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Old 11-01-2011, 11:25 AM   #21
Figleaf23
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] Charisma treated inconsistently with BIO/Basic

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
Your suspicions are completely unjustified. What in fact happened was that I discussed the treatment of Charisma with Kromm before the playtest started, and he spelled out the requirement for two-way sensory interaction to get the reaction/Influence bonus. Far from being a writer's private interpretation, this was the writer following specific instruction from the line editor.

Then I brought up the question of Charisma bonuses to Public Speaking, Leadership, etc. later on with PK, and he confirmed for me that they were indeed a different case, and still got the bonus without sight/sound and without two-way interaction. Again, straight from an editor.
Hm. Thanks for your info. The inconsistency and illogic of it was clearly beyond your bailiwick.


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Really, you know, it rather annoys me to have people come in and invent purely conjectural explanations of how things were decided, when it's perfectly possible to find out.
Don't let it trouble you -- the conjectural nature of my comment was obvious.


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Not least because those conjectural explanations are often seriously at variance with "the undoctor'd event that actually occurred."
Luckily, the wherewithal exists to correct the record.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:26 AM   #22
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] Charisma treated inconsistently with BIO/Basic

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Really, you know, it rather annoys me to have people come in and invent purely conjectural explanations of how things were decided, when it's perfectly possible to find out. Not least because those conjectural explanations are often seriously at variance with "the undoctor'd event that actually occurred."
It's quite a bit like fandom's declaring something official "obviously non-cannon" because they don't like it, and then coming up with interesting Just-So stories about why someone who they otherwise accept as a cannon source is "clearly wrong" in this case.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:35 AM   #23
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] Charisma treated inconsistently with BIO/Basic

Those being critical should read the actual text:
[Paragraph on what Charisma is.]

[Paragraph on who Charisma affects.]

[Paragraph on two-way interaction, with reference to Indirect Interaction.*.]

[Paragraph on exceptions to two-way interaction.]

"In addition to the benefits above, Charisma adds directly to Fortune-Telling, Leadership, Panhandling, and Public Speaking skills, in a manner similar to a Talent. These skills don't require two-way interaction to get this bonus; a charismatic orator can be just as compelling in a television broadcast."
* Where we find:
"Public Speaking is a special case: Charisma directly raises the skill itself, much like a Talent, and this increase isn't lost in one-way or voice-only communication."
and
"Appearance and Charisma don't work via even high-definition voice, except that Charisma still adds to Public Speaking skill."
Please pay special attention to the parts I've made bold. The only strong change to Charisma is that it doesn't work in text communication. Which it never did, as the authors of the Basic Set – being fairly expert at text – didn't deem that direct interaction. There's also a weaker change that one-way interaction requires you to use a skill to receive the benefit, but then I somehow doubt that GURPS characters ever gave canned speeches without Public Speaking.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:52 AM   #24
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] Charisma treated inconsistently with BIO/Basic

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
It's quite a bit like fandom's declaring something official "obviously non-cannon" because they don't like it, and then coming up with interesting Just-So stories about why someone who they otherwise accept as a cannon source is "clearly wrong" in this case.
It makes me think, too, of James Blish reaming out Sam Moskowitz for his assertions that "story A influenced story B," based on a perceived similarity of content and on story A having come out before story B—even if it was by a month or two, when anyone familiar with the publishing industry knew that even a story bought directly in first draft, with no editorial requests for revisions, would take longer than that to go from the writer putting it in the mail to the magazine hitting the stands.

In point of fact—and this is probably what annoys me—Kromm and I are both professionals. He understands the importance of keeping close track of the substantive content of GURPS books, especially the rules content; I understand the importance of getting his opinion, or PK's, on anything I put into one of my books that might change the interpretation of one of the rules, let alone changing the actual rule. To have someone "suspect" that I just imposed a change unilaterally, or that the editorial staff just let it slip by unquestioned, comes across as having them say that the likeliest explanation for a decision involves all of us falling down professionally. I think you can see why that might irk me a bit. Not that I want to say it never happens—but much of the time, what has happened is that we've decided (often with the advice of the playtesters) that the rule ought to be one that someone doesn't like, and unwillingness to accept that decision is the sole reason for calling it a mistake.

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Old 11-01-2011, 11:53 AM   #25
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] Charisma treated inconsistently with BIO/Basic

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
There's also a weaker change that one-way interaction requires you to use a skill to receive the benefit, but then I somehow doubt that GURPS characters ever gave canned speeches without Public Speaking.
Even if you were reading a speech written by someone else, wouldn't you probably use Public Speaking to deliver it effectively?

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Old 11-01-2011, 11:56 AM   #26
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] Charisma treated inconsistently with BIO/Basic

I want to add a warning before this thread slips any further into flame-land. It is fine to dislike or disagree with a rule. That's why most campaigns, including my own, have house rules. It's a hallowed gaming tradition.

It is not fine to cast aspersions on the process by which our books are written, playtested, edited, and revised. This statement:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Figleaf23 View Post

I suspect what happens is that a writer transports a private view of how a rule should work and the editors fail to catch its implications in light of existing rules.
suggests that our editors don't do their job, or perhaps that our writers don't do their job.

