*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
December 03, 2021, 10:35:39 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 93 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: Rules for social interaction  (Read 6519 times)
Akamaru
Member

Posts: 11


« on: December 14, 2004, 09:33:00 AM »

Hello,

I'm working on a system & setting where the primary means of resolving conflict is not combat, but social interaction. Talking that is. But I'd like a conversation to be in essence very similar to two duelists fighting with swords! You'd have attacks, parries, feints but converted into the world of communication. Most CRPG's (like for instance the new Vampire: Bloodlines) simply gives new dialog options if you have skills in different areas of manipulation (like seduction, persuasion, intimidation). The thing with p&p -games is of course that I can't limit the players choice of saying. I've also handled all NPC-PC talk by acting out the npc, that is saying what the NPC is saying in an altered voice. Things would obviously get really difficult if our average rpg-player who is as suave as a praerie dingo uses his character with a really high seduction rating and tries desperately to come up with a really great (medieval!) pickup line.
So perhaps conversation should be abstracted? I'm ok with that, but the problem is that things shouldn't become as boring as:
"Ok I roll against my seduction %.... *roll* Yay! I succeeded!"
"Right, you seduced the captain of the guard and he agrees to free your comrades from jail"
Blah. Boring.

So I ask you, has anyone come across a RPS I've missed that has a somewhat more elaborate communication system? Does anyone have any ideas on how to create crunchy "combat" rules for talking?
Logged
Eric Provost
Member

Posts: 581


WWW
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2004, 09:37:25 AM »

Dogs in the Vineyard

A simple and elegant mechanism that handles everything from talking to pushing & shoving to gunplay.

A must-read.

-Eric
Logged

Snowden
Member

Posts: 44


« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2004, 01:46:42 PM »

While a lot of non-traditional games have accomplished this by dealing with physical and social conflict on the same abstracted level (Heroquest, Dogs In the Vineyard, etc.) I think it would actually be really interesting to take a functional "crunchy" combat system and convert it to work for social interactions.  I haven't played it, but I can imagine Riddle Of Steel working for this.

Explaining how moves like "Parry," "Beat," "Dodge," "Riposte," etc. map onto conversational tactics might be tricky; good examples would probably be a crucial element of the rules.
Logged
Eric Provost
Member

Posts: 581


WWW
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2004, 02:05:46 PM »

Ok.  Point taken;  Dogs isn't exactly 'crunchy'.  I'm just a raving fanboy.

I imagine one could take a nice & crunchy system such as d20 and come up with a very satisfying crunchy non-violent confrontation system.

First, you'd need something to replace HP.  After all, it's HP that let you know when the conflict is over.  The character's with no HP left are the ones that lost, right?  You need a system for determining how many points each character has.  Come up with a way to determine if someone is affected by their opposition's verbal attacks.  A parallel to Base Attack vs. Armor class.   Finally, you'd probably want to name a bunch of 'attacks' and assign a 'damage value'.

For example:
Every character has a number of Willpower Points equal to 1d6 + their Wis bonus each level.
An 'attack' is successful when the attacker's Bluff roll is greater than their opponent's Sense Motive roll.
A successful attack reduces the target's Willpower Points based upon which 'weapon' was used:
Persuation: 1d4 (+INT bonus)
Seduction: 1d6 (+CHA bonus)
Intimidation:  1d8 (+STR bonus)

So, while I don't know of any particularly crunchy social conflict games, I don't think it would be all that difficult to come up with one if you wanted to.  Might be fun to play.

-Eric
Logged

Michael S. Miller
Member

Posts: 846


WWW
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2004, 07:10:55 PM »

Luke Crane has promised us that his Duel of Wits rules for Burning Wheel will be available very early in 2005. These function along the same lines as the fabulous BW combat system, and deal with argument and debate.

