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Incline Perception, Charisma and their associated skills: sorting out the mess

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Eyestabber, Oct 12, 2019.

  1. Eyestabber Arcane Patron

    Eyestabber
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    As much as I love going into details of everything combat related in most RPGs, lately I've been thinking about the other interaction most RPGs will also include, the "non-combat" ones. The way I see it, there are two main groups of "non-combat" interactions that play out in pretty much every single RPG ever made: 1) social interactions and 2) sensory interactions. You could also include "lore/intellect-based interactions" (eg: repair), but those tend to be VERY setting-specific and are not the topic of this thread.

    I don't see much of a reason to talk about those INT based skills because I don't usually have a problem with the way they're implemented. INT means CHARNAME is a smart guy, smart guy knows things that are useful...it works well enough, IMO. This thread is mostly about pointing out idiotic implementations of social/sensory interactions, analyzing what went wrong and how to properly implement them.

    1. Stats, do they matter?

    Charisma and perception are featured in pretty much every single RPG, even when they are not explicitly implemented as independent stats. If you don`t have a CHA stat in a given RPG, you can bet another stat is doing its job in addition to its own. Examples: Will in Underrail, Cunning in DAO, Wisdom (Perception) in D&D and so on. Some games might implement these stats as skills, which usually results in a heavily abstracted, "gamey" feel.

    But again, DO THEY MATTER? My answer is: it depends on what the RPG in question is about. A combat centered RPG can do without Charisma IMO. Which is why I don't think Underrail suffers much from its half-assed implementation of social interactions. The game really isn't about talking your way out of everything, so it makes sense that CHA would take a backseat. HOWEVER, things start to look ugly when a game either: a) implements CHA as an afterthought, while also adding as many "social skillz" as possible bearing no relation to the alleged "key-stat", thus rendering it pointless. Biggest example: Wasteland 2; or b) promises "rich interactions with da NPCs" without assigning any stats/skills to said interactions, which ends up rewarding the player for doing nothing. Eg: KCD.

    So, to sum it up: if a game promises a "diplomat archetype" of sorts, then CHA is non-negotiable. If a game promises "lots of mysteries and hidden secrets" then PER is non-negotiable. HOWEVER, I don't think it's a sacrilege to roll these stats into another stat IF the game doesn't really focus on the interactions they are supposed to govern and/or ANOTHER somewhat similar interaction is simply way more relevant (eg: Wisdom).

    2. Which number should be checked and how? (pure stat check X pure skill check X some mixture of both)

    Just as important as deciding which stats and skills a game should have is establishing the rules on how they're supposed to be checked. That's where a LOT of games fuck things up badly and you end up with garbage like Wasteland 2 allowing the player to dumpstat CHA while also "silver-tonguing" his way through the entire game. If the stat got REMOVED from the game it would actually become LESS nonsensical.

    But what's the "proper way"™ to go about it? The way I see it, stats are the "hard", immutable part of a person's development that doesn't really change after reaching adulthood. Skills OTOH can be picked up and learned and, as a rule, people who studied a given skill longer will be better at it. With that said, I can start by saying I think pure skill checks should be restricted to INT-based skills. Any attempt to isolate social interactions from the CHA stat are IMO, pretty idiotic. Same goes with sensory interactions: you can't determine that noise was a silenced gunshot if you can't hear it in the first place.

    So, as a RULE I think Stat+skill is the best option. Furthermore, I think CHA should apply a permanent bonus/
    penalty to its related skills while PER should actually be part of a two-phase check. This will make more sense once I go over the most common interactions found in RPGs.

    3. Staple social interactions in RPGs: how should they be handled?

    As I already stated, I think the CHA stat should have a global effect on every single social interaction the player
    attempts. That will result in a situation where learning the skill is still important, BUT the "beautiful people" will ALWAYS have it easier. Just like in real life. Barter, Perform, Persuade and Bluff are obvious cases of "skill + stat" check. However, I think it's worth it to go over some specific situations.

