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Psychological Effects
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
I could see the 'ignoring stun effects.. but the ignoring knockdowns imo is a little much.. perhaps instead, while frenzied they ignore wound penalties.


Could probably just cut and paste the Ignore Pain Force power.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Esoomian wrote:
I'd go with a 2D penalty (or perhaps no reaction skills at all) but by the same token I'd have a frenzied character ignore stun results and not be knocked down by being wounded/wounded twice.


I like the -2D penalty. I know in D&D when a Barbarian uses his rage ability, it lowers his armor class because he is less concerned with defending himself, and having him be able to ignore pain from wounds until the frenzy ends is a good fit as well.

So what would be some other general psychological effects? If we have Frenzy, which is way more intense than hatred, perhaps Panic would be good for an even more extreme version of Fear? Perhaps Resolve as the opposite of Confusion? Maybe Dislike as a less extreme version of hate, with Like as its opposite?
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For panic, i could see a -4d or more to attempting to take any offensive actions, with only maybe a -1d for defensive. Just running around.

For hate, maybe a -2d for social skills.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
For panic, i could see a -4d or more to attempting to take any offensive actions, with only maybe a -1d for defensive. Just running around.


Or being required to run away from whatever caused the panic. I can see it more being an inverse of Frenzy, in that the character is consumed by the desire to run away, with bonuses to reaction skills (adrenaline rush)


Quote:
For hate, maybe a -2d for social skills.


The problem there is Hatred is written up for characters actively trying to kill eachother, not engage in social activities. -2D to social skills would be more appropriate for something less severe than that.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the Intimidation i got an answer that it was a sparks specific ruling. A flat -1d to the one intimidated for every 10 over your Willpower roll that the Intimidator gets on his Intimidation skill roll.
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vanir
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our house rule is nothing too elaborate and nothing very different from what is already posted. We're very ad hoc with it, but the group is accustomed to psychological game effects from other RPG like you guys so they're happy to accept modified skill rolls as a result.

We try to base psychological effects upon skill rolls as most of you do, like I said very ad hoc and presented as player options to enhance combat/tasking skill use.

Variously often by combining skill use (most of the time a player idea), you might improve chances of concealing a weapon past some customs or security officers by fast talking them with your hide, so a con skill is rolled versus NPC willpower/PER to give a +1D to your hide skill for the item.

You might be able to get an opponent on the defensive in melee, so an intimidation just prior to your attack might get you a -1D penalty to the next NPC defensive roll.
You can extrapolate this further and use in combination with sneak or hide for a surprise attack, exploding into action from a hidden vantage with shouting and howling to increase NPC defensive penalty, -2D or if well done you might catch him completely by surprise and in shock (or fear effects).
You could use con skill similarly if in parlay, although the NPC would be more surprised than fearful if the roll is successful.
Some combat skill specialisations such as Lightsabre Combat Styles can make these type of game mechanics more routine and reliable for the PC so it is preferred that they undertake some form of combat specialisation training, but creative PCs can do similar things on a case by case basis using player initiative.

In a situation where an NPC is apparently overwhelmed we might give them a willpower roll versus fleeing at a set difficulty, say when a couple of human security guards are being assaulted by a number of large aliens, they may simply drop their weapons and flee despite they'll probably be run down and killed if they did that. It might take a moderate willpower to stand their ground and least give themselves a fighting chance to stall the attackers until reinforcements can arrive. Only experienced combatants are likely to make the willpower roll obviously.

We don't usually enforce actions on Players however, unless failing a Dark Side Influence roll we leave PC actions free choice. But freely give them skill penalties for successful NPC use of non-combat skills for psychological effect, such as intimidation, persuasion, con and similar. Same rules the players get.

The exception is under interrogation, failing a willpower roll results in involuntary release of information to the NPCs by the PC. And these willpower rolls against intimidation:interrogation can be lowered/penalised by torture and/or drugs (use of which invariably gains the interrogator a DSP).

