Is there no longer a "duelling skill" for Duel of Wits?

So I’ve started gaming BWG and after one session I will need to wrap up some social duelling skills after killing the heir to the old baronial familiy of our Vale (he had it coming!).

So I’m reading the DoW-rules set and while it looks good and tightened (as everything else), I do have a question, and that is if it’s still a primary duelling skill? … or can I set the Body of Argument with t.e. Oratory, then alternate with Persuade, Coarse Persuasion and Rhetoric?

A part of me believes that the Haggling skill should be used for getting that sword for main actions (like in BWR) , but could I slip in points with Rhetoric and Persuade and then finish my opponent with an incite action using Oratory or Command?

You could always set the body of argument with oratory, provided you were speechifying, and then alternate with other skills, provided the nature of the argument shifted to match.

Each maneuver requires specific skills now. That was also changed in the last printing or two of BWR.

However, note that if the context of the Duel of Wits is a speech given before an assembly, then Persuasion is not appropriate. Making speeches is the purview of Oratory. Likewise, if you’re trying to convince an acquaintance to do something for you, Oratory is not appropriate. You’re not making a speech, you’re persuading someone.

But apart from the above mentioned skills, there is still Rhetoric. It will work for the BoA and anything in the DoW except Incite. Seems like the one universal skill to have, as it basically encompasses all other skills and should work all the time.

Yes. But in my mind, Rhetoric is only an appropriate task if we’re talking about something that resembles a debate. A court scene would be an appropriate time to pull out Rhetoric. If you’re trying to convince your dire enemy to give up his evil ways and repent, Rhetoric doesn’t seem appropriate. I would look for the player to pull out Persuasion or Suasion then.

Rhetoric is just the science behind all the other skills, hence Academic skill, compared to all the others that are Social skills. Takes six times as long to practice, should be the one skill. My answer was more along the lines of ‘If you had to pick just one skill…’, apart from that absolutely prefering the individual and more colorful skills, especially if it comes to FoRK dice. :wink:

I made this with Tim a while back, a simple matrix of which skills can be used for which actions.

The context and the task definitely matter—but what’s great is that the tone can theoretically change.

I mean, note that Seduction lets you use Incite. If that doesn’t work out, or the context changes enough, next time you Incite it can be Ugly Truth or Intimidate. You need to use the appropriate Task, and there will be consequences going forward, but you can change things up. I definitely think that things like Oratory and Command require an appropriate audience to really make sense. But I can see Rhetoric working even in less formal one-on-one situations—it just makes you that dick who is always splitting hairs in arguments. You can talk someone in to a corner, and get them to agree to make it stop, but in sufficiently high stakes situations, I can see the resorting to violence option being used more.