    3.1 Intimidation

    [​IMG]

    Low level Paladin passes his [Intimidation] check against poor dindu nuffin Shaman

    Jokes aside, most RPGs have an idiotic implementation of intimidation. First of all, IT'S NOT A FUCKING SKILL. It's not something you can practice every day with the people tied up in your basement and suddenly walk up to some high profile person and make him/her start literally shaking. It simply doesn't work like that and it boggles my mind how most people see nothing wrong with the "intimidation skill".

    Intimidation is all about CONTEXT. If some dude puts a gun in your head, well...you're very likely to comply but it has NOTHING to do with the guy's "personality" and it's also pretty unlikely that he mastered the art of pointing a gun to someone's head. The gun is the deciding factor, everything else is irrelevant. Take the gun out of the guy's hand and suddenly all his awesome powers of intimidation are fucking GONE.

    With that said, I think intimidation should, in most scenarios, be a simple stat check or a skill check. Here's an example:

    - NPC victim is walking out for a ciggy break. CHARNAME seizes the opportunity to make NPC talk about plot-macguffin. The following options are presented to the player:

    [Strength] Lift him up by the neck and make him talk.
    [Dexterity] Slash the air with a knife, less than an inch away from his neck to scare him shitless.
    [Bluff] Explain how you're gonna murder his entire family for shits and giggles if he doesn't talk.

    See what I mean? There is an intimidation check, but no intimidation skill. AoD did something cool and unique with its [Bodycount] check, an idea which I sincerely hope they will carry over to their next game. However, I think this solution is very setting-related and situational stat checks might be a more reliable/generic alternative.

    Oh, and whoever decided intimidation should be CHA based in D&D is a fucking idiot.

    3.2 Avoiding a scam

    [​IMG]

    Codexer reaction to the latest Kickstarter by super awesome has-been RPG developer that made one good game 20 years ago

    Avoiding lies and false promises is just as important as being able to make your own bullshit stick. This "passive" or "defensive" element of social interactions is very difficult to implement for a variety of reasons. In AoD you have the Streetwise skill, D&D has Sense Motive and AFAIK most games don't even bother with it. However, I feel like not including a "social-defense" leads to the nonsensical situation where everyone is straight and honest and the art of deception is esoteric knowledge known only by the player.

    So now we go back to question number 2: how do we deal with skepticism? Is it a skill? A stat? A dialogue option that everyone should always have, no mater what? Eh...I think PER is key here, as PER usually isn't just about how good your eyes and ears are, but also how good your "instincts" are. This defensive interaction actually is, IMO, something that can be learned and improved upon, so skill is also an acceptable solution.

    My verdict: skill, with the occasional stat influence.

    3.3 Negotiating

    [​IMG]
    "Wow, these blankets are awesome mista! I sure hope they don't have smallpox or something, lel"

    Complex negotiations are among the best opportunities for an RPG to implement a chain of stat/skill checks capable of separating the REAL diplomats from the overly-talky thugs. It would be interesting to set a distinction between simple sweet talking (which should be ruled by CHA) and trying to reason and appeal to the NPC's sense of self interest (which should be ruled by INT).

    I know the waters are murky and all the TV ads we see seem to prove that bigger tits make ANY argument more convincing, BUUUT propaganda does NOT appeal to the rational aspect of individuals. So, I would like to see an RPG establishing this
    distinction by having some NPCs that are more susceptible to flattery/asking nicely while other NPCs are more rational and easier to persuade via 200 IQ arguments instead.

    And let's not forget the role 3.2 can play in a negotiation. Suppose the NPC promises something he can't possibly deliver, a successful PER + Streetwise check should give you the option to call him out on his BS.

    All in all, I think situations like negotiating a peace deal between two warring factions are a rich but mostly unexplored kind of interaction that I hope more developers figure out it's worth implementing.

