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RebelDave

Using Charm and the like AGAINST PCs

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I come from a background of games and players where you just didnt use Social Skills AGAINST the players, and they refused to allow their "free will" be decided by dice.

 

But one of my players has pointed out that this should be doable, as there are talents that make it harder for the NPCs to Charm/Deceive etc the PCs.

 

So... how would you work this?

 

I ask, becuase one of my players is going on a date with a Customs Officer they met previously... and I wanted to see how I could work out Charm from him, to see if the PC Character can be.... ahem... swayed to stay the night shall we say?

 

The player has simply said her character is genuinely interested in getting to know this guy better... no current anterior motive...

 

So... suggestions?

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In my eyes, good players need to know how to roleplay "with the game" or as some say, "play to lose". 

A player should accept that he is being charmed, and roleplay accordingly. It helps of the GM knows how to play NPCs well, but isnt nessecery.
Can't offer much advice, as I usually discribe how an NPC speak instead of elaboratly speaking... :P

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I just... do. The bottom line is that you can't force a player to play a certain way but you can reward them for playing in character. If the bad guy successfully intimidates the PC and the player scoffs, flips him the calibop and continues on like nothing happened, I don't penalize them for it unless the intimidation effect has a rule for that (some games do). But, on the other hand, if I tell the player that this guy has just scared him within an inch of needing new pants and he roleplays it out, particularly if he already knows that his stats would give him an advantage in a straight on fight, I'm going to reward him for it; maybe even let him have a moment to find some inner courage if the scene warrants.

Edited by Fred Palpatine

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There is an episode of the order 66 podcast on social combat. One of the things is to flip the die roll. Ie don't roll for the npc. Have the pc roll to resist. They will be more willing to go with it if they rolled the failure

This seems like the best way. Talents that increase the difficulty of an NPC's social check against a PC can be interpreted as giving the player upgrades to their dice pool, or downgrades to difficulty dice the NPC's skill ranks create. Players should be able to add Boost die to their check if they can give good reasons why their character would be less susceptible.

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RebelDave, on 06 Dec 2015 - 7:04 PM, said:

I come from a background of games and players where you just didnt use Social Skills AGAINST the players, and they refused to allow their "free will" be decided by dice.

 

But one of my players has pointed out that this should be doable, as there are talents that make it harder for the NPCs to Charm/Deceive etc the PCs.

 

So... how would you work this?

 

I ask, becuase one of my players is going on a date with a Customs Officer they met previously... and I wanted to see how I could work out Charm from him, to see if the PC Character can be.... ahem... swayed to stay the night shall we say?

 

The player has simply said her character is genuinely interested in getting to know this guy better... no current anterior motive...

 

So... suggestions?

 

That the kind of mentality that make high charismatic NPC useless outside of the flavor or magic users and transform DnD in a "kill the monster, steal his treasure" game. A good roleplayer should be able to differentiate IC and OOC and allow is character be influended by more skilled NPC if the story demand it. Note that I said influenced, not manipulated. That's a distinction players that complain you take away their free will dont understand.

 

So in your exemple, if the officer manage to seduce the PC with its roll, the least the PC can do is to act charmed. Does that mean she should bed him in the next hours or just wanted to know more about him, it is up to the player, but it should influence the game in some way.

 

Plus talents like nobody's a fool assume PC can be the target of an opposing social skill. 

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RebelDave, on 06 Dec 2015 - 7:04 PM, said:

I come from a background of games and players where you just didnt use Social Skills AGAINST the players, and they refused to allow their "free will" be decided by dice.

 

But one of my players has pointed out that this should be doable, as there are talents that make it harder for the NPCs to Charm/Deceive etc the PCs.

 

So... how would you work this?

 

I ask, becuase one of my players is going on a date with a Customs Officer they met previously... and I wanted to see how I could work out Charm from him, to see if the PC Character can be.... ahem... swayed to stay the night shall we say?

 

The player has simply said her character is genuinely interested in getting to know this guy better... no current anterior motive...

 

So... suggestions?

 

That the kind of mentality that make high charismatic NPC useless outside of the flavor or magic users and transform DnD in a "kill the monster, steal his treasure" game. A good roleplayer should be able to differentiate IC and OOC and allow is character be influended by more skilled NPC if the story demand it. Note that I said influenced, not manipulated. That's a distinction players that complain you take away their free will dont understand.

 

So in your exemple, if the officer manage to seduce the PC with its roll, the least the PC can do is to act charmed. Does that mean she should bed him in the next hours or just wanted to know more about him, it is up to the player, but it should influence the game in some way.

