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kgauck
03-24-2007, 07:24 AM
Debate can enhance any decision that requires NPC cooperation.

A diplomacy check reflect the persuasive abilty of the characters involved, and a success means a disposition to do what one can to help as described under the headings friendly and helpful. But what is possible? Even helpful characters won't do what is impossible. So if your plan has elements that can be thought as not practically possible even helpful allied might not agree to the aid you have asked for.

Debate is based on a knowledge skill you have. In theory you could debate with any skill, but a debate over the best application of the Hide skill is probabaly not a good use of time, if in fact the Hide skill is called for. Some skills like Warcraft, Administration, or Appraise could be subjects of debate. Winning a debate does not persuade people to do things that your Diplomacy check was unable to get them to do. The idea of having a debate is to add depth to a diplomacy encounter by having skeptics challenge your plan without having to be hostile. After all, friends don't always agree on the best course of action.

Suppose Adelstan the Just, noble Rjurik, is sent by his king to the friendly court in Hogunmark to win their cooperation in an upcomming war. Due to game history, Queen Freila is helpful to both the realm of your character and your PC, Adelstan, as well. Making the Diplomacy check is not a problem. The Queen and the court want to help and share you desire for victory over this foe. However, suppose Hruthwulf, the High Steward, objects that at the given time of year an army of Hoguns cannot cross the Hjarring river as you propose.

Hruthwulf has stated a thesis and the DM selects a knowledge skill that reflects the skill most associated with the thesis. If a non-knowledge skill is more appropriate then use that skill, but for similar skills, a knowledge skill is better suited for debate. The DM might select either Knowledge (Nature) or (Geography) based in whichever Hruthwulf has more of. People argue from what they know best (if they are wise).

Hruthwulf is a 6th level ranger (or more likely a Noble 1/Ranger 5, but let's put that aside). He has 12 ranks of Knowledge (Nature), so the DM selects that skill as the issue being debated. Hruthwulf has 12 knowledge points, as many as he has ranks in the skill. Your PC, Adelstan, has 5 ranks of Knoweldge (Nature) and you realize you have a problem. Your character has 5 knowledge points. As you debate, the character who loses an exchange loses knowledge points.

An exchange is basically an opposed skill check based on the skill being debated.

Hruthwulf as 12 ranks, a +2 Int bonus, and a +2 synergy bonus from his many Survival skill ranks, for a +16 bonus made to his objections and replies.

Adelstan has 5 ranks, a feat that allows him to use his Charisma bonus whenever addressing groups, so applies a +3 bonus, also gets a +2 synergy bonus for Survival ranks, and so has a +10 bonus for objections and replies.

If you want a long drawn out debate, each knowledge point can be contested individually. Or you can assume that each exchange resolves 1d4 knowledge points. If this is the case, Adelstan will probabaly be able to lose only two exchanges before he is revealed to have proposed a plan that is simply impossible because of the depth and speed of a major river. It would probabaly take six or so failed exchanges for Hruthwulf to be silenced on this matter.

If Adelstan loses this debate, and he probabaly will (because no one anticipated Hruthwulf's opposition), Hogunmark still wants to join your PC's realm in attack, but a new plan must be proposed, either by the PC, the Hogun court, or by word from home. Perhaps Thorjak promices to quiet the river so the PC's plan can proceed. Perhaps the Hoguns propose collecting many boats to cross the river and delay the attack by a month (as well as allowing enemy scouts to notice a large collection of boats and anticipate a river crossing). Perhaps they just offer you a few GB to purchase mercenaries on the other side of the river.

If you have already seen my description of Harald Khorien, you might have noticed that he had memorized two books as feats, and that these books gave him bonuses in disputations.

Normally on a subject like Knowledge (Natural Philosophy) - what we might call science today - Harald Khorien has 13 ranks of Knowledge (Natural Philosophy) and so has 13 knowledge points in such a debate. His +4 Int modifier applies, and having memorized Questiones Naturales, he gets a +4 bonus to K(NP) during disputations (debates). He also has Knowledge Focus for this skill for an additional +3 bonus. So his bonus for Objections and Replies is +24. Having memorized Timeaus he recives an additional 10 knowledge points on subjects of natural philosophy, so he now has 23 knowledge points. Harald Khorien is a formidable debater of natural philosophy indeed.

You can attempt to use Bluff in arguments. There are two kinds. You can bluff on the facts, but these must refer to conditions that cannot be verified in the debate. You can claim to have a catch of boats assembled secretly in Jankaping. Of course when the Hoguns show up expecting boats, you will still need to get them across the river. Second, you can make an ad hominem attack. You could suggest that Hruthwulf was a coward or traitorous. This would be a Bluff as well, although doing such a thing would breech any friendship with Hruthwulf and might result in his excercising his rights to physical combat to settle this calumny. Generally using a Bluff in a debate is a dishonorable act and will generally have consequences now or later. Scoundrels might hope to bluff now and fill in the gaps later, but that's obviously a risk.

irdeggman
03-24-2007, 04:43 PM
Almost sounds to me like a feat. Similar to Tracking which allows use of a skill for a special purpose.

Could also be a "trick" (based on skill tricks from Complete Rogue) {essentially x amount of ranks in diplomacy and 2 skill points spent to acquire the "debate" trick.

AndrewTall
03-24-2007, 07:40 PM
I saw it as a mechanic to aid the resolution of a talkie interaction - all too often a very articulate player playing a cretin would win arguments against a novice player playing a genius - this system recognises the skill of the character more.

A feat could certainly add to checks, 'keen insight: +2 to the relevant skill when debating against an intelligent opponent', 'bloody minded: take only 1d2 skill subdual if you lose an argument in a debate instead of 1d4' for example.

There are a lot of rules in most game systems to resolve physical conflicts, very few to cover more subtle contests. If you play a game involving a reasonable amount of negotiation and debate its a lacking in most systems.

The use of the skill as hit points rather than a 'one roll win or lose' scenario makes the game a lot less random however - just as a contest between two high hp beings is less random than one between one hit wonders; as the need for multiple rolls reduces the impact of fluke rolls.

MatanThunder
03-25-2007, 12:41 AM
:( ;)

Since you are in The Royal Library I hope that my post will not offend anyone. I am going to reflect on several non weapon proficiencies that serve in a manner similar to subject of Debate and Diplomacy as it was handled in 2nd edtion.

Although some of the material is now covered in erck...."Feats", in 2nd edition the material was pretty well handled with the following proficiencies.

Here are a couple of high points from the original post that I am relating to with the proficiencies I am listing below.


A diplomacy check reflect the persuasive abilty of the characters involved, and a success means a disposition to do what one can to help as described under the headings friendly and helpful. But what is possible? Even helpful characters won't do what is impossible. So if your plan has elements that can be thought as not practically possible even helpful allied might not agree to the aid you have asked for.

With the proficiencies (or make them feats if you must) below you can see your influence point by point, although you will have to judge reactions visually unless you possess magic to gain insight into actual reactions. The prof check will offer a step by step altering of reactions that otherwise might be unfavorable.


Debate is based on a knowledge skill you have.

&

Winning a debate does not persuade people to do things that your Diplomacy check was unable to get them to do. The idea of having a debate is to add depth to a diplomacy encounter by having skeptics challenge your plan without having to be hostile. After all, friends don't always agree on the best course of action.

This is where a point by point debate strategy can be helpful for regents who intend to change a large group of leaders/peoples minds about a subject. I would only disagree, in that, you might be able to sway people with a well worked debate and personal charisma to gain (at least a short term) commitment to a cause of debate point.

After some time of personal introspection some of course will revert to their personal belief set, but it is possible to sway most with good oration.

To my points and proficiencies......


During the course of a debate or diplomacy action/event the Regent or his/her proxy should have the ability to use any number of proficiencies that are useful in resolving the points of a debate/issue.

There are a series of individual checks made vs each of the proficiencies to show the success or failure of such actions. Without magic, an orator will have to judge reactions by the actions after the point is made. Maybe by asking a couched question that will yield some hint as to the viewpoint of the chosen targets of the oration. It doesn't always work, but it can yield some results.

The idea in a planned oration/debate is that some will be able to be swayed, by the technical aspects of the game system, for a period of time.

Most of these proficiencies are of course, CHR based. The power of the persona of the orator will often spell the success or failure of the encounter.
Here is a list of non weapon proficiencies that would yield better results for such Debate/Diplomacy checks.

Story Telling....part of any good oration is the ability to ply the crowd with a resounding oration of the subject material. (I.E. It doesn't put people to sleep). With this proficiency a speaker can do many things including spinning heroic aspects of a subject, or to even weave a believable lie that will sway the listeners at least for a time. The prof is a CHR base 0 check. Roll your CHR or less and succeed.

Oratory....is almost dead on to what you seem to be trying to achieve. It is a base CHR 0 check, and it allows the speaker to gain favorable reaction modifiers in a non combat setting through the use of oratory/rhetoric. With multiple uses of this proficiency, a speaker can set the stage for a number of positive reactions in a specific situation. Such as a vote on some point.

Bluffing, Debating, Embolden, Incitation, Intrigue, Manipulation, Negotiation, & Seduction are all mentioned as proficiencies in Dragon #243. They are a full set of prof's that would accomplish exactly what you are trying to achieve. You use an individual proficiency to alter a subjects beliefs, but you can only do so in increments. It is part of the Incitation prof, but I think your could use if for all of the debating skills.

You don't sway someone immediately, instead you move them from calm to excited to rowdy to wild to out of control (well lets say more supportive). It would be a step by step system that you could easilly quantify, so that influence in this manner doesn't get out of hand.

Debating....in this form of debating an INT check allows the user to hold their own in "heated discussions, remaining quick-witted and cool tempered". It allows the user to engage in meaningful arguments, impressing others witht ehir mental faculties. It leads to a +2/(10%) reaction bonus. It would form the backbone for what you are trying to achieve.

Interrogation.... (of an orational nature) could be a good prof for finding out what someone truely feels. It is a WIS check (-1). Some types of this prof are good cop/bad cop; repetition, evoking emotional responses, and several methods that are based of the "fears" of a subject.

Analyze Information....could also be used in conjunction with the interrogation in order to find out the possibilities of success of their oration. It is an INT (-2) check.

Diplomacy.....1) is another one that is spot on for what you are trying to achieve. It is a CHR 0 proficiency with the following description. Quote...."An individual who know the art of diplomacy had a unique way with people that draws them to his person almost irresistably. He/She has a flair for words, an extensive vocabulary, and is articulate and practiced in the arts of suble and over coercion."

In BR diplomacy.....it is a WIS (-1) check, but is far more concerned with diplomatic protocol, and far less in the actual influencing of the issues at hand It is allowed to influence the events in a far more general manner that allows for a single step alteration of reactions to the subject that the user is trying to achieve. It is far less versatile. I might combine the two for a better mix.

A success check gains the speaker an uninterrupted round of conversation, with several positive adjustments.

Fast Talking.....is a prof that some may find useful for the short term, for with a simple CHR check the target is distracted, and possibly conned into something. Of course this won't allow for great scrutiny, but if the subject is something that needs immediate support then it might be useful.

Crowd Working.....is a proficiency that some may have access to that allows them to tailor their performance/oration to the crowd/diplomats. It is a CHR (0) check. With it you could possbily alter a groups by 2 steps in the direction they are trying to influence them in.

Leadership.....as offered by the Barbarian class would allow for influencing of others with a CHR + level check to affect the reactions of those in his/her homeland. This could influence locals if not foreign diplomats.

Persuasion......In a CHR (0) proficiency check and if successful the user makes a compelling argument to convince NPC's!!! to see things thier way, responding favorably to them, or comply with a request. This one is pretty much what you're trying to accomplish with debate/diplomacy...persuade others to your point of view..


These proficiencies allow for a pretty good mix in how you could alter a debate/diplomacy action in a step by step alteration. It might not be "Feats" but you sure could access your Ability scores and accomplish the same things, with lets call the psuedo proficieincies.

With even a few of these your debates will more favorably follow your PC/Regents wishes.

Later

:cool: :rolleyes:

irdeggman
03-26-2007, 10:17 AM
:( ;)

Since you are in The Royal Library I hope that my post will not offend anyone. I am going to reflect on several non weapon proficiencies that serve in a manner similar to subject of Debate and Diplomacy as it was handled in 2nd edtion.

There are a lot of difficulties in trying to equate 2nd ed proficiencies with 3.5 mechanics. In 2nd ed there were weapon proficiencies (which are now feats) and there were non-weapon proficiencies. Most of which are now skills. Skills have ranks and are used to make checks - feats in and of themselves have no d20 mechanic check to be made (they can, however tie in a check to an ability score or a specific skill). For exampel the "track" feat. It allows you to use a "survival" skill roll to follow "tracks".



With the proficiencies (or make them feats if you must) below you can see your influence point by point, although you will have to judge reactions visually unless you possess magic to gain insight into actual reactions. The prof check will offer a step by step altering of reactions that otherwise might be unfavorable.

IMO you need to spend some time reading the SRD (or PHB to catch up on the 3.5 mechanics. I don't mean to be denigrating on this point but the mechanics are very different and very much more quantified (and scaled) in 3.5 then they were in 2nd ed. In 2nd ed it was almost impossible to increase your ability to make a non-weapon proficiency roll as you wen't up in levels. IIRC adding another non-weapon proficiency slot to an existing non-weapon proficiency made the check easier by 1 - which was usualy an extrememly difficult check in the first place - since they were all based on ability scores and usually with a minus on them. You had to roll less than that number to get a success and you couldn't increase your ability scores as you leveled up without some major magical items.



Story Telling.

A perform skill in 3.5.


Oratory....is almost dead on to what you seem to be trying to achieve. It is a base CHR 0 check, and it allows the speaker to gain favorable reaction modifiers in a non combat setting through the use of oratory/rhetoric. With multiple uses of this proficiency, a speaker can set the stage for a number of positive reactions in a specific situation. Such as a vote on some point.

Oratory is now perform (oratory).


You don't sway someone immediately, instead you move them from calm to excited to rowdy to wild to out of control (well lets say more supportive). It would be a step by step system that you could easilly quantify, so that influence in this manner doesn't get out of hand.

Which is reflected in the 3.5 mechanic of attitude.


[quote]These proficiencies allow for a pretty good mix in how you could alter a debate/diplomacy action in a step by step alteration. It might not be "Feats" but you sure could access your Ability scores and accomplish the same things, with lets call the psuedo proficieincies.

Check out what a feat and what a skill is in 3.5 terminology. I tried to give a quick explanatin earlier.


IMO trying to make a direct corollary between the 2nd ed mechancis and the 3.5 ones will only lead to and a mix of the two systems.

MatanThunder
03-26-2007, 11:48 PM
;)

I would say that first of all you may be working under a misconception.

I am NOT trying to make it a 3.?? mechanic. I am relating that you might be able (with adjustments) make straight Check's off the proficiencies based on they massively upgraded stat limits.

I do something about 3.?? mechanics........lets just say I find is wanting...I will always only ever play 2nd ed. I was presenting a set of Proficiencies, which you might calls skills, but proficiencies they remain.

Although 3.?? might want you to only rely on a 3.?? mechanic, I would suggest that when you run up against this type of problem, that you find a way to use a "Better" older way to acomplish the idea. Convert it to skills, and such, then you would have some type of workable system.

It seems that some of your later post information is garbled, you might edit it so that I makes more sense. I did get this one point.


Check out what a feat and what a skill is in 3.5 terminology. I tried to give a quick explanatin earlier.

I do understand them and find them wanting in the extreme. This is the Royal Library and not the 3.absolute posting area. I am under the impression that any version of the game may have information placed here for others to review and Use (on Not)as they feel fit.

We all don't play 3.?? and never will.

Later

:rolleyes: :eek:

PS I have converted a number of 3.? combat mechanics to 2nd edition because they were good ideas.......feats just........are too over the top.

irdeggman
03-27-2007, 10:03 AM
MatanThunder,

The point I was attempting to make was that Kenneth was using a 3.5 mechanic and that you were trying to go back to 2nd and at the same time talking about combining feats, skills and non-weapon proficiencies into one mish-mash.



With the proficiencies (or make them feats if you must) below you can see your influence point by point,

This was one that made a direct comparison between non-weapon proficiencies and feats.

So my point about "reading up" so that the relatinship betwen feats and skills is clearer is important. What I mean is that if as you are saying, you are proposing to go back to 2nd ed mechanic for certain "checks" then how that fits in with 3.5 mechanics is exptremely important.

Kenneth generally (based on past posts) has a fairly detailed set of house-rules that are based on 3.x mechanics for the most part. Which is why his posts tend to talk about using them.

Just saying that the 2nd ed mechanics worked fine is totally accurate - but only so if staying within the 2nd ed game mechanics. The reason being that classes and races were handled very differently. In 2nd ed the ony class that could readily take advantage of the non-weapon proficiency mechanic was the guilder (and Kenneth has another thread on his take for re-capturing the guilder class in 3.5 mechanics.)

