One of the most interesting things to me about my conversation with Zak is how people often take what you are saying, ignore it, and see what they want to see instead. Even though Zak sometimes misunderstood me, the comments of others on both Zak's and Mandy's blog (including Mandy) indicate that what I was saying soared right past their ears and into their imagination. They take arguments they have had with other people, imagine that you are those other people, and project the beliefs of the other people onto you. Rather than try to understand what you are actually saying, they imagine what you would have said because you are clearly just like those other people they know.
Do you think there is a mechanical way to represent this in an RPG?
Right now, all the ideas I have are based on GM improvisation.
You come to town after a long dungeon expedition, tell people that you fought so many monsters you didnt know which way was up. Then you come back a short while later and they are arguing about whether someone is a witch. When you ask what they have done, they claim you told them about how there was a witch up around here.
But that is just simple miscommunication. What about you say that you will support the Duke's effort to clear out the forest, only to find out that rebellious nobles are plotting to assassinate you because you are supporting the Duke's harsh taxes. You try to argue that you are against the taxes, but they call you a flip-flopper. Certainly, this would be annoying.
But both of those examples are based on clever GMing. How could you incorporate it into the actual game? Into actual mechanical interactions with NPCs?
I don't know. Impress me!