This is a technical article for the DC Heroes RPG.
For a list of all articles like this one, see the Guide to new DC Heroes RPG rules.
- Skilled Character Interaction.
- Character Interaction: Persuasion Addendum.
- Intimidation Multi-Attack.
- Psychological Warfare (Character Interaction Manoeuvre).
Skilled Character Interaction
Some game masters may rule that certain types of Character Interaction come with penalties when using Unskilled. That is, when the Character is relying upon raw INF/AUR rather than Charisma.
Typical examples of situations where such a rule might pop up :
- Interrogating a trained professional. Or perhaps somebody who has been interrogated by the police many times and knows how it works.
- Political negotiation, high-stakes commercial negotiation, hostage negotiation and similar situations where training and experience.
As a result, various writeups.org character profiles have Charisma APs that do not seem directly useful. These will come into play if the character runs into a situation where Unskilled Use penalties apply. *Normally* it’s explicitly noted but there might be profiles where I forgot.
Character Interaction: Persuasion Addendum
Commenters: Sean MacDonald & Roy Cowan
The difficulty of Persuasion attempts should not just reflect the target’s opinion of the would-be persuader but also his opinion on the topic at hand.
Accordingly, GMs may wish to apply two Attitude modifiers for Persuasion attempts up to three times:
- One based on the attitude toward the person making the attempt.
- The second based on the idea or action being proposed.
- The third based on any relevant Irrational Attraction(s).
To avoid potential abuse, the combination of the modifiers should still be capped at the highest or lowest possible points for a single modifier (-2 or +7).
Intimidating multiple persons at once is normally treated as per standard Multi-Attack rules. But it might be interesting to note these special cases :
- Some characters who are great at intimidating large groups of thugs but shouldn’t be able to scare the socks off Batman may be written up with a Multi-Attack Bonus to the Charisma (Intimidation) Subskill.
- If doing a Force Manoeuvre with a weapon or Power that has clearly demonstrated a Multi-Attack Bonus or an Area of Effect, it would be reasonable to allow a subsequent Intimidation roll to apply the same bonuses.
- It would be reasonable for each AP of Growth to allow an additional target for Intimidation attempts at no penalty.
Authors: Sébastien Andrivet
Helper(s): Dr. Piispanen, RD Miles, Adam Fuqua, Chris Cottingham, Eric Langendorff, Capita_Senyera and others.
Type: Character Interaction Manoeuvre
Psychological Warfare is a specialised Character Interaction Manoeuvre. The Character employing Psychological Warfare must have a general idea of what the emotional issues of the target are, as the Manoeuvre attempts to leverage and manipulate those.
This Character Interaction Manoeuvre requires a fine understanding of psychology. Being difficult, it gives the defender +2 Column Shifts to the right for both their Opposing and Resistance Values.
However, if the attacker has an Expertise or a Scholar in Psychology or a closely related area, they can use these bonuses to lower the extra difficulty. An Expertise reduces the defender’s bonus to a +1CS OV/RV bonus, and a Scholar negates the bonus entirely.
The Psychological Warfare Character Interaction Manoeuvre pits the WIL of the Character against the MIN of the interlocutor. The bonus gained through this Character Interaction is not a flat -1CS as with other Manoeuvres, but varies depending on the severity of the issues the Character is attacking.
- a Minor Psychological Instability results in a -1CS bonus.
- a Serious one in a -2CS bonus.
- and a Catastrophic one in a -3CS Bonus.
GMs should draw equivalencies for psychological issues that are not straight Psychological Instabilities. For instance childish and moody character traits may be considered as being worth -1CS — or perhaps -2CS if the person is also volatile and easily confused, like the Savage Hulk.
Some Rages may also qualify.
The Traumatic Flashback Drawback is usually worth a -3CS Bonus if the Character can leverage it. The Character may opt to trigger the Traumatic Flashback if they get any RAPs.
Irrational Hatreds, Attractions, Fears and Dislikes carry their own Attack Vulnerability that the Psychological Warfare Character Interaction Manoeuvre could unearth. See our DC Heroes RPG Drawbacks article for this.
Making things worse
Gift of Gab improves this Character Interaction Manoeuvre Bonus by one further CS, as usual.
An attacker who both has an Expertise or Scholar in Psychology (or a closely related area) *and* extensive knowledge of the defender’s mindscape (for instance a full, competently written psych profile based on extensive observation) can improve this Character Interaction Manoeuvre Bonus by one further CS.
A thematically related mode of character interaction is the Psy-Ops Schtick, though the effects in game terms are quite different.