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Work in Progress. Not finalized, not pretty.

In brief, the basic idea I'm positing is that the relationship one person has to another may be modeled as a 'debt' owed to that person. This debt has five levels, each significantly deeper than the one before it.

First, an examination of the most important social attributes and abilities:

Appearance: Appearance is more than just useful for a good first impression; a high Appearance facilitates most other social activities. A lower than normal Appearance raises the Difficulty of social actions, while a higher than normal Appearance reduces it. The average appearance tends to be either 2 (most of the world) to 4 (an exclusive Dynastic party).

Charisma: Charisma is that natural tendency for people to trust you; it's a measure of how easily you can draw people to be in your debt. It's the base attribute for building and maintaining relationships.

Manipulation: Manipulation is the native ability to get people to do what you want them to do, regardless of what they think of you. It's the base attribute of using your friendships and posioning the waters of others.

Socialize: Socialize is the art of conversation. It's jokes, stories, and how to listen with interest. Socialize is the shallow friendship builder; virtually incapable of establishing a deep raport, it is highly useful for making a small tie to several people at once. Socialize is most useful in gauging and maintaining friendships.

Presence: Presence is the art of impressing or inspiring others. It's the deep oration of a priest or king- the voice that demands love. Presence is more difficult to use effectively than Socialize, but the bond it builds can be much deeper. Presence is most useful for building, using and destroying friendships.

Performance: Performance is the art of honor. It primarily acts to build friendships by acting as a Gift, reducing the difficulty of other Social actions for the encounter.


Respect: The degree of friendship, respect and love someone feels to you. Comes in five levels, from acknowledgement of your friendship to the deepest and most unquestioning fanatiscism.

Face: Discrete unit of Respect at a given level. Bob may have 3 Face of the first Respect to Joe, while Joe has 1 Face of the third Respect to Bob. Ten Face may be converted to one Face of the next Respect level up, or one Face may be converted to five Face of the next Respect level down. Face is gained by building Friendships, tends to decay over time unless maintained, may be posioned or stolen, and is bid to try and convince your friends to do things for you.

Taboo: An action frowned upon by the culture of a friend you're making a request of. Taboos may be dangerous or safe, criminal or not, virtious or vicious. Requesting someone break a Taboo requires a minimum level of Respect to be bid. Taboos range from 1 to 5, matching the levels of Respect. Taboos may be circumstancial- that is, acts may be Taboo only under certain times and places.

Difficulty: The cost in time, materials and danger to oneself, one's standing among their peers, and one's family that a request makes likely. The Difficulty is, unsuprisingly, the difficulty of a Request roll.



Hmmm... I don't know that I agree with your evaluation of Presence and Socialize in terms of their effects on friendship. The use of Presence seems less likely to result in a true friendship, and more likely to result in one-sided hero worship. Socialize (which seems to include empathic skills) strikes me as much more likely to be the ability primarily used to forge friendships based upon shared interests. - szilard

First, I was say I'm inclined to agree with you.

:Having said that, let me explain my reasoning.

I hate Martial Arts. And so, when designing a subsystem that uses multiple Abilities, I conciously try and divide up what those abilities do, so that they are more meaningful than simple flavor. If Socialize could Build, Maintain, Gauge and Use friendships (as it seems logical it could) then Presence is either redundent or worse off than Socialize.
Also, Presence gets the nifty 1 on 1 Charms, which Socialize largely lacks (IIRC). Thus, taking my cue from 'Charms are exagerations of uses of the Abilities', I chunked things as above.
That said, if you can think of either a reason to put Building Friendship under Socialize while keeping Presence useful, I'm all for it.
Hm... Maybe only Socialize lets you buy dice by granting successes, while Presence... I dunno. Has the Difficulties reduced by 1 if you're in a position of authority over the person you're Presencing? DS

I'm not sure I see the problem. Socialize seems to be the ability most concerned with friendship and personal relationships. Presence seems to be the ability most concerned with dominating others and impersonal relationships. I think the problem you are having is that you seem to be putting all sorts of social relationships under the heading of "friendship" - when that is only a very specific sort of relationship. -szilard
Possibly, a bit. Although I use 'friendship' as my common term, really any relationship should be modalable in this system, since really, it's just webs of respect and the constraints of society interacting. Friendship is one such- but so is the loyalty a soldier feels to his leader, the admiration an artist has to a recognized master of the field, and the love of a husband and wife.
And with Harmonious Presence Meditation and Listener Swaying Argument as Presence (most useful for building a one on one relationship), vs Wise Eyed Courtier, Motive Discerning Method, and Understanding the Court (most useful for gauging relationships and maintaining friendships).
On the other hand, looking at the Solar Socialize Charms has made me remember a few I'd forgotten, that would be KILLER for building relationships. Knowing the Soul's Price, for instance.
On the 'dominaring and impersonal vs personal friendship' bit, I think you may have Presence confused with Performance- which is the mob forming and massess dealing with chunk of abilities.
Like I said- if you can come up with a way for Socialize to build friendships without devaluing Presence (they don't need to balance perfectly, but their should be reasons to have both in the end)- I'm open to them DS
Okay. I think I see where you are going. Let me use the word relationship, rather than friendship... it will confuse me less. Socialize is good for building and maintaining relationships with others based on meeting their interests. Note that socialize Charms for Solars are almost all about understaning the motivations and interests of others. Presence is good for building relationships around your interests, with Solar Charms like Listener Swaying Argument that focus on convincing others. If you know that Titus hates your buddy Cletus, you can use Socialize to build a relationship with Titus, but it will likely be built on his hatred of your buddy, which is less than ideal for you. On the other hand, you could use Presence to develop a relationship with Titus that has no connection to his other interests (essentially by making yourself or your interests into his interests). How is that? -szilard
Hm. So, mechanically, this would be Socialize building friendships through buying bonus dice by giving free successes (basically, the building on common points of interest is providing the groundwork for the target to use your friendship at a later date as regards that common interest), whereas Presence can simply mindclub someone into agreeing with you- reducing the difficulty of Respect building by 1. (As a note, I'd leave the present difficulties in Chapter 2 unchanged, and increase them by 1 for Socialize). Such that someone going a Socialize route can more quickly build relationships, but quickly become enmeshed in them, whereas someone going a Presence route can bend people to their desires and lead them- more difficult, but less entangling.
Sound about right? DS
I think so... I'm not entirely clear on how your mechanics work, but it seems to make more sense to me. - szilard