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  • Profile Character?

    Hello all,
    I am running a game and one of the characters has some Investigation chops/charms, and I was trying to figure out what type of information they would have as I am still having issues comprehending the social-fu system part of Investigation. Basically what do you figure out through the Profile Character action?

    1) I assume that Profile Character, does not reveal intimacies as that is Socialize and Bureaucracy stuff.

    2) If they have an intimacy, related to concealing something or Avenging something, I assume you would find that out from the Profile but it would be something vague like a low slow burning anger, or a suspicious fear in his or her behavior?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Citadel97501 View Post
    Hello all,
    I am running a game and one of the characters has some Investigation chops/charms, and I was trying to figure out what type of information they would have as I am still having issues comprehending the social-fu system part of Investigation. Basically what do you figure out through the Profile Character action?

    1) I assume that Profile Character, does not reveal intimacies as that is Socialize and Bureaucracy stuff.

    2) If they have an intimacy, related to concealing something or Avenging something, I assume you would find that out from the Profile but it would be something vague like a low slow burning anger, or a suspicious fear in his or her behavior?

    This is basically what the profile character action is.


    Evocations for the demonic tattoos gained from the Pact with Mara sorcerous initiation || Pyre-Kindler (Soulsteel and Red Jade Grimscythe, Artifact 3) || Tenebrous Descent (Stormcaller's Black Jade Reaver Daiklave cousin, Artifact 5)
    Advice for running the corebook shikari antagonists

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Citadel97501 View Post
      1) I assume that Profile Character, does not reveal intimacies as that is Socialize and Bureaucracy stuff.

      2) If they have an intimacy, related to concealing something or Avenging something, I assume you would find that out from the Profile but it would be something vague like a low slow burning anger, or a suspicious fear in his or her behavior?
      Profile Character does not interact with Intimacies at all. Rather, it reveals clues and hidden details – bloodstains on a shirt, gaudy jewelry that betrays a parvenu, hidden scars from a lifetime of slavery, and so on.

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      • #4
        Essentially, profile character can do one of two different (but conceptually related) things:
        1. Determine broad-strokes background and/or personality of a character, as in the Sherlock Holmes scene quoted above. "This so-called servant carries herself like a trained warrior."; "He may be rich, but I can tell he wasn't born to wealth. He's a self made man, probably through the spice trade." This doesn't give you specific intimacies on its own (for instance, we don't know how the spice trader feels about his humble origins or the exalted (small e!) circles he now moves in), but it can give tactically useful information; "This bureaucract is a social climber concerned with enriching himself over Confucian ideals of righteous governance" would indicate this character is probably amenable to bribery, for instance.
        2. As The MG says, noticing specific physical details or clues related to an ongoing or nascent investigation; mud on his shoes indicates he was near the docks recently, or similar.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by The MG View Post
          Profile Character does not interact with Intimacies at all.
          I wouldn't go that far. As aluminiumtrioxid already pointed out, Profile Character is basically what Sherlock Holmes does all the time - use their powers of observation to derive insight into the target's character and nature from observable details. I would say that Profile Character should definitely be able to tell how many intimacies a target has, and their strength. If the object of an intimacy or a symbol representing it is present, I'd also give the profiler that information, and probably at least a hint as to the emotional context. Similarly, for principles, if the profiler has a record of the target's actions, or witnesses themselves, they should get a sense of what the principle actually is.

          So, Solar Sherlock could say to her companion, "Observe, Watasuna, the Dragonblooded officer, Sesus Aram, has a necklace crafted of fine obsidian and turquoise, with the mon of House Ragara inscribed on it. As any informed individual knows, such items are given as a wedding gift to one's spouse, so we can conclude she is married, to someone from House Ragara. Now, of course, such items are often worn while among Realm society simply out of social convention. But Winglord Aram wears hers here in Great Forks, far from the watchful eyes of her fellow Dynasts. And take note of how her hand often goes to touch it in a variety of circumstances, usually closely connected with a pensive expression. From this, we deduce that the individual who gave her that piece is often in her thoughts, and she considers him when making decisions."

          In game terms, I'd give Solar Sherlock the information that Sesus Aram has a Major tie to someone, most likely her spouse, and that the emotional context is likely to be something respectful or thoughtful, rather than pure passion (either positive or negative).

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post

            I wouldn't go that far. As aluminiumtrioxid already pointed out, Profile Character is basically what Sherlock Holmes does all the time - use their powers of observation to derive insight into the target's character and nature from observable details. I would say that Profile Character should definitely be able to tell how many intimacies a target has, and their strength. If the object of an intimacy or a symbol representing it is present, I'd also give the profiler that information, and probably at least a hint as to the emotional context. Similarly, for principles, if the profiler has a record of the target's actions, or witnesses themselves, they should get a sense of what the principle actually is.

