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Social Conflict, how do you work it?

 
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Codifying Social Interactions
Narrative handwave
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Simple Die Roll
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Role Play it out
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Other
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GreenTongue
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 1:44 pm    Post subject: Social Conflict, how do you work it? Reply with quote

Trying to codify Social Interactions for Savage Worlds.
I'm using the Reaction Table in the SW rule book and the Charisma Effects from No Dumping in Shark Nibbles #6 as a basis.

I decided to define things in terms of Influence/Wealth/Force and assign weights to the ranges.
Influence -- Far Reaching(4), Local(2), Personal(1)
Wealth ----- Unquestionable(4), Notable(2), Some(1)
Force/Size - Army(4), Company(2), Squad(1)

Your Rank compared to Opponent - Much Higher(+2), Higher(+1), Lower(-1), Much Lower(-2)
Subtract your request size in terms of the Influence/Wealth/Force required to fulfill it.

Alter the total based on your Charisma.
If you are Liked(+1), Admired(+2), Beloved(+4), Worshipped(+6)
If you are Intolerable(-8 ), Hated(-6), Despised(-4), Disdained(-2), Ignored(-1)

If you know the Opponent's weakness(Hindrance) or knowledge they can't admit to, you can counter one negative.

You have a known weakness(Hindrance) or the opponent knows you have knowledge you can't admit to, the opponent can counter one positive.

"Blackmail" from making a Hindrance event public or exposing knowledge is something that will reduce a Charisma total.
It is not the Hindrance itself but an event that was caused due to it.
It can be defined in an amount of lost Influence, Wealth or Force and drops Charisma total by that amount.

An ally can roll before you and provide an effect.
+1 if their results is Friendly, +2 if Helpful but -1 if Uncooperative and -2 if Hostile.

A Favor can be offered the opponent to alter results on the Reaction Table.
The size of the Favor is based on its size in terms of Influence/Wealth/Force.

An Oath is a type of Favour that is not owed to a specific person or group.
-1 for each Unfulfilled Favor to the Opponent or Oath the would benefit opponent.
=

These additional Hindrances were added as well.
Gluttonous (Minor): always over indulges
Abstinent (Minor):avoids all possible temptations even to the point of insult, Charisma -1
Extravagant (Minor): over spends to the point of owing
Flamboyant (Minor): always Noticed, +2 for any identification rolls
Ragged (Minor): total lack of style, Charisma -1
Vain (Minor): easily offended
Submissive (Minor): accepts any humiliation
Fanatical (Minor): willing to do anything for a cause
Slothful (Minor): unwilling to do anything that requires additional effort
Volatile (Minor): very emotional
Stoical (Minor): emotionless
Boastful (Minor): always takes credit for any deed done, deserved or not
Bashful (Minor): never takes credit for deeds done
Insolent (Minor): always makes fun of others, Charisma -1
Humorless (Minor): never thinks anything is funny.
Sycophantic (Minor): cares a lot about what others think
Cantankerous (Minor): does not care what others think, Charisma -1
Paranoid (Minor/Major): thinks some people are out to get them, Major thinks ALL people are.
=

Any suggestion or opinions on how workable this is for general usage?
Is it FFF enough?

I'm intending it for my EPT conversion, which will need the option of using Political interaction in place of physical combat.
===


Last edited by GreenTongue on Fri Nov 24, 2006 2:06 pm; edited 2 times in total
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GreenTongue
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The driving force here is to make a Favor a quantifiable value and steer game direction based on them.