Our basic stipulations for psychological game effects would therefore be:
1. PC actions are always controlled by the Player except in extreme/very special exceptions (such as failing the Dark Side Influence roll). Dice penalties/bonuses are preferred to forced PC actions.
2. We tend to lean more towards skill penalties to the target of psychological effects rather than bonuses for the person attempting to use psychological effects, since the whole point is you're affecting a target rather than gaining temporary superpowers. In the case of psychotropic drugs which are a biological enhancement, bonuses will be equalled by penalties so whilst you might gain a +1D temporary STR you will operate at -1D PER for example, or suffer several rounds of exhaustion immediately following.
3. Since mundane psychological effect is generally related to shock and misdirection the penalties generally only apply to skills dice to a minimum of the attribute. So that a successful intimidation to lower the next defensive roll of an NPC will only apply to their parry skill and not DEX attribute, eg. DEX 3D, melee parry 4D, with a surprise/intimidation penalty of -2D will still default to the NPC base DEX of 3D for the roll, not 2D melee parry (4D - 2D penalty). The effects of psychological warfare are only upon conscious skill use and not the basic attributes and instincts of a character.
The exception here is specialised combat training like the Lightsabre Combat Styles (or any other extrapolate system like a Martial Arts or melee weapon specialisation created by the GM). These specialised forms work using battlefield tested techniques combining practised, tutored manoeuvres in concert with tested psychological effects and always gain the full benefits of the technique against skills/attributes, eg. a circumstantial -2D penalty is imposed against skills and attributes.
So it remains a better PC choice to undertake specialised combat training for psychological warfare benefits than try to make it up as he goes along, but some limited benefit is to be gained if he does.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
On the Intimidation i got an answer that it was a sparks specific ruling. A flat -1d to the one intimidated for every 10 over your Willpower roll that the Intimidator gets on his Intimidation skill roll.


I like the idea of a scaling bonus, depending on how well the character trying to induce a particular emotional state rolls on the appropriate skill, however I do want to keep the distinction between character's being influenced and characters being controlled by their emotions, so scaling bonuses would be appropriate for some rolls, but not others.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fallon Kell wrote:
The Game Chambers of Questal had rules for characters suffering the effects of artificially generated fear.


The reference is page 115, but it basically says that artificial fear slopes up the difficulty of all actions at a rate decided by the GM. Of greater interest to me is the rule stating that a Jedi can use Sense to detect that the fear he is experiencing is being generated by an external force, and that he may use Force of Will to resist it. However, I feel that distinction would need to remain in any rules; if the emotion is externally induced, the Jedi can use Force of Will to resist, but if the emotion actually is rooted in the Jedi's own psyche, then they must resist it on Willpower alone.

EDIT: That's page 115 in Classic Adventures Volume 5, as I don't have the first edition page reference. However, the rules are listed on the second page of Episode 5, under the description for the Hurlothrumbic Generator.
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Last edited by CRMcNeill on Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So it seems like this idea is leaning in the direction of two different classes of psychological effects: influential and overriding. Influential effects lean more in the direction of dice bonuses for or against character actions, while overriding effects (pretty much all the ones I've created rules for so far) either impose or restrict certain actions on the characters. Based on previous discussions on the subject, it might be best to write up a rule set as two different sets of optional rules that can be applied as gamers see fit. Right now, I have only written up rules for the overriding effects (Frenzy, hatred, fear and confusion, with the possibility of adding in rules for Panic). What would be some good broad categories for influenced emotional states? I'm not looking for a specific, comprehensive list, just some broad categories.
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"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.

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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Based on the suggestions so far, here is what I have for overpowering emotional states. I'm still working on the more subtle influential forms.

Summary:
This rule is intended to represent extreme emotional states, where characters have lost control over themselves or are otherwise not in their right mind. Characters can still feel fear, confusion, hatred, etc, without being controlled by it. These rules represent rules for characters who have been so overcome by a strong emotion that it temporarily dictates their actions.

Characters resist Psychological effects with the Willpower skill, rolled as always against either a set Difficulty level or an opposed dice roll. Failure results in the character being affected by the psychological effect, for good or for ill. Unless otherwise noted, a character suffering from a psychological effect is immune to other psychological effects.

