Page 739 - A Resounding Yeah

16th Apr 2016, 6:00 AM
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A Resounding Yeah
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 16th Apr 2016, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
Story Time? Uh... negative traits briefly becoming useful?

Man, there was a brief moment in time where I didn't have to come up with page titles and Author's Notes, and it's already gone.

24 Comments:

Dragonflight 16th Apr 2016, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
Snrk. :)

The best time negative traits become useful, I've found, is when you run games which subvert all the usual behaviors.

For instance, I've run a Mirror Trek game a time or two. The game always starts with the PC's being crew on the worst Constitution-class starship in the Terran Empire. The ISS Clay Pigeon, captained by an arrogant and supremely overconfident Captain Styles. Yes, *that* Styles, who commanded the Excelsior in the Search for Spock.

Usually backstabbing, scheming, obsessive behavior is damped down in a game session because it usually leads to a TPK as they start turning on each other. But in this case, it's usually glorious, as they all come up with ways to ace Captain Styles and his command crew so they can take the starship. Twice now, their assassination attempts all happened at the same time, leading poor Captain Styles to die about five different ways in a ten minute period. The most awesome ended with him duct-taped to the bridge chair, which had been vented to space after the munition he'd sat on exploded, and was used by the PC's as a demonstration piece when they wanted to drive home to other ships just how evil they really were.
Digo Dragon 16th Apr 2016, 6:38 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Playing as the Great and Powerful Trixie, the party found her bombastic boasting ego to be very useful for being a complete and utter distraction. Trixie loves attention, and she could get an audience paying attention to her so thoroughly that the rest of the party could fail stealth checks and still successfully sneak by the crowd.

Also, being a non-humanoid shape was an occasional asset. Trixie is a pony in a human world. She was a small pony (MLP pony sizes are smaller than real world equivalents), but it still was work getting her to fit in things like restaurant booths, cars, armor, etc. because quadruped shapes are not commonly taken into account. However, the game rules took into account that quadrupeds can carry/pull more weight than humans, and this was useful when we needed to haul heavy equipment or bodies from point A to point B.

Not that Trixie enjoyed being a beast of burden. At all. :3
Masterweaver 16th Apr 2016, 6:43 AM edit delete reply
Masterweaver
I've actually encountered a minor mechanic in a system that does have negative traits turn positive as part of character development.

The system is Hc Svnt Dracones--sci-fi far future where earth nuked itself and the only survivors are genetically altered anthros from mars--and the mechanic is from the extended core, called Compulsion. Basically, you start out with a compulsion that you have to roll to resist--but if you put a point in one of the stats (which basically represents the strength of spirit) when you advance, you get to invert the compulsion and get a unique benefit.

As for an actual story... well, there was that one time Javolt played up his crazy donkeyness to hide the fact he was trying to unravel a society-wide magical mind control.
Ponikon 19th Apr 2016, 8:49 AM edit delete reply
Only space furries could come up with something like this.
Raxon 16th Apr 2016, 6:55 AM edit delete reply
Raxon
Greed gives you a bonus to quickly gathering gold and jewels before the dragon returns.
Venseyness 16th Apr 2016, 7:20 AM edit delete reply
Best example of when negative traits became useful in my games was when I really wanted a plot point to happen, and it just spontaneously happened becasue of one of my players cynicism. At the right time too.
"I never needed any of you. I could have handled all this on my own!"
aerion111 16th Apr 2016, 8:48 AM edit delete reply
aerion111
Well, a lot of the 'modern' games have negative traits being beneficial being a core feature.
Getting resources for them causing a problem, and so on.
But I guess my best example is a GURPS character I made with the goal of him feeling like a stereotypical over-confident, naively heroic 'Anime Protagonist'
A lot of his flaws were true flaws (stuff like 'Feels bad if they kill innocents', 'Usually follows the law', 'Doesn't assume everyone he meets is Evil without evidence', all of which are problematic for adventurers), but I frequently got a lot of benefit out of Xenophilic plus some other 'compelled to make friends'
My character would frequently walk up to the bad guy, with a bright innocent smile and an offer to buy them a drink next time they're at the tavern.
Actually, I would have had to pass a decently-hard self-control check if I wanted to NOT walk up to bad guys and try to make friends.
And quite frequently, it'd at least shake the bad guy enough to make them reveal some useful detail.
I'm pretty sure the most recurring of the recurring villains (female not-quite-evil spellcaster) would even have taken me up on my offer, if the other people weren't so eager to fight her.
Such a shame; I think a batman-catwoman side-plot between my character and the woman would have been fun.
j-eagle12212012 16th Apr 2016, 9:18 AM edit delete reply
j-eagle12212012
Rainbow Dash Ego powers activate
albedoequals1 16th Apr 2016, 9:52 AM edit delete reply
albedoequals1
Funny, just this week I had a case of a character flaw being useful. One of my players has a pegasus cleric with a rather low intelligence score. They play her as hasty and careless, and more than a little curious about everything. So she pushes all the booby-trapped buttons, and steals the important relics and generally does all the things you would expect a cleric to know not to do.

