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When have you resolved social challenges in encounter mode?


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#1 RARodger

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 08:50 AM

I'm trying to get this to work right, but it's really not gelling for me. To be clear, I've played plenty of games where the core mechanic is applied to social situations (Dogs in the Vineyard, Burning Wheel, various Fate games to name a few) so the concept isn't novel to me, but there's something about the action card mechanic that has made slipping in and out of encounter mode challenging for me.

Part of the problem comes from a disconnect in the rules, I think. Rereading the rules last week I came across the description of Story Mode as the montage between events, but elsewhere it's used more generally.

Anyway, I'm posting this not to look for alternatives, houserules, work arounds, etc. I'm curious to hear about times you successfully used encounter mode for social encounters successfully with the rules as written. I want a better sense of how it's supposed to work so I can decide if it will work for me and my group.



#2 phild

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 09:53 AM

I've been thinking about the same as it happens. The rulebook suggests the concept of social encounters quite strongly, and there are a number of careers (agitator, for example) who have career abilities that are directly linked to social encounters. And yet, none of the adventures I have read so far have any social encounters detailed. Yes, plenty of situations where a social encounter *could* happen, but nothing explicitly set up. Disappointing to say the least.

However, this also got me thinking about why we need to set up social encounters. Combat encounters don't require any set up - they just happen, and we all know how to run them. To achieve the same level of "instantaneous" social encounter, you need to have the same range of actions available that players can just dive straight into. I haven't done anything in detail yet, but my thinking was just as you have Melee action for Weapon Skill, Ranged action for Ballistic Skill, Assess the Situation for Discipline etc. you should have actions the likes of Charm, Guile and Leadership. These would be universal actions and would provide the baseline for running any social encounter.

To go to the next level would be to make a system akin to Green Ronin's A Song of Ice & Fire, where you have an Influence threshold, equivalent to Wounds, so that over the course of a social encounter you can overcome someone's influence score and get your way. Unlike wounds, however, these would need to be tracked by person which is a bit cumbersome (i.e. if you inflict 4 influence on me, that has no benefit to someone else who still treats me as being full influence). You'd also have social Soak and social Defence, and different action cards would inflict different damage. This would be above and beyond the existing Shame rules from Lure of Power, which it seems to me apply to a very specific situation of a social duel (although perhaps another way of thinking about it is Shame being the equivalent of a Critical Hit threshold).

Anyway, some ideas but no actual solutions for you I fear! But this is the route I'm thinking of going, which should make it much easier to launch into a social encounter on the fly.

 



#3 Emirikol

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 09:55 AM

We did it in the last session.  I had an instance where they needed to get 6 successes in 3 rounds.  Each round, stress accrued (I only use shame if there is a 'me better than you' situation).

 

jh



#4 Pedro Lunaris

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 01:21 PM

I didn't use it last night, but after the game I was banging my own head with the question "why not?" Characters had successfully got out of a quarentined Ubersreik to try and convince some Karak Azgaraz dwarf merchant party who couldn't get inside of the town to pass some itens to them so they would take it to the dwarf community inside the walls. We resolved the situation with plain fun roleplaying. But I could more or less easily had arranged things into being a social encounter. Let me descrive the situation:

Four poor looking fellows who were trying to sound convincing, respectable and efficient to a bunch of dwarfs, who were pissed they couldn't get to their kin and also eager to find a way to do it. That was the PC's goal and first noted difficulty. And, of course, the fact that neither one had dealed with a dwarf before, at least for more than a pub's "business".

For hidden complexity, the dwarfs were irritated with the way manlings handle things, and feeling disrespected for not being considered in their known capacity for resilience. On the other hand, they were eager to deliver some needed goods for their cousins (some good quality metal and tools, which were stocked in two big chests). They wouldn't think about doing something illegal, but at the same time they didn't even notice human law as something they needed to pay attention to. The way they saw things, humans had created this bizarre method to deal with an epidemy, which clearly wouldn't work; and with it they had arranged things in a way prevented the dwarfs from reaching their destiny. So if other manlings came with a way to deliver part of the goods, and if they could be trusted, that was exactly their objective, and it was up for the human's honor the way they did it.

