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Psychological Effects
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Bren
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm closer to agreeing with the two of you* than with the dice can never control character action. (I ignore the die roll to turn to the Dark Side as something that is mostly an exception that seldom requires a roll.)


My life experience and my observation of other people leads me to conclude that people in real life make decisions unconsciously and even against their better judgement and their better nature. A RPG mechanic that simulates that makes a lot of sense to me.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:

Mostly to placate the people who can't handle the idea of the dice controlling their character instead of them.


IMO if they can't handle having certain effects able to affect a PC then they should also be Denied use of those same things on NPCs.. IF they want to be allowed to use it on NPCs, then they should better accept it being used on them!

jmanski wrote:
CRMcNeill wrote:
Also, g, this is something of a noteworthy moment: you and me agreeing on a concept that most everyone else disagrees with...

Twisted Evil
That is kinda scary....


Not that much.. Me and C have agreed a # of times..
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bren wrote:
I'm closer to agreeing with the two of you* than with the dice can never control character action. (I ignore the die roll to turn to the Dark Side as something that is mostly an exception that seldom requires a roll.)


My life experience and my observation of other people leads me to conclude that people in real life make decisions unconsciously and even against their better judgement and their better nature. A RPG mechanic that simulates that makes a lot of sense to me.


Agreed. However, it's the other side of the same coin: a person with an iron will can nevertheless have a specific hubris which beats him nearly every time. It goes back to the character background referenced earlier.

On the other hand, some folks are just not moved by specific things, yet are generally malleable otherwise: just a personality thing, in my experience.

In response to Garhkal's question about why not just take a background that provides a bonus? The answer is simple: let the bonus be determined in the moment where it is relevant, rather than declaring that "this background gets such and such bonus, and that background gets thus and so."

A reasonable GM could make a call (for example) that a high level Jedi knight (who has long since passed the trials) need not even make a willpower check to resist being intimidated by a mid-level bounty hunter, or being persuaded by a low level dark sider to give in to his anger, etc. Alternatively, a situational bonus would be a healthy compromise: the character in question has already proven to be sufficiently resolute in the face of much greater adversity, even if he would have failed a willpower check (regardless of whether his willpower is 2D or 10D). Likewise, a character who knows a specific magic trick is not going to be fooled by it, no matter what the roll required to spot the sleight of hand. The character already knows exactly what is going on (the argument could be made here that con [for the magic trick] opposes willpower). Same with a character who has been scammed: eventually, he'll stop falling for it.

Making the case for psychology/emotions: a character whose heart has been broken enough times or who has succumbed to enough appeals to emotion will eventually "wise up" and realize when his emotions are being manipulated, even if his "base" willpower is inadequate to resist other forms of manipulation (such as being conned out of some money or made to believe that something is happening that isn't, etc).

In any case, a psychological effect (such as anger), might be better expressed in game terms by penalties to actions that are contrary to the emotions that the dice have determined the character feels.

Also, as the GM, I might reason that the character has sufficiently failed his roll to resist the psychological effect. If he then chooses to act contrary to the effect, then I might take 1 or 2 CPs away from him right then and there to represent the "effort" required to act outside of the character's current psychological state. This way, there is at least some acknowledgement that the character's free will is still intact (for me in particular, the removal of free will from the character destroys my suspension of disbelief: I spent my entire undergad program arguing that free will trumps psychology and external social stimulus).

So, here's my bottom line: CRM already said that this rule is reserved for the big moments, which is at least a built-in compromise toward the dissenting point of view. I might suggest taking that one step further and pulling the dice out of the whole situation in such a case: ask the player what his character thinks of the situation at hand, and then suggest some actions that are appropriate to that emotional/psychological state, allowing for deviation from that narrative at a cost to the character (such as CPs or penalties on the ensuing roll, etc.).

Speaking as a player, having my character be emotionally compelled to act a certain way basically just sucks the fun right out of the game. (I can accept effects such as affect mind that alter the character's perception, since the free will of the character is not imposed upon).
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I fail to see why I need to compromise again on a rule that I not only made optional, but was never mandatory for others to use in the first place.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't. I was just offering my input. Use what you like, toss what you don't. Very Happy
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CR,

Seems to me you forgot a category of psycho-emotional states:

LOVE / LUST

Can be just as powerful as the others.

Pheromones can be an incitement, as can other situations.

In my game I have a whole system dealing with stress relief and entertainment and vices. When indulged often enough, it is taken to the next level: characters can build up addictions to vices.

When you get addicted to...uh...amorous activities with a certain special someone it can result in that mind-bending state of infatuation.

One such player got 'addicted' to an attractive young lady NPC. When she left to follow her career, the PC had to make a willpower roll, or have his PC leave the group to go with her.

He failed, and the PC left the group as surely as if he had eaten a full-facial blaster bolt*

The other players even considered 'taking out' the young lady, but decided not to; they could never be sure the smitten character would never find out about the hit.
(The game had a lot of Sons of Anarchy Themes lol)



*except that the character can potentially return to the group after a cool-down period.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I considered it, but was left scratching my head as to how to apply it. The rules I have are drawn from a much more combat-oriented system, and love and lust weren't really factors in the midst of a pitched battle.

