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Old 11-18-2014, 12:05 PM   #31
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Reaction Table House Rules

My ordinary default is to never make reaction rolls; reaction bonuses apply to influence skills, and that's really all they do. However, if I were using them I'd probably go with something like:
  • 0 or lower: Very Bad. Disastrous results do not occur randomly.
  • 1-4: Bad
  • 5-8: Poor
  • 9-12: Neutral
  • 13-16: Good
  • 17+: Very Good. Excellent results do not occur randomly.
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:34 PM   #32
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Default Re: Reaction Table House Rules

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
My ordinary default is to never make reaction rolls; reaction bonuses apply to influence skills, and that's really all they do. However, if I were using them I'd probably go with something like:
  • 0 or lower: Very Bad. Disastrous results do not occur randomly.
  • 1-4: Bad
  • 5-8: Poor
  • 9-12: Neutral
  • 13-16: Good
  • 17+: Very Good. Excellent results do not occur randomly.
When do Disastrous and Excellent events occur due to in-game-world parameters as opposed to GM fiat?
Also, do absolutely all people absolutely equally friendly to / attracted to / generous with / etc. all other people, regardless of personal habits / reputations / appearance / charm / etc., unless they go out of the way to mess with the character's mind using influence skills?
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:53 PM   #33
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Default Re: Reaction Table House Rules

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
When do Disastrous and Excellent events occur due to in-game-world parameters as opposed to GM fiat?
The can occur as a result of prior interaction. Reaction rolls determine initial reaction.
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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Also, do absolutely all people absolutely equally friendly to / attracted to / generous with / etc. all other people, regardless of personal habits / reputations / appearance / charm / etc., unless they go out of the way to mess with the character's mind using influence skills?
Absent doing something specific to alter things, the enormous majority of reactions should be, essentially, "meh, I don't care enough about you to have a reaction", which happens to be the same as a neutral reaction though it should arguably be its own category.
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Old 11-18-2014, 01:23 PM   #34
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Reaction Table House Rules

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Well let's see . . .
Alexander the Great.
Charisma +4,
Attractive +1,
Reputation +3
TOTAL +8.
Should he really be enjoying merely the lower end of Good reactions on average?
Maybe he should. I've often wondered about the Reaction Roll table, and if extreme results occur too often for "RR-bonus-stacked" characters, and if one could make a better table while still operating within the constraints of 3d6.
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Old 11-18-2014, 02:08 PM   #35
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Default Re: Reaction Table House Rules

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
I personally don't keep any Storyteller or Storytelling system information but the most broad strokes in easy recall so for me it doesn't illustrate much.
Oh well, it was worth a try - many gamers in my circle find Storyteller-style descriptors easier to visualise / map onto their understandings of characters and events.

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They're absolutely not approaches. Approaches in some sense conflict but charisma and influence are additive not alternatives and a lot of the time you can't even replace one with the other during a period of time because only one is a possible tool.
Reliance on raw Charisma, i.e. acting without deliberate adjustments to one's behaviour, in order to avoid upsetting the effects of natural charm, is very much in conflict with reliance on technique, the mastery of clouding people's minds by picking the right word for this specific situation. The two approaches are very much antithetical. Harmony versus Discipline. Performer versus Technician. Intuition versus Logic. It's like that.

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You don't have to conceptualize what you are doing as pushing but there is no fundamental difference between pushing thought of as pushing and pushing not thought of as pushing because there isn't anything magical about social interaction.
My point about pushing is the use or invention of a technology to modify the process of social interaction. Propaganda is a commonly thought-about modern example. Consciously modifying your facial expression is a rarely talked-about ancient one.

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I refuse the line! I haven't been capitalizing manipulation and I'm not talking about Social Engineering's use of the term. Influence skills are Influence skills.
I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. Or refuse the agreement, or whatever it's better called.

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That's not what I'm talking about.
Then maybe I lost the point, or it wasn't quite explicit enough for my eyes.

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It doesn't matter. It's understood that there exist people who have leveraged social skill to get promoted in mostly non-social jobs and that sometimes people get promoted for one useful ability while lacking others.

Please give me the benefit of either assuming I'm not stupid or refraining from trying to snipe cheap rherotical points.

