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Old 07-14-2016, 02:51 AM   #31
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Philosophy

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Good point.

Would rolls against Philosophy (Sufism) and Theology (Islam) at +4 work in basing a Public Speaking or Propaganda argument on Sufism philosophies, without claiming a bonus for Supplementary Skill use?

The game effect would be a slight Reaction bonus for those with traits where sympathy or belief in a Sufism flavour of Islam was established and a corresponding Reaction penalty for those with traits establishing Intolerance or other form of aversion or dislike against Sufism specifically or Islam generically.
A skill providing assistance is typically +1 or +2 if it's extremely effective. +2 or +4 is typical of powers. +4 is usually rated as "nearly miraculous."

This rather makes sense: Excellent command of philosophy will only do so much if you utterly lack argumentation skills. A guy mumbling about ethics to justify murder isn't going to get very far, even if his command of those ethics is impeccable, not nearly as far as someone with, say, telepathic Emotion control, or a guy who is an amazing orator.

I would argue, though, that it definitely allows more flexibility in how you can apply things like influence rolls. If you're a Fanatical Muslim terrorist, you're at +3 to resist any attempts to dissuade you from your lethal tasks... but if I successfully use Muslim Theology, I would argue that +3 disappears, because I'm now trying to persuade you from within the framework of your fanaticism.

Similar principles can apply to getting around a bonus to resisting attempts to get someone to violate their code of honor. You're arguing that they aren't violating their code of honor.
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Old 07-14-2016, 12:35 PM   #32
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Philosophy

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A skill providing assistance is typically +1 or +2 if it's extremely effective. +2 or +4 is typical of powers. +4 is usually rated as "nearly miraculous."
I'm talking about a Philosophy or Theology skill being used as a 'complementary skill' without providing any skill bonus, but instead acting as a justification to apply a modifier to the roll to resist Public Speaking or Propaganda for any traits possessed by the target that give a Reaction bonus or penalty toward memes from the particular Philosophy or Theology.

This effect would presumably be automatic if a particular Philosophy or Theology were used as a Complementary Skill to an Influence or Propaganda check, but as not everyone who makes arguments or propaganda based on memes from certain philosophies or theologies has a professional-level skill at Philosophy or Theology, it makes sense to allow a roll at a positive TDM for a reduced effect, but still using such memes. In effect, the trade-off for an easier skill check (and a lesser chance of a penalised primary skill check for failing a Complementary Skill check), is not getting a +1 (or +2) on a successful roll.

In reality, there is a distinct benefit for managers, agents or memetic engineers to having many skills at a better than default, but less than professional skill. It enables such people to understand the basics well enough to follow what professionals do, even if they can't replicate their work, as well as correctly use jargon to communicate with professionals or enthusiasts of the subject.

The complementary skill rules work out so that any skill lower than skill level 11 is not worth using when targeting a demographic or working with professioonals in a field. I don't think that's realistic. I think that being able to suceed at skill checks that are mundane to true professionals in a field, i.e. at Task Difficulty Modifier +4 or more, is often enough.

For example, while Theology (Ásatrú) -14 might be even better, because it allows a fairly reliable Complementary Skill bonus of +1 or more, Theology (Ásatrú) -10 usually ought to be good enough to craft an advertisement that targets Nordic Pagans, causing those who have relevant traits about Ásatrú to react either more positively or negatively, according to whether they are devout believers or perhaps bigoted against it.
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Old 07-14-2016, 01:31 PM   #33
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Philosophy

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
I'm talking about a Philosophy or Theology skill being used as a 'complementary skill' without providing any skill bonus, but instead acting as a justification to apply a modifier to the roll to resist Public Speaking or Propaganda for any traits possessed by the target that give a Reaction bonus or penalty toward memes from the particular Philosophy or Theology.

