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 Post subject: Seasickness
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:01 pm 
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Has anyone bothered with rules for seasickness? Or is it something that heroes don't get?

There's no clear understanding why people are affected (it's not linked to Strength/Constitution). As a proportion, it seems women are more affected than men (although, again, there's no real consensus as to why) - with 9% men vs. 38% women affected.

So, to keep things simple, you could have 10% males, 35% females affected?
(Acclimatisation after 1d6 days?)

Now... What would the effects be?
(Could be -1 to Str and Ref, or it could be a 'low-strength curse' giving -1 to all rolls? How debilitating should it be?)

Thoughts?

Note: I'm only thinking this because my players are likely to engage in several extended sea voyages soon...


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 Post subject: Re: Seasickness
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:53 pm 
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I probably wouldn't bother with gender distinction, doesn't really add anything to the game in this case.

Suggested rule (just off the top of my head):

The first time a character goes out to sea, roll a d10 - on a 1, they are particularly susceptible to seasickness. On a 10, they are particularly resilient. Note this down on their character sheet. This is a permanent characteristic.

At the start of each day out at sea, a character rolls a d20. If they score equal or less than Reflexes, they have become accustomed to the motion and will be fine for the remainder of the voyage. Otherwise, they become nauseous for that day. Each subsequent day they make the same roll, and apply the same penalty until they succeed in the roll, or reach land.

Susceptible & resilient characters roll 2d20 - if susceptible, they use the die with the highest rolled value. If resilient, they use the die with the lower rolled value.

A nauseous character suffers a penalty of -1 to Attack, Defence, Evasion, Stealth & Perception, and has a 5% chance of miscasting a spell or becoming psychically fatigued.

As people age they become less affected by motion sickness. As an optional rule, characters above 50 years of age can never be susceptible, and may remove any existing susceptibility. Characters above 75 years of age gain automatic resilience.


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 Post subject: Re: Seasickness
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:26 pm 
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Starkad wrote:
There's no clear understanding why people are affected (it's not linked to Strength/Constitution). As a proportion, it seems women are more affected than men (although, again, there's no real consensus as to why) - with 9% men vs. 38% women affected.

So, to keep things simple, you could have 10% males, 35% females affected?

I'd be careful with this one - there are real-world physiological differences between men and women that, when simulated in RPGs, have been used to lambast RPGs rather than enhance them. Male and female characters in DW are, for example, equally strong, just as, in GURPS, male and female characters are affected equally by pain/shock, so it follows that, even though there are differences in the rates at which men and women in the real world get seasick, for the purposes of gaming, I'd keep it the same - some battles are not worth fighting!

Starkad wrote:
Now... What would the effects be?
(Could be -1 to Str and Ref, or it could be a 'low-strength curse' giving -1 to all rolls? How debilitating should it be?)

Someone on this forum posted a useful mechanic, handicap, that is a single measure of all cumulative penalties to that character and I thought it was such a good mechanic, I adopted it to measure the impact of my own perils (https://www.cobwebbedforest.co.uk/libra ... Perils.pdf). For seasickness, I'd make it only a -1 or, at most, -2 handicap.

Were it my game, I probably wouldn't have each player roll to see if their character were seasick, I'd predetermine that one character will be seasick and make the players roll to determine which character it is (lowest roll on d20 = seasick). That way, you don't end up with an extreme of all characters being/not being seasick and there's plenty of role-playing opportunities for both the seasick/non-seasick characters as they deal either with their seasickness or with their comrade's seasickness in challenging circumstances (I'm assuming there are going to be challenging circumstances... :twisted: ). Whilst the player might feel singled out by this unjust punishment, I'd turn the seasickness into a narrative boon at some point during the adventure to give the player additional table time to make up for their seasickness - whilst on deck at night, throwing up into the churning black waters, they espy motes of glimmering lights in the water, surrounding the ship - or maybe they overhear conspiratorial whispers from sailors planning to mutiny - or perhaps they catch sight of a possibly humanoid shape clambering up one of the nets hanging overboard, etc. Their seasickness has now given them an important role to play in how this chapter of the story unfolds and clues important to the broader adventure.

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 Post subject: Re: Seasickness
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:46 pm 
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Thanks for two excellent replies! :D

Quote:
I probably wouldn't bother with gender distinction...

More than happy to drop that. After all, until I looked it up I wasn't even aware there was a difference between men and women regarding seasickness (and was quite surprised by the difference).

Aside from avoiding any "lambasting" it's also easier to remember if it's one set of rules for everyone - and simplicity is the strength of DW.

Quote:
For seasickness, I'd make it only a -1 or, at most, -2 handicap.

I like the idea of a 'handicap' for seasickness - again, because it's simple. A -1 to all actions (except, perhaps, ABP rolls) seems fair and easy to remember.

Quote:
Were it my game, I probably wouldn't have each player roll to see if their character were seasick, I'd predetermine that one character will be seasick...

