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Old 11-19-2014, 02:56 PM   #41
whswhs
 
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Default Re: Reaction Table House Rules

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
I wonder what Bill Stoddard would say on this branch of discussion.
I'm afraid I have mostly stopped following this discussion; it's gotten much too long and examines too many details in each post.

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Old 11-19-2014, 04:44 PM   #42
Sindri
 
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Default Re: Reaction Table House Rules

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
It's not easy to master all possible tools. But even this sentence looks like it concedes the comparison of Charisma to a tool, which I would rather not. As to the Performer vs. Technician - actually, most artists seem to have a mix of two, but how do you use both simultaneously? A pianist can either play with perfect timing exactly as taught by the music book, or play an inspired improvisation stepping away from the staffbook, or adhere to the book while letting some amount of stepping away from it, and in either case will hope that the music will be good as a result. But a pianist cannot play both perfectly by the book and be completely unchained and carelessly improvisational simultaneously.
Technical skill isn't about perfect replication. It's about producing something that is technically impressive. A Technician without any Performer aspects will be stuck doing that like a Performer without any Technician aspects will be stuck doing inspired but rather technically bland products but someone who's both a Technician and a Performer can produce original works that are also technically impressive.

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
More like cultural exposure. A huge, I think overwhelming majority, of people have no idea how they do the social things they do, and thus can't instruct others in it.
Cultures collectively instruct people by exposure. The overwhelming majority of people would find formally instructing someone from a completely foreign culture slow and awkward but a huge amount of people find themselves instructing someone in how to behave socially. Any parent for one thing.

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Interesting. By the definitions of Charisma I've seen, it seems the other way around: many Influence skills are attempts to emulate Charisma / Reactions through a technical means (in the sense of technique, not of material equipment).
That's fundamentally the same thing though. There are social capabilities that are heavily ingrained and as such trip very few people's this-person-is-trying-to-manipulate-me sense and social capabilities that are less ingrained and as such trip it much more easily. Either analyzing the first as an especially well trained version of the second or analyzing the second as a significantly less effective version of the first is legitimate.

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
It's possible for someone mediocrely to get a ride on the wave of circumstances, for a talent to be ditched by bad luck, for a talented/skilled person to achieve all through personal qualities in spite of circumstances (this may be cheesy, but I want to point at Stephen Hawking), and for the mediocre one to achieve nothing. It would be nice for a system to support each of the cases.
Indeed. An interplay of circumstantial bonuses and intrinsic skills should get there. Remember that what someone will accomplish isn't limited to what someone gets from an initial reaction though. Great achievements are only accomplished by talking to a whole bunch of people once and seeing how they react if you happen to impress someone else who can actually do sustained social activity.

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Yeah, dividing a d6 into ten isn't a pleasant matter.
Oh but you get to roll a control die. Gygax would be so proud.

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Well, if Reaction Rolls aren't common, then suddenly Luck becomes much more useful in such situations, since you're becoming less likely to need it until the end of the conversation again (in case you needed it at the beginning).

Personally, I think I don't roll Reaction often enough. As for making them appealing: I wonder if players would find the custom table appealing.
I suspect that
PC: 'Bond, James Bond.'
NPC: 'Hey pal. Step in line like all the others.'
and
PC: I step out of the shadows.
NPC: 'Oh, a nosferatu-samedi-abomination-something thing . . . good evening and welcome, are you here to see Mr. Wayne too?'
would be funny and cute if done once or twice, but very disappointing if they were relatively common.
I'm unlikely to roll Reactions much now since I don't like the rules and I prefer to not roll for things if there is a strong chance of just discarding the results anyway.

I suspect that Bond and the nosferatu don't have as extreme reaction modifiers as they could justify, but Bond might be somewhat placated by no longer needing to overcome rolled Very Bad reactions with modifiers.

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Well, RAW was Good for getting a meeting somewhere private, Very Good for getting physical (which may be anything from an allegedly accidental touch and all the way to figuring why the realistic version of Erotic Art doesn't allow FP transfers between partners, depending on factors that are hard to convert into numbers). But I'm guessing that a deniable maybe-date-maybe-just-a-friendly-funtime should be what the Favourable reaction from your table should represent - it seems to fit thematically.
Ahh, I didn't read your post right. A date in a private location should indeed be Good.

