Sunday, December 6, 2009

Play Example: Social Conflict Results

In following with the previous post, below is the write up (cleaned up to remove in-jokes and Princess Bride lines) for how the social conflict about two kings and a mutual defense pact broke down.

The King of New Balos believes the two kingdoms should merely sign a non-aggression pact, so as to focus on the larger issues. The Lord of the River Cities believes forming an active alliance is required.

In this case it is a major issue so each side needs to gain 25 influences to convince the other. Neither parties suggestion violates a moral or survival concern of the other, so there are no modifiers to required influence.

Round 1.)

The King and Lord select what they will do this round, and reveal after both have chosen Tone, Appeal and Maneuver.

The King decides to choose a heated (passionate) tone , while the Lord chooses an academic tone. This means the King can score epic failures and successes easily, while the Lord cannot suffer or score any form of epic victory.

The King makes an appeal to emotion while the Lord makes an appeal to Logic.

The King is part bard, but did not choose the debate skill, so he has only standard maneuvers. He chooses "Refute" (Always a defense roll, Appeal roll only if you have momentum). The Lord decides to choose "Interject" (Always an appeal roll, a defense roll only if you have momentum)

Now they roll for Momentum in this round of discussions. (Awareness Die + Social Mod + Intelligence Exceptional Mod)

The King rolls a d10+1 for a 6
The Lord rolls a d8 for a 7

The Lord has momentum in this round of negotiation. The Lord launches his appeal,

"A shadow of the Talon greatly overshadows us as it is, and those who stand against the Talon see us as a resource to aid in their own prevention, our only hope is to form a unified defense."

This is a rational statement (+2), its an appeal to Logic so the Intelligence mod of +1 is used, and it incorporates the skills "Current Politics" (+2). The Lord has a Presence of 4, this totals +9. the Lord rolls a d20+9 for a 21.

The king refutes:

"Your lands are but a herd of peasants and merchants, without a strong army or fortress between then, a unified defense merely means I protect your holdings at the expense of my own. A cost I cannot afford"

This is a rational statement (+2), its a refute so intelligence modifier is used (+0), and incorporates the skills of "Military Logistics" and "Fortification" (+2 each). The King has a Presence of 2, for a total of 8. The King rolls an 11 +8 for a 19. Thus the King has been given pause for thought by the Lords words.

The Lord sees how much influence he scored, this was an appeal to logic so The Lord rolls an intelligence die (d8). If the King had an exceptional intelligence score he would take less damage (or more if it was exceptionally bad). The Lord rolls a 5.

The Lord has thus scored 5/25, while the King has scored 0/25.


Round 2.

The King chooses again to be heated, and to use an appeal to emotion, this time with an Interject.

The Lord chooses to use a Humourous tone (Nobody can score epic successes, you can still suffer an epic failure as per normal), to use an appeal to Logic and a Statement (you score double influence but get no defence roll).


The Lord rolled a d8 for 4 and the King a d10 +1 for 3.

The Lord begins:

"Balos is a god of war, I guess I assumed you would be happy to ride to war if the Talon attacked instead of holing up in your swamp with a non-aggression pact"

This is a damn good argument (+5), it also brings in the Lords Skill in Religion (+2), as an appeal to logic the Lord adds his +1 intelligence modifier and 4 Presence. The Lord rolls a 16 + 12 for a 28. The King is interjecting and lost momentum, thus the King has no rebuttal as he is busy interjecting with his own point. The Lord is making a statement so he scores double influence. 6 x 2, 12 additional influence is score.

The King has interjected with his own point, while trying to ignore the good sense the Lord is making :

"You have a strong reputation for treachery, you have slain the mayors of several of the towns you now run while in their employ, I have no assurances you would come to MY aid."

A solid argument (+2) that uses his "Military history" skill (+2) and his Presence of 2, and social mod of 1 for a total of 7.

The King rolls a 16 + 7, this would have been an epic success when using heated tone, but as the Lord used a humourous tone, no epic success can be scored. A humourous tone is thus useful against heated opponents, but self destructive against an academic tone. As the Lord has no defense roll (he made a statement) the King rolls a d8 (his social die) and scores 3 influence.


So the king has score 3/25 influence while the Lord has scored 17/25, the king needs to make up ground. He decides to throw in a favour to score influence. Between rounds.

He will send his captain of the guard and several instructors to help the lord train an army, to revisit talk of an alliance after the Lord has a suitable military to contribute. This is an issue of minor import, and the offer is worth 7 influence. The King now stands at 10/25 Influence.

Round 3.

The King goes for a heated debate, an appeal to emotion and a refute.
The Lord goes for a heated debate, an appeal to logic and talking points. Talking points allow two appeals, but each with a penalty, it also does not allow a defense roll.

Momentum is rolled.

The king rolls a d10 + 1 , for a 7.
The Lord rolls a d8, for a 3.

The King begins.

"Without a suitable host of warriors under your command, it is fairly pointless for me to risk it all defending you, arm yourself first"

This is a weak argument, but it was something (+1), its an appeal to emotion (+1), and there is a presence of 2, rolling a d20 +4 the king gets 22, which is also an epic success. The Lord is issuing talking points, so he has no defense.

The King rolls a 7, x2 is 14 points. Ouch.

The Lord, sensing he is about to be dismissed by the King and his dreams of an alliance dashed, lashes out in a series of poorly backed talking points.

"Let me break this down for you, One, your kingdom is a squalid dump in a swamp facing down the Talon Empire, you need all the help you can get to even avoid starvation. and TWO, I bear with me the power to tap into the arcane powers and grant use those advantages we may need against superior numbers".

For the first appeal, the Lord suffers -5 for a talking point, +2 for a solid point and +2 for his "Economics" skill, +1 for his intelligence modifier and +4 for presence. The lord rolls a d20+4 for a 13.

For the second talking point the lord suffers -5 for talking point, +0 for a flaky and vague point, +2 for the "spellcraft" skill, +1 for intelligence and +4 for presence. The lord rolls a d20+2 for a 9.

The King refutes:

"In the long run we may need butter , but for now we must focus on swords. I doubt your dabbling in the black arts will bring us boon as much as bane".

The King's first refute has +2 for a solid point, +2 for presence. A d20 + 4, 14. He brushes aside the notion that his kingdom is not somehow self-sufficient. Against the black arts he gains +1 for a somewhat rational point, and +2 for his presence. 3 + 3, he fails to refute the notions of the power of the black arts. Somewhere deep in his mind his irrational fear and wonder of magic has begun to influence his decisions.

The Lord rolls an intelligence die to score influence 1. Unimpressed (And worried) the player burns two fate points and finally rolls an 8.

The Lord thus scores 25/25 influence, while the King has scored 24/25 required influence. The King has been convinced, though he had his doubts up until the end. He may still claim "Stubborn Refusal" and refuse to form this alliance, resulting in his own penalties to luck and destiny points..but why would he? He does need SOME kind of defense agreement in place after all.

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