|Heroic Action Role-Play|
The ability to dominate socially and establish yourself in a leading role. Used to intimidate, lead, browbeat, and install respect. Typically associated with alpha males and the upper classes, Impress is just as important to a primadonna. Impress can be used to oppress or to support others, but in both cases you establish yourself as a superior. Impress skill defaults to Mind and an outcome matching this attribute on a stunt directed against Impress will often result in a Setback. Unskilled bullies can intimidate or threaten, but always do so in an obvious and direct manner; those skilled can Impress subtly and elegantly.
Use in Action
You make others feel frightened, uncomfortable, self-conscious, or inadequate. On a more positive bent you can also inspire, lead, rally, and be a figure of authority and confidence. You may do this by displaying impressive size, great skill, profound intellect, or just with an indefinable quality of superiority. Once you have successfully impressed someone, he is more likely to go along with your suggestions. This does not mean that he will automatically adhere to any request you make, but he will give it much more weight than he otherwise would have.
You know fashions and customs, and what you can do without breaking the rules. You know which clothes to wear and how to wear them for each occasion. You have at least an instinctive understanding of etiquette and how to use social rules to establish superiority, even if you could not put such rules into words. You have a way of finding out the secret weaknesses others try to hide. You know of famous leaders past and present, tough you might not have had any contact with them.
You know people you have browbeaten in the past, and a few strong individuals who have stood up to you. These people respect you, but might secretly want to get back to you. You know people from the organizations you have been a part of it the past. Depending on your current circumstances, your superiors may still support you or want you dead. Your former underlings will still revere you, even if they've been ordered to smoke you on sight.
You understand social hierarchies and can pick out the leader of a group even if he hangs back. You can pick the most useful underling for a specific task. You can judge people's confidence and know who to encourage and who to hold back. You notice weaknesses and phobias you can exploit.
Impress is linked to the forms of Earth, Mind, and Spiritual.
Impress stunts are used to slow down and dominate others in and out of combat.
At Weapon Point
Basic Action (Surprise only)
When you have the drop on someone, instead of immediately attacking them, you use your obvious advantage to get them to converse with you.
To use this stunt, you have to have an obvious advantage - usually because the target is surprised, but sometimes other factors can allow it, at the GM's discretion. Another way to use At Weapon Point is with a hostage and against someone who is already using it, creating a Mexican standoff.
You must have a clear shot at your opponent with something he considers dangerous, generally a Melee or Shoot attack. You can use this against several creatures at once, but you can only attack once (see below). Make an opposed Impress check, on a success you hold him At Weapon Point until the situation is resolved or until you suffer a Setback.
Bad Cop Routine
Make an opposed Impress roll against your target. If you succeed, they give up, spill the beans, and give in to your demands. Basically, they will do anything to momentarily please and appease you, which means they might give you a plausible lie instead of an uncomfortable truth, especially if you ask leading questions. They also have no qualms about causing you harm as long as it is not obvious, such as by triggering a silent alarm. Combines well with Good Cop Routine.
You try to get an advantage or force someone else to cooperate with you. Make an opposed Impress roll against your target. If you succeed you gain an Advantage. It you score an Outcome matching the target's Mind, you inflict a Setback; the target suffers some direct penalty, as appropriate to the situation and what you did to him. He might cave in to your demands, run off scared, break down babbling, or otherwise lose his cool.
You try to demoralize another into a disadvantage. The roll will be heavily modified depending on how well you describe your stunt and use the situation and available props.
Make an opposed Impress roll against your target. If you succeed the target is Stymied. It you score an Outcome matching the target's Mind, you inflict a Setback; the target suffers some direct penalty, as appropriate to the situation and what you did to him. He might run off scared, fail to do anything, surrender, or otherwise lose his cool.
You try to establish yourself as a person of prominence worthy of trust and responsibility. You generally only get one chance at this, but can make up for a failed first impression over time as people really get to know you. This need not be the first thing you do on meeting someone, but it should be your first serious interaction with them.
Make an opposed Impress roll against the highest skill of those doubting you. On a success, you establish yourself as a person to be respected and not to be crossed. On an outcome matching their Mind you establish yourself in an alpha position, a leader, noble, or otherwise with a very strong authority.
Using this on enemies establishes you as a respectable and noteworthy opponent, not to be taken lightly. It makes it much more likely that they will accord you special privileges, such as accepting a settlement by negotiation or duel, but it does not make them friendly or make them back down from their position.
This is useful to avoid pitfalls in social situations. You can gauge what another creatures reaction to an order or request would be. Decide on a hypothetical impress stunt and make an opposed Impress roll. On a success you can gauge the targets reaction if you succeeded with the actual stunt. You understand whether the request is reasonable or if the target is uncomfortable or even violently opposed to it (which means the stunt might be impossible or require a Setback to achieve).
Trigger Action (Defense)
When put under pressure, you can adopt a sullen attitude and actively defend yourself. This gives you a +3 bonus to your Impress for any task where your Impress skill sets the difficulty.
You attract attention. Make an Impress roll against everyone present; if you succeed, you make a strong impression and they will focus their attention on you. If their next action does not include you as a target, it suffers a -2 penalty. This works both is social situations and in battle.
If you are performing on a stage, presiding in a court, or otherwise the center of attention this is a Basic Action.
Use this to scare someone to lay off and let you be for a while; on a success, the target loses three shots and backs off, allowing you to move by or away. If your Outcome matches the target's Mind, he is seriously scared and suffers an appropriate Setback instead.
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 or threatening hostages.