2.6.4 Defining Advantages & Disadvantages
Note that in the following discussion, and at other points in the manual, advantages and disadvantages are sometimes collectively referred to as `dis-ads': `a dis-ad' means `either an advantage or a disadvantage'.
You do not necessarily have to define advantages and disadvantages.
You may, though, wish to define advantages and disadvantages in the realm's database, for any of several reasons:
If your primary motivation for defining dis-ads is to prevent players
from creating unrealistic or inappropriate dis-ads during chargen, you
should strongly consider tuning the
One other note before we look at an example: dis-ads are an exception
to the rule that you must completely redefine a database entry in order
to modify it. If you re-enter a defintion for a dis-ad, any triggered
effects are added to the current list of triggered effects. This makes
it a little easier to tweak advantages and disadvantages, finding
combinations of triggered effects that do what you want, but it also
means that you must be sure to
==================================== >> What is the category for this definition? >> [Enter category, or .l to list choices, or .q to quit] ====================================
Advantages and disadvantages are defined in exactly the same way. In fact, they are stored in the database as a single category (dis-ads), the only difference between them being that advantages have a positive cost (you pay to take them) and disadvantages have a negative cost (you get points for taking them). So, enter `advantage' or `disadvantage' at this prompt. For Connected, we would enter `advantage'.
==================================== >> How many points is this Advantage worth? >> [Enter point value, or .q to quit] ====================================
We simply enter a number here, the character development cost or bonus for the dis-ad. The system references the category name (`advantage' or `disadvantage') to ensure that the cost entered in the database is positive or negative, as required. So, don't worry about whether a positive cost or a negative cost in the end raises or lowers the number of available points; the system will take care of this. Just enter a number. In the case of Connected, we will enter `4'.
==================================== >> Does this Advantage have triggered effects? (y/n) ====================================
Dis-ads do not have to have triggered effects. Dis-ads that don't have triggered effects can still be useful, either as a prerequisite for other abilities, or as a means of tweaking and adjusting total point values of starting characters ("This `locksmith 2' skill you're taking seems unrealistic to me, for this barbarian character from a very low tech area", says the monitor to the slightly twinkish player. "Take the `Unusual Background' advantage, which costs 1 point, and include an explanation of how you learned this in your private background... Then I'll approve the character.").
In the case of Connected, we do want triggered effects. They are in fact the whole point of the advantage. So we enter `yes' here.
==================================== >> What is the category of this effect? >> [Enter stat, skill, spell, psiab, advantage, disadvantage, or .q to quit] >> Which skill is an effect? >> [Enter skill, or .q to quit] >> What is the level of this effect? >> [Enter number, or .q to quit] >> Effect added. >> Do you want to specify another effect? (y/n) ====================================
As the prompts above indicate, we can specify any category of ability as a triggered effect. Assigning triggered effects simply requires specifying the category, instance, and level of each effect. Of these, only `level' should require any explanation: the `level' is a number added to the player's existing level for the relavent ability. In other words, the level specified is relative to the player's current level, not absolute. For the Streetwise 2 effect, we will enter `skill' as the category, `streetwise' as the skill, and `2' as the level. If a player who does not have any levels for Streetwise selects the Connected advantage, he will then have the Streetwise skill at level 2. If a player who already knows Streetwise at level 1 takes the advantage, she will then have Streetwise 3. The level can be a negative number. This might be appropriate for disadvantages, or as an `offsetting cost' of an advantage with bundled triggered effect that overall are positive.
For Connected, we would enter `yes' to the final prompt (
==================================== >> ADVANTAGE INFORMATION FOR 'CONNECTED': Point Bonus: -4 Triggered Effects: Skills: Streetwise (2) Triggered Effects: Skills: Underworld Influence (2) Triggered Effects: Skills: Police Influence (2) ====================================
Yes, the `negative bonus' is somewhat confusing: bottom line, this is an advantage, so it costs points... that is, unlike a disadvantage, it has a negative bonus.