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View Full Version : Pathfinder A Comedy of Manners - PF Social PvP Minigame P.E.A.C.H.



TheYell
2016-08-17, 02:29 PM
SETTING

The throne of Ajad in Kirkal remains vacant. The Dukes of Dreu, Pars, and Sosar contend for the throne. But the Duke of Pojo has held them in the baroque peace of the Regency, with a Mayor ruling in Kirkal.

The three Dukes know they cannot plunge Ajad into civil war and win. They must have help from outside Ajad. The other kingdoms of Bardu Armatta, Kors, and Morpa refuse to meddle before one Duke emerges as stronger than the others.

And so Kirkal under the Mayors continues its whirl of rococo ceremonial and etiquette, moon after moon, as the diplomats play the Comedy of Manners.

The Comedy of Manners is a player versus player game of courtly intrigue that is based on the Pathfinder Universe. It can be played by one to four persons with a DM. Each turn represents a month of time and is in four phases: The Time Before The Ball, The Ball of the Full Moon, The Day After The Ball, and Settlement. The players represent minor nobles acting on behalf of one of the Dukes of Ajad. The goal of the game is to become the preeminent ducal emissary at Kirkal by embarrassing other players to the point that they are recalled by their Duke that is, removed from play. The game ends when one player remains, or when twenty-five turns have passed.

GETTING STARTED

Each player will choose a Duke to represent Dreu, Pars, Pojo, or Sosar.

***Gameplay Note*** These names are specific to the Bardu setting. For your own game you can substitute appropriate region names, or use the following generic titles: the Duke of the North, the Duke of the South, the Duke of the East, the Duke of the West.

Each player will construct a character of character level two in the usual manner.
Multiclassing is permitted.
Each character will have a Career Record that will be blank to start with.
The DM will keep up the Career Record for each character.
The Career Record will track the Blots, Coups, and Foe Points earned by each character.
Characters will have the wealth corresponding with their level two characters with which to buy gear and equipment.
If there are fewer than four players, the DM will draw up dummy characters to represent a Duke until there are four Ducal Agents in play.

PLAYING THE GAME

There are four phases of play in Comedy of Manners:
The Time Before the Ball
The Ball of the Full Moon
The Day After the Ball
Settlement

Players act in the first three phases to earn Coups, Blots, and Foe Points as described below.

Coups
Coups are positive points earned by players.
Coups may be used in the Settlement phase in two ways.
1 Coup can erase 1 Blot;
4 Coups can advance the player one character level.
A player may have any number of Coups accumulated.

Blots
Blots are negative points earned by players through their own breaches of etiquette, or may be imposed on players by Plots , Exposed Plots, and Calumny.
Any number of Blots may be erased in the Settlement phase by spending 1 Coup to erase 1 Blot.
A player who ends a Settlement phase with 7 or more Blots is removed from the game.

Foe Points
Foe Points are negative points specific to one Third Party, earned by players through their own actions or imposed on players by Plots and Calumny.
Foe Points raise the DC to interactions with that Third Party by 5 points.
Foe Points may be erased by Boons in the Time Before the Ball at the rate of 1 Boon to 1 Foe Point.
There is no limit to the number of Foe Points a player may accumulate.

THE TIME BEFORE THE BALL

Players take two kinds of action during The Time Before The Ball:
Normal Action
Extra Action
Play is resolved simultaneously, and players should provide their moves to the DM in secret in writing.

NORMAL ACTION

There are four kinds of Normal Action:
Boon
Strikes
Plots
Investigations

Boon
A Boon is a service such as feeding the poor, healing the sick, running messages.
Performing a Boon for a Third Party erases a Foe Point with that party.
If there is no Foe Point with that party, the Boon has no effect.
A player may expend her turn doing a Boon for one of the following third parties:
the Ambassador of Morpa,
the Ambassador of Kors,
the Ambassador of Armatta,
the Mayor of Kirkal,
and the Underworld of Kirkal.
A player may normally perform 1 Boon in the Time Before The Ball.

***Gameplay Note*** These names are specific to the Bardu setting. For your own game you can substitute appropriate region names, or use the following generic titles: the Archbishop, the Elector, the Baron, the Mayor, the Don.

