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Commanding Voice and modifiers

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Fedifensor

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« on: (21:14:58/10-08-18) »
One of the pregens I created in the Neo-Tokyo Missions Character Optimization thread is an adept with Commanding Voice.  I've read through multiple threads here and elsewhere about the power, as well as looking over the rules as written, since the character is designed for Shadowrun Missions.  It seems fairly clear that as an adept power, Commanding Voice is not a social test.  True, it does use a social skill (Leadership) for the dice pool, but saying it's a social test is like saying Spellcasting is a mental test.  That means the modifiers available are limited.  Armor that gives die pool modifiers to social tests won't help, and neither will adept powers like Authoritative Tone.  On the plus side, there are a lot of negative modifiers from the Social Skill Tests table on pg 140 of the core book that won't apply, either.


The only positive modifiers I can find (besides a direct Charisma boost) are Improved Ability (Leadership) and the Command specialization for the skill.  The former is a grey area, because you are limited to your language rating when using a social skill.  I don't believe Commanding Voice is a social skill test, but it does use a social skill for the dice pool.  If that applies, the only way you're going to go above 6 is to spend a lot of Karma on boosting languages, or speaking in your native language.  That makes Bilingual a good positive quality choice at character creation.


One other possible increase is via a mentor spirit.  While several specifically state they improve skill tests, Dragonslayer gives "+2 dice pool modifier for one social skill of choice".  That makes it a possible increase for Commanding Voice.





Is there anything else that I'm missing, here?

« Reply #1 on: (19:08:12/10-11-18) »
...It seems fairly clear that as an adept power, Commanding Voice is not a social test...

I curious what makes you think this. It's unfortunate that the text notation (pg 191 Stolen Souls, unless there's another version?) doesn't explicitly call out which limit to use.. but Leadership + Charisma has to use SOME limit since a skill is involved.. and I don't see any justification for anything other than Leadership's usual limit of [Social].  What are you seeing?

I'm also curious what rationale there is to say that magic being involved in the execution of a social skill means that all other regular modifiers (pg 140 Sr5) for that test are ignored.

Fedifensor

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« Reply #2 on: (22:26:06/10-11-18) »
It's not a social interaction - it's a magical ability.  Magic is not involved in the execution of a social skill.  Instead, a social skill is involved in the execution of an adept power.

Wall Running uses a [Magic] limit despite being Running + Strength, not the Physical limit normally used for Running.  Motion Sense uses Perception + Magic, but instead of normal Perception modifiers uses the Motion Sense table, which is strictly based on the size of what the adept is attempting to sense.  Likewise, Three-Dimensional Memory also uses Perception + Magic [Mental], and uses a memory table for the threshold instead of any modifiers from the Perception Test Modifiers table (pg 135, SR5).  There is ample evidence that adept powers are not normal skill tests, and don't use those modifiers unless specifically stated in the text.  Plus, rules as written do not put Commanding Voice under the Social Modifiers table because it is under the Magic section of the rules, not the Skills section.

On the flip side, since it is not a normal social skill test, you can't increase Commanding Voice with clothing, tailored pheromones (or perfumes/colognes), adept powers (Authoritative Tone, Cool Resolve), etc.  How likely the target it to perform the action instead of standing confused is based on net hits and gamemaster choice, another strong indication that the Social Modifiers table is not being used.

Regarding the limit used, I could see equally valid arguments for either [Social] or [Magic].
« Last Edit: (23:28:56/10-11-18) by Fedifensor »

« Reply #3 on: (00:41:12/10-12-18) »
It's not a social interaction - it's a magical ability.

This is the crux of what I disagree with you about.  What says Commanding Voice isn't both at once?  I understand your interpretation and rationale for it, but I see it as nothing more than an interpretation.  Barring a clarification that despite using the Leadership skill it's not "using" the Leadership skill, I find it most plausible to believe that the Commanding Voice Adept Power stacks with the blanket social interaction rules rather than replacing them entirely.

Barring a clarification, I think at minimum you'll have to agree there's room for table variation on this in an environment where you have different GMs for your same character.  As a general point of any organized play (not just SRM) it's generally best to assume the least permissive rules interpretation rather than counting on the more liberal reading and then being unpleasantly surprised when a GM doesn't see it your way.
« Last Edit: (00:43:03/10-12-18) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »

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« Reply #4 on: (01:19:06/10-12-18) »
If the test involves magic, then the magic rating of the player is the usual limit for such things.
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Fedifensor

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« Reply #5 on: (01:32:47/10-12-18) »

This is the crux of what I disagree with you about.  What says Commanding Voice isn't both at once?  I understand your interpretation and rationale for it, but I see it as nothing more than an interpretation.  Barring a clarification that despite using the Leadership skill it's not "using" the Leadership skill, I find it most plausible to believe that the Commanding Voice Adept Power stacks with the blanket social interaction rules rather than replacing them entirely.

