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Taunt/Intimidation: Kill'em Off?

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  • Taunt/Intimidation: Kill'em Off?

    The latest hot topic is easily the proposed changes to Tricks and Tests of Wills. Personally, I love the idea of opening the floor of these mechanics to more generalized usage. I think it brings the right kind of variety and flexability to a system already known for having and encouraging such traits. But it gets me thinking... what use do Taunt and Intimidation really have anymore?

    As it stands now, all they do is allow you to perform ToW actions slightly better than the new default. Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems like keeping these skills around would stifle the direction Pinnacle should be moving in with regards to Tricks and ToW.

    Each rule is now differentiated by the outcome it aims to achieve. Tricks result in a Vulnerable condition (+2 to affect), while a Test of Wills results in a Distracted condition (-2 to Traits). This is a great place to start. And stop!

    I don't see much use in dictated which Traits could and couldn't be used to fulfil those ends. A sword flourish can be used to Distract, while a witty retort might cause a foe to drop their guard, making them Vulnerable. These options (so far) aren't possible with the proposed changes. At least not without some fudging.

    Now, let's go back to Taunt and Intimidation.

    Just by their names alone they sound like something that can be performed with a standard Trick or ToW. In fact, that's their only function: to perform a ToW; and as skills, they are keyed to specific attributes, which limits their functionality. Why couldn't a barbarian intimidate by show of Strength? Why can't a scoundrel Taunt with a clever dance? Well... the answer is they could, of course, by fudging the linked attribute... but then why have the linked attribute at all? And by extension, why even have the skills? You can simply allow a Trick or ToW to be performed by any Trait and get roughly the same result.

    Now, there are Edges that specifically give bonuses to either Taunt or Intimidation, and that seems to be one of the reasons to keep the skills around. Personally I find that to be a poor argument since the bonus could simply apply to the standard ToW when it's used in a specific way. In fact, that opens up a number of possible Edges for using Tricks/ToW in specific ways (i.e., with specific skills).

    Lastly is the issue of power-creep. Taunt and Intimidation were ways to prevent a character from gaining a lot of versatility with little to no cost. Removing these skills removes that barrier. I would then propose that Tricks and ToW carry an inherent -2 penalty. This makes the aforementioned Edges not only appealing, but necessary for versatile characters.

    ...
    Well, those are my thoughts on the issue. If you disagree, please let me know why. Perhaps another solution is give Taunt and Intimidation some other function besides just making ToW. If you have any ideas, don't keep them to yourself; shout them out below.
    Cheers, and thanks for reading.
    Last edited by Deskepticon; 01-18-2018, 01:42 PM.

  • #2
    I wrote a blog post a couple of years ago where I pondered the value of Taunt and Intimidation, in particular:

    This makes me wonder if it's really necessary to have both skills. Couldn't there just be one skill, and let the player decide if they'd rather to narrate their action as "intimidating" or "taunting"?

    Or perhaps the skill could be dropped entirely, with Test of Will becoming a Spirit-based maneuver? Agility and Smarts already have the Trick maneuver, while Strength has the Push maneuver, so why not give Spirit its own "Test of Will" maneuver? That would give a small boost to the Spirit attribute, but I see no harm in that, particularly after the recent update to the Shaken rule.
    My blog: Savage Stuff. I've also written some free tools and supplements.

    Comment


    • Lord Lance
      Lord Lance commented
      Editing a comment
      Well, Zadmar, usually I'm with you. Here I'm struggling. In short, if a single skill does the same as the Attribute (ie. it would be pretty "stupid" to have "Test of Might" skill, when a Strength roll is well serving for that) or if the single skill is only meant to be a "Save roll" (ie. Guts skill vs. pure Spirit), then we shouldn't have it in the skill list (imho, of course). However, Intimidation and Taunt (while we could compress them into a more generic "Provoke" skill) have their meaning into the "normal" flow of the game: they are a pretty different approach to the "Persuasion" skill, when relating with NPCs, even and mainly outside combat.
      The next pace is to turn Athletics into a plain Agility roll, or Fighting into a Strength roll, Healing into a Smart roll... ;-D If we reduce all to plain attribute tests, we are oversimplificating the whole system, turning into something very different. We are flattening the differences between the main characters, we are closing to the Accelerated Fate approaches.