Strike
A Strike is a direct attack performed for the benefit of the Mayor of Kirkal.
A Strike targets the Underworld of Kirkal.
A Strike earns the player a Coup.
A Strike earns a Foe Point with the Underworld of Kirkal.

Plots

Plots are intricate conspiracies against other players.
Plots are created by one player, called the Author, to smear another player, called the Subject of the Plot. The smear is that the Subject conspired to undermine a Third Party, called the Object of the Plot.
In order to carry out the plot, the author selects a different Third Party to be a Conspirator.
Plots are created in the Time Before the Ball and brought to Completion at the Ball of the Full Moon.

There are three possible outcomes of a plot:
The plot is Completed by the author at the Ball. The subject of a completed plot earns a Blot and a Foe Point with the Object of the plot.
The plot is Exposed by another player at the Ball after an investigation. The author of an Exposed plot earns a Blot and a Foe Point with the Object of the Plot.
The plot is Bungled by the author when he fails some critical roll. The author of a Bungled plot earns a Blot.

The following Third Parties may be Objects of a Plot:
the Ambassador of Armatta
the Ambassador of Morpa
the Ambassador of Kors
the Mayor of Kirkal

The following Third Parties may be Conspirators in a Plot:
the Ambassador of Armatta
the Ambassador of Morpa
the Ambassador of Kors
the Mayor of Kirkal
the Underworld of Kirkal.

To create a plot the author writes the name of the subject, the object and the conspirator on a piece of paper and gives it secretly to the DM.

Second, the author rolls a DC 22 Disguise check to conceal her identity from the Conspirator.
If successful the Conspirator cannot reveal the author in an investigation.
If unsuccessful, the Conspirator will reveal the author in a successful investigation.
Failing a Disguise roll does not result in a Bungled plot.

Third, the author may roll to influence the Conspirator's attitude towards her.
Add 1 DC for every Foe Point the author has with the Conspirator.
Failing this roll does not result in a Bungled plot.

Fourth, the author rolls a Diplomacy DC 22 check to persuade the Conspirator to join the plot.
Add 1 DC for every Foe Point the author has with the Conspirator.
Subtract 5 DC for every level above indifferent the Conspirator is with regard to the author.
Failing this roll results in a Bungled plot.

Fifth, the author makes a Craft Documents roll to forge documents supporting the plot.
Usually the DC for this roll is 17.
However if the conspirator is the Underworld of Kirkal the DC for Craft Documents is 12.
Failing this roll does not result in a Bungled plot.
Successfully making this roll creates Documents to assist the plot at the Ball of the Full Moon.

Having made these five rolls, the plot is ready for the author to complete with a Diplomacy roll with the Object at the Ball of the Full Moon.

Players can normally make 1 plot during the Time Before the Ball.

For Example: Jill conspires with the Underworld to smear Ted for attempted blackmail of the Ambassador of Armatta. Jill makes her Disguise roll and makes the Diplomacy roll to persuade the Underworld to conspire with her. She also makes the roll to craft documents.

Investigation

A player may Investigate Third Parties to attempt to uncover plots.
The player selects a third party from the following list:
the Ambassador of Armatta
the Ambassador of Morpa
the Ambassador of Kors
the Mayor of Kirkal
the Underworld of Kirkal.

The player makes a DC 22 Sense Motive check to uncover if the third party is a conspirator.
Add 1 DC for every Foe Point the third party has with the player.
If the roll is successful the DM informs the player whether the third party is a conspirator.
The DM does not inform the player how many plots the third party is a conspirator to.

After learning the third party is a conspirator, the player makes a Intimidate DC 22 to learn the details of the plot.
Add 1 DC for every Foe Point the third party has with the player.
If unsuccessful, the player learns nothing of the plot.
If successful, the player learns the subject and object of one plot the third party is conspirator to.
If the author failed the Disguise roll, the successful investigator learns the author of the same plot.
If the author made their Disguise roll, the successful investigator does not learn the identity of the author. This is called a Rumored Plot.