    3.4 Seduction

    [​IMG]

    Heroic Warrior flashes his Rod of Harpy Slaying +15 , immediately triggering lustful feelings in a large area

    The likelihood of seduction ever being properly implemented in an RPG and actually adding value to it are close to zero, but since this interaction does show up quite often, I think I need to address it. First of all, unless you believe in retarded PUA hogwash, Seduction is NOT a fucking skill. It's a stat check, plain and simple. MAYBE you could have some situational bonuses/penalties, but this isn't supposed to be anything other than a CHA check.

    On the slim chance that someone out there is making a spy RPG with some James Bond "romance" like sequences, my advice is simple: make it a CHA check, don't overcomplicate things and DON'T make a fucking skill dedicated to slaying pussy/getting dicked (even worse).

    4. Staple sensory interactions in RPGs: how should they be handled?

    "Sensory interactions" refer to situations where the player character might see/hear/notice something a regular person wouldn't. As hinted earlier, I'm partial to a two-phase system: stat -> skill. First we check whether or not CHARNAME's eyes/ears actually did their job and THEN we check CHARNAME's ability to figure out what that noise/image actually mean.

    I do NOT believe a simple PER check is enough because it denies the importance of training and experience. IRL example: my parents have a pretty decent knowledge of birds and how they sing and can usually tell what bird is singing just by hearing it. I obviously can't, despite the fact that my hearing is WAY better than that of the old folks. Which makes me very bad at guessing birds by their song, but very good a hearing a phone ringing on the other side of the house. One of these noises has a very low bar of knowledge, so base stat is all that matters.

    To sum it up: PER stat -> spot/listen skill as a rule. Now let's go over some interesting cases:

    4.1 Traps

    [​IMG]
    That's a pretty tough [Streetwise] check

    Perception obviously comes to mind here as the character needs to actually see the trap in order to avoid it. However, most traps follow certain patterns that can be learned so a skill is also acceptable. So, to keep it short: Stat + skill if the game has a PER stat and traps are commonplace, PER only if traps are rare, skill only if traps are common, but PER isn't its own thing. It's all fine, IMO.

    4.2 Lore

    [​IMG]

    9/10 RPG developers don't get this important piece of LORE, tho.

    Lore is usually skill only, but I can think of many situations where either a PER or an INT check alongside it would make sense. Eg:

    - Awesum magicool sword has an inscription in ancient elven language. A PER check to actually notice the inscription before the lore check would make sense.
    - Orc warriors across the field have Evil Diety's symbol on their shields. Lore [Religion] check, but ONLY AFTER you pass a PER check to actually notice the damn thing several meters away from you.
    - Door locked by Ancient Nerds requires a password. Lore check tells the player that Ancient Nerds loved math and the password is a math problem, but INT check is required to actually figure out the answer.

    5. Conclusion

    If you made it this far, I thank you for reading my ramblings. Non-combat interactions are never my favorite part of an RPG, as I prefer to murder everything and take all the phat l00t, BUT I still dislike half-assed implementations of these interactions. Hopefully we'll have more games where discovering hidden things and getting NPCs to side with you will actually be rewards to proper character building and development instead of the shitty "everyone gets a trophy" implementation so commonplace in most RPGs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
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  2. just Educated

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    i've read only conclusion and i agree
     
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  3. Delterius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    so you mean arcanum
     
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  4. rusty_shackleford Arcane

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    Seems like an obvious choice for wisdom.
     
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  5. the mole Educated

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    Didn't read, every game must have wisdom, intelligence, charisma

    And also must have Dexterity, agility, and speed

    No one can agree where Dexterity starts and agility begins, same with intelligence, or wisdom, or willpower

    In some games it might seem arbitrary

    Most games get it right though
     
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  6. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    Think about roleplaying a character that is deficient in one stat, but high in another, and their differences become apparent.
     
