Author Topic: World of Darkness: Social feats  (Read 210 times)

Offline Coeus

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World of Darkness: Social feats
« on: April 13, 2020, 00:38:01 AM »

"Money is the McMansion in Sarasota that starts falling apart after years. Power is the old stone building that lasts for centuries." Frank Underwood

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. In VWH-RP, that player is you! Ever since the dawn of roleplaying games, players have thought of social characters, working hard towards the most optimized and infallible character sheets. The term ‘social char’ describes a character who can alter reality to his will and create wonderous Machiavellian schemes with intrigue and deception. This guide serves as a guideline for the mechanics and system to aid social interaction into the mix and gives insight into the procedure.

  • The Golden rule: The character and the player, dice vs skill

    Let’s address the elephant in the room when it comes to social roleplay and interaction, not all players are equal. It varies from player to player; some are more eloquent and expressive in their interactions and roleplay than others.

    Some are just starting out and still finding their tempo, to put it frankly some players are better at getting their point across than others. Some players don’t even try, they just get all ridiculous and let the dice do their talking for them.

    For the player is the character and the character is the player and while good effort and roleplay are really appreciated from the player and to an extent expected from them, dice is vital to core gameplay aspect as well and that harmony is what we strike for in VWH, a healthy mix of roleplay and dice mechanics and vice versa.

    To simplify the balance between Roleplay & Dice, when you can’t act out your character’s deeds – when he’s more eloquent than you when she’s much manipulative than you when someone lies or charms an audience with ease – then it’s time for dice to help tell the tale.

  • Social feats

    These systems cover tasks involving the three Social Attributes (Charisma, Manipulation, Appearance). As always, these systems are merely guidelines. While there are times when a player’s abilities cannot match her character’s, the Storyteller may ignore Social systems when a player exhibits particularly good —or excruciatingly bad —roleplaying.

    As noted above, assume difficulty 6 for any feat attempts unless a description states otherwise. Many social situations progress best through roleplaying, so you’re encouraged to avoid rolling dice if you can. Act them out instead.

    • Credibility [Manipulation/Perception + Subterfuge | Intelligence + Empathy]

      Credibility applies when trust is in question.
      In-game terms, it’s used most often when trying to perpetrate or uncover a scam (e.g., impersonating someone in authority, looking for forged documents).


      The perpetrator rolls Manipulation + Subterfuge in a resisted action against the subject’s Perception + Subterfuge or Intelligence + Empathy. Credentials or other documentation may add to the difficulty of anyone trying to detect deception; conversely, teamwork may be used to scrutinize a claim.

      The difficulty is typically 7 (check the note below). The Storyteller may also call for hacking and/or intrusion rolls to support claims of credibility. If the perpetrator gets more successes, she is considered credible and is treated accordingly. On a tie, the subject recognizes the perpetrator’s credibility grudgingly but may keep a close eye on her.
      If the subject gets more successes, the perpetrator’s effort fails but the subject is not necessarily alarmed; the perpetrator may try to withdraw without drawing further attention to herself. If the perpetrator botches, she is caught in a lie and draws significant unwanted attention. If the subject botches, he believes wholeheartedly in the perpetrator’s claims despite any subsequent evidence to the contrary.

      Spoiler for Notice!:
      ! Note: Circumstances may raise or lower that difficulty, though: a known or otherwise trustworthy friend would have a lower difficulty, while one known for trickery would face a higher one. If your character really is telling the truth, the Storyteller may drop the difficulty by one to three levels. Don’t blow this roll, however. If you do, no one believes your character even if he is being truthful this time.

    • Carousing / Socialize [Charisma + Empathy]

      You’re the lift of the party, able to make others relax and have fun. This might include showing a potential ally a good time, loosening an informant’s tongue, or making instant drinking buddies who come to your aid when a brawl starts.

      The player rolls Charisma + Empathy. The difficulty is typically 6 (most people can be persuaded to loosen up, regardless of intellect or will), though it might be higher in the case of large (or surly) groups. Certain Natures (Bon Vivant, Curmudgeon) can also influence the roll’s difficulty. On a botch, your character comes off as an obnoxious boor, or people begin to question why your character is trying so hard to impress.

    • Fast-Talk [Manipulation + Subterfuge]

      When there’s no time for subtlety, baffle them with nonsense. Fast-talking is a resisted action that pits your character.


      The player rolls Manipulation + Subterfuge against the target’s Wits + Subterfuge. If you get more successes, a series of almost-believable half-truths browbeats the subject into accommodating you. On a tie, you can continue babbling the next turn (or simply walk away before the target gets wise to your chicanery). If the target gets more successes, he grows wary, resulting in a +1 difficulty to any fast-talk attempt you make next turn. On a botch, your character’s rambling goes too far, angering the target and making him immune to any further fast-talk attempts.