The "garbled" part of the post was referring to what the current skill is for the said non-weapon proficiency. So if trying to use a combination of 2nd ed and 3.5 mechanics there are some pretty big obstacles to overcome. That was the real gist of my post. I recommend either fully embracing 3.5 or staying with 2nd ed but attempting to combine the two only leads to internal inconsistencies.

The part about "attitude" reflecting the method of moving people's opinion being captured in 3.5 as the "attitude" mechanic. Now there is a, IMO, a weakness in the diplomacy versus attitude mechanic in 3.5 in that you can move several steps at once. But it is an internal mechanic that needs to be consistent in the game - so if using 3.5 rules then they should be consistent in their application.

kgauck
03-27-2007, 04:08 PM
3rd edition and its family (d20, and settings based off of it) don't share the 2nd edition assumptions about the rate of power increase, but such things don't normally translate from game system to game system anyway. I've played games where the system was pretty flat and games where the system ramped up power pretty quickly. Any of these games can be controlled by regulating how much experience you give, but Birthright has additional outlets to regulate power, because rewards can be in-game effects to one's domain (whether as master or champion) rather than to one's own person.

Given that the current system is so modular, elegant, and regular, its got natural advantages over 2nd edition. If the power level is a concern, as it is for many of us in this particular setting (see the various threads using he key search word low level) then its easy to adjust the system to get the desired power level. If there are simply aesthetic reasons for prefering 2e, some of those will fall away with a switch to 3e, and some may not.

I know I was prefectly happy with 2nd edition before I had 3rd edition materials, and while my shift to 3e was more practical than anything when I made it, now that we are in 3.5, I must say that 3.5 has so dramtically improved over 3.0, mostly be realizing the potential in the stystem (thank you OGL), that I would never go back to 2e, unless someone was running a 2e game, and I wanted to play in that game. But let's face it, if you want to play in a game, you'll learn most any system to sit at the table.

3rd edition is different, but its a conscious attempt to improve 2nd edition. Some things were fixes for someone else, but the basic organization of the game material is a benefit to all players.

MatanThunder
03-28-2007, 01:36 AM
:D ;)


Given that the current system is so modular, elegant, and regular, its got natural advantages over 2nd edition.

Hardly....2nd edition is just fine for me. It took care of the problem of point by point negotiations, which is what you were originally posting about.

I was simply trying to show a number of proficiencies that could be used to accomplish the problem you were having in your negotiation process.

I was trying to help, but I do have a question. Why can't 2nd edition be posted here in "The Royal Library". In fact, isn't this the area for such materials since there is a thread set up for the d20 or 3.????? crowd.

I am just asking, because the thread rapidly degenerated away from whether individual skill/feats/proficiencies could be used to address the problem and became somewhat of a rah rah 3.???? and the old system is ****.

Have either of you ever played through a full blown Diplomacy using any of the proficieinces I mentioned?????????????

Just wondering.

To be honest it has worked fine for me as a DM or PC.

I noticed that irdeggman has played a role in the 3.??? handbook. Is this the hostility I seem to be getting for bringing up the earlier material.

I was just trying to put labels on some parts of the diplomatic process, and it had degenerated into the feats/skill vs weapon proficiencies/non weapon proficieincies.

Lets all try to get back to the subject of the thread, and stop the needless banter of the game systems. This parts of the site allows for some posting of 2nd edition materials, and I think there are still gamers out there able to use the system.

Hence I post to that issue at time.

Later

:( :cool:

kgauck
03-28-2007, 02:45 AM
Have either of you ever played through a full blown Diplomacy using any of the proficieinces I mentioned?
Yes

See this post from 2000 (http://oracle.wizards.com/scripts/wa.exe?A2=ind0007c&L=birthright-l&D=1&F=&S=&P=10859), wherein I write:


I have created a huge number of proficiencies, and allow them to be purchased up to a maximum of three times. Consider the effects on Diplomacy when characters can also purchase Rhetoric (INT-1), or Oratory (CHR-1), or Persuasion (WIS-1), or Logic (INT).

Imagine the poor regent who shows up to sway the duchess of Tuornen only to confront the representitive of the Prince of Avanil who has purchased Diplomacy x2, Etiquette, Oratory, and Persuasion. If you haven't made diplomacy your specialty, you're out of your league. It doesn't mean you can't win, it just means you need to set your sights low, because a high success number will be modified out of reach in a competative contest of diplomacy.

Further examination of the archives will reveal still more.


Hardly....2nd edition is just fine for me. Which does not refute my premise.

Given that the current system is so modular, elegant, and regular, its got natural advantages over 2nd edition. For instance, my '83 Honda is a fine car for my purposes. Yet I will not deny that many models are more effecient, elegant, or reliable.

Further, I will suggest that its much easier to imagine a pure social campiagn in 3rd edition than it is in 2nd edition. You can certainly homebrew 2nd edition up to the task, but 3rd edition comes that way out of the box.


Why can't 2nd edition be posted here in "The Royal Library".

It can. The objection posted was based on the constant combination of 2nd edition and third edition terms. I would suppose that it was your intent to translate for the benefit of those who are only familiar with 3rd edition. However, I also see the point that those same persons might find the references to both systems more confusing than illuminating.

MatanThunder
03-28-2007, 03:47 AM
:D ;)


Imagine the poor regent who shows up to sway the duchess of Tuornen only to confront the representitive of the Prince of Avanil who has purchased Diplomacy x2, Etiquette, Oratory, and Persuasion. If you haven't made diplomacy your specialty, you're out of your league. It doesn't mean you can't win, it just means you need to set your sights low, because a high success number will be modified out of reach in a competative contest of diplomacy.

There isn't a problem here. If someone does do the ultra specialization they DERSERVE TO WIN, now you can always invade and shove a boot in their hole if the diplomacy of the situation is beyond the PC's ability to face down a diplomacy specialist.

Of course you could hire your own and deligate some of the events through them to gain advantages such as the specialist you mention.



Quote:
Hardly....2nd edition is just fine for me.

Which does not refute my premise.

Your premise was the problems you were having in orchestrating you diplomacy actions in 3.????.

And I am not trying to refute 3.??? issues, I am shedding light on issues of diplomacy by listing a skill set in order to alter it.

If you don't want to use it fine, but 2nd edition offered fine ways to handle it if you can use the system effectively.

I have listed a number of proficiencies/skills that could be orchestrated into the game if your DM is talented enough. The proficienies I provided are all related to your "Premise" and will provide a means to resolve it if your DM is talented enough to handle the ideas.

Of course you will have to be more flexible than normal in 3.??? since DMing skills are eroded. They just don't want to see innovation and personal expression of the DMing skill in the game. Conformity in DMing that is what is offered as part of 3.???!!!


For instance, my '83 Honda is a fine car for my purposes. Yet I will not deny that many models are more effecient, elegant, or reliable.

You are talking cars....so lets say an old corvette when we talk of 2nd edition, and you can have whatever you desire for 3.????. I'm staying with my Vette!!


Further, I will suggest that its much easier to imagine a pure social campiagn in 3rd edition than it is in 2nd edition. You can certainly homebrew 2nd edition up to the task, but 3rd edition comes that way out of the box.

Rank, privledge, status, neither matter as much as a reputation with the people you rule matter little to me in relation to the game. Social status........you make me laugh.

The game allows for any classes, with or without nobility to be a regent in the first place, but your perception of a "Pure social campaigh" is totally thrown ascew when thieves, clerics, or mages are thrown into the mix. Yes the higher social classes can more easilly assume social leadership, but any ol' PC can take rulership of a region through any number of powers. They only need a reputation to lead.

Social gaming be darned. We are talking about diplomacy. I don't think social status is the bottom line here. Skills in social speaking, charismatic leadership skills, and a very good staff of followers is more important.


The objection posted was based on the constant combination of 2nd edition and third edition terms.

What objection. It was an saying that the 3.?? issue was not to be interpreted in a 2nd edition way. All I did was show a number of non weapon proficiencies that could handle the issue. This thread can handle 2nd edition too.

Just because you post to 3.??? doesn't mean that 2nd edition interpretation can be used. I think some 3.??? people might even find a way to use it although you apparently can't. I will post to those people if you don't mind. This forum isn't limited to 3.?? interpretation.

I am posting to the subject......er I mean premise.


I would suppose that it was your intent to translate for the benefit of those who are only familiar with 3rd edition.

To be direct....I was posting how it could be handled with any number of ideas that could be worked into the mechanics of whatever system you are using.

To those only familiar with 3.???, I was attempting to spark curiousity about the resolution that was easilly achieved with the use of those non weapon proficiencies.

Which was after all the premise of your original post.


Later

;) :cool:

kgauck
03-28-2007, 04:50 AM
Perhaps wandering onto a board and suggesting that others are incapable dungeon masters is not a prudent strategy for one who would model diplomacy in role playing games.

MatanThunder
03-28-2007, 06:22 AM
:eek:


Perhaps wandering onto a board and suggesting that others are incapable dungeon masters is not a prudent strategy for one who would model diplomacy in role playing games.

1) I didn't wander anywhere.....I have been playing AD&D since 1976. It doesn't make me right, but I hardly wander anymore...LOL!

I posted here to offer some material to a campaign setting I enjoy to play. At a slightly different.....lets say style.....and system. It is still as VALID as 3.??

2) I said that a DM could use the skill sets that I presented to create a system/resolution (in whatever edition) through which you could achieve success in dealing with diplomatic situations if they were skilled enough, to convert the material to their edition. I never mentioned anyone, and I did try to be diplomatic in my presentation of a point of view that is allowed in this forum.

3) Diplomacy is what you first posted to....problems in resolving the issues in 3.??. I simply mentioned how it could be resolved. You can't refute that it is possible to accomplish with the older system. It can and has been worked out by any number of DM's. I was hoping you could find something useful in my post. My mistake!:eek:

4) Why the heck, if you only wanted a 3.??? viewpoint, did you post it in the forum that allows for all editions. You have a whole forum section that you and your fellow gamers can use to keep it true 3.???. I understand you wanted a broader viewpoint here in the "Royal Forum", but you didn't get the information you wanted......and you seem to have taken on a bit of an attitude. It is a game afterall.:D

You put this thread out and got a response that showed a possible set of choices that could be usable in the game in an earlier edition. It can be converted by those willing to take the time and make the effort.

You will see me post more. I do really hope to have successful debates with others here, but I will not be converted. I am staunch 2nd edition, but I will use any "Good" idea from any game or edition to modify my Birthright campaign to make it more enjoyable/playable.....even if it comes from 3.whatever!!

Later

:cool:

kgauck
03-28-2007, 02:12 PM
...if your DM is talented enough to handle the ideas... DMing skills are eroded... They just don't want to see innovation and personal expression of the DMing skill in the game. Conformity in DMing that is what is offered as part of 3.???!!!...you make me laugh... I think some 3.??? people might even find a way to use it although you apparently can't...

The point of my post was not that we find you here, its the way you have addressed those with whom you disagree.

irdeggman
03-28-2007, 04:09 PM
Thanks Kenneth.




:D ;)




I was trying to help, but I do have a question. Why can't 2nd edition be posted here in "The Royal Library". In fact, isn't this the area for such materials since there is a thread set up for the d20 or 3.????? crowd.

It is perfectly acceptable to talk 2nd ed or to talk 3.x. I never intended to imply that it was wrong. If that is what you got out of my posts, then I apologize.


I am just asking, because the thread rapidly degenerated away from whether individual skill/feats/proficiencies could be used to address the problem and became somewhat of a rah rah 3.???? and the old system is ****.

Not from me. I only pointed out that the two are different systema and permeate the game itself.




Have either of you ever played through a full blown Diplomacy using any of the proficieinces I mentioned?????????????

Yes I have and it was extremely cumbbersome and in 2nd ed way too slanted since the non-proficiency checks were based solely (or at least overly dependently) on the ability score itself. So that an Anuirean was better at diplomcay than was an elf due to the wisdom increase (and neither got a charisma increase).



I noticed that irdeggman has played a role in the 3.??? handbook. Is this the hostility I seem to be getting for bringing up the earlier materia.l

Sorry for that impression. I don't think I said which system was better in any of my previous posts only that they were "different", nor did I jump on Kenneth and say his "discussion topic" was a bad idea (even though it is not in the BRCS). I only pointed out what I thought were 3.5 smilarities in other mechanics (since his discussion was from a 3.x point of view).




I was just trying to put labels on some parts of the diplomatic process, and it had degenerated into the feats/skill vs weapon proficiencies/non weapon proficieincies.

Because you had tied them together by mixing the two systems.


Lets all try to get back to the subject of the thread, and stop the needless banter of the game systems. This parts of the site allows for some posting of 2nd edition materials, and I think there are still gamers out there able to use the system.

Kenneth's original post (and he admitted that) was based on 3.5 mechanics not on a general concept. That is what should be stayed on topic. What I mean is that if someone asks a question or makes a proposal then things should be addressed in the same context. Bringing up 2nd ed mechanics for a question/topic routed in 3.5 mechanics is counterproductive. The same applies when someone brings up a topic pertaining to 2nd ed mechanics and gets addressed in 3.5 terminology. Both are equally bad. Both viewpoints are equally valid.

The reason that most of the posts seem to be based on 3.x mechanics is because most of the newbies have never played 2nd ed and are comiing here based on what they "heard" of somehow managing to get a copy of the Gorgan's Alliance PC game. For the most part anyone (there are exceptions) who just started playing D&D within the past 10 years (amazing but 3.0 has been around about that long now) are playing 3.x rules and not 2nd ed. There are some people who prefer to play 2nd ed, and even some who go ack even farther (some all the way to OD&D). None of these are wrong, but people have to remember the wider audience they are talking to here and they use 3.x rules - good or bad is immaterial it is just a fact.

The default system on the site (and most other sites dedicated to D&D) is 3.x due to its widespread use. In general when someone wants to a have a 2nd ed topic they make it clear in the first post and then, usually, people use that context to phrase their replies/comments.

MatanThunder
03-28-2007, 11:55 PM
;) :cool:

Everyone has their opinions on the game and that is fine with me.

I feel that the "Royal Library is the one place where the different variations of the game can be discussed without needlessly cluttering things up.

I mean exactly this, while you may not find any idea I post useful, others may. In addition I am not posting directly to 2nd edition issues here, but instead offered possible alternatives for a gamer in 3.??? that might be worked on by a DM to find a way into the newer systems. The offered material may not be a feat but they are definitely skills, and as such could be ruled into the game by a DM.

To the needless banter, I say it is water under the bridge, but I was genuinely offering advice (even though it is being pooh poohed). It is viable, to the point, and if not useable in the context of the thread for you, others might be able to.


Yes I have and it was extremely cumbbersome and in 2nd ed way too slanted since the non-proficiency checks were based solely (or at least overly dependently) on the ability score itself. So that an Anuirean was better at diplomcay than was an elf due to the wisdom increase (and neither got a charisma increase).

Cumbersome to you, but eminently playable for some of us. If you don't like all the issues then don't play the system. To imply that it is cumbersome by pointing out the number of dice rolls (and yes based on stats....that is what 2nd edition offers and I like it a lot better than what is current). I would suggest that you pre roll your dice to accomodate the added issues/rolls.

Also if you do a little 2nd ed DMing you can easilly (like I have) factor in issues like CHR adjustments. I am hardly a BtB 2nd ed person, and as I have mentioned, I use what is good and throw away the rest. Makes for about 5 pages of house rules for 2nd ed, and about 7 for Birthright (although I haven't updated it recently.).

DM alterations are totally accomodated by the rules of 1st & 2nd edition, where things became far less flexible after that.

It is a matter of tastes gentlemen and ladies......(a girl where????)

I am here for as long as I can find the time and the site has something to offer. I will post to issues that are 2nd ed when they come up, or I have a question about them. I also intend to post to specific issues that beg some sort of resolution that might be FOUND in my edition of the game.

I'm not needlessly posting to issues, but neither will I shy away from issues like this that beg to be addressed in a 2nd edition manner to resolve the situation.

More to come,

Later

;) :cool:

RaspK_FOG
03-29-2007, 05:42 AM
Matan, allow me to point something out as a sort of counterpoint: I would hardly need to make a choice between AD&D 2e and Alternity; adopting the feat check system of the latter in an AD&D ruleset along with the Player's Options supplements, though, hardly leaves it a straight off-the-shelf system, now, doesn't it?

We appreciate your suggestions, but it would be best to realise that your points are commonly a tad more sarcastic than it is generally accepted as being polite, and you could certainly learn to accept that some people appreciate different systems for different styles of play.

Honestly, of all 3 systems, I prefer Alternity; however, if I were to compare vanilla AD&D 2e with D&D 3e, I'd bet on the latter - if we went for the much more intensive Player's Options outlook on AD&D 2e, then I would tell you that I'd still prefer d20 for some games, but the older system allows a much better outlook on some other things, agreeably a lot more.

