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 > The Fantasy Trip

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-11-2023, 03:01 PM   #1
Shostak
 
Shostak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: New England
Default Talent/Spell of the Week: Persuasiveness

This IQ 11 Thrown spell does what its name implies by making its subject more able to convince others, and it confers a +2 to reactions rolls. It has a modest casting cost of 2ST, with a renewal cost of only 1ST per minute. Persuasiveness is ideally suited for a mentalist wizard, though could make a particularly effective lone spell at the disposal of a rogue, courtier, or merchant, or even a sidekick/apprentice who has to make their suggestions seem like their master's. I like this spell, but it has issues that need to be dealt with.

The thing that strikes me as odd about Persuasiveness is that its description implies that it only works in an attempt to convince someone when using a relevant talent (it offers Charisma as an example). This can't possibly be right. One would think that the spell would let anyone be more persuasive, and having a social talent like Bard, Sex Appeal, Courtly Graces, or Scholar would just make the subject even more convincing. And, so we have the puzzle of how to interpret the rules' mention of using the spell combined with a talent.

Once you've figured out, you are confronted with what precise mechanics to use to persuade someone to do something. The opposed roll (a.k.a. "contest") described on ITL p. 8 is the most likely choice. It uses 3d versus a relevant attribute for the characters involved, with success being determined by margin of success. If using this method, it seems fair for social talent bonuses to add to the attribute rolled against (almost certainly IQ), and for the spell to let the enchanted character roll one die fewer. Of course, players will undoubtedly want to convince people to do things things that would be counter to the NPC's interests; if one is trying to convince jailers to let you out of your cell, it would be perfectly reasonable for the GM to require additional dice--probably a lot more. But, in every case, Persuasiveness lessens the difficulty by one die.

When considering the reaction roll bonus, what happens if the subject of the spell already has talents that give them a +2 o +3 bonus? Does the magic give no additional benefit? ITL p. 7 would have us say that it gives no bonus beyond the +3 max. Somehow, that doesn't seem right, either. But, maybe the ultra coarse-grained 1d reaction roll just can't cope with modifiers beyond +3 (reaction rolls probably deserve their own thread in House Rules).

I know of one GM who holds that anyone who has been convinced to do something by the subject of a Persuasiveness spell will become aware of the magical influence when the spell ends. Given that the persuaded are not the subjects of the enchantment, I don't think that they should. Instead, they might doubt their judgement, asking, "What on earth was I thinking when I agreed?!?!" I'd go further to say that the subject also will not be aware of the enchantment; they'll simply know that they were pretty darn convincing (or not, depending on how the dice roll).

Sometimes when I've used Persuasion against the PCs, some of the players were unhappy with being told that an NPC was so convincing that their characters were persuaded to do something they didn't want to do. It can be hard to bring them around without letting the cat out of the bag that magic was the reason, so be prepared if that information is best kept secret.

Conversation Starters
  • Do you require the use of a social talent to allow Persuasiveness to work?
  • Other than those already mentioned, what talents or spells would be especially effective when combined with Persuasiveness?
  • What character types do you think might get the most use out of the spell?
  • How often does Persuasiveness come up in your games?
  • Have you used it against the PCs? How did the player/s respond to being told their characters were persuaded?
  • Do you allow the spell to give reaction roll bonuses beyond +3
  • What was the most outlandish success or spectacular disaster resulting from the use of this spell in your games?
__________________
* * * *
Anthony Shostak
myriangia.wordpress.com
Shostak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2023, 08:59 PM   #2
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Persuasiveness

Sometimes it's clear from RP that an NPC might influence a PC's behaviour by social interaction. It could reflect intimidation, friendship, seduction. sympathy, etc. Sometimes that's deliberate on the NPC's part, sometimes it's just a result of who they are and/or their situation: e.g. a very attractive person making seduction attempts without intent.

Sometimes as a player I don't want to react like a pure rational murder hobo so I'll say, "Look, it's obvious this NPC is using a social interaction ability that might affect my character's behaviour. Let them make a roll inspired by the Sex Appeal why-would-you-want-to-kill-me roll. I'll consider my character bound by the result, within reason." But I never see other players do the same, and some GMs just refuse to make the roll.
David Bofinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2023, 04:17 PM   #3
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Persuasiveness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
The thing that strikes me as odd about Persuasiveness is that its description implies that it only works in an attempt to convince someone when using a relevant talent (it offers Charisma as an example). This can't possibly be right.
You're right that that can't be right.