My point was that it was not automatically unethical for someone with strong social abilities to decide to leverage those into more social traits.
When I say 'Influence', I do not necessarily imply that it is always a bad thing. I do say that it results in the thing you note in the first of these three paragraphs.

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It was never intended to be a branch, it was intended to bring to mind the sort of person whose social achievements are significantly buoyed by people who strongly agree with the positions that they espouse. That's the sort of thing people point to in an attempt to show that there were general forces that allowed the person to achieve what they did and that they thus could have been replaced by a number of people. Actual theories of the methods of history don't have anything to do with anything.
It still takes a lot of social effect to get those forces to help oneself.

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They do, but they still end up with each level of strength adding like a tenth of a d6 of damage and that's just less perceptible than the previous table. You just put up with it because that's implicit in rescaling ST damage so that ten levels don't add as much damage.
If anything, it might be better to rescale the other way around - ditch the DR70 golden RHA, and recalibrate firearms damage round the sw/thr table.

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The lowest level of appearance removes bad reactions and triples the chances of good reactions in my table.
Hmm. I guess you have more common Reaction Rolls than I do. A tripling from % to 1.9% or reduction from % to 0% is subtle but notable in combat, where you roll many times; for something that only gets rolled 1-3 times per character (most of the time), it's much harder to notice.
BTW, does it look right to you that even an Attractive character is only found to be attractive enough to consider a private date 1.9% of the time, and for anything more serious - never at all, except through active Influence on the attractive character's part? It doesn't to me.

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One could make an aesthetic argument that other social traits should have a cap similar in magnitude to right sex appearance.
Well, they do have a cap. Reputation is capped at 4. Voice at +2. Charisma is rather informally capped at +5 for normal humans (by real-world examples). Status can go up to 8 on Terra, but it's atypical to have PCs that high. Talents are normally capped at +4.

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
It's a good way to avoid meaningless anecdotes.
Interesting. Usually I'm the one who is asked to stop focusing on the typical/average and to look at the unusual, the PC-material sorts of people. But I guess a proper system should be able to handle both the average and the remarkable.


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I prefer no bonus. There's no reason to bake anything else at all into the has-+1-to-skill-with-this-limited-list advantage. Frankly I'm not sure if I'm going to end up having talents at all either.
Hmm. An anti-talentist. I remember only one other one.
Well, I do find some of the alternative benefits quite flavourful and interesting. Being able to 'unbake' them out of package deals would certainly be nice.
Likewise, 'unbaking' Reaction Bonuses out of them would be nice too.

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
My primary aim here isn't nerfing the ease of hitting high reactions it's cutting down on the extremeness possible with +0 reactions, making the number of categories odd so there is balance between good and bad reactions and removing kludges that classes like potential combat use to make the reactions make sense. Making it harder to hit high reactions and thus making differentiation at high reaction bonuses is just a bonus and it's frankly rather tiresome that it's the part getting most of the attention.
Well, I guess you already heard my approach to removing extremeness of +0 reactions (if you missed it: rolling 1d+7 instead of 3d for characters who are super-average in their treatment of all sorts of people). About making the number of categories odd - maybe there's good in this; I'm not sure yet if it's worth the trouble, but the goal itself doesn't look to be harmful. I'm interested in hearing what you meant about treating combat differently and what other kludges you are talking about. Yeah, let's take a look at those issues.


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We want to produce different flavours of specialists. The way we get there is by making them want all the traits.
I don't find 'everyone wants/takes(if able to) everything' to be more flavourful than 'here is A, B and C, and you can opt to have some combination of them or just focus on one, without hamstringing your character'.

Right now in the campaign I play in, there's the Charismatic and Talented Diplomat who mostly focuses on the Elicitation technique (my character), the eccentric and distant emergent AI who apparently bought off Low Empathy and is now engaging in tricks of rhetoric and sophistry and risk-benefit analysis to get what 'he' wants from people, the eye-candy whose social tactics are mostly very passive, and the kid whose ability to be socially okay despite Cluelessness are a mix Reaction Bonuses from being a talented engineer when talking business and an overall cuteness factor in all other areas. And this is a rather short list of possibilities. Doing it so that every social character will want Appearance and Charisma and skills and Reputation would, IMHO, reduce the diversity.

