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Lionhearted
Disclaimer: This thread is mainly for discussing how you handle social skills at your table and the solutions you're using to deal with the abstract nature of the social rules.
Not for the ins and outs of RAW or RAI

Thank you very much.

The social skill rules, what a wonderful can of worms. I've been wrestling with how to implement them. Without making them neither instant social I-win buttons or completely irrelevant. So I wanted to see how people use social skills at their tables.

First of all.
What does success mean? The rules doesn't really clarify what a success actually achieves... Is it a switch to make the NPC reveal his deepest life secrets? Is it a by case basis handwave? Is it simply the bareminimum?

Which brings us to...
What does net hits achieve? As with the success you assume that if you succeed you achieve what you set out to do, so what does the net hits actually achieve? In a legworks setting I can imagine that net hits allows you to gain additional pieces of information, the same goes for a interrogation/info probing scenario, but what about a con? or an etiquette check?

Speaking of...
Etiquette When is it actually appropriate? is it something the GM rolls behind the screen to see if guns come blazing or a catch all "I as a player have no clue how to conduct myself among social group X"? Really a bit lost on this one...

Moving on...
Attitudes and social modifiers How does indifferent differ from unfriendly? Does it limit the amount of success they can have? Are their outlook on the player set in a social encounter or can they "warm"/"chill" during the encounter? How much weight do you put on their attitude towards the players?

and lastly...
Roleplaying Is it a crutch for bad rolls? do you consider it required? do you award/punish degrees of roleplaying in relationship with the dice rolls?
Do you allow good roleplay to override/substitute rolls?
It's probably the biggest and most important question stated and also one without a clearcut answer...

I would go into dealing with contacts, but that another can of worms. Very interested in your opinions on the matter and the different interpretations used.
thorya
Our group has gone back and forth on this quite a bit.

We generally use extended tests for social interactions where someone is trying to convince someone to do something or get some specific results like a contract negoation with intervals that vary from 1 combat round to 1 minute depending upon the interaction.

How we use each skill-
Etiquette- is what you use to blend in, convince people that you're trustworthy (when you actually are), and evaluate other people's behavior. Pretty much everyone but the most anti-social isolated individuals have at least 2 ranks of etiquette in our games.
Negotiate- Used for arguing for a better deal, negotiating contracts, trying to get someone to give you information, or any time there is an exchange.
Intimidate- Used for interrogation, can be used in the place of any of the other skills, but has a lasting negative effect on your relationship with the person and has serious issues on a failure.
Con- For lying or convincing someone to trust you when they shouldn't.
Leadership- Can be used by a face or social character to give bonuses to the rest of the group for social skills. i.e. If the face has been successful in not being intimidated they can use leadership to give a bonus dice equal to the number of hits for the rest of the group to resist being intimidated or a face can use leadership to give the rest of the group a bonus on etiquette to blend. Usually we cap these bonuses to 3 or less, depending upon the situation.

An example extended tests-
You want to convince someone that is suspicious of you of a lie that is harmful to them (like convincing a Lone Star officer that the you left your commlink at the bar and you just need to go back for it and you don't know anything about the drug deal).
You roll Con + Charisma.
Extended Test Threshold- Target's Willpower+Etiquette +1 for being suspicious + 3 for it being harmful to them (letting you go and having it come out is very embarrassing and could have career consequences)
They roll- Etiquette + Intuition
Extended Test Threshold- Con + Charisma + 1 for the officer being distracted by the drug deal
Whoever reaches the Threshold first succeeds. In this case the Lone Star officer believes you and lets you go. If you tied it's a glitch and there is some adverse effect, he decides to walk you back to the bar after dealing with the drug dealers so you can pick up your commlink.

We like this because it gives us an idea of how long an interaction lasts and it lets the face roll a little more. It also gives a little more time for making roleplay decisions and slightly more dynamic interactions than just a single opposed roll. If you roll crappy on the first attempt and your opponent has rolled well, you can decide to bail on the lie or change tactics. You can tell that the Lone Star officers not buying your line and try bribing him instead or intimidating him. It also becomes really hard for anyone but a pornomancer to convince an enemy (+4 to threshold) to do something physically dangerous to them (+4 to threshold) without a long time convincing them or some pretty serious leverage. We don't like social skills as mind control. We also try to bring the other mental attributes into it.

We also try to have more complex social interactions, like getting to know someone and small talk before a negotiation to establish a rapport and conning someone to before negotiating on a piece of equipment.

Note: this is clearly not RAW, I am aware of that.
Lionhearted
Do roleplaying come into the rolling at all?
I like how you managed to get some proper structure for very abstract skills

QUOTE
This is clearly not RAW
But it is very much in the spirit of the thread smile.gif
Dolanar
A successful Social test is like bringing someone to see your point of view & swaying their opinion a bit. It's not designed to be an "I win" button. Net hits could allow them to be more receptive to your requests as they believe you see things the same way or are more alike then they originally thought.

Etiquette is used anytime you're character would be unsure of how to act. Meeting the Johnson in a high class restaurant? Roll etiquette to know how to properly order & act in order to show you're professionals.

Roleplaying out a social encounter should enhance the rolls you make, if you roll poorly but the RP makes perfect sense...add extra dice to allow it to turn the tables, poor roleplaying should not detract dice (unless they are acting completely out of character of how the character should be)

just my interpretations.
bannockburn
Social tests are a can of worms. smile.gif
First of all, I'll start by saying that I distinguish between interaction between PC - PC and PC - NPC. Most of the stuff, I'll stream-of-consciousness here, will relate to PC - NPC (and that doesn't always include NPC - PC wink.gif )

As a GM, I don't use them very often, but when I do, I usually consult the modifiers table.
Generally, when social tests are called upon, I let my player(s) describe what they try to achieve and how they go about it (line of argumentation etc.). If the player wants and isn't totally socially inept (both is usually the case), roleplaying will commence between character and NPC. If a lot of players are sitting around the table, I will cut this short at some point, as not to bore the players who's characters aren't that into talking.
After the initial plan and / or roleplayed interaction, there will be a test sometimes. Most often I call for a test, when the player wants to achieve some kind of success (e.g. up the paygrade, find out crucial information, seduce someone, etc. pp.). Should the character have the 'ace in the hole' modifier, and he uses it in a way that impresses me, I sometimes wave a roll and call it a sucess. Usually it's just a standard opposed test with modifiers applied to both sides. A success on this test can mean a lot of things. Generally it means that the goal is achieved, how good depends on the number of net hits. There's an upper limit in case of asking for more money, of course wink.gif
But it can also mean that the PC has somehow made an enemy or a friend, depending on how this was achieved (re: the description of how they go about it) or any number of things, depending on what exactly the PC tried to do.

Regarding your question about base attitudes: Indifferent differs from unfriendly in that the NPC doesn't really care what happens either way. As long as it doesn't interfer with his own plans. I don't limit the maximum achievable successes as those are usually limited by the skill level, and the dice pool modifier punishes enough. Attitudes can chance. The mob boss who usually hates the characters, but is willing to hear their plan? Well, he won't thaw when you mention that you're gonna hit the Yaks, but when you know that this Toshimuro guy killed his grandson ... mentioning that something terrible might happen to him on the way may just be a way to get Pop's attention and your life an extension.

