Sense Motive?


Advice

Shadow Lodge

How does Since Motive work?

The reason I'm asking is I read in this one thread, that Since Motive could be used in place of a perception check. Can a character walk into a tavern see a shadowy figure at a far table and use Since Motive to gage the figures intentions?


The SM DC for a hunch is 20.


Well, since you asked so nicely, I'll give you a sense of what the skill is used for.

Your scenario is kind of possible. Given a minute or more of studying the guy from across the room or whatever, you can get a feel of what he's up to in a general sense (shady dealings, hostile intent, or whatever, but nothing specific). That should fall under Hunch (DC 20).

You can also use it to tell if someone's Enchanted (Charmed, Dominated, etc.) by spending time around them, or suss out lies or secret messages (opposed to a Bluff in both cases).

But the first is by far the most common use, and it can be used for pretty much anything given the time.

Shadow Lodge

Ok thanks for the replies.


Rynjin wrote:
Well, since you asked so nicely, I'll give you a sense of what the skill is used for.

I see what you did there.


Addition: Sense Motive is countered by Bluff.

In your tavern example the shadowy figure can use Bluff to hide his real intentions. At the first look he is only a commoner who drinks a beer after a long day of work. With a second look (successful Sense Motive vs. Bluff check) you can see that he observes the tavern visitors and searches for something (maybe a pickpocket target). His real intentions are not good.

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blahpers wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Well, since you asked so nicely, I'll give you a sense of what the skill is used for.
I see what you did there.

It was done rather well I thought!


Diplomacy = You want something from others (help, a discount, avoid a fight,..)
Bluff = You hide your real intention and convince others that you are saying the truth (say A but want B)

Some situations require a Diplomacy and Bluff check. Example: 'Please help me and i will give you 1000gp!' The 1000gp reward is a lie but you need the help so you roll a bluff check vs. sense motive. The result modifies the 'Diplomacy Starting Attitude' for the diplomacy check (on my table).

Same for your 'making fun of people' example. Somebody who is making jokes about others will start with a 'Unfriendly or Hostile' starting attitude and needs a good diplomacy check to get help from a previous joke victim.


Keep in mind that given sufficient time in a social situation you can get a flat Sense Motive check to have a "hunch" that something is wrong. It may not tell you that the bluffer is involved or anything specific, but it's something.


Eridan wrote:
Same for your 'making fun of people' example. Somebody who is making jokes about others will start with a 'Unfriendly or Hostile' starting attitude and needs a good diplomacy check to get help from a previous joke victim.

Well, thank you, gentleman.


To be more clear (no pun intended):

If the 'shadowy figure' is just sitting there in plain sight, the PC should automatically see him. The Perception DC would be 0, adjusted for distance (not far in a tavern unless it's really huge), and maybe a small penalty for poor lighting. Still pretty much automatic with a Take-10 unless the PC is really really bad at Perception.

So the PC perceives the 'shadowy figure' automatically, but he may have no clue that the guy is about to do something bad. He's just one more person in the room. That's where Sense Motive might be useful - observe the guy to try to sense his motives. Is he casing the tavern planning to rob it? Is he watching the door nervously, maybe planning to ambush someone when they come in? Is he just a commoner here to meet a girl on a blind date?

Now, if the 'shadowy figure' really is planning something nasty, automatically gets a Bluff check (even if he sucks at it) - it's assumed that he's not just sitting there holding a sign that says "I'm about to rob this tavern". So this should be an opposed Bluff vs. Sense Motive check for the PC to figure out what the 'shadowy figure' is trying to do.

Side note: it's also possible that the 'shadowy figure' doesn't want to be seen. If so, he might be wearing dark clothes and deliberately hiding in the dimly lit corner. If so, then he gets to use his Stealth skill opposed by the PC's Perception skill - if the PC cannot even see the 'shadowy figure', then there is no way to try to sense his motives. In other words, Sense Motive CANNOT replace Perception for the purpose of spotting/finding somebody who is stealthily hiding.

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Removed an unhelpful post and response.


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The biggest change I would like to see in the rules is a change to the skill known as "Perception" which, as I understand it, uses a character's "wisdom" to assess a situation.

Wrong, wrong, wrong*

A character’s “Perception” skill should be based upon Intelligence. The ability to interpret to one’s advantage what is “perceived” (what is seen, smelled, felt, tasted) should be an intelligence based skill.