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
That being said, I don't think most people have points, let alone enough points for Skill 10-12+, in things like Carousing or Sex Appeal; living on Defaults is perfectly common.
That's why people obsessively try to accumulate bonuses through taking extra time, spending money on stuff etc. It gets normal people to behave realistically while a highly socially skilled PC can improvise a wonderful date for someone possibly while other stressful stuff is going on.

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
You mean capping Status at 6, or what do you mean? I'm still confused.
No, I'm musing that the cap for Charisma could be extended to 6 or 8 to parallel other traits.

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Hmm. I wonder how large the population of near-max Charisma people was/is, and how many of them simply did not get recorded in history.
It's difficult to tell. We know about Alexander because his personal gifts were united with getting handed powerful tools. Being heir to the throne of Macedon is probably good for getting Charisma but what does a peasant do with it? Perhaps lead a peasant rebellion?

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
It takes some careful thinking to make a Talent into a point crock. Generally, Talents are ways to achieve higher skills now rather than later that are less efficient in general. Buying Attributes is more efficient unless your skill pool is really narrow.
They are a point crock by their very nature. They're almost precisely like buying skill levels but less expensively and their niche disadvantages compared to skills don't make sense anyway.

Attributes are also point crocks, I just can justify them.

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Now, as for Reaction Bonuses, these are very much not Reputations. You see a Performer (from the discussion above) at a concert, you get a +4 reaction effect even without knowing who it is, as opposed to the +0 of a Technician with the same level of Musical Instrument (Violin) or whatever. This is what they represent. Being so much born for a given activity that observing it done is pleasant. There are other Reaction Bonuses in other Talents that behave differently and may represent other things, but the point is they work without necessarily being famous.
Most of the Talent Reaction bonuses come from colleagues. A Reaction bonus from people listening to your music is illegitimate. Someone with skill 12+levels of Talent and someone with skill 16 should be equally pleasant assuming the same music style and audience.

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That's a good idea. (Though regarding haggling, I find you algorithm rather long for quick learning . . .)
Most of the steps aren't actually relevant most of the time. Take price of item. Add bonus from reaction and chosen penalty. Quick contest with that bonus/penalty. Winner gets margin of success and twice the chosen penalty as a percent discount.

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
A consideration I have on the topic:
There is a certain disappointment in 'I have achieved maximum possible level of U, so I need to invest in V and/or W instead now'. Incidentally, this can happen quite easily with Reaction Modifier traits in RAW (e.g. [25] for maximum Charisma), but much harder with Attributes ([50] for maximum Per or Will alone); OTOH, attributes are less focused, and much of the comparisons risks being apples-to-oranges.
This is true, but it's also a fundamentally difficult problem. There's only so much a human can benefit from improved appearance.
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Old 11-20-2014, 04:04 AM   #43
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Default Re: Reaction Table House Rules

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
Technical skill isn't about perfect replication. It's about producing something that is technically impressive. A Technician without any Performer aspects will be stuck doing that like a Performer without any Technician aspects will be stuck doing inspired but rather technically bland products but someone who's both a Technician and a Performer can produce original works that are also technically impressive.
In the 'Technician versus Performer', it very much is, as compared to the Performer. (I'm not using 'Technician' in some other sense in this post. See the reference comparison

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
Cultures collectively instruct people by exposure. The overwhelming majority of people would find formally instructing someone from a completely foreign culture slow and awkward but a huge amount of people find themselves instructing someone in how to behave socially. Any parent for one thing.
I wouldn't call that 'instruct'. Instruct assumes that the teachers tell their students not merely what mistakes to fix and what the end result should be, but also how to fix them, how to understand the causes behind said mistakes, to be able to analyse one's skill components. Sure, there are bad people calling themselves teachers at some point in their lives (this surely includes me), but that's not the way real teaching is. Don't judge what mixed arts are by the struggles of kids in the sandbox. ^_^

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That's fundamentally the same thing though. There are social capabilities that are heavily ingrained and as such trip very few people's this-person-is-trying-to-manipulate-me sense and social capabilities that are less ingrained and as such trip it much more easily. Either analyzing the first as an especially well trained version of the second or analyzing the second as a significantly less effective version of the first is legitimate.
Calling them by the generic word 'capabilities' (as opposed to 'advantages' and 'skills') is already begging the question.