On the topic of net hits, I use them mostly as you described. On a con test, the target may fall for the character hard, and even offer helpful tips or use of equipment as well, depending on the number of net hits. An etiquette test can mean that the NPC wants to befriend the PC, since s/he's just SO HIP!

Etiquette is kind of a catch-all at my table. It won't let you negotiate for more money or fast talk someone into submission, but every character should have this skill. It's the 'social infiltration' skill. Having it and sometimes rolling it will let you NOT stick out like a sore thumb, or make a good impression. I'll let you roll on it with Cha when you try to talk to the mayor's daughter at that fundraiser (and you're usually busy with cleaning your heavy MG at this time of evening) or let you roll on it with Int when you ask me what would be appropriate clothing to get into Club 77. Rolling a lot of successes can also make you really memorable to a crowd.
What it isn't is an I-Win-Button if you have a lot of dice in the pool. Neither are con or negotiation or leadership. Sometimes, you can't win, just by rolling dice. That guy who just stole the prototype you wanted won't give it back just because a pretty elf bats her eyelashes at him. It will not let you turn gay men into firm believers of boobies nor will it let you seduce a Naga. Sometimes the differences or premises are just too different or rigid. If a guard has strict order not to talk to anyone but the boss, the face won't be able to talk to him (at least not without checking in with the boss).

Roleplaying is a big thing for me. It is normally a non-issue at my table, but if someone wants to play a face, he should be smart about it at least. I do not expect someone to have a degree in nuclear physics when his character has the knowledge skill, and neither do I prevent a couch potato from playing a hot elf chick just because he usually interacts with people in WoW and is unable to utter a word to women in RL. However, you should have an idea on what to do with those skills. If you're not that versed in actually talking to people, I'll let you roll more. If you are a smooth talker, I'll let you roleplay more. It won't give or lose you dice, but I'm guessing, you might enjoy it that way.
What I won't let people get away with is a situation like this
"There's a guard on the door." - "Is he straight or gay?" - "You don't know this by looking at him." - "Whatever, I'll just role my bazillion dice to seduce him, then it's a non-issue."
An extreme example, of course wink.gif, but I use it to illustrate the point I made earlier: Have a plan. At least describe to me how you want to interact with the NPC. Social dice pools are not like a pistol dice pool where you just say "I point my gun in his general direction and pull the trigger". It needs a bit more than that smile.gif

Then there's PC - PC interaction.
In general I just let 'em duke it out by roleplaying. If somehow a situation crops up that's like cowboys and injuns (I shoot you - I dodge - You can't dodge, I have magic bullets. - I have magic armor, and so on ... You know it, we all did it, when we were kids, and when something happens to our character that we don't like and hard rolls are not readily available ... we still might do it wink.gif ) then I'll assign modifiers and let both players roll, reminding them that the outcome is inplay and that they shouldn't hold a grudge. Skill candidates for such rolls are almost entirely con, negotiation, intimidation and leadership. Instruction and Etiquette by their nature lend themselves more to a simple roll anyways.
Blade
I was toying with the idea of making "advanced social rules" in SoS, but I'm not sure if anyone would be interested.

Here are a few core concepts for my use of social skills:

- The use of social skills is no different from the use of combat skills.

-- In a combat situation, the character will try to get in a position where shooting is possible (and possibly easier). If the character doesn't see the target and doesn't even know where he is, he won't be able to shoot.
It's the same with the social skills: if the character doesn't have any chance of persuading the other character or doesn't have a valid argument, he won't be able to try to use his social skill.

-- If a melee fighter is in a superior position (due to conditions or good tactical thinking from the player), I'll give him positive modifiers. Similarly, I'll give positive modifiers to someone with a good argument. But still, if the melee fighter rolls badly, he'll miss, and the face won't be able to persuade.

-- I don't expect my players to be gun nuts or tacticians. If a character has a good tactics skill, or a good experience of combat and the player doesn't, I might give hints to the player. It's the same with the player playing a social character without being really good at it: I might give him some ideas of the arguments he can use. But just like I like my mage players to know the tradition of their character, my hackers players to know the matrix rules, I like my face characters to be able to play them right.

-- I don't give positive modifiers to players who describe their character's attack with a lot of details. Similarily I don't give modifiers to player with good social roleplay. I might reward with karma, but I think having a good time is also a reward in itself.

- Augmented is augmented
Take the most charismatic person you know, and give him the persuasion skill of the most persuasive person you know. His dice pool is probably between 10 and 14. A face with a dice pool of 20 is far better than this guy. Just like a character with augmented physical capabilities is able to easily beat olympic athletes, a character with augmented charisma and social skill is able to do amazing things. He won't be able to do impossible things (just like the augmented athlete won't be able to fly), but he'll be able to do improbable things.

- Tweaking the rules...
The social rules suffer from two flaws.

First, when trying to convince someone, the conditions have a huge impact, but there aren't enough situational modifiers and their impact on the dice pools are too low to really matter. That's why I use some additional situational modifiers. A stubborn guard who hates his job and has decided that he'll piss off anyone who isn't showing exactly all the right credential will be difficult to persuade, unless relying on the right persuasion tactics. Unless he's completely stupid, the ugly troll guard will guess that the novahot elf flirting with him is on to something.

Second, some persuasion tactics will take time, and sometimes you just have so long to make your case. But the rules don't have extended social tests.

I think that's about it.
Makki
QUOTE (Blade @ Dec 18 2012, 01:05 PM) *
- The use of social skills is no different from the use of combat skills.

-- In a combat situation, the character will try to get in a position where shooting is possible (and possibly easier). If the character doesn't see the target and doesn't even know where he is, he won't be able to shoot.
It's the same with the social skills: if the character doesn't have any chance of persuading the other character or doesn't have a valid argument, he won't be able to try to use his social skill.

Yes. The player doesn't have to be a good roleplayer or very eloquent, but he need's to come up with an argumentation strategy his char would be following.
My face has a huge arsenal of Knowsofts, so he will actually have stuff to talk about.

QUOTE (Blade @ Dec 18 2012, 01:05 PM) *
Second, some persuasion tactics will take time, and sometimes you just have so long to make your case. But the rules don't have extended social tests.

Shouldn't be to difficult to add an extended test for the famous Long-Con.
sk8bcn
I have two main ways to handle social skills:

The common way: Roleplay and roll: I usually ask a roll early in the roleplaying. The roll will determine how hard I'll make that part.

Say player wants to get somewhere and try to convince the guard to let him pass with a trickery. He starts giving his story. I ask him for a roll. Depending on the result, I'll make it harder or not. He rolls great: the guard may be convinced with ease. He succeed averagely or fails? My NPC will investigate deep or lesser, and I'll accept more time to answer:
eg: Guard: "Who has given you the authorisation to enter that zone"
PC remembers he has written something about that on his notes. he checks.
GM: "Too late, your hesitation shows and the guard is certain you're lying.