A new Skill should be introduced called, “Intuition” and it would be Wisdom based. The ability to make a judgment about a situation based upon what a character “feels” intuitively, and Sense Motive would be a use of the Intuition Skill.

Now, characters with high Intelligence can attempt to avoid danger by relying on their Perception Skills, while characters with high Wisdom get the same opportunity to avoid danger by relying on their Intuition.

DM - Your character enters a dark alley. You look around and see pieces of garbage on the ground, a small rat scurries along, and a pipe drips water from the rain collecting on the roof overhead, but you do not see, smell, or hear anything unusual
Player – I don’t know, something about this doesn’t seem right. Can I make an Intuition Check?
DM – Sure go ahead.
Player – I rolled a seventeen
DM – The hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and you can’t shake the feeling that you are being watched. You are sure something is about to happen. Roll Initiative, you avoid being surprised as a shadowy figure seems to step out of the darkness itself and come toward you.

*Based upon my over inflated sense of my own self worth.

Shadow Lodge

blahpers wrote:
Keep in mind that given sufficient time in a social situation you can get a flat Sense Motive check to have a "hunch" that something is wrong. It may not tell you that the bluffer is involved or anything specific, but it's something.

Several responses I've gotten suggest that just enter a room allows a sense (since) motive roll to get a hunch on a shadowy figure in the corner.


In an obvious situation like "a cloaked figure is watching you from the shadowy corner of the tavern", yes, I would allow an automatic Sense Motive check upon entering the room.

In a situation where all clients in the tavern are secretly cultists and aware of the fact that their leader is presently conducting an unholy ceremony in the basement, but are trying to look completely normal, I would allow a Sense Motive after a sufficient time of social activity from the PCs to notice that some of the clients are acting weird.

That is the difference.


Jacob Saltband wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Keep in mind that given sufficient time in a social situation you can get a flat Sense Motive check to have a "hunch" that something is wrong. It may not tell you that the bluffer is involved or anything specific, but it's something.
Several responses I've gotten suggest that just enter a room allows a sense (since) motive roll to get a hunch on a shadowy figure in the corner.
Sense Motive wrote:

Hunch: This use of the skill involves making a gut assessment of the social situation. You can get the feeling from another's behavior that something is wrong, such as when you're talking to an impostor. Alternatively, you can get the feeling that someone is trustworthy.

Action

Trying to gain information with Sense Motive generally takes at least 1 minute, and you could spend a whole evening trying to get a sense of the people around you.

It's pretty vague, but the guideline suggests that it's quite rare to get useful Sense Motive information in under a minute--barring opposed skill checks like feint or bluff (deceive).

The GM will have to use case-by-case judgment. If the party walks into a royal ball as the musicians freeze in mid-song and everybody stops dancing and talking, I'd allow a Sense Motive immediately (not that it'd be necessary if the player is paying any attention at all). If the party walks into a royal ball and people are trying to go about the usual gossip but are shaken by some recent event, I'd require at least a minute of observation or discussion to notice a problem for a particular attendee, and quite a bit longer to notice that the discomfort is shared by the entire assembly. Of course, if the player is roleplaying appropriately, they can probably figure out that something is wrong well before that.


Generic Dungeon Master wrote:

The biggest change I would like to see in the rules is a change to the skill known as "Perception" which, as I understand it, uses a character's "wisdom" to assess a situation.

Wrong, wrong, wrong*...

Intelligent people aren't always known for being generally perceptive. The absent-minded professor archetype is a perfect example of a person who is academically highly capable, with both high Intelligence as well as several highly trained Knowledge skills. But he's bad at reading people and not very attentive to minutia unless it's something under the scope of his knowledge and training. Intelligence and Knowledge govern your ability to pick up new information and retain information. But looking around a room for trouble is applying that information; knowing what it's good for. As they say, Intelligence is knowing a tomato is a fruit... Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad... Charisma is being able to sell tomato-based fruit salad". So Intelligence governs your ability to gauge the value of items being transacted (Appraise), but Wisdom allows you to notice it in the first place by applying your knowledge of what to look for.


Resurrecting this thread in the hopes of preventing a TPK.

My group spotted a group of 3 chimera 320' away. None of them have Knowledge: Arcana, so they know nothing about these creatures, other than that they have been eating everything larger than a mouse on the island.

