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I've been attempting unsuccessfully, or at the very least unsatisfactorily, to integrate social conflict into my Dresden Files campaign. It came to a head last night, when one of my players initiated it, and I didn't feel good about the flow of the combat.

During the combat in question, the player made a deceit roll, and inflicted a consequence against the NPC from the lie. That part worked, as that was an action. The fact that the lie inflicted a consequence was a bit offputting until I broadened my view of the aspects that it could represent.

Then NPC asked an unexpected question- not as an offensive attempt, but just asking a question, but I counted it as his offense because I couldn't think of another way to represent the exchange.

Can innocuous/unconscious efforts be considered offensive for the purpose of social exchanges?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

"Offensive" in any kind of combat in the FATE system is a meta-game concept. The character does not have to deliberately attack. The player decides if the next action is offensive, and even if the character is unaware of this fact, it is offensive.

A social combat example would be lovers hurting each other without intending to, and gaining the upper hand in the relationship as a result. The player is aware, the character is not, but the result is no different than a deliberate attack.

This also may have a physical combat equivalent. A player may declare that his character is "accidentally" shooting someone. It is resolved as a normal attack, and the only difference is story-wise. The story is not the character pretending to shoot accidentally. If successful, the character has genuinely shot someone accidentally.

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