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
Indeed. An interplay of circumstantial bonuses and intrinsic skills should get there. Remember that what someone will accomplish isn't limited to what someone gets from an initial reaction though. Great achievements are only accomplished by talking to a whole bunch of people once and seeing how they react if you happen to impress someone else who can actually do sustained social activity.
Okay, what do you call Chauncey Gardiner? He seems to be an example of a character who got everything by Reaction Modifiers, not Influence Skills (in fact he seems to have traits that give penalties to Influence Skills, such as either Oblivious or Low Empathy, and a low IQ to boot). I find it plausible that someone might want to make a character like that (I've seen a similar but not identical concept in my first GURPS campaign). So the system should support it.

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Oh but you get to roll a control die. Gygax would be so proud.
Not acquainted with the concept of a control die. Unless you mean Alternity, in which case the control die is always a d20.

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
I'm unlikely to roll Reactions much now since I don't like the rules and I prefer to not roll for things if there is a strong chance of just discarding the results anyway.
I'm rolling them from time to time. I think finding ways to weave unexpected results into the narrative of the campaign is an opportunity for fun and unexpected turns while also underscoring the characterisation traits of PCs (and occasionally NPCs). E.g. there was a case when the party was subtly asking questions to a suspect (without revealing that they're investigating a murder), and the suspect really liked one of the PCs. Which resulted in the suspect being talkative and actively calling said PC several times. Which totally mentally stunned the party several times, because they couldn't figure how to react and whether they were being deliberately manipulated. And then the PC in question agreed to meet in private, asked more useful questions, said lots of right/nice stuff . . . the other PCs were quite paranoid, and mostly thought the suspect is manipulating the PC. For the record, the matter of guilt or innocence is properly answered with 'neither' (it's complicated), but in the end the party did switch clients and worked for said NPC. And at some point throughout the adventure, these two hooked up.
Now, a celebrity reacting very favourably towards a bunch of nobodies pretending to be reporters (and displaying a few cool but creepy feats of investigation) is certainly not something to be expected. But you know what they say about real life: "Real life does not need to confirm to the probable, or plausible, or expected, but rather contents itself to be possible"; having the game support a similar approach seems to be fun, and the unexpected outcome was lots of fun and tension and drama.

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I suspect that Bond and the nosferatu don't have as extreme reaction modifiers as they could justify, but Bond might be somewhat placated by no longer needing to overcome rolled Very Bad reactions with modifiers.
Well, Monstrous Appearance is -5, Horrific is -6. That's what, 1/6 probability of getting a Neutral reaction with your table, and merely Unfavourable (as opposed to Bad) more than half of the time, right? That's the sort of reaction that the Unfazeable British Butler should have, not somewhere from 1/6 to of the population, when confronted with someone looking like that.

As for Bond being placated - well, I'm not quite sure. For someone who invested heavily into Charisma, Appearance, Fashion Sense and whatever else he has, having reduced chance of disastrous moments seems to be less important than reduction in the chance of awesome moments.

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
That's why people obsessively try to accumulate bonuses through taking extra time, spending money on stuff etc. It gets normal people to behave realistically while a highly socially skilled PC can improvise a wonderful date for someone possibly while other stressful stuff is going on.
Makes me wonder if Extra Time is legit for Influence attempts and the semi-complimentary use of the two skills for Reaction Rolls.

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
No, I'm musing that the cap for Charisma could be extended to 6 or 8 to parallel other traits.
Well, if you're making higher Reactions required to achieve the effects of Charisma 1-5 in RAW, that seems to be nice to have, at a minimum.

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
They are a point crock by their very nature. They're almost precisely like buying skill levels but less expensively and their niche disadvantages compared to skills don't make sense anyway.

