest across Europe to collect the 13 mystical stones that can kill the evil dragonking that's poised to be awakened by the chaos of the war and take over the world.
In an effort to add realism to the setting, the GM has a Random Bombing Chart, where he determines where on the map the Axis or Allies are bombing, and how heavily. About halfway through the campaign you guys are trekking across northern Italy and the GM rolls, and oh shit the Allies are bombing right where you're headed through. Roll again, cross reference, roll for damage, oh shit you all die horribly as planes fly over head dropping hot death. 8 of the 13 Magical Stones are buried under a pile of rubble, and I guess we'll go play something else now.
That's right, a topic that has nothing to do with instant death! You're excited aren't you.
So, in my upcoming Vampire game I'm thinking of not having the players fully stat out their characters ahead of time. Basically say "Ok, you have 12 total attribute points, and you have to put at least 3 in each category. You have 22 total skill points, and you have to put at least 4 in each category. You get 7 merits and 3 discipline dots. You can spend as many or as few points as you want before the first game, and spend the rest as you see fit over the course of the first few sessions."
Players who didn't want to try the experiment could just fully stat out their character right away. At the very least it would solve the "Oh shit, can any of us speak Spanish/use a computer/sail a boat/whatever?" Sure there's room to exploit it, but "Actually, I know a guy in the mob..." (hastily jots down Contacts - Mafia 2) is kind of what I'd like to encourage here. We'd have to work to make sure that the players didn't abuse it too much "Uh oh, jumped by some thugs! Turns out I have 5 dots in Firearms and always keep an M-16 in my trunk." "But you made an elderly librarian?!" "Um, an elderly librarian who used to be a Navy SEAL sniper!" But I trust my players not to try and bullshit me.
Have any of you done this? Either with a game like Vampire or GURPS or with some hippy indie game that's built to work like that? How'd it go? Thoughts, comments?
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When it comes to things like character mortality, insta-death, GM deciding that everyone just dies b/c they pissed off the Wrong People, and whatever else... how do you let your players know where you stand?
I am trying to make a lens on Roleplaying Games on Squidoo. Basically Squidoo is a reference website where anyone can make an article on anything. Your article, or "lens", represents your viewpoint on the subject.
I thought something that gave a basic overview of RPG's for non-gamers would be a good subject to make a lens. I would really appreciate any comments on this, or ideas on how I could make this better. Just keep in mind that I am trying to keep this at the introductory level.