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  1. #1
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    I`ve been revamping 3e skills for use IMC, but also specifically in BR. So
    far those BR related skills include things like Command, Intrigue,
    Leadership and Research, most of which have been discussed on this
    list. I`ve been mulling over including another skill, Politics, that will
    aid regents in performing various domain actions. Right now I`m thinking
    this skill should benefit one, maybe two domain actions and I`m leaning
    towards Agitate and/or Contest in the same way I`ve got Intrigue
    influencing Espionage actions, Research affecting Research actions, etc.

    One major concern I have when coming up with a new skill, however, is that
    it be useful not only at the realm level, but also at the adventure level,
    and there`s where I`m a bit stuck. So the questions I have for you folks
    is; what is it that politically skilled people apply their talents
    too? What do they succeed at that their opponents do not? If you were up
    against a politically savvy NPC what is it you would expect him to do?

    I know this is a bit vague, but I`m just looking for some brainstorming
    here. Ideas?

    Gary

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  2. #2
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    I`ve used the Politics skill, but frankly there is nothing there that you
    won`t get by having Gather Information, Knowledge (Nobility), and Diplomacy.
    The advantage I saw in the Politics skill, was that in exchange for limiting
    its effects to a single realm, Politics (Roesone), and a single sphere,
    politics, characters would have access to three skills.

    I did the same thing with Stewardship and the skills Administration, Law,
    and Knowledge (Nobility).

    Of course PC`s generally don`t want to limit themselves in this way,
    prefering versatility. So I generally used these skills for NPC`s who had
    chosen to invest in local affairs and didn`t adventure. Of course rulers
    are often surrounded by experts in local politics and stewardship.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  3. #3
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 01:17 PM 6/30/2002 -0500, Kenneth Gauck wrote:

    >I`ve used the Politics skill, but frankly there is nothing there that you
    >won`t get by having Gather Information, Knowledge (Nobility), and Diplomacy.
    >The advantage I saw in the Politics skill, was that in exchange for limiting
    >its effects to a single realm, Politics (Roesone), and a single sphere,
    >politics, characters would have access to three skills.
    >
    >I did the same thing with Stewardship and the skills Administration, Law,
    >and Knowledge (Nobility).

    I was thinking of it more in terms of an ability to "spin" a situation,
    thus affecting Agitate, and manipulate people`s perception of a situation
    in such a way as to undermine the authority of a ruler in favor of oneself,
    kind of like Contest.

    In any case, those three are a bit different from what I have in
    mind. Administration I haven`t really figured out how I want to handle
    yet, but I think it`s quite different from the politics skill I`m talking
    about. Law is a bit of a toughie, but I`m picturing that having to do with
    a couple of other domain actions, mostly interacting with the Law
    holding. Knowledge, nobility (or any of the knowledge skills) generally
    reserved for information purposes only, though there are a few notable
    "hands on" uses for knowledge skills from time to time. The combination of
    those could, I guess, replicate a Politics skill, but having a single skill
    just seems cleaner and more useable.

    Gary

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  4. #4
    Site Moderator Magian's Avatar
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    A politics skill is very general especially if you want to apply it to game
    mechanics and not wanting to leave any aspect of it out.

    >
    >I was thinking of it more in terms of an ability to "spin" a situation,
    >thus affecting Agitate, and manipulate people`s perception of a situation
    >in such a way as to undermine the authority of a ruler in favor of oneself,
    >kind of like Contest.
    >

    The skill of spin and manipulating peoples perception of a situation really
    have little to do with politics unless the knowledge and subject of what you
    are trying to spin is political in scope. These skills are communication
    skills under persuation, debate, and rhetoric.

    The temple aspect of the agitate encompasses the dogma of the church which
    is basically church politics. However politics was not really considered a
    science the way it is today because of lack of data and studies and perhaps
    interest thus politics as a skill in itself is as you said a vague approach.
    Even in political science so many skills are drawn upon to make up what it
    is that itself alone really isn`t anything but personal opinion and
    philosophical conjecture.

    Today there are so many things a person could do in politics but in the
    setting we have in campaign terms things were much more limited on the
    domain scale. I suggest Niccolo Machiavelli as a milestone to politics in
    this setting and a good source to base any materials of politics anyone
    would like to incorporate to the game.

    As for adventuring, well isn`t the party leader already drawing upon his
    political skills in every adventure in every D&D game already? Politics
    really isn`t a definitive entity but we use it everywhere through
    combinations of skills, or non-skills for those who are not politically
    motivated.

