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​What breaks if... Presence gains more effectiveness when it 'laps' Resolve?

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  • ​What breaks if... Presence gains more effectiveness when it 'laps' Resolve?

    (Inspired by http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...ooded-presence)

    Exalted Social-fu is pretty good as a means of modeling the ebb and flow of interaction without simply devolving into treating socialization as a combat analog. In particular, the 'you need a relevant Intimacy or you simply can't persuade someone to do something' provides a good check on casually overthrowing an empire.

    However, it is very pass/fail; either you overcome someone's Resolve or you don't, either you have a relevant Intimacy or you don't, etcetc. The margin of success doesn't especially matter- troublesome when 'blowing out the difficulty curve' is a key element of the Solar schtick, and which is redoubled by the focus on Presence charms giving an enhanced ability to succeed- when success or failure is probably not the interesting question.

    To wit, be it proposed: Each time a character's Resolve is exceeded by a Persuade or Instill attempt, the instigator may select one of the following benefits:
    * The intimacy they are leveraging is treated as one higher, to a maximum of Defining. (If there is no relevant intimacy, they are treated as leveraging a Minor intimacy)
    * Resisting requires spending an additional Willpower.

    For each time that margain of success laps the target's Resolve, the instigator may select another benefit. They may select the same benefit more than once.

    Scenario:

    Peasant Bob has a Resolve of 3.

    The Irresitable Social Princess desires that Bob should undertake some useful course of action for her. Said action is significant, but not life threatening, and so will require a Major Intimacy.

    Bob has no particularly useful Intimacies.

    ISP blows her Charisma + Presence roll out of the water, with 10 successes, giving her two benefits (one at 6 successes, one at 9)

    She opts to leverage an intimacy twice (going from nothing to Major), allowing her to even attempt the persuade attempt. Bob doesn't do any of that, and so- starstruck at meeting the ISP -he goes to do the thing.




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  • #2
    You also don't get anything particularly special from getting a dozen more successes than you needed on a roll to Introduce a Fact, either. Nor for getting all tens when treating a disease in a patient. Nor for an amazing Read Intentions roll. The number of places in the system where you're rewarded for throwing vastly more successes than the difficulty of the action - as opposed to simply meeting or exceeding the difficulty - is actually fairly minimal outside of the combat system, and most of the rewards you do get in those cases are the result of Charms.

    ​As such, I disagree with your assertion that "'blowing out the difficulty curve' is a key element of the Solar schtick." Much of the time, a Solar who throws a full Excellency against a low-difficulty roll outside of combat is just wasting motes.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 02-11-2019, 10:59 PM.

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    • #3
      I agree with Alucard, but if you want to implement the system some things you might want to watch out for are Solars targeting weak resolve characters in odd situations and blowing out their difficulty. You could have otherwise really powerful people that ‘only’ have a 4 resolve, and easily persuade them to betray a major intimacy with a few words.

      I think that’s the more dangerous part, not the willpower resist. For instance Sesus Nezzegar has a resolve of 3, boostable to 4 by charms. If you can get 12 successes, which isn’t hard for a handsome solar against his appearance 3, you can just get him to do anything that doesn’t directly conflict with his other defining intimacies, and that’s maybe a bit powerful.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
        You also don't get anything particularly special from getting a dozen more successes than you needed on a roll to Introduce a Fact, either. Nor for getting all tens when treating a disease in a patient. Nor for an amazing Read Intentions roll. The number of places in the system where you're rewarded for throwing vastly more successes than the difficulty of the action - as opposed to simply meeting or exceeding the difficulty - is actually fairly minimal outside of the combat system, and most of the rewards you do get in those cases are the result of Charms.

        ​As such, I disagree with your assertion that "'blowing out the difficulty curve' is a key element of the Solar schtick." Much of the time, a Solar who throws a full Excellency against a low-difficulty roll outside of combat is just wasting motes.
        Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
        I agree with Alucard, but if you want to implement the system some things you might want to watch out for are Solars targeting weak resolve characters in odd situations and blowing out their difficulty. You could have otherwise really powerful people that ‘only’ have a 4 resolve, and easily persuade them to betray a major intimacy with a few words.

        I think that’s the more dangerous part, not the willpower resist. For instance Sesus Nezzegar has a resolve of 3, boostable to 4 by charms. If you can get 12 successes, which isn’t hard for a handsome solar against his appearance 3, you can just get him to do anything that doesn’t directly conflict with his other defining intimacies, and that’s maybe a bit powerful.
        Fair points. I mean, I think that may indicate either an intentional weakness or an oversight in Nezzegar's design, but either way, fair points. Probably effort better spent on exploring charm space.

        That said, I think there's definitely charm space in Presence for a 'You demolish their Resolve by so much you get bonus goodies'. Hell, probably space in introducing facts and curing disease for that too


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        • #5
          Originally posted by wastevens View Post



          Fair points. I mean, I think that may indicate either an intentional weakness or an oversight in Nezzegar's design, but either way, fair points. Probably effort better spent on exploring charm space.

