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New Perception Skill: Discernment
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now, back on topic:

I totally agree with the reasoning behind the discernment skill. I actually think it is more appropriate to use a perception based skill for that notion than a knowledge based one, but I also think that willpower belongs under perception conceptually (though I leave it under knowledge for a few reasons--as we've all discussed at least a few times before).

I rather like the idea of a willpower roll following up a discernment roll: sometimes, people will go along with something even though they don't want to; and even when they know they are being manipulated, etc. I've always attributed that to a weak will at the time in question (or in general, for those who just get the door mat treatment on a regular basis).

In some cases, I might allow the discernment roll to provide a bonus (or possibly a penalty) to the ensuing willpower check, depending on how high or low it was.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:

Seduction? Must be a Sparks addition; I'd see that more as a specialization of Persuasion.


Seduction is a spec of persuasion, but where as persuasion won't work role vs role npc vs pc, seduction on the other had does...
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
CRMcNeill wrote:

This makes no sense to me. By what process are PCs exempt from the manipulations of in-universe characters? Is it really fair to say that the greatest con-man in the galaxy will take a pass on conning one particular group of randoms just because he subconsciously senses they aren't under the control of the GM? In D&D, they have spells like Charm that still affect player characters, and the player has to bite the bullet and deal with it.


I agree, giving pc's an immunity to being persuaded by NPCs in that manner, is stupid, but it was how the rules were wrote out.. PC's make the call In character, not just by dice rolls.. BUT note they only had that happen with persuasion and iirc con. NOT bargaining, seduction, or intimidate..


So, one thing that is done in the Apocalypse World engine is giving XP when a PC who is mechanically persuaded or intimidated does as the dice demand. NPC successfully used persuasion on you. You can still choose NOT to do it, but you get an XP if you do.

Incidentally, you also get XP if someone FAILS to persuade you, and you don't do what they tell you to.

Adopting a system like that might work for Star Wars... a PC who is persuaded and does what they're told gets a CP... unless the players get stupid and just sit around persuading each other to do simple things.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOLz0rz!!!11!!1!!

Seriously, though, I'd wager that people playimg D6 SW are old school players and have long since grown out of that kind of thing.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
My intention was to make something along the lines of the Sense Motive skill from D&D, so I wouldn't be averse to expanding this skill to include something like that. It could even be left as-is, with the Discern Motive option happening if you beat the opposing Con/Persuasion roll by a certain amount or higher.

IIRC, Sense Motive already does that. I was suggesting the expansion to include the uses of the d20 skill, so it seems we were on the same page.

CRMcNeill wrote:
By what process are PCs exempt from the manipulations of in-universe characters? Is it really fair to say that the greatest con-man in the galaxy will take a pass on conning one particular group of randoms just because he subconsciously senses they aren't under the control of the GM?

RAW just says PCs can't use interaction skills on each other. That's supposed to be strictly roleplaying. For PC to NPC and NPC to PC, rolls apply but the GM can take roleplaying into consideration as well.

In my game, the GM can still have an NPC con-man attempt to con a PC. If the PC says he is 'actively trying resist' a possible con, in other words trying to discern if he is being lied to, then the con-man's success is determined by opposed rolls (modifiers still apply). If the PC doesn't actively try to discern falsehood, then the NPC rolls versus a difficulty set by the GM. Either way, if the NPC fails, then the PC discerns that he is being lied to. If the NPC succeeds, the PC has no idea whether he is being lied to or not. The player free will comes into play in that the player can still choose for his PC to not believe the NPC even when they game mechanically could not discern it. Then of course the PC may find out later that he was correct in his disbelief or not. So a PC either knows they are being lied to, or doesn't know. They never know for sure they are being told the truth.

CRMcNeill wrote:
And how far does this go? Is a PC exempt from an Affect Mind attempt from Palpatine or Vader, all on account of them being a PC? I say players should roleplay the results of failed rolls in any skill, whether it's getting shot because they rolled badly on Dodge, or getting talked into a bad situation because they failed an opposed roll against a Con.

In my game, PCs are not exempt from Affect Mind, but PCs cannot be forced to believe a lie if the player doesn't want to believe it. Failure is only failure to discern dishonesty.

