Social Combat

I was wandering if anyone have come across any concepts for social combat. I am talking about attacking and possibly breaking a character's resolve.
I was wandering if anyone have come across any concepts for social combat. I am talking about attacking and possibly breaking a character's resolve.



Take a look at Exalted. It has an entire chapter devoted to Social Combat. Though, social combat in Exalted tends to be more like a game of Pheonix Wright than anything else, and is definitely magical in nature (As you'll no doubt use charms to drive your point home, or rally followers to your side of the argument).

Social 'combat' isn't better handled one way or another. You can handle it through RP, through Skill vs. DC, or by Social Attacks vs. Social Defenses. Each way has it's own merits and work just as well.
I was wandering if anyone knew, or thought of a system more akin to dnd's combat system

why wouldn't it simply be an attack vs. will? instead of inflicting hp damage, you'd inflict a status or effect a la 4e powers.


what i would propose is a kind of impromptu skill challenge, to use 4e parlance.

The Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying Game has the only real 'social combat' system akin to D&D 'physical combat' that I know of.
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
The Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying Game has the only real 'social combat' system akin to D&D 'physical combat' that I know of.



How does it work?
It sounds like you're talking about using fame or honour points like hit points and skills like Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate as attacks. I vaguely remember there being an article on social feats in Dragon Magazine once many moons ago. If you can find it you may find it helpful...
I just use a modified skill challenge with opposed rolls instead of static DCs. To me, DCs are for instances where there is difficulty to overcome but not active opposition. So convincing the duke to lend them some assistance would be a skill challenge against DCs, X successes before 3 failures.

A case of active opposition, such as where another party is trying convince the duke to lean in the opposite direction, would be a more dynamic challenge. In this case, opposed rolls are used, and instead of a flat number of successes and failures, I use a "ladder" (I adapted this from chase skill challenge that someone posted in the forums). The ladder has a number of squares on it (based on how complex you want the challenge to be). Each party is represented by a token. I usually place the one representing the PCs 2-4 squares from the failure end and the opposition token 2-4 squares from the victory end. You can use opposed rolls (which is just faster) or you could have both sides take turns rolling (usually against a passive skill or defense but you can use the recommended DCs too). Depending on the specific action taken, you might move your own token up on a success or pull the opposition's token back. This forces the players to think about their actions (it's not just about successes, because you opponent has a lead and if they get the same number of successes, they will beat you) and their consequences. Depending on how you set up the challenge, it can also encourage all players to join in, since the opposition will remain active no matter what they do or don't do.
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The problem I have with social combat systems is there's very rarely a "beat them upside the head with the truth" option.
The problem I have with social combat systems is there's very rarely a "beat them upside the head with the truth" option.


I had a Justiciar I ran in 3.5 that ended up at level 12 with three awesome weapons (all randomly rolled)- A +2 bolthammer made of Aurorum (Law), A +3 Flaming Serren Wood Composite Longbow with +5 Strength Pull (Order), aaaannnnnddd...A +4 Shocking Brilliant energy Truesteel Greatsword Named TRUTH. So for that character, beating people in the head with the truth would have been an option.
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Thank_Dog wrote:

2Chlorobutanal wrote:
I think that if you have to argue to convince others about the clarity of something, it's probably not as objectively clear as you think.

No, what it means is that some people just like to be obtuse.

The problem I have with social combat systems is there's very rarely a "beat them upside the head with the truth" option.


I had a Justiciar I ran in 3.5 that ended up at level 12 with three awesome weapons (all randomly rolled)- A +2 bolthammer made of Aurorum (Law), A +3 Flaming Serren Wood Composite Longbow with +5 Strength Pull (Order), aaaannnnnddd...A +4 Shocking Brilliant energy Truesteel Greatsword Named TRUTH. So for that character, beating people in the head with the truth would have been an option.



That is what is known as an "attitude adjustment"...
The Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying Game has the only real 'social combat' system akin to D&D 'physical combat' that I know of.




How does it work?


Terrible. You just need superior numbers than you can talk down any opponent's reslove before he beats yours.

Want to convince the lord to do something? Just catch him alone with two of your buddies and wear him down with your tripple number of social attack rolls against him

I'm not sure if there is any social or even non-combat "combat" that works currently, but I think these guys have some points that should be taken into consideration.

