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Social Combat
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A band of heroes stands before a frightened crowd. They must rally the village to gather resources and prepare to defend against the coming marauders. Dissenting voices call for retreat, others border on panic. The adventurers exhort them to steel their will and follow their cunning plan.

A paladin stands before the magistrates, ready to present a case. Her roguish friend is in trouble again, and this time it might be serious. Without her friend's blades and keen eye for traps, they'll never recover the relic in the dungeon.

Ten heavily robed figures stand over the body of the Grand Magus. Before he can be entombed, they must choose his successor from among their number. They have been preparing positions and alliances all through the Grand Magus's waning years. The vote must be cast at dawn.

Social interactions are usually represented with one or two dice rolls using a Charisma linked skill. This is great for a one-on-one interaction, a quick deception, or short-term intimidation. There are other kinds of social interactions that make for great scenes and gameplay, though. These homebrew rules are meant to support those.

These rules aren't intended to replace the need for roleplay. Very few players, however, have experience in high stakes negotiations, formalized debate, or even public speaking. Some players may be uncomfortable with confrontational conversation, even in roleplay, and it's important to make your table fun for them, too. When the party's barbarian lifts up a portcullis, the GM doesn't lead the player to a set of weights and make them do 10 reps. Rule mechanics exist to provide resolution when PCs are better at something than their player.

Additionally, most of the time social confrontations are handled by a single character in the group. This leaves the rest of the players at the table without much to do. Employing social combat rules brings everyone into the action.

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April 9th, 2019
Playtesting this was a joy! It really added excitement to a council meeting scene, and that ain't easy :) Nice to have a system for talking yourself out of a situation or sway a crowd, even if you don't have the traditional smooth talker skills. It rem [...]
March 30th, 2019
This wonderful and short little ditty puts some structure to your 'verbal combat', if you will. Well worth the read, and a fun way to mix it up, espcially if your party (or just a few PC's) tends to talk themselves out of combat. Give it a shot! [...]
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File Last Updated:
May 28, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on December 27, 2018.