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Manipulate The Odds Talent Clarification

posted Mar 12, 2016 08:19:00 by MerikD
I have a player who invested heavily into the Manipulate The Odds talent for Thievery, and they continue to make a case at every opportunity that they can employ it whenever any of the three listed skills (Education, Observation, Persuade) come up in-game.

Am I letting him have too much free reign on the skill? It does say when 'preparing for a crime or investigating another criminal's methods'...should I be limiting him to the talent's benefits more and stick real close to the idea that he can only receive its benefits when he is say, plotting a bank heist, or if he is trying to figure out how someone else pulled off a crime? As it stands now, any time he goes into an illegal or 'underworld' dealing (even just buying gear on the black market), he uses the talent to get the Persuade benefit...making it nearly impossible for him to fail.

Help would be appreciated.
[Last edited Mar 12, 2016 08:20:40]
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Citizen-171 said Mar 12, 2016 10:04:52
As a GM, I feel it's out job to make the game an enjoyable challenge to the players. However, some players find enjoyment in finding "loopholes" that trivialise challenges and to use them repeatedly. Diff'rent strokes, I guess. Before applying the "ban hammer" on his shenanigans, consider whether his play style is actually a problem, and if it truly warrants you taking action to limit him. The point of the game is "fun" after all, and if his fun doesn't detract from the rest of the group there's really no harm. However, as the GM, you too are a part of the group! And if the GM isn't enjoying the game, then everyone suffers.

Now, if you need to pull the plug, or simply feel he's using the talent wrong, notice that the Talent allows for manipulating difficulties of tests when "preparing" for a crime, not while executing it. The acquisition test is as much a part of the criminal act of purchasing black-market materials as is the act of picking the lock on a house you're breaking into.

Also, using Persuade for an aqusition test in stead of Lifestyle usually results in a legally obtained item. If you are going strictly by the rules, the way to deal with the Black Market is using the Thievery skill, which is not covered by the Manipulate the Odds talent.

-C171
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