[Let’s Study] God-Machine Chronicle Rules Updates Part 3: Social Maneuvering

Posted: May 8, 2013 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Let's Study, Roleplaying Games, World of Darkness
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Social Maneuvering is a new system introduced in the GMC rules to simulate the process of trying to convince someone to do something for your character. It’s an interesting mechanic, and one that makes for an interesting rules-based fallback for players who might not be in the mood to handle socials from a pure roleplaying angle.

The Social Maneuvers system works with the acting character attempting to break down a series of metaphorical “Doors” which represent the difficulty of convincing a character to take a desired action. Doors are a system term, and represent skepticism, mistrust or general disposition to not do what is being asked of them.

The number of Doors is variable, with a base value of the lower of the target character’s Resolve or Composure, and modified by other factors such as whether or not the action goes against their Virtues or Aspirations and other things like whether or not the action in question will trigger a Breaking Point.

Aside from doors, the other component of Social Maneuvering is the Impressions. Better impressions allow for an acting character to be able to make successive rolls in a faster time interval than those who make less memorable impressions upon the target character.

Ways to smooth over things and make a favorable impression is called Leverage, and can take the form of bribes, gifts, or a favorable experience. Each interval allows for a single roll, and if the roll is successful, then the acting character is able to open one (or more) Doors and moves closer to getting the target character to doing what they want them to do.

Sometimes however, one has to force a Door by the use of intimidation and possibly bodily harm. Such actions can trigger an immediate social roll, but allows for a door to be opened in quick order.

The systems presented by the GMC are a novel one, and can be used in conjunction with standard RP to provide the necessary dice bonuses and penalties to the social roll when it comes to setting up Impressions or in Opening Doors.

I like this system a lot as it feels more organic, as opposed to straight-up mind control, and shows that getting someone to do something for you is a project in itself. Of course, I wouldn’t use this system on all social interactions, but reserve it purely for the ones that would be the most dramatically appropriate for.

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