The reason I play along with d20 a lot more, though, is that it is excellent in terms of internal consistency without suffering from lack of material; both TSR and WotC made the same mistake by offering more and more game products continuously to the point of feeding their customers up (note that there are rumours of Hasbro selling WotC off if they don't make more profits). The thing is that d20 offers you a much simpler ruleset to make whatever you want with great internal consistency, while 2e thrived on not maintaining it, to be honest with you: how many times had they had to set unarmed combat in paper to finalize it before they published a new book that somehow pointed out that you may use either this or that book's table, or that this table makes the other book's table obsolete? To be honest with you, I still don't remember their criss-crossing.

It is also important to remember that some people find (and that is, actually, true) d20 more mathematically consistent: stats are more well thought out in terms of how the adjust other stats in the game; on ther other hand, 2e offers more flavour, since high-Wisdom characters become invulnerable to a great many enchantments and mind-effects, whereas Intelligence does the same trick with illusions under that system. A great idea that is, unfortunately, only partly incorporated in d20, and for good reason: the theme behind the game emphasizes on the character's power instead of the spell's - much like how the same is true when comparing d20 Sovereign Stone with generic d20 (in which case, Sovereign Stone magic, in fact, emphasizes on the caster's personal power even more)!

However, your suggestions are appreciated; it's only a matter of how you present them, not what you say per se.

MatanThunder
03-29-2007, 07:06 AM
:cool: ;)

First and foremost.....I was simply offering advice on the issue. Other things arose after that, and they had little bearing on the issue of Diplomacy and Debate.

As a senior member I'm sure you have seen a lot, but my position remains the same. I offered advice on the subject at hand, in a system that proceded the one mentioned, in order to provide a possible resolution of the issue that the thread regards.

I had posters from another edition, denegrating my material and trying to limit a forum that is for all editions (I did ask). They attacked the idea without really addressing how each (proficiency) was connected (or not) to the post at hand. (And they clearly all are!)

I will freely accept any other posters listed material from whatever edition of the game that they want to post about as long as it is germaine to the threads topic....feel free to test me if you doubt me.

The issue is that this forum is for all versions, and I still wonder why I am receiving chastisement for posting to "the topic" even though it is an earlier edition.

Use my information or not, but to claim "I confuse" other gamers is trying to limit the edition they are exposed to. This forum is for all edition, so why not just move the post to 3.?? and remove my responses???

I wouldn't mind, but we should ALL feel free to post to the Royal Library about the subjects of Birthright without having to "limit" comment to specific editions.

PS....Alternity is Futuristic, so have you made it Birthright, or are you just posting here too???

Later

;) :cool:

kgauck
03-29-2007, 11:48 AM
I had posters from another edition, denegrating my material
This is simply false, and somewhat inflamatory. Neither irdeggman nor I denigrated your material. I posted at some length about how I used such material very happily at one time.

and trying to limit a forum that is for all editions Again totally false. You were called on constant references to 3rd edition in a post on 2nd edition rules. No one even bothered to criticize your denegration of 3rd edition, though I did elect to stick up for it.


They attacked the idea without really addressing how each (proficiency) was connected (or not) to the post at hand. (And they clearly all are!)
No one attacked the utility of your proficiencies because they are fine proficiencies. That was not a problem. I used many similar ones in 2e. Frankly no one has done any attacking here except you. Playing the victim card after the post you have written is throwing a little gasoline on the fire.


The issue is that this forum is for all versions, and I still wonder why I am receiving chastisement for posting to "the topic" even though it is an earlier edition. You are not. But rather for accusations that other DM's are not up to the task of good DM'ing.

RaspK_FOG
03-29-2007, 03:38 PM
I will take no part in any sort of inflammation; in fact, I don't believe in "sides" in fora: you either offer some input in a discussion, or you don't. So I suggest we clean things up as best as possible.

P.S.: Alternity actually allows all kinds of cinematic play, which happens to be its true focus (the fact that it originally built on sci-fi is a matter of economics [since there was quite a fad for that sort of thing when it got published] as well as thematics [since sci-fi allowed for cinematic play more readily than the already preset mood everyone had in their minds when it came to perfunctorily heavy-ladden rulesets built for fantasy games]); in fact, a little finetuning allows it to be an excellent system for pseudo-medieval, feudalistic fantasy settings like the ones we are most used to.

MatanThunder
03-29-2007, 11:37 PM
:eek: :rolleyes:


you either offer some input in a discussion, or you don't. So I suggest we clean things up as best as possible.

And on that note I would really like to get back to the issue of how to work a more (step by step) method of dealing with diplomacy and debate.

I would post to defend my assertions, but I beleieve if anyone really wants to know about the facts they can read the prior posting.

But who really cares.

Lets get back to the subject of Diplomacy, and I will post to how I might address the issues with skills 3.? / non weapon proficiencies 2nd ed. There is a paralell. *If I feel like digging up the full detailed comparison, I will post it later. I don't think it would really serve a useful purpose, so I will really have to want to draw up the paralells to do so. I do have all the pertinent books, so I can do so later.

Later

;) :cool:

irdeggman
03-30-2007, 09:36 AM
:eek: :rolleyes:



And on that note I would really like to get back to the issue of how to work a more (step by step) method of dealing with diplomacy and debate.

I would post to defend my assertions, but I beleieve if anyone really wants to know about the facts they can read the prior posting.

But who really cares.

Lets get back to the subject of Diplomacy, and I will post to how I might address the issues with skills 3.? / non weapon proficiencies 2nd ed. There is a paralell. *If I feel like digging up the full detailed comparison, I will post it later. I don't think it would really serve a useful purpose, so I will really have to want to draw up the paralells to do so. I do have all the pertinent books, so I can do so later.

Later

;) :cool:

Good idea, although I don't really think making comparisons (if that is what you mean by parallels) between how things were done in 2nd ed and how to do them in 3.5 will get to the specific topic without invoking unnecesary comparisons between the two systems. Well that is my opinion anyway.

You already covered in good detail how it would/could work with 2nd ed rules.

Now the only thing missing is how to do that with 3.5 rules. Kenneth had at least a start on this path in the original post.

RaspK_FOG
03-30-2007, 06:36 PM
An idea of how debates can be run is a contested check between relevant skills; possible skills include Administration, Alchemy, Appraise, Craft, Knowledge, Lead, Profession, Spellcraft, Survival, Warcraft, or any skill otherwise called for in the task at hand. The DM should allow a player to roll his highest relevant skill modifier, even if that pits two players against different skills (for example, a player could claim that traps work one way [Knowledge {dungeoneering}], only to be countered by a trapsmaster [Craft {trapmaking}]).

Players who roll 10 or higher receive a +2 bonus on their Diplomacy checks; the player that rolls highest receives an additional +2 bonus on his Diplomacy check, +2 for every 5 points by which he surpasses the other's roll.

kgauck
03-31-2007, 06:30 PM
Using two different skills presents some problems. While sometimes it can make sense, it is probabaly best used when you solve a dispute with a single contested skill check, rather than an extended test using several checks. If a PC is using Knowledge (Dungeoneering) and an NPC representative of Guilder Kalien is using Craft (Trapmaking) then your PC will simply seek to shift the debate into areas of Dungeoneering that don't involve traps, and the Kalien fellow will seek to stay focused on traps until he rolls really well.

If you simply want a single contested roll to resolve this debate, contested checks between these different (or any different but related skills) might suffice.

If you want an extended check to build excitement and tension - because this is a form of combat - it really makes more sense to fight over a specific skill rather than letting characters constantly shift the terms of the debate. For one thing, if I am arguing survival and you are arguing knowledge (nature) we will have a good chance of talking past one another. That would be unpersuasive to observers. Likewise with K(Dungeoneering) and C(Trapmaking). In an extended debate, references to dungeon conditions other than traps is off topic if the issue is traps, and if the real issue is dungeon conditions, one fellow is going to spend all of his time talking about dungeon ecologies, hierarchies, expected population and the trap maker will have no reply.

Extended debates should focus on one skill at a time.

How should debates over skills effect Diplomacy checks?
This depends on how the debate will effect the decision maker(s). In my first example in this thread, Queen Freila is being advised by her Steward, the ranger Hruthwulf that the proposed course of action is impossible (crossing the Hjarring river with an army at a given time of year). In this case, the diplomacy check would be irrelevant. Indeed, I stipulated that because of an existing helpful attitude toward both the PC's and the home realm, Hogunmark wanted to help. But wanting to help in general is not the same thing as wanting to do whatever it is that you propose.

Certainly if you want a single Diplomacy check to resolve this issue, you can impose a stiff penalty because a trusted member of the court offers serious objections to the practicality of the PC's plan. In an extended check, generally, the DM has to decide what kind of check and how many checks can cause the whole check to fail. Generally if the same skill is being checked several times, such as an extended Craft (Weaponsmith) check, the process is more forgiving.

In the mechanic I first proposed, success or failure was determined by who outlasted their opponant in a debate, like physical combat, according to how many skill points a character had in the skill being debated. This approach, I feel, is the most like combat, and will offer the most drama and excitement in debate.

kgauck
03-31-2007, 07:27 PM
Why fun things can you do with an extended diplomacy or debate check?
This is an excellent way to introduce rivals or villan minions. Or to establish re-occuring rivals that will plague PC's over and over again.

Suppose your PC's represent Roesone, and everywhere your players go to find allies, you encounter Pherick, Lord Brona, Ambassador at large for Ghoere. This able diplomat might hope to thwart every effort by Roesone to find aid and frienship in case of war with Ghoere. Even if swords are never crossed with Lord Brona, he might become a major adversary for the PC's and get the PC's blood going at the very mention of his name.

Perhaps at the start, he's just a guy with the same number of character levels as the PC's, but he's all noble (or maybe in this case, noble x/cleric of Haelyn y) and has maxed his diplomacy skill. Sure, he's going to be a tough diplomat and may vex the player's hopes two out of three times, forcing the players to fight solo and save the day by the skin of their teeth.

As the game develops, perhaps Lord Brona takes the Negotiator feat, is discovered to have max'd his Intimidation as well, and continues to make the PC's struggle for every friend and ally they are able to win. By this time, perhaps the PC's heroic actions have earned them bonuses to counter the skill bonuses that Lord Brona is max'ing out, and diplomacy feats he's taking.

Still later perhaps the DM decides that Lord Brona has information contacts in each of the courts he's normally active in, and rolls for each of these information contacts once per season, to keep Brona up to date on diplomatic activity throughout the South Coast and Eastern Marches.

In such a campaign, Gavin Tael is the real enemy. And players may have fought Marshal Bhelira at several battles in several wars. But players will also know Pherick, Lord of Brona, no wait, now Pherick, Count of Tornilen, as he thwarts them time and time again.

Beruin
03-31-2007, 08:52 PM
Using two different skills presents some problems. While sometimes it can make sense, it is probabaly best used when you solve a dispute with a single contested skill check, rather than an extended test using several checks. If a PC is using Knowledge (Dungeoneering) and an NPC representative of Guilder Kalien is using Craft (Trapmaking) then your PC will simply seek to shift the debate into areas of Dungeoneering that don't involve traps, and the Kalien fellow will seek to stay focused on traps until he rolls really well.

I don't really see a problem in using different skills. As you pointed out yourself, people tend to argue from what they know and I would add, even when that has nothing to do with the topic. Of course that means talking past one another, but most real world political debates seem to run this way. This also means that a debate frequently can't be resolved and this might not be what you want in your game but it wouldn't be totally unrealistic.

That said, I recently had a large debate IMC within the Militant Order of Cuiraecen. Only two PCs were involved but around 7 NPCs. When planning how to resolve this debate I started with the debate/voting system provided in Atlas Games' Dynasties&Demagogues but found that to complicated to explain to my players simply for a debate scheduled for one to two sessions (turned out to be around 4). So I got my remaining players to assist me by taking over some of the NPCs, each with his/her own agenda and came up with a simplified version:

In general, the debate runs like combat. Initiative checks are based on Charisma or Intelligence (choose your best). Your Debate Armour Class (DAC) is 10 + the average of your best two skill bonuses from the following: Bluff, Intimidation, Diplomacy and Perform (oratory), i.e. Fyhlie the Sword has Diplomacy +11, Bluff +2, Intimidation +8 and perform (oratory)+9. She uses Diplomacy and Perform (oratory) to get a DAC of 20.

Add up your Reputation and your Charisma modifier. The result are your Debate Hit Points. Note: I use a reputation system and this was a handy tie-in. The Dynasties&Demagogues rules use Constitution+Charisma modifiers. Fyhlie again has 11 DHPs. If she looses all of them she's out of the debate.

The participants could use the following skills in the debate.

- Bluff causes 1d4 damage, but if the attack misses, the intended victim gets an attack of opportunity in return.
- Diplomacy causes 1d2 damage but the damage can be increased if you bid your own DHPs on the attack (you loose these if you miss)
- Intimidation causes 1d3 damage, you loose one DHP if you miss.
- Perform (oratory) causes 1d2 damage but you can attack two opponents simultaneously
- Knowledge (Religion) does not cause damage but your opponent looses his next action if your attack succeeds OR you can heal 1d2 points of damage with a successful check against DC 22.

Several other actions might also be possible, notably Aid Another. Well, what a charge or a flanking attempt looks like in a debate or if it's even possible is up to you...
Well, IMC this system worked very well. My players had a lot of fun arguing with each other and I granted a DM fiat bonus to arguments I found esspecially convincing. In the end, the debate ended in turmoil with blades drawn between Fyhlie the Sword and Stiele Ghieste from the Ghoerean Arm of the Militant order.

kgauck
03-31-2007, 11:48 PM
I don't really see a problem in using different skills. As you pointed out yourself, people tend to argue from what they know and I would add, even when that has nothing to do with the topic. Of course that means talking past one another, but most real world political debates seem to run this way. This also means that a debate frequently can't be resolved and this might not be what you want in your game but it wouldn't be totally unrealistic.

It is realistic, but it doesn't resolve anything. My friends go away thinking I'm right and your friends go away thinking you're right. If the stakes are high and the clock ticking, resolving nothing is a kind of failure.

Distraction works best as a tactic when the observers are unfamiliar with any of the issues involved. That's certainly possible in front of a popular assembly, but its not likely in front of a body of people who know the issues of the debate already. Ask if the average member of the assembly or if the decision maker has enough ranks in the skill under debate to follow the issues and offer their own analysis of the issues. If they don't distractions and red herrings might well win the day. If they do, it only makes those who use them look foolish and desperate.

If Jaison Raenech wants to demagogue the people of Moriel with bluffs and lies about an invented threat from Ghoere, the IHH, or Diirk Watershold he might well be able to use whatever tactics he likes, and depending on whether he makes his checks or fails them, succeeds or fails.

But if Jaison Raenech wanted to debate an Ambassador from Ghoere, Hubaere Armiendin, or Diirk Watershold, he'd probabaly weaken his position, let alone get no result, by attempting distractions and avoiding the subject.

Sometimes no result is a good result. If the Baron of Roesone needs the approval of the Noble's Council to send aid to Aerenwe, the trouble maker who is menancing Aerenwe just needs to keep the nobles of Roesone divided. This could backfire, if attempts at obfuscation just irritate the nobles.

In general, those kind of tactics are only adopted by those who are weak. If you think you can win the debate, you debate. Distractions only make sense if you doubt your ability to win on the merits of your case.

I'll also note that in modern electoral politics, often times you are not addressing your immediate audience, but you really intend to communicate with other observers who you think are more important. Generally delivered as polemics, this kind of debate tactic, is designed to rally a base of supporters rather than actually engage with the ideas of the other party. I'm not sure that this kind of tactic is all that useful for BR. If there are a lot of assemblies in a campaign, and speeches there have an effect on public opinion, polemics can be useful. Otherwise polemics often turn people off.

Trithemius
04-01-2007, 01:26 AM
I was trying to help, but I do have a question. Why can't 2nd edition be posted here in "The Royal Library". In fact, isn't this the area for such materials since there is a thread set up for the d20 or 3.????? crowd.

No-one, to my knowledge, has said "You are forbidden to talk about 2E (or any other systems) in the Royal Library. What people have said, in far more pleasant language, is "Your ideas are not any good to me".

No-one denies you your artificial privilege to post in this forum, and you should not deny their right to be unimpressed by your recidivistic maunderations.

Cheers!

MatanThunder
04-01-2007, 05:48 AM
:cool: :rolleyes:


No-one, to my knowledge, has said "You are forbidden to talk about 2E (or any other systems) in the Royal Library. What people have said, in far more pleasant language, is "Your ideas are not any good to me".

Before some editing there were statements about the proficiencies was irrelevant to the subject. The material still is regardless of the idea that it should all be resolved with a single dice roll which appears to be what kgauck is posting to. At least in a single debate point fashion.


