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Author Topic: Interrogation as a Game Tool  (Read 1277 times)

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Offline Gossamer

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Interrogation as a Game Tool
« on: December 20, 2015, 01:32:40 PM »
Ok, let's say we have a group of PCs hunting supernatural creatures. Werewolves, vampires, witches, it doesn't really matter, the point is, these supernaturals are indistinguishable from humans up until the point they shapechange.

Now, I've read up a bit about interrogation techniques, and it would seem that the open palm, or gentler way is considered superior in every single way. Given that the more violent and destructive methods have a bigger chance of yielding a false positive, ie I'll say whatever you want me to say, just please stop.

Now, this presents a number of problems;
-First of which, the gentle way is based around finding common ground with the accused, treating them as people, sympathizing. But since in this case the accused is of another species, namely a harmful one that might or might not care one iota about you or anyone like you other than in the sense of tools/food/obstacles, where could such common ground be reached other than pretending to be one of them, something that would most likely fail most of the time given that you can't back up such a claim.
-Second of which, if the violent way is the only way with these monsters, that doesn't leave any room at all for interrogation other than as a waste of time. Not to mention it would be very monotonous.

Disregard anything you normally associate with these creatures, they don't have any special needs or any special weaknesses, eg drinking blood or silver or anything. What matters is, that they appear human but aren't. Going to jail wouldn't scare them or make them expose themselves, death is ultimately the only answer, and if they know you're a hunter, they know you think that way.

In fact, think Bladerunner. The interrogations aren't held to prove guilt, they're held because of the doubt that they might not be monsters. But in this case, there are no real tells. They could pass themselves off as humans for an indefinite span of time if they wish to.

Oh and there's a final complication to top things of, the general public are unaware of the existence of these creatures. Or rather, while superstition exists, there's a grave miscommunication of what traits constitutes such a given creature.

So what I'm struggling with is this; How can I make interrogations varied and meaningful, when it all boils down to a single question, a single crime, guilty of being born a monster?
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Offline Dossta

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Re: Interrogation as a Game Tool
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2015, 02:50:31 PM »
Sounds like it might come down to finding a way to trick them, or forcing them to change in some way.  Find out what they fear and use it against them (or threaten to).  As the GM, I'd probably still give them certain conditions under which they'd have to transform, just to avoid the dilemma you're facing now.

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Offline Gossamer

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Re: Interrogation as a Game Tool
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2015, 06:22:23 AM »
Well they won't change, unless by change you mean shapeshift. But like I said, the only way I can think of for that to happen is by putting them in mortal danger, they have nothing to gain by doing it otherwise.

Well it's kind of complicated, the whole shapechanging can be seen as a metaphor and may or may not actually be what's happening, but it is what is perceived by the players. And if they were to shapechange at given times or during certain circumstances, that would circumvent the interrogation in either case. In some ways it is a lot like a criminal, but without any of the humanity. They have nothing to gain from confessing, and the interrogation part is what I'm after.

I'm thinking there will be a shadowing part, finding likely suspects in some cases, and in others it will pretty much be confirmed who it is you're after. But you still aren't authorized to kill anyone until they reveal themselves as the monster, or at least if you kill them and they turn out not to be a monster that's gonna suck for you, and that's where the interrogation comes in. I wouldn't want it to be all black and white in having to break down the interrogated, but at the same time there is no common ground. And I can't change their nature to fit that need because I need them to be perceived as all bad.

Even if you could build a facade of a reportoire with them, revealing their true nature is where it's at, and that's what makes it boring, every single interrogation boils down to that one question.

-They're hard to trick and generally very wily.
-They're proud and looks down on others.
-They're cautious and above all selfpreserving.
-They're greedy and jealous.
-They're basicly everything bad about humans.
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Offline Strolen

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Re: Interrogation as a Game Tool
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2015, 07:49:01 AM »
Tag 'em. Follow 'em. Bag 'em.

Seems interrogation would be useless then and not an option. Why bother under those constraints...you just play your hand and real shapechanger, like you said, have no incentive to give in to anything to show they are a monster. Humans would fail earlier than them and that is about the limit you can go...which would never show a shapchanger. And since they aren't human then the simple tells that are cliche but more or less true (eye-blocking, inadvertent gestures, lips, etc) might not be as telling?

Track them.
Spy on their residence, haunts, places of business for clues.
What do they eat?
What is in their trash?
Develop their associations? A weak friend may spill the beans.
Where were they when crimes/murders happened?
DNA? Bloodtests?

Your game just turned into a boring stakeout. (get it...stake....I kill me)

But seriously, with all those restrictions...what the hell. Might as well be normal murderers with a super power. Stuck with good old detective work.

Or you could just start murdering suspects and see if you were right.

I think, bottom line, there has got to be something that allows somebody to know if they are what they are. Very rare gift of some to see through the illusion. They don't live long once exposed as they are hunted with extreme prejudice and without the need of really knowing if they have the power. Just kill them. Something...

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Offline Gossamer

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Re: Interrogation as a Game Tool
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2015, 01:20:25 PM »
Hmm, well the gestures and tells are still the same, it's just that usually you use those gestures to read people and if they seem suspicious you try and force a confession, or steer the conversation so they trip up on their own lies. Well, I needn't tell you, you're a master sergeant yes? :) That's still the same, and part of the reason why I wanted it in the first place, since it seems like it could pose a very interesting mechanic.

Stakeouts will come into play, but I see it more as a means of gathering evidence to use in the interrogation sequence than an outright outing of the perp.

Blood tests are too advanced a technology and also a bit of a cheap way out.

And they aren't neccesarily guilty of any crimes other than being an evil shapechanger.

From what you suggested, two things come to mind;
1: Interrogate their associates instead of them, unless their associates also happens to be shapechangers... So kind of a catch 22.
2: Perhaps strong enough stress or a strong enough shock would make it harder for them to maintain their guise... Although since there are so many ways of reaching a conclusion from an interrogation, pure stress/shock seems a bit one sided... Strong emotions? But how would they manage everyday life without blowing their cover in that case? Perhaps a certain macguffin/skill is needed to be at hand when the strong fluxes of emotions happen... That could work.  :poet:

-

Basicly what I want is these three things;
1: They must be shapechangers.
2: They must be evil but not neccesarily guilty of breaking any laws.
3: The interrogations must be valid and have different approaches; not all of which should be violence and threats.

Besides that, I'm open for suggestions. How would you guys set it up?
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Offline Strolen

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Re: Interrogation as a Game Tool
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2015, 09:10:58 PM »


And the television show "Lie to Me"

:)

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Offline Gossamer

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Re: Interrogation as a Game Tool
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2015, 03:10:45 PM »
An interesting watch that. :) Unfortunately I don't get the channel for lie to me.
Samotny Osovjaltek - Dwarven Guild – Level 1
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