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Old 03-25-2013, 10:26 AM   #61
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Default Re: Social Engineering questions for Transhuman Space

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
So I'm asking whether you're sure non-campaign-scale, i.e. face-to-face-scale, uses of memetics to boost Influence should be based on Propaganda too. Both I and Clancy are quite interested in arguments both for and against.
No. If you want Memetics to do that you should allow and buy Memetics Talent. That represents the theory that Memetics gives you a broad general competence in hacking into individual human minds. That's canonical in Changing Times, and it makes sense to me: The theory is that this is not just empirical skill in engineering symbol complexes to stick in the human mind, but is founded on a deeper theoretical insight into human cognitive and emotional processes. If you don't have that theory in your setting, I think you really don't have memetics at all and should stick with ordinary strategic social skills like Propaganda and Psychology (Applied).

Bill Stoddard
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:37 AM   #62
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Default Re: Social Engineering questions for Transhuman Space

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No. If you want Memetics to do that you should allow and buy Memetics Talent. That represents the theory that Memetics gives you a broad general competence in hacking into individual human minds. That's canonical in Changing Times, and it makes sense to me: The theory is that this is not just empirical skill in engineering symbol complexes to stick in the human mind, but is founded on a deeper theoretical insight into human cognitive and emotional processes. If you don't have that theory in your setting, I think you really don't have memetics at all and should stick with ordinary strategic social skills like Propaganda and Psychology (Applied).

Bill Stoddard
This is the clash between the original material (TS137) and Changing Times that always puzzled me. The combat equivalent would've been removing the damage bonus of Karate and offering people to buy Striking Strength instead. Then again, Changing Times came out before Manipulation was made generic, and (IIRC) even before Complimentary Skill Rolls became known.

From a purely gamist perspective, the use of a Memetics Talent to represent training in memetics aiding that skill list partially steps on the toes of other social Talents and Charisma.

I was actually considering taking Memetics Talent for Caine when I was first imagining him. I eventually picked Empathy Talent instead. Now the memetic misconception keeps haunting him - including the last session when NPC mistook his specialisation for campaign-scale memetics.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:43 AM   #63
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Default Re: Social Engineering questions for Transhuman Space

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From a purely gamist perspective, the use of a Memetics Talent to represent training in memetics aiding that skill list partially steps on the toes of other social Talents and Charisma.
And?

The Talent of Smooth Operator steps on the toes of Charisma, too. But the theory is that they have different foundations: Charisma is a natural gift for face to face interaction and force of personality, but Smooth Operator is skill in managing communications and messages, especially those with persuasive intent. Memetics has still a different foundation, sort of like writing virus code for the human brain.

That was why Dorotea Castro was potentially terrifying: She could interact with you face to face, pick up where your mind's back doors were, and change what you thought and felt without your being conscious of it. It was kind of a low end superpower, but that's what it was.

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Old 03-25-2013, 10:54 AM   #64
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Default Re: Social Engineering questions for Transhuman Space

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And?

The Talent of Smooth Operator steps on the toes of Charisma, too. But the theory is that they have different foundations: Charisma is a natural gift for face to face interaction and force of personality, but Smooth Operator is skill in managing communications and messages, especially those with persuasive intent. Memetics has still a different foundation, sort of like writing virus code for the human brain.
I'm pretty sure rants about the way Smooth Operator and Charisma intersect showed up in the GURPS section of the forum before.

But my point is that this sort of disincentivises charismatic characters from also being memeticists (Talent-memeticists, that is). Back in 3e, it made sense to pick up some memetic training if you're a one-on-one influence specialist, though you didn't need to focus on it. In 4e, you generally only want Memetics Talent if you're going to need all of its facets. It occupies a very tight niche between Charisma and the 5-pointer social talents (Allure, Empath, Talker and maybe some I'm missing, depending on type of character) and just buying IQ (possibly dropping secondary attributes if you have free disadvantage points). It kinda feels forced. It also somewhat changes the setting assumptions.

As I said, the Memetics Talent solution that appeared in 4e feels like 'Striking Strength, Karate Only -60%' to me - a somewhat convoluted way of representing skill as an Advantage taken elsewhence.

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That was why Dorotea Castro was potentially terrifying: She could interact with you face to face, pick up where your mind's back doors were, and change what you thought and felt without your being conscious of it. It was kind of a low end superpower, but that's what it was.

Bill Stoddard
I suppose a lot of that depends on fluff. Barring her limited Mind Control (which IIRC never came up), I don't think the write-up looked like a mental backdoor-hacker.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:13 AM   #65
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Default Re: Social Engineering questions for Transhuman Space

The main reason GURPS 4e delete Skill/5 and Skill/10 bonuses is that they usually boiled down to '+1 bonus to a bunch of stuff for 1 point'. If you want you can follow the example of Karate: if you know ES(Memetics) at IQ+1 or better, you get +1 to influence skills.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:20 AM   #66
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Default Re: Social Engineering questions for Transhuman Space

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The main reason GURPS 4e delete Skill/5 and Skill/10 bonuses is that they usually boiled down to '+1 bonus to a bunch of stuff for 1 point'. If you want you can follow the example of Karate: if you know ES(Memetics) at IQ+1 or better, you get +1 to influence skills.
Thought about it, actually, and I do see it as one of the possible variants. Neat. Particularly for an Expert Skill, since it does very little on its own. Then again, Complimentary Skills and Manipulation add some interesting bits (and risks) to interaction too.
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:52 AM   #67
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Default Re: Social Engineering questions for Transhuman Space

SE51, Benefits of Ranks says that the AR modifier for Charisma is 'Only for requests made face to face'. However, normally Charisma works even on remote targets over video chat. Am I correct to read 'face to face' as meaning the standard conditions on Charisma, as opposed to suddenly making it depend on physical distance?

(I want to do it over comms or telepresence instead of bothering to travel and possess a shell.)
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