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Dear Community!

I was toying with the thought of a somewhat charismatic ex-officer. I'd like to make it a Mercenary Soldier, since it contains all the skills I think he's needed, but I can't really get around teh Leadership.

I feel like it's really an undertuned Bard skill, and I can't see the potential as a military leader. How do you use it? How can you inspire ppl to for your cause, convincing them for a military campaign, or trying to assemble an alliance between groups? I feel like these should be Leadership, but RAW it's under Charm. 

How do you play around it? Or how do you use it (player/GM-wise) to make it more unique?

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I have used leadership in several ways.  First, and most common, with the Field Commander and Field Commander (Improved) talents.  And others too, I think.  Second, when giving orders to NPC's.  This can be narrative or under the Squad Rules from AOR GM Screen (highly recommended to buy).  And third, during mass combat - the commander uses this skill to direct the battle.  I have used mass combat (from the AOR Commander Book or Assault on Arda) repeatedly, even when the PC's are only in charge of a squad or two, against a platoon or more.

Edited by Edgookin

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Charm is something suited to one-on-one interactions where it's about being personable.

Leadership is about rallying or at least addressing people on a larger scale or in formal contexts.

Persuading people to join your cause, military campaign, or alliance is generally going to be Leadership. Charm might get smaller things done in the moment, but it isn't going to have that sort of staying power. It could be helpful in setting someone up for a subsequent Leadership approach, though. (People who like you are generally going to be more willing to listen.)

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Apart from being used in many talents and mass combat, Leadership is used to:

- Give orders, specially to make an NPC do something that can be perjudicial for him (physical, social, interests, inner nature...). People often use Coercion for this kind of thing, but in reality, if you want an officer used to command and be obeyed, Leadership is the skill that will allow you to make people do thing without coercing them. Dificulty or setback dice depends on the order or command given.

- Neutralize the effects of fear in your companions. The rules does not specify how, but it is on the description of the skill.

- Make a crowd to take some kind of action. Again, the rules does not specify how, but it is on the description of the skill.

- Regain the loyalty of your own minions or NPCs you have dealt with.

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 I also use Leadership to see how organized and disciplined the party is.  You might use Leadership in addition to Survival to keep the party from straying off course or eating all their food on the first night.  Or when setting up an ambush, to see how efficiently they can do it.  Basically, anything that requires disincline and fortitude on a mass scale is Leadership.

 

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6 hours ago, Rimsen said:

How can you inspire ppl to for your cause, convincing them for a military campaign, or trying to assemble an alliance between groups? I feel like these should be Leadership, but RAW it's under Charm. 

Getting people to join your cause CAN be leadership, but you're right in that generally speaking, it'll be things like Charm and Negotiate, or even Deception and Coercion depending on your approach. 

 

So for a "Charismatic ex-officer" that leads from the front and convinces other to join the cause you're probably going to want to multi-spec into something like Politico.

Offhand, considering the Signature abilities down the road, you may want to Start with Colonist:Politico and then add Merc Solider.

Progression-wise you'd lean on the left side of the Politico tree, focusing on things like Kill with Kindness, Inspiring Rhetoric, and so on. When you snag Steely Nerves and Dedication you'll be able to then crack open a Sig ability, which you'd probably want something like "Unmatched Expertise" which would allow you to occasionally dramatically reduce the difficulty of checks with Career Skills.

When paired with the additional leadership and combat skills and talents of the Merc Soldier you should have that "Respected Colonel that can get things done in the field or in the garrison" vibe you seem to be targeting.

 

Also track down the AoR GM Kit, in the back of the booklet is rules for Squad Command. A Politico/MercSoldier would excel in the role of a squad commander able to really leverage the benefits of the squad to do some really cool stuff.

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Also if your GM uses the Mass Combat rules from AOR- Leadership can have a huge impact on large scale battles.

I allow my PCs to maintain command of a larger force by expending a maneuver every turn even if they take part in a more specific small scale encounter.

Edited by FinarinPanjoro

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So the way I always see it: 

Charm: Getting people to do things for you based on your natural likability, which can include attractiveness, flattery, smoothness, kindness, etc. 

Negotiation: A more logical exchange (I'd almost make this Int based, as a house rule) where you are exchanging things to find a compromise. 

Coercion: Getting people to do things for you based on your ability to instill fear if they do not. This can be the threat of force, exposure, ruin, etc, and it can come from the PC, or some other outside force

Leadership: Getting people to do things for you because of your social status. Narratively, in the military this can mean your rank, in aristocracy or business, this might be your title. It can also be related to a medal, or reputation, or a thing you did that got media attention, etc. "I'm the princess of Alderaan, and I don't know who you are, or where you came from, but from now on, you do as I say." 

So leadership can certainly get used in situations where Charm, Negotiation, or Coercion get used, but consider it is a wholly different approach, trading on a different currency than the others, which use either kindness, compromise logic, or threats (veiled or otherwise) to influence the actions of others. 