The way we played, they worked together roleplaying, with some of it helping (both good arguments and character feel) and some of it difficulting things (lies that kinda sounded like lies, or at least would be strange for a dwarf), and and we only had three rolls: the first one to white flag the ironbreaker who was one of the watches (and maybe gain his sympathy, which happened in a great roll), the second to try Honeyed Words, the third to try to set the deal. I also forgot one of the characters had Thorden's Hammer, which could both be a complicating factor or a beneficial one.

I would arrange things as following if I were to GM that enconter again:

I would roll for social iniative as soon as the PCs were spoted by the ironbreaker. I would assume, being a better positioned dwarf at night, that he would be able to spot the PCs coming downd the path immediatley, and his call of "who comes?" would be the cue for the iniative roll.

The first action of the dwarf would be to intimidate the players, trying to state clearly they were prepare to defend the camp if they needed. That could have some effect or none at all, if the PCs were trying a tactic which wouldn't be altered by them being intimidated (or at least getting some intimidating attention), or if they acted sooner than the dwarf and were able to state their purpose in a way that would calm the soldier. I pictired the ironbraker as a calm, fun and matter-of-factly fellow, so that wouldn't be a difficult test if the PCs were coming peacefully. This first "engagement' would be set to give the possibility of the ironbreaker actually becoming something of an ally, if he was influentiated more than once, in a good way.

I would follow the same initiative as the PCs follow the ironbreaker to the tent of the dwarf party's leader. I could consider it a Rally Step, and the PCs would get the chance to dig some information that could help in the continuity of the encounter. When entering the tent, the dwarf leader would join the Intiative Track.

This character would be a tougher piece. He would condense the frustration of the dwarfs, even being a patient fellow. He would be more thick headed and less friendly, even if really articulated and without losing diplomacy. He would need to be influentiated at least thrice to let his guard down and be more open for setting a deal.

Maybe I would use a progress tracker. Every turn the intensity could arrise as time passes, so the tension token would be moved. The dwarf finding hs arguments not well received, or met with poor arguments in response, could move the token more, and getting offensive would move it again. At a certain point the dwarf could get his temper so high he would start socially attacking the PCs, targeting their Shame, and he would be getting them out of his tent if each Shame Treshold was surpassed, or if he got to another event space.


The PCs could try to influentiate the dwarf leader (which would move a separate token) or try and get their ironbreaker ally to participate (which would maybe hold the progression of the Tension token). They wouldn't get much attacking the dwarf leader, maybe if they could translate some attack on his Shame into a step towards getting the discussion to a more pleasant place, but that is sure hard to imagine. If things were too bad to account for, getting the leader pass his Shame Treshold would get them being expeled from the dwarf camp, but at least they were not to be attacked (maybe the ironbreaker would also accompany them to the cities gates for diplomacy's sake and safety). If things got really serious, they would be threating losing their lives.

And I would also rule some degrees of success: close te deal with medium profit, closing the deal with higher profit, closing the deal with an opened line to the dwarf community (and maybe some hook to play into Karak Azgaraz and Backfire Pass). Also they could be invited for dinner and ale or not. They would get the ironbreaker's escourt anyway, for the safety of the dwarven boxes.

So, that would be translating the social encounter from a rich roleplaying opportunity into a rich roleplaying opportunity with more rule,s more dices being rolled, maybe more variables obviously at stake. one thing that I see as an added bonus would be to account for each step of the process with more care and more description, if I could translate the mechanics into good narratives instead of letting them take care of the descriptions "you succeded? so he is influenced, bu then he tries to get to your shame, he says something and… dices, dices, dices"… Blergh, that would be awful!

What do you think, did this huge description helped anyhow?



#5 RARodger

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 02:13 PM

Emirikol said:

We did it in the last session.  I had an instance where they needed to get 6 successes in 3 rounds.  Each round, stress accrued (I only use shame if there is a 'me better than you' situation).

 

jh

Can you be more specific? What was the scene? What sort of actions did they use? Had you started in story mode and shifted to encounter mode? Did it feel natural?



