Author Topic: Social Combat Armor and Weapons  (Read 3834 times)

Offline narphoenix

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Social Combat Armor and Weapons
« on: July 12, 2019, 04:53:00 PM »
I had stumbled on an old thread on the board where there was a conversation about social combat weapon ratings, and recalled an article by the Giant in the Playground (here). Aspects cover some deficit in social combat in FATE versus a lot of other systems, but until I saw the Weapons rating thread, I still felt like there was some fix that the GitP approach could help cover, but didn't know what it was. So, combining these approaches, I have emerged with a possible formalization of social combat that feels "correct", in some sense. I will gladly take criticism, but here is what I have.

The Premise

All social combat is based on the premise of getting someone to accept a deal that you offer them, for a very broad definition of deal. From a business transaction to "leave this room without molesting me further" to an "acquire this artifact or I kill your son", all of these fall under some kind of "deal." So, there are two mechanics to use here, and two social pressures to capture: armor and weapons for the first, and prior relationship and the actual deal for the second. Fortunately, the mechanics and the social pressures seem to line up nicely.

Armor: The prior relationship

Show of hands, how many of us have done something they would rather not just because someone we really like asked us to? Conversely, how many of us have refused to do something to help ourselves because someone we disliked asked us to? This disparity in our ability to be persuaded, under this system of social combat, will be represented by Armor class as follows.

Armor:0 A very close friend or lover, someone whom we trust implicitly. Your loving spouse making puppy dog eyes at you to convince you to do something grants you no armor.

Armor:1 A positive acquaintance, someone we would give more leeway than the average person. A business associate who has helped you in the past and kept his word asking you for another deal grants Armor:1.

Armor:2 A neutral acquaintance. Either someone whom you haven't met before, someone you feel nothing special towards, or someone you are highly conflicted about. Random Joe Schmoe on the street, a random person your friend knows whom you are aware of, or someone whose morals you disparage but whose ends may justify the means to some extent in your book gets Armor:2.

Armor:3 A negative acquaintance. Someone whom you have reason to dislike, but no substantial reason to like. A guy who acts sleazy towards a woman has to face Armor:3 to get that woman to do anything.

Armor:4 A nemesis. Someone whom you loathe without end, and who you may act specifically to spite. A campaign archvillain gets Armor:4 to defend against any social attacks the PCs who foiled him again and again try to make to get him to stand down.

Note: this armor does NOT represent the truth of a relationship, but rather what the person being persuaded believes to be true. So your brother who loves you dearly but whom you secretly wish to usurp from his throne and torture gets Armor:0 on his defense, not Armor:4. Armor values can also change over the course of an interaction, if you do something that especially endears you to the other person or makes them despise you.  So if your brother finds out that you have been plotting to usurp him and have started by attempting to kill his son, his armor class against any deals you try to make with him will skyrocket right quick.

Weapon rating: The deal itself

Politics make strange bedfellows, and a really good deal can make even a powerful hatred move aside for a time. The basis of a deal's weapon rating is the set of consequences that the listener can foresee and cares about, and it works as follows:

Weapon:0  A deal that would be utterly idiotic to take. A demon trying to get you to sell your soul for a piece of cloth gets Weapon:0 to try to make that deal with you.

Weapon:1 A deal with some benefit, but likely to backfire in your face. One of the fae asking you for something that seems innocuous but has a high likelihood of screwing you over down the line has Weapon:1.

Weapon:2 An equal exchange. Convincing you to pay good money for something that is similarly expensive has Weapon:2.

Weapon:3 A concrete advantage to the person being persuaded. A reasonable amount of generosity in a deal has Weapon:3.

Weapon:4 It would be stupid not to take this deal. Either you're in a situation where someone is promising you the world for nothing, or promising to destroy all you hold dear if you don't take the deal (these weapon ratings can come from less fuzzy things too!)

Note: Again, this weapon rating comes from what the person being persuaded thinks is a good deal. Further, it is possible for the person being persuaded to offer a concession if the weapon rating of what you are offering is just barely not enough to take them out by offering to take a deal slightly better in their favor.