Attributes are also point crocks, I just can justify them.
Attributes as a concept are not crocks, in the sense that an Attribute should cost many times less than the sum of skills and other rolls governed by it, otherwise there's no point in having attributes. Cheaper in bulk is perfectly realistic, and sensible from a gamist perspective too. Why do you consider it justifiable to have a trait representing higher IQ overall, but not one representing a higher Emotional Intelligence Quotient (e.g. the Empath Talent) or Verbal Intelligence (Talker Talent)?

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
Most of the Talent Reaction bonuses come from colleagues. A Reaction bonus from people listening to your music is illegitimate. Someone with skill 12+levels of Talent and someone with skill 16 should be equally pleasant assuming the same music style and audience.
See the Technician vs. Performer link above. Two people playing at effective skill 16 are almost never identical. To imply that so much information is fixed in a single integer would be odd indeed.

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
Most of the steps aren't actually relevant most of the time. Take price of item. Add bonus from reaction and chosen penalty. Quick contest with that bonus/penalty. Winner gets margin of success and twice the chosen penalty as a percent discount.
I'm saying that for quick learning, it doesn't look appealing to a newbie. Quite the contrary, it looks slightly intimidating at first sight.

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
This is true, but it's also a fundamentally difficult problem. There's only so much a human can benefit from improved appearance.
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:49 AM   #44
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Default Re: Reaction Table House Rules

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
In the 'Technician versus Performer', it very much is, as compared to the Performer. (I'm not using 'Technician' in some other sense in this post. See the reference comparison
I'm familiar with the context. This isn't a case where the trope's meaning is different from other senses and indeed the language being used here predates the description of the trope. Like a lot of trope articles it's introduction isn't a precise definition but casual gesture at the concepts involved. The trope is about the way fiction handles characters at the poles of technical skill and performance ability. Someone with technical skill and nothing else won't be able to come up with original approaches but can perform very technically demanding pieces. Someone with performance ability and nothing else will produce original approaches but can't produce technically impressive pieces. In the real world though people don't pick between being a Performer or being a Technician because they aren't conflicting choices. Have you never encountered music that is both improvised and highly technical?

Bonus points for an All The Tropes link though.

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I wouldn't call that 'instruct'.
I don't think it's necessary for part of the definition of teaching to be efficacy. I'm more happy calling people who are good at teaching people good teachers than someone who now qualifies as a teacher.

That said it seems like we both understand and agree on the actual point.

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Calling them by the generic word 'capabilities' (as opposed to 'advantages' and 'skills') is already begging the question.
It's not begging the question. My words are not an attempt to prove that I'm right but an attempt to describe my opinion. It is not necessary for me to refrain from describing things in a manner that assumes that I am correct when presenting my views.

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Okay, what do you call Chauncey Gardiner?
"Apparently some dude from a film from the seventies."

Since that isn't very helpful I'd describe a realistic version as someone with some good Reaction Modifier (wiki article describes him as having old-fashioned and courtly manners), good rolls and cascading circumstantial bonuses. If you want a version that can reliably achieve this I might uncap Charisma.

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Not acquainted with the concept of a control die. Unless you mean Alternity, in which case the control die is always a d20.
My Alternity books aren't close at hand. A control die is a die used to "control" the results of another die. You want to produce a range between 1 and 40? Roll a d20 and a d6 where 1-3 on the d6 makes the d20 roll represent 1-20 while 4-6 makes the d20 roll represent 21-40. Gygax spent... rather a lot of time describing various tricks you could do with this in 1st edition.

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I'm rolling them from time to time. I think finding ways to weave unexpected results into the narrative of the campaign is an opportunity for fun and unexpected turns while also underscoring the characterisation traits of PCs (and occasionally NPCs).
Indeed. It's also good if occasionally but not always the PCs encounter people who are just infuriatingly unhelpful when the PCs are in a hurry.

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Well, Monstrous Appearance is -5, Horrific is -6. That's what, 1/6 probability of getting a Neutral reaction with your table, and merely Unfavourable (as opposed to Bad) more than half of the time, right? That's the sort of reaction that the Unfazeable British Butler should have, not somewhere from 1/6 to of the population, when confronted with someone looking like that.
There are so many disadvantages that could fit alongside Monstrous or Horrific for a supernatural monster that themselves provide Reaction penalties though. The key to Reactions is the practical effects not what the NPCs actually feel about someone. Bad reactions mean things like straight refusing to sell things to someone. Without another Reaction Modifier that can serve as an excuse to do that most people will push themselves to dealing with someone with really low Appearance.

