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  • Credibility Roll

    Ok so I had situation in a crossover game I am running and here is what happened:

    Two Werewolves found silver arrows in house locker of a Vampire. The Vampire was renting a room at the house and had the key of the locker. The Werewolves asked the Vampire about the arrows and he said the arrows were not his arrows and he doesn't know how did they end up in the house. The Werewolf players did not want to believe the Vampire so I made them roll for credibility.

    The Vampire rolled Manipulation + Subterfuge at difficulty 5 (2 successes) because he was telling the truth and the Werewolves rolled Intelligence + Subterfuge at difficulty 7 (Werewolf A had 2 successes and Werewolf B had 3 successes).

    We roleplayed as the Vampire wasn't credible enough and the Werewolves killed him.

    Was this rolled properly? If not, how do you roll credibility when the subject is telling the truth?

  • #2
    If I understand correctly, the vampire was telling the truth and had two successes on his credibility roll. That means he succeeded in convincing the werewolves that he was telling the truth.

    However, the werewolves didn't want to believe the vampire - they were looking for an excuse to eliminate him. You decided to do that by an opposed roll. Because one werewolf got more successes than the vampire, the werewolf didn't think he was credible enough and destroyed him. I'm not sure how a person rolls to actively disbelieve someone telling the truth - that doesn't seem like a success to me. More like a botch.

    I would have done it a little bit differently, but a lot depends on who was the PC and NPC (or were they both PCs?). Since the PCs are active, I'd rather have them roll one way or the other rather than the NPCs roll if it is a static challenge.

    So first, is it a static or resisted challenge?

    The normal credibility rules seem to indicate it is usually a static challenge. The person wanting to convince others of their credibility rolls Manipulation + Subterfuge against the target's Int or Per plus Subterfuge.

    However, that never made sense to me. First, it means someone who is a skilled liar is automatically better at convincing someone they are telling the truth than someone who is not. That would make sense for someone lying, but an honest person is actually at a disadvantage then trying to convince someone they are not lying. That doesn't make sense to me. In that situation, I'd have them use Empathy instead or Expression or even Leadership. And I'd allow them to use Charisma instead if they'd prefer that. I tend to be flexible in that regard as generally multiple attributes can often be used for any one roll. If someone is telling the truth, and he has a good dice pool with Charisma + Empathy I'm going to let them use that instead of Manipulation + Subterfuge if they are weak in that.

    That assumes the vampire is the PC. So what if the werewolves are the PCs?

    Well, I'd have the werewolf roll the static challenge instead. Probably Perception + Empathy, but I'd also let Primal Urge be used. But Subterfuge is also appropriate because a skilled deceiver also knows what to look for. Intelligence and Wits might also be relevant. Perception if they are using visual or other sense markers to evaluate if they are telling the truth; Intelligence if they are truly pondering and cross examining them; or Wits if they go with a gut reaction. It all depends on how the werewolf is trying to determine if the vampire is lying. So let them use whatever dice pool makes sense for them. The difficulty would then be the target's own method of trying to be credible - they would be their combined Manipulation + Subterfuge or another dice pool combo as explained above. Whatever is used to determine the difficulty can be adjusted. In this case, you might lower the difficulty because the vampire is telling the truth, but if the werewolves really don't trust him that might cancel it or even raise their difficulty.

    If they are both PCs, then it's a resisted roll. Here again I'd allow each side to pick whatever dice pool they'd prefer as long as it made sense.

    Of course, if the werewolves actually don't care if the vampire is telling the truth and just want a pretext to kill him, they are going to kill him regardless of what's said.

    Knowing what Attributes and Abilities to use for the dice pool has always been something of an art for the Storyteller system. It is both a strength and weakness. A strength because you can always adjust to what you like, but a weakness if you are looking for clear guidance or have players who always argue.

    Comment


    • #3
      Okay according to a friend the werewolves succeeded the check, both wolves and the vampire had at least one success, so they should have gotten that the vampire was honest about the situation and probably some bit of information it was trying to conceal from them since they beat it.

