Provoke is the skill about getting someone’s dander up and eliciting negative emotional response from them — fear, anger, shame, etc. It’s the “being a jerk” skill.
To use Provoke, you need some kind of justification. That could come entirely from situation, or because you have an aspect that’s appropriate, or because you’ve created an advantage with another skill (like Rapport or Deceive), or because you’ve assessed your target’s aspects (see Empathy).
This skill requires that your target can feel emotions — robots and zombies typically can’t be provoked.
Overcome: You can Provoke someone into doing what you want in a fit of emotional pique. You might intimidate them for information, piss them off so badly that they act out, or scare them into running away. This will often happen when you’re going up against nameless NPCs or it isn’t worthwhile to play out the particulars. Against PCs or important NPCs, you’ll need to win a contest. They oppose with Will.
Create an Advantage: You can create advantages representing momentary emotional states, like Enraged, Shocked, or Hesitant. Your target opposes with Will.
Attack: You can make mental attacks with Provoke, to do emotional harm to an opponent. Your relationship with the target and the circumstances you’re in figure a great deal into whether or not you can use this action.
Defend: Being good at provoking others doesn’t make you better at avoiding it yourself. You need Will for that.
- Armor of Fear. You can use Provoke to defend against Melee attacks, but only until the first time you’re dealt stress in a conflict. You can make your opponents hesitate to attack, but when someone shows them that you’re only human your advantage disappears.
- Provoke Violence. When you create an advantage on an opponent using Provoke, you can use your free invocation to become the target of that character’s next relevant action, drawing their attention away from another target.
- Okay, Fine! You can use Provoke in place of Empathy to learn a target’s aspects, by bullying them until they reveal one to you. The target defends against this with Will. (If the GM thinks the aspect is particularly vulnerable to your hostile approach, you get a +2 bonus.)