That is, I think you're wrong that the description implies the spell only works using a relevant talent. It doesn't say that.

It says that when using a talent, it subtracts a die from such attempts. It does not say what it does in other situations, besides the +2 reaction roll, because it's a TFT spell description and so is short and leaves the endless other possibilities up to the GM to rule what exactly happens.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
When considering the reaction roll bonus, what happens if the subject of the spell already has talents that give them a +2 o +3 bonus? Does the magic give no additional benefit? ITL p. 7 would have us say that it gives no bonus beyond the +3 max. Somehow, that doesn't seem right, either.
It is right, as far as the reaction modifier goes, because (as you also mentioned) it's only a 1d roll on a table, and so more modifiers than that would make it too certain of the best possible result. A +3 guarantees a positive reaction - only the degree is uncertain, and at +3, it's only a 1/6 chance of being merely positive, and it will probably be extremely positive.

But Reaction Rolls are meant as guidelines for when the GM can't otherwise figure out what should happen, and even when you do use Reaction Rolls, the GM shouldn't ONLY use them if there is anything else to consider. The game is about situations, and Reaction Rolls are just a tool to fill in intangibles, and to help the GM. They're not meant to turn all social interactions into a die roll game with no logic behind it.

So the GM should think about the situation involved. The characters, what they know, what they're like, what they're thinking, the situation, culture, laws, whatever - all of it should potentially matter.

In a situation where the reaction modifiers would amount to more than the max due to talents AND Persuasion is in effect, I'd roll the dice and interpret the result. You're probably going to get a very favorable result, so what more do you want? If anything, one might beware of becoming more conspicuous that you want to be. The guards you rolled an 8 reaction on, are definitely going to remember you, and maybe jabber about you to their friends, etc, which might not be what you want ultimately . . .


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
I know of one GM who holds that anyone who has been convinced to do something by the subject of a Persuasiveness spell will become aware of the magical influence when the spell ends. Given that the persuaded are not the subjects of the enchantment, I don't think that they should. Instead, they might doubt their judgement, asking, "What on earth was I thinking when I agreed?!?!" I'd go further to say that the subject also will not be aware of the enchantment; they'll simply know that they were pretty darn convincing (or not, depending on how the dice roll).
I tend to think of the times I've actually been manipulated by other people, which has sometimes been much like you described. "What was I thinking? Why did I agree to that?"


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
Sometimes when I've used Persuasion against the PCs, some of the players were unhappy with being told that an NPC was so convincing that their characters were persuaded to do something they didn't want to do. It can be hard to bring them around without letting the cat out of the bag that magic was the reason, so be prepared if that information is best kept secret.
Good point. There are various ways to mitigate this. One, is to get in the habit of mentioning to players some impressions that NPCs give to them when they interact with them. e.g.:

"He looks like a nice earnest sort of person."

"You get the feeling they're not telling you something."

"You have a feeling that you ought to listen to them."

If you make this just a fairly frequent part of your descriptions, then you can do the same for talents or magical influence effects.
Skarg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2023, 07:45 PM   #4
Shostak
 
Shostak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: New England
Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Persuasiveness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
You're right that that can't be right.

That is, I think you're wrong that the description implies the spell only works using a relevant talent. It doesn't say that.

It says that when using a talent, it subtracts a die from such attempts. It does not say what it does in other situations, besides the +2 reaction roll, because it's a TFT spell description and so is short and leaves the endless other possibilities up to the GM to rule what exactly happens.
The spell is called “Persuasiveness” not “Charisma.” In a game that goes into enough detail to discuss the mechanics of drawing a dagger in HTH, scaling a wall with a rope, or scrying on someone within a warded area, one might reasonably expect the entry for a Persuasiveness spell to actually describe how to use the spell to attempt to convince others to do things that they would be unlikely to do save for the intervention of magic.

Quote:
The game is about situations, and Reaction Rolls are just a tool to fill in intangibles, and to help the GM. They're not meant to turn all social interactions into a die roll game with no logic behind it.
I agree with that, but reaction rolls are not persuasion rolls. That leaves the question of what persuasion rolls are. All that the spell description gives us for a clue is that social talents are relevant and that if a character uses the spell combined with one, one fewer dice are used. We know from elsewhere that the rule of thumb for untalented attempts are made with 1 extra die, and that if untalented attempts are made on N dice, talented rolls are made at N-1 dice. Given that the spell description only mentions using fewer dice if a talent is used, one wonders what the spell offers to the roll if such a talent is not also in play, because the other rules suggest that this would amount to an untalented roll.

