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Old 09-22-2018, 05:28 PM   #71
johndallman
 
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Default Re: On being Feared

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
... And in compensation, it's limited to producing one specific type of favorable reaction, which can occasionally have inconvenient effects. Those effects are even specified: It's as if you had intimidated the other person, rather than gained their cooperation in some other way. That is, you've used "the skill of hostile persuasion." So I'm asking how that might work when you're trying to hire someone for a job.
It's not the best way to hire someone away from a job they already have and like. It may still work for that, if they're afraid of the consequences of not taking the job.

If it's used to hire someone who needs a job, it should work OK, but if they care about being fired, Feared will make them afraid of that. As Dalin said, they may be afraid to tell you bad news, although that can probably be dealt with by rewarding honesty about bad news.

It may make it easier to hire some kinds of low-lives, who either want to show people that they're tough, or expect jobs to only last a few days anyway.

I could imagine it actually building loyalty in employees who last a long time, because it makes the boss easy to relate to: you know what to expect from her, and how to respond to that. Many people like familiar situations, even if their friends think the boss is dangerous.
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Old 09-22-2018, 09:06 PM   #72
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Default Re: On being Feared

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Well, okay. At the 5-point level, a Reputation affects everyone, and you are always recognized as the person it applies to. That's a lot like Social Regard. But a Reputation must be for something specific, and what that thing is is surely going to influence how specifically people react to you. So say you have "Reputation +3: Can command the spirits of the dead." How does that differ from "Reputation +3: Wise elder" or "Reputation +3: Endows wilderness preserves to save endangered species" or whatever?
I'd say like Appearance interacts with Ads and Disads based on looks. If you are Attractive and a redhead and the person you are dealing with has the Quirk: Likes redheads you get a bonus to your bonus.

So "Reputation +3: Can command the spirits of the dead." gets a penalty from someone that has Phobia: Ghosts.

"Reputation +3: Endows wilderness preserves to save endangered species" gets even more of a bonus from someone with Duty:Nature or a penalty from someone with Higher Purpose:Subdue the wild.
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Old 09-23-2018, 02:24 AM   #73
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Default Re: On being Feared

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Well, you know, I think I don't quite care for having your bad experiences, or your assumptions about the unfairness of GMs, lead you to, in effect, accuse me of planning to treat my players unfairly.
Since I didn't, I think we're good. I said "A lot this [negativity to the idea] (on my part)..."

In other words, "I'm arguing pretty strongly against this probably because I dislike such levels of 'GM vs Players', so you know where I'm coming from". Not that this is 'GM vs Players', or even a 'Play Dirty'. I just have a knee jerk instinct to go in the other direction.

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Everything I've been asking here has been in a spirit of "what follows from the way the trait is defined in the rules?"
Which is how I've been answering and where I've thrown out suggestions and counter-arguments.

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So I'm asking how that might work when you're trying to hire someone for a job.
That depends on an awful lot of factors. What is the job? How is she going about hiring them? Where is she advertising (ie amongst what circles)?

IE "Feared Necromancer Seeks Able Household Staff Apply Within" flyers put up in the lowlife side of town will get a radically different response than a hired agent discretely putting the word out in more wealthy areas.
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Old 09-23-2018, 08:28 AM   #74
whswhs
 
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Default Re: On being Feared

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That depends on an awful lot of factors. What is the job? How is she going about hiring them? Where is she advertising (ie amongst what circles)?

IE "Feared Necromancer Seeks Able Household Staff Apply Within" flyers put up in the lowlife side of town will get a radically different response than a hired agent discretely putting the word out in more wealthy areas.
Well, of course it does. But there is a rules structure in GURPS for doing this, and what I've been asking is how Feared fits into that.
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Old 09-23-2018, 10:20 AM   #75
whswhs
 
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So let's look at the actual situation.

Nergul is a ghoul, and like typical ghouls, is Unattractive. That's primarily to her own race, but also affects the other humanoid races. It gives her a -1 reaction modifier, which means that the typical reaction to her requests is 8-11, half Poor and half Neutral; in other words, ghouls are less cooperative than other races.

