Charm (Action)

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Heroic Action Role-Play

The skill to be slick and seductive; to lie well with both words and posture and to sense when others are less than honest. A good charmer is also empathic, but there is no guarantee this makes him a nice guy. Charm skill is linked to Mind and an outcome matching this attribute will often result in a Setback on a Charm stunt.

Use in Action

You can play confidence games and give a good impression. You behave like people want and expect you to behave, which makes them likely to bye your story. You are sensitive to moods and adjust well to social situation, while being able to penetrate the social antics of others. This has may uses; you are a perfect host, socialite, gambler, diplomat, negotiator, or lover. You can project emotions, either trough socializing or as a performer on stage.

Knowledge

You know languages and customs, fashions and human behavior. You also recognize taboos and can avoid faux-pas. You have a lot of practical knowledge about human nature and social rituals. You know many colorful anecdotes of notorious rogues of the past and present.

Contacts

This skill has a very impressive contacts element. Basically, you can know anyone who you could conceivably have met. However, these are acquaintances, old lovers, and past social encounters rather than friends or colleges. Most are reliable and friendly, but not all. Some of them still pine for you, and, in spite of their better judgment, would still do almost anything for you. Others have been deliberately putting money in a savings account; they plan to use this money to hire an assassin to kill you as soon as they get a clue as to your whereabouts.

Perception

You can make split-second assessments of other people, and continue to build on this personality profile over time to get a good idea of what goes in in another's mind. You can see when people are lying, see through cons, and see when people are sincere.

Powers

Charm is linked to the forms of Mind, Psi, and Water.

Stunts

Charm stunts cover a wide variety of social situation and action uses of the skill.

Acting & Disguise

Limit Break

You can disguise yourself as somebody else and play out an assumed role with an opposed Charm roll. Make a roll on the initial encounter and a further roll at important junctures, which generally works out to once per scene. You cannot impersonate a specific person, and need cosmetics and bulky clothes to change your apparent race or gender.

Common Ground

Limit Break

You can convince people that you have common values and should be allies. First, you must find some conviction or loyalty the target has, then you convince the target that you share this belief and that these common values make you allies. Once you have found some common ground, you can convince the target in the same manner as a Seduction.

If you don't live up to the values you are claiming to have and can't provide a very convincing excuse, the charm fails.

Cunning Stratagem

Limit Break

You make a Conundrum Distraction, or Trick stunt that affects all enemies present. Roll separately for each.

In certain cases, you can do this as a basic action, when you have a good enough stunt or setup in the GMs opinion. This is often the result of a planned set-up.

Distraction

Basic Action

You can baffle others with tricky words and misleading demeanor. Make an opposed Charm roll; on a success, your target loses 3 shots and you can move past or by them or claim some minor boon from them. Typical uses include distracting a doorman or police officer, conning someone out of some change, or stealing an unsuspecting kiss. It can also be used to get a respite in a fight.

If your Outcome matches the target's Mind, you cause him major consternation; he loses a number of shots equal to your Outcome or otherwise suffers a Setback.

First Impression

Basic Action

You try to make a good impression on someone you are interacting with. If you succeed on an opposed Charm check, you become acquaintances and have a short conversation if time allows - just enough to allow a Limit Break. The person will recognize you if you meet again and generally shows you a friendly face. If you have an Outcome matching the target's Mind, you become friends, and the target will happily spend time with you when convenient.

Frisk

Varies

Make a quick examination of someone, looking for hidden weapons, contraband, and so on. This is an opposed roll compared to the target's Charm, Create, or Impress skill. Depending on what you are looking for and how you do it, there are several modifiers. In order to even try to hide an item like this, the character must be carrying enough clothes.

Circumstance Modifier
You are using a detection device of the same or higher sophistication that the item sought. +3
You know exactly what you are looking for. +3
Person carries the object inside his body (swallowed, surgically implanted). -5
Type of search Modifier
No Action Passive search; you are not actively searching, but the concealed object would attract your notice if you did search (not an action) -5
Trigger Action Visual observation only. -3
Basic Action Pat-down +0
Limit Break Body cavity search +5

In general, you only get one chance at frisking. But if you can change your modifiers so you get better odds, you can try again.

Sometimes, the GM will give you hints even on a failed roll, especially if the plot demands it; you generally get a bad feeling about a the situation even if you failed to find exactly what you looked for as long as you did not fail by a margin greater than your Mind. This realization might not come at once, and you might not be certain who your suspect is, but it gives you incentive to look more closely. By the same token, the GM might delay the result of a successful roll to heighten tension and move the plot along.

When a player tries to smuggle something past a guard, the GM should generally let the player roll their Charm, Create, or Impress skill against the guard's modified Recon; it is much more interesting to have the players be the active party.

Various stunts can be used to distract a guard or fool someone into revealing what they carry, these generally modify the Recon check further. A Setback on such a stunt makes either avoidance or discovery automatic.

Now and then the GM will have to fudge these rolls; generally to allow either a hero or villain to pass inspection but still cause suspicion - this is often the best setup for an exiting action scene.

Gambling

Basic Action

When gambling against another character, make opposed Charm rolls to see who gains the advantage at each stage. Success earns Advantage. If you get an Outcome matching your opponent's Mind, you win. As with any stunt, style gives a bonus. Stakes are raised raised before each roll; refusing to raise and roll means you forfeit the game at the current stakes. Rigged games give the cheater a bonus of +3 or more, but if the target would ordinarily have won, he becomes suspicious.

