Social Combat - A Homebrew System

Inspired by the system found in the sandbox adventure “King for a Day”, I’ve spit-balled a social combat system that is more engaging than a single opposed roll and feels more like an actual verbal exchange, rather than physical combat given a coat of paint. It also uses all three values (Attribute, Expertise, and Focus) for different things.

Both participants open by determining which skill they will be using, usually Persuade or Command, but Society, Discipline, Lore or Counsel all could be valid.

Players roll CD equal to the attribute in question, and may reroll dice equal to the focus they have in the chosen skill.

Both sides then build a total using a subset of their dice. Aggressor reveals and narrates, then defender the same. Higher total wins and inflicts a Strike. This is an “exchange”

Repeat Exchanges until one side is out of dice or takes Strikes equal to their skill Expertise. The winner achieves their goal, but probably has to make concessions based on the number of exchanges they lost.

Thoughts? I can certainly see Momentum and Fortune having a place here. The only things not accounted for are Resolve and Traumas, but I don’t think they need to be, as this is for lower stakes social interactions.

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Have you playtested this? The idea of social interactions being handled as combat is something that I’ve tried for other RPGs with so-so success. I’m intrigued by your ideas on this for 2d20. :smiley:

Looks similar to the Intrigue Rules used in A Song of Fire and Ice RPG, Green Ronin’s rpg for Game of Thrones.