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rgrove0172

Coercion and other Social Skills

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I just GMd my first session and we had a few things pop up. Here was one that got us all thinking.

 

A big Weequay guard type and his twin step out onto the loading ramp between a PC and a bad guy in the middle of an argument.

 

One of them slams the pommel of his vibro axe down hard on the metal ramp and growls. "You don't want any part of this softskin, back away!"

 

I decide he is using his Coercion skill (minion so group only but there are two of them) to scare off the intruder. We roll the dice, using the PC's Discipline skill, and came up with a couple successes. It worked... but....

 

The player looks at me in confusion...

 

"So um.. Im scared away and cant fight them, or negotiate or try and bluff back?

 

I look at the rules and Coercion seems to force the target into agreement, in this case getting his ass out of there.

 

"Yeah, he spooks you pretty good. You feel like you better go."

 

 

He backed off and we played on but it felt weird, like Coercion is one hell of a powerful skill when a stupid minion guard can roll well and send  a PC packing.

 

Did we do this right?

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I wouldn't say any skill check should dictate a player/PC's actions going forward, but it could certainly indirectly affect their actions by imposing some Setback dice, or perhaps Difficulty increases, to appropriate skill checks. The biggie is that I would want the player to roleplay consciously :)

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One approach to this situation is to use the NPC's successes to upgrade the PC's next social check. Any Advantage by the NPC in that situation can cause strain to the PC

Another is for the PC to suffer strain from the success and setback from the NPC's Advantage.

 

 

 I generally don't force a PC to do anything unless they exceed their strain threshold. 

 

Edit: Beaten too it! dam you awayputurwpn, but i agree with you completely.

Edited by Richardbuxton

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I use Coercion from NPCs to apply setbacks or difficulty upgrades, or damage strain, exclusively.

 

As GM, if an NPC of mine is using Coercion in an attempt to prevent my players' characters from doing something, I very strongly believe that it is FAR better to DISCOURAGE a player from doing something, rather than forcing them to do something contrary to how they want to experience my game.

 

I just don't think it's ever cool for the GM to force their players on something.

 

Applying sufficient obstacles, while still providing the players with an OPPORTUNITY to succeed, or "beat me", seems to make the game more enjoyable for all involved.

 

Upgrading 3 purple dice to 3 red dice would still provide a pretty good shot, in most circumstances, to keep the direction of the game going in the direction I want it to.

 

My player was not FORCED to do anything, I believe that means they'll have more fun.

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Very clear; on how an NPC should react to a PC successfully socialising with them and spending a Triumph to make that NPC a recurring character. Many of the results described in the social skills clearly can not be applied to the PC's. 

 

 

As a side note I would have probably had the PC roll a Discipline check opposed by the NPC's Coercion, instead of the NPC rolling. By having the PC roll they will more likely find describing their actions much easier, your getting the player buy-in. I would be adding Boost for nearby PC's supporting them too.

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Darth Vader: "Join me and we'll rule the galaxy as father and son!"

Luke Skywalker: "I'll never join you!"

Darth Vader: "I rolled two successes. You have to join me. Oh, and I'll use my Advantage to have Han Solo join as well."

Luke Skywalker: "Ummm Ok .... Can I get a cool black outfit?" 

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I had a situation similar to this come up on Tuesday with one of my groups. The new player to the group wanted to coerce the medic into telling him something that was deemed vital information at that moment. He succeeded, but the medic wanted to deceive him right afterwards. So rather than having the medic be forced into telling him everything I said keep it vague and when you roll to deceive, take a setback. He succeeded in the deception but rolled a despair and the information came out anyway in a hilariously obvious way.

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I just GMd my first session and we had a few things pop up. Here was one that got us all thinking.

 

A big Weequay guard type and his twin step out onto the loading ramp between a PC and a bad guy in the middle of an argument.

 

One of them slams the pommel of his vibro axe down hard on the metal ramp and growls. "You don't want any part of this softskin, back away!"

 

I decide he is using his Coercion skill (minion so group only but there are two of them) to scare off the intruder. We roll the dice, using the PC's Discipline skill, and came up with a couple successes. It worked... but....

 

The player looks at me in confusion...

 

"So um.. Im scared away and cant fight them, or negotiate or try and bluff back?

 

I look at the rules and Coercion seems to force the target into agreement, in this case getting his ass out of there.

 

"Yeah, he spooks you pretty good. You feel like you better go."

 

 

He backed off and we played on but it felt weird, like Coercion is one hell of a powerful skill when a stupid minion guard can roll well and send  a PC packing.

 

Did we do this right?

In the future, if the purpose is to force the player to do something, the player may not want to do, you should reverse the dice rolling. Instead of the GM rolling for the minion, have the player roll a discipline check against the minion's coercion. From a psychology stand point, players are more willing to be intimidated or forced to do things with their character if they fail a roll, rather than the GM just beating their static skill in something.  

Edited by unicornpuncher

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I wouldn't say any skill check should dictate a player/PC's actions going forward, but it could certainly indirectly affect their actions by imposing some Setback dice, or perhaps Difficulty increases, to appropriate skill checks. The biggie is that I would want the player to roleplay consciously :)

 

In other words...the Fear rules, as noted by Blackbird :)

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I wouldn't say any skill check should dictate a player/PC's actions going forward, but it could certainly indirectly affect their actions by imposing some Setback dice, or perhaps Difficulty increases, to appropriate skill checks. The biggie is that I would want the player to roleplay consciously :)

 

In other words...the Fear rules, as noted by Blackbird :)

 

 

Mm, I wouldn't have used the Fear rules in this instance ("who's afraid of the big bad Weequay bodyguard...") but they are a solid example of how to translate what a character is feeling into game mechanics. So in that aspect, I agree that you could take a page from the Fear rules. But I wouldn't have the player make a "fear check." The end result might be somewhat similar, but the narrative is different, IMO. 

 

I suppose it might be a bit of a potayto, potahto thing...but it helps me get my head around the situation better if I'm using Fear rules for things that PCs have a good reason to be afraid of in the first place :)

Edited by awayputurwpn

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I wouldn't say any skill check should dictate a player/PC's actions going forward, but it could certainly indirectly affect their actions by imposing some Setback dice, or perhaps Difficulty increases, to appropriate skill checks. The biggie is that I would want the player to roleplay consciously :)

 

In other words...the Fear rules, as noted by Blackbird :)

 

 

Mm, I wouldn't have used the Fear rules in this instance ("who's afraid of the big bad Weequay bodyguard...") but they are a solid example of how to translate what a character is feeling into game mechanics. So in that aspect, I agree that you could take a page from the Fear rules. But I wouldn't have the player make a "fear check." The end result might be somewhat similar, but the narrative is different, IMO. 

 

I suppose it might be a bit of a potayto, potahto thing...but it helps me get my head around the situation better if I'm using Fear rules for things that PCs have a good reason to be afraid of in the first place :)

 

This was more what I was thinking of, using the fear rules as guide to what failing a Coercion check would do.

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I suppose it might be a bit of a potayto, potahto thing...but it helps me get my head around the situation better if I'm using Fear rules for things that PCs have a good reason to be afraid of in the first place :)

 

Nope, I think it's a valid point, it's just I had interpreted Blackbird's intent as he clarified it.

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