So since they speak Draconic, they've decided to open negotiations with the chimera.

The chimera, being chimera, are just going to say, "Why don't you all gather under that tree right there while we fly up?"

In 2 rounds, the tree will be a smoking pool of acid from 3 black dragons' acid breath.

So, my *players* are clueless enough that this is going to happen, and I am at serious risk of a TPK.

I really feel they should get SOME sort of roll, but:
(1) It's less than a minute, so Sense Motive and Diplomacy don't apply
(2) The chimera are being absolutely truthful: If the party goes under the tree, the chimera will approach
(3) Handle Animal and Wild Empathy are for non-intelligent animals, and Wild Empathy's range is "I'm already covered with acid".

Suggestions as to appropriate rolls and DCs? Or am I just wiping my party?


- Are three black dragons appropriate for the party? How did anybody convince three black dragons to play nicely for this?

- Sense motive is appropriate. There's a strongly implied lie, "yes, we'll negotiate", and it's reasonable to have bluff vs. sense motive. Or just use the DC 20 hunch roll instead. You're the GM.


I would suggest letting them make a Perception check as the chimera fly towards them to see that they are opening up their mouths to breath acid on them. Give them a round to run away.

Shadow Lodge

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QuidEst wrote:
- Are three black dragons appropriate for the party? How did anybody convince three black dragons to play nicely for this?

It's not three black dragons, it's three chimeras with black heads for their dragon heads.


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(1) The chimera are a CR 10 encounter for eight (yes, EIGHT) 7th-level PCs. It is designed to be an epically-hard fight already. They were even warned by other residents of the area, "Do not go beyond the rocks. All who go there die." I pointed out a complete lack of all life larger than a mouse in the area. Everything's dead, everyone who goes there dies, and they're still trying to negotiate. Admirable, but eventually fatal unless I work out what I want to do here.

(2) While I *am* the GM, my concern is that the 1-minute Sense Motive delay is the same as the 1-minute Diplomacy delay, and that 1-minute delay is vital for Diplomacy to avoid the classic, "I have +50 Diplomacy so I just convince every creature we ever meet to surrender and hand over its treasure" approach to adventuring. Yes, we have a paladin who has maxed out her Diplomacy, and she's already eagerly looking at the table of "what she can get creatures to do" if she rolls high enough. I want to strictly enforce the 1-minute Diplomacy limit so that creatures that are actively attacking don't suddenly stop and say, "Aw, she's nice. Let's just stop attacking and remove combat from the game."
Enforcing one limit and not the other will appear arbitrary. Yeah, I can explain it away, and I'm likely to go with the DC 20 hunch (the paladin also maxed out Sense Motive, so she won't feel left out by this). It's a good solution to this issue that rewards her for spending her few skill points on two critical social skills.

(3) I like Doomkitten's idea that I can at least give them Perception rolls to get bonuses on their Reflex saves and survive a bit. Any chimera that end up in hand-to-hand combat will get one-rounded, so it's mainly not killing the entire party before the chimera even land...


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Orthos wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
- Are three black dragons appropriate for the party? How did anybody convince three black dragons to play nicely for this?
It's not three black dragons, it's three chimeras with black heads for their dragon heads.

Oh, right. Thinking of manticores.

Anyways, as the GM you are the one making the call on what is enough of a lie to merit a Sense Motive check. In such cases, I recommend ruling in favor of the PCs. It encourages the use of clever wording on their part without you invalidating player investment in sense motive. Rather than violating the minute rule, you're just not allowing the chimeras to get away with a major lie of omission without a bluff check.

Sense Motive is also a private GM roll often. Roll for the player(s) and pass a note if they make the check. It might even result in conflicting notes.


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QuidEst wrote:
Orthos wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
- Are three black dragons appropriate for the party? How did anybody convince three black dragons to play nicely for this?
It's not three black dragons, it's three chimeras with black heads for their dragon heads.

Oh, right. Thinking of manticores.

Anyways, as the GM you are the one making the call on what is enough of a lie to merit a Sense Motive check. In such cases, I recommend ruling in favor of the PCs. It encourages the use of clever wording on their part without you invalidating player investment in sense motive. Rather than violating the minute rule, you're just not allowing the chimeras to get away with a major lie of omission without a bluff check.

Sense Motive is also a private GM roll often. Roll for the player(s) and pass a note if they make the check. It might even result in conflicting notes.

