Friday, February 16, 2018

The Charming: A WHITEHACK Character Class


The Charming

Level
XP
HD
AV*
ST
Slots
Groups
Raises
1
0
1
10
6
1
2
-
2
2,000
2
10
7
1
2
1
3
4,000
2+1
11
8
2
3
1
4
8,000
3
12
9
2
3
2
5
16,000
3+1
12
10
3
4
2
6
32,000
4
13
11
3
4
3
7
64,000
4+1
14
12
4
5
3
8
128,000
5
14
13
4
5
4
9
256,000
5+1
15
14
5
6
4
10
512,000
6
16
15
5
6
5

A
lthough traditional Reaction Rolls are eschewed in WHITEHACK (instead supplanted by a Charisma task roll), there is still an opportunity for a Character Class Archetype that overcomes traditional challenges by a new, more socially-centric means. Shunning the direct physical or metaphysical application of force utilized by The Strong and The Wise and instead adopting a completely different angle of approach, Players can utilize The Charming Class to attempt to surmount obstacles without the need for bloodshed or evoking the supernatural. Characters with The Charming Class are seldom well-armed, but often disarming.

Either via showcasing sincere empathy and kind-heartedness, carrying out a crafty con or diabolic deception (more typically, the subconscious blurring of multiple routes), the primary tactic of a Charming character is to develop common ground with an impediment that can be socially engineered and use this bond to arrange for favorable conclusions.

This common ground/bond is represented by sharing an Affiliation Group. When a Charming character has an Affiliation in common with a particular obstacle (usually people, but could also be places, organizations, even things, etcetera) all Charisma task rolls when interacting with the obstacle in order to influence Reaction are double-positive.

Unlike other Classes where Affiliation Groups are relatively static and only swapped or newly acquired through play, a Charming character may use their Slots as a temporary stand-in. These “Slot Affiliations” are more superficial and finite than the standard Affiliations acquired through play or level dependent increases, but they are versatile: When first gained, a d6 should be rolled and the value noted. This value represents the number of times the Affiliation Group can be utilized for task rolls (this includes Charisma task rolls for Reaction). In contrast to standard Affiliations, Slot Affiliations are not associated with a specific attribute (much like The Deft’s Vocation) and can be utilized for double-positive task rolls on any attribute. Each time this is used, reduce the Slot Affiliation value by 1. When the Slot Affiliation value reaches 0, it becomes “inactive” and cannot be used for further task rolls until refreshed.

In order to refresh or gain a new a Slot Affiliation The Charming Character must seek out or encounter a member of the Affiliation Group, and after receiving a positive Reaction, spend at least an hour or so conversing/interacting with the individual. After this socialization is complete, a d6 is rolled once more and recorded for a new Affiliation value. Additional options are provided below in the Section entitled Social Combat.

A Slot Affiliation can represent a mostly superficial, but still useful amount of knowledge concerning the Affiliation Group. Either enough information to successfully impersonate for the purpose of convincing a real member that you share membership, or perhaps a sufficient general understanding of the Affiliation’s cultural cues and social mores. The Charming character must be careful however, for many Affiliations do not take kindly to this intrusion, and if found to not possess a genuine relationship or connection with the Group, it may preclude them from using their Slot for this Group in the future as word within Affiliation Groups can travel quite fast.

Characters with The Charming Class may use any weapon or amour befitting their Vocation without penalty but must take care that their raiment and mien are suitable and compatible with any active Slot Affiliations. Attempting to work their charms within the Tower Wizard’s College in Full plate is bound to draw suspicions in the least, or reduce their Slot Affiliation value by d6 at worst. Should the Slot Affiliation value ever go negative, word has spread of The Charming as an imposter in the ranks, and this Affiliation Group is no longer available as a Slot Affiliation. However, it can be regained as a Level-based Group through play and extraordinary reparations.

