Dralasite Truth Sense

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
March 3, 2008 - 10:46pm
I want to enhance the Dralasite's Lie Detection ability for the AER. It is clear that many find this ability to be little used if at all, so I'd like to discuss how to expand the ability more to make it more useable.

How can you see the Dralasite Lie Detection ability being expanded? d20 Future expresses their ability by giving them a +2 (+10 in SF) bonus to "Sense Motive".

My first thought is to have it, instead of being a 5% to detect lies (people sure are gullable in Star Frontiers), make it a +5 to lie detection checks and provide some indicator about how lie detection is performed in another section. Also, with d20 Future calling it "Sense Motive", this could allow it to be broadened and expressed as "an uncanny knack to read others". So maybe, instead of just "lie detection", we can call it "sense motive" and make it a kind of empathy.

How far can such an ability be stretched?
Comments:

CleanCutRogue's picture
CleanCutRogue
March 4, 2008 - 5:31pm
Well how is it described in the core rules?  It isn't.  It just says they have the ability to detect lies... no reason.  Is it because they smell the variances in body perspiration?  Is it because mastery of their own form gives them insight into the knowledge of subtle body movements and their reasons?  Is it because they live lives of stretching truth like taffy in a physical sense, and that deviates to a deep understanding of the metaphysical implications of deceit?  okay, that last one is a stretch, but you get the idea.

I think first we have to understand what special thing gives Dralasites this ability, then we can expand and define...
3. We wear sungoggles during the day. Not because the sun affects our vision, but when you're cool like us the sun shines all the time.

-top 11 reasons to be a Yazirian, ShadowShack


Anonymous's picture
Corjay (not verified)
March 4, 2008 - 5:44pm
Alright, we know they see in what d20 Future calls "dark vision", which is essentially, as AD says, detecting light through a cluster of nerves, which interprets the light as a kind of black & white. Might there be an advantage in this? Perhaps they are able to sense different types of light waves to produce a more holistic view of people and items around them, meaning they can see, or at least sense, a being's internal workings, including other drals. It doesn't necessarily have to be that they have experience with lying if they have the ability to detect a being's inner workings. Remember, too, that their entire body acts as one big ear drum, so they may also be able to sense heartbeats and breathing patterns.

Gilbert's picture
Gilbert
March 4, 2008 - 5:55pm
  You can increase this ability with experience points. I do believe it's in the book somewhere.

Anonymous's picture
Corjay (not verified)
March 4, 2008 - 6:34pm
Improving the stat isn't what people seem to have a problem with. I've heard complaints, as I mentioned, that regardless of the stat, it's mostly useless.

Gilbert's picture
Gilbert
March 4, 2008 - 6:30pm
  WHAT! Being able to tell if someone is lying or not is useless. Go play Star Wars. Or, play Zebulon's mentalist if you want more power to your mental power. But, a Dralasites ability to sense lies is very powerful when used right. The big thing is it is a natural ability and costs nothing to use as a mentalist you have only so many uses.

CleanCutRogue's picture
CleanCutRogue
March 4, 2008 - 6:29pm
I've been frustrated as a Referee trying to get adventurers duped by an NPC when they have a Dral with a high score in Lie Detection :-)
3. We wear sungoggles during the day. Not because the sun affects our vision, but when you're cool like us the sun shines all the time.

-top 11 reasons to be a Yazirian, ShadowShack


Gilbert's picture
Gilbert
March 4, 2008 - 6:32pm
  Now it is a fight of logic and stamina scores logic to hold your composure and stamina for how long in minutes I go with for interrogations.

Anonymous's picture
Corjay (not verified)
March 4, 2008 - 6:39pm
To me, lie detection has always been a matter of listening to words. Even interrogators already know when a person is lying. The reason they have to go through a battery of questions is to PROVE that they're lying. It doesn't take me a battery of questions to catch a person in a lie.

Gilbert's picture
Gilbert
March 4, 2008 - 6:40pm
  Depends on well practiced the lier is at thier skill.

Anonymous's picture
Corjay (not verified)
March 4, 2008 - 6:46pm
And their's the rub. They have to be skilled to pull it off in the first place, so it would be their skill against your natural talent or skill. An opposed check.

Gilbert's picture
Gilbert
March 4, 2008 - 6:49pm
  Very few people can hold out with the technology (truthtel) that is available to the SF game couple up with a Dralasite or two. With enough resources the truth will come out.

Anonymous's picture
Corjay (not verified)
March 4, 2008 - 6:57pm
So then Drals are the only beings in the galaxy who get to detect a lie?

Gilbert's picture
Gilbert
March 4, 2008 - 7:02pm
  In your game they might, but mine anyone can have the skill. However, they can never be as good as a Dralasite, a mentalist, or someone with truthtel at their disposal.

  Anyway, please, do not put words in my mouth. I don't recall saying anything like that, nor do I see anything.

