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Gizmo

West End Knowledge

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So in the continuing effort to make the West End Jack's 'turf' and make him a little less ignorant (mechanically speaking), I was wondering if I could give him Knowledge (streetwise) pertaining only to that section of the city, maybe at a discount. It's not exactly going to break the bank to buy it normally; I'm just thinking about the flavour of it, kind of like the way Attractive is basically ranks at half price because they only apply half of the time.

Using that as the baseline, would something like "Benefit (+8 Knowledge (streetwise) in the West End)" fly?

Actually, since it's sort of related, got another skill related question. I've been monkeying around idly with some stats for Jack's sister, who'll likely become his sidekick down the line. Now, part of her character is that she's really good at zeroing in on someone's insecurities and needling them (it's deeply genetic, evidently) but she's not really a very good liar, since her insults are more about brutal honesty. With that in mind, I've been trying to work out a way to give her a high Taunt without a high Bluff. Since taunting is really demoralizing with Bluff, could I set something up that was essentially demoralizing with Sense Motive?

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Probably best just to buy the streetwise normally and leave it to story to show that the West end is his are of specialty. For instance I generally give situational modifiers for people in their "home turf" on those kinds of checks.

As for the alternate taunt just use bluff, just because she doesn't lie doesn't mean she can't and we're (well me at least) opposed to substitutions especially if they swap attributes. Yes I know taunt is already a substitution but its bluff for intimidate and intimidate has the same thing available with startle. Maybe something subbing in diplomacy for intimidate but really bluff is the best fit for that kind of thing IMHO.

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S'kinda what I thought; I just wanted to reflect that he knows the West End much better than he does the rest of the city.

As far as Ellie goes, she really is supposed to be a lousy liar. Basically both of the Espadas kids are pretty serious, responsible individuals at heart, but Erik learned to bottle a lot of that up and play if off around other people. All of his joking and theatrics are sort of a constant Bluff he's running. His sister, on the other hand, comes off as kind of abrasive, in a Daria sort of way. Consequently, high Bluff and/or Diplomacy doesn't really scan for her, while a high Taunt is pretty much essential.

I suggested Sense Motive to reflect the idea of her cutting through people's comforting self images. So, instead of, "Ha ha, you're a big loser," she's more, "You're a big loser and here's a series of harsh observations to back up that thesis." Sort of an anti-Bluff.

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I'm not comfortable with taking what is meant to be a defensive skill, one that already has a great deal of utility, and turning it into an offensive skill.

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That's fair. Any suggestions for an alternative?

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I think in both these cases, you're going for a level of granularity of detail that this system just doesn't support.

For Jack's sister, I'd recommend giving her either a high Bluff or a high base Charisma, and maybe adding a Drawback or Complication to her sheet that says she can't use Bluff for its primary purpose (lying).

On the other matter, I'd suggest just giving him Knowledge (Streetwise). If you really have your heart set on a Limited version, however, there's a precedent in the rules: the Attractive feat. I'd be open to a feat that gives you +8 on Knowledge (Streetwise) related to a specific neighborhood, as long as it still counted against PL caps for skill ranks.

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As shaen says it sounds like your looking for a degree of granularity that M&M just doesn't really do. Another option might be just to go with intimidation, it doesn't have to be thugish avenger style I'm gonna dangle you off this building it can certainly be represented by a more calculated read of a person and playing on their fears and weaknesses rather than direct threats.

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