Conflicting notes are one of my favorite things. Or even notes in general.

NobodysHome's Totally-Unrelated Story Time:

One of my favorite all-time note passing stories was in our Runequest game. My character was a Trickster with all the appropriate skills (Stealth, Lock Picking, etc.) who:
(a) Could turn into a spider monkey at will
(b) Loved tormenting the ultra-lawful sun worshipper (think paladin)

So the paladin sun worshipper was being hunted, and was showing an amazing degree of paranoia, searching every room he went into, checking his food, checking his bed, watching people on the street, etc. He met with the rest of the party in a tavern to discuss tactics. Not particularly caring for me, he didn't care much as I wandered off (as a monkey) to play in another part of the tavern... then roll Stealth... then slip off... A quick note to the GM as to my intent resulted in the following:

GM: OK, you get back to your room, bard in tow (another player), and the door is locked, just like you left it.
Sun Worshipper: I listen anyway.
GM: You don't hear anything.
SW: OK, I let myself in, looking around carefully.
GM: You notice that someone has been in here. Your clothes have been gone through. Your toothbrush is in your left shoe. It's not much, but it's clear someone has been here.
Much drawing of swords, searching, and hushed conversations later
Bard: OK, I can only cast this spell once, ever, right now, but I think it's probably worth it. I inoke my god and ask him to show me the history of the lock.
GM: An image swirls before you, and you see the lock, an hour or two in the past. And as you watch, a pair of tiny monkey hands reach up, with a lock pick...

The look on the players' faces was priceless! The bard was absolutely LIVID that he'd burned a one-use spell on a practical joke. The sun worshipper never spoke to me again.

Worth... every... moment!

Shadow Lodge

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Wow. I ... I think several people I've played with might have attempted murder on the spot....


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Orthos wrote:
Wow. I ... I think several people I've played with might have attempted murder on the spot....

Off-topic, so spoilering:

Spoiler:

The wonderful thing about Runequest is that every party pretty much HAS to have a Trickster. They're incredibly powerful, incredibly useful, and, in a world where many, many beings are just far too powerful to fight, an absolute necessity for being able to get the party out of jams.
I've saved every individual party member's life at least once, saved the entire party at least twice, and saved the world once. Busy monkey!

However, you have to take the penalties for being a Trickster. I took the mildest form: Imp. Usually once someone makes a Trickster character within a few sessions the rest of the party is indeed planning murder, and either that character dies, the rest of the party dies, or the campaign ends in bitterness (as happened with our last RQ campaign with a different Trickster player).

Instead, one of the other players commented, "You are the only person I've ever seen who can effectively play a Trickster through and through, yet still be a vital party member and not make us want to kill you... usually."

Both players thought my prank was hilarious. Both PCs were furious.


NobodysHome wrote:
In 2 rounds, the tree will be a smoking pool of acid from 3 black dragons' acid breath.

Actually, I'm not sure it would be.

Trees are made of wood. Wood has hardness and hit points, based on its thickness.

Hardness 5, 10 hp/inch. Let's say (after looking it up for a while and choosing an arbitrary guide and doing some basic math) is roughly [24/14=1.7 ft] to [40/14=2.86] or ~> 2.28 feet in diameter, on average. x12 inces per foot, and that's 27.4 inches. At 10 hit points per inch, that's 274 hit points.

Hardness will also help.

Quote:
Energy attacks deal half damage to most objects. Divide the damage by 2 before applying the object's hardness. Some energy types might be particularly effective against certain objects, subject to GM discretion. For example, fire might do full damage against parchment, cloth, and other objects that burn easily. Sonic might do full damage against glass and crystal objects.

So, let's look at damage dealt in that context.

A chimera deals 6d8 damage. That's going to be 6-48 damage, or 27 damage, on average.

A tree's hardness will drop the damage to [(27/2)-5] which is ~8.5 per round per weapon, or about 25.5 damage per round. That'll devour the tree in in roughly 11 rounds (274/25.5=10.74 rnds).

Note, that said hit points are actually based only across the tree - the tree is actually much taller than that.

So... that tree's actually pretty good. What about the players?

Well, trees have leaves and branches. While the leaves are going to get eaten quickly, but acid doesn't make things just disappear - in fact, it specifically merely alters the chemical compound of items to bond with them, leaving the substance extant, but creating a new "compound" out of it (at least, if it's reactive with the substance, which D&D acid is presumed to be).