The core problem is that entire argument hinges on one, and only one thing - that a social skill is used in the dice pool for the power.  Nothing else in the power even hints at Commanding Voice using the social skill rules.  The rules for targeting multiple people don't match the social skill test rules.  The end result, if accomplished via a social test, would fall under Intimidation or Negotiation, not Leadership.  Even the pool used to resist (Willpower + Intuition) doesn't match any of the pools used under the Social Skills Tests table (pg 141 SR5).
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Barring a clarification, I think at minimum you'll have to agree there's room for table variation on this in an environment where you have different GMs for your same character.  As a general point of any organized play (not just SRM) it's generally best to assume the least permissive rules interpretation rather than counting on the more liberal reading and then being unpleasantly surprised when a GM doesn't see it your way.

Ironically, my version is the least permissive.  It's quite possible to get a 9 Charisma, 9 Leadership (with Improved Ability), Command specialization, Authoritative Tone 6, clothing with +1 to social tests, and Black Panther perfume to get 28 dice at character creation...and it only goes up from there when you start spending Karma.  Even a Enemy attitude (-4) and Disastrous to NPC (-4) only brings that down to 20 dice the same character would have under my interpretation...and many uses of Commanding Voice aren't that extreme.

Yes, GMs can have different interpretations, and you deal with it at the table as best you can.  I've seen a GM run the Matrix rules completely wrong, but had to suffer under it because they were the GM and it would have just hurt the game if I ran everything to a halt arguing with them.  I'll just make sure to note all the extra dice the character will get from powers and gear if the GM rules it is a social skill test.

Kiirnodel

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« Reply #6 on: (05:39:15/10-12-18) »
I think the confusion here is stemming off of the argument that the Leadership skill is not being used "socially" in this context, which is sort of true. But there are a few rules that I feel need to be pointed out:

A "Social Skill Test" (big S) is any test which uses a Social Skill. That is to say, any skill listed under the header of "Social Skills" in the skills chapter. Just like Perception is a Physical Skill, Blades is a Combat Skill, and Gunnery is a Vehicle Skill: Leadership is a Social Skill. This means that anything that gives a bonus to all "Social Skill Tests" would apply even to this use of Leadership.

On the other hand, the chart of "Social Modifiers" could be argued as only applying in social situations. This might imply things like people talking back and forth, or just generally being "social." It can be argued that these might not apply, but this is likely the more debatable point.

As far as Commanding Voice in general goes, the fact that it calls for using a skill in a somewhat abnormal way, does not invalidate Leadership's status as a Social Skill. Nor would it necessarily invalidate the idea that using the adept power could be considered a social test. The whole point is that the power is allowing you to accomplish something abnormal.

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« Reply #7 on: (06:42:15/10-12-18) »
Commanding Voice as Kiir said is very much a social power, possible THE adept Social power. Next Magic doesn't have a limit, it has a set force, but that only relates to spells as far as I know. So use social limit, also i believe there is a way to adds to it.
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Kiirnodel

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« Reply #8 on: (06:52:17/10-12-18) »
Actually, there is precedence for Magic being used as the Limit for a skill test. The Wall Running Power uses [Magic] as the limit for the Running+Strength test for its effects.

Its not necessarily wrong to still use the Social Limit, but there's definitely decent reason to think using Magic would be appropriate too.

Fedifensor

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« Reply #9 on: (08:41:47/10-12-18) »

I think the confusion here is stemming off of the argument that the Leadership skill is not being used "socially" in this context, which is sort of true. But there are a few rules that I feel need to be pointed out:

A "Social Skill Test" (big S) is any test which uses a Social Skill. That is to say, any skill listed under the header of "Social Skills" in the skills chapter. Just like Perception is a Physical Skill, Blades is a Combat Skill, and Gunnery is a Vehicle Skill: Leadership is a Social Skill. This means that anything that gives a bonus to all "Social Skill Tests" would apply even to this use of Leadership.


On the other hand, the chart of "Social Modifiers" could be argued as only applying in social situations. This might imply things like people talking back and forth, or just generally being "social." It can be argued that these might not apply, but this is likely the more debatable point.

