Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-09-2016, 03:19 PM   #1
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default [Basic] Skill of the week: Public Speaking

Public Speaking is the IQ/A skill of being good at talking, persuasively or entertainingly. The defaults are IQ-5, Acting-5, Performance-2 or Politics-5. Acting, Panhandling and Performance have defaults to Public Speaking, and it's a prerequisite and cap for the Enthrallment skills. It appeared at GURPS 1e, as Bard.

The skill takes Cultural Familiarity and language modifiers, and is required for the Rapier Wit advantage. It is boosted by Charisma, Smooth Operator talent, and Voice, and penalised by Neurological Disorder, Shyness and Stuttering. It's used by politicians and stand-up comedians, rabble-rousers, TV and radio journalists, and anyone else who has to talk to large numbers of people. Optional specialisation in a particular field of Public Speaking is common. In Basic, you make a skill roll to determine the quality of your speech, but there isn't much guidance on the limits of what you can do.

Social Engineering adds detail: Public Speaking is useful in presenting requests, as a substitute Influence skill to gain a hearing, or get a Good reaction, to perform well in a job interview, to present a case or a plea in court, to turn a crowd into a mob or back again, or as the main skill in formal face-to-face debate or battles of wit. It can also serve as a distraction from something else you're doing secretly, be used to judge the mood of a crowd with a Per-based roll, and as a complementary skill to Propaganda. Appearing on TV, radio, trideo, etc., effectively does require some experience: a new medium is a familiarity for Public Speaking. The Charisma bonus to the skill does work through media. Before loudspeaker systems became ubiquitous, trained Public Speakers learned how to make their voices carry. Back to School covers effective lecturing.

Public Speaking shows up on templates for face-men in general, journalists, linguists, leaders and priests. Academics, artists, lawyers, mystics and writers also have uses for it. Action has rules for distracting crowds, to the point of riots, and performing cover-ups, and AtE uses it for recruiting followers to your cult (and riots). Bio-Tech has activists, engineers and executives who use this skill, and City Stats has some NPCs with very high skill levels. In DF, Bards are the archetypical Public Speakers, and many others dabble. Fantasy adds deadly druidical satire, and Roman magistrates who use Public Speaking as their main job skill. Madness Dossier uses it for memetic operations on crowds, and Infinite Worlds gives it cross-world familiarity penalties, and many uses for cross-time troubleshooters and tour guides.

Locations: Worminghall places the skill within classical education, and provides plenty of well-educated NPCs. LTC1 points out that the skill is ancient, as storytelling for entertainment, and Magic has a storytelling spell, with a skill cap of Public Speaking. Mysteries stresses the usefulness of this skill to investigators. The Power-Ups series has talents, quirks and wildcard skills for Public Speaking. Powers, Divine Favour and The Weird have abilities that work with it, as does Psionic Powers. Reign of Steel: Will to Live has Public-Speaking postmen, and it's good for persuading Supers archvillains to monologue. Thaumatology gives the skill uses in mass magic, poetic magic, and enchantment through fame. It's an example for using spells in place of skills in Magical Styles, and a candidate for triggering spell fumbles in Ritual Path Magic.

I don't think I've ever seen this skill used by a PC, although the Weird War II campaign I'm in has potential for it. What have you done with Public Speaking?
johndallman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2016, 03:28 PM   #2
(E)
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New Zealand.
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Public Speaking

I've used public speaking extensively when playing a charismatic general in a (TL2) fantasy game. Mass combat supplied many situations when it seemed appropriate to use public speaking/leadership to capitalize on success or mitigate failure.
__________________
Waiting for inspiration to strike......
(E) is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2016, 12:10 AM   #3
jason taylor
 
jason taylor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Public Speaking

This might be interesting.


http://www.artofmanliness.com/2011/0...ric-invention/
__________________
"The navy could probably win a war without coffee but would prefer not to try"-Samuel Eliot Morrison
jason taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2016, 04:13 AM   #4
Phil Masters
 
Phil Masters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: U.K.
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Public Speaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
I don't think I've ever seen this skill used by a PC, although the Weird War II campaign I'm in has potential for it. What have you done with Public Speaking?
Funny - I think of it as a skill that gets fairly regular use. You may recall that steampunk convention demo game I ran for the Wednesday group, John; I think that I handled the hasty end-of-evening wrap-up by requiring a contest of Public Speaking between the party faceman and the mad Catholic priest who was trying to turn the village against them...

I seem to keep playing geeks and solipsists at the moment, so I don't take it often, But when I'm designing convention demo PC groups, I tend to stick this skill on the leader/faceman/priest types, and I think it gets used fairly regularly in those games to get the archetypal bunch of dubious locals on side.
__________________
--
Phil Masters
Creator of The Small Folk - Wainscot Urban Fantasy Roleplaying.
Discworld Roleplaying Game author, Transhuman Space Line Editor.
My Home Page.
Phil Masters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2016, 04:23 AM   #5
Gef
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Yucca Valley, CA
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Public Speaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
I don't think I've ever seen this skill used by a PC, although the Weird War II campaign I'm in has potential for it. What have you done with Public Speaking?
I'm in a game now where many PCs do a lot of Public Speaking and have the skill on their sheets, but the GM tends to go by rolepaying whenever possible rather than calling for skill checks. If the game runs late and we players are starting to feel stupid, we have the option to ask for a skill check, though.

The set-up is space opera, FTL travel gets you between stars in weeks to months, but messages travel no faster than the ships. PCs are on a mission with plenipotentiary powers.
Gef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2016, 04:57 AM   #6
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Public Speaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Masters View Post
I think that I handled the hasty end-of-evening wrap-up by requiring a contest of Public Speaking between the party faceman and the mad Catholic priest who was trying to turn the village against them...
You're right and I'd forgotten that. We had kind of taken the wind out of the priest's sails by beckoning the crowd to come over so that we could explain what had been going on.
johndallman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2016, 09:28 AM   #7
Kalzazz
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Public Speaking

It is used for rapier wit!
Kalzazz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2016, 01:36 PM   #8
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Public Speaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
I don't think I've ever seen this skill used by a PC, although the Weird War II campaign I'm in has potential for it.
Well, that was prophetic. In today's session, it was needed, used and succeeded. It was D-Day, and for magical reasons it was necessary to reinforce the idea of liberation, both in the view of the French who had been liberated in the area inland from Sword beach, and in the troops doing it. Our face-man did the job well, while our best medium roused the ghosts of departed French to help shift the magical boundary between allied and German zones.

The rest of us got to do a lot more shooting, but our actions were of lesser significance in the long run. Oh, and the face-man persuaded a dragon that the German in the black uniform who woke him up and told him that the forces of water were invading the land ... might not have been telling the whole truth. The dragon left, to investigate. Just as well, since we'd seemed unable to harm it, and its breath had set fire to the metal of what is now known as Pegasus Bridge.
johndallman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2016, 01:17 PM   #9
weby
 
weby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Public Speaking

It gets used a LOT in our games. There is quite often a group of people you want to influence and public speaking is the to go skill for that.

It is definitely not used every session but then we have sessions like the previous session where it was used 5 times for different things.
__________________
--
weby's gaming stuff: http://weby.roto.nu
weby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2016, 03:17 AM   #10
RogerBW
 
RogerBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: near London, UK
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Public Speaking

I think of this as the "swaying the crowd" skill, as distinct from the standard Influence skills, and I don't seem to have a lot of crowds in my games. I should probably do something about that.
RogerBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
basic, public speaking, skill of the week

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.