In the self-promotion department, you might want to take a look at FVLMINATA (Luke Crane still has copies, I'm told). The social interaction mechanics allow a player who has made a successful social skill roll to name three possible ways the NPC could react. The level of success on the Effect Roll then limits the choices that the GM has in portraying the NPC's reaction. The higher the level of success, the more likely the GM is forced to choose a more beneficial option fom the player's POV.
Logged

Serial Homicide Unit Hunt down a killer!
Incarnadine Press--The Redder, the Better!
M. J. Young
Member

Posts: 2198


WWW
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2004, 09:12:34 PM »

I'm inclined to mention Legends of Alyria. The resolution mechanic deals with conflict, not combat.

It starts with each player selecting one of his three attributes as the basis for his participation in the conflict. Force, Insight, and Determination are the three attributes. Force does not equate to physical strength so much as to character strength. The system allows each to maneuver somewhat by citing either their own or the other's traits. A trait generally is something in the character's personality or values which could impact the current situation. For example, of Bob and Carol are in conflict, and Carol has the trait "cares about Bob", one of them might activate that trait, explaining why it impacts this situation. So Bob might say, "Since Carol cares about Bob, she won't stop him from doing what he wants here." However, if Carol activated it, she might say, "Since Carol cares about Bob, she won't let him do this stupid thing, for his sake." The game also includes inspiration and corruption points, which can be spent by either party, but will result in an outcome that promotes good or evil generally, not the interests of one of the parties.

Unless inspiration or corruption points are spent, dice determine who prevails in the conflict. At that point, the narration has to explain what happens in a way that includes the attributes or traits involved. Thus if Carol wins against Bob based on her force against his "careless attitude" trait, Carol's player could describe how Carol gave Bob a hard, cold stare, and he got embarrassed and left the room.

Anyway, this seems something like what you're seeking.

--M. J. Young
Logged

Akamaru
Member

Posts: 11


« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2004, 01:27:14 AM »

Thanks for all your replies!
Luke Crane's "duel of wits" sounds exactly like something I'm looking for! I'm also a lucky owner of the Burning Wheel (but didn't know about this new expansion) so I have great faith in Mr. Crane.

I'm curious about Legends of Alyria too, but not quite sure how it'd work in a more complex situation. Let's say for instance that a thief PC has disguised himself as a guest and infiltrated the royal ball and is now talking to a guard. He's trying to get information about the whereabouts of the kings treasure chamber without actually asking directly. In game mechanics terms I'd see this as a duel, where the attacker (the thief) is trying to make a "feinting" maneuver, that is forcing the opponent to make a mistake, which in this case would be for the guard to reveal the location of the chamber. If the feint of the thief would fail, he'd ask the guard too directly and he'd get suspicious. But even if the feint fails, the battle wouldn't be over. Now the guard "attacks" and inquires why the thief is interested in the treasure chamber. A successful "parry" would then be the thief swiftly coming up with a good reason and saying it to the guard in a believable fashion. And so on. How would Legends of Alyria handle a situation like this and with what kind of traits?

About FVLMINATA: I somehow find the system of a PC coming up with possible ways of NPC reaction a tad iffy. There's a possibility for a lot of GM-intervention with munchkinny players who come up with too favourable results etc. And again I don't really know how FVLMINATA would handle the situation I described above.
Logged
TonyLB
Member

Posts: 3702


WWW
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2004, 01:48:43 AM »

Lace and Steel, way back when, had a beautiful system for this, using fencing terminology for either sword-fights or social duels.  I don't know whether the current edition keeps that, as my edition is ancient-ancient.

There were feints and ripostes and such what-not.  There were also High, Mid and Low-level attacks, which corresponded (in social settings) to intellectual jabs, society bickering and coarse insults.  It was a card system, so if you were forced to try a low parry against a high attack (or vice versa) you were at some penalties.

I played it a few times and it worked really, really well for conversation, and passably well for swords.
Logged

Just published: Capes
New Project:  Misery Bubblegum
Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 2341


WWW
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2004, 08:34:31 AM »

But I'd like a conversation to be in essence very similar to two duelists fighting with swords! You'd have attacks, parries, feints but converted into the world of communication.

