All characters have various ideals, desires, and loved ones. An Intimacy is a representation of their core being, who the person is—for better or for worse.
An Intimacy is a step above a person’s natural likes and dislikes: it is some aspect that defines them in some way.
Intimacies should be specific and close to your character’s definition and goals:
“Hatred of the Realm’s Slavery Trade”
“Trust that inner enlightenment will bring about external good”
Intimacies are both a boon and a bane to characters—they have a resistance to any social influence that runs contrary to that Intimacy (+2 Resolve).
However, those same Intimacies may be used to pull the character into increasingly difficult tasks. (+4 Dice).
There are common intimacies to all mortal kinds that don’t need to be explicitly written down, such as the Desire for Safety and Health, and the Fear of Death.
The list of Intimacies written for a character should only be written down if they are notable in their strength—or in the absence.
Minor, or temporary Intimacies are those present for just a short time, often in response to something that has occurred in the scene—ranging from something as large as great threat to the city appearing, or from something more subtle as Social Influence to incite an emotion.
Minor Intimacies are transitory—and not quite as strong as deeply held beliefs, conferring (+2 Dice/+1 Resolve). However, their effects can still be quite strong on a large scale, and have resulted in societal upheaval and market panics.
There are certain actions and requests that a character will refuse to do, regardless of how convincing, persuasive, or manipulative an Exalt is, they will not do it. Unacceptable Influence protects those actions that the character considered antithetical to their very nature, such as betraying loyal causes, violating self preservation, or harming those dearly loved.
Players, as they know their characters much better than the Storyteller, reserve the sole right to declare if Influence is Unacceptable—though they should justify it to the rest of the group.
At the completion of every Story, both the Players and the Storyteller should reevaluate their respective characters and readjust Intimacies as appropriate to reflect what has happened in the Story.
They may gain, or lose Intimacies as they see fit, though they should have at least three and at most five.
Respect Your Group
Throughout history people have committed horrific acts against each other—acts which still continue to this day. You may desire to show it as a proper challenge to overcome, to the levels that a character will sink to—even so called heroes. That said:
No Person should ever feel uncomfortable at the table.
At the end of the day, this is a game that you and your friends are playing in modern times, surrounded by modern schools of morality.
Any Player (including the Storyteller) should be allowed to raise their concerns about scenes, direction of story, or other such aspects of the game, and their concern should be respected without question. Move the theme aside and don’t bring it up again.
A good tool to minimize these concerns is to have a “Session 0”, where all Players discuss what themes they expect out of a game, and what to avoid. However, this should not be seen as a substitute for listening to your Players at the moment. Often, they will not know what bothered them until it comes up.
Social actions against groups of people, rather than individuals, suffer from the lack of intimacy, as well as logistics. Any social action taken against multiple characters with a magnitude of “Crowd” (50 people) or larger gains +2 to their Resolve and Guile.
Crowds of magnitude “City” or larger cannot be addressed by a simple roll, and instead must be done through an Encounter.
Social actions are dependent on how they are approached. Using an inappropriate action for a desired outcome will not work (no roll required) or at least have severe penalties applied.
For example, no matter how well you roll, you cannot threaten someone into gaining a positive intimacy towards you.
(Roll) vs. Resolve
The character attempts to get another to perform a task on their behalf.
Note: Serious and Life-Changing Tasks will often require a full Scene to occur before the roll may be performed—you can’t simply walk in and change a person’s life! The rolls provided are for use for minor characters and unimportant scenes. For more dramatic scenes, see Encounters.
There is at most mild danger, opposition, or time devoted to this task. At most the task will take a few hours—maybe a day.
Must leverage a Minor Intimacy to attempt.
There may be lasting repercussions to performing the task, ranging from physical to social. The task may take days to weeks to complete.
Must leverage a Full Intimacy to attempt.
Their lives may be permanently altered by the task, running even the risk of death. Even embarking on the task will have serious consequences.
(Roll) vs. Resolve
The character leverages an existing Intimacy to either suppress a different Intimacy to Minor status, or instill a new Minor Intimacy.
Intimacy changes made this way are temporary, eventually fading away after a day without reinforcement.
Instead of a particular Intimacy, the character may choose to suppress or inflame an emotion. This may have unpredictable effects. This may be useful when targeting a disparate crowd, or if specific intimacies are not known.
Players on the Defensive
The Player Characters are the main characters of the story, not NPCs.
When on the defensive from Social Actions, the Player still controls how the character acts in response to the roll, not the Storyteller. This is especially relevant for the “Perform Task” Action—the Player is free to interpret how and when they perform this task.
(Insight + Ability) vs. Guile **
Reading Intentions is a **Reflexive Action.
When a character desires to understand another, they may attempt to read the Intentions based on their actions.
On a successful roll against the target’s Guile, the Player may ask a question to the Storyteller about the target, ranging from: “Who are they,” “What are they here (in the scene) for?” “Where are they going?” “Do they intend me harm?”
For every extra +3 successes rolled, the Player may ask another question.
The Storyteller is obligated to respond truthfully to the chosen question, though it may be cryptic.
Only one Read Intentions maneuver (per target) may be made due to the target’s actions. All Players may attempt the roll, but only the highest-roll gets to ask the questions.
(Roll) vs. Guile
Intimacies, emotions, and other aspects of a character may be pressed by the Player, forcing it to be revealed.
The Player, through their action, will state what behaviors they are trying to induce or analyze with their action. If successful, the Storyteller will need to tell them the closest relevant Intimacy there is to the action –or the decided lack of one.
This may be used in an Encounter to probe for the nature of a Key Issue.