The Inspiring merit

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Sciencecat
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The Inspiring merit

Post by Sciencecat » Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:26 pm

Let's talk about the Inspiring merit.

Inspiring (•••)
Prerequisite: Presence •••
Effect: Your character’s passion inspires those around her to greatness. With a few words, she can redouble a group’s confidence or move them to action. Make a Presence + Expression roll. A small group of listeners levies a -1 penalty, a small crowd a -2, and a large crowd a -3. Listeners gain the Inspired Condition. The character may not use this Merit on herself.


I find it a bit strange that it functions solely with expression. I'd imagine that leadership is more a persuasion type of skill. While I can definitely picture this Inspiring merit working with a singer who riles up a crowd with a song (Presence + Expression) I don't see why it couldn't be used by a sergeant rallying his soldiers with some reminders of their duties to the flag, or giving a group of firemen the bravery to rush into a burning building, and what not.

But would it really be with expression? Isn't Persuasion a more suitable skill to substitute it with if the situation isn't done in an artistic manner?

The example for the Expression skill on page 41 in the core rule book, to be used for inspire, is "Reciting a prepared speech"(Presence + Expression), while the Persuasion skill has "Impassioned plea" (Presence + Persuasion) as an example skill roll and Inspiring as one of the recommended specializations, which suggests to me that to inspire people, you commonly use persuade, not expression (even if the circumstances could warrant it).


Now, you could argue that those are mere coincidences, but there's actually little in the rule-book suggesting that 'giving your gang a few fiery words' would be anything but Presence + Persuasion (unless the situation is very specific, like reciting a speech (expression) or lying (subterfuge) etc.)

Basically put, I'm suggesting that Inspiring should function with either Presence + Expression or Presence + Persuasion, depending on the situation.
Not because in the current state it is broken, but because it is stupid. It's on the level of using Drive to operate a skateboard.
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MarianneP
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Post by MarianneP » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:16 am

Making someone's heart soar with pride or determination is an art of its own. It does not depend on logical or well phrased arguments, its about turn off phrase that connects with the listener. It isn't about persuading someone to do something, it's about bringing out emotions. Darby's speech in Space Janitors was pulling off Inspiring on expression on a chance dice: (https://youtu.be/a5_V9MBJfh0?t=4m10s)
Contact of Inspiration uses Expression too. While you can certainly make a Persuasive impassioned plea, it is not the same rhetorical device as expression.
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Sciencecat
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Post by Sciencecat » Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:57 pm

MarianneP wrote:Making someone's heart soar with pride or determination is an art of its own. It does not depend on logical or well phrased arguments, its about turn off phrase that connects with the listener. It isn't about persuading someone to do something, it's about bringing out emotions.
The action you so eloquently described here could be summarized to 'Inspiring'. But it is very strange that you argue that to Inspire shouldn't be Persuasion-based when that is one of the recommended specializations for Persuasion (and, indeed, not a recommended specialization for Expression).
When else would you use that specialization, if not to inspire people? Or rather, is it a typo in the book? If inspire is not meant to be done with persuasion, it probably shouldn't be a recommended specialization either.

Also, I am not sure if Persuasion is solely about logical or well-phrased arguments. You can seduce with Persuasion + Presence, which I guess could be used with cold logic and well-phrased arguments ONLY but that feels unlikely (and extremely unromantic, I have to say). I'll actually go so far to quote the description of the persuasion skill!

"Persuasion is about using influence, charm, and careful arguments to change minds and influence behavior. It can involve logic and reason, glib fast talking, or appealing to emotions or baser instincts." (Pg. 41)

But just because I have way too much free time, I even went to look at the NPCs for the pre-written chronicle in the same book. The charismatic cult leader has this for a skill-score, combined with the specialty "Persuasion (Motivational Speeches) 3".

MarianneP wrote:Contact of Inspiration uses Expression too.
I believe that's a bit different, as a Contract is a spell. Being magic and all that. Also, have they added new contracts? I couldn't find that one in my version of the Changeling draft!
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MarianneP
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Post by MarianneP » Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:53 pm

It's in Dark Eras along with the Contracts of Air and Darkness and Abjuration.

