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Social Skills against Players
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echoVanguard
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:06 pm    Post subject: Social Skills against Players Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

In generic terms, what should happen when a player uses Charm or Intimidate against another player? What should happen when an NPC uses these skills against a player?

echo
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Zaranthan
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

If it's a PvP game, or they're trying some sort of trick like dominating somebody who's been charmed, just apply the mechanics as usual. If not, they shouldn't be doing it, kind of like how you shouldn't have a shadowrunner walk into a megacorp and apply to be a wage slave.

If the NPC is bluffing or something, sense motive or whatever has mechanics baked right into it. If it's Diplomacy, you skip it, that skill represents the DM leaving an NPC's reaction to the dice, and players don't make random decisions.
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Longes
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm of the opinion that if you would allow one PC to deliberately attack another, then you should allow social skills to work. If not, then not.
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Zaranthan wrote:
kind of like how you shouldn't have a shadowrunner walk into a megacorp and apply to be a wage slave.


Except when done to get an inside man for the job. Mr. Green
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TheFlatline
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Social Skills against Players Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

echoVanguard wrote:
In generic terms, what should happen when a player uses Charm or Intimidate against another player? What should happen when an NPC uses these skills against a player?

echo


Against another player? We always ruled you couldn't in D&D. PCs have agency and NPCs didn't. You have to interact with people around the table.

Otherwise? MTP. "You trust them more" or "you find them charming" and let them interpret that how they want.

Charm spells and dominate spells work as normal.

NPC vs player? Again probably MTP. "This person seems genuine to you" or "this person looks like they could beat the shit out of you". How you react to that is your own prerogative.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Longes wrote:
I'm of the opinion that if you would allow one PC to deliberately attack another, then you should allow social skills to work. If not, then not.


Basically this.

-Frank
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Blicero
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Burning Wheel has useful advice on this I think:

Quote:

The Duel of Wit is designed to simulate debate and argument: A speaker convinces an audience of the merits of their point. It is not designed to change a single character's or player's opinion.

...

Though the Duel of Wits cannot make a character like or believe anything, it can force them to agree to something--even if only for the time being.

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MGuy
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I rule it like this: Diplomacy and intimidation do not work on players. Players and NPCs can try to influence other PCs through dialogue but I never force an idea onto a player through those. Bluff works as is.. Charm Person can be used on players but it doesn't do anything too wild. The players have an obligation to act charmed but that doesn't force them into doing anything specific. Usually people play along.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Blicero wrote:
Burning Wheel has useful advice on this I think:

Quote:

The Duel of Wit is designed to simulate debate and argument: A speaker convinces an audience of the merits of their point. It is not designed to change a single character's or player's opinion.

...

Though the Duel of Wits cannot make a character like or believe anything, it can force them to agree to something--even if only for the time being.


At this point I no longer think Burning Wheel is even a source of good ideas. It really just seems like a pretentious dead end of game design. A complicated subsystem for social interactions that can't change peoples' opinions is fucking mental. The whole thing is just for pressuring people into signing contracts. That's an extremely limited subsystem.

-Frank
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

If the game revolves around combat then it should be used for combat advantages and debuffs like...

- Getting initiative, catching them flatfooted
- Fear kind of effect to act against social skill result
- Temporary stun effect due to confusion, hurt feelings, etc.
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tussock
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

For most social rules, you need to say they don't work on leader types anyway. The King doesn't need to care you rolled 47 on diplomacy, nor will he fail a random morale check.

Then, you know, the PCs are leaders, their henchmen and hirelings and conscripts and such are not. Some of the boss monsters are also leaders, but the rest are not.

Still leaves you with various combat effects, fear and distraction and whatever else, that you can use on leaders like PCs.


Meanwhile, things like "the king is now totally on your side and will give you stuff" should be adventure completion rewards (assuming you're playing an adventuring group). Yes, you can get the king to give you some land, after you do a fetch quest for him and the GM is cool with it. Similarly, PCs will agree to go on adventures because the players want them to, no diplomancing leader types.
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Blicero
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:

At this point I no longer think Burning Wheel is even a source of good ideas. It really just seems like a pretentious dead end of game design. A complicated subsystem for social interactions that can't change peoples' opinions is fucking mental. The whole thing is just for pressuring people into signing contracts. That's an extremely limited subsystem.
-Frank


The default Burning Wheel debate setting is one in which two people are trying to get a larger audience to believe them. So the PCs are trying to convince the king that his evil vizier is not a good vizier, and the evil vizier is trying to convince the king that the PCs are crazy. Even if you convince the king, you don't expect to change the vizier's mind.

