Does Suasion work when trying to convince non believers of something? How does that work? Does it substitute Persuasion, and that’s all we need to know? Does it only work on certain situations? Should a character attempt to convince non believers using persuasion instead?
I’m no pro with this, but I would say +1 or +2 Ob for the test, depending on their attitude towards your faith.
Maybe off topic, but in the medieval world there were no “non-believers” as we use the term. Literally everyone believed in God. People questioned the nature of God and the church, but no one questioned God itself.
In a fantasy world with multiple religions, I would say it depends on the two religions. If the two religions are completely different (um, say Zen Buddhism and Catholicism) I wouldn’t even allow the skill to be used. If it’s more like different aspects of the same religion (different branches of Protestantism) I would increase the Ob by one or two.
I would consider applying obstacles based upon what the character said in roleplay, and how that interacts with the morality of the opponent. (Murder is wrong whether you’re a Christian or a Moslem. Doesn’t really bother a devotee of Kali.)
If the religions are yet to be fleshed out, then I’d maybe apply a blanket obstacle and use the results to determine the competing moralities.
(but what do I know?)
It’s up to the GM to decide whether the task is appropriate to the intent and which skill or ability best expresses the task.
Ok, it’s up to the GM, but how do I, as GM, decide when Suasion is appropiate? My gut says Suasion wouldn’t be usable against a non-believer (and by non-believer I don’t mean someone with a different belief, but someone who doesn’t have a theistic belief system - at all), but is it like that?
It’s based on your feeling and understanding of the world. As the GM, you are entitled to say: Sorry, Suasion is not appropriate here. This guy hasn’t bought into your system of beliefs. Test Rhetoric (or Persuasion or Soothing Platitudes or whatever is appropriate to how the player described his action) instead.
The important thing though is to be consistent. If that’s your ruling then make sure to follow the same ruling later on.
And just to be clear, you would also be justified as GM in deciding that yes, Suasion does work or even as others suggested that applying an Obstacle penalty is appropriate. It really depends on how things work in the setting you and your players have established.
I see. I guess my players and I are gonna have “one of those talks” next session…
Hide the sharp things you have in your home.
Suasion could be appropriate for a non-believer. Maybe a non-believer has had a string of tragedies, and they’re at the end of their rope. You use Suasion to give them the helping hand they need, to show them the light.
It really depends very heavily on the specific situation in play.
Is there any reason why you can’t pause a duel of wits, while you test a wise to inform this sort of decision, if it’s not already clear?
Perhaps even making the suasion-volley a linked test with a relevant wise?
That isn’t quite accurate. If you restrict the medieval world to medieval Christendom, then yes, this is basically true. However, there were other religions where people didn’t believe in “god”, but rather a bunch of different gods. Then there are the borderline cases - Islam and Christianity can both be argued to have the same god, but the interpretations are so divergent that it’s less “questioning the nature of God” and more “possessed of a belief regarding the nature of god that utterly contradicts the other in most respects”. Certainly, as regards BW, they are different enough for Suasion to be questionably useful at best.
It’s totally situational. If a player was insisting on using Suasion in a way Persuasion or Rhetoric would be used, I’d insist that they make their argument in a religious fashion. That’s the difference, as far as I can tell. Most of the instances I’ve heard Suasion being used in have been during religiously themed debates either between practitioners of two different religions or two of the same religion.
Just using suasion on some guy to get him to do something, particularly if they are either unconcerned with, or hostile/opposed to, the religion of the Suasion user would result in a pretty difficult test. A Southern Baptist would have a hard time convincing an atheist to lend him some cash because “God says it’s the right thing to do.”, and a Sunni Muslim would have difficulty trying to get a devout Catholic to give him a ride to Mecca because the Haj is super important.
The missionaries who come to my door attempt it all the time, but so far none of them have rolled high enough on their Suasion check. Well, to be fair I usually refuse the test and close the door on them, but believers have definitely tried Suasion on me.
A good medieval example might be the conversion of the Vikings (the Norse) to Christianity. Of course they weren’t Atheists, but they didn’t believe in the god of Abraham, so I imagine it’s the same problem. Ooh, or the scene in the old Conan movie where Subodai and Conan are telling each other about their gods and Subodai points out that his god is greater because he lives above Crom.
This is just a subset of what Thor said but I wanted to clarify how I would handle it:
Task, Intent, Obstacle is the rule here.
The skill says “Suasion is the verbal art of the priest. It is used to enlighten the benighted. This skill allows a Priest to convince others to act on his behalf (because it is in the best interest of their immortal souls). It’s a Persuasion skill for the clergy.”
While it does say the obstacle is the Will of the target it’s up to the GM to dictate penalties and bonuses.
Say Yes or roll the dice. Suasion is as appropriate for non-believers as it it believers as it includes conviction and conversion. To be immune to the skill I’d say you’d have to have a very specific trait.
So what is the task and intent of the player?
yeah, I think apologetics can be a big part of Suasion. If the player tries to meet the target half-way and relate to him then Suasion can be very appropriate. I could see where Cultural wises, Ugly Truth, or History could be used as a link test to establish of the clergy can bring it around to the targets way of thinking.