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20

D&D 4e has Skill Challenges whereby the group has to succeed at multiple skill checks (the number depending on the difficulty) before accumulating 3 failures. The choice of skills boils down to whatever the players can justify. The Essentials red box (spoilers ahead!) has a nice example in the prewritten adventure "Talking to the Dragon" which gives ...


18

Yes, why not! All Fate games are storytelling games, so all that you can or cannot do depends on whether you can form a coherent story around it that is consistent with what has come before. If you can form a plausible story around shaming a hitman enough to stop trying to kill you, I'd say you can do it. The hard part is getting there in the first place. ...


17

Yes, you can be damaged and Taken Out on any stress track A conflict in FATE is about opposing desires. While two or more desires are opposed and unfulfilled a conflict will continue. When the desires change so they are no longer opposed or one is fulfilled the conflict ends. Take the example of Hitman and Target in an open fight in a bar. Hitman's goal ...


14

Various systems have extended rules for social conflicts. For example: The Dying Earth RPG has a back-and-forth dice-rolling mechanic. I say something, I roll to see whether I convince you; you reply, you roll to see whether you convince me. Skulduggery uses the same mechanics. Burning Wheel's Duel of Wits mechanics frames social conflict similarly to ...


10

My group, at least does not handle social interactions this way. Instead of what you listed above, we usually do: PC: I want to parley with the ambassador of the neighboring kingdom, about sending troops to help against the invasion. GM: You go to the ambassador and he looks unconvinced. After all, there is [situation] in their country that is ...


9

Stalker0 developed the Obsidian skill challenge to address what he saw as faults with the D&D 4E skill challenge system. Here you have the thread and PDF at enworld (registration required). Quoting from the first page: Consider using the Obsidian System if you believe in the following: Players should always be included in skill challenges, ...


9

Repurposed from my comment here: I think the phrase "taken out" is the culprit in this. Although the phrase sounds like that, it does not mean that the target is knocked out cold or disabled in any other way. It just means that you get to tell the story about the target if you take it out. I think there would be a lot less confusion about this matter ...


7

There are a lot of games that treat non-combat actions with complexity and sophistication. As mentioned by others, some games have specific subsystems for noncombat conflicts, like Burning Wheel's Duel of Wits: A set of options like Point, Rebuttal, and Obfuscate, with the position you're arguing assigned a hitpoint total. Other games employ a universal ...


7

Do you know systems where non-combat parts of the game are covered more deeply by the rules, and are more sophisticated than only requiring one skill check? How are these situations handled? There are many games that do this; some are mentioned above. I'd also add to that list games where violent combat isn't even an option. Black and Green ...


7

Also you can check out A Song of Ice and Fire RPG as well as John Wick's Houses of the Blooded. Since I am a big fan of Wick's work, I advise the latter. It IS awesome. They are both beautiful about that kind of thing. The social combat system in SIFRP is equivalent to the physical combat system - in recognition of the fact that the books it's modeling have ...


7

One of my favourite mechanics is Burning Wheel's Duel of Wits - see a pdf that Luke makes available (direct link here). It's something like a reflavoured and tweaked version of its combat system, and the "social combat" aspect is interesting in and of itself, but there also are interesting differences. For instance, it's aimed at convincing everyone around ...


7

I'm afraid I'd have to disagree a little with RMorrisey. The traits exist to catch those players who are not as outgoing or skilled as their friends. Its great to reward a good bit of roleplaying with a modifier or simply with an automatic success, but don't do so without taking into account the numbers on the sheet and the dice. The quiet guy who rolled ...


6

A good GM will force the player to use both roleplaying social ability, and character stats, in combination. Neither the Shadowrun 4E core book, nor the Pathfinder book, seem to have a good write-up on this, so I'll try my own: The roleplaying should come first. It's a roleplaying game. If the character wants to do something, the player needs to make at ...