Would he have rolled successes, I would have let him re-read his notes. This way, you can roleplay and have use of social skills.

ps: Having a witty repartee, a good sense of argumentation and behavior while HAVING NO SKILLS is bad roleplaying! Worser than the never talking samourai waiting for action to occur biggrin.gif


My uncommon way: I don't do that for many games AND the players need to be good roleplayers. In that version, extented rolls should be done. The idea is Roll First Roleplay Next. The PC and GM are then supposed to roleplay the dice resultat: A miserable failure? You are supposed to roleplay it.
It's more adapted to Dying Earth than Shadowrun though, because failing to acquire clues due to roll may be more frustrating there.
The Dread Polack
QUOTE (Lionhearted @ Dec 17 2012, 03:14 PM) *
What does success mean? The rules doesn't really clarify what a success actually achieves... Is it a switch to make the NPC reveal his deepest life secrets? Is it a by case basis handwave? Is it simply the bareminimum?


Success usually means the character acheived their stated goal, whatever it happens to be. I try to make sure the player understands how realistic their stated goal is, and I don't always accept a proposed goal. If they say "I want them to literally bow down and worship me as a god" then I'll tell them that's not going to happen. If they want to do something very difficult, but at least possible, I'll either set a high threshold or penalize the roll.

QUOTE
Which brings us to...
What does net hits achieve? As with the success you assume that if you succeed you achieve what you set out to do, so what does the net hits actually achieve? In a legworks setting I can imagine that net hits allows you to gain additional pieces of information, the same goes for a interrogation/info probing scenario, but what about a con? or an etiquette check?


Mostly, it's just more of their stated goal, but if it seems appropriate, then I'll throw in extras. If they're digging for info- they'll give away even more useful info. I like to reward critical successes to throw in clues I might have planned to drop later. The NPC might act as a sort of temporary contact for a while. Maybe a permenent contact. In Negotiation, net hits usually just mean a better price, but might open up new opportunities. With Cons, the NPC might be so convinced that they will defend the false version of the lie to other NPCs. With Leadership, the NPC might begin to volunteer themselves and become more actively helpful. Intimidation is maybe trickier. Since there are assumed to be some negative side-effects of using Intimidation, this could either leave the target thoroughly cowed or in fact, result in a sort of respectful loyalty. I scored a critical success on an intimidate once and the GM basically had the NPC fall in behind my character as a loyal contact for the rest of the campaign (there was additional interaction to solidify this), with no hard feelings. The NPC understood why my character acted that way, and respected it.

QUOTE
Speaking of...
Etiquette When is it actually appropriate? is it something the GM rolls behind the screen to see if guns come blazing or a catch all "I as a player have no clue how to conduct myself among social group X"? Really a bit lost on this one...


With Charisma 3 (average) and Etiquette 1 (basic training), you can buy one hit and blend into any routine social situation- I don't ask for rolls. It has always come pretty naturally to me, knowing when to ask for a roll. If there's a reasonable chance the character will upset the social balance, or if they're really trying to fit into a situation that they don't belong in, they need to roll. About half the time, I set a threshold - no opposed roll. After that, any time the player is specifically trying to make an impression, I will let them roll and their is either a general measure of that, or I'll roll against them to see if anyone isn't buying the act.

QUOTE
Moving on...
Attitudes and social modifiers How does indifferent differ from unfriendly? Does it limit the amount of success they can have? Are their outlook on the player set in a social encounter or can they "warm"/"chill" during the encounter? How much weight do you put on their attitude towards the players?


This matters a lot, and is often not handled by the rules very well. As it is, in most games, you usually just have to roll really high and you can convince people of lies they'd never believe, or make enemies into friends, and other unrealistic results. Of course, sometimes unrealistic results are the most fun, so I try to allow it as much as I can without being way too far over the top, or disruptive to the plot of the game. I can't have you charming the pants off the enemy during the boss fight smile.gif

I don't use this table very much, but I'll eyeball it for ideas. I usually set a low threshold for unimportant NPCs (saving myself some rolls), and I will often just be straight with players and tell them how far they can realistically expect to sway an important NPC.

QUOTE
and lastly...
Roleplaying Is it a crutch for bad rolls? do you consider it required? do you award/punish degrees of roleplaying in relationship with the dice rolls?
Do you allow good roleplay to override/substitute rolls?
It's probably the biggest and most important question stated and also one without a clearcut answer...


Most gamers I know, including myself, are not social experts, and we know about as much about charming people or negotiating important deals as we know about hacking computers or defusing bombs. I don't ask players how their doing the latter two things during the game, and I don't demand that they realistically describe how they do the former.

I'll let a player dice their way through a social encounter if that's what they want. I'll even describe, to some extent, what their character said to get their result if it seems appropriate. I do ask, at the very least, how they are approaching the situation. Are they appealing to the target's ego? Are they trying to tempt them with a reward? Are they exploiting a fear? I don't usually modify the rolls much based on this- its mostly a way to figure out what a success or failure looks like.

If the player has a crucial bit of info that will help them (he has a weakness for dwarf women, or is particularly compassionate toward children, etc.) then I'll give bonus dice, but I usually don't penalize the roll at all.
sk8bcn
QUOTE (The Dread Polack @ Dec 18 2012, 04:54 PM) *
Most gamers I know, including myself, are not social experts, and we know about as much about charming people or negotiating important deals as we know about hacking computers or defusing bombs. I don't ask players how their doing the latter two things during the game, and I don't demand that they realistically describe how they do the former.

I'll let a player dice their way through a social encounter if that's what they want. I'll even describe, to some extent, what their character said to get their result if it seems appropriate. I do ask, at the very least, how they are approaching the situation. Are they appealing to the target's ego? Are they trying to tempt them with a reward? Are they exploiting a fear? I don't usually modify the rolls much based on this- its mostly a way to figure out what a success or failure looks like.

If the player has a crucial bit of info that will help them (he has a weakness for dwarf women, or is particularly compassionate toward children, etc.) then I'll give bonus dice, but I usually don't penalize the roll at all.


Wow this is an original way to play and totally alien to me. Sheeesh, for me roleplaying and acting are like 30%-40% of the fun of the game (other one beeing resolving a scenario 50%, 20% growth of characters -through skill up and deeper knowledge of the game universe).

You basically cut that part. Pretty astonishing to me. I don't mind if my player is no social expert. I'll adjust the difficulty to my average group (e.g. I've run initiation session with beginners and made it easier than for my over 10 year experience group). But under no circumstances would I cut the roleplaying at all (except of course, for uninteresting facts like negociating a price).
The Dread Polack
Okay, I should clarify a bit. I try to get them to roleplay as much as I can. But, I find most people will roleplay as much as they are comfortable with without being prodded by me.

As GM, I usually speak for the NPC in character and try to engage the player that way. Once they start to stumble, I'll step back and ask them what they're trying to accomplish and what their approach is and we roll. Then I get back into character. Rinse and repeat. Best case scenario is that they just throw something out there with the appropriate gusto, tosses the dice, and we go with it. If they roll 10 hits while trying to seduce a lady, but all they can think of is (to quote a classic) "uh... gimme some sugar, baby", then we all have a laugh and pretend like that was the perfect thing to say in the situation.

This is the best case scenario, but I work with what I have. A lot of my players often won't go that far, and I'm not going to demand it from them if it isn't going to be fun.

I remember playing with a group (most of the people I'm describing here) the first time I tried 4th edition D&D. We were interrogating a prisoner. As a player, I talked to the group "Okay, guys. How are we going to approach this? Are we going to try the good-cop/bad-cop routine? Are we going to offer to let him go? Are we just going to straight-up scare him? What's the plan?" and they just looked at me like I was crazy. One of them said "What are you talking about? Just roll Intimidate."

