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Old 02-21-2016, 04:37 PM   #31
Flyndaran
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Default Re: [SE] Selling fish to a fisherman

Zealots are an odd bunch. By their very nature they're prone to basing entire life choices on emotion often in direct defiance of logic and self interest. Their paradigms are rigid but ultimately brittle if and when they do shift.
I don't think they react in similar ways to the majority of people.
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Old 02-21-2016, 04:46 PM   #32
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Default Re: [SE] Selling fish to a fisherman

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Originally Posted by Not View Post
To elaborate: Milady de Winter is in prison and is interrogated by her prosecutor, a young zealot. Over the course of many weeks and many interviews, she gradually corrupts him and somehow convinces him to allow her to escape, with the promise that they will run away together. Of course, the rendezvous never happens. Dumas writes the encounters so very convincingly, I'm not certain whether they are fact or fiction. (He blunders in having her threatened with exile to Australia about 200 years too early.)
That's an extended action. It's either a regular contest over a period of time, probably with use of complimentary skills to weasel information out of the prosecutor that can be used to further convince him, or it's plain old Taking Extra Time for as big a bonus as you can manage. I prefer a little of column A, a little of column B.
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Old 02-21-2016, 08:22 PM   #33
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Default Re: [SE] Selling fish to a fisherman

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Originally Posted by Not View Post
To elaborate: Milady de Winter is in prison and is interrogated by her prosecutor, a young zealot. Over the course of many weeks and many interviews, she gradually corrupts him and somehow convinces him to allow her to escape, with the promise that they will run away together. Of course, the rendezvous never happens. Dumas writes the encounters so very convincingly, I'm not certain whether they are fact or fiction. (He blunders in having her threatened with exile to Australia about 200 years too early.)
That's fine, but that's not something you'd handle as a Quick Contest, and therefore not an Influence roll. You could use it as an attempt on her part to gain his Loyalty, through a series of regular contests of her Influence skill against his Will or his preexistent Loyalty. SE spells out most of that.
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Old 02-22-2016, 05:54 PM   #34
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This is actually the origin of my issue, from the last time someone decided to play a Face Man in one of my games. As I started working on the campaign, I realized that even with a Skill 14 versus a "normal" guy (Will 10), unless some penalties are racked up, the Face Man will be able to short-circuit every fight.

Then and now, I wanted to let the player do what he's good at, and not arbitrarily decide that this guy can't be manipulated, but I also didn't want to end up with a bunch of Will 18 mooksI dislike that sort of response immensely, as a player. I don't have a problem with saying "no," but I don't want to say "no, because the story/GM requires that you can't do that here"I need a legitimate reason, not a meta-game reason. Effectively, you're granting a character a situation-specific version of Indomitable.
Yeah, I had the same problem in my fantasy game. I recall Kromm mentioning that he routinely gave his mooks/thugs IQ9 and then put those "extra" points right back into Will, giving them Will 13. Worked for me! ;)
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Old 02-22-2016, 08:58 PM   #35
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Default Re: [SE] Selling fish to a fisherman

Let the players have their fun!

If the situation doesnt ruin the story or put the campaign out of whack then just go with the flow.

Bruno the headsman falls head over heels with the eloquent character (doesnt matter if the PC is a male or female) and expects that they are going to elope together. The PC gets of the block but is hounded by Bruno who is convinced they are meant to be together.

The Inuit gets really ****** off when the extra special, magical ice that was supposed to heal all ailments doesnt work after his grandmother dies of tuberculosis and swears to hunt the PC down. Maybe he brings some of his tribe with him.

Just impose consequences to the actions of the face character. People who scam and lie will end up in trouble sooner or later.

Everybody has a price and there is a sucker born everyday, there is a reason that I still win the Internet lottery once in a while and my uncle in Nigeria dies regularly leaving me as his only heir. Of course the GM can always rule out stupid cons

" 50 gold for a magic bean....do you think Im stupid! Throw this scumbag in jail"
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Old 02-23-2016, 07:23 PM   #36
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Default Re: [SE] Selling fish to a fisherman

Another thing to bear in mind is that "Roll your Influence skill to convince person of anything" is somewhat unfair to the Face's player in the same way as "Roll your combat skill to win a fight" is to the Fighter's. That is to say, that if you have allowed someone to play a Face (as opposed to someone who merely has some social skills), you have implicitly promised that Face actions will be an interesting and fun subsystem to engage with in your campaign (or at least that you'll try). That means that important social actions (such as convincing someone to not behead you) shouldn't just be a success/fail roll. Instead, they should be a series of actions, some of which are roleplayed with the support of rolls and some of which are merely tactically planned wherein the face learns what they can about the target and what approach will work for them and then executes it, possibly with some blunders along the way. While you can say (and have a legitimate argument) that figuring out what approach to take and then taking it should be part of the Fast-Talk skill, so a single roll should cover it all, that just isn't fun in the same way that saying "Broadsword (possibly with Tactics) covers what maneuvers to use and how to do them, so roll Broadsword-3 to win the fight" is much fun.