Gather Information

Limit Break

You hang out with people, perhaps buy a few drinks, and get in on the local gossip. This gives you the local scuttlebutt and rumors, and possibly some real information as well. When gathering information about someone, make an opposed Charm check against them to learn their whereabouts and general information. On an Outcome matching the target's Mind you catch wind of some secret or unusual information. If the roll fails, you still learn general information, but not his current whereabouts, and friends of the mark may inform him of your nosing around.

Note that you can use the Contacts Element of any skill to do this, not just Charm, as long as the information sought are known among the contacts given by your skill.

Gauge the Moment

Limit Break

You have been given a simple order, possibly under duress, such as to march along, be silent, or remain in the background. You can gauge a moment when you can break this order without causing a stir or creating conflict. Make a Charm check against Impress. On a success, you find an opportunity and excuse to break the order, such as a stop for bodily needs, inserting a worthily comment in a conversation, or step up to be helpful.

Good Cop Routine

Finisher

Make an opposed Charm roll against a prisoner or someone who is otherwise at your mercy or dependent on you. If you succeed, you gain their confidence and they see how you are trying to work out the best for them in their current situation; they would not lie to you or play tricks on you, but they still maintain their old loyalties and might not spill the beans to you either. Combines well with Bad Cop Routine.

Innuendo

Basic Action

This is the ability to convey different messages to different listeners by alluding to knowledge only some of them have. It is generally used when you know you are being overheard, but still wish to tell your allies something without the listener realizing what it is. This is useful both in polite conversation and when talking over an open line.

Make an opposed Charm roll against any listeners you want to hide your true meaning from. If you fail, the unintended recipients understand there is a hidden message. If you fail by a margin matching your own Mind, they understand what the message is. The people you are addressing automatically understand what you are trying to convey.

Palm Object

Basic Action

You can swipe a small object without attracting attention. This is usually used to steal, but can be used for other purposes, such as to to plant evidence or for parlor tricks.

Make an opposed Charm roll against your mark. On a success you can swipe or plant a small object that is not attended, secured, or attached and the theft will not be immediately noticed. If you fail and score a negative Outcome matching your Reflexes the attempt is noticed. To swipe an object that is larger than your palm, is attached or worn in a pocket, or that is in clear sight you must score a positive outcome matching the observer's Mind.

Scrutinize

Basic Action

You look over a person, trying to see if he is disguised, concealing an object on his person, or otherwise is hiding something. Make an opposed Charm roll to notice such discrepancies.

Seduction

Limit Break

Charm can be used to get others to help you because of love and desire. Seduction only works on someone potentially exited by your species and gender. You can generally continue to try and make Seduction rolls as long as you succeed; on a failure the mood is broken and you cannot try again in this situation.

Seduction requires an opposed Charm roll to work. On an Outcome equal to the target's Mind, the target falls for you. On a lesser success, you gain an Advantage.

Once someone has been seduced, they will willingly follow and help you out. They seek to avoid conflict with their old allies, and if push comes to shove you cannot guarantee how they will react; they will try to avoid seeing you harmed, but they might make you a captive to save you later or even to have you at their mercy, or they might decide to throw in their lot with you and abandon their former loyalties.

Someone who you have seduced expects favored treatment, company, and possibly sexual favors from you; if you refuse them when the occasion present itself or if they discover you've been unfaithful your power over them is broken and they might become vindictive or even downright hostile.

Sense Motive

Limit Break

Observe someone in a social context and make an opposed Charm roll to learn his immediate goals and motivations, seeing trough surface motives into another person's deeper motivations and personality. You know what kind of person this is; gaining insight into his motivations, methods, and habits. This is not an exact science, and if the target is projecting a social facade, that counts as actively resisting your attempt.

Social Support

Trigger Action (Defense)

When one or more of your friends are the target of an ability where Charm is the difficulty, you can substitute your own Charm for that of your friends for the current shot. Normally, you need to be within Charm meters of them to do this, but if you have some means of communicating and are aware of the situation, you can use this at a longer range.

Tete-a-Tete

Limit break

You have a one-on-one interaction encounter with another character present at the scene. Only you and the other know this happened. This is strictly a social encounter, there is something that prevents this from escalating into combat or that makes attacks impossible. In the middle of a fight this might be a pause enforced by the environment, an impasse, or a mexican standoff.

This interlude happens immediately and is quite short; you can each make an interaction check against the other and have a meaningful exchange. You can use a Charm Limit Break during a tete-a-tete. It happens outside of the normal sequence of rounds. Short as it is, it can still be used to have a meaningful relationship development, make points clear, or otherwise be used to establish common ground or revitalize a rivalry.

Trick

Basic Action

You gain an advantage against an opponent by quick and deceptive actions or words, causing him to stumble or otherwise make a fool of himself. This is a useful set-up both in and outside of combat. The roll will be heavily modified depending on how well you describe your stunt and use available props.

Make an opposed Charm roll against your target. If you succeed, gain an Advantage.

It you score an Outcome matching the target's Mind, you instead inflict a Setback; the target suffers some direct penalty, as appropriate to the situation and how you described your maneuver. He might mistake you for an ally, strike past you at a friendly target, run off after some imaginary danger, or otherwise temporarily make a fool of himself.

Quibble

Trigger Action (Defense)

If you suspect your character is being hoodwinked, you can adopt a skeptical attitude and actively defend yourself. This gives you a +3 bonus to your Charm for any task where your Charm skill sets the difficulty. In a social situation where shots are not counted, this means you are not fully participating - you remain aloft, standing back and observing rather than engaging in the situation - which in means you can't initiate social interactions or make stunts using social skills.