Social Conflict Rules

Step One: Determine Values

Social conflicts track two special values: Willpower and Vigour.

Willpower is as your Characteristic, and determines how long a social conflict 'lasts'. In essence, it acts as a pool of 'hp' for your character. If you lose a round of a social conflict your Willpower diminishes. Once a participant's Willpower hits zero, they can no longer participate in the conflict. Although they are not physically harmed, their resolve to continue has been drained, and they become very suggestible.

Vigour is a special value, and is figured out by adding your Intelligence and Fellowship together, then dividing the result by two. Vigour is the resource by which you inflict Willpower damage on your opponent,

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Step Two: Bid Vigour

This step is always the first in a social conflict round. In a social conflict, Vigour acts as a 'bidding reserve'. In this step, both participants bid a secret amount of Vigour. Their Vigour pools are immediately reduced by this amount for the duration of the confrontation.

Step Three: Verbal Contact

The two characters now have a chance to directly influence the scene. In the first round, the one with the highest Fellowship may choose to go first or second; on subsequent rounds, the victor of the last round is given the option instead. The participant then gets the chance to say something to his opponent, such as an argument or an insult. The other participant may then respond in kind. The length of these may vary, but generally they shouldn't be more than a single pose or about 10 seconds of speech or so.

Step Four: Determine the Victor

The GM may then determine who out of the two participants had the strongest participation in step three, judging it not just on wit, but on how characterful it was. Since in many cases, the GM may be judging themselves, they may ask the other players about their views on who won. The winner earns a +20 modifier on the following test.

Step Five: Fellowship Test

Both participants then make an Opposed Fellowship test. If both participants fail, then it has ended in a stalemate. Any bid Vigour is lost and play repeats from Step Two onwards. In this instance of an Opposed Test, if the number of DoS is tied, then the one who bid more Vigour than the other wins instead of the usual situation (Fellowship Bonus).

The Participant may test a particular skill instead, if it is appropriate and their behaviour in the Verbal Contact fits with the skill. If the character was charming, eloquent or flirtatious, then Charm might be used, whilst is the character was threatening, then Intimidate might be used.

Step Six: Lose Willpower

Assuming there is a victor, the losing participants then loses 1d5 Willpower. Any Vigour that the victor bid is now revealed, and that amount is added to the amount of Willpower lost to the loser.

Step Seven: Physical Manifestation

If the losing participant takes more than 10 Willpower damage in a single round, then some physical manifestation of that blow shows (sweating, glancing away, squirming, so on). If appropriate, then a successful Perception test allows the other participant to spot this. If this information is deftly used in the Step Three of the next round, and the user wins, then the user takes a +30 bonus to their Fellowship test, not +20.

Step Eight: Victory and Defeat

The Social Conflict continues using Stages 2 through 7 until one party loses all of their Willpower. The remaining participant is declared the winner. They immediately regain all lost Willpower. The losing party recuperates half of their Willpower as well, with the rest returning at a rate that the GM decides. The loser now has a much weaker Willpower for at least the next few hours, and is thus more suggestible and easier to manipulate.

Social Conflict Talents

Some talents and traits can affect Social Conflicts. Below is the list of talents that affect Social Conflicts. Some of these talents are new, and come with requirements and XP costs.

Air of Authority

Name: Air of Authority
XP Cost: 100
Requirements
Command, Fel 35
Effect
When using the Command action, you may issue commands to a number of people equal to 100 times your Fellowship Bonus. Only NPCs are affected, and any NPCs not under your command will only obey the order if you achieve an extra degree of success. Characters with this talent gain a +10 to Command tests in Social Conflicts, in addition to the usual benefits.

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Cold Hearted

Name: Cold Hearted
XP Cost: 200
Requirements
-
Effect
Any use of the Charm skill against the character gives him a +20 to the Opposed Test in addition to other modifiers.

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Demagogue

Name: Demagogue
XP Cost: 200
Requirements
Air of Authority
Effect
When in a social conflict with multiple opponents, including crowds, this character saps 1d10 Willpower instead of 1d5 against all foes if he used Charm or Intimidate for his Opposed Skill Test.

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Disturbing Voice

Name: Disturbing Voice
XP Cost: 200
Requirements
-
Effect
This character's voice is particularly unsettling. They gain a +10 to tests when using Intimidate, but take a -10 to Fellowship and other Fellowship Skill tests.

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Eloquent

Name: Eloquent
XP Cost: 400
Requirements
Fellowship 40, Charm or Inquiry
Effect
In a Social Conflict, if the character uses Charm or Inquiry in the Opposed Test, then if they pass the test then any Vigour spent that turn is placed back into their reserve. They do not need to win the Opposed Test, merely manage to pass on their test.

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Inspirational

Name: Inspirational
XP Cost: 300
Requirements
Air of Authority
Effect
When using the 'Inspire' use of the Command Skill, you may increase the bonus by +5 per 3 degrees of success. Furthermore, in Social Conflicts, any fellow allies participating in the Conflict increase their Vigour by +10.

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Inspirational

Name: Inspirational
XP Cost: 300
Requirements
Air of Authority
Effect
When using the 'Inspire' use of the Command Skill, you may increase the bonus by +5 per 3 degrees of success. Furthermore, in Social Conflicts, any fellow allies participating in the Conflict increase their Vigour by +10.

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Mimic

Name: Mimic
XP Cost: 200
Requirements
Perception 35, Fellowship 35
Effect
Given about an hour of study, you may mimic the voice of another. It takes a -10 Scrutiny test to figure out it's a faked voice (or +0 if she wasn't able to converse with the person face-to-face). Of course, if the listener knows the appearance of the mimicked voice's owner, and it's clear to them that the user doesn't look like them, then the deception fails. In Social Conflicts, if you use this talent to mimic, mock and disparage the opponent, then the opponent loses 1d10 Willpower on a loss, not 1d5.

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Nerves of Steel

Name: Nerves of Steel
XP Cost: 200
Requirements
WP 30
Effect
Reroll WP tests to resist or recover from Pinning. Furthermore, in Social Conflicts, take a +20 bonus to your Opposed Test if your opponent used the Intimidate skill.

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Veiled Threats

Name: Veiled Threats
XP Cost: 400
Requirements
Intimidate, Fellowship 35
Effect
In a Social Conflict, if the character wins the Opposed Test, for every extra Degree of Success the character wins by, the loser takes an additional 1d5 Willpower damage. Note that for this talent to take effect, then the character's contribution during the Verbal Contact stage must contain at least one veiled threat or loaded phrase.

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