Hmmm, I see a new haggling addition. Gotta read that, a bit later.
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Old 11-18-2014, 03:11 PM   #36
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Default Re: Reaction Table House Rules

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
If anything, it might be better to rescale the other way around - ditch the DR70 golden RHA, and recalibrate firearms damage round the sw/thr table.
Problem is that the Sw/Th table is broken all by itself, because it doesn't scale properly; to produce sensible results given the way hit points are defined, ST 20 should do 2x the damage of ST 10, not 3.5x the damage.
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Old 11-18-2014, 03:29 PM   #37
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Maybe he should. I've often wondered about the Reaction Roll table, and if extreme results occur too often for "RR-bonus-stacked" characters, and if one could make a better table while still operating within the constraints of 3d6.
The real problem, I think (and I had that thought years ago, not just now), is GURPS' obsession with linearity. "Trait pricings must be simple, no matter how much harm it does".

If that silly principle is abandoned, much that is good can suddenly be achieved.
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Old 11-18-2014, 03:57 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Oh well, it was worth a try - many gamers in my circle find Storyteller-style descriptors easier to visualise / map onto their understandings of characters and events.
I do appreciate the attempt though and other readers might find it useful.

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Reliance on raw Charisma, i.e. acting without deliberate adjustments to one's behaviour, in order to avoid upsetting the effects of natural charm, is very much in conflict with reliance on technique, the mastery of clouding people's minds by picking the right word for this specific situation. The two approaches are very much antithetical. Harmony versus Discipline. Performer versus Technician. Intuition versus Logic. It's like that.
Relying on only one tool isn't a matter of conflict, it's merely a lack of the other tool. Most of the time Performer and Technician aren't in conflict either. It's rare for someone to be both capable of highly technical work and highly original work because both of those traits are themselves rare and can flow from contradictory personality traits but unless the Performer's work is fundamentally based on a rejection of technical skill they would profit from also being a Technician. Likewise while you can achieve a lot with charisma once you've done that the choice is whether to now use influence or not.

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My point about pushing is the use or invention of a technology to modify the process of social interaction. Propaganda is a commonly thought-about modern example. Consciously modifying your facial expression is a rarely talked-about ancient one.
That's certainly true. There's not a hard line between social technology and personality though. Humans require cultural instruction to reach the standard level of social ability.

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. Or refuse the agreement, or whatever it's better called.
I'd be happy to discuss whether there should be a line and such matters, my point was just that my comments haven't been written within a context where such a line can be presumed.

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Then maybe I lost the point, or it wasn't quite explicit enough for my eyes.
My point was that Charisma is fundamentally ingrained Influence skills developed to a level of naturalness that keeps them from backfiring as easily.

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
When I say 'Influence', I do not necessarily imply that it is always a bad thing. I do say that it results in the thing you note in the first of these three paragraphs.
I know. I was trying to express that I never intended to reject that those things were true. I was just trying to say that people leveraging social traits into other social traits isn't automatically manipulative.

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It still takes a lot of social effect to get those forces to help oneself.
Well that's sort of the crux of historical debate. I'm sure you can imagine someone who is merely good at social stuff achieving astounding change because they happened to be in the right place at the right time though.

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
If anything, it might be better to rescale the other way around - ditch the DR70 golden RHA, and recalibrate firearms damage round the sw/thr table.
Well this is mostly off topic except that for context of differentiation the tenth of a d6 is what I currently have marked as what I want to use for ST scores.

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Hmm. I guess you have more common Reaction Rolls than I do. A tripling from % to 1.9% or reduction from % to 0% is subtle but notable in combat, where you roll many times; for something that only gets rolled 1-3 times per character (most of the time), it's much harder to notice.
One of the hopes behind these house rules is that I can make reaction rolls appealing enough that I can get myself to roll them on a regular basis. Immunity to bad things also goes a long way with PCs. Being able to know that unless there is a penalty you will never get a certain bad reaction is worth a lot, especially in circumstances where the difference between the king reacting badly and neutrally is worth a lot more than the difference between the king reacting neutrally and well.