#6 Emirikol

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 02:34 PM

As you know, nothing feels as natural as the real thing ;)  I don't have much more context for you except that it was for convincing someone to do something (they were trying to convince the Lords of Eylea to pay them to help them (at bottom).

I have a simple rule:  As soon as the dice are rolled, encounter mode begins.  There is a minimum of 3 rounds of OPPOSED checks in most cases (unless I'm just throwing nonsense at them).  Why 3 rounds?  It feels right and then we know there's a point to it. It's actually quite natural. Its similar to the 3 ACT structure presented in gm's toolkit and her's call, only without all the unnatural filler just to resolve a simple 3-step skill check.  ~ Make 3 skill checks and suffer a fatigue or stress as relevant each round they fail. May re-attempt

In this case, over 3 rounds, I have the PCs plead their case (or rather, the "spokesperson for the party" makes his case).   Each round they can roleplay the effect (or I can interpret the effect).  Additional stresses can occur during the checks.  (One of my players detests all the ways that PCs can be "punished" for not succeeding at something. Personally, I think it's absolutely great.)

There MUST be a consequence though. I typically simply use Fatigue or Stress suffered at a rate of one per round (depending on the check).  The way that I traditionally set up the # of rounds is simply based on the willpwoer of the opponent.  On their own turf, the PCs suffer a penalty die (as noted in the slaanesh supplement).

We can break it down into individual components for example:

* Convincing someone to pay you more money for the job (Haggle works fine for this), and then give you more information after the original negotiation is done (2 sets of checks:  one round for haggle, and 3 rounds to try to get information). 

* Convincing someone to stop attacking you and listen (parry and skill check), and then convince them that you're not the bad guys and it was all a big misunderstaning (two sets of 3 round checks..since they're being attacked, I allow them perform stunt AND defensive)

 

Much like negotiation in the real world, when enough stress builds up, they need to step away from the table and begin again the next day  :)

 

I think without a structure like the above though, it's harder to get an idea of how it works.    As the GM if you simply take two sets of 3 rolls, that's probably a great way to start.  One of the ways that i do this with skill checks in general is to roll a d30 against all the skill checks and find two (and maybe a specialization) that are relevant (from this thread:  www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp).

1. "Other/Puzzle"
2. Animal Handling
3. Athletics
4. Ballistic Skill
5. Channeling
6. Charm
7. Coordination
8. Discipline
9. Education
10. First Aid
11. Folklore
12. Guile
13. Intimidate
14. Intuition
15. Invocation
16. Leadership
17. Magical Sight
18. Medicine
19. Nature Lore
20. Observation
21. Piety
22. Resilience
23. Ride
24. Skullduggery
25. Spellcraft
26. Stealth
27-28 Tradecraft
29. Weapon Skill
30 Dwarf Engineering

Just like any other skill check, the PCs are given a chance to "roleplay" between rolls and see if the GM will give them bonus dice for "good roleplay."

I've not found it to be too difficult otherwise in comparison to any other skill check.  You just need to have a number of successes in mind and a penalty of one stress for each failure. 

Example again:

Let's say I roll Magic Sight for a random "topic" of discussion:  If the PCs have magic sight, then I have them roll 3 times and they need x successes in 3 rounds to make headway (this is very D&D, but works the same for progress trackers..it's just a race to the finish).   Each round they fail, they suffer a stress.  each round they can also suffer additional stress if they roll poorly (perform stunt).  After three rounds, did they get enough successes?  If not, they can try again for 3 more rounds.

If they don't have magic sight, then its simply something that either they need to come up with a creative solution, or you as the GM, need to give them something else relevant (intuition for example) and have them go from there with a slight penalty.

 

Another example:  Ride.  They are trying to escape from something scary chasing them.  Make three checks.  For each failure, gain a fatigue (or additional fatigue if double banes).  If they realize they'regoing to be too fatigued to fight, they either need to stop and fight before they're exhausted, or come up with a different solution (or roleplaying effort!).  Chaos star effect:  horse blows a knee.