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  7. Egosphere Erudite

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    more like age of decadence
     
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  8. Eyestabber Arcane Patron

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    AoD doesn't implement my "ideal" take on CHA. Sometimes the game checks the stat, sometimes it checks the skill, but when the skill is checked it doesn't matter if your cha is 4 or 10.

    IMO Cha should ALWAYS affect social interactions.
     
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  9. Egosphere Erudite

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    I believe AoD checks base stat in the background. I recall needing a certain dexterity to disarm some defence mechanisms in late game, even though the check didn't list it
     
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  10. biggestboss Scholar

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    Interesting topic, going through it now. Was wondering if you could provide an example of a game that uses a Skill x Skill system so I could better understand your second section.
     
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  11. Eyestabber Arcane Patron

    Eyestabber
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    Eh...Section 2's title is a bit confusing, it seems. There are basically three options: simple skill check, simple stat check or skill + key-stat check. Skill x Skill isn't an option...

    I'm gonna try to fix the title.
     
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  12. Jason Liang Magister

    Jason Liang
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    My beliefs, which I try to implement into the rpg I'm designing:

    a) The essential role of skills is non-combat interaction (i.e. open world interaction). This is why the thief/ rogue in D&D became the "skills" class. The best implemented skills are rogue skills (stealth, disarming, trapping, stealling), crafting skills,, exploration (swimming, climbing, detection) and speech skills. Combat skills can always be implemented as feats so there's no actual need for "combat" skills. 2nd edition and classic rpgs do not have skills/ combat skills. The development of skill systems in 3E was to satisfy a need for greater active world interaction.

    b) Skills should never be only for skill checks/ gating content. A skill should always have a useful active or passive effect. For example, lore should help you find rarer random treasure. Knowledge skills should help you discover dungeons and help you craft more powerful equipment, etc...

    c) You pick your skills at character creation - they are not tied explicitly to your class, but since they mostly come from your background, neither do your skills automatically improve as your character progresses. In general, the skils you hav at character creation are what you have for the rest of the adventure.

    The attributes -
    Strength -> includes both strength and constitution
    Dexterity
    Perception -> splitting perception off of dexterity makes a ton of sense so that dex is not an overloaded stat
    Valor
    Intellect -> basis for knowledge and crafting skills
    Charisma
    Wisdom (this is a special attribute that is very difficult to raise)

    This gives 2 physical stats (Str and Dex) 2 mental stats (Int and Cha) and 2 mixed stats (Per and Val).

    I also have a large skills list that I am trying to pare down. You can find the full list in the thread I made for my rpg.
     
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  13. Clockwork Knight Arcane

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    Nope, there's a difference between facing a big ugly thug like Corn Pop pointing a gun at you like he's done this a hundred times before and a shivering housewife who just took it from her husband's closet after she caught you sneaking around and isn't even holding it right. Obviously you know the gun can fuck you up no matter who is using it, but you're less tempted to try anything funny against the thug. If they both scare you just the same because the sight of a gun makes you freeze up, you might have a low score in the stat their intimidation is rolling against. :M
     
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  14. Alex betthurt

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    Nice post, Eyestabber. This is a topic that needs a whole lot more attention than it has been given in RPGs. If you don't mind, I have some thoughts on this stuff as well:

    I don't have much to say on perception, but I think charisma is a bad stat. I think GURPS has a better idea on how to deal with this stuff. In it, you can have several advantages or disadvantages affecting your reaction roll with an NPC. Things such as appearance, social status, fame and mannerisms all can be bought as advantages or disadvantages that affect how other people see you.
    The system is still a bit simple, in that it usually provides a static bonus or penalty based on whether it applies or not (if you are famous as a magician, for instance, there is a good chance other magicians have heard of you and read positively, though some might react negatively instead because of envy). But still, it is better than having charisma be and abstract force the character has of manipulating others.