I don't think social situations have to roleplayed any differently than other skill resolutions, unless you think it woud be fun to. Like I said before, I don't expect players to describe how they're actually successfully penetrating their opponent's defenses in melee combat, or how they're disarming security. Roll your dice and roleplaying as little or as much as you think is fun.
thorya
how much roleplaying comes in depends upon the player. I play with several improvisers so most of them are down for doing things in character and having interactions, but I don't penalize people if they want to be the social butterfly and they can't even put two words together in the real world. As one of the guys in my group said, "I don't know what would be a convincing lie here, but my character would!"

In our group, etiquette is used for social perception (linked with intuition for this use) rather perception and when people roll this to size up other people, I will give them information about the NPC, like they're confident and not likely to give into intimidation or threats but a little vain. In this case flattery is probably a good tactic if you have a decent con skill.
If they want to roleplay it, they can use this information to roleplay flattery (or pick some other tactic) and come up with nice things to say about the NPC to win them over, "your gang is very well known, they say that you're the toughest guys this side of Redmont and in this neighborhood that's saying something" and then roll to see how convincing they are and I'll roleplay the NPC's reaction appropriately. Again they can change if it looks like the NPC is seeing through their flattery and they're not going to win the extended test against the guy, in character they might choose to be like, "but you're too smart to be taken in by shallow flattery, my apologies. Shall we talk business?". But if they don't want to roleplay that out they can just say that they flatter the guy and roll. We have standard social "moves" for people that don't want to roleplay things like: flatter, insult, make a joke, threaten (overtly), threaten (subtly), feign interest, exaggerate (or brag), flirt, sarcastically agree, agree, belittle, build rapport (usually this is done through one of the other actions), etc. We don't apply modifiers for roleplaying well, but at the end of the session players can nominate each other for extra karma based upon awesome things they did and a lot of those come from interactions with NPCs.

The line, "I said I wouldn't put any more holes in you if you talked. I never said he wouldn't. What can you tell me to keep him from hurting you?" comes to mind.

PC-PC, we rarely roll, since it often becomes an issue of "but I know he's lying!" "But his character doesn't know I'm lying! I rolled 8 hits, he'll believe whatever I say" which is just bad for group dynamics.
Lionhearted
I'm really starting to warm to the extended social test as one of the only things I liked from 4ed that game was skill challenges.

QUOTE (bannockburn @ Dec 18 2012, 02:23 AM) *
First of all, I'll start by saying that I distinguish between interaction between PC - PC and PC - NPC.

We have an unwritten rule at our table. You can't use social skills against the other players. Suffice to say we had some bad blood from people abusing it to screw over the rest of the group.
Although sometimes we will call a con check to see if the PC buys a really preposterous idea.

QUOTE
Neither do I prevent a couch potato from playing a hot elf chick just because he usually interacts with people in WoW and is unable to utter a word to women in RL.

Funnily enough I met a lot of my female friends through WoW, including the guildleader of my hardcore raiding guild.
Did I break your world?

Excuse the upcoming poor editing, but you can't copypaste on a 3ds.

@The dread polack
I often have the issue of the players being perfectly socially capable, just hesitant/embarrased to indulge into roleplaying. So quite the opposite dilemma. Nice catch on the etiquette thing that never occurred to me.

@Sk8bcn
Your first method is nuts! Sounds so much fun with a casual/drunk game.
The Dread Polack
I find it's really not best to make social rolles between PCs, since that's treading dangerously close to forcing decisions onto a player, which I think most players dislike, and some players absolutely hate.
bannockburn
QUOTE (Lionhearted @ Dec 18 2012, 07:07 PM) *
We have an unwritten rule at our table. You can't use social skills against the other players. Suffice to say we had some bad blood from people abusing it to screw over the rest of the group.
Although sometimes we will call a con check to see if the PC buys a really preposterous idea.

Yeah, most often this is the case, too, in my games. However, if some kind of impassť arises, I, as the GM, call for a roll and make a ruling based on that. Very, very seldom necessary, though.

QUOTE
Funnily enough I met a lot of my female friends through WoW, including the guildleader of my hardcore raiding guild.
Did I break your world?

Not at all. It was an exaggeration based on general prejudice wink.gif
I know that it usually isn't that way, but I think, it got my point across wink.gif
Glyph
The social skill rules are a mess. The biggest difference from SR3 is that situational modifiers are much less of a factor (as Blade pointed out), which is a bad thing. The other huge flaw is that now you need to have social skills in order to resist them - it is almost impossible to play an antisocial curmudgeon who is not socially adept, but also stubborn when you try to convince him of something. The rules are good for basic, quantifiable tests, but stumble outside of that narrow scope. It is usually better to keep the player's social stats in mind (and ask the other players to do likewise), and just roleplay it whenever possible.

If someone is a bit shy and hesitant, but has a character with high Charisma and social skills, then the world will react accordingly. The bouncer that the sammie had to bribe will just smile and wave him in. When he says "..Um..", heads will swivel his way to see what he is going to say. Women will walk across the street to hit on him.

If someone plays an outgoing character with a low Charisma and social skills, they won't necessarily be out of character. But they will come off as phony, or oily, or disturbing. Aahz from Myth Adventures is a good example of this type (although he does have a decent con skill). He tries to charm people, but he intimidates them when he is not trying to intimidate them, people are suspicious of his manner and his motives, and whenever someone has the opportunity to screw him over a bit and get away with it, they take the opportunity with relish. That's not to say such a character would be unable to function, but they would need to work to get the results a high Charisma character could get just by saying "Hi."
sk8bcn
QUOTE (The Dread Polack @ Dec 18 2012, 05:55 PM) *
I remember playing with a group (most of the people I'm describing here) the first time I tried 4th edition D&D. We were interrogating a prisoner. As a player, I talked to the group "Okay, guys. How are we going to approach this? Are we going to try the good-cop/bad-cop routine? Are we going to offer to let him go? Are we just going to straight-up scare him? What's the plan?" and they just looked at me like I was crazy. One of them said "What are you talking about? Just roll Intimidate."



Yarrr. Good luck trying to push them to roleplay a bit more biggrin.gif
Irion
The major issue with social skills is: What is possible and what is not.
There is a scetch of an accused (I think it is from monty phyton) who is charged with murdering his wife/friend of wife or even several people, not entirly sure.
The fact is, that it ends with the courtroom singing "he is a jolly good fellow" and the the DA haggeling the sentance down to something around 1-3 month, only because the defendant insists on a sentance at all. (Despite the fact that it is 100% clear he did everything he is accused of...)


The first big issue is how far "fast-talking" really reaches. And in this light you have to see the modifiers.
If you think something like the courtroom scene is inside the spectrum of the rules, the modifiers are too low.

If you think the maximum is getting 1 or 2 years less than the maximum sentance, than they are about right.

The next thing is pushing beyond the natural level. We all can extrapolate this for physical task. If you are stronger, you may lift more. But social or intellectual task are somehow very difficult to extrapolate. Why?
Because the complexity does not increase linear and it is depending on a lot of side factors.
Blade
I'm thinking about the face trying to seduce a same-sex 100% straight character. No matter how low the target's con skill is, and how high the face seduction pool is, the face shouldn't be able to do it in a few seconds the middle of the street.