Okay, since we’re talking about Rules As Written as well as Rules As Intended, I’m going to ask for a rules citation on “A Social Skill Test is any test which uses a Social Skill”.  It can be shown this isn’t always the case, since the Substituting Skills sidebar allows you to do things like substituting an Active skill for a Knowledge skill (the example given is using Pistols skill at a penalty to see if you know where the closest Ares Predator V manufacturer is).  As mentioned earlier, that argument leads to using the Perception modifiers table for adept powers like Motion Sense and Three Dimensional Memory, simply because Perception is used to form the dice pool.  Should smoke or glare affect your ability to sense motion as an adept, or adjust your ability to know the location of an Ares manufacturer?  The same argument applies to using Social Modifiers for Commanding Voice.

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As far as Commanding Voice in general goes, the fact that it calls for using a skill in a somewhat abnormal way, does not invalidate Leadership's status as a Social Skill. Nor would it necessarily invalidate the idea that using the adept power could be considered a social test. The whole point is that the power is allowing you to accomplish something abnormal.

Likewise, the fact that Commanding Voice uses Leadership to form the dice pool does not by itself make it a Social Skill Test, especially when it specifically doesn’t use the rules for how to target multiple individuals or what dice pool the target uses to resist.


Finally, regarding using Social limit because it’s a social skill...um, Perception is a Physical skill that uses Mental limit.  Plus, there’s the Wall Running example mentioned earlier.  So, while I’m personally inclined to use the Social limit, it’s easy to make the argument that Magic should be used instead.
« Last Edit: (08:46:45/10-12-18) by Fedifensor »

« Reply #10 on: (10:30:37/10-12-18) »
The limit you use is the less important question in my mind.  To me what's more important is whether the intent for Commanding Voice to issue "reasonable" and "unreasonable" orders equally well, and to work on friendly/indifferent NPCs equally well as hostile ones. If you're using Commanding Voice to get a guard to abandon his checkpoint, should telling him to "go investigate that weird sound" have no mechanical advantage over "go jump out that window"?

I could perhaps see the intent reasonably being that such matters don't matter and the "Magic Compels You!" (i.e. like D&D's Command spell), but IMO not when use of the Leadership skill is called out as integral to determining success/failure of the compelling magic.

Fedifensor

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« Reply #11 on: (10:39:55/10-12-18) »
The answer, while perhaps unsatifying, is that reasonable versus unreasonable is determined by the GM choosing whether the person obeys the command or stands there confused.  The net hits are supposed to influence that decision, but it is ultimately up to the GM.  If I were the GM, something like “shoot yourself in the head” would be a VERY high threshold, while “run away” would be a much lower one.

Jack_Spade

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« Reply #12 on: (11:18:03/10-12-18) »
Stolen Souls p. 191
"COMMANDING VOICE
Cost: 1 power point
This power channels the adept’s magic into his voice to enhance the modulation and pitch, subliminally influencing the actions of any listeners."

Commanding voice is an enhancement to an existing ability - just like the various perception options and skill enhancements like Nimble Fingers. Therefore there is no reason to assume it uses an other limit than social or is something else than a social skill being used.

Otherwise you could say you don't need Physical limits if you use Killing hands or when you use facial sculpt to disguise yourself.
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Fedifensor

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« Reply #13 on: (11:48:36/10-12-18) »
Stolen Souls p. 191
"COMMANDING VOICE
Cost: 1 power point
This power channels the adept’s magic into his voice to enhance the modulation and pitch, subliminally influencing the actions of any listeners."

Commanding voice is an enhancement to an existing ability - just like the various perception options and skill enhancements like Nimble Fingers. Therefore there is no reason to assume it uses an other limit than social or is something else than a social skill being used.


The Leadership skill has no means of “submilinally influencing the actions of any listeners”.  It certainly has no ability to influence the actions those you don’t have a preexisting relationship with - that falls under Con, Negotiation, or Intimidate.  In short, it’s a new capability, not an enhancement to an existing use of Leadership.  Plus, you’re referring to the flavor text before the actual rule mechanics for Commanding Voice are listed.

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Otherwise you could say you don't need Physical limits if you use Killing hands or when you use facial sculpt to disguise yourself.
Killing Hands is specifically listed in its rules as modifying an unarmed attack so you can choose Stun or Physical damage.  Facial Sculpt specifically lists giving a dice pool bonus to Disguise.  Likewise, Nimble Fingers (your earlier example) specifically lists what benefits it provides.  Commanding Voice does not mention modifying the uses of Leadership.  The word “social” is nowhere to be found in the power description, and the only mention of Leadership is in the dice pool used.

« Reply #14 on: (12:22:44/10-12-18) »
I think the best move for the thread at this point is to grant that there's room to interpret Commanding Voice as either being a magical enhancement to the Leadership skill or a magical power that has nothing to do with leadership skill.  Opinions have only further solidified over the course of the thread.

If you're asking for a SRM context the best answer is to be ready for a GM to go either way.