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Revision as of 12:04, 9 February 2007 by GreenLantern (talk) (Some examples on where I'd think the various abilities are used)
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The Weapons of Social Combat

Battles are sometimes joined unarmed and without armor, but more often both are used. Similarly, skilled socialites amass arsenals of authority and bastions of reliable testimony. In this page, some effort will be made to describe the offensive and defensive tools available in wars of wits. These "weapons" may be items, or they may be tactics, but each has different properties.

The Basics of Attack

These weapons are the "unarmed" attacks of Social Combat, taken from Exalted: Second Edition page 172. All Manipulation-based attacks have an effect not shared by Charisma-based attacks: if the target(s) ever discover the duplicity of the attacker, they will become angry, and may automatically resist natural mental influence from her for the rest of the Scene. Bringing up the topic later will grant such characters +1 MDV, unless they are convinced to forgive the offender for the manipulative slight.

Investigation Attacks

  • Investigation attacks have Rate: 2, Speed: 5
  • They target Individuals or Societies, so long as the target is a group cohesive enough to have a single magnitude (including the magnitude X for an individual)

Direct Inquiry.

  • Dice Pool: Charisma
  • Effect: Elicit an honest answer to a question.

Pointed Inquiry.

  • Dice Pool: Manipulation
  • Effect: Convince target to give, and/or believe, answer implied by a question.

Performance Attacks

  • Performance attacks have Rate: 1, Speed: 6
  • They target all who witness the performance

Noble Speech.

  • Dice Pool: Charisma
  • Effect: Convince targets to follow you into a stated course of action.

Sophisticated Oration.

  • Dice Pool: Manipulation
  • Effect: Cause audience to believe they want a course of action, despite anything to the contrary.

Heartfelt Solo.

  • Dice Pool: Charisma
  • Effect: Invoke your current emotion in others.

Artful Centerpiece.

  • Dice Pool: Manipulation + Performance
  • Effect: Create any desired emotion in the audience.

Presence Attacks

  • Presence attacks have Rate: 2, Speed: 4
  • They target individuals - not groups; this is intimate communication.


  • Dice Pool: Charisma
  • Effect: Match your target's emotion to your own.


  • Dice Pool: Manipulation
  • Effect: Create any emotion of choice in the target.


  • Dice Pool: Charisma
  • Effect: Implore your target to emulate you in a course of action.


  • Dice Pool: Manipulation
  • Effect: Convince the target to follow a course of action, regardless of alternatives.


Possession of other traits besides the "attack" attributes and abilities can arm a person well or poorly for certain tactics of debate.


Int •

  • Status: "Dumb as Rocks." All attacks suffer a -2 internal penalty, and -1 to Parry MDV, because you sound as dumb as you are. +1 to Dodge MDV because it's hard to convince you to know any better.

Int ••

  • No bonus or penalty.
  • Tactic: "Talk Big." May attempt to sound smarter than you really are as part of an attack, adding +1 Speed and rolling Manipulation + Socialize, difficulty of the target's Perception. If successful, add +2 Accuracy.

Int •••

  • Status: "Cool Head." Add an additional +1 Accuracy after taking the Study action for any number of ticks. Does not apply to the Monologue option.
  • Tactic: "Act dumb." May accept all bonuses and penalties of "Dumb as Rocks" at the beginning of any DV refresh.
  • Tactic: "Logic." Once begun, this tactic cannot be ended until two full Guard actions are taken in a row to allow a new course of conversation. This tactic adds +2 to all Manipulation attacks but sacrifices -2 from all Charisma attacks.





So, this is very preliminary, but since it's part of a CommunalProject it's open for thoughts and critiques - also changes, additions, or whatever. - IanPrice

Great concept! I'm particularly fond of the clarified attack types, although I do perhaps fear that Charisma is somewhat underpowered in this breakdown - Manipulation can be used as effectively in Charisma's splat, and for much more besides. I'm not terribly sure how I'd go about fixing that, though...DeathBySurfeit
Great concept agreed. I'd wonder and suggest that perhaps Presence be more generally applicable, personally. To me, the kind of thing the American government is using right now (Terror!) is very Presence-based, as it is conveyed through strength of conviction, and requires a charismatic and driven leader. It seems to work on crowds fairly well. In addition, seduction attempts (canonically presence based) can also be used against crowds fairly easily, albeit with a difficulty increase due to the mixed nature of the crowd. For example, many actresses routinely flurry a group-targeted seduction action with other actions, allowing them to at least gain a modicum of success, even if the primary action fails. To me, performance relies much more on prepared speeches, song writing, and other, less traditional forms of communication. Again, as examples, I might consider things such as "We are the world, we are the children" to be a performance-based attack, as would "Over there". Similarly, clergy might use Presence-based attacks during the homily, but performance-based attacks during ceremony itself - after all, a well executed and impressive ceremony lends itself well to an impressed congregation. Finally, I think performance might also be used with "alternative" attacks, such as displaying your skill with a weapon to prove your worth to a mercenary captain. The mechanics might resemble ride, whereby your performance pool is limited by your melee pool, for example. Anyway, just wanted to give you fuel for the fire - take it or leave it as you like! -- GreenLantern