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> Uncouth and it's implications., One of my players recently....
NightHaunter
post Sep 5 2006, 04:26 PM
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1st of all i'm back after loseing net access for 2 months when I got made redundant!

But to the main topic now.

One of my players, who's character has the uncouth flaw, recently might have gone a bit far.

The situation was, the team returned from a fairly successful run to perform 5 hits in one night. To discover they had been setup for a completely different hit on an up and comming elven sim starlet, and later the investigating lonestar officer.
After the star discovered their location, they arrived in force and the team made a break for it. In the chaos that followed, their shaman crashed his bike, fortunatly he is a troll so lived through it. Some cops pulled up, to arrest his near corpse and he was rescued by 2 more of the team. The chasing ambukance then pulled up, and the aforementioned uncouth player took it upon himself to butcher the paramedics with his combat axe. He even chased the second one under the ambulance as he fled for his life.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this before?
I have some ideas for how to deal with it, but would welcome any suggestions that anyone could make.

Thanks in advance.
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James McMurray
post Sep 5 2006, 04:30 PM
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Yep, for some reason players just go insanely blood frenzied at times. Best bet is to have the law crash down so hard on the guy's head he never sees the light of day again. For best results try to RP it our of the session, perhaps via email. That way you don't let this guy detract from the rest of the group's fun. Alternatively you could run his flight from the law and the rest of the group on a normal run simultaneously if you feel up to it.
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Metasigil
post Sep 5 2006, 04:36 PM
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:eek: That's not Uncouth, that's Psychotic. Uncouth mean you pick you teeth at the dinner table and swear at the Johnson while loudly passing gas. Murdering paramedics is just being a jackass. If the paramedics were Doc Wagon, black ball the bastard.
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Moon-Hawk
post Sep 5 2006, 04:47 PM
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Sounds like this player just wants to be a disruptive jackass and is hiding behind "uncouth" and claiming that they're just role-playing their character.
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Critias
post Sep 5 2006, 04:53 PM
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As mentioned, what he did has little or nothing to do with "Uncouth." I could see an argument for a pair of silenced pistol shots taking out the ambulance drivers -- depending on the exact situation, and what they saw of the team, etc, they could have been witnesses that needed silenced -- but even if you justify it that way, it all depends on the whim of the GM as to whether or not it comes back to haunt them. At least, were it done in a fairly professional and quiet manner, it would seem less bloodthirsty and psychotic.

Which, well, is the real problem. He killed two noncombatants with an axe. That's an issue. Uncouth isn't -- his actions have nothing to do with being rude or obnoxious. Sounds like it's Notoriety time. Let the players hear about him through the shadows, waste group time on an elaborate Meet with a promising pay off -- then have the Johnson back off at the last minute as "The Axe Guy" shows up. Let it hurt their pocketbooks a little bit, give him some extra static about it, and just generally make it clear (without necessarily butchering the party to get the message across) that such behavior is unacceptable.
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Moon-Hawk
post Sep 5 2006, 05:07 PM
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And as contacts dry up since this guy is an untouchable lunatic, if he wants to repair his relationship with those contacts he'll have to make lots of social tests. :-)
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Konsaki
post Sep 5 2006, 05:10 PM
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Or just change his name, face and fake SIN.
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James McMurray
post Sep 5 2006, 05:13 PM
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Sure. But those cost money and are done through illegal channels. And we all know what that means: Negotiating prices. :)
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X-Kalibur
post Sep 5 2006, 06:17 PM
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Every group will have a bloodthristy character, and it won't always even be the same character.

After my GM decided he wasn't the biggest fan of SR4, we went back to SR3 and wrote up new characters. Whereas last time I had a Phys-ad that killed on a whim (albeit never non-coms) this time the player who could easily be voted "least violent" has made a blood thirsty character and went out of their way to kill a knocked down, seriously stunned + seriously wounded security guard. Knife to the chest.

That character will just get a bad rep and will more than likely be caught by the 'Star and have to make a new one. They are really amusing for the player at least. The GM on the other hand...
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mfb
post Sep 5 2006, 07:03 PM
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QUOTE (NightHaunter)
1st of all i'm back after loseing net access for 2 months when I got made redundant!

you got cloned? man, i hate it when that happens.

QUOTE (NightHaunter)
The chasing ambukance then pulled up, and the aforementioned uncouth player took it upon himself to butcher the paramedics with his combat axe. He even chased the second one under the ambulance as he fled for his life.

i... i'm not sure this really falls under the purview of the Uncouth flaw. i mean, yes, technically speaking, it is rude to chase a man under an ambulance and kill him with an axe. that's a social faux pas, no doubt, but there's a little bit more going on there.
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2bit
post Sep 5 2006, 07:19 PM
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Ouch.