This means "stuff". So! That should devour the leaves, ad-hoc create a kind of hazy mist or fog-like thing for a round as the leaves melt and blech, and leave the players (mostly?) unharmed for that round.

A black dragon's breath is liquid, so it will rain down, but it'll eat away at other stuff first - because that's how acid interactions work - so you can rule that the first round is a "freebie".

The following rounds? Well, the black dragon's breath is liquid, which would be raining down from the sky. What do people do when it's raining? Look to trees - even scrawny malnourished trees - for "cover". And that's exactly what the tree - for ten, glorious rounds - would provide for them.

As a bonus, as the leaves get eaten away, the PCs could take time aiming their precise attacks (ignoring cover), while the dragons just have to soak up the area-effect "cover" that a tree provides - not total cover, mind, because the acid still drips down, but cover. This means that if the PCs have any sort of ranged attack at all, a ranged battle of attrition should be theirs. That means that the chimeras' best bet, when dealing with "treed" folk is to go into melee with them.

A chimera's 4 intelligence means they might not think of this... at first. But when it's obvious their breath is being stymied by treeeeeeeessssss, it seems like they'd get impatient and furious (as chimeras are wont to do) and go a-diving at the puny jerks who foiled their perfectly intelligent plan by... doing what they were told.

(Note that most groups who faced the chimeras probably would have been smart enough to refuse in the past... which, ironically, made them easy targets, comparatively.)

So the chimera's plans really only help the players, providing a kind of shield for ten rounds, and nearly forcing the chimeras into melee.

And some chimeras - being "wise" - might realize that since their fellows are immune to acid, they can keep acid-bombing while one of them melees... meaning they attack one-or-two at a time...

Hope that helps!

EDIT: tagging


It'll help at least a little. The "tree" has already been described as "dense bushes that are difficult terrain and provide spotty cover". There are no "trunks" per se; my description was far more akin to a Web spell.

Unfortunately, I can't find a reference to hardness and hit points per 5' cube of dense foliage, but I can let it be "a round's worth" to give the PCs a bit of time to react...


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Intriguingly, that 1-minute delay could actually work in the PCs' diplomatic favor...

EDIT: ninja'd!

Well, in that case, while the bushes might be shrubs, it certainly doesn't mean that there's nothing else below that, hidden.

In fact, it could well be that a cave hidden from any other angle than "right on top of it" which would allow the PCs to more-or-less escape. If it has a few twists back and forth, it would, again, force the manticores into melee... if, and only if the PCs get down into it in time.

Shadow Lodge

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NobodysHome wrote:

I really feel they should get SOME sort of roll, but:

(1) It's less than a minute, so Sense Motive and Diplomacy don't apply
(2) The chimera are being absolutely truthful: If the party goes under the tree, the chimera will approach

The bluff skill is used to "Deceive OR Lie." While the chimera haven't made a false statement (a lie), their intent is certainly to deceive - they want the party to think that they are willing to negotiate, when in fact they have murderous intentions. That's enough for me to call Bluff vs. Sense Motive, possibly with a +2 to +5 bonus to the Chimera's Bluff for being sneaky about it.

NobodysHome wrote:

(2) While I *am* the GM, my concern is that the 1-minute Sense Motive delay is the same as the 1-minute Diplomacy delay, and that 1-minute delay is vital for Diplomacy to avoid the classic, "I have +50 Diplomacy so I just convince every creature we ever meet to surrender and hand over its treasure" approach to adventuring. Yes, we have a paladin who has maxed out her Diplomacy, and she's already eagerly looking at the table of "what she can get creatures to do" if she rolls high enough. I want to strictly enforce the 1-minute Diplomacy limit so that creatures that are actively attacking don't suddenly stop and say, "Aw, she's nice. Let's just stop attacking and remove combat from the game."

Enforcing one limit and not the other will appear arbitrary. Yeah, I can explain it away, and I'm likely to go with the DC 20 hunch (the paladin also maxed out Sense Motive, so she won't feel left out by this). It's a good solution to this issue that rewards her for spending her few skill points on two critical social skills.