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As for Bond being placated - well, I'm not quite sure. For someone who invested heavily into Charisma, Appearance, Fashion Sense and whatever else he has, having reduced chance of disastrous moments seems to be less important than reduction in the chance of awesome moments.
Players care a lot about failure proofing in my experience. That said we're talking about being placated a bit. This table is indeed much harder on social characters.

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Makes me wonder if Extra Time is legit for Influence attempts and the semi-complimentary use of the two skills for Reaction Rolls.
It's gotta be legit for something. Walking through interactions ahead of time is quite useful for social stuff.

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Well, if you're making higher Reactions required to achieve the effects of Charisma 1-5 in RAW, that seems to be nice to have, at a minimum.
Ehh, it would mostly be to extend the lifespan of being charismatic guy rather than charismatic plus some other positive reaction thing guy. I may or may not use this table but the default table is absolutely bonkers in terms of how easy it is for a devoted social character to hit excellent reactions.

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Attributes as a concept are not crocks, in the sense that an Attribute should cost many times less than the sum of skills and other rolls governed by it, otherwise there's no point in having attributes. Cheaper in bulk is perfectly realistic, and sensible from a gamist perspective too. Why do you consider it justifiable to have a trait representing higher IQ overall, but not one representing a higher Emotional Intelligence Quotient (e.g. the Empath Talent) or Verbal Intelligence (Talker Talent)?
The point of Attributes is "being a point crock". Realism and gamism perspectives are irrelevant here. Cheaper in bulk is what a point crock is. Point crock doesn't mean unbalanced and it doesn't mean undesirable. It means discounted compared to comparable purchases.

I find it coherent and worth less than infinite points to have +1 to all IQ skills. The number of IQ skills isn't bounded though, there can always be one more. So if you want someone to be able to buy +1 to all the IQ skills that means either a bulk discount or a trait representing the ability to retroactively purchase skill levels for new skills. I prefer the first since it's more aesthetically pleasing and skills have substantial overlap (how much is the tenth Professional Skill worth, really). Talents are for a limited number of skills though, so you could just buy those skills instead. Furthermore if a character who would have bought all the skills in a Talent up anyway exists than the Talent is just a straight discount for that character.

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See the Technician vs. Performer link above. Two people playing at effective skill 16 are almost never identical. To imply that so much information is fixed in a single integer would be odd indeed.
Pointing out that people almost never play identically is a dodge. Holding all else equal is legitimate for analysis even if silly in terms of likelihood.

What does the musician with the Talent's Talent represent? It's not "belonging to genre a" because that's a bonus that is highly specific to the audience and people can play in multiple genres. It isn't natural talent that is somehow distinguishable from honed skill because having a high attribute can represent being naturally talented at the Talent's skill and a whole bunch of others. It's not being more of a Performer than a Technician because a lot of people like Technician music more than Performer music. If it isn't about being a Performer how does it justify not being tied to specific skill levels.

No, Reaction Modifiers linked to Talents are ridiculous. People don't almost all react better to people with narrow natural talent compared to people who are generally talented or untalented but with highly honed skills.

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I'm saying that for quick learning, it doesn't look appealing to a newbie. Quite the contrary, it looks slightly intimidating at first sight.
I guess, but I'm writing for my players who all play RPGs in a general sense and are thus quite qualified at picking up new rules even if they grumble and are going to have to put up with stuff like The Deadly Spring anyway.

Last edited by Sindri; 11-20-2014 at 05:57 AM.
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Old 11-20-2014, 07:25 AM   #45
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Reaction Table House Rules

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If your answer is "yes," then you live in a lot surlier area than I do, and Yankees aren't notorious for being chummy with strangers. Even though I have an offbeat accept locals find unusual, I'm used to having my questions answered, to having shopkeepers treat me respectfully, and to strangers giving me directions.
Neutral doesn't at all rule out strangers being willing to spend a few seconds of their precious time to give you directions, nor does it rule out a shopkeeper treating you with respect. Those are what one might call "social minimals", that which one should take for granted if one doesn't trigger any prejudice in the NPC who does the Reaction Roll (e.g. an Orc asking a Human for directions might get a rude answer, but that's because the Orc has a Socail Stigma, which modifies the Reaction Roll so be less than Neutral).