    I think one way to improve how RPGs generally deal with skills is to separate skill ability from attributes. I mean, of course a dexterous swordsman is going to be able to outperform someone less nimble that had the same amount of training. But I think the impact of skills and attributes should be considered separately rather than simply by simple addition. For instance, back to the swordsman example, suppose john, a man of normal dexterity (assume dexterity is an attribute) has received a basic training with the sword. He can now parry reasonably well, although he is safer doing so by giving ground. He can find openings in a normal adversary's stance and strike decisively sometimes and he can feint. Wilburr received the same training as John, but he has much greater dexterity. He is more sure with his parries, not worrying about giving ground and he can brave attacking exposed points in the armour because he is more sure in his thrusts. Later John has trained for a longer time, say 5 years with the sword. He has become much better at parrying and at tiring his opponents. Willburr, however, hasn't polished his skills further. One day, both of them fight. Wilburr manages to parry John's blows, but John in his expertise conserves his energy. Willburr try some daring feints, but while he is faster, it is not so much John can't read his true intention. John keeps willburr at bay for some five minutes. Tired, Willburr goes for a decisive thrust against his enemy's neck. But being tired has slowed him down, John quickly sidesteps and decapitates Willburr with a single cut. If Willburr had kept training, he certainly would have won. Mastery of the techniques would have built off his natural potential to make him a much greater swordsman than John. But since he didn't, John's steadfastness won the day.

    Now, I know this sounds very abstract, but the point in the example above is that simply adding together two values (stat and skill, which assumes they are numeric values) kinda muddles the distinction. Having a high skill is useful in those cases because it allows you to do well in several different skills with little investment. I think it would be more fun to have them influence different aspects of using the skill instead. For instance, a character using diplomacy might get better feedback about the other side according to his perception, while his intelligence might help him come up with proposals that are either more agreeable or less damning to your own side despite being just as agreeable to the other. Meanwhile, a greater knowledge of the skill itself might give you opportunities to gauge and endear the other side you wouldn't otherwise get.



    I mostly agree with you, although I suppose there are ways to be intimidating that you could train. For instance, you could act in such a way as to come off as deranged and/or dangerous. You could master not showing empathy or maybe even just steeling your own nerves so you don't come across as bluffing.

    But this is just a minor quibble. What I want to talk about is that the main problem with the scenario you described; where you have different options on how to deal with an NPC, given to you in a dialogue. The problem here is that this is not much of a gameplay. Even if those options aren't awesome buttons that you just use to win because you have a high stat, they still are rather simple. Pick whatever your character is good at, maybe not strength if the other guy happens to be really huge.

    I think we can use the idea of leverage here; that is, what is specifically used to threaten the enemy. Depending on the leverage, several things could happen. For instance, if you are trying to intimidate an old general into giving you his access card, he might laugh at you if you pull a gun on him; he might fight you if you tried shooting to scare him; he might attack you immediately if you threatened his family verbally; he might give in if you showed his wife's new hat as a way of showing you could do harm to his family; he might give in but later try to kill you if you gave him his son's ear and if you brought the son's head, he might try to lock you with him and start a self destruct system on the base.

    Then, finding out about what kinds of leverage would work well with each person would become part of the gameplay, much like in an adventure game.

    Still going on about gameplay, it would be interesting if again this was not a simple win if you have a stat. In a tabletop game, a GM might let you use these skills to tell if you think anything sounds off about what you heard, and maybe tell you something about his mannerisms and such. It would be nice if CRPGs did likewise and like in the game on the picture you posted, challenged you to understand you are being misled and why. You could have this second guessing be a dialogue action which nevertheless only gave you clues so you could try to piece them together yourself. For instance, if the npc is nervous about the item he is selling you, it could be because the item has a defect, because it is stolen or maybe he is selling it because he needs a fix. Your sense motive could detect the nervousness, but finding out why would require other skills as well.