But saying "no (s)he's straight, this won't work" is not an acceptable solution either, because in the right situation, or on a long period of time, it's possible the face can get the character to open up to the idea. That's why I think that situational modifiers should have a bigger impact and in some cases, extended tests should be necessary.

For example, add some modifiers not to the dice pool but to the necessary net hits, and allow extended tests. For example:
- The idea is against the character's values: +6
- The idea is against the character's instinct (suicide, starvation, etc.) : +6
- Peer pressure: +/- 1 to 6
- Emotional state (rage, happiness, etc.): +/-2

So when proposing gay sex, the face will have to get 6 net hits (idea against the character's value) on top of the dice pool modifiers everyone still have. He can chose to do it with an extended test (interval: week), or get him to go to a party where the emotional state and peer pressure will reduce the number of required hits. Of if he's VERY good (and/or lucky) it might work out of nowhere on the street.

Please note that this is just a quick idea, it would need to be refined, tested and so on.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Blade @ Dec 19 2012, 03:52 AM) *
I'm thinking about the face trying to seduce a same-sex 100% straight character. No matter how low the target's con skill is, and how high the face seduction pool is, the face shouldn't be able to do it in a few seconds the middle of the street.

But saying "no (s)he's straight, this won't work" is not an acceptable solution either, because in the right situation, or on a long period of time, it's possible the face can get the character to open up to the idea. That's why I think that situational modifiers should have a bigger impact and in some cases, extended tests should be necessary.

For example, add some modifiers not to the dice pool but to the necessary net hits, and allow extended tests. For example:
- The idea is against the character's values: +6
- The idea is against the character's instinct (suicide, starvation, etc.) : +6
- Peer pressure: +/- 1 to 6
- Emotional state (rage, happiness, etc.): +/-2

So when proposing gay sex, the face will have to get 6 net hits (idea against the character's value) on top of the dice pool modifiers everyone still have. He can chose to do it with an extended test (interval: week), or get him to go to a party where the emotional state and peer pressure will reduce the number of required hits. Of if he's VERY good (and/or lucky) it might work out of nowhere on the street.

Please note that this is just a quick idea, it would need to be refined, tested and so on.


Absolutely not true... I know people that you would NEVER convince to participate in Gay Sex, not matter the length of time you tried. Sometimes, there are things that you just cannot do socially.

I have been in locations where no matter who you were, if you did not have the proper credentials (and those credentials actually matched on independant verification) you were not getting in, no matter how much you tried. And if you kept trying, you would end up incarcerated. Again, some things are just not posible.
The Dread Polack
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Dec 19 2012, 08:12 AM) *
Absolutely not true... I know people that you would NEVER convince to participate in Gay Sex, not matter the length of time you tried. Sometimes, there are things that you just cannot do socially.

I have been in locations where no matter who you were, if you did not have the proper credentials (and those credentials actually matched on independant verification) you were not getting in, no matter how much you tried. And if you kept trying, you would end up incarcerated. Again, some things are just not posible.


Well... Plenty of people have been convinced to commit acts VERY contrary to their nature. It just might take very extreme measures and the person isn't necessarily going to enjoy it. Obviously, I don't want to equate homosexuality with an atrocity, but they might be similar in a person's reluctance to do it.

Regardless of reality, the question is whether you want it to be possible in your game or not. It all depends on the tone of your setting. To use two TV shows as an example- This sort of thing doesn't generally happen on Burn Notice. They go for a relatively more realistic psychology in that show. However, on Leverage, there was a recent episode where they used a number of tricks- holograms, drugs, and psychology, to completely alter a person's attitude, permanently (Although they were actually trying to restore him to normal after more recent change). This sort of thing happens all the time in Leverage, and it works on that show because it sets it's tone quite clearly.

So, more important than trying to figure out exactly what is either realistic or possible with the RAW, I think you need to decide what you want in your game. Too many times I have gotten months or years into a campaign before I realized we all had different ideas of what was possible. In SR, this is a problem with Social skills, since they don't really discuss it in the book (probably because it would be a lot of fluff taking up pages).

Having said all that, I feel like a game like SR should be pretty loose with realism in regards to social manipulation because 1) it gives social characters a chance to be shine, and 2) it's just more interesting. I don't think a male character should be able seduce a straight male with a complex action in combat, or even with a short conversation, but maybe over the course of a long dinner? (Besides it being an awkward role-playing experience- not somewhere I want to go in a game). I do think a Charisma 7+ Persuasion 7 character should be able to charm a courtroom into a reduced sentence or finding him not-guilty (such a person wouldn't need lawyers). It's been known to happen in real life. People are easily manipulated, even when the facts are quite clear.

Now, anyone with magical abilities, of course, get to break all the rules. If you can cast your mental manipulation spells without notice, you can really mess with people. And, there are a lot of adept powers that are all about doing the sorts of social manipulations that aren't normally possible. Go wild with those!
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
The stuff you are talking about in Leverage can be accomplished in Shadowrun with a PAB and Time (and is more about programming someone). I do not think that Social Skills should be able to do it by themselves. *shrug*
The Dread Polack
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Dec 19 2012, 10:34 AM) *
The stuff you are talking about in Leverage can be accomplished in Shadowrun with a PAB and Time (and is more about programming someone). I do not think that Social Skills should be able to do it by themselves. *shrug*


I agree. I am AFB right now. What is a PAB?
Blade
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Dec 19 2012, 03:12 PM) *
Absolutely not true... I know people that you would NEVER convince to participate in Gay Sex, not matter the length of time you tried. Sometimes, there are things that you just cannot do socially.

Some people have been able to get victims to remember things that never happened to them, and big things like domestic abuse and rape... It's impressive what you can do "socially".
Irion
@Blade
Yes, but a lot of that is depending on the surrounding you create/work in.
You need credibility, a position of power in the mind of the person you are working on. The person has to trust you or even needs to want to be like you/to please you.

@The Dread Polack
QUOTE
Having said all that, I feel like a game like SR should be pretty loose with realism in regards to social manipulation because 1) it gives social characters a chance to be shine, and 2) it's just more interesting. I don't think a male character should be able seduce a straight male with a complex action in combat, or even with a short conversation, but maybe over the course of a long dinner? (Besides it being an awkward role-playing experience- not somewhere I want to go in a game). I do think a Charisma 7+ Persuasion 7 character should be able to charm a courtroom into a reduced sentence or finding him not-guilty (such a person wouldn't need lawyers). It's been known to happen in real life. People are easily manipulated, even when the facts are quite clear.

The point in the courtroom was, that they all KNEW he was guilty. They just did not give a crap.
We are not talking OJ simpson case here.
Like "Hey, I am police officer and I plead the fifth when asked if I planted evidance". Yeah the chain of evidance is wanky in that case, too and we were not carefull to NOT containimate the crime scene. But hey, lets try if the glove fits, because that would now help our case. (The only thing were the lawyer tricked the prosecution into doing something by really using social skills without setting it up)
That would be more about: You can get with as many evidance into a case as you want. If you successfully destroy the credebility of the guys who gathered them, it is over. But for this you need those guys to play along.