A player who has made a successful investigation is prepared to Expose the plot at the Dancing phase of the Ball of the Full Moon.

Players can normally make a number of investigations in the Time Before the Ball equal to their base movement score divided by 10.

For example: Bill goes to the Underworld for answers. He has a Foe Point with the Underworld, but still makes the Sense Motive and Intimidate rolls. He learns that there is a plot afoot to frame Ted for blackmailing the Ambassador of Armatta, but because Jill made her disguise roll, he does not learn from the investigation who is the author of this plot. Bill has found out a Rumored Plot.

EXTRA ACTIONS

Players may be able to make one extra action based on their class abilities, as listed below:

Boon
channel energy
lay on of hands
manifest psychoportation
cast abjuration spells
banner ability

Investigation
mystery class feature
investigation class feature
knacks ability
manifest clairsentience powers
nature's bond class feature

Strike
manifest psychokinesis powers
manifest metacreativity powers
kinetic blast class feature
favored terrain class feature
cast conjuration spells
cast evocation spells
rage class feature
grit class feature
smite evil class feature

Plot
bardic knowledge class feature
rogue talent class feature
ninja trick class feature
mesmerist trick class feature
cast enchantment spells
manifest telepathy powers

As players level up, they may gain a broader range of Extra Actions.
Regardless of how many Extra Actions they could potentially take, they can only take 1 Extra Action.
Normal and Extra actions can be different actions.

***IMPORTANT GAMEPLAY NOTE***
The DM should meet separately with each player to resolve their turn in private, (or play by post) so that other players cannot observe how many rolls the player is making which would indicate what action that player is taking that turn. It is perfectly licit for players to discuss their turns with each other if they choose, and this can be an excellent opportunity for roleplaying and deductive reasoning.

For example, Bill knows he isn't the author of the plot against Ted, and neither can Ted be the author. He asks Roy if he is the author, and Roy says he is spending his turn striking the underworld. Bill chooses to believe Roy, especially when Jill refuses to discuss her turn. By logic, the author of the plot against Ted is Jill, and Bill goes to the Ball of the Full Moon ready to Expose her.

THE BALL OF THE FULL MOON

The next phase is the Ball of the Full Moon.
Players should resume their seats at table with the DM and play together.

There are three stages of the Ball of the Full Moon:
The Soiree
The Dancing
The Farewell

It is a Blot to avoid the Ball or depart before the Farewell.

The Soiree
The notables of Kirkal and their friends gather on comfortable lounges and enjoy a cold buffet. Conversation, by custom, is kept off business.
It is a Blot to attempt to Complete or Expose a plot or launch a Calumny during the Soiree.
The Soiree is reserved for verbal dueling.

Players roll for intiative adding their Charisma modifiers.
Initiative determines the order in which the players make their action rolls.

The following Third Parties are in attendance at the Ball and constitute the audience for verbal duels:
the Ambassador of Armatta
the Ambassador of Morpa
the Ambassador of Kors
the Mayor of Kirkal

Each of the players start with a number of conversation points equal to their Fortitude save plus their Reflex save plus their Will save.
The number of conversation points a player has is secret.

A verbal duel has two parts, an attack and a riposte.

There are two forms of attack, a direct and indirect attack.

A direct attack is done by a player against another player and costs two conversation points.
The player making a direct attack rolls Intimidate DC 17 + target's Will save.
If this attack is unsuccessful, the target need not make a riposte.
If this attack is successful, the target needs to make a riposte.
If the target refuses or cannot afford to make a riposte, the target earns a Blot and the attacker earns a Coup.

An indirect attack is done by a player to a third party and costs one conversation point.
The player making an indirect attack rolls Diplomacy DC 12 + 1 DC for each Foe Point the player has with the third party.
If this attack is unsuccessful, the target need not make a riposte.
If the target refuses or cannot afford to make a riposte, the target earns a Blot and the attacker earns a Coup.

There are three forms of riposte:
direct attack,
indirect attack,
and segue.

A segue is done by one player to another and costs 3 conversation points.
A segue is done by a roll of Bluff 22 + target's Reflex save.
On a successful roll, the duel is won by the player making the segue. That player earns a Coup and the loser earns a Blot.

