Fast Talk Ability vs Persuasion Skill

I have a question about how to handle things like the Spinner's Fast Talk special ability, and how it compares to the Persuasion skill.

Suppose an untrained Glaive tries to Persuade an NPC to do something reasonable. At first glance, this would seem to require a Persuasion skill roll, with a difficult set by either (a) the level of the NPC, or (b) an assessment of how reasonable/unreasonable the task is, or (c) some combination of the two.

Now suppose a Spinner with the Fast Talk ability tries to use it persuade an NPC to do something reasonable. At first glance, I'd determine the difficulty of the task in the same way.

But this, of course, would make the Fast Talk ability useless. So how should one handle uses of the Fast Talk ability? For example, should one:

(1) Make uses of the Fast Talk ability (say) 3 difficulty steps easier than a comparable use of the Persuasion skill? (To ensure it's better than even Skilled Persuasion?)

(2) Make the Fast Talk ability difficulty check 1-2 steps easier than it would be if the character used the Persuasion skill instead? (So that the PCs Persuasion skill level is still relevant?)

(3) Allow the Fast Talk ability to automatically succeed without a difficulty check? (Though if so, then I'm not sure how to handle focus abilities which (say) allow one to be trained in the use of special abilities which charm or influence others).

(4) Something else?

Any thoughts on how best to handle this?


  • That's a tough one. I would agree that the difficulty of persuading an NPC should be its level, with maybe a one step up or down modification based on its disposition and what it's being persuaded to do. If that's the case, then Fast Talk does look pretty useless. My opinion is to allow Fast Talk to succeed without a roll as long as the suggestion is something reasonable, i.e. something that the NPC would normally do for a trusted friend. If the player is trying to persuade an NPC of something beyond that, then I would require a roll. In this way, a player could use Fast Talk to automatically succeed at something you'd have to roll for with a Persuasion skill and could potentially succeed at something more difficult that might be impossible with a simple Persuasion skill alone.
  • Now to really cooks some brains on this topic.

    If you look at the spinner, the spinner automatically has Manipulator... which trains the character in Deceive, persuade, or lie (players choice) for free.

    So what happens when you pair up persuade with the fast talk ability? I ask here because I am going to be running in a game of The Strange soon, and my character at this point in time is trained in persuading and has fast talk. Also has Spin Identity, but lets not go there just yet.
  • Here's how I deal with the problem.

    Normal persuasion tests would add on difficulty based on the disposition of the target, i.e. if they are easily persuaded there is no penalty, if its tricky increase by one, if they're stubborn increase by two or perhaps even more. In this case the Spinner's Fast Talk ability would ignore such penalties and work purely off the targets level. This makes even more sense when you consider it in magical recursions (like Ardeyn) where Fast Talk essentially works as a magical ability.

    I think this makes the Persuasion skill useful for non-Spinners, but also doesn't make the Spinners Fast Talk ability either broken (like auto-success) or useless.
  • edited July 2015
    I understand the problem, because I had the same feeling before the first session.

    I now treat Fast-Talk as the jedi trick "these aren't the droids you're looking for". i.e.: as GM I allow Fast-Talk demands that are possible but unreasonable.

    As a rule of thumb, the difference is:
    - Persuasion : what I could convince a person of if I was a really good politician.
    - Fast-Talk : what I could convince a 10 year old kid of. For a short while.
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