Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Prev Previous Post   Next Post Next
Old 05-25-2014, 07:23 PM   #9
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Influence Skills Modifying Reaction Rolls

I used to do it the way you're describing—a reaction roll and then an Influence roll. But when I was working on SE I had to get it clear how things were in the RAW, so I discussed it with Kromm at length. Now I both understand that it works differently, and think that it really makes more sense that it should do so.

Basically, an Influence roll represents you trying to get another person to behave in a desired way, by using a particular way of approaching them—reasoned negotiation (Diplomacy), formal politeness (Savoir-Faire), bafflegab (Fast-Talk), threats (Intimidation), whatever. If the attempt succeeds you get the desired behavior; if it fails you don't.

But what if you don't try to use any particular skill to shape their reactions? Well, the reaction roll reflects what happens when how they feel about you becomes visible. If you ask them for something—not using an Influence skill, but just making a simple request—then their reaction becomes evident at that point, and the reaction roll occurs at that point. If you don't try to interact with them, they may react anyway, especially if you have some noticeable trait that they care about; that can be represented by a spontaneous reaction roll. If that comes up positive or negative, you'll see them react. If it comes up neutral, you won't.

In that last case, I would have no problem with your making an Influence roll to try to get their cooperation. Basically their reaction isn't really set anyway.

But if they have a positive or negative reaction, especially a strong one, I'd say their reaction has already been set, not by your deliberate attempt to shape it, but by their initial impression of you. At that point, their behavior has a certain natural inertia.

Look at it this way. Suppose you attempted Intimidation against a mugger, and lost the Influence roll, getting a Bad reaction. Would it be reasonable for you to get a second attempt at Intimidation? A third? Should you get to keep attempting Intimidation until it works? I would say no; the initial failure defines the encounter. But a Bad reaction that the mugger forms on their own really is no different. In either case the reaction is set.

Of course you can take an action that reframes the scene. Maybe you turn into a seven foot tall green-skinned monster and snarl at him. Maybe you draw a weapon. Maybe you say, "Come and take it," and when he does you throw him into the wall. Or maybe you invite him to join your gang and get bigger payoffs for his skills. In such cases you certainly could get a new reaction or Influence roll—by giving him something different to react to/be influenced by.

Social interaction in GURPS isn't designed to be played out "blow by blow" like physical combat. It's divided into discrete bits of dialogue, each aimed to gain some result. All the things that people say in one dialogue, all the gestures they make, and so on, contribute to a single roll. (Or to the absence of a roll—the GM can always decide that your speech was so effective that they other people just gives you what you want.)

I think what you're looking for is really a social engineering analog of Technical Grappling, where you try to gain control points toward the other person on an emotional level. And that could be an interesting alternative system; maybe you should try to work it out and submit it. But I don't have a problem with the RAW for the games I run.

Bill Stoddard
whswhs is online now   Reply With Quote
 

Tags
house rules, influence rolls, influence skills, reaction rolls, social engineering

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.