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Old 09-12-2015, 08:38 AM   #1
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Default [Basic] Skill of the week: Group Performance and Performance

"It's a long time since I heard a theatre played properly." Granny Weatherwax, Wyrd Sisters

Group Performance is the IQ/A skill of organising performances by groups. Doing this successfully produces a worthwhile performance; the individual performers can presumably still roll to see how well they did within the larger production. It has a general default of IQ-5 and a general prerequisite of Diplomacy, Intimidation or Leadership, and requires specialisation by the form of performance. The specialisations have prerequisites of their own, which are usually the skills that supply a default for that specialisation. The specialisations in Basic are Chorography (defaulting to Dance-2), Conducting (Musical Instrument-2 or Singing -2), Directing (Performance-5) and Fight Chorography (Stage Combat -2). I haven't found any more specialisations in other books. While there are no listed modifiers, lack of Cultural Familiarity with either the performers or the audience might well apply.

Performance is the IQ/A skill of acting for stage or screen; the basic difference from GURPS' Acting skill is that you aren't trying to deceive people, but to impress or entertain. The defaults are IQ-5, Acting-2, or Public Speaking-2. Acting, Public Speaking and Stage Combat have defaults to Performance. If you've actually trained in this skill, it includes the professional knowledge of an actor. Performance does not suffer due to lack of Cultural Familiarity, or worse-than-Native language skill, but does take modifiers for Voice, Neurological Disorder, Shyness and Stuttering.

Performance seems to have been introduced at GURPS 3e, and Group Performance at 4e.

Naturally, these skills are mostly found on templates for performers, of more kinds than actors, musicians and bards. Fantasy suggests Performance for free gladiators; Horror uses it for Artists, Charlatans and Evil Clowns, and Britanica-6 suggests it for sportsmen. Martial Arts uses it for phony instructors, movie stars, stuntmen, pro wrestlers, and Wushu practitioners. It also has rules for faking martial-arts skill (including a complete fake style) using Fight Chorography. Martial Arts: Gladiators has a lot on Performance, though nothing on Fight Chorography. PU3 has Talents for Performance and Group Performance (Conducting), but no other specialisations; PU7 has wildcards for both skills. Psis uses Performance for celebrities and soothsayers; Reign of Steel: Will to Live has DJs, preachers and gladiators, not all of whom are robots. Social Engineering has a lot you can do with Performance, and some extra uses for Group Performance

Can one take an optional specialisation within a required specialisation? It seems sensible, but I can't find anything on this in RAW. The idea was suggested by the note in Social Engineering that one uses Group Performance for hiring performers: a specialist in casting might plausibly have an optional specialisation, for Group Performance (Directing (Casting)). And you'd want Empathy or Sensitive to be really good at it.

I have a couple of characters with Group Performance (Conducting) one of whom also has Performance, and aspired to be an opera singer before she ended up at Bletchley Park in early 1941. But I've never played a GURPS campaign where performance skills were a major part of the game. Another thing to try, sometime.

How have you wowed the audience?
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Old 09-12-2015, 09:29 AM   #2
whswhs
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Group Performance and Performance

Note that Kromm told me that the Group Performance skill for things like con games and capers is Leadership. I suppose the same would be true for a group of spies carrying off an elaborate deception.

I made most extensive use of Performance back in an early GURPS campaign, in the days of 3/e and indeed before I started writing GURPS books. I had a group of British teenagers who took a wrong turn one midsummer's eve and found themselves in the twilight lands, among the fair folk. They were all talented music students, so they made themselves welcome by singing and playing. We worked it out that the Singing or Musical Instrument skill was primary, but that they could also roll vs. Performance to look good in front of an audience—and their lead singer also used her Sex Appeal skill to appeal to a specific part of the audience. Of course I could handle all that more elegantly now, with group performance and complementary skills in the RAW.
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Old 09-12-2015, 09:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Group Performance and Performance

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
Note that Kromm told me that the Group Performance skill for things like con games and capers is Leadership. I suppose the same would be true for a group of spies carrying off an elaborate deception.
Is that "Use Leadership in place of Group Performance" or "A new specialisation of Group Performance defaulting to something like Leadership -2"?
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Old 09-12-2015, 09:51 AM   #4
whswhs
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Group Performance and Performance

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Is that "Use Leadership in place of Group Performance" or "A new specialisation of Group Performance defaulting to something like Leadership -2"?
The former.
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Old 09-12-2015, 10:06 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Group Performance and Performance

Putting on a group performance can be a fun challenge to give to a party. Assuming that they are completely untrained at the task, the challenge becomes finding someone competent to teach direct them on how not to suck for their 5 minute skit they have to put on.


They whole point to doing this, of course, is to make them roleplay the skit for the GMs amusement.
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Old 09-12-2015, 10:26 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Group Performance and Performance

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Putting on a group performance can be a fun challenge to give to a party. Assuming that they are completely untrained at the task, the challenge becomes finding someone competent to teach direct them on how not to suck for their 5 minute skit they have to put on.


They whole point to doing this, of course, is to make them roleplay the skit for the GMs amusement.
Sort of like the episode of Fairy Tail where the main character took on a mission for a play?
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Old 09-12-2015, 10:32 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Group Performance and Performance

Apart from John's characters mentioned above, the ones in my file are one musician-conductor from the 1960s psi campaign (who got sonokinesis of course), and two actors, one of whom also has Fight Choreography.

I don't think these skills have ever been particularly important in my games, though I've always rather fancied Steffan O'Sullivan's pet campaign idea from Swashbucklers of the roving Commedia dell'Arte troupe.

I think that specialising a required specialty is basically too fiddly for GURPS: the closest we get is Hyper-Specialization (Power-Ups 2, p. 16) which is too narrow to apply here. I suspect that if I were to model a casting specialist I'd just call it Group Performance (Casting) and allow a small default from Directing.
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Old 09-12-2015, 10:48 AM   #8
whswhs
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Group Performance and Performance

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I think that specialising a required specialty is basically too fiddly for GURPS: the closest we get is Hyper-Specialization (Power-Ups 2, p. 16) which is too narrow to apply here. I suspect that if I were to model a casting specialist I'd just call it Group Performance (Casting) and allow a small default from Directing.
Recruiting and hiring personnel seems to me to be Administration, mostly. Though I'd allow Leadership in its place, so I suppose I'd allow Group Performance.

GURPS Social Engineering has a perk that makes you good at finding people to hire. That might be the way to go about it.
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Old 09-12-2015, 10:52 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Group Performance and Performance

I would assume the skill for complex aerial maneuvers would be Flight choreography defaulting from aerobatics or pilot. For things like the Blue angles.
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Old 09-12-2015, 12:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Group Performance and Performance

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
Recruiting and hiring personnel seems to me to be Administration, mostly. Though I'd allow Leadership in its place, so I suppose I'd allow Group Performance.

GURPS Social Engineering has a perk that makes you good at finding people to hire. That might be the way to go about it.
For the basics of "find someone who can do this job", sure. But casting for a play/film is also an artistic decision, and that's where I think this skill would come in.

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Originally Posted by Zeta Blaze View Post
I would assume the skill for complex aerial maneuvers would be Flight choreography defaulting from aerobatics or pilot. For things like the Blue angles.
That makes some sense – display pilots get a lot of training and practice time specifically for display flying, you don't just pull them out of test pilot instruction or other high-piloting-skill jobs. And it sounds better than Aerobatic Art or Piloting Art.
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