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ddbrown30

Applying difficulty to opposed checks (Particularly persuasion)

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The first is going beyond just Charm. That the second or third are possible doesn't mean they'll be easy. They just have the benefit of being 'merely' 5P, give or take...

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On 6/1/2018 at 7:22 PM, SEApocalypse said:

So no one ever killed their friend over a woman, but someone telling them that their buddy is out to kill them or threatening them looks promising?

That's not what he said.

So your friend Bob invites you out for a beer and after some chitchat says:

"Oh, by the way, Laurel's been cheating on you."

"Really?  Thanks for the tip, I think I'll just murder her right away without checking because OMG your sparkly charming eyes!"

Yeah, right.

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24 minutes ago, whafrog said:

That's not what he said.

So your friend Bob invites you out for a beer and after some chitchat says:

"Oh, by the way, Laurel's been cheating on you."

"Really?  Thanks for the tip, I think I'll just murder her right away without checking because OMG your sparkly charming eyes!"

Yeah, right.

True.  But "Charm" can also cover seduction...and there are plenty of femme fatales who could "encourage" someone to murder.  But, as previously stated, probably not in a single check.

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On 6/1/2018 at 8:05 PM, Garran said:

I'd also point out that some skills just aren't appropriate for particular objectives.

You aren't going to get someone to kill their friend by having a pleasant chat with them (Charm). 

I guess you've never heard of Charles Manson. :P

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I struggle with things like a Charm check being sufficient to motivate behavior that dramatically. On the one hand I don't want Charm to be useless, but there is also that other thing called a Jedi Mind Trick which is not just amazing because it is accomplished with only a few words. 

I feel like you have to let the character be good at things that the player isn't, but it needs a good description and explanation. If the description and explanation (the How and Why, etc.) are not going to be up to par then maybe some happenstance will work. If it's just plain not feasible then it should have a check that is  6 Purples. 

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Social skills shouldn't be used to get people to do things. That seems almost like an abuse of the system.  Charm would relax an NPC & make them more comfortable around the player, possibly opening them up to suggestion.  But, people don't do something significant because of a little flirting and a nice smile.  No one is that charming.  The same could be said for Persuasion, Negotiation, Deception, Intimidation, etc.  It would take an extremely gullible & weak-willed person to just cave to someone's wiles.  Something tangible needs to be added to successfully sway a person using blackmail, leverage, force, bribery.  Just relying on social skills to carry the day is setting things up for some serious shenanigans.

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On 6/4/2018 at 1:48 PM, ddbrown30 said:

I guess you've never heard of Charles Manson. :P

We're talking about using Charm on "regular folks" to do the formerly unthinkable.  I don't think Charles Manson would require any kind of external motivation, so a charm check wouldn't be required.

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6 minutes ago, whafrog said:

We're talking about using Charm on "regular folks" to do the formerly unthinkable.  I don't think Charles Manson would require any kind of external motivation, so a charm check wouldn't be required.

You definitely haven't read about Charles Manson. Manson never actually killed anyone himself. He convinced others to do it for him. 9 times, in fact. You should read up on Manson and the Manson Family (which is a cult, not an actual family). It's fascinating and terrifying stuff.

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Quite a few talents utilize social skills as a base difficulty, instead of opposed (Inspiring Rhetoric and Scathing Tirade, for example). Everything depends on context. If you, as the GM, think that getting a handout for credits is an easy task, then it's an easy task. If you think it should be harder somehow, either increase the difficulty or throw in some setbacks.

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On 6/5/2018 at 8:13 PM, crashnburninc said:

Social skills shouldn't be used to get people to do things. That seems almost like an abuse of the system.  Charm would relax an NPC & make them more comfortable around the player, possibly opening them up to suggestion.  But, people don't do something significant because of a little flirting and a nice smile.  No one is that charming.  The same could be said for Persuasion, Negotiation, Deception, Intimidation, etc.  It would take an extremely gullible & weak-willed person to just cave to someone's wiles.  Something tangible needs to be added to successfully sway a person using blackmail, leverage, force, bribery.  Just relying on social skills to carry the day is setting things up for some serious shenanigans.

Only a very weak willed person would be swayed by something like blackmail, force or bribery. Meanwhile, the damsel in distress which runs towards you, smiling just for right amount of time at you, before she ask you with teary, fearful eyes for help from those goons chasing her.  Yeah. Only someone extremely gullible and weak-willed person would just cave to such an request. Because those are the kind of persons who would even have the balls to help in such an situations. ?

The main limitation of charm is that you need to be honestly interested in acquiring the target of your check as an ally. If you are not honest, you are down to deception. Besides, circumstances make and break any social check. Gaining a hutt as ally does not mean that he will not feel forced to kill you if you betray him, nor will he risk too much on you. At the other hand he might kill not just one guy, but a dozen without much more than one check when you convince him that you are simply worth it. And that is charm. Does not mean either that your new ally has not certain exceptions as well how you will honor this new relationship. 

Edited by SEApocalypse

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I'll have to be a little more careful in the wording of my posts.  My point wasn't that social skills are never going to sway someone, just that it shouldn't be the sole means of influence.  As always with a TTRPG, everything is situationally dependent.  There are good examples at both ends of the spectrum, but it is a dangerous & slippery slope if you just rely on the mechanics.  To truly be successful a person would have to know all of the players, their likes & dislikes, motivations, environmental effects, … (way too many other variables to list or control).  Relying on a social skill check as the sole means of making something happen either creates a bad precedent or sets the group up to fail spectacularly.  I find it's better to focus on solid characters and a good story, not just winning the next roll.  I would rather have PC's talk it out in character to combine good role playing with the dice result, instead of relying on only raw data.  Seems more realistic and can be a lot more fun.

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Social encounters need to be treated like they are: encounters. Encounters are rarely overcome with a single roll just like a single Combat roll isn't going to overcome - in most cases - a room full of armed bad guys. 

The burden of the GM is to parse up Social encounters so that they require multiple rolls. An easy approach is to have a Charm check be used against a target's Strain threshold. This can apply to both PCs and NPCs.

It's not unreasonable to hold what's acceptable in the context of the setting as a benchmark for what can be done. A Force test could convince a target to do something they wouldn't normally do but a Social check isn't going to do that and shouldn't be a possible end-state for a Social encounter.

Edited by Concise Locket

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