All of us at one time or another have wished we could convince an NPC to do our bidding or switch sides. We have on occasion made the Quick Contest of skill roll and convinced those NPC’s. The mechanics are pretty straight forward in definition and the Basic Set Characters provides us with examples. In GURPS the Enthrallment skill contains four subsections, Captivate, Persuade, Suggest and Sway Emotions. All of these skills are Will/Hard in difficulty whereas the Intimidation skill is Will/Average.
As a GM I have seen many players use these skills to convince the NPC to do something out of the norm. However the real crux of the problem is when the players try to use it on other PC’s. There has been discussion about this topic on forums and podcasts alike. Some have put forth the comment that a player wanted to persuade another player to do something way out of bounds of the norm for that player. I am not talking about persuading someone to take a left instead of a right or even removing your clothes and running down the street. I am talking about the imaginary line that we all have, that we will not cross regardless of circumstance.
If a player is trying to get another player to cross that line the GM must be ready to act. It does not have to be immediate and sometimes it is better not to act hastily, but he must be ready. I will use an example that has come up in other sessions from others I have spoke with. The player wants to persuade another player to seriously harm or kill someone. The player that wants to persuade may have a high Will and skill level to use. He may even have a track record of getting what he wants from other players. If the other player has a line that will not be crossed he should object to the persuasion. As GM this is a good time to let the players role play a bit. It can add some flavor to the adventure. The key here is to not let it go on too long. Determine when it starts to get personal and then intervene (the other players will thank you for it). I believe that most of us will keep this simple because we know how quickly arguments about rules and mechanics can ruin a session.
As players it is good to realize where each others’ lines are drawn. We all want to have fun at the table. Just remember that Enthrallment and Intimidation work best on NPC’s but can cause strife in your group if used inward. That can result in many other problems outside of the game. GM’s- take action when needed and discuss after the adventure if issues arise in your session. Again the others will thank you for it.
Just had it pointed out that the skills require Fatigue points and act much like spells.
I now realize that I was wrong about those particular skills which makes my question pretty ridiculous. I need to revisit the skill list and find ones that are more social without the fantastic involved.