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Social Interaction

Reason, Intuition, and Psyche can all be employed to influence, resist influence, and otherwise interact with NPCs in a scenario.

Reason is all about logic and complex problem-solving.

That comes into play when someone tries to appeal to your intellect or makes a logical argument to get you to respond in a way to their liking, or you do the same to them.

Intuition is commonly used to get a “read” on someone’s emotional state or motives.

Psyche measures your character’s force of personality, moxie, and willpower. In social interactions, it measures one’s determination and focus, so it can be used to assert your will over someone, or resist the same.

Social Rolls

Social rolls are non-combat rolls, and as such the result color needed for success often depends on a Difficulty. As a reminder, if the Difficulty is lower than the ability Rank, you succeed on a Green result. If the Difficulty equals the ability Rank, you succeed on a Yellow result. If the Difficulty is higher than the ability Rank, you succeed on a Red result.

Step One: Goal

When attempting to convince someone of something, negotiate with them, interview or interrogate them, or whatever, first decide what you are trying to accomplish.

Are you attempting to convince someone of the truth of a statement, or attempting to make that person believe something (true or not)? If so, then your Difficulty is your target’s Reason.

Are you attempting to rile up the target or calm him down, or elicit some other emotion? Use the target’s Intuition as the Difficulty.

Are you trying to motivate the target to perform some specific action?

The target’s Psyche acts as the Difficulty to resist such attempts.

Step Two: Method

Now decide how you wish to influence them.

Logical argumentation. Use Reason.

Appeal to their emotions, or appeal to their motives based on what you know about them.

Use Intuition

Charm them, fast-talk them, or outright command them.

Use Psyche

It’s okay if this step is a little fuzzy and could go any one of multiple ways: use your highest primary ability in any instance where it’s unclear.

Step Three: Apply Modifiers

Apply any modifiers to the roll based on your Popularity, the NPC’s Attitude, or situational modifiers.

Is the NPC a stranger, or someone that only knows the character through their public-facing persona? Apply your Popularity as a modifier. See Popularity, below.

Does the NPC know them and already have a preconceived feeling towards them and their behavior? Apply the NPC’s attitude as a modifier. See Attitude, below.

Anything else? Use the modifiers on the Optional Modifiers Table as appropriate. Note that this list is by no means exhaustive.

The GM should apply other modifiers as they deem appropriate.

Optional Modifiers Table Situation Modifier The target benefits. +2R The target is placed in danger. -3R The item in question is up to Good (GD) value. -1R The item in question is up to Remarkable (RM) value. -2R There’s a good chance the item will not be returned. -2R The item is unique. -3R Step Four: Resolve the Roll

Make the roll as normal, using your Rank plus or minus any modifiers, and applying the Difficulty to determine what color result is necessary to succeed.

If you succeed, you get what you want.

If you fail, the other character determines how the interaction ends.

Generally, you can’t retry the same roll: you need to come to do the table with something different. That said, if you’re absolutely determined to get what you want, you could initiate either combat (get it by force!) or a social challenge. See the section on Social Challenges under Resolve for more.


Characters do not live in a vacuum; their reputations often precede them, leading to more complicated social interactions. When dealing with members of the public who have no story reason to have a differing opinion from that of the general population, the GM can take a hero’s reputation into account as Popularity.

The modifier for Popularity represents a character’s reputation before the public. Popularity comes into play most often when dealing with nameless NPCs who only know the character indirectly. Once a NPC has interacted with the character and becomes a named NPC, the GM should use that NPC’s Attitude towards the character in addition to Popularity.

Popularity is a modifier with positive and negative aspects ranging from -3R (Demonized) to +3R (Idolized). Popularity is relegated to a modifier of social rolls rather than used for rolls of its own, similar to Talents. See the Attitudes and Popularity Table for specific levels and modifiers.

Managing Popularity

The fickle nature of Popularity is such that your modifier may change…perhaps often! The things you do in the public eye might increase or decrease your Popularity modifier, largely at the GM’s discretion, but using these guidelines.

Committing Crimes

If you commit a crime publicly, even if you are charged by authorities for a crime you didn’t commit, you almost certainly suffer -1R Popularity. Capital offenses may inflict even greater penalties, proportional to the perceived Popularity of the victim. (Killing a known villain isn’t really a crime in the public’s eyes.) Fighting Villains Defeating a villain publicly will endear you to the masses, while being defeated has some negative consequences.

Defeat a Villain

Doesn’t matter how many you defeat at a time, but so long as you defeat at least one, you get a +1R to your Popularity.

This could be higher if you avert a worldwide disaster… but only sometimes. There’s always plenty of folks who wonder if you started the fight…

Defeated by a Villain

Doesn’t matter how badly you lose, -1R Popularity if you get in a tussle and clearly come out as the loser.

Acts of Charity

Acts of kindness can go a long way.


Charitable donations to big causes are great…but only if you really show up with the cash! You must set your Resources back -1R for at least a month in order to get a +1R to your Popularity. See RESOURCES & STUFF.