    • Zadmar
      Zadmar commented
      Editing a comment
      If Intimidation and Taunt had specific uses other than Tests of Will, then that would be a better argument for leaving them in, but the only thing mentioned in SWD is that "More subjective effects are determined by the Game Master in roleplaying situations". In other words, it's left entirely to the GM's discretion.

      I've proposed also ways to use Intimidation outside of combat (http://savage-stuff.blogspot.com/201...of-combat.html), but that's just my house rule. There are no official guidelines, and some GMs won't allow players to substitute skills in situations where another skill normally applies, so anything already covered by Persuasion would be rather a gray area.

      Having said that, my blog post was more of a musing about skills, and about game design in general. I do still use Intimidiation and Taunt in Saga of the Goblin Horde, for example - however I tied them to a setting rule and reference them explicitly in certain adventures, giving them a more concrete use.

      I actually think Savage Worlds would work pretty well without skills (as characters are primarily defined by their Edges anyway), but that's really a different topic of conversion.

    • zgreg
      zgreg commented
      Editing a comment
      Deadlands:Noir has very nice rules for Intimidation and Taunt which give them practical use outside of combat. They are included in the most recent Polish edition and IINM also in the Brasilian one. This may be a sign that they will become a part of SW Black as well. I believe that they are universal and useful enough to be part of the core (not "degraded" to a Setting Rule), justifying existence of those skills.

  • #3
    Or... Add new mechanics and Edges that use Intimidation and Taunt. Something like Rebel Yell from Deadlands and the Interrogation and Patter mechanics from Deadlands Noir come to mind. Actually, all of those are things I've been wanting to see added to the core rules for a while now, even before hearing about any changes to Tricks and Tests of Will. I like keeping Taunt and Intimidation as skills that you can learn and advance separately from the base attributes.
    "Did I fire six shots, or only five? Three? Seven. Whatever." - Unkempt Harold

    Comment


    • zgreg
      zgreg commented
      Editing a comment
      They are included in the most recent Polish edition and IINM also in the Brasilian one which may be a sign that they will become part of the core rules.

    • Augusto Antunes
      Augusto Antunes commented
      Editing a comment
      zgreg They aren't included in the current brazilian edition. That edition only added Quick Combat and the updated Shaken rules to the corebook, everything else is the same as in Deluxe.

    • zgreg
      zgreg commented
      Editing a comment
      Then my memory has failed me. I remember someone telling me on this forum about edition from another country with those rules, I just can't recall what country was it...

  • #4
    Originally posted by Augusto Antunes View Post
    Or... Add new mechanics and Edges that use Intimidation and Taunt. Something like Rebel Yell from Deadlands and the Interrogation and Patter mechanics from Deadlands Noir come to mind.
    Well, that was kind of my point... that such Edges don't really need to have those skills. They could conceivable use any Trait. Including the skills just as requirements for Edges to in turn use those skills is just circular logic.
    In the case of Rebel Yell, you might just make a straight Spirit roll. And if we suppose that Tricks/ToW carry a -2 penalty by default, Rebel Yell can also eliminate it.

    Interrogation might make a good skill on its own. But again, I don't see the value in also having Taunt and Intimidation when you could just make a Trick or ToW using your Interrogation skill.

    Patter is essentially a tweek to Social Conflict and uses Persuasion, so it's not really pertinent to this discussion. I do agree it should become part of Core though.

    I like keeping Taunt and Intimidation as skills that you can learn and advance separately from the base attributes.
    I can appreciate that stance.
    However, I'm also interested in knowing some of the reasons why.

    To emphasize what I mentioned in the OP, the new direction for Tricks/ToW is great, but I only see Taunt and Intimidation as being roadblocks to stifle player creativity. I'm no longer convinced they serve the purpose they once did.