Rum Rogue's picture
Rum Rogue
March 4, 2008 - 7:03pm
I was always under the impresion that the ability derived from scents. Be it phermones, sweat, or other bodily gasses. 
I do like the idea using the dark vision to detect variations in body temp as well.

I think that, after reading through the productive posts, that a rewrite could be in order.  Treat it more like the sense motives skill.  Keeep it as an ability. If the player decides to increase it with xp, that would be the players choice.  Just look at it as the Dral has decided to watch for the bodily changes that the races exibit.  Everything from scents, body temp, to stance and actions.
Time flies when your having rum.

Im a government employee, I dont goof-off. I constructively abuse my time.

Gilbert's picture
Gilbert
March 4, 2008 - 7:06pm
  Bingo, give the person a chocolate bar. I would go as far as they can sense electrical impulses. This is better than all combined.

Anonymous's picture
Corjay (not verified)
March 4, 2008 - 7:13pm
My last comment was a bit unfair. Sorry for that.

As for your statement regarding electrical impulses, I'm confused how that figures in. Detecting light or sound is completely different than detecting electrical impulses. Perhaps detecting a person's static field is possible through the same sensative touch that allows them to hear vibrations through their skin, but this would still be subject to every time that person touches a grounded surface. All a person would have to do is touch a grounded source and the Dral could not detect a lie through that means.

Gilbert's picture
Gilbert
March 4, 2008 - 7:17pm
  A shark can detect electrical impulses and I think water is an ultimate ground especially when salt is involved. Salt is a good conductor of electricity. Put that in your hat and stir it. haha

Anonymous's picture
Corjay (not verified)
March 4, 2008 - 7:22pm
The key there is that the water is a conductor. The reason they attach sensors directly to the skin to pick up electrical impulses, is because in open air, electrical impulses do not go past the skin.

Also, could you do me a favor and provide something on that thing about how sharks pick up electrical impulses? That's the first I've heard of it.

Gilbert's picture
Gilbert
March 4, 2008 - 7:29pm
   Here are few sights,
http://www.sce.com/kidsscience/waters/facts.html

 Here's one you can have fun with,
http://www.school-for-champions.com/senses/aura.htm
 
 This one includes rays,
http://www.seaworld.org/animal-info/info-books/sharks-&-rays/senses.htm

  I hate to say this, but Corjay, you need to read more. This info has been known since the 80's.

Anonymous's picture
Corjay (not verified)
March 4, 2008 - 7:46pm
A specific electrical impulse is different than an electrical field. Also, the shark can only detect it in a short range not specified, clearly due to the conductivity of the water. Regarless of my questioning the scholasticity of the site mentioning auras (despite its claims to being an educational site) I know exactly how auras are sensed, because I can do it myself (I don't believe it to be a "sixth sense" because you need your normal senses to detect it), and you have to be too close to the person to detect it by tactile sense, and you have to have color vision to see the arua, because in black and white, all you see is an unchanging dark aura that can't tell you a thing and that may simply be light refraction causing visual compensation. By the way, some people mistake hearing a change in local frequencies to be detecting a person's presence.

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
March 4, 2008 - 7:44pm
I always took the Dral Lie Detection ability to be a combination of many of the items mentioned here.  Their increased sensitvity to odors emitted, ability to detect subtle variations in voice patterns, etc.  I had them seeing slightly more into the infrared than humans and therefore could pick up on tempurature variations in the beings they were talking to, i.e. the being becoming flushed, etc.

Not that this has much bearing on the topic but for the record, it's the salt that makes the water conductive. Pure water is actually an insulator and does not conduct electricity.  It is the impurities in the water that allow a current to flow.

Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

Anonymous's picture
Corjay (not verified)
March 4, 2008 - 7:47pm
Thanks for the clarification, TerlObar.

Gilbert's picture
Gilbert
March 4, 2008 - 7:54pm
  TerlObar, you are right about the water. Actually its the combination of metal salts in the sea water.
 And, Corjay as for the range. You can see things for about a mile, but, normally you only interact with something within what say 50 feet. Do I make sense here. Other than that in my opion I think you are putting to much into it. You go get a degree in sharks and let me know how far it can sense. I bet it can sense farther but due to the other critters around it. It ignores them for they are harder to catch.

  Other than that, I would believe someone with a sense such as this could hone it to a fine point and sense someone for about 2 meters to maybe 5. We are talking about an intelligent being that can analyze the information it is receiving.

  I am not an authority on it. But, make a simple decision and stick with it.

Anonymous's picture
Corjay (not verified)
March 4, 2008 - 7:59pm
Gilbert wrote:
TerlObar, you are right about the water. Actually its the combination of metal salts in the sea water.
And, Corjay as for the range. You can see things for about a mile, but, normally you only interact with something within what say 50 feet. Do I make sense here. Other than that in my opion I think you are putting to much into it. You go get a degree in sharks and let me know how far it can sense. I bet it can sense farther but due to the other critters around it. It ignores them for they are harder to catch.

Other than that, I would believe someone with a sense such as this could hone it to a fine point and sense someone for about 2 meters to maybe 5. We are talking about an intelligent being that can analyze the information it is receiving.

