Social Exchange: Spiderman vs. Aunt May (Reddit)5 min read

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Spiderman is swinging high above the city on a routine patrol, when his spider sense begins to tingle. A moment later his cellphone rings. It’s Aunt May!

As soon as he hears her ringtone he remembers that he promised to help her hand out care packages at the soup kitchen tomorrow. But he also told Mary Jane that they would spend the day together picking out new tile for the kitchen backsplash.

Spidey stops atop a skyscraper and answers the phone. As soon as Aunt May hears the wheedling tone in his voice she realizes that he’s going to try to get out of helping her. The conflict begins!

Situation Aspects: Hectic Weekend, Promises Made, and Impending Charity Event.

Aunt May has the higher Empathy (+3 vs Spidey’s +1) so she goes first. She expects Peter to be defensive so she starts off sweetly, asking about his day and making sure he’s getting enough to eat. She rolls to create an Advantage with Rapport, getting a ++–. With her Good (+3) Rapport that’s a total of +3. Spiderman defends with Average (+1) Will and rolls a 00+0, total of +2, so she succeeds by +1.

Deciding she’s going to need extra firepower, she pays a Fate point invoking her Aspect My Nephew Is My Life, reasoning that she can leverage her years of sacrifice to him. She gets another +2, succeeding with style. Spidey now has a new temporary Aspect: Sense of Duty, with two free invokes.

On Spiderman’s turn he tries to establish an alibi. He rolls against his Fair (+2) Deceive to create an Advantage on Aunt May. He rolls +0-+, and she defends with Good (+3) Empathy at 0++-. Aunt May wins so the attempt fails.

Aunt May, hearing her nephew try to offer a lame excuse, berates him for going back on his word. Aunt May’s Provoke is only Average (+1). She rolls a ++00, uses one of the free invokes on Sense of Duty, and pays another Fate point to invoke the situation Aspect Promises Made for a total of +7!

Spiderman rolls his Average (+1) Empathy and gets -0–. Burning his single Fate point he re-rolls and gets a -+-+. He must keep the total +1 and take a nasty 6-point hit. He checks off his 2-point Mental Stress box and adds the Moderate consequence, Burning Shame.

Stinging, he tries to retaliate with a Provoke attack of his own, reminding Aunt May that he helped her friend from bridge club move to another apartment last weekend. He has an Average (+1) Provoke, but also the Stunt Snappy Comeback that gives him +2 on Provoke vs opponents who have wounded him. He rolls a 0+00 for a total of +4.

Aunt May has no Will skill so defends at Mediocre (+0). She rolls -++- and must take a 4-point hit. She checks off her 4-point Mental Stress box.

Somewhat taken aback, Aunt May eases off and begins laying the groundwork for another approach. She attempts to discover what her nephew’s motivations might be for dodging his obligation. She rolls +0-0 on an Empathy check at Good (+3). Spiderman rolls a –++ on his Average (+1) Will to resist. Aunt May wins and creates the Advantage Transparent Motives on Spiderman with one free invoke.

Spiderman, starting to sweat, tries to browbeat Aunt May into letting him off the hook tomorrow, claiming she doesn’t let him live his own life. He rolls another Provoke at Average (+1) with +2 from his Snappy Comeback stunt and gets ++-0, total of +4. Aunt May rolls a +0–, total of -1. She uses her free invoke of Spiderman’s consequence Burning Shame to boost her defense by +2, lessening the 5-point to a 3-point hit and checks off her 3-point Mental Stress box.

Finally losing her cool, Aunt May puts her foot down. She absolutely must have her nephew’s help tomorrow, even if he just wants to play around all day with M.J. She rolls her Provoke of Average (+1), uses her last Fate point to invoke her Aspect Mother Figure to Peter Parker, invokes Transparent Motives, and takes the last free invoke on Sense of Duty. She rolls 000+ for a total of +8.

Spiderman rolls his Average (+1) Will to defend and gets a 0+-0. Since he’s out of Fate points and has no free invokes he has to take another 7-point hit! He’s already got a Moderate consequence and he’s only got his 1-point and 3-point Mental Stress boxes left. He must check off the 1-point Mental Stress box and take a Severe consequence.

He adds the consequence Wracked by Crushing Guilt and decides he’s in no shape to continue. He concedes to Aunt May and now must go to the soup kitchen with her tomorrow.

After the scene, his Mental Stress boxes reset, though he’s still got a Moderate and a Severe consequence. And now he has to explain to Mary Jane why he’s canceling his plans with her tomorrow. Hopefully he’ll get better rolls!