    Comment


    • #5
      Not read any of the proposed rule changes but seems to me with all the merging of Climb, Throw and Swim into Athletics and the downgrading and ultimate removal of Taunt and Intimidation (+ Gambling?) there are going to need to be a greater variety of Edges to compensate for the reduction in the number of choices for character advancement. Ultimately are all skills going to become redundant and all effects and actions tied purely to Attributes?
      Last edited by Mavis; 01-18-2018, 07:36 PM.

      Comment


      • #6
        Originally posted by Deskepticon View Post
        I'm no longer convinced they serve the purpose they once did.
        That is definitely the case, but to be totally honest, I never understood why Intimidation and Taunt were explicitly combat skills to begin with. Allowing for the use of Smarts and Spirit in battle is awesome, and the new rules for Tests of Will are pretty fantastic, but rather than writing them off I think it would be great to expand on their applicability. Taunt and Intimidation are inherently social skills, not combat skills, and their inclusion should allow for their application off the battlefield. I can't speak for Augusto, but I agree with him: bringing in the Interrogation rules from DL:N is a fantastic start, but there are likely other ways to expand on their usefulness.

        I've noticed that whenever this pops up, there's an important point that is neglected: you can do Tricks and Tests of Will not just with the appropriate Attribute (Agility/Strength and Smarts/Spirit respectively), but with any linked Skills that the GM feels is appropriate. That means that instead of using Agility to feint, you could use Fighting (though it seems silly to do that rather than hitting them instead ) or Athletics or Stealth. A Smarts ToW could theoretically be performed with a Knowledge skill, with a creative enough player. But, no one is saying that these other skills are now useless because they have other utilities that make them valuable and unique—rather, having these skills available and now universally useful in combat (granted a creative player and/or a permissive GM) promotes player creativity, rather than stifling it.

        Rather than looking at it from "what are we losing" in combat effectiveness, look at it from the other direction: what can we stand to gain from this change? Taunt and Intimidation aren't combat maneuvers—they're social skills, and that's definitely a point of Savage Worlds that has lacked in lieu of combat capabilities. Being spirited (or being big, for that matter) is not the same as being intimidating, and being smart doesn't inherently allow someone to cut into someone's insecurities. (As an aside, scaring someone into leaving the palace gates unlocked when they leave their shift is a very different skill set from interrogating someone that you have locked in a room with you, so simply replacing Intimidation and Taunt with "Interrogation" can cheapen a character's identity and role within the party.)

        Expanding on those points, their out-of-combat utility, is how you keep these skills relevant in the same way that Investigation and Persuasion aren't being lumped into this discussion. This means that these skills actually gain a tangible benefit to the system where they belong (as their associated Edges, all Social Edges, imply) and, due to the way ToW work now, can still be used in a combat environment if that's something the character wishes to try. The added benefit of allowing for a "Rebel Yell"-style Edge (or even an inherent benefit) for only Intimidation or Taunt allows for a cool and flavorful ability while, like you said, preventing a character from gaining a lot of versatility with little to no cost.

        Tangentially, if Intimidation and Taunt are skills then you aren't limited to raising them once per Rank, so you can become more and more imposing—up to a d12 by Seasoned, easily—without sacrificing your other Attributes or capabilities. You could also have an intimidating (d10) individual at the end of character creation without having to sack your Agility/Smarts/Strength/Vigor to do it (with a d8 Spirit, it's only 5 skill points).
        Last edited by DoctorBoson; 01-19-2018, 12:19 AM.
        My thoughts, musings, and general character adaptations on Savage Everything. Now featuring Suppressive Fire that actually works!

        Comment


        • #7
          Excellent Response.

          Originally posted by DoctorBoson View Post
          That means that instead of using Agility to feint, you could use Fighting (though it seems silly to do that rather than hitting them instead ) or Athletics or Stealth.
          Presumably it could be used a setup for your allies. I'm guessing a Vulnerable foe remains in that state until their next action. If that gives two of your allies a better chance to hit (and deal damage), it might be worth sacrificing your own attack.

