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[Storypath] Interrogation & torture mechanics

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  • [Storypath] Interrogation & torture mechanics

    Once again, I would rather put it in the general Storypath subforum - but we do not have it...
    As it's about more mature tropes, I suppose Trinity subforum is better place for it.

    So I did not find rules for interrogation, question and torture in Storypath. I assume this would be some kind of Complex Persuasion Action (?), as there is no Intimidation Skill in Storypath games. Probably rolled against some Integrity Skill pool of the Interrogation target. Taking in the account Scion Dragon intelligence manual part - I would say that until you get 'maximum number of possible rolls' before Milestones, you can get reasonable information. Beyond that, Interrogation target will say anything you want.

    Torture, then, are much nastier way of doing Interrogation rolls - still do not know how it would work then... Like +1 Enhancement on Interrogation roll for each Condition you do on the target, maybe?


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  • #2
    Torture is an ineffective method of interrogation. Victims will tell the torturer what they think the torturer wants to hear, rather than giving them useful information.

    Accordingly, I would not give any interrogation-related bonuses for acts of torture.



    Ian A. A. Watson
    Onyx Path Community Manager
    Trinity Continuum Content Lead

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    • #3
      Interrogation/questioning is covered by the Intrigue mechanics. The person being questioned has an Attitude towards the questioner. The questioner is trying to Influence the other person to encourage their behaviour to answer questions, or discourage them lying. They can also work to shift the person’s Attitude, or alter the environment to shift the Atmosphere.

      Pages 85-90, it’s all there.


      Writer. Developer. World of Darkness | Chronicles of Darkness | The Trinity Continuum

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      • #4
        Originally posted by IanWatson View Post
        https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/campaigns/never-torture/facts-torture"]Torture is an ineffective method of interrogation[/URL]. Victims will tell the torturer what they think the torturer wants to hear, rather than giving them useful information.

        Accordingly, I would not give any interrogation-related bonuses for acts of torture.
        Agree 100%


        “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her (I saw the Chief Technology Officer for a big company do this so I guess I’ll do it too).

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        • #5
          My opinion, use the rules for Intrigue. Don’t add enhancements from torture, they don’t help that much and may even have the opposed results.

          If there is physical torture cause some physical conditions, even injury conditions to represent the results, and add some LONG (VERY LONG) behavior conditions related to the traumas caused by it.

          I met people that were tortured by the dictatorship in Brazil (1964-1984) and they acted normal until some thing triggered their traumas (20+ years after their being tortured). Even those not physically tortured, locked in small rooms for days, listening to people being tortured, etc, like what happens to people that went to war, have long term impact.


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          • #6
            In the real world the closest torture has come to providing reliable intelligence is forced confessions and signal intelligence being passed off as coming from torture in order to justify it's continued use. If your goal is to emulate the actually effectiveness of torture it should be a penalty, possibly to the point of acting as an automatic failure in your intelligence gathering.

            If you're trying to achieve some other goal with rules I think you need to be more clear with what it is.

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            • #7
              Torture tends to cause confabulation, which basically just corrupts whatever information the victim had. Not only is it a horrific thing to do, but it's also a stupid thing to do unless you're just a sadist doing it for kicks, a total asshole trying to scare people, or looking to get a false confession on record.

              That's why even superheroes with lie detection powers (like Netflix's Daredevil) shouldn't try to use it. The victim won't even realize they're not telling the truth.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Zeea View Post
                That's why even superheroes with lie detection powers (like Netflix's Daredevil) shouldn't try to use it. The victim won't even realize they're not telling the truth.
                That is a really important fact, the victim at some point do believe in the true they are telling, even if it was never true, so even a Mega perceptive Nova or a Telepath Psion will detect it as true.

                A deep probe in the memories will show they were altered, probably, but the superficial thoughts will be faithful to the “true told”.


                House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
                Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
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                • #9
                  I was thinking about the question of torture in game more and I think the way I'd handle it, if my players really wanted to do it, would be to apply a Complication with level equal to the injury conditions inflicted. If the PC's can't (or don't) buy of the Complication the information they gain is tailored to whatever their victim thinks they want to hear and is dangerously flawed. Maybe half the intelligence is just lies, maybe important details are added or omitted that might lead to problems down the line.

                  For example, trying to torture the location of fellow rebels out of a prisoner might lead them to describe a hospital where some staff members look the other way when providing treatment as a dangerous training facility filled with rebel fighters. Should the PC's take the intelligence at face value they are likely to go in utterly over-armed and suffer a public relations hit at best or commit war crimes at worst.

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                  • #10
                    edit: I think I misread the post I was responding to.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Zeea View Post
                      Torture tends to cause confabulation, which basically just corrupts whatever information the victim had. Not only is it a horrific thing to do, but it's also a stupid thing to do unless you're just a sadist doing it for kicks, a total asshole trying to scare people, or looking to get a false confession on record.

                      That's why even superheroes with lie detection powers (like Netflix's Daredevil) shouldn't try to use it. The victim won't even realize they're not telling the truth.
                      Wow! Idk that. Thanks.


                      “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her (I saw the Chief Technology Officer for a big company do this so I guess I’ll do it too).

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by IanWatson View Post
                        https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/campaigns/never-torture/facts-torture"]Torture is an ineffective method of interrogation[/URL]. Victims will tell the torturer what they think the torturer wants to hear, rather than giving them useful information.

                        Accordingly, I would not give any interrogation-related bonuses for acts of torture.
                        I have wrestled with the question of whether Talents should have a Gift that makes torture work, since torture works for pulp heroes in much of the media Talents draw on. I decided though that that particular trope, like the racism in much of the media that Adventure! draws on is better rejected than emulated since shaking the public belief that is a real thing is so important.


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
                          I have wrestled with the question of whether Talents should have a Gift that makes torture work, since torture works for pulp heroes in much of the media Talents draw on. I decided though that that particular trope, like the racism in much of the media that Adventure! draws on is better rejected than emulated since shaking the public belief that is a real thing is so important.
                          Indeed, depicting torture as something that's effective seems to have convinced some people that torture is effective; there's some disturbing statistics out there about how 24 impacted the beliefs of Americans.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                            Indeed, depicting torture as something that's effective seems to have convinced some people that torture is effective; there's some disturbing statistics out there about how 24 impacted the beliefs of Americans.
                            Once again, I agree with both of you guys. I’ve seen that thing about how torture really does work repeated as fact in novels too. I’m glad Storypath rejected that particular trope.


                            “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her (I saw the Chief Technology Officer for a big company do this so I guess I’ll do it too).

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