      Unless you were actually going with the interpretation I had of your story in which case we both kind of wonder why the dc is so bloody high for both parties. As Malroth put it, "you'd honestly think it takes 7 successes to believe the person in front of you is an idiot?"

      Oh also they lose a point of honor for murdering the person offering them hospitality.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yeah it doesn't make sense to me for the Vampire to use subterfuge in that roll. I agree with Black Fox's alternatives.

        Comment


        • #5
          Several points I want to add:
          They could have checked the arrows for foreign smells.

          Why is ownership of silver (weapons) a death sentence in the first place?

          For all the Vampire knows the Arrows could be placed in the locker by the Wolves.

          Why did they invade the room in the first place?

          Summarized it sounds to my ears as the Garou PCs wanted a reason to kill a fellow PC.
          If it wasn't a PC they wouldn't need a facade reason for slaughtering him. A Vampire is arguably a kill first, questions optional for garou.


          So, this Zen Master walks up to a hot dog stand and says: "Make me one with everything!"

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
            I'm not sure how a person rolls to actively disbelieve someone telling the truth - that doesn't seem like a success to me. More like a botch.
            Remember that the listener doesn't know whether the speaker is telling the truth. The listener only knows whether they believe the speaker believes what they're saying is true. We run into this all the time in LARPs where Truth of Gaia is usually used PvP. The speaker's player isn't allowed to say whether their character believes what they're saying unless the listener succeeds on the Gift Activation Test.

            Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
            The normal credibility rules seem to indicate it is usually a static challenge. The person wanting to convince others of their credibility rolls Manipulation + Subterfuge against the target's Int or Per plus Subterfuge.

            However, that never made sense to me. First, it means someone who is a skilled liar is automatically better at convincing someone they are telling the truth than someone who is not. That would make sense for someone lying, but an honest person is actually at a disadvantage then trying to convince someone they are not lying. That doesn't make sense to me. In that situation, I'd have them use Empathy instead or Expression or even Leadership. And I'd allow them to use Charisma instead if they'd prefer that. I tend to be flexible in that regard as generally multiple attributes can often be used for any one roll. If someone is telling the truth, and he has a good dice pool with Charisma + Empathy I'm going to let them use that instead of Manipulation + Subterfuge if they are weak in that.
            It makes total sense to me. Someone who is good at sounding honest will always do better than someone who is merely good at being honest. Just look at pretty much any political situation and you'll see what I mean. It's also the reason why torture doesn't work. As the torture victim becomes more and more hurt, their credibility goes down whether they're telling the truth or not. The only way to make the hurting stop is to stumble upon the thing the torturer wants to hear.

            The Vampire got 2 successes to convince the Garou he was telling the truth. He sounded believable. The Werewolves then rolled to determine whether they believed him. Werewolf A should have concluded the Vampire was lying because neither character got enough successes to change his mind. Werewolf B should have believed the Vampire because they got enough successes to see the Vampire believed his words. Because the players saw their die rolls, they'll then go with Werewolf B. But in the "real world", they wouldn't have seen the die roll and then they would have had to decide what to do with conflicting conclusions. In the end, they probably wouldn't believe the Vampire and would have just killed him.

            Comment


            • #7
              Credibility is one of the longest living unknowns of the RPGs. Few games ever even tried to codify this. Lets see so what I would do.

              The Vampire rolled Manipulation + Subterfuge: IF you rule it as a roll of the Vampire, I'd say it is fair. Since this is the roll to convince people, I personally see no reason to roll other thing just because it is actually true.

              at difficulty 5, because he was telling the truth: That's a nope. As much as in telling a lie, the difficulty here isn't about how far it is from truth, but how much it is believable. If the vampire rent the locker sometimes, it is fairly believable. If it ever keeps the key, but the room where the locker isn't hard to access, or is frequently rented, it is believable, but not so much. If the locker is magically protected and hidden in an equally protected and hidden room that is supervised regularly by the Vampire, then it is pretty hard to believe. It can be true in any of those, but won't be equally believable.