Causing Psychological Effects:
Psychological effects can come from a variety of possible sources:
    -Some weapons may inflict psychological effects through gases or energy fields.
    -Some creatures or beings may cause them, either by presence or an attack of some kind.
    -Force users may use Affect Mind to induce them.
    -Characters may use Intimidation or Persuasion to cause a desired effect.

Types of Psychological Effects:
    Confusion
    Represents mental feebleness, general incompetence, mild delusions, or intoxication. Confused characters suffer from the following:
      -2D to all skills
      Move reduced by 50% (Rounded up)

    Fear
      Character cannot approach the source of the fear, and must move away if attacked.

    Frenzy
    Basically a Berserker rage, normally possible only to aliens that are particularly volatile or short-tempered. Humans can't achieve this on their own without training or assistance.
      +2D to all Combat rolls
      -2D to all Reaction skills
      Ignores pain from any Wound or Stun results (character is still Wounded, but suffers no penalties until Frenzy ends. Track wound status as normal).
      Cannot perform other skills (including Mechanical)
      Character must make a minimum High Speed Move towards the nearest visible enemy and engage it in combat with either Brawling or Melee Combat (or a ranged weapon if it is out of close combat range)
      Character can not attempt to moderate damage, and must inflict full normal damage with any weapon, regardless of the consequences.
      Character stays in Frenzy unless, at the end of the round, he is not in close combat, and there is no enemy within range for him to charge (at High Speed move). However, the character must still make an Easy Willpower check or remain in Frenzy and attack the first visible target.

    Hatred
    Covers all forms of inter-racial animosity, traditional rivalries and grudges, or simple innate aggression.
      Characters must make a normal move (Cruising speed minimum) towards the object of their hatred, and must attempt some form of attack. Unlike frenzy, characters may attempt to moderate the damage they inflict, using normal rules.

    Panic
    The instinctive fight or flight response that overrides all other actions.
      +2D to all Reaction skills
      -2D to all Combat skills
      Character must make a minimum High Speed Move away from the source of the panic. If unable to move away, the character will respond instinctively, either cowering in fear (and potentially wetting themselves), or attacking like a cornered rat (use Frenzy rules).

Ending Psychological Effects:
    While under the influence of a Psychological effect, characters may make a Willpower roll to end the effect, with appropriate difficulty levels and penalties.

Optional Application:
While these rules are designed as mandatory actions that characters must perform, this may not be appropriate to your gaming group. As an alternative, the GM may leave the final decision (i.e. whether or not their character succumbs to the psychological effect) up to the player. As an incentive, if the player grits his teeth and roleplays out the unwanted negative result, this is a perfect opportunity to award additional CP for good roleplaying.
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"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.

The CRMcNeill Stat/Rule Index


Last edited by CRMcNeill on Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:58 pm; edited 2 times in total
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not bad.. Only comment for Frenzy.

Nearly every game system i have seen rules for someone being Berserk, they do NOT get to tell enemies from friends, and regard all as targets.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Not bad.. Only comment for Frenzy.

Nearly every game system i have seen rules for someone being Berserk, they do NOT get to tell enemies from friends, and regard all as targets.


Hmmm. Perhaps an optional rule that, if there are no enemies remaining and the character fails a Willpower check, he attacks his allies?
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking more of that he attacks the CLOSEST target, whether that is friend or foe. If a friend comes to close/accidently hits him, make a willpower roll to NOT regard him as a foe. Kind of like how ADND 2e handles being berserking.
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Esoomian
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be tempted to make that the closest visible target so that a beserker charging towards the enemy lines doesn't immediately do a 180 turn and start butchering his allies just because the enemy turned and ran and managed to end up further away than the people he was leading into battle.

That way a beserker/frenzied person isn't just a melee bomb they're a warrior.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Esoomian wrote:
I'd be tempted to make that the closest visible target so that a beserker charging towards the enemy lines doesn't immediately do a 180 turn and start butchering his allies just because the enemy turned and ran and managed to end up further away than the people he was leading into battle.

That way a beserker/frenzied person isn't just a melee bomb they're a warrior.


That makes more sense.
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