Examples:

1. Charlie Wiseman, a well known magical salesman in the Ann Arbor area, approaches an acquaintance in the Ann Arbor Alliance to make a deal. Charlie is part of the A^3, and so the acquaintance, who has reason to believe Charlie will look after her interests, gets Armor:1 against his attempts at making a deal. If Charlie offers an equal exchange to her, he gets Weapon:2 to make that deal, which all in all gives him an additional point of stress for all social attacks he makes to get her to accept that deal. He could even ask for something that causes her a little bit of harm and still have no reduction in shifts (Weapon:1 versus Armor:1); she may not like it, but she's a bit more willing to go a little out of her way to help him, especially if she can cash in later.

2. Dr. X has a mother who is less than benevolent. In fact, he hates her guts on the basis of literally everything she has ever done to him, ever. He automatically gets Armor:4 against all attempts she makes to persuade him to do anything, so even a deal that is favorable to him, with Weapon:3, still loses shifts of stress when she connects a social attack. However, Mommy Dearest can easily level the playing field by threatening one of his closest friends whom she is holding hostage, getting Weapon:4 in her attempts to persuade him to take the deal to do something that seems innocuous in exchange for sparing the friend. With Mommy's high intimidation score and a few choice maneuvers, she can eventually get him to take the deal. However, if the good doctor figures out that his mom intends to screw him over and kill the friend anyway (or if she has a reputation for not keeping her deals), her Weapon rating rapidly goes down.

3. Karrin Murphy is Harry Dresden's closest friend, and has been willing to help him again and again when the chips are down, even being willing to sacrifice her life to save his daughter. Harry automatically gets Armor:0 against attempts she makes to get him to do something. If she's asking him to stop doing something that is clearly moronic, she gets Weapon:3 (or even Weapon:4, depending on how moronic it is), and Harry is more likely than not to back down.

4. Harry does NOT like Mab very much, but recognizes that she fulfills a very important function. Further, he's willing to trust her to be herself, and she's sufficiently reasonable that he feels that he can reach some kind of equilibrium with her. Therefore, he gets Armor:2 against her social attacks. Mab, however, needs him to work with Nicodemus for a time. This deal is terrible to Harry: he does not really value his life as compared to the possibility to working with Nicodemus, so this deal gets Weapon:0 at first, and even Mab's great social skills are insufficient to compensate. However, when Mab lays out the consequences of NOT doing this (the probable destruction of everything he holds dear) versus what she is ACTUALLY asking him to do (play along with Nicodemus until the time comes where Harry can double cross the asshole), the weapon rating jumps to Weapon:4, and Harry falls in line soon after.

Thoughts?
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Offline nadia.skylark

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Re: Social Combat Armor and Weapons
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2019, 05:55:15 PM »
I like the concept, but I feel like a bunch of things are getting armor/weapon ratings that maybe shouldn't. I'd prefer something where you only get armor if you dislike the person, and only get a weapon rating if the deal feels favorable to the person you're offering it to.

OTOH, I'm really not great at mechanics stuff, so feel free to ignore me.

Offline narphoenix

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Re: Social Combat Armor and Weapons
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2019, 06:21:18 PM »
I like the concept, but I feel like a bunch of things are getting armor/weapon ratings that maybe shouldn't. I'd prefer something where you only get armor if you dislike the person, and only get a weapon rating if the deal feels favorable to the person you're offering it to.

OTOH, I'm really not great at mechanics stuff, so feel free to ignore me.

I had thought of that, and admit that it does feel mildly weird, but the reason I did it this way is because it gives degrees of favorability/liking as well unfavorability/disliking. I felt comfortable doing that because a neutral deal from someone you feel neutral to still gets zero extra shifts (Armor:2 versus Weapon:2).
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Offline whitelaughter

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Re: Social Combat Armor and Weapons
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2019, 03:35:08 AM »
I like the basic idea. Most of your 'weapons' though aren't Social, they're Mental! "A good idea" is a mental concept. A Social weapon would be a popular idea; the more people who get onboard, the more powerful the weapon would become. Obviously this would vary from place to place, but successful use of the 'weapon' would improve it.

Interestingly, 'social armor' can be literal. Working as a security guard, I was impressed by how much of the work was done by my uniform - many days my job was to move my uniform from place to place and let it do the work.

Offline narphoenix

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Re: Social Combat Armor and Weapons
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2019, 03:57:10 AM »
I like the basic idea. Most of your 'weapons' though aren't Social, they're Mental! "A good idea" is a mental concept. A Social weapon would be a popular idea; the more people who get onboard, the more powerful the weapon would become. Obviously this would vary from place to place, but successful use of the 'weapon' would improve it.

