Social Stats in the World of Darkness



  • General, open question:

    How interested would you be in a World of Darkness game that eliminated the use of social stats on other PCs entirely?

    This is a serious question. Here is a brief summary of my thoughts and proposed rules.

    1. A PC cannot use social stats to influence or change the feelings or thoughts of another PC.

    2. A PC can use social stats to influence or change the feelings or thoughts of an NPC, and vice versa.

    3. A PC can use social stats to affect the merits of another PC, such as Status or Allies, through staff adjudication.

    I'm interested because I am seriously considering eliminating them for the 2E-based fantasy game I'm putting together.

    Please discuss openly.


  • Pitcrew

    I am not sure I'd like having them removed entirely. I don't normally use social abilities to change someone's feelings or thoughts but I feel it can add to a story depending on how it's used.



  • Give it a try.

    Would successful social skill rolls mitigate the effects of poor RP of social actions (etiquette, deception, etc) on NPCs, even if PCs were free to react as they desired?



  • Just removed them from being used on PCs? I'd be fine with that. I mostly assume that's the case on games I play anyway to be honest.


  • Pitcrew

    Eliminating social stats from being used on PCs is the #1 argument-causing issue I have had the last few years, trying to create a new game. There have been other issues and stopping points, but this is the one that causes a blow up pretty much every single time. There has traditionally been a TON of resistance to this idea.

    I think it's absolutely a necessary change for the genre, but I think it's going to have to go the way of the OOC Masquerade, with people kicking and screaming about it the whole way out the door.


  • Pitcrew

    That would be fine, so long as their effects on NPCs/the world were explicit and substantial enough to warrant social skills costing the same amount as combat/magic skills which CAN be used to affect PCs, OR if combat/magic skills also could not be used to affect PCs except through the same indirect means (like, you could beat up someone's NPC ghouls, but not their PC ghouls), OR if social skills cost proportionately less to buy than combat/magic skills to reflect their restricted utility in the game.



  • I don't know if it's the right question. I think a better one is to ask if you want PCs to have complete control to be able to attack/kill/do whatever to other PCs, regardless of the kind of attack, whether physical, social, whatever. I think if the answer is yes, then you don't need to really restrict social skills that remove agency. If the answer is no, then I think you remove them.


  • Admin

    I think that's the right way to do it, since I'm pretty sure they were never intended to be used on PCs in the same party in the first place.

    Your own issue would be the devaluation of these attributes, but you could make them cheaper for that exact reason. So since Celerity can be used on a PC but Dominate can't, make the latter cost half (or whatever).



  • @ganymede I have a system all written up nice and neat for "Social Fu". It's similar to what we used on RfK. The summary, though, is that you can use social stats on other PCs. If you do, they can comply or not. If they comply, they get XP (A beat, whatever). If they don't, they don't.

    Voluntary, but incentivizes participation.



  • @arkandel said in Social Stats in the World of Darkness:

    I think that's the right way to do it, since I'm pretty sure they were never intended to be used on PCs in the same party in the first place.
    Your own issue would be the devaluation of these attributes, but you could make them cheaper for that exact reason. So since Celerity can be used on a PC but Dominate can't, make the latter cost half (or whatever).

    I think this sounds great. While Exalted Third Edition has a really interesting, less direct, and more nuanced way of attacking and reinforcing attachments, it doesn't really get rid of the ability of the other player to just decide they react to Wormtongue's 'Herald of Woe' whisperings with an attack roll rather than roleplaying out a bit of doubt.


  • Pitcrew

    This post is deleted!


  • @ganymede said in Social Stats in the World of Darkness:

    How interested would you be in a World of Darkness games that eliminated the use of social stats on other PCs entirely?

    AKA Almost Every WoD Player? Wouldn't miss it.

    I did get rolled-at once by someone I just met to force my character to be in awe of them, so I followed through to be nice and mentally put them on my "would rather avoid" checklist.

    It wasn't until later that day that I learned it was Spider.


  • Pitcrew

    @twinprince Nitpick of nitpicks, but man, I wouldn't assume Daeva are crippled if their social-fu takes a hit.

    Two in-Clan physicals. Daeva is best b/c they does the sex and the violence.



  • @skew said in Social Stats in the World of Darkness:

    I have a system all written up nice and neat for "Social Fu". It's similar to what we used on RfK. The summary, though, is that you can use social stats on other PCs. If you do, they can comply or not. If they comply, they get XP (A beat, whatever). If they don't, they don't.