          A Smarts ToW could theoretically be performed with a Knowledge skill, with a creative enough player. But, no one is saying that these other skills are now useless because they have other utilities that make them valuable and unique—rather, having these skills available and now universally useful in combat (granted a creative player and/or a permissive GM) and promotes player creativity, rather than stifling it.
          What I meant by "stifling creativity" was limiting ToW to just Smarts/Spirit, and Tricks to Agility/Strength, and that Taunt and Intimidation are symptoms of that limitation.
          I realize I might have been unclear on that point. My angle is that the outcome of the action should be the goal (Distracted or Vulnerable) and the way a character goes about achieving that goal should be interpretive.

          I also acknowledge that such an open-ended mechanic is ripe for abuse, so I proposed Tricks and ToW default at -2.

          Rather than looking at it from "what are we losing" in combat effectiveness, look at it from the other direction: what can we stand to gain from this change? Taunt and Intimidation aren't combat maneuvers—they're social skills, and ... simply replacing Intimidation and Taunt with "Interrogation" can cheapen a character's identity and role within the party.
          True.
          But I think some of the benefit of having a more broad skill like "Interrogation" is the opportunity to supplement it with unique Edges that fill in the niche identity rolls.

          I'm not married to the idea of axing Taunt and Intimidation. If they can find meaningful roles in a social setting then I'm willing to be swayed. And I would go further and say that the social applications should be their primary usage... they could then naturally be selected for ToW or Trick attempts.

          Expanding on those points, their out-of-combat utility, is how you keep these skills relevant in the same way that Investigation and Persuasion aren't being lumped into this discussion. This means that these skills actually gain a tangible benefit to the system where they belong (as their associated Edges, all Social Edges, imply) and, due to the way ToW work now, can still be used in a combat environment if that's something the character wishes to try. The added benefit of allowing for a "Rebel Yell"-style Edge (or even an inherent benefit) for only Intimidation or Taunt allows for a cool and flavorful ability while, like you said, preventing a character from gaining a lot of versatility with little to no cost.
          Completely agree.
          The question remains: what would those out-of-combat utilities look like?

          Tangentially, if Intimidation and Taunt are skills then you aren't limited to raising them once per Rank, so you can become more and more imposing—up to a d12 by Seasoned, easily—without sacrificing your other Attributes or capabilities. You could also have an intimidating (d10) individual at the end of character creation without having to sack your Agility/Smarts/Strength/Vigor to do it (with a d8 Spirit, it's only 5 skill points).
          All true, but I think the convincing argument would be finding a way to detach the Taunt and Intimidation skills from the Test of Wills mechanic almost entirely, so that the new proposed rules are served fairly equally across all skills.(I'll admit, I am biased toward such an open-ended system, and that's coloring my perspective.) If Taunt and Intimidation had other meaningful parts to play in the game, relegating Tricks/ToW to secondary (or even tertiary) roles, I'd have no problem if they stayed in.

          Comment


          • #8
            Originally posted by Deskepticon View Post
            If Taunt and Intimidation had other meaningful parts to play in the game, relegating Tricks/ToW to secondary (or even tertiary) roles, I'd have no problem if they stayed in.
            That's definitely what I would want. As stated, the Interrogation rules from DL:N alone does wonders, but further clarifying how Intimidation and Taunt can be used in lieu of Persuasion could go a long way.

            Intimidation is the easy one: since Persuasion can only lift reactions 2 places at maximum, perhaps Intimidation pulls it higher on average more easily, but has the drawback of consequences at the GM's discretion? You can't talk the enemy mook into leading you to his boss' hideout without a huge bribe, but you could certainly intimidate him into doing so—but that might mean he'll go to the cops, or put out a hit, or something similarly nasty. Actually codifying these differences would go a long way (which means that Intimidation and Persuasion would both have distinct out-of-combat utilities and could both be used in various Social Conflicts).

