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Old 01-15-2015, 03:27 AM   #1
Sindri
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Default Social Skill Questions, Reparcelling and Rebalancing

What's the skill for designing a caper or sudden extraction of a prisoner to not only be effective but impressive to onlookers? Skills like Leadership could presumably handle at least some of the implementation but not designing an impressive choreography in the first place.

Do Fast-Talk and Acting really need to be split up into two skills?

Detect Lies and Body Language are also good candidates to be folded into the same skill or at least turned into the voice analysis/body language and facial expressions avenues to getting the same information. I feel like some lies, such as those without emotional weight for the liar, shouldn't be detectable unless the liar really screws up their delivery. Detecting written lies should probably be dropped. If the writing is handwritten you could presumably use handwriting analysis but that's basically unrelated to the techniques behind Detect Lies and Body Language. On the other hand you could do content analysis which at at a small scale of material should probably be the the province of players with the potential aid of knowledge skills while at a large scale Intelligence Analysis seems like the right choice.

By default the influence skills are, if not perfectly balanced, at least vaguely competitive. Part of this balancing act is Sex Appeal having access to very good reactions. I'm not really a fan of that mechanical bit. I don't think that there should be a point where no influence skill but Sex Appeal can improve what favours you can get someone to do. Now Sex Appeal is probably always going to be one of the less desirable approaches to influence for PCs but I'd like it to be a little more competitive than it is if the special very good reaction is just removed and I'm not sure how to go about that.

The Civil Arts in GURPS has some social styles. These are nice from the collection of traits viewpoint but I'm a little skeptical about how often Style Familiarity is reasonable. Martial Arts styles are generally pretty specific so bonuses against costylists makes sense to me but are the methods used by diplomats in general really distinctive enough compared to the methods of people who have picked up the same skills from another context to justify a bonus against costylists? On the other hand the Con Games styles granting Style Familiarity seem much more defensible to me. So what do you think?

Last edited by Sindri; 01-15-2015 at 03:36 AM.
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Old 01-15-2015, 03:49 AM   #2
WaterAndWindSpirit
 
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Default Re: Social Skill Questions, Reparcelling and Rebalancing

As far as I know, the only reliable way to tell lies from truth is to deconstruct the lies by looking for (and finding) contradictions. If someone tells two pieces of contradictory informations, at least one of them must be false (studies have found that people were less likely to lie in e-mails because they could be kept forever as evidence). If someone tells you something that contradicts evidence you have at hand, that person is most likely lying, or at the very least misinformed. So I think Detect Lies is or should be a cinematic skill. Hell, even D&D uses the approach that the Psychology skills only tell you the emotions of the person in front of you (is he/she tense, relaxed, scared...), but then a few prestige class get the explicitly supernatural ability to detect lies...
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Old 01-15-2015, 04:05 AM   #3
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Default Re: Social Skill Questions, Reparcelling and Rebalancing

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Originally Posted by WaterAndWindSpirit View Post
As far as I know, the only reliable way to tell lies from truth is to deconstruct the lies by looking for (and finding) contradictions. If someone tells two pieces of contradictory informations, at least one of them must be false (studies have found that people were less likely to lie in e-mails because they could be kept forever as evidence). If someone tells you something that contradicts evidence you have at hand, that person is most likely lying, or at the very least misinformed. So I think Detect Lies is or should be a cinematic skill. Hell, even D&D uses the approach that the Psychology skills only tell you the emotions of the person in front of you (is he/she tense, relaxed, scared...), but then a few prestige class get the explicitly supernatural ability to detect lies...
There is no reliable way to detect lies.

In the realm of unreliable but real ways to detect lies there are a bunch of content independent tricks that push up the success rate somewhat if often less than their practitioners believe.
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Old 01-16-2015, 11:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: Social Skill Questions, Reparcelling and Rebalancing

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
There is no reliable way to detect lies.