              The Werewolves rolled Intelligence + Subterfuge: By this roll, I would go with Black Fox. Those guys were looking for an excuse. Intelligence says me they are trying to find a possible explanation, instead of looking for telltales of a lie, based on logic, not on evidence. Subterfuge says me they are trying to be craftier than the Vampire. And by being successful, with more successes than the Vampire, you're telling they got what they wanted. If they wanted to find the truth, success shouldn't make them reach wrong conclusions. Either way, the same rule would be there for difficulty, it is based on how easy it is to believe, true or not.

              I would make it a Perception roll for the Werewolves. The ability can change, but for them I think Primal Urge would fit well if there is no Empathy. The roll would be for the werewolves to pick that the Vampire shows signs of being sincere. The Vampires own ability to convince could play a role, but by helping, not hindering. It could be that the Werewolves subtract the Vampire's Subterfuge from the difficulty, or that the Vampire rolls to concede successes as bonus dice. You can do it the other way around, though, with the Vampire making the main roll and the Werewolves helping. But they should only antagonize if they want conflicting results, and if the Vampire is telling the truth, and the Werewolves want to find the truth, then the goals are not conflicting.

              Also, a roll for perceiving a lie or not is a limited thing. It isn't a mental compulsion. The character don't have to trust just because no lie was sensed, nor to assume guilty just because he think the other lied. Some people do that, for sure. But others interpret their guesses with more or less caution. This roll is just gut feeling.


              Eu prefiro ser essa metamorfose ambulante,
              Do que ter aquela velha opinião formada sobre tudo,
              Sobre o que é o amor, sobre que eu nem sei quem sou.
              É chato chegar a um objetivo num instante,
              Eu prefiro ser essa metamorfose ambulante.

              Comment


              • #8
                This is one of the reasons why I'm always frustrated by even the 20th books not being cross checked regarding mundane rolls.

                Part of the issue is that V20 and W20 use completely different systems (And assumptions with why you're rolling what) for this situation. Which one you use completely changes what to roll, and what the roll represents.

                V20 has this as an opposed roll between Manipulation + Subterfuge vs. Perception + Subterfuge both rolling at a base difficulty of 7, but the rules are assume that the person trying to be credible has a need to be convincing (there is some deception involved, even if it might not be the specific thing they're saying out loud). Difficulty is only modified by props/situational issues and teamwork.

                W20 has this as a single roll of Manipulation + Subterfuge with a variable base difficulty based on the other person's traits. It is explicit that being completely truthful isn't automatic in overcoming disbelief. Difficulty is modified by the perceived trustworthiness of the speaker (example given is a Garou with high Honor), and the actual truth of the statement is included as a potential difficulty modifier.

                So, I think part of the issue in the OP is that it's mixing the two systems instead of just picking one. I don't have a particular favorite, but picking one makes it easier to adjudicate when to roll, what to roll, and how to interpret the rolls for further actions.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by etherial View Post
                  Someone who is good at sounding honest will always do better than someone who is merely good at being honest.
                  Respectfully, I totally disagree. I have friends who are cops and they are trained to pick up on indications of when people lie. They don't inadvertently pick up honest people up at a higher degree than they do with liars - because people who are honest don't do the things that flag them as liars. Someone who is very skilled at lying learns how to disguise their tells, but honest people for the most part don't show the tells at all. It's not infallible, but it is far better than 50/50 random chance. That's why I say Empathy (among others) is a good substitute for people telling the truth.

                  Demonstrating credibility is simply convincing someone that you are honest. There are other skills than Subterfuge that can do it especially if you are not actually lying.

                  Originally posted by etherial View Post
                  Just look at pretty much any political situation and you'll see what I mean.
                  I don't think the situation is analogous because there are lots of other things that are involved with politics. First, all politicians bullshit to one degree or another so it is rarely a case where there is an obvious honesty gap to the non-partisan observer. Second, politicians often believe their own bullshit even if it is objectively wrong. Third, politics very often is about group identification - you prefer the lying sack of crap that is on your side versus the honest guy who is on the opposing team. Fourth, people often prefer beautiful lies to ugly truths so they often prefer the lies to honesty.

