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Evilschemer

Stand-offs

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Seems like a small flame-war erupted and died here without my notice. Well, well. No more "fake" accounts please. Play nice...

Referee! Your air-brushing posts by "Paolo Alephtart" (or whatever-his-fake-name-was) from history has left my post #56 referencing them looking like... gibberish! I ought to sue. I demand... er, oh never mind. ;)

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You mean this...?

I'm afraid I don't find it convincing, and don't think it really addresses the 'impasse' problem.

Because the problem is only solved if the players succeed at (a), i.e. make their Persuade/Whatever rolls. But that's obvious - in the example, we can presume they already tried that (and failed).

Maybe it doesn't address it for you. But frankly, I find your suggestion that PCs are unable to back down unless they succeed about as weird as the e-mail the OP got from his player.

And success at (B) doesn't matter. No matter how much Insight the players get into how little these Bad Guy Lawmen want to hurt them, they still won't want to surrender to them. For plenty of reasons: 1) They know they did it! And when the Lawmen find out...; 2) The Lawmen's Boss may later decide he DOES want to hurt them; 3) They totally lose control of their fate - and they're probably playing this game to have such control; 4) Shooting bad guys is what they want to do - why not these bad guys, now? So I don't believe the players would give up their weapons. The risk to them isn't reduced by Insight, and failing a Fast Talk (no matter how long a procedure is involved) isn't going to convince them either, IMHO.

That example isn't an example of the problem being solved at all...

Yeah, I find your reasons especially telling.

1) They didn't do it, actually. Someone else has.

2) So they always go about armed? Why not in bulletproof vests, too?

3) And weapons give them control over their fate? How about being overwhelmed despite being armed? Honestly, the expectation for "balanced" fights just needs to die.

4) "We play the game to shoot people, so why not these ones?" Honestly, is that what you're saying?

Didn't mean a 'convince the PCs there's only one option' railroad, just 'convince the players there's another viable option' - that would be enough. But in this case I reckon that'd be impossible, because frankly I agree with them that surrender was not viable.

Yeah, that's the root of our disagreement, really. I disagree with them;).

Yes, my bad. Of course I was not referring to "Forgetting KAP the game". Just as "clearing your minds of all influences it may have on your judgement, for the current discussion".

I certainly do not believe that Greg Stafford's intentions when writing Pendragon was that of suggesting that game variables (traits) should limit player freedom. Still, if you read the posts of two pages ago, it is very easy for people to think in terms of "social mechanics telling me what to do", just because this can sometimes happen in Pendragon.

Yeah, and I pointed out it's due to people not really knowing how social mechanics work in the first place;). In Pendragon, I've found mechanics give you incentives to act a certain way, but very rarely prescribe a certain way to act. Same thing with social mechanics, nobody can kill you with words, but they can dishearthen you and make you hesitate, giving penalties on your skill rolls if you later decide to escalate to a fight. This way, it doesn't become a "free roll to avoid a fight, because NPCs are bound by the results, but we fight anyway if we don't get our way" as some other posters seem to be suggesting;).

Also, I can point you to a well-known, widely accepted mechanic that limits player freedom quite a bit. It's called "hit points", and opponents affect it by winning a skill contest with PCs;D! For some reason, most people see nothing wrong with it, so why would it be different with social rolls?

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Also, I can point you to a well-known, widely accepted mechanic that limits player freedom quite a bit. It's called "hit points", and opponents affect it by winning a skill contest with PCs;D! For some reason, most people see nothing wrong with it, so why would it be different with social rolls?

Hah! I was thinking about this earlier!

GM: "The orc hits, roll to dodge."

Player: "I fail"

GM: "The orc does 6 points of damage. You fall down dead!"

Player: "Foul! My character wouldn't do that! You're taking control of my character! My character dodged and the blow missed! I keep on fighting!" :)

...as opposed to...

GM: "The orc calls you a really insulting name in front of your friends. Roll to ignore."

Player: "I fail!"