I quote from the OP: "Expected requests or transactions go smoothly."
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Old 11-20-2014, 07:51 AM   #46
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Default Re: Reaction Table House Rules

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Originally Posted by Kallatari View Post
If the issue is the frequency of extreme results occurring on random rolls, instead of expanding the table and thus requiring all other reaction-affecting traits and mechanics to be modified, why not just change the roll for an initial random reaction? Instead of 3d6, maybe you roll 2d6+3 (from 5 to 15), or even 1d6+7 (from 8 to 13).
You can also do 5d6 but remove the highest and the lowest result. That will strongly tend to "center" the outcome around 10-13, but with extreme results (3, 4, 17, 18) still being possible, just extremely rare.

I don't know how strong the "centering" effect will be, but that's findoutable if anybody were to consider trying that solution.
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Old 11-20-2014, 09:32 AM   #47
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Default Re: Reaction Table House Rules

Vicky talks a bit about having Influence skill rolls modify the outcome of Reaction Rolls.

That may well work, but while perusing the many long posts in this thread, another approach occured to me:

GURPS already has a precedent for treating some acquirable traits in a special manner, i.e. not handling them as skills. The two examples that come to mind are Combat Reflexes and Languages. Neither are at all handled in a skill-like manner, yet both are obviously inarguably acquirable, whereas the aquirability of almost all other non-social Advantages in GURPS is a matter for debate (and neither Combat Reflexes nor Languages are Advantages of a social nature).

So why not do the same with Influence skills?

Instead of treating them as actual skills, based off IQ or HT or PR, or floatable to any of those or to something else, treat them as Advantages. Price them as advantages. Apply approximated Limitations when necessary.

GURPS seems to say that +1 to Reaction Rolls costs 5 points.

Following from this, the Influence skills could be replaced with flavoured/aspected RR bonuses.

All of them get some sort of "Requires Active Usage" Limitation. Charisma, as a genuine advantage (probably inborn, rather than something you can learn), doesn't have this. It's automatic, always-on. These Influence skills-as-advantages would lack that.

That's not much of a Limitation, but still having it is flavourful. Maybe -10%.

Furthermore they're each applicable in different time frames. Sex Appeal is probably the fastest to use. Just a quick smile, and (depending on what you're posing as and who you're trying to impress) a wiggle or a swagger. Or a well-timed "wardrobe malfunction" (a male character "suddenly" ending up shirtless would not be seen as vulgar in most cultures. A second or two.

Diplomacy seems to me to be at the other end of the scale. Probably takes most of a minute for normal use. So bigger Limitatio0n there.

Intimidation is usually in-between, but GURPS IIRC has a provision for a bonus to Intimidation rolls if the chaacter can demonstrate superHuman ST. I'd say that if such a demonstration can be performed, it can be performed in a second or two, thus faster than an Intimidation attempt not based on extremely high ST.

Carousing usually takes some time (middle ground'ish), but occasionally all it requires is telling a very appropriate joke (not too rude, but still edgy enough) or actively including someone who's presently sitting at the outskirts of the drinking circle. I'd say either call it middle ground'ish, like most other Influence skill-advantages, or else divide up so you have quick uses (the two examples I've given) as well as slow uses (which probably takes even longer than Diplomacy - sit and drink and joke and swap stories, with the occasional dancing or flirting or the like, for many minutes).

So depending on skill speed, that could be a Limitation from -5% and up to -15% or even -20% (not going by RAW with these Limitations, but trying to maintain some fairly fine distinctions, and/or going by what sounds right).

Finally some uses are overt, others subtle. Many people object to overt attempts at manipulation, and by that I argely mean Sex Appeal and Intimidation, while subtle attempts at social manipulation are hard to "put one's finger on". Think of it in terms of asking a subtly manipulative character to stop being subtly manipulative: What specifically will you tell him to stop doing?

