Are there maneuver options for non-combat skills?

My GURPS GM complains that the PCs put a point or two in most skills, except for combat skills which get 10-20% of our character points. Aside from the fact that he asks us to make more combat checks than all the other skill checks combined, I’m convinced that part of why we do this is because there are more things to do with high combat scores. I like rolling against a 13 or 14. That’s where most of my skills end up. My weapons skills are usually around 20, so I’ll make a deceptive attack or a head shot or something, bringing the target down to a 13 or 14. There are enough combat maneuvers that apply a penalty that it’s fun and interesting to have a high stat, which enables us to use those maneuvers.

Do non-combat maneuvers exist in GURPS? If so, where can I find them? Will they let me take a -4 to my Carousing skill in order to gain some benefit if successful? And, just for speculation’s sake, might they help my group find reasons to justify putting more points in non-combat skills?

Roleplay pacing in non-combat situations

So I am running the Baldur’s gate: Descent into Avernus module and my players are taking very long to approach certain situations. To set an example: There is a gate with two guards who are checking everyone who passes through. They need to get inside (because of their own choosing and also their own choice to do it through the gate specifically).

At this point the most talkative member of the group starts rattling over all these different strategies, some of the other members (2/5) are joining the discussion on how to do this. 30 minutes later we’re still at the gate having done nothing to get in but discuss strategies.

This can often take hour(s) to decide on a strategy. It seems like all of them love the freedom of play and strategizing how to approach a situation like this. Sadly, though, at the end of the session when we talk about that particular session they seem to all agree that that was boring. I don’t want to remove this RP encounters since I know some of them like this more than the combat but at the same time if all of them agree it’s too long I felt like I needed to do something…

I tried the following so far:

  • Making these RP encounters a small tad easier -> the players felt patronized since it felt easier than the rest of the campaign
  • Having an NPC who was following them help them -> can’t really bring up any ideas with inside information at which point im just in the middle of the discussion slowing it more down than speeding it up.
  • Use the environment to force them into a decision (gently) by RP’ing it (e.g. The guards see you mumbling in group and they grow suspicious, if you don’t do something they will come and investigate) -> they didn’t like that so they just moved away to discuss somewhere else.

I am not sure how to handle this and since they literally all are in agreement that these long discussions take too long I do wanna try and fix it, and yes telling them to keep it shorter if they don’t like it is something I did, but that resulted in a long discussion about wanting to keep all the freedom in the player’s hands.

I feel like 2/5 people in the group don’t really partake in these discussions (they seem a bit more shy) and the rest of the group simply feels bad for them yet doesn’t want to admit that and therefor claim they don’t like the long discussions either. So I’m just completely stuck…

I’ll gladly answer any questions and all that, and I’m still considering other options but any help or suggestions here would be greatly appreciated.

non-combat role-playing skills in ICE Rolemaster

My group plays ICE exclusively and has for the past 15 years or so.

Recently, a friend of the DM’s joined with no RPG experience. A problem has arisen regarding the role playing skills such as “Diplomacy” and “Leadership” and others. My view is that these skills are used for the DM to determine how an NPC only will react to player characters in a given circumstance, when the DM has knowledge that the NPC does not, and has no effect on PCs because they are controlled by us, the players.

For instance, I may want to take charge of a group of NPC soldiers in a crisis situation and i would use my leadership skill to get them to follow orders and get them organized or whatever. The diplomacy skill would be used to get an NPC to react favorably to you, even though he or she may not have any knowledge of you or your history or motivations.

The new player has always complained that because he has high leadership and tactics skills (he plays a Paladin) that the rest of the group should heed his ideas when figuring out a plan of action, then follow that plan, even though I as a player disagree with it. In other words, I should be forced to follow his lead and have my character do things that I would otherwise not do, to the detriment of said character. This is only one example, but you get the jist. He has convinced the other players of this, as well as the DM. What are your thoughts?