Working in some more love for those skills.



  • How can we as players give a little more consideration to those skills that don't involve attack and damage? I'm talking about persuade and bluff and all those social occasions where these skills could actually be used but aren't. I've been flat out told during rp that the rules say social skill roles don't mean anything. That pretty much makes these skills useless for rp and makes characters that would use them pretty irrelevant. Rolling a high persuade during a key point in a conversation should mean something I would think. The game engine won't let us ignore certain things like attack roles. Social skill roles can disregarded on a whim though. I'd just like to see some problem solving and role playing that involves more than just attack and damage. A lot of folks seem to steer every contest towards battle these days. Am I alone with this, or should I be rolling up a barbarian…?



  • If you don't have bluff, you shouldn't be very good at lieing.

    If you don't have persuade you shouldn't be a very good leader or diplomat.

    If you don't have intimidate you shouldn't expect anyone to be afraid of you.

    You don't have to make skill checks to roleplay your skills.



  • Why not have skill checks and have them mean something? If a character has invested the point then it would be useful if there was some acknowledgement of this in rp. I would think that this d&d community is mature enough to be able to work these skills in somehow.



  • I very often make people roll for skills (social or otherwise) or do it myself for them. Don't assume they're useless, unless of course your only goal is to excel mechanically at combat in scripted quests.

    And pity the character with CHA 6 who decides to become a vocal leader during a DM quest of mine. I've even had PC speeches give a combat bonus to their enemies.

    Player: "Surrender now and you will be spared!"
    What the NPCs hear: "Surrender now and you will be speared!"



  • My best example of using a skill in a non-combat fashion is my discipline skill. I know it has combat applications, however, when I'm standing at attention getting reamed out by my superiors for something I know I didn't, I always roll discipline checks for myself to determine if my PC has held his tongue and taken the butt-chewing with a grain of salt, or if he lets his emotions get the best of him. I honestly love doing this because it adds flavor to your own story. If I just decided what my character was going to do all the time, then it wouldn't be as fun as if I let my character tell me a story. I of course have it in my mind what options each skill roll determines but its still fun to see it play out unlike how I expected it.



  • Discipline doesn't work like that.

    It's a combat skill.



  • @LawOfCasualty:

    Discipline doesn't work like that.

    It's a combat skill.

    I don't see how it should matter. It is a measure of your character's Discipline. It has just as much role play value as it has combat value just like spot or listen skills allow you to RP through certain DM events. Don't hate on my idea just because I thought of it first 😉



  • The skill itself is only to resist combat feats, that's all.

    If you want to know why you aren't flipping your shit while being yelled at, look no further than your will save



  • @LawOfCasualty:

    The skill itself is only to resist combat feats, that's all.

    If you want to know why you aren't flipping your shit while being yelled at, look no further than your will save

    Just out of curiosity, considering the skill doesn't exist in PnP, where are you getting this strict interpretation and definition from?

    If it's from the base NWN definition, I think it's fair to say that the definitions were applied to mechanical effects, so that the casual, non-roleplayer would be able to assign the points most effectively.



  • @latoksinned:

    @LawOfCasualty:

    Discipline doesn't work like that.

    It's a combat skill.

    I don't see how it should matter. It is a measure of your character's Discipline. It has just as much role play value as it has combat value just like spot or listen skills allow you to RP through certain DM events. Don't hate on my idea just because I thought of it first 😉

    I've been arguing this point forever. It should also be an RP skill. DISCPLONE IS A MENTAL ASPECT! military bearing and what not. Not just a bloody, oh look. I can hold onto my sword! Duh!? (of course by forever I mean more along the lines of I suggest it as a roll to use IC, get shot down because the other player can probably figure out it puts him at a disadvantage for one reason or the next and I just go with it because i don't wanna argue about it). Lol



  • @LawOfCasualty:

    If you don't have bluff, you shouldn't be very good at lieing.

    If you don't have persuade you shouldn't be a very good leader or diplomat.

    If you don't have intimidate you shouldn't expect anyone to be afraid of you.

    You don't have to make skill checks to roleplay your skills.

    Two intelligent things, one week. Hoozah. I would say that you don't need to have good persuade to be a good leader, only good charisma, but thats just being nitpicky.

    In all honesty, if you make a good persuasive argument and then roll a super high persuade (Im only looking at the bonus, the other 20 is just too random) you would probably sway me. Same with Intimidate. Just don't do the whole "you should jump off that 500 foot cliff!" rolls a 124 persuade. Make it believable.

    Oh, and one other thing. Don't roll bluff checks. Ever. The best lies are believable both oocly and icly. The DM's do a good job of sorting out who should be lying and who shouldn't be. I've been told "your bluff skill is not high enough for that scheme" on more then one occassion, so they are watching.



  • Mortek

    I mean more along the lines of I suggest it as a roll to use IC, get shot down because the other player can probably figure out it puts him at a disadvantage for one reason or the next and I just go with it because i don't wanna argue about it

    This is part of what I was talking about. Instead of everything having to be about the one-upmanship or "teh win" as the kids are calling it these days, we could actually acknowlege that these characters we are interacting with have more at their disposal than their ability to be a crush-monkey. The "I'm not going to acknowlege your skill because the rules say I don't have to and it puts me at a disadvantage" thing is what part of what inspired me to post this.

