GM’s Rulings on Master Negotiator…

Ok… I thought Master Negotiator was specifically used in combat situations. In reading the book it seems as if it worked best on one opponent in combat. As a GM I have used this talent many times over much to the chagrin of the PCs. However last night in combat I got the shock of my life.

Apparently the GM wanted to enforce a -10 penalty to my role in combat because the opponent was hostile! Now I’ve never seen or heard of that before! I understand if I’m trying to change the attitude of the opponent, but not use Master Negotiator! And on top of that he receives a +5 to his Defense if he’s at a higher level? So effectively I’m taking a -15 hit right off the top? Is this right?


Have you guys seen or heard of this before? I mean for crying out loud the Adept Negotiator talent says right there in the text “Make a Persuasion check; if the result equals or exceeds the target’s Will Defense,” it doesn’t say anything about applying a modifier to the check based on the target’s attitude toward you, as with the Change Attitude application of the skill. Nor does it say anything about this in the errata.


I mean my character isn’t a fighter and all I have to work with is Mind Affecting Effects. If it’s a strait up fight I’m screwed. If the ruling is as the GM states… I’m even more screwed. So… anyone care to toss me their two cents?

I am Red/White

That's just dumb.

Adept negotiator is pretty poor talent on its own.  You need 3 talents before its worthwhile - force persuasion (assuming you're not a noble multiclass) and the second upgrade to negotiator.  By the time you get all 3, defenses have started to catch up to the really high skill checks - especially when going against the baddies where this matters, who have higher levels than you.  No point talking down a stormtrooper, a single blaster bolt does the work for you. 

The power itself already has a built-in modifier so there is no point in adding the social modifier.  The social modifier is PURELY used when trying to persuade someone in order to move them up on the "affection" chart.  It has no play whatsoever in other uses of persuasion, such as intimidation, adept negotioator, harms way, etc etc.

That's just dumb.

Adept negotiator is pretty poor talent on its own.  You need 3 talents before its worthwhile - force persuasion (assuming you're not a noble multiclass) and the second upgrade to negotiator. 



Well... yes I am a noble! I said I wasn't a fighter! Wink  LOL! Here's my character:



Gangnere                                                                                 CL 7
Small Fosh noble 1/Jedi 5/soldier 1
Force 7; Dark Side 0
Init +12; Senses Perception +12
Languages Basic, Bothese, Draethos, Fosh, Sith
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Defenses
Ref 23 (flat-footed 19), Fort 19, Will 23
hp 68; Threshold 19
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Speed
6 squares
Melee long-hilt double handed lightsaber +8 (2d8+5) or
Melee long-hilt double handed lightsaber +8 (2d10+4)
Ranged blaster pistol +10 (3d6+2)
Base Atk +6; Grp +10
Special Actions Master Negotiator
Force Powers Known (Use the force +17): dark transfer, farseeing, Force slam, Force stun,
          mind trick, move object, negate energy, obscure, rebuke, surge
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Abilities
Str 13, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 18, Cha 19
Talents Adept Negotiator, Master Negotiator, Influence Savant, Power of the Dark Side,
          Swift Power
Feats Force Sensitivity, Force Training (2), Linguist, Skill Focus (Persuasion, Use the Force),
          Weapon Proficiency (pistols, lightsabers, simple weapons)
Skills Deception (may reroll) +12, Initiative +12, Knowledge (galactic lore) +9, Perception +12,
          Persuasion +17, Stealth +12*, Treat Injury +12, Use the Force +17
Possessions “walking cane” / long-hilt double handed lightsaber (self-built, shift-color blade),
          dark robes, Jedi robes, blaster pistol, power pack (3), various personal belongings


*This skill is untrained.

I am Red/White

Your GM is, quite frankly put, wrong. The attitude adjustments are ONLY used when attempting the Change Attitude action as defined on page 71. That's why they're only mentioned in the Change Attitude section of the rules and nowhere else.

For the purposes of Adept/Master negotiator the section of rules on changing attitude might as well not exist, none of the modifiers therein are used, that's for sure. Giving a talent an automatic -10 penalty without warning and discussion is not a very nice thing to do, no matter how OP you might consider it.
Agreed with everything said so far.

The talent's roll does not get the modifiers for changing attitude. Why should it anyways? You're breaking them down with words tearing away their will to fight you. A very poor, possibly from just misinformation, decision on your GM's part.
Post count doesn't mean anything. Read the books, open your eyes, and try using common sense.
Agreed with everything said so far.

The talent's roll does not get the modifiers for changing attitude. Why should it anyways? You're breaking them down with words tearing away their will to fight you. A very poor, possibly from just misinformation, decision on your GM's part.



I can sorta see where it would be easy to mistake the ruling here if the GM is very steeped in rules from other gaming systems or past versions of this game.  But after reading the feats and logically stepping through it, he should have relented if you plead your case well enough. 

The situation you presented and the design of you character offer some fun and challenging ideas as a GM and a Jedi talking his way out of combat should be rewarded instead of penalized.