When it comes to personal interaction skills, I do allow players to retain a lot of free will over their characters. When haggling over a price I just let the rolls determine final price we usually do skip the roleplaying and but I do let PCs choose not to complete a transaction resulting from opposed Bargain rolls (as in RAW). In most all cases, PCs cannot be Commanded, Intimidated or Persuaded to do anything the player doesn't want them to do. These three situations are roleplayed so I have to try to roleplay as the required for the NPC and situation. Aside from The Force or torture (which can both be resisted with the Willpower skill), players mostly always have free will.

garhkal wrote:
I agree, giving pc's an immunity to being persuaded by NPCs in that manner, is stupid

I won't take that personal. I suspect I am a minority among GMs here in this regard.

For PC to NPC attempts, I'm a little more like you guys. Players roll dice and the results are the primary determination, but roleplaying can influence the outcome, especially in close rolls.

CRMcNeill wrote:
AFAIAC, any in-universe situation that relies on the player's mental faculties and not the characters is metagaming.

I suspect I'm also minority here with respect to metaknowledge. I'm ok with players having their PCs act on metaknowledge as long as it is reasonable that the PC could have that knowledge. This mostly manifests as alien species, planetary system knowledge and the like. Of course this can be dangerous because my SWU is not identical to the EU or canon universes, so there may be some differences between the player's metaknowledge and the correct knowledge. (This is realistic because sometimes people think they know something when they're actually incorrect.) So the player can always roll to see if the PC has the correct info like in RAW.

CRMcNeill wrote:
I say base it on the character's perceptions and knowledge, then award extra CP for good roleplaying if the player allows the dice to lead the character, even if into situations the player would rather avoid.

I like this idea. I haven't ever instituted a hard rule on this, but there have been times in my game when PCs were rewarded for choosing to let the dice determine their action. I've had players play their PCs with self-chosen character flaws like addictions (gambling, sex, etc.) The players have even determined their own Willpower difficulty and roll the skill to decide whether to give in addiction, and then roleplay the outcome.

Naaman wrote:
I totally agree with the reasoning behind the discernment skill. I actually think it is more appropriate to use a perception based skill for that notion than a knowledge based one, but I also think that willpower belongs under perception conceptually

I think I moved Willpower to Perception the same day I bought 2e.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
In most all cases, PCs cannot be Commanded, Intimidated or Persuaded to do anything the player doesn't want them to do. These three situations are roleplayed so I have to try to roleplay as the required for the NPC and situation.


So a big whiphid lets say, with a NOTED backround in gruesome kills, carrying a bloody big axe, can't use his intimidation on PCs to get them to back down (or give them penalties) unless YOU as the Dm can somehow convince the players that when their characters see him, he is big and scary?
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Whill wrote:
In most all cases, PCs cannot be Commanded, Intimidated or Persuaded to do anything the player doesn't want them to do. These three situations are roleplayed so I have to try to roleplay as the required for the NPC and situation.

So a big whiphid lets say, with a NOTED backround in gruesome kills, carrying a bloody big axe, can't use his intimidation on PCs to get them to back down (or give them penalties) unless YOU as the Dm can somehow convince the players that when their characters see him, he is big and scary?

The tradeoff is that I have high expectations for roleplaying. When a PC is created I spend one-on-one time with each player to hammer out the character concept, personality and story arc ideas. I expect players to stay true to their roles. During play, players are responsible for playing their characters realistically, and if they don't they can lose CPs at the end of the adventure. And besides, if PCs don't act intimidated when they should be, they usually get their @$$ handed to them, so could suffer a consequence worse than CP penalties.

Outside of extreme influences such as PC failures to resist the Force and torture, using GM-enforced game mechanics to determine specific PC emotions and choices of actions is weak IMO. A good GM inspires players to play their roles appropriately and shouldn't need heavy-handed game mechanics to override their free will.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Whill.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been meaning to get back to this, but this reply needed more attention than I was able to devote to it on the road.
Whill wrote:
IIRC, Sense Motive already does that. I was suggesting the expansion to include the uses of the d20 skill, so it seems we were on the same page.

I went back and read the specifics of Sense Motive in the D&D 3.5 Player's Handbook, and it actually doesn't specifically allow this. It has three different effects:
    1). Hunch - Gut assessment of a social situation, such as whether or not someone is trustworthy, or if you are talking to an imposter.