I disagree, actually. A mental attack is explicitly something that threatens your core identity, and accepting a deal isn’t it (most of the time). If you’re taken out Socially, you’re being made to accept a deal (which can take many forms, including conceding to losing face). If you’re taken out Mentally, your entire core identity is up for grabs, like Sight trauma rendering you bonkers, cult tactics molding you into a cog in the machine, or a White Court Vampire turning you in a depressed thrall who is incapable of caring that their continued existence is only sustaining a monster. Mental attacks aren’t based on “this idea is cerebral instead of popular”, they’re based on “this thing can threaten your literal you-ness.” Otherwise, teaching would count as a mental attack.

Quote
Interestingly, 'social armor' can be literal. Working as a security guard, I was impressed by how much of the work was done by my uniform - many days my job was to move my uniform from place to place and let it do the work.

This would actually be represented as someone you’re dealing with having a different armor rating (whether they’re the type to automatically defer to someone in uniform, reducing their social armor or the type to be belligerent towards them, increasing their social armor) or a weapon rating when you make a deal (that uniform contains within it the implicit assumption that you can make some less pleasant circumstances happen to someone who doesn’t play ball with you). That said, that’s actually a pretty intriguing observation.
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Offline Sanctaphrax

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Re: Social Combat Armor and Weapons
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2019, 04:44:46 AM »
It's an interesting idea. Worth testing, at least.

It's a bit odd that the baseline is weapon 2 and armour 2. Might be worth rejiggering to make 0 the baseline.

Also, it might be too easy to talk people into deeply terrible deals if the only difference between a decent deal and a terrible one is 2 shifts.

Offline narphoenix

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Re: Social Combat Armor and Weapons
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2019, 05:14:37 AM »
It's an interesting idea. Worth testing, at least.

It's a bit odd that the baseline is weapon 2 and armour 2. Might be worth rejiggering to make 0 the baseline.

Also, it might be too easy to talk people into deeply terrible deals if the only difference between a decent deal and a terrible one is 2 shifts.

Excellent. The patented Sanctaphrax seal of approval (at least tentatively)

That said, the thing is that these two goals are mutually incompatible, at least if you want to avoid overcomplicating the situation. FATE doesn’t allow negative weapon or armor ratings. You could allow something fancy, but that would overcomplicate things a bit. Funnily enough, despite the weirdness of the default armor value being 2, it actually helps: it makes it harder to accept deals that are disfavorable from people who you aren’t close to without more maneuvers (and if someone you thought you were friends with offers something actually objectionable, your armor value could end up going up: think of Gandalf’s response when his buddy Saruman offered that they work with Sauron. This sort of thing would have be monitored a bit by the GM to make sure it’s reasonable, but it’s not unreasonable to have). And if a deal is objectionable enough, social combat can devolve quickly into less civilized physical combat: try to convince Mab to undertake a horrible deal, and her skills are high enough that even after a maneuver or two, she can be expected to defend without consequences, then decide that you have insulted her with this offer and then take steps to resolve her Displeasure more directly.
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Offline Sanctaphrax

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Re: Social Combat Armor and Weapons
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2019, 02:12:28 AM »
There's no reason DFRPG can't have negative weapon / armour ratings. It never has, but they would work fine.

You could also change weapon and armour from deal and relationship to favourable and unfavourable conditions in general, but I'd prefer negative ratings.

Offline Silverblaze

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Re: Social Combat Armor and Weapons
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2019, 05:07:09 AM »
I kind of feel like the negative version of weapon 4: ( destruction of all you hold dear) should be a separate intimidate roll, a maneuver, or something else.  Also if a character is automatically believed to be able to do this...perhaps roleplaying without need for social combat is likely best.  Or when dealing with someone like Mab or other plot devices rolls are not needed...they have 8-12 + in skills and a weapon rating serves no purpose.

I assumed that is what maneuvers were for in social combat anyhow. 

OTOH I see no reason these can't exist... they just need tweaking.  And of course testing.

Offline Taran

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Re: Social Combat Armor and Weapons
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2019, 12:34:23 PM »
How will it deal with these situations:

1. A social conflict designed to ruin or bolster a reputation.  Ie: it has nothing to do with a deal.

2. The deception skill whose use is designed to make ‘disadvantageous’ requests seem advantageous.  It seems the whole point of deception is to circumvent high armour ratings and make high weapon values seem innocuous.

