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Charm [[Charisma]

Charm measures the characters skill with words, be it for arguing, taunting or anything else. Having a high charm makes you, well, Charming—dashing, witty and clever in social settings. At its basic level it's a conversational skill: you can use to use it to sway people opinions, tell good jokes, romance attractive companions, or other such feats. What you can't use the base skill for is getting someone so angry they drop their guard or attack to the detriment of their plans (though they may certainly get angry), or seducing a loyal husband away from his wife, or an honor bound highborn lady into your bed (but they'll certainly go aflutter and remember your charms in the future). In other words, Charm can't be used to make someone act against their best interests or moral fiber. That's what we have sub-skills for.

Charm and its sub-skills can be used against groups of people; in those cases, take the highest social defense among the targets and add one for every extra person. A quartet of characters with social defenses of 4 would have a difficulty of 7 for Charm attempts (4 from the highest, +3 for the extra people). They also require that the targets understand you, and most vanish if the target is attacked (or in some cases wounded).

Arcane Curses
Confuse and frighten other people by delivering terrifying prophetic statements and incomprehensible curses. It helps of the target has any reason to think you might be able to foresee or call down this sort of stuff (dropping the success required from Good to Average). If successful, the targets will refrain from taking hostile action against their accuser for Rank rounds out of fear of possible repercussions. What happens then is up to the target's nature: some feel foolish, others want vengeance, still others develop a lifelong fear. It depends on the target; what this sub-skill does is get them to leave you alone for a few minutes.

Engaging Banter
Start up some witty interplay with your target; if the Engaging Banter test succeeds, the target gets drawn into idle chatter and is distracted from whatever he's supposed to be doing. This reduces all Steps (including Element steps, and with them things like Physical Defense) by 1 for as long as you keep up the Banter, and all perception tests are reduced by 3 steps. Engaging Banter costs an action to start, and you can keep it going for Rank turns in a fight, or for as long as you like outside one. When used in a fight, it lasts until the target gets wounded; otherwise attacking breaks the effect.

Graceful Exit
This lets you make a spectacular exit with rhetoric, giving you time to flee before your opponents come to their senses. If the Graceful Exit is successful, your targets will take no action against you while you escape, but all you can do is escape. Try and go back and they'll pound on you! This takes your action.

Incite Mob
Use this skill to drive people to action against a particular target. You must have a specific target, and a specific course of action to for them to take. Use the highest Social Defense in the group as the target; the larger the group, the higher your success needs to be to get them to do what you want. This takes a minute to use. Once the mob is moving, they're outside your control unless you Incite them again.

Use Seduction Skill to convince members of your preferred sex to become romantically involved with you. In addition to making a successful skill test, this is done in a series of steps, each making the target more and more interested and bringing them more under your influence. There are rules in the ED rulebook that I won't type out here.

With the Taunt sub-skill you can make your opponent so cross that they may make a mistake (Like What?!). This takes your action, and if successful, your opponent (taunt only works on one person at a time) has all their skill, sub-skill and talent steps reduced by your rank in Taunt. The effect lasts for rank rounds.

Witty Repartee
This sub-skill makes you more attractive to a member of the opposite sex. You have to engage him or her in a brief conversation, but if successful, all tests against the target's social defense for the next day have a step bonus equal to your rank in Witty Repartee. Using this on members of other races requires greater degrees of success, but can still be done.

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Copyright © 2000 Brian Rogers