No-one denies you your artificial privilege to post in this forum

It's factual not artificial in the least. Talk down to me all you want, there are a cadre of older gamers which will never ever see it the 3.??????????? way. We just turn the system back to something usuable.


you should not deny their right to be unimpressed by your recidivistic maunderations.

I did allow for all other viewpoints as you are deserving of yours.

What really hardly matters at all is the way you try to tune up the verbage in order to talk down to people.

I really do hope you enjoy your system, because it appears that 4.?? may not make it into print, through Hasbro in any case. In the meantime it appears that you and your fellow gamers on the site will have to do the work for WOTC.

I'll still be playing and posting to the birthright game in 2nd edition.

Also, you might note that all Pencil and Paper sites are in trouble with the advent of the instant gratification of the MMORPG systems, all site should want as many and diverse viewpoints as it can find. There are a heck of a lot LESS Pencil and Paper gamers out here.

Later

;) :rolleyes:

Trithemius
04-01-2007, 06:45 AM
:cool: :rolleyes:
Before some editing there were statements about the proficiencies was irrelevant to the subject. The material still is regardless of the idea that it should all be resolved with a single dice roll which appears to be what kgauck is posting to. At least in a single debate point fashion.

I'm not actually sure what you are saying here.
My preferred system for resolving debates is my current flavour-of-the-month system, the Extended Contest mechanic from HeroQuest. It doesn't use a single roll and this, I think, is a feature not a flaw of it.


It's factual not artificial in the least. Talk down to me all you want, there are a cadre of older gamers which will never ever see it the 3.??????????? way. We just turn the system back to something usuable.

It's artificial in that it is not something innate. I'm not so much 'talking down' to you, as 'talking up'; I'll cease doing so in the future if you prefer?

I am not sure what you mean by a "cadre of older gamers"?
I am also not sure of what relevance they have to this current discussion.

I, despite being rather fond of other systems, can set aside my preferences to consider Kenneth's D&D3.5 suggestions even if I would be inclined to use another method. I might even suggest my alternative. However I would try not to abuse those who disagree with my proposal, nor would I attempt to invoke the authority of a possibly-mythical fraternity of AD&D2E grognards, who at any rate are not present in this community, to justify my poor behaviour.


I did allow for all other viewpoints as you are deserving of yours.

It seems, from your comments immediately above, that you don't allow for alternative viewpoints, at least to me.


What really hardly matters at all is the way you try to tune up the verbage in order to talk down to people.

I agree that it hardly matters. I don't think my love of syllables in any way effects the thrust of my message. I'm sure that I don't agree with you that I am "talking down" to anyone, as I have suggested already.


I really do hope you enjoy your system, because it appears that 4.?? may not make it into print, through Hasbro in any case. In the meantime it appears that you and your fellow gamers on the site will have to do the work for WOTC.

I'll still be playing and posting to the birthright game in 2nd edition.

I'll still be working on my HeroQuest/QuestWorlds conversion I suppose?


Also, you might note that all Pencil and Paper sites are in trouble with the advent of the instant gratification of the MMORPG systems, all site should want as many and diverse viewpoints as it can find. There are a heck of a lot LESS Pencil and Paper gamers out here.

Later

;) :rolleyes:

I don't think that the fluctuations in the hobby's market size should mean that our standards for good behaviour should be totally relaxed. If given the choice of a small group of cordial gamers and a large group of rude ones, I would always choose the small and cordial group.

Trithemius
04-01-2007, 06:50 AM
I saw it as a mechanic to aid the resolution of a talkie interaction - all too often a very articulate player playing a cretin would win arguments against a novice player playing a genius - this system recognises the skill of the character more.

I think this is a tremendously good point. Sometimes it is very easy for the player's capabilities to overshadow those of the character. Traditionally D&D has had fairly good systems for enabling combat interactions to be resolved mechanically, although it has suffered in other areas. I think that this proposal of Kenneth's provides a pretty good framework for people to determine the results of a bout of debate and then to let them roleplay it.

I know when I am playing other games with a much stronger focus on persuasion (The Dying Earth in particular) I like to have people resolve each round of the contest first and then roleplay the dialogue. This, at least, ensures that epic performances are not wasted by mechanical failures!

Trithemius
04-01-2007, 07:00 AM
It is realistic, but it doesn't resolve anything. My friends go away thinking I'm right and your friends go away thinking you're right. If the stakes are high and the clock ticking, resolving nothing is a kind of failure

Dramatically its also kind of boring!

I personally am a big fan of contests being important. Die-rolls for tying shoelaces and opening unlocked doors detract from the importance and drama of the major events, as do die-roll contests that have no result. It might be that the representatives argue a bit about their specialities to no avail until they strike upon the topic where the important victory can be had (or the crippling loss). Kalien's fellow might go on about Traps for a while, but its only when both sides are engaged that something significant is contested and important outcomes imposed.

The game rules, and the attention and time of the players (including the GM), should be focussed on the interesting parts of the narrative.

irdeggman
04-01-2007, 09:14 AM
:cool: :rolleyes:

Before some editing there were statements about the proficiencies was irrelevant to the subject.

I assume you are talking about my posts.

Which weren't edited but were clarified, a common practice on any board I've ever posted on/visited.


It's factual not artificial in the least. Talk down to me all you want, there are a cadre of older gamers which will never ever see it the 3.??????????? way. We just turn the system back to something usuable.

I don't know what you mean by cadre. I'm 49 and pretty much have been under the impression that I'm the oldest gamer posting on this site, if not then I'm the oldest gamer who posts frequently.



What really hardly matters at all is the way you try to tune up the verbage in order to talk down to people.

As opposed to a frequent change of font (and color) to emphasize certain aspects and challenging other's history of gaming?


I really do hope you enjoy your system, because it appears that 4.?? may not make it into print, through Hasbro in any case. In the meantime it appears that you and your fellow gamers on the site will have to do the work for WOTC.

As opposed to what people have been doing on this site since WotC dropped Birthright in the first place?


I'll still be playing and posting to the birthright game in 2nd edition.

And power to you, it is a great setting and a decent system, although nearly everyone has made their own modifications to the system in order to fit their play better and to fill in the gaps left by TSR's real poor editing at the time.


Also, you might note that all Pencil and Paper sites are in trouble with the advent of the instant gratification of the MMORPG systems, all site should want as many and diverse viewpoints as it can find. There are a heck of a lot LESS Pencil and Paper gamers out here.

Actually I think what happened and is happening is the change in how gaming is viewed. What I mean is that 3.0 was much more rules intensive then previous editions and 3.5 (and subsequent products) have progressed that. People are getting "tainted" by WoW (which I refuse to play as a matter of principle, by the way) and how the MMORGs are structured.

Birthright via its nature of a domain level of play was probably the quickest and most easily adapted game to a play-by-post/e-mail style of game. There have been many, many play-by-post/e-mail Birthright games since the home computer revolution and invention of the internet (thank Al Gore :D ). Many are still 2nd ed based.

irdeggman
04-01-2007, 09:18 AM
It occurs to me that if someone is using a hit points style of measuring success of a debate then the Leadership score would be the best fit for the basis.

It "measures" what we are really talking about, the ability to lead and influence people on a grander scale (that is more than 1 person at a time). Plus it already has built in modifiers, etc. I'm a big fan of trying to use existing systems/mechanics whenever possible.

kgauck
04-01-2007, 02:13 PM
Using Leadership is an interesting idea. It certainly makes sense as the audience gets larger or the appeal to one's command grows. Persuading the assembled coallition commanders that the army is ready to face the Gorgon certainly could be done this way.

Though I still think that sometimes issues are technical and the leader sits and watches before making a decision based on the presentations of his subordinates. Another key case where knowledge skills should remain the core measure of indurance in debate are legal proceedings. Doctrinal disputes in matters of religion.

This brings me back to one of the issues I think is so key to Birthright: the different types of holdings. Of these, law and temple holdings would give considerable weight to formal debates over matters of substance. Knowledge of these matters will be important. The province leaders, should be able to stand among their peers and debate something besides Knowledge (Nobility) and often times Leadership is the real core issue. This is especially true when the matters are ambigious (can we win) rather than based on authority (what does the text say).

irdeggman
04-01-2007, 09:15 PM
Personnally I think Diplomacy is the skill check used. It is the one used for "barter" and the like.

I can see where different skills could give bonuses due to synergy depending on the situation.

I would not, however, count any knowledge skills that are not germaine to the topic at hand though. For example if someone is debating an issue of magic item history then knowledge (local) should have no bearing - you'd be better off bluffing.

A case could be made for perform (oratory) since that skill is the one that is deseigned to reflect one's skill in speaking and grasping an audience's interest. So I would guess that skill should always apply a bonus due to synergy for any type of debate.

Trithemius
04-01-2007, 09:38 PM
I would not, however, count any knowledge skills that are not germaine to the topic at hand though. For example if someone is debating an issue of magic item history then knowledge (local) should have no bearing - you'd be better off bluffing.

Unless the item was made by a famous local?

AndrewTall
04-01-2007, 10:07 PM
Perhaps based on diplomacy with a synergy bonus from a relevant knowledge skill (+2/5 points say) if the argument is technical, substituting a bluff check if desired to try and obtain a synergy bonus with faked knowledge/examples although they'd better hope no-one sees through their ruse...

Similarly perform, intimidate, or leadership could add synergy bonuses depending on the audience and argument in question.

It might be simpler, albeit doubling the number of dice rolls, to separate the diplomacy check and the second skill check, i.e. splitting the argument into the ability to convey the message, and the message itself.

So if a player wanted to dazzle the audience with science they would make a skill check to obtain knowledge and then a diplomacy check to use it effectively. Passing the knowledge/whatever check would give a bonus to the diplomacy check and vice versa.

The GM could decide which audience members would be affected by the type of argument (i.e. if persuading a king to send aid, the king might be swayed by examples from his realms glorious history, the king's general by an argument based on strategy, the guilder by intimidate, the average courtier by perform, and the like)

In that way the player would have to think about who they were talking too and how the target would respond to different types of argument, and it would be possible for both sides to win partial victory by appealing to different parts of the audience. Similarly even if a player knew everything about a topic, if they didn't have the diplomacy to get their message across they would likely fail.

kgauck
04-02-2007, 02:38 AM
Diplimacy is basically what the Scholastics called Rhetoric, the art of persuasion, but the Scholastics rated the lowest of the basic education, below Grammer, and certainly below Logic.

For the Scholastics, Logic was neccesary for any formal disputation. Persuasion was considered an appeal to ignorance because you didn't have the facts on your side. In Law, for instance, you might be able to bamboozle a modern jury (though not a medieval one) but judges will not ignore the law because you make your points well.

As an aside, medieval juries were expected to know the case and know the principles before the case. They were all experts in the situation. Modern juries bar such people. Medieval juries were a jury of peers in a way modern ones are not. If I know John the Tanner to be a liar and a theif, a good lawyer won't persuade me John is a nice guy. However if my lawyer can argue that under law the John the Tanner was the legal owner of the objects in question, I'm in a much better position.

As such, the real test is a Knowledge (Law) check, not Diplomacy or Oratory. Any formal dispuation on a subject of fact before experts is unlike a matter of persuasion.

The Humanists in the Renaissance desired to change the curriculum because they were more worldly, and instead of considering law, theology, and medicine to be the highest purposes of education, they hoped to educate young men to enagage in public affairs. Part of their plan involved elevating Rhetoric to the highest of the basic education, and adding History and Literature (the Humanities) to the upper level education.

Debating from a knowledge is a technical argument about fine points of religion, law, arcana, nobility, geography, history, or what have you.

Persuasion using Diplomacy, Bluff, or Intimidate is an attempt to change someone's mind about a subject.

irdeggman
04-02-2007, 09:54 AM
As such, the real test is a Knowledge (Law) check, not Diplomacy or Oratory. Any formal dispuation on a subject of fact before experts is unlike a matter of persuasion.

But in the 3.5 sense knowledge represents personal knowledge not the ability to convey that knowledge to other people. Those skills are either diplomacy or perform (oratory). Not arguing from a historical snese, only from a 3.5 mechanics one.



Debating from a knowledge is a technical argument about fine points of religion, law, arcana, nobility, geography, history, or what have you.

Which is why knowing about the topic you are discussing would provide a bonus due to synergy for disucssions of the topic at hand.


Persuasion using Diplomacy, Bluff, or Intimidate is an attempt to change someone's mind about a subject.

Wasn't that the idea of the debate in the first place?

It seems to me that either diplomacy or perform (oratory) would be the "key" skill with bonuses due to related or supporting skills.

Bluff and sense motive should always provide bonuses to a debate IMO since they pertain to being able to take advantage of a situatin - much like gambling.


But I guess it comes down to determing what the purpose of debating is.

IMO it is to have an effect towards changing someone's attutude.

Now this can either be the direct result of the debate or the debate could be used to affect a suplemental diplomatic action.

Again, only my opinion - but it is important to figure wout what the debate function is attempting to do before we could adequately figure out a way to "get 'er done". I mean it makes no sense to discuss things if people are looking at different ends in mind., that only leads to long term arguements because there is no common goal.

So what is the purpose of debate?

Trithemius
04-02-2007, 10:15 AM
But in the 3.5 sense knowledge represents personal knowledge not the ability to convey that knowledge to other people. Those skills are either diplomacy or perform (oratory). Not arguing from a historical snese, only from a 3.5 mechanics one.

I think that the kind of debate that Kenneth alludes to has more in common with disputation than oratory. It's possible that having a sweet voice might make people listen more, but this contest presupposes people are listening (you are important people in the lord's court afterall, you are worth listening to!) and that they are not being swayed by pretty rhetoric, but logical argument.

If you default to pretty rhetoric then you use Bluff, and run the risk of having someone tear your delicate construction of falsehoods and well-meaning sentiments to ribbons.

You might have alternative systems for impassioned pleas, but this mechanic deals with the clash of intellect, not charisma. Kenneth makes a, reasonable to my mind, claim that each has their place in the court of kings.



Which is why knowing about the topic you are discussing would provide a bonus due to synergy for disucssions of the topic at hand.

Which works fine for the impassioned rhetoric approach - you can "spice up" your turns of phrase with appropriate terms (the genre equivalent of buzzwords, soundbites, and neologisms?); but not for what Kenneth is suggested.


Wasn't that the idea of the debate in the first place?

Bombardment, mining, starvation, and assault are all ways of taking a fortification - but they are still different. The wise monarch equips his army for a variety of these methods; the wise monarch also equips his court with a persuasive arsenal of equivalent diversity.


Bluff and sense motive should always provide bonuses to a debate IMO since they pertain to being able to take advantage of a situatin - much like gambling.

In disputation you don't hold back, or conceal your knowledge, you present your case and see if it stands or falls. It's less about tricks, and more about soundness, logic, and depth of understanding. Therefore it is best represented by Knowledge ranks, not Bluff ranks. You might use Sense Motive beforehand to determine where your interlocutor's strength's and weaknesses lie - but once the debate begins you stand or fall by your argument.

I believe this makes Debate a fundamentally different sort of persuasive operation than an Oration. It has an equally important role to play in diplomatic endeavours. The happy king might be won over by your emissary's honeyed words, but when his sage prime minister begins to demolish his proposals with well-constructed points that are rooted in the economic realities facing the realm (knowledge local?) perhaps it is time to bring in your own learned men and women?

irdeggman
04-02-2007, 11:47 AM
Kenneth's type of debate might have more to do with knowledge but it was couched in a situation where a 3rd part (the regent) is making the decision.

In that type of situation - the end result is based on who is more convincing not who is more correct.

Being more correct would be based on knowledge, IMO.

Being more convincing however is based on diplomacy or oratory since that is again what those skills measure.

If the situation is purely academic between two (or more) scholars then a knowledge based istuation might be better. But when ever the end result is to convince someone that your idea is correct the most powerful means is via be more accomplished in presentation not in knowledge.

Just my opinion though.

AndrewTall
04-02-2007, 09:54 PM
The important starting point in the debate might then be to identify the type of argument needed.

Are you arguing points of fact - go for knowledge.

Are you trying to convey a message that the other may not be interested in - diplomacy

Are you trying to rally support from well meaning but ignorant types - go for oratory.

A good debater would be skilled at all three of course, and be able to shift between them as they shift between different segments of an audience.

Using the wrong approach might give severe penalties - trying an emotive approach on judge Ulrich, the Flogging Bishop? Suffer a -6 penalty for starters, trying a clinical knowledge approach on fey Kashanna Cloud-dancer at the clan's dream-moot? Good luck...

You could track 'damage' and shift it from score to score, preventing someone from using a skill that has been reduced to zero - and therefore perhaps forcing them to try and keep their opponent away from a particular approach - I must stop Karl from cutting me to shreds with his knowledge of the tactics of the dervishes, and appeal to their hatred of the desert dwellers...