In the realm of unreliable but real ways to detect lies there are a bunch of content independent tricks that push up the success rate somewhat if often less than their practitioners believe.
What's "reliable"? Police detectives often have lie detection rates of 45-60% (meaning they feel certain that a lie is a lie in 45-60% when presented with a lie in test conditions), and among teachers this can rise to 70%. Technical equipment like videotaping the conversation and, yes, a polygraph, can raise this certainty to 80-90% range for the police. (However, it's easy to learn skills that completely nullify several of the technical methods, like polygraphs.) This is certainly not good enough to present as hard evidence in a court, but as a skill in an RPG, it's perfectly valid as a realistic skill. (One with the outcomes "You're convinced he's lying" and "you're not sure if he's lying or telling the truth".)

(The real "fun" thing is that believing you're good at detecting lies and being good at detecting lies has almost no correlation. Believing you're good at detecting lies is largely correlated with your general self-confidence.)

Some general percentages of accuracy in lie detection in various professions can be found on the bottom left of page 917 of this document. There's a fair amount of research done on this field, and most of them find trained lie detection accuracies in excess of 50%.
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Old 01-16-2015, 11:52 AM   #5
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Default Re: Social Skill Questions, Reparcelling and Rebalancing

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Originally Posted by Eukie View Post
What's "reliable"? Police detectives often have lie detection rates of 45-60% (meaning they feel certain that a lie is a lie in 45-60% when presented with a lie in test conditions), and among teachers this can rise to 70%. Technical equipment like videotaping the conversation and, yes, a polygraph, can raise this certainty to 80-90% range for the police. (However, it's easy to learn skills that completely nullify several of the technical methods, like polygraphs.) This is certainly not good enough to present as hard evidence in a court, but as a skill in an RPG, it's perfectly valid as a realistic skill. (One with the outcomes "You're convinced he's lying" and "you're not sure if he's lying or telling the truth".)

(The real "fun" thing is that believing you're good at detecting lies and being good at detecting lies has almost no correlation. Believing you're good at detecting lies is largely correlated with your general self-confidence.)

Some general percentages of accuracy in lie detection in various professions can be found on the bottom left of page 917 of this document. There's a fair amount of research done on this field, and most of them find trained lie detection accuracies in excess of 50%.
I'd expect videotaping to increase lie detection rate. Didn't I say that studies demonstrated people lie less often by e-mail of all communication because their words can be kept as evidence forever?

So here, I am asking a simple question: how much "Lie detection" is actually spotting contradictions, whether with what the liar said earlier, or with evidence available at hand ("I wasn't driving that car" "I exited through the right front door from the crash", the police report says the car was imported from England, is the person lying or not?), and how much of it is body language or some such?

Most people usually believe me when I lie, but when I tell the truth and back it up with evidence they instantly stop believing me. Probably because I feel much more confident telling lies, but when I say the truth I'm nervous about not being believed...
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Old 01-16-2015, 01:43 PM   #6
Sindri
 
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Default Re: Social Skill Questions, Reparcelling and Rebalancing

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Originally Posted by Eukie View Post
What's "reliable"? Police detectives often have lie detection rates of 45-60% (meaning they feel certain that a lie is a lie in 45-60% when presented with a lie in test conditions), and among teachers this can rise to 70%. Technical equipment like videotaping the conversation and, yes, a polygraph, can raise this certainty to 80-90% range for the police. (However, it's easy to learn skills that completely nullify several of the technical methods, like polygraphs.) This is certainly not good enough to present as hard evidence in a court, but as a skill in an RPG, it's perfectly valid as a realistic skill. (One with the outcomes "You're convinced he's lying" and "you're not sure if he's lying or telling the truth".)

(The real "fun" thing is that believing you're good at detecting lies and being good at detecting lies has almost no correlation. Believing you're good at detecting lies is largely correlated with your general self-confidence.)

Some general percentages of accuracy in lie detection in various professions can be found on the bottom left of page 917 of this document. There's a fair amount of research done on this field, and most of them find trained lie detection accuracies in excess of 50%.
Why are you telling me this? Tell it to WaterAndWindSpirit.

Also keep in mind that technical equipment is unrelated to Detect Lies and Body Language.
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Old 01-16-2015, 03:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Social Skill Questions, Reparcelling and Rebalancing

I only have three social skills, and a couple primarily knowledge-based skills with secondary social purposes.

Deception is the skill of lying to people.

Persuasion is the skill of convincing people to go along with what you want.

Intimidation is the skill of scaring or bullying people into doing what you want.


