Game-yness in speech

I think showing percentages for speech checks is overly game-y, especially given there’s multiple options that potentially have the same result.

It should be up to the player to decide the better option, not speech checks in raw percentages especially, it’s immersion breaking.

But that’s just my opinion.

If no skills were involved I’d agree. But since it’s about numbers to begin with the player needs some indication.

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I’d be in favor of showing only the skill requirement, but no percentage value.

If I have a 1% chance to succeed at intimidating an NPC, and failure means they’ll start attacking me, I’d really like to know that.


If it were real life then you’d be able to get a good indication of what you should/shouldn’t say next based on how the person looks, is talking, what situation you’re in, etc. Ingame, you don’t have any of that, so the percentage is just a simple system to give an indication of all those factors.

However, you could make it more complex by having it limited in accuracy at low skill levels and get more accurate as your speech skill increases.


NPC speech chances are rather arcane. Hiding that would make the player character very socially awkward.
Having it be gated by perception (say, rounded to nearest multiple of some number) would not necessarily be a bad idea, but I’d still rather show too much than too little here. The feature is nowhere near complete and the numbers are often bizarre.

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What about showing the percentage in bars, like item durability?

What if a person is bluffing? Maybe they are just acting friendly so they can gain your trust and later stab you in the back. Any indicator you think you might have could just as easily be deception, especially in the case of meeting random strangers in a post-apocalyptic setting. Something to think about.

Yes, someone COULD be bluffing, but that’s the sort of thing that you’d want to pick up on. High perception and speech skills would help you pick up on tells or lying, and might give a bluff percentage once that sort of thing actually exists in the game.

NPCs don’t betray, they either try to kill you, tell you to GTFO, or become BFFs.
If there was a chance of NPCs harboring malice and then suddenly stabbing you in the back/turning into The Thing/running away with your stuff while you sleep, then it might be worth hiding the percentages for some speech options, or displaying ones that assume honesty but warning that not all NPCs are honest.

I had a NPC betrayed us. He gave me the dog quest, I failed doing so and reporting it back but somehow each time I spoke to him he kept asking about his dog. After a week or more where he asked me many times he suddenly turned hostile after the answer killing my other NPC before I killed him. EDIT: Both NPC where in my party

Yeah, definitely can’t be a complete surprise. Getting caught off guard and possibly dying is okay as long as the player can look back and think “damn, I totally could have planned for this and took precautions” especially in a roguelike. Really the game should be constantly trying to kill you in myriad ways of which all can countered or even entirely negated somehow… Not that the game does not succeed in this capacity already, but NPC’s could use some fleshing out