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Old 12-10-2021, 08:05 AM   #31
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: [Basic] What skills for a long con or ...

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
I always thought of Criminology as a detective's or policeman's skill. Is it appropriate for high-end crooks themselves? The action templates certainly aren't written that way.
No, it's not the skill that a crook would use. But Hidden Lore in general isn't the skill a person would use to do things; it's a "know things" skill, not a "design" or "plan" or "manage" skill. I'm only making the narrow point that if you're thinking in terms of knowledge-of-scams, such scams are not so esoteric as to need a Hidden Lore; they fall straightforwardly into the existing knowledge skill of Criminology.

I think that knowing how to set up scams, including knowing standard scams that are well established to work, falls under Psychology (Applied).
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Old 12-10-2021, 09:47 AM   #32
Donny Brook
 
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Default Re: [Basic] What skills for a long con or ...

Well, this has been a very useful discussion.

Based on what has gone before, I might adopt the following structure:

Implementing criminal enterprises in general would be under Strategy (Crime), with a default to Streetwise or Criminology, and Administration or Leadership (depending on the nature of the operation) as a supplementary skill.

Administration, Leadership (as described earlier in the thread), or Streetwise would be the go to skills for their appropriate tasks within the activities of the enterprise.

Devising a new long con (or a particular undercover operation) will use Psychology (Applied) with normal defaults to other specializations of Psychology, and with Streetwise (or Criminlogy) as a supplementary skill.

Implementing undercover or intelligence undertakings will use Strategy (Intelligence Operations) with a default to Criminology and supplementary skills as the situation suggests.

Edit: Oh, and knowing about extant types of con or undercover operations would be straight up functions of Streetwise or Criminology (at a negative modifier (-2?) to use in their obverse role).

Last edited by Donny Brook; 12-10-2021 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 12-10-2021, 10:02 AM   #33
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Default Re: [Basic] What skills for a long con or ...

Glad to have been of help!
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Old 12-10-2021, 10:58 AM   #34
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Default Re: [Basic] What skills for a long con or ...

There's probably also an Expert Skill (Con Jobs) skill which gives you exhaustive knowledge of all the standard con jobs and their variants.

E.g., the con from The Sting is a "pigeon drop" and there are many versions of it. In Lost, half the cons Sawyer pulls are known tricks you can look up. He just tweaks them and pulls them off with authenticity and style.

Other skills (Psychology, Leadership, Acting, Fast-Talk) would help you understand the best con to pull on someone, how to plan it, and then execute against it.
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Old 12-10-2021, 01:20 PM   #35
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Default Re: [Basic] What skills for a long con or ...

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Originally Posted by thalcos View Post
There's probably also an Expert Skill (Con Jobs) skill which gives you exhaustive knowledge of all the standard con jobs and their variants.
I'm not sure you need an expert skill for that. It would be kind of like having an Expert Skill for postage stamps. That's a lot of knowledge, but its focus is really narrow; I don't think there are even three or four skills that it would substitute for in that area. I'd make postage stamps a Hobby; I'd make con jobs or scams an optional specialty of Criminology.

(I'd also allow Streetwise to let you recognize that someone was trying a scam on you, though you wouldn't necessarily know what it was.)
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Old 12-11-2021, 12:23 AM   #36
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Default Re: [Basic] What skills for a long con or ...

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Originally Posted by thalcos View Post
There's probably also an Expert Skill (Con Jobs) skill which gives you exhaustive knowledge of all the standard con jobs and their variants.

E.g., the con from The Sting is a "pigeon drop" and there are many versions of it. In Lost, half the cons Sawyer pulls are known tricks you can look up. He just tweaks them and pulls them off with authenticity and style.

Other skills (Psychology, Leadership, Acting, Fast-Talk) would help you understand the best con to pull on someone, how to plan it, and then execute against it.
Like others, I think that the ability to list con jobs is at best a Hobby skill (for someone who reads a lot of true crime stories) or a roll against Criminology (for someone with a police or criminal prosecution background).

I can understand the wish to distinguish mechanically between someone with Fast-Talk, Acting, and Leadership who has never gulled a mark, and a veteran scammer. I am not sure how (although a Perk might not be bad, and there are familiarities).

How does GURPS handle stage magic? That is another field where practice is knowing the principles of a few dozen basic tricks and being able to present them confidently and make them feel new.
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Old 12-11-2021, 01:48 AM   #37
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Default Re: [Basic] What skills for a long con or ...

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Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
I can understand the wish to distinguish mechanically between someone with Fast-Talk, Acting, and Leadership who has never gulled a mark, and a veteran scammer. I am not sure how (although a Perk might not be bad, and there are familiarities).
Possibly Techniques, since Fast-Talk, Acting, etc. cover a lot of ground.

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How does GURPS handle stage magic? That is another field where practice is knowing the principles of a few dozen basic tricks and being able to present them confidently and make them feel new.
Sleight-of-Hand is the basic skill for tricks which require you to palm or plant small objects. Performance skill helps you put on a good show and Fast-Talk is handy if you are actively trying to misdirect attention. The sort of stage magic which involves illusions or rigged props rather than Sleight-of-Hand could be treated as a Professional Skill (Stage Magician).
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