Recently, the party found a dozen magic coins that each grant one wish. The wizard was taking a slow and sciency approach to figuring out what they did, but he was going in the wrong direction and not really getting anywhere. The cleric just spontaneously came up behind him, snatched a coin, and proceeded to roll a 2 for Use Magic Device.

The party bard had been blinded in a previous encounter, so I ruled that the cleric managed to transfer the bard's blindness to herself.

Now the bard can see and they know what the coins do and how to use them.

Win-win :P
ToaofTwilightZ 16th Apr 2016, 9:55 AM edit delete reply
Short and sweet, we have a halfling rogue in our party that just can't keep his hands to himself, so our ranger constantly has him on a leash, since the last time he grabbed a mysterious orb, it summoned a bunch of shadows that TPKed us (luckily it was a ravenloft campaign). But now, whenever we come across an empty or abandoned area that it would take longer than 10 minutes to search, the ranger just says "I release the rogue." and the halfling just explores the entire area for us.
Sheepking 16th Apr 2016, 10:09 AM edit delete reply
The nice thing about playing a sociopath is that it's easy to tell when they've been Charmed.
Specter 16th Apr 2016, 10:56 AM edit delete reply
Specter
I once met a fellow character who had a compulsive disorder to gamble (and to some extent, drink). They were 21 Rolette, and had the dice game of a true gambler.

21 Rolette - Earth pony bard
Water Strider - Pegasus rogue/cleric
Mute - Changeling monk (myself)

There were only three of us for this small adventure, where we had to get into a casino that had been owned by the mob, and we had to infiltrate the security room to get our informant (who had unfortunately been captured by the casino guards). We had believed that we'd have to have one of us to infiltrate while the other two made a distraction. Rolette told us both to just go get our guy while he went off to pull the distraction. We reluctantly agreed to what became a show.

Rolette entered the casino in a typical white suit and fedora thing with a joker card in a little strip on the hat (I don't know the technical name for it, sorry). We didn't think he could pull off the distraction, up until he put one million bits on the '21' on a Rolette Table. May whatever dice deity that seems to hate me, for whatever reason, bless them with a die roll that seemed to go against all reason.

Making the roll, Rolette had the attention of every single person in that place after acquiring about 20% of the casino's money. Then the compulsiveness kicked in, and they just kept gambling (in much smaller amounts), kept buying drinks for them self (and all of the patrons within the casino).

Strider and I had were called by the casino to go and pick up Rolette about eight or nine hours after we had already gotten the informant out of their custody. When we got their, we were greeted by two guards, a passed out drunk Rolette, and the mob boss' kid who had been running the casino. They thought Rolette was the funniest thing to ever walk into the casino, and (despite being broke now) believed Rolette to be his most valuable patron of the casino, and offered us a massive discount on the dining and hotel there if we ever in town again... so long as we bring Rolette with us.
you know that guy 16th Apr 2016, 5:49 PM edit delete reply
How would someone even carry around a million bits?

Are you named Mute after Mutation from UFP?
Specter 16th Apr 2016, 7:00 PM edit delete reply
Specter
Like most role-playing games, no one every considers that problem. We just assumed a wheel barrow or something.

