[Quickstart] Questions about the intrigue system

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[Quickstart] Questions about the intrigue system

Postby Skyrock » Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:13 pm

I searched the forums and looked on the homepage of there’s already a FAQ up, but neither is the case. So I’m going top enter my questions here…

1.) Disposition modifiers: Are the modifiers for Deception and Persuasion cumulative if you try to deceive someone, or ist he Deception modifier the only one that applies?

Example:
You try to deceive someone who you Dislike (DR, Deception +1, Persuasion -2). How’s that working?
a.) Only Deception applies, and you receive +1.
b.) Deception +1 and Persuasion -2 are cumulative, resulting in a net modifier of -1.

2.) Techniques: They have overall different but yet tactically interesting effects, and at least after a comparison of the Influence sources most of them make sense. However, two stand out as inferior choices: Bargain and Taunt.

2.a.) Among the two Cunning Techniques, Bargain is the inferior: Incite has the nice side-effect that you can also make an enemy look bad (neutral to good effect), while Bargain does nothing but costs you something (annoying to negative effect).
The only case where Bargain might be a sound choice is if you specialize in Bargain rather than in Incite. But that looks like tactical bogus decision after comparing the side-effects.
It might also be a bit easier to gain a role-playing bonus if you offer something that your target specifically adores, but if you know your target that well, you might also try to rally it versus a personal enemy, or to blame your enemy for acts that your target personally despises, so it seems like this is a negligible advantage.
Is there anything I overlook? (Take note that I purely discuss from a tactical POV – of course there might be role assumption reasons to choose Bargain over Incite, but that is also true for the other way around.)

2.b.) Taunt’s side-effect is clearly adversial: You automatically worsen the Disposition of your enemy to yourself, and depending on how bad the Disposition started out you either fail automatically (and risk to be out-intrigued by your target without any possible gain), or you get even under physical attack.
The only case where Taunt might be a sound decision is if Awareness is your best attribute, and even in this case the side-effects turn it either into an partly adversial, useless or even dangerous option, depending on the starting Disposition. If Awareness isn’t your best attribute at all, there’s even not this advantage going for it, and you’d choose any technique above this one.
Is there also something I overlook? (For my POV, see above.)
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Re: [Quickstart] Questions about the intrigue system

Postby Patchface » Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:16 pm

Skyrock wrote:1.) Disposition modifiers: Are the modifiers for Deception and Persuasion cumulative if you try to deceive someone, or ist he Deception modifier the only one that applies?

Example:
You try to deceive someone who you Dislike (DR, Deception +1, Persuasion -2). How’s that working?
a.) Only Deception applies, and you receive +1.
b.) Deception +1 and Persuasion -2 are cumulative, resulting in a net modifier of -1.

A +1 modifier (answer a); each modifier for the type of test it's named for, I would think. Or am I missing something?

Skyrock wrote:2.) Techniques: They have overall different but yet tactically interesting effects, and at least after a comparison of the Influence sources most of them make sense. However, two stand out as inferior choices: Bargain and Taunt.

2.a.) Among the two Cunning Techniques, Bargain is the inferior: Incite has the nice side-effect that you can also make an enemy look bad (neutral to good effect), while Bargain does nothing but costs you something (annoying to negative effect).
The only case where Bargain might be a sound choice is if you specialize in Bargain rather than in Incite. But that looks like tactical bogus decision after comparing the side-effects.
It might also be a bit easier to gain a role-playing bonus if you offer something that your target specifically adores, but if you know your target that well, you might also try to rally it versus a personal enemy, or to blame your enemy for acts that your target personally despises, so it seems like this is a negligible advantage.
Is there anything I overlook? (Take note that I purely discuss from a tactical POV – of course there might be role assumption reasons to choose Bargain over Incite, but that is also true for the other way around.)

2.b.) Taunt’s side-effect is clearly adversial: You automatically worsen the Disposition of your enemy to yourself, and depending on how bad the Disposition started out you either fail automatically (and risk to be out-intrigued by your target without any possible gain), or you get even under physical attack.
The only case where Taunt might be a sound decision is if Awareness is your best attribute, and even in this case the side-effects turn it either into an partly adversial, useless or even dangerous option, depending on the starting Disposition. If Awareness isn’t your best attribute at all, there’s even not this advantage going for it, and you’d choose any technique above this one.
Is there also something I overlook? (For my POV, see above.)

