When to use Manipulate

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When to use Manipulate
« on: September 23, 2011, 03:34:21 AM »
When you have leverage over someone you can Manipulate them to get them to do what you want.
When is making a deal with someone manipulation, and when is it just making a deal? Every transaction could be viewed as manipulating someone into giving you something in return for the money which you are using as leverage, but that's tedious and I suspect not the intent of the rules. But what about paying someone to do something they wouldn't otherwise do? That could be a bribe, using Manipulation, or it could be offering a barter with strings attached (automatically hitting a 10+ on Manipulation), or it could just be a deal, no mechanics attached.
This came up in play when a Hardholder wanted to hire the Savvyhead to work on a project, I had him roll because "to do it, do it", but now I'm questioning whether that was really manipulation or not.
There are plenty of situations where leverage is being used to get someone to do something they otherwise wouldn't, and I suspect it's not manipulation, but I can't put my finger on why not. Thoughts?

Re: When to use Manipulate
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2011, 04:04:13 AM »
When the party in question is inclined to just plain accept the offer as it is, you probably don't need to call for a roll to manipulate, unless the offering player wants to do so themselves. When the other party, however, would have reason to stop and consider and maybe counter-offer or decline, then a roll to manipulate may be called for.

Of course, manipulating the savvyhead may have ended up being good for them both--did it? When you manipulate another PC into accepting an offer, you can offer them more than whatever tangible benefit you put on the table--you can also offer them an experience point, which everyone loves. My angel may have manipulated (or, well, seduced, by virtue of "you're cuter when you're alive") our driver into buying herself some armour after she got badly wounded in a firefight, and thus our driver ended up doing something that was good for herself and she got XP out of it.

Re: When to use Manipulate
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2011, 10:46:48 AM »
For between PCs I think it's the purview of the individual character players to decide whether it's Manipulation or not, like:

Nicodemus: "Hey, I want you to work for me."
Gadget: "Okay, well--"

Then, option 1:
N and G negotiate a deal. No rolls intervene.

Option 2:
N: Hold on, I want to roll Manipulate.
G: Really, dude? Okay.

Option 3:
G: Okay, well, roll Manipulate if you really want it, bc Gadget isn't going for it right now.

Similarly for the PC-NPC case. I think you'll find that nearly all moves in AW can be negotiated this way---

N: Hey, what's actually on Gadget's mind? She's acting weird.

1: G: "There's something I've been wanting to talk to you about, Nicodemus. There's something wrong with our water supply. It tastes like blood, man."

2: G: Roll to read a person, dude, 'cause Gadget isn't talking.

3: N: I'm going to roll to read her.

*

noclue

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Re: When to use Manipulate
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2011, 02:43:20 PM »
I would say this. If you called for the roll, decide it's manipulation. That may lead you to ask, "Why does the Hardholder need leverage to get the Savvyhead's cooperation on this?" That seems to be a more useful question.
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

Re: When to use Manipulate
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2011, 07:17:25 PM »
Thanks for the replies!

Allison, I think the considerations you suggest for whether a Manipulation roll should be called for seem like good ones, and I found that helpful. But it seems like you are also suggesting the player's may roll Manipulation even when the fiction doesn't call for it in order to generate experience, which I am not sure I agree with. Am I correct about that, or did I misunderstand you?

Sheryas, it seems like you are saying that all moves can be used whenever a player wants. Wouldn't that conflict with the "to do it, do it" rule, which states that a move must exist within the fiction to be rolled, and visa versa? I took the point of that rule to be that it isn't totally up to the player to decide whether a move applies or not, they must take specific actions in the fiction to use a move. Now of course there isn't a clear line between player intent and the fiction, so maybe what you meant was that any given situation can be manipulation or not based on the approach taken, and that is within the control of the player? What I am looking for here are the fictional cues that tell me whether or not a move is applicable, I don't have trouble deciding with most other moves but I'm having a hard time telling what is meant by "manipulation" here.

Noclue, I think that's a good suggestion for how to go forward with that particular situation. But I'd also like to clarify how this move works, going forward into future situations.

Re: When to use Manipulate
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2011, 06:57:59 PM »
Thanks for the replies!

Allison, I think the considerations you suggest for whether a Manipulation roll should be called for seem like good ones, and I found that helpful. But it seems like you are also suggesting the player's may roll Manipulation even when the fiction doesn't call for it in order to generate experience, which I am not sure I agree with. Am I correct about that, or did I misunderstand you?

That was me speaking a little loosely. If it seems like a silly situation in order to seduce/manipulate, you can veto it. (Or you can let them do it and punch them in the gut with a hard move if they roll a whoopsie, but what tack you choose is entirely up to what you feel like at the moment.)

Sheryas, it seems like you are saying that all moves can be used whenever a player wants. Wouldn't that conflict with the "to do it, do it" rule, which states that a move must exist within the fiction to be rolled, and visa versa? I took the point of that rule to be that it isn't totally up to the player to decide whether a move applies or not, they must take specific actions in the fiction to use a move. Now of course there isn't a clear line between player intent and the fiction, so maybe what you meant was that any given situation can be manipulation or not based on the approach taken, and that is within the control of the player? What I am looking for here are the fictional cues that tell me whether or not a move is applicable, I don't have trouble deciding with most other moves but I'm having a hard time telling what is meant by "manipulation" here.

