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Old 10-29-2010, 02:39 AM   #11
Gollum
 
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Default Re: Can you learn Empathy?

In my campaigns, no advantage is purely inborn. Empathy, for instance, could be aquired after the character creation, with a good reason for that. Indeed, some major events in your life can open your soul to others, and make you suddenly have a good empathy...

So, if the player has a good reason (and enough bonus character points to spend), I can allow him to buy empathy between two adventures...

having said that, aquiring an advantage this way is not really "learning" it. In my humble opinion, once can learn skills or techniques, but not advantages (except, of course, advantages that are just advantages for game purpose, like languages for instance).
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:21 AM   #12
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Default Re: Can you learn Empathy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fighting_gumby View Post
What is the difference between Empathy and Body Language apart from the fact that Empathy is an Advantage and Body Language is a Skill?
They work in a completely different way, giving completely different results?
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Old 10-29-2010, 11:43 AM   #13
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Default Re: Can you learn Empathy?

If a character has IQ and Per equal, what benefit is there, if any, to putting 2 points into body language?
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:16 PM   #14
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Default Re: Can you learn Empathy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fighting_gumby View Post
If a character has IQ and Per equal, what benefit is there, if any, to putting 2 points into body language?
Getting the benefits cheaper than Empathy.
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:26 PM   #15
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Default Re: Can you learn Empathy?

would there be any advantage to taking both Empathy and Body Language at the +0 level in the case where IQ and Per are equal?
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:58 PM   #16
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Default Re: Can you learn Empathy?

There's a whole mess of traits here, but no two are exactly alike. The important bits:
Empathy
What It Is: The near-psychic ability to spot impersonators, pod people, possessed individuals, and traitors instantly with an IQ roll. Fringe benefits include detecting that someone is lying in general by making an IQ roll, and +3 to Detect Lies, Fortune-Telling, and Psychology.

When It Works: When you meet the subject in person. You don't necessarily have to see him, but you must come within touching distance of him.

Limitations: Doesn't work on IQ 0-5 entities or on spirits. Doesn't work outside of personal meetings. Its lie-detection ability is vague, and only reveals whether any lying is going on, not the specific bits that are lies, much less the truth.

Illustrations: If anybody in The Matrix had Empathy, they'd have strung up Cypher as soon as he cut his deal. If any of Mystique's enemies had Empathy, her power would be kind of useless.
Detect Lies (untrained use at Per-6 • defaults to Body Language and Psychology at -4 • gives Body Language at -4 • Empathy gives +3)
What It Is: The studied, fairly realistic ability to tell when somebody is lying, primarily from voice stress and word choice. It resists each attempt to lie to you; your subject rolls IQ, Acting, or Fast-Talk. Victory reveals whether a particular statement was a lie – a trick that's beyond simple Empathy (although someone with Empathy could add +3 to the default of Per-6 to try this at Per-3).

When It Works: Whenever you can hear your subject speaking. You do not have to see or even be very near him! This works on dictators giving shouted speeches at rallies or on the radio, and even over the telephone.

Limitations: Does nothing until the subject speaks. Doesn't detect emotions, hidden features, motives, or truths – only lies. Can be defeated by someone with high Acting or Fast-Talk.

Illustrations: This is the classic detective ability in police drama, where the cops behind the one-way glass listen to the interview with the suspect, and one of them suddenly says, "He's lying!"
Body Language (no untrained use • defaults to Detect Lies and Psychology at -4 • gives Detect Lies at -4)
What It Is: The studied, fairly realistic ability to read physical "tells." Can spot impersonators and strong emotions (but nothing as weird as possession or pod people) like Empathy, and lying like Detect Lies, by observing someone. A fringe benefit is being able to spot physical tension: "He's going for a weapon!", "He flinched when you said 'England.' He may be a British agent.", etc.

When It Works: Whenever you can see your subject. You do not have to hear or even be very near him! This works on dictators gesticulating at rallies or on TV, and even via camera or other remote optics.

Limitations: Does nothing if you can't see your subject; hearing or even touching him isn't enough. Doesn't detect motives or hidden features – just lies and impersonation. Empathy gives no bonus.

Illustrations: This is a traditional bodyguard skill, used to spot fake guards and people going for guns. This is also the classic kung fu sifu ability in martial-arts flicks, where the ancient master can tell when his student is angry, not training properly, etc. merely by looking at how he moves.
Psychology (untrained use at IQ-6 • defaults to Sociology at -4 • gives Body Language and Detect Lies at -4 • Empathy gives +3)
What It Is: The studied, fairly realistic ability to predict the general behavior of an individual in a particular situation. This can be reversed to determine whether a particular behavior or deed (e.g., a murder) suits a given person. This is the only predictive ability on this list (although someone with Empathy could add +3 to the default of IQ-6 to try this at IQ-3).

When It Works: After a lengthy period of observation or a full-length interview, possibly supplemented by scientific tests, or after reviewing a file that includes roughly the same level of data on the subject or deed of interest.

Limitations: Does nothing in short order – if you can't observe, interview, or review a file, you can't make any guesses at all. Vague, giving broad answers ("He'll resort to violence.") but never specifics ("Only one man would put deadly poison in the city's water supply."). Worthless against lies and impersonations happening right now.

Illustrations: This is the realistic profiler's ability, often used somewhat cinematically in serial-killer movies like Se7en and Silence of the Lambs.
Somebody with neither Empathy nor points in these skills has no chance of spotting motivations or impersonation on merely meeting or seeing someone, as described for Empathy and Body Language; can tell when he's being lied to in speaking with default Detect Lies at Per-6; and can predict others' behaviors from their profiles with default Psychology at IQ-6.
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:00 PM   #17
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Default Re: Can you learn Empathy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fighting_gumby View Post
would there be any advantage to taking both Empathy and Body Language at the +0 level in the case where IQ and Per are equal?
Yeah, you can give Lightman-like explanations when asked how you came to your conclusions. And you can work from a video feed, or even a recording.
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:06 PM   #18
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Default Re: Can you learn Empathy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
That's a world building decision.
Quoted for truth. For example in the (3e) GURPS Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, Michael Callahan is quietly training his regulars in Empathy. Of course, that's in a world where telepathy itself can be learned by a sensitive and intelligent being, and Empathy is essentially the grade-school-level learning needed to get there.
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:10 PM   #19
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Default Re: Can you learn Empathy?

Kromm:
  1. Thanks for confirming that Empathy detects lies on an IQ roll.
  2. What's the proper build for someone who specializes in detecting written lies, and/or figuring the emotional state of a person through written communication? (Like Foster does in one or more episodes of Lie To Me)? Textual analysis or whatever the scientific name is . . .
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Last edited by vicky_molokh; 10-29-2010 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:17 PM   #20
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Default Re: Can you learn Empathy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
There's a whole mess of traits here, but no two are exactly alike. The important bits:

(snip)
This is a fantastic write-up that I would absolutely love to see for more skills and advantages. Kudos.
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