 

Another example:  Resilience.  They're crossing a swamp.  3 checks each day; 1 or 2 fatigue per day.  However many days….  Chaos stars indicate encounter, wound or something else (lost items, etc.)

 

Now back to Charm/guile:  3 checks to get Aschaffenberg (willpower 3..hence 3 rounds of checks in this case)) to hire you for any kind of reasonable reward:

ROUND 1:  GM:  What would you like to say to Lord Aschaffenberg about why he should hire you?  PC: We are here to save the princess, but we need money first.  ROLLS.

ROUND 2:  Ok, we're serious.  We've got these credentials.  ROLL

ROund 3:  Listen, we can go get another job anywhere and we know your guards would be too easily recognized.  ROLL.

 

Just a long set of examples :)

 

jh



#7 RARodger

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 02:59 PM

Yeah, Pedro, thanks.

I think that part of the problem I've been having is with things like progress trackers. I wonder if just using shame would be more effective for me. I want to avoid encounters that just feel like, "keep rolling dice til you get to X." I'll have to think about this.

In our session last week the players had to convince some sentries to let them share the shelter of the cave during a torrential downpour. Both the players and one of the sentries was trying to convince the other sentry whether or not to let them in. I did it with a progress tracker and it just felt like a lot of back and forth until the players ganged up on the guy and used their numerical advantage.

Perhaps "shaming" one of the sentries into letting them in would be more appropraite. I'll have to think on this. The shame is more like "combat" than the other vague stuff, after all.

 



#8 Emirikol

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 03:57 PM

The advantage of stress over shame is that it lasts :)

 

Shame goes away too fast imo.  There has to be a level of frustration left over after a social encounter otherwise what was the point?

 

jh



#9 phild

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 10:01 PM

I'm totally sold on the idea of using Stress as the "hit points" of a social encounter.

1. As Emrikol says, it lingers. So there is a lasting consequence to player's decisions to engage / continue with social encounters

2. It has built in steps which helps the sense of jeopardy in player decision-making: from base to zero, you're suffering harm, but it's something you can recover. Beyond zero, you're gaining a misfortune die each time as well as moving into an area of stress damage which linger beyond the Encounter (given immediate recovery of Stress = WP*).

Something I like from other social combat systems is the role of "disposition", being how two protagonists feel about each other. In other systems, you might have a table of dispositions and the effect is has (e.g. how much harder is it for someone with "Dislike" disposition to charm you?) What I love about WFRP is you don't need a look up table: this can simply be covered by Fortune / Misfortune dice. E.g. trying to charm a sworn enemy, I'll throw in 4 misfortune dice. Offering cash at the same time, maybe I'll reduce that to 2 misfortune dice. Or maybe I'll add two Fortune dice into the mix, because he doesn't hate you any less, there's just a chance that the money will distract him.

I think the way I'd like to play this is, to replicate physical combat, doing something like:
1 success: Influence target (i.e. they give in or progress tracker moves 1 space, as applicable) OR they suffer 1 stress (to reflect resisting your influence)
3 successes: Influence target x2 OR stress x 2
2 Boons: Target warms to you, take 1 fewer misfortune dice (or 1 more Fortune die) because of your opponent's disposition
1 Bane: You annoy your target, add 1 misfortune dice to your next attempt to Influence target.
2 Banes: You suffer 1 stress
Comet: +1 Influence and opponent's disposition permanently improved. As 2 Boons, but long-term effect with roleplaying implications for the GM.
Chaos: You mess up. -1 Influence and add 1 challenge dice to all subsequent attempts to influence your target.

I also think in most social combats, there are a small number of main actions:
1. Influence - the standard action. Although common sense applies here. If PC1 uses Charm to influence and NPC, and his colleague uses Intimidate their effects might cancel out. Or it might just be a standard Good / Cop bad cop approach. Gm discretion needed here, methinks!
2. Charm - action where the objective isn't to influence, but to make the person like you more and thus make subsequent influence easier. This is probably just a simplified version of the success options above, where Success generates the 2 Boon line, and 2 Boons recovers 1 stress as per general effect.
3. Counter-argument - defence. For this, Guarded Position provides a decent template. I don't think a reactive defence is an appropriate "standard" card, although it would be a suitable action card for purchasing as an advance (is there one already, I can't recall?)

