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Populist Rhetoric (•-•••••, Style)Edit

Requires Presence 3, Manipulation 3

Your character has been trained in making friends and influencing people. She might be a politician or a cult leader, even if she is not she sees words as tools to make people do what she wills. Such power can be used for both good or ill.

Anecdote (•): Your character brings up a heartwrenching story. Arguing against her is like arguing against Little Orphan Annie. She rolls Presence + Expression - her targets Composure; on a success the target has a -2 penalty to Social dice pools against her on this topic for the rest of the scene.

Polispeak (••): Your character can talk at length while saying nothing. By spouting a never ending stream of ambiguous statements and platitudes she can dodge questions while appearing to give answers. When someone is debating against her, she may reflexively forgo her action for a turn to subtract her Manipulation from her opponents Persuasion or Expression dice pools. This works best at stalling for time or when she can’t win a debate and hopes to simply minimise the scale of her loss.

Catch Phrases (•••): People are naturally tribal and like a social chameleon your character can fit in anywhere by spouting catchphrases and speaking with the correct lingo. Once per scene, she may spend a point of Willpower to gain a bonus of half her Subterfuge to all Social dice pools with a certain group of people. This cannot be done if the target group has prerequisites your character does not meet - an adult could not join a teenager only group for example. Using this technique is not declaring loyalty to a group (in fact it’s probably best to avoid doing so) but if she’s good people will naturally feel more comfortable around her.

Drawback: By getting in with a group your character is placing herself outside other groups. She gains an equal penalty to those who dislike the group, for example if she creates a bonus with Republicans she’ll take a penalty while talking to Democrats for the rest of the scene.

Encouragement (••••): Your character can convince people to associate what they like about themselves with herself. You try to treat all people politely, that’s not because you’re a good person. That’s because you’re a Christian/Liberal/Humanist/Feminist/Conservative. Using the same dice pool as for the Inspiring Merit [CofD 51] your character gives listeners a variant of the Inspired Condition; a listener resolves the Condition only for an action in line with his Virtue, but when he does so and your character is engaged in a social maneuver against him, she opens one Door without a roll.

Rally (•••••): Your character can play the crowd like a fiddle, alienating and isolating her opponent in an argument. Both your character and her opponent pick a Social merit that gives influence over people (usually Allies, Fame, Mystery Cult Initiation, or Status, though others may be allowed.) The people represented by that Merit must be present, be they in the audience, waving placards outside or posting comments on the blog with the debate). Roll Presence + Persuasion + Merit Dots. Until the maneuver ends, for every (target’s Composure + Merit dots - your character’s successes) Social rolls the target must spend one point of Willpower not to concede in the face of such hostility. This does not count against the target’s one willpower per turn.

Example: Gwenaëlle is a columnist having a public debate about obesity with Desmond, the director of public relations in a greedy fast food chain. Gwenaëlle rolls Presence + Persuasion + her Status in the newspaper to fill her next column with metaphors that sound a call to arms. She gains four successes. Desmond has a Composure of 3 and chooses to play his Status 4 in the corporation, getting subordinates to ghost write and give him some emotional distance. Every third roll Desmond loses a Willpower point as his corporate blog is hammered with aggressive comments by Gwenaëlle’s supporters.

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