Quote:
In a situation where the reaction modifiers would amount to more than the max due to talents AND Persuasion is in effect, I'd roll the dice and interpret the result.
Roll which dice? Is it a simple 3/IQ success roll? 4/IQ? Is it an opposed roll? The spell description gives zero guidance.

Quote:
Good point. There are various ways to mitigate this. One, is to get in the habit of mentioning to players some impressions that NPCs give to them when they interact with them. e.g.:

"He looks like a nice earnest sort of person."

"You get the feeling they're not telling you something."

"You have a feeling that you ought to listen to them."

If you make this just a fairly frequent part of your descriptions, then you can do the same for talents or magical influence effects.
Good suggestions.
__________________
* * * *
Anthony Shostak
myriangia.wordpress.com
Shostak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2023, 11:21 PM   #5
JimmyPlenty
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Persuasiveness

I disagree that this should be anything but a regular reaction role. It is after all, the method used by default for these situations. You get a flat plus if you're using charisma or sex appeal and whatnot. Those skills don't require a 3/IQ roll. They rely on the D6.

When it comes to the idea of adding modifiers together such as the persuasive misspell and charisma and sex appeal etc, I think that would be OK. I would just treat any ending result of past six to represent the targets commitment to being convinced. One more step over the top.

For instance, somebody tries to persuade the castle engineer not to wall up the sewers in a certain spot Because the thieves Guild wants to use them to infiltrate the keep. On a modified total of let's say 9, the target not only agrees not to wall up the sewers but actually starts drawing up plans to expand the sewers more in that area.

I do agree that having persuasion against the PC's is a very difficult thing to do without blowing the secrecy. I do like Skarg’s idea of almost metagaming it, trying to convince the player “nudge nudge” as if it was a hint in the right direction.
JimmyPlenty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2023, 07:59 AM   #6
Shostak
 
Shostak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: New England
Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Persuasiveness

Quote:
Originally Posted by expcarry View Post
Persuasiveness is a talent or ability that allows individuals to influence or convince others to agree with their point of view or take a certain action. It can be an incredibly powerful skill in many different areas of life, including politics, business, and interpersonal relationships.

In fantasy and RPG games, Persuasiveness may be represented as a skill or spell that allows characters to influence the attitudes and behaviors of non-player characters (NPCs) within the game world. This may include the ability to persuade NPCs to take certain actions, reveal important information, or even join the player's party as a companion.

The mechanics of Persuasiveness in games may vary depending on the specific game and system, but may involve factors such as the character's charisma score, dialogue choices, and the current attitudes of the NPCs being interacted with.
This sounds like it was written by an AI text generator, and has no specificity to TFT.
__________________
* * * *
Anthony Shostak
myriangia.wordpress.com
Shostak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2023, 10:18 AM   #7
DeadParrot
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Persuasiveness

I would allow Persuasiveness to be used to aid anything that can be done as an 'Unskilled Roll'.

Unless the person being persuaded has some ability to detect/notice magic, I think the spell effects should not be noticed. OTOH, if Bob the shop keep has interacted with Fred 100 times before and all of a sudden Fred seems really good at getting Bob to lower prices, Bob may become suspicious that something is off even if he has no clue it is a spell.

Sometimes players have to develop a good separation between what the player knows and what the character knows. Not always easy. No matter how good a GM is at hiding stuff, players often know when something secret is going on.
DeadParrot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2023, 12:35 PM   #8
Shostak
 
Shostak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: New England
Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Persuasiveness

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadParrot View Post
I would allow Persuasiveness to be used to aid anything that can be done as an 'Unskilled Roll'.
Can you describe that more, with some examples?
__________________
* * * *
Anthony Shostak
myriangia.wordpress.com
Shostak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2023, 07:24 PM   #9
DeadParrot
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Persuasiveness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
Can you describe that more, with some examples?
No specific examples but inspired by the "Unskilled Rolls" entry on ITL pg 8.

I see no reason why a wizard couldn't cast Persuasiveness on an average commoner or character who thinks he needs a little help convincing a bar maid to go out with him. Now what happens a couple minutes later after the wizard stops powering the spell and the commoner is on his own..... But it could be a business opportunity for the wizard.
Sally's Dating Service. Success guaranteed or your money back! For an extra silver, will include the Look Your Best spell.
DeadParrot is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
control, house rules, influence, magic, social

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 02:24 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.