Gm: "The insult does 6 points of bravery. You are intimidated and wet your pants in fear!"

...as opposed to...

GM: "You see a giant octopus-head monster rising from the water. Roll your sanity."

Player: "I fail!"

GM: "You lose 6 points of sanity. You go insane and try to kill yourself!"

Edited by Evilschemer

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Same thing with social mechanics, ... they can dishearthen you and make you hesitate, giving penalties on your skill rolls if you later decide to escalate to a fight.

What about an example of how the given stand-off might have worked out using such mechanics?

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As I see it, social mechanics work well once the players have agreed to

accept the results of the relevant rules for their characters, but are not

very helpful when a player insists that his character is beyond the reach

of normal human psychology and social behaviour. Therefore I think whi-

le good social mechanics can solve most problems like the stand off de-

scribed at the beginning of this thread for most players, they would fail

to solve the specific problem with this specific player.

Thinking of personality traits or alignments, in my view a trait or alignment

which includes "lawful" in its meaning should give a character a strong ten-

dency to obey the law and therefore a negative modifier for all actions in

disobedience of the law. For example, he may well hesitate to attack a re-

presentative of the law, reducing the likelihood of a quick and successful

attack. He can still do it, but in a "fair fight" he would be at a significant

disadvantage, which the player would know.

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Also, I can point you to a well-known, widely accepted mechanic that limits player freedom quite a bit. It's called "hit points", and opponents affect it by winning a skill contest with PCs;D! For some reason, most people see nothing wrong with it, so why would it be different with social rolls?

Yeah, exactly my point. For some strange reason, some gamers think "social" should be treated differently than combat.

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Hah! I was thinking about this earlier!

GM: "The orc hits, roll to dodge."

Player: "I fail"

GM: "The orc does 6 points of damage. You fall down dead!"

Player: "Foul! My character wouldn't do that! You're taking control of my character! My character dodged and the blow missed! I keep on fighting!" :)

...as opposed to...

GM: "The orc calls you a really insulting name in front of your friends. Roll to ignore."

Player: "I fail!"

Gm: "The insult does 6 points of bravery. You are intimidated and wet your pants in fear!"

...as opposed to...

GM: "You see a giant octopus-head monster rising from the water. Roll your sanity."

Player: "I fail!"

GM: "You lose 6 points of sanity. You go insane and try to kill yourself!"

Yeah, that's exactly it. If it wasn't for the force of habit, some players would probably want to ignore the combat system as well;).

Actually, there are quite a few such players, but let's not get into this;D!

What about an example of how the given stand-off might have worked out using such mechanics?

Sure, let me use a non-descript system. I'll assume the lawmen are a clear victor here.

Lawmen NPCs: "We don't want to hurt you, we just need you to put down those weapons. We don't question armed people, and we need you for questioning on a murder!"

PCs: "No way you're getting our weapons!"

Opposed rolls ensue, people on both sides are getting stressed and nervous. Finally, the lawmen triumph by at least a little.

"You know you're not helping your case here. Be more cooperative, neither of us wants to fight, but you gotta follow the procedure and hand those guns over! We're going to give them back, promise!"

He seems honest as well. Now, the PCs can't find a reason to oppose handling their weapons, other than admitting they're feeling guilty and nervous. At the same time, they know right isn't on their side and know these guys are just doing their jobs, not intending to mass-rape them in the cells! (That's assuming they're the kind that would care about not shooting people for just doing their job. If they aren't, they're just not sure whether they couldn't have avoided it). If they decide to shoot nevertheless, they get a -10- to -30 on their Fast-Draw, depending on how badly they failed the social conflict, and a subsequent -10 on their attack rolls. This alone would make many players far more likely to go along with the results!

Of course, the choice is still theirs.

OTOH, if they do come with the lawmen, they'd avoid this if they are unrightfully imprisoned and are trying to break out. Actually, the guards might well have the same penalties for resisting players' attempt to influence them if it turns out they were mislead by the boss!