3.  Intimidation seems to have the opposite problem.

Offline narphoenix

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Re: Social Combat Armor and Weapons
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2019, 01:07:07 PM »
There's no reason DFRPG can't have negative weapon / armour ratings. It never has, but they would work fine.

You could also change weapon and armour from deal and relationship to favourable and unfavourable conditions in general, but I'd prefer negative ratings.

This seems workable.

I kind of feel like the negative version of weapon 4: ( destruction of all you hold dear) should be a separate intimidate roll, a maneuver, or something else.  Also if a character is automatically believed to be able to do this...perhaps roleplaying without need for social combat is likely best.  Or when dealing with someone like Mab or other plot devices rolls are not needed...they have 8-12 + in skills and a weapon rating serves no purpose.

I don’t think that role playing is bad by any means, but social combat tends to be treated as less important than physical combat in some ways, even though in real life it is the other way around. Having solid numbers is helpful. And plot devices in magical and physical powers are frequently not plot devices in social combat: Joe Schmoe can convince Mab to do something if he’s slick enough.

Quote
I assumed that is what maneuvers were for in social combat anyhow. 

OTOH I see no reason these can't exist... they just need tweaking.  And of course testing.

Maneuvers definitely need to exist with these rules. But they represent more “this is a factor more likely to make you take a deal”, just like maneuvers in physical combat are more “this is a factor more likely to make you take damage”

How will it deal with these situations:

1. A social conflict designed to ruin or bolster a reputation.  Ie: it has nothing to do with a deal.

This ends up being more a consequence of social combat than an actual aim (literally). In real life scenarios, it’s rare that you simply set out to ruin someone for the sake of it: you’re usually trying to get something out of it. “Deal” is something that should be applied very broadly. “Give me this or your reputation will suffer” is a valid deal.

Quote
2. The deception skill whose use is designed to make ‘disadvantageous’ requests seem advantageous.  It seems the whole point of deception is to circumvent high armour ratings and make high weapon values seem innocuous.

Make a deceit maneuver and tag it for effect to increase the weapon rating of your deal making. The DM will have to watch to make sure you don’t break this, but it should be fine.

Quote
3.  Intimidation seems to have the opposite problem.

Intimidation is another way to make social attacks (just a less pleasant one). You can get greater weapon ratings with deals you make with it if you’re in a position of some power (“I have your son”), but in a world of people (which is what your RPG should be), it’s going to make it more likely that someone is going to take offense to you threatening their son, and the deal falls apart the second you cannot harm their son anymore.
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Offline whitelaughter

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Re: Social Combat Armor and Weapons
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2019, 01:43:05 AM »
negative armor would be very useful in numerous situations;frex one of the reasons for prison uniforms is to make it easier to find escapees.

Offline narphoenix

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Re: Social Combat Armor and Weapons
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2019, 09:44:08 PM »
This is a revision to the rules I had posted earlier, with a small but complete example:

The Premise

All social combat is based on the premise of getting someone to accept a deal that you offer them, for a very broad definition of deal. From a business transaction to "leave this room without molesting me further" to an "acquire this artifact or I kill your son", all of these fall under some kind of "deal." So, there are two mechanics to use here, and two social pressures to capture: armor and weapons for the first, and prior relationship and the actual deal for the second. Fortunately, the mechanics and the social pressures seem to line up nicely.

Armor: The prior relationship

Show of hands, how many of us have done something they would rather not just because someone we really like asked us to? Conversely, how many of us have refused to do something to help ourselves because someone we disliked asked us to? This disparity in our ability to be persuaded, under this system of social combat, will be represented by Armor class as follows.

Armor:-4 A very close friend or lover, someone whom we trust implicitly. Your loving spouse making puppy dog eyes at you to convince you to do something grants you Armor:-4.

Armor:-3 A good friend. Maybe not the guy who can hold a knife to your throat and you’d still feel safe, but someone you regularly engage with in a positive way.  The guy you have Sunday dinner with once a week grants you Armor:-3

Armor:-2 An ally: not someone you necessarily have super duper positive feelings about, but someone whose interests frequently align with yours. A business associate who has helped you in the past and kept his word asking you for another deal grants Armor:-1.

Armor:-1 A positive acquaintance, someone we would give more leeway than the average person. A friend of a friend you don’t know very well gets Armor:-1.

