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New Perception Skill: Discernment
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about, rather than flipping the Con / Persuasion system to make a rule for Discernment, just substitute in the Discernment skill for the Difficulty level? So, keep the Con Difficulty guidelines for when players are rolling against random NPCs, but when PCs or major NPCs are resisting a Con attempt, use their Discernment skill roll to resist instead. That way, it just tacks onto the existing Con / Persuasion system. Then, using that as a base, we can start tacking on added information based on degree of success.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Discernment

Time Taken: One round or longer.

Specializations: Specific skill being resisted (Con, Persuasion, etc.)

Discernment is a measurement of a character's ability to see through attempts by others to deceive or manipulate them. A person with this skill may not be all that adept at conning or manipulating others, but is quite good at recognizing when someone tries it on him.

Difficulty: Discernment is rolled as a reaction skill to resist Con and Persuasion attempts (see description of Con / Persuasion), replacing the base Difficulty of those skills. Con and Persuasion still use their base Difficulty when rolling against NPCs; Discernment is intended for use by PCs and major NPCs. Discernment may also be used against Gambling and Intimidation, depending on the circumstances.

Results:
    Skill Roll Success # = Result

    0+ = Character has a feel for whether the opposing character is trustworthy or being duplicitous.

    5+ = Character can tell what skill is being used against him (Persuasion, Con, etc).

    10+ = Character can tell if the other does not appear to be acting of their own free will (blackmailed or intimidated, or compelled by a Force power)

    15+ = Character can discern the motive behind the attempt, such as what short-term goal the other is attempting to achieve.

    Note: A successful Discernment roll does not mean that the character using Discernment must automatically reject these attempts, merely that he recognizes what the other person is attempting to do. If the character chooses to "play along," he may re-roll Discernment at a later date in an effort to gather more information.

    Failure: On a failed roll, Discernment may not be re-rolled against the same Deception / Persuasion attempt. However, future re-rolls may be permitted at GM discretion if new information becomes available to the character being deceived / persuaded.

Modifiers: See Con and Persuasion.

In addition, a character may use Discernment on a social interaction between two other characters, but suffers a -1D penalty if he only has access to a portion of the interaction (i.e. too far away to hear what is being said, or listening only without being able to observe body language), or a -3D penalty if listening to another character who was party to the interaction describe it after the fact.
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Last edited by CRMcNeill on Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:36 pm; edited 6 times in total
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice clean write up.

Do you imagine the skill could be used in other circumstances? Such as by a third party observing interaction between two others? Or perhaps to identify someone who is trying to be inconspicuous but following or watching the character (that is, the character can tell the difference between someone who is minding his own business and someone who is pretending to mind his own business, but is not interacting directly with the character)?
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
Do you imagine the skill could be used in other circumstances? Such as by a third party observing interaction between two others?

Sure, subject to proximity modifiers based on how much of the interaction they can perceive (i.e. too far away to hear the conversation, so all you can read is body language).

Quote:
Or perhaps to identify someone who is trying to be inconspicuous but following or watching the character (that is, the character can tell the difference between someone who is minding his own business and someone who is pretending to mind his own business, but is not interacting directly with the character)?

I’d probably put this more under Search, but close enough that Discernment could still work against it at -1D or 2D.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What skill would the tail use to appear inconspicuous, do you think? Seems like whatever skill it would be (con?) could be appropriate to oppose discernment, no?
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
What skill would the tail use to appear inconspicuous, do you think? Seems like whatever skill it would be (con?) could be appropriate to oppose discernment, no?

Whill suggested changing Con to Deception, which I think is much better as a catch-all than Con. So, either that or Sneak.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that could work given that sneak is a perception skill.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, something that I didn't add. I can't remember the reference (it may have been the D&D Sense Motive skill), but the statement was made that, on a failed roll, a character could not make any more Discernment attempts to see through that particular use of Deception / Persuasion, although they could make use of it against future attempts from the same character.

Should this stay the same, or should the GM give a Deceived / Persuaded character additional chances to see through it? If the later, what sorts of circumstances might permit a re-roll?
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I might say that you only get a re-roll when new information is gained concerning the issue in question. Deception generally works because of what the target does not know. If a new piece of information is gained, then the target may suddenly realize the attempt at deception.

If you imagine a detective questioning a suspect, he may believe the suspect's answers to the first few questions, but a later question arises in the course of the interrogation, and the answer contradicts or otherwise doesn't line up right with previous answers given. Then the detective should get a discernment check to see if he catches the discrepancy (the better the deceiver, the more carefully he will answer, thus reducing the likelihood of giving false information that would be easily revealed upon cross reference).
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
I might say that you only get a re-roll when new information is gained concerning the issue in question. Deception generally works because of what the target does not know. If a new piece of information is gained, then the target may suddenly realize the attempt at deception.

If you imagine a detective questioning a suspect, he may believe the suspect's answers to the first few questions, but a later question arises in the course of the interrogation, and the answer contradicts or otherwise doesn't line up right with previous answers given. Then the detective should get a discernment check to see if he catches the discrepancy (the better the deceiver, the more carefully he will answer, thus reducing the likelihood of giving false information that would be easily revealed upon cross reference).

That works. The GM can be the arbiter of when new information becomes available, with modifiers to the re-roll.
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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: Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went back and added those two additional thoughts to the skill write-up.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm liking it.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, here's a consideration:

Imagine a scenario wherein the deceiver attempts to present as an expert in a particular area, not knowing that he is talking to an actual expert. In some cases, the deception skill may oppose a knowledge (or appropriate scholar) check, rather than discernment.

What do you think?

Make the knowledge/scholar check, or just give a bonus to discernment? For example, the deceiver may have 10D (or just 6D or 8D or whatever) in deception (and base knowledge in planetary systems) and attempt to "educate" someone who has 5D in planetary systems. Seems like the person with 5D in planetary systems (above average expertise) should have a better than average chance at detecting the misinformation.

I can imagine that the character with planetary systems should probably spot the false information immediately, though it may still be possible that he does not detect an attempt at deception. However, it is pretty easy to tell when someone is pretending to be more expert than they really are (so if the true expert detects two or three consecutive false statements, he may become wise to the pretender's pretending, though not necessarily wise to his motives).
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In this case, when it came down to specific Knowledge held by the target, I'd allow the Knowledge skill to be rolled in its place. A person can be quite knowledgeable in a specific field is better equipped to detect a Con regarding that field, and yet be quite gullible outside of their particular area of expertise.

And not just with Knowledge skills, either. For example, I drive big rigs for a living. A few years ago on this forum, a member tried to tell me about how big rigs handle because he rode in the passenger seat of a friend's rig once without a trailer. I didn't blow up at him, but I pretty much blew off everything he had to say since; if I knew he was BS'ing about something I knew about, how could I be sure he wasn't doing the same on subjects I didn't know about?

That's a Mechanical skill. You could probably do the same with Dexterity skills (Firearms), and my mechanic friend could probably do the same with some Technical skills.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So you know what I'm talking about then.

In particular, what do you think the difficulty should be? Should the difficulty be based on the particular piece of knowledge being offered (without respect to the con/deception roll)? Or should there be a bonus/penalty proportionate to the magnitude of the attempted fabrication?

So, if I ask the GM, "I want to use my knowledge skill to find out whether I can jury rig two positron accelerators in series in order to gain the required power boost, or do I need a positron accelerator and a step up transformer?" The GM would set a difficulty for the answer to that question (let's just call it 18 ).

But if the issue came up in the game instead because someone used con to try and say that they set up two positron accelerators in series to get a power boost, should the difficulty to spot that con be 18 or should it be based on the con roll?
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