Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Dice pools for lying

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Dice pools for lying

    I know that this topic appeared at least a couple of times, but I am not sure whether it's been systematically discussed, so I'm opening the thread.

    One of glaring omissions, almost surely intentional, is that there no skill responsible for lying and deception. In some cases, this can be reasonably represented by using standard social system framework. However, the whole system does seem to be aimed towards representing genuine persuasion.

    So let's look at some example of "pure lying": a character pretends that she is a messenger which was supposed to take an important letter from a high-ranked officer. She presents some suitable evidence confirming she is who she claims to be (for examples, presents some mark of a prince she claims to serve) and possibly some convincing story of why she isn't the guy that used to be a messenger for last half a year, but the officer is a grizzled veteran. He maybe kind-of-suspects something, but has no good reason, to actually not trust that person, other than gut feeling and it would be potentially ruining to impede the whole communication because of a mere gut feeling. Now the situation essentially depends on how convincing the alleged messenger will be, and how able to mask the stress.

    How do you model this mechanically?

    The situation seems poorly modeled by the standard social interaction system. The messenger doesn't try to convince the officer to like her (although this might be potentially helpful), but to convince the officer of what is the matter of fact, so this is rather not an instill action.

    It could be persuade action. However, again it is not simply a matter of nudging the officer to pursue one course of action or another. Moreover, it fits strangely into the standard interaction system: giving an important letter to someone is a big deal. It's definitely not a "trivial or risk-free action", so RAW, there should be some intimacies supporting this course of action. Incidentally, there could be some such intimacies: maybe something along the lines "One should not be distracted by gut feelings" could be helpful and "There's more to this position than the protocol" could hinder the task. However, in general not everyone has such intimacies, they are typically not strong, so it doesn't fit the standard mechanical solution of persuasion. There could be some persuasion actions involved: an old servant who doesn't trust the impostor, could try to convince the officer to not pass the letter no matter she is lying or not, so that to avoid the unnecessary risk; to do so, would be a conscious choice of the officer and already falls into the territory of usual social interaction. But in our case, it shouldn't really be a matter of decisions of the officer, but simply of how convincing the impostor is. If you like, you can think of a situation, where a cunning enough manipulator could simply give no reason to suspect her, so the modeling by persuasion could be even more awkward.

    It could be a simple roll or an extended action. What to roll then? It's almost surely Manipulation + something. Possibly Manipulation + Socialize or Manipulation + Larceny. Is it then an opposed roll and what is it opposed with? There is no "Empathy" skill in Exalted after all.

    Alternatively, we could say that the active side in this story is not the impostor who tries just to say everything as plain-faced as possible, but the officer. So maybe it should be modeled as a resisted roll of officer's Perception(?) + Investigation(?), Perception + Socialize(?) at Difficulty [imposter's Guile], possiby modified with relevant Intimacies. I think this might be a natural fit, since there is a lie-detecting charm in the Investigation tree. Then, if the officer remains unconvinced, there's still a lot of options. One could persuade the officer to pass the letter along the lines of "Procedures are to be followed" or to interrogate the alleged messenger.

    How would you resolve it, mechanically?




    Last edited by Lanic; 06-23-2019, 08:01 AM.

  • #2
    Which one's the player character?
    The more you roll dice as a Storyteller the more you're telling the players what's going on.


    Onyx Path Forum Moderator
    Please spare a thought for updating the Exalted wiki.

    Comment


    • #3
      Either I'd have her roll Manipulation+Presence at the officer's Resolve to instil a belief, or I'd have him roll Perception+Socialise vs her Guile to try and work out what her intentions are.

      But either way, even if she fails/he succeeds, it shouldn't be "yep, she's definitely lying", it should be "hmmm, she seems untrustworthy and suspicious, something's not right."


      I run... Lunars: The Apocalypse! Exalted 3rd edition. Fimbulwinter is upon the world as an Ice Age begins, and only six young Lunar heroes have a chance of saving humanity.