6

In 4.0 you could run a skills challenge. (@okeefe I was too slow looking up a link. :( ) In 3.5 you could use the given social skills like bluff, diplomacy, sense motive, etc. to create opposed rolls between characters. You could house rule your own system like Burning Wheel's Duel of Wits


6

Over the years, social management systems in games like this have often seemed weaker to me than other parts of a game. SoIFRP has a fairly robust system, though which I find if you treat it like combat can have good results no matter the disparity between 'levels' of the participants in an Intrigue. A key point I find useful to remember is that in most ...


5

Difficulty and Impossibility I think the core issue of most social interaction/combat systems is that they assume that everything is up for grabs. You can literally convince someone that black is white should you roll well enough. Work out the core-tenets of your NPCs - the things they just won't be shifted on no matter what. Then work out their other ...


5

"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 ...


5

In social combat, the initiator usually has a specific goal, such as; Persuade, deceive or seduce the opposition Extract some information Promote or discredit an idea Get the opposition to act in a certain way The opposition usually just tries to prevent that from happening, but they may have their own goals as well. Remember, a taken out result means ...


5

How about just using the same combat rules? F'r'ex, let's say that you're...oh, I don't know, trying to charm the merchant's wife so that you'll get a good deal on...I dunno, grain. MAGIC grain. If you're playing D&D, you might roll 1d20 + CHA mod, against 10 + her INT mod. A success lets you roll 1d6 (maybe 1d8 if you're a thief or bard) plus CHA or ...


5

There is overlap between social and mental stress but the books also make a distinction (Your Story page 216). Being able to attack the mental stress track is no small feat. The kind of abuse necessary to inflict this kind of damage on another person usually takes a great deal of time and energy, the result of established relationships going horribly ...


4

White wolf has a social combat system in Second edition Exalted. I don't know how closely this fits to what you want or whether it's too similar to the examples you posted in the question. I've never played it through, but I do know of people who do and like it's oddities compared to some other systems. To start it's a very literal conversion from Combat to ...


4

Burning Wheel and Burning Empires: Duel of Wits is a separate combat system focused on narrative handling of convincing a third party by the two opposed sides. It's fun, but very stylized. Mechanically, it's a redress of the combat system. Damage isnt wounds, but to a stat (disposition) generated by skill roll at start of conflict. Mouse Guard: One Conflict ...


4

I possess but have not read the scenario in question. However, I've run a good bit of DFRPG, so I think I'm in a position to answer. You won't have the lasting trauma that mental conflicts are supposed to depict unless the character took Consequences in the conflict. If they just succumb to the Mental Stress and run away from fear, especially if that ...


3

The title of the question is "Shame him into not shooting." Your first sentence is "If you insult the hitman enough, will he stop shooting at you?" Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Shooting a gun and hitting your target isn't as easy as most people think. And if you tease, taunt, and insult the shooter, they are going to become angry and loose their ...


3

It depends whether you are just talking about D&D or not. In most variants of D&D, combat is what most of the rules revolve around, with only complex skill checks or skill challenges providing more in depth meat to other activities (social, investigation, etc.) Some people prefer this and like handling those other things via player-GM interaction ...


2

I suspect that it's not just combat, but any physical action that needs to be systematised. So combat, jumping, climbing, craft skills, stuff like that; it's stuff the player can't do but the player can. Any time there's a mismatch, you have to create a system. Social and intellectual rolls can be mostly handled by players -- deduction, politics, argument, ...


2

System for social combat in Requiem for Rome is hardly first :-) There is a quite powerful system for social combat in Burning Wheel system (but I don't recommend it altogether, because Burning Wheel is quite complicated and doesn't seem playable). I have seen it also in polish games (Klanarchia, Wolsung and a additional rules for this in Monastyr). The ...


2

Apocalypse World has to be one of my favorite games for mechanizing social situations (and rewarding/incentivizing in-character social machinations that are fully role-played out). All character classes can roll for a basic set of social conflicts--and different kinds of social interaction are broken into separate kinds of rolls. For example, attempting to ...


2

SpyCraft 2nd Ed. has the notion of Dramatic Conflicts - story-critical non-combat situations that you don't want to risk on just one roll of the dice. They work through the concepts of Lead, Predator and Prey - for every round of the conflict, the Predator tries to reduce the Lead to 0, while the Prey tries to increase it to 10. Each round, both participants ...



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