Possibly after each round both opponents could try to shift the debate, using the relevant skills (i.e. the skill they are trying to make their opponent retain/use) in an opposed check with the victor forcing the loser to either continue or change their approach from the previous round as appropriate.

So if Forl the penitent wants to force Ulrich to resort to an emotive oratory Forl rolls his oratory vs the Judges stern knowledge (law), of course Ulrich is in a court bound by formal rules on procedure, in front of a jury, and is trying the case so probably gets a substantial bonus to prevent Worl forcing him away from a knowledge check.

kgauck
04-02-2007, 11:52 PM
Kenneth's type of debate might have more to do with knowledge but it was couched in a situation where a 3rd party (the regent) is making the decision.

In that type of situation - the end result is based on who is more convincing not who is more correct.

I was assuming that the ruler had the ability to tell who was correct. If I reduce my original example of the embassy to Hogunmark into one sentence examples it would read:

"I come before you to urge alliance against the Rjuvik king Fulgar!"

"Sounds great, count us in."

"Wait good Queen, the Hjorring river is flooded with the spring melt, our army cannot cross into Rjuvik."

"He's right, we cannot join in at this time in glorious battles."

Argument can be about persuading people, but that's generally a question of values or about information that has to be assembled correctly to arrive as the desired conclusion. If the Queen of Hungunmark doesn't want to spill the blood of her people in a terrible thing called war, then you need to persuade her. If she does not conclude that because of a certain sequence of possible events very bad things could happen if Fulgar continues to rule in Rjuvik, you need to persuade her. But in my example, the Queen likes the party and the realm they came from. She is Helpful towards both. But no matter how much she wants to help, once her Steward points out that assistance is impossible, she's not going to agree to the plan.

If the issue was based on Knowledge (Arcane), a subject which we can reasonably rule is not going be a general knowledge subject in a Rjurik court, then there are two approaches a DM can take. Have the debate as a disputation (determine who is correct) and have the court Seer, judge what should be done based on this debate, or use Diplomacy (or Bluff) to win over the Queen anyway. Or, do both and based on the results you know how the Seer stands on the issue and how the rest of the court feels. However, based on what we know of the Queen's devotion to her Seer, if you fail to impress the Seer, you probabaly still fail to get the job done.

"Let us invade Rjurvik together!"

"Grand! Steward prepare the armies."

"Wait, what of Adrala the Dark and that Khinasi Warlock? Can war be waged whilest they breath?"

"Sure we'll use expert archers to keep them from casting spells."

"Foolish man, they are both capable of casting spells while invisible. They will turn your armies into stones on the shore and you will never see them."

"Good gracious, let's not do that."

kgauck
04-03-2007, 03:26 AM
Here's another way to explain why debates should be based on Knowledge:

Its a complication for what is normally a Diplomacy test. Do the Diplomacy, but if the issue is a big one for the campaign, you want to extend the event and add some dice, some role play, and build it into as big an event as a major combat.

Diplomacy can be extended as a test, but Debates can be added to give other characters, the Ranger with his Knowledge (Nature) or (Geography), the Wizard, who might have Knowledge skills in anything, the Cleric (Religion), and so on, something to contribute to a serious diplomacy test.

Combat can involve all the players, even if sometimes some players are just aiding the Fighter with a spell or ability. Likewise, debates can allow the player without the Charisma ability and Diplomacy ranks to stand up and speak on issues of import.

The example I originally put forward was designed to set aside Diplomacy. Everyone was already good friends, but even in a regular Diplomacy action where they are simply indifferent, you can do extended Diplomacy and Debate.

irdeggman
04-03-2007, 09:32 AM
And yet in practice the victory more often goes to the person best skilled in "presentation".

Having knowledge doesn't mean the person is a great communicator.

While I hate to use real world examples for D&D discussions:

Who "won" the following debates?

Nixon/Kennedy

Reagan/Bush Sr.

Reagan/anyone

Clinton/anyone

The person who had the "best" technical points in the above groups is generally perceived as the won who "lost" because of "presentation".

In real life who gives the best presentations? I assume that we've all suffered through "powerpoint poisoning" at one time or another. The best presentations I've been through are not necessarily the ones with the most detail (a reflection of raw and unmodified 3.5 knowledge skill IMO) but rather those where the person is more gifted at speach and presentation. Someone with fewer slides and a better speaking voice goes a lot farther in getting home his/her point than does someone who has written a stack of technical manuals but can't speak worth a darn.

That is why I said that knowledge skills should provide a bonus to the the debate check being made (either diplomacy or oratory).

Again - it comes down to what is being attempted.

Is the end result of the debate a desire to alter someone's opinion?

Is it to strengthen the backing of one person's point?

Is it a scholarly exercise?

It all depends.

The art of presentation holds a significant sway in how well any discussion is perceived/received. So even if it is a scholarly endeavor then a persons skill at oratory should provide a bonus (at the minimum) to the resultant check.

And then again remember that Darrow "lost" the Scopes trial, so everything can come down to a d20 roll can't it?

Trithemius
04-03-2007, 09:35 AM
While I hate to use real world examples for D&D discussions:

Don't then!


Who "won" the following debates?

Nixon/Kennedy

Reagan/Bush Sr.

Reagan/anyone

Clinton/anyone

These examples are all from the age of mass media and large-franchise democracy. Not only are they example from history, they are - in my opinion - poorly-fitting examples from history.

irdeggman
04-03-2007, 11:42 AM
These examples are all from the age of mass media and large-franchise democracy. Not only are they example from history, they are - in my opinion - poorly-fitting examples from history.

Any others are hard to have adequate documentation on to use as a comparison.

Moses vs the Pharoh?

Jesus vs Pharasees (or anyone for that matter)?

Any historical lawyer (Adams and the Amistad trial)?

Salem witch trials?

Joan of Arc?

Things get real hard to use since the are only bits and pieces of other people's

kgauck
04-03-2007, 10:52 PM
Persuasiveness works best for uninformed people. Disputation works best before informed people. If you go before a war council and don't really know what you're talking about, but are smooth and persuasive, they won't be impressed. Send you company's sales people to tell the engineers why they should change the product, the engineers won't budge.

Medieval style debates are conducted by the most learned, in front of an audience of pretty learned people. The masses are ignored, their opinion doesn't count. Consider the first scene in Henry V, where the Bishop of Ely and the Archbishop of Canterbury are discussing how they will influence the king and parliament. The Archbishop, is not a charismatic figure. He's learned and stiff. But he's very powerful and gets his way, because he has good debating skills. In scene 2, in court you have a direct contrast between the persuasive herald from France and the knowledgeable Archbishop. Shakespeare even makes the Archbishop a little bit of a charicature, quoting Latin, giving a history lesson, demonstrating his learning. The herald for the Dauphin, does not persuade, and Henry is set upon war.

Henry's question is a technical one, and based on law. Is the claim to France valid? When his expert says "yes" he is willing to proceed. When the Dauphin's abassador does not present a satisfactory message, Henry is resolved for war.

kgauck
04-03-2007, 11:02 PM
Any historical lawyer (Adams and the Amistad trial)?
Law is certainly a setting where Diplomacy is less effective. You say the wrong thing, you get ruled out of order. Following procedure is key to success in this venue. There are a lot of pleasant speakers, but only those with Knowledge (Law) won't dig themselves into a big hole.


Joan of Arc?
Joan's trial was very much a sophisticated argument about when you cross the line from zeal into heresy. The Leelee Sobieski version of Joan of Arc includes some very nice trial scenes where Peter O'Toole, as Bishop Cauchon, makes an argument about heresy to other priests. They know what constitutes heresy, and he can't just persuade them, he must prove his case.

Persuasion as a style of argument, Rhetoric, is a modern style based on ancient models. Disputation, demonstration of proof before experts, was much more common in the middle ages.

The game would benefit from using both, because sometimes a case is clearly one or the other, and sometimes its nice to have more than one character do the talking. Especially if your campaign involves a lot of talking.

Beruin
04-04-2007, 12:30 AM
I was assuming that the ruler had the ability to tell who was correct.



The example I originally put forward was designed to set aside Diplomacy. Everyone was already good friends, but even in a regular Diplomacy action where they are simply indifferent, you can do extended Diplomacy and Debate.


No offence, but this approach somewhat limits the usefulness and adaptability of your proposed debate system to very specific situations, I believe.


And yet in practice the victory more often goes to the person best skilled in "presentation".

Having knowledge doesn't mean the person is a great communicator.

I'm thinking along the same vein that those "soft" interpersonal skills are often more important than "hard facts". A debate using only knowledge skills, or only one specific knowledge skill is certainly possible, but IMHO limited to "academic" discussions. A general debate system should allow for the use of more and different skills between the participants.

I come back to your example, but put aside for a moment your assumption that the ruler knows who is "right".

Hruthwulf states:

"Wait good Queen, the Hjorring river is flooded with the spring melt, our army cannot cross into Rjuvik."


This statement might or might not be true. That 's up for you as the DM to decide, but in any case this is not inherently important for the course of the debate. If your PC, Adelstan, is surprised by this statement, he might first use a knowledge (nature or geography) check (or, depending on the circumstances, a sense motive check) to determine the veracity of the statement. If he comes to the same conclusion, he would be wise to adjust his plans accordingly, unless he likes the sight of a frustratred allied army standing helplessly in front of a raging river.

Let's assume that Adelstan believes crossing the river is difficult, but not impossible and decides to continue the debate.

He has a number of options:

- He can debate the point with Hruthwulf, citing rainfall statistics, current speeds etc (knowledge nature).

- He can point out a ford where the army can easily cross despite the time of year (knowledge geography)

- He can hold a fiery speech about his valorous allies who certainly won't be deterred from contributing to a noble cause by a mere river (perform, oratory)

- He can draw himself up to his full height in front of Hruthwulf, calling him a coward who only fears for his own scrawny little hide, hoping to get him to back down (Intimidation)

Well, I think you get the idea. In a prolonged debate (i.e. combat style) he might use all of the above and then some.
Even survival might be used, suggesting a way how the army can cross despite the weather.
Of course even if he wins the debate using whatever skills he deems fit, he might still have to watch a frustratred allied army standing helplessly in front of a raging river, if Hruthwulf was right in the first place.

Beruin
04-04-2007, 01:08 AM
To me, allowing the use of different skills also has something to do with game balance and DM fairness. This might be different in other groups, but my players tend to be generalists. They usually pick a number of skills from their class lists that they max out and then dabble in a number of others. As we are just entering the realm of, well, "realm politics" from the adventurer level, interpersonal skills and other "soft" skills weren't as important to them - with a few exceptions - as "survival" skills like, well, survival, hide, listen, spot, tumble etc.

A NPC designed for a specific situation or position is therefore easily their better in terms of particular skill ranks. Getting one over them this way would be easy but also would feel kinda cheap, esspecially when I force them to use a skill they have few or no ranks in and that they probably never needed before. I rather leave them the possibility to use skills they're good at (though some of my players decided to invest in number of additional "debate" skills after the first great debate IMC).

BtW, your initial example, Kenneth, also depicts Hruthwulf as vastly superior to Adelstan. I don't want to imply that your trying to screw your players this way, the power difference is certainly justifiable, I just noticed it. but I also think thatmy players at least would get frustrated if they felt overpowered too often.

kgauck
04-04-2007, 01:17 AM
This statement might or might not be true. That 's up for you as the DM to decide.

If it were not true I, as DM would not put it into the mouth of an NPC who succeeded in a knowledge check.


If he comes to the same conclusion, he would be wise to adjust his plans accordingly, unless he likes the sight of a frustratred allied army standing helplessly in front of a raging river.

Agreed, but this requires either that the PC make a check, which the example assumed he failed, or that the players scrap this plan and propose a new one.


He can draw himself up to his full height in front of Hruthwulf, calling him a coward who only fears for his own scrawny little hide, hoping to get him to back down (Intimidation)

I did mention this as an example of abandoning the debate and shifting your style of argument, but I also noted that successful or not, you just turned Hruthwulf from a friend into an enemy. I hope the war with Rjuvik was worth burning that bridge.


Even survival might be used, suggesting a way how the army can cross despite the weather.

I considered this, but Survival is a doing skill. By the same token, I don't allow players to hunt ot track based on the Knowledge (Nature) skill.

Beruin
04-04-2007, 01:35 AM
Are you arguing points of fact - go for knowledge.

Are you trying to convey a message that the other may not be interested in - diplomacy

Are you trying to rally support from well meaning but ignorant types - go for oratory.

A good debater would be skilled at all three of course, and be able to shift between them as they shift between different segments of an audience.

You could track 'damage' and shift it from score to score, preventing someone from using a skill that has been reduced to zero - and therefore perhaps forcing them to try and keep their opponent away from a particular approach -

Tracking damage and shifting it from skill to skill sounds a bit awkward to me, as much as I advocate the use of different skills. I think a general number of debate hit points representing the status of the debater in the eyes of the public, his personality and debate endurance suits me better. Using something similar to the leadership score as proposed by irdeggman sounds fine to me (i.e. character level plus Charisma modifier), but I still prefer my sytem, using Reputation plus Charisma modifier, for one simple reason:
My reputation system is cobbled together from the Unearthed Arcana and
Wheel of Time rules. It is still somewhat tied to character level, but a powerful position also increases reputation. Therefore, NPCs like diplomats, guild leaders etc last longer in a debate, even if their level isn't that high.


Possibly after each round both opponents could try to shift the debate, using the relevant skills (i.e. the skill they are trying to make their opponent retain/use) in an opposed check with the victor forcing the loser to either continue or change their approach from the previous round as appropriate.


This is quite an interesting idea, forcing your opponent to stay on your ground. I might incorporate this in our next debate.
However, following your proposal, what happens when I force my opponent to continue debating geography, but he hasn't got any geography points left. Does he lose the debate, or can he continue with another skill and a circumstance penalty?

kgauck
04-04-2007, 01:46 AM
BtW, your initial example, Kenneth, also depicts Hruthwulf as vastly superior to Adelstan. I don't want to imply that your trying to screw your players this way, the power difference is certainly justifiable, I just noticed it. but I also think thatmy players at least would get frustrated if they felt overpowered too often.

Try this then. Would you say the same thing if the players decided to fight Hruthwulf and regardless of their character level, I ruled that he is an 8th level character because that's how he is written?

Such an example is presented to players early on as a guide. Take interpersonal and political skills, because you can bet that I will craft NPC's of suitable CR that will be built to win courtly debates, intruigues, and diplomacy actions. Every NPC I make is generally designed to be better at talking than fighting.

My campaigns are much more about intrigue, diplomacy, and problem solving than they are about combat. See this earlier post (http://www.birthright.net/showpost.php?p=22949&postcount=9) on the same subject.

Some encounters are CR encounters, geared to the party, others are set based on already established facts. Beoruine won't match the CR of the players. He'll exceed it, probably by a lot. Same with Hruthwulf.

Also I am not afraid to let the players lose to a more powerful NPC, especially when the stakes are low. The PC's may have to wait to go to war (or at least gain their Hogun allies) until summer.

Beruin
04-04-2007, 01:48 AM
If it were not true I, as DM would not put it into the mouth of an NPC who succeeded in a knowledge check.


Well, the NPC might be bluffing because he has other motives or he might have failed his knowledge check, but seriously believe this "fact" to be true.

I'm sorry, I'm tampering with your example here, but my point was that in most, if not all, debates actual facts aren't as important as what the debaters believe to be true. And we have quite a clearcut example here, but more often than not the truth has more than one side, I believe.

kgauck
04-04-2007, 01:58 AM
If we are discussing things that are not verifiable, such as Haelyn's desire on some or another topic, I agree that truth may have more than one side. cleric might possess significant differences in theology and both can still cast spells.

But rivers either are or are not crossable. The only question is, do the characters in question know the truth. Hence the skill check.

MatanThunder
04-04-2007, 02:14 AM
;) :D :eek:

Or proficiency checks......Multiple checks based on a unique skill/proficiency check for that regent PC.

Later

:D

Beruin
04-04-2007, 02:21 AM
Try this then. Would you say the same thing if the players decided to fight Hruthwulf and regardless of their character level, I ruled that he is an 8th level character because that's how he is written?

No, and as I said, power differences between PCs and NPCs can certainly be justified and NPCs with far greater capabilities than the PCs have their place as the movers and shakers of the campaign world. If the PCs foolishly try to take them on way too early, the have to deal with the consequences.
Nevertheless, there are debates were the PCs should have a chance to win, using whatever skills they have at their disposal and I still prefer to let them choose, within reasonable limits, which skills to use.


Some encounters are CR encounters, geared to the party, others are set based on already established facts. Beoruine won't match the CR of the players. He'll exceed it, probably by a lot.