    • Facedown (Changing Breeds) [Charisma + Intimidation / Rage]

      Animals resolve most disputes with intimidating glares. Werewolves often assert dominance in the same way. In a facedown, two characters stare each other down. The first one to look away loses… at least for the moment.


      Each participant rolls Charisma + Intimidation or their Rage rating (whichever dice pool is higher). The difficulty is equal to the target’s Willpower. The goal is to accumulate enough successes to equal or exceed your target’s Wits + 5. The opponent can spend a point of Willpower each turn in order to keep glaring.

      Sooner or later, though, someone will break and the other will win. A character whose Rage dice pool is higher than his Charisma + Intimidation pool must use Rage instead — a dangerous proposition, considering that a werewolf who scores more than three successes in a single roll goes into frenzy and attacks… at which point it’s a good idea to have packmates nearby to break up the fight. If two werewolves of different rank enter a facedown challenge, the difficulty for the lower-ranking Garou rises by one for every two ranks of superiority the higher-ranking werewolf has.

      Regardless of rank, the loser of a facedown challenge also loses one point of temporary Glory Renown; a Garou who loses a challenge with a markedly inferior werewolf — say, a Rank 4 Storm Lord losing to a Rank 1 Bone Gnawer — may well lose two or three temporary Glory instead.

    • Interrogate [Manipulation + Empathy/Intimidation/Subterfuge]

      Asking questions is easy. Getting the right answers takes talent. When interrogating, your character asks questions with leverage, Interrogating someone peacefully involves making strategic inquiries designed to reveal specific information (Empathy) or by simply tricking the subject into revealing information (Subterfuge).


      • Empathy approach :

        This requires a resisted action. Roll Manipulation + Empathy, whereas the target gets a dice pool equal to his Willpower, both versus a difficulty of 6. The one with more successes prevails. The Storyteller may also request multiple rolls throughout the course of an interrogation, or he may simply have opponents roll once at the beginning or end of it all.

      • Intimidation approach :

        This approach involves a resisted roll as well. Whether his character uses torture of the body or the mind, the interrogator’s player rolls Manipulation + Intimidation, and the subject rolls a dice pool equal to her Stamina + 3 or Willpower (whichever is higher). The difficulty is 6 for both.

        Torture may also be treated as a combination of resisted and extended actions. The in-game time between rolls may vary, depending on the nature of the interrogation.

        The Storyteller determines how much time passes. The victim suffers one health level, bashing or lethal, for every roll the interrogator’s player makes during serious physical torture (whether the interrogator is successful in gaining information or not), or he loses one Willpower per roll of mental torture.

      • The Rage way ( Garou & changing breed exclusive )

        Assuming the werewolf’s Willpower is higher than his Rage — a Rage roll (to scare the crap out of the victim).

      Whatever the interrogation method used, if you roll more successes in the resisted action, the target divulges additional information for each extra success rolled. If your extra successes exceed the victim’s permanent Willpower rating, she folds completely and reveals everything she knows. The extent and relevance of shared information are up to the Storyteller (details are often skewed to reflect what the subject knows or by what she thinks her interrogator wants to hear).

    • Intimidation  [Strength/ Manipulation + Intimidation]

      Intimidation has a passive and active side.  Your character can intimidate through subtle menace or outright threat.


      • Passive

        Passive intimidation is used when your character’s presence alone causes people to give him a wide berth or provide whatever he requests. The higher your character’s Intimidation trait, the more people try to avoid annoying him. No roll is required.

      • Active

        Your character can also use Intimidation to actively coerce someone into doing something — or not doing something. This effort can be a glare, a snarled threat or a gesture, but the threat is evident. In this case, roll Manipulation + Intimidation as in a resisted action.

        Your opponent rolls her Willpower rating. Both roll against difficulty 6 and each success by the opponent subtracts from your character’s successes. Your character must exceed the target's Willpower so his or her character bends to your will. If you botch, your character only embarrasses himself or seems full of hot air. A character could forgo threats and physically manhandle the target to intimidate her.

        Roll for a physical attack according to the combat rules, then roll Strength + Intimidation

    • Impersonation [Charisma + Expression / Manipulation + Subterfuge]

      Your character is someone who imitates or copies the behavior or actions of another. There are many reasons for impersonating someone: Entertainment: An entertainer impersonates a celebrity, generally for entertainment, and makes fun of their personal lives, recent scandals, and known behavior patterns.