            Taunt... tbh, that one is really tricky to figure out. I've never been able to figure out a good social utility for the skill until the Interrogation rules from DL:R. As it stands, there are more Edges to Taunt people than to Intimidate them, so it has less avenues of use but can be more reliable... Maybe the skill is renamed to something else, maybe it inflicts NPCs with just a dumbfounded hatred for the character and more easily lures them into traps or faux pas? Or maybe it's just the midway point between Persuasion or Intimidation, where it's more socially acceptable but can be used to get NPCs what you want to do in the short-term in exchange for longer-term benefits. Using the example from earlier, intimidating someone into leading you into their base is easier and cheaper than persuading them to, but if you're spotted doing it then you're in deep doo-doo... but if you trick the baddie into running home ("oh gee, I hope he doesn't escape out that open window, we'll never be able to find him if he escapes home!"—that might be Taunt at –2 though ) and thinking you guys won't be able to keep up with him, you can have a stealthier party member follow him, or even track him, with far fewer consequences even though he's still unwittingly doing exactly what you hoped he would. I can only really spitball with Taunt, but Intimidation and Persuasion are definitely distinct enough for me that they should be considered separate skills.

            Doing that, though, Taunt and Intimidation fall into the same category as persuasion: they can now be used for ToW, but their primary goal is various ways of getting people to do what you want them to do, either willingly, unwillingly, or unwittingly, and they all have uses in various social conflicts.
            My thoughts, musings, and general character adaptations on Savage Everything. Now featuring Suppressive Fire that actually works!

            Comment


            • SteelDraco
              SteelDraco commented
              Editing a comment
              I've seen recommendations (I think it was from Bobby at The GM's Table) to rename Taunt to Fast-Talk, and move it to be the deception-based conversation skill to Persuasion's genuine attempts to convince someone. That's pretty much the same skill spread as in 3.x D&D (with Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Sense Motive as the social skills in PF). It gives Taunt both combat utility for its existing mechanics and also a social skill usefulness. Presumably it would still apply the character's Charisma modifier as well.

            • DoctorBoson
              DoctorBoson commented
              Editing a comment
              I could see that... one thing I want try and maintain in particular is the utility of Taunt in Interrogations, because it's such a flavorful thing that has popped up quite a few times recently; for example, this famous scene from the first Avengers film. Fast-Talk may not be the best name for it, but retaining this capability to trick someone into talking is important for whatever ends up taking Taunt's place (as well as its current usage of verbally cutting someone down a peg)—it's almost more of a "manipulation" skill, in that light.

            • Freemage
              Freemage commented
              Editing a comment
              Yeah, replacing Taunt with Con/Deceit/Fast-Talk/etc seems like a viable way to advance along this track.

          • #9
            Originally posted by DoctorBoson View Post


            I've noticed that whenever this pops up, there's an important point that is neglected: you can do Tricks and Tests of Will not just with the appropriate Attribute (Agility/Strength and Smarts/Spirit respectively), but with any linked Skills that the GM feels is appropriate. That means that instead of using Agility to feint, you could use Fighting (though it seems silly to do that rather than hitting them instead ) or Athletics or Stealth. A Smarts ToW could theoretically be performed with a Knowledge skill, with a creative enough player. But, no one is saying that these other skills are now useless because they have other utilities that make them valuable and unique—rather, having these skills available and now universally useful in combat (granted a creative player and/or a permissive GM) and promotes player creativity, rather than stifling it.
            Are Linked-skill Tricks/ToW resisted with the same Skill, or are they resisted with the base Attribute? Both seem potentially rife for strategic manipulation, which some GMs and players will see as 'abuse':

            Skill v. Skill: I've got a Savage Rifts Techno-Wizard who would LOVE to be able to roll his d12+2 Knowledge: Engineering vs. a brutish opponent's d4-2. ( http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0808.html )

            Skill v. Attribute: Here's where that Fighting big I quoted above starts to make a lot of sense. In my experience, Fighting is often cranked up above Agility by dedicated melee types (that way they can focus on advancing Strength for more damage). So in a case of two duelists going at it, choosing my d12 Fighting (with Edge bonuses) vs. his d8 Agility, lowering his Parry so that I can do a follow-up attack. (If Tricky Fighter/Dirty Fighter combo from SR exists, then this becomes a VERY potent approach--I use my Fighting vs. your Agility as a Free Action, then I use my Fighting vs. your reduced Parry to make you bleed.)