          That said, I think there's definitely charm space in Presence for a 'You demolish their Resolve by so much you get bonus goodies'. Hell, probably space in introducing facts and curing disease for that too
          What ifl you did something like gave bonus dice to the next persuade roll after a successful instill action? Something to help you keep up the momentum or something. "You have now arise my hatred for the realm to defining levels, and damnit your right, we SHOULD do something!"

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          • #6
            Making a charm that says "if you roll twice the target's resistance on a social influence roll, you may treat a minor intimacy in support of your argument as a major one or degrade the effectiveness of an opposing intimacy by 1 step or they have to spend 2 wp to resist" sounds reasonable to me, but it shouldn't be open ended. Being able to walk up to a person with resolve 2, roll 6+ successes, and now they're your adoring servant and you just used the Excellency is probably not a desired goal for this system.


            ....

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            • #7
              Yeah, having it as part of a specific charm seems like the most balanced option.


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              • #8
                The other thing is, Bob's already an outlier, given his Resolve is somewhere between one-and-a-half to three times as much as your typical peasant. If ISP were to get a roll like that against most other peasants, they wouldn't have enough Willpower to do anything but sign away their lives and livelihoods to her at a word, despite no actual attachment to her, because she's lapped them five to ten times, only using an Excellency.

                Absent potent magics like Hypnotic Tongue Technique, if she really wants to get him to do something inconvenient for her first, she should at least build up his trust or respect for her first, or convince him that the thing she wants him to do, is something that he should want to do.
                Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 02-12-2019, 03:09 AM.

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                • #9
                  I think that with most Abilities, it's an unwritten rule that the ST will usually give you some kind of perk appropriate to the situation if you crush the difficulty under a mountain of successes. I think that with a few exceptions (most of which are already codified, like combat), that approach is better than trying to codify the effects of extravagantly successful rolls.

                  In the case of Social rolls, I think this is especially appropriate given the diversity of things you could be trying to accomplish with them and the ways people might react. Plus it's just more narratively interesting than just saying "people fall over themselves and drop what they're doing to do exactly as you say".

                  Say you're leaning on someone's Minor Tie of Foreigners (Distrust) to convince them not to do business with the swanky Guild merchant who just rolled into town and started spreading money around. If you succeed by a bunch, maybe they'll be inspired to take further actions on their own initiative to make doing business more difficult for the foreign interloper. Or they go and enthusiastically proclaim their decision not to have a bar of this fool to their friends and neighbours, potentially swaying them too.

                  Or maybe you're making a speech in the public square to rile the populace up against the satrap and the Realm occupiers. You're using a Performance roll to Inspire a feeling of anger, and you succeed by miles, inflaming every like-minded audience member with your impassioned oratory. In this case, the ST might exercise their prerogative to have NPCs spontaneously form Intimacies based on events, and decide that a big chunk of the fence-sitters have now developed a Minor Principle in support of your cause, swelling the mob's numbers, or that the mob you riled up has a Minor Tie of Admiration towards you, giving you a chance to direct the ensuing chaos more productively with further influence rolls.

                  You seduce the Captain of the Guard with successes to spare, and in a desperate attempt to impress you he lets slip that little secret you were hoping to tease out of him later, without you having to make any further rolls to manipulate his vulnerable state.

                  The merchant prince is so impressed with your sensible and knowledgeable advice that he seeks you out later to get your opinion on another venture he is contemplating, giving you a chance to steer his goals further, or get in on the ground floor of something really profitable.

                  You preached the good word of the Unconquered Sun to the villagers, convincing them to restore the old shrine and make offerings to the sun as part of their regular calendar of worship. But some were moved more deeply than others, and want to devote themselves to the service of the sun god. You just picked up a dot of Followers (Acolytes), or possibly Cult.

                  It was a lively soiree, but some people have just gotta start shit with the newcomer, which is how you ended up publicly destroying the daimyo's cousin in a battle of wits, earning yourself admirers (and enemies) in the process.


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                  • #10
                    I don't think this is inherently a bad idea, but as others have already said, it needs some careful watching to avoid serious problems. Here's some suggestions for tweaking it:

                    I'd put a lower limit on Resolve for these purposes (that is, the threshold would "the higher of Resolve or [x]"). I like 3 for the bound, personally, as it's what I would consider "professional level" for it (that is, someone with Wits 2, Integrity 2, and an applicable speciality). However, I could see an argument for 5 or even 6, as representing "mortal best". That means that, in the default social system, you couldn't just completely steamroll someone with very low Resolve. You could buy charms that lowered the threshold, though.

                    For the "increase willpower to resist" benefit, I'd suggest that each WP increase after the first requires an additional reward to be spent. So one reward is enough to increase WP to resist by 1, but increasing it by 2 will require three rewards, and 3 would require six.