One other action card that seems relevant is Assess the Situation. I would interpret this card one of two ways. If the character meets the requirements of the card, and disengages from the social conflict, I'd allow the card to play as writ, adding the penalty to social combat. If the character doesn't disengage, they can use Assess the Situation to recover 1 stress but they don't get to add the misfortune die to their opponent's pool. By calmly considering rather than reinforcing their position, they're giving their opponent a sniff of weakness to exploit.

Questions / caveats / comments
1. I'm not sure if under these circumstances I'd have negative stress leading to insanity picks. I think I'd make it an exception to the normal rule. Though clearly, an unsuccessful influence attempt could leave a character with residual stress, and thus more vulnerable to insanity in the future.
 

2. I think Fatigue & Stress healing back so quickly at the end of an Encounter is very generous. Although perhaps that's down to using longer Rally steps, so that in effect characters stay in Encounter mode a bit longer, rather than assuming that putting the dice away means that Encounter mode has ended?

3. Multi-player: sometimes I think it is more appropriate for a single player to influence, with others Aiding. Other times, it may be appropriate for every player to contribute. However, where multi-player aid is appropriate, I think one should be harsher on the influence track, so that an unsuccessful roll moves the track back 1 space - that way, there is (again) real jeopardy in taking part. If it works, you influence quicker. If it doesn't, you just confuse the issue.

4. This sort of system opens up the opportunity for new talents and career cards. E.g. "Talent: Suffers 1 fewer Stress when social combat inflicts 2 Stress or more" or "Talent: Exhaust this card to regain 2 stress lost as a result of social combat"  



#10 Pedro Lunaris

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 04:27 AM

Emirikol said:

The advantage of stress over shame is that it lasts :)

 

Shame goes away too fast imo.  There has to be a level of frustration left over after a social encounter otherwise what was the point?

 

jh

 

I see your point. I would use Shame for the encounter and translate some of it to Stress after it ends, something like if below Shame Treshold 1 or 2 Stress, if above 2, 3 or 4. I think I would judge case by case, considering each encounter's situation and how it ends, character personality, argument triggers and so on…



#11 Pedro Lunaris

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 04:40 AM

RARodger said:

Yeah, Pedro, thanks.

I think that part of the problem I've been having is with things like progress trackers. I wonder if just using shame would be more effective for me. I want to avoid encounters that just feel like, "keep rolling dice til you get to X." I'll have to think about this.

In our session last week the players had to convince some sentries to let them share the shelter of the cave during a torrential downpour. Both the players and one of the sentries was trying to convince the other sentry whether or not to let them in. I did it with a progress tracker and it just felt like a lot of back and forth until the players ganged up on the guy and used their numerical advantage.

Perhaps "shaming" one of the sentries into letting them in would be more appropraite. I'll have to think on this. The shame is more like "combat" than the other vague stuff, after all.

 

 

That's a good point. As with the social encounters, progress trackers doesn't come naturally to me. I never use them. I'm more used to judging each moment after the next by how things are seeming and feeling.

I only think of Progress Trackers when imagining a scene. I think it's more of a organization tool than a narrative one. That to me personally, as written it seems a great narrative tool.

What goes in place of a Progress Tracker to me is imagine how many success (and, in quality terms, how much convincing, how much the intensity of the scene needs to change) the PCs have to pass in order to achieve what they want. And I would only permit rolls after good roleplaying and sound arguments (sound to the person they are trying to influence, and that could mean "souding great" "or sounding awful"). I think a social encounter, even if managed turn-by-turn, should have a more loose feel to it, allowing roleplaying to have the main focus. I'm actually wanting to house rule the engagement rules in a way it won't be distance based, just for social encounters. But I digress…

I like the Shame rules. And I think of it exactly as damaging and opponent: it's very hard for me to imagine someone shaming other and translate that into making friends. So to Shame another is always a possibility, but players have to keep in mind that, even if their target is forced to leave the encounter - what could translate into allowing them to do what they want -, they'll have winned through the pain of another, and that another can hold a grudge. So maybe the sentry will create problems for them in every situation afterwards, like in sharing food and place near the fire, maybe he would try to rob them during their sleep,maybe even kill them, or just try to get separated as soon as possible - it all depends on the sentry personality.

