Home » Ancient Posts » Social Skills for Old School Games?    
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Rachel Ghoul

Well anyway I think half the usual bonus seems about right in this context, so it seems like the basic math checks out on the instinct test. I mainly only like having the d20 roll because… I dunno, it feels more active, I guess, if there's a chance of failure. But you raise a good point that there's no real *need* for it if we're already assuming that we want to model the PC being a better talker than their player. It's that old-school assumption of competence raising its head again.


Rachel: I'm too old school to worry about something like "similar systems working consistently". 🙂 Especially when adding a D20 "skill roll" to the mix just makes character's worse at social stuff than skipping the D20 roll and just adding the talent roll to the talent bonus to the reaction roll (because by requiring the skill roll, the talent bonus is only effective "skill roll as a percentage" percent of the time).

Rachel Ghoul

Pretty close to what you were saying, anyway, but with the d20 roll involved for the sake of similar systems working consistently.

Rachel Ghoul

My view is on the pro-skill side, but only just– it is useful as an aide or stepping stone for those players who want to take a turn as the fast-talking smooth operator that they might lack the confidence or grace or what-have-you to be in reality (after all, I reason, isn't the thrill of getting to be someone unlike ourselves a huge part of the fun of roleplaying?) Affecting the reaction roll is a great old-school way of handling it.

My instinct for how to handle it would be to treat it like any other ability/good-at check, with success allowing for either a small stable bonus (maybe half their expertise bonus?) to be added to the existing reaction roll or allowing a new reaction roll with said bonus… but with substantial DM discretion about when such a check may or may not be made, of course.

I dunno, talk to me about this, I feel like we can work something out here.


ProfessorOats: I don't think I've ever really subscribed to this view except perhaps for a brief time in the early 1980s. And evben then I was skeptical at heart. A finalized version of these rules will end up as an optional rule for Microlite74/78/81 where those who want something like this can use it. There are a lot of optional rules in the two Microlite74 optional rules companions that I would not use it my own games.

Holly Oats

"New school proponents point out that this means a player is always limited to the player's ability to persuade, intimidate, etc."

I used to subscribe to this view, but found that it produces some odd results in play unless limited to physical, rather than mental, differences between you and your character. In the case of persuasion, I'd be fine with something like comeliness influencing the roll. Honestly, I've been thinking about ditching mental scores, except for NPCs, to emphasize that your character is an avatar of sorts — a means of interacting with the fantasy world