Parley is when two opposing parties (individuals or groups) meet to discuss their differing goals. The party requesting the Parley is considered the Initiator. The party agreeing to the Initiator’s request to Parley is considered the Grantor. Elohim may request to Parley with opposing elohim, this convention is respected by elohim of either allegiance when not actively involved in War. Requesting a Parley during War requires persuading the highest Rank/Power elohim or the highest Power Archon. This character must be persuaded with a Superb Success on an Aim Interaction. To initiate a Parley outside of War, no Strike may have been attempted by any characters.
Once the Parley has been requested and the request granted, the two parties will select up to 3 Delegates to represent them in the Parley. After Delegates have been selected, they approach and the Parley begins, consisting of 3 Stages: Introduction, Response, and Conclusion.
Parley Stages: Introduction, Response, Conclusion
Stage Flow: Perceiving, Bolstering, Interacting
Persuasion and Posturing
During each Stage of the Parley each party will decide whether they will attempt to affect their opponents or their own party. In Parley, Social Interactions that attempt to affect the opposing party are considered Persuasion. Social Interactions that attempt to affect one’s own party are considered Posturing. Posturing is most often an attempt to reduce Dominance Points and is treated as a Self-Targeted Social Interaction.
After a party decides if it will attempt Persuasion or Posturing, the Delegates will act out or at least describe how they intend for their attempt to unfold. While words are the most common element considered by players, nonverbal behaviors such as tone, stance, and facial expressions can play a strong role in determining how a sentiment is received. Describing the details of the Interaction adds to the flavor, but also the Host may determine that Boon or Bane is warranted depending on how reasonable, relevant, plausible, and persuasive the details presented are. The Host may also determine that Boon or Bane are warranted due to other factors that would shift the outcome one way or the other.
Persuasion uses the appropriate Skill of the character chosen as the primary Delegate for this interaction. Add 1 Skill if at least one friendly Delegate is equal in that Skill. Then add 1 Skill if a different friendly Delegate is equal or 1 lower in that Skill. A Skill of 0 cannot increase overall Skill regardless of comparative Skill values.
Defending against Persuasion uses the best matching Composure value among the targeted party. The Composure is lowered by 1 for each Delegate who has at least 2 lower in that Composure. If both other Delegates have exactly 1 lower Composure, lower the defending Composure by 1.
Finally, compare the Area Influence considering only the Delegates. Each level of Area Influence adds an Adjustment in favor of the matching party.
Posturing uses zero as the Composure value. There is a 2 Adjustment penalty for being a Self-Targeted Interaction. Adjustments for Area Influence are also applied.
A Delegate assuming or remaining in Defensive Stance during a Stage gives them a +3 bonus to Perceive but also results in a 2 Adjustment penalty to any Persuasion attempts during that Stage. It is hard to be Persuasive when you seem guarded. Using Haven/Asylum will remove the Ministering Spirit from being a Delegate if none of the opposing Delegates are of sufficient Tier to be unaffected. If only some of the Delegates would be affected, the Host will determine an appropriate result.
Each Delegate who is a player character will have the ability to help Bolster their party during the Parley. The party will have a total of 7 Bolster Tokens that are divided as evenly as possible among the player characters. The extra Token goes to the character with the most Honor. Each Bolster Token can be used to either Bolster the party’s Composure or to adjust a die roll during the Parley.
A Delegate may commit a Bolster Token toward one of their Party's Composures, improving that Composure by 1 for the rest of the Parley. If the character has a value of zero or lower in that Composure, they cannot use a Bolster Token to boost that Composure. A Delegate can Bolster a Composure with 1 Token if their value in that Composure 1-3. A Composure of 4-7 allowed a Delegate to use up to 2 Tokens. A Composure of 8-12 allows the use of up to 3 Tokens Bolstering that Composure.