In the Urbes Septemplex, though, which is the reference society, ghouls have Social Stigma (Minority Group), which gives them +2 reactions from other ghouls and -2 from the other humanoid races. This partly reflects their not having a well defined legal status, which for nixies is tied to land; if you want to find a ghoul, you can't go to her house or to the hostel where she's staying, but have to wander through various ghoul encampments asking after her. On the other hand, ghouls have some tendency to stick together, because there aren't many of them in Portus Argenti. So the typical non-ghoul reaction is 6-9, meaning that most nixies are cautious about dealing with ghouls and some will outright refuse to deal with them.

Nergul is Wealthy, and as a result has Status 1, which gives her +1 to reaction rolls; on the other hand, she has Odious Personal Habit (Body odor), from her work as a tanner, which gives her -1, so the two cancel out on the average.

So as a baseline, if she tries to hire a ghoul, the typical reaction range will be 10-13, meaning she'll usually get acceptable loyalty and sometimes get good loyalty. If she tries to hire a nixie, they'll typically be unhappy working for her (typical range 6-9), likely to quit if they can find a better offer, and sometimes just because they've had enough.

Now, how this applies is a bit ambiguous. It mostly sounds as if you search for an employee, find one who's available, and then roll the dice to see how loyal they are to the job they've already taken. But there's also a suggestion to roll first, before the interview, and let the PC try to assess the hireling's attitude. That implies that they haven't been made an offer yet, and the attitude is there when Nergul makes the offer—and that makes it seem likely that many nixies will turn down the job, or will find one they like better while Nergul is making up her mind.

Now, we have Nergul's being Feared, which is worth +3, and reflects both her having the accoutrements of a necromancer (it won't immediately occur to her to remove them, both because she feels safer with them and because she has a very "in your face" attitude) and her having an aura of death and the uncanny about her. On one hand, this could produce better reactions. On the other, it could be treated as an inappropriate Influence roll and produce a negative modifier. Since this isn't Nergul actively threatening her potential employees, but merely her being creepy and disturbing, let's call it a -1 reaction modifier.

With ghouls, then, reactions are either 13-16, suggesting that they're going to work hard and may be prepared to take serious risks rather than risk displeasing her; or 9-12, suggesting totally average reactions. With nixies, they're either average in reactions (9-12) or seriously reluctant (5-8), taking the job only because they feel they have to.

So I think the basic question is, when does each of these apply? It might be, for example, that they show the better attitude when they're being interviewed, but go to the worse one when deciding whether to actually show up; or that they behave better when Nergul is on the scene, but fall into worse habits when she's away (note that the writeup on Intimidation says that a lowlife may actually feel true loyalty, which suggests that intimidation normally doesn't produce real loyalty, but only outward conformity), and perhaps are afraid to admit to her when there are problems.

Nergul could try to improve their attitudes, if they start working for her; but the definition of Feared says that reaction rolls are normally interpreted as if you had used Intimidation, which may hinder this. On the other hand, Nergul could try cultivating a persona (discussed in GURPS Social Engineering), with a roll vs. IQ or Leadership+3 against the employee's IQ; if this works, she gets +1 to reactions, which I think would take the place of the -1, giving her a range of 7-10 for nixies and 11-14 for ghouls.

So I think what I'd ask is what kind of interplay is there between the "enhanced influence" and "inappropriate influence" effects of Feared in this situation. That seems to be central to this application of the rules.
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Old 09-24-2018, 02:02 PM   #76
Dalin
 
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Default Re: On being Feared

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With ghouls, then, reactions are either 13-16, suggesting that they're going to work hard and may be prepared to take serious risks rather than risk displeasing her; or 9-12, suggesting totally average reactions. With nixies, they're either average in reactions (9-12) or seriously reluctant (5-8), taking the job only because they feel they have to.

So I think the basic question is, when does each of these apply?
There are a lot of complex layers here. I might fall back on what I know about the initial attitude of an NPC before I decided whether the effect would be +3 or -1. (And if I didn't know, I might just roll it randomly before the reaction check.) The text lends support for this because it describes people reacting differently to intimidation depending on their outlook (false cheer, bootlicking, or respect).

This also passes the sniff test when you think about fictional (or real) examples of feared individuals. Jabba the Hutt clearly is able to hire people to work for him. Some of them are even somewhat capable and appear to be quite loyal. But they all seem inclined to happily work with scumbags. He must physically restrain Leia despite his positive reaction bonus.