As for the name... I couldn't speak at all, the only sounds I could make were chirps and squeaks. I did have a name tag on me, but most of it was unreadable except for a bit that said "Mute" (short for MuteClub, a 'speakeasy' like place just under a government building, and all of the patrons had to have headphones to listen to the music). It was a very interesting place.

As a quick question of my own, what is UFP? It has peaked my curiosity.
Masterweaver 17th Apr 2016, 6:04 AM edit delete reply
Masterweaver
Ultra Fast Pony is one of many Abridged MLP series.
rem 16th Apr 2016, 11:02 AM edit delete reply
so we were playing Exalted, and my character had the particular Limit Break where he would turn into a lustful beast and screw anything he could get his hands on. (a limit break is where basically any time you fail a roll to act in your better nature, you lose control in one of a myriad ways) We were trying to pass through the domain of an enemy unnoticed, during the 5 day festival (read as orgy). My character was being kept locked in the room of the inn, with a blind fold and earplugs, because he was trying REALLY hard not to get the group noticed, as we were all being hunted by the powers that be and the secret police.
Unfortunately, the innkeeper forgot that we had booked the room, so when a group of drunken partiers arrived, they knocked me off the bed.
this lead to me succumbing to my limit break in a spectacular fashion, causing at least 2 pregnancies, impressing the local sex goddess, and me marrying the leader of the particular group of the secret police that was hunting us.
So at the end of the festival, when everyone sobered up, my new wife took me in for questioning, found out that while, yes, I was one of the people she was hunting, I _was_ largely harmless, and was a good tool to be thrown at much larger threats to the Empire then myself.
The rest of the party, meanwhile had been trying to make contact with the local occult underground with no luck, but suddenly one of the higher ups in the organization was willing to vouch for them, so we could get the map to get the item we needed to fashion the weapon needed to kill the monstrosity threatening to destroy creation. When they asked who vouched for them they were told it was the goddess I'd made 'friends' with. She also sent with them a note for me, which I never received (in character at any rate. Basically a 'call me if you are ever in the neighborhood' kind of thing.)

So the game session ended with the group making a new contact, getting the information we needed, and getting a small squad of soldiers who were going to keep a close eye on all of us to make sure we were really going to kill the monster and not make it stronger.
Guest 16th Apr 2016, 4:13 PM edit delete reply
In Shadowrun, SINner is a negative quality.
I never really understood why. It's not like it prevents you from buying fake SINs like every other runner, and you don't have to turn over a real SIN just because someone asks for one. And if you're having one identity build a cover story for another, or doing things that you wouldn't mind the real you being attached to, it's one fewer lie to tell.
aerion111 16th Apr 2016, 6:32 PM edit delete reply
aerion111
Isn't there a way to 'scan' your SIN, though?
I was pretty sure that was why just about no Runner has a SIN; A cop with the right gear can just scan you and go 'Halt, criminal scum!'
Specter 16th Apr 2016, 7:13 PM edit delete reply
Specter
@Guest

SINs come in three levels (from the fifth edition that I have). National citizen, which kind of doesn't hurt too much. Criminal SIN, where you have a past record and the police will have an easier time knowing who you are/ what you did. Then there is MegaCorp SIN, where you are (or recently was) an employee of a MegaCorp, and it is harder to live in the shadows because then your fellow shadowrunners will be less likely to trust you, and most (if not all) homeless/gang/out of luck people will blame you and try to hurt you in some way. Each of these has a tier of difficulty, with each having some form of benefit/penalty. The main problem of having a real SIN is that then whoever knows who you are (really) then they also know who your family/friends/whoever-else-you-have-in-your-life is, and can choose to come after you, or them.

@aerion111

Very true, some police do have that kind of equipment, but you can choose which SIN you have 'equipped' at the time (It's pretty much which ever one you have on you). Most runners usually only have a fake SIN because it's technically illegal to not have one (vagrancy), but that's also considering that the police at the time even care enough to do that.
Boris Carlot 17th Apr 2016, 2:59 AM edit delete reply
The SINner negative qualities can be as benign or as vicious as the GM chooses to make them. It's one of those more freeform qualities that rely on the DM making things happen rather than the ones where it's largely a mechanical disadvantage. If your DM isn't interested in making your lives difficult with them, they shouldn't be allowing you to take them - these qualities are worth a LOT of karma, they should definitely come into play.