Agreed. Anyway, no offence was meant by my post and I hope none taken. I also still remembered your older post and must say I was quite impressed (again). Sound like a great adventure, kudos!

kgauck
04-04-2007, 02:45 AM
Nevertheless, there are debates were the PCs should have a chance to win, using whatever skills they have at their disposal and I still prefer to let them choose, within reasonable limits, which skills to use.
Agreed. According to the system I described, the best way to control the topic of debate would be to state a thesis. Sometimes the best way to do that is conceed the other guy's point and run a parallel subject, such as:

"True great Steward, the river is too high to ford, but if enough boats were assembled the river could be crossed in one quiet night."

This would shift the debate to the possibility of a watercrossing, which is probabaly a Knowledge (Strategy) or (Tactics) thesis. Perhaps in such a case the Marshal will question the wisdom of risking isolation on the opposite bank, and the debate proceeds.

Good players will offer a variety of plans and one of them will pass through the obstacle course. Players can also ask for help from NPC's.

"Good Druid, Green Thorjak, how could we make the Hjorring an ally instead of a foe?"

His answer would probably reflect his own opinion on the basic proposal.

geeman
04-04-2007, 06:39 AM
At 02:32 AM 4/3/2007, irdeggman wrote:

>And yet in practice the victory goes to the person best skilled in
>the presentation.
>
>Having knowledge doesn`t mean the person is a great communicator.

I think this really is the crux of the matter. The argument that
intelligence is more important for debate is, to me, correct--if one
is talking about a very strict and idealistic form of
academic/forensic debate. Intelligence is more important for a
speaker if those who are judging his speech are doing so on an
intellectual level. For just about any other situation in which one
might apply a "debate" skill, though, we`re talking about another
aspect of brainpower that really has to fall under the rubric of
charisma. What`s more, for our purposes, in a RPG at the political
level of play aren`t we really talking about the latter in almost
every situation rather than the former? Yes, there certainly are
techniques and tactics of debate that one can learn and study in a
scientific fashion, but actually employing those techniques is more
art than science, and from a game mechanical POV isn`t one more
likely to need to sway a crowd emotionally than intellectually?

>In real life who gives the best presentations? I assume that we`ve
>all suffered through "powerpoint poisoning" at one time or
>another. The best presentations I`ve been through are not
>necessarily the ones with the most detail (a reflection of raw and
>unmodified 3.5 knowledge skill IMO) but rather those where the
>person is more gifted at speach and presentation. Someone with
>fewer slides and a better speaking voice goes a lot farther in
>getting home his/her point than does someone who has written a stack
>of technical manuals but can`t speak worth a darn.

There`s really not a very humble way to say this, so I`ll go ahead
and just say it outright: I watch an awful lot of lectures (the
Canadian series "Big Ideas" is a good source for a lot of topics, BTW
http://www.tvo.org/TVOsites/WebObjects/TvoMicrosite.woa?bigideas) and
I`ve made my living speaking in public pretty much for the past 10
years or so in various capacities ranging from teaching college
classes, and conducting seminars on a wide range of topics from
computer use to English literature, so I give plenty of them too, and
I can say unequivocally that what D&D categorizes under the rubric of
"charisma" is more of a factor than D&D`s "intelligence" when
delivering a speech to anything more than 3 people at a time. Where
one or two people in a group might make a decision on an intellectual
basis alone even one person in three is quite rare, and I`m talking
about the college level here. In fact, one can get by on charisma
alone in public speaking, but it is much more difficult to get by on
intelligence alone.

>And then again remember that Darrow "lost" the Scopes trial, so
>everything can come down to a d20 roll can`t it?

A debate might be a single d20 roll, but a trial.... That really
should be handled by some sort of multi-skill check. (Actually, it`s
probably the closest thing to a domain action that doesn`t appear
anywhere in the BR domain level rules.... Interesting.)

Gary

Trithemius
04-04-2007, 09:51 AM
No offence, but this approach somewhat limits the usefulness and adaptability of your proposed debate system to very specific situations, I believe.

Like combat is limited to situations where you want to violently injure people? :)


I'm thinking along the same vein that those "soft" interpersonal skills are often more important than "hard facts". A debate using only knowledge skills, or only one specific knowledge skill is certainly possible, but IMHO limited to "academic" discussions. A general debate system should allow for the use of more and different skills between the participants.

I come back to your example, but put aside for a moment your assumption that the ruler knows who is "right".

The ruler might have experts in their court whose erudition is not in question (how it got that way is another matter!).

If one of these learned savants objects, they are not going to be swayed with mere rhetoric. The king might agree with your pleasant talk, but when his ministers cough and interject he will presumably heed them. At that point conducting a debate with said objecting minister becomes important - unless you plan to abandon your mission.


- He can debate the point with Hruthwulf, citing rainfall statistics, current speeds etc (knowledge nature).

- He can point out a ford where the army can easily cross despite the time of year (knowledge geography)

- He can hold a fiery speech about his valorous allies who certainly won't be deterred from contributing to a noble cause by a mere river (perform, oratory)

- He can draw himself up to his full height in front of Hruthwulf, calling him a coward who only fears for his own scrawny little hide, hoping to get him to back down (Intimidation)

Kenneth's proposal governs the first + second tactics. I think Kenneth's arguments that the third tactics are at times inappropriate are compelling (some others don't, favouring these tactics above all others). The fourth tactic is likely to get you expelled, even if Hruthwulf is a coward; suggesting that the queen appoints wimps to positions of power is probably not a good move!

irdeggman
04-04-2007, 09:56 AM
Or proficiency checks......Multiple checks based on a unique skill/proficiency check for that regent PC.

Later



In Alternity these were called "complex skill checks" and a character needed a set number of "successes" in order to succeed in the task. {Back the Alternity game reference as an alternate source of rules mechanics :) }

irdeggman
04-04-2007, 10:12 AM
From the wikipedia:
Debate (North American English (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_English)) or debating (British English (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_English)) is a formal method of interactive and position representational argument (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument). Debate is a broader form of argument than logical argument (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_argument), since it includes persuasion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persuasion) which appeals to the emotional responses of an audience (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audience), and rules enabling people to discuss and decide on differences, within a framework defining how they will interact.

Informal debate is a common occurrence, but the quality and depth of a debate improves with knowledge and skill of its participants as debaters. Deliberative bodies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deliberative_body) such as parliaments, legislative assemblies, and meetings of all sorts engage in debates. The outcome of a debate may be decided by audience vote, by judges, or by some combination of the two. Formal debates between candidates for elected office, such as the leaders debates (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaders_debate) and the U.S. presidential election debates (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._presidential_election_debates), are common in democracies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy).



I think that too many things are being called "debate" here. Debate has specific connotations and a lot of what is being presented is actually closer to a "council" or presentation of ideas and that only serves to mix two similar, yet different concepts. Which is one of the reasons I asked earlier what the purpose of the debate in the context was.


From the wikipedia:


Debate (North American English (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_English)) or debating (British English (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_English)) is a formal method of interactive and position representational argument (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument). Debate is a broader form of argument than logical argument (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_argument), since it includes persuasion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persuasion) which appeals to the emotional responses of an audience (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audience), and rules enabling people to discuss and decide on differences, within a framework defining how they will interact.

Informal debate is a common occurrence, but the quality and depth of a debate improves with knowledge and skill of its participants as debaters. Deliberative bodies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deliberative_body) such as parliaments, legislative assemblies, and meetings of all sorts engage in debates. The outcome of a debate may be decided by audience vote, by judges, or by some combination of the two. Formal debates between candidates for elected office, such as the leaders debates (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaders_debate) and the U.S. presidential election debates (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._presidential_election_debates), are common in democracies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy).



In reality you don't debate a thesis you "argue" one. It is really a different type of forum than is a debate.



Logical argument:

In logic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logic), an argument is a set of statements, consisting of a number of premises (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Premise_%28argument%29), a number of inferences (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inference), and a conclusion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conclusion), which is said to have the following property: if the premises are true, then the conclusion must be true (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth), or highly likely to be true. An argument is thus an attempt to demonstrate that the truth of the conclusion follows from the truth of the premises, and the role of the inferences is to illustrate why this connection exists.

An argument proceeds from premises to inferences to conclusion by employing a particular form of reasoning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reasoning). If the reasoning is deductive (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deductive_reasoning), then the argument attempts to show that the conclusion follows necessarily from the premises. If the reasoning is inductive (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_reasoning), the argument may show only that the conclusion is highly likely to be true if the premises are true. Other forms of reasoning are also used, with corresponding variations in the precise sense in which the conclusion follows from the premise.
Logical arguments are extremely important in philosophy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy), science (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science) and other disciplines concerned with knowledge and truth.

kgauck
04-04-2007, 11:10 AM
In the skill system, the attribute controls the modifier, the skill ranks is the learned ability. The proper type of comparison between which is more important, intelligence or charisma is really besides the point. The real comparison here is, which is more important, learned skill at presentation, or actual knowledge of the subject under discussion. Further let's remove one obvious false case. No one will dispute that the learned speaker who is also skilled in presentation, is charming, and has a sense of humor, will be more liked and his thesis more favorably considered than the speaker who is knowledgable alone.

This thread is Debate and Diplomacy, not Debate OR Diplomacy.

If we must consider our own experiences to make sense of this, rather than models which conform to presumed conditions of Cerilia, think then of the case where you are presenting something at least a little bit technical. What is the new in the 2007 tax law? How is the new court ruling effect our business? How do we sell our product in a foriegn market? And then consider two speakers. One who is a good public speaker, but knows nothing about the subject, and one who is an untrained speaker (no skill ranks) but knows the subject well. If the audience is an expert audience, of tax specialists, business managers who work with regulations, or people who export, then just getting up and being sweet won't get the job done.

Have we not also seen the guy who makes the argument about how things should work, only to have someone who knows how things do work tell him it doesn't work that way. I see plenty of empassioned pleas about wrong expectations. Wrong expectations about how my company's policies should work. About how military forces are presumed to work. Or about how employment law should work. And in all of these cases, are just based on wishful thinking.

My hotel has an unheated, outdoor pool. I have people who misread the advertising and show up at anytime of the year explain to me what I should have. Well that's nice, but I can't enclose the pool or heat it to accomodate them.

Its a huge liability to go with the persuasive advocate about my taxes or my HR policies instead of the learned advocate.

irdeggman
04-04-2007, 11:48 AM
This thread is Debate and Diplomacy, not Debate OR Diplomacy.



Then this premise backs my assumptions/opinions even more.

Diplomacy is about affecting "attitudes". {brief summary, but none the less accurate}

If the debate is to aid in resolution of diplomacy then the outcome is reflected via the diplomacy check. I believe that any relavante knowledge (or other subject) skill ranks (bonuses due to synergy) should provide affect this roll (at least in this circumstance).

If the point of debate is to determine the "best" plan then that is not really a debate but instead a "logical arguement".

It should be noted that there are other things that affect how well a person is at diplomacy. Ranks, as you say measure the amount of "training" obtained, but things that provide other bonuses also apply (bardic inspiration, things that boost charisma, blood abilities, feats (although these could be seen a sort of training), class levels (in certain classes), etc.)

At low levels raw talent (ability mods and spells) have a much greater impact than does "training" (i.e., skill ranks).

RaspK_FOG
04-04-2007, 11:53 AM
You know, people do seem to forget one tiny, small little thing... Let me quote the SRD for a moment there:


Bluff Example Circumstances

Sense Motive Modifier
The target wants to believe you.

-5
The bluff is believable and doesn’t affect the target much.

+0
The bluff is a little hard to believe or puts the target at some risk.

+5
The bluff is hard to believe or puts the target at significant risk.

+10
The bluff is way out there, almost too incredible to consider.

+20

To put it simply, whenever you present your Bluff, you still have a chance to succeed if you DO present it the right way; that still does happen, you know, it just is kind of difficult (that +20 bonus on Sense Motive does have something of an offsetting factor, doesn't it?).

Beruin
04-04-2007, 12:11 PM
Like combat is limited to situations where you want to violently injure people? :)

Lol, point for you, but I'd say you just used perform (oratory) to make a witty remark rather than your knowledge (game rules) skill, proving my point that other skills also have their uses in a, ahem, knowledgable debate.;)




The ruler might have experts in their court whose erudition is not in question (how it got that way is another matter!).

If one of these learned savants objects, they are not going to be swayed with mere rhetoric. The king might agree with your pleasant talk, but when his ministers cough and interject he will presumably heed them. At that point conducting a debate with said objecting minister becomes important - unless you plan to abandon your mission.

I agree that it should be difficult to argue against a trusted minister, but the players should be free to decide which tactics to use, even inappropriate ones.

Beruin
04-04-2007, 01:21 PM
The participants could use the following skills in the debate:

- Bluff causes 1d4 damage, but if the attack misses, the intended victim gets an attack of opportunity in return.
- Diplomacy causes 1d2 damage but the damage can be increased if you bid your own DHPs on the attack (you loose these if you miss)
- Intimidation causes 1d3 damage, you loose one DHP if you miss.
- Perform (oratory) causes 1d2 damage but you can attack two opponents simultaneously
- Knowledge (Religion) does not cause damage but your opponent looses his next action if your attack succeeds OR you can heal 1d2 points of damage with a successful check against DC 22.

Okay, I'm quoting myself here, But I guess a little elaboration why I assigned these effects might be helpful.

The debate I conducted IMC was a council of the Militant Order of Cuiraecen. On the surface and at first it dealt with issues like the financial situatiuon of the order, its future goals etc., but this was merely the front for a surfacing power struggle between Fyhlie the Sword and Stiele Ghieste (cf. the Book of Priestcraft, p.44), with the priest PC Halmied Pechalinn firmly on Fyhlie's side.
The debate was also meant as a turning point for the priest from wandering adventurer to regent, i.e. Halmied would earn Fyhlie's trust, be awarded with overseeing a number of smaller holdings of the MOC and would be set on the road to becoming a possible successor.

Several outcomes, from worst to best (from the player's POV), would be possible in this debate:
- Stiele gets enough support to usurp Fyhlie's postion and becomes the new leader of the MOC.
- Stiele and Fyhlie come to (verbal) blows and Stiele backs down, only to split the order, forming a new order from the Ghorean holding of the MOC. This happened IMC, though Stiele lost a considerable amount of support in the process.
- Fyhlie gets Stiele to back down, securing her position and preserving the unity of the MOC.

At the start of the debate, both sides had a few more or less firm supporters with a slight upperhand for Ghoere, and there were also a number of neutral members of the council who had to be swayed by either side in order to secure victory.

I wanted my players to roleplay the more important exchanges of the debate (which they did admirably), but I also wanted to give them a crutch they could lean on when they were at loss of words. Furthermore some of my players took over the role of NPCs during the debate, playing them within the limits I had set for them. These players e3sspecially should be able to simply say: "I attack him with a bluff", when they couldn't think of an argument to represent a position, that was, after all, not their own.

I came up with the following explanations for my debate actions:

- Bluff can be very effective, but when your bluff is called you also set yourself up for a counterattack, therefore the attack of opportunity.

- Diplomacy I saw within the context of this debate as the fine art of compromising. Therefore, if you're willing to give up something (i.e. debate hit points), you can gain more.

- Intimidation can be a successful tactic too, but others might see you as a bully, therefore the hit point loss.

-Perform (oratory) I saw as a less effective attack (only 1d2 damage), but able to influence more than one debater at a time.

-Knowledge (religion) was of course a must in a debate among priests. I thought of the bible as an example of religious texts here. Hope, I don't hurt anyones religious feelings, but to my mind you can find an argument for nearly every point of view and its total opposite in there. The skill could therefore be used to throw a number of theological arguments at your opponent, which he has to sort out, costing him time, i.e. losing his next action. In addition you can reinforce your position or that of an ally with theological arguments, i.e. healing yourself or an ally.

I hope this was a bit helpful.

kgauck
04-04-2007, 01:47 PM
If the point of debate is to determine the "best" plan then that is not really a debate but instead a "logical arguement".
You can call it whatever you want. That's just an issue of semantics. I know that those of us advocating this approach have used the term disputation plenty of times to describe the formal style of debate we are refering to. It was the exclusive style of debate in the middle ages (there were other ways to handle verbal disputes, but they were not taught). Disputations, or forensic debate was popular as a rhetorical style until the early twentieth century, and now is mostly confined to courtrooms and classrooms.

It used to be the case that artful speaking was regarded as trickery. Consider this saying of Agesilaus the Great: "When a man commended an orator for his skill in amplifying petty matters he said, I don’t think that a shoemaker is a good workman that makes a great shoe for a little foot." Too much art with too little substance can be off-putting.

Suppose I send a rogue with plenty of Diplomacy, Bluff, and Intimidation into a court to obtain a commission to back our next adventure. We plan to get into a privledgium and steal secret documents by using an alchemical treatment on the magical defenses to the place. If the court has an alchemist there, convincing the regent isn't the key problem. Convincing the alchemist is. If he declares that our plan is flawed, and won't work as we describe, the court even once convinced, will recoil and reject the plan.