I am not an authority on it. But, make a simple decision and stick with it.
All of that is conjecture. I don't need to be an expert in sharks. What I need is for someone who is an expert on land-based animals to show an animal that can detect "electrical impulses" from several feet away. Otherwise, I'd just as soon stick to stuff we can be more certain of.

Gilbert's picture
Gilbert
March 4, 2008 - 8:01pm
  There is, but have fun.

Anonymous's picture
Corjay (not verified)
March 4, 2008 - 8:33pm
Alright, so we have people here agreeing to use a kind of Sense Motive+ that is a combination of their unique senses as an empathic ability to "read others" through some or all of the following means:

smell the variances in body perspiration
sense heartbeats and breathing patterns
detect flush
interpret stance and actions
tone and pitch

The Sense Motive skill in d20 Modern, first, is performed as an opposed check, which is what I prefer, allowing non-Dral players to make attempts to oppose the Bluff skill of Zeb's, while Drals get a bonus to such abilities (+2 d20 = +10 SF). Second, Sense Motive differs from the Star Frontiers Dral special ability in that it is not actually a means to detect a lie, but to detect when someone is being simply dishonest or manipulative. Also, the ability can only be applied once for each statement made by the opponent, which is another point that I agree with. Finally, the ability is based on the character's Wisdom, which suggests a type of intuition.

A standard opposed check would allow traditional SF modifiers to be applied. So maybe if we made the check oppose the protagonist's INT against the antagonist's LOG or PER, and let any character do it, and make the Dral's special ability simply a bonus of +10 (+5 to counter their -5 INT mod and +5 to demonstrate their aptitude), it would be more realistic.

elpotof's picture
elpotof
March 5, 2008 - 10:55am
The Echidna uses electro receptors in its snout - exactly what it is using this ability for hasn't been proven. It's the only land animal (currently) known with this ability. However, to use this ability effectively, the snout has to be moist.

Rum Rogue's picture
Rum Rogue
March 5, 2008 - 11:13am
I would think if the Dralasite could detect elictrical impulses, it would require spefic organs similar to the sharks.  Even then, the Dral would have to be in physical contact with the person.
But, I really dont like the idea of them detecting electrical impulses. 
Scent, voice, stance, breathing, and temperature variations is more than adequate. I think including those in the description would round it out rather nicely. 

Corjay, I like where you are going with it. 
Time flies when your having rum.

Im a government employee, I dont goof-off. I constructively abuse my time.

Anonymous's picture
Corjay (not verified)
March 5, 2008 - 1:52pm
elpotof wrote:
The Echidna uses electro receptors in its snout - exactly what it is using this ability for hasn't been proven. It's the only land animal (currently) known with this ability. However, to use this ability effectively, the snout has to be moist.
Thanks for helping with this.

Wetting their nose, first, would limit the range. For instance, dry hair can produce a tramendous static field, but wet hair produces very little, and saliva-slimy hair would produce even less. So clearly, just as with cats and dogs, wetting their nose serves only to clean it from previous scents and grab new scents and without understanding what the Echidna's electro receptors are for is paramount to determining whether the Echidna uses it at range or merely as a sensory enhancement for smells, and considering the wetting of the nose, it's not likely that their for picking up electrical "impulses", but are instead for picking up the electrical "field" of particles. Drals using touch to detect a lie is not very efficient and is not in line with their isolationist tendencies.

Anonymous's picture
Corjay (not verified)
March 5, 2008 - 2:17pm
Rum Rogue wrote:
I would think if the Dralasite could detect elictrical impulses, it would require spefic organs similar to the sharks. Even then, the Dral would have to be in physical contact with the person.
But, I really dont like the idea of them detecting electrical impulses.
Scent, voice, stance, breathing, and temperature variations is more than adequate. I think including those in the description would round it out rather nicely.

Corjay, I like where you are going with it.
Thanks.

How is this, everyone?:

Detect Deception. Through a combination of their unique senses, Dralasites have the ability to "read others" by variances in moisture and PH balance, vocal tone and pitch, stance and movement, breathing patterns, and flushing. Though seeing in black and white, they are able to detect light variances more readily, allowing them to pick up variances in facial flush. While not sensative enough to determine one thing from another easily, their sensative outer membrane makes them able to pick up smells, light, and vibrations in such a way that they can naturally determine one pattern of behavior from another just by paying attention, more easily identifying when a person is being deceptive, dishonest, vengeful, and/or manipulative, earning them the reputation of being lie detectors. Dralisites get +10 to sense motive checks.


In another part of the rules, we can offer the following specific opposed check on which the Dral ability relies:

Sense Motive. An opposed check in which a character can pick up on a person's attempt at deception, allowing modifiers to be applied. The sense motive check is performed by opposing protagonist's INT against the antagonist's LOG, and let any character do it. Any character can make attempts to oppose the Bluff skill. The ability can only be applied once for each statement made by the opponent