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BTW, does it look right to you that even an Attractive character is only found to be attractive enough to consider a private date 1.9% of the time, and for anything more serious - never at all, except through active Influence on the attractive character's part? It doesn't to me.
Anything remotely describable as romance will not just be using initial reactions. Furthermore romance is a sphere where, while influence backlash is still quite possible, it's much more acceptable to actively try to impress someone. Plus, who said you need a good reaction to get a date? I'd just require a favourable reaction for a plausibly deniable date like getting a coffee with someone you know. There are significant circumstantial modifiers that I haven't put together for this though.

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Well, they do have a cap. Reputation is capped at 4. Voice at +2. Charisma is rather informally capped at +5 for normal humans (by real-world examples). Status can go up to 8 on Terra, but it's atypical to have PCs that high. Talents are normally capped at +4.
I know, I was musing about extending the cap to compare to applicable Appearance or Status.

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Interesting. Usually I'm the one who is asked to stop focusing on the typical/average and to look at the unusual, the PC-material sorts of people. But I guess a proper system should be able to handle both the average and the remarkable.
Well I was really trying to talk about the population of people with Charisma and especially human maximum Charisma, not actual specimens.

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Hmm. An anti-talentist. I remember only one other one.
Well, I do find some of the alternative benefits quite flavourful and interesting. Being able to 'unbake' them out of package deals would certainly be nice.
Likewise, 'unbaking' Reaction Bonuses out of them would be nice too.
Anti-talentist is a little strong. I'm just having trouble coming up with a justification for the point crock.

Many of the benefits are cool and deserve to exist in their own right. The Reaction Bonuses are just Reputation (good at x).

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Well, I guess you already heard my approach to removing extremeness of +0 reactions (if you missed it: rolling 1d+7 instead of 3d for characters who are super-average in their treatment of all sorts of people). About making the number of categories odd - maybe there's good in this; I'm not sure yet if it's worth the trouble, but the goal itself doesn't look to be harmful. I'm interested in hearing what you meant about treating combat differently and what other kludges you are talking about. Yeah, let's take a look at those issues.
One of the advantages of adding another reaction category to make it odd is that it makes the system faster to learn. The standard system has four bad reactions and four not bad reactions, but neutral doesn't really belong in the same group as the actually good reactions. By adding one we can allow people to learn the system as having a standard reaction and four steps away from that reaction in both directions. This also made it easier to add bonuses to haggling based on reactions for me.

The way I interpret the reaction classes reactions can be far harsher in some than in others. A poor reaction in potential combat results in threats and insults and possibly a fight while a poor reaction in seduction results in rejection, but with no offense taken. It's like potential combat has an inbuilt penalty when you roll badly.

The circumstances leading up to a potential combat reaction should handle these though. If someone is invading your territory that doesn't mean poor reactions get worse, it means you have a penalty to your reaction. It's substantially easier for a GM to adjudicate if things like "risks self to do harm to hated enemy" comes in at the same reaction category.

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I don't find 'everyone wants/takes(if able to) everything' to be more flavourful than 'here is A, B and C, and you can opt to have some combination of them or just focus on one, without hamstringing your character'.
It's vital for someone who is seriously approaching a role to desire all the traits. Flavourful character distinctions are as much about what characters don't have as what they do. If the opposition is weak enough that just buying a lot of ST or skill or DR or whatever is considered enough to handle it than those differentiations will be informed rather than felt. It doesn't really matter much that the math for skill-dude works this way and that the math for strength-dude works this way if it's enough to comfortably handle it. It's only if the challenge is significant enough to not be comfortable that the players appetites become insatiable enough that it will become apparent what people don't have. Note that this is about what characters want. I agree with you that it's not good for everyone to have everything. When characters dominate the opposition enough that will overwhelm the impression of the relative weaknesses of their approaches.

Last edited by Sindri; 11-18-2014 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 11-19-2014, 02:35 PM   #39
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Relying on only one tool isn't a matter of conflict, it's merely a lack of the other tool. Most of the time Performer and Technician aren't in conflict either. It's rare for someone to be both capable of highly technical work and highly original work because both of those traits are themselves rare and can flow from contradictory personality traits but unless the Performer's work is fundamentally based on a rejection of technical skill they would profit from also being a Technician. Likewise while you can achieve a lot with charisma once you've done that the choice is whether to now use influence or not.
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.