      Comment


      • #4
        The only charm having to do with "tell you a lie and make you believe it" is in Performance. So Manipulation + Performance vs target's Resolve (because you are acting as the messenger, not trying to socially be accepted as one). And, of course, penalties for not looking or acting the part, increased difficulties for the officer's suspicions, etc.
        Most lying of this type you are acting as if you had the truth.
        This is a thing I had a problem with too, because I've had a Night caste who wanted to play the conman.

        And the officer can try to break down their story if they don't quite sell it. Charisma + Presence vs liar's Guile.
        Or just make it an opposed roll; Manipulation + Performance vs Charisma + Presence.

        And, as Isator Levi mentions, there's other kinds of lying too.
        Lying about paperwork? Bureaucracy.
        Lying to spread gossip (and not be know as the source)? Socialize.
        Last edited by Aoi Cobalt; 06-23-2019, 10:07 AM. Reason: Edit: I thought of more to say.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Lanic View Post

          One of glaring omissions, almost surely intentional, is that there no skill responsible for lying and deception. In some cases, this can be reasonably represented by using standard social system framework. However, the whole system does seem to be aimed towards representing genuine persuasion.
          Performance encompasses oratory and rhetoric. Presence persuades through force of personality. Socialize uses decorum and etiquette to persuade or manipulate.

          To quote the book, "a thief blurts a convincing explanation for how she came into possession of a carved jade idol, all of these characters are using Presence".

          Originally posted by Lanic
          The messenger doesn't try to convince the officer to like her (although this might be potentially helpful), but to convince the officer of what is the matter of fact, so this is rather not an instill action.
          Instil actions cover Principles. Principles include things that a character believes.

          Originally posted by Lanic
          It could be persuade action. However, again it is not simply a matter of nudging the officer to pursue one course of action or another.
          I don't see how it isn't. You've stated that it's a matter of convincing somebody to give you a letter. You've even fulfilled the criteria of providing credible evidence to make the persuade action stick to the character's relevant Intimacy (I'm going to assume something to do with the general execution of their duties).

          Your mark being a grizzled veteran is just modelled by the quality of their Integrity/Resolve. Put it up a bit with a specialty, if that helps.


          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
          Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
          https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
            Instil actions cover Principles. Principles include things that a character believes.
            I think that RAI it doesn't cover all beliefs. What would be a relevant intimacy here: Major Principle: "That random dude over there is totally a messenger. Nothing suspicious at all"? It should be Major, since giving a letter is a big deal.

            This has very strange consequences. How would you then model, when the prince tells the officer "No, I don't know her "? Is it another social action? Under the assumptions that "She's a messenger" is a principle, that automatically destroys a principle and completely bypasses the rest of the system.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Lanic View Post

              I think that RAI it doesn't cover all beliefs. What would be a relevant intimacy here: Major Principle: "That random dude over there is totally a messenger. Nothing suspicious at all"? It should be Major, since giving a letter is a big deal.

              This has very strange consequences. How would you then model, when the prince tells the officer "No, I don't know her "? Is it another social action? Under the assumptions that "She's a messenger" is a principle, that automatically destroys a principle and completely bypasses the rest of the system.
              I think it goes the other way. Instill a minor principal, "I am a trusted messenger."
              It would only be shot down by a major principle, "I have to check all messengers, because there has been false messages before."
              And the prince isn't going to tell the officer that he doesn't know the messenger, the prince is either going to be the target of the messenger's instill principal, or the prince is going to have the major principle of "Trust no-one that I do not personally know."

              And if those are the stakes you are playing for, your fake messenger should get shot down because his plan was an ill-conceived spur-of-the-moment shot that couldn't work anyway without some planning. If you have to be a known messenger to hand a letter over to the prince, then that is what you have to do.
              But if no-one has any intimacies about accepting letters, then a minor principal work just fine.

              Comment


              • #8
                I think guile is actually a good thing. I didn't think of it before, but roll Read intentions to "find what the character is trying to achieve in the scene" seems completely reasonable. I think I'll do that next time for my games.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lanic View Post

                  I think that RAI it doesn't cover all beliefs.
                  That's what I thought, but then Eric Minton told me it was intended to cover beliefs in these circumstances.

