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Yet another presence vs manipulation thread

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  • #16
    two examples for when to use presence or manipulation

    if you want to inspire (or intimidate) a group of people immediately, manipulation would not work as it's too subtle.

    if you want to to do a backhanded threat, presence likely wouldn't make sense, as such a threat would require more finesse

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
      I think, because there is less separation between describing a social action and actually doing it than there is between describing a physical action and actually doing it, people (especially GMs) have a tendency to view roleplaying social interactions as an attempt to work around the system, when really it's just a description of the character's approach.
      I think the sentiment comes from it being kinda true. To my mind, Manipulation would be useful for stuff like keeping a conversation going in the direct you want. The High Presence/Low Manipulation person might be good at talking but bad at keeping track of the questions they want asked. However, that's pretty hard to roleplay.

      Obviously GMs can call out players roleplaying outside what their characters are supposed to be, but that's a very unsubtle tool.


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      • #18
        Originally posted by Michael View Post

        I think the sentiment comes from it being kinda true.
        How is a player with high manipulation who describes an indirect approach to their social actions whenever possible any more “working around the system” than a player with high Dexterity who uses fine manipulation methods rather than direct application of force whenever possible to achieve physical goals?


        Onyx Path Forum Moderator

        My mod voice is red. I use it so you know when I'm speaking in an official capacity, not as an indication of tone.

        Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Griautis View Post
          If you need to move a boulder out of your way you can't easily switch from using strength to dexterity, which in social situations is easy.
          I think you’re mixing approaches and goals, which is making Presence and Manipulation less distinct for your games than they are. Moving the boulder can’t be done with Dexterity because the approach is based on power, not finesse. But the goal is not to move the boulder—it’s probably to get past the boulder. Moving the boulder is just the approach. The player could have also chosen to squirm around the boulder (Dexterity), which would mean the boulder would remain an obstacle to future passerby, including themself if they come back this way (the consequence).

          Social rolls are exactly the same. I think Charlequin said it well:

          Originally posted by Charlequin
          Roleplaying social interactions...[is] just a description of the character's approach.
          But it sounds like you want to know when certain approaches would be made impossible. I guess you might ban Manipulation when a subject can’t hear the PC, and ban Presence when a subject can’t see or touch the PC?

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
            How is a player with high manipulation who describes an indirect approach to their social actions whenever possible any more “working around the system” than a player with high Dexterity who uses fine manipulation methods rather than direct application of force whenever possible to achieve physical goals?
            You clipped the example I gave. My point is that a lot of people don't describe social actions, they play them out.


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            • #21
              Originally posted by Michael View Post
              You clipped the example I gave.
              Hmm... Quoting it here for thouroughness:

              Originally posted by Michael View Post
              To my mind, Manipulation would be useful for stuff like keeping a conversation going in the direct you want. The High Presence/Low Manipulation person might be good at talking but bad at keeping track of the questions they want asked. However, that's pretty hard to roleplay.
              There seems to be a disconnect here, because I'm not seeing how this is an example of a player RPing a social interaction in a direct (i.e. Presence-based) way is different from a player describing a physical action in a direct (i.e. Strength-based) way

              Originally posted by Michael View Post
              My point is that a lot of people don't describe social actions, they play them out.
              My point is that this is a distinction without difference.


              Onyx Path Forum Moderator

              My mod voice is red. I use it so you know when I'm speaking in an official capacity, not as an indication of tone.

              Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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              • #22
                My take: intent, scope, and particularity are the difference. Presence is for broad strokes, like shifting the emotional tenor of a target, or establishing oneself in a scene. It's for attraction and repulsion, for breaking inhibitions or chastising deviants. Presence is a catalyst for actions that the target would expect to take normally when confronted with an appropriate stimulus.

                Manipulation is specific, tailored, and means subverting the target's own consciousness and actions to your needs. A character needs to use Manipulation to move another off their natural path. For example, use Presence to scare a fireman from entering a blaze, use Manipulation to coerce him into starting one. This attribute doesn't lend itself to large scale actions, unless the target audience is susceptible and easily leveraged, for whatever reason.

                Yeah, methodology does play a part, and should be accounted for, but the target's nature should never be discounted. A dedicated husband might be overwhelmed by a woman's Presence, causing him to question his fidelity and throw him into a spiral, but it would take Manipulation to get him to abandon his vows. A less faithful man, on the other hand, might be prone to cheating and simply needs the Presence to seduce him.

                Put briefly, Presence is when the target needs an opportunity or arousal to act, and Manipulation when the target needs a justification to divert from their habitual or conditioned behaviors.


                LFP: American Carnage (Werewolf: the Forsaken)

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                • #23
                  My take is that Presence is a blunt show of your charisma, but an honest show. You can be charismatic, dreadful, intimidating, cheerful, etc, but you are using an obvious emotional palette that the target can see and respond accordingly.
                  It is like saying "I want this specific thing!" and the target will help you with your goal because they admire/fear/respect you. Or you fail at the roll and the target doesn't help you. They may resent your emotional show but they won't resent you for being "dishonest" about what you want.

                  Manipulation, as the name implies, also requires your emotional palette but it is more geared towards the TARGET emotional palette and turning it subtly towards your goal.
                  It is like saying "YOU want this specific thing, don't you?" and the target will help you with your goal because they have been subverted into thinking that doing this is better for them. If you fail the roll the target will probably resent you for being dishonest and manipulating them.

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                  • #24
                    I defined Presence as physical gestures accompanied with a couple of words, a short sentence at most. Manipulation as the inverse, lots of words and complex explanations (basically everything else). So the haggle example would be resumed by methodology, the first is a short sentence probably accompanied with a wink, a show of cleavage, pleading eyes or whatever that's Presence. The second is way more elaborate and complex explanation so Manipulation. For me, the key is to differentiate what's more important, the gesture or the words.

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