Overt sounds like maybe it should get a Limitation to reduce cost, but on the other hand overt manupulations have their own innate potential for backfires, so I think it's better just to have a very explicit +0% Overt modifier that doesn't change cost (hence the zero) but which is still very much present to remind the GM of the potential for fun complications.

Sex Appeal, of course, should be further Limited by Sexual Orientation Of Target (and to a large extent species as well, although we all know that mutual attraction can happen between Humans and Elves in most fantasy worlds, due to them having somewhat overlapping instinctive standards of beauty).

A character being more skilled at any of those can then be handled via buying several levels, e.g. several levels of Sex Appeal Advantage, or several levels of Intimidation Advantage. Sex Appeal skill tending to get better results ("Very Good") is handled via the levelled Sex Appeal learnable Advantage being cheaper than the others (due to its additional -?? Dependent On Sexual Orientation Limitation) and so players will tend to buy somewhat higher levels of that, compared to the others.

Is this better than the RAW? I don't know. But I'm not entirely happy with the whole letting players choose whether they want to take an RR or use an Influence skill. It's a very strange choice to make; it risks getting metagamey; and inexperienced players may well choose suboptimally relative to the abilities of their characters, which is a massive suspension-of-disbelief problem as characters would presumably be familiar with their own abilities since they've had them for years or even decades, and also there could be a blatant discrepancy between player-written backstory (in which the player has "written in" his conception of the character at being very skilled at one or two specific social skills) and actual play (where the game-mechanically clueless player plays his character in such a way that the character can not be said to be observably good at using those one or two specific social skills).

With this solution, social skills are still learnable, but now they affect Reaction Rolls directly instead of replacing them.

This solution does require, though, the removal of Charisma as a generic bonus to Reaction Rolls. It has to go away completely. One could either ditch Charisma from the system entirely, or else modify Charisma strongly. For instance one could make it a binary trait, similar to Language Talent, which reduces the cost of all Influence Skill Advantages, perhaps by 1 per level. That would be somwhat odd, since whereas there is an infinite number of Languages, the list of Influence Skill Advantages is very, very finite, and also very, very short. I think it could be made to work, though, and I'd recommend treating this binary Charisma as being an inborn trait, not learnable.

Charisma should still give bonuses to those social skills that haven't been replaced with Influence Skill Advantages, though. For those, I think Charisma could be treated like Voice, that is give a fixed +2 bonus, so that it is not levelled, and then priced accordingly, at perhaps 10 CP (which might well be fairly balanced for characters who have or want to buy a large number of levels of Influence Skill Advantages).
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Old 11-20-2014, 10:11 AM   #48
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Default Re: Reaction Table House Rules

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I'm afraid I have mostly stopped following this discussion; it's gotten much too long and examines too many details in each post.
+1 -- there are a few too many "Let me rebut each and every sentence you type" posts.


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Old 11-20-2014, 01:44 PM   #49
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Default Re: Reaction Table House Rules

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GURPS seems to say that +1 to Reaction Rolls costs 5 points.
Well more precisely it says that +1 Reaction Modifier should end up costing 5 points. All the Reaction Modifier traits have inbuilt limitations.

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Following from this, the Influence skills could be replaced with flavoured/aspected RR bonuses.
It's an interesting way to approach things. It's cleaner than having Reaction Modifier things be split across advantages and skills. On the other hand if you are rolling to get the benefit of an advantage it really feels like that should be a skill.

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
Is this better than the RAW? I don't know. But I'm not entirely happy with the whole letting players choose whether they want to take an RR or use an Influence skill. It's a very strange choice to make; it risks getting metagamey; and inexperienced players may well choose suboptimally relative to the abilities of their characters, which is a massive suspension-of-disbelief problem as characters would presumably be familiar with their own abilities since they've had them for years or even decades, and also there could be a blatant discrepancy between player-written backstory (in which the player has "written in" his conception of the character at being very skilled at one or two specific social skills) and actual play (where the game-mechanically clueless player plays his character in such a way that the character can not be said to be observably good at using those one or two specific social skills).
I agree. One of the tests that I like to use to think about rules is whether they function well if you kept the system in a black box and only interacted with the players who are familiar with whatever is being simulated through real world description. If you talk through the making of a bow in The Deadly Spring with a bowyer you deprive them of being able to build around breakpoints but the result should behave fairly reasonably. If you are running a super realistic game set around gunfights a soldier's tactical intuitions are probably correct.