    Good points! Also, understanding the way the culture barters and what makes the NPC ticks should be key in making good deals.

    Again, I think the concept of leverage could be used with this, understanding what the NPC finds appealing and then using it agains him or her.

    I don't disagree with you, but the problem of using the int (or whatever your system has) this way is that it replaces the player's int. Ideally, perception should give you some information (maybe only if you ask) and the player should be the one to figure out from that what is going on. One way to include the int attribute into the equation without removing gameplay is to let it make some information more explicit without giving away everything. For instance, if you are examining an NPC who previously fired a gun, medium per might help you note the smell of smoke. A high per might make you note the smell of smoke and that a bullet seems to be missing from his holstered weapon. But having a high int will make both descriptions occur together, possibly nudging the player without revealing everything.

    I think part of the problem with non combat is that there is usually little or no gameplay involved. Adventure games have made their gameplay based on solving things that, usually, aren't combat. So I think they might be a good place to look for gameplay cues. One thing I think would help is having these important actions take place not by selecting a menu option, but rather using some keyword system like older RPGs and Adventure Games used. If figuring out something is part of the gameplay, it is better if the way you do so is not spelled out in a menu option nestled between other 6 options, but rather if you led the player on with clues until he figured out what is going on and showed this to the game by typing the right command. The first Tex Murphy game and Neuromancer are both examples that put keywords to good use.
     
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  15. Funposter Savant

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    this is autistic even by codex standards
     
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  16. Eyestabber Arcane Patron

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    Sorry, but no. A bullet fired from a housewife, a thug or a child soldier will kill you just the same. Which is why children with AK-47's make for such an incredibly cost effective infantry force. Thousands of African warlords can't be wrong, son.

    Tries to keep it "simple" by sticking to just 4 stats, but then you read the available advantages and disadvantages and you have "Extremely Attractive", "Very attractive", "Kinda Hot", "homely", "very ugly", "inceltier", same goes for status related advantages and disadvantages. It's almost like you could combine all these modifiers into a single number...to make matters worse, GURPS had a "sex appeal" skill which was based off...HT...? Like, HT?

    [​IMG]
    Super hot, according to GURPS.

    Nah mang, I'm pro-Charisma stat. As long as we all accept that "beauty" is rolled into Charisma and there is no point debating why EXACTLY that person has a maxed out CHA score, we're all gonna be fine.

    Not really my idea, I'm not advocating the WoD approach. PER -> 2 phase check, CHA -> global modifier (kinda like D&D 3rd ed, but without the retardation of having an intimidate skill). Also, your previous example was combat related and I think combat is a whole new can of worms that deserves its own ruleset, rather than trying to make combat and non-combat interactions follow the same mechanics.

    Agreed. In one of my many "ideas for a cRPG I will never develop" I imagined the implementation of an "intuition mechanic" of sorts. A stat/skill/both/i dunno that gives the player additional information about other characters in every single dialogue. So if your score is low you only get a traditional dialogue screen with nothing extra. A small investment might result in getting tips like "you notice this line of questioning makes NPC very uncomfortable" and a maxxed out stat would allow the player to go full "Lie to Me" (shitty canceled series, watch sometime). There would also be a "Demeanor" information bellow the portrait of every NPC that would show "???" to low intuition characters, ambiguous hints like "Confident/uncomfortable" at mid levels and straight up "social divination" at higher levels. Would be interesting in a game focused around investigating stuff and talking to lots of people.

    Agreed, and it's even better than the "pick whatever you're good at" example I gave. As long as we agree intimidation is not an abstract notion that you can study and magically become better at it, it's cool.

    Come on, that's what the Bluff skill is for.