"Hey, you lied to us (activating an Aspect or some such that says they were promised to be safe, if there's something like this in the system)!"

"The boss lied to us, too!"

"So how about setting it straight? Open this cell and let us go! Come on, we did disarm at your request, remember? We could have tried to run!"

"We would have shot!"

"We had weapons to shoot as well, is that what we get for entrusting them to you?"

With the same bonus they had as a penalty last time, this time, it's likely to go in favour of the players;).

As I see it, social mechanics work well once the players have agreed to

accept the results of the relevant rules for their characters, but are not

very helpful when a player insists that his character is beyond the reach

of normal human psychology and social behaviour. Therefore I think whi-

le good social mechanics can solve most problems like the stand off de-

scribed at the beginning of this thread for most players, they would fail

to solve the specific problem with this specific player.

Yes, no mechanic can solve a problem with a problem player. But then, if a player insists the PC is beyond psychology and social behaviour, what's the difference with insisting he's also beyond physiology and psychology during combat? As in, his PC keeps fighting through the pain, no matter how many rounds he's got into his body.

It can open new outcomes for less problem-prone players, though;).

Thinking of personality traits or alignments, in my view a trait or alignment

which includes "lawful" in its meaning should give a character a strong ten-

dency to obey the law and therefore a negative modifier for all actions in

disobedience of the law. For example, he may well hesitate to attack a re-

presentative of the law, reducing the likelihood of a quick and successful

attack. He can still do it, but in a "fair fight" he would be at a significant

disadvantage, which the player would know.

Screw alignments, they rate highly in the list of most stupid mechanics ever;D!

OTOH, your example is what the personality traits in some systems would do, not prohibiting the attack, but making it harder:).

Yeah, exactly my point. For some strange reason, some gamers think "social" should be treated differently than combat.

They have their own reasons, but IME, the most compelling one is that they like it that way. And yeah, I can't see a compelling reason for the differences either.

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In my view the main problem is that the use of social skills suffers

from an "overlap" of game mechanics and roleplaying, character ac-

tions and player actions.

In a roleplaying combat the player does not swing a sword or use

a bow, he has to rely on the game mechanics for all of his charac-

ter's actions. But in the use of social skills the player usually acts

for his character, he chooses the arguments and does the talking,

and so on. A bad dice result with a combat skill only means that

the character has failed, but a bad dice result in a social skill can

feel like the player has failed, because he roleplayed the social si-

tuation.

In other words, a roleplaying combat decision by game mechanics

cannot contradict or devalue what the player has done, because

the player did not fight. But a social conflict decision by game me-

chanics can contradict or devalue the player's roleplaying effort -

or at least the player can (mis)understand it that way - because

the player did roleplay the situation.

So, combat and social conflict are not really the same situation,

the game mechanics to handle them have to be at least some-

what different, taking in account that the player often is or feels

personally involved in social conflict situations beyond what the

game mechanics rule for the outcome of his character's actions.

Just my thoughts, of course.

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I tend to agree with Rust's last post. Most combat and social scenes are quite different, and probably shouldn't be treated with 'combat-like' mechanics unless you are trying to simulate a formal Debate rather than a standard social situation.

I feel that social rolls are best demonstrated by the player, and the verbal banter is one of the defining reasons that pnp rpgs stand out over computer game rpgs. I think that most social scenes are best role played, with perhaps a dice roll here and there, maybe receiving modifiers based on how the well the player is portraying the situation.

For instance, we have a player whose character has great Persuade and Fast Talk skills. I don't ask her to simply roll Persuade, however, unless we are after a quick resolution. For most scenes I tend to get her to role play out a conversation with the NPCs, then ask her to make a Persuade/Fast Talk roll, granting modifiers based on how plausible the role playing scene is. Tends to be much more fun and colourful this way.

However I do think there is merit in what others have said about having a more detailed mechanic for lengthy dramatic social situations such as a formal debate and I would like to see the Orate skill having a few combat-like mechanics to it.