This effect would presumably be automatic if a particular Philosophy or Theology were used as a Complementary Skill to an Influence or Propaganda check, but as not everyone who makes arguments or propaganda based on memes from certain philosophies or theologies has a professional-level skill at Philosophy or Theology, it makes sense to allow a roll at a positive TDM for a reduced effect, but still using such memes. In effect, the trade-off for an easier skill check (and a lesser chance of a penalised primary skill check for failing a Complementary Skill check), is not getting a +1 (or +2) on a successful roll.

In reality, there is a distinct benefit for managers, agents or memetic engineers to having many skills at a better than default, but less than professional skill. It enables such people to understand the basics well enough to follow what professionals do, even if they can't replicate their work, as well as correctly use jargon to communicate with professionals or enthusiasts of the subject.

The complementary skill rules work out so that any skill lower than skill level 11 is not worth using when targeting a demographic or working with professioonals in a field. I don't think that's realistic. I think that being able to suceed at skill checks that are mundane to true professionals in a field, i.e. at Task Difficulty Modifier +4 or more, is often enough.

For example, while Theology (Ásatrú) -14 might be even better, because it allows a fairly reliable Complementary Skill bonus of +1 or more, Theology (Ásatrú) -10 usually ought to be good enough to craft an advertisement that targets Nordic Pagans, causing those who have relevant traits about Ásatrú to react either more positively or negatively, according to whether they are devout believers or perhaps bigoted against it.
Well, more advanced knowledge of a philosophy or theology does not necessarily mean that your arguments would be significantly better received by the adherents of that philosophy or theology. Good advertisement arguments are after all often rather simple.

High skill might mostly have an effect on those who are impressed by you showing of advanced knowledge about the subject and reducing the risk of your argument having obscure flaws that might be criticized by experts.

Rather than a positive TDM at the cost of a reduced effect, it might make more sense to assign a TDM based on what kind of argument you are trying to make.
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Old 07-14-2016, 01:48 PM   #34
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Philosophy

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Well, more advanced knowledge of a philosophy or theology does not necessarily mean that your arguments would be significantly better received by the adherents of that philosophy or theology. Good advertisement arguments are after all often rather simple.
Sure, but...
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High skill might mostly have an effect on those who are impressed by you showing of advanced knowledge about the subject and reducing the risk of your argument having obscure flaws that might be criticized by experts.
...this fairly minor benefit seems like it should be a pretty fair representation of what a +1 bonus for Complementary Skill use is.

After all, designing your ad campaign in a way that minimises a potential angry backlash from the influential social arbiters among adherents of a given faith or philosophy is probably worth at least a small bonus when you're targeting that faith or adherents of that philosophy as a demographic.

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Rather than a positive TDM at the cost of a reduced effect, it might make more sense to assign a TDM based on what kind of argument you are trying to make.
That could also apply. Even default level of Theology (Any Abrahamic, I guess) ought to be enough to base an ad campaign on being excellent to each other, dudes, with specifics of wording depending on exact faith and reactions to the campaign varying for those who feel strongly about the individual faiths in question.

More complex memes from religious or philosophical memeplexes might require deeper knowledge of the subject to hijack, represented by higher skill in Philosophy or Theology, enough to make a check with a low positive TDM or even at unmodified level.
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Old 07-14-2016, 02:22 PM   #35
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Philosophy

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Sure, but...

...this fairly minor benefit seems like it should be a pretty fair representation of what a +1 bonus for Complementary Skill use is.

After all, designing your ad campaign in a way that minimises a potential angry backlash from the influential social arbiters among adherents of a given faith or philosophy is probably worth at least a small bonus when you're targeting that faith or adherents of that philosophy as a demographic.
A +1 for the entire target population might be far too much for that. Even without a high skill, the risk of such flaws in your argument might be low, especially if it is similiar to other arguments made in the past. Even if there is such a flaw, there might be little risk for angry backlash unless the message is one which is disliked by those social arbiters.

I guess it depends on whether your advertising campaign is a controversial one that is likely to generate significant counterpropaganda efforts or if your message is considered to be mostly harmless.

