Social Encounters (Eternus)

Social Influence Encounters RPGSocial Encounters - Some social encounters amount to a single Influence check. For deeper routed issues it's not that easy. Characters can attempt to influence a person who is hard to convince with an encounter much like traditional combat that varies in difficulty depending on the situation.

Finding Situations to Use Influence - In order to find situations and people that might be open to persuasion you must have the detect mood power. This skill is automatic and need not be activated. Rolls to detect mood are made in secret by the GM. If one is successful then the person is notified that the target is open to negotiation or seems to be troubled by something unresolved.

Judging a Person's Mood - For an opponent or person who you are attempting to influence the person is assigned a tier that represents the difficulty of the problem to be solved. The person is also assigned a threshold, which relate to his patience of temperament. This relates to how many times you can fail before his attitude shifts to a less friendly one. He is assigned an attitude which represents his feelings towards you as the negotiation starts. The character knows none of the above ahead of time but can attempt to get a general idea after first broaching the subject and the GM secretly using the detect mood power and notifying the character that there is a point of negotiation. Once the character knows there is a point of negotiation he can use the perception power to see of he can try to determine the main defense issues of the person.

Finding the Main Defense Issues and Key Issue - A characters perception skill is used to read the person and find their main defense and the key issue which needs to be negotiated or solved. Each main issue that is solved is no longer an issue and is removed from the list of issues.

Perception Targets - Perception targets are base on the characters influence tier (not the key issue) and are rolled once for each time the subject of a negotiation is broached per involved character and should be rolled before counter options are announced. If no one is able to sense the issues the first time the subject can be broached again but that will result in one failure against the key issue of that targets attitude is hostile or worse.

Tier One (Initiate) Perception Target - 70
Tier Two (Adept) Perception Target - 84
Tier Three (Expert) Perception Target - 98
Tier Four (Master) Perception Target - 112
Tier Five (Grandmaster) Perception Target - 126

Perception Bonuses - Certain situations give bonuses to your perception ability to locate the main issues.

Changing an Attitude - Some negotiations requires changing a person's attitude to a specific level. Changing an attitude by one degree takes a certain number of successful influence checks to reduce it one category. A certain number of failures however causes the person's attitude to shift one degree in the other direction. This is dictated by their tolerance which is represented by their threshold number and their skill in influence which determines the number of successes needed. Once the person’s attitude is at the required level you can attempt to change their mind or you can try to change their attitude further and get the bonuses noted below. A person can have a maximum of one attitude shift a day.

Types of Influence Challenges - Each influence challenge is based on a specific type and intensity of disagreement. It also involves the character to be influenced and his attitude and threshold towards the discussion.

Skill Required - Anyone can attempt to influence someone else but be careful because because it can backfire on you and cause negative effects if pursued too eagerly or at an inopportune moment especially if someone has a low threshold.

Limits - Characters must be able to sense you in order to be influenced. Some characters and or subjects are beyond negotiation. The target must be willing to negotiate in order for you to try to influence them.

Key Issue Tiers - The level of the difficulty of a key issue is identified by its percentage and divided into five tiers.

Tier One (Initiate) 01-20%
Tier Two (Adept) 21-40%
Tier Three (Expert) 41-60%
Tier Four (Master) 61-80%
Tier Five (Grandmaster) 81-100%

Problem Difficulty to Character Skill Ratio (Solving the Key Issue)

Four tiers below - 100%
Three tiers below - 99%
Two Tiers below - 75%
One Tier Below - 50%
Equal Level - 25%
One tier above - 10%
Two Tiers above - 05%
Three tiers or more above - 01%

Opportunity Adjustments - Certain situations give adjustments to the bonuses to your non perception based rolls. You can gain bonuses on your rolls by various means such as getting the person friends or allies to vouch for you, gifts, favors, bribes (sometimes this can backfire), helping the person with a problem, befriending them first, etc.

Note: Very strong willed people are the exception to this rule and may not be shifted nearly as easily if at all by gifts or other trickery.

Friends or allies to vouch for you - +5%
Gifts, favors, or etc. - Varies (GM discretion)
Bribes (sometimes this can backfire and is usually illegal) - Varies (GM discretion)
Helping the person with another issue - Varies (GM discretion)
Befriending them over time: +10%
Similar race or class of your type - +5%
Similar background - +5%
Speak their native language - +5%
Speak their native language (fluently) - +5% (additional)
Target Desperate for help - Varies (GM discretion)
Loyalty (-% severity)
Seduction or admiration (-% severity)
Hypnotism (-skill bonus)
Mental Trauma (-% severity)
Respects Honesty
Easily deceived

Attitude: Attitude further adjusts your final score.