So I guess it really depends on what social situations would be best being 'rule-played', and what would be best being 'role-played'.

Edited by Mankcam

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In my view the main problem is that the use of social skills suffers

from an "overlap" of game mechanics and roleplaying, character ac-

tions and player actions.

In a roleplaying combat the player does not swing a sword or use

a bow, he has to rely on the game mechanics for all of his charac-

ter's actions. But in the use of social skills the player usually acts

for his character, he chooses the arguments and does the talking,

and so on. A bad dice result with a combat skill only means that

the character has failed, but a bad dice result in a social skill can

feel like the player has failed, because he roleplayed the social si-

tuation.

In other words, a roleplaying combat decision by game mechanics

cannot contradict or devalue what the player has done, because

the player did not fight. But a social conflict decision by game me-

chanics can contradict or devalue the player's roleplaying effort -

or at least the player can (mis)understand it that way - because

the player did roleplay the situation.

Just my thoughts, of course.

Let me focus on the bolded parts.

How is this rolling a die to swing a sword and describing how you're doing it less imaginary than saying the words of an imaginary person to another imaginary person?

Describing is an absolute requirement in my games, BTW, with no ways left around it.

Did he or she really roleplay the situation? Most players tend to play people more skilled in the social area than themselves, just like my swordsman is likely to be more skilled with a blade than me.

They'd probably fail to play out to the extent their character would. Even if he or she said the right words, he'd quite likely miss the right tempo, botch the pauses, and lack the practised body language* of the PC specialist. It is however well-known that non-verbal communication carries more info than the words!

As such, the player not only didn't roleplay it out, his or her performance was misleading without the die roll;).

Same as with combat, really, where most players couldn't describe it adequately.

So, combat and social conflict are actually the same situation, thus the game mechanics to handle them have to be at least somewhat similiar, and preferably use the same "engine" for skills, initiative and the like. One should also take in account that the player of a combat specialist often is or feels personally involved in physical conflict situations beyond what the game mechanics rule for the outcome of his character's actions. If these guys can rule their attachment in to accept the result of the dice, so can everyone!

These are just my thoughts as well.

*Strict character immersionists who have their voice and body language changing when playing a different character are an edge case here. Most people don't get to such levels of immersion, though. In fact, at least some of them feel more immersed during combats! Yes, I know such people, am I to allow them to just describe their actions and decide based on this?

I tend to agree with Rust's last post. Most combat and social scenes are quite different, and probably shouldn't be treated with 'combat-like' mechanics unless you are trying to simulate a formal Debate rather than a standard social situation.

Weird, than, that I regularly hear in martial arts schools "fighting is like a conversation", isn't it;D?

I feel that social rolls are best demonstrated by the player, and the verbal banter is one of the defining reasons that pnp rpgs stand out over computer game rpgs. I think that most social scenes are best role played, with perhaps a dice roll here and there, maybe receiving modifiers based on how the well the player is portraying the situation.

See above in this post for the reasons why I disagree.

For instance, we have a player whose character has great Persuade and Fast Talk skills. I don't ask her to simply roll Persuade, however, unless we are after a quick resolution. For most scenes I tend to get her to role play out a conversation with the NPCs, then ask her to make a Persuade/Fast Talk roll, granting modifiers based on how plausible the role playing scene is. Tends to be much more fun and colourful this way.

You don't "just roll Fast-talk" in any system, unless yes, you want a fast resolution and that's it:). Modifiers also exist, BTW.

However I do think there is merit in what others have said about having a more detailed mechanic for lengthy dramatic social situations such as a formal debate and I would like to see the Orate skill having a few combat-like mechanics to it.

Yes, not all social situations need to be roleplayed the same way. Often, you still use the simple roll with maybe a difficulty. But then, we often use that for unimportant fights as well, say when only pride is hurt.

So I guess it really depends on what social situations would be best being 'rule-played', and what would be best being 'role-played'.