Sometimes people are more interested in what you have to say than in how you say it. We have special words for people who speak well and don't know what they are talking about.

There are many potential ways to handle such checks, depending on the argument, the speaker, and the audience.

Strait diplomacy, bluff, or intimidation, single role or extended test
successful knowledge check grants synergy bonus to dip/bluf/int
successful knowledge check is required to make a dip check at all, bluff can be performed with a circumstance penalty, and intimidation may or may not be treated as bluff.
or, and this is the case I have been exploring, because its the most detailed, the knowledge check is its own extended test, because someone chooses to engage you in a sustained challenge to your thesis.


Using different skills allows more characters to engage in the discussion, rather than giving one character the whole spotlight. It allows characters to select the terms of debate (I'm an alchemist, lets talk alchemy) rather than putting every egg into the diplomacy basket.

kgauck
04-04-2007, 01:51 PM
I hope this was a bit helpful.

It is helpful. Its very similar to what I described, and seems perfecly adapted to the situation you have before you. Plus, it shows the value of using a variety of different skills in a debate.

irdeggman
04-04-2007, 03:04 PM
You can call it whatever you want. That's just an issue of semantics. I know that those of us advocating this approach have used the term disputation plenty of times to describe the formal style of debate we are refering to. It was the exclusive style of debate in the middle ages (there were other ways to handle verbal disputes, but they were not taught). Disputations, or forensic debate was popular as a rhetorical style until the early twentieth century, and now is mostly confined to courtrooms and classrooms.

Semantics is important since there are two different mechanics invovled here.


IIRC the French middle-ages "debates" were mostly pomp and circumstance situations and not of the substantive approaches you are focusing on here. The Sun King's courts were mostly about image and less about substance - which was what eventuall led to his downfall.



One is changing attitudes and one is defining or narrowing an action.

One is based on charisma and the other on knowledge. It depends on what the situation is. Now both do have an effect - that is charisma skills do have an effect on a knowledge based argument (it reflects how well the technical points have been presented) {hence a bonus from synergy from the charisma based skill on the knowledge check} And for a charisma based situation having knowledge lends itself to a better grounded presentation (less fluff if you will) so a bonus due to synergy from the knowledge side skill here.


Sometimes people are more interested in what you have to say than in how you say it. We have special words for people who speak well and don't know what they are talking about.

Yup usually elected officials.




There are many potential ways to handle such checks, depending on the argument, the speaker, and the audience.

Strait diplomacy, bluff, or intimidation, single role or extended test
successful knowledge check grants synergy bonus to dip/bluf/int
successful knowledge check is required to make a dip check at all, bluff can be performed with a circumstance penalty, and intimidation may or may not be treated as bluff.
or, and this is the case I have been exploring, because its the most detailed, the knowledge check is its own extended test, because someone chooses to engage you in a sustained challenge to your thesis.
Using different skills allows more characters to engage in the discussion, rather than giving one character the whole spotlight. It allows characters to select the terms of debate (I'm an alchemist, lets talk alchemy) rather than putting every egg into the diplomacy basket.

This is really pretty much what I've been saying all along.

There are two general things being covered here changing attitudes and coming up witha better plan/idea. Lumping them together under the umbrella of knowledge and not charisma-skill is too shallow, as is lumping them together under charisma-based skill and not knowledge.

ryancaveney
04-04-2007, 03:04 PM
I'm mixing replies to several different posts in this thread.

I think the dictionary references are best encapsulated by the Monty Python sketch:



PALIN: An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition. It isn't just the automatic gainsaying of the other person.

CLEESE: It can be.

PALIN: No, it can't!

CLEESE: Look, if I'm to argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.


One thing which still surprises me, and has since childhood, is how often other people describe me as "diplomatic", though I really don't think of myself that way. I've thought about it a great deal, and my currently favored explanation is that I tend to focus on the facts and eschew emotion, aiming for the head rather than the heart. People seem to perceive this as less manipulative, yet I think they're quite wrong.


Lol, point for you, but I'd say you just used perform (oratory) to make a witty remark rather than your knowledge (game rules) skill, proving my point that other skills also have their uses in a, ahem, knowledgable debate.

Ah, but you need both. A witty remark is much less successful if it is irrelevant -- or worse, when considered for content rather than form, supports your opponent's position better than it does your own. In the days when there were people professionally trained as "rhetors", one of the things they had to memorize was a long list of culturally familiar historical examples of things relevant to common subjects of debate. You have to both have the knowledge and use it well. To be a really good speaker, you need both Int and Cha, and skills based on both. Thus I'd probably run each round of a debate as two checks for each participant: one for Knowledge to come up with a relevant thing to talk about, and one for Perform to put it memorably to the audience.

There was an interesting backhanded example of this in the recent movie "Amazing Grace". The hero is a fiery orator, who the establishment blocks at every turn. Eventually, he decides to pull an end run: he comes up with a proposed law which will move him closer to his goal, but seems unrelated at first glance. In order to avoid provoking the suspicions of his opponents, he arranges to have the most boring speaker in Parliament present it for him, making the issue seem less important than it really is.

Also, if you're going to run non-combat skill encounters with some form of "hit points", I recommend doing what HeroQuest does: in every extended contest, your skill score is also your hit points. This works for combat, climbing walls, disarming traps, debate, farming, and anything else. The trouble, of course, is figuring out whether a given field has 5 or 15 skill ranks in "Be Rocky, Weedy and Hard to Plow".


Ryan

AndrewTall
04-04-2007, 11:14 PM
Two checks, one to identify the point and one to make it is probably more accurate, but would slow down the action possibly.

In a formal situation it would also split audiences - some with detailed knowledge (KGauck's court experts) would listen to the words not the song as it were, of course their sage counsel might be overwhelmed if the court was truly enthused by the point at least temporarily, or they might wonder if they had mis-remembered a point given that the speaker is so confident...

I would note that knowing that an argument is wrong does not mean that experts will oppose it, many major organisational mistakes are blindingly obvious to all well in advance - but politics (often a single driven leader or the desire not to appear foolish) means that everyone gaily marches into oblivion. Group-think is a sad fact of life, I've been marked down as 'not a team player' several times for refusing to accept errors in technical presentations...

Possibly the expert might get a substantial bonus to avoid being swayed by the oratory, but more easily be swayed by the 'facts' - I would note that I've often seen very intelligent learned people swayed by a false technical argument because they got so involved in the technical debate that they didn't step back to consider the fuller picture.

irdeggman
04-05-2007, 12:54 AM
I think you've got the gist as I see it. What I see the "issue" as.

If there is more than one roughly equal "solutions" then it is about "convincing" someone that you have a better idea - slant towards oratory skill. You are changing their "attitude".

If there is one solution that is "better", than more knowledge based makes sense since it is about finding the best solution.

What I mean is that if both sides are arguing more less equal but different positions than why would it be more knowledge based? I still can see synergy from knowledge though.

kgauck
04-05-2007, 04:43 PM
IIRC the French middle-ages "debates" were mostly pomp and circumstance situations and not of the substantive approaches you are focusing on here. The Sun King's courts were mostly about image and less about substance - which was what eventuall led to his downfall.

The Sun King ruled from 1643 to 1715. The middle ages ended in France in 1477. Louis XIV is clearly in the middle of the early modern period, and is not a medieval king. His court was not mostly about image and less about substance, rather Versailles and the role of the nobility was all about image, and his parallel business with great ministers like Vauban, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Nicholas Fouquet, Michel le Teller, Francois Michel le Teller, the Great Condé, Marshal Turenne, and generals Villars and Tourville were all about substance. Indeed, such a great assortment of luminaries gives the reign of the Sun King the right be called a golden age. Louis achived this by keeping the nobility busy at court while he ruled the country through a new system of appointed ministers. In BR terms he chose to rule through a series of expert lieutenants instead of the heriditary nobility.

The problems of France which stem back to Louis and his expensive series of wars has more to do with the fact that France never developed a modern banking system or a national bank. Louis can be blamed for some of this, because when the wars came, Colbert's economic reforms always got delayed. Economic reform is disruptive, and in war you need maximum taxation. But also consider in 1720, shortly after the death of the Sun King and during the regency of his grandson, Louis XV, John Law attempted to set up the Joint Stock system in France, which distributes risk among many shareholders and produces a more effecient use of capital. He also tried to set up a national bank, like those in England and Holland to control the value of money. Like many first time attempts at new economic reforms, these were troubled. The Banque Générale Privée produced paper money for the first time in France. As those of us in modern economies know, if money was limited to specie metals, none of us would have any of it, there is just not enough to go around. Law obtained the Mississippi Company to do for Louisiana what joint stock companies like the Virginia Company and the East India Company did for the English colonies. How goverment monopolies, a national bank, and a joint stock action here all got intertwined I will not explain, although we know today that banks that issue money should not start speculating in risky joint stock ventures (Savings and Loan bailout, anyone?) The company Law was running aquired all other joint stock companies, had a monopoly of all trade, and its price became a bubble, and like all bubbles, demand for the stock drove the price way up, and then the realization that the companies revenues were way too small to support that stock price brought the whole thing crashing down. This was a gigantic Enron in 1720-21, during which 97% of the value of the stock disappeared.

I ask you now, of this was your first encounter with National Banks, and Joint Stock companies, would you repeat this experience? France did not, and remained a 17th century economy (at least at the state level, though in many respects I would argue entirely 17th century) while Britain and Holland moved into the 18th, and then into industrial revolution and the ability to make Britain in the 19th century an undiputed hegemon.

So, Louis XIV, the Sun King is not the cause of France's decline from greatness, her repeated inability to modernize the way she financed the state is. Of this Louis deserves some criticism for the very begining of the period. However, later problems, such as John Law's bubble, the inability to reform taxation, and the inability to remove the legal privledge to be untaxable held by the church, nobility, and many towns, proved a bigger problem.

While I am on the subject of things 17th and 18th century, which I generally hold to be too late for any use in BR, I will mention a fine manual of diplomacy written by Francois de Callieres called On the Manner of Negotiating with Princes. Written in 1716 by a French diplomat, it is not only a guide to how diplomacy was conducted (he provides analysis) but an instructional guide to diplomacy. It is this later part, the guide, that saw the book republished by Houghton Mifflin in 2000, with a view that modern business people could benefit from such a book. Unlike many other such ideas, which were more modern business analysis of Machiavelli or Jesus, or Attila the Hun, this publication leaves the Callieres book intact, with an introduction that explains its use to a modern audience. Our purpose for such a manual is for gaming, and reproducing the forms of former ages.

kgauck
04-05-2007, 05:14 PM
IIRC the French middle-ages "debates" were mostly pomp and circumstance situations and not of the substantive approaches you are focusing on here.
Having given attention to the Sun King above, I seperated my other point to present it without the dicussion of Louis.

Medieval debates in France, such as the trial of Joan of Arc or those conducted at the various Church Councils, or the great philosophical debates are in fact formal disputations.

I point to the second Council of Lyon in 1274, wherein the Council decided to approve the Franciscan and Dominican orders, despite arguments of existing orders to maintain the status quo; the attempted reunion with the Eastern churches, certainly a cause of doctrinal dispute; and procedures to tithe to support crusade; as well as a conclave procedure, are clearly big issues with a lot of learned debate of law, on theology, administration, history, and utility.

Look at Anselm's Ontological Argument for the Being of God, and then imagine this not as a written text, but as one side of a debate. These kinds of things are very tight arguments in point by point format. Such texts are not meant to presuade you, they are meant to prove to you by assembling evidence with logic according to rules so that by the end of my presenation, you have no choice, if you are guided by logic, but to accept my premice.

Peter Abelard's Sic et Non, likewise.

Debates over philosophy, such as nominalism, conceptualism, and realism.

Consider William of Occam, who is not only involved in the great debate of Franciscans with the Papacy (the Franciscans criticized Papal wealth, arguing that Jesus owned no property at all, the Franciscans were banned), also of nominalism (which denies universal catagories as real) and support for Emperor Louis of Bavaria against the Papacy in an Imperial-Papal struggle, going so far as to argue on the Imperial constitution and history.

I do not know how one could read the documents of this era and conclude that French culture was not full of formal debates based on dispuations by learned and expert men, which then had a huge impact on the affairs of kings and states.

Knowing what we know about later men, after printing made writing so much more accessable, such as Newton or Kepler and their roles in practical matters of state (both had roles in the treasuries of their respective governments, probabaly on the assumption that really smart guys might figure out how to turn base metals into gold) its hard to imagine and what we know of earlier learned advisors, that the earlier ones (before printing could detail their routine activities in newspapers and pamphlets) were also involved in day to day activities.

kgauck
04-05-2007, 06:44 PM
Let's pause for a moment and consider how we go from some real life activity, like debates, to a game mechanic.

If we want to represent something like this simply, we look to the rules and ask, which of these skills best reflects what is happening here. Since I am getting people to agree with me, diplomacy is the best mechanic. You may or may not add synergy from certain other skills depending on how much thought you have given to what is going on here. Some diplomacy checks certainly don't merit a deep analysis.

The central question in this thread, is "How should diplomacy be complicated, how should it be turned into an extended check when it is the cumulative confrontation of the game session or the adventure?"

Here I suggest that all of the things you look for in that final confrontation should be present here. The stakes should be high. It should impact the characters and their realms in a meaningful way. And, all the characters should have something to do.

There seems to be a school of thought, that social interactions should be handled through Diplomacy, Bluff, and Intimidate alone and that in some circumstances Knowledge skills might provide synergy bonuses (with or without checks) but they should not for the basis of any mechanic for debate. We have been given arguments based on what debate is or is not, what role persuasion plays even in a formal debate before an expert audience, and definitional arguments about what game effect Diplomacy should reflect.

My own position is that when arguing is a central form of interaction between players and their enviroment, rather than fighting, you cannot just point to the "face" of the party and let him do all the talking. Everyone should have a chance to stand up and make part of the case for whatever the PC's are trying to do. I do encourage everyone to take Diplomacy, since you should not always rely on the "face" of the party to do all the talking. Adventuring parties split up. But when the stakes are high, Diplomacy checks should not be attempted by characters who have a notably lower Diplomacy check bonus. Sometimes its neccesary, but I won't create argument based adventures and then tell players that Diplomacy is the Holy Grail skill and everyone should max it out, because its the only check that will mean anything. Indeed, in a campaign that is mostly talk, too much weight is put on Diplomacy. In my previous campaign, I split it up into Diplomacy for state business and Bargain for personal business. This time around I am dropping the Bargain skill, but still need extra skills to 1) make characters different and 2) to prevent Diplomacy being the Holy Grail.

I really don't think there is any way to get around Diplomacy and Sense Motive being absolutly key for any character who wants a domain. But I do think its possible to broaden the number of skills that make important social interactions go well. Many of the skills are doing skills, not knowing skills. Generally I would point to the Knowledge skills and the Perform skills as critical. Some have mentioned Perform (Oratory) and I had that skill once upon a time (and its important in Dynasties and Demagogues) but I think it overlaps with the Birthright skill Leadership. After all, if I can use Leadership to give the St Crispans day speach from Henry V, I can speak in front of groups. Some classes may have access to Perform (all) but not Leadership, and I imagine they might purchase Peform (Oratory), but that's uncommon.

Just as we can discuse who is the sneaky party member, and why a party needs that character, who is the warrior, the healer, the face, &c, &c, we can look at differnt topics likely to effect domains and argue that these need also be spread around and covered by different players. This allows the players to hand off the speakers baton as the different characters discourse on different topics in courts, assemblies, legal settings, and war councils.

Religion, Law, Nobility, History should all be covered. Outside of Rjurik and Vos lands, Arcana should be added. Depending on your campaign, Apraise, Geography, Nature, or other special skills too.

irdeggman
04-05-2007, 08:39 PM
First off - I stand corrected on the role of the Sun King in the downfall of France and the technical side of their debates - thanks Kenneth. I still think they had placed a large emphasis on pomp though.


Let's pause for a moment and consider how we go from some real life activity, like debates, to a game mechanic.

The central question in this thread, is "How should diplomacy be complicated, how should it be turned into an extended check when it is the cumulative confrontation of the game session or the adventure?"

Here I suggest that all of the things you look for in that final confrontation should be present here. The stakes should be high. It should impact the characters and their realms in a meaningful way. And, all the characters should have something to do.

It becomes difficult to include all characters in an interaction based scene, at least to the same extent. Should the Vos barbarian have any sort of large role, just because we (speaking as DM and player) want to involve everyone? Or should the player expect that this just isn't the appropriate scenario for his character to have any siginificant effect and just wait for the more appropriate "bashing of the skulls" time where the character who is focused on interaction will likewise have to sit and wait.


There seems to be a school of thought, that social interactions should be handled through Diplomacy, Bluff, and Intimidate alone and that in some circumstances Knowledge skills might provide synergy bonuses (with or without checks) but they should not for the basis of any mechanic for debate. We have been given arguments based on what debate is or is not, what role persuasion plays even in a formal debate before an expert audience, and definitional arguments about what game effect Diplomacy should reflect.