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That's certainly true. There's not a hard line between social technology and personality though. Humans require cultural instruction to reach the standard level of social ability.

I'd be happy to discuss whether there should be a line and such matters, my point was just that my comments haven't been written within a context where such a line can be presumed.
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.


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My point was that Charisma is fundamentally ingrained Influence skills developed to a level of naturalness that keeps them from backfiring as easily.
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).

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I know. I was trying to express that I never intended to reject that those things were true. I was just trying to say that people leveraging social traits into other social traits isn't automatically manipulative.

Well that's sort of the crux of historical debate. I'm sure you can imagine someone who is merely good at social stuff achieving astounding change because they happened to be in the right place at the right time though.
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.

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Well this is mostly off topic except that for context of differentiation the tenth of a d6 is what I currently have marked as what I want to use for ST scores.
Yeah, dividing a d6 into ten isn't a pleasant matter.

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One of the hopes behind these house rules is that I can make reaction rolls appealing enough that I can get myself to roll them on a regular basis. Immunity to bad things also goes a long way with PCs. Being able to know that unless there is a penalty you will never get a certain bad reaction is worth a lot, especially in circumstances where the difference between the king reacting badly and neutrally is worth a lot more than the difference between the king reacting neutrally and well.
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.

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Anything remotely describable as romance will not just be using initial reactions. Furthermore romance is a sphere where, while influence backlash is still quite possible, it's much more acceptable to actively try to impress someone. Plus, who said you need a good reaction to get a date? I'd just require a favourable reaction for a plausibly deniable date like getting a coffee with someone you know. There are significant circumstantial modifiers that I haven't put together for this though.
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.

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.

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I know, I was musing about extending the cap to compare to applicable Appearance or Status.
You mean capping Status at 6, or what do you mean? I'm still confused.

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Well I was really trying to talk about the population of people with Charisma and especially human maximum Charisma, not actual specimens.
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.

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Anti-talentist is a little strong. I'm just having trouble coming up with a justification for the point crock.

Many of the benefits are cool and deserve to exist in their own right. The Reaction Bonuses are just Reputation (good at x).
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.
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.

(To be continued . . . )
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Old 11-19-2014, 02:35 PM   #40
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(Continued.)

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
One of the advantages of adding another reaction category to make it odd is that it makes the system faster to learn. The standard system has four bad reactions and four not bad reactions, but neutral doesn't really belong in the same group as the actually good reactions. By adding one we can allow people to learn the system as having a standard reaction and four steps away from that reaction in both directions. This also made it easier to add bonuses to haggling based on reactions for me.
That's a good idea. (Though regarding haggling, I find you algorithm rather long for quick learning . . .)

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The way I interpret the reaction classes reactions can be far harsher in some than in others. A poor reaction in potential combat results in threats and insults and possibly a fight while a poor reaction in seduction results in rejection, but with no offense taken. It's like potential combat has an inbuilt penalty when you roll badly.

The circumstances leading up to a potential combat reaction should handle these though. If someone is invading your territory that doesn't mean poor reactions get worse, it means you have a penalty to your reaction. It's substantially easier for a GM to adjudicate if things like "risks self to do harm to hated enemy" comes in at the same reaction category.
Hmm. I wonder what Bill Stoddard would say on this branch of discussion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
It's vital for someone who is seriously approaching a role to desire all the traits. Flavourful character distinctions are as much about what characters don't have as what they do. If the opposition is weak enough that just buying a lot of ST or skill or DR or whatever is considered enough to handle it than those differentiations will be informed rather than felt. It doesn't really matter much that the math for skill-dude works this way and that the math for strength-dude works this way if it's enough to comfortably handle it. It's only if the challenge is significant enough to not be comfortable that the players appetites become insatiable enough that it will become apparent what people don't have. Note that this is about what characters want. I agree with you that it's not good for everyone to have everything. When characters dominate the opposition enough that will overwhelm the impression of the relative weaknesses of their approaches.
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.
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