The Secret Lives of Heroes
Social conflict works similar to combat, but instead of weapons and brawls, its participants use words and intellect to get the opposition to act in a manner they desire. Social Conflict can even occur during standard combat.
The participants in a social conflict roll for initiative (if they are not already in initiative) as normal. At anytime during a round, a participant may use a new action, the Social Action.
A Social action occurs throughout a round, and is used to engage in Social Conflict. You can perform one Social action per turn without affecting your ability to perform other actions, and it can be performed at any time — even if it’s not your turn. In that regard, a Social action is like a free action. However, you can perform only a single Social action per turn, regardless of what other actions you take. You can take a Social action any time you would normally be allowed to take a free action. As a Social Action involves conveying a message, you must be able to do so to take a Social Action; for instance, if you are in a cone of silence, you may not use a Social Action to convey a message using speech.
A Social Action uses one of the following skills:
Animal Ken (to be used on Animals and Magical Beasts only)
Like combat, in a Social Conflict you must select a target. You then convey an action you wish the target to take. Doing so must take 6 seconds or less on your part (see Taking Longer and Taking your time, below, if your message takes more time). You roll using a skill that matches the action you wish the target to take or method of communication you used to convey the message (GM’s choice if this matches multiple skills). This roll is made against the target’s Conviction. If the requested action is with a target’s positive Attitudes or Allegiances, or their negative attitudes you may gain a bonus to the roll:
|Attitude or Allegiance||Bonus|
|Adore it, Despise it, Most Important||+5|
|Love it, Hate it, Important||+3|
|Like it, Dislike it, Least Important||+1|
If the requested action is in with a target’s positive Attitudes or Allegiances, or is with their negative attitudes, you may gain a penalty to the roll:
|Attitude or Allegiance||Bonus|
|Adore it, Despise it, Most Important||-5|
|Love it, Hate it, Important||-3|
|Like it, Dislike it, Least Important||-1|
Additionally, you need to take into consideration the target’s attitude towards you, known as their personal attitude.
Additionally, requests that require the target to physically harm themselves or their allies and loved ones (GM’s call) are made at a Disadvantage.
If you are successful, the target has two choices. They can either take the action you requested to the best of their ability when they can act, or, they can take Bliss damage. Please note that the target can interpret your request any way they like; while targets whom take actions that have little to nothing to do with the request take damage, those who genuinely do not understand or who make it seem like they’ve complied do not. As this can be tricky to interpret, GMs have final say.
Dealing Bliss Damage
You deal an amount of damage to a target’s Bliss equal to:
(Your Influence + the number of Thresholds you beat the target’s Conviction by) – The target’s Bliss Soak
If you beat a target’s Bliss score to 0 or less, they gain the Distressed Condition.
Critical successes (A roll of natural 20) deals double damage. Critical failures (A roll of natural 1) instead mean that you trip up with your message, and you instead deal the damage to yourself.
If you are trying to convey a message that takes longer than 6 seconds to convey, you may take your next turn’s Social Action to convey it, and the turn after that if it take longer than 12, etc. You take a -2 for every round after the first it takes to convey the message, as your request is clearly complicated or badly conveyed, and you roll on the round when you finish have conveying your message. However…
Taking your time
You can also deliberately take your time when conveying your message. When you take your time and emphasize your message, you gain a bonus based on how long you take. Keep in mind that your target can always leave you before you’ve had a chance to convey the message, so giving them a reason to hear you out from the onset may be a good idea. You may not take any other Social actions while Taking your time.
|Additional amount of time||Bonus|
Without proper training, it is very difficult to influence a group of people. However, it is not impossible. When targeting a group, the DC is equal to the highest Conviction in the group + (2 x the total HD of the group). Each individual in the group is treated as having the highest Bliss Soak in the group. Lastly, individuals in the group can opt to take Bliss damage or carry out your request. Also keep in mind that you cannot dictate an individual’s actions; you must make the exact same request for the entire group.
You can attempt to change a target’s Attitude or Allegiance, increasing it or decreasing it one step. To do so, you simply double the modifier that the Attitude grants. If succeed, you increase or decrease the subject’s attitude for a period of time according to the chart below.
|Thresholds Achieved||Length Conversion lasts|
Gift aka Bribe Giving a target of Social Conflict can gain you a bonus to your check. It should be noted that a gift doesn’t always go well with certain situations (GM’s decision). The gift’s Wealth check DC value that you must roll against to afford is equal to: Gift Level x (Target’s Level + Target’s Wis Mod). See the chart below for gift levels and the bonus they bestow.