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[Demon: The Descent] When is it appropriate to call for a Compromise Roll?

CowboyEnergy

Registered User
Validated User
Obviously I mean outside of abilities that explicitly call for a roll, like using Exploits or Transforming. I have a Demon PC in a game I'm running, and she's great, can't complain about her or the player at all. I was just wondering what the line is for having to roll for Compromise for acting out of character. I don't want to punish her for actually going on adventures with the rest of the group, as that seems...well, not fun at all, obviously. But at what point would it be reasonable for me to say that her actions are compromising her Cover?
 

Patkin

ougikawa
Validated User
But at what point would it be reasonable for me to say that her actions are compromising her Cover?
I typically err on the side of "the point where friends/family/neighbors would say, 'but she seemed like such a nice girl' at". So unless your Cover is a cop, a soldier or a criminal, any given firefight or car chase or attempt at arson will get a ding. I also consider a lot of the time particularly obscure language choices to be Compromises (like what exactly is your Midwestern school teacher doing speaking !kung?), but unless your Cover is particularly provincial, it's not outside the realm of possibility that you speak a language any kid could pick up in a usual high school foreign language course.

But I think overall, I might be a softer touch on Compromises than is expected.
 

ChairKicker

Part-time Table Flipper
Validated User
I also go for particularly OOC/egregious behaviours.
A priest destroying religious symbols, a homeless guy riding around in an exepensive car, an ambitious CEO donating half her fortune to an obscure charity (mostly composed of her Ring's friends, wink wink), a nice and elderly teacher threatening someone with gruesome violence in front of witnesses.
... which reminds me I might not have enforced that as much as I should have with my current group...
 

Eremite

Registered User
Validated User
I also consider a lot of the time particularly obscure language choices to be Compromises (like what exactly is your Midwestern school teacher doing speaking !kung?)
That's interesting, I never make players roll for compromise when they speak obscure languages - or mixes of languages - and maybe I should...

Unless your Cover regularly goes into disguise/etc (conman, for example), I'd say whenever players pretend to be someone else for more than a few moments is compromise. Especially if they're masquerading as a person and actually doing their job (I had a player in a hospital posing as a doctor, using Fungible Knowledge to switch some Skill dots to Medicine).

Generally, though, I think a light touch is better. Punish players too much with compromise rolls and they're going to complain they can't do anything without being punished.
 

darkgloomie

Un-jiggly
Validated User
I think observers should factor in, too.

If your Demon starts speaking tongues in themiddle of the mall court, yeah, Compromise away. But how is what she does behind closed doors something threatening what she is/appears?
 

CowboyEnergy

Registered User
Validated User
I typically err on the side of "the point where friends/family/neighbors would say, 'but she seemed like such a nice girl' at". So unless your Cover is a cop, a soldier or a criminal, any given firefight or car chase or attempt at arson will get a ding. I also consider a lot of the time particularly obscure language choices to be Compromises (like what exactly is your Midwestern school teacher doing speaking !kung?), but unless your Cover is particularly provincial, it's not outside the realm of possibility that you speak a language any kid could pick up in a usual high school foreign language course.

But I think overall, I might be a softer touch on Compromises than is expected.
Yeah, I would go with those, but I've been a softer touch since it's a mixed-splat game. So, for example, making her take a Compromise for going to the Hedge with others would be kinda mean.
 

Patkin

ougikawa
Validated User
Yeah, I would go with those, but I've been a softer touch since it's a mixed-splat game. So, for example, making her take a Compromise for going to the Hedge with others would be kinda mean.
Oh, for a mixed-splat game, yeah, I'd definitely pull back on how many rolls I call for them, at least equivalent to how many I'm calling for anybody else's triggers. Being mean about it is reserved for when it's a single-splat game where I can at least hone in on the themes that're making me call that often.
 

Patkin

ougikawa
Validated User
That's interesting, I never make players roll for compromise when they speak obscure languages - or mixes of languages - and maybe I should..
I kind of just came up with doing that because it opened more areas to mess with if the character's are speaking, say, French or Korean or something that someone could technically walk by and overhear, than if every conversation between demons is limited to that language six total people in the whole of the earth speak. Meaning Idle Conversation as an Embed comes up more often as a choice.
 

Rand Brittain

Go on until you're stopped.
RPGnet Member
Banned
Validated User
Pretend that an operative from the NSA is watching everybody on your block on hidden cameras all the time, in a moderately lackadaisical fashion and not particularly interested in you more than anybody else.

If you do anything that makes the NSA guy say think you're doing something suspicious, that's a compromise.
 

Stupid Loserman

Lame Dumbhead
Validated User
I think observers should factor in, too.

If your Demon starts speaking tongues in themiddle of the mall court, yeah, Compromise away. But how is what she does behind closed doors something threatening what she is/appears?
There's some grey area here, too. Cover is a psychic construct, and it works on principles of consistency as much as it does the observation of people. You aren't invulnerable to compromises when there are no witnesses, because if you contradict the identity you're hiding behind, you're still weakening its consistency and the depth of the camouflage it provides. But I do think there are lesser kinds of compromises, like speaking very unlikely languages, that I would call for in play if the character is in public, but likely wouldn't bother with in isolation. In isolation, I'd be more concerned with contradictions of character, like a kindly priest speaking frankly and cynically about a godless world. Something with a little more dramatic resonance.

The watchword is that a compromise occurs when your behavior is "grossly" out of character. Behavior that provokes a compromise isn't just behavior that isn't what you would expect out of that Cover, but behavior you would actively disavow that Cover would do. If a distant acquaintence, only dimly familiar with you, friend-of-a-friend style, were to see you perform the action, they would suspect something is amiss.

I think the spectre of compromise and its potential consequences are threatening enough that you don't need to make it a harsh scrutiny, no. The suggestion of compromise is more menacing than experiencing it enough to become familiar with it.
 
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