Of course, none of this applies to a lower stakes Face action such as convincing someone to buy you a drink and a QC is perfectly fine here, just as a QC is perfectly fine for a low-stakes sparring match.

That said, you need to actually know stuff about the opposition (their personality, desires, weaknesses, fears, etc) for this to work well.
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Old 02-24-2016, 04:50 AM   #37
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Default Re: [SE] Selling fish to a fisherman

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Originally Posted by dfinlay View Post
Another thing to bear in mind is that "Roll your Influence skill to convince person of anything" is somewhat unfair to the Face's player in the same way as "Roll your combat skill to win a fight" is to the Fighter's. That is to say, that if you have allowed someone to play a Face (as opposed to someone who merely has some social skills), you have implicitly promised that Face actions will be an interesting and fun subsystem to engage with in your campaign (or at least that you'll try). That means that important social actions (such as convincing someone to not behead you) shouldn't just be a success/fail roll. Instead, they should be a series of actions, some of which are roleplayed with the support of rolls and some of which are merely tactically planned wherein the face learns what they can about the target and what approach will work for them and then executes it, possibly with some blunders along the way. While you can say (and have a legitimate argument) that figuring out what approach to take and then taking it should be part of the Fast-Talk skill, so a single roll should cover it all, that just isn't fun in the same way that saying "Broadsword (possibly with Tactics) covers what maneuvers to use and how to do them, so roll Broadsword-3 to win the fight" is much fun.

Of course, none of this applies to a lower stakes Face action such as convincing someone to buy you a drink and a QC is perfectly fine here, just as a QC is perfectly fine for a low-stakes sparring match.

That said, you need to actually know stuff about the opposition (their personality, desires, weaknesses, fears, etc) for this to work well.
Well, there's a problem:
Even with Social Engineering, there isn't all that much crunch to social influence. Everything boils down to 'apply modifier for all the appropriate factors, then roll Contests untill the outcome becomes clear'. Crunch that spices up combat - equipment, map positioning, number of attacks and differences between various defences - don't apply to social combat, for good or ill. (Game systems such as Exalted tried, but the result is far from perfect.)
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Old 02-24-2016, 05:57 AM   #38
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Default Re: [SE] Selling fish to a fisherman

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Well, there's a problem:
Even with Social Engineering, there isn't all that much crunch to social influence. Everything boils down to 'apply modifier for all the appropriate factors, then roll Contests untill the outcome becomes clear'. Crunch that spices up combat - equipment, map positioning, number of attacks and differences between various defences - don't apply to social combat, for good or ill. (Game systems such as Exalted tried, but the result is far from perfect.)
You can buy better quality clothes and accessories and take on the appearance of higher Status. You can use Fashion Sense (your own or someone else's) to boost your appearance. That provides room for a modest bit of crunch.
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Old 02-24-2016, 06:14 AM   #39
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Default Re: [SE] Selling fish to a fisherman

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You can buy better quality clothes and accessories and take on the appearance of higher Status. You can use Fashion Sense (your own or someone else's) to boost your appearance. That provides room for a modest bit of crunch.
But you never make tradeoffs between something comparable to, say, damage vs. Acc vs. RoF vs. magazine size.

It all largely boils down to 'get +x to your QC roll under Y circumstances'. There's no meaningful choice of tactics once you engage someone in a conversation. You don't choose whether to go all-out or approach cautiously. You don't choose whether to try a straightforward monologue or a sneaky approach that relies on surprising your opponent. You don't choose between bringing one well-thought-out argument hoping that it'll be good enough, or many small ones hoping that a few will chip away the opponent's confidence. You don't choose whether to defend against enemy persuasion using logical dissection of his arguments, emotional denial of his arguments, searching his words for signs of manipulation, or just letting the enemy's plea crash against your assertive ego. Most of these things are either less tactically meaningful than the choices in tactical physical combat, pre-chosen for the player/PC in accordance to the situation, or not present at all.

The Manipulation mechanic is probably the closest thing to a tactical choice in SE.

I know that SE was never meant to be a mirror of physical combat. I'm also not saying that it's a bad product (it's one of my favourite books).

But let's face it: GURPS' social mechanics' gamistic component is much 'flatter' than that of physical combat, or of spaceship-design etc.
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Old 02-24-2016, 06:41 AM   #40
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But you never make tradeoffs between something comparable to, say, damage vs. Acc vs. RoF vs. magazine size.
On the other hand, the rules in SE do provide for some tradeoffs in trying to gain another character's Loyalty through regular contests. Do you, for example, make an immediate appeal, or spend a month talking with them? If your appeal fails, do you try again right away, or take more time? And if you wait, will someone else get in first?
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