The uses, advantages ad disadvantages of all the Techniques are highly situational, it seems to me. In a setting like Westeros, I can easily imagine a situation in which Taunt could be helpful, for example because you actually want another character to attack you (perhaps because so it looks like self-defense, or because you gain some kind of political benefit from him losing his cool). Or imagine a situation in which you want a foe to step into some kind of trap you set up, making it look like a self-inflicted accident. As far as I can see, none of the other Techniques would be even half as useful as Taunt in situations like that.

As for Bargain vs. Incite, while they work similarly as far as mechanics are concerned, they will probably come in handy in very different situations. Incite seems rather one-dimensional: you can make another character turn against your enemies, but that's about it. Bargain on the other hand seems like a much broader Technique, which could be useful in many different situations. Also, while you actually let the character you Bargain with know what you want for your coin (or whatever), Incite is more subtle.
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Postby Skyrock » Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:50 pm

In regards to 2.b.): Ah, I didn't think of abusing Taunt as a way to provoke attacks where this would lead the enemy in a lose-lose-situation. That's a narrow and highly situational application, but definitively one where Taunt has some use. Together with the fact that it's the only Awareness option (and that awareness is a universally worthwile stat in 8 of 10 RPGs), it gives it certainly some place.


With 2.a. (Bargain), I don't see the point yet.

If you read it that way that Incite can _only_ be used to turn someone against a third party, than it's clearly narrowed down and not as versatile as Bargain.
My reading is more that the effects of Techniques are just side-effects which are independent of Objectives, just like in the related combat system your choice of Weapon isn't interconnected with the outcome of a Defeat.
Of course, it might be that my reading is the on that is off, especially as we talk yet about quick-start rules without further examples and clarifications, as the full-blown product will hopefully deliver.

Apart from that, I could easily imagine situations where Incite is of use apart from the side-effect...
  • Friendship: "Hey, have you heard what the Duke of Whereverchester whispered into the Marquises ear about you? ... Good to have friends who keep you tuned, isn't it?"
  • Information/Services: "If you wouldn't mind to [leave me this sword for a friendship price/tell me a bit about the going-ons in the court of Elsewherechester], I might share with you the dirt that the Duke of Whereeverchester spreads about you..."
  • Deceit: "Listen, important news! The Duke of Whereeverchester... you wouldn't believe what he said about you to the Marquise!"

(These are all the listed objectives from the QS rules.)
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Postby Patchface » Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:46 pm

Skyrock wrote:Of course, it might be that my reading is the on that is off, especially as we talk yet about quick-start rules without further examples and clarifications, as the full-blown product will hopefully deliver.

I'm reluctant to read too much into the quick-start rules as well, and things may become clearer once I've actually played using the new system. :)

However, I would indeed interpret matters somewhat differently. The way I read the Intrigue rules, Incite would only be the Technique of choice in one of your examples:

Skyrock wrote:Friendship: "Hey, have you heard what the Duke of Whereverchester whispered into the Marquises ear about you? ... Good to have friends who keep you tuned, isn't it?"

While this one is a close call, I would actually consider this a Charm Technique. Your objective is friendship, and you "work to adapt yourself to your subject's desires". So your main objective is to improve the target's disposition towards you - not to worsen the attitude he has towards your enemy (which may be a secondary objective). But rules-wise, you can only achieve the desired improvement by using the Charm Technique.

Skyrock wrote:Information/Services: "If you wouldn't mind to [leave me this sword for a friendship price/tell me a bit about the going-ons in the court of Elsewherechester], I might share with you the dirt that the Duke of Whereeverchester spreads about you..."

That, to me, is clearly a Bargain Technique. You offer something (in this case information, may it be true or false) to get a service/a weapon/a different information in return. The mechanics only work in your favor here if you use the Bargain Technique; Incite won't get you the sword.

Skyrock wrote:Deceit: "Listen, important news! The Duke of Whereeverchester... you wouldn't believe what he said about you to the Marquise!"

This time you would indeed use Incite, imo (by rolling deception instead of persuasion, though). Your objective is to make your target think less of a third person. Mechanics-wise, you can only do that by using the Incite Technique.

So yeah, I guess my understanding of the rules is that Objectives and Techniques are more closely linked. But, again, all of this might be a bit premature. :)
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