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Ok, I'm making this face build as mentioned in another thread. Just really starting to get into the deeper side of social skill and I'm seeing that they are extremely powerful tools. It seems at a certain point a face could pretty much intimidate or fast talk out of anything. So what stops a face from walking into the office of any given Corp and intimidating/fast talking/etc the CEO into turning over power to them? Or a dragon into being thier bitch, etc. Seems, well, limitless. Anything I'm missing?
GM fiat.
Rule of thumb: No matter what, you can't persuade someone to give up that which means the most to them. ohplease.gif
Good point although people have done stranger things for "love".. But seems you could still do some insane things. You might not be able to Fast talk a CEO into giving you his job but probably a VP job without so much as an interview or references. Such things seem beyond the means of even the best BSer. frown.gif
Eyeless Blond
Well, as I see it it's similar to asking how anyone can ever beat a melee-centered adept, if he can walk up to just about anyone and kill them with a few punches. The answer is that, eventually, someone just refuses to play by your rules. The adept gets shot from a rooftop by a sniper rifle; the face goes to jail for various kinds of con artistry.

(Edit): Plus in those cases you should be getting severe TN modifiers, particularly in cases where you're trying to persuade someone to do something they're really disinclined to do, and could reflect badly on them in the future. TN mods usually win out over dice every day of the week.
Language is also a barrier to any persuasion job. Especially if you do not speak their 'dialect'. (The fact that the face doesn't speak business slang might already impose a high TN penalty when attempting to persuade anyone higher than the rank of Manager. It's nothing a gun to the head won't fix, but that's not the face's purpose, isn't it?)
And unless you're the kind of person who gives thousands of dollars to Nigerian email scammers there is only so much information or whatever you're going to give up to a total stranger who starts asking stuff of you.
Very good points but I think at a certain point a high TN goign by the basic rules isn't so high, thinking its going to take a GM to set in and add situational mods.

Investing in extra languages and streetspeaks is probably good idea as well.
And unless you're the kind of person who gives thousands of dollars to Nigerian email scammers there is only so much information or whatever you're going to give up to a total stranger who starts asking stuff of you.

rofl. Yeah I guess. But think about that how many thousands of emails before that one sucker believes him. Its like having a 1 in Fast talk and rolling against a TN of 130. If you roll that 6 enough times you will get a success.
Of course, one success doesn't really mean that much. You need lots and lots of net successes.

While I'd say you can get most reasonable things done with five net successes, you'd need a lot more to persuade someone to do something totally outrageous. Of course, every so often people do botch...
If all else fails, impose multiple rolls. Doesn't solve the problem completely, but anyone who gets through all that in one piece deserves that break anyway.
I'll second the "GM Fiat" rule.

People do stupid things all the time -- just read the Darwin Awards one afternoon.

Could a tiny elf chick face down a 500 pound troll through Intimidation? Maybe. Although I'd have to go with "probably not" without some serious secondary modifiers.

I'd suggest that the player in above example would have to produce some plausible background material beyond skills to make the troll reconsider. Wearing an "Ancients" gang patch might help. Having just crushed in the side of an APC might help. You know, little things like that.

Hell, I remember the story about two plumbers with a high school degree conning millions from Wall Street bankers.

Now granted, the CEO wouldn't be conned easily...but he's only human after all.


One other thing to consider when useing social skills is the analogy of barking up the wrong tree. If the job position for CEO is not available (i.e. the CEO doesn't want to give up his job), all the fast talking in the world probbably won't get you the job. Although, the face might be able to fast talk the CEO into considering giving up his job, depending on how well the face was able to fast talk him. Or trying to convince the Dragon to be your little bitch is not really an option. So all the fast talking in the world is not going to make it happen. It most likely will make you into lunch.

However, if there is already the possibility for the outcome to happen, then fast talking can be very effective. For example, fast talking the border guards to let you cross the border (when you are trying to cross illegally without the guards knowing) can be successful. There is a good possibility that you are just a legitimate traveller and want to cross for whatever innocent reasons. That is an example of fast talking being successful and with reasonable TNs as well.

If the CEO was looking to hire a blond to be his new personal secretary, then the face could try and fast talk her way into that position, especially if she smooshes (??) him over and knock his socks off.

But, the best a face can do, when trying to convince someone to do something that is not a real possibility, is to get that other person to consider it for awhile. And depending on your # of successes will determine how long that person will think about the new possibility. Which can prove to be useful in and of itself.

Social skills are something that the GM must take into consideration, and not just arbitrarily set TNs, but also apply the context to the situation to determine the outcome.

All that etiquette does, really, is let you "fit in" with a group or subculture. Things like intimidation and negotiation are harder to handle with nothing but the die rolls.

I simply think that social skills can only do so much - they are NOT mind control, and they can not make someone do something completely against their nature or their self-interest. It's like someone with a 12 Stealth; they still won't make it across a wide-open, deserted plaza that has security cameras trained on every inch of it. The same way, your troll won't seduce the lesbian Humanis Policlub leader, no matter how high he rolls. Even if you somehow get umpteen more successes than the Johnson, he still has a hard limit on how much he can offer you for the job, set by his employers. And so on.

You have to set firm limits to what social skills can do. The absolute worst munchkin, in my opinion, is the one who says "Hey! 12 successes! Looks like that chick is sleeping with me tonight!"
Personally, I find the best way to take the edge off social skills is to not let it come down to a dice roll alone. If a character is trying to negotiate, fast talk or whatever, I want to hear the player make the arguement. I say to them, "All right, what does your character say?" I then weigh what he/she said with the actual dice roll and make my decison on what the NPC will do.

I personally find that it's the best way to deal with the so called "Nuke Syndrome", which is when the NPC refuses to belive he's in danger with a nuke pointed at his head just beacuse an intimidation roll was blown.
Moonstone Spider
As mentioned here already, con-artists actually have pulled off all the amazing stunts mentioned as impossible here (Aside from the dragon bit, of course).

There are people so psychologically scary they cow bruisers 5 times their size. Every now and then on the news you hear about somebody who has pulled off an amazing con (I recall a blond guy who barely spoke English (with a thick accent), who managed to convince a vast number of hollywood stars to give him millions by claiming he was a member of the British Royal Family.)

Sure, hand in the nasty TNs but the fact is, if the Face is skilled enough it could happen.
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