                  So politics isn't the same situation as the typical example of "credibility" which is a short interaction on one specific matter.

                  Originally posted by etherial View Post
                  The Vampire got 2 successes to convince the Garou he was telling the truth. He sounded believable. The Werewolves then rolled to determine whether they believed him. Werewolf A should have concluded the Vampire was lying because neither character got enough successes to change his mind. Werewolf B should have believed the Vampire because they got enough successes to see the Vampire believed his words. Because the players saw their die rolls, they'll then go with Werewolf B. But in the "real world", they wouldn't have seen the die roll and then they would have had to decide what to do with conflicting conclusions. In the end, they probably wouldn't believe the Vampire and would have just killed him.
                  The result of the werewolves is what I really disagree with. And that's because what the werewolves are rolling for is ridiculous which is "I don't want to believe the truth."

                  According to your logic, the more successes the Vampire rolled was bad for him. Let's say the vampire got five successes on being credible. That would work against him because you are saying the Werewolves need to get more successes than the vampire. Thus the more credible he is, the less likely it is the werewolves will believe him as they are less likely to get higher than those successes. If the vampire FAILED to get any roll - and thus wasn't credible, then the Werewolves would believe him because they got 2 and 3 successes each. According to your logic, the vampire should want to fail at being credible - that way any success the werewolf has helps him.

                  That makes no sense.

                  The only way the logic makes sense is if the vampire is trying to prove he is honest, and the werewolves are trying to convince themselves he is lying so they feel justified in killing him. In other words, they werewolves aren't trying to determine if he is telling the truth at all, but trying to come up with a better story themselves that he is actually lying.

                  That is a very different scenario in my opinion. Not only is the vampire trying to prove he's credible, he also needs to be more credible than the lies the werewolves are telling each other. That is not the situation explained in the original post. It is also hard to see how the vampire could even win in that scenario. Better to just stay the werewolves simply don't believe the vampire because he's a vampire and they attack anyway - dispense with the fraud of the dice rolling.

                  If the vampire was actually lying, then Werewolf B would discover he is lying (because he had more successes), but Werewolf A would not. In this case, the vampire is not lying. He proves he is credible, and both werewolves should also have come to that conclusion (and would have even if they had one success). In fact, even if the werewolves failed, we'd still have the scenario where the vampire did successfully provide his credibility. Since the vampire is telling the truth, I can't think of any scenario where the werewolves wouldn't think he is telling the truth as long as someone had a success. At worst, it would be no successes or a botch for both sides, and the werewolves would kill him because they are initially negative anyway.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                    The result of the werewolves is what I really disagree with. And that's because what the werewolves are rolling for is ridiculous which is "I don't want to believe the truth."

                    According to your logic, the more successes the Vampire rolled was bad for him. Let's say the vampire got five successes on being credible. That would work against him because you are saying the Werewolves need to get more successes than the vampire. Thus the more credible he is, the less likely it is the werewolves will believe him as they are less likely to get higher than those successes. If the vampire FAILED to get any roll - and thus wasn't credible, then the Werewolves would believe him because they got 2 and 3 successes each. According to your logic, the vampire should want to fail at being credible - that way any success the werewolf has helps him.

                    That makes no sense.

                    The only way the logic makes sense is if the vampire is trying to prove he is honest, and the werewolves are trying to convince themselves he is lying so they feel justified in killing him. In other words, they werewolves aren't trying to determine if he is telling the truth at all, but trying to come up with a better story themselves that he is actually lying.

                    That is a very different scenario in my opinion. Not only is the vampire trying to prove he's credible, he also needs to be more credible than the lies the werewolves are telling each other. That is not the situation explained in the original post. It is also hard to see how the vampire could even win in that scenario. Better to just stay the werewolves simply don't believe the vampire because he's a vampire and they attack anyway - dispense with the fraud of the dice rolling.