                  Originally posted by Lanic
                  What would be a relevant intimacy here: Major Principle: "That random dude over there is totally a messenger. Nothing suspicious at all"? It should be Major, since giving a letter is a big deal.
                  Yeah, so you instil a Minor Principle, and then need another action and the right Intimacy to build it to Major.

                  Originally posted by Lanic
                  This has very strange consequences. How would you then model, when the prince tells the officer "No, I don't know her "? Is it another social action? Under the assumptions that "She's a messenger" is a principle, that automatically destroys a principle and completely bypasses the rest of the system.
                  I wouldn't model it at all if none of the players were there.

                  Still, in the event that the idea is refuted by somebody in authority (who doesn't really need the social system to get subordinates to fulfill their general demands), I would say that the Principle for the belief vanishes immediately.

                  That doesn't break anything, because it's an outlier. That's the Orichalcum Rule at work.


                  I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                  Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                    Either I'd have her roll Manipulation+Presence at the officer's Resolve to instil a belief, or I'd have him roll Perception+Socialise vs her Guile to try and work out what her intentions are.
                    The latter is precisely how I'd handle it - Read Intentions is a codified action to take, and covers discerning what a character wants to accomplish in a scene. That will cover "They're trying to deceive you about their real identity" nicely. If the officer was really suspicious, or wanted to get even more detail on who this "messenger" actually was, they could go for a profile character action, rolling (Perception + Investigation).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      That's really interesting, I never really had the opportunity to really use the Profile Character action, does anyone have a good story on how it was used in one of their game ? I just never remember it exists

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Oh, we use it all the time. Is this merchant trying to stiff me, is this diplomat dealing in good faith, is this guy in love with that girl, etc.


                        I run... Lunars: The Apocalypse! Exalted 3rd edition. Fimbulwinter is upon the world as an Ice Age begins, and only six young Lunar heroes have a chance of saving humanity.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I didn't think to use it for this, I reallt thought that was questions to solve with the social system

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Chausse View Post
                            I didn't think to use it for this, I reallt thought that was questions to solve with the social system

                            Well, I'd argue that most of the questions that The Wizard of Oz just suggested are really better handled by Read Intentions rather than Profile Character. But both Read Intentions and Profile Character are absolutely part of the social system, I'd say. Read Intentions is for, well, reading someone's intentions. It tells you immediately what they're up to, at least in broad terms, and lets you know what intimacies apply in the scene. Profile Character, on the other hand, is useful for giving you details about someone that aren't necessarily brought up by their actions in a scene. As a Storyteller, I would certainly be willing to give you answers to questions like "does it seem like this character is in a relationship?" on a successful Profile Character roll, even if the relationship wasn't brought up or relevant to their actions in the scene. And that, in turn, lets you do more to bring that information out. For example, if the answer to the question above with Profile Character was "Yes, she's wearing an amber pendant that you know is the sort of thing given in the Haslanti League to the same-gender parent when a child achieves their majority". And now you can drop a mention of a daughter into the conversation, and that makes the intimacy relevant, so you can use Read Intentions to determine it and its context.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Lioness View Post
                              Which one's the player character?
                              The more you roll dice as a Storyteller the more you're telling the players what's going on.
                              This wasn't me trying to be rhetorical so I'll elabourate further.

                              PC is the veteran-
                              The player will see how many dice the messenger is rolling to persuade their character that they're just a messenger, which means that the better they are at this the more of a red flag this presents for the player. It's probably better to model the skepticism as a Read Intentions action so the player gets info but doesn't know for sure if they beat the NPC's Guile rating or had their attempt deflected by some charm. I've seen otherwise well behaved player's characters develop gut feelings towards NPC that have too detailed descriptions or are rolling too many dice.

                              PC is the 'messenger'-
                              It should be more about the PC having an opertunity to Persuade or Instill a belief in the veteran that they're nothing out of the ordinary. Having their intentions read as well is something I'd reserve for 'hard mode' infiltrations that are circumventing scenes of Exalt vs. Exalt combat.


                              Onyx Path Forum Moderator
                              Please spare a thought for updating the Exalted wiki.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X