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Old 01-21-2010, 02:20 PM   #21
Unwitting Pawn
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Default Re: Influence Skills and Interrogation

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
When I discussed this with Kromm, he said explicitly that this is false. You either roll reaction OR attempt influence. You don't get to do both,
Can we clarify whether the player(s) decide to use reaction rolls, or the GM does? And are there official distinctions where this differs? Because, if we allow a PC to countermand one Influence attempt with another as the dialogue develops, but never to countermand a Reaction roll, then how many players are ever going to agree to a reaction result? Or are we also saying that officially only one roll (reaction or influence) should govern a whole dialogue, regardless of how the circumstances might change during the interaction?

This also raises a related question in my mind. What happens when the GM hasn't pre-decided on an NPC's attitude to the PC and decides to use a Reaction roll to guide them in this (as per p.B494 it appears to be the GM doing this, not the player)? Does not the official interpretation above imply that the PC should not be allowed to use Influence rolls to change this attitude? And if the GM is rolling for "first impressions" of the NPC in this way, that suggests to me that game-mechanically players must decide how they are going to "influence" an NPC before the PCs themselves have had a chance to get any impression of the NPC. Because, to get a feel for which approach would best work, requires that the GM has already rolled for the general Reaction of the NPC, in order for the PCs to have something to perceive, surely?

EDIT: to try and summarise my many bouncing thoughts here, it seems to me that the "official" EITHER/OR statement above is creating a "chicken and egg" situation, in some types of NPC interaction at least.

Last edited by Unwitting Pawn; 01-21-2010 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:34 PM   #22
Sdrolion
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Default Re: Influence Skills and Interrogation

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Originally Posted by Unwitting Pawn View Post
Can we clarify whether the player(s) decide to use reaction rolls, or the GM does? And are there official distinctions where this differs? Because, if we allow a PC to countermand one Influence attempt with another as the dialogue develops, but never to countermand a Reaction roll, then how many players are ever going to agree to a reaction result? Or are we also saying that officially only one roll (reaction or influence) should govern a whole dialogue, regardless of how the circumstances might change during the interaction?

This also raises a related question in my mind. What happens when the GM hasn't pre-decided on an NPC's attitude to the PC and decides to use a Reaction roll to guide them in this (as per p.B494 it appears to be the GM doing this, not the player)? Does not the official interpretation above imply that the PC should not be allowed to use Influence rolls to change this attitude? And if the GM is rolling for "first impressions" of the NPC in this way, that suggests to me that game-mechanically players must decide how they are going to "influence" an NPC before the PCs themselves have had a chance to get any impression of the NPC. Because, to get a feel for which approach would best work, requires that the GM has already rolled for the general Reaction of the NPC, in order for the PCs to have something to perceive, surely?

EDIT: to try and summarise my many bouncing thoughts here, it seems to me that the "official" EITHER/OR statement above is creating a "chicken and egg" situation, in some types of NPC interaction at least.
My understanding from the rules and the general course of responses on the forum here is that the GM rolls reaction rolls secretly, but the players can decide to replace that roll by using an influence skill. I'm not sure if that's what whswhs was trying to say, but it seems to be what is implied by Campaigns 495: if the players don't like their reaction result, they can "change their approach and try again" to replace that result. An Influence Skill attempt seems to me to be a "change in approach" from just hoping you're likable. ^_^

Note that I wouldn't give people a -2 penalty for that "re-attempt," as you really can't say that the guy feels the PCs are becoming a nuisance when they've just tried to influence him for the first time.

And yes, the PCs should be able to decide to use an influence skill after the reaction roll is in play--after all, to decide you need to influence someone, you need to first have time to recognize that you're not already getting what you need!

Last edited by Sdrolion; 01-21-2010 at 02:36 PM. Reason: Clarification II
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:44 PM   #23
Unwitting Pawn
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Default Re: Influence Skills and Interrogation

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Originally Posted by Sdrolion View Post
My understanding from the rules and the general course of responses on the forum here is that the GM rolls reaction rolls secretly, but the players can decide to replace that roll by using an influence skill. I'm not sure if that's what whswhs was trying to say, but it seems to be what is implied by Campaigns 495: if the players don't like their reaction result, they can "change their approach and try again" to replace that result. An Influence Skill attempt seems to me to be a "change in approach" from just hoping you're likable. ^_^

Note that I wouldn't give people a -2 penalty for that "re-attempt," as you really can't say that the guy feels the PCs are becoming a nuisance when they've just tried to influence him for the first time.