There's no "rule-playing" being proposed in this thread. There are, however, people that tend to label this way any attempt at a more involved social mechanic, possibly as a reminder of the "roll-playing vs role-playing" fallacy;).

Edited by AsenRG

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How is this rolling a die to swing a sword and describing how you're doing it less imaginary than saying the words of an imaginary person to another imaginary person?

Rolling a die and swinging a sword are two completely different things,

while the words of the player are meant to be identical to the words

of the character. In the first case the player replaces the in game

action of the character with a different out of game action, but in

the second case the in game action of the character and the out of

game action of the player are meant to be the same.

True, this is not a fundamental difference, but one big enough to han-

dle the two kinds of situations differently, I think - perhaps with the

same basic game mechanics, but with an additional element in the ca-

se of a social conflict situation.

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How a player reacts and chooses for their character to act in a perceived situation is role playing.

Depending on the fun level or stimulation level of a game, this can include what is said or how a battle is fought.

However, application of any skill or knowledge follows the same concept for any resolution.

- Tactics and Strategy for fighting (both overall battle and the subtleties in one-on-one).

- Streetwise for survival, what to say, and who to say it to, where to find goods. Perhaps also how to fight and live.

- Diplomacy and Politics for social manipulation, subversion and intrigue (staying alive politically and socially, making allies or enemies - such as how we use our words in the forums).

I see a general discrepancy if characters must roll for a melee battle tactics and hand-to-hand tactics, but not for social interaction. This implies that no skill is required for social interaction, but skill is required for physical combat.

If this is an agreed state of play, that is fine. But there is still a discrepancy and it shows the focus of the game simulation is combat and melee tactics, and that social interaction is unimportant for "leveling" or taken for granted.

If character's social tactics do not require a skill roll for the purpose of role-playing a player's words, then surely for the sake of system equality it would mean that a player can also role-play their character's combat tactics even though the character would not have any command experience or battle wisdom. Depending on the tone of play, some games are run like this as well. It is just a matter of being conscious of the choice of play and the existence of the discrepancy of how resolution is treated between all skills (and the tone of the game).

Personally, I like to run games where characters have skills that equally indicate the scope and nature of what a character can do, and within this (and maybe a bit beyond, for fun) allow the player to choose, and sometimes roll as required.

The best sword fighter could be doomed if noone likes them.

Edited by dragonewt

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There's no "rule-playing" being proposed in this thread. There are, however, people that tend to label this way any attempt at a more involved social mechanic, possibly as a reminder of the "roll-playing vs role-playing" fallacy;).
Well, 'game mechanics' are rules !!!

Actually all I was getting at is that some social situations will definitely benefit from have a dice mechanic, but I feel that most social scenes benefit from direct role-playing. This is what I feel is the most enjoyable way to handle social scenes in rpgs. I prefer heavy emphasis on role playing a character, otherwise we might as well just load up an MMO instead. Game mechanics that take away from playing a character in this way don't enhance my games, but as I pointed out, I can see the benefit for particular occasions where mechanics might move to the forefront in a rpg social scene (Orate and Bargain spring to mind). For things like Fast Talk, Persuade, Intimidation, 'stand-offs' etc I prefer the player-characters to role play the situation and I grant a bonus or negative modifier to them based on that, then they make the game mechanic roll. So for most of our 'social conflict' it is down to player creativity, and subsequent social dice rolls are dependent upon that.

Game styles tend to be vastly different across different age groups and different troupes, so I guess it depends on what you enjoy from an rpg really.

I guess this all gets back to Evilschemer's dilemma in his initial post, and what style of game his troupe likes to play. If they like mechanics to resolve everything, then his 'stand -off' situation could have been resolved that way. If they like to act everything out then that is more enjoyable in my opinion, but I guess not really helpful to his situation, considering the stance the players were taking with their characters, as a GM would have to be pretty creative to resolve the situation and still provide an enjoyable session.

