In our home game play test of the system we have been utilizing a traditional Dungeons & Dragons setting - Dragonlance. The central characters are original creations from our play testers but some of th NPCs are still represented.
Here is an example of a social scene:
The elf princess Laurana is being ridiculed by a lone, drunken and racist human mercenary. He is intent upon making her “take her pointy ears” and leave the establishment to decent human folk. He is unaware that she is the daughter of the Speaker of the Sun, ruler of the Qualinesti elves, so her social defense granted by her Royalty feature is not applicable in this situation.
The mercenary has social dice of and the GM grants them an additional for drunken bravado. Laurana has great poise so she will use her MNR (manner) die of plus her Etiquette Skill and the GM allows her to use her Nobility feature base dice of since she is well-used to dealing with all types of people. If at any point over the course of several rounds Laurana loses all 7 her status points she will leave. Laurana is choosing to be the better person so she will not sling any barbs back at the man and she will do her best to ignore him.
The mercenary rolls his four dice and Laurana spends 1 Grace () and rolls her five dice:
Laurana: 6 • 6 • 8 • 8 • 9
Merc: 3 • 3 • 5 • 7
Laurana's 6 cancels our the merc’s 5 and her other 6 cancels out his 7 so her three remaining let her not even bat an eyelash at his crude jabs and she remains seated at her table eating her meal. The mercenary does not lose either of his 2 status points since she did not interact with him in any way or use her reaction for the round to return the social “attack”.
Since his verbal attempt failed, the mercenary takes a swig of his drink, stands up and walks over to Laurana’s table hoping that his greater size will further intimidate her. The GM adds a to his dice pool as he again attempts to badger the elf princess into leaving, this time in a much louder voice. The few other patrons in the tavern are now watching the scene intently.
The mercenary rolls his five dice against Laurana’s five dice after she spends to take her action for the round.
Laurana: 2 • 3 • 6 • 7 • 8
Mercs: 2 • 2 • 2 • 4 • 8
This time Laurana only has one in excess of his. Her player decides that Laurana' Spoiled feature kicks in because she has never been so brazenly approached before. The GM grants her an RP (role-playing) reward (also called a “dice bump”) for faithfully adhering to the princess’s demeanor and Laurana’s player moves into the Stigma section of her sheet (meaning that Laurana now has 3 of her 7 total Grace left to use). Laurana calmly puts down her utensils as her reaction for the round.
For the next round Laurana decides to go on the offensive and see if she can’t convince the belligerent man to go away so they each roll initiative to see who gets the first verbal volley. Laurana rolls her PRE +3d4 (base dice) and the mercenary rolls his social dice . They each roll one but Laurana’s result a 10 beats out his 4 so she gets to take her action first. They each roll their 5 dice (with Laurana spending another to take her action for the round):
Laurana: 2 • 4 • 4 • 6 • 8
Mercs: 2 • 3 • 3 • 4 • 5
So Laurana ends up delivering a scathing but elegant tirade in a voice loud enough to be heard over the whole room wherein she denigrates the man’s behavior, his slovenly appearance and his bad smell (all of which equate to 1 point of Grace/social damage for each of her extra ).
The mercenary feels entirely belittled and unmanned after that public rebuke and he storms out of the bar not even bothering to pay his bill.