No, it doesn't matter that for their part they are talking about video games. ;)

Specifically, using certain combat mechanics to reinvent the social interaction to something less than stepping forward and whipping out your bluff or diplomacy on someone, or feeling the need to RP not because you enjoy it or are good at it, but because you don't feel anything in the game engages you at the same level as improvised skills or powers, or spells or what-have-you.
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quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
I think Social Combat in Exalted worked about as well as the original 4e Skill Challenges, especially as it was a bit bolted onto a system from a previous edition.
I think it was rather more important in Exalted given that in Exalted character creation statistic and skill points have to be allocated between combat and non-combat abilities.  So including rules systems that make allocating points to social abilities as rewarding as allocating them to combat abilities is a good aim in Exalted.
D&D doesn't have that problem to as great an extent, although making spending points on charisma as rewarding as spending them on dexterity isn't a bad idea.  But I'm not sure I've ever seen a rules system that actually works at all well for doing that.

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The problem I have with social combat systems is there's very rarely a "beat them upside the head with the truth" option.



Unfortunately, that option does not entirely exist in real life either. The concept of what is "true" is not always 100%, and the degree that some people live in denial profound.

[Edited]

What people believe is true, is at times, really a strongly held belief. Philosophy has been tackling the whole concept of truth thing, since before any of us were born.

What does exist (barring any philisophical cirular arguments) is the concept of breaking a person's resolve. This is not limited to arguments. Some other things that I feel could attack and damage someone's resolve: Torture, Psychological blackmail, attacking someone's loved ones, illusions, charms, extreme environments, etc.
I get that, I also know a skilled manipulator can screw over the most sincere and well documented efforts.

I'm just saying that just up and saying what you want/need/know/think should be an option, not always the best option but on the list.

Social combat systems tend to reward bluffers and half-truths, and while those are potent weapons, it makes it very difficult to understand why the paladins of the world haven't gone completely psycho.

I've seen some games where the simple fact that a person was using more than one word answers to a PC meant they were hiding something, you didn't need to put any ranks in sense motive just assume all NPCs the DM wanted you to talk to for more than a moment are evil liars.

BAsically I want diplomacy to be more than "bluffing differently".
I agree that diplomacy should be more than "bluffing differently". I always felt:

Diplomay should be used to alter emotions to be more favorable towards you.
Intimidate should be used to force your will on others
and
Bluff should be used to misdirect or obscure information.

as for social combat, I was looking for a method to make some social interactions more interesting and dynamic, with the possibility of integrating it with combat. For example, trying to break an opponents will to fight so as to take them out of combat without killing them.
The Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying Game has the only real 'social combat' system akin to D&D 'physical combat' that I know of.




How does it work?


Terrible. You just need superior numbers than you can talk down any opponent's reslove before he beats yours.

Want to convince the lord to do something? Just catch him alone with two of your buddies and wear him down with your tripple number of social attack rolls against him




Like I said, it works analagous to "real" combat Tongue Out

Bigger weapons, outnumbering someone, and bludgeoning down their resistance are the basic best tactics, just like in "real" combat.
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
Unfortunately, that option does not entirely exist in real life either. The concept of what is "true" is not always 100%, and the degree that some people live in denial profound



What's the quote, "I've already made up my mind, regardless of any facts that refute my position."
Or similar.

I was wandering if anyone knew, or thought of a system more akin to dnd's combat system



Look up Dogs in the Vineyard.  It's combat system is more fluid than you're looking for, but it does include social.
(Generally you start talking to someone, if you get fed up you can bring items into it, if that doesn't work, start punching.  Still no good?  Bring out the guns.  Best part is, if you start somewhere else, you can always escalate from guns, back to words.  Generally doesn't happen though)

I just use a modified skill challenge with opposed rolls instead of static DCs. To me, DCs are for instances where there is difficulty to overcome but not active opposition. So convincing the duke to lend them some assistance would be a skill challenge against DCs, X successes before 3 failures.



Argh, I hate social skill challenges.  There was one in 4E Tomb of Horrors that was just terrible.  Was a super-high DC and needed seven successes before 3 failures.

Rather than it just being hard, we were running out of excuses (to ourselves) why we shouldn't just kill the interlopers, when we started failing rolls (I think we had 1 success).

The problem I have with social combat systems is there's very rarely a "beat them upside the head with the truth" option.


I had a Justiciar I ran in 3.5 that ended up at level 12 with three awesome weapons (all randomly rolled)- A +2 bolthammer made of Aurorum (Law), A +3 Flaming Serren Wood Composite Longbow with +5 Strength Pull (Order), aaaannnnnddd...A +4 Shocking Brilliant energy Truesteel Greatsword Named TRUTH. So for that character, beating people in the head with the truth would have been an option.



That is what is known as an "attitude adjustment"...



[Edited]

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