Example: Ted pays 2 points to tell Bill to his face what he thinks of him as a man and makes his roll. Bill pays one point to ask the Ambassador of Morpa if he's ever hear such nonsense, and makes this roll. Ted pays another two points to tell Bill that a real man doesn't need an audience, and makes his roll. Bill pays three points to say he's reminded of a joke about a one-legged man at an asskicking contest. Bill makes this difficult roll, giving him the win.

Example: Jill pays 2 points to tell Roy that people are noticing what he's been up to, and fails at her roll. Roy just stares at her and walks away.

Players enjoying the cold buffet may not engage in further verbal duels.
Players reduced to 0 conversation points are removed to the buffet after their last verbal duel.
Players may choose to go to the buffet.
Players with more than 1 conversation point who choose to go to the buffet suffer a Blot.

Example: Roy and Bill each have 2 conversation points. Roy pays 1 point to ask the Ambassador of Armatta if Bill seems drunk tonight. Bill is required to give a riposte and pays 2 points to tell Roy that anything he has to say can be said to his face. Roy is required to give a riposte and pays 1 point to tell the Mayor of Kirkal that it is too bad about Roy's drinking. Bill is required to give a riposte but is out of conversation points, so he loses to Roy. Roy gains a coup and Bill suffers a Blot. Both Roy and Bill are out of conversation points and are removed to the buffet.

The Soiree continues until only one player, or none, remains away from the buffet.

The Dancing
The younger folks of Kirkal enjoy brisk dancing to live music. The older notables of Ajad withdraw to the lounge for coffee. Now is the time for serious matters to be discussed.

Players roll for intiative based on their Charisma modifiers and a d20 roll.
Initiative determines the order in which the players make their action rolls.

There are three actions players may make in the Dancing Phase:
Complete a Plot
Expose a Plot
Launch a Calumny

To Complete a Plot, the author approaches the Object and makes a DC 22 Bluff roll.
Add 1 DC for each Foe Point the object has with the author.
Subtract 10 DC for Documents created to support the plot.
If succesful in this roll, the Plot is Completed. The Subject earns a Blot and a Foe Point with the Object of the Plot, and the Author of the Plot earns a Coup.
If unsuccessful, the plot has Bungled, and the author earns a Blot and a Foe Point with the Object.

To Expose a Plot, the player approaches the Object and makes a DC 22 Diplomacy roll.
Add 1 DC for each Foe Point the object has with the player attempting to expose the plot.
Subtract 1 DC for each Foe Point the object has with the author.
If successful, the plot is Exposed and the author earns a Blot and a Foe Point with the object, and the player Exposing the plot earns a Coup.
If unsuccessful, the player attempting to expose the Plot earns a Blot and a Foe Point with the object.

In the case of a Rumored Plot the player Exposes the author based on Deduction.
In those cases the player approaches the Object and makes a DC 17 Bluff roll.
Add 1 DC for each Foe Point the object has with the player attempting to Expose the Plot.
Subtract 1 DC for each Foe Point the Object has with the alleged Author.
If successful, the plot is Exposed and the alleged Author earns a Blot and a Foe Point with the object, and the player Exposing the Plot earns a Coup.
If the alleged author did not actually compose the Plot, she has a Cause for a Duel with the player exposing the Rumored Plot, as explained below.

A failed roll to Expose a plot does not excuse the Author from making the roll to Complete the plot.

For example, Bill was ready to expose Jill, but Jill got to the Ambassador from Armatta first. And bungled her roll! Bill does not get a Coup but Jill earns a Blot and a Foe Point with the Ambassador from Armatta.

The third type of action is the spontaneous and impromptu Calumny.
A Calumny has the same effect as a Completed plot.
The author of a calumny selects an appropriate third party as an object and accuses a subject player of conspiracy against the object.
Roll a DC 22 Bluff roll to persuade the object.
Add 1 DC for every Foe Point the object has with the author.
Subtract 1 DC for every Foe Point the object has with the subject.
A successful roll Completes the Calumny. The subject earns a Blot and a Foe Point with the object of the Calumny, and the author of the Calumny earns a Coup.
A failed roll earns the author a Blot and a Foe Point with the object of the Calumny.