    Gurb

    I very often make people roll for skills (social or otherwise) or do it myself for them. Don't assume they're useless, unless of course your only goal is to excel mechanically at combat in scripted quests.

    And pity the character with CHA 6 who decides to become a vocal leader during a DM quest of mine. I've even had PC speeches give a combat bonus to their enemies.

    Player: "Surrender now and you will be spared!"
    What the NPCs hear: "Surrender now and you will be speared!"

    I love it when a dm askes for a roll on anything. It makes the game feel more alive. I'd like to see players do this on their own without having to have a dm force them into it.

    latoksinned

    My best example of using a skill in a non-combat fashion is my discipline skill. I know it has combat applications, however, when I'm standing at attention getting reamed out by my superiors for something I know I didn't, I always roll discipline checks for myself to determine if my PC has held his tongue and taken the butt-chewing with a grain of salt, or if he lets his emotions get the best of him. I honestly love doing this because it adds flavor to your own story. If I just decided what my character was going to do all the time, then it wouldn't be as fun as if I let my character tell me a story. I of course have it in my mind what options each skill roll determines but its still fun to see it play out unlike how I expected it.

    I've seen discipline used like this in game on occasion and I dig the application. It shows thinking outside the tiny box of game mechanics and rping a bit.

    LawOfCasualty

    Discipline doesn't work like that.

    It's a combat skill

    A ridgid interpretation, and while perhaps correct in some aspects it does shoehorn us back into the tiny box of using a single, limited method of playing this game when everyone here is so much more creative than that.

    I'm talking about playing your stats and skills. I'm not talking about rolling for every little thing, but when in a key point of a converstation you have an oppertunity to sway it one way or the other, or act a certain way based on a skill that you've earned the right to use then it should be an option.

    Wouldn't it be cool to role a bluff check over 20 and have someone believe you based on that? Or role a persuade and have someone see things your way. I'd make the roll sometimes before I'd even finish the lines to determine how they are delivered. Roll low - your not so convincing. Roll high - your a silver tongued devil and you can play it that way. Or take that discipline roll. A soldier standing at attention in formation. Roll low - he's got a slouch and the captain tears him a new one. Roll high - You've got perfect form and your now promoted to squad leader.



  • I love the DM ask for social skills and like to play having faith that someone playing a great storyteller, a charming swindler or persuasive motivator have all put a good number of points into the proper social skills and I'm more than happy to play along with that affecting my perception of the character and temper how I treat them.

    What I don't like is the unsolicited rolls of skills to show that I should react one way or another.

    First off: even in PnP social skills can only affect NPCs, and then it doesn't even control their behavior in all but the most general sense.

    Second: In CoA if there is no DM present to mitigate and assign the appropriate adjustments then the roll itself is meaningless.

    What seems to happen in CoA is someone is saying something that is unbelievable to someone's character. The person saying the unbelievable rolls a bluff or persuade (usually whichever is higher on their character sheet) and then waits for the other character to act "appropriately". Oh 24… I win.

    Everyone treats social skills like just a raw number means anything. It's like going up to a sheer sheet of ice and going climb Oh 29! I must have climbed it.

    What actually should happen (and only against NPCs) is say I catch Swifty with my wallet and I'm ready to kick his ass so I'm effectively "hostile" on the NPC behavior chart. He tells me a believable lie, say that I was wasted and left it at the bar and he got it for me. Well he rolls a 10, has 10 skill points in bluff. The DM says, Nikko (you NPC) you're not very smart and still a little drunk so the DC is 22, 32 to sway you two positions on the NPC behavior chart. Swifty also gets +10 because you two are long standing friends and +5 because it is a plausible lie and you have no reason not to believe him. A total of 35 which sways me all the way from hostile to neutral. Meaning he can then try to tell a few jokes and we'll most likely end up friends again. And bluff has worked.

    If Swifty tells me the lie that he has been hand picked by Bane to be his official wallet inspector and he's going to need to hold on to all my money and credit cards until he can verify they're not counterfeit then the modifiers may be negative or the DC different since I am going to lose my money which is something bad for me.

    What I don't mind is having an opinion of a character and if I get in one these situations when I, as a player am having a hard time figuring out if my character would catch on, is to send a tell to the other player "what's your bluff?" If they've got some skill points- then I'll play along, but only on things I'm on the fence on whether my character would believe. Otherwise, I already form what boundaries others players have with my character based on how we've RP'd together in the past.



  • @Gurb:

    I very often make people roll for skills (social or otherwise) or do it myself for them. Don't assume they're useless, unless of course your only goal is to excel mechanically at combat in scripted quests.

    And that's great. Really, it is, not trying to be sarcastic here.

    But 90% of our time is spent without DM involvement… so 90% of the time, they're still not particularly useful to anyone who doesn't stick to LawOfCasualty's guide.



