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Old 07-09-2015, 08:17 AM   #1
vicky_molokh
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Default [SE] Between Unrestricted Reaction Rolls and Predetermined Reactions

Greetings, all!

As you probably heard, I'm not quite happy with the all-or-nothing nature of 'best-case' Predetermined Reactions. As it stands, the best-case limitation makes it such that you can have progressively more and more charming character get better and better reactions, then suddenly hit a wall, past which no further improvement is possible.

IME, this produces undesirable results:
If invoked, the hard cap eliminates the difference between the good socials and the awesome ones. Since the NPCs likely to have hard caps tend to be the ones most relevant for the plot, this also means that these differences become nullified precisely in the situations where they would carry the most meaning.
Replacing or supplementing the best-case limit with a Predetermined Reaction Penalty doesn't seem to produce a mere 'hard-to-convince' result either: it produces a character who will get very angry at mediocre socials instead.

I'm looking for ways, preferably close to RAW or maybe even completely RAW (though I doubt the latter is possible), to rework the hard cap into a soft cap of some sort. My idea so far was something that multiplies the Reaction Roll Improvement by some value larger than 0 but less than 1. Of course, this will need to use either the Expanded Influence Rolls (SE31) or a houseruled MoS-based Reaction Adjustment in order to be of meaningful use with Influence Rolls in addition to normal Reaction Rolls.

Are there other ideas that provide (more) elegant solutions without straying too far from RAW (e.g. no dependency on heavy rewrites of other SE bits)?
Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-09-2015, 08:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: [SE] Between Unrestricted Reaction Rolls and Predetermined Reactions

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Greetings, all!

As you probably heard, I'm not quite happy with the all-or-nothing nature of 'best-case' Predetermined Reactions. As it stands, the best-case limitation makes it such that you can have progressively more and more charming character get better and better reactions, then suddenly hit a wall, past which no further improvement is possible.
I don't understand the objection. Such rolls are meant to describe, for example, the prison guard who isn't going to open your cell door and let you walk out no matter how beautiful or persuasive you are. It doesn't seem to me that it makes for either greater realism or better drama if super attractive people can set that limit aside.
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Old 07-09-2015, 08:39 AM   #3
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Default Re: [SE] Between Unrestricted Reaction Rolls and Predetermined Reactions

I think you need a rule to represent the diminishing returns of just plugging away with the same thing time after time.

If you take the nymph vs guard example;
the being beautiful reaction modifiers can get you a long way but if they are not immediately mind whammied to insensibility to immediately open the door then the nymph is still locked up and can't use that effect again.
The nymph must look for another avenue and method to influence the guard, being beautiful might still help with the new approach.
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Old 07-09-2015, 08:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: [SE] Between Unrestricted Reaction Rolls and Predetermined Reactions

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... for example, the prison guard who isn't going to open your cell door and let you walk out no matter how beautiful or persuasive you are.
Another way of looking at this is that the ability to override such limits marks the boundary of supernatural means of persuasion. Such means might be presented as "simply being very good at mundane persuasion" and look like them in action, but aren't plausible as such. Of course, if the guard has some disadvantage that can be exploited, you can get further by mundane means.
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Old 07-09-2015, 08:51 AM   #5
whswhs
 
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Default Re: [SE] Between Unrestricted Reaction Rolls and Predetermined Reactions

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Another way of looking at this is that the ability to override such limits marks the boundary of supernatural means of persuasion. Such means might be presented as "simply being very good at mundane persuasion" and look like them in action, but aren't plausible as such. Of course, if the guard has some disadvantage that can be exploited, you can get further by mundane means.
Hmmm. That might be mechanicked as some level of Attractiveness with Cosmic, Can override hard reaction limits, +50%.
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Old 07-09-2015, 09:08 AM   #6
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: [SE] Between Unrestricted Reaction Rolls and Predetermined Reactions

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I don't understand the objection. Such rolls are meant to describe, for example, the prison guard who isn't going to open your cell door and let you walk out no matter how beautiful or persuasive you are. It doesn't seem to me that it makes for either greater realism or better drama if super attractive people can set that limit aside.
The problem as I see it is the suddenness of he cap:

If you set the cap of a loyal and grumpy guard at 'will not release the prisoner', you can have a very sharp cutoff between that and the easier-achieved 'will [not] allow smuggling a mundane item'. It seems extremely jarring when e.g. smuggling a mundane item requires a modified reaction roll of 17, but 18+ (number just as an example) has absolutely no effect whatsoever.

Instead, I'd rather look for something like this:
11: get a glass of water;
13: get a blanket;
17: look away while someone smuggles in a mundane, non-threatening item;
22: look away while someone smuggles in a slightly risky item;
28: pretend not to hear while inmate discuss violence against another inmate;
37: assist in such planning;
Outright divine levels of divinity of persuasiveness: look away or assist in a breakout.

But something that is more harmonious and less arbitrary than the table I posted as an example.
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Old 07-09-2015, 10:09 AM   #7
whswhs
 
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Default Re: [SE] Between Unrestricted Reaction Rolls and Predetermined Reactions

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Instead, I'd rather look for something like this:
11: get a glass of water;
13: get a blanket;
17: look away while someone smuggles in a mundane, non-threatening item;
22: look away while someone smuggles in a slightly risky item;
28: pretend not to hear while inmate discuss violence against another inmate;
37: assist in such planning;
Outright divine levels of divinity of persuasiveness: look away or assist in a breakout.
It seems to me that between the different success levels and the different reaction modifiers, that range of outcomes is already handled by the current rules.
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Old 07-09-2015, 10:54 AM   #8
Anthony
 
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Default Re: [SE] Between Unrestricted Reaction Rolls and Predetermined Reactions

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But something that is more harmonious and less arbitrary than the table I posted as an example.
Change it to something like 'every 10 degrees of success shifts reaction by one additional step'. The problem 'predefined' reaction rolls solves is that it's too cheap (at around 3 levels per +1 reaction step) to shift reactions.
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Old 07-09-2015, 11:26 AM   #9
whswhs
 
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Default Re: [SE] Between Unrestricted Reaction Rolls and Predetermined Reactions

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Change it to something like 'every 10 degrees of success shifts reaction by one additional step'. The problem 'predefined' reaction rolls solves is that it's too cheap (at around 3 levels per +1 reaction step) to shift reactions.
Really, what's needed is something that corresponds to regular contests as reaction rolls correspond to Quick Contests (of which Influence rolls are an example).
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Old 07-09-2015, 11:34 AM   #10
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Default Re: [SE] Between Unrestricted Reaction Rolls and Predetermined Reactions

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Really, what's needed is something that corresponds to regular contests as reaction rolls correspond to Quick Contests (of which Influence rolls are an example).
I've see improvised mechanics like "Roll a Quick Contest once per <time-period>. Add your margin of victory to a running total (and thereby subtract your margin of loss when you loose). You need a total of <number> to get this to happen." That should work for this.
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