I'm not so keen on this. Experience has taught me that, even if you later write in a 'boon' for the penalty, no-one likes to be singled out. Let's not forget that if a character is seasick once, then that same character is going to be seasick on every future journey; that's how seasickness works.

Thanks for the plot hooks, though! They're excellent and will almost certainly feature in one (or two) of my future games. ;)
(And yes, of course there will be "challenging circumstances" - otherwise I can simply describe the sick character hanging off the rail for the better part of the journey, losing their lunch to the waves...) ;)

Quote:
The first time a character goes out to sea, roll a d10 - on a 1, they are particularly susceptible to seasickness. On a 10, they are particularly resilient. Note this down on their character sheet. This is a permanent characteristic.

Basically a 10% chance of being vulnerable to seasickness? Seems reasonable AND it's a low enough probability that it's fairly unlikely to have more than one (perhaps two) characters suffer...*
* Just watch the dice prove me wrong!!

Quote:
At the start of each day out at sea, a character rolls a d20. If they score equal or less than Reflexes, they have become accustomed to the motion and will be fine for the remainder of the voyage. Otherwise, they become nauseous for that day. Each subsequent day they make the same roll, and apply the same penalty until they succeed in the roll, or reach land.

Susceptible & resilient characters roll 2d20 - if susceptible, they use the die with the highest rolled value. If resilient, they use the die with the lower rolled value.

Hmm. In my experience (and I've been at sea fairly often), people who are susceptible to seasickness will get seasick. Those who aren't simply don't. I'm one of the lucky ones, it takes a very severe storm indeed (as the ship dropped, my toes nearly left the deck; as the ship rose, it felt like I was being crushed into the deck) for me to even start to feel queasy...

Perhaps once a character has rolled resilience, they simply won't get seasick?

As for the rolls, here again we are rolling against a physical characteristic - which really doesn't apply to seasickness. But there has to be a 'save' somewhere along the line (because this is a game). How about using Psychic Talent? It may seem an odd choice but:
1) It avoids the obvious physical characteristics (i.e. Str & Ref)
2) It makes use of a characteristic that's often under-used, and
3) It means the psychically-attuned character is in better harmony with the aggressive spirits of the sea and, thus, better able to resist their playfulness... (fudge, fudge!)

I like the idea of 'normal' characters rolling 1d20 and susceptible characters rolling 2d20 (picking highest roll); mostly because this can be varied with conditions. In a calm(ish) sea, normal characters would not be bothered by the motion of the ship, while susceptible characters might roll 1d20. In a violent storm, 'normal' character would roll 2d20 and susceptible characters roll 3d20 (both picking the higher roll); in this case, even resilient characters might have to roll 1d20 (up to the GM).

I'm wondering if, instead of d20, you could have the characters roll 3d6 vs. Psy Tal (or whatever characteristic)? A susceptible character would roll 4d6, but must discard the lowest die rolled. Again, this allows for variation: 2d6 (3d6) for calmer waters, 4d6 (5d6) for a storm...

I was toying with the idea of rolling (Rank x 10%) x (No. of days at sea) to see how long it took for a character to get 'acclimatised.' Higher-Ranking heroes wouldn't be too bothered by seasickness: e.g. (Rk6 x 10%) x day 1 = 60% (result takes effect the following morning); that character would be seasick a maximum of 2 days. But, while that avoids a characteristic-based 'save', it might be too complicated.

Quote:
As people age they become less affected by motion sickness. As an optional rule, characters above 50 years of age can never be susceptible, and may remove any existing susceptibility. Characters above 75 years of age gain automatic resilience.

Again, I didn't know that.

Seems fair enough. I have 'aging rolls' in my game, so any character reaching the age of 50 will need every edge they can get...
(It also allows for an old NPC to simply sit and enjoy the journey while the young characters worry about losing the contents of their stomachs!)

Although it's tempting to simply avoid seasickness for the sake of convenience, it was (and remains) a fact of life. Even the Norsemen were not immune to it! Having a character struggle to face whatever challenges the journey throws at him while worrying if he's about to lose his lunch can make for a good role-playing opportunity...*
* And may even encourage normally reluctant players to land on suspicious unexplored islands, just for a bit of respite. Best watch out for Circe...


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 Post subject: Re: Seasickness
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:06 am 
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Starkad wrote:
Cobwebbed Dragon wrote:
Were it my game, I probably wouldn't have each player roll to see if their character were seasick, I'd predetermine that one character will be seasick...

I'm not so keen on this. Experience has taught me that, even if you later write in a 'boon' for the penalty, no-one likes to be singled out. Let's not forget that if a character is seasick once, then that same character is going to be seasick on every future journey; that's how seasickness works.