Having a SIN is important in Shadowrun. Legally you're not really a person without one. You can't even walk into a stuffershack and buy a bag of soychips without some sort of SIN to say who you are.

Being a SINner means being "in the system". The Man knows everything about you; DNA samples, biometric data, where you like to shop, where you live. If you're awakened, they also have your astral signature on file. This means that you are way easier to trace if you leave any evidence behind and if you annoy someone enough they're going to know exactly where you live and even if you escape that SIN will basically flag up on every SIN scan forever until you're caught. Even as a benign citizen, you get 3x as much spam and you have to pay taxes of between 10 and 20% on anything you make.

If you're a corporate SINner you also have a further problem: if your parent corp finds out what you've been up to, you're going to be in a world of crap that makes going to jail look like a picnic. They basically own you, and they won't be gentle if they found out you've been biting the hand that feeds you. If you're a criminal SINner you basicall have all that fun, plus your parole officer can be used against you by your GM whenever they happen to feel like it - nothing like being ten minutes from infiltrating a blacksite when you get a call saying "You're not at home and you have curfew. Where the frag are you?"

And, as previously mentioned, having a SIN affects how other runners and SINless may react to you if they find out - maybe they think you're a corp mole, or a secret cop. Maybe they think you're a sell-out, or dismiss you as some random drekhead cruising the shadows for a thrill. They might even try and blackmail you.


Digo Dragon 17th Apr 2016, 9:39 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I once had a player with the SINner quality avoid jail time. The party got into a fight with another runner team and the cops showed up. This player was the only one who failed to escape from his team, but he managed to ditch his weapons before being arrested.

So the cops find he's unarmed, but wearing a ballistic vest and the player spins this story that he was just out for a nightly job because it was cool weather. Why the vest? Well this is a bad neighborhood, pays to wear protecting in case of a gang attack. The cops scan his SIN. They find he's a UCAS citizen in good standing and believe his story. he opposing team gets busted for illegal weapons and since they have no SINs, they get to disappear in the legal system for a while. XD
Specter 18th Apr 2016, 7:29 AM edit delete reply
Specter
... It only occurs to me now that most TV shows and movies has someone who is, well, an idiot, be someone who's lacking intelligence will, later on, be a good thing.

It feels good to be not smart. :)
Cliff Robotnik 23rd Apr 2016, 6:24 AM edit delete reply
I once rolled an Aasimer.

I took the racial "flaw", that made me take -1to basically everything and felt specifically nauseous when a demon was withen X distance from me....

"Oh shit I sense a demon withen X distance" became my catchphrase that campaign, luckily too, when the wizard decides to be a dick ass and get a Demon familiar, the entire rest of the party threatened to linch him, as the DM was FOND go Babau ambushes, and I basically spoil those forever.
Moonshadow 25th Jul 2016, 4:52 AM edit delete reply
Okay, so one time, I was playing a Pathfinder campaign, and we were... well, I'm not sure exactly how it happened, but we managed to gather three of the seven major items of the campaign in only a few sessions, simply by being diplomatic to the people who had them, and speaking the truth about why we needed them.

Throughout it all, the greatest threat to that diplomacy was always my character. He was one of the ratfolk, and quite often dismissed as mere vermin in spite of being smarter at the age of 15 than anyone he'd ever met anywhere had ever been... and as a result, equally cynical and sarcastic in his speech whether he was talking to a kid or a king.

His tendency to thoroughly ignore social niceties in favor of pragmatic approaches to life, coupled with his ability to slip into small spaces, granted him the chance to stop the assassination of a queen at her coronation. He squeezed his little rodent body between the guards in the confusion, and managed to identify the poison on the dart and apply the necessary antidote before he was dragged off.

People stopped calling him "vermin" after that. :)