Armor:0 A neutral acquaintance. Either someone whom you haven't met before, someone you feel nothing special towards, or someone you are highly conflicted about. Random Joe Schmoe on the street, a random person your friend knows whom you are aware of, or someone whose morals you disparage but whose ends may justify the means to some extent in your book gets Armor:0.

Armor:1 A negative acquaintance. Someone whom you have reason to dislike, but no substantial reason to like. A guy who acted sleazy towards a woman once has to face Armor:1 to get that woman to do anything.

Armor:2 Someone with an incompatible philosophy to yours. You guys are definitely working at cross purposes by default, but you don’t personally have beef. A known homophobe who’s more patronizing than inclined to induce violence has to face Armor:2 to get someone with more pro-gay sentiments to do what he says.

Armor:3 A definite enemy. You definitely know this guy and you definitely think he’s an asshole. It’s not so personal that you’d go out of your way to screw him over, but if you saw him dangling off a cliff, you might step on his fingers. A businessman who bulldozed your house to make a mini mall would face Armor:3 to try to have you take his deal.

Armor:4 A nemesis. Someone whom you loathe without end, and who you may act specifically to spite. A campaign archvillain gets Armor:4 to defend against any social attacks the PCs who foiled him again and again try to make to get him to stand down.

Note: this armor does NOT represent the truth of a relationship, but rather what the person being persuaded believes to be true. So your brother who loves you dearly but whom you secretly wish to usurp from his throne and torture gets Armor:-4 on his defense, not Armor:4. Armor values can also change over the course of an interaction, if you do something that especially endears you to the other person or makes them despise you.  So if your brother finds out that you have been plotting to usurp him and have started by attempting to kill his son, his armor class against any deals you try to make with him will skyrocket right quick.

Weapon rating: The deal itself

Politics make strange bedfellows, and a really good deal can make even a powerful hatred move aside for a time. Conversely, a friend might try to persuade you to do something you’d really rather not because they’re your friend. The basis of a deal's weapon rating is the set of consequences that the listener can foresee and cares about, and it works as follows:

Weapon:-4  A deal that would be utterly idiotic to take: it’s pretty much guarenteed to screw you over for no benefit. A demon trying to get you to sell your soul for a piece of cloth gets Weapon:-4 to try to make that deal with you.

Weapon:-3 A pretty bad deal. There’s a whole lot of risk in taking the deal, and the reward is pretty crappy. A known thief trying to bribe the keeper of Esperacchius into trusting her to wield the sword gets Weapon:-3 for making the deal.

Weapon:-2 A crappy deal. You’re almost certainly going to get screwed, and while you’ll be compensated to a somewhat proportional extent, it’s nowhere near enough. A cop being bribed to release a probably guilty prisoner for $100 is facing a Weapon:-2 attack if his boss is likely not to overlook bribery.

Weapon:-1 A deal with concrete benefit, but you’re likely to come out behind. One of the fae asking you for something that seems innocuous but has a high likelihood of screwing you over down the line in exchange for information on a minor enemy has Weapon:1.

Weapon:0 An equal exchange. Convincing you to pay good money for something that is similarly expensive has Weapon:0.

Weapon:1 A concrete advantage to the person being persuaded. A reasonable amount of generosity in a deal has Weapon:1.

Weapon:2 A good deal. You’re coming out ahead, and there’s only a tiny chance that what you get in return will be unable to cover any losses. A good cop releasing someone he is pretty certain is being framed in exchange for enough money to live on for the next couple of weeks and a good chance of getting away with it faces a Weapon:2 deal.

Weapon:3 A great deal. You’re coming out ahead for sure, and the benefit for taking the deal will more than cover any risk. Being persuaded to invest in a company that is surely going to win the market according to several financial advisers involves a Weapon:3 deal.

Weapon:4 It would be stupid not to take this deal. Either you're in a situation where someone is promising you the world for nothing, or promising to destroy all you hold dear if you don't take the deal (these weapon ratings can come from less fuzzy things too!)

Note: Again, this weapon rating comes from what the person being persuaded thinks is a good deal. Further, it is possible for the person being persuaded to offer a concession if the weapon rating of what you are offering is just barely not enough to take them out by offering to take a deal slightly better in their favor.

Skills

Rapport: The main skill used to attack nicely in a social situation. You use this to make deals when you want to give someone a metaphorical carrot. You can also use this to defend against deals, but won’t see if the deal is bogus if you successfully defend with this.