    2). Sense Enchantment - Detect if someone is being controlled or manipulated by magic.

    3). Discern Secret Message - Detect hidden meaning or subtext in another conversation.

I still think there is a place for being able to pick out the basics of what the other person is trying to Con / Persuade you into, but nothing in the actual skill points directly to that.

Quote:
In my game, the GM can still have an NPC con-man attempt to con a PC. If the PC says he is 'actively trying resist' a possible con, in other words trying to discern if he is being lied to, then the con-man's success is determined by opposed rolls (modifiers still apply).

That would be where I would see this skill being applied as written, especially for a character who hasn't put dice into Con or Persuasion, but is interested in resisting those things.

Quote:
When it comes to personal interaction skills, I do allow players to retain a lot of free will over their characters.

Whereas I'm the guy who actually came up with rules for mandatory psychological effects that only kick in if a character fails a Willpower check.

I suppose its a grey area that differs from group to group, but for me, free will can very easily be an excuse for allowing a player's own knowledge and perceptions to sub in for his character. IMO, a character's attributes should be played for their weaknesses as well as their strengths. While roleplaying is certainly a factor, I also don't think its fair to penalize the timid, stuttering player when he can't be as suave as his character, the Gambler. And likewise, I don't think it's fair to allow the player with the doctorate in physics to act on that knowledge when playing a character with a 2D Knowledge stat.

Ultimately, I think roleplaying should not be about having complete control over your character, but rather about how well one plays the role of the character, as defined by the stats


Quote:
I moved Willpower to Perception the same day I bought 2e.

I moved Intimidation to Perception, but kept Willpower in Knowledge. The dividing line for me is whether the skill is based on what a character can tell about other characters and the surrounding environment (in which case Perception), or based on internal information, such as things the character has learned or knows about himself.

Based on that, Willpower is right where it belongs.

I could see a separate Perception skill (maybe "Poise" or "Cool") that allows a character to conceal his emotions and put on a deceptive front, even though their emotions aren't actually under control...
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
I went back and read the specifics of Sense Motive in the D&D 3.5 Player's Handbook, and it actually doesn't specifically allow this.

Well that's dumb. You would think that a skill named "Sense Motive" would include the character's ability to, you know, sense motive. I like your idea of of sensing the motive behind a persuasion or con (if it's not obvious by detecting the con in the first place) resulting from the roll being a certain degree higher than the difficulty to discern. It's simple.

Quote:
IMO, a character's attributes should be played for their weaknesses as well as their strengths.

We agree on this.

Quote:
I suppose its a grey area that differs from group to group, but for me, free will can very easily be an excuse for allowing a player's own knowledge and perceptions to sub in for his character... While roleplaying is certainly a factor, I also don't think its fair to penalize the timid, stuttering player when he can't be as suave as his character, the Gambler.

I have high standards for roleplaying, but I'm ok with players playing characters to their own strengths. It's probably best for the timid, stuttering player to not play a suave gambler. Maybe he could make a new template, a tongue-tied gambler, like a card-counting rainman type of guy who seems to never look people in the eye but somehow notices everyone's tells. That sounds awesome! I'd rather a player create a character they can portray well than play one poorly.

Quote:
free will can very easily be an excuse for allowing a player's own knowledge and perceptions to sub in for his character... And likewise, I don't think it's fair to allow the player with the doctorate in physics to act on that knowledge when playing a character with a 2D Knowledge stat.

I completely agree. What I said about metaknowledge is that I'm ok with it IF it is reasonable for the character to know the info. If not then roll for it.

Quote:
I moved Intimidation to Perception

Intimidation is an interpersonal/influence skill so I also moved it to Perception the day I got 2e.

Quote:
...but kept Willpower in Knowledge. The dividing line for me is whether the skill is based on what a character can tell about other characters and the surrounding environment (in which case Perception), or based on internal information, such as things the character has learned or knows about himself.

Based on that, Willpower is right where it belongs.

If the Force has a strong influence on the weak-minded, then it is logical that the the Force would have a weak influence on the strong-minded (or strong-willed). Starting in 1e, the Perception attribute included the inherent ability to resist the Force, so it already included an aspect of willpower. When 2e came out with the new Willpower skill, it made sense to me that it should be a Perception skill and should be able to resist the Force.

