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Old 07-13-2018, 12:50 AM   #1
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Contests to change reaction roll results

What about allowing contests to change reaction roll results so that characters can try to "dig themselves out of the hole they just dug"?

You can role play trying to change opinions and impressions instead of using conflict rules but that makes social skills entirely subjective.

Worse, it makes it difficult or impossible for someone to play a character who is more articulate, witty, or charming than they are.

If the GM just crosses their arms and says, "convince me," instead of using conflict rules, there's an entire landscape of conflict that's missing from a game that's all about conflict.

***

In real life, if you ask for something and you get a refusal, you might try entreating, charming, joking, threatening, seducing, bribing, or deception (the last four really depend on who you are). If you try humor, maybe they'll think you're making light of a serious situation (but maybe comedy is your strong suit). If you try deception, maybe the other person has Detect Lies. If you try bribing them, maybe they're particularly honest. If you try seduction, well, maybe you're just not their type.

In our games, like in most RPGs, the rolling starts when the players get a reaction they don't like. The difference is that before they draw their weapons, they try to use social skills...

You can use contests as combat-like rules for changing opinions or impressions: they allow offense, defense, and aiding your cohorts. This makes social skills worth getting, meaningful in the game, and fun to use, so every character has some social skills because it's just a matter of survival. Characters can often avoid combat or imprisonment by using them; they add another dimension to the game and they make characters like Dr Who fun to play. In TFT, when personality comes into play and the GM hasn't detailed the NPC, personality rolls should work fine for that.
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Old 07-13-2018, 11:24 AM   #2
Steve Jackson
President and EIC
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Default Re: Contests to change reaction roll results

No arguments. Well-thought-out post.

Is there a specific way you think that should be implemented? Could it be dealt with in a few lines at the end of Reactions or Contests or both? What are you thinking?

Perhaps "A bad reaction roll does not have to be the end of the scene. PCs can make a better offer, change their approach . . . roleplay it! The GM may choose to allow a new reaction roll, though perhaps at a penalty."
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Old 07-13-2018, 12:04 PM   #3
JLV
 
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Far northern California
Default Re: Contests to change reaction roll results

Since we aren't entirely sure what the final set of Talents will look like, I'm not sure if the following suggestion has any merit or not:

Assuming that a few new "social interaction" talents are included (persuasion, intimidation, fast talk (con artist?), whatever) the entire series of social interaction rolls could be informed by them.

Putting it another way, if your initial approach to the target NPC fails (bad reaction roll), allow the player to "change his approach" by switching to some other form of interaction; say from persuasion to fast talk, and then roll again -- at a disadvantage since the NPC is already inclined against him. If Fast Talk fails, then perhaps he can switch to Intimidation -- with or without a disadvantage (he's failed twice, but if he's REALLY intimidating, maybe that cancels the first two failures).

Basically, I'm thinking you could only re-roll (under this suggestion) if you can change to a different approach towards the NPC. However, I would also say that these kinds of Talents would be the kind that anyone can attempt, though they would do so by rolling 4/Attribute if they don't actually have the Talent (e.g., 4/ST for Intimidation contest).

I'll offer an example to help illustrate, though again this is based on what can only be defined as a lack of understanding of the available talents or how you're thinking about running contests in the final rules:

Snark the Orc has attempted to make a deal with a local Merchant (Evard). Unfortunately, his initial attempt failed because Evard had a bad reaction roll towards Snark. Snark still wants to get the dagger he came for, so he now decides to try Intimidation. Unfortunately for Snark, he lacks the Intimidation Talent. So, in this contest, he will roll 4/ST to intimidate, and Evard will roll 3/IQ to resist being intimidated.

Snark's ST is 14, but he rolls a 16. Evard's IQ is 11 and he rolls a 12. Both failed their rolls, but Snark failed by two, while Evard only failed by one, so Evard "wins" the contest, and intimidation fails to gain Snark the deal on the dagger. Evard tells Snark to get out of his shop and that if he comes back, Evard will call the watch on him!
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Old 07-13-2018, 01:50 PM   #4
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Contests to change reaction roll results

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
No arguments. Well-thought-out post.

Is there a specific way you think that should be implemented? Could it be dealt with in a few lines at the end of Reactions or Contests or both? What are you thinking?

Perhaps "A bad reaction roll does not have to be the end of the scene. PCs can make a better offer, change their approach . . . roleplay it! The GM may choose to allow a new reaction roll, though perhaps at a penalty."
I was thinking of something like allowing a contest to adjust a reaction by -2 to 2, depending on the outcome and having critical success/failure slam the result to the best worst.

How contests actually work would be covered in the section on contests :)
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Old 07-13-2018, 02:45 PM   #5
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Re: Contests to change reaction roll results

Quote:
Originally Posted by zot View Post
I was thinking of something like allowing a contest to adjust a reaction by -2 to 2, depending on the outcome and having critical success/failure slam the result to the best worst.

How contests actually work would be covered in the section on contests :)
Hi Zot,
If we are using a 1 die reaction roll spread, +2/-2 is a huge swing. If we go to a GURPS like 3 die reaction roll like I suggested, modifying it by two seems fine.

Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:17 PM   #6
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Contests to change reaction roll results

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
Hi Zot,
If we are using a 1 die reaction roll spread, +2/-2 is a huge swing. If we go to a GURPS like 3 die reaction roll like I suggested, modifying it by two seems fine.
The idea of using a contest is to represent a serious use of talents, potentially a cooperative effort on the part of the PCs, where +/- 2 would be the maximum non-critical effect. Also, there wouldn't be any do-overs after that (at least that's how I'm used to doing contests).

It looks to me like +2 could change hostile to neutral or neutral to friendly and vice versa for -2. Is that unreasonable for good success? I dunno, it's possible that it should be 3 instead of 2.

Maybe Steve will comment on these things...
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:38 PM   #7
Steve Jackson
President and EIC
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Default Re: Contests to change reaction roll results

On the one hand, we want PCs to succeed in the long run. On the other hand, we don't want to hand them the cookie jar right away - that is no fun for anyone.
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Old 07-14-2018, 04:27 AM   #8
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Contests to change reaction roll results

I'm just crusading for some simple rules for social conflicts in addition to physical conflicts. I hope I'm not becoming a broken record :)

With the potential for -2 or worse, I'm trying to represent the possibility of the negative side of those conflicts -- you never know just who you're up against in the social realm...
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Old 07-14-2018, 04:33 AM   #9
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Contests to change reaction roll results

To clarify:
  1. You get a bad reaction roll
  2. The person in question has now become a barrier
  3. Do a contest to try to fix that
  4. Oops, you got a -1
  5. Now you're really in trouble!
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Old 07-14-2018, 05:21 AM   #10
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Contests to change reaction roll results

Maybe instead of +/- 2, make it up one category or down one category of result- remaining the same probably doesn't make sense.
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