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Willpower skill or POW x5?


clarence

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While trying out my social conflict rules I started thinking about introducing a Willpower skill in BRP. I see it in RQ6 and wonder how well it works in play? Is it a good idea to have this as a trainable ability? Or do you feel POW x5 is sufficient, modelling it as a more static talent? I really can't decide which way to turn here - I can see merits in both.

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M–SPACE   d100 Roleplaying in the Far Future

Odd Soot  Science Fiction Mystery in the 1920s

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I actually think that a persons health would have a bearing on their Willpower, so I would go with Con+Pow. Unlike a skill though, I would limit advancement to experience, or so special cases like finding the Great Yogi of the Mountain, and he takes you on as a student. This would help differentiate it from Pow used in Luck rolls, etc.

 

SDLeary

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I would just use POWx5 for willpower. If you had a particular social situation, like negotiation or brinkmanship you could use a skill instead. Remember that if you succeed an opposed test vs. higher POW you can check for a POW increase -- so there is some small possibility of improving your 'Willpower skill'.

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I actually think that a persons health would have a bearing on their Willpower, so I would go with CON+POW

I pondered this a while ago and eventually came to the conclusion that innate Willpower is not necessarily affected by one's physical state. Many examples point to this, the most prominent being those people who are battling physical illness and prevailing, despite their declined physical state before recovery.

Although I believe what SDLeary is describing is perfect for the the concept of Endurance, and could be modeled well in a system such as BRP.

Another way to do it would be to use POW as a complimentary skill and add it to CON x 5% rolls for purposes of rolling endurance or fighting disease; although the roll is probably too high.

However, getting back to the Clarence's query regarding whether Willpower is better as a skill or an attribute:

Both ways have their merits, but considering this is a BRP thread and not an RQ6 or OQ thread then I would say just go with POW.

Competition between individuals is POW vs POW on the Resistance Table; whereas other situations it is a straight POW x 5% roll, adjusting for Easy and Difficult modifiers when the situation calls for such.

Remember that Attributes/Characteristics are trainable as well, although they take much longer time.

So you can always spend months with a Yogi if you want to try for a POW increase; it will just take a long time ( and perhaps rightfully so).

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" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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If you had a particular social situation, like negotiation or brinkmanship you could use a skill instead.

 

Yes, I agree. But I thought Willpower vs skill could be a good way to model a situation with one passive and one active part.

 

 

Two things stand out here I think:

 

1. It's important to be able to improve Willpower, though perhaps not too easy. POW Gain: Joining a yogi as mentioned above could probably be counted as training (and similar spiritual pathways). Martial arts training seems to include Willpower elements. Psychotherapy would work for modern settings. Regarding experience checks, the POW vs POW rules work fine, but for non-magic settings there will be very few situations for contests like these. Skill Gain: If characters are rewarded every time they use their Willpower skill, it might feel a bit too easy to improve, rather like modeling someone getting more secure in social situations, not a deeply rooted belief in oneself.

 

2. If POW x5 is used, easily-swayed NPCs will have very low POW (around 4). Does this present any further complications down the line?

 

 

Aha, I didn't think about using modifiers for POW x5 rolls! Good suggestion. 

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M–SPACE   d100 Roleplaying in the Far Future

Odd Soot  Science Fiction Mystery in the 1920s

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2. If POW x5 is used, easily-swayed NPCs will have very low POW (around 4). Does this present any further complications down the line?

If you use any sort of "powers" (Magic / Psionics etc) that utilize power points derived from the POW characteristic you are making an INTRINSIC link between strong will and substantial capability with powers (a large reserve of POW points). Willpower as a distinct skill (even if with a starting value of say POW x 2) reduces the strength of that link, making more plausible characters / NPCs who are capable with the powers system but not automatically iron willed paragons of determination.

How important that is probably depends on the setting, and style of campaign one wants to run... for many games, POW x 5 is simpler; and for many others, creating "power points" (and a Luck score) from something OTHER than POW probably works better anyway.

cheers,

Nick

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If you use any sort of "powers" (Magic / Psionics etc) that utilize power points derived from the POW characteristic you are making an INTRINSIC link between strong will and substantial capability with powers (a large reserve of POW points).

 

That is a problem I think. I can easily envision the opposite to be true: The more strange powers you have, the more hollow you will feel inside.

 

A Willpower skill seems the better choice to me, but gaining experience in it needs a slight update. Maybe some life-changing experiences or a Yogi-type of training must happen to a character before Willpower can be raised with experience?

 

Yes, I agree. I have continued working on the social conflict rules presented in another thread, simplifying them somewhat and made them more generic. I'm posting them here for convenience, though it may eventually end up being cross-posted in the social conflict thread - sorry about that in advance.

 

 

 

Social Conflict v 4

 
Conflict Pool ("Hit Points"): Use CHA or APP. 
 
Attack skills: Fast Talk, Bargain, Persuade & Deceit*. Use opposed rolls. Either the different skills can be opposed in any combination (eg. Bargain vs. Persuade) or a skill can be used against the Willpower** skill (see below). 
 
Damage: 1d6
 
Modifiers: Recognized authority, frequently defaulting to 1/5th of Status or Member Rank (see Ideologies chapter) as a negative modifier for opponent. Also use the table Social Disposition to modify the skill value. Complementary skill: Perform, Command, Etiquette, Science (Psychology), Insight or any skill connected to the actual subject. Add 1/5 of the complementary skill to the main skill. 
 