Is the problem with the player or the character? If your player is playing a psychopath, but otherwise is a decent guy/girl that you enjoy gaming with, then just let karma come around to him. Sounds like there was a lot of chaos and he just went overboard. The nature of your wrath should be dictated by how the player views his character's actions. If it's a lapse of judgement that he regrets, then give him personal demons, but otherwise be forgiving. If the player starts acting violently with impunity, using it as a substitute for social skills, and generally treating life without respect, then bring the repurcussions home. The character can easily become a liability to the rest of the team, so a light but firm touch is needed to get things back on track without breaking up the team or turning the whole campaign into a series of bloodbaths.

First, force them into hiding. Their deeds, maybe even a face or two, will be on the news. Lone Star has noticably bumped up police presence in whatever area they initially flee to, following tips. One or more of their safehouses have been raided and any possessions inside are lost. Most contacts will shut the door on them. Never corner them at this point, however, or force them into a do-or-die fight with the cops. That will just encourage the team to come around to your psycho player's way of thinking.

Once they're in hiding, you need to take the pulse of your players. If they all really want a bloodbath, then you should probably give it to them, last stand style. If they're unified behind your psycho player because they're friends or he's just a charismatic leader guy, then you need to encourage conflict within the party with some non-action roleplay. Once the team is divided, the healing can begin.

Without a common enemy to shoot at, your team might fix itself with peer pressure during roleplay only scenes. Present your team with an adventure while theyre hiding out where not reacting violently to a threat that could easily be solved with bloodshed yields very useful rewards. If the psycho doesn't respond by the end of your hiding out period, the team should consider him a liability and act accordingly. This would be a good opportunity to part ways.
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FriendoftheDork
post Sep 5 2006, 08:51 PM
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That's right, the flaw has nothing to do with the murders, did the player think so? In that case, have him check up the word in a dictionary...

It's easy to jump on a player when his character does horrible things... but easy now, it may be he's playing a murderous bastard. This isn't D&D where the chars need to be LG, and the shadows are full of assholes and lunatics, even successful ones.

Just be realistic about potential consequences of the murderous act, and it will probably sort itself out eventually if he keeps up. Basically, mr johnsons have a uncanny knack for getting information about the details of a run, and might not appriciate "messy" and "unprofessional" violence. Heck he might even be a nice guy and be horrified by the act, but I wouldn't stake my nutrisoy bar on that ;)
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Lagomorph
post Sep 5 2006, 09:07 PM
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QUOTE (Critias)
Sounds like it's Notoriety time. Let the players hear about him through the shadows, waste group time on an elaborate Meet with a promising pay off -- then have the Johnson back off at the last minute as "The Axe Guy" shows up. Let it hurt their pocketbooks a little bit, give him some extra static about it, and just generally make it clear (without necessarily butchering the party to get the message across) that such behavior is unacceptable.

Wow, well said, I second this idea.
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FanGirl
post Sep 5 2006, 10:13 PM
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I just want to echo what some people have said about talking one-to-one with the player about his psychopathic behavior. Remind him that his actions may be hurtful to the team (if I needed emergency medical attention, and a "friend" butchered the paramedics who came to save my life, I would have strong negative feelings about that "friend"), and try to work out some kind of compromise - preferably one that allows Killy McGee an outlet for his violent rage, yet doesn't cause major problems for the other PCs.
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Dogsoup
post Sep 5 2006, 10:27 PM
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"Psychotic" is, unfortunately, a cross-system flaw.
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NightHaunter
post Sep 6 2006, 11:14 AM
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Having read the flaw, it hints, maybe even suggests, that the character might be sociopathic. But at the time the whole group was like what the f***!

The team as a whole is a little bloodthirsty. It's just the one character who seems to be over the top!

May not be an issue now, as I have been forced to change the my game time, and the player has chosen to remain at the larp that I quit, due to player favoritism and the head GM/Storyteller going power mad. But hay I only helped set it up and helped run it for 2 and a half years!

Whoa off topic!

Thanks for the input so far.
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Firewall
post Sep 6 2006, 11:25 AM
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Sociopathic is when the Johnson talks to much, you get bored of his chatter and break his nose on the table. Sociopathic may even be drawing a gun when someone short-changes you and refuses to confess.

Hunting down and killing people... That is something slightly more scary.
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Critias
post Sep 6 2006, 11:55 AM
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See, that's the thing about sociopathy that people screw up all the time. They get it and psychopathic tendencies mixed up. Psycho's (the over the top kind you see in movies), they kill people actively. They go out of their way to do so. They take pleasure in it, or Jesus tells them the whores have it coming, or their dog tells them it'll eat their face if they don't murder their neighbors, or what-have-you -- but they make a point of killing people. Killing people isn't a means to an end, but rather an end unto itself.