Public Appearance You don’t have to give money, you can just show up and lend your existing popularity to potentially increase your Popularity with a capital “P”. The event has to be big enough for national (or bigger) media attention, and even then, the GM may require you to make a roll to change the default Attitude of the crowd. In any case, you’ll get at most +1R to your Popularity.


Whether it’s a cat in a tree or a bus full of students teetering on the edge of a busted bridge, everyone loves a rescue scenario. +1R to your Popularity!

Attitude The primary modifier for social rolls for named NPCs and PC’s, is Attitude: how the target feels about you. Attitude ranges from Hostile to Enamored. See the Attitudes and Popularity Table for specific levels and modifiers.

Changing Attitude

Improving a target’s Attitude toward you is a Psyche roll against the target’s Intuition as Difficulty. This requires you to interact with them in a manner where you have no other motive (yet): you are focused solely on improving your standing with them. This may require that you give them something or perform a task for them; it is up to the individual NPC what might allow for this roll to take place. Keep the NPC’s goals in mind.

In either case, success shifts the Attitude based on the color result:

  • White = worsen Attitude by one
  • Green = Attitude stays the same
  • Yellow = improve Attitude by one
  • Red = improve Attitude by two Remember that Difficulty applies, so move the color result effects up or down based on whether the Difficulty is lower, the same, or higher than your Rank.

Conversely, if you do things to your target that could worsen their Attitude towards you, you must make a roll to prevent them from thinking worse of you. In this case, failure (White result) worsens the Attitude by one, but any other color causes it to stay the same.

Attitudes and Popularity Table Modifier Attitude Popularity -3R Enamored Demonized (hated/fear) -2R Very friendly Very distrusted or disliked -1R Friendly Distrusted or disliked +0 Neutral Neutral +1R Unfriendly Liked +2R Very unfriendly Loved +3R Hostile Idolized

Resolve & Stress

Your Resolve is a static score that is the sum of your RIP abilities: Reason, Intuition, and Psyche. It is a measure of your mental and emotional condition, including focus, calm, courage, perseverance, and more generalized well-being.

Intimidation, anxiety, fear, loss, anger, psychic attacks, emotional manipulation, and so on all affect your Resolve, usually by dealing stress.

Stress is tracked as a cumulative number. Normally, you start most scenarios without any stress, but you accrue it as the situations previously mentioned affect you. You record any stress you take, and as you take more, you add it to the current stress. If you somehow heal or recover, you subtract that from your current stress.

Social Challenges

Unlike in combat situations where a character takes damage and compares it to their Health, most social situations are simply handled as a single roll against any individual you are attempting to influence or who is attempting to influence you. Choose your goal and method, apply modifiers and Difficulty, and roll to see if you get what you want.

If you fail and are determined to try again without bringing anything new to the interaction, or you find yourself in a complex, multi-stage situation that requires many interactions, such as a legal case, complex business negotiation, or prolonged interrogation, then the GM may rule it is a social challenge.

In a social challenge, you begin dealing stress to your opponent in order to stress them out and get what you want. This acts like combat:

  1. Go in initiative order.
  2. Each character makes a single social interaction on their turn.
  3. Resolve each interaction by dealing stress based on the method chosen.

What’s different is that Popularity and Attitude no longer play a part. Each interaction works like this:

  1. Choose your goal to set the Difficulty.
  2. Choose your method to determine which ability you roll (Reason, Intuition, or Psyche).
  3. Apply the results based on color.

The color results are the same for any method. Remember that Difficulty applies, so move the color result effects up or down based on whether the Difficulty is lower, the same, or higher than your Rank.

  • White = Your opponent deals stress to you equal to their Difficulty trait’s Rank Number.
  • Green = You deal stress equal to your method trait’s Rank Number.
  • Yellow = You deal stress equal to your method trait’s Rank Number +1R.
  • Red = You deal stress equal to your method trait’s Rank Number +2R.

Wielding Your Resources

In some cases, it can make sense to use Resources in place of one of your primary abilities, such as if you are flaunting your wealth against someone, in high society settings, buying up their assets, or leveraging financial connections to freeze their assets or create expensive legal quandaries for them. In this case, your Resources Rank and Rank Number come into play, instead of Reason, Intuition, or Psyche.

Multiple Aggressors

What if multiple characters are involved in the scene? In such cases it might seem unfair to have multiple characters making social challenge rolls and applying stress to a single target, for example. Well, it is, so things work differently.

When you and some allies want to apply stress to a target, each side chooses a leader who does the dice rolling. They choose the goal and the method. Everyone that wants to help out provides a +1R to the leader’s rolls, or to the trait acting as the Difficulty. Unfortunately, they are all now at risk of taking stress, too. Whenever stress is dealt out, it is applied to the leader and everyone that helped by providing a +1R bonus to the leader.

