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Old 06-17-2016, 01:47 PM   #1
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default [Basic] Skill of the week: Panhandling

Panhandling is the IQ/E skill of begging effectively. The defaults are IQ-4, Fast-Talk-2 or Public Speaking-3, and no skills default to Panhandling. Roll once per hour, with a success netting $2 x your margin of success, failure producing nothing, critical success a bonus of some kind, and critical failure an assault, or a problem with the law. The skill appeared in Compendium I for 3e.

There are plenty of modifiers: bonuses for Charisma, Smooth Operator, or Pitiable, for having below-average Appearance, and for lots of people passing by. There are penalties for Shyness, and for a shortage of people. These modifiers make it effectively a social skill, but it doesn't take language or cultural familiarity penalties. There's a case to be made for the latter, but it would be cruel to characters suddenly down and out in a foreign city.

The skill seems to assume you're working face-to-face, somewhere that plenty of people pass by. I could imagine a high-tech society where it was possible to be a beggar in a virtual public space, but the skill might be quite different there. Collecting money for charity on the street may also be Panhandling, with a bonus for being authorised and having a good cause. Buskers roll their performance skill(s), rather than Panhandling, per DF2.

Panhandling is fairly rare on published templates. Banestorm has a job description for beggars, and DF clerics, thieves and assassins have Panhandling as an option. Horror's Alien Invaders are incompetent at Panhandling, as they are at many human-interaction skills, and it suffers cross-world familiarity penalties in Infinite Worlds. Power-Ups 3 and 7 have Talents and a Wildcard skill covering this skill. Psionic Powers has an ability that boosts Panhandling, and Psis has Experiment and Manipulator templates that use it. Social Engineering has additional applications for the skill.

I don't think I've ever used this skill in a game. The groups I play in don't tend to count every coin, and I've never felt the urge to build a character who was dead-broke. My criminal characters have had faster ways of making money, even if they were riskier. What have you done with it?
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Old 06-18-2016, 11:11 AM   #2
RogerBW
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Panhandling

This has shown up on one character in my files, and I don't think it ever got rolled.

I can see it being possibly relevant in the upcoming low-power monster hunting campaign, but mostly to convince NPCs that a PC who's standing around keeping a lookout is just a harmless beggar whom they don't need to notice - in effect as a variant of Stealth/Disguise for blending in to an urban setting.

This skill seems to me to represent a combination of a specialised Influence skill (you can only use it to get money out of people) with Savoir-Faire (Beggar). But it's already Easy and largely unused IME, so splitting it up further wouldn't make it more popular.
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Old 06-21-2016, 03:45 PM   #3
SionEwig
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Panhandling

I've never used this skill for a character, but I do have a character that uses Busking as a part of his income so I'll be making use of that alternative use. Glad this was mentioned.
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Old 06-21-2016, 04:57 PM   #4
Bruno
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Panhandling

A high TL version uses Writing and Computer Operation, for setting up a web tip-jar/patreon/gofundme/etc and encouraging people to use it.
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Old 06-21-2016, 05:07 PM   #5
SionEwig
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Panhandling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
A high TL version uses Writing and Computer Operation, for setting up a web tip-jar/patreon/gofundme/etc and encouraging people to use it.
That makes a lot of sense. I do have to wonder how you would do the rolls though.
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Old 06-21-2016, 05:42 PM   #6
Bruno
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Panhandling

Quote:
Originally Posted by SionEwig View Post
That makes a lot of sense. I do have to wonder how you would do the rolls though.
I'd treat it as a job, unless you're launching a short-term quick-fundraising campaign. I would probably base the job roll on Writing, and income on a supporting skill or advantage or something - the thing you're using as your "hook". This could be Artist, Performance, Public Speaking, Writing, or even Acting/Fast-Talk (if it's a scam).

Now that I think about it, Writing isn't always the basic skill - YouTubers/Twitchers and so forth get to use Public Speaking, and that might actually be enough to bring actual Panhandling into the mix. The rote "Like, favorite, comment, and subscribe!" chant from YouTubers might actually be Panhandling; the goal is to get people to change the statistics on their channel so the advertisers pay them more money, but it's oddly similar to "God bless the poor!", or "Hungry and Homeless", or other standard begging catchphrases.
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Old 06-21-2016, 08:35 PM   #7
scc
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Panhandling

What about Kickstarter while we're sort-of on that subject?
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Old 06-21-2016, 08:44 PM   #8
PTTG
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Panhandling

I've made rolls for this skill. This was actually my first GURPS character, in fact. Hobo Superheroes.
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:49 AM   #9
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Panhandling

Quote:
Originally Posted by scc View Post
What about Kickstarter while we're sort-of on that subject?
I think that's similar to high-tech remote begging: Writing, and Computer Operation, plus Electronics Operation (Media) for the video, and Merchant for designing a scheme that won't lose money.
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