Social Combat Redux

The Social Combat System in Exalted 2e is a step in the right direction, but as it stands it has some serious issues that make it less useful as a game mechanic. This update is an attempt to create a social combat system that is both closer to the streamlined standard combat system as well as simple and easy to use.

Social Combat 2.0


  • Presence/Performance
    • Social Attack, for Individuals and Groups. Characters may adopt Arguments, which are effectively social weapons which enhance attack and defense with Presence and Performance.
    • Presence/Performance add to the Mental Parry DV calculation.
  • Integrity
    • Integrity serves as social Resistance, and provides Mental Soak using the same calculation as Stamina does for physical soak.
  • Linguistics
    • Linguistics serves as Social Dodge. It adds to the Mental Dodge DC calculation. Characters may adopt Fallacies to turn the arguments of their foes aside.

Attitude and Attitude Health

  • Rather than using Willpower as a damage track, Social Combat 2.0 uses the Attitude System. Simply put, a character will have an opinion on any decision he or she must make. If another character wishes to change this opinion, they must change the character's Attitude toward it. This is represented with Attitude Health, effectively Social Health Levels. Multiple Attitude changes require each Attitude to be attacked and defeated in turn.
  • Intimacies are applied as Attitude Health bonuses rather than as DV bonuses. Each relevant Intimacy adds a number of Attitude Health Levels equal to the Intimacy's relevant virtue (defined when the Intimacy is taken).
  • Attitude Health is calculated as (Willpower + Intimacy Bonus).
  • Demoralizing Attacks
    • The attack-willpower-before-a-fight mechanic is not invalid under Social Combat 2.0. By using a Demoralize attack, a character forsakes the chance to change another character's mind in favor of damaging that character's confidence.
    • Each Demoralizing Attack only removes a single point of Temporary Willpower if it is successful, unless Charms are used to augment this.
    • Demoralizing Attacks are more difficult to withstand, and so they are treated as Lethal for the purposes of soak from Integrity.


  • Combat follows the standard Order of Attack Events found in standard combat in Second Edition, with the following changes:
  • Traits are substituted as necessary.
  • Step 7 of Demoralize Attacks simply compare the attacker's successes to the defender's MDDV to determine outcome. The remainder of the standard Order of Attack Events do not apply.


Not specific arguments, but rather methods of arguing, Arguments lend weight to the character's position. They are based upon Virtues but may be used regardless of what Virtues the character possesses.

The main benefit of Arguments is that when used to Defend, the character may pull off a Reversal, where the opponent's argument is turned against itself.

  • Compassion - +0 Acc, +4 Dmg, +2 Def
  • Conviction - +4 Acc, +0 Dmg, +2 Def
  • Temperance - +2 Acc, +2 Dmg, +2 Def
  • Valor - +3 Acc, +3 Dmg, +0 Def

Virtue Correlation

As mentioned above, Arguments do not have to match Virtue. However, there are benefits and drawbacks to doing so. Arguing in concert with your highest Virtue makes the Argument effortless, reducing the Speed of all actions by one. However, if you roll fewer successes on your Argument than you possess in that Virtue, you risk a Reversal.

  • Reversals
    • Occasionally, one's arguments ensnare oneself, and a cunning opponent can take advantage of this.
    • Instant non-action Counterattack?
  • Mental Parry
    • Charisma or Manipulation + Presence or Performance / 2, round up.
    • Defensive buffs from Arguments add directly to this.


A character who simply does not want to be convinced of a position can adopt Fallacies, which, while not based on logic, nonetheless provide a solid (and often circular) reasoning to ignore the opponenent's argument.

  • Flat +4 Defense?
  • Mental Dodge
    • Willpower + Linguistics or Highest Virtue /2, round up.
    • Defensive buffs from Fallacies add directly to this.
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