Stressed Out

At any point in the conflict, on your turn, you can give in to the stress, giving your opponent what they want on your terms. When you do so, the challenge ends, and you describe your failure on your terms. Against NPCs, giving in causes their Attitude toward you to worsen by one.

When your current stress equals your Resolve score, you are stressed out. Generally, this means you describe how you leave the scene, unable to get what you want and unwilling to push any further. You might storm out in anger or sorrow, you might be frozen in fear, or you might give in and give your opponent what they want instead, without any further resistance.

Recording Stress

You might prefer to have stress subtract from your character’s Resolve, rather than accumulate and then compare it to their Resolve. That’s okay, too! All you have to remember is:

  • Your character is stressed out when their Resolve is zero.
  • There’s no such thing as having negative Resolve.
  • Recovery improves your Resolve, removing stress, but you (usually) cannot recover more Resolve than your original maximum.

So, just treat your Resolve as your “Maximum Resolve” and use the Stress box to show your “Current Resolve.”


When you are stressed out, you recover a number of stress equal to your Psyche Rank Number as soon as the next scene you are in begins. In this scene, you can either seek out help and potentially recover more stress, or you perform other activities and have to let your stress naturally recover, which takes time.

When you seek out recovery, frame a scene with one of your Contacts, or another Hero. This scene involves roleplaying with them: catching up with them, asking them for support, voicing your frustrations, or seeking advice. At the end of the scene, make a Psyche roll:

  • White = No change.
  • Green = You recover stress equal to your companion’s Psyche Rank Number.
  • Yellow = You recover stress equal to your companion’s Psyche Rank Number +1R.
  • Red = You recover stress equal to your companion’s Psyche Rank Number +2R.

You can repeat such scenes until you recover fully, but you must seek out a new companion each time.

Recovering stress naturally happens over the course of rest. Each full night’s sleep or the equivalent (based on your character’s biological needs) recovers stress equal to your Psyche Rank Number.

Optional Rule: Healing & Stress

Any power or gear that provides damage recovery can alternatively be used to provide stress recovery. You can’t do both at the same time, though.


“My character knows them!” versus “This person owes me/loves me/will risk themselves for me” are two different relationships. These are represented by NPCs either being just that — NPCs — or being labeled as Contacts under the Affiliations & Contacts section of your datafile.

An NPC usually either does whatever the GM thinks makes sense, or whatever the dice dictate under SOCIAL INTERACTIONS. This includes all negotiations, interrogations, interviews, profiling, bribing, deceit, and so on.

The exception to this is when you spend 5 Karma to establish a temporary contact. This can be with either a new NPC you call into a scene or someone already present: spending the Karma just establishes them as an asset to you in this particular scene. In such a case, you can call on that NPC to help you out an important, albeit not-too-risky way.

What Do Contacts Do? A contact, however, is a named NPC on your character sheet, and they automatically can be called on at any time to lend a hand in a minor way. Call them on the phone, setup a meeting, etc. However you do it, the NPC gets involved and shares whatever aid the GM deems reasonable, which could be nothing (“Sorry, I don’t know what a ‘hydra’ is outside of that scene in Willow…,” says Smiley Sam) or could be lending cash or info-dumps about subjects they are well-versed in.

However, if you spend 10 Karma as noted in the DATAFILES section on Milestones & Karma, you can bring one of your Contacts onto the scene as an important asset. When you do this, they will provide material aid to you and likely will even risk themselves to do so. Maybe not life and limb, but certainly they will put their reputation on the line, fight harder for your cause than some stranger off the street, or take a financial hit if it means bailing you out of jail. Some may be inclined to risk their lives for you; this is ultimately up to the GM and how the narrative has so far established your relationship.

Adding or Upgrading Contacts

One thing you might be wondering is how to turn a one-off temporary contact into a Contact on your sheet. Or, you might wonder how to improve your relationship with a Contact such that they would risk their lives for you.

This is entirely narrative: you can request to frame a short scene that tests your relationship with that NPC — you and the GM collaborate on what happens that might bring conflict or a new status quo — and usually the GM will require at least one pertinent roll. It also may just take time: multiple scenes with the NPC over the course of several scenarios. It’s up to the GM, and it’s a great source for projects your character can focus on during downtime.

  1. Reason is logic and complex problem-solving.
  2. Intuition is insight and emotional intelligence.
  3. Psyche is willpower and force of personality.
  4. Most social rolls are made against a Difficulty, using whichever traits make the most sense.
  5. Popularity is a modifier for social rolls when used on the general public, ranging from -3R (Demonized) to +3R (Idolized).
  6. An NPC has an Attitude toward the character which modifies whichever of their traits is acting as the Difficulty for a social roll. Like Popularity it is measured from +3R (Hostile) to -3R (Enamored).
  7. If your in a complex social situation, or you face assault from psychic powers, you might accrue Stress, which is compared to your Resolve to see if you get Stressed Out.
  8. Datafiles have a section of Contacts who you can call onto a scene for 10 Karma. You can also establish a handy temporary contact in a scene for 5 Karma.