Compendium Preview #4 – Social Conflicts
As players of The Dark Eye know all too well, the world of Aventuria can be very dangerous, even for a skilled combatant. Often, the more prudent path involves negotiation, manipulation, or outright lies. The Aventuria Compendium has a plethora of new rules for characters who prefer this kind of approach to difficult situations.
The skills section contains a variety of new applications for all the social skills: Disguise, Empathy, Etiquette, Fast-Talk, Intimidation, Persuasion, Seduction, Streetwise, and Willpower. Each application contains a description of when the hero might use it, an explanation of how it works mechanically, and a scale for situational modifiers.
For example, Manipulation is an application of Fast-Talk, and is described this way:
Clever characters can manipulate other people to carry out acts they never intended. Schemers are particularly good at knowing when they can take advantage of someone. Ideally, victims should never even suspect they were manipulated. Manipulation can also directly influence someone’s opinion.
Check: This is a competitive check using Fast-Talk (Manipulation) against Willpower (Resist Fast-Talk), although Empathy (Sense Deception or Discern Motivation) could also serve, depending on the situation.
And the Compendium then provides the following play example:
Example: Rowena has often used others for her purposes, and today she tries to influence a knight named Kunislaus of Andrastone. At breakfast, she tells him about some rumors she heard. She describes the knight’s neighbor, Wenzelausia of Gristhome, as a slave driver (this is true) and implies that she insulted Kunislaus, albeit indirectly. The GM decides that Rowena’s player should make a check on Fast-Talk (Manipulation) to determine if her ruse succeeds. The GM makes a check on Willpower (Resist Fast-Talk). Rowena wins with 2 QL to 1. The knight now ponders how he should respond to Wenzelausia’s insult.
These checks are relatively quick, but there may be situations where the players and gamemaster decide they want to engage in a more extended social challenge. Perhaps the heroes are trying to influence a noble towards making a specific political or financial decision, so they employ their skills repeatedly over time.
In this case, the Social Conflict rules come into play. The Compendium describes rules for gradually affecting a target’s attitude and convincing them to take specific actions. Possible scenarios include inciting a crowd, beguiling a guard, and more!
If you want more from your fantasy gaming, the Aventuria Compendium offers roleplaying options far beyond simple combat. Launching on Kickstarter this Friday, November 17th!