    >In any case, those three are a bit different from what I have in
    >mind. Administration I haven`t really figured out how I want to handle
    >yet, but I think it`s quite different from the politics skill I`m talking
    >about. Law is a bit of a toughie, but I`m picturing that having to do with
    >a couple of other domain actions, mostly interacting with the Law
    >holding.

    Again politics regarding law itself is very philosophical or religious
    depending on the form of government.


    >Knowledge, nobility (or any of the knowledge skills) generally
    >reserved for information purposes only, though there are a few notable
    >"hands on" uses for knowledge skills from time to time. The combination of
    >those could, I guess, replicate a Politics skill, but having a single skill
    >just seems cleaner and more useable.
    >
    >Gary
    >

    I understand that politics would be an easy catch all however I (perhaps a
    little philosophical myself on this subject) think that politics really
    draws upon other skills and is not in itself a skill. A knowledge of, as
    has been mentioned, certain political structures could be a politic skill
    and the knowledge thereof could be measured with a skill check. The
    administrative would fall under administration because not all politically
    skilled persons are good at administration. Law would be under law cause
    not all politically skilled persons are good lawyers. Spin would fall under
    a communications skill and be modified by charisma because not all
    politically skilled persons are good at persuading others or even making
    much change. Another aspect of politics is ambition but that is not a skill
    rather a personality trait thus guiding the type of politician one is.

    ciao,

    Paul

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  5. #5
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    It sounds more like what I called the Oratory skill (and a rose by any other
    name ...). The Oratory skill is designed for addressing groups, rather than
    interacting with individuals. You might use it to address a crowd, a
    meeting of the Estates, the Imperial Senate, an assembly of congregants at
    the Temple of Haelyn on a feast day, and so forth.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    Quoting Kenneth Gauck <kgauck@MCHSI.COM>:

    > It sounds more like what I called the Oratory skill (and a rose by any
    > other name ...). The Oratory skill is designed for addressing groups, rather
    > than interacting with individuals. You might use it to address a crowd, a
    > meeting of the Estates, the Imperial Senate, an assembly of congregants
    > at the Temple of Haelyn on a feast day, and so forth.

    I personally would be inclined to see this the Oratory skill as a sub-skill of
    the Perform skill. It could be argued that this improves the value of the
    Perform skill, but I would say by way of a reply that the Perform skill is not
    exactly super-powerful to begin with. I would certainly permit a PC to take (or
    construct an NPC with) a Perform style named `Oratory`. I would also permit an
    (N)PC to take `Ritual`, "Sermon`, `Card-Dealing`, or any of a number of
    disparate `performance` skills. Backed up by appropriate Knowledges (perhaps
    these might even grant synergy bonuses to certain performance style checks) I
    think that a greater variety of Perfom styles is a good alternative to
    expanding the number of skills.

    P.S. Sorry for being rather uncommunicative lately folks, I have had yet more
    connectivity issues.

    --
    John Machin
    (trithemius@paradise.net.nz)
    (ICQ: 16537985)
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  7. #7
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "John Machin" <trithemius@PARADISE.NET.NZ>
    Sent: Monday, July 01, 2002 1:27 AM


    > I personally would be inclined to see this the Oratory skill as a
    sub-skill of
    > the Perform skill.

    I am inconsistant in ascribing it either to its own skill, or as a Perform
    skill. If I had to settle on one nomenclature, I`d probabaly call it
    Perform (Oratory), and make it a class skill for Clerics and Paladins. At
    the same time I`d probabaly take Diplomacy away, and restore it only to
    those sects which get it as a bonus or a required proficency in the BoP.

    > P.S. Sorry for being rather uncommunicative lately folks, I have had yet
    more
    > connectivity issues.

    Glad to see you back in the ether.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  8. #8
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    Kenneth Gauck <kgauck@MCHSI.COM> wrote at 02-07-01 09.17:

    > I am inconsistant in ascribing it either to its own skill, or as a Perform
    > skill. If I had to settle on one nomenclature, I`d probabaly call it
    > Perform (Oratory), and make it a class skill for Clerics and Paladins. At
    > the same time I`d probabaly take Diplomacy away, and restore it only to
    > those sects which get it as a bonus or a required proficency in the BoP.

    The problem with this is that the different areas of the Perform skill are
    not separate skills - you get one area of performance for each rank you take
    in the perform skill. Of course, that can be changed, too. Everything can be
    changed.

    And that is the problem with this entire discussion - you are going too far
    away from the Core 3E rules. If we want to make our own d20 rules set for
    Birthright, we isolate ourselves in an ivory tower away from all the
    Dungeons and Dragons players. The Politics debate is just one example of
    this.

    I`m not going so far as to say that we should merge the Birhtright gods with
    the gods from the PH, but I think we should avoid messing with core
    mechanics, like the skills. It is better to invent new uses of old skills.
    And, in the case of Politics, this is clearly an aspect of the Diplomacy
    skill.