Intimidation: The main skill used to attack not so nicely in a social situation. You use this to make deals when you want to threaten someone with a stick if they don’t listen to you.

Presence: Determines the social stress track. You can’t use this to attack, and can only use it to defend if someone is specifically trying to unseat you from some kind of leadership position. However, you can use it to make maneuvers.

Deceit: The main skill used to attack with bogus deals in a social situation. You use this when you promise someone a deal that is not so truthful.

Empathy: The main defensive skill in a social situation. You can defend against any deal with this, whether nice or not so nice. Furthermore, on a successful defense, you can figure out if the person offering you a deal is on the up and up. Empathy also determines social intiative, so use it to determine who acts first in social combat.

Discipline: A defensive skill only if someone is trying to intimidate you into taking a deal. Otherwise, it can only be used to defend against maneuvers designed to make you feel a way that’s convenient for the social attacker.

The First Impression

At the beginning of combat, everyone must roll Rapport (for a positive impression), Intimidation (for a negative impression), or Deceit (for a false impression) to try to make a first impression. You can roll to make an impression on a single person: that person rolls Empathy to defend, or they can choose to roll Discipline if you’re trying to intimidate them. You can also roll to make an impression on an entire group: the person with the highest defensive skill in that group rolls to defend. You can roll your first impression at Rapport + 2 to reveal nothing about yourself: this is closing down, and automatically applies to the whole group, who chooses the person with the highest Empathy to defend. 

If you successfully make your first impression roll, you can use it to place a social aspect related to that impression on the person you’re trying to make an impression on (or on the group if you make it against the group), and you get the tag on this impression. If you fail to make your impression roll, the person defending gets to place an aspect related to your failed roll, and the defender gets the tag. If you close down successfully, you don’t get to place an aspect related to an impression, but there is also no aspect to be used against you.

Example combat

The Grand Lady, a young woman with a reputation for vengeance and keeping her word, is attempting to negotiate with Arin Skavis and Ricky Raith to let her pass through their territory unmolested to let her stomp all over Xavier Malvora, who threatens to interfere with some of her plans. Arin is known as a level headed diplomatic sort who keeps her deals, but Ricky is a known sleazeball who will slide on any deal he can if it gets him any advantage. Their social stress tracks start as follows:

TGL: OOOO

Arin: OOOO +1 Mild
Ricky: OOO

TGL, Arin, and Ricky each roll to make a first impression. The Grand Lady goes for hardball, rolling Intimidation on both Arin and Ricky to make them scared of her. Ricky’s Discipline is Great (+4), but Arin’s Discipline is Fantastic (+6), so Arin rolls the defense. The Grand Lady rolls her Superb (+5) Intimidation and lucks out, getting a +2 on the roll for a total of Epic (+7). Arin fails the defense roll, so the Lady places the aspect THE GRAND LADY IS COMPLETELY UNFETTERED on Arin and Ricky.

Arin is pretty sure that the Lady is slick, and she doesn’t want to chance revealing anything. She rolls to close down. Her Rapport is only Great (+4), but closing down means that she rolls from +6, and her dice come up a perfect zero. The Grand Lady rolls her Great (+4) Empathy and doesn’t roll well enough, so Arin is successfully unreadable.

Ricky is younger and more slimy, so he rolls Deceit to try to establish that he is TOTALLY INNOCUOUS. His Deceit is Superb (+5), and he gets a neutral roll, but the Lady rolls a +2 on her Empathy roll, and so she sees through his deception. The DM reveals the aspect A SPINELESS SLEAZEBALL on Ricky.

TGL: OOOO (THE GRAND LADY IS COMPLETELY UNFETTERED against Arin or Ricky, A SPINELESS SLEAZEBALL against Ricky)

Arin: OOOO +1 Mild
Ricky: OOO

Arin’s Empathy is Superb (+5), so she gets to act first. She wants the Lady out of the way as quickly as possible, so Arin goes for a quick and dirty sell: Arin agrees that Xavier Malvora is a dirtball, but argues that the Lady should wait until he’s in a more isolated environment to do what she wants to do, since it would be difficult to remove him right now. Arin gets Weapon:-1 on the deal, since the Grand Lady doesn’t trust that she could get to him in time to prevent him from mischief. Further, the Lady has Armor:2 against the attack, since she has a history of working against the White Court, but has nothing against Arin specifically. Arin rolls a +8 on the attack, and the Lady only gets a +4 on the defense. However, between the negative weapon rating and positive armor rating, the Lady only takes one stress. The Lady looks contemplative, and is willing to hear Arin out.