If you have suggestions for how to incorporate it, I'm all ears; just remember that my intent has always been that this is a rule only applied in the most extreme moments, where a character has been goaded or manipulated to the point of irrationality. I'm not trying to say that a character should lose control over every little emotion, just the ones that boil over or spiral out of control.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The closest we get to it in the RAW is the description of the Falleen's attraction pheromones, which generate a bonus to Persuasion. I did do two grades of effect in the Fear / Panic and Hatred / Frenzy rules; would it be appropriate to have Attraction / Infatuation, where a character who is Attracted suffers a -2D Penalty to resist Persuasion rolls, while a character who is Infatuated is basically rendered incapable of resisting anything the source of their infatuation asks?

I don't think I want to get into making rules for something as long-term as Love, but something shorter-term is a possibility. There isn't really a rule in the D6 system for charming or seducing others in a social situation, so having something concrete would at least give people some ideas...
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bren wrote:
I'm closer to agreeing with the two of you* than with the dice can never control character action. (I ignore the die roll to turn to the Dark Side as something that is mostly an exception that seldom requires a roll.)

My life experience and my observation of other people leads me to conclude that people in real life make decisions unconsciously and even against their better judgement and their better nature. A RPG mechanic that simulates that makes a lot of sense to me.

In Freudian terms, I would suggest that, in general, the player plays the role of both the Ego and the Super-Ego, while the dice play the role of the Id. This rule would only come into play when the Id wins out over the Super-Ego. Under most circumstances, there would be greater balance, with the Ego mediating between the logic and rationality of the Super-Ego and the instinctual, primitive drives of the Id. But every now and then, something comes along that forces the animal side out, for good or ill, and then a person is left with the consequences.

Naaman wrote:
Agreed. However, it's the other side of the same coin: a person with an iron will can nevertheless have a specific hubris which beats him nearly every time. It goes back to the character background referenced earlier.

On the other hand, some folks are just not moved by specific things, yet are generally malleable otherwise: just a personality thing, in my experience.

In response to Garhkal's question about why not just take a background that provides a bonus? The answer is simple: let the bonus be determined in the moment where it is relevant, rather than declaring that "this background gets such and such bonus, and that background gets thus and so."

In that case, it would be better represented as a modifier to the Base Difficulty for whatever skill was being used for manipulation. If it is a Con or Persuasion attempt, rolled as you describe, the procedure in the RAW would be to add a positive modifier to the Con or Persuasion Difficulty, representing the increased likelihood that the attempt will fail.

In fact, a simple way to do it would be to treat the Reaction like a Full Reaction. Rather than a simple opposed roll, stack the target's Willpower (or whatever skill they use to resist) roll with the Base Difficulty.

Remember, I haven't set Difficulties for any of this; that's up to the individual GMs to decide. Whether it's simple Persuasion or Intimidation rolls, Force Taunting ala Sith Dun Moch, or a weapon effect such as a Gun of Command or a Warhammer 40K Neural Disruptor or Fear Grenade,
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that works.

As a player, I'd prefer some kind of acknowledgement that a person can have greater or lesser willpower in specific scenarios depending on who they are, their core values, their life experience/background, etc. This stuff is the essence of "role" playing as opposed to "roll" playing, and I think it deserves honest consideration--especially by GMs who like to refer to a character's background to determine intrinsic things about the character (I most often see GMs referring to the background as grounds for prohibiting characters from being "too cool" or "too OP" or whatever, but I don't see much of the other side of that issue, as mentioned earlier).

Dredwulf... I have long wondered what a stress relief system would look like in a game. I know in d20, they say that rest periods are "assumed" to be available in normal circumstances, and that if your character does not get enough "rest" then he does not restore his daily uses of certain abilities or can't prepare spells, or else becomes fatigued/exhausted.

Send me a PM with the details, if you care to. I'd like to look at them.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IIRC, Dred posted a pretty hefty article on recreational activities...

EDIT: Here it is...
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
In Freudian terms, I would suggest that, in general, the player plays the role of both the Ego and the Super-Ego, while the dice play the role of the Id. This rule would only come into play when the Id wins out over the Super-Ego. Under most circumstances, there would be greater balance, with the Ego mediating between the logic and rationality of the Super-Ego and the instinctual, primitive drives of the Id. But every now and then, something comes along that forces the animal side out, for good or ill, and then a person is left with the consequences.

If you're looking for psychological model to base it on, I would not suggest Freud. I would suggest basing it on something a bit more Jungian. Just saying:


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Bren
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
A reasonable GM could make a call (for example) that a high level Jedi knight (who has long since passed the trials) need not even make a willpower check to resist being intimidated by a mid-level bounty hunter, or being persuaded by a low level dark sider to give in to his anger, etc. Alternatively, a situational bonus would be a healthy compromise: the character in question has already proven to be sufficiently resolute in the face of much greater adversity, even if he would have failed a willpower check (regardless of whether his willpower is 2D or 10D).
You raise some good ideas here. If one is going to include compulsion of PCs in the way the group plays one critical step is to decide on reasonable outcomes or stakes for the outcome of the die roll.