By the rules, the GM is wrong in this case.  Those modifiers should not be there.  Why is he adding them though?  If he's just getting the rules wrong, point him here and we can set him straight, but I have the impression that he thinks that your use of Master Negotiator is imbalanced.  If he's been a player when you used it on them, he might feel that the ability is too easily abused.  And looking at your character, with a +17 persuasion modifier, it'll still be very effective.  So you might want to ask if he's thinking the Talents are too powerful, then work with him to find a solution to that (like the -5 to your roll if the target is higher level).  I think you have the wrong mentality here.  If you're, as you said, character isn't a fighter, then you really shouldn't expect to be the most useful character in a fight. 
"And the TL;DR award goes to Raul Torin!" - CorranHornIsAwesome Official SAGA Edition Errata Dawn of Defiance Other Articles Thanks to GreySword for compiling these
Agreed with everything said so far.

The talent's roll does not get the modifiers for changing attitude. Why should it anyways? You're breaking them down with words tearing away their will to fight you. A very poor, possibly from just misinformation, decision on your GM's part.



I can sorta see where it would be easy to mistake the ruling here if the GM is very steeped in rules from other gaming systems or past versions of this game.  But after reading the feats and logically stepping through it, he should have relented if you plead your case well enough. 

The situation you presented and the design of you character offer some fun and challenging ideas as a GM and a Jedi talking his way out of combat should be rewarded instead of penalized.



Leads me to wonder if he applies Change Attitude penalties on Intimidate checks...

Just obvious that the GM didn't really read it, but skimmed over everything.
Post count doesn't mean anything. Read the books, open your eyes, and try using common sense.
I have to agree with Raul on this one, sounds to me like the GM is biased aginst the talent. Best thing to do, sit down and come to a compromise.

The GM is applying two rulings that go against the RAW when it comes to Master Negotiator.

Now he may be using them because your character IS violating at least one rule and is seriously overpowered in another.  There is also the entire issue of skill check vs. defense score which usually comes up with UtF (I wonder if this is also an issue.) but here shows up with your Persuasion score as well.  The thing about the skill vs defense is that at this point that "problem" should becoming smaller at least when facing other hero type opponents near your character's level.


While I like the character concept you should note that as a SMALL creature you could not use a long-handled lightsaber which is a LARGE weapon.  Now a medium sized long-handled lightsaber may be possible but that should drop all the dice one size at which point you may be better off using a normal lightsaber with two hands.  The overpowered part of the character comes when I look at those obscene ability scores.  Ok, they aren't as crazy as some I've seen but an array that would start with an average score of 15 and being equivalent to PB 51 is significantly stronger that the PB 25ish and average 12.5ish that should be normal; high arrays can easily make truely insane force users.  You maybe didn't ask for a character critique but you posted the stats and are getting one; he may not be a "fighter" but will have no trouble hanging with a "normal" martial character at that leve.


 

Thanks for your overwhelming responses everyone! I appreciate them all and they help my case! However it hurts me that some of you are implying that I’m power gamming… well let me address a couple things.


If you're, as you said, character isn't a fighter, then you really shouldn't expect to be the most useful character in a fight. 



During fights I stand in the back and heal who I can or tell other PCs what to do! Maybe a move object here or there or a Force stun... but that's about it! I also try to avoid combat altogether and tend to go on less dangerous missions than the other PC. My character concept is Indiana Jones meets Yoda/Vergere. So yeah... I don't really fight. My character doesn't stick his neck out for anyone!


The GM is applying two rulings that go against the RAW when it comes to Master Negotiator.

Now he may be using them because your character IS violating at least one rule and is seriously overpowered in another.



Really now?


There is also the entire issue of skill check vs. defense score which usually comes up with UtF (I wonder if this is also an issue.) but here shows up with your Persuasion score as well.  The thing about the skill vs defense is that at this point that "problem" should becoming smaller at least when facing other hero type opponents near your character's level.


Exactly!


While I like the character concept you should note that as a SMALL creature you could not use a long-handled lightsaber which is a LARGE weapon.


You’re right! I was going to tell you you’re wrong because p.120 (SECR) says that I can hold a weapon one size category than me and use it effectively two handed… and that p.62 (LECG) states that by making the grip longer, you can take advantage of a long-handle lightsaber! However after looking at the table presented above I see that I’m wrong! LOL! A long-handle lightsaber is classified only as a large weapon!


I will change that on my character sheet. Thanks for pointing that out! I thought that the long-handle lightsaber was classified as the size category as the lightsaber you’re using. I didn’t bother to look at table 5-1, because I didn’t know it was presented there.


Thanks!


Now a medium sized long-handled lightsaber may be possible but that should drop all the dice one size at which point you may be better off using a normal lightsaber with two hands.


I’m sticking with the cane thing! Makes me look smart and all! I’m Fosh!    Anyway… I’m not really interested in the lightsaber damage, and I don’t care that I can only use it two handed, it’s a character thing! I was going with some new and weird stuff… again… I’m Fosh!