In your example, I don't see any reason why other ghouls would have a reaction penalty with Nergul. Necromancy is a part of their culture. They are still frightened by a necromancer, but they don't have any deeper problems with it. So, for them, I would go with the standard +3. For non-ghouls, it's more complicated. Someone whose religion frowns on such things would be more likely to react negatively, so -1 for them. Someone in a multicultural town where ghouls are tolerated might be in the middle or likely to react positively. Call it a sliding scale from -1 to +3.

I don't know if that helps. It sounds like you are far more systematic about reaction rolls than I am. I usually roll, apply whatever official modifiers I am aware of, apply some situational modifiers for roleplaying or other contextual details and then consider the whole 3-18 range as a smooth scale. (I couldn't tell you where the cutoffs are between attitudes, but I know that high is good and low is bad.) If it all feels plausible to the participants in the story, I'm good to go. I rarely have to make so many rolls for a particular character in a particular context that I feel the need to formally work out all the parameters.
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Old 09-25-2018, 10:15 AM   #77
whswhs
 
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Default Re: On being Feared

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In your example, I don't see any reason why other ghouls would have a reaction penalty with Nergul. Necromancy is a part of their culture. They are still frightened by a necromancer, but they don't have any deeper problems with it. So, for them, I would go with the standard +3. For non-ghouls, it's more complicated. Someone whose religion frowns on such things would be more likely to react negatively, so -1 for them. Someone in a multicultural town where ghouls are tolerated might be in the middle or likely to react positively. Call it a sliding scale from -1 to +3.
That seems like a strange way to analyze it.

On one hand, a culture that doesn't have necromancy might be one where people don't recognize Nergul as a necromancer, and thus are less likely to be frightened of her in the first place. She might just look like "that ghoul in the weird robes." They might be cautious, but she wouldn't be Feared.

On the other hand, the question is whether those who do know what necromancy is, and fear it, are also likely to react badly to fear in the role of prospective employees. Is intimidating someone an inappropriate way to conduct a job interview? This probably does vary between races; ghouls as a race are more aggressive and quarrelsome than nixies (Selfish (12) is a racial trait), so they may take that sort of approach as natural.

But I should also note that it's not purely a question of "race." There are several ghoul cultures with different assumptions and behavior patterns. The carrion-eating and fire-setting ghouls of Regio Leonem aren't much like the junkyard ghouls of the Urbes Septemplex.
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Old 09-25-2018, 10:39 AM   #78
Railstar
 
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Default Re: On being Feared

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On the other hand, the question is whether those who do know what necromancy is, and fear it, are also likely to react badly to fear in the role of prospective employees. Is intimidating someone an inappropriate way to conduct a job interview? This probably does vary between races; ghouls as a race are more aggressive and quarrelsome than nixies (Selfish (12) is a racial trait), so they may take that sort of approach as natural.
Or they might be more inclined to take offence. Intimidation is likely to count as a clear social slight and trigger the hostile reaction from Selfish, unless it is done with a lot of finesse or a way for the target to save face.

At least Social Regard: Feared doesn't require making a threat to trigger Selfish, I think simply being scary would be far more accepted or natural than directly threatening prospective employees.
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:07 AM   #79
whswhs
 
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Or they might be more inclined to take offence. Intimidation is likely to count as a clear social slight and trigger the hostile reaction from Selfish, unless it is done with a lot of finesse or a way for the target to save face.

At least Social Regard: Feared doesn't require making a threat to trigger Selfish, I think simply being scary would be far more accepted or natural than directly threatening prospective employees.
Well, all that's true, even though it goes against the literal text that says that Social Regard (Feared) works as if you had made an Intimidation roll.

Nergul's player was saying that Nergul wanted to learn Diplomacy or Savoir-Faire; Savoir-Faire may be an important skill for dealing with touchy Status-obsessed rivals. Nergul has been somewhat outside of mainstream society, as a shaman dealing with matters that frighten ordinary people; now she seems to be trying to fit in more.
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:21 AM   #80
Andreas
 
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Default Re: On being Feared

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Well, all that's true, even though it goes against the literal text that says that Social Regard (Feared) works as if you had made an Intimidation roll.
It seems to me that it should be the same for some intimidation rolls. If the intimidation attempt is not considered a blameworthy action (threats usually are, but there are other ways to intimidate), then the target might be unlikely to take offense.

So, just like intimidation, being feared can, depending on the specifics, be likely or unlikely to cause resentment.
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