Hm. In this case, I think it's as much about who the potentially manipulating player is dealing with as it is about their own actions. Like my example about how if the target would just plain accept, no roll is needed. If a player wants something from an NPC (or, for that matter, another PC; it's the target PC's call, really) and that NPC is kinda "ehh I dunno," you can tell the player that if they want to convince them, that's a seduce or manipulate attempt. (Or they could use Sharp to read them and ask how they could get them to do it, as an example of an alternative.)

Re: When to use Manipulate
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2011, 07:36:44 PM »
Sheryas, it seems like you are saying that all moves can be used whenever a player wants. Wouldn't that conflict with the "to do it, do it" rule, which states that a move must exist within the fiction to be rolled, and visa versa? I took the point of that rule to be that it isn't totally up to the player to decide whether a move applies or not, they must take specific actions in the fiction to use a move. Now of course there isn't a clear line between player intent and the fiction, so maybe what you meant was that any given situation can be manipulation or not based on the approach taken, and that is within the control of the player? What I am looking for here are the fictional cues that tell me whether or not a move is applicable, I don't have trouble deciding with most other moves but I'm having a hard time telling what is meant by "manipulation" here.

I'm saying, "honesty demands."

What's happening, procedurally, is that the two characters start out JUST TALKING. At any point, one character can intervene by saying, "Okay, this isn't getting me anywhere, so I will use leverage," or the other character can intervene by saying, "It's clear that this character will not deal unless further leverage is applied." Either way, this indicates that fictionally, negotiations have given way to persuasive pressures of one kind or another, and that (most likely) the characters are aware of this - that's why the effects of a manipulative hit are so punitive and the effects of a miss are "the MC tells you what." There is social violence going on.

I do think that you can manipulate/seduce when your intended victim isn't necessarily putting up a lot of social resistance. However, there's a difference between saying, "Hey Josh can you please do the dishes?" (just talking) and "Josh, if you really loved me you'd do the dishes..." (manipulation) and IMO this difference should be fictionally expressed.

Re: When to use Manipulate
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2011, 08:11:07 PM »
I'm saying, "honesty demands."

What's happening, procedurally, is that the two characters start out JUST TALKING. At any point, one character can intervene by saying, "Okay, this isn't getting me anywhere, so I will use leverage," or the other character can intervene by saying, "It's clear that this character will not deal unless further leverage is applied." Either way, this indicates that fictionally, negotiations have given way to persuasive pressures of one kind or another, and that (most likely) the characters are aware of this - that's why the effects of a manipulative hit are so punitive and the effects of a miss are "the MC tells you what." There is social violence going on.

I do think that you can manipulate/seduce when your intended victim isn't necessarily putting up a lot of social resistance. However, there's a difference between saying, "Hey Josh can you please do the dishes?" (just talking) and "Josh, if you really loved me you'd do the dishes..." (manipulation) and IMO this difference should be fictionally expressed.
My impression from your initial explanation was that you could use the move or not without any corresponding change in the fiction, but it's a little clearer from this that you take a player deciding to use the move as signaling intent to use a particular kind of tactics in the fiction.
Do you think someone can use make a manipulation even when the target is inclined to "just plain accept the offer as it is", because they are using manipulative tactics, or do you skip the roll in that case?

Also, "social violence"? Can I take it you think this move is always a violation, then? One of the appeals for me of how AW models persuasion is that, between players at least, it doesn't involve leverage and can use the "carrot" instead of the "stick", so it's possible to play a charismatic character who can persuade others to do what they want without it feeling like violence against the other character. I guess I don't see the results of a hit as always being "punitive", as you put it. Using the move on an NPC it requires leverage, so that seems a little darker, but I just saw it argued that appeals to reason and humanity could also be manipulation. I'm on the fence in the latter case, but I've seen people play this move as something that could go on between friendly characters without anything really evil going on. I'd be interested in hearing another perspective, could you expand on this?

Re: When to use Manipulate
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2011, 08:16:40 PM »
Also, "social violence"? Can I take it you think this move is always a violation, then? One of the appeals for me of how AW models persuasion is that, between players at least, it doesn't involve leverage and can use the "carrot" instead of the "stick", so it's possible to play a charismatic character who can persuade others to do what they want without it feeling like violence against the other character. I guess I don't see the results of a hit as always being "punitive", as you put it. Using the move on an NPC it requires leverage, so that seems a little darker, but I just saw it argued that appeals to reason and humanity could also be manipulation. I'm on the fence in the latter case, but I've seen people play this move as something that could go on between friendly characters without anything really evil going on. I'd be interested in hearing another perspective, could you expand on this?

Definitionally, when you use the manipulate or seduce move, you're a) acknowledging a conflict of interest and b) unilaterally attempting to apply pressure to resolve it in your favor. That seems pretty aggressive to me! It's the difference between saying "So what's going on?" and "Okay, I'm reading you. What's really going on?" -- one of them already implies a level of distrust and active penetration of defenses.