            Comment


            • ValhallaGH
              ValhallaGH commented
              Editing a comment
              Base Attribute.

          • #10
            Originally posted by Freemage View Post
            Are Linked-skill Tricks/ToW resisted with the same Skill, or are they resisted with the base Attribute? Both seem potentially rife for strategic manipulation, which some GMs and players will see as 'abuse':

            Skill v. Skill: I've got a Savage Rifts Techno-Wizard who would LOVE to be able to roll his d12+2 Knowledge: Engineering vs. a brutish opponent's d4-2.
            I would say it would be opposed by the target's most most relevant Trait. So if the Techno Wizard tried to Distract with his Engineering skill ("Whoa! That bridge you're standing on ain't sturdy!"), the target would use his Smarts if he doesn't have Engineering as well.

            Skill v. Attribute: Here's where that Fighting big I quoted above starts to make a lot of sense. In my experience, Fighting is often cranked up above Agility by dedicated melee types (that way they can focus on advancing Strength for more damage). So in a case of two duelists going at it, choosing my d12 Fighting (with Edge bonuses) vs. his d8 Agility, lowering his Parry so that I can do a follow-up attack. (If Tricky Fighter/Dirty Fighter combo from SR exists, then this becomes a VERY potent approach--I use my Fighting vs. your Agility as a Free Action, then I use my Fighting vs. your reduced Parry to make you bleed.)
            It's these types of exploitative tactics that leads me to believe Tricks and ToW should carry a penalty by default. Since the person initiating the action will likely choose their best Trait and use it in a way that exploits their opponent's worst, a built-in equalizer seems needed. There can always be Edges that tip the favor toward the player.

            Basically, such exploitation shouldn't be discouraged... the character should just need to invest a bit to get it.

            Comment


            • ValhallaGH
              ValhallaGH commented
              Editing a comment
              No speculation, that's how it works. Resisted by the related Attribute of whatever skill you used.

          • #11
            Originally posted by DoctorBoson View Post
            That's definitely what I would want. As stated, the Interrogation rules from DL:N alone does wonders, but further clarifying how Intimidation and Taunt can be used in lieu of Persuasion could go a long way.

            ...

            Doing that, though, Taunt and Intimidation fall into the same category as persuasion: they can now be used for ToW, but their primary goal is various ways of getting people to do what you want them to do, either willingly, unwillingly, or unwittingly, and they all have uses in various social conflicts.
            This sounds reasonably.
            The whole social interaction mechanic would probably need to be rewriten... and why not, right? If they're putting out a new Core Rulebook, might as well go big!

            Comment


            • #12
              Making Taunt and Intimidation stand out more and giving them a bit more detail sounds like a great idea. We use it mainly in social situations in our games, and they both serve a purpose in situations where you can't easily persuade your opponent. I think the Persuasion mechanics – with the reaction table and all – work very well. For me as GM, it's well understandable and applicable. I can use it without handwaving or letting it be overpowered, because there are opportunities where you don't have anything to offer and it'd count as a big favor. That's where Taunt and Intimidation often come in.
              However, from a purely mechanical standpoint, they work really similar. In our games, Intimidation is usually the way to go because it's way easier to imagine for us how a PC intimidates someone to do something instead of taunting him to do so. Now, if Taunt would additionally include stuff like deception, fast-talk or something (which now falls into Persuasion, as far as I know, and is opposed by Notice), that'd probably get more use in our games. After all, Taunt is opposed by Smarts, which fits for looking through lies and the like, and the mechanics (where you get what you want, but the reaction lowers because they find out that they've been tricked later) check out, too.