            So, Solar Sherlock could say to her companion, "Observe, Watasuna, the Dragonblooded officer, Sesus Aram, has a necklace crafted of fine obsidian and turquoise, with the mon of House Ragara inscribed on it. As any informed individual knows, such items are given as a wedding gift to one's spouse, so we can conclude she is married, to someone from House Ragara. Now, of course, such items are often worn while among Realm society simply out of social convention. But Winglord Aram wears hers here in Great Forks, far from the watchful eyes of her fellow Dynasts. And take note of how her hand often goes to touch it in a variety of circumstances, usually closely connected with a pensive expression. From this, we deduce that the individual who gave her that piece is often in her thoughts, and she considers him when making decisions."

            In game terms, I'd give Solar Sherlock the information that Sesus Aram has a Major tie to someone, most likely her spouse, and that the emotional context is likely to be something respectful or thoughtful, rather than pure passion (either positive or negative).
            Granted, but it wouldn't necessarily help with such questions as "What does this person want to get out of this negotiation?" or "What's the social dynamic of this party?" that Socialize is really good at giving you.

            And, absent specific description like that already present in the scene, I'd want a good stunt or something from the player before granting them more than just "she's wearing a special medalion, commonly given to a spouse, so she's almost certainly married." Getting the emotional context of that might be better handled as a subsequent Read Intentions action to find out how she feels about her spouse.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post

              Granted, but it wouldn't necessarily help with such questions as "What does this person want to get out of this negotiation?" or "What's the social dynamic of this party?" that Socialize is really good at giving you.
              Agreed here. Profile Character, IMO, has overlap with Read Intentions, but it's definitely not 100% - a character with strong "social perception" should really be using both.


              Originally posted by BrilliantRain
              And, absent specific description like that already present in the scene, I'd want a good stunt or something from the player before granting them more than just "she's wearing a special medalion, commonly given to a spouse, so she's almost certainly married."
              I think this is overly restrictive, though. If you can't use Profile Character to, well, profile someone, then the action is, at least, badly named. And profiling someone absolutely includes insight about their overall motivations, which is covered mostly by intimacies in 3e. Like I said, I probably wouldn't give too much emotional context if the object of an intimacy wasn't present, but if they are, a good detective should be able to work out things like "they're in love with them, and would do anything to help them".

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              • #8
                The way I see it, players are making characters who excel at profile character actions because they want to be observant like Sherlock Holmes, drawing astonishing conclusions from the smallest of details. Part of that fantasy is actually being the smart person, however, so you either want to put in clues that strongly point towards a given conclusion but don't spell it out explicitly, or offer multiple possible explanations, from which the player can pick out the correct one based on other pieces of information they already have. What I don't recommend is withholding information the characters should logically have access to in the name of 'preserving a mystery' or 'avoiding Investigation to step on the toes of Socialize'. Giving out information is a good thing! Information helps your players make decisions and engage with the game world! They generally fail to act on, forget or misinterpret clues on their own anyway, there's no need to be stingy!


                Evocations for the demonic tattoos gained from the Pact with Mara sorcerous initiation || Pyre-Kindler (Soulsteel and Red Jade Grimscythe, Artifact 3) || Tenebrous Descent (Stormcaller's Black Jade Reaver Daiklave cousin, Artifact 5)
                Advice for running the corebook shikari antagonists

                Comment


                • #9
                  You can probably use Profile Character to observe that a character's attire or rout of travel suggests he goes to weekly rallies of the Green Sashes, the satrapy's group of rebel agitators. You can also use Read Intentions to tell that he has a strong sympathy for the ideas of the Green Sashes and discern he has a Major Tie of Respect for them.

                  The flavor of the information is different there, and they don't quite serve the same purpose, but this is the kind of overlap I imagine to be present between them.


                  Leetsepeak's Ex3 Homebrew Hub - Hub of homebrew for Exalted 3rd Edition that I've made.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post

                    Agreed here. Profile Character, IMO, has overlap with Read Intentions, but it's definitely not 100% - a character with strong "social perception" should really be using both.




                    I think this is overly restrictive, though. If you can't use Profile Character to, well, profile someone, then the action is, at least, badly named. And profiling someone absolutely includes insight about their overall motivations, which is covered mostly by intimacies in 3e. Like I said, I probably wouldn't give too much emotional context if the object of an intimacy wasn't present, but if they are, a good detective should be able to work out things like "they're in love with them, and would do anything to help them".
                    The issue here is that, in many cases, the information about the character in the ST's head consists of "Sesua Aram is married and likes her husband" and once things go into play that information can manifest in tons of different ways and only some of those ways really work with a Profile Action. Which means that it's best to have a good rubric to decide what information you're going to give for what roll beforehand so you can decide whether or not Sesus Aram even has a marriage necklace or not, let alone whether she touches it as a sign of comfort.

                    I think I'd generally try to say that Profile Character actions can tell you "who someone is" while Read Intentions tell you "how they feel." Profile Character can tell you someone's job, where they were, what they do, whether they're married, and so on. Read Intentions can tell you how they feel right now, what they want from this negotiation, etc. I'd say that using both together would get you a lot more, if only because the Profile Character gave you a bunch of little clues that you can use to fuel your Read Intentions actions to figure out how they feel about their job or their wife, and everything.


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