Saturday, December 29, 2018

Social Skills in GURPS

One of the strong points of GURPS is the attention it pays to social interactions. Though it has its detractors and things that could perhaps have been done a better way. So lets take a look at them.

Influence Skills and Reaction Rolls

Influence skills are a way to persuade someone to do what you want and come in several forms.
  • Acting is the skill to lie successfully and pretend to be something your not.
  • Administration is not just aboy how to process paperwork but also getting along with and understanding bureaucrats and convincing an administration to give you what you want.
  • Body Language is the skill of understanding nonverbal queue's and can help you know when your approach is working or not. 
  • Carousing is the skill of being popular and liked at a party and helps you get information or make friends in that environment.
  • Detect Lies is of course learning how to spot when someone is lying.
  • Diplomacy is a safe and polite way that even if you fail your unlikely to cause a real problem.
  • Fast Talk is the skill to overwhelm and confuse someone, often with meaningless asides and changing of topics so they don't even realize what your really after. Often gets a bad reaction but after you got what you wanted and moved on.
  • Intimidation is the blunt instrument of social skills and relies on bullying and implications of harm or perhaps just difficulties if they do not give you what you want.
  • Public Speaking is the skill to talk to a crowd.
  • Savoir-Faire is the skill of knowing the rules and mannerisms of a specific type of social group and how to behave and hopefully impress. This includes Nobility, Mafia, Police, and the Military but any group could have a specialization.
  • Sex Appeal is the art of appealing to a person in a sexual manner, it not only helps you get a date it might get you out of a ticket.
  • Streetwise is kind of a mix of Diplomacy, Intimidation, and Savoir-Faire in that it helps you know where to find and how to talk to the criminal element.
Reaction Rolls are a simple roll 3d6 to see how well someone you just met likes you. Higher numbers are better and various things can add or subtract from the roll. Also the GM can set a predetermined result or range.
Various advantages can help or hurt you such as Appearance, Charisma, Social Status, Voice, and more.
Overall its a pretty simple system but has enough options to suit almost any situation and is good in play. The GM should watch fora Face Man type who piles on a lot of benefits and is thus almost always sure of a great result. But that depends on the style of campaign too.

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