The point is, that a lot about social skills is, how you set it up. In the movie witness for the prosecution(1957)
In short: A guy killed a rich widow to get her mony. His wife sets herself up as a witniss for the prosecution but gives her husbands lawyer letters describing how she will bring her husband into prison by giving false testamony. All the time she knews he killed the widow and she knews he would be conficted without her.
Giving testamony she tries to seem untrustworthy and is exposed by the lawyer (or at least thats what everybody thinks).
The case of the prosecution (beeing based on her testemony) is obliterated. Espacially because she manages to get everybody against her (I guess even the viewer). Making everybody wanting to believe it is only a plot and building up credebility for the letters.

So should a charisma 7/skill 7 guy be able to make a straight man gay or enough to sleep with him? No, I do not think so. Even not if you give him several hours. The point is the missing angle in most cases and peer presure. Get a lesbian to sleep with him in a society which considers heterosexuallity the norm. More plausible.

Give him an tailored pheromones and an increase Charisma spell and will can talk about it or place them in a society based on the ancient greek. (Emotoy ist just silly ruling)

So I think it should not be a total "does not work". But you should have very high modifiers for the more extrem things. (Forcing you to balance them out with positiv modifiers)
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (The Dread Polack @ Dec 19 2012, 09:36 AM) *
I agree. I am AFB right now. What is a PAB?


A PAB is a Programmable Assist Biofeedback machine. You use them in Shadowrun to "program" people, fix their mental problems, Insert alternate personalities, etc.
The Dread Polack
I try not to debate reality too much on RPG forums, but I'll do it a little bit here.

First, I'll agree that you obviously can't erase or change facts with charm alone. In a trial, you might be able to get people to tamper with evidence, and maybe you can socially engineer that too, but there's a point where it's getting so rediculous that it may as well be impossible. I wouldn't want to let a player think that he never has to worry because he can always roll enough successes on a persuasion test to get out of any situation.

The thing about a trial, however, is that you are judged by a jury, not the facts. The truth can be obvious, but they only have to believe you're guilty to find you guility, or have doubt to find you not-guilty. Innocents go to prison every day in America. Years later, we find out that an obvious travesty of justice put them there, and how could they have found him guilty? In truth, it wasn't a single suave fast-talker, it was probably generations of racism or a public panic combined with a "tough on crime" policy. AND, a prosecution that knew how to manipulate it.

Some pretty exciting books, movies, and TV shows are all about a single suave fast-talker doing all these things, and that's why I'd tend to run with it in my game.

I think we know enough these days to know that you're not going to turn a stright person gay, or vice versa. That's why California is outlawing facilities that are trying to do just that. But, I only said you could get a straight man to have sex with another man. In fact, there are real-world examples of this happening all the time, although usually the victims are minors. I only meant to imply that doing so would be an extreme act, and I should have used the word "coersion".

First of all, if a player proposed such a thing, my actual reaction would be "No, I'm just not going there," but in theory, it could be done by a clever enough character willing to do some very nasty things.
Lionhearted
I think a lot of what's missing here is the absolute massive influence of having an altered mental state. People seem to do stupid things when they aren't sober, worth noting is that altered states are not just caused by substances but surrounding.

QUOTE (Blade @ Dec 19 2012, 05:41 PM) *
Some people have been able to get victims to remember things that never happened to them, and big things like domestic abuse and rape... It's impressive what you can do "socially".

Memory is a funny thing, it's easily influenced because of the way it works.

QUOTE
peer pressure

Peer pressure is a very strong factor in some cases and rather irrelevant in others. It's certainly more powerful if the person is already in an altered state.

QUOTE
Get a lesbian to sleep with him in a society which considers heterosexuallity the norm. More plausible.

I don't know why'd you think that smile.gif
The Dread Polack
All of these things are true, and there are some very interesting and scary experiments that show this.
Irion
@Lionhearted
QUOTE
I don't know why'd you think that smile.gif

Come on. A lot of people make money claiming they can turn gay people straight. I think pretty much bogus in the long run but you know they probably get them to sleep with a woman/man once.

I made the opposite example with beeing in the ancient greek society. Want the girl on girl thing place her in an extremist feminist circle.

It gives the "face" an angle to work with. All are doing it! You do not want to change (or move outside of bounderies) if you consider yourself the norm and you even think it could have a bad influance on your futur life.
It is about self image. If you get people to think they "have" to do it, they do it. Build up felt peer pressure and you get people to do crazy things.
And peer pressure works also if you did not drink at all.
Lionhearted
What Im saying that you made it sound like gay women were somehow less gay then gay men, which obviously isn't the case. You would have as much luck getting a gay women to bed a man as you would have a gay man bed a woman.
Irion
@Lionhearted
I was not implying that in any way. The point is just, that a charisma 7 male face should have no problem at all getting an openly gay man to sleep with him (no other things attached). I just did not get into the female face thing, because I was actually absolutly not thinking along the line you were thinking I was thinking. So I thought that I did not need to make this point, for it is obvious.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Irion @ Dec 19 2012, 12:18 PM) *
@Lionhearted
I was not implying that in any way. The point is just, that a charisma 7 male face should have no problem at all getting an openly gay man to sleep with him (no other things attached). I just did not get into the female face thing, because I was actually absolutly not thinking along the line you were thinking I was thinking. So I thought that I did not need to make this point, for it is obvious.


I still disagree with you Irion. It is not that easy.
Irion
@Tymeaus Jalynsfein
With what exactly. I am guessing you just read my statement different from how I understand it. (With no other things attached I was implying that there are no further "issues" like is married)
Lionhearted
That's not the example you gave Irion. Im not sure what you're getting at although...
Anyhow I was just poking fun at the proposition that gay people would somehow be more receptive to straight sex then straight people to gay sex, it doesn't quite work that way and that example made me think of all the stories of men trying to turn gay women. wink.gif

Ehm, suffice to say... homosexuality is accepted and respected by most people here. struck me that it's not like that everywhere and my humour may have been lost nyahnyah.gif
Irion
@Lionhearted
QUOTE
Anyhow I was just poking fun at the proposition that gay people would somehow be more receptive to straight sex then straight people to gay sex, it doesn't quite work that way

Not quite. I was saying it depends on the cirle you are living in, both ways.

I having gay sex appart from beeing against your "desires" can get you a death sentance... Well...
If you have to be at least bisexual to advance in an hierarchy of an organisation with which you agree mostly...

It is not about turning, I thought we agreed on that. And lets be honest, with tailored pheromones in the mix you are going down a dark ally....

QUOTE
That's not the example you gave Irion.

I am a bit confused about that.
Lionhearted
QUOTE (Irion @ Dec 19 2012, 09:06 PM) *
It is not about turning, I thought we agreed on that.

I was not trying to make an argument what so ever, just having some fun with a line that stuck out to me
edit: Oh, I see where you're coming from you're refering to 'norm' as 'the only acceptable outcome' Im refering to norm as 'the most common outcome'.
What I was saying is that in an open and accepting society that's a very funny notion.

QUOTE
I am a bit confused about that.

You said:
Male face and straight man = not likely
Male face and gay woman = more likely.

Then you go on to say in the next post. "Male face and gay man". Just pointing out that that wasn't what you were saying in the first place.

