Dependence

A character with this Disadvantage is dependent on a certain substance or item. If he cannot get it, he suffers negative effects, possibly even injury or death. You can use this Disadvantage to simulate drug addictions and other chemical dependencies, aquatic superheroes who cannot remain out of the water for more than an hour, a gadgeteer who depends upon a constant supply of spare parts to keep his battlesuit operating properly, and so forth. It is Uncommon for characters in the Atlantean World

To determine the value of this Disadvantage, a character must establish several things: how easy it is to obtain the substance; the effects of deprivation; and how long it takes before the character begins suffering those effects.

THE DEPENDENT SUBSTANCE
The first issue is how easily the character can obtain the substance on which he’s Dependent. He should consider how common the substance is (it’s a lot easier to be Dependent on water than on plutonium), how expensive the substance is, whether it’s dangerous to try to obtain it, and so forth. If the character can manufacture the substance himself, it’s almost always “easy to obtain,” unless the necessary raw materials are rare or expensive. The GM has the final say on how common a substance is in his campaign.

THE EFFECTS OF DEPRIVATION
Second, the character should determine what happens to him if he’s deprived of the substance or item he is Dependent on. Typically a character suffers damage due to withdrawal symptoms, and can even die if he fails to get the substance in time. He takes STUN damage (no defense applies) immediately when the Dependence time increment (see below) passes. Thereafter, he takes damage at each successive Dependence time increment. Once he’s unconscious, the character begins to take Normal Damage BODY from the attack as well until he dies or gets the substance. The character may not Recover from the damage taken due to his Dependence until he obtains the substance he’s Dependent on.

Once the character gets the substance he’s Dependent on, typically all the damage he’s taken “heals” immediately. However, the GM may change that based on common sense, dramatic sense, special effects, and considerations of game balance. In some cases it may work better just to let the character start taking Recoveries, or the like.

Loss Of Power
There are other options besides taking damage. First, a character can temporarily lose all of his powers (or some specific group or types of powers) or have them weakened. The character’s powers immediately acquire an Activation Roll (starting at 14 – or 11 – ) when the Dependence time increment passes; the roll decreases by 1 for every time increment thereafter. When he fails the roll, the powers stop working; he cannot restart them until he obtains the substance he’s Dependent on. (Alternately, characters can use the damage categories, but substitute – 10 Active Points in the affected Power for every 1d6 of damage.) This is a good way to simulate, for example, some technology- based characters who require constant upkeep and replacement parts to keep their powers from malfunctioning.

Weakness
If a character takes the “weakness” option for his Dependence, he loses 3 points from his Characteristics (not 3 Character Points’ worth). For example, if a character has DEX 20 and suffers weakness, he drops to DEX 17. Typically the character loses the points from all of his Characteristics, but the GM can decide to apply it to fewer if he prefers.

Incompetency
Another possible effect is incompetency — when the Dependence time increment passes, the character suffers – 1 to all Skill Rolls, Characteristic Rolls, Attack Rolls, and related rolls. This modifier increases by an additional – 1 per time increment until he obtains the substance he’s Dependent on.

Normally a Dependence should only have one effect (the character should not suffer damage and lose his Powers, for example). However, in rare circumstances and at the GM’s option, characters may suffer multiple effects by buying Dependence multiple times.

THE TIME INCREMENT
Third, the character should determine how long it takes for his Dependence to have an effect. The longer the character can go without the substance, the lower the value of the Disadvantage.

Addiction
Alternately, a character can define his Dependence as an Addiction. The character buys the Addiction modifier in place of the standard Time Increment for Dependence.

An Addiction must cause damage, incompetency, or weakness. The character usually suffers cravings for the substance at least once a day at first; the longer he remains Addicted, the shorter this time interval becomes, and the more he needs of the substance to satisfy his Addiction. The character may make an EGO Roll to resist giving in to the Addiction. This doesn’t prevent him from suffering the effects of not obtaining the substance, though it may reduce the effects of deprivation slightly at the GM’s option. However, the character has to make EGO Rolls to break the Addiction (i.e., buy off the Disadvantage). Th e GM determines how many rolls the character has to make, or how long he must go without the substance, to break the Addiction. As a general guideline, the character should have to make at least one EGO Roll per week he’s been addicted (up to the point he began making EGO Rolls).

Addiction may also entail a Psychological Limitation. It’s possible to be both physically and psychologically addicted to the same substance.

Value Dependent Substance is…
5 Very Common/Easy To Obtain
10 Common/Difficult To Obtain
15 Uncommon/Extremely Difficult To Obtain
Value Effect
+ 5 1d6 Damage
+ 10 2d6 Damage
+ 15 3d6 Damage
+ 5 Character’s Powers Are Affected: 14 – Activation Roll
+ 10 Character’s Powers Are Affected: 11 – Activation Roll
+ 5 Incompetence: – 1 to Skill Rolls and related rolls per time increment
+ 5 Weakness: – 3 to Characteristics per time increment
Value Time Before Suffering Effects
+ 25 Segment
+ 20 Phase
+ 15 Turn
+ 10 1 Minute
+ 5 5 Minutes
+ 0 20 Minutes
- 5 1 Hour
- 10 6 Hours
- 15 1 Day
.. and so forth
+ 5 Addiction

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Dependence

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