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Appearance in Written Social Influence?

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  • Appearance in Written Social Influence?

    I just spent a good while searching my 3E books for a rule I was certain existed, but I couldn't find it anywhere. Ultimately I realized that was because it's a Second Edition rule.

    In 2E, Appearance didn't factor into the effect of written social actions, but instead your Linguistics rating functioned in place of Appearance. 3E not only doesn't use that as default, it's not present as a Charm effect for Solars or Dragon-Blooded, either.

    Does Appearance itself apply to handwriting in Third Edition, then? I know the Appearance Attribute doesn't simply measure physical attractiveness, it encompasses bearing, tone, general self-presentation, etc., but those are very different talents than effective self-expression in writing. Is the Attribute really meant to carry over? And what of the "Cyrano de Bergerac" archetype? Should the Hideous merit be ignored in writing?

    Would anything break if you reverted to the 2E approach and used Linguistics as effective Appearance with regard to written social influence?

    I'm not asking for a definitive answer (I'd be in the Ask the Devs thread if I wanted something approaching definitive), I'm more curious how y'all have played this if it's come up at your tables, and in hearing the forum's feelings / opinions on the topic.

  • #2
    I'm fairly certain Appearance shouldn't factor into written influence, because Lunars have an Appearance charm to add it back in. That being said, I'm not sure where the official ruling is.

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    • #3
      I'm pretty sure the swoler you are, the better your gay novel is, so Appearance should definitely factor in writing.


      The no.1 fan of Demetheus. I also draw Exalted things and is looking for commission works ~

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Ascension View Post
        In 2E, Appearance didn't factor into the effect of written social actions, but instead your Linguistics rating functioned in place of Appearance. 3E not only doesn't use that as default, it's not present as a Charm effect for Solars or Dragon-Blooded, either.
        In third edition, Linguistics doesn't have to substitute for a Attribute; it adds to written influences as an actual Ability ought.

        Social influence delivered through writing uses a [Social Attribute]+[Linguistics] roll. Ref: Written Vs. Spoken Effects box on page 322 (Ex3)
        Originally posted by Ascension View Post
        Does Appearance itself apply to handwriting in Third Edition, then?
        While it is never outright stated, it is kind of suggested that the applicable social attributes are Charisma, Manipulation, or sometimes Wits.

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        • #5
          I don't think you gain the benefit of your appearance rating with written attacks in 3E. I don't think it would be terribly appropriate.

          If I were to rule what to use to stand in for 'how impressive the medium is' I think I'd actually base it on the craft rating of whomever is creating the book/pamphlet/mural etc.


          Check out my homebrew exalt: The Fabulists - Chosen of the Raksha here

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          • #6
            To use Appearance you have to submit a 3x5 headshot with your letter.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by armyofwhispers View Post
              I don't think you gain the benefit of your appearance rating with written attacks in 3E. I don't think it would be terribly appropriate.
              Agreed. I have a hard time even picturing how you'd roll (Appearance + Linguistics) to write an actual letter, let alone granting the bonus for high Appearance on other written social rolls. I guess the former could involve a lot of pictures and diagrams, or possibly be a description of actions you've already taken, in the hopes of getting people to do something similar.

              Originally posted by armyofwhispers
              If I were to rule what to use to stand in for 'how impressive the medium is' I think I'd actually base it on the craft rating of whomever is creating the book/pamphlet/mural etc.
              Craft does seem like the most appropriate Ability for this, yeah. Though I'm not sure "this calligraphy is particularly beautiful" really has the psychological impact that "the person right in front of me, talking, is really attractive" does. Also, I'd worry about using an Ability rather than an Attribute when calculating the "Appearance" penalty, given that Abilities are generally cheaper and quicker to buy up than Attributes.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post




                Craft does seem like the most appropriate Ability for this, yeah. Though I'm not sure "this calligraphy is particularly beautiful" really has the psychological impact that "the person right in front of me, talking, is really attractive" does. Also, I'd worry about using an Ability rather than an Attribute when calculating the "Appearance" penalty, given that Abilities are generally cheaper and quicker to buy up than Attributes.
                You might feel differently if hand-written letters had ever been your primary means of long range communication.

                I've heard of a man being plucked from obscurity and elevated to a warlord on the beauty of his calligraphy.


                I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                • #9
                  If I made a rule on this I think I'd have the stat that serves as Appearance depend on the nature of the written influence. Most written influence would compare the 2 characters' Linguistics, but a treatise on military strategy might compare the writer and the reader's War, while an organization's sales pitch to potential investors could rely on Bureaucracy.

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                  • #10
                    The notion of somebody's handwriting being so luxuriously fantastic that it counts for Appearance-related social bonuses/penalties, to Doctor's Handwriting counting as the written equivalent of Hideous, amuses me to no end.
                    Especially since I was almost a pharmacist.


                    I used to know things. Forbidden things.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Greyman View Post
                      In third edition, Linguistics doesn't have to substitute for a Attribute; it adds to written influences as an actual Ability ought.

                      Social influence delivered through writing uses a [Social Attribute]+[Linguistics] roll. Ref: Written Vs. Spoken Effects box on page 322 (Ex3)
                      While it is never outright stated, it is kind of suggested that the applicable social attributes are Charisma, Manipulation, or sometimes Wits.
                      I'm not talking about rolling [Appearance + Linguistics], I'm talking about the "I'm so pretty I get non-Charm bonus dice" effect of Appearance. In 2E, Linguistics itself could grant the same "so pretty you get a bonus" effect in writing that Appearance could in spoken influence. And yes, that would double-up on the effect Linguistics would have on a roll, but Appearance does the same to a normal [Appearance + (Presence / Performance / Socialize)] roll in 3E, and there aren't Linguistics cap-breakers to boost it to an effective rating of 6+.

                      That said, I'd forgotten about the Lunar Charm to add Appearance effects to written influence; it's a very strong indication that normal written influence isn't supposed to get any kind of bonus dice from either physical beauty or calligraphic beauty (aside from as a stunt, I suppose).

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                      • #12
                        Nothing I know of sets a rules precedent, bu I am thinking of historical examples where appearance would certainly affect how a letter was received.

                        Say the recipient is a G.I. In WW2 or Korea, and back home there’s a morale-boosting initiative where young women are given a bit of info about deployed soldiers and encouraged to write to them (this kind of stuff did happen). A lady could send a picture, but that would be seen as overly forward and in most cases people only owned one copy of a picture, so it is unlikely she would send that. Instead she would try and write in a compelling and encouraging way, and scent the letter with perfume, making the G.I. imagine what this ‘girl back home’ would look like.

                        Alternatively, we have older examples wherein eligible people would have a reputation for their looks as well as their wealth or connections. Sometimes a combination of the three would be sufficient to get anyone to accept a letter and be persuadable to its contents. The series Turn: Washington’s Spies has a great example wherein Peggy Shippin, the most desirable bachelorette in Philadelphia, is able to get General Benedict Arnold’s attention with a letter just because she is known to be beautiful (and rich).

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Brasstreader View Post
                          The notion of somebody's handwriting being so luxuriously fantastic that it counts for Appearance-related social bonuses/penalties, to Doctor's Handwriting counting as the written equivalent of Hideous, amuses me to no end.
                          I'm sure that in two generations, kids will look back upon the manner of our current Internet correspondences with equal amusement.

                          That's why they're still kids; 'cause they're stupid.


                          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                          Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                          https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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