[Liminal] Disability as Benefit in RPGs? (Liminal Specific)

Neil Gow

Rune Priest
Here's a convoluted one...

I have been writing a piece for my Liminal patreon on the 'gift of the gab' talents, and it struck me how dangerous they actually were! As a response, I was considering how P Division would respond to people who could magically sway crowds or tell indetectable lies or hurt someone with a broken promise?

At the same time I was watching some stuff on TikTok by Jodie Ounsley, the profoundly deaf Gladiator 'Fury', and how she uses her cochlear implant and it struck me that this was the perfect solution. Surely P Division would recruit a detective who was also profoundly deaf and therefore could not be directly affected by the weasel words of a nefarious user of these talents. It even has some mythological resonance, as it's similar to the trick Odysseus used to avoid the influence of the sirens.

However I cannot for the life of me remember whether 'disability as advantage' is seen as a good thing or a bad thing at the moment? It's the sort of thing I would prefer to make unique to this character and not become something that is seen as a character design option (I mean, none of the stuff I do is official material, but these things permeate) as it stinks of old school 90s 'disadvantages'.

I do think making it unique rather than some kind of advantage/disadvantage makes sense. In 2d20, you’d just make it a truth about the character and it could come into play positively or negatively. I can’t remember if Liminal has a way to do something like that?
No, it doesn't specifically - it has a Talents and Limitations system but the latter are big genre-relevant things - not 'colour blindness' etc. as we saw in the 90s. I guess it's that 90s hangover in terms of introducing things into the rules that are exploited.
Then maybe don't describe it first and foremost as a physical disability but as a mystical talent.
Then maybe don't describe it first and foremost as a physical disability but as a mystical talent.

That would be better, I think. Some people could simply be immune to certain traits, not because they are disabled, but because they are special somehow.
This is what we (I, with Paul's initial guidance) have come up with, so far:

Steadfast (1pt)
You are not easily swayed by mere rhetoric. You have +2 to rolls to resist social challenges, and you are also immune to the magical effects of Presence, Silver Tongue and Words that Bind. This could be caused by some magical charm, a zealous determination, an overriding animalistic urge, or an adaptation due to deafness.

So it isn't a default mechanism of being deaf, but rather something you need to buy with points, and deafness is not the sole root of the ability. As Paul said, to paraphrase, this way not all deaf people have it and not all people with it are deaf.