The gaining of Influence/Wealth/Force and its use to curry Favors and fulfill Favors can then have real "In Game" effects.
=
Influence can be used to rally the established authorities to your cause and provide Force.
Extravagant parties and lavish gifts convert money into influence.
Dungeon exploring requires Force but earns a lot of money.
=
Using either your Influence, Wealth or Force, gain the allegiance or fulfill favors for prominent public figures including members of the Secret Police, Councillors, Celebrities, Priests, and Criminals.
=
Do deeds that are better left unknown to fulfill a Favor.
=
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Bill
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All this is fine Greentonge but don't go developing something you don't need. Now I will agree that EPT lends itself to a Status/Influence type of mechanic in order to capture the stratified aspects of the culture but keep it simple. For this setting a "floating" (ie changable) Status score should be kept. The base for a citizen would be a 5, a slave 2, poor -2, rich +3, Noble +5, Very Rich +2, etc. This base could be used for gaining help, getting loans, getting into places etc. (with each use reducing the value by the value used) It would rise with successful parties (the more lavish/expensive gets a bigger bonus to succeed), successful favors given (adventures returning with item or journey completed successfully), etc. Then social misques and social acolades could also affect the score positively or negatively. And you are done. (This is close to Rippers but gains and losses are easier and you lose the "risked" influence regardless of success but gain influence back much easier). Each Noble rank might have a base Status you needed to achieve before having a chance to be recognized as gaining that Rank. Thus people would tend to get more than what they need and then spend it to gain that recognition by the administration and the court.

As far as normal social interaction I roleplay to see what the players are going to say, give them a bonus/penalty based on my knowledge of the NPC (or any successful arguments against the players from other NPCs) and have the speaker roll Persasion to see if they really blew it, failed, succeeded or really succeeded. This takes into consideration the average charisma of the group plus the speakers full charisma (the company you keep).
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill,
I like your system and might well steal it for my GTA setting. I was trying for some time to find a workable system for Respect, and this get very close to what I wanted to achieve.

Of course, in GTA Respect would be gained by defending your turf, winning street races (or similar sub-culture competitions) and making the cops look like fools.

This Respect could then be "spent" to recruit allies, bargain deals, get into the VIP lounge of your favorite club, etc.
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Bill
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it works JackAce, please use it! It really is just a modification of the Rippers Status idea but I think can work to give a game mechanic for something a GM doesn't want to make up as he goes and gives the players something they can work toward.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's also a nice way to make the players realize that in certain circles their characters aren't going to be judged based on who they are, but what they have achieved.
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GreenTongue
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill wrote:
All this is fine Greentonge but don't go developing something you don't need. Now I will agree that EPT lends itself to a Status/Influence type of mechanic in order to capture the stratified aspects of the culture but keep it simple. For this setting a "floating" (ie changable) Status score should be kept. The base for a citizen would be a 5, a slave 2, poor -2, rich +3, Noble +5, Very Rich +2, etc. This base could be used for gaining help, getting loans, getting into places etc. (with each use reducing the value by the value used)

I am equating Status with Charisma in this case. It too is floating and can be used as you describe. One value for Personal Charisma and one for Public Charisma.

Quote:
It would rise with successful parties (the more lavish/expensive gets a bigger bonus to succeed), successful favors given (adventures returning with item or journey completed successfully), etc. Then social misques and social acolades could also affect the score positively or negatively. And you are done. (This is close to Rippers but gains and losses are easier and you lose the "risked" influence regardless of success but gain influence back much easier). Each Noble rank might have a base Status you needed to achieve before having a chance to be recognized as gaining that Rank. Thus people would tend to get more than what they need and then spend it to gain that recognition by the administration and the court.

I don't see how the value can be spent. That is where Favors were to come in. They can be collected and spent. It is also where the currency of the Favors would matter and determine how they could be paid back.
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DerFinsterling
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There used to be a post about "social combat", I think from JB. Don't knwo if it's still online or if it was re-printed in an issue of sharkbytes.

Do you know what I'm refering to?
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GreenTongue
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DerFinsterling wrote:
There used to be a post about "social combat", I think from JB. Don't knwo if it's still online or if it was re-printed in an issue of sharkbytes.

Do you know what I'm refering to?

Yes
It seemed to work well as a "Blow by Blow" method.
I saw looking for a way to summarize when trying to get a request response.
May be good to use both, what ya think?
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Bill
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Social combat was from me and at one time was part of the downloads for fan based stuff like Clints Magic alternatives. It was designed to allow a social event feel like a combat and was really designed for players versus another group vieing for a third party's attention. Not quite the same but it could be used in EPT.

