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mechanics for disadvantages

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Post originally by Nigel Tam at 2005-05-22 05:09:18
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The new World of Darkness system handles advantages in an especially innovative way. You don't get any extra points at character creation for taking flaws, and they are entirely optional, but if you take one roleplaying is compulsary on them. Then if the flaw holds you back in some way during a game session you might gain an extra xp. COnversely if it persistently causes no trouble at all it is removed from your sheet as you are assumed to have overcome it.

This has worked quite well, as it empowers the player with their flaw, rather than limiting them. Players in my group who would never have considered taking a flaw in the old system (as they know I will use i against them) now happily take flaws.
 
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Post originally by Jakob at 2005-05-22 09:38:38
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That's not a particularly new idea. In Nobilis, players don't get more points for their characters if they take Restrictions, but rather recover their Miracle Points when those Restrictions are problems for them in play.

In 7th Sea, you even pay points for the flaws in your character, which choice is repayed in xp as in the World of Darkness.
 
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Post originally by spike at 2005-05-22 12:10:41
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Hmm... I recall clearly that the deadlands system was the same, though the implementation was slightly different. You got Xp for playing your disadvantages. If you were an alcoholic (hankerin') and you decided never to drink, because you didn't want to take the penalty for being drunk, you would wind up with less xp, as well as few 'fate chips' to use when you got in trouble. It's hardly new. Of course, you did get the points for the disad anyway.
Also, slightly different, Champions made it almost mandatory to have disadvantages, as they made up more than half your points. A 'stainless steel superhero' without any weakness, vulnerabilities or other 'flaws' was inherently flawed by being seriously underpowered in the game.
Trust aside, I think games with at least some form of disads, or flaws, work better for helping players get a real character. I ran a shadowrun game one time where in the course of 'developing' my players characters I wound up with a guy with no family, no hobbies, and no life outside his job. I might have been fine with that if he was playing an obsessive compulsive, or a driven individual, but that wasn't it, he just didn't want to have any character to his character. A decent disadvantage system, with appropriate compensation (not necessarily making the character better, but giving the player a reason to use it) would have fixed that right up.
 
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Post originally by Ross Winn at 2005-05-22 15:24:44
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I understand, but it only works if other players and GMs enforce this in play. In my experience they rarely do.
 
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Post originally by Antonidas at 2005-05-23 02:06:21
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Ah... so the whole article was written because your playgroup sucks. Suddenly, it all makes sense.

Ross Winn wrote:
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I understand, but it only works if other players and GMs enforce this in play. In my experience they rarely do.
 
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Post originally by Nigel Tam at 2005-05-23 02:06:23
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Maybe not, but ultimately what works and doesn't is up to an individual groups dynamic. I run my games with a piece of paper next to me reminding myself of all the PC's names, flaws and "automatic" powers because otherwise I just forget.

Nobilis has always sounded interesting but I never got round to picking it up. It's got a lot of innovative game mechanics I understand?
 
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Post originally by Dan Hemmens at 2005-05-23 03:25:40
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Which "this"? How does one "enforce" bonus XP?
 
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Post originally by Travis Casey at 2005-05-25 11:42:11
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For the credit where credit is due department, I believe the first game to use "you get something every time one of your disadvantages comes up" as a mechanic was Theatrix; there, what's gained are "plot points".
 
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Post originally by Ross Winn at 2005-05-25 12:45:51
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I believe you are correct. I have a copy on the shelf right here.
 
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