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Old 12-07-2016, 02:50 AM   #34
Join Date: Jul 2012
Default Re: [Basic] Reputations for bad people

Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
No. First of all, the person faced with the psycho-killer was already willing to stand still and listen long enough to for the Intimidation attempt to be tried. Bear in mind that they generally make a reaction roll (or react with a set reaction) _before_ you use social skills on them. If they decided to kill you on sight, then you probably don't have time to Intimidate them. What's more Intimidation isn't mind control. They can try to attack you no matter how badly you intimidated them. Just at a hefty minus to that first attack, one that shouldn't be reduced because you're so terrifying.
Just reading the section on reaction rolls (page 494, Basic Set/Campaigns), and it comes across as suggesting that reaction rolls do not take place immediately – it lists a series of bonuses and penalties that virtually require interaction take place before any rolls are made (such as the bonuses for skills or appropriate behaviour). It gives me the impression the reaction roll specifically doesn't take place before any social skills can be used.

I could see your suggestion about the attack roll making sense as one possible interpretation for the “Influencing the PCs” rules (Page 359 Basic Set, also 32 Social Engineering) – an interpretation I'd find very reasonable if suggested during play, but I'm not familiar with anything that sets out Intimidate inducing an attack penalty as an established rule. Obviously I'd treat that use of Intimidation to induce a penalty differently to using Intimidation to get a “Good” NPC reaction (in the case of applying penalties, then yes, I'd apply the negative rep as a bonus).

Honestly I'm basing my views on experiencing violence and intimidation, which is why I believe there is a “pushed too far” state when using Intimidation, when during the process of them threatening me I came to the conclusion “there's no way I'm going to be able to avoid a fight here” and changed my focus from trying to appease or avoid them to trying to stall until I could find something to fight them off with – and I specifically didn't start off the situation thinking that, and it wasn't a pre-set reaction. In GURPS terms, that could be the result of penalties from bad tactics (they tried too hard to corner me, they continued the aggression after I showed signs of backing down) but I could also see someone going too far when using the Intimidation skill as being the result of a bad roll, and someone who routinely makes that mistake as having a poor effective Intimidation skill (perhaps as a result of penalties from Bully or Sadism or a negative reputation which makes the process more delicate).
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