The time requirement for Sense Motive, like the one on Diplomacy, is meant to limit its use actively or "offensively" - to convince someone to do something or to coax information out of someone who is trying to conceal something but not actively deceiving you. The passive or "defensive" use of Sense Motive, when someone is trying to deceive you into doing something against your best interest, is an opposed check against Bluff, with the Bluff being as short as 1 round. Having this passive use be quicker is not a problem because the party can't actually achieve anything with the check - they just prevent something bad from happening to them.


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Weirdo wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:

I really feel they should get SOME sort of roll, but:

(1) It's less than a minute, so Sense Motive and Diplomacy don't apply
(2) The chimera are being absolutely truthful: If the party goes under the tree, the chimera will approach

The bluff skill is used to "Deceive OR Lie." While the chimera haven't made a false statement (a lie), their intent is certainly to deceive - they want the party to think that they are willing to negotiate, when in fact they have murderous intentions. That's enough for me to call Bluff vs. Sense Motive, possibly with a +2 to +5 bonus to the Chimera's Bluff for being sneaky about it.

NobodysHome wrote:

(2) While I *am* the GM, my concern is that the 1-minute Sense Motive delay is the same as the 1-minute Diplomacy delay, and that 1-minute delay is vital for Diplomacy to avoid the classic, "I have +50 Diplomacy so I just convince every creature we ever meet to surrender and hand over its treasure" approach to adventuring. Yes, we have a paladin who has maxed out her Diplomacy, and she's already eagerly looking at the table of "what she can get creatures to do" if she rolls high enough. I want to strictly enforce the 1-minute Diplomacy limit so that creatures that are actively attacking don't suddenly stop and say, "Aw, she's nice. Let's just stop attacking and remove combat from the game."

Enforcing one limit and not the other will appear arbitrary. Yeah, I can explain it away, and I'm likely to go with the DC 20 hunch (the paladin also maxed out Sense Motive, so she won't feel left out by this). It's a good solution to this issue that rewards her for spending her few skill points on two critical social skills.
The time requirement for Sense Motive, like the one on Diplomacy, is meant to limit its use actively or "offensively" - to convince someone to do something or to coax information out of someone who is trying to conceal something but not actively deceiving you. The passive or "defensive" use of Sense Motive, when someone is trying...

Thanks. Appreciate the clarification.

Shadow Lodge

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NobodysHome wrote:
Both players thought my prank was hilarious. Both PCs were furious.

It's a personality thing. I - as a person - have almost no patience for pranks. I don't tend to find them funny, even performed on someone besides me. So in a similar situation, I'd probably be more annoyed (at best) than amused. My mildest response would have been something along the lines of "Really? REALLY?" and probably left me sour about it (OOCly) for a while.

I can do it as a GM - which is good because I'm running a lot of fey right now, being Kingmaker and all - but that's because I'm doing it with the intent to antagonize, as a challenge to the players, and they're meant to be annoyed and possibly angry as a result. But as something done to my fellow players or, out of game, to my friends? Especially with the expectation of laughing it off once it's over? No, and I really really do not enjoy it being done to me, or seeing it done to anyone else.

Given the necessity to the game system, it's good to know this in advance; if Runequest requires this kind of character be in the party to survive/succeed, and if this kind of character is required to do this kind of RP (or worse) by the rules, it's probably not the game for me.


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Orthos wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:
Both players thought my prank was hilarious. Both PCs were furious.

It's a personality thing. I - as a person - have almost no patience for pranks. I don't tend to find them funny, even performed on someone besides me. So in a similar situation, I'd probably be more annoyed (at best) than amused. My mildest response would have been something along the lines of "Really? REALLY?" and probably left me sour about it (OOCly) for a while.

I can do it as a GM - which is good because I'm running a lot of fey right now, being Kingmaker and all - but that's because I'm doing it with the intent to antagonize, as a challenge to the players, and they're meant to be annoyed and possibly angry as a result. But as something done to my fellow players or, out of game, to my friends? Especially with the expectation of laughing it off once it's over? No, and I really really do not enjoy it being done to me, or seeing it done to anyone else.

Given the necessity to the game system, it's good to know this in advance; if Runequest requires this kind of character be in the party to survive/succeed, and if this kind of character is required to do this kind of RP (or worse) by the rules, it's probably not the game for me.

Not so much "required" as, "Makes stealth and deception MUCH easier". RQ is a far different game, where no matter how good you are, you can still readily die. But yeah, usually every group eventually has one player fall into the Trickster mould just because spells like "Lie" are so powerful.

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