  • There are a few problems in allowing the players to handle such social skills. First of all, as someone pointed out, a roll in a vacuum has no meaning. There are modifiers, and players will hardly agree. Moreover, I know that as a player I would hate to have a roll (rolled by someone else to make it even worse) determine how my character is supposed to react. Also, a roll would end up substituting players interaction. If you want to persuade someone, be persuasive. If you want to bluff, come up with a believable lie. Then, and only then, back these things up with points in the needed social skill. But I would hate to have people drop 15 points in intimidate, then go "uuuurgh!", roll 30 persuade and expect my character to actually be intimidated.

    @LoC:

    If you don't have bluff, you shouldn't be very good at lieing.

    If you don't have persuade you shouldn't be a very good leader or diplomat.

    If you don't have intimidate you shouldn't expect anyone to be afraid of you.

    This is the way to go.

    Now, with this said, we must address the concern of NPCs reaction. I can tell you that if I'm possessing an NPC and speaking with a character, I always (and by always I really mean always) open the guy's sheet and check int/wis/cha/bluff/pers/int/ and have the NPC react accordingly. Always. And I know the other DMs do so as well.

    EDIT: @Fireblood:

    LawOfCasualty's guide.

    It is not LawOfCasualty's guide. It is CoA's guide. And if you do not respect it, expect unforeseeable things to happen to your character.



  • I roll skills in RP settings alot, but I mostly do it for my own story. As somene else mentioned, I let my character tell me her story. I suppose I have just been lucky enough to RP with people who support me enough to go along with those rolls, so in the end we all had a damn good time.

    For example, just the other day I was "helping" someone brew potions. I was asked to go get a scoop from a drawer. I rolled dex and rolled a 1. That drawer happened to have vials of liquid in it. My PC broke one but got the scoop. I then rolled bluff to see if she played it off well. I rolled high and the other PC didn't even notice until he saw her purple hands because I rolled low on my hide roll. That was one on one RP. I knew that player would go with my rolls cause that is how they are. In big group stuff where I don't know all the players, I probably won't roll or if I do its mainly for myself and I don't expect them to go along with it.

    I have been known to ask others what their ranks in X skill is when I am unsure what my PC would do. Most are cool and tell me, a few have gotten irate. Both responses are their choice and I respect that. I work with what I have, either way.

    latoksinned, I do the same thing for discipline.



  • When telling lies you should use 90% truth that way it's possible to be true if you did this to one of my characters that i know is an outright lie oocly id ask you to do a skill roll on bluff or whatever.not so i can see your roll but so i can see how many ranks you have in the skill if it's alot i'll probably go along with it if you just say balin,golin said give me 300 gold for whatver then roll a check id just say no you rp it out then if your asked for a roll then do it..what often makes me smile is when the person with no skills tries it then sulks because they got told no.
    But im not a fan of roll playing which is what you end up with when you set rules for the skills the whole i rolled a 20 so you have to do it comes in and thats just boring.



  • I'm completly against using a roll to replace RPing but in life as in games, sometimes a little luck goes a long way. That being said if someong tells me something IC that is complete horse crap and makes no sence, but gets a good bluff roll, Im going to ask them to RP that better if they want me to believe it. Now if someone rolls a great roll and tells me great freaking lie, even if I know OOC that its a lie, I'd probably let my character fall for it IC. That being said I like using rolls for my personal plots and will continue to do so, however if someone asks me to respect their roll, they better have good RP to go along with it. I love the idea of utilizing skills for RP purposes, all I ask is that we don't rely on just raw numbers.



  • I don't feel like social skills were meant to be used against PCs. More social skill checks against NPCs during quests - both scripted and DM - would be awesome, though!



  • Noone would alter his character's plans and goals just because of a persuade roll, no matter how well it is RPed. For smaller things like a specific quest though I d certainly take such roll into account. I 'd counter roll the same skill since there is no alternative.

    For example the quest with kobolds. Most evil aligned characters would want to kill the kobold children too, but it is a case where listening to the high persuade character preaching how it wouldn't worth the effort or how its kinda wrong, won't hurt your character nor his plans and goals, so I say go with it. For small stuff like that it is fun to roll a few persuade and counter persuade rolls provided one is able to make convincing arguments because let's face it, if you 're not, no matter how good the roll, noone would fall for it.

    So what I m saying is, to the people investing in social skills, don't expect anyone to make life changing decisions based on your rolls. If you find someone eager to do so that is good, but its not common at all. (A high persuade paladin trying to make an evil character seek redemption is a good example of life changing persuade rolls I think, some good RP may come out of it, but most evil people have goals and plots that will rarely let them atone. This mostly happened when RPers where hanging around the market and stuff I think.)

    On smaller stuff, I would urge anyone to go with the flow of persuade and bluff rolls provided there is proper RP and noone tries to be a jerk about it. The kobold paradigm is one case, maybe an appraise roll for a small amount of coin, stuff like that.

    DM forcing rolls of course is always welcome since they can be judges of whether someone plays his persuade and bluff well. It is the only case a character can be affected seriously by a persuade roll in a serious matter, since a DM can decide if there is proper RP background, history between characters or other stuff that justifies such.


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