The overpowered part of the character comes when I look at those obscene ability scores.  Ok, they aren't as crazy as some I've seen but an array that would start with an average score of 15 and being equivalent to PB 51 is significantly stronger that the PB 25ish and average 12.5ish that should be normal; high arrays can easily make truely insane force users.  You maybe didn't ask for a character critique but you posted the stats and are getting one; he may not be a "fighter" but will have no trouble hanging with a "normal" martial character at that leve.


That’s all on the GM! I honestly would have preferred a 35 point build! When I GM I always have a 35 point build. That way every character (PC and NPC) doesn’t vary obscenely!


What happened here was this:
-GM’s Character ruling rules-
- Roll in front of someone.
- Roll all ability scores strait down the line, no rearranging rolls to suit your character.
- Reroll 1’s.
- Roll several times and choose a set of rolls that work the best.

Again… honestly I really would have preferred to play with a 32-35 point build, but what you see is the result of the GM’s rolling rules.

So... no... I don’t power game. Just one honest mistake and the GM rolling rules!

I am Red/White

Thanks for your overwhelming responses everyone! I appreciate them all and they help my case! However it hurts me that some of you are implying that I’m power gamming… well let me address a couple things.
...snip...
The overpowered part of the character comes when I look at those obscene ability scores.  Ok, they aren't as crazy as some I've seen but an array that would start with an average score of 15 and being equivalent to PB 51 is significantly stronger that the PB 25ish and average 12.5ish that should be normal; high arrays can easily make truely insane force users.  You maybe didn't ask for a character critique but you posted the stats and are getting one; he may not be a "fighter" but will have no trouble hanging with a "normal" martial character at that leve.

That’s all on the GM! I honestly would have preferred a 35 point build! When I GM I always have a 35 point build. That way every character (PC and NPC) doesn’t vary obscenely!


What happened here was this:
-GM’s Character ruling rules-
- Roll in front of someone.
- Roll all ability scores strait down the line, no rearranging rolls to suit your character.
- Reroll 1’s.
- Roll several times and choose a set of rolls that work the best.

Again… honestly I really would have preferred to play with a 32-35 point build, but what you see is the result of the GM’s rolling rules.

So... no... I don’t power game. Just one honest mistake and the GM rolling rules!



I know GMs typically get to make the call on how ability scores get generated so I wasn't implying that you were "power gaming" the system but only pointing out how you have more powerful stats than the system normally expects you to have.

Now I think that even PB 32-35 is higher than it should be but your GM's rolling method will lead to those insane stats.  Oh sure, you roll them in order but when you can just reroll and then pick which one "works best for you" that effect is lost.  This is especially true when rerolling 1s occures which alone is a big step up it amounts to an extra +1.5 on all ability scores; he should just have you rolling 4d5 (drop lowest) +3 which will produce similiar results.
Thanks for your overwhelming responses everyone! I appreciate them all and they help my case! However it hurts me that some of you are implying that I’m power gamming… well let me address a couple things.
...snip...
The overpowered part of the character comes when I look at those obscene ability scores.  Ok, they aren't as crazy as some I've seen but an array that would start with an average score of 15 and being equivalent to PB 51 is significantly stronger that the PB 25ish and average 12.5ish that should be normal; high arrays can easily make truely insane force users.  You maybe didn't ask for a character critique but you posted the stats and are getting one; he may not be a "fighter" but will have no trouble hanging with a "normal" martial character at that leve.

That’s all on the GM! I honestly would have preferred a 35 point build! When I GM I always have a 35 point build. That way every character (PC and NPC) doesn’t vary obscenely!


What happened here was this:
-GM’s Character ruling rules-
- Roll in front of someone.
- Roll all ability scores strait down the line, no rearranging rolls to suit your character.
- Reroll 1’s.
- Roll several times and choose a set of rolls that work the best.

Again… honestly I really would have preferred to play with a 32-35 point build, but what you see is the result of the GM’s rolling rules.

So... no... I don’t power game. Just one honest mistake and the GM rolling rules!



I know GMs typically get to make the call on how ability scores get generated so I wasn't implying that you were "power gaming" the system but only pointing out how you have more powerful stats than the system normally expects you to have.

Now I think that even PB 32-35 is higher than it should be but your GM's rolling method will lead to those insane stats.  Oh sure, you roll them in order but when you can just reroll and then pick which one "works best for you" that effect is lost.  This is especially true when rerolling 1s occures which alone is a big step up it amounts to an extra +1.5 on all ability scores; he should just have you rolling 4d5 (drop lowest) +3 which will produce similiar results.



Meh... like I said I prefer 32-35 point build. With a 35 you get an average of 13 for each ability. Pretty heroic. Again... I understand if it might be a little high for some, but that's what I do. Wink


As for the rolling for this GM... yeah... again that's why I'm the non-fighter of the group! Laughing

 
I am Red/White

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