TGL: XOOO (THE GRAND LADY IS COMPLETELY UNFETTERED against Arin or Ricky, A SPINELESS SLEAZEBALL against Ricky)

Arin: OOOO +1 Mild
Ricky: OOO

The Lady goes next with her Great (+4) Empathy, and she goes immediately for a hard sell. She promises that if Arin and Ricky let her pass, she won’t string them up and flay them alive or something similar. She gets Weapon:0 on the deal: the Lady’s reputation for inflicting fates worse than death is pretty much on par with the White Queen’s, the latter of whom will be quite cross if Arin and Ricky let the Lady remove one of the Queen’s courtiers. Ricky has Armor:2 against the Lady, but Arin secretly has Armor:4 because the Grand Lady put Arin’s father on full display after publically feeding him his unmentionables, and Arin wants the Lady to suffer. In fact, the deal Arin offered is a lie designed to put the Lady into position to be backstabbed, but Jessie, the Lady’s player, doesn’t know this yet. The Lady rolls a total of +5 on the Intimidation attempt, and tags her COMPLETELY UNFETTERED aspect to give the attack a +2 against everyone, and tags a SPINELESS SLEAZEBALL to give it a further +2 against Ricky. The Lady gets a total of +7 to attack Arin, and a total of +9 to attack Ricky. Arin rolls a total of Legendary  (+8) on her Discipline defense and takes no stress, but Ricky rolls a -1 on the dice. With his Great Discipline, that makes his defense roll 3. Combined with his Armor:2, he takes 4 stress, just beyond his stress track, and he isn’t important enough to take a consequence. He’s taken out, and Jess decides he’s too intimidated to try to put up a resistance. The DM decides that this manifests as him going quiet: he’s still observing the deal making, but he’s too scared to participate, and will go along with whatever the Lady says if Arin relents.

Ricky with his Fair (+2) Empathy would go next, but he’s taken out.

TGL: XOOO (THE GRAND LADY IS COMPLETELY UNFETTERED against Arin or Ricky (tagged), A SPINELESS SLEAZEBALL against Ricky (tagged and doesn’t matter anymore))

Arin: OOOO +1 Mild
Ricky: OOO (Taken Out)

Arin decides to go for a maneuver instead, and decides to suggest to the Lady that she RESPECTS THE LADY’S PHILOSOPHY. This is a total lie, and the Lady rolls her Empathy to defend, since it’s higher than her Rapport anyway. But Arin totally fumbles the roll with a -4 on the dice for a total of Fair (+2), and The Grand Lady’s Great (+4) Empathy sees through the lie easily. The DM describes to Jess that the Lady suddenly sees the resemblance between Arin and Joe Skavis, a prior arc villain the Lady tortured to death in front of God and everybody. The Lady seeing through this ruse redefines her understanding of her relationship with Arin, and her armor goes up to Armor:3 against deals Arin makes.

The Lady attempts to sweeten the pot against Arin, but her offering of a more diplomatic deal falls flat: the Lady’s Rapport score is pretty crappy.

Arin then changes tracks. She makes clear to the Lady that they WILL settle accounts some day, but for right now, she has the sword Chris Hunter used during The Last Stand Of The Physician. Such a symbol of courage would make a potent weapon against one of the Malvora, but unfortunately for TGL, Arin’s deal is a load of garbage: the sword is actually one forged from a piece of metal Arin’s warlock friend has another piece of, and Arin wants to shove a whole bunch of thaumaturgy the Lady’s way. Further, Arin rolls perfectly, and gets a Incredible (+10) roll with a Weapon:1 attack. The Grand Lady’s defense is Good (+3) because she rolls a -1, but she has Armor:3. Jess suspects something is up, so to take the 5 stress coming the Lady’s way, she has TGL take the mild social consequence TOLERANCE FROM A VICTIM?

TGL: XOXO (THE GRAND LADY IS COMPLETELY UNFETTERED against Arin or Ricky (tagged), A SPINELESS SLEAZEBALL against Ricky (tagged and doesn’t matter anymore))
Mild consequence: TOLERANCE FROM A VICTIM?