But imagine what would occur if the characters try to shame some ruling noble? In my example, if they went for shame, they would get themselves to leave, at best. But they sure could try and shame one of the dwarfs, like an advisor that is trying to prevent the leader to close the deal. And it would be advised for them to do so in a way the other dwarfs would laugh with them.



#12 Pedro Lunaris

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 04:49 AM

phild said:

I'm totally sold on the idea of using Stress as the "hit points" of a social encounter.

1. As Emrikol says, it lingers. So there is a lasting consequence to player's decisions to engage / continue with social encounters

 

The problem I see about just using Stress instead of Shame is the inner workings of Stress,like passing out when it passes WPx2. I don't see how it fits, so I would just give Stress after so many Shame.

 

phild said:

Something I like from other social combat systems is the role of "disposition", being how two protagonists feel about each other. In other systems, you might have a table of dispositions and the effect is has (e.g. how much harder is it for someone with "Dislike" disposition to charm you?) What I love about WFRP is you don't need a look up table: this can simply be covered by Fortune / Misfortune dice. E.g. trying to charm a sworn enemy, I'll throw in 4 misfortune dice. Offering cash at the same time, maybe I'll reduce that to 2 misfortune dice. Or maybe I'll add two Fortune dice into the mix, because he doesn't hate you any less, there's just a chance that the money will distract him.



That's a great idea, social mapping os a scene!



#13 phild

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:48 AM

Pedro Lunaris said:

 

The problem I see about just using Stress instead of Shame is the inner workings of Stress,like passing out when it passes WPx2. I don't see how it fits, so I would just give Stress after so many Shame.

 

Hmm, this is a very good point. I was all for ignoring the Stress/Insanity link, but I'd probably have to ignore the Stress/Unconcious link as well. And then is it even stress that I'm using, but in fact just Willpower. Add noble rank to WP, and you end up with Shame. I think you're right, best to use both, with Shame as the primary and Stress the secondary, rather than watering down what Stress is. I'll think on it some more, but I think you're right.

Though if Shame becomes the "generic" threshold for all social actions, I'm inclined to rename it Influence threshold or Intrigue or something more generic than Shame, which is very specific to noble-on-noble social duelling.



#14 RARodger

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 03:55 PM

phild said:

Hmm, this is a very good point. I was all for ignoring the Stress/Insanity link, but I'd probably have to ignore the Stress/Unconcious link as well. And then is it even stress that I'm using, but in fact just Willpower. Add noble rank to WP, and you end up with Shame. I think you're right, best to use both, with Shame as the primary and Stress the secondary, rather than watering down what Stress is. I'll think on it some more, but I think you're right.

Though if Shame becomes the "generic" threshold for all social actions, I'm inclined to rename it Influence threshold or Intrigue or something more generic than Shame, which is very specific to noble-on-noble social duelling.

I'm not sure it should be the generic threshold, though. I think it might work well for what it explicitly is, getting under someone's skin enough to drive them from the room (while hopefully not alianating others).

Things like charm or intimidation might be best left for simple opposed checks… do you influence someone to do what you want, and just drop the various tracking things as unnecssary die rolls. (Although they can still be used for things like counting votes or swaying a crowd where you're working more than one person.)

Yeah, I'm feeling better about this, I think. It still might be a challenge to keep our social character feeling mechanically needed but it would get rid of just awkward encounters that's not working for us. I just have to come up with a bunch of people for him to need to shame.

(And I think I can do that.)



#15 Emirikol

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 05:23 PM

I wonder if an actual scale would help:

Hostile -> antipathy -> indifferent -> Friendly -> Ally

 

jh



#16 Eradico Pravus

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 07:29 PM

Emirikol said:

We did it in the last session.  I had an instance where they needed to get 6 successes in 3 rounds.  Each round, stress accrued (I only use shame if there is a 'me better than you' situation).