This post certainly has evoked a wide range of opinions on social skills use, so I guess there is a need for more explanations on social conflict resolution in the BGB, but not necessarily too much in the way of new game mechanics.

Interesting thread.

Edited by Mankcam

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Mankcam, there is one point you are not taking into account: the risk of introducing (sometimes involuntarily) excess GM fiat.

It may be true that rolling dice while you are passionately reciting your character's oration may "get in the way" of having fun. But if you do not, then the creeping possibility of the GM declaring "Ok, you were convincing enough" and ditching the roll or giving you a huge bonus is always present, whereas a speech that the GM finds unsatisfactory is penalized beyond acceptability by requiring a second roll (a point that the "bonus" mechanics leaves open - okay, you know you get a bonus/penalty, but how many rolls to win the debate?). Note that I said "creeping" because the GM will probably not even realize he or she is being unfair. Until it is too late.

So the solution is? Well, to produce a rules mechanics that does not "get in the way" of you roleplaying what your character is saying. This is why I have stressed the necessity of PROCEDURES (that BRP lacks) over SKILL DESCRIPTIONS (which BRP has).

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So the solution is? Well, to produce a rules mechanics that does not "get in the way" of you roleplaying what your character is saying. This is why I have stressed the necessity of PROCEDURES (that BRP lacks) over SKILL DESCRIPTIONS (which BRP has).
You raise a good argument here, and I agree that BRP would benefit having more in the way of Guidelines/Procedures than stock standard descriptions. If the game feels 'fluid' I'm pretty happy these days, and as long as game mechanics support role-playing then I'm cool with that. Edited by Mankcam

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It will probably be a surprise to you, but you can do that in a game with rules as long as 3 pages. Want examples :)??

Sure, so long as you can honestly state that you aren't pushing product on me!;)

Yes, but it's not to invent games during play. There are enough in game events to track, you know ;)!

Sorry AsenRG, you've lost me! :?

Both social and physical conflicts are forms of conflict. And both can kill you. :)??

Thats obvious, but you don't have to have exactly the same rules for both if you don't want to.

Am I pushing my product as well?

I don't know, its too soon to reach a conclusion. :-/

Are your combat rules there to supplement or to replace the combat descriptions?

Do you take shampoo and conditioner into the shower? :P

You don't stop roleplaying during combats, you know?

Thanks mate, after twenty odd years of gaming I really needed that point clearing up for me! :7

Well, at least I don't, haven't played with you ;D!?

You do not recognize me? Excellent, my memory wipe technique is perfected ha ha ha! =O

Edited by Conrad

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PCs: "No way you're getting our weapons!" Opposed rolls ensue, people on both sides are getting stressed and nervous. Finally, the lawmen triumph by at least a little. ... If they [the PCs] decide to shoot nevertheless, they get a -10- to -30 on their Fast-Draw, depending on how badly they failed the social conflict, and a subsequent -10 on their attack rolls. This alone would make many players far more likely to go along with the results!

Thanks. That's just the sort of detail I wanted. So - rather like the penalties for a failed Strategy roll, or the like? Mmm, somehow, I don't think it's be enough to change players' minds, except in very marginal situations (meaning where they'd be likely to go along with the authorities anyway).

However, in EvilSchemer's situation - where the players know these 'lawmen' are the bad guys, and also know they have just aided the murderer of the bad guy boss's associate - I really don't think that would be enough to convince them to surrender. (Frankly, I think surrendering then would be crazy.) I think they'd just resent the rules/GM for disadvantaging them.

Yes, no mechanic can solve a problem with a problem player.

It's not right to label someone as a 'problem player' simply because they don't like that type of Social Mechanics. I don't*.

In my view the main problem is that the use of social skills suffers from an "overlap" of game mechanics and roleplaying, character actions and player actions.

How a player reacts and chooses for their character to act in a perceived situation is role playing.

Yes to these points. Roleplaying - that's what players are for. Their characters should do what they want. Exceptions should be very rare (like in CoC, and even then only when your character has gone mad, as it is after all what the game is about).

