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Old 09-13-2018, 01:32 AM   #31
Flyndaran
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Default Re: Empathy with low IQ

If only. ;)
He only ever made such claims about things that I could not profit from, assuming I believed in psychic powers.
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Old 02-06-2019, 02:04 AM   #32
Thamior
 
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Default Re: Empathy with low IQ

Glad I've stumbled on this thread. This empathy rule wording in Basic Set gave me headache. And I also thought in the lines of making critical failure an outright lie. But for a finer degree of control what if we use margin of failure. Fail IQ (or Per) roll by 5 or more (or 3 or more or what have you, up for debate) and you get complete lie from GM. If you fail less you are not sure. Or you sense right in the general but miss the details and have a wrong assumption about specifics (at GM's discretion). I actually get to read many books on psychology and in a general sense empathy is reading facial expression, mimics, gestures, posture, eye movements. There can be numerous reasons for the same set of these variables. Unless you use detect lies skill your guess is more of an intuition. Also an idea to have Intuition advantage used in pairing with Empathy. So Empathy will not tell you if someone lies or not. But rather the "something is wrong" feel about the person or situation. Maybe lie by omission thing or something like that.
P.S. Sorry for my English and rambling style
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Old 02-06-2019, 02:19 AM   #33
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Default Re: Empathy with low IQ

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Originally Posted by coronatiger View Post

I'm inclined to think that the players in the example would be better off NOT gaining the information, and that the player shouldn't have bought Empathy in the first place. What do you guys think?
I think Reliable is your friend.
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Old 02-06-2019, 12:33 PM   #34
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Default Re: Empathy with low IQ

Agree that it would solve the problem. But the problem is created by the rules. It seems strange that taken without the reliable enhancement this advantage is kind of a liability. I would rather enhance something that works for it to work better than patching up something.
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:16 PM   #35
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Default Re: Empathy with low IQ

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Originally Posted by Thamior View Post
Agree that it would solve the problem. But the problem is created by the rules. It seems strange that taken without the reliable enhancement this advantage is kind of a liability. I would rather enhance something that works for it to work better than patching up something.
Most of the characters who have Empathy are the same characters who would have high IQ. The flaw in Empathy only appears in the unusual case of a dumb character who is particularly good at people reading.
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:19 PM   #36
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Default Re: Empathy with low IQ

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Originally Posted by coronatiger View Post
When using Empathy, the GM rolls against your IQ (with -3 if you're only Sensitive) and tells you what "feeling" you have regarding someone. If the roll fails, he will lie.

Presumably, you bought the advantage because you want to act in some way based on the knowledge gained. If you have IQ 10 (13 with Sensitive) you will have a 50% chance of "getting it right", so when you choose a course of action, your choice wouldn't be any better than that of someone without Empathy who just flips a coin.

Example: The party is granted an audience with the king to receive praises for a job well done in service to the kingdom. During the quest, the players learned that someone in the court is secretly working with a foreign enemy. When the party arrives at the audience, the GM tells the player with Empathy that the queen is an impostor. Based on this information, the players may feel obliged to either spy on the queen or tell on her to the king. Spying on the queen may be dangerous and/or treasonous; simply telling on her could be dangerous as well - what if it was the king who was the impostor, and if not, accusing the queen may well put the players in jail!

I'm inclined to think that the players in the example would be better off NOT gaining the information, and that the player shouldn't have bought Empathy in the first place. What do you guys think? And what if the Empath's effective IQ was below 10? At what effective IQ level would you consider the trait to be reliable?

Now that I've written it up, I see that the example may not have been the best one. Any math geeks out there (no offense intended, I am one myself) may assume that there only was one Empathy roll for the entire audience, and that the result would be "the king is an impostor" or "the queen is an impostor". In any case, try to see beyond the bad example.
I agree completely, but I never got around to house-ruling a solution. Sensitive is worse than useless and Empathy is only useful for a character with IQ 11 or more.
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:35 PM   #37
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Default Re: Empathy with low IQ

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Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
I agree completely, but I never got around to house-ruling a solution. Sensitive is worse than useless e.
Sensitive is worse than useless on it's own. But it's still a bonus to your Psychology skill.
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:40 PM   #38
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Default Re: Empathy with low IQ

How unbalancing would it be to change the advantages to give truth on a success, nothing on a failure, and lies only on a critical failure? That would nicely bypass the problem of low effective skill actually being better at getting information than effective skill ten, but it would undoubtedly increase the utility of the advantages. If this change would make them too good for their cost, what sort of cost might be appropriate?
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:03 PM   #39
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Default Re: Empathy with low IQ

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Sensitive is worse than useless on it's own. But it's still a bonus to your Psychology skill.
And Detect Lies, which is in the same ballpark, utility-wise. Fortune-Telling doesn't give as much value, IME, mostly because players aren't much interested in it.
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Old 02-06-2019, 10:42 PM   #40
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Default Re: Empathy with low IQ

I've always thought that traits like this should be sold as having their own unique "activation level," rather than being tied to an attribute.

We can see from the Reliable enhancement that the game designers don't think having effective maximum "activation level" on these sorts of advantage is much more valuable than the base price of the trait. By having it use an attribute, I think they had to price it as though it just always worked at full effect.

So I would treat the base price of the advantage as having a high "activation level" and then attempt to price it from there.

Level - Cost
5 - 3
8 - 6
11 - 9
14 - 12
18 - 15

Something like that.

The problem with trying to do this with something like Empathy is that it also acts as a Talent, giving a bonus to skills. I would strip that part out. I don't know how much that should affect the cost of the trait.
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