And yes, the PCs should be able to decide to use an influence skill after the reaction roll is in play--after all, to decide you need to influence someone, you need to first have time to recognize that you're not already getting what you need!
Well, what you've just described is pretty much what I thought and how I've been GMing it myself. But that's not what the quote (Bill Stoddard paraphrasing Kromm) actually said. The official line appears to contradict our understanding: "You either roll reaction OR attempt influence". Hence, my asking for official clarification.
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:54 PM   #24
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Influence Skills and Interrogation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unwitting Pawn View Post
Can we clarify whether the player(s) decide to use reaction rolls, or the GM does? And are there official distinctions where this differs? Because, if we allow a PC to countermand one Influence attempt with another as the dialogue develops, but never to countermand a Reaction roll, then how many players are ever going to agree to a reaction result? Or are we also saying that officially only one roll (reaction or influence) should govern a whole dialogue, regardless of how the circumstances might change during the interaction?

This also raises a related question in my mind. What happens when the GM hasn't pre-decided on an NPC's attitude to the PC and decides to use a Reaction roll to guide them in this (as per p.B494 it appears to be the GM doing this, not the player)? Does not the official interpretation above imply that the PC should not be allowed to use Influence rolls to change this attitude? And if the GM is rolling for "first impressions" of the NPC in this way, that suggests to me that game-mechanically players must decide how they are going to "influence" an NPC before the PCs themselves have had a chance to get any impression of the NPC. Because, to get a feel for which approach would best work, requires that the GM has already rolled for the general Reaction of the NPC, in order for the PCs to have something to perceive, surely?
Fundamentally, it's the player's choice. The GM may choose to roll an NPC's reaction and have them take an initial attitude, but that should not be allowed to preempt the player's decision to use an influence skill.

Some reaction roll results allow a further roll, with a bonus or penalty in some cases. I don't see any reason you couldn't substitute an influence roll. And since the outcome of an influence roll is normally a Good or Bad reaction, if that result allows a further reaction roll, you could do a second influence roll instead.

I don't think there's really a "first impressions" roll as such. The roll governs the whole social transaction. Now if you want to ask for a bit more than you originally got, I might sometimes allow that . . . but probably at a penalty, since you're pushing.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 01-22-2010, 03:51 AM   #25
davidtmoore
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Default Re: Influence Skills and Interrogation

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
When I discussed this with Kromm, he said explicitly that this is false. You either roll reaction OR attempt influence. You don't get to do both, except with Diplomacy skill, which is called out in the rules as a special case. And influence does not necessarily improve on a reaction roll; if you got a Very Good reaction, and using Diplomacy gets you a success, that's still only a Good reaction, not an Excellent one.

Bill Stoddard
Fair enough. Wouldn't want to contradict Kromm. As I said, it's been a while since I read the rules, and I obviously house-ruled it at some point in my distant past.

Although it might create an odd situation if the GM has already made a secret Reaction roll for his own reason and then forbids the player from attempting an Influence roll.
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:05 AM   #26
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: Influence Skills and Interrogation

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Originally Posted by davidtmoore View Post
Although it might create an odd situation if the GM has already made a secret Reaction roll for his own reason and then forbids the player from attempting an Influence roll.
I wouldn't ever do that. As whswhs said, whether or not to make an influence skill roll or simply let a normal reaction roll happen should always be up to the player. Even if you treat the reaction roll simply as "first impressions", people don't generally make them so fast that a good talker can't influence them.

That said, it wouldn't be unreasonable to impose a penalty to influence rolls against NPCs who tend to make snap judgements. I'd call it -1 to -3, depending on how fast the NPC usually decides on someone.
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:00 PM   #27
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Influence Skills and Interrogation

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Originally Posted by davidtmoore View Post
Fair enough. Wouldn't want to contradict Kromm. As I said, it's been a while since I read the rules, and I obviously house-ruled it at some point in my distant past.

Although it might create an odd situation if the GM has already made a secret Reaction roll for his own reason and then forbids the player from attempting an Influence roll.
Which is why I wouldn't do that. On the other hand, I might have a predetermined reaction.

For what it's worth, I made exactly the same interpretation you did, and followed it in GMing several campaigns! I had occasion to discuss the matter with Kromm, and learned that he read the rules otherwise.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:24 PM   #28
Sdrolion
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Default Re: Influence Skills and Interrogation

Thanks very much to everyone for all your help and input. I think I have a good understanding of these things now. :-)

Happy gaming!
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