Scientific Rhetoric (•-•••••, Style)Edit

Requires Intelligence 2 and either Academics 3 or Science 3 (or 2 with a specialty in academic methodology or practices)

For your character a debate isn’t about winning or convincing others, it’s about spreading the truth. Scientific Rhetoric works best against the open minded, even if your character loses the debate she learns something.

First Principles (•): Quantum nonsense, pyramid power, “I’m not a doctor but I play one on TV”. People have been using scientific lingo to promote rubbish for years, and to a real scientist it usually sounds ridiculous. As a reflexive action your character may inflict a -1 penalty on anyone making an argument based on science or academics (the fields, not the skills). This does not work if their science is sound; as a rule of thumb, assume that a relevant specialty or three dots in a relevant skill confers immunity, unless the target is consciously misleading his audience.

Citation (••): Your character doesn’t need to prove his point, he just points to someone else who has already proved it for him. He may add dots in the Library Merit to Social dice pools, if he has access to his Library and is permitted to fetch books. Internet access is worth +1 die, unless your character has a Library of bookmarks to hand.

Just the Facts (•••): A quick tongue doesn’t matter, for the facts speak for themselves. Your character may fall back to established facts, allowing him to reroll one failed Social action per scene, provided it is on a scientific or academic topic.

Burden of Proof (••••): Your character stands his ground and insists debate will be decided on the facts. When entering an argument, he may make a contested Manipulation + Persuasion roll (or a Presence + Expression roll when debating in front of an audience). If he wins, everyone involved in the argument, including himself, must use an appropriate Mental Skill (such as Science or Medicine for a debate on evolution) instead of a Social Skill in dice pools connected to that argument.

Skepticism (•••••): There is a reason reproducibility is one of the principles of the scientific method. After a social maneuver has opened one of your character’s Doors, he can take the time to double check the other guy’s claims. Is that salesman’s product really the best in its field? He takes an extended research action with a threshold equal to the dice pool used to open the door. If the action succeeds, and the claim in question wasn’t true, that door closes again. Skepticism may be applied only once to any opened Door, and has no effect when the facts support the investigated claim.