In an interactive scenario they are the largest factors and there is no real way around it. The character with the highest BAB is not necessarily the one who can work his way through the crowd at a formal dinner party.


My own position is that when arguing is a central form of interaction between players and their enviroment, rather than fighting, you cannot just point to the "face" of the party and let him do all the talking. Everyone should have a chance to stand up and make part of the case for whatever the PC's are trying to do. I do encourage everyone to take Diplomacy, since you should not always rely on the "face" of the party to do all the talking. Adventuring parties split up. But when the stakes are high, Diplomacy checks should not be attempted by characters who have a notably lower Diplomacy check bonus. Sometimes its neccesary, but I won't create argument based adventures and then tell players that Diplomacy is the Holy Grail skill and everyone should max it out, because its the only check that will mean anything. Indeed, in a campaign that is mostly talk, too much weight is put on Diplomacy. In my previous campaign, I split it up into Diplomacy for state business and Bargain for personal business. This time around I am dropping the Bargain skill, but still need extra skills to 1) make characters different and 2) to prevent Diplomacy being the Holy Grail.

I agree with trying to get everyone involved. But, this is an individual game issue really. Should not the "face" have the largest role in any sort of interactive situatin, just like the "muscle" should have the largest role in any sort of melee combat?

In BR - diplomacy was and still is one of the most important skills and really I see no way to get around that. While not the end-all be all it is one of the single most important skills, along with Lead at the domain level.


Some have mentioned Perform (Oratory) and I had that skill once upon a time (and its important in Dynasties and Demagogues) but I think it overlaps with the Birthright skill Leadership. After all, if I can use Leadership to give the St Crispans day speach from Henry V, I can speak in front of groups. Some classes may have access to Perform (all) but not Leadership, and I imagine they might purchase Peform (Oratory), but that's uncommon.

Good point about Lead and Perform (oratory).


Just as we can discuse who is the sneaky party member, and why a party needs that character, who is the warrior, the healer, the face, &c, &c, we can look at differnt topics likely to effect domains and argue that these need also be spread around and covered by different players. This allows the players to hand off the speakers baton as the different characters discourse on different topics in courts, assemblies, legal settings, and war councils.

Religion, Law, Nobility, History should all be covered. Outside of Rjurik and Vos lands, Arcana should be added. Depending on your campaign, Apraise, Geography, Nature, or other special skills too.

Good ideas all. It is still hard for me to visualize someone other than the "face" being the most important part of any interaction going on. I mean players choose roles for the characters and most of the time these are no generalist, someone chooses to be the muscle, someone choosed to be the sneak (spy), someone chooses to be the moral compas, etc. IMO if someone hasn't put any emphasis on doing something then they shouldn't have their character rewarded for lack of focus. That is you haven't put any ranks into a skill you shouldn't expect your character to be very good at it.

Now, there are situations (and should be) where one character is more key than another. Say the focus is on getting information from a guild - the character with the most connections should have the best chance of success. The "face" may still be able to "bluff" their way through and the muscle may still be able to bully their way - but these shuld be less likely to have success, at least IMO.

kgauck
04-05-2007, 10:12 PM
Reading irdeggman's latest post, I begin to wonder how my experience compares with others.

The traditional D&D campaign and adventure generally has a PC who is muscle, a PC who is the face, a PC who is the sneaker, and a PC who is the healer. Or some variation on this approach. My first BR campaign in Baruk-Azhik worked like this, but my second didn't. Sure, my Baruk-Azhik campaign had more talking than dungeon crawling, but it had a lot of conventional D&D stuff, with a combat oriented adventure everytime we got together. Most of the council meetings, speeches before the clans, and then like were done in e-mail. That first campaign we played realm turns in e-mail and then had an adventure action at the gaming table.

The second campaign, on the Taelshore, was much less conventionally D&D. By that time, only the non-humans were combat occasions. Players mostly talked their way out of situations. They talked their way through normal encounters with fellow Rjurik, talked their way past bad Rjurik, like the Rjuvik, and talked their way past bandits and outlaws. They would try to talk their way past monsters, unless they came from the Blood Skull Barony.

The party at its maximum extent of regular players included a noble, a skald, a druid, a ranger, a knight, and a barbarian. All were Rjurik except the knight, and all were civilized towns people except the barbarian. The noble ended up (at 14th level) with a +21 bonus to Knowledge (Nobility), +20 Leadership, +18 Knowledge (Law), and +16 Diplomacy. Only leadership and law were max'd skills. The rest were about half full with bonuses. Except for his younger days when he was getting his four levels in fighter, he becamse a formidable talker. He could speak for himself when neccesary, though would differ to the skald when he was present. But in matters of law and nobility, he was the recognized master, and was quite capable at other forms of public speaking. The druid was the obvious expert on all maters supernatural. In that venue, he was the talker. He specialized in the shadow world and nature, and became quite proficient in things shadow world. Few in the Highlands or across the Tael Firth would dispute his pronouncements on spirits or travels in the Shadow World. The Ranger was really half ranger and half noble, and like the noble started out mostly Ranger and only took noble once he was made Marshal of Stjordvik. Then he caught up on Leadership in a hurry. He knew the geography of the Taelshore very well. He did most of his talking to soldiers, scouts, and captains, but he was also the guy with the best Gather Information, so he always did talking of some kind. The knight did most of the talking in Anuire, and like the Rjurik noble was a mix of fighter and noble. He was a decent talker, and took the lead in his home territory. Likewise the barbarian. When encountering the tribal Rjurik, he generally took the lead, although both the druid and the skald were respected by Rjurik peoples everywhere. Among tribesmen, even the Barbarian was a negotiator and speaker. And finally, there is the skald, an obvious talker and renowned as such. He eventually went on to be a kind of ambassador at large for Stjordvik and was the second highest ranking druid in the Oaken Grove in Stjordvik.

So as I look at the division of characters in a party, I tend to assume they will all be experts at some kind of talking, in the same way a non-BR party is expert at some kind of combat.

Of course some players may not want to play nobles, and just be champion of some other character in the party. They would probabaly not be talkers, but at the same time, there would not be a lot to do in many adventures. Part of that is the way the players wanted to play it. The regarded humans as people that they could not kill without reprocussions and hated to burn bridges, so generally tried talking at every encounter. They could have played a different way, going for intrigues, or just more conventional nobles with a longer list of enemies, but they didn't. In fact, because they wanted to be honorable and just, they didn't even bluff. Intimidation was limited to people of significantly lower social station who could not object to being bullied. Intimidation is very important in war.

In a very real sense, everyone was a talker. There was no "face" for the party. The skald tended to begin and end conversations, but depending on what they were doing the real substance would be handled by the character with the sphere of influence in that area.

ryancaveney
04-05-2007, 11:32 PM
I still think they had placed a large emphasis on pomp though.

Indeed they did, and quite intentionally, but only in certain circumstances. In large part, Versailles was created as a playground for the nobility precisely in order to keep them from noticing that the day-to-day power of government was being taken away from them. The nobles had pomp like crazy, as part of the king's plan to hide that they didn't have anything else anymore. The people who actually did things didn't bother with the pomp, both because they didn't need it (they had real power, which is better), and as part of the deception ("No, Your Grace, what we ministers of state do all day is really very drab and boring, and we never have the time to go to parties.").


It becomes difficult to include all characters in an interaction based scene, at least to the same extent. [...] The "face" may still be able to "bluff" their way through and the muscle may still be able to bully their way - but these shuld be less likely to have success, at least IMO.

Exactly so. Characters whose skills are not appropriate to a situation are always at a disadvantage compared to those who are. That has to be the case if the rules are working properly.

The only difference between what you and Kenneth are saying is the kind of adventures which are common in your campaign. Parties should adapt to the local circumstances -- if almost all the gaming sessions are about negotiating with people, the Vos barbarian is going to be really bored. If almost all the gaming sessions are about killing things which refuse to talk to you, the master negotiator is going to be really bored. It's the same thing as noting that playing a druid in a campaign that never leaves the big city is not going to work very well. For a happy gaming experience, each character needs to have something they can contribute to each session, or else why should they bother to show up? The DM's job is to advertise honestly in advance what type of game he's going to run, and advise prospective players that certain character choices will probably not be a good fit. The players' job is to realize things like, "Gosh, if we're going to spend 95% of the game time just talking to NPCs, I'd better spend some skill points on things that will help me talk to NPCs."


Ryan

irdeggman
04-06-2007, 12:23 AM
Exactly so. Characters whose skills are not appropriate to a situation are always at a disadvantage compared to those who are. That has to be the case if the rules are working properly.

The only difference between what you and Kenneth are saying is the kind of adventures which are common in your campaign. Parties should adapt to the local circumstances -- if almost all the gaming sessions are about negotiating with people, the Vos barbarian is going to be really bored. If almost all the gaming sessions are about killing things which refuse to talk to you, the master negotiator is going to be really bored. It's the same thing as noting that playing a druid in a campaign that never leaves the big city is not going to work very well. For a happy gaming experience, each character needs to have something they can contribute to each session, or else why should they bother to show up? The DM's job is to advertise honestly in advance what type of game he's going to run, and advise prospective players that certain character choices will probably not be a good fit. The players' job is to realize things like, "Gosh, if we're going to spend 95% of the game time just talking to NPCs, I'd better spend some skill points on things that will help me talk to NPCs."


Ryan

My BR games tended to be a mix of both.

Combat and intrigue/interaction.

That way there was something for everyone.

As an example of one of our "typical" games is when we were playing Star Wars.

The GM had attempted to incorporate the following into every session (and usually managed to do so):

Some kind of fight (combat)

Some space ship battle (or chase)

Some interaction (role-playing time) {even the characters who weren't great at interactions still got to role-play their inadequacies}

{one of the best sessions we had our group managed to role-play their way out of a fight, even my Klatoonian scoundral/soldier}

Trithemius
04-07-2007, 07:22 AM
Lol, point for you, but I'd say you just used perform (oratory) to make a witty remark rather than your knowledge (game rules) skill, proving my point that other skills also have their uses in a, ahem, knowledgable debate.;)

I prefer to imagine that I have slickly presented my precious crystal of learning! Even Socrates was accused of mere rhetoric, but who believed Thrasymachus anyway.


I agree that it should be difficult to argue against a trusted minister, but the players should be free to decide which tactics to use, even inappropriate ones.

Certainly! I think this just provides mechanics to make a given choice more useful.

Trithemius
04-07-2007, 07:24 AM
Also, if you're going to run non-combat skill encounters with some form of "hit points", I recommend doing what HeroQuest does: in every extended contest, your skill score is also your hit points. This works for combat, climbing walls, disarming traps, debate, farming, and anything else. The trouble, of course, is figuring out whether a given field has 5 or 15 skill ranks in "Be Rocky, Weedy and Hard to Plow".

I see that the allure of RDL's systems have ensnared you too Ryan!
Let me greet you as a kinsman, come share meat at my stead! ;)

ryancaveney
04-07-2007, 07:46 PM
I see that the allure of RDL's systems have ensnared you too Ryan!
Let me greet you as a kinsman, come share meat at my stead! ;)

*chuckle* I accept this, with gratitude, and I will speak ever of your generosity. Before you offer me salt, however, make sure you ascertain the full extent of my opinion.

I think having resolution mechanisms depend on the level of detail you want to have, rather than the type of skill being used, is a great idea. I think having all abilities on precisely the same numerical scale is a great idea. However, the implementation given in Hero Wars is totally botched. The resolution systems have radically different results for the same skill inputs. They also have some serious mathematical flaws; for example, there are many situations where increasing your own skill can't help you defeat someone, but increasing their skill can help you win! There is no standard scale; e.g., can a human with Run Fast 17 outrun a horse with Run Fast 14? This also means you cannot give game mechanic interpretation to all the nifty bits of in-character flavor: say I am fined two sheep for falling asleep during a ritual; how does that affect my score of Wealth 25? The advancement system actively discourages the suggested roleplaying hooks. There is no way to model many sorts of important interactions; e.g., missile fire at targets without their own missle weapons. I posted a lot on the Hero Wars Rules mailing list in late 2001, but I eventually gave up because the system was just impossible to work reasonably with. Has the new edition improved things at all? If not, I'll just use Pendragon, thanks. =)


Ryan

Trithemius
04-08-2007, 01:49 AM
I think having resolution mechanisms depend on the level of detail you want to have, rather than the type of skill being used, is a great idea. I think having all abilities on precisely the same numerical scale is a great idea. However, the implementation given in Hero Wars is totally botched. The resolution systems have radically different results for the same skill inputs. They also have some serious mathematical flaws; for example, there are many situations where increasing your own skill can't help you defeat someone, but increasing their skill can help you win! There is no standard scale; e.g., can a human with Run Fast 17 outrun a horse with Run Fast 14? This also means you cannot give game mechanic interpretation to all the nifty bits of in-character flavor: say I am fined two sheep for falling asleep during a ritual; how does that affect my score of Wealth 25? The advancement system actively discourages the suggested roleplaying hooks. There is no way to model many sorts of important interactions; e.g., missile fire at targets without their own missle weapons. I posted a lot on the Hero Wars Rules mailing list in late 2001, but I eventually gave up because the system was just impossible to work reasonably with. Has the new edition improved things at all? If not, I'll just use Pendragon, thanks. =)

HeroQuest is better than Hero Wars, although there is a revision of HQ coming out soon (its being stripped down to the rule essentials in one book, with Glorantha - or other setting - specific stuff going in separate books.

I also find most of your "problems" to be very non-problematic; it all depends on whether you interpret the mechanics themselves, or are consciously or unconsciously including preconceptions from other games. I find that having read the Burning Wheel/Burning Empires books I think I understand what Robin was going for: HQ doesn't model discrete actions, it models the results of actions that are performed with the objective of achieving an intended result.

And what kind of fine is two sheep!? What did you do, slap a carl?

kgauck
04-11-2007, 02:40 AM
I have an interesting Perform skill story that might be relevant for a debate.

from Plutarch:
"Now Theseus, in his return from Crete, put in at Delos, and having sacrificed to the god of the island, dedicated to the temple the image of Venus which Ariadne had given him, and danced with the young Athenians a dance that, in memory of him, they say is still preserved among the inhabitants of Delos, consisting in certain measured turnings and returnings, imitative of the windings and twistings of the labyrinth. And this dance, as Dicaearchus writes, is called among the Delians the Crane."

Especially among non-literate people (Vos, nomadic Rjurik) people memorize a dance and/or a song to record an important event.

Imagine then going into the presence of the chief, and when you make some claim, state some premice, some great hunter/warrior gets up and performs the great dance known to the whole of his people which refutes your claim, or just tells the story of the wise local who rejects the foriegner. Not only is the story itself unknown to the visitors, but the story, being performed in dance, is not interpretable by the party.

AndrewTall
04-11-2007, 09:34 PM
You would have much the same difficulty contradicting the reading of omens without knowledge of another people's history and superstitions.

A scholar could say 'I refute your reading of the omen, remember the words of Thistoneles at Deismaar? This omen is intended for your enemies! See way the crows scatter after their assault? The flight of the eagle leads south milords! Be defiant and we will emerge victorious, flee and be cut down as cowards by our enemies...' whereas without knowing that the nobles were taught about Thistoneles as a hero of Deismaar or the way in which an eagle being mobbed by crows could be interpreted, a less learned orator would have to struggle with their argument having 'lost the omen round', of course bluff and oratory could apply to save the day if the PC was lucky.

kgauck
04-12-2007, 02:56 AM
Oh wary traveler, heed this advice and max your ranks in Knowledge (local).

AndrewTall
04-12-2007, 09:25 AM
Or have the wit to accept a local guide - particularly if a PC just died and you just happened to meet someone who fills a missing role in the group...

kgauck
04-12-2007, 02:40 PM
Or have the wit to accept a local guide.

Aboslutly. Many of the "unforseen" problems in diplomacy can be avoided or prepared for if you have a local who will explain the lay of the land to you. I was looking over the contact list in the DMG II, and in general contacts need some adjustment for BR (different thread) but any sensible diplomat cultivates contacts in every court he visits. People who are out of power, out of favor, and whose policy choices differ with the current position of the throne, will all be eager to see outsiders come, for a chance to ride their coattails back into influence. Depending on their circumstances, the party would not want to publicly associate with them, but even so such people can explain the lay of the land from a highly interested perspective.

Over the long term, if you have genuine friends in court, they will act as contacts and allies in helping you through the difficulties of local issues such as minefields, personalities, and issues.

Good intelligence ought to proceed any visit to a court. Unless a court was established the day before yesterday, some good (if over-broad and dated) information should be avialable. When you get into town, or if you pass by important courts on the way, Gather some Information and attempt to get a sense of how things are working.