Let me first thank Sir Dunstan and his excellent Game of Thrones campaign as the inspiration for this rules tweak. A shout out to Vitaliano who also does an excellent job as a player in that campaign.
Game of Thrones has a Social Combat system that, while not translatable directly, I used as inspiration for this campaign.
This is a proposed rules set and I am more than happy to hear feedback from Players before I implement it in full.
Roleplaying is still required to get your point across. However, I think a mechanical system could be beneficial for this scenario, a scenario quite unlike anything I have ever done in a Vampire game before.
Making My Case
To convince a “voter” to side with your Sire, you may roll the following set of Attributes and Abilities:
1. Against someone who is clearly NOT in your favor --- Manipulation+Subterfuge+Politics
2. Against someone who is NEUTRAL – Charisma+Expression+Politics
The difficulty of all rolls is that Cainites Willpower. You will need to score as many successes as they have Willpower to win the contest. Once you engage the voter, you will only have three rounds to make your case and can only attempt do so one time per night.
If you have Presence – Awe or Enrancement, you may attempt to use these powers in conjunction with the above roll. Each success utilizing that Discipline gives you one more success on your total roll.
Beware, failing in using Presence in Elysium can lead to Sanctions by Thomas Brexiano.
Also beware, Cainites may try to turn this system around on you…
But What if Someone Else Tries This on a Voter I just Brought to my Side?
Amount of successes is a key factor here, you will want to score as many success as you can to ensure that a rival does not try to take that vote from you!
Certain NPC’s already believe that others are in their favor and would never change their votes. Those will be the toughest cookies to break.
Note this system cannot be used on:
Your In-Clan rivals, no amount of sweet talking or bribes will change their minds they all want this position badly.
Prince Narses, he simply will not entertain such discourse. Of course, this does not mean you cannot try to get into the ears of one of his Childer to have them speak with him…
Discerning My Quarry’s Intent
How can I tell if someone is for or against me despite what they are saying?
Make a Perception+Empathy+Politics roll.
The difficulty is 10, less that Cainites Humanity score. Those closer to the Beast are much harder to read. For every Century over 300 years that Cainite has lived, the DC will be increased by 1, topping out at 10, as these Cainites have well and truly mastered this game to have existed for so long in the first place.
Once you engage the voter, you will only have three rounds to ferret out their intent and can only attempt do so one time per night. You will need to score as many successes as they have Willpower to ascertain their intent.
If you have Auspex – Read the Soul or Invade the Mind, you may attempt to use these powers in conjunction with the above roll. Each success utilizing that Discipline gives you one more success on your total roll.
How else can I make my case?
The use of Presence, while frowned upon, is much less cause for censure than using Dominate. Dominate does not work on a Cainite whose blood is closer to Caine than your own. If you seek to use Dominate to convince a voter (or perhaps one of the Childer?) to vote for your Sire, it would be best used elsewhere in the city.
Boons – the boon system of quid pro quo can also be used to gain votes. You will need to offer something of course that that voter does not have or cannot get from another candidate.
Eliminate my rivals. This one is obvious though failure to do so without detection may subject YOU to the Final Death!