If you are running an intrigue heavy game though a social engineer will get tripped up by weird rules. They meet someone new in a party and are charming but don't have much time to break out influence skills, don't need to insure a really good reaction and thus have no reason to risk messing up trying to influence them and they may not even want be seen trying to impress them before they have a chance to research them. Later in the party they get information that means that they do need to get a really good reaction from them but when they meet again and they start trying to actively impress them they've already made a Reaction roll and thus can't do an Influence roll.

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
This solution does require, though, the removal of Charisma as a generic bonus to Reaction Rolls. It has to go away completely. One could either ditch Charisma from the system entirely, or else modify Charisma strongly. For instance one could make it a binary trait, similar to Language Talent, which reduces the cost of all Influence Skill Advantages, perhaps by 1 per level. That would be somwhat odd, since whereas there is an infinite number of Languages, the list of Influence Skill Advantages is very, very finite, and also very, very short. I think it could be made to work, though, and I'd recommend treating this binary Charisma as being an inborn trait, not learnable.
Charisma as intended apparently has significant limitations that "actively interact" really only hinted at. It could coexist with these rules.

A discount-other-advantages advantage isn't a good idea in GURPS. Aside from some peripheral stuff with time spent rules the system really isn't designed so it's legitimate for something like that to exist.

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
Charisma should still give bonuses to those social skills that haven't been replaced with Influence Skill Advantages, though. For those, I think Charisma could be treated like Voice, that is give a fixed +2 bonus, so that it is not levelled, and then priced accordingly, at perhaps 10 CP (which might well be fairly balanced for characters who have or want to buy a large number of levels of Influence Skill Advantages).
I think it's a better game design habit to just say "realistically this trait is accompanied by such and such increases in the following skills" than to actually include the skills in the ability.
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Old 11-20-2014, 03:02 PM   #50
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Default Re: Reaction Table House Rules

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I'm familiar with the context. This isn't a case where the trope's meaning is different from other senses and indeed the language being used here predates the description of the trope. Like a lot of trope articles it's introduction isn't a precise definition but casual gesture at the concepts involved. The trope is about the way fiction handles characters at the poles of technical skill and performance ability. Someone with technical skill and nothing else won't be able to come up with original approaches but can perform very technically demanding pieces. Someone with performance ability and nothing else will produce original approaches but can't produce technically impressive pieces. In the real world though people don't pick between being a Performer or being a Technician because they aren't conflicting choices. Have you never encountered music that is both improvised and highly technical?

Bonus points for an All The Tropes link though.
If it's improvised, it no longer matches the canonical (technical) melody. You can be 0% good at improvisation and 0% good at tech, or 75%/25%, or 25%/75%, or 50%/50%, but you can't have fractions of X to add up more than X in such situations.
If you don't like music being used as an example, let's use films: a film can either be a precise adaptation of a book, or an innovative approach that improves on the plot and dialogue on the book, but it can't be both at 100% simultaneously.

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It's not begging the question. My words are not an attempt to prove that I'm right but an attempt to describe my opinion. It is not necessary for me to refrain from describing things in a manner that assumes that I am correct when presenting my views.
Okay. I'll get back to the split from a different angle downpost.

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"Apparently some dude from a film from the seventies."

Since that isn't very helpful I'd describe a realistic version as someone with some good Reaction Modifier (wiki article describes him as having old-fashioned and courtly manners), good rolls and cascading circumstantial bonuses. If you want a version that can reliably achieve this I might uncap Charisma.
Well, he doesn't seem to have looks nor Status nor Voice, so yeah, an example of Charisma at levels that are good enough to offer quite a free ride in his situations. (Not Savoir-Faire, as he regularly does faux pas.) (Anybody speaking French nearby? How do I pluralise faux pas properly?)

(Continued in next post.)
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