Merchant has a social application (Will-based Merchant skill for haggling), but its primary purpose is to appraise the value of loot.

Combat Lore has a social application (rallying people to fight a la Leadership) but it's mostly a combination of Tactics, Strategy, and Soldier.

Religion is mostly about theological and ritual knowledge and deducing the weaknesses of supernatural foes, but of course I'd allow a little social leverage out of it for dealing in church affairs.
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Old 01-21-2015, 03:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: Social Skill Questions, Reparcelling and Rebalancing

I've been meaning to post here, but somehow forgot the thread after reading it for several times.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
What's the skill for designing a caper or sudden extraction of a prisoner to not only be effective but impressive to onlookers?
I consider it that making it look cool might be a job for Propaganda, while the planning phase would greatly benefit from Intelligence Analysis for efficiency.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
Do Fast-Talk and Acting really need to be split up into two skills?
One is very verbal (voiced-text-oriented), the other is very mimics- and somewhat voice-modulation-oriented (but not as much as Mimicry).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
Detect Lies and Body Language are also good candidates to be folded into the same skill or at least turned into the voice analysis/body language and facial expressions avenues to getting the same information. I feel like some lies, such as those without emotional weight for the liar, shouldn't be detectable unless the liar really screws up their delivery.
When was the last time someone had to lie about an emotionally uninvolved thing in an adventure that it mattered that s/he isn't caught lying? That's something of a mutually exclusive condition. Either it's important (e.g. whether A killed/conspired with/slept with/knows B), or it's not important (in which case it is not emotionally straining on the liar).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
Detecting written lies should probably be dropped. If the writing is handwritten you could presumably use handwriting analysis but that's basically unrelated to the techniques behind Detect Lies and Body Language. On the other hand you could do content analysis which at at a small scale of material should probably be the the province of players with the potential aid of knowledge skills while at a large scale Intelligence Analysis seems like the right choice.
But Detect Lies is largely analysis of things like sentence structure adjusted for the situation in which it is delivered/constructed.
(Intelligence Analysis is a different thing altogether, it's more of a spy/military skill, not a psychological one.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
By default the influence skills are, if not perfectly balanced, at least vaguely competitive. Part of this balancing act is Sex Appeal having access to very good reactions. I'm not really a fan of that mechanical bit. I don't think that there should be a point where no influence skill but Sex Appeal can improve what favours you can get someone to do. Now Sex Appeal is probably always going to be one of the less desirable approaches to influence for PCs but I'd like it to be a little more competitive than it is if the special very good reaction is just removed and I'm not sure how to go about that.
If you're toying with Influence Rolls shifting reactions by MoS instead of outright overriding reactions (by MoS or otherwise), then you can handle it by making Sex Appeal shift reactions by MoS2 instead of 1, which is about comparable to the difference of the delta from Neutral to Good and the delta from Neutral to Very Good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
The Civil Arts in GURPS has some social styles. These are nice from the collection of traits viewpoint but I'm a little skeptical about how often Style Familiarity is reasonable. Martial Arts styles are generally pretty specific so bonuses against costylists makes sense to me but are the methods used by diplomats in general really distinctive enough compared to the methods of people who have picked up the same skills from another context to justify a bonus against costylists? On the other hand the Con Games styles granting Style Familiarity seem much more defensible to me. So what do you think?
I'm currently keeping an eye on the diplomatic representatives are saying lately. Notably, I think I grew very familiar with Lavrov's style, to the point that I see his attempts at Fast-Talk and Acting as much less effective than they were a year ago. And this is from rather small exposure!
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Old 01-21-2015, 04:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: Social Skill Questions, Reparcelling and Rebalancing

"Impressive to onlookers" and "impressive choreography" seems to suggest Performance.
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Old 01-21-2015, 04:07 PM   #10
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: Social Skill Questions, Reparcelling and Rebalancing

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"Impressive to onlookers" and "impressive choreography" seems to suggest Performance.
Somehow, making a caper impressive doesn't sound like choreography to me. I'm more inclined to imagine the effects of John Dillinger, particularly in the film. Or the Third Row Saints from Saints Row III. Both seem closer to propaganda, particularly the latter.
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