To raise the stakes during social conflict and make damage to Wits and Empathy more common, I’m considering the following house rule (heavily inspired by the rules in M:Y0). I feel it doesn't change the spirit of the game, especially since Social Conflict is part of the Combat and Damage chapter.
MANIPULATION (house rule version)
If you succeed, your adversary must either do what you want or immediately attack you physically.
If your adversary chooses to do what you want, he can still demand something in return.
If you succeed, and roll more X than you need to win the opposed roll, you can inflict 1 point of damage to Wits or Empathy on your adversary per extra X.
If you break your adversary, he cannot demand anything in return from you. He does not roll for critical damage if his Wits is Broken.
If you succeed and your adversary chooses to attack you physically, he takes no damage to Wits or Empathy. Effectively he negates every part of your successful manipulation.
This house rule would probably require some alterations to the Sharp Tongue and Threatening talents:
SHARP TONGUE (house rule version)
Rank 1: Your PERFORMANCE is modified by +1 when you TAUNT ENEMIES.
Rank 2: When you TAUNT ENEMIES to anger them (so that they have to direct their next attack towards you) you can inflict 1 point of damage to Empathy on your opponent per extra X.
Rank 3: You can add a D8 Artifact Die to your PERFORMANCE roll when you TAUNT ENEMIES.
THREATENING (house rule version)
Rank 1: You can roll MIGHT instead of manipulate when you threaten someone to do what you want. Extra X can be used to inflict damage to Wits only. If your opponent takes damage he cannot demand anything in return from you. He can still choose to attack you to avoid taking damage (and do what you want).
Any thoughts or suggestions?