... there is one point you are not taking into account: the risk of introducing (sometimes involuntarily) excess GM fiat.

That's probably true. On reflection, I guess I fall into the trap of not making players roll (FastTalk, CHAx5, whatever) every time their character says something. When they say something perfectly reasonable (IMO), my NPCs usually accept it (because I myself am, as we all know, perfectly reasonable). In real life, as we also all know, that's not the case - so players should probably roll every time... On failed rolls, my NPCs would adopt a more realistic, unreasonable position!

Do you take shampoo and conditioner into the shower? :P

Use 2-in-1 actually. Thanks for caring. ;)

*PS: Though now I've seen your example, I wouldn't object to Social mechanics so much - however, also I don't think they'd actually work, not often enough to be worthwhile anyway.

Edited by frogspawner
PS + typo

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That's probably true. On reflection, I guess I fall into the trap of not making players roll (FastTalk, CHAx5, whatever) every time their character says something. When they say something perfectly reasonable (IMO), my NPCs usually accept it (because I myself am, as we all know, perfectly reasonable). In real life, as we also all know, that's not the case - so players should probably roll every time... On failed rolls, my NPCs would adopt a more realistic, unreasonable position!

It is not a matter of rolling every time a PC says something. Rolls or other resolution methods are used only when there is an opposition. If a PC enters a shop, asks how much a sword costs and then pays that amount, should you roll to see if he refuses, or gives you an unsolicited discount? [okay, there is ONE example in my own books where this does not apply, but one exception does not make the principle invalid] Interactions where something that is in both parties' best interest is proposed need no roll.

However, one of the parties might want to have the other do something that is more advantageous to him- or herself. In that case, there is a conflict. Note that this could also happen when the GM thinks that the NPC could try and take advantage of the player, so a perfectly reasonable request could even result in a conflict, if the NPC sees an opportunity to maximise his profit by exploiting the fact that the PC is wanted by the Lunar Army.

Another very dangerous pitfall is deciding _what_ is really advantageous for one party. A NPC might be unaware of some details or see them in the wrong way. However, illustrating these details so that he changes his mind is a conflict, and it should be rolled, not roleplayed. Failing to do so means that the conflict is moved to the inter-player plane, with the player trying to persuade the GM about what is reasonable - like the PC should be doing with the NPC instead. If there is the slightest doubt, the conflict should be rolled.

You see, this is one of the points where the Golden Rule of Common Sense might betray you.

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The examples which come to my mind when looking at the setting I am

currently working on are trade negotiations and diplomatic negotiations

as well as "politics" of all kinds. In such cases both sides tend to have

conflicting interests, and to find a mutually acceptable compromise is a

lengthy process which can be difficult and slightly boring to roleplay, but

is somewhat too complex to handle with a single die roll or a small num-

ber of dice rolls. Here a game mechanic / procedure to deal with this

would really be most useful, especially because it would keep the nego-

tiations on the character / in game level and avoid the problem that it

could turn into a referee - player(s) / out of game conflict.

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The examples which come to my mind when looking at the setting I am currently working on are trade negotiations and diplomatic negotiations as well as "politics" of all kinds.

Yes, I see the benefit there.

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Seems like a small flame-war erupted and died here without my notice. Well, well. No more "fake" accounts please. Play nice...

Shame.

Paolo - I think you should revert to the new icon and style permanently.

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The way I handle such issues is by roleplaying as much as I can, then asking the players to roll dice depending on what has happened. So, they might roll Intimidate, with a heft bonus or Fast talk with a penalty or whatever. Sometimes, we break the task into several parts, so they might have to make several rolls and the result depends on the outcome of each roll.

Since every situation is different, we have to narrate the outcome of the rolls. It works well with our group. Sometimes, however, a scene which I think should take 10 minutes goes on for a whole session (4 hours) down to the roleplaying and discussions and dice-roll chains.

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