April 13th, 2006


(no subject)

So the boyfriend and I got into a rather heated debate about the relative merit of having skills in RPGs that explicitly allow a character to seduce another. (The skill in question for our argument was Socialize in New World of Darkness, but any skill that allows these sorts of rolls can probably be substituted with ease.)

He falls on the side of the argument that says yes, rolling for just any old seduction attempt is stupid and rather pointless, but that he thinks that the roll is acceptable. His specific example was, "if I have an NPC like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct, and the player knows that hey, this is a situation they don't want their character going into, I want a way to fairly resolve Black Widow Seductress vs. Hapless PC." He compares it to rolling Interrogation; the player may not want their character to give up important information, but that doesn't mean that the cops/Yakuza/Mafia/government/whoever won't be able to get it out of them.

I personally feel really uncomfortable with that idea. To me, even with nWoD's modifiers, it opens up (for example) the possibility of Casanova seducing a nun, or 'converting' a person from their sexuality through seduction (even if only for a night), or otherwise telling me what my PC feels or wants. ('Your character is in a bar drinking because he just lost his wife... but you failed your roll, so bam! He has sex with a random woman that seduced him!')

Now obviously I don't expect the last situation to happen in any game that I play in - I trust my boyfriend and other STs more than that - but the point still remains that I really don't want to be told, "You find X really attractive/you want to get a drink with X/X convinces you to come back to his place/you want to sleep with X."

On the other hand, I have been in an Aberrant game where Mega-Charisma and Mega-Manipulation literally meant jack shit to the PCs. You could blow a Willpower to just ignore social 'attacks', and it meant that NPCs with massive social stats could be, basically, hated, despite having Mega-Charisma 3+.

I don't know where to find the equilibrium that I'll be happy with, short of saying that people should react to NPCs in accordance with their relative attributes. Thoughts?

Cross-posted to my personal journal.
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