    Funny; I also have such a system. It's almost like we're great minds, what?

    @twinprince said in Social Stats in the World of Darkness:

    Seems like that would more or less hamstring a daeva if mental and combat stuff could still be used but social could not.

    That's only if you don't properly adjust powers as they are, and the application of the rule(s) relate to PCs only. Majesty would work just fine on an NPC.

    @apos said in Social Stats in the World of Darkness:

    I don't know if it's the right question. I think a better one is to ask if you want PCs to have complete control to be able to attack/kill/do whatever to other PCs, regardless of the kind of attack, whether physical, social, whatever. I think if the answer is yes, then you don't need to really restrict social skills that remove agency. If the answer is no, then I think you remove them.

    I think this is a red-herring question, but I'm pretty sure that no one wants PCs to have that kind of complete control. And I know of no game that permits PCs that kind of control.

    Example: I know of no game that would allow a player to use his PC to threaten another player's PC with death if they did not engage in TS.


  • Pitcrew

    Clarify for me:
    The opening of this thread says 'social stats'

    Some of the reply's are talking about powers, like Majesty and Dominate

    I am generally against all of this, it seems that the response to people not cooperating with stats shouldn't be to just remove those stats.

    Clearly Persuasion shouldn't be used to force seduce people that arent interested. Sure you could get a good roll and i could be like 'yup, my loins are fired up but I am making a conscious decision not to fuck you' But that's generally because that kinda shit is skeevy on an ooc level

    But frankly, people get convinced to do things against their better nature all the time. Yes even harry Dresden could be intimidated into backing down with the right leverage. Millions and Millions of People are convinced to vote against thier best interests all the time.

    No, Social Stats aren't 'magic powers' but people who lose dice challenges (Example: Intimidation to get somone to back down from a fight.) and then do whatever they want anyhow are called assholes and cheaters.

    I dont think the solution should be that every PC is suddenly immune to 1/3 of every PC's sheet.

    Also Re: Powers Literally almost half of changelings magic is about emotions and social stuff.


  • Pitcrew

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  • @wretched said in Social Stats in the World of Darkness:

    No, Social Stats aren't 'magic powers' but people who lose dice challenges (Example: Intimidation to get somone to back down from a fight.) and then do whatever they want anyhow are called assholes and cheaters.

    Do we really have to do the "if you dislike social stats you're an a-hole and a cheater" argument again? It's not about ignoring dice, it's about disagreeing about what the rolls represent. The whole "you can't kill a dragon with a toothpick no matter how well you roll" silliness. We've gone round on this one literally in circles on at least three or four threads that I can think of. Maybe we can just skip to the end where everyone leaves in a huff and save ourselves some effort?


  • Pitcrew

    @faraday That is NOT what I said, so please do not put words in my mouth.

    It's not weather you 'like' them or not. Social Rolls are part of the game as written. People who ignore the results of dice rolls are, by definition, cheating. As game runners we can mitigate that and set boundaries (No you are not so hot you change someone's sexual orientation, nor can intimidate someone into shooting themselves).

    But fine, lets argue that 'Hur durr no matter what you roll Imma react with violence. <insert pseudoscience argument about fight or flight>'

    Suggestion: Yes, Player A rolled 5 successes against/over Player B's resistance to back down. By Definition Player A has intimidated Player B , that should not be in question. Player B wants to take their shot at Player A anyhow? Okay. Penalize that attack roll by Player A's successes. This represents the opponent being terrified but lashing out regardless, albeit in a fight/flight panicked state.


  • Pitcrew

    @wretched

    Thank you for providing an example to point to as to precisely, exactly, specifically why I am so convinced that removing the ability to use social skills (skills, specifically) from the ability to use them against other PCs is VERY MUCH the right thing to do.



  • @wretched said in Social Stats in the World of Darkness:

    It's not weather you 'like' them or not. Social Rolls are part of the game as written.

    And the effects of social rolls are governed by the GM's interpretation of what should and shouldn't even be possible given the situation at hand. Those are actually the rules as written, and that is the key piece missing from the argument that social rolls are a black and white "play by the rules" issue.

    But again, we've been over this here and here and here and those were just a couple dedicated threads, not even counting all the side tangents on various other threads.

    So to @Ganymede's original question - you'll never get people to agree. Just make the game you want and folks will self-select to play or not play.


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