Episode 019 – Vice in the Sixth World

In which Vox and Mr. Johnson discuss vice in the sixth world. We will cover the addiction rules to the best of our ability, and we have a new listener story!


Show note:

“The 7 vices of highly creative people” http://www.salon.com/2000/02/09/sevenvices/

8 thoughts on “Episode 019 – Vice in the Sixth World”

  1. Ray Rigel’s last name is pronounced “Reegel.” The ‘i’ sounds like a long ‘e’. If he were to point this out, he would do it politely with a calm, friendly voice. He is just that kind of guy.

    1. Heh – yeah, Ray pointed it out already – calmly and politely. 🙂 Guess Mr. Johnson’s German linguasoft was malfunctioning that day. 😉

  2. Every time I see his name in print, I think of Star Trek, because there was a Rigel system. Fortunately, he does have a first name that does not present any problems.

  3. I had a problem with the notion of not allowing a player who takes a vice that’s seemingly innocuous and not allowing him or her the full benefits of taking the vice so long as the rules are followed. My GM mentioned the episode and laughed at the idea of using soykafe as an addiction.

    First, while not an opinion held by Mr. Johnson this is something my GM stated: that caffeine addiction isn’t something really serious. While technically true compared to higher levels of the flaw, the lowest level of addiction in the rules can easily cover caffeine addiction. The withdrawal symptoms include lethargy, nausea, headaches, irritability or despondency. No, you’re not scratching at invisible bugs under your skin, but you wouldn’t do that if you’re a bunraku addict either.

    The other issues (that Mr. Johnson touched on), is one of the points you get back not being equal to how hard the substance is to obtain. Soykafe is arguably pretty easy to come by, if it’s just a cup. And it’s not taboo to have any.

    So in order for an addiction to equal the value of the flaw, it either must have a horrible withdrawal or be hard to obtain. Anytime a GM says I can’t do anything I go out of my way to discover how to make him or her say yes. And while technically I could just have a character addicted to coffee and RP that, with no mechanics it loses a little bit of its entertainment (after all, I’ve decided to play Shadowrun, not Dogs in the Vineyard, Polaris or FATE).

    I decided that if my character was hypoglycemic and addicted to caffeine, it would easily fit the badness of not taking the substance (a huge amount of glucose) and the quantity and specificity of the diet would cover the difficulty of acquiring the substance. And I personally find a character grappling with problems I could face in the real world more compelling than a BTL addiction or somebody using Kamikaze.

    As always, a great video and one of my favorites so far. I don’t want to give the impression that I’m ragging on anyone, just that I think if players can come up with creative solutions to gameplay issues that enhance the RP it should be pursued, rather than disavowing a rule because someone might be a munchkin. Though personally, if someone took caffeine (regular coffee) at the addiction levels written in the book, I’d hand-wave it as a psychosomatic problem and force the player to make all the rolls required with an addendum that not just any cup of coffee would do… Not anymore. She or he would, after all, have an addiction level that’s strong enough to warrant dice coming out, either drink excessive amounts of coffee or thirst for rare, actually real coffee beans.

  4. Spoonman, you do gain a very positive benefit from having an ‘addiction’ to caffeine that otherwise falls outside the normal bounds of the rules; by roleplaying your addiction and its effects, you both bring life to your character and the setting, but you can also regain edge for your trouble. Next time you blow three edge in a firefight with the Quixote’s (knight errant), finish off the lieutenant’s still cooling cup of soycafe. Ham it up a little bit, it could save your hoop on the way out. This, of course, completely pending your GM actually following the ‘awarding edge’ rules.

  5. I worked with my GM on my Trolls moderate addiction to syn-tobacco, through cigars. We decided that I needed to spend 120 Nuyen a week on Cigars, and my troll will go out of his way to get REAL tobacco. Also I need to make sure he smokes often enough to make it impact the game. As an Example:

    We recently were in the Orc Underground, DEEP and LOST, my troll is smoking… so not only is there a smoldering cherry, easily seen in the dark… but there is a foreign smell and a trail of smoke… Not that I know this is why, but we got jumped by some nasty ‘gators.

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