Sociopaths, though? They just don't mind killing people if they need to. They don't necessarily enjoy it, but they don't really place any value on human life (except for their own), so if someone crosses them they might off 'em regardless of that violence being all out of scale with the initial offense.

When I play Grand Theft Auto, I'm sociopathic; someone dings up the nice sportscar I just stole, I make a point of running them off the road and unloading submachinegun fire into their automobile until it explodes and they die. They dinged my bumper, and I make it clear to that imaginary person that I disapprove of such behavior. Tom Cruise's character in Collateral is a sociopath -- he doesn't value human lives, so he's willing (and certainly able) to kill people for money, regardless of guilt, innocence, or anything else. He doesn't necessarily get off on it, but it's just a job to him. Ho-hum, another day at the office.

Sociopaths -- believe it or not -- fit in just fine in the Shadows. I'd argue, in fact, more Shadowrunners are RPed with sociopathic tendencies than aren't. You might not actively enjoy violence, but you'll kill that cop if he's in your way. It's nothing personal, it's just business. He's between you and your money, so he dies. That's sociopathy. It's businesslike, inpersonal, and generally how your average RPer RPs (game systems have more rules for combat than anything else, after all, as a general rule).

But psychos, they ruin reputations. Laughing while gleefully rending someone limb from limb with an axe for no reason? That's pointless, and wastefull, and draws attention. Business and pleasure aren't supposed to mix. Other professionals only respect professionalism.
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eidolon
post Sep 6 2006, 04:12 PM
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Uncouth
un‧couth  /ʌnˈkuθ/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[uhn-kooth] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–adjective
1. awkward, clumsy, or unmannerly: uncouth behavior; an uncouth relative who embarrasses the family.
2. strange and ungraceful in appearance or form.
3. unusual or strange.
[Origin: bef. 900; ME; OE uncūth (see un-1, couth2); c. D onkond]


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James McMurray
post Sep 6 2006, 04:18 PM
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The definition of the word in Shadowrun is different, including both antisocial and sociopathic.
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Kremlin KOA
post Sep 6 2006, 04:28 PM
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You know, if I were a professional criminal, and I wanted to disguise the fact that I killed someone. I just might decide once or twice to make it look like the local Troll thrillgang decided that the victim(s) were good rape and kill meat. Big axe strokes, and lots of blood. Then have the Axe Re-dikoted (plasma blast the evidence) and burn the clothing in question.

But that is just my personal experience, your results might vary.
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Teulisch
post Sep 6 2006, 04:33 PM
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uncouth, as a game mechanic in shadowrun, affects your ability to make social skill rolls. it makes you spend more karam and bp to GET those skills so you can have any roll at all. it means you are screwed in a lot of cases. it means you cant make intimidation rolls, or negotiaon rolls. so you cant scare those punks and you cant find anyoen to sell you a gun.

the play you are describing in your game, is excessive violence. Its a player having his character go out of his way to kill people. This could be the result of a player with few skills in terms of RP, possibly with a background in hack-and-slash D&D. or it could just be a choice of hw to play the character. in either case, the actions in question have nothing to do with the flaw mentioned (although the flaw may help make the situation worse by removing options)
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mfb
post Sep 6 2006, 05:17 PM
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QUOTE (James McMurray)
The definition of the word in Shadowrun is different, including both antisocial and sociopathic.

i know it says sociopathic, but the rest of the description has little to do with sociopathy. antisocial personality disorder, maybe, but not sociopathy (a quick guide is available through your local internets).

and, like Critias said, most sociopaths aren't going to chase someone under a van and murder them with an axe for no reason. an aggressive sociopath, as defined by the above article, might, but those guys are an abberation even among sociopaths.
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James McMurray
post Sep 6 2006, 06:50 PM
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I'm not saying I agree with the definition, nor that the actions in the OP are tied to being Uncouth. I was just pointing out that a dictionary definition of uncouth doesn't matter, because it is overridden in the rulebook with another meaning.
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eidolon
post Sep 6 2006, 08:14 PM
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You might think the definition doesn't matter here, but I would argue that if the designer that wrote that flaw had had a single clue about what the word meant, this problem wouldn't exist.

Also, just because the book has a bunch of words in a description that don't fit the name of the flaw, or in my interpretation, the intent of the flaw, doesn't mean that you have to be as retarded in its use as the writer was in the writing of the description.

A simple look though the flaws would show you that if you wanted to play a psychotic raging killer, you could choose combat monster and vindictive (vindictive, I might add, is another flaw with a description written so ridiculously stringently that it manages to create no end of D&D-chaotic-stupid type characters with the excuse that they have the vindictive flaw). Vindictive to get you into stupid fights, and combat monster to keep you chopping off arms.

But then again, you could just go with the poorly thought out description of Uncouth.
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