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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-26-2007, 02:25 PM   #1
Sense of Duty (Kittens)
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Gathering Information.

In d20, the task of going around and gleaning local data is very simple. Just use the Gahter Information skill. In contrast, the challenge is less clear. Carousing, Diplomacy, and Streetwise are obviously helpful but there is no clear cut way of going about the problem.
__________________
Steal Energy- giving Dungeon Fantasy wizards a pretext to learn healing magic since 2004.
Sense of Duty (Kittens) is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2007, 02:32 PM   #2
David Johnston
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default Re: Gathering Information.

And?

The simplest way of course to ensure that you know what's going on in your vicinity is to get the Regional Current Affairs skill for your town.
David Johnston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2007, 02:35 PM   #3
Pmandrekar
Careful Wisher
 
Pmandrekar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Oregon, WI
Default Re: Gathering Information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sense of Duty (Kittens)
In d20, the task of going around and gleaning local data is very simple. Just use the Gahter Information skill. In contrast, the challenge is less clear. Carousing, Diplomacy, and Streetwise are obviously helpful but there is no clear cut way of going about the problem.
And there isn't always a clear cut way in real life. Diplomacy, for example, might work better with one level of status, while Streetwise, with a different element. The difference is specified because the approach is very different, and completely different "types" of people might be skilled in different ways.

I think that you could go with a simple, single metric, lumping all your "social" abilities into a catch-all "social" skill. but that might be to generalized and broad even for the D20 system.

-P.
__________________
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
P. Mandrekar, Geneticist and Gamer
Rational Centrist
"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts"- Daniel P. Moynihan
Pmandrekar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2007, 06:50 PM   #4
PK
Assistant GURPS Line Editor
 
PK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Dobbstown Sane Asylum
Default Re: Gathering Information.

"Gather Information" is far too broad of a concept to be a normal skill. There are far too many ways to do that -- you could do internet research, hang out at local bars, speak with the police, pour over newspapers, mingle with kids at the nearby college and eavesdrop, and so on. I'd suggest buying it as a Wildcard skill, myself.
__________________
Reverend Pee Kitty of the Order Malkavian-Dobbsian (Twitter) (LJ)

MyGURPS: My house rules and GURPS resources.

#SJGamesLive: I answered questions about GURPS After the End and more!
{Watch Video} - {Read Transcript}
PK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2007, 11:12 AM   #5
Kromm
GURPS Line Editor
 
Kromm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Montréal, Québec
Default Re: Gathering Information.

Discussions of the Gather Information skill are one of the few times you'll see me type, "Wow, what a bad design decision!" That skill's existence amounts to saying "Let's associate just one ability with all the social roleplaying that's likely ever to matter to action-oriented adventurers so that it seems like a small and unimportant postscript next to all of the other stuff, discouraging players from getting the idea in their head that there are lots of social tools available to heroes." Sometimes it even reads like "The right way to gather information is to follow the GM's railroad and/or cast spells, so let's relegate every other means of information-gathering that a player could try to a single, flavorless skill so that nobody will waste time on it." When I'm in a cynical mood, it even seems like "Waste skill points on a skill that lets the GM feed you info he was going to feed you anyway."

