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Darth Poopdeck

Charm NPC to stop fighting

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I realize the non-fighter PCs like the diplomat can still be useful in battle, but how exactly does that work?

 

For instance, can a PC charm an NPC to...

...cause him to be distracted?

...drop his weapon?

...shot himself?

 

I mean how far do you take it?

 

I would assume it's up to the GM, or maybe it isn't, maybe it's just adding/upgrading the roll to a very high amount. 

 

Want to charm Vader into giving you the Deathstar? that'll be 20 upgrades to the dice pool, add in some setbacks... oh, look at that, you failed and got 8 Despairs. 

Edited by Darth Poopdeck

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Can they? Yes. Should they? Well...that's situational.

Different combat encounters can be very different in nature. In the middle of a massive gun battle between the party and a dozen minions? Not likely anybody can even hear a PC talking at normal volume, let alone be distracted by their features.

But let's just say a PC is dueling a Rival or a Nemesis in a swordfight or something, and the other PCs are prevented from taking direct action, but are able to take "actions" (shouting, encouraging, using Force powers to distract). Let's also say that one of the PCs is very...physically appealing to the Rival. It's conceivable that this PC could make distracting gestures designed to entice the Rival/Nemesis into making a slip-up or mistake. Exposing a body part combined with knowing looks and a suggestion at "benefits" to come...sure, I'd allow it as an action, with suitable upgrades and setbacks.

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Depends. Maybe. As a general rule Charm is supposed to be the honest social skill and typically complimenting my marksmanship will just get you shot more once you've already been shooting at me.

 

Deception and Coercion might be doable, I agree though it needs to be realistic in that physically many fights aren't going to allow for meaningful social interaction.

 

Nowif the social PC goes first before the fur starts flying that might be possible more often.

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This doesn't just pertain to Charm, this discussion can also apply to all social skills during an encounter.

 

Well, the classic interpretation of combat-related verbiage comes down from the D&D versions of "Taunt" or even the MMO "Threat" or "Aggro". The goal behind them is to cause your opponents to either attack certain individuals (to the party's benefit), or to force them into making a mistake (usually a mechanic to cause reduced damage or fumbling of attacks). The dimensions for this are huge and depend largely on the situation at hand. I hardly doubt you could ever force someone to shoot themselves, but you might encourage them to drop their weapons if they were losing a fight.

But at the end of the day? Take your lead from the French. How to encourage a bunch of nitwits to attack a fortified castle? "Fart in their general direction" and throw a cow at them.

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Isn't this how the Signature Ability (Diplomatic Solution) of Diplomats work?  At least before the start of the combat encounter anyways..

 

I love Diplomatic Situation, because it's not everyday that a roleplaying group goes to a fight and a discussion breaks out.

 

More on topic, once the shooting starts, it's hard to get it to stop (this contributes to my understanding of why resorting to violence first earns Conflict), but if some impediment or distraction (perhaps resulting from Advantage or Triumph on a roll) causes a temporary lull in the fighting, then I could see allowing a skill check to attempt to defuse it. The exact skill used would depend on the approach.

 

"You are skillful fighters, and we are evenly matched. Rather than destroy each other, let us both withdraw in mutual respect." - Charm/Deception, based on level of sincerity.

"If you keep fighting, it's going to cost you more than this is worth. Cut your losses." - Coercion

"Can't we work out a deal?" - Negotiation

"We have common cause and should be working together against our real enemy." - Leadership

"I know we can keep this up all day, how about you?" - Cool

Edited by Kaigen

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So... I guess the heart of my question revolves around this: Should there a be a social skill roll to do anything (if so, just upgrade it a LOT?), or no chance for a roll? (rules as written)

Edited by Darth Poopdeck

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I suppose if you can get both sides to stop trying to massacre each other due to some unexpected event, then perhaps a PC could try to employ a social skill (Charm or Negotiation) to get the other side to at least agree to extend the temporary cease fire.

 

Of it'd have to be a pretty spectacular event.  Something on the order of seeing a guy get impaled by a frozen turkey missile from out of nowhere, with the timer going pop a second after impact.  Following this with anvils is not required, and may in fact be detrimental to your efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution.

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If it was up to me i would make them use the social skill as a Strain Dmg "weapon", eroding their enemies of the will to fight. They will not be incapacitated this way but they might stop shooting and maybe start talking or simply leave the party if they were convinced "they were not the targets we were looking for". 