Enraged: -50
Hostile: -25
Unfriendly: -10
Neutral: +0
Friendly: - +10
Warm: - +25
Enraptured: +50

Triggers - Social Encounters are triggered by communication from the person initiating the comment.

Specific Problems - Each type of social encounter has a specific issues that requires a different type of counter or answer and each character has a different personality that can be read through body language, speech patterns, and intuition.

Influence Range - The maximum range of a social encounter is typically 60 feet but very willing parties familiar with each other can negotiate at and distance for which they have a method to communicate. Of course this distance is very impersonal and results in a large penalty. For best effect negotiations should take place face to face.

61-200 feet: -50
10-60 feet: -25
3-10 feet: +0
0-2 feet: +10 to intimidate / -100 (other)

Key Issue - In order to change someone’s mind you must solve the key issue to the negotiation. However you must solve the main defenses unless you are able to successful counter them or eliminate them completely by solving each issue.

Bypassing Main Defenses - In order to open negotiations and go strait to the key issue without dealing with the main defenses to progress you must have the sense moods power and have detected the presence of a point of negotiation and the key defenses and issues to be resolved without broaching the subject a second time. Once the subject is brought up a second time a main defense is broached and you must use deal with that issue before you can attempt to return to the key issue. A perception success in detecting the key issue and main issues means you manage to temporarily disarm the person's apprehension for a moment so that you can make your point and try to convince them to see your point of view without first dealing with a main defense. You may keep rolling until you fail an attempt which then triggers a main defense.

Solving Defense Issues - Once a main issue is broached you must solve the issue to move on. It usually takes more than one success to completely resolve most main issues. This is determined by the tier of the person's influence score and not the key issue itself.

Negotiations to Character Skill Ratio (Deactivating)

Four tiers below - 100%
Three tiers below - 90%
Two Tiers below - 75%
One Tier Below - 50%
Equal Level - 25%
One tier above - 10%
Two Tiers above - 05%
Three or more tiers above - 01%

Bonuses - Certain situations give bonuses to your ability to managing main issues.

Successes and Failures (Overcoming main issues) - A certain number of successes means the negotiation of a main issue is resolved. A certain number of main issues that cannot be resolved means that the negotiation is deadlocked and cannot be agreed on without aggressive negotiations (interrogation) a very dangerous (and sometimes immoral) task which can easily backfire.

Tier One (Initiate) - (1) failure / (1) success
Tier Two (Adept) - (2) failures / (2) successes
Tier Three (Expert) - (3) failures / (3) successes
Tier Four (Master) - (3) failures / (4) successes
Tier Five (Grandmaster) - (3) failures / (5) successes

aggressive Negotiations (Interrogation) - aggressive negotiation or interrogation is a very difficult and dangerous task since it involves aggressively attacking someone's entrenched beliefs and psychological health and may lead to severely hurt feelings or deep seated hatred and violence. To aggressively negotiate you must know the key issue. (See above) If aggressive negotiations are successful the person may divulge information but there will never give anything extra that may help you and there are hurt feelings and psychological damage that won't heal easily despite the agreement. Their attitude shifts two slots towards unfriendly even if immediately successful. If they reach unfriendly they get angry and all progress is lost and they can no longer be convinced for the next 1-10 days while they cool off without attempting aggressive negotiations. If the total goes up to hostile they lose their cool. If it gets to enraged then you are hopelessly deadlocked and will likely never come to an agreement. This may also cause violence depending on the person and the subject.

Strength of their Belief - The strength of the your opponents belief is greatly increased depending on the key issue negotiation tier. Characters are reluctant to give up important information even through aggressive interrogation.

Tier One (Initiate) - x1
Tier Two (Adept) - x2
Tier Three (Expert) - x3
Tier Four (Master) - x4
Tier Five (Grandmaster) - x5

argument Points and Bonuses - argument points and bonuses for a negotiation are equal to the efficiency % of the characters negotiation talent (Influence) plus any other bonuses or penalties.

