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tcrudisi

Influence the target

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What does this mean?

 

Example: Good Witch Hunter. 1 hammer: You act sympathetically towards the target, being both supportive and understanding. Influence the target.

 

The inverse of the card is Bad Witch Hunter which, blah blah, Influence the target.

 

What does this mean? Are there specific rules somewhere that I've missed or is it up to the GM to determine the exact results?

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Basically, you get some success in a social situation.  Sometimes, that means you get what you want, sometimes, it means you get to move up on a tracker and when you get to the top you get what you want, etc.  It's left intentionally vague in the core rules so that players and/or gms to decide what "influence" means in a specific scene, though several adventures have specific definitions of what a success means in the adventure's scenes..

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Here are some really useful posts on the subject of Influence.  Influence is one of my favorite parts of the game.  As a player, I get to determine much of the direction of the story with that one simple word.  As a GM, I get to decide when and how much "influence" occurs.

 

For example:  They're never going to influence certain people - the emperor for example.

 

In most cases I require single influence.  In some cases multiple successes..and they can't gang up on someone (although they can assist if they are a social character or have a decent fellowship and a reason WHY they think they can assist).

 

Anyways, here are those IMMENSELY helpful threads:

 

http://community.fantasyflightgames.com/index.php?/topic/83650-influence/

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http://community.fantasyflightgames.com/index.php?/topic/94798-where-do-you-feel-the-social-influenceduel-of-witsshame-mechanic-needs-clarification/

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I personally hate influence cards, mainly due to my experience playing an Agent with huge Fellowship during the Day Late Shilling Short adventure, where I successfully influenced absolutely every single NPC I spoke with and it did absolutely ZERO to help, and furthermore, it actually made the whole..."ending" (no spoilers) happen much sooner and nearly cost us the adventure.

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I probably wouldn't consider DLSS to be a very good measure of the use of influence

 

The rule isn't absolute. GMs are wise to use influence to modify the story, nothing more.

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In DLSS, I was clear that getting Klaus to cooperate, moving along and not causing hazard etc., required Social success.  I referenced the context of disaster movies etc. where someone is being difficult about fleeing/doing the right thing (and the fact he was too heavy to just carry and drag).

 

Other examples of letting social checks "matter" but not be "absolute win buttons".

 

Last session, PCs interrogating two suspects (one of which was a killer) no amount of Intimidation success was going to get the killer (a professional) to confess but success did reveal (innocent) suspect is completely breaking down, panicky, pleading and other (guilty) suspect is keeping it together more and telling a story shifting suspicion to the one breaking down.

 

Much earlier, when a PC was befriending the disguised villain and rolled really well, that wasn't going to make the villain reform or confess, but did mean that when they would have otherwise sent assassins to kill the PC for meddling, they didn't in this case and actually kept them closer than was really wise.

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What does this mean?

 

Example: Good Witch Hunter. 1 hammer: You act sympathetically towards the target, being both supportive and understanding. Influence the target.

 

The inverse of the card is Bad Witch Hunter which, blah blah, Influence the target.

 

What does this mean? Are there specific rules somewhere that I've missed or is it up to the GM to determine the exact results?

 

See the '"Influence" Defined' sidebar on page 32 of Lure of Power.  Exactly what "Influence the target" means will change from situation to situation, and is ultimately up to the GM, but that page has a lot of good advice and examples.

 

The text on that page strongly encourages the GM to state up front what exactly "Influence" will mean, for this instance, BEFORE the player rolls the dice. That's how you avoid the problems Preacherman was complaining about in this thread, where his successful Fellowship rolls seemed to have no beneficial effect. If you say up front what the difference between 0 successes and 1 success will be, then the PCs can make informed decision about whether or not it's a worthwhile action, and whether or not they should spend Fortune points or once-per-session abilities on it. If they come up with a modest success they know that it accomplished something specific and meaningful, and that the GM won't just ignore or downplay it.

If they roll really dramatic results the GM is still free to improvise something more complicated.

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I decided after that experience to never play a fellowship-based character again, as it's absolutely useless. In combat they're nothing to write home about, and most social situations would involve prying information. The GM explained quite clearly that it didn't matter how many successes or boons I'd ever roll, a cultist, thief or assassin would never reveal incriminatory stuff. Therefore, for day to day stuff, high Strength with Intimidate works a whole lot better than Fellowship, since it's actually useful in combat as well.

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I decided after that experience to never play a fellowship-based character again, as it's absolutely useless. In combat they're nothing to write home about, and most social situations would involve prying information. The GM explained quite clearly that it didn't matter how many successes or boons I'd ever roll, a cultist, thief or assassin would never reveal incriminatory stuff. Therefore, for day to day stuff, high Strength with Intimidate works a whole lot better than Fellowship, since it's actually useful in combat as well.

 

Well, that's the result of your particular GM and how they handle influence, rather than the game.  For example, influencing a target might cause a hostile person to be more amenable to you.  You might be able to influence them enough to speak with you, whereas before they wouldn't give you the time of day or might spit on you in passing.  Often, certain NPCs (or groups of NPCs, such as a mob) might have a tracker.  Successful influence will push the tracker in your favor more/faster.

 

Perhaps, say, a local judge is deciding whether the PCs will be jailed, fined, or let free with just a warning for some act that they were caught doing (breaking and entering, for example).  A Fellowship test might shift the track a little, perhaps even to avoid execution or jail time.  A PC using an action that successfully influences the judge would influence the judge even more, perhaps convincing the judge that the PCs are trustworthy enough to get let go with a warning.

 

There are many reasons that Fellowship-based characters are useful, and actions that Influence can be even more important at times.  It does, however, depend on your GM and the type game that they are running. 

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It means just that... you influence the target. The effect of that depends on your GM

 

For instance. You need to convince someone to give you a free drink. The GM decides that you just need to convince the target once.

 

Or perhaps you want to negoatiate a deal with someone. The GM sets up a tracker with a middle and five spaces on each side. You then take five turns where you and your target gets to take social actions. Each time you influence the other, the tracker is moved. When the five turns have passed, you see where the tracker is and who gets the better deal. Both the player and GM has to accept the outcome, as the NPC/PC genuinely believes it's a good deal.

 

Or you want to make friends with someone, the GM may decide you need to influence someone ten times total, with a maximum of two times per day to succeed.

 

It's a great and open system for running social actions.

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I use it very differently.

 

In it's most basic form a single roll can influence a NPC to do what the player wants, obviously as long as it's not in direct contradiction to the NPC's nature. A town watchman might be persuaded (bribed) to look the other way rather than arrest the PCs after a bar brawl with a roll to influence the target.

But a Witch Hunter could probably not be disuaded from hunting a Witch PC that revealed itself by the use of magic, ever.

 

For more complex or competative tasks I use trackers where the PC's race their opponent(s) to see who wins the argument.

 

Sometimes it's a timed tracker where the PC's might have a certain amount of turns to accomplish their goal. An example from movies/Tv-series could be the interrogation the cops often have before the attorney arrives and cuts the interview short. The characters has a limited amount of time to pry out some information. A timed tracker could have multiple event spaces which yield increasingly detailed information, making partial success possible.

 

You could also use the shame rules from the lure of power.

 

To conclude, influencing the target is a loose concept. Depending on the situation, the stakes and so on it could require one roll to pass or fail, or it could take multiple rolls, it could be a contest or limited in other ways. It's good for the GM to prepare for situations where influence might come up and identify where in the adventure it might be relevant to use trackers.

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