Clarification: Non-Physical Social Attacks

It seems that the basic rule set have Linguistics as the Appearance Stat for written social attacks. That is the same as saying the "Content/Depth" of a Person's personality (Charisma) is the Appearance Stat for Social Attacks. I find this highly inaccurate. The Appearance Stat of any social attack should be the superficial. It should be the package and not the internal.

In the world of Exalted how nice a written piece looks is its Calligraphy - which includes things such as Illumination, Written Style, Scroll Work, etc. All of which is covered under Craft (Air)

Though some can argue that Linguistics is the "outer covering" of the "meaning of the message" but I think that is too esoteric and instead went with the literal sense of appearance.

However to make it more realistic, non-direct social attacks now follow the following pattern

Complex Rule Set

  • Attacker's Appearance Stat is how pretty the written work looks as determined by the appropriate skill
    • Roll the Skill and use the Threshold to determine the appearance stat
      • Maximum 5 or the Essence of the Writer
    • This means you can actually have different people for the different segment of the social attack
      • one person to come up with the content
      • another person to transcribe it to paper
  • Defender's Appearance Stat is The opponent's Perception Attribute
    • It reflects how quickly their ability to process the whole of the piece and not just be dazzled by the superficial
      • Argument can be made in the exact opposite direction, but a stat must be chosen and perception seems the least offensive choice. Temperance would be best, but it would have made the exact sense in normal social combat. Someone with a Temperance 5 and Appearance 1, should resist Appearance 5 better than -3. Thus I wanted to keep it consistent and use a stat instead.
Attack Type Appearance Dice Pool Attack Dice Pool
Written Work Perception + Calligraphy, Craft (Air) Manipulation + Linguistics
Fine Art1 Perception + Appropriate Crafting skill for that art Manipulation + the appropriate craft skill

The problem is that fine art appearance is intrinsically part of its "content" it is not as easily divided between presentation and content. So the only difference between the 2 is the use of Perception for Appearance, and Manipulation for Attack Roll.

General Defense Skills

In general I divided the Non-physical Social Attacks into 3 styles of attacks

  • Intelligence + Investigation: Against logical arguments, attempts to mainly convince the defender via logic, including fallacies
    • Technically Lore might be better but it is already too Overpowered
  • Intelligence + Presence: Against overt emotional manipulation
  • Intelligence + Social: Against subtle emotional manipulation

Intelligence is used because Perception is already used as the Appearance for Defense. And the whole idea of Written Text is that the person read it and comprehended it, making Wit (your ability to think fast and response rapidly) not as appropriate. I am sure a creative player can come up with a stunt to use Wit instead of intelligence however.

Simple Rule Set

  • All Non-Direct Social Attacks are considered passive attacks - and thus is only against the person's passive MDV.
  • There is no appearance stat mechanic at all, instead GM Assign -3 to +3 MDV modifiers based on taste, cultivation, etc.
  • This is further modified by things such as "against/with Moltivation/Intimacy" etc.
  • Then use the following attack rolls
    • Written Work: Manipulation + Linguistics
    • Fine Art2: Manipulation + the appropriate craft skill

They are still Social Attacks

Keep in mind if you make a work of art or a pamphlet into a Social Attack it will be registered as. It will follow the same rules for social combat - such as unexpected social attacks and such. And people who is wise enough to perceive what it is will react as such - Not everyone mind an obvious piece of propaganda however.


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