 

Is this why we were booted off the ship and eventually marooned on Bird-Crap Island? :)

 

 



#17 phild

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 01:15 AM

Emirikol said:

I wonder if an actual scale would help:

Hostile -> antipathy -> indifferent -> Friendly -> Ally

This is the standard thing in other Social Combat systems. I don't think it's necessary to be as formal for WFRP, I'd just go with a combination of GM instinct and a handful of misfortune or fortune dice, but could easily be done as a table.

A Song of Ice & Fire RPG has a nice combo system where the disposition affects both difficulty and also adds social "armour". E.g. if your position is "Friendly" towards your target, you get a bonus to influence them but you have very low social armour if they try and influence you back. Similarly, if you are "Hostile", you get a penalty to influence them, but are highly resistant to their attempts to charm you in return. It's quite a neat system of player jeopardy that encourages a degree of honesty rather than "minmaxing".

You can get a summary of this system in the free SIFRP download, here: http://greenronin.com/c/link.php?id=8

However, as I say, for WFRP this feels too prescriptive for me.



#18 phild

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 01:32 AM

RARodger said:

phild said:


 

Though if Shame becomes the "generic" threshold for all social actions, I'm inclined to rename it Influence threshold or Intrigue or something more generic than Shame, which is very specific to noble-on-noble social duelling.

 

 

I'm not sure it should be the generic threshold, though. I think it might work well for what it explicitly is, getting under someone's skin enough to drive them from the room (while hopefully not alianating others).

Things like charm or intimidation might be best left for simple opposed checks… do you influence someone to do what you want, and just drop the various tracking things as unnecssary die rolls. (Although they can still be used for things like counting votes or swaying a crowd where you're working more than one person.)

You can use simple opposed checks, but to my mind this undermines the real value of building a true, full-scale social encounter - which is that you can use single rolls, but equally, there is a ready-made system (if appropriate to a dramatic situation) to go into full scale social combat. Particularly useful if you have a lot of characters with good social skills / actions, who want to enjoy the same tactical ebb-and-flow that the physical combat system offers.

My point about using Shame, though, was that if you're going to use a Willpower-based rating, might as well use the one that's there rather than create yet another measure. However, I would use it differently for Influence rather than Social Duelling.Social duelling is about shaming someone to leave. That operates the same way, reducing shame until there is a clear winner. However, it is overtly aggressive and everyone is aware of what you are doing. Make friends and influence people this is not!

Influence is about bringing someone around to your way of thinking. The way I would link this to Shame is that rather than Shame being reduced, it represents the number of influence that the individual (or party or faction) needs to accumulate against their target. Or rather, this is the maximum influence you would need to accumulate. In some instances, you only need to accumulate 1 influence, which is your "one-roll and job done" situation. In essence, it's no different to the current system with the progress tracker, but it just gives a mechanical baseline to how many successes a party needs to accumulate. Having said, rather than Shame, you could make it Willpower, no biggie.

Role of Stress: I think this is where Boons come in. As well as accumulating Influence, you could use Boons and Comets to inflict Stress on your target, increasing the jeopardy of the social combat and, longer-term, potentially reducing their ability to counter you. By putting it on Boons, you make it optional, so a guardsman trying to intimidate a criminal gang is likely to actively pursue inflicting stress in the process, but a dapper lady-dilletante may not want to cause undue stress as she charms the innocent nobleman's son.

Shame & Experience: A side point, but I think social-based careers should be able to spend XP on raising their Shame threshold. Fine, nobles are better at resisting shame, but experience has a role to play here. Making it an Open Career Option for most social-based careers wouldn't upset game balance hugely.



#19 icevvind

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 04:29 AM

Why dont to create a new treshold and call it Morale? Its a very "warhammer" term.



#20 phild

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 04:41 AM

icevvind said:

Why dont to create a new treshold and call it Morale? Its a very "warhammer" term.

Personally, I want to avoid creating yet another Threshold - we have Shame, Wounds, Criticals, Corruption, Stress and Fatigue already! Also, morale doesn't feel right - you don't charm someone by overcoming their morale. Though keep 'em coming! :-)






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