Expanding the WHITEHACK Reaction Roll

Reaction Rolls (as a task roll on Charisma) have built in granular modulation of success based on the results. The chain of Successful positive pairs, crits, normal successes, failures, fumbles, and failed negative pairs can also be applied as below:

Chain Result
Reaction
Successful positive pairs
Instant kinship, verging on Charm Person territory
Critical Success
Fast Friends, willing to perform major favors
Success - High
Friendly, minor favors possible
Success - Middling
Cautious but amiable, reciprocal favors possible
Success - Low
Guarded, needs a show of good faith/favor from you
Failures
Open or hidden hostility unreceptive. Combat imminent
Fumbles
Actively antagonistic and inimical, Roll initiative
Failed Negative Pairs
Have at you!  Roll initiative and determine surprise

Option I: Social Combat

To refresh or gain a new Slot Affiliation Group or add a new Affiliation, a Charming character must best a member of the Affiliation Group in question in Social Combat. This is designed to emulate sly inveigling, genuine interest, or other conversational means of confidence. In many ways this is remarkably similar to the Melee combat resolution process:  Task Rolls are made against the target’s Social Armor Class, and must exceed it, while still being successful (under the attacker’s AV). 

Fortunately, The Charming character will usually take the first turn, and as with The Strong, a character with a Charisma attribute of 12+ receives a +1 to their Social AV. A Charisma attribute of 16+ engenders a +1 to Social Damage (base Social Damage is equal to the Charming character’s HD, sans modifiers).

What is Social Armor Class? It’s a numeric representation of how susceptible a target is to friendly or manipulative overtures. Just as with standard WHITEHACK AC, it starts at 0, but often receives bonuses based on the relationship to the target, the present situation, and even recent events. The table below provides some sample modifiers and Base Social ACs:

Social Armor
AC
The presence of other individuals (“Shield”)
+1
The Closest of Friends/Partners, Family (“Cloth”)
1
Romantic partners, casual friends, and close acquaintances…never wronged (“Leather”)
2
Friends/Acquaintances with a sometimes-tumultuous relationship (“Studded leather”)
3
“Friend of a friend” (“Chainmail”)
4
The default for Strangers who share similar cultures/language (“Splint Mail”)
5
Language Barrier, different cultures (“Full plate”)
6

Violence or open hostility, as well as established patterns of wrong-doing/negative influence typically engender negative-double rolls or may be foredoomed to failure at the Referee’s discretion. The above are merely suggestions for only the most common of social situations. For Monsters and such of formidable power, additional modifications may be necessary. Standard AC can occasionally also serve as a baseline here.

In terms of timekeeping, Social Combat rounds are usually longer than their Melee counterparts (closer to the traditional RPG “Turn,” or 10 minutes) reflecting the amount of time it takes to successfully converse and interact. On a successful Social Attack, damage is subtracted from a target’s HD or Level (higher as applicable). It is important to note that a failed Social Attack leaves the Charming character vulnerable to a free counterattack or Social Riposte by the target however (AV 10+HD), and the Charming’s Base Social AC should be treated as 1 (one must let their guard down to produce at even the semblance of sincerity).

When a participant’s Social Damage total exceeds or meets their HD or level, Social Combat ends. If victorious, The Charming may use one of the targets Affiliation Groups as their Slot Affiliation, or “refresh” an existing one by adding d6 to its current value. A new Reaction Roll (double-positive on Charisma, with a newly shared Affiliation Group) can then be attempted to further adjudicate the situation.

If defeated, further Social Overtures on this target will be negative-double, and if already present, the Slot Affiliation value is reduced by d6 until it can be reacquired from a different target. As above the Slot Affiliation value ever go negative, word has spread of The Charming as an imposter in the ranks, and this Affiliation Group is no longer available to the character as a Slot Affiliation. However, it can be regained as a Level-based Group through play and extraordinary reparations.

                For something simpler and swifter, the table below can be used in conjunction with the initial Reaction Roll to determine the disposition of a Charming characters attempts at gaining/refreshing Slot Affiliations:

Chain Result
Charming Bonus
Successful positive pairs
Gain Slot Affiliation at double-positive d6 or +2d6 Slot Affiliation value
Critical Success
Gain Slot Affiliation at d6 or +double-positive d6 Slot Affiliation value
Success
Gain Slot Affiliation at d6 or +d6 Slot Affiliation value
Failures
No Slot gain possible from this target or -1 Slot Affiliation value
Fumbles
No Slot gain possible or -1d6 Slot Affiliation value
Failed Negative Pairs
Lose Slot Affiliation if present, next Reaction with this Affiliation are double-negative




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