    So, you say, most classes lack Diplomacy. But skill access can be a partr of
    whatever mechanism you use to separate blooded and unblooded characters. It
    is better to adapt rules in this way, than to write your entirely new set of
    rules - because diverging rules makes your game indecipherable to others.



    /Carl

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    Quoting Kenneth Gauck <kgauck@MCHSI.COM>:

    > I am inconsistant in ascribing it either to its own skill, or as a
    > Perform skill. If I had to settle on one nomenclature, I`d probabaly call it
    > Perform (Oratory), and make it a class skill for Clerics and Paladins.
    > At the same time I`d probabaly take Diplomacy away, and restore it only to
    > those sects which get it as a bonus or a required proficency in the
    > BoP.

    That works well.
    I might be inclined to leave paladins with Diplomacy though. I would imagine
    that they need to talk through things at least as often as they need to stir up
    crowds.

    > Glad to see you back in the ether.

    I am just trying to avoid phlogiston at the moment :)

    --
    John Machin
    (trithemius@paradise.net.nz)
    (ICQ: 16537985)
    -----------------------------------------------------
    "Nothing is more beautiful than to know the All."
    -----------------------------------------------------
    - Athanasius Kircher, `The Great Art of Knowledge`.

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  10. #10
    Senior Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    Quoting Carl Cramér <carl.cramer@HOME.SE>:

    > The problem with this is that the different areas of the Perform skill
    > are not separate skills - you get one area of performance for each rank you
    > take in the perform skill. Of course, that can be changed, too. Everything
    > can be changed.

    I do not see how this is a problem.

    > And that is the problem with this entire discussion - you are going too
    > far away from the Core 3E rules. If we want to make our own d20 rules set
    > for Birthright, we isolate ourselves in an ivory tower away from all the
    > Dungeons and Dragons players. The Politics debate is just one example
    > of this.

    Well, I am not sure that we have to remain `generic` to be honest, but I since
    no real problem with the Perform skill currently, nor any problem with allowing
    all sorts of uses for the Perform skill (from conducting magical ceremonies, to
    dancing, to (as one of my co-players puts it) "luuuuurve-making") I am not sure
    of the need to radically alter the skill system. My main alteration would be
    granting increasing synergy bonuses (which Gary and I discussed on-list a while
    ago), and having more of them (particularly for Knowledge skills).

    > I`m not going so far as to say that we should merge the Birhtright gods
    > with the gods from the PH, but I think we should avoid messing with core
    > mechanics, like the skills. It is better to invent new uses of old
    > skills. And, in the case of Politics, this is clearly an aspect of the
    > Diplomacy skill.

    Negotiation makes us of (depending on the moment and the negotiators styles)
    Bluff, Sense Motive, Innuendo, Intimidation, AND Diplomacy. I would say that a
    Knowledge (Politics) skill would offer a synergy to political negotiations (but
    not to negotiations over who takes which watch at night), but I would not make
    a single skill and let it preside over such a complex thing as a political
    discussion, especially in a game like Birthright where politics is so
    important. I would like my master negotiator lieutenant (who has maxed out all
    of the mentioned skills, and has lots of appropriate skill-buffing feats) to be
    somewhat more capable than the average fellow with maxed out Diplomacy ranks.
    The other fellow might be able to talk politely in the normal fashion, but my
    master negotiator can lie, threaten, haggle, or charm his way through, as well
    as conduct the traditional stately discourse.

    Alternatively, the fact that I am a student of politics has made me place too
    much importance on my own discipline :)

    > So, you say, most classes lack Diplomacy. But skill access can be a
    > partr of whatever mechanism you use to separate blooded and unblooded
    > characters. It is better to adapt rules in this way, than to write your
    > entirely new set of rules - because diverging rules makes your game
    > indecipherable to others.

    I believe that I would have to redefine the uses of a lot of skills, including
    my expanded uses of Perform, Profession, and Knowledge skills and my division
    of Spellcraft into Theurgy, Magery, and Sorcery, but I do not think that this
    would mean that an regular D&D player would be alienated from my BR campaigns.
    He/she would probably have to the read page or so of changes that I have made,
    but I think that is no different for any campaign setting. So long as there are
    no changes of a Harn d20 magnitude I don`t think there are any problems with
    some fiddling around.

    --
    John Machin
    (trithemius@paradise.net.nz)
    (ICQ: 16537985)
    -----------------------------------------------------
    "Nothing is more beautiful than to know the All."
    -----------------------------------------------------
    - Athanasius Kircher, `The Great Art of Knowledge`.

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