Arin: OOOO +1 Mild
Ricky: OOO (Taken Out)

Jess is sick and tired of this social combat, and so TGL offers that she’ll take the sword and safe passage, and in return, promises a favor and won’t send Arin to join Joe Skavis. The deal is Weapon:4, unbeknownst to Jess: Arin is reasonably positive that she can spin sending a nasty ritual the Lady’s way after TGL kills Xavier as getting vengeance to the White Queen, and she will be quite happy to be rid of Xavier and TGL at the same time, or get the Lady to do Arin a favor if the death ritual fails. The Lady rolls a Legendary (+8) Intimidation roll, and Arin rolls badly on her defense and, even with Armor:4, ends up with more stress than her track, and she elects not to take consequences. The GM describes Arin as coolly handing the sword to the Lady and stepping out of her way. The Lady may have won the battle, but that doesn’t appear to mean that she’s won the war...


TGL: XOXO
Mild consequence: TOLERANCE FROM A VICTIM?
Arin: OOOO +1 Mild (Taken Out)
Ricky: OOO (Taken Out)
"Doc"

"Daniel Thresh"

"Alice Grace"

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Pirates!

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Offline g33k

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Re: Social Combat Armor and Weapons
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2019, 09:15:11 PM »
... This ends up being more a consequence of social combat than an actual aim (literally). In real life scenarios, it’s rare that you simply set out to ruin someone for the sake of it: you’re usually trying to get something out of it. “Deal” is something that should be applied very broadly. “Give me this or your reputation will suffer” is a valid deal ... 

I think you dismissed the prior query a bit too quickly.

Sometimes, social "combat" is really often about social standing, which involves other people (witnesses/observers) as much (or even more than) the "combatants."  If Jill and Jane are cool people, trying to out-cool each other, then if either one can get observers to laugh at the other, or otherwise express not-cool, that's a big hit, even if the "attack" didn't (of itself) ruffle the other's "cool."

If Lara Raith and John Marcone are negotiating at the table in Peace Talks, and one of them reveals evidence that the other has failed to fulfill a deal, they've inflicted a grave "social wound" on their opponent, which will affect 3rd parties more than the deal at hand.  This "wound" will last for a long time, in having people less willing to take their word as good.

Etc.

Offline narphoenix

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Re: Social Combat Armor and Weapons
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2019, 01:55:41 AM »
I think you dismissed the prior query a bit too quickly.

Sometimes, social "combat" is really often about social standing, which involves other people (witnesses/observers) as much (or even more than) the "combatants."  If Jill and Jane are cool people, trying to out-cool each other, then if either one can get observers to laugh at the other, or otherwise express not-cool, that's a big hit, even if the "attack" didn't (of itself) ruffle the other's "cool."

This is easily reflected via maneuvering to place aspects, or else taking social consequences. But social combat isn't focused on making your opponent look bad. Think about times when you've had a social interaction where it feels like a conflict in real life. Are you trying to make the person you're talking to look bad, or are you focused on trying to get them to do something, even if there's a crowd around?

Quote
If Lara Raith and John Marcone are negotiating at the table in Peace Talks, and one of them reveals evidence that the other has failed to fulfill a deal, they've inflicted a grave "social wound" on their opponent, which will affect 3rd parties more than the deal at hand.  This "wound" will last for a long time, in having people less willing to take their word as good.

Etc.

Perhaps I was unclear. Consequences can reflect all sorts of negative social standing, or else an altered mood (though not an altered psychology, which is the domain of mental combat: the difference is that mental combat threatens change who are as a person, inflicting long lasting mental illness or abrogating your free will in the extreme cases, while social combat can put you in a bad mood or make you more pleasant to deal with for a while). If Lara Raith is trying to ruin John Marcone's reputation, she's doing it to accomplish something, not for the lulz.

Though, this does have some merit, it can be solved within the rules: if each of them is trying to convince a third party to do business with them instead of the other one, you are correct that they should be in combat with each other more than the third party. If the third party is definitely going to end up making a deal with one of them to the point where there is no drama, then the real centerpiece of the conflict is each of them trying to convince the other to go away. If they're both trying to make a deal with a third party who may be reluctant to deal with either of them, then that's social combat with three sides. Lara producing something to ruin Marcone's reputation may end up having knock on effects, or it may not if Marcone manages to defend against the maneuver or attack: the severity of those effects depends on how high Lara rolls and how well Marcone defends.
"Doc"

"Daniel Thresh"

"Alice Grace"

GMing:

Pirates!

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