A player may attempt a Calumny on their turn regardless of what other actions they took during the Dancing stage of the Ball of the Full Moon.

Farewell
The guests put on smiles, and bid each other goodbye. At this point affairs of honor require a demand for satisfaction.
The Farewell is the time for Challenging of a Duel.
The players roll for initiative, adding their Wisdom modifier to the roll.
The players may issue Challenges to each other in the order of initiative.
A Justified Challenge may be issued for the following Causes:
Against the victor in a verbal duel by the loser;
Against the author of a Completed or Exposed plot by the subject;
Against the player who falsely exposes the alleged author of a Rumored Plot, by the alleged author;
Against the author of a Completed or Bungled calumny by the subject.
Justified challenges are issued in the same Ball phase as the offense that justifies them.
All other challenges are unjustified.
It is a Blot to issue an unjustified challenge.
It is a Blot to decline a justified challenge.
Regardless of how many Causes exist between one player and another, only one challenge may be issued between them during the Farewell and only one Duel will occur between them during the Day After The Ball phase.
Accepted challenges are resolved in the Day After The Ball phase in the order they were issued.

THE DAY AFTER THE BALL

Dueling in Ajad is a civilized and moderate affair. Duels are with swords or sword-like implements, such as longswords, rapiers, nine-ring broadswords, katanas, gladii, shortswords, scimitars, falchions, greatswords, temple swords, elven curved blades, kukris, etc.

Each player has his choice of his own weapon.
Each character may use combat feats such as Weapon Finesse in the usual manner.

Duels are fought until one side inflicts injury.
Duels are fought one on one, one at a time, in the order issued.

In the odd occurrence that a player is reduced below 10 hp, he is excused from fighting other duels.
Players are assumed to recover full hit points in The Time Before The Ball.

Players calculate initiative as usual and apply their BAB and AC as usual.

The winner of a fair duel gains a Coup.
The loser of a fair duel does not suffer a Blot.
The winner of a cheating duel suffers a Blot.
The loser of a cheating duel does not win a Coup.
Cheating is a separate Blot from the Blot for winning a cheating duel.
Tripping or grappling is cheating.
Bull rushes, charges, sunders, disarms and feints are permitted.
Magical buffs are permitted if cast during the duel.
Magical buffs cast before the duel are cheating.
Hexes, evocations, curses, or other magical damage or impairment of an opponent is cheating.
Stances and martial maneuvers are permitted.
It is a Blot to kill a character in a duel.
Players may concede the duel and earn a Blot for doing so.
A challenger whose opponent concedes a duel earns a Coup.
A player killed in a duel is replaced as with a withdrawal, as stated below.

For example, Bill trips Ted and then throws a fireball. Bill has earned a Blot for the trip, a Blot for the evocation, and a Blot for winning a duel by cheating. But Bill has denied Ted a Coup for the duel.

SETTLEMENT

In the Settlement phase, the DM tallies the Blots, Coups, and Foe Points earned and removed by the players during the turn, and adds them to the Career Record.

The Career Record of each player represents a track of public reputation, and is therefore public knowledge available to the players on request.

***Gameplay Note*** Evaluating foe points, blots and coups, and percentages of outcomes provides some strategy. It also allows opponents to make educated guesses about what you'll do next.

If a player has seven or more Blots on his record, the DM will call his attention to it and ask if he will remove Blots with Coups.
If that player cannot and still has seven or more Blots on his record at the end of Settlement, he is recalled by his Duke, and removed from play.
A recalled character is not replaced and the player is removed from the game.

ADDITIONAL RULES

Withdrawal
At the end of settlement, a player with fewer than 7 Blots may withdraw his character from play.
This character is replaced with a new character of the player's design, of second level, with no Blots, Coups, or Foe Points.
A player may make one withdrawal in the course of a game, unless killed in a duel.