 

Plus talents like nobody's a fool assume PC can be the target of an opposing social skill.

Which is why I suggest reversing the roll. Players are more willing to go along with a roll they fail than a roll a gm makes

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I've always been a "if it's fair for the PC's to do, it's fair for the GM to do as well" kind of person. I don't think there should be an artificial distinction between the PC's and NPC's. That and well ..... NPC's technically have free will too that the PC's love to subvert sooooo. 

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Daeglan, on 06 Dec 2015 - 9:23 PM, said:

 

vilainn6, on 06 Dec 2015 - 9:14 PM, said:

 

RebelDave, on 06 Dec 2015 - 7:04 PM, said:

RebelDave, on 06 Dec 2015 - 7:04 PM, said:

I come from a background of games and players where you just didnt use Social Skills AGAINST the players, and they refused to allow their "free will" be decided by dice.

 

But one of my players has pointed out that this should be doable, as there are talents that make it harder for the NPCs to Charm/Deceive etc the PCs.

 

So... how would you work this?

 

I ask, becuase one of my players is going on a date with a Customs Officer they met previously... and I wanted to see how I could work out Charm from him, to see if the PC Character can be.... ahem... swayed to stay the night shall we say?

 

The player has simply said her character is genuinely interested in getting to know this guy better... no current anterior motive...

 

So... suggestions?

 

That the kind of mentality that make high charismatic NPC useless outside of the flavor or magic users and transform DnD in a "kill the monster, steal his treasure" game. A good roleplayer should be able to differentiate IC and OOC and allow is character be influended by more skilled NPC if the story demand it. Note that I said influenced, not manipulated. That's a distinction players that complain you take away their free will dont understand.

 

So in your exemple, if the officer manage to seduce the PC with its roll, the least the PC can do is to act charmed. Does that mean she should bed him in the next hours or just wanted to know more about him, it is up to the player, but it should influence the game in some way.

 

Plus talents like nobody's a fool assume PC can be the target of an opposing social skill.

Which is why I suggest reversing the roll. Players are more willing to go along with a roll they fail than a roll a gm makes

 

I dont think it make a great difference that you roll your cool agaisnt his charm skill instead of Charm agaisnt your cool but now that I think about it, resolving Thriumph and despair sound more easy if it is the player who roll them

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And if the players refuse to go along with the results, then penalize them XP for the night. Their free-will wasn't taken away by the roll anymore than it was during a combat roll and their character took damage.

I wouldn’t be inclined to penalize them XP, if they didn’t roleplay it well. Maybe if they just completely blew it off and acted like it never happened.

But if they did roleplay it well, then I would definitely be inclined to give them bonus XP.

Stick versus carrot. I prefer to use a carrot incentive more than the stick, when feasible. But sometimes the carrot just doesn’t work, and maybe you have to bring out the stick.

Of course, that’s all IMO and YMMV, and so on.

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Daeglan, on 06 Dec 2015 - 9:23 PM, said:

 

vilainn6, on 06 Dec 2015 - 9:14 PM, said:

 

RebelDave, on 06 Dec 2015 - 7:04 PM, said:

RebelDave, on 06 Dec 2015 - 7:04 PM, said:

I come from a background of games and players where you just didnt use Social Skills AGAINST the players, and they refused to allow their "free will" be decided by dice.

 

But one of my players has pointed out that this should be doable, as there are talents that make it harder for the NPCs to Charm/Deceive etc the PCs.

 

So... how would you work this?

 

I ask, becuase one of my players is going on a date with a Customs Officer they met previously... and I wanted to see how I could work out Charm from him, to see if the PC Character can be.... ahem... swayed to stay the night shall we say?

 

The player has simply said her character is genuinely interested in getting to know this guy better... no current anterior motive...

 

So... suggestions?

 

That the kind of mentality that make high charismatic NPC useless outside of the flavor or magic users and transform DnD in a "kill the monster, steal his treasure" game. A good roleplayer should be able to differentiate IC and OOC and allow is character be influended by more skilled NPC if the story demand it. Note that I said influenced, not manipulated. That's a distinction players that complain you take away their free will dont understand.

 

So in your exemple, if the officer manage to seduce the PC with its roll, the least the PC can do is to act charmed. Does that mean she should bed him in the next hours or just wanted to know more about him, it is up to the player, but it should influence the game in some way.

 

Plus talents like nobody's a fool assume PC can be the target of an opposing social skill.