If you handle Willpower strictly as in RAW where it stays in Knowledge and doesn't resist the Force, then you've got willpower to resist the Force in Perception and Willpower to resist non-Force things under Knowlege. If that works for you, great. It makes more sense to me that all aspects of "willpower" be under the same attribute, and Perception (which includes 'force of personality' type of stuff) makes more sense to me than Knowledge. It's clear to me they only put the new 2e skills Intimidation and Willpower under Knowledge to help combat that being a dump stat.

To each his own though!
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
You would think that a skill named "Sense Motive" would include the character's ability to, you know, sense motive. I like your idea of of sensing the motive behind a persuasion or con (if it's not obvious by detecting the con in the first place) resulting from the roll being a certain degree higher than the difficulty to discern. It's simple.

So what would be some appropriate Difficulty levels? Obviously, it's going to be an opposed roll against the Persuasion / Con attempt, but I'm thinking the Discerning character should gain more insight based on how well they won the dice contest.

Quote:
It's probably best for the timid, stuttering player to not play a suave gambler. Maybe he could make a new template, a tongue-tied gambler, like a card-counting rainman type of guy who seems to never look people in the eye but somehow notices everyone's tells. That sounds awesome! I'd rather a player create a character they can portray well than play one poorly.

It does, indeed. But I disagree as far as not allowing the player to play a character that is different from themselves; that's part of the fun of roleplaying, getting to play a role other than the one you play every day in real life. We can't all swing lightsabers or sling blasters in real life either, but this doesn't handicap players. I see no problem with a timid, stuttering player getting to play someone in-universe who can do everything he can't do in real life, so long as that character's strengths and weaknesses (as defined by the dice) allow him to.

I mean, it's not like we penalize characters in a blaster fight based on how well their players can Dodge if the GM tries to bean them with a D6. If this were LARP, I'd be more inclined to see things your way, but it isn't.

Quote:
If the Force has a strong influence on the weak-minded, then it is logical that the the Force would have a weak influence on the strong-minded (or strong-willed). Starting in 1e, the Perception attribute included the inherent ability to resist the Force, so it already included an aspect of willpower. When 2e came out with the new Willpower skill, it made sense to me that it should be a Perception skill and should be able to resist the Force.

I never felt that Perception should be the go-to attribute to resist Force powers, though. IMO, depending on the power being used, it should be resisted by Strength, Knowledge/Willpower or Perception. Strength is an obvious choice for resisting physical attacks like TK Kill or Force Lightning, since they deal physical damage, and for the various mental effects, I would use a combination of Willpower and Perception (or the appropriate Perception skill) depending on whether or not the person knew they were being manipulated. Willpower, for example, is perfectly appropriate for resisting, say, a mind probe using Receptive Telepathy...
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
I have high standards for roleplaying, but I'm ok with players playing characters to their own strengths. It's probably best for the timid, stuttering player to not play a suave gambler... I'd rather a player create a character they can portray well than play one poorly.

CRMcNeill wrote:
I disagree as far as not allowing the player to play a character that is different from themselves; that's part of the fun of roleplaying, getting to play a role other than the one you play every day in real life. We can't all swing lightsabers or sling blasters in real life either, but this doesn't handicap players. I see no problem with a timid, stuttering player getting to play someone in-universe who can do everything he can't do in real life, so long as that character's strengths and weaknesses (as defined by the dice) allow him to.

I mean, it's not like we penalize characters in a blaster fight based on how well their players can Dodge if the GM tries to bean them with a D6. If this were LARP, I'd be more inclined to see things your way, but it isn't.

My way? I get that we may not completely agree but I think you're misrepresenting what I'm saying by your reply. You seem to be taking what I said to an extreme I don't take it to. Me saying "I'm ok with players playing characters to their own strengths" does not mean I am not ok with players playing characters against their strengths. Saying "It's probably best for the timid, stuttering player to not play a suave gambler" does not mean that player is forbidden from playing a suave character. Saying "I'd rather a player create a character they can portray well than play one poorly" does not mean he isn't allowed to play a character different than his personality.