                    I would not allow the rewards in the basic social system to treat "no intimacy" as having an intimacy - even with rewards, you'd have to start with at least a Minor intimacy. This is both for balance reasons, and because I think the requirement for an intimacy to exist in order to persuade someone is a pretty fundamental, and basically good, part of the social system. Without it, the system shades into mind control, where a sufficiently-skilled persuader can make anyone do anything. Again, charms can potentially circumvent this, but the basic system should fundamentally require some kind of hook in order for someone to be successfully convinced.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wastevens View Post
                      (

                      To wit, be it proposed: Each time a character's Resolve is exceeded by a Persuade or Instill attempt, the instigator may select one of the following benefits:
                      * The intimacy they are leveraging is treated as one higher, to a maximum of Defining. (If there is no relevant intimacy, they are treated as leveraging a Minor intimacy)
                      * Resisting requires spending an additional Willpower.

                      For each time that margain of success laps the target's Resolve, the instigator may select another benefit. They may select the same benefit more than once.

                      Scenario:

                      Peasant Bob has a Resolve of 3.

                      The Irresitable Social Princess desires that Bob should undertake some useful course of action for her. Said action is significant, but not life threatening, and so will require a Major Intimacy.

                      Bob has no particularly useful Intimacies.

                      ISP blows her Charisma + Presence roll out of the water, with 10 successes, giving her two benefits (one at 6 successes, one at 9)

                      She opts to leverage an intimacy twice (going from nothing to Major), allowing her to even attempt the persuade attempt. Bob doesn't do any of that, and so- starstruck at meeting the ISP -he goes to do the thing.

                      Disagree with the initial conceit— solar’s schtick is persuading impossible to persuade entities— and they do get charms to do that. Also, presence is more than just the persuade action. And even in that case, one can instill or inspire to create intimacies to leverage— one must game the system sure but it’s not inherently a problem; it’s the way the system has chosen to model social interaction.

                      That said, I think what you described is a v solid solar social charm

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                      • #12
                        The initial post highlights something about my approach to social influence.
                        Much like how I'm not going to make people join battle and track initiative to fight a random guard, Bob the peasant doesn't really start as a fully formed NPC I have ideas of his intimacies but mostly getting him to do things are just social rolls at varying difficulty ratings. If Bob comes back he'll have ties and principles appropriate to that first interaction.


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                        • #13
                          Based on the SoG's thread and this thread I think that it's still fair to say that Solar Presence has some... issues. If the storyteller can more or less realistically deny the Solar Supernal Presence any leeway by simply spending a willpower at any point in the beginning, Middle, or End.Remember the book states they don't need much of a reason to do so if they wish. You don't want to make people think "Welp, if I can't convince them normally" and look at Hypnotic Tongue-Technique like it's their only realistic option. . I don't think that Solar's should be strictly worse then Dragonblooded at persuading people, without Psyche effects.

                          While I do understand everyone's concern that you don't want to make people slaves in 6 seconds like DnD does it. I think Solar's should have a slight bit ability to bypass that then DBs. So I'm going to show you a charm ideal that may give only some leeway without destroying the system hopefully.

                          Principle Testing Dictum (Name?)

                          Cost: 5m; Mins: Presence 4, Essence 2
                          Type: Supplemental
                          Keywords: None
                          Duration: Instant
                          Prerequisite Charms: Impassioned Discourse Technique

                          The Solar's words and actions are too great to be ignored out of hand. Any Presence or Performance based social action must go into decision point in order to resist the action. Instills must be resisted with at least a minor intimacies for ones involving making or weakening minor and Major intimacies, along with any Inspire actions. While a Major intimacies must be used to resist Instill actions that involve rising or lowering Defining intimacies. Remember a intimacy used to raise resolve against the action can't be used on decision points without magic.

                          With a Presence 5, Essence 4 repurchase of this charm. the strength of the intimacy called to resist is raised by one. So a major intimacy is required to resist your Inspire action and a defining intimacies is needed to defend an lifelong adherent of their immaculate faith.

                          At Presence 5, Essence 5(6?) you may repurchase this charm once more (Another Charm Prerequisite?). If you do you may pay a 3m, 1wp surcharge to any action that brings a decision point. If they have an extra intimacy that could be used to support the suggested action/emotion then they must also use another intimacy of at least equal strength to deny the effect. They still only have to pay one Willpower.
                          Last edited by Chronos12; 02-13-2019, 09:37 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Principle Testing Dictum seems really trivially cheap for what it does. Also it doesn’t really stand to reason that a character should need to recall the memory of his great grandmother who was much beloved in order to not sell you her diamond ring for 6 bucks, even if you are a slippery customer.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JiveX View Post
                              Principle Testing Dictum seems really trivially cheap for what it does. Also it doesn’t really stand to reason that a character should need to recall the memory of his great grandmother who was much beloved in order to not sell you her diamond ring for 6 bucks, even if you are a slippery customer.
                              Do you think a willpower cost would help it be more balanced?

                              As for the example you put, a quote on page 216 "...Instead, you must offer a bribe, gift, or favor that the character you’re convincing believes is [B]worth the difficulty or danger of the task you’re asking him to perform.The Storyteller should take into account the Intimacies, wealth, and social status of the character in deciding what they will consider sufficient payment.(a wealthy noble is not going to be moved to favor your cause in court by the gift of an apple, though a starving beggar might be). [B]"

                              Also wait re-looking at the Bargain/Threaten/ Decision point rules. I don't actually think they need the charm to use decision point X_X! Whoops. I'll edit it in a moment.

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