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If it was up to me i would make them use the social skill as a Strain Dmg "weapon", eroding their enemies of the will to fight. They will not be incapacitated this way but they might stop shooting and maybe start talking or simply leave the party if they were convinced "they were not the targets we were looking for". 

 

See Scathing Tirade...

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If it was up to me i would make them use the social skill as a Strain Dmg "weapon", eroding their enemies of the will to fight. They will not be incapacitated this way but they might stop shooting and maybe start talking or simply leave the party if they were convinced "they were not the targets we were looking for". 

That seems to tread on PCs with Scathing Tirade, which does Strain Damage to a chosen target in short range.  If an NPC's strain(wounds if Rival or Minion) is reduced by Scathing Tirade, it can be narrated as that NPC getting rattled and running from the engagement.  But if there isn't a PC possessing a Spec that has that talent, I would probably require a Destiny Point flip in order to attempt that.

 

Edit: Braendig beat me to it... and I didn't get a new post notification..

Edited by Oden Gebhac

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Yeah you are right. I was thinking more on those characters trying to turn the encounter into a social one such as being demonstrated in "Desperate Allies". But those you showed are really the answer here i guess... unless one tries to stop the combat outright as was previously suggested with increasing difficulties.

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The Signature Ability 'Diplomatic Solution' from Desperate Allies does exactly this.  I know because our Diplomat has it (can trigger it at the start of any combat round with an upgrade) and so I have to plan every encounter accordingly.

 

It takes a pretty high investiture of XP though, so it's not for beginners.

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I've seen Charm used by A to get B to stop fighting with C when both B and C were friends of A. In shady settings like Edge, this can come up quite often.

 

EDIT: I've also seen Leadership used for the same effect when a leader has to get a pair of subordinates to stop fighting with each other (also somewhat common among the members of shady organizations).

 

Note that if social interaction trickery is involved, then Deception is likely the skill to go to.

Edited by HappyDaze

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Outside of talents and abilities that specifically allow for the use of social skills in combat my answer would simply be no. Once combat erupts you've moved past the point where your Charm is going to have a meaningful effect in that moment. 

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Outside of talents and abilities that specifically allow for the use of social skills in combat my answer would simply be no. Once combat erupts you've moved past the point where your Charm is going to have a meaningful effect in that moment. 

At the end of one of the adventure modules (Trouble Brewing) the group fights another group and can try (by means of social checks) to get the bounty hunter(Godon Netakka) to switch sides in the middle of the battle. This check is just based on the PC and NPC's stats.

Edited by Darth Poopdeck

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I think having the Signature Ability is something that puts it in the hands of the players, not just the GM.   But to do that, you need to be a Diplomat, need to spend a lot of XP, and have high stats to pull it off.  At that point, this is the character's thing, they make cats lie down with dogs and matchmake between star-crossed Wookiee and Trandoshan lovers. This is what they bring to the table. They could have maxed out their Ranged/Heavy and the Marksman and Heavy trees with the same XP and shot everything to death.

 

Without that potent ability, it's up to the GM. Most encounters wouldn't call for it, but as DP says above, certain ones might.  We have an example in the original films after all, with Vader.  It can be very dramatic to reveal something about an enemy and turn him midway through a fight, and it's perfectly in keeping with the pulp melodrama of Star Wars.  Not every fight, no (that's what the Diplomat does) but at a suitably dramatic end fight, when the PCs have done their homework and bothered to learn about an NPC and make a good roll? Sure!

Edited by Maelora

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A talent like Scathing Tirade is a set Average difficulty and can affect multiple targets. To try a social check without it would be opposed, so you'd likely be rolling a heavier negative pool and only affecting a single target.

 

I would probably allow narrative effects in the midst of combat, not flat Strain damage. If my Leadership heavy makes a check on a Stormtrooper minion group and succeeds, I'd probably grant Setbacks or difficulty Upgrades. Narratively, this could be that character shouting opposing orders, distracting them, or making them think the PCs formation is changing.

 

Of course, if my players did this a lot, they would start seeing more Disciplined troops coming their way.

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I think id call for an impossble check upgraded at least once to pull off something aas widespread as the diplomats signature ability. That still has a massive saving of raw xp and 1 Destiny point less than the diplomat has to spend at an increased difficulty. The upgraded check is there to balance it out by increasing the risk, and if they rolled 3 threat or a despair on a failed roll, they just made themselves target priority numero uno.

That should balance it out enough so as to not step on the toes of the signature ability, considering that the xp cost and the dp xost is about half in comparison

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