Defeat: Normally when any Conflict Pool reach 0, though the GM can decide upon another target value for less critical situations. Defeat usually results in negative modifiers to social interactions for a period, with halved values as default. 
 
 
Note: Fast Talk, if used exclusively by one combatant, will yield only temporary damage - it will last just a few minutes after the conflict is over.
 
Member Rank or Status? For internal struggles Member Rank is probably best suited, otherwise use Status. 
 
 
Opposed rolls: "The easiest of the methods of attempting to adjudicate a case of opposed skills is to simply let everyone involved in the opposed check roll his or her chances for success as normal (any normal modifiers apply) and compare the results. The highest successful result rolled that is not a critical or special success is the winner". BGB
 
*New skill: Deceit. At its simplest the practice of telling a good lie, but can also be used for more elaborate and long-term deceits. Opposed rolls are primarily made against Insight, but in social conflicts it is more flexible. 
 
**New skill: Willpower. Base POW x2. 
 
 
Social Disposition Table, Deceit skill modifier, Persuade/Other Skill modifier
Affectionate, -10%, +25%

Friendly, -5%, +15%

Amiable, 0, +5%

Indifferent, 0, 0

Dislike, +10%, -10%

Unfriendly, +20%, -20%

Malicious, +30%, -30%
 
Update Social Disposition after a conflict depending on the outcome. Write it down, especially if the opponents are to meet again soon or in court intrigue situations. 
 
If only one side of the conflict wants or needs something from a more passive part, use Willpower skill as the opposing force (with the usual complementary skills) and roll as normal. 
 
Disengaging: A conflict can at any time be left by any of the combatants. The outcome can either be postponed or decided by the person with the highest Status (or Member Rank), but the matter will still be open for change. Either way the combatant with the lowest current Conflict Pool will suffer a -20% negative modifier to social interaction skills for a day. 
 
 
Social Conflict Special Success
 
For special success roll 1d6 below for an effect additional to the normal damage. 
 
1. Humour/Ridicule (full damage to target, target's Social Disposition lowered one step), 
 
2. Status stress (target's Status halved next round), 
 
3. Physical impose (only Command skill can be used by target next round), 
 
4. Moral superiority (Status +20% next round), 
 
5. Entangling logic (all skills at -20% for target next round), 
 
6. Provoke rage (all skills at -20% next round for target or combat ensues)

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M–SPACE   d100 Roleplaying in the Far Future

Odd Soot  Science Fiction Mystery in the 1920s

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'Willpower' as a title seems like an innate trait, well to me at least. I see it as so close to 'Power' in concept and name, that I find it hard to distinguish it from POW itself.

But I do follow your thoughts on a more trainable variant of the trait.

Perhaps a title for the Skill version of willpower could be called 'Self Discipline' or 'Self Esteem' perhaps?

Possibly give it a base chance equal to POW%.

They could potentially be two different skills, perhaps with 'Self Esteem' having a base chance of (POW+CHA)/2% possibly 

Just some thoughts

 

I do like the new skill of 'Deceit', although I would think it would be opposed by Insight rather than Persuade

The Social Disposition table and Special Success effects are very cool however, some good ideas flowing here. 

However I'm unsure if being amicable or malicious will alter one's chance at deceiving someone. Look at Caesar and Brutus as an example. In some ways it may be actually easier to deceive a friend, given that they are not prepared for such.

Not that this is good on a moral level, or on the friendship itself, of course.

" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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These social conflict rules I like much more than the previous ones mentioned :)

But using Willpower sounds absolutely out of place to me here. I would see it as appropriate only if the conflict is a seduction attempt, or is leveraging greed or other lusts. Against Fast Talk, I would let the opponent choose between Fast Talk (I am a master of that trick, you will not fool me with it) or Insight (no sweet talk, I guessed your intentions). Willpower is redundant here, I would introduce it in order to walk on burning coal, not for social interactions.

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I'm happy you like it.

 

I think the lack of a Willpower skill is a missed opportunity in BRP. It has so many uses. Among them, I believe, is an NPC standing fast when someone is trying to persuade him/her. Persuade vs Persuade is good for situations where the opponents are trying to convince each other of their standpoints, but when one part is active and the other part passive you need to put a number on the resistance the NPC is putting up. Are they the easily swayed servants (Willpower 20%) or the trustworthy butlers (Willpower 85%)? POW can be used for this but I think Willpower is the better choice, even though I'm not a big fan of adding new skills.

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M–SPACE   d100 Roleplaying in the Far Future

Odd Soot  Science Fiction Mystery in the 1920s

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I don't see this particular use as dependent on a "generic" skill. A trustworthy butler has 85% "Loyal to master", not "Willpower". In that particular case, as a matter of fact, the RuneQuest rules specifically allow you to use a Passion instead of Willpower. Doesn't this ring a bell in your mind?

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But I still think a more generic "social resistance" value is a good idea.

Indeed this could be modeled as a skill. But in that case it would have nothing to do with the skill that your mystic uses to keep from reacting to pain upon burning coals or under a snowstorm. I would call it "Social aptitude" rather than "Willpower". In general, the guys with the strongest, most trained "Will" are quite separate from regular society, so it is easy to imagine someone who is iron willed, but easily gullible if he meets an average conman.

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