Within the context of PC vs. PC stuff, this provides a mechanism by which short-term conflicts can be resolved. But it doesn't require that one player be convinced by another player because of the result of a die roll. Because this is Burning Wheel, the actual system is probably needlessly baroque and time-consuming. But the underlying advice seems sound.
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echoVanguard
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Longes wrote:
I'm of the opinion that if you would allow one PC to deliberately attack another, then you should allow social skills to work. If not, then not.

Okay, sure. But how should that work, specifically? In other words, how can we codify the behaviors in such a way that they can't be ignored or weaseled out of by either party so that skills work consistently in all situations? Enemies with high Charm or Intimidate abilities should be threatening even if they don't have domination effects.

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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Social Skills against Players Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

echoVanguard wrote:
In generic terms, what should happen when a player uses Charm or Intimidate against another player? What should happen when an NPC uses these skills against a player?

echo


Charm is like the rules, the target is Friendly. That doesn't mean really much. Friends can still argue, fight, and kill each other; and it's definitely tragic when it happens. The way many people slavishly treat Charm like some sort of incredible effect, is probably how they should manage Dominate effects.

Intimidate; again, like the rules. Unless the Intimidating creature has some Feats/Abilities that allow them to Intimidate beyond their natural reach... it's probably never going to happen, let alone matter. As it's easier to go to combat than continue to puff your chest out in opposed intimidate attempts.

Use of abilities on PCs by PCs; is so uncommon in the games I've run/played/known about that when it does happen, it generally is handled on a case-by-case basis. The various local GMs I have met with aren't really keen on PvP or PKing; and and groups of players aren't usually inclined towards killing everything. When it happens it's discussed out of the gameplay as to how and why the PvP incident occurred.

Of course, newer players may rarely pit their PCs against each other in non-canon combat matches. I'm fine with that, as it helps players see the limits of their characters (as well as practice the gameplay itself) w out them dying in a clutch moment. However, those situations are non-canon b/c they are usually pointless at proving which PC is actually "better" or "best" in adventures.

Now, Diplomacy is... pretty much useless on players b/c you could never set a DC even if you wanted NPCs to Diplomatize the PCs. Each PC will most likely have all sorts of variables for their personal Diplomacy Difficulty Class check. Everything from being of different Attitudes, to any number of other trivial modifiers. With that established, it's easier to just say "fuck it, Diplomacy w PCs isn't on a Die roll."

No, the only real way to use Diplomacy with PCs; is the old fashioned way of using a mix of concessions and demands.
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Players stumble across a much more powerful dragon's den, the dragon wants to eat them. How will social rules work in this situation
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erik
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:
Players stumble across a much more powerful dragon's den, the dragon wants to eat them. How will social rules work in this situation


Roll initiative. Razz

But seriously. That sounds like something that combat resolves, not talking.
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hyzmarca
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:
Players stumble across a much more powerful dragon's den, the dragon wants to eat them. How will social rules work in this situation


The PCs and the dragon each roll diplomacy. If the PCs win, they convince the dragon that it does not want to eat them. Perhaps they taste terrible. Perhaps they are more useful alive. Perhaps it's mother owed them a life-debt. Whatever. If the Dragon wins, it convinces the PCs that it's going to eat them.


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MGuy
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:
Players stumble across a much more powerful dragon's den, the dragon wants to eat them. How will social rules work in this situation
It depends on what is being attempted. If the dragon wants to eat them, it sounds hostile so it should attack before socializing could possibly happen. If it is a bit less sure about eating them 'now' or otherwise unable to initiate the combat music the players can then enter into whatever social 'thing' they want with it.
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hogarth
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

tussock wrote:
For most social rules, you need to say they don't work on leader types anyway. The King doesn't need to care you rolled 47 on diplomacy, nor will he fail a random morale check.

That's not how I would phrase it.