Have you seen The Dying Earth RPG? It's definitely worth a look. Check out the freely downloadable quickstart rules http://www.pelgranepress.com/downloads.htm">here.

Paul
Logged

My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
M. J. Young
Member

Posts: 2198


WWW
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2004, 06:44:35 PM »

Quote from: Akamaru
I'm curious about Legends of Alyria too, but not quite sure how it'd work in a more complex situation. Let's say for instance that a thief PC has disguised himself as a guest and infiltrated the royal ball and is now talking to a guard. He's trying to get information about the whereabouts of the kings treasure chamber without actually asking directly. In game mechanics terms I'd see this as a duel, where the attacker (the thief) is trying to make a "feinting" maneuver, that is forcing the opponent to make a mistake, which in this case would be for the guard to reveal the location of the chamber. If the feint of the thief would fail, he'd ask the guard too directly and he'd get suspicious. But even if the feint fails, the battle wouldn't be over. Now the guard "attacks" and inquires why the thief is interested in the treasure chamber. A successful "parry" would then be the thief swiftly coming up with a good reason and saying it to the guard in a believable fashion. And so on. How would Legends of Alyria handle a situation like this and with what kind of traits?

Well, actually not like that at all.

First, there are no "important" NPCs in Legends of Alyria. All the important characters are played by the players, whether they are the good guys or the bad guys. The object is for the players to craft the story through the actions of the characters and the resolutions of the conflicts, not for someone to win.

Also, the system isn't interested in resolving the results of individual actions within a conflict, but resolving the entire encounter in one roll.

So to convert this to something that might happen in LoA, let's start by suggesting that Bob's character has a treasure and Bill's character wants it. Bob is relying on his force, represented by his guard (not his character, but his character's employee, and thus an extension of what his character can do), to protect that treasure. Bill decides to rely on his character's insight, to attempt to outsmart the guard. The players could extend this, if for example Bob decides to activate a trait he has called Attention to Detail instead of his force (this assumes that his Attention to Detail has a higher rating than his Force attribute), or Bill decides to activate his own Honest Face trait against Bob, but this is all done before there are any rolls.

The dice hit the table. They tell us which way the conflict is resolved, and to what degree. Some possibilities:
    [*]Bill wins in a big way. Bill narrates that Bob's guard is not very bright, and when asked where the treasure chamber is, he turns and looks right at it while asking why the character wants to know. The character notes where the chamber is, says that there's really no reason, he was just curious, and walks away as if he didn't know.[*]Bill wins in a minimal way. Bill narrates that he asks the guard where the treasure chamber is, and the guard asks why he wants to know. He tells the guard that he's been asked to help someone design their own castle, so he's looking into how security is handled at such places elsewhere. The guard tells him that the treasure chamber is near the dungeon in the basement, but not quite exactly how to find it. (Bill just made this up--in Alyria, nothing is anywhere until some player decides where it is and describes this.) The thief thanks him, and walks away.[*]Bob wins a minor victory. Bob narrates that Bill's thief asks his guard the location of the treasure chamber, and the guard asks why he's asking. Bill's thief provides some weak explanation, and the guard shoos him away without giving any information.[*]Bob wins a major victory. Bob narrates that Bill's thief asks the guard the location of the treasure chamber, and the guard is immediately suspicious and asks why he's asking. Bill makes up some excuse that a ten year old could see through, and the guard grabs him and calls for help, putting the thief in the dungeon to await the verdict of the lord of the castle.[/list:u]Alyria isn't designed to resolve strikes and parries and such, either in physical or in social combat. It treats all conflicts as social, really--even if two people draw swords against each other, the resolution doesn't tell us what happens in the fight but who comes out ahead. The player narrating his character's victory could say that his character takes a serious wound, and seeing this others rush to his aid, disabling his attacker. It's a system designed to tell you which side is winning, and let you decide how it happens.

    Probably not what you want, but it does fit the idea of social conflict being handled the same as physical conflict.

    --M. J. Young
    Logged

    Pages: [1]
    Print
    Jump to:  

    Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
    Oxygen design by Bloc
    Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!