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Old 12-10-2016, 06:37 PM   #1
Refplace
 
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Default The odd difference among social skills

The skill of the week thread which is about Streetwise this week brought to mind how odd some of the social skills are.

Some have a built in knowledge of cultural norms (or sub culture) and include things like symbols, Heraldry, colors, flags, uniforms, etc and area knowledge like locations and even laws.
Others just focus on how to talk to someone in certain circumstances.

Streeetwise and Savior Faire are pretty broad, though Savoir Faire requires a specilaity.
Carousing, Fast Talk, Diplomacy and Sex Appeal are much more limited in scope.

Anyone else feel thisis a bit odd? Not really broken just not perfectly balanced or symmetrical.
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Old 12-10-2016, 07:30 PM   #2
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Default Re: The odd difference among social skills

I always pictured (at a gut level) streetwise being a Savoir Faire (area, criminal) with a themed name.

Also, a lot of GURPS skills that overlap have accumulated. We could probably trim a good 25% by going over them with a fine toothed comb Alternate Gun Specialties (Pyramid 3/65) style.
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Old 12-11-2016, 12:22 AM   #3
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Default Re: The odd difference among social skills

Streetwise and Savoir Faire are about WHO you socialize with, while the others are more about HOW you socialize.
Diplomacy is diplomatic whether you're talking to Joe Bartender, Joe Biden, or Joe the barely sapient tiger.
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Last edited by Flyndaran; 12-11-2016 at 12:27 AM.
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Old 12-11-2016, 01:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: The odd difference among social skills

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Originally Posted by Tyneras View Post
I always pictured (at a gut level) streetwise being a Savoir Faire (area, criminal) with a themed name.

Also, a lot of GURPS skills that overlap have accumulated. We could probably trim a good 25% by going over them with a fine toothed comb Alternate Gun Specialties (Pyramid 3/65) style.
I'm really glad that Dungeon Fantasy has done away with needing a half dozen skills to search a room. Anyone else remember when you needed Architecture to find secret doors.
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Old 12-11-2016, 02:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: The odd difference among social skills

Another aspect of skills like Savoir-Faire or Streetwise is the ideas of working within a role or persona, for instance, I apparently get complimented a lot on my manner in customer service… but in a less defined social situation, I stumble with small talk, I have no idea what to say, and thinking up the right words for the situation becomes a struggle in itself.

To me, skill overlap is not necessarily a bad thing – I like when Area Knowledge, Streetwise or Urban Survival could all work for the task you are looking for. I also like when Savoir-Faire or Carousing can cover a social situation. For instance, Savoir-Faire could be used to intimidate someone if you use your position or contacts or throwing names around to get it done... Intimidation works with that method, but works with other methods as well.

The problem is when people feel they *need* both skills. I fall prey to it at times, but I think it can be an interesting way to highlight someone's limitations.
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Old 12-11-2016, 03:54 AM   #6
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Default Re: The odd difference among social skills

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Originally Posted by Railstar View Post
The problem is when people feel they *need* both skills. I fall prey to it at times, but I think it can be an interesting way to highlight someone's limitations.
And Social Engineering proposes Complementary Skills mechanics for such cases.
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Old 12-11-2016, 11:00 AM   #7
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Default Re: The odd difference among social skills

I think Streetwise makes most sense if it is taken as a general social skill, just as Diplomacy, Acting, Leadership, and Fast Talk are. I think it's a slight misnomer too because I think it should be usable outside the "street" - it should cover savvy and clever observation and action in other settings.

However I think all of those general skills should often also have Area/Social knowledge taken into account.

If someone moves to a place with an unfamiliar culture, all their social skills are going to have familiarity problems. A very wise "street" dweller in Chicago is going to have major issues if he wakes up in London. And an actual Diplomat probably puts more study into learning knowledge of specific cultures and protocols and situations than the general social skill of Diplomacy.
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Old 12-11-2016, 11:11 AM   #8
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Default Re: The odd difference among social skills

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If someone moves to a place with an unfamiliar culture, all their social skills are going to have familiarity problems. A very wise "street" dweller in Chicago is going to have major issues if he wakes up in London. And an actual Diplomat probably puts more study into learning knowledge of specific cultures and protocols and situations than the general social skill of Diplomacy.
You're in luck, the Basic Characters book has you covered on pg 23; under the heading Culture.
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Old 12-11-2016, 12:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: The odd difference among social skills

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Originally Posted by Railstar View Post
The problem is when people feel they *need* both skills. I fall prey to it at times, but I think it can be an interesting way to highlight someone's limitations.
There are times when I go, "Give me a roll at the best of your Architecture or Search skills. If you have both, you can roll the lower one as a complementary." This lets folks who have one but not the other have a shot at contributing, while those with both aren't going "why did I take both if I didn't need them?"
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Old 12-11-2016, 01:35 PM   #10
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Default Re: The odd difference among social skills

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
You're in luck, the Basic Characters book has you covered on pg 23; under the heading Culture.
By default, however, the categories are very broad with only a handful of cultures around the world. In fact, the very example Skarg used would have no penalty at all. England, American, Mexican are all Western.
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