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  • Help me with Social Maneuvering

    Okay, as best I can understand the system, you are locked into the time per roll associated with your Impression level, regardless of in-game events after the roll is made.

    Say you make a poor first impression, insulting the target for average Impresson level. When you next try to coerce them, you then lock yourself into a whole week of manoeuvering no matter what happenes later on. Maybe the next day you save the target's life, which would create perfect Impression instead, but cause of everything hinging on the First Impression, you are stuck sucking up to the guy for a whole 6 more days. After which he immediately starts listening to your every word, almost as by magic.

    Seems stupid.

    Now, I guess the ST can just fudge things and let the impression level immediately upgrade, but that doesn't solve anything mechanically. Does that first week-long roll end and need to be restarted? What if half a week passed before the Impression level upgraded? Do those three days of sucking up count as a retroactive success now that you can make them more often? What happens to this "ghost progress" made by spending several days buttering up the target before the roll got to be made?

    I can't quite wrap my head around how changes in Impression level are supposed to work with the actual maneuvering process. Anyone with more practical experience wanna tell me how they solved this stuff?


    Making Star Wars WoD conversion. Gonna be done when it's done. Hopefully not too long now.

  • #2
    You can always Force Doors.

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    • #3
      Here's the thing. 9 times out of 10, you're not going use long term Social Maneuvering. Especially if you make a poor first Impression, why spend a week trying to win the person over when you can just cut right to the chase and Force Doors?

      Let's take a look at Forcing Doors for a second, because in my experience the majority of people's issues with the Social Maneuviring system stems from the fact that they don't look at Forcing Doors as a viable option in most situations.

      What, mechanically speaking, is a Forcing Doors roll? It's a single pass/fail social roll with a penalty equal to the mark's remaining Doors. Succeed, and you get what you want from the mark, fail and you can't try again. Sound familiar? It should, because it's what most of us did before Social Maneuvering - you call for a Manipulation + Persuasion roll (or whatever dice pool is appropriate), give it a penalty based on how reluctant the NPC is to do what the PC wants, and on a success they do it, on a failure they don't and the player can't try again. The only difference with Forcing Doors is that there's now a standardized system to determine what the penalty to the roll should be.

      Now, what is a Forcing Doors roll in the narrative? It's just pressuring your mark to make their decision now or never. It doesn't have to involve threats or duress, it can be as simple as saying "Are you going to help me out here or not? Cause I don't have all week to try to convince you." I think a lot of people miss that, because the Forcing Doors rules are right next to the Hard Leverage rules and Hard Leverage does involve threats.

      So, what we're left with is a system just like we used in 1e, but with clear and consistent rules on setting the difficulty of the roll. Then the rest of the Social Maneuvering system is essentially a way to decrease the penalty to the social roll by softening the mark up a bit first. If you made a bad first Impression, you don't need to wait a whole week to try to open the next door, you can just use Forcing Doors, and now the penalty is 1 less than it would have been if you hadn't opened that first Door. If you make a really good first impression, you might be able to roll a few times over the course of a few in-game hours and get that penalty down to almost nothing. If you make a perfect Impression, or you have the time to spare to slowly work your mark, you might not even need to make that Forcing Doors roll.


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

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
        Now, what is a Forcing Doors roll in the narrative? It's just pressuring your mark to make their decision now or never. It doesn't have to involve threats or duress, it can be as simple as saying "Are you going to help me out here or not? Cause I don't have all week to try to convince you." I think a lot of people miss that, because the Forcing Doors rules are right next to the Hard Leverage rules and Hard Leverage does involve threats.
        I think that, plus its name has a lot to do with it. 'Forcing Doors' sounds like a pretty violent act. It inherently makes me think of a bunch of cops kicking down someones door and busting inside to do what they want, so it's easy to see how that, combined with its close proximity to actual threats, violent actions which make up Hard Leverage really throws people off. I mean until I'd read one of your explainations of the issue awhile back I had also thought that Forcing Doors was just a part of Hard Leverage and nothing else.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ashenrogue View Post
          I think that, plus its name has a lot to do with it. 'Forcing Doors' sounds like a pretty violent act. It inherently makes me think of a bunch of cops kicking down someones door and busting inside to do what they want, so it's easy to see how that, combined with its close proximity to actual threats, violent actions which make up Hard Leverage really throws people off. I mean until I'd read one of your explainations of the issue awhile back I had also thought that Forcing Doors was just a part of Hard Leverage and nothing else.
          Yeah, I had the same problem when I first read it. My immediate reaction was "why would you ever want to do this?" It took me re-reading it a couple of times because I was sure I must have been missing something before I realized that Forcing Doors was supposed to be for the Social Maneuvering system what Down and Dirty is for the combat system.


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

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          • #6
            I like the idea behind your recontextualization of social maneuvering: Of this merely being the old system with a few ways to ease the process on beforehand.

            But unfortunately it is also wrong.

            It was never implied under the old system that a single failure would cut you off more or less permanently from getting what you wanted. You still had successive efforts and even those did not come with a refusal of much later retries, the way it works under this new, formalized system. So Forcing Doors absolutely deserves its place alongside Hard Leverage and the like, for it gives you one shot at what you want, after which you are screwed. Its mechanics doesn't support it being merely "Look, are you going to help me or not?" cause that would never cut you off like the rules say. It pretty much has to be "Look fucker, either give me what I want or things turn ugly", dressed up according to the traits rolled.

            And since your solution is not so much a solution as it is a way of avoiding the problem entirely, that level of risk matters a great deal. Players will be hesitant to do it and rightly so, even moreso than they would be under cirucmstances where during 1ed they had made only one roll anyway, cause this time its there black on white: You fail, you're fucked. Without the level of comfort that comes with just making a casual try for something, it isn't a reliable alternative to following the rules process properly, long time intervals and all.