Quote:
That could also apply. Even default level of Theology (Any Abrahamic, I guess) ought to be enough to base an ad campaign on being excellent to each other, dudes, with specifics of wording depending on exact faith and reactions to the campaign varying for those who feel strongly about the individual faiths in question.

More complex memes from religious or philosophical memeplexes might require deeper knowledge of the subject to hijack, represented by higher skill in Philosophy or Theology, enough to make a check with a low positive TDM or even at unmodified level.
Even negative TDMs should be possible. At least when you are attempting to convince people with very high skill levels (your level in other skills probably matters more for making arguments that your audience can't understand seem convincing).
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Old 01-03-2024, 12:02 PM   #36
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Philosophy

In the real world, there are multiple branches of Philosophy; and I don't know that I'd necessarily use the Philosophy skill in GURPS to cover all of them. But then again, maybe I would. There are, for example, Epistemology (knowledge and truth), Metaphysics (reality and being), Logic (argumentation and reason), Axiology (aesthetics and ethics) and Political Theory. At a minimum, something like this ought to be an alternate way of coming up with specializations; and in particular, Logic is something that I wouldn't want to try to shoehorn into the likes of Philosophy (Marxism) or Philosophy (Confucianism), or anything remotely like either of those.

Frankly, I might be more inclined to say that someone formally trained in rigorous logic might be better off representing that with a form of Intelligence Analysis, as that's generally the sort of thing that players tend to think of when they consider characters with strong deductive powers like Sherlock Holmes. And if we do that, then several of the other types of real-world Philosophy that I just mentioned might also be better modeled by other skills: Politics should at the very least default to Philosophy (Political Theory), assuming it doesn't preemptively replace it; likewise with Connoisseur and Philosophy (Aesthetics).

Although Ethics seems like it may be a core part of Philosophy as envisioned in Basic Set, probably along with Epistemology and Metaphysics. Though if that's the case, the only real difference between Philosophy and Theology appears to be whether or not the belief system includes at least one god: if it does, use Theology; if not, use Philosophy. Say what you will about “extremely literalist religions”, but they often do have very elaborate and thought-out systems of ethics, metaphysics, etc.; it's just that the axioms that those systems are built upon start with a few Divine revelations, something not uncommon in real-world Philosophy even as recently as a century ago. People who treat them as extremely simplistic are typically people who don't have much in-depth knowledge of them, a distinction which is orthogonal to whether or not they subscribe to those belief systems.
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Old 01-03-2024, 11:24 PM   #37
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Philosophy

Depending on the philosophical problem, it might be fair to allow Philosophy to default to Expert Skill (Military Science, Natural Philosophy or Political Science), Intelligence Analysis, Mathematics (Computer Science or Pure), Thaumatology or Theology, and vice-versa, at -6.

Knowledge of practical professional ethics (i.e., what they are, what's expected of you and how you should deal with violations) is covered by the relevant professional skill (e.g., Jeweler, Law Enforcement, Merchant, Performance).
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Old 01-04-2024, 09:09 AM   #38
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Philosophy

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Politics should at the very least default to Philosophy (Political Theory), assuming it doesn't preemptively replace it...
Politics as defined in GURPS is very much the practice of the art: "the ability to get into office and get along with other politicians". How much of a default you get for that from Political Philosophy is probably debatable at best; some of the most noted political philosophers in history had... unspectacular political careers, to put it kindly.
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Old 01-04-2024, 09:57 AM   #39
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Philosophy

Eight years, this thread slept, now it arises in search of braaaaiiins.

Philosophy, like Meditation is a skill that I feel like shows up on a lot of characters, has cool useful mechanics, which I cannot recall a player ever invoking. I think I need to remind them about it.
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Old 01-04-2024, 10:12 AM   #40
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Philosophy

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Eight years, this thread slept, now it arises in search of braaaaiiins.
Yeah; that's my fault. I would like to think, though, that I brought something of value to the conversation.
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