If a character indulges in an addictive substance or activity, they risk getting addicted. This risk is based on the Addiction Rating and Addiction Threshold of the substance or activity.
When a character uses a substance or performs an activity that is potentially addictive, they trigger a countdown to an Addiction Test. This Test must be performed at the end of each subsequent (11 – Addiction Rating) week after the indulgence. (A separate test must be taken for each addictive substance imbibed or addictive activity performed.) Failure of the Addiction Test means the character gains the Addiction quality for the substance/activity or it increases to the next severity level if they already have it (with no bonus Karma awarded).
Going for 7 full days without indulging in the addictive substance (or activity) will reduce the Addiction Threshold by 1. This reduction is cumulative for each full week that passes without indulging.
If the addictive substance is used (or the addictive activity performed) after the initial dose, and before the Threshold reaches 0, the Addiction Threshold resets to its full value for any subsequent Addiction Tests.
Dead Joe knows that the rival gangers will soon catch up with him, and he will have to fight for his life. He risks using a dose of Kamikaze (p412) to even the odds. Due to its addictive properties, Joe will have to make a Addiction Test every 2 weeks (11 – Kamikaze’s Addiction Rating of 9) to avoid becoming addicted. The threshold will be set at 3 to begin.
Joe manages to survive the fight and get away, and spends the next 10 days laying low and healing up. In 4 more days he will have to test for addiction, but because he has not used Kamikaze for over 7 days, the threshold for the test will be reduced by 1.
Four days later, Joe rolls his Body + Willpower for the physiological Addiction Test for the Kamikaze and manages to get the 2 successes needed. He does not gain the Addicted quality, and the Threshold of the Addiction test decreases by another 1 (to 1), as he has gone for another 7 days without indulging. If he can avoid using for another 7 days, the threshold will drop to 0, and he will be free of the risk of addiction for the moment.
Unfortunately, some of the rival gangers find Joe 6 days later (day 20), and Joe is forced to indulge in a dose of Kamikaze to save himself again. As the Addiction Threshold has not yet reached 0 (just 1 more day…), it is immediately reset to 3, and Joe will have to go through 7 full days without indulging to drop it to 2 before his next addiction test at the end of the second 2-week period (day 28).
Having an addiction will cause occasional cravings for the character’s addicted substance. These will occur at times of stress, when the character is exposed to the substance/activity (but does not partake) or when the effects of the substance/activity would be beneficial.
i.e.: trying to stay awake to finish fixing a drone may trigger a check for the character’s Long Haul addiction, or going to a party where there is lots of booze available and people are openly drinking may trigger the character’s alcohol addiction.
If the craving is not indulged, the character will go in to Withdrawal.
When a character must make an Addiction Test, the dice rolled depend on the addiction type, specified in the drug or activity description.
- If it’s psychological, use Logic + Willpower.
- If it’s physiological use Body + Willpower.
The threshold of the test is set as the Addiction Threshold of the substance/activity, modified by the number of weeks since the last indulgence.
If the character has managed to reduce the Addiction Threshold to 0 by not indulging, they do not need to make an Addiction Test.
Characters may use the Buying Successes option when making Addiction Tests.
Characters with any level of the Addiction quality can suffer Withdrawal by not indulging in their Addiction when a craving is felt.
While in Withdrawal, the character will suffer the effects of withdrawal per the level of the Addiction quality description, as well as possibly suffer further cravings, and possible Addiction Tests. Not taking the addictive substance for a number of weeks equal to its Addiction Rating will end the withdrawal period, and the character will no longer suffer the effects of the withdrawal.
In order to get clean, the addicted character must have not used the substance for a number of weeks equal to its Addiction Rating. They must then may an Addiction Test against the substance/activity’s full Addiction Rating.
If the test is successful, the character then can buy off the quality by paying the appropriate amount of Karma.
If the test is failed, the character must wait for a number of weeks equal to the substance/activity’s Addiction Rating before they may test again.