The value is a combination of Favors, Influence, and other aspects so it could be "spent" by asking for favors from others (thus decreasing the amount "owed" you or obligating you to spend some of your influence to help others). It is not something tangilbe but more of knowing a number of influencial people yourself, or knowing someone in law enforcement who can "fix" the ticket, or getting great seats in a sold out show because of knowing the theater manager or artist performing. All these things work fine once but trying it every week and those giving favors start getting the feeling they are being used. So you need to be doing favors too to contiue building up your ballance.

In EPT I see this as getting contacts within the bueracracy, the priesthoods, the clans, etc. But rather than track all of these favors and the interconnections between them, it is just a number that can be reduced by use and built up by actions. FFF is what I see it as. Charisma doesn't "float" in the game so I wouldn't change the game to have it float. It just impacts your use of the value. A low charisma character would "pay" more for every use of his value to get a favor than Mr. Popular would. Suddenly being the ugly, mean, outsider makes it hard to get into the Emporers ball unless you have done so many favors for everyone they are willing to overlook your failings...this time.

Truely it is simply a single stat rather than two or three things to keep track of, and probably all that is needed in the old fasioned EPT. (Remember, back then most people didn't have many skills and everyone were barbarians living in the slums of Jackala city until they got a high enough level (Status) to get a passport to travel within the Empire. Only in the later versions did you get a chance to actually be from the empires and kingdoms of EPT.
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GreenTongue
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So you are thinking that specific people that owe and are owed Favors is not worth the effort of tracking?

I was thinking that it fit the "Initial Encounters in Jakalla" framework and wanted a quantative method of measuring the value of a "Favor".
Such that you would have an "Influence" contact you would do a "Force" favor for or a "Wealth" favor for.

I suppose that everything could be measured in "Influence" and that "Influence" could then be spent or accumulated until certain levels were met.

Maybe "Status" levels could be permanently purchased with them.
bill wrote:
The base for a citizen would be a 5, a slave 2, poor -2, rich +3, Noble +5, Very Rich +2, etc.


Status
1 - clanless
2 - slave
3 - poor clan member
4 - mid clan member
5 - poor clan lineage
6 - mid clan linage
7 - upper clan linage
8 - rich clan member
*9 - high clan member
10 - rich clan linage
*11 - high clan linage
*12 - royality
=
* can't be "purchased'
"Influence" is added to the Status when trying to gain a Favor.
=
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JackAce
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GreenTounge,
In an earlier post you mentioned the "currency" of favors.

The system you describe seems more similar to a "bartering" of favors.
You do someone a favor, and then you can collect a favor from that specific someone. Basically, you exchange one favor for another.

The system of Status/Influence/Respect (or however you want to call it) has more in common with an actual "currency". It can be earned by fulfilling honorable and/or impressive deeds, and then it can be spent to influence anyone who adheres to the same code of honor.
If there are multiple groups of power in direct conflict (or at least competing) with each other, you might want to keep seperate Influence scores relating to each group; especially since a deed that gains you Influence with one group could very likely reduce your Influence with another one.

Both are interesting concepts. I don't know enough of the background of EPT to recommend one or the other for your game, but I'm sure the generic Influence stat is easier to manage.
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GreenTongue
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JackAce wrote:
GreenTounge,
In an earlier post you mentioned the "currency" of favors.

The system you describe seems more similar to a "bartering" of favors.
You do someone a favor, and then you can collect a favor from that specific someone. Basically, you exchange one favor for another.

The system of Status/Influence/Respect (or however you want to call it) has more in common with an actual "currency". It can be earned by fulfilling honorable and/or impressive deeds, and then it can be spent to influence anyone who adheres to the same code of honor.
If there are multiple groups of power in direct conflict (or at least competing) with each other, you might want to keep seperate Influence scores relating to each group; especially since a deed that gains you Influence with one group could very likely reduce your Influence with another one.

