Social Resolution System
These rules are designed by CrownedSun. Alteration is permissable, but please note all changes in Comments. This system is designed to add a low-impact and easy system for the resolution of social situations. It replaces the guidelines that existed off my userpage, and acts as an alternative to some more detailed systems with similar purposes.
A Basic Overview
The key to aspects of this social resolution system are simple, and already a part of the game as it exists already. A serious act to make an appeal requires a simple action, requiring you to split your pool if you wish to do something else. These appeals should preferably be roleplayed out, for purposes of awarding stunt bonuses to both sides. The most important mechanical step, however, is to pick a Virtue that the appeal corresponds to -- this is the appeals Virtue Correspondence (imagine that). There is a small possibility of using an attribute other than a virtue as the correspondance; this will be discussed later, under complications. The storyteller must agree with the chosen virtue correspondence, which must have some bearing on the arguement you are making to your your mark (the person being targeted by your appeal). I.e., a Compassion appeal is a cry to your marks sense of Compassion.
The character making the appeal then makes a social roll, using a combination of a Social Attribute (Charisma, Manipulation, or Appearance) and a Social Ability. Social Abilities are most commonly Presence, Socialize, Bureaucracy, and Performance. Sometimes Linguistics, Lore, or other abilities can be used as Social Abilities. Stunt dice, virtue channeling, and charm bonuses may apply to this roll. If your appeal is targetting a virtue in which the target only has 2 dots, you loose one die. If he only only a single dot (or none at all), you instead loose three dice.
The difficulty of the roll relies upon two separate factors that are quite important, and will be elaborated upon later. These are the Magnitude of the appeal, and the Opposition of the mark to your appeal. The Magnitude is related to how much you are asking of your mark and is the primary arbiter of the final difficulty; this number raises from 1 (for minor things) to 5 (for the greatest of sacrifices). It is also possible to have a Magnitude of 6, for truly legendary feats of persuasion! The Opposition of the mark is a lesser but still important value, and represents how opposed the mark is to you in general and what you are saying in particular. This value cannot raise higher than the Magnitude, but other than that has no limits on how high it can go. The winning of trust from an enemy is magnitude 3, while an Anathema attempting to earn the trust and support of an Immaculate Monk in some vital and dangerous endeavor is facing a magnitude of 5 (difficulty 10, total).
If the mark is a PC or a major NPC who has earned a stunt bonus, that should be applied to his Opposition as a small difficulty bonus. It might even be appropriate to raise the Opposition a point or two above the Magnitude, in a case like this. Since there is no opposed roll, this is the best method of rewarding a well-structured counterarguement.
If the roll equals or exceeds the difficulty, you have made your appeal. The target must now make a virtue roll against the targeted virtue. If this roll fails, your appeal has no effect -- you might have gotten through his defenses, and made an excellent point, but it simply didn't affect him in a way that was important. If this roll succeeds, you have managed to Convince your mark of your appeal and he is now inclined to do what you wish him to do. The mark can spend a willpower point to ignore you, anyway, however. Unlike most situations, this will not cause a Solar or a Lunar to gain a limit unless the Storyteller deems it reasonable. It should be noted that just because your arguement has been ignored does not mean that it has no effect. Your words had an effect on your mark, and you have changed his mental landscape forever.
Instead, your mark resisted acting according to your wishes, for whatever reason. He will have to come to terms with this contradiction later. In addition, any further appeals you make on this subject have its final difficulty reduced by 1. This is cumulative with every convinced appeal that is then ignored, to a minimum of Difficulty 0 (no roll required). Eventually you can wear down even the most willful and stubborn opponent.
Low magnitude appeals: It is a lot easier to convince someone to perform minor favors for you. A handy house rule is that an magnitude 2 appeal requirs two willpower to ignore, and a magnitude one appeal requires three willpower to ignore. In most cases, this will be sufficient to convince the mark that he's better off just giving you what you want.
Additional Rules and Clarification
- SocialResolutionSystem/Defense - some ways to defend yourself using these rules; a mixture of discussion, "tactics", and new rules.
- SocialResolutionSystem/WhatTraitsToRoll - a discussion of when you should use certain traits.
- SocialResolutionSystem/Correspondence - a discussion of which virtue to use, virtue complications, and basing arguements off non-virtues.
- SocialResolutionSystem/Magnitude - a look at the Magnitude system in detail (examples and complications).
- SocialResolutionSystem/Opposition - a look at the Magnitude system in detail (examples and compliactions).
Specific Systems and Examples
- SocialResolutionSystem/Intimidation - scaring and intimidating folk
- SocialResolutionSystem/Seduction - winning the favor of the opposite sex (or even the same sex).
Charms in Social Combat
Many many social charms do NOT affect the above system, having their own systems that they use exclusively. The following charms are somehow relevant to the above situation, and should be taken into account.
General Charm Use
- Basic Dice- or Success- adding charms operate normally on appeals. They do not change the rules involved, however, unless specifically noted below.
- The blatant use of a magical effect (caste-mark showing or an obviously supernatural effect) will usually cause the target's opposition rating to raise by 1. This can be avoided depending on the actual nature of the appeal, however. Also, knowing that one is being magically manipulated is often a good reason to spend willpower to ignore appeals.
- Note that a charm that merely makes someone feel a strange way or otherwise causes minor problems does not count as obviously supernatural.
- Respect-Commanding Attitude: This charm gives the Solar an audience with no choice but to subject themselves to his appeal -- they must stand and listen, being forbidden from not paying attention, leaving, or attempting to disrupt the appeal in progress.
- Listener-Swaying Arguement: This charm has been modified specifically for this system, and can be found at SolarPresence/CrownedSun.
- Majestic Radiant Presence: The character must make a Willpower roll, with a difficulty of 2, to make a Social Appeal against the character.
- Die-Reducers are treated identically to dice-adders, for the purposes of these rules. Many Abyssal dice adders are obvious, however, with all the problems that can create.
- Morbid Fascination Style: This charm gives the Abyssal a captive audience, as with Respect-Commanding Attitude. However, it also boosts that character's Opposition rating by 1 in most cases.
- Irresistible Succubus Style: When making appearance-based appeals on targets that fail their Temperance roll, he can ignore all of the downsides of making such appeals. He still benefits from the advantages. In addition, halve the mark's Opposition rating against such appeals.
- Heart-Stopping Mien: Anyone witnessing this charm in use gains a +1 opposition bonus against the Abyssal. This is cumulative with any obviously supernatural appeals that the Abyssal might make.
- Loyalty Withering Technique: In addition to it's other effects, this charm can often lower or eliminate the Opposition rating of a mark when used intelligently by the Abyssal.
You know, there should be a way of making negative appeals. Seduction would be based on lust (target must succeed at temperance) and I can see cowardice based appeals also being very possible (target must succeed at valor). I'm sure the other two negative appeals also have merit... especially for Teh Evil Guy Of Much Nastiness, our friendly neighborhood NPC Abyssal Manipulator.