Re: When to use Manipulate
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2011, 08:20:18 PM »
Wow, that's not how I took reading a person either. I thought that could just represent paying attention to other people and being empathic. Why does trying to observe what someone is feeling, or figure out what they want you to do, necessarily involve distrust or penetration of defenses?
There are a lot of reasons for not just asking someone. Being able to read someone's emotions and desires without asking them is often a sign of emotional closeness, not emnity.

Re: When to use Manipulate
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2011, 08:45:33 PM »
I wouldn't say "always a violation." I mean, between some people, it's okay to say "if you really love me," but that doesn't make that tactic nonviolent just because it's okay. It's always forceful and aggressive though.

Similarly I feel like, if your characters have the relationship such that they can read each other easily, you can mediate that via one player being like, "Hey Wally, what does Cordon want Suzette to do?" and Wally will either be like, "Order us a round of drinks," or "I dunno, read a person." If Wally agrees that you have the closeness to read each other easily, he won't make you roll.

Re: When to use Manipulate
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2011, 10:37:28 PM »
When to use Manipulation:

"Hey, I want you to do this thing."

a) "Yes, I want to do this thing." No Manipulation
b) "I'm not sure..." "Oh, come on, you SHOULD do this thing because X reason".  Manipulation
c) "No, I don't want to do this thing."  "Oh, come on, you SHOULD do this thing because X reason." Manipulation.

When does it count as leverage?

a) "That actually does matter to me.  Ok, that counts as leverage."
b) "That don't mean shit to me.  That's not leverage."

This may seem really floaty, but it actually says a lot about different characters based on WHAT they do and don't care about, what they can and can't be pushed into, and over what.

Notice that, Going Aggro doesn't have the same kind of judgment factor- avoiding violence is always assumed to be a form of leverage and gets it's own Move because of that.

Chris

Re: When to use Manipulate
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2011, 11:26:20 PM »
@Sheryas
Would you say "I'll let you drive my car if you fix it up for free" could ever count as manipulation? I'd say it could, but it doesn't seem like a forceful or aggressive move to me. I can think of a lot of cases like that where manipulation could be pretty friendly, and calling them "social violence" seems weird to me.
In your reading a person example, what would you say if Wally didn't call for a roll but the MC did, saying Suzette was reading Cordon? Maybe that if Cordon didn't mind being read it wasn't a charged interaction?
It seems to me like misreading of intentions is common even between people who trust each other, and not calling for a roll wouldn't reflect that. But maybe those aren't the kind of misunderstandings that this game is trying to deal with.
Edit: And what if anything would you read into leverage not being a requirement for manipulating a player? Does that mean manipulation is something different in that case, or is there another reason?

@Chris
Thanks for the flowchart, I find that a helpful way to think about this.
Two questions.
If I wanted to use Manipulation could I do so by behaving manipulatively, even if the subject was happy with the original proposal?
Suppose I'm not sure whether something counts as leverage, but it might be. Do you think it's alright to roll, and decide based on the roll? (I guess they were interested on a success, I guess they didn't care on a failure?)

Re: When to use Manipulate
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2011, 12:07:52 AM »
Quote
If I wanted to use Manipulation could I do so by behaving manipulatively, even if the subject was happy with the original proposal?

Are you, like, not telling them the whole truth?  The key seems to be whether you're going to lean on their full right to consent - withholding valid information counts as that. Which would mean the "original proposal" isn't the whole deal.  Otherwise, you're not really being manipulative, right?

Quote
Suppose I'm not sure whether something counts as leverage, but it might be. Do you think it's alright to roll, and decide based on the roll? (I guess they were interested on a success, I guess they didn't care on a failure?)

If it's being done on NPCs and you're MC'ing, you make the call.  Remember, the NPCs aren't that complicated.

If it's being done on PCs, it's usually pretty easy to tell- either the player goes, "Whatever man, I don't give a fuck about that" and you know it's not leverage, or, they pause and you see their eyes dart for a second as they try to do the calcuation- that's leverage.  If it even comes up as a reasonable possibility, that's leverage.

Chris

Re: When to use Manipulate
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2011, 12:22:02 AM »
I'm trying to get your take on what Sheryas called option 2 up above.
Option 2:
N: Hold on, I want to roll Manipulate.
G: Really, dude? Okay.
If I understand that correctly, the claim is that N can make the situation manipulation through choice of tactics, even if G doesn't think it's appropriate. I'm not sure I agree (it's also possible I misunderstood the example). From your explanation I don't think you'd agree either, but I wanted to check.

With regards to leverage-
With NPCs, when I'm MC, I guess the main time I see it coming up is seduction. Whether or not someone is attracted to someone else is pretty unpredictable, I'm not sure I could always tell, even with uncomplicated NPCs. If I can leave that decision to the dice, that makes things easier on me. Most other forms of leverage are probably easier, though.

With PCs, I don't need leverage so it doesn't come up, right? I make my roll, they get the carrot or the stick, and any leverage I have is just gravy, so it never really needs to be decided "officially" whether something is leverage or not.