From my point of view, a Persuasion skill roll is used to skip over a social interaction with NPCs. A successful skill roll means they identified an argument that the NPC found convincing, but if the PCs come up with a convincing argument through in-character conversation, they don't need a skill roll.

What a Persuasion skill roll shouldn't do (in my opinion) is to magically convince an NPC that a terrible argument is good (e.g. "give me your +5 sword because the moon is made of green cheese").

So from this standpoint, should PCs be able to use Persuasion skill checks on other PCs? No, because players hate it when you try to skip past events that would normally involve PC actions.
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deaddmwalking
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There are a lot of problems with d20 diplomacy, but the first and most glaring is that a single roll isn't interesting in the context of negotiating with a dragon. If your war party rolls up and everyone has something they can do in a fight but a single player makes a single roll and the night is over, that's a problem.

If negotiating with dragons is important, everyone should have a way to contribute and there should be various stakes. Probably obviously, the first 'round' is to determine whether the dragon eats everyone. Failure there results in combat music. Success allows you to try to spend more time negotiating with some range of possible outcomes.

Such as:
1) Dragon agrees not to attack the town if provided regular tribute.
2) Dragon agrees not to attack the town without tribute (keep the peace)
3) Dragon agrees not to attack the town or civilized commerce in the area provided he is not provoked.
4) Dragon agrees to relocate to another place provided something of sufficient value.
5) Dragon agrees to relocate without additional payment.

Now maybe the PCs aren't willing to accept 1 or 2, so they can always start the combat music if negotiation stalls there - but they wouldn't have to. Now whether a dragon is likely to keep a commitment is an open question.

Coming up with a general system that works for this is crackerjack hard - especially since 'goals' are subject to the GM. If the dragon's ONLY GOAL is annihilate town, then negotiation is impossible; it's only if the dragon's goal is to be well-fed in relative peace that they have something to negotiate (we'll stop sending adventuring parties to disturb your slumber if we can reach an agreement).
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Coming up with a general system that works for this is crackerjack hard - especially since 'goals' are subject to the GM. If the dragon's ONLY GOAL is annihilate town, then negotiation is impossible; it's only if the dragon's goal is to be well-fed in relative peace that they have something to negotiate


Ah that's a good point, the goal is likely not negotiable but the methods used to achieve that goal can be influenced by social mechanics.
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Blade
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:
Players stumble across a much more powerful dragon's den, the dragon wants to eat them. How will social rules work in this situation

Sounds like a generic monster encounter in Dying Earth.
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Previn
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

deaddmwalking wrote:
There are a lot of problems with d20 diplomacy, but the first and most glaring is that a single roll isn't interesting in the context of negotiating with a dragon. If your war party rolls up and everyone has something they can do in a fight but a single player makes a single roll and the night is over, that's a problem.


I feel that this is so important that it needs repeating, if you're basing anything of your social system off of D20 diplomacy, your system is going to be a giant train wreck for it's social systems. There is effectively nothing you can salvage from diplomacy in D&D besides the name.
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Dogbert
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

deaddmwalking wrote:
If your war party rolls up and everyone has something they can do in a fight but a single player makes a single roll and the night is over, that's a problem.


You mean like SoD spells already do? (yeah yeah I know, "you can't make a build against Diplomancers other than delcaring yourself pre-emptively Hostile")

The thing with d&d is that it was meant to be specifically about stabbing people in the face. Eventually people wanted more, but things like you know, skills, were added as an afterthought, and were made so everything was resolved on a single die roll as to make them "unobtrusive" so people had more time for stabbing people in the face. Needless to say, as GMs started coming up with adventures more complex than "go stab Team Uncompromising Evil in the face," Diplomancers (among other things) became an immediate problem.

If a conflict can be fought both with swords AND words, then both toolsets need to abide by the same mechanics. Alas, this goes beyond d&d's scope on a concept level.
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tussock
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

As long as you're basically seeking submission from the target, counting down HP works pretty well for social skills. It was the original purpose of Subdual Damage, after all.

It's much more difficult if you're seeking an equal partnership of some sort, or convincing someone greater you should be allowed to work for them. For D&D, like most D&D conundrums, these are well enough solved through adventure completion. Work for someone by going on an adventure for them, or have an equal partnership by going on an adventure with them.
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