    Yeah, well, that's the thing with both INT and PER: a lot of games choose to test the player instead of the character. Eg: pixel hunting for items, presenting puzzles. "Fuck you developer, can't my 300 IQ min/maxed wizard solve that puzzle for me!?" :lol:

    It's funny, isn't it? When an action RPGs makes player skill overrule character skill everyone cries bloody murder, but when a classic RPG allows your INT dumped barbarian to solve complex puzzles and operate some obscure mechanism, nobody bats an eye. This is the most intriguing aspect of cRPGS: you can ALWAYS ask "wait, are we testing the player or the character?".

    Very true, which is why I only ever did ONE diplomat run in AoD and never bothered with this path ever again and every other game I play having "social skillz" is never a serious concern of mine during chargen. My only concern is "what's the most effective way to drop enemies and take their stuff".
     
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  17. Clockwork Knight Arcane

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    Yes, I said that the gun doesn't become stronger depending on who is using it, but the point was about intimidation. A scared housewife with a gun just isn't as scary as a pissed off thug with a gun, their lethality is another matter. It's possible that the thug is not actually a threat because the gun is not loaded, or it's a toy gun, or he's making a gun sign with his index under his jacket, etc....but it doesn't matter since the point is convincing you the threat is real.

    Using your example about telling the NPC you're gonna murder his entire family if he doesn't talk, the housewife is going to have to try harder to convince him she means business. Maybe she'll have to shoot him in the leg. Meanwhile Corn Pop can probably pull it off just by yelling.

    Child soldiers are used because they're conveniently available, not because recruiting proper soldiers is pointless.
     
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  18. Egosphere Erudite

    Egosphere
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    Regarding part 2, you could bypass the stat+skill check if the skill check in question could not be arbitrarily raised above a cap imposed on it by the underlying stat. This was the arcanum system that Delterius mentioned, which flew over my head. If you want high persuasion, you need high charisma to back it up. If your charisma is 10, you can't max persuasion. You need to raise CHA first, then persuasion.
     
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  19. Background Character Learned

    Background Character
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    My irl charisma score is 1
     
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  20. V_K Arcane

    V_K
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    So. Much. This.
     
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  21. DavidBVal 4 Dimension Games Patron Developer

    DavidBVal
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    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    There's is another option, which is the one I'm using. Primary stat + secondary stat + skill. Secondary stat has a halved bonus.

    It works really well, some generic examples:

    Intimidation: WILL + STR + Skill
    Fellowship: CHA + INT + Skill
    Two handed weapons: STR + CON + Skill
    Dagger: DEX + STR + Skill
    Sword: STR + DEX + Skill
    Archery: DEX + AWA + Skill
    Pick Lock: AWA + DEX + Skill
    Disarm trap: INT + DEX + Skill

    And so on.
     
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  22. Elemental_wanamingo Educated

    Elemental_wanamingo
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    For the sake of gameplay it matters more that each stat is equally useful so you don't end up with situations where for example high int is useful almost all the time but something like charisma is not. And you allow for more playstyles if that is important. But pretty much in all games all stats have equal cost. Because of this sometimes some skills and skillchecks needs to be put under stats that may not really work like that but if you just put everything blindly under a skill or stat where it logically fits you just end up with lots of useless junk that is not useful unless as a player you want to specifically take that route that opens that one time thing with your high rare skill. Sometimes the wrong skill or stat need be used to balance out the game.

    Some of the stuff in that post was written was not well thought out. Intimidation for example is a skill. If you are good at it you can do things just with your voice and behaviour. If you suck at it THEN you need a gun to be able to intimidate. Every moron is intimidating when they have a gun on your head. Intimidation is very much a skill that relies on social intelligence, learned behaviours and use of yourself to get the outcome you want. The better you are at intimidation the less you need to do get your point across. Size and looks add to it but are not the defining factor.

    Actually the more I read the more of the stuff in the post is plain moronic. Skepticism has barely nothing to do with perception. It is all about intelligence with some bits of wisdom. A scam is something that is a trick of intelligence. It tricks your mind into believing something. For example spam email that says you have won a billion should not even register because you either know about nigerian scams (wisdom) or you are not a moron (intelligence). High perception only helps to see the email from microsoft is actually from somewhere else. Which only helps if you have the lore in your head to make that connection that ms emails should come from ms email address.