In GURPS, as in real life, there are dozens of ways to get info using one's skills. It's up to the player to propose and the GM to dispose. A few examples:
  • Administration to glean info from a bureaucrat, either through discussion or by filling out the right forms to request it.
  • Area Knowledge to know where people with useful information hang out so that you can bribe, trick, spy on, or otherwise interact with them.
  • Carousing to buy a few rounds and get information at a pub or a tavern.
  • Current Affairs -- a simple roll will often suffice once you've spent some time catching up on the latest news.
  • Fast-Talk to pry information from somebody who knows what you need to know and who shouldn't talk . . . but who is easily bamboozled.
  • Intelligence Analysis to discover useful info in the reports of people who use these other skills.
  • Interrogation to squeeze information out of somebody you corner or capture.
  • Lip Reading, Observation, Shadowing, Stealth, etc., to spy out information the hard way.
  • Merchant to buy information legally.
  • Politics to glean info from a politician, perhaps by promising cash support or by convincing him that something untoward is going on under his nose and that you can help if he fills you in on a few facts.
  • Research to find information in records of some kind.
  • Savoir-Faire to glean info from somebody in the relevant social group by convincing him that you're a peer who "needs to know."
  • Sex Appeal to get information from a horndog.
  • Streetwise, either to find people to bribe, interrogate, and spy on, or simply to walk the streets, make contacts, and hear rumors.
"Information gatherer" is an entire PC profession -- every group needs one. Somebody who's good at that task will have most of the above skills, plus advantages that boost them and/or give reaction bonuses, and probably a decent bankroll.
__________________
Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch <kromm@sjgames.com>
GURPS Line Editor, Steve Jackson Games
My LiveJournal [Just GURPS News][Just The Company]
Kromm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2007, 11:35 AM   #6
Bruno
 
Bruno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Canada
Default Re: Gathering Information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm
In GURPS, as in real life, there are dozens of ways to get info using one's skills. It's up to the player to propose and the GM to dispose...
THANK you for this post. My group's been a bit fuzzy on all the alternatives.
__________________
All about Size Modifier; Unified Hit Location Table
A Wiki for my F2F Group
A GURPS blog
Bruno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2007, 12:35 PM   #7
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Gathering Information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm
In GURPS, as in real life, there are dozens of ways to get info using one's skills. It's up to the player to propose and the GM to dispose.
The question that keeps perplexing my circle is, "What do you use to get information from an informant without overtly questioning them, by discreetly steering the conversation toward the topic of interest and/or drawing inferences from things they said that were indirectly related to it?" It's clearly not Interrogation, but it hasn't been obvious to us what other skill you'd roll against for that task. Or is it a bunch of skills with a modifier for trying to be subtle?
whswhs is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2007, 12:40 PM   #8
Extrarius
 
Extrarius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Psionic Ward
Default Re: Gathering Information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs
The question that keeps perplexing my circle is, "What do you use to get information from an informant without overtly questioning them, by discreetly steering the conversation toward the topic of interest and/or drawing inferences from things they said that were indirectly related to it?" It's clearly not Interrogation, but it hasn't been obvious to us what other skill you'd roll against for that task. Or is it a bunch of skills with a modifier for trying to be subtle?
I'm not saying the skill would be interrogation, but that is certainly one of the tactics described in "U.S. Army Intelligence And Interrogation Handbook" both to verify previously given information and to glean more information from slightly cooperative prisoners.
Extrarius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2007, 12:44 PM   #9
Kaldrin
 
Kaldrin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Calgary, AB... looking for a few more to join us.
Default Re: Gathering Information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs
It's clearly not Interrogation, but it hasn't been obvious to us what other skill you'd roll against for that task. Or is it a bunch of skills with a modifier for trying to be subtle?
Interrogation isn't exactly torture. There's a whole bunch of stances you can take when you're trying to get information out of someone.

But, what I think you're talking about is Social Engineering, a phrase that was coined by phreakers in the 70s when they called and got answers out of the phone company's people by being nice and listening. Sometimes they would pose as 'George' from telecom or something like that, but the effect was the same. They put the person at ease and got reams of information out of them.
__________________
-safe from the children born as ghosts
Kaldrin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2007, 12:49 PM   #10
Not another shrubbery
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Gathering Information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs
The question that keeps perplexing my circle is, "What do you use to get information from an informant without overtly questioning them, by discreetly steering the conversation toward the topic of interest and/or drawing inferences from things they said that were indirectly related to it?" It's clearly not Interrogation, but it hasn't been obvious to us what other skill you'd roll against for that task. Or is it a bunch of skills with a modifier for trying to be subtle?
Fast-Talk would usually be the skill to steer conversations in desired directions, though Public Speaking could also be useful in that regard. Intelligence Analysis might let you discern useful information from otherwise 'innocent' disclosures.
Not another shrubbery is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

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 05:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.