Alternately, a Bolster Token can be spent to adjust the results of a die roll by 1 for each Token spent. No more than 3 Bolster Tokens can be used on any one roll offensively (to add Dominance Points onto an enemy). Bolster Tokens cannot be spent to affect enemy Posturing attempts.
Bolster Tokens: add 1 to a Composure for the rest of the Parley or make 1 Adjustment to a Social Check
During the Approach, the delegates from both parties move to a distance 7” away from each other. Non-Delegates will remain at least 7” behind where the Delegates stand after the approach. This distance can be closer when the situation and setting dictate.
While Approaching the party can make a Self-Targeted Social Interaction. This can allow them to shore up their defenses for the first Persuasion from the opposing party or gear up to make their initial Persuasion stronger.
As the parties approach, they can make up to 3 attempts to Perceive the other party.
Introduction, Response, & Conclusion
During each of these Stages, the parties may make 1 more attempt to Perceive. Next, they may choose to Bolster any Composures. Finally, the Initiator attempts a Social Interaction (Persuasion or Posturing) followed by the Grantor attempting a Social Interaction (Persuasion or Posturing).
Winning the Parley
If after at any point during the Parley one party has achieved 7 or more Dominance Points over the other party, the Parley concludes and the party who has achieved Dominance has won the Parley. The opposing party will not pursue Conflict with the winning party.
The Initiator makes their Social Interaction first which means they can achieve a Level of Social Dominance in the middle of a Stage. If this happens, the Grantor’s Social Interaction for that Stage will be affected by the Dominance penalties. If Total Dominance is achieved, the Grantor loses the Parley immediately.
Mutually Concluding the Parley
Sometimes both sides can readily agree and no persuading is necessary. If both parties can agree, the Parley can be concluded at any point. Likewise, the Parley can be concluded by mutual agreement by both parties that War is how this will be decided. If this happens, War will ensue and it will be as if the Parley had been completed and the current state were the results.
Any party can choose to break the Parley at any point. This is generally a sign of either fear, weakness, or disregard of the other party. The party breaking the Parley has lost their composure in some way, be it anger, fear, frustration, impatience, or even attempted subterfuge. As a result, the Delegates and their associated forces with have their Composures reduced equal to the number of Stages that were not completed for the first Cycle of any resulting War.
Non-Delegates seen or Detected past a line perpendicular to their Delegates or within 7” of their Delegates will break a Parley. Equipping or manifesting a Weapon, or attempting to Strike an opponent will immediately break a Parley. Using or maintaining any Spiritual Effects in the Instrument/Article, or Presence Families or targeting an opponent with Purge/Undoing, Bind/Bondage, or initiating Barrier will also break a Parley. Maintaining a pre-existing Bind/Bondage or Barrier will not break a Parley. Singing any Songs will break a Parley. Also, an elohim Expressing their Glory will break a Parley.
If no side has won the Parley by its end, there will sometimes be a War afterward. While the Parley may not have totally avoided War, it may result in the War coming to a quick resolution. The Delegates and their associated forces will begin the War with Dominance Points equal to the total accumulated against their party during the Parley. They will also be allowed to chose War Effects based upon the Dominance Points they achieved during the Parley. These War Effects may boost allied characters in some way or restrict the opponents in some way.
The following list are some ideas that can fall under War Effects. However, feel free to be creative and cooperate with the Host to make other War Effects that are fitting in the situation.
[all below information are notes only - work in progress]
Perhaps the combatants will start the Conflict close together or at a distance.
Maybe there will be a restriction for the first Cycle on Melee Strikes, Ranged Strikes, Spiritual Effects, or Songs. Or Terms could be non-Conflict related, such as hand over prisoner, do not influence a specified material Target, or do not interfere with an activity in the spiritual.
3 Dominance - Champion War (+/-1 Dominance for every 3 higher/lower in Rank and Power the Champions are)
The War will be determined by a battle between a Champion of each side. These Champions cannot be enhanced by Spiritual Effects or Songs from other Characters.