This one:

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Originally Posted by Figleaf23 View Post

The inconsistency and illogic of it was clearly beyond your bailiwick.
is an attack on the quality of the product. Neither is acceptable here.

We spend a lot of time and energy ensuring that implications are followed up, and that all published material is logical and consistent with other material. Clarifications and revisions are part of that process. They are often requested by customers, playtesters, writers, and even licensees translating our products. They are never any one person's unilateral view of things, although one voice may be speaking for many.

People are welcome to attack this aspect of our work elsewhere. We can't do anything about that. But on our corporate forums, we have every right to ask that people not make up conspiracy theories that a rule ended up the way it ended up because staff, freelancers, or volunteers didn't do their job. Presenting such opinion in a way that it's easily read as fact borders on defamation. Please do not do this.
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:06 PM   #27
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] Charisma treated inconsistently with BIO/Basic

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
I noticed an inconsistency:
I see no inconsistency here. Read on to see why.

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BIO48 lists a scent-based version of Charisma (-20% for Scent-Based), setting the precedent that default Charisma is not Sense-Based.
No. It set the precedent that Charisma is not scent-based. Because it isn't. Thus, making it so is a -20% limitation. By way of comparison, you could not apply either Vision-Based or Hearing-Based to Charisma, because it more-or-less already has those limitations. (I only say "more-or-less" because it's the reaction modifier part that does, not the skill bonus.)

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This is consistent with the description in Basic (where no inherent Sense-Based limitation is listed).
Actually, Charisma in the Basic Set states that you must "actively interact" with beings to get the reaction bonus -- and the only examples given there are for face-to-face interactions ("converse, lecture, etc."). This is because the intent of Charisma, as written in the Basic Set, has been that it improves such face-to-face interactions.

Quote:
However, SE18 says that in effect
SE18 clarifies and makes explicit the situations under which Charisma comes into play. But it does so with full awareness of how Charisma is supposed to work. If Charisma's intent was "gives you +1 reactions everywhere, in every situation, with anyone seeing you, hearing you, or even just reading something you wrote," its cost would've be somewhere in the 10-15 point/level range!

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it is highly problematic to stat up people who appear very charismatic in a chat (IRC etc.).
And that's appropriate. 93% of your intent in communication is conveyed via body language, tone of voice, etc. Trying to appear "charismatic" via chat or text message is like trying to appear "charismatic" via post-it-notes. If it's anything, it's Writing skill. (Realize that "he has charisma" does not mean "he has Charisma" -- the former is how people refer to anyone for whom they react positively.)

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It also means that SE-Charisma is useless for TV stars, radio hosts, call centres
No, it's useful in that it boosts their Public Speaking. Such folks would be better off with Voice, mind you, but that's a no-brainer for someone who's mainly concerned with vocal interaction.

Quote:
So . . . why?
Because it's important to clear up misconceptions. As you've shown here, many GURPS fans took away an overly broad interpretation of how Charisma was supposed to work, so it was SE's place to nail it down -- in part by giving Charisma an entire half-page write-up instead of the one paragraph that we had room for in the Basic Set.

If you want to ignore this clarification and treat Charisma as "+1 to reactions from anyone who sees you, hears you, reads your words, or even thinks of you" in your games, you can, but realize that Charisma is worth far more than the listed 5 points/level if that's the case.
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:43 PM   #28
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] Charisma treated inconsistently with BIO/Basic

<MOD>

We're opening this thread back up, with a reminder to heed Kromm's warnings (two posts up from this one). Questions about a new book are great. Disagreements with the book are fine. Pointing out mistakes in a new book is useful (though in this case, as has been stated, the treatment of Charisma was not an error). But under no circumstances do we condone disparaging comments made about the author, editor, or publisher, or the jobs they did. You're free to not like a book, but not free to call the author lazy or the editors incompetent.

</MOD>
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:48 PM   #29
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] Charisma treated inconsistently with BIO/Basic

I have reopened the thread. To clarify something, as I have been asked to do so:

Please be aware that we encourage people to critique our products here. We only take issue with attacks that cast the people who produce our products in a bad light. Every GURPS supplement is subject to multiple levels of approval and vetting by staff (not just one editor, but at least four people), freelancers (including the writer's peers, in a private forum), and volunteers (mainly playtesters). Every rule says what it says because many good people reviewed it, looked at the existing rules, and signed off on it. If you don't like a rule, then by all means say so. Just do so without characterizing it as having received a free pass as the writer or editor's hobby horse, and without hinting that the playtesters and editors didn't do their job. We don't expect anybody to like every rule, ever – heck, I dislike some published rules – but we do expect forums members to respect the creators of our products.

Thank you!
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:04 PM   #30
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Default Re: [Social Engineering] Charisma treated inconsistently with BIO/Basic

It seems to me that there are probably a lot of cases where Charisma and the ability to appeal to people through some specific media are different. I'll bet that most of us have friends who we find fun and charming who dread public speaking. Or maybe some of us express ourselves clearly and persuasively through our writing, but in speech, are less able to sway other people to our way of thinking. Some celebrities are very magnetic onscreen, but in person they can be cold, oblivious to social cues, or so entitled as to be indifferent to the response they get from people they meet.

Charisma applies to interaction, while one-way communication is a matter of skill application. Being good at the first might inform the latter, as reflected by bonuses applied to skills.
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