Using the Ultimate Intrigue rules to provide a more tactical approach to social interactions for PCs at a major social event has added an interesting layer to things for my Pathfinder game (see Party Time). However, I've added a couple of extra layers of my own.
Firstly, for each phase of the evening, a PC can chose to be seen doing something. This is in parallel to any specific social interactions with NPCs for discovery or influence. It's effectively a short term reputation which may benefit or hinder the PC's interaction with particular NPCs.
There are seven different activities (just like there are seven Thassilonian sins):
|Lust||Flirting.||Diplomacy, Profession (Courtesan)||Will|
|Gluttony||Eating and drinking.||Survival, Heal||Fort|
|Pride||Showing off dancing or singing.||Perform (Singing or Dancing)|
|Wrath||Being argumentative.||Intimidate, Perform (Oratory)||Will|
|Sloth||Being a loner.||Stealth, Perception|
|Greed||Admiration of wealth.||Appraise, Knowledge (Nobility)|
|Envy||Snide comments and insults.||Bluff, Perform (Comedy)||Will|
Each requires a skill check, and success gives a 'bonus' in that sin. The skill DC starts at 6, and goes up by +3 for each point of bonus the PC already has in that sin. These give bonuses or penalties when influencing different NPCs.
For example, Gluttony and Envy give a bonus for Lady Sila Crusca (she gets on with people have a good time, but is also interested in malicious gossip). Sloth and Wrath give a penalty for her (unsociable people, or those having loud arguments don't interest her).
Some of the activities have a saving throw. Failure can have side effects. Already one PC has failed a Will save for Lust (spend the next phase 'distracted', there is now an untidy bedroom but you've gained a minor favour from some minor NPC). Another has failed Gluttony (caused a mess that servants need to clean up, and a penalty to subsequent saves).
Wrath and Envy fails haven't happened yet, so the PCs aren't aware of the repercussions. Succeeding at Sloth also gives a chance to hear some rumours.
Finally, another possibly background activity is to spend time nosing around the villa where the party is being held. This has been done just enough to know that they have an option of exploring the Library, the Bedrooms or the Servant quarters. If the PCs opt for taking this further, then they'll find out what happens when they do this.