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Old 12-16-2016, 08:04 AM   #21
Extrarius
 
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] "I could bring down your Government with six words."

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Originally Posted by Mithlas View Post
[...]to actually topple a government takes a LOT more effort than one sentence even if you have the power to show up in a critical point against one crucial person.[...]
To be fair, he didn't bring down a government, he effected the removal of a single person from her position of power as top government official. By taking advantage of existing prejudices, political agendas, and other existing adversarial forces, that doesn't really seem all that far fetched to me.
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Old 12-16-2016, 08:24 AM   #22
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] "I could bring down your Government with six words."

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Originally Posted by Mithlas View Post
to actually topple a government takes a LOT more effort than one sentence even if you have the power to show up in a critical point against one crucial person
Its worth noting that the term "Government" in a European context often refers to a set of appointed ministers (and thus policies). For example: "The Belgian Legislature went for 541 days without forming a government after the elections of 2010". Or "Who knows what policies will change now that this labor government is in power".

Its a weaker term, but the power to show up in a critical time against a crucial person is much more relevant when you use the term like that.
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Old 12-16-2016, 09:13 AM   #23
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] "I could bring down your Government with six words."

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Its worth noting that the term "Government" in a European context often refers to a set of appointed ministers (and thus policies). For example: "The Belgian Legislature went for 541 days without forming a government after the elections of 2010". Or "Who knows what policies will change now that this labor government is in power".

Its a weaker term, but the power to show up in a critical time against a crucial person is much more relevant when you use the term like that.
American English it more common to say "topple the administration" using government more often for the system itself.
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Old 12-16-2016, 09:23 AM   #24
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] "I could bring down your Government with six words."

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
The new series Doctor has power of plot, the same supernatural ability that "fully human" Batman has. He uses future History skill to know exactly what mundane sentence would propagate to absurd, normally impossible, levels.
As well as knowing that her assistants were of the rumor mongering sabotaging sort. Loyal allies would just ignore such nonsense.
Of course she looks tired. That's what protecting the entire freaking human race against monsters on a near daily basis without supernatural powers or the ability to flit away when things need to be cleaned up does to a person.

That was one of the episodes that stopped me from being a fan of the series. He got angry that one of his pets got uppity trying to defend "his" species for times when he's not there.
Almost full agreement here. The only thing is that I'm still somewhat a fan of the show despite the extremely glaring problems it has. Basically I turn any rational thought off before watching. ;-)
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Old 12-16-2016, 09:27 AM   #25
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] "I could bring down your Government with six words."

"Why don't you just put the whole world in a bottle, superman?"
- Lex Luthor, Superman: Red Son

Okay, that are more than six. But TV Tropes has a whole page for this thing:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...ercingQuestion
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Old 12-16-2016, 09:38 AM   #26
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] "I could bring down your Government with six words."

I hadn't realized that this was a Doctor Who question, as I've never seen an episode of Doctor Who. But looking at the question generally, I'm going to say it's not something you would do with any of the methods in GURPS Social Engineering. They simply don't provide a means to such extreme results.

I would tend to look at that sort of thing primarily as a political superpower, though I'm not sure if GURPS provides the requisite advantages to define such a superpower straightforwardly.

Alternatively, it's sort of like the application of one of the esoteric skills that cinematic martial artists use as a substitute for superpowers. There really aren't suitable skills for that, either. One of my Pyramid articles provided the concept of "social arts" that could include cinematic techniques, and it might be possible to define a cinematic technique based off of a realistic skill—possibly a political analog of Breaking Blow. Alternatively, it could find a home in a weird science discipline such as I discussed in GURPS Powers: The Weird: I suggested Memetics as a possible such discipline, and predictive psychohistory in the style of the Foundation novels, Flynn's In the Country of the Blind, or Kingsbury's Psychohistorical Crisis could be another.

If we're going to go that way, I can see three possible base skills: Politics (for conventional political campaigns), Psychology (for psychological warfare), or Propaganda (for rumor spreading, whispering campaigns, or the like). There's some discussion of all three in Chapter 5 of GURPS Social Engineering.

Incidentally, as was just mentioned upthread, the different meanings of "government" in British and American speech are important, making the source in Doctor Who crucial. "I could cause your control of parliament to fail and force you out of office" (which has no real American analogue; an American president is in office for the full term, barring death or impeachment or the like) is a major threat, but much less than "I could cause a revolution against your entire political system," which is what that threat means in American. (I would say "cause the fall of your state," but that's also ambiguous; "state" can mean either the political organization that dominates a society, or the whole society as a collective organization, whose "fall" would probably entail mass deaths—and that's not even taking into account that in American, "state" most often means one of the fifty regional units that constitute the American federation. Political language is full of ambiguities.)
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:27 AM   #27
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] "I could bring down your Government with six words."

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
[...]
I would tend to look at that sort of thing primarily as a political superpower, though I'm not sure if GURPS provides the requisite advantages to define such a superpower straightforwardly.
[...]
I'd probably stat many things the Dr does as powers. I know it is is the 'easy way', but I think it is the best way to define many of the Dr's capabilities. This power could be something like:
Code:
Affliction
     Negated Advantage: Positive Reputation +1 (Competent Leader, whole country)
     Negated Advantage (Over time): X levels of Status
     Disadvantage: Negative Reputation -1 (Incompetent Leader, whole country)
     Mostly Permanent
     Misc modifiers for targeting, triggering, limited use, etc
A small penalty to reaction rolls and social skills would likely spell the end of success for a politician in most circumstances, and would be disastrous if the politician is in any kind of precarious position. Negating the status helps ensure a complete downfall.

To put this into a real game, I'd use a house rule and let the negated positive reputation be anything related to being a popular or well-thought-of politician for maybe 2x or 3x the cost, as well as allowing both reputations to match any smaller scale to (eg, for local politicians the negative would only extend to their district, with the bonus that the area of the negated reputation doesn't have to be 'whole country').

The word trigger made me think of another way to think about it - perhaps the doctor has something more like an affliction that gives reaction bonuses that he can end with a trigger. After all, he was involved in the events that led to Harriet Jones looking like/being a hero etc. Maybe he 'gave her his blessing' back then, and then rescinded it the time of this downfall. If not as an actually power, this is very much how his attitude towards her appeared - pleased and impressed at their first meeting, then disappointed and angered when he caused her downfall.

Last edited by Extrarius; 12-16-2016 at 10:39 AM. Reason: added another idea
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:43 AM   #28
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] "I could bring down your Government with six words."

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
"I could cause your control of parliament to fail and force you out of office" (which has no real American analogue; an American president is in office for the full term, barring death or impeachment or the like)
It some what close to cause Speaker ship challenge either intra party or inter party by getting party defections
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:44 AM   #29
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] "I could bring down your Government with six words."

I did this ("don't you think X looks tired?") with a social engineer character in a GURPS: Fallout game recently and we basically used it as an application of Propaganda with an eye toward creating a "whisper campaign" to negatively impact the target. Not being a Time Lord, I was required to utilize those six words numerous times with different people to get said whisper campaign running, but we were fairly satisfied with how it played out, as I recall.
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:51 AM   #30
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] "I could bring down your Government with six words."

It is worth mentioning that there is an enormous difference in difficulty between bringing down a government like that at any time you want and with doing so when a good opportunity presents itself. From what I can tell from the linked video, it might just have been a case of the Doctor doing the later.

That easier task is plausible even with realistic human skill levels if the opportunity is good enough, but doing that at any time is something for which I might very well give -40 to the skill roll.
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