For the first game session of my first campaign, one of players unexpectedly showed up with his little brother, asking if he could play too. I had never even met this kid before so knew nothing about him. So we whipped up a Gambler and he played. He was shy and timid at first but over the course of the campaign, he came out of his shell and his roleplaying really blossomed. I realized that he had gone from the worst to the best roleplayer in the group, better than his older brother who played the de facto leader of the group, and their cousin who played the Force character. So we made a new character for the little brother, and this new character eventually became the group's leader and Force character. So sometimes poor roleplayers playing characters outside of their comfort zone become great roleplayers. It may have never happened if we had made a tongue-tied engineer for him.

And when you bring up PC physical actions, like swinging lightsabers, firing blasters and dodging, you're comparing apples to oranges. A player's real life physical abilities (outside of being able to hear and speak) have absolutely no bearing on their ability to play roleplaying games. If a player could hear and speak but couldn't physically roll dice, they could be rolled for him. I would also have absolutely no problem with a blind player - he would only need help with updating his character sheet and adding up the results of his die rolls. I would even work with a deaf player if my wife also played because she is fluent in sign language. But a deaf player probably wouldn't play the smooth-talking face character of the group.

In-universe physical actions aren't acted out in an RPG, so our only area of disagreement may be in how some spoken social interaction skills are handled. In my game, haggling over prices or gambling results are never roleplayed out. The die rolls alone determine those outcomes. But commands, cons and persuasion attempts are usually verbally acted out, and I follow RAW's lead in that good roleplaying can influence the outcome. One of the RAW Wookiee templates even says that players shouldn't play Wookiee characters if they can't sound like Wookiees, so I don't feel that asking a player to consider their personality strengths when creating a character concept is at all out of place. I've never had a painful shy player want to play a suave con artist, but if he really wanted to, we could probably work something out.

It's roleplaying, not roll-playing. Game mechanics and die rolls are a fundamental part of the game, but so is playing a role.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This dicussion is begging the question I posed earlier: if players bear the burden of role playing their dice rolls, how do you (as GM) deal with characters who know more about a topic than their players (or even you as the GM) know?

What if the character should reasonably know something that a player wouldn't even think to ask/try? Should the GM tell the player that his character knows this or that and help them along in the adventure?

If we hold players to the numbers and disallow all metaknowledge or meta-emotions (not acting intimidated, for example), then shouldn't that street go both ways? A character who is an expert at something should not be held back for his player's lack of knowledge/expertise/understanding, etc. EVEN WHEN THE PLAYER HAS NO IDEA WHAT TO DO in a given situation. Right?

In other words, it seems like GMs are happy to disallow metaknowledge for the purpose of maintaining "realism" but they milk the daylights out of meta-ignorance often to the peril of the PC party (and even at the expense of "realism").
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and by the way: sense motive does indeed oppose the bluff skill and even allows characters to avoiid an opponent's feint in combat.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
My way? I get that we may not completely agree but I think you're misrepresenting what I'm saying by your reply. You seem to be taking what I said to an extreme I don't take it to.

Fair enough. That being said, though...
Quote:
And when you bring up PC physical actions, like swinging lightsabers, firing blasters and dodging, you're comparing apples to oranges.

I disagree. What I'm doing is comparing a PC's actual capabilities, as defined by the dice. Your position seems to be that of "if the player can convincingly act out a Con or Persuasion attempt at the game table, it affects how well his character does at the Con or Persuasion attempt in-universe." So, if we are allowing a player's personal abilities in the real-world to affect the abilities of his character in-universe, why is this only limited to Perception skills? If we're going to apply that rule evenly to all attributes, and a player's own real-world reflexes allow him to duck out of the way of a thrown D6 at the gaming table, shouldn't that also affect how well his character Dodges?

That's just one example. Should we have a set of dumbbells in the corner so that a player can lift weights to boost his character's Strength roll? A Need For Speed game on pause so the player can take time out to boost his Mech roll? It sounds ridiculous, yet that is exactly what I hear when people say that whether or not a character does well on his in-universe Con roll is influenced by how well the player controlling him can come up with a convincing sounding Con in the real world.

Quote:
It's roleplaying, not roll-playing. Game mechanics and die rolls are a fundamental part of the game, but so is playing a role.

But in roleplaying, you are still playing a character different from yourself, and that character's strengths and weaknesses are still defined by the values roled by the dice.
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