Avoiding or Resolving arguments - Once a negotiation is triggered there are two ways to avoid opponents arguments or to resolve them that can be taken each round. One is to make a influence roll to propose a solution to one of the main problems of a particular type and the second is to predict the direction of the negotiation and make the proper evasive action to avoid the main issue tactic (almost always an erroneous idea or mistaken belief) used by the opponent and deal directly with the key issue. In order to avoid a main issue you must predict it.

Main Issues of an argument - Each negotiation has several different main issues and emotions that it can take that make it very unpredictable and difficult to navigate. The more main issues there are the more difficult it is to take the proper counter action to avoid them.

Tier One (Initiate) - 3 Actions
Tier Two (Adept) - 4 Actions
Tier Three (Expert) - 6 Actions
Tier Four (Master) - 8 Actions
Tier Five (Grandmaster) - 10 Actions

Emotional Trauma and their counters:
Terror - Divine Blessing
Rage - Understanding
Guilt - Unburdening
Sadness - Joy
Disgust - Trust
Fear - Reassuring
Surprise - Calming
Distrust - Charm
Grief - Faith
Astonishment - Reason

Preferential Actions:
Charm -
Flatter -
Challenge -
Petition -
Joke -
Flirt -
Threaten -
Bribe -
Manipulate -
Lie -

Counter Action - Taking the proper counter action against a particular main issue or emotion means that you have no chance to be sidetracked from the key issue for that round. Counters are announced before initiative is rolled.

Successful Counters - A successful counter prevents the person making the counter from being sidetracked for a single round of argument so no influence is rolled for the round for a main issue. A successful counter also gives the person +25 on their next single attempt to make their point about the key issue. By proposing a successful counter to a main problem due to your ability to predict their course of argument you can bypass that issue Permanently and the issue is Permanently removed as if it had been solved.

Interrogation Style - argument style determines the bonuses to argument and the type of Permanent influence done.

Quick: +25 to hit / 20 points base
Normal: +0 to hit / 30 points base
Comprehensive: -25 to hit / 60 points base

Attitude Type - Attitude type varies depending on the negotiation. The attitude of the opponent varies through ten different emotions.

Resistance - Another way to avoid a Main argument is to beat the resistance target of the negotiation type and propose a workable solution.

Main Issue Resistance Target - This is the influence score target for an issue. A score equal to or higher than the target means a successful solution is proposed.

Tier One (Initiate) - 60
Tier Two (Adept) - 70
Tier Three (Expert) - 80
Tier Four (Master) - 90
Tier Five (Grandmaster) - 100

Mental Strength - The mental strength of each opponent is only used in an interrogation. It has a certain number of toughness (T) and a threshold (TH) percentage for its PL that must be breached to damage the target.

Tier One (Initiate) - T 600 / TH 80
Tier Two (Adept) - T 1000 / TH 94
Tier Three (Expert) - T 1400 / TH 108
Tier Four (Master) - T 1800 / TH 122
Tier Five (Grandmaster) - T 2200 / TH 136

Targets - Each negotiation can target up to 6 people in the area of effect to appeal to face to face. For more use the modifier for crowds found below.

Other Uses: Conflicting arguments - If two people are attempting to influence the same person towards opposite directions of an issue each persons success counts as the others failure and continues until the needed number of successes is reached by one party or the person is out of range of one or both parties or no longer willing to negotiate.

Dual Persuasion - Each side of a negotiation can attempt to argue their point once a round maximum, until the person is out of range (See negotiation range) or the situation escalates to an aggressive negotiation and becomes hopelessly deadlocked.

Other Uses - Influencing Crowds (Creating dissent) - By using influence you can use the rules of social engagement to create dissent in a group or groups causing them to dislike each other. This causes their reaction to change to negative against the opposite party or against your standing with them. You can eventually lead them to argue with each other. Note: You must be considered more favorably than the enemy for this to work. The difficulty depends on the relationship, wisdom and temperament of the group or groups. Creating a Deadlock gives them a chance to figure out what you are up to and a hopeless deadlock can cause them to turn against you for good.

Other Uses - Mediating Between multiple Parties (Creating Agreement) - By using influence you can use the rules of social engagement to create agreement between two parties or groups causing them to make peace or reach agreement with each other. Solving a main issue causes their reaction to change to positive against the opposite party or negative versus your standing with them. You can eventually lead them to agree with each other if you are successful solving their key issue. Note: You must be considered at least neutrally or better by both parties for this to work. The difficulty of the problems depends on the relationship, wisdom and temperament of the group or groups. Creating a Hopeless Deadlock gives them a chance to turn against you for good.