            Now I sorta wish it worked like you propose, but on the other hand, Forcing Doors serve a narrative purpose as it is.


            Making Star Wars WoD conversion. Gonna be done when it's done. Hopefully not too long now.

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            • #7
              Look, dude, you come back and ask for help using this system every few months. (also the Shaken Condition, but that's beside the point.) Every time, people give you good, solid advice about what works for them, and every time you have a laundry list of reasons their advice is wrong. At what point do you just accept that the system doesn't work for you and either house rule it or stop trying to use it?


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

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              • #8
                I wanted to know how people dealt with certain problems in their games, implying they actually followed the RAW. I'm willing to listen to houserules too, but then it helps if they are marked as such. And in this case the houserule means losing the normal purpose of Forcing Doors, so that seems a fairly valid complaint.

                And for the record, my problem with Shaken was people fanboying so hard they couldn't even admit a problem existed. Not that their houserules were unwelcome, but that they acted like it was RAW and I was simply being stupid.


                Making Star Wars WoD conversion. Gonna be done when it's done. Hopefully not too long now.

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                • #9
                  I wouldn't call it a house rule, so much as having a broader interpretation of the rules as written than you do. Also, it sounds like you ran Social actions pretty differently than I did in 1e, so that's a thing.


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

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                  • #10
                    "If the roll fails, the subject is immune to further efforts at social maneuvering from your character" doesn't leave much room for broader interpretation. Not only can't you get your way on the issue in question, the subject refuses to listen to any sort of request for the foreseeable future. The only thing open for interpretation is its permanency, and unless the Chronicle lasts for years in-universe that'll be a non-issue anyway.

                    Turning that into one of the harmless social rolls from 1ed, which truly were "Look, are you gonna help me or not?" is not only a houserule, it's a pretty considerable one.


                    Making Star Wars WoD conversion. Gonna be done when it's done. Hopefully not too long now.

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                    • #11
                      Whatever, do what you like. I'm done trying to convince you.


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

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                      • #12
                        Werewolf's discussion of Forcing Doors with Spirits was what helped me get it, for what it's worth.


                        I am no longer participating in the community. Please do not contact me about my previous work.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DarthMRN View Post
                          It was never implied under the old system that a single failure would cut you off more or less permanently from getting what you wanted. You still had successive efforts and even those did not come with a refusal of much later retries,
                          No, you had a -2 penalty to successive tries. Just like it says in the 2e rules: further tries after a failure add 2 Doors, and the penalty for Forcing Doors is -1 per Door.


                          I call the Integrity-analogue the "subjective stat".
                          An explanation how to use Social Manuevering.
                          Guanxi Explanations: 1, 2, 3.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DarthMRN View Post
                            "If the roll fails, the subject is immune to further efforts at social maneuvering from your character" doesn't leave much room for broader interpretation. Not only can't you get your way on the issue in question, the subject refuses to listen to any sort of request for the foreseeable future. The only thing open for interpretation is its permanency, and unless the Chronicle lasts for years in-universe that'll be a non-issue anyway.

                            Turning that into one of the harmless social rolls from 1ed, which truly were "Look, are you gonna help me or not?" is not only a houserule, it's a pretty considerable one.
                            Uh, this is not true in the slightest. There's an entire section on further efforts to influence people. You obviously can't continue the same maneuvering attempt because you've failed the overall influence action, but you can clearly take an alternate approach or try to get their co-operation later:

                            Originally posted by Chronicles of Darknesss Page 84
                            Successive Efforts
                            After opening all Doors and resolving the action’s goal, your character may wish to influence the same person or group again. If successful, successive influence attempts begin with one fewer Door. If failed, or if hard leverage was employed, successive influence attempts begin with two more Doors. These modifiers are cumulative. No matter what, a character will always have at least one Door at the outset.
                            So, once the entire action is resolved (e.g. you got what you wanted, or you didn't), you can start a fresh round of maneuvering to convince them. If you failed, it is harder to persuade them (+2 Doors), but if you succeeded previously, it becomes easier to talk them into successive favours (-1 Door).
                            Last edited by Xenesis; 02-10-2016, 04:31 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Leetsepeak View Post
                              Werewolf's discussion of Forcing Doors with Spirits was what helped me get it, for what it's worth.
                              Which book is that? I'm completely out of the loop as far as Werewolf is concerned.


                              Originally posted by Errol216 View Post
                              No, you had a -2 penalty to successive tries. Just like it says in the 2e rules: further tries after a failure add 2 Doors, and the penalty for Forcing Doors is -1 per Door.
                              -1, you mean. And I don't take your point. Nothing about that permits further attempts if you fail at Forcing Doors. Those 2 added Doors come from use of Hard Leverage. And yes, I am well aware of the problem inherent to Hard Leverage permitting further attempts while normal Forcing Doors doesn't. I started a thread about it a while ago.

                              And the conclusions I reached was that it still works, sorta. In the sense that Hard Leverage implies a degree of fear that would open the subject up for later abuse in a way merely being rude but civil ala Forcing Doors wouldn't. The only real problem with the rules in this regard is that Hard Leverage adds Doors when you'd expect that sort of fear to remove them. But since the penalty makes sense for civil interaction between offender and victim, it is a relatively minor problem, better handled by the ST than hard rules.

                              Point is, and this goes for you too Xenesis, basic Forcing Doors doesn't permit retries. Only when enhanced by Hard Leverage.
                              Last edited by DarthMRN; 02-11-2016, 02:19 AM.


                              Making Star Wars WoD conversion. Gonna be done when it's done. Hopefully not too long now.

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