Sometimes a description might be using two different approaches simultaneously or in a complimentary fashion. For instance, a commanding officer might be especially kind or domineering with their subordinates. As a GM, you can choose to make some of those checks Charm or Coercion checks intead of leadership, or, you might just make them all Leadership checks, and add boosts or setbacks as appropriate to the situation given the rest of the approach. Consider certain NPCs might respond in different ways to different approaches. Some might respond naturally to being bossed around, while others might require a softer touch. Deciding what kind of person your NPC is before a big social encounter can be useful. 

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40 minutes ago, Ghostofman said:

Getting people to join your cause CAN be leadership, but you're right in that generally speaking, it'll be things like Charm and Negotiate, or even Deception and Coercion depending on your approach. 

 

So for a "Charismatic ex-officer" that leads from the front and convinces other to join the cause you're probably going to want to multi-spec into something like Politico.

Offhand, considering the Signature abilities down the road, you may want to Start with Colonist:Politico and then add Merc Solider.

Progression-wise you'd lean on the left side of the Politico tree, focusing on things like Kill with Kindness, Inspiring Rhetoric, and so on. When you snag Steely Nerves and Dedication you'll be able to then crack open a Sig ability, which you'd probably want something like "Unmatched Expertise" which would allow you to occasionally dramatically reduce the difficulty of checks with Career Skills.

When paired with the additional leadership and combat skills and talents of the Merc Soldier you should have that "Respected Colonel that can get things done in the field or in the garrison" vibe you seem to be targeting.

 

Also track down the AoR GM Kit, in the back of the booklet is rules for Squad Command. A Politico/MercSoldier would excel in the role of a squad commander able to really leverage the benefits of the squad to do some really cool stuff.

Thx. TBH I wasn't checking AOR material, since we play Edge, and I but definitely should do

 

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5 minutes ago, Rimsen said:

Thx. TBH I wasn't checking AOR material, since we play Edge, and I but definitely should do

 

Oh yeah, squad rules are super handy. While they don't make you super-powered, they do allow for larger battle participation, as the squad can take far worse hits than a loan PC. Also with a  high leadership skill you can do some really fancy moves.

 

GM: You come to a sealed door. 

Normal PC: Oh... ummm my Cunning is terrible and I have no ranks in Skullduggery. I may need to find another way in.

Leader with a Squad: "Hudson, run a bypass!" I use the Mission Specialist formation to allow a Skullduggery Check using my Leadership. 

 

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1 hour ago, KRKappel said:

Getting people to do things for you because of your social status.

I think that's only half of it.  The other half IMHO is getting people to do things because of your organizational ability which becomes apparent when you start taking charge in a situation.

My sister isn't the princess of Alderaan, but I've seen it happen over and over again, when there's a new task even with a new group of people, she starts making suggestions that are clearly going to work, and pretty soon everyone is coming to her for the next step.  If I had to rate her Presence in this game it might be a 2-3, but her Leadership is a 5.

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Charm and Coercion are truely the only completely separate ways of talking to others, they don’t overlap in any meaningful way. Are you being friendly, or not?

Deception is really a sub category of both of those, you can be lying in a friendly way, or not, either way you are lying.

Leadership and Negotiation then sit around all three, you can lead through fear, through not telling the truth, or through fear. The important part is that you are giving orders, or instructions that need to be followed, in order to achieve a goal.

 You can Negotiate in those three ways too. But what differentiates it is that you are proposing a trade, your offering something in order to get something different in return.

 

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As others have pointed out, Leadership applies any time you're trying to get a group of NPCs to do what you want. I recently ran a chase scene through a crowded city for my players, and one chase check took place in a crowded shopping street with people packed shoulder-to-shoulder. In lieu of the standard Athletics check to determine chase progress, on that round they all had to make Leadership or Coercion checks to get people to move out of the way.

My point is, feel free to be creative and set up situations where "underused" skills get to shine a little.

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1 hour ago, Krieger22 said:

As others have pointed out, Leadership applies any time you're trying to get a group of NPCs to do what you want. I recently ran a chase scene through a crowded city for my players, and one chase check took place in a crowded shopping street with people packed shoulder-to-shoulder. In lieu of the standard Athletics check to determine chase progress, on that round they all had to make Leadership or Coercion checks to get people to move out of the way.

My point is, feel free to be creative and set up situations where "underused" skills get to shine a little.

And don't forget to encourage your players to suggest ways to use the skill.  in the chase example Krieger gave, If you only think of scaring people out of the way, maybe your players can try to Lead them out of the way.  Or they might even use leadership to have the crowd try to grab/slow down the opponent.  "Stop that thief!"

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1 hour ago, Edgookin said:

Or they might even use leadership to have the crowd try to grab/slow down the opponent.  "Stop that thief!"

Or even "Are you tired of being pushed around by the Empire?!  The moment to act is now!"

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On 6/22/2018 at 9:47 AM, whafrog said:

The other half IMHO is getting people to do things because of your organizational ability which becomes apparent when you start taking charge in a situation.

The ability to sound convincing and authoritative in the time of crisis (even if you don't actually know what you are doing) to get people to do what you want them to do has served the Doctor well for centuries:

 

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