If it were a quirk arbitrarily assigned to one character by the GM, then I'd agree with you, but rolling dice means the player has no-one to blame for their condition and is in no different a position as if they rolled a low starting score in a primary ability - it is just some additional randomly determined information about their character around which the player can role-play. Plus, DW is not about fairly apportioning injuries/penalties/curses - Legend is a cruel and capricious place whimsical in both its punishments and its blessings - just look at all the ways in the canon rules a character can die on the roll of a single die.

In my house-rules, littered as they are with major wounds, taint, and other permanent reminders of how a life of adventure is not the sane and sanitary pursuit it is in other rule systems, I think any player of mine would consider themselves to have got off lightly with just seasickness :lol: . But every group is different and we all adapt our games to suit our, and our players', gaming style.

As a slight aside, I've never really run a seafaring campaign in DW, so if you wanted to share your campaign (once you've finished playing it, of course - no spoilers for your players!), I'd be really interested to read it. A sea voyage could be a great change of pace in an otherwise land-based campaign and I've never been brave enough to attempt it.

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 Post subject: Re: Seasickness
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:32 pm 
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Quote:
... but rolling dice means the player has no-one to blame for their condition...

Except they do. They know from the outset that the GM has decided one of them will be seasick. That the GM doesn't point at one of them, but uses a die instead only partially attenuates that. It's still the GM inflicting what might be seen as a 'dodgy' rule call...

...But each to their own. If your players accept that, then that's fine. I think mine would accept it (they're good that way), but wouldn't like it.
(While, perversely, giving them the chance to all be seasick would be more easily accepted. Go figure.)

Quote:
In my house-rules, littered as they are with major wounds, taint, and other permanent reminders of how a life of adventure is not the sane and sanitary pursuit it is in other rule systems...

The way you say it, my games sound somewhat "safer" than yours... but characters still die. Some have even simply... disappeared.*
* Should be careful when adventuring in Faerie.

Quote:
...so if you wanted to share your campaign... I'd be really interested to read it.

I can do, if you want. I hope you're the patient type though, as we play once a month at most - so it could be a while before I post anything.

The premise is that the characters are heading off to Outremer and, instead of just telling them they get there, I'm playing it through. So it's a sea journey to Port No.1 (which was Allargon; a port on the Garenne estuary in the Aurillac region of Chaubrette)*, then they'll be taken as far as Ferromaine, then they'll have to find a ship to take them the rest of the way there...
* I'm afraid after some 30 years of gaming, my version of Legend has deviated somewhat from what I now see posted. I really can't be bothered to change it all back.

Hmm. Which part of this forum would be the best place to post that?


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 Post subject: Re: Seasickness
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 10:21 am 
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Starkad wrote:
Quote:
... but rolling dice means the player has no-one to blame for their condition...

Except they do. They know from the outset that the GM has decided one of them will be seasick.

Only if you tell them. It's no different from having them roll 1d10 at the beginning of the campaign to determine who's seasick. Instead, just get them to roll 3d6 - then just single someone out because they rolled "under 8" or "got three of a kind", etc. Look at the rolls, figure out which threshold means only one character is affected and apply it.

Or, don't tell them anything at all - at the beginning of the campaign, you get them to roll 3d6 but don't tell them why. When they finally get aboard the ship, then you describe the effects of their seasickness to the player that was determined by the dice to suffer.

If you're feeling especially merciful, you can exclude any character that suffers from seasickness from the roll to determine which character will suffer from vertigo. With enough of these flaws in play, you should be able to engineer it that each character suffers from one some sort of circumstantial condition and no one player feels like their character is being singled out.

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 Post subject: Re: Seasickness
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 10:23 am 
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Starkad wrote:
Quote:
...so if you wanted to share your campaign... I'd be really interested to read it.

I can do, if you want. I hope you're the patient type though, as we play once a month at most - so it could be a while before I post anything.

The premise is that the characters are heading off to Outremer and, instead of just telling them they get there, I'm playing it through. So it's a sea journey to Port No.1 (which was Allargon; a port on the Garenne estuary in the Aurillac region of Chaubrette)*, then they'll be taken as far as Ferromaine, then they'll have to find a ship to take them the rest of the way there...
* I'm afraid after some 30 years of gaming, my version of Legend has deviated somewhat from what I now see posted. I really can't be bothered to change it all back.

Hmm. Which part of this forum would be the best place to post that?

I think the Fan Projects board would be a good place for campaign write-ups. I'm commuting for work less than I was and have started up a new RPG group that's about to start a new DW campaign with an introductory adventure (I haven't decided which, yet...) and might even do the same myself.

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 Post subject: Re: Seasickness
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:39 pm 
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Quote:
Or, don't tell them anything at all...

Cunning! :lol:

Quote:
I think the Fan Projects board would be a good place for campaign write-ups.

Ok. Thanks.

Quote:
...and might even do the same myself.

Please do!


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 Post subject: Re: Seasickness
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:43 pm 
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Don't remind me....I have like 3 campaign write ups to do........or I guess I could just rework them back into actual campaigns....ok, add more work to the pile I've been ignoring.

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