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Old 12-07-2021, 09:21 PM   #1
Donny Brook
 
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Default [Basic] What skills for a long con or ...

What skills would a character need to use to devise and carry out a long con or an undercover operation?
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Old 12-07-2021, 09:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: [Basic]What skills for a long con or ...

Many different skills depending on the nature of the con! I think Acting is the skill for long-term deception, and Fast-Talk is important for covering up mistakes. Savoir-Faire and Diplomacy are also important. Psychology can be valuable for finding a target's weakness. Propaganda lets you target mass audiences with fundraising scams like We Charity ("give us money and we promise we will use it for good / stop the thing we just spent months telling you to be scared of"). Accounting and Finance are important for financial swindles, and Law is important if you want to make sure that your scam is not technically a crime (or when your undercover agent is asked to do something shady). A science, engineering, medical or academic skill is important for scams like Theranos which are based on bafflegab, Soldier can be important for posing as a soldier of fortune who just needs a bit of money to raise a crack team and solve the client's problems.
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Old 12-08-2021, 05:39 AM   #3
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Default Re: [Basic]What skills for a long con or ...

Off the top of my head, I'd say you're looking at a Boeski, a Jim Brown, a Miss Daisy, two Jethros and a Leon Spinks, not to mention the biggest Ella Fitzgerald ever...
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Old 12-08-2021, 05:50 AM   #4
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Explicitly written up in Pyramid 3.54, where "The Long Con" is one of two social interaction styles for con games (akin to a martial art). The skills are Acting, Body Language, Leadership, and Psychology (Applied). Persuade is treated as a cinematic skill. There are also three techniques.
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Old 12-08-2021, 09:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Basic]What skills for a long con or ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
Off the top of my head, I'd say you're looking at a Boeski, a Jim Brown, a Miss Daisy, two Jethros and a Leon Spinks, not to mention the biggest Ella Fitzgerald ever...
Excellent, but what skill is the speaker using to know those needs?
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Old 12-08-2021, 09:43 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Basic]What skills for a long con or ...

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Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
Excellent, but what skill is the speaker using to know those needs?
Tough call. I'd probably err on the side of giving Danny and Rusty Expert Skill: Con Artistry. :)

(Can sub for any other skill, such as Criminology, Psychology, History, etc, but only for answering abstract questions like, "How many guys running how many separate cons at the same time could pull off a job like this, and which specific cons would they be running?")

Last edited by Gold & Appel Inc; 12-08-2021 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 12-08-2021, 09:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Basic]What skills for a long con or ...

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Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
Tough call. I'd probably err on the side of giving Danny and Rusty Expert Skill: Con Artistry.
That doesn't seem to be Rules As Written. Expert skills, by definition, enable you to KNOW things but not to DO things.
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Old 12-08-2021, 09:56 AM   #8
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Default Re: [Basic]What skills for a long con or ...

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That doesn't seem to be Rules As Written. Expert skills, by definition, enable you to KNOW things but not to DO things.
Precisely so; I edited for clarity.
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Old 12-08-2021, 10:15 AM   #9
Donny Brook
 
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Default Re: [Basic]What skills for a long con or ...

So for my question, would it be Professional skills then?

'Con Plotter' and 'Undercover Strategist'?
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Old 12-08-2021, 10:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: [Basic]What skills for a long con or ...

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So for my question, would it be Professional skills then?

'Con Plotter' and 'Undercover Strategist'?
I'm not sure that would be appropriate. Normally a professional skill involves work that you just do, dealing with data, or objects, or administrative procedures, or that sort of thing. It doesn't normally involve a contest against another person, such as is involved in things like force and fraud. But con games pretty much by definition involve a contest of the con man's skill against the victim's skill, Will, or IQ. I don't think GURPS usually does that sort of thing.

I think the primary skill for a long con is either Acting or Psychology (Applied) to get the mark off guard and/or tempt them. I think that each specific con starts out as one of those. Then if you make a specialty of it you can turn it into a technique and buy it up from the primary skill.
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