Anyhow, we should try and calm down on this subject. Tis not the purpose of the thread
Irion
@Lionhearted
Alright. I was talking about the influence of the environment it is happening in. You kind of missed that part or I did not make it clear enough. Probably the later.
So to make it clear:
Women trying to sleep with a gay men in a gay bar after a gay pride parade. Very hard, unless drugs are involved.
Women trying to sleep with a born again christian who happens to be gay. I can see an angle there.
Women trying to sleep with a gay man who will only inherit huge amounts of money if he proves to his father he is sexually active with a women.

Can write the same thing down with man...

@Norm
Not only but still being of advantage.
QUOTE
What I was saying is that in an open and accepting society that's a very funny notion.

Call me, if you find such a society...Everybody has some stick up their ass.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Irion @ Dec 19 2012, 12:39 PM) *
@Tymeaus Jalynsfein
With what exactly. I am guessing you just read my statement different from how I understand it. (With no other things attached I was implying that there are no further "issues" like is married)


The highlighted part of the post I was replying to...
I actually know people (not people I would call friends, but there you go) who would cause you physical harm if you tried to convinve them to partake in a Gay encounter. There is absolutley nothing you can say to convince them that it would be a good thing. *shrug*
Irion
@Tymeaus Jalynsfein
Well, I was not contradicting that.
Glyph
I think PC vs. PC is a real minefield, both because the rules are so vague and subjective, and because what one player may see as convincing the other PC of something, the other player might see as having his character's personality essentially re-written with a dice roll. The "turn a character gay" thing, which seems to come up a lot, is one example of this.

Yeah, there are lots of experiments that demonstrate how fallible memory is and how people can actually be manipulated more easily than they would imagine. But if calling for a certain result from a dice roll breaks someone's immersion in the game, it still doesn't matter. You are sacrificing verisimilitude for a dubious "realism" that doesn't add anything good to the game.

I tend to agree with the other posters who feel that social skills need to be applied tactically, and that they can't always be used in every situation. In real life, con men (even the really, really good ones) get the hell out of dodge after fleecing a mark; in Shadowrun, they can just make another roll to fool the target all over again. There are people in real life with the equivalent of 1's in all of their mental stats, who could never, ever be convinced that a certain viewpoint of theirs is wrong, even when confronted with all of the logical flaws and inconsistencies of that viewpoint. Even in movies and fiction, a good source for what a supernatural face might be like, the smooth-talking hero's social skills are not a magic bullet that can get him out of every situation - a lot of times they will be faced with a gullible moron who still won't budge a milimeter for them.
sk8bcn
QUOTE (Irion @ Dec 19 2012, 09:40 PM) *
@Lionhearted
Alright. I was talking about the influence of the environment it is happening in. You kind of missed that part or I did not make it clear enough. Probably the later.
So to make it clear:
Women trying to sleep with a gay men in a gay bar after a gay pride parade. Very hard, unless drugs are involved.
Women trying to sleep with a born again christian who happens to be gay. I can see an angle there.
Women trying to sleep with a gay man who will only inherit huge amounts of money if he proves to his father he is sexually active with a women.

Can write the same thing down with man...

@Norm
Not only but still being of advantage.

Call me, if you find such a society...Everybody has some stick up their ass.



mmmm

I think your definition of "environment" is misleading.

Exemple 1: is a case of trial of charming. Here, you have an environment like I understand the environment word. And it's nigh impossible to succeed whatever the woman's charisma.

Exemple 2 isn't for me a situationnal environment. The guy grew up in a certain "milieu" (in french) which affects his whole personnality. It affects you if you've been taught your whole childhood the "evilness" of homosexuality. So yes, I agree that it would be possible.

Exemple 3 doesn't fit that much neither to me. It's not a case of charming. It's a case of bribery.


IMO, the original statement that
"No matter how many dices you have, some things will automatically fail".

Some straigth people cannot be convinced (with mental altering substances) to have gay sex, no matter the ability at charming of the other one.


I, for exemple, couldn't be convinced to try drug. I might party with people taking it, I won't do it myself. It goes too deeply against my valors.
Lionhearted
@Glyph I make a habit of never bringing real word logic into a game argument. At the same time, being able to do something according to the rules does not mean that a GM should allow it, there should always be impossible scenarios and failure state... Currently I haven't really decided on how to prevent a pornomancer from playing every lowly grunts by his strings and at the same time not being an bullheaded naysayer.
Blade
Here are two proposals for better social rules.

The first is a twist on the combat rules, to add "social combat". It's familiar, and can be interesting for campaign with a big emphasis on reputation and social status, but it doesn't really fix the issues people can have with social rules.
The second add a whole new layer on top of the existing social rules. It sound good in my head, but I haven't tested it so it might have holes/errors I haven't noticed.

PROPOSAL 1 - Social Combat

It started as a joke, but some people liked it, so here it is.

Social Monitor

- Each character has an additional "wit" monitor. This monitor has 8+Charisma/2 boxes. If you want to play a game where social combat can put someone out of the game, you can add a "reputation" monitor as well with 8+Charisma/2 boxes.
- Wound modifiers of these monitors are applied to social tests.
- When the wit monitor is filled, the character is sensitive to all persuasion attempts (within reason) and unable to persuade anyone. When the reputation monitor is filled, the character is hung out to dry and might consider suicide.
- For every hour when a character is not using his social skills, he can do a charisma+intuition roll to heal damages to his wit monitor. For each day when the character is laying low, he can roll charisma+willpower to heal damages to his reputation monitor.
- Some actions (such as friendly support) can quickly heal damages, the way first aid do.

Use of social combat
Social combat is mostly used to persuade someone, though it can be used in some circumstances to social destroy that person. Characters engaged in social combat can stop the combat when they want by accepting to be persuaded or by stopping to try to persuade. Most NPC will stop combat when their social "wound modifiers" are equal or higher than their professional rating.

Social combat is one on one only (allies can give modifiers) and each person acts after the other, no matter how many initiative passes they have.

Attack
Attacks are done with one of the attack skill (con, intimidation, negociation, leadership) with Charisma. Modifiers can be applied depending on the situation.
The attacker chooses if he wants to damage wit or reputation. Attacking reputation leads to a -6 modifier for the attacker.
Base damage is Charisma/2 but social weapons (evidence of a scandalous behavior for example) can be used.

Defense
The defender opposes the attacker's roll with intuition + a social skill (according to his style of defense). This shows his ability to understand the goal of the attacker and replying correctly. If he's got more net hits than the attacker, the defender is unaffected by the attack. Situational modifiers can be applied if the character has elements that could help him see the attack coming.

Full Defense
A character can go to full defense whenever he wants. He can then add his charisma to his defense rolls. A character can't counter attack as long as he's in full defense.

Soak
If the attacker has at least one net hit, the defender must soak damage with willpower+charisma (+ social armor if available).

Social Weapons
The use of a social weapon requires the use of some information or stuff. Here are some examples, but they can be extended to many other situations.

For example:
Basic blackmail (Intimidation) : Charisma. "Be careful! I've got files on you!"
Light blackmail (Intimidation) : Charisma/2+2. "I know you're flirting with the boss' daughter"
Regular blackmail (Intimidation) : Charisma/2+4. "I've got pictures of you with the boss' daughter".
Heavy blackmail (Intimidation) : Charisma/2+6. "I've got pictures of you with the boss' two years old daughter".