              Edit: On the other hand, as a friend just pointed out, moving deception entirely to Taunt would in turn devalue Persuasion (and with that, Charisma) and also Notice, compared to the way it is now. Hmm. That might be even worse.
              Last edited by Vasant; 01-19-2018, 11:58 AM.

              Comment


              • #13
                I don't think that would devalue Persuasion. The thing about both Fast-Talk and Intimidation is that once they wear off, the person you used them on is angry at you. It's a temporary thing that will generally leave an enemy behind that probably isn't going to fall for that again. Persuasion doesn't do that.

                And presumably if you've got a Fast-Talk or Bluff skill, it's also going to get the Charisma modifier, so it wouldn't devalue that.

                Comment


                • #14
                  Originally posted by SteelDraco View Post
                  I don't think that would devalue Persuasion. The thing about both Fast-Talk and Intimidation is that once they wear off, the person you used them on is angry at you. It's a temporary thing that will generally leave an enemy behind that probably isn't going to fall for that again. Persuasion doesn't do that.
                  Exactly, that's why I think it's a nice fit mechanically. Right now, lying is mostly handled with Persuasion vs. Notice, so "lying to somebody which he might or might not find out one day and then it's going to bite you" is handled by Persuasion, too.
                  Right now as a GM, I ask for a Persuasion roll and tell the player if it's going to be an opposed roll (because he might want to use Bennies, then) – often there isn't a distinct line between persuasion, skirting the truth and lying. So, a player might plan something and then be surprised that this is Taunt now, but it was Persuasion in a case that seemed similar to the player but not the GM. It could work a bit better if you can let the player choose – e.g. Traps might be disarmed by Lockpicking or Repair, too.
                  If you have skill that combines Taunt and Bluffing, that might require asking for an opposed Smarts roll without adding Charisma in one case (insults) and adding Charisma but asking for an opposed Notice roll (or Smarts, if he doesn't have notice?) in the other case (lying), which doesn't sound exactly streamlined. Could still work, of course – Edges do this, too (e.g. "bonus to stealth, but only in an urban environment"). And since it's not in the middle of a battle, it's okay to take a second or two to decide about that.

                  Comment


                  • Freemage
                    Freemage commented
                    Editing a comment
                    The correct way to phrase it is, "Right now there is no canon method for rolling for deception, and every GM does it ad-hoc." Some use Persuasion; I like to use Smarts Tricks; some could be doing some other approach (say, rolling a particular skill related to the thing you're trying to deceive the target about).

                    Persuasion is getting someone to do what you want them to do. It can be influenced by a successful deception, but sometimes, even if they genuinely believe the Queen sent you with that elixir to ease the King's ulcers, they STILL won't let you enter the bedchamber because they have strict orders not to open the doors for any reason, as he's in there with the visiting Countess L'Plotdevice.

                  • Vasant
                    Vasant commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Freemage agreed! I never saw anything else besides Persuasion vs. Notice on the table, I thought it was an official recommendation as well. I'd be happy to have better, more exact descriptions for Taunt and Intimidate in social situations like we have for Persuasion now, though. Right now, it's just up to the GM if you can Taunt or Intimidate your way into the examplary bedchamber while you have precise, working rules for the use of Persuasion.
                    Last edited by Vasant; 01-19-2018, 06:37 PM.

                • #15
                  Originally posted by Vasant View Post
                  Right now, lying is mostly handled with Persuasion vs. Notice ... often there isn't a distinct line between persuasion, skirting the truth and lying.
                  This is why I'm not completely sold on reconfiguring Taunt into a bluff skill. In one setting I reskinned Gambling into a bluff skill called Skulduggery. In theory it sounded cool; in practice it felt like a flip version of Persuasion (except with gambling rules ).

                  The skills in SW are purposefully broad. Persuading a person, either through reason and dialectic or lies and deceit, should probably be the same skill. The goal is to get someone to trust you, or do you a favor, etc. However that is accompliced is narrative. Edges (or the Skill Specialization setting rule) can help customize characters that want to focus on one approach over the other.

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