Which is why I suggest reversing the roll. Players are more willing to go along with a roll they fail than a roll a gm makes

I dont think it make a great difference that you roll your cool agaisnt his charm skill instead of Charm agaisnt your cool but now that I think about it, resolving Thriumph and despair sound more easy if it is the player who roll them

The difference is mostly psychological. They made the roll. They are more likely to accept it.

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When it doubt, look to existing mechanics.  The example here is Fear.

 

I never like to put the player in a position where they feel they have to act their character against their will.  That's why I like the Fear rules in this game.  Other games actually make you run away or fail to act if you fail the roll, but EotE simply imposes a penalty of setback, difficulty upgrades, or Strain on a failed roll.  This is far easier for the player to accept IMHO.

 

It could be the same for being Charmed.  Perhaps if the PC fails to resist being Charmed, they suffer Strain, setback, or difficulty upgrades if they don't go along with it.  Perhaps it represents the PC being distracted by the sexy wiles of the NPC ... maybe it's puppy love, a crush, or simple lust, but their next set of social skills are just that much more difficult because the NPC is still on their mind.  I'm sure most of us have had a crush in our teenage years...it can leave you a babbling idiot.

 

This seems a lot simpler than asking the player to act against their will, but still imposes a narrative impact.

Edited by whafrog

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When it doubt, look to existing mechanics.  The example here is Fear.

 

I never like to put the player in a position where they feel they have to act their character against their will.  That's why I like the Fear rules in this game.  Other games actually make you run away or fail to act if you fail the roll, but EotE simply imposes a penalty of setback, difficulty upgrades, or Strain on a failed roll.  This is far easier for the player to accept IMHO.

 

It could be the same for being Charmed.  Perhaps if the PC fails to resist being Charmed, they suffer Strain, setback, or difficulty upgrades if they don't go along with it.  Perhaps it represents the PC being distracted by the sexy wiles of the NPC ... maybe it's puppy love, a crush, or simple lust, but their next set of social skills are just that much more difficult because the NPC is still on their mind.  I'm sure most of us have had a crush in our teenage years...it can leave you a babbling idiot.

 

This seems a lot simpler than asking the player to act against their will, but still imposes a narrative impact.

This is pretty much how I do it. I have the PC roll against the appropriate Skill or I hijack a check the Player wants to make (are they telling the truth or something) and don't explain the results much more than something to the effect of "They're very charming". Then I add Setbacks whenever they attempt to get information or try and do something negative toward the NPC. If the NPC is trying to get information I go third person and describe a conversation between the affected PC and the NPC and tell them they let some information slip before they realized it.

What I find works best is to not just say "They're trying to charm you" better to work it into the exchange with an unexplained opposed roll or when a PC makes an Opposed roll use the NPC's Charm skill as the opposed skill. Generally the Player's catch on quickly but it doesn't break the immersion as much.

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Daeglan, on 06 Dec 2015 - 9:23 PM, said:

 

vilainn6, on 06 Dec 2015 - 9:14 PM, said:

 

RebelDave, on 06 Dec 2015 - 7:04 PM, said:

RebelDave, on 06 Dec 2015 - 7:04 PM, said:

I come from a background of games and players where you just didnt use Social Skills AGAINST the players, and they refused to allow their "free will" be decided by dice.

 

But one of my players has pointed out that this should be doable, as there are talents that make it harder for the NPCs to Charm/Deceive etc the PCs.

 

So... how would you work this?

 

I ask, becuase one of my players is going on a date with a Customs Officer they met previously... and I wanted to see how I could work out Charm from him, to see if the PC Character can be.... ahem... swayed to stay the night shall we say?

 

The player has simply said her character is genuinely interested in getting to know this guy better... no current anterior motive...

 

So... suggestions?

 

That the kind of mentality that make high charismatic NPC useless outside of the flavor or magic users and transform DnD in a "kill the monster, steal his treasure" game. A good roleplayer should be able to differentiate IC and OOC and allow is character be influended by more skilled NPC if the story demand it. Note that I said influenced, not manipulated. That's a distinction players that complain you take away their free will dont understand.

 

So in your exemple, if the officer manage to seduce the PC with its roll, the least the PC can do is to act charmed. Does that mean she should bed him in the next hours or just wanted to know more about him, it is up to the player, but it should influence the game in some way.

 

Plus talents like nobody's a fool assume PC can be the target of an opposing social skill.