Basic Confusion (Con) : Charisma/2. "And that's when Bob, no not Silvia's brother, the other, Bob's cousin. The other Bob. So, he arrives there and tells Silvia, no not the same Silvia! [...]"
Light confusion (Con) : Charisma/2+2. The attacker has some elements to confuse the defender.
Regular Confusion (Con) : Charisma/2+4. The attacker has credible evidence that can make the defender question his own opinions.
Total Confusion (Con) : Charisma/2+6. The attacker has enough new elements to completely break the defender's system of thought.

No Authority (Leadership) : Charisma/2. "You shut up and let me in!"
A little authority (Leadership) : Charisma/2+2 "Health control, here's my plaque."
Regular Authority (Leadership) : Charisma/2+4 "Health control, here's our access codes, you've been warned by e-mail two weeks ago."
Overwhelming Authority (Leadership) : Charisma/2+6 [Over the noise of the sanitary service helicopter where 3 squads in NBC suits are coming from] "Health control, here is a note from the President. We'll take over from here".

Word (Negociation) : Charisma/2 "You let me in and I owe you one."
Small bribe (Negociation) : Charisma/2+2. "I can't seem to find my access card, I just have this hundred dollar bill. I don't like dollars, I prefer credsticks, do you know what I could do with this?"
Regular bribe (Negociation) : Charisma/2+4 "You're right, this isn't my access card, this is the keycard for my Westwind right there."
Huge bribe (Negociation) : Charisma/2+6 "You'll find this every monday morning in your mailbox. Try not to spend it all at once."

Social Armor

Little authority: +1 "Dad said you can't come in"
De facto authority: +2 Dad: "You can't come in"
Regular authority: +4 "Sorry, I've been ordered to let nobody in"
High authority: +6 "If I let you in, I lose my job"
Overwhelming authority: +8 "If I let you in, my head explodes"

Support: +2 when the character's opinion is supported by the majority in the situation

Advanced rules
- A "martial art" system could be imagined, with special moves like playing with the target's emotions to get bonuses (similar to "Setup") or countering the attacker's arguments (similar to counter-attack), etc.

- This system can be used for insult swordfights.

-----

PROPOSAL 2 - Pressure System

If a roll is needed, it's because the target has reasons not to do what you want him to do. There are three kinds of pressure that can lead to him refusing: personal (moral code, personal gain), reputational (peer pressure) and societal (orders, laws, etc.). These pressures can be cumulative, or can compete.


Pressures
Each pressure is associated with a force:
1 = No big deal
2 = Kind of a deal
4 = That's all it's about

This force is multiplied by the pressure's multiplier:
Individual: character's Willpower
Reputational: character's loyalty to the group (1 to 6)
Societal: society's impact on the character (1 to 4)

When in a social situation, the GM calculates the pressures the target has, in respect to the situation at hand.

For example, a guard tasked with guarding a place will have at least a societal pressure of 4 (that's the whole point of his job)*3 (his corporation has a huge impact on his life) = 12. But that's not all: if he fails at his task, he'll lose his reputation among his co-workers. But it's not such a big deal, so it's only worth 1*4 = 4
Depending on his personal motivation, there can also be an individual pressure. If the character's life revolves around protecting that place from dangerous terrorists, this will add another 4*Willpower pressure. If he doesn't care and just wait for the end of the day, there won't be any pressure.


In order to persuade the target to go against these pressures, the Shadowrunners have three ways: go around them, add a temporary pressure or change a pressure's multiplier. When the total pressure value is 0 or less, the persuasion attempt succeeds.

Working around a pressure
The first solution implies finding a way to avoid the pressure from applying in the situation. This is done using the basic Shadowrun rules, but the character needs to have a convincing way to remove the pressure and he needs to have at least Force net hits (without the multiplier). If the attacker wins but doesn't have enough net hits, he can try again with a -2 modifier. If the defender wins, the attacker can no longer try to convince him on that topic. The defender also gets his net hits as bonus dice for all social test against the attacker during the rest of the social encounter.

In the example, the Shadowrunner can try to convince the guard that he's his boss, so that the societal pressure will be removed. But if the guard has a personal pressure to protect the place, it will stay there: even if his boss tells him to leave the place, he doesn't feel comfortable in leaving it open for Shadowrunners to infiltrate.

In some cases, intermediate steps might be needed. If the Shadowrunner doesn't look like the guard's boss, he'll have to find a way to explain why someone else than his boss would give him orders. For example, he can try to convince the guard that he's replacing his boss because he's sick. This will require another test. With each additional test, the target receives a +2 bonus to his opposition roll.

Temporary pressures
The second solution means adding other pressures that will compete with the existing pressures. For example, if the Shadowrunner threatens the guard to kill his wife if he doesn't leave his position, or tries to bribe the guard, the guard will have an individual pressure that will compete against the societal pressure enforced by his work.

The force of the pressure depends on the pressure itself (if the defender is well paid, the bribe will be a force 1 pressure, if he's in dire need of cash, it will be a force 4 pressure). The multiplier will be the number of net hits the attacker has. The action takes the time of the discussion.

For example, what happens if the Pornomancer uses his usual tactics: seducing the guard to get in? Seducing the guard to get in means adding a reputational pressure: the character is pressured to do something in order to please a group (or in that case a character) he wants to please. Since he just met the Pornomancer, it's not that much of a deal if he doesn't please him, so the force will be 1. This means that the Pornomancer will need 12 hits for the guard to let him in, assuming the guard has only his job's pressure.

Please note that the defender can also resolve some pressure on his own. For example if the attacker adds pressure by threatening to kill him, the guard can remove (or at least reduce) this pressure by calling for backup. Also, some pressure the attacker can apply can trigger other pressures the defender has. For example, bribing the defender can trigger the societal pressure of an anti-bribery policy, as well as reputational pressure and personal pressure about taking bribe (which can be for or against bribe-taking). For each net hit in a Negociation (Sense Motive), the player can ask about one of the target's reaction to one pressure.

Changing pressures
Finally, the attacker can try to change the multiplier of an existing pressure or add a new permanent pressure. To do so, the character does an extended social test (targeted multiplier*defender's willpower, 1 week) using the skill that matches his style. The defender can oppose the rolls if he's opposed to the change.

In the guard example, the Shadowrunner can for example try to lower the company's pressure multiplier by convincing the guard to look for another employer, or he can convince the guard that his company is doing bad things, adding a new personal pressure, or he can become friends with the guard, adding a new reputational pressure.
Lionhearted
Any system that allows for insult jousting is downright amazing!
Glyph
It's an improvement over the vagueness of the existing rules, but it is about the opposite of how I feel about social skills, philosophically. I play a game to roleplay out my characters reactions and interactions with the other characters and NPCs. Rolling dice is an intrusion into this, that takes me out of my immersion in the character. My personal preference for social skills is to minimize the dice-rolling, using it for simple, quantifiable tests (such as bluffing past a bouncer or getting a ganger to back down), or to give everyone a general idea of how convincing the character was at something.

Not everyone plays that way, though. Some people see their characters more as "game tokens", or see the results of social skill tests as an exercise in method acting, so more quantifiable and coherent rules would help them.
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