We had forty-seven comments on last week’s blog commentary about my experience in a game at Fear the Con where I attempted to use my character’s Persuasion skill on another player character. It spawned a forum discussion and commentary from the guys at Kicked in the Dicebags (they’re wrong) as well as Happy Jacks RPG Podcast (they’re wrong, too).
Folks feel a bit strongly about this subject.
If you’ll recall, I said:
At game’s end we were faced with a several options… I wanted to stop the elder god’s arrival. To do this I was willing to destroy the summon-elder-god-machine. Clearly, doing so would kill us, but the world would be safe.
Understanding what our villain had told us, I agreed. “We’ll die heroes!”
I role played my argument. No one was biting.
So, I chose to use my persuasion skill against one of the other player characters to win him to my side.
“I’m not going to allow you to rob him of free will,” Payton said, shutting down my move.
Many have misconstrued my attempt to persuade my fellow player’s character via utilizing my character’s Persuasion skill as my attempt to control another’s mind. That really wasn’t my intent at all.
I don’t see Persuasion as Mind Control. The player never would have lost control of his character beyond this one decision. I simply wanted to use the skill on my character sheet in a situation that I thought the skill would have application. I’d imagined that had I rolled successfully, the GM might have argued on my behalf – applying some peer pressure to the other player in a genuine attempt to persuade the other player to my position.
“He makes a good point,” The GM might have said, “You have to admit, things are dark… this is the one sure way to end this danger… It’s the heroic thing to do.”
Maybe that would have swayed the other player. Maybe it wouldn’t have. We’ll never know because the GM just said ‘no.’
In reading all the comments and listening to all the feedback, I’ve settled on how I will handle this from here on out in my Savage Worlds campaign.
If a player chooses to roll Persuade against a fellow player character and a SUCCESS is rolled, I will offer the Persuadee a Bennie.
“You are persuaded,” I will say setting the Bennie down before him.
Now, the persuadee can accept the Bennie and be persuaded – or he may choose not to be Persuaded, but he doesn’t get the Bennie AND it will cost him one out of his own stash.
I will apply this rule to all social skills utilized against player characters.
You’re on notice.