Dummy Play
Gameply starts with four players.
If there are fewer than four players the DM can make up dummy players.
The DM may not use dummy players to replace eliminated players.
The dummy player system may also be used for a solo or solitaire game.
The DM rolls a dummy player as usual, choosing their classes and skills and feats.

During the Time Before the Ball, the DM rolls a 1d4 (or 1d3 if there are no Foe Points to remove with Boons) to determine what the dummy does during the turn.

1. Strike
2. Plot
3. Investigation
4. Boon

The DM has discretion in choosing the Extra Action of the dummy during the Time Before the Ball.

When called on to target a player, the DM rolls a 1d3 (or 1d2 when a player is eliminated) to determine which player is the target. When only one other player is left...roll 1d1.

When called on to determine the object of a plot, the DM rolls a 1d4 to choose the third party object of the plot.

When called on to determine the conspirator in a plot, the DM chooses the third party with the fewest Foe Points, rolling a 1d2, 1d3, 1d4, or 1d5 to break a tie.

When called on to choose the target of an investigation, the DM rolls a 1d5 to determine the third party he will visit to investigate.

During the Ball of the Full Moon phase, the DM rolls initiative for the dummy as usual.
Dummies are awarded conversation points as usual.

During the Soiree stage, the DM rolls a 1d4 (or 1d3 or 1d2 after players are eliminated) to determine whether he attacks one of the other players or remains on defense.

If engaged in a verbal duel, the DM rolls a 1d2 to choose between direct attack and indirect attack, and on riposte, a 1d3 to choose between direct attack, indirect attack, and riposte.

If engaged in a verbal duel, the DM may not choose to forfeit.

When reduced to 1 conversation point, the dummy opts to try the buffet.

During the Dancing Stage, the dummy rolls initiative as usual.
During its turn, the dummy's first priority is to roll to Complete or Expose plots. On a turn without a plot to Complete or Expose, the dummy has a 50% chance (1d2) of launching a calumny, choosing the subject and object by appropriate die rolls as authoring a plot. The first turn the dummy chooses to do nothing ends the Dancing stage for the dummy.

During the Farewell Stage, the dummy has a 50% chance (1d2) of declining a justified challenge, or issuing a justified challenge to a player as often as such opportunity presents itself.
***Gameplay Note*** Normally a prudent player would weigh their odds of winning a duel before issuing or accepting a challenge.

During the Day After the Duel phase, the DM may roleplay the dummy to his discretion, except that a dummy never cheats or concedes.

During the Settlement phase, the dummy's first priority is to spend Coups to reduce its Blots to 3. After that priority is met, a dummy will cash in 4 Coups to level.


OPTIONAL RULES

First Moon
The First Moon of the year is a time of Carnival, when etiquette is slightly relaxed.
Under the First Moon rule, a player cannot earn Blots for their own behavior during the first turn.
Players still earn Blots for being subjects of Plots, Calumny, losing verbal duels, and losing duels.
Surges
Some players glitter with witty conversation, flowery speech, fierce cunning, and brilliant swordplay.
Upon the unanimous agreement of all players, the DM may be empowered to award a 1d6 surge for excellent roleplaying.
Awarding a surge is at the DM's discretion.
Players with a 1d6 surge may add a 1d6 to a single 1d20 die roll of their choice.
No matter how many surges a player accumulates, they may only add a single 1d6 surge to a 1d20 die roll.
If the players do not unanimously agree the DM may award surges, this optional rule is discarded.
Players may withdraw their consent at the start of a new turn.
Surges are not permitted if the DM is playing a dummy.

***Gameplay Note*** Surges are a way to reward players for rich roleplaying such as -always-affecting an accent, fanning oneself as one laughs, referring to oneself and others in the third person, fighting with a consistent style, etc. If a player thinks the DM is abusing discretion, the system may be dropped the next turn. There's no substitute for open discussion about how things are going, however.

TheYell
2016-08-19, 08:45 AM
I take it this is so awesome it leaves everybody speechless. :smallbiggrin:

khadgar567
2016-08-19, 08:51 AM
I think this is to early for your planet, setting and your solar system lets populate bardu firs the we can release ultimate intrigue bardu edition

TheYell
2016-08-19, 09:06 AM
Fair enough!