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Old 11-01-2011, 08:35 AM   #1
vicky_molokh
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Default [Social Engineering] Charisma treated inconsistently with BIO/Basic

Greetings, all!

The long-awaited Social Engineering is on my screen. Of course, me being me, I noticed an inconsistency:

BIO48 lists a scent-based version of Charisma (-20% for Scent-Based), setting the precedent that default Charisma is not Sense-Based. This is consistent with the description in Basic (where no inherent Sense-Based limitation is listed).

However, SE18 says that in effect, Charisma has all of:
  • Sense-Based (Sight) - target must see you.
  • Sense-Based (Hearing) - and hear you too.
  • Reverse Sense-Based (Sight) - you must see the target.
  • Reverse Sense-Based (Hearing) - and hear too.
While the next paragraph says to interpreted vision/hearing liberally (i.e. any imaging sense and any non-written language will do), this still means it is highly problematic to stat up people who appear very charismatic in a chat (IRC etc.).

It also means that SE-Charisma is useless for TV stars, radio hosts, call centres . . . well, pretty much anyone not using a direct two-channel two-way communication. Even the one-point-cheaper Appearance is now easier to use, since it works for things like film or even photography. (And note that Appearance is rather expensive given the number of hidden Limitations it has.)
This . . . doesn't seem right.

So . . . why?
Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] Charisma treated inconsistently with BIO/Basic

It's one way to reconcile the +1 to reactions (5 points) combined with +1 to a slew of skills under some circumstances (2-3 points) being sold for a net 5 points.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] Charisma treated inconsistently with BIO/Basic

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
However, SE18 says that in effect, Charisma has all of:
  • Sense-Based (Sight) - target must see you.
  • Sense-Based (Hearing) - and hear you too.
  • Reverse Sense-Based (Sight) - you must see the target.
  • Reverse Sense-Based (Hearing) - and hear too.
While the next paragraph says to interpreted vision/hearing liberally (i.e. any imaging sense and any non-written language will do), this still means it is highly problematic to stat up people who appear very charismatic in a chat (IRC etc.).
That sounds like good Writing, Diplomacy, and helper skills (Current Affairs, Hobby (Whatever you are in to), etc.) plus mental traits that you react well to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
It also means that SE-Charisma is useless for TV stars, radio hosts, call centres . . . well, pretty much anyone not using a direct two-channel two-way communication. Even the one-point-cheaper Appearance is now easier to use, since it works for things like film or even photography. (And note that Appearance is rather expensive given the number of hidden Limitations it has.)
This . . . doesn't seem right.

So . . . why?
Thanks in advance!
Where does it say that Vision-Based effects don't work through broadcast media, mirrors, etc.? Regardless, I would just ignore that: Charisma is a realistic effect so it works just fine over the television. Without owning the book I can't say how to handle people who are charismatic over sound-only media: it seems reasonable that the effects of Charisma are reduced that way.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:55 AM   #4
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] Charisma treated inconsistently with BIO/Basic

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
However, SE18 says that in effect, Charisma has all of:
  • Sense-Based (Sight) - target must see you.
  • Sense-Based (Hearing) - and hear you too.
  • Reverse Sense-Based (Sight) - you must see the target.
  • Reverse Sense-Based (Hearing) - and hear too.
While the next paragraph says to interpreted vision/hearing liberally (i.e. any imaging sense and any non-written language will do), this still means it is highly problematic to stat up people who appear very charismatic in a chat (IRC etc.).
What exactly does "appear highly charismatic" mean in this context? Isn't what the person is doing basically composing text messages? I think of Charisma as a quality of face to face personal presence. Knowing how to send messages that get a good response seems more like a learned skill, one that would benefit from Smooth OperatorŚwhich does work over text channels, please note.

Can you describe for me the way in which you envision another person's charisma affecting you over a purely text channel?

Bill Stoddard
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:02 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] Charisma treated inconsistently with BIO/Basic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
That sounds like good Writing, Diplomacy, and helper skills (Current Affairs, Hobby (Whatever you are in to), etc.) plus mental traits that you react well to.

Where does it say that Vision-Based effects don't work through broadcast media, mirrors, etc.? Regardless, I would just ignore that: Charisma is a realistic effect so it works just fine over the television. Without owning the book I can't say how to handle people who are charismatic over sound-only media: it seems reasonable that the effects of Charisma are reduced that way.
It doesn't work through broadcast media because the broadcast star does not see/hear the target when the target receiving the broadcast, unlike a videoconference.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] Charisma treated inconsistently with BIO/Basic

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
What exactly does "appear highly charismatic" mean in this context? Isn't what the person is doing basically composing text messages?

[ . . . ]

Can you describe for me the way in which you envision another person's charisma affecting you over a purely text channel?
Given the definition of Charisma both in GURPS and in dictionaries, a charismatic influence is one which results in a positive reaction, but is not caused by any of:
  • Skills.
  • Appearance.
  • Pleasant voice or equivalent Šsthetic phenomenon.

If a person must be heard, it is Voice or Mimicry. If a person is a skilled speaker, it is Public Speaking or Voice or the like. If a person must be seen, then it is Appearance. If a person must be read, it is not charisma, it is Writing, Calligraphy, or Perk (Beautiful Handwriting).

So far, the best description of Charisma I've encountered was je ne sais quoi.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:11 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] Charisma treated inconsistently with BIO/Basic

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
It also means that SE-Charisma is useless for TV stars, radio hosts, call centres . . . well, pretty much anyone not using a direct two-channel two-way communication.
Well, for TV, there's a reason some things are done with a live audience. To the extent that the remote audience has similar responses to the live audience, the live audience serves as a proxy for the remote audience.

Quote:
Even the one-point-cheaper Appearance is now easier to use, since it works for things like film or even photography.
Which is why stars spend lots of money buying or maintaining Appearance, its very useful. Voice, likewise. Lots of what people think of as "charisma" in the real world is Appearance, Voice, or social skills in GURPS. Charisma in GURPS is narrower than in casual conversation.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:24 AM   #8
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] Charisma treated inconsistently with BIO/Basic

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
It doesn't work through broadcast media because the broadcast star does not see/hear the target when the target receiving the broadcast, unlike a videoconference.
And where does it say that that matters whether the user of the power can see the subject? As p. B109 states, "your attack is channelled through your victim's senses. ... for instance, a Vision Based attack cannot affect a blind subject or one with their eyes closed." If you see Medusa, it doesn't matter whether she saw you (and lots of things with Sense-Based effects, like a Flash-Bang, have no senses themselves).
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:30 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] Charisma treated inconsistently with BIO/Basic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
And where does it say that that matters whether the user of the power can see the subject? As p. B109 states, "your attack is channelled through your victim's senses. ... for instance, a Vision Based attack cannot affect a blind subject or one with their eyes closed." If you see Medusa, it doesn't matter whether she saw you (and lots of things with Sense-Based effects, like a Flash-Bang, have no senses themselves).
"only applies to
those who can both see and hear you, and only if you can see
and hear them also; "

"it requires seeing and hearing audience
reactions. Real-time two-way audio and video communication
allows Charisma to modify reaction and Influence rolls; one-way communication doesn’t."

That is definitely both Sense-Based and Reverse Sense-Based.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:34 AM   #10
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] Charisma treated inconsistently with BIO/Basic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
And where does it say that that matters whether the user of the power can see the subject?
In the specific case of Charisma, Social Engineering p. 18. Charisma is more tightly defined than Basic as requiring two-way interaction.
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