    Not to mention that skepticism is incredibly shitty idea for skill for your character. It works much better when the player can figure which option he chooses based on his own skepticism. Making it a dice roll or skill check just dumbs down the game. It is exactly the kind of rich and emergent gameplay that adds different ways to playing the quests and the game because it gives the player choices. Who do you believe. With skillcheck you take that choice away.
     
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  23. V_K Arcane

    V_K
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    Let's not forget the TDE system where under each check you would roll 3 stats and then could use the skill value as a pool of points to compensate for the rolls that fell short. E.g. for an intimidate check you could roll, say, courage/charisma/strength with streetwise skills. Let's say you have 12s in all of the stats and 6 in streetwise. So if you roll 7/14/16, that means you passed on courage but failed on charisma and strength. But 6 in streetwise gives you a a 6 points pool you can use to add 2 to charisma and 4 to strength, to get them to 14 and 16 respectively, and thus pass the check. If, on the other hand, your roll would be 7/15/16 - then you wouldn't have enough of a skill points pool to compensate for that and thus fail a check.
    The principal difference here, compared to just summing up the stats against the roll, is that successful stat rolls don't increase the point pool - i.e. you cannot compensate a stat deficiency with another stat, only with a skill. Even though the courage rating in this example is 5 points above the roll, it doesn't give you 5 more points to distribute to other stats.
     
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  24. Bohrain Savant Patron

    Bohrain
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    The underutilization of mostly non-combat oriented stats such as charisma in CRPG's stems from the fact that adding scripted content is more resource intensive than emergent content, whereas that isn't really the case in tabletop settings where they came from.
    Since combat systems were already there in D&D it was easy to do emergent gameplay for combat in computer settings, since the issue was primarily just to convert the existing system to work without a DM in a somewhat satisfactory manner. But the standard design choice was to basically script all the other interactions, but I think that developing some systems that enable emergent content for non-combat stuff is something worth experimenting. Writing in general is obviously something you can't really do in well with systems, but things like trading and stealing could have interesting mechanics around them that go beyond some shitty Bethesda-style minigames.
     
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  25. Eyestabber Arcane Patron

    Eyestabber
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    My previous answer was a bit of a joke, but let's go for a more serious wall of text. Here is my issue with intimidation:

    THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN "ART OF INTIMIDATION". Intimidation is about a threat + the victim's fear of the other guy making good on his threat. That's it. There is no hidden magical words or body language that will make your threat more effective. Your housewife example hinges on the premise that the other guy is gonna disarm her or she's gonna hesitate to pull the trigger. If none of those things seem likely then she is every bit as scary as the thug, unless you have a bit of a deathwish and/or don't know how guns work.

    Like I said previously, a skill is something you can learn and improve. I don't really see intimidation as something you can do every day and then suddenly you can intimidate pretty much anyone. Plenty of former highschool bullies ended up meeting a "suicide by cop" scenario because they believed themselves inherently scary. It doesn't work like that.

    Suppose some hardened thug walks up to a king inside his castle and say "yo, KING, gimme all ur kingdom's bitches or I break ur leg!". I really don't think that's gonna work, unless the king is some kind of pathological coward that everyone takes advantage of. OTOH a mild mannered diplomat delivering the exact same threat signed by the rival king who just so happens to have an army 20x larger might actually succeed in intimidating our hypothetical king. That doesn't make the diplomat a scary dude and his wife is not gonna stop cucking him.

    See? It all comes down to whether or not the threat is scary enough and faking a threat is BLUFFING, which is a skill as far as I'm concerned.

    Last but not least: I REALLY like Alex's idea of leverage and the interaction between leverage and intimidation might yield interesting results.
     
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