      Roll Charisma + Expression Difficulty 8 to effectively take on the same appearance as the person being impersonated. If the character needs to interact with persons who know the target that’s being impersonated then a Manipulation + Subterfuge roll is required.

      The Difficulty is based on the level of familiarity that the observer has with the person being impersonated. If failed, then the character rolls Manipulation + Subterfuge again in a resisted roll vs the observer's Perception + Alertness, both Difficulty 6.

      If this is failed, then the character is discovered. Further, if a character does a good job role-playing the impersonation, then it’s appropriate to give them a slight Difficulty adjustment for the good RP. Likewise, if the RP is poorly played, it should be possible also adjust the Difficulty to reflect that. Possible Secondary Abilities: Acting, Disguise, Mimicry.

    • Oration [Charisma + Leadership]

      Many situations call for a character to make a speech, from convincing a cult to accept you as its master to convincing the public that a politician is corrupt.


      To reflect a character with oratory skills, you might simply describe the nature of your character’s speech and then roll Charisma + Expression, Leadership, or Performance, depending on what he’s trying to say and how he’s trying to say it usually versus a difficulty of 6.

      The Storyteller may increase or decrease the difficulty based on how receptive the audience is to the ideas expressed. If you fail your roll, the crowd rejects the character’s ideas. If you botch, your character may damage her reputation severely, or the crowd may even decide to swarm her.

      In the event that your character has time to prepare a speech in advance, the Storyteller may roll the character’s Intelligence + Expression (difficulty 7) on your behalf. Success on this roll reduces the difficulty of the upcoming Charisma + Leadership roll by one. Failure changes nothing; a botch indicates the material is inappropriate or offensive to the listeners.

    • Performance [Charisma + Performance]

      Dance, music, acting, and other sorts of dramatic arts. The Attribute depends on what your character’s doing and how she’s doing it. Is she impressing folks with a force of personality? Roll Charisma. Employing social grace? Use Manipulation. Raw beauty? Then Appearance will do fine.

      Roll Charisma + Expression when your character strives to entertain an audience (singing, acting, reciting a monologue, doing improv, etc.).

      Spoiler for Note on Performance and Oration:
      When appearing before an audience, your character gets only one chance to succeed: A single roll represents her entire oration or performance. The Storyteller may increase the standard difficulty depending on the audience’s mood (cynical, drunk, hostile, composed entirely of enemies) and/or environmental factors (huge crowd, poor acoustics, inclement weather, other activities occurring nearby). The number of successes indicates how compelling your character’s effort was and how well she impressed the audience.

      On a failed roll, your character doesn’t capture the audience’s attention and support (your speech rambled, you sang off-key). On a botch, your character damages her reputation, causes some mishap, or riles the crowd into outright antagonism toward her.

    • Persuading [Charisma+ Expression (Honest) / Manipulation+ Expression(grey)]

      Your character can Persuasion can attempt to influence a person's beliefs, attitudes, intentions, motivations, or behaviours to fit his agenda.


      Roll Charisma + Expression against the Target’s willpower if the character is speaking from his heart and truly believes in what he’s preaching. 
      If he spits whatever facts or belief, he’s trying to preach without truly showing the fire in it, he needs to roll Manipulation + Expression against the victim’s Perception + Subterfuge.

      Note; People can only be convinced of so much and even being convinced by a said argument doesn’t mean they’d change their course of action in all cases, keep that in mind.

    • Seduction [Variable]

      Seducing is a contrived means of becoming intimate with someone; your character plans each step and does not share any real emotion. The particular situation and style of seduction determines which Traits are used.


      Seduction is an involved process requiring several different rolls:

      • Approach/Opening Line:

        First, roll your character’s Appearance + Subterfuge versus a difficulty equal to the subject’s Wits + 4. Each success beyond the first adds one die to your character’s dice pool for the next step. Failure means the subject isn’t interested.

      • Witty Repartee:

        Next, roll Wits + Subterfuge in a resisted action against the subject’s Intelligence + 4. Again, each success beyond the first adds one die to your dice pool for the final roll. Failure means the subject breaks off contact but may prove receptive at another time (you made a good first impression, after all).

      • Suggestive/Intimate Conversation:

        Finally, roll Charisma + Empathy versus a difficulty equal to the subject’s Perception + 4. Success means the subject is enamored with your character and agrees to accompany her elsewhere for more intimate (and physical) interaction. What happens next is best handled with roleplaying.

      Note: a subject being seduced may use his Subterfuge score instead of the +3 listed with each of the rolls above. A botch at any stage of seduction means the subject is disgusted or outraged by your crass moves.




« Last Edit: April 14, 2020, 18:01:43 PM by OldBen »