Both are interesting concepts. I don't know enough of the background of EPT to recommend one or the other for your game, but I'm sure the generic Influence stat is easier to manage.

Yes, a generic Influence stat would be an easier way to go.
Wouldn't it depend on how connected to the world you wanted the players to be?
As you said, doing a favor for one person/group may set you back with another person/group. With a generic Influence stat this wouldn't matter.
It would just be a number with no "relationship" attached.

I'm not sure that in a game where it mattered that you had "Influence", not having "relationships" makes sense. Seems to me that "Status" can be generic but that "Influence" needs to be specific.

Am I overlooking something?
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jblittlefield
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DerFinsterling wrote:
There used to be a post about "social combat", I think from JB. Don't knwo if it's still online or if it was re-printed in an issue of sharkbytes.

Do you know what I'm refering to?


Wasn't me ... I'd never use an actual "system" to handle this stuff -- I'd just roleplay it out and add mods on the fly. Wink
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Bill
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greentongue,

It is not that tracking favors isn't important but it can overly complicate what you are trying to do. I believe that you could assign value to certain "ranks" or "status" levels with the system of favors being more important than just wealth (or even power) to the tradition bound clans of EPT. Make sure you figure out the levels you want beforehand however. The bottom of the barrel might be a slave, then a clanless person, etc. Don't forget to figure where royalty and the priests intersect. For the old game you could use the "levels" as the social status needed.

Then indeed favors could "purchase" status BUT you should also be forced to keep your favors at or higher than your social status or fall into "disfavor" where you may loose rank unless you do something to improve your current "favor" level. For example, a successful party! An expensive, successful party. A party that may force you to once again risk life and limb in the underworld mazes that hold treasures enough to pay for that party you need;>)

And getting that status is not like buying a set of clothes. You will need to spend favors to get the "right" people to put you in for that promotion in rank even if you "deserve" it (but exspecially if you don't). And others may be spending favors to block your rise too (especially if you have made an enemy or two on your rise!)

Thus doing favors (winning contests, exploring and returning with unique treasures or creatures, finding the ladies missing husband, taking care of that embarassing gambling debt, hosting that great party or being seen at the right party, getting that incriminating evidence) will build up the "right" peoples interest in you and then all you need do is convince them (persusion with bonus for a favor or two spent) to advance your request to the right people for the status you desire. The higher the status the more steps (Investigation would be good to identify the number of steps needed for each advance, with no jumping over status ranks;>))

At the same time those who you have thwarted may be using their favors to slow your advance or be hiring people to sabotage your efforts more directly!

Have Fun!
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GreenTongue
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill wrote:
Then indeed favors could "purchase" status BUT you should also be forced to keep your favors at or higher than your social status or fall into "disfavor" where you may loose rank unless you do something to improve your current "favor" level. For example, a successful party! An expensive, successful party. A party that may force you to once again risk life and limb in the underworld mazes that hold treasures enough to pay for that party you need;>)

It almost sounds like using Favors as payment to maintain Status. (Like owning an expensive car or house to show off, and having to pay payments and maintenance on them.)

Maybe a pyramid scheme type of system with parties being the collection point.
With the bigger the party the wider the range of Status individuals that would want to be seen there. Lower Status people doing Favors for you to get invited and you doing Favors for higher levels to get them to come.
Small parties would be limited to the same Status and equal Favor exchange.

The idea being, Favors owed to you gives you Influence. You need this Influence to "purchase" Favors of your own. The party is where arrangements for personal meetings are made and a "Net Total" in game terms is determined. Where Wealth and Force are converted to Influence.
Force is the number of people you can directly control. Either personal followers or that owe you Favors.
Wealth is the amount that was spent on the party.
(Not sure of a conversion rate yet.)
Additional Influence to be gained based on the difference in Status between higher Status - your Status and if they were pleased. (could be a net loss)

Successful parties make it easier to invite more people for the next one.
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