Which is why I suggest reversing the roll. Players are more willing to go along with a roll they fail than a roll a gm makes

 

I dont think it make a great difference that you roll your cool agaisnt his charm skill instead of Charm agaisnt your cool but now that I think about it, resolving Thriumph and despair sound more easy if it is the player who roll them

 

Actually it does make a difference as the positive dice (Ability and Proficiency) are slightly better than the negative dice (Difficulty and Challenge). So on a 1-1 basis the positive result is more likely in the summation.

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And if the players refuse to go along with the results, then penalize them XP for the night. Their free-will wasn't taken away by the roll anymore than it was during a combat roll and their character took damage.

I wouldn’t be inclined to penalize them XP, if they didn’t roleplay it well. Maybe if they just completely blew it off and acted like it never happened.

But if they did roleplay it well, then I would definitely be inclined to give them bonus XP.

Stick versus carrot. I prefer to use a carrot incentive more than the stick, when feasible. But sometimes the carrot just doesn’t work, and maybe you have to bring out the stick.

Of course, that’s all IMO and YMMV, and so on.

 

I didn't say anything about the quality. I said they should be penalized if they refuse to go with the result.

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The assumption in those kind of situations is that the player isn't their character, so something out of their hands should happen if they fail a social check. The gm should give the npc something that they are looking for. (A slip of the tongue, the appearance of having a very agreeable offer.)

That being said, a fail isn't necessarily a mind control. The chacater can still suspect, or discover that they were had after the fact, but this is a civilised Galaxy, not every minor slight can be paid with a boot through the door. PCs should always accept a given result, as ammunition for later interactions.

Edited by LordBritish

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I come from a background of games and players where you just didnt use Social Skills AGAINST the players, and they refused to allow their "free will" be decided by dice.

 

 

Then you've just made Nobody's Fool useless. Since I dropped 20 points on that talent, you better **** well give me some opportunities to use the thing.

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I come from a background of games and players where you just didnt use Social Skills AGAINST the players, and they refused to allow their "free will" be decided by dice.

In other systems there isn't always a mechanic to simulate being Charmed or out witted or whatever, so to take this approach is reasonable. FFGSW however does have a mechanic through the use of Setbacks and Upgrading Difficulty to represent acting against ones own interest. So as I described in my earlier post you can apply these tools to the PCs affected without forcing the Player to do anything they don't want to, just everything they want to do is now that much harder.

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Our group is usually pretty willing to play along, but there are a few ground rules I go with. 

 

Charm:  If a character is "charmed" I don't tell them how to behave, but I will tell them they find the person trustworthy, or likable, or they find themselves liking him despite their better judgment.  From there a good roleplayer can fill things in and usually behave appropriately. 

Deception:  Deception is easy to work with.  I just don't tell the characters I'm lying if they don't make the resistance roll.  I like to think I'm reasonably good at acting the liar when the role calls for it.

Coercion:  Once again I don't want to tell them exactly how to behave, but I will tell the characters they find this guy really intimidating, or he's got a lot of presence.  Possibly let them know that he/she seems like a very real and viable threat.  Sometimes I will go as far as to say you find him scary (this might warrant a fear check)  As the GM I can impose setback dice on future encounters with the individual because he's got them rattled.

 

Just my two bits.  Don't force behavior, but give them a good setup and hopefully they'll run with it.  I happen to be blessed with players who like to roleplay so it's not usually a problem.

Edited by Split Light

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Desslok, on 07 Dec 2015 - 09:59 AM, said:

 

RebelDave, on 06 Dec 2015 - 7:04 PM, said:

I come from a background of games and players where you just didnt use Social Skills AGAINST the players, and they refused to allow their "free will" be decided by dice.

 

 

Then you've just made Nobody's Fool useless. Since I dropped 20 points on that talent, you better **** well give me some opportunities to use the thing.

 

 

I have the same problem in a game where I play a Hutt. The Gm never make roll against me so I have this talent sitting on my sheet and wich I never get to use. Ok I didnt spend xp on it since it come with the specie but still.

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I would ask the group if everyone is up to the challenge of Player/Character separation, or at least the Player you intend to be the target.

The PC is going to get to Narate the Threat and Despair. Considering it's an opposed roll there will probably be a handful of Challenge dice in the NPC's pool. You should also allow the PC to provide reasons for extra setback. The NPC is either going to fail with advantage (not much of a problem for the PC) or succeed with Threat (Laughs all around!). Throw in the chance of Despair and your Player probably won't lose from the encounter, even if they do some awkward thing.

Reversing the check is fine too, there isn't a massive change in the probabilities, and they are all in the PC's favour.

But get their OK before you bring it into a session.

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