No skill is ever just one thing. Persuasion (Motivational Speeches) is an entirely valid use of persuasion. Expression (Motivational Speeches) is equally valid and they are two separate ways to approach the same idea. In the situation of the Inspiring merit, it uses Expression. Whether you like it or not, or can cite examples of people being charismatic and inspirational with Persuasion isn't really relevant to the merit. At the most fundamental level someone with the Inspiration merit is not persuading someone to do anything different.
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Zerd
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Post by Zerd » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:21 pm

You don’t persuade someone to be inspired. You elect an emotion by way of expressional medium. Art, Music, Dance, these things elect the needed emotion to inspire. An enlivened speech charged with emotional context to draw out the feelings. Inspired is in and of itself an emotion.
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Sciencecat
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Post by Sciencecat » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:27 pm

MarianneP wrote:It's in Dark Eras along with the Contracts of Air and Darkness and Abjuration.
This is for earlier iterations, no? They haven't released that already for the 2.0, have they?
MarianneP wrote: No skill is ever just one thing. Persuasion (Motivational Speeches) is an entirely valid use of persuasion. Expression (Motivational Speeches) is equally valid and they are two separate ways to approach the same idea.
I agree! Just like you can use Persuasion or Subterfuge to seduce someone. And if I used my Striking looks merit to gain a benefit to my seduction roll, it would work with both Persuasion and Subterfuge. I'd say in some cases it would even work with expression.
MarianneP wrote:In the situation of the Inspiring merit, it uses Expression.
And that is so dumb it physically hurts my brain, like using motivating the use of drive to control your skateboard.
MarianneP wrote:Whether you like it or not, or can cite examples of people being charismatic and inspirational with Persuasion isn't really relevant to the merit.
Citing the rule-book isn't relevant to a rules-discussion? Then what is relevant? O.o
MarianneP wrote:At the most fundamental level someone with the Inspiration merit is not persuading someone to do anything different.
That kind of goes against what the rulebook says about the persuasion skill, and even how the inspiring merit is described. Either you can use Persuasion to give motivational speeches, not based on logic but rather by inspiring an emotional response (as the skill is described to do...) or you can't. The rule-book describes Persuasion as being used to inspire an emotional response, but the merit for some strange reason doesn't let you.

I am fine with the theory of "Hardline the rule books, change as little as possible", but if we are adding/changing/House-ruling rules, then I definitely propose that Inspiring Merit should be eligible with Persuasion OR Expression, depending on the circumstances.

if change is worrisome/troublesome, then the team could always let it stay as it is.

Zerd wrote:You don’t persuade someone to be inspired. You elect an emotion by way of expressional medium. Art, Music, Dance, these things elect the needed emotion to inspire. An enlivened speech charged with emotional context to draw out the feelings. Inspired is in and of itself an emotion.
Then why on earth is Inspire a recommended specialization for persuasion, if you don’t persuade someone to be inspired?
Last edited by Sciencecat on Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Zerd
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Post by Zerd » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:31 pm

Why not add Intimdation to that list then
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Sciencecat
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Post by Sciencecat » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:34 pm

Zerd wrote:Why not add Intimdation to that list then
I don't think the description of the Inspired condition fits well against the classic result of an Intimidation, nor do I think Inspiring is one of the recommended specializations for the Intimidation skill, but if you can make a good case for it, I am absolutely willing to listen.
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Post by Zerd » Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:05 pm

I can tell you after eight and a half years in the military.. Fear and Intimidation can be greatly inspiring.
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Post by orion330 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:58 pm

Persuasion as a whole is a weird skill (at least in terms of Rules as Written) in that it should cover many things per the specialties but doesn't in terms of the merits.

Persuasion also has the "Fast Talk" specialty listed as a sample in multiple books (while Subterfuge skill does not), yet the "Fast Talk" merit requires subterfuge NOT persuasion as a prereq.
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Post by ChrisF » Wed Jan 18, 2017 6:30 pm

As I mentioned before, I don't believe this is broken, and so doesn't really need to be fixed. If I start allowing alternative dice pools that 'make more sense' for merits, soon we have a large page of alternative dice pools, which really just adds unneeded complexity to the game. There will always be some inconsistencies or differing opinions as to what skills are best suited to something, it's just the nature of the beast.
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Sciencecat
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Post by Sciencecat » Wed Jan 18, 2017 6:48 pm

ChrisF wrote:it's just the nature of the beast.
And we all know that beasts are fickle creatures. Fair enough.
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Post by GarethTheLoud » Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:55 pm

Aw man, I was too late to this. I had a sarcastic speech about how Firearms is really the best skill to cover inspiring and motivating people to do what you want...
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