So in the example you raise of a mid-level Bounty Hunter trying to intimidate an experienced Jedi Knight I would probably rule that unless the failure by the Jedi Knight is catastrophic that failure most likely means the Jedi Knight is intimidated to the point that he/she kind of loses their cool or unthinkingly reacts to the perceived threat by let's say…

    -Flinching or stepping backwards with facial or body language cues of worry or concern.

    -Drawing and igniting his lightsaber.

    -Jumping/dodging/leaping out of range or behind cover.


So by the Jedi’s reaction it's clear to the Bounty Hunter that his threat worked and it’s also clear to any audience that the Jedi was intimidated or frightened. Depending on the degree of Jedi failure/BH success I might also tack on a penalty of -1D (akin to being stunned) to the Jedi in any resulting combat (and/or a +1D bonus to the BH) until actions in the combat demonstrate that the Jedi is not outclassed.

In addition, in a situation like this I would probably give a modest bonus to the Jedi Knight and/or a penalty to the Bounty Hunter for the Willpower and Intimidation rolls because the Bounty Hunter is outclassed combat-wise. (At least that’s what I assume was implicit in your example.) This bonus is akin to the +5-10 bonus/penalty we see in melee combat between armed and unarmed opponents. But I don't think adding modifiers is the only way and sometimes it’s not the best way to address the concern of a bad roll causing a PC (or any other character) to react inappropriately based on a single die roll.
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Bren
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
In Freudian terms, I would suggest that, in general, the player plays the role of both the Ego and the Super-Ego, while the dice play the role of the Id. This rule would only come into play when the Id wins out over the Super-Ego. Under most circumstances, there would be greater balance, with the Ego mediating between the logic and rationality of the Super-Ego and the instinctual, primitive drives of the Id. But every now and then, something comes along that forces the animal side out, for good or ill, and then a person is left with the consequences.
Yes, that is one way of talking about the kinds of conflicts I had in mind.

Whill wrote:
If you're looking for psychological model to base it on, I would not suggest Freud. I would suggest basing it on something a bit more Jungian.
I'm not looking for a valid psychological model. FWIW, I doubt whether Freudian or Jungian models are even validatable. I do think the division between the desires or compulsions of the Id and the control of the Ego/Superego provides some commonly understood terminology for talking about the issue of a person doing things that some part of them really doesn't want to do or doing things that upon reflection they later strongly regret ever having chosen to do.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bren wrote:
Naaman wrote:
A reasonable GM could make a call (for example) that a high level Jedi knight (who has long since passed the trials) need not even make a willpower check to resist being intimidated by a mid-level bounty hunter, or being persuaded by a low level dark sider to give in to his anger, etc. Alternatively, a situational bonus would be a healthy compromise: the character in question has already proven to be sufficiently resolute in the face of much greater adversity, even if he would have failed a willpower check (regardless of whether his willpower is 2D or 10D).
You raise some good ideas here. If one is going to include compulsion of PCs in the way the group plays one critical step is to decide on reasonable outcomes or stakes for the outcome of the die roll.

So in the example you raise of a mid-level Bounty Hunter trying to intimidate an experienced Jedi Knight I would probably rule that unless the failure by the Jedi Knight is catastrophic that failure most likely means the Jedi Knight is intimidated to the point that he/she kind of loses their cool or unthinkingly reacts to the perceived threat by let's say…

    -Flinching or stepping backwards with facial or body language cues of worry or concern.

    -Drawing and igniting his lightsaber.

    -Jumping/dodging/leaping out of range or behind cover.


So by the Jedi’s reaction it's clear to the Bounty Hunter that his threat worked and it’s also clear to any audience that the Jedi was intimidated or frightened. Depending on the degree of Jedi failure/BH success I might also tack on a penalty of -1D (akin to being stunned) to the Jedi in any resulting combat (and/or a +1D bonus to the BH) until actions in the combat demonstrate that the Jedi is not outclassed.

In addition, in a situation like this I would probably give a modest bonus to the Jedi Knight and/or a penalty to the Bounty Hunter for the Willpower and Intimidation rolls because the Bounty Hunter is outclassed combat-wise. (At least that’s what I assume was implicit in your example.) This bonus is akin to the +5-10 bonus/penalty we see in melee combat between armed and unarmed opponents. But I don't think adding modifiers is the only way and sometimes it’s not the best way to address the concern of a bad roll causing a PC (or any other character) to react inappropriately based on a single die roll.


I tend to agree here. I'm not sure that a flinch or reaction should necessarily result in a penalty on ensuing rolls, but the idea is that when someone is outclassed, an intimidation roll should be harder even if the target's willpower is otherwise lower than the intimidation roll.

There is precedent for this in the RAW. A character who is physically stronger (IIRC) gets a +15 (!) bonus to resist intimidation attempts.

How the GM wants to qualify "physically stronger" could vary: the strength attribute? The lifting skill? The brawling skill? Any or all of these could be appropriate, depending on the specific scenario.
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