                    If the vampire was actually lying, then Werewolf B would discover he is lying (because he had more successes), but Werewolf A would not. In this case, the vampire is not lying. He proves he is credible, and both werewolves should also have come to that conclusion (and would have even if they had one success). In fact, even if the werewolves failed, we'd still have the scenario where the vampire did successfully provide his credibility. Since the vampire is telling the truth, I can't think of any scenario where the werewolves wouldn't think he is telling the truth as long as someone had a success. At worst, it would be no successes or a botch for both sides, and the werewolves would kill him because they are initially negative anyway.
                    It's only because Werewolf A tied that you're getting that impression. If the Vampire scores more successes, the Vampire sounds credible even if they're lying. If the Werewolf gets more successes, the Werewolf knows whether the Vampire was lying. If they tie, they bounce, and the Werewolf believes what they wanted to believe before the die rolling starts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This just seems to make an absurdity of the rules. If the werewolves rolled to see if he's telling the truth, they succeeded. As ST I'd tell them he's telling the truth. If they still want to attack him, that's up to the players, but they still know he wasn't lying. Done.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        At my table these kind of rolls made obscured / are made by me (as a ST) to
                        1. Circumvent the Metaknowledge(dice results)
                        2. Minimize discussions about it (like this thread)


                        So, this Zen Master walks up to a hot dog stand and says: "Make me one with everything!"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post
                          This just seems to make an absurdity of the rules. If the werewolves rolled to see if he's telling the truth, they succeeded. As ST I'd tell them he's telling the truth. If they still want to attack him, that's up to the players, but they still know he wasn't lying. Done.
                          The problem is the werewolves didn't roll to see if he's telling the truth. The werewolves rolled their disbelief in the face of his attempt to make a credible statement. Lots of people say things that are true without being convincing; which is what the dice say happened (even if as noted, there are some rules calls that are kind of iffy as they seem to be a mix of the V20 and W20 rules in a bad way).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                            Respectfully, I totally disagree. I have friends who are cops and they are trained to pick up on indications of when people lie. They don't inadvertently pick up honest people up at a higher degree than they do with liars - because people who are honest don't do the things that flag them as liars. Someone who is very skilled at lying learns how to disguise their tells, but honest people for the most part don't show the tells at all. It's not infallible, but it is far better than 50/50 random chance. That's why I say Empathy (among others) is a good substitute for people telling the truth.

                            Demonstrating credibility is simply convincing someone that you are honest. There are other skills than Subterfuge that can do it especially if you are not actually lying.
                            Though I do agree that simply using Subterfuge is still an oversimplification, You're missing a simple point here:

                            We are not talking about someone telling a lie vs. someone being honest. We're talking about how much a good liar can be credible when it is being honest. Your friends' experience doesn't actually cover this, since they're dealing with lie vs truth. Here we are talking only about truth.

                            But that said, I agree completely about the result of the Werewolves. Seriously, if they succeeding makes them not believing a true statement, then I have to conclude they wanted only to justify what they would do anyway.

                            Heavy Arms, though it does seem legit to roll for the truth not being so much credible, this "disbelief roll" is awkward at best. It at the minimum seems like a roll the Vampire should make without being resisted.
                            Last edited by monteparnas; 12-31-2016, 05:25 PM.


                            Eu prefiro ser essa metamorfose ambulante,
                            Do que ter aquela velha opinião formada sobre tudo,
                            Sobre o que é o amor, sobre que eu nem sei quem sou.
                            É chato chegar a um objetivo num instante,
                            Eu prefiro ser essa metamorfose ambulante.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It's not really awkward in the V20 method of handling it (since the "disbelief" roll is against the assumption that the credibility roll stems from some ulterior motive even if there is no lying involve). It's very awkward in the W20 way of handling it (where there is no "disbelief" roll) . As I've been saying, a lot of this can stem from not picking one of the two books and using the rules/logic present there and instead having an odd hybrid of the two.

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