Social System

Discussion on playing Earthdawn. Experiences, stories, and questions related to being a player.
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Social System

Post by Slimcreeper » Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:56 pm

I was listening to an ED podcast and noticed a common tragedy: the widespread handwaving of the social conflict resolution system. It's pretty robust and not intrusive, but it is scattered over multiple books. So I made a bit of a cheat sheet. What did I miss?

Social System
Conversation: Improve the Attitude of a group for days.
Diplomacy: Improves the Attitude of a negotiator towards his/er opponents.
Emotion Song: Bonus to Interaction Tests vs a group. Sustained Action.
Empathic Sense: Bonus to interaction tests vs individual.
Etiquette: Improve Attitude of a group for days.
First Impression: Improve Attitude of one person for days
Hypnotize: Improve Attitude of individual, allows non-verbal conversation & requesting favors. Duration of hours.
Impressive Display: Bonus to Interaction Tests vs individual for hours
Lasting Impression: Bonus to Interaction Tests vs group for week
Leadership: Convinces GMCs to follow character’s lead for a time (several minutes or up to days)
Resist Taunt: Basically Avoid Blow vs social talents/skills and Interaction Tests.
Slough Blame: Redirect Blame for minutes
Winning Smile: Bonus to Interaction test vs Individual for hours.

Bribery: For buying Favors.
Flirting: Increases target’s interest in character - doesn’t necessarily improve Attitude! Sustained
Seduction: Improves Attitude of individual, possibly permanently. Sustained.

Interaction Tests
Make an Impression: Improve Attitude of Individual for 1 day.
Deceit: Lying.
Insight: Detect emotional state or deceit.
Intimidation: Force an action, but only while supervised.
Favors: Convincing individual to do something for the character. Number of successes required depends on the target’s Attitude, kind of Favor and Favor economy.

Actually Getting Someone to Do Something for You
Requires a Favors roll (most common, basic Charisma), Intimidation, Bribery, Leadership, or Hypnotism. Or I guess Seduction, but that one's pretty specific ;). Most social abilities require more than one success to be really useful. It is a really good idea to stack more than one and manipulate the Attitude before you make any Interaction Tests, and be prepared to have Bribery in your back pocket.

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Re: Social System

Post by Slimcreeper » Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:01 pm

PS: I never noticed that Flirting doesn't improve the Attitude of the target. I don't know if that's an oversight or not, but it is perfect how it is.

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Re: Social System

Post by Slimcreeper » Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:32 pm

Also: I think it works best when you draw a careful line between Interaction Tests and other kinds of social tests. For example, Haggle (which I left off). It is much easier to get a deal by rolling Haggle than by trying to convince a Merchant to do you the Favor of doing a Large Favor (a discount worth more than about 5 silver is a Large Favor). Even if the Merchant is Friendly, that's three Successes, meaning you need to roll probably something like 18 on a straight Charisma roll. Now, any Troubadour worth his salt has spent a half hour or so performing an Emotion Song, made a First Impression and a Conversation test, maybe Etiquette, Impressive Display or Winning Smile. That bumps the Attitude up to probably Loyal or even Awestruck, probably with a +2 to +4 on the Interaction Test plus Karma. So we're only shooting for 8 or 13. With the bonuses, very doable. Of course, it is a Large Favor, so the Troubadour owes the merchant one, which is not the case with simple Haggle. Troubadours can just do things that would be impossible for other characters. And that's just a Troubadour trying to save a little coin. A Troubadour set on turning a town against his/er enemies? Yikes.

Which is why Troubadours are awesome, and terrifying, and should replace Nethermancers as the default bad guy.

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Re: Social System

Post by Telarus » Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:10 pm

Bravo. Understanding the Favors system is really key to letting social-based adepts shine. Yeah, you won that interaction test, but you still owe Queen Alacia a favor, and she will collect. That hooks to further adventures.
Last edited by Telarus on Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Social System

Post by Slimcreeper » Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:41 pm

And owing someone a favor is almost as as being owed. Alacia isn’t likely to burn you with your underworld Kratas contacts if she thinks she can use you.

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Re: Social System

Post by ChrisDDickey » Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:38 am

Love the cheat sheet. I am going to have to add this thread to my GMing bookmarks. Thanks.

Additional information I would add as I think it is important to remember.
Conversation: No further improvements possible, so do this last.
Etiquette: To max friendly, so don't wait too late.
Hypnotize: To max friendly.

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Re: Social System

Post by Sharkforce » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:15 am

i would add that those 3 skills are also talent knacks now.

(also, as someone who has been eyeballing the beastmaster, i would point out that there are talents applicable to creatures other than name-givers that use the same system, more or less) :P

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