Odysseus, Anansi, Coyote and Alan Schaefer. One of these guys are not like the others. The first three are known for their wit, tricks, greed, cunning, fame, infamy and heroism. All three are in their own way social assassins and tricksters. Alan Scaefer, a.k.a Dutch, is the human who killed a Predator in the jungle in the 80's. While it is a heroic feat, physically taking down a Monster is the standard heroic feat. Orcs, goblins, kobolds, Ogres and even eventually Dragons will fall to the blade or spells in classic fantasy rpgs. But what about a broken heart? What about being blinded by a newfound hatred of something that once profoundly shaped who you grew up to be?
There are more ways to break a person than just a fist or some blunt tools. The Joker is quoted as saying "All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day". When Wolverine killed his son by drowning him in a muddy puddle, Saber-tooth comes along clapping. He says, "All the cuts I've given you over the years--here's the deepest." While these villains are known for physical violence and mayhem, their worst moments are when they speak the truth. These were the inspirations we used in making a social combat system.
Social "combat" was a complicated subject to tackle. We had to translate social interactions into numbers such as; battering someone with a verbal assault, leaving them so mentally drained and frustrated that they pass out; locking a person in a bout with lingering memories and residual emotions they thought they had left behind long ago(vex/emotions). Still, we came through on the other side and produced a system that carries the same weight, depth and versatility as our physical combat system.
Joy, Depression, Rage, Faith; these emotions and more will be just as influential in social combat as blinding, stunning or knocking someone back in physical combat. Except with these, there is a strength that the characters can draw from. These emotions can define the things, people and places that the character cares about. Not only will it make for characters that are relatable (since they have clear motivations and things they care about other than "beat up bad guy, get loot, bask in glory") but add another level to play for characters that enter the social arenas. You can find something that an enemy cares about and use it against them. But be careful, push too hard on their buttons and those enemies can snap back with an unseen strength.
To accept something is to, in some way, agree with it and find it satisfactory. Whether it is someone that is "good enough" or something that "could be worse" or even something that is "alright."
Acceptance: Increase difficulty to shift away from Acceptance spectrum; Reduce negative emotion levels against target.
By accepting something or someone we can learn to trust. Whether it be to cheer us up or to scare us, what we trust has proven itself to us.
Trust: Select a Target. Reduce the character’s convince level against target, increase Acceptance modifier
When something you trust has proven itself time and again, even if it proves to disappoint, many can come to admire that.
Admiration: Treat the target as if it's level of acceptance were it's commitment level; increase Trust modifiers
Admiration for reliability and often times give way to a form of faith. This is how devotion to a team, a way of life or a single person starts.
Faith: Ignore several points of Commitments that clash with the Target selected in "Trust"; increase Admiration modifiers
Not every antagonist should be a villain, not every fight has be to the death. In our game isn't just the ability to intimidate and convince but also to resist these things. When the big bad guy roars loud enough to shatter the spirit of the strongest warrior and send them crashing to their knees, you can be standing courageous and undeterred. You can then transform and redeem that same big baddie to be socially. Not because some artifact, spell or god made it so but because one or all of the characters spoke to their antagonist and showed the baddie the error of their ways, whether it was true or not.
There is still so much more that awaits in the social combat system and the B+ system as a whole and as we approach our Kickstarter launch, we will share more. For now, we're curious to hear from you: Do you prefer the victory gained from pummeling an overwhelming foe? OR Do you prefer the victory of taking a former foe and making them an ally?
For now, we're curious to hear from you:
Do you prefer the victory gained from pummeling an overwhelming foe?
Do you prefer the victory of taking a former foe and making them an ally?
Please respond on our facebook https://www.facebook.com/stockandbull/
Or take the Poll