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Old 03-01-2015, 12:26 PM   #25
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Yukon, OK
Default Re: GURPS: Adapting the Duel of Wits

Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
Yes, and Social Engineering provides options using regular contests, quick contests, and reaction rolls, and also using other abilities to aid themóby perceiving the other person's motives, by deceptive manipulation, by analogs of deceptive attack such as Irony, and by simple complementary skill rolls, for example. I'm just not convinced that you can run social interaction by an analog of combat mechanics without making it totally abstract and detached from the actual beliefs and motives of the people involved.

My working approach to mechanics, I should say, is to ask the player, "What are you doing?" or "What are you trying to accomplish?" and then look for a mechanic that fits their description. I don't usually give them a list of mechanical options and ask them to focus on that; that moves the game too far away from narrative for me. It rather makes me think of Hero Wars, which had a single mechanic for resolving everything and called for the players to first play out the abstract contest, determine who had won, and then go back and make up a narrative to fit. What I'd prefer, as far as possible, is to first do the narrative, figure out where to apply game mechanics for success or failure, victory or defeat, within the narrative, and thus have "who won" emerge from the storytelling (which emerges from the world description, but that's a different discussion).

I certainly won't say that other people shouldn't engage in abstract social combat if that entertains them. But to me it sounds about as exciting as eating unseasoned cheap tofu.
Actually a lot of us do narrative combat and then apply the mechanics so its not that different.
Most combat maneuvers are descriptive after all.
You may not be familiar with the TG mechanic or where some of us think its a good candidate for extended contests.
Socially I would have an attribute such as Will vs. Will. I engage in a contest by declaring what I want to do, the GM or I decide the most applicable skill and possibly complimentary skills. Also I may apply techniques such as irony, or argument by logic, emotion or ethics (using the Plato method).
I wear down my opponent with the strength of my arguments and as I do his become less and less effective until he concedes.
Certain advantages and disadvantages may affect the results of each of my rolls, stubbornness or broadminded for example.
If going against a disadvantage with a control roll my lowering of effective Will may require additional checks against the Control Number. Say trying to vamp a lecherous person for example or convince someone with honesty that this IS the honest and right thing to do.
I see this as a decent Pyramid article and possibly a small supplement.
The supplement would not only go over more Techniques and styles but could do a better job on modifications from mental advantages and disadvantages as well as provide more examples.
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