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 09-30-2016, 10:21 PM   #1
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default [Basic] Skill of the week: Savoir-Faire

Savoir-Faire is the IQ/E skill providing the expertise to behave correctly in a subculture with its own rules of interaction. The skill appeared at GURPS 1e, and assumed at the time that the subculture was "high society", but now requires specialisation. The specialisations in Basic are (Dojo), (High Society), (Mafia), Military), (Police), and (Servant), and Heraldry can default to an applicable specialisation. Several of these specialisation have defaults to other skills, but the only cross-specialisation default is that (High Society) and (Servant) default to each other at -2. Some of them also have the concept of "relative standing" in a hierarchy, such as Status for (High Society) or applicable Rank for (Military) and (Police), which modifies rolls against the skills.

On a successful roll, you can interact with the appropriate group without embarrassing anyone. You can also attempt to detect pretenders to high standing, and use the skill as an Influence skill against members of the group. It would seem plausible that you can also use it to attempt to predict how the group will react to a new situation. There's a long thread about the various uses of the skill here. Modifiers to the skill include Cultural Familiarity, +2/-2 for being of higher or lower relative standing, +2 for having backing within the group, and modifiers for Smooth Operator, Clueless, Low Empathy, Oblivious or Shyness. Connoisseur may serve as a complementary skill for (High Society), and other skills could plausibly do the same for other specialisations.

Savoir-Faire is universal on templates for martial artists, high-status people, members of organised crime groups, military and police personnel and servants. Caravan to Ein Arris has an NPC who has learned two (High Society) specialisations for two different cultures. Action uses (Servant) for the cases where a bodyguard suddenly has to give their client orders, because they still have to be phrased nicely. Dragons has Savoir-Faire rules for draconic society, which look as if they were ancestors of the Cultural Familiarity rules. Fantasy bases intrigue between nobles on Savoir-Faire, and adds (Magical); Madness Dossier points out that the culturally specific aspects of the skill extend to all specialisations, via (Russian Mafiya), and boosts it via the Innate NLP talent. Savoir-Faire can be the skill for political inventions, in Infinite Worlds, but the skill suffers cross-time familiarity penalties. IW also adds (Centrum), (Spirits) and (Swagman) specialisations and Britanica-6 has social competitions of Savoir-Faire between princes. Martial Arts adds (Gym) for boxers, Muay Thai practitioners and wrestlers; Gladiators has (Ludus), their training school, and (Rome), which is presumably (High Society) for that culture. Technical Grappling adds (Belt Wrestling) and (Vampire). Monster Hunters uses applicable Savoir-Faire (or Streetwise) for bribery, which seems sensible. Power-Ups volumes provide perks, talents, quirks and wildcards for this skill. Social Engineering has far too many uses and clarifications for this skill to list, and Space adds alien psychology modifiers. Thaumatology has (Mystical World), for mystic China.

Reversing the optional specialisation rules to create an IQ/A Savoir-Faire (everyone) skill doesn't seem terribly plausible, simply because the content of the various specialisations is so different. Nonetheless, PCs who go many places and interact with many people may end up with several specialisations. My record so far is four, on a military counter-intelligence officer: (High Society) for being an officer and a gentleman, plus infiltration; (Military) within my own service; (Police) for dealing with them and (Servant) for infiltration. Since he was a lone operator in his criminal career, he doesn't have (Mafia), and the FCCT martial-arts style doesn't use (Dojo).

Where have you got with this skill?
__________________
Index of "Skill of the Week" threads. Index of Techniques.
johndallman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2016, 10:27 PM   #2
Refplace
 
Refplace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Savoir-Faire

My record is 3 Dojo, Police and Military and I currently have one with High Society and Military and Police.
Never really done anything memorable with them but use them now and then.
__________________
Looking for group in my area
REFPLace GURPS Landing Page
My List of GURPS You Tube videos (plus a few other useful items)
Refplace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2016, 06:56 AM   #3
khorboth
 
khorboth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Denver, CO
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Savoir-Faire

I recently made a character with the -1 disadvantage Incompetent (Savoir-Fair). It did a lot to define how the character interacted with everyone. He had no sense of what was or wasn't appropriate in any setting.
khorboth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2016, 07:21 AM   #4
RogerBW
 
RogerBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: near London, UK
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Savoir-Faire

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Where have you got with this skill?
I have another four-Savoir-Faire character in my archive: the "face" in my Meltdown-and-Fallout one-shot demo scenario, who has High Society, Mafia, Military and Police because he's going into small corrupt countries and negotiating turnkey nuclear reactor deals.

I can't help feeling that Social Chameleon really ought to tie into this, at least in the "passive" sense for things like of "can I avoid embarrassing myself at the embassy party/dojo/church while trying to get close to my target"; there is, I think, a general knack of watching what other people do and copying them which is a learnable skill, though obviously it won't get you very far.
RogerBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2016, 08:00 AM   #5
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Savoir-Faire

Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerBW View Post
I can't help feeling that Social Chameleon really ought to tie into this, at least in the "passive" sense for things like of "can I avoid embarrassing myself at the embassy party/dojo/church while trying to get close to my target"; there is, I think, a general knack of watching what other people do and copying them which is a learnable skill, though obviously it won't get you very far.
As they stand, Savoir-Faire and Social Chameleon don't seem to interact. You could try claiming that SC exempts you from the relative standing modifiers of S-F, I suppose, or claim that SC gives you "defensive" S-F (all) at IQ.
__________________
Index of "Skill of the Week" threads. Index of Techniques.
johndallman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2016, 08:10 AM   #6
GM Joe
 
GM Joe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Chicagoland
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Savoir-Faire

I use Savoir-Faire all the time. Maybe too much? Although, I don't ask for rolls against it often. It's more of a thing that lets me, as GM, say, "Your character knows doing that would be a faux pas in this situation...do you want to go ahead and do it?"
__________________
GMing Since 1982.
GM Joe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
basic, savoir-faire, 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 12:10 AM.


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