The Social Expert is a character with people skills, especially when dealing with large groups of people. He can recognize the social patterns in a group, figure out people's motivations, and know who the person in charge is. The Social Expert can identify who's manipulatable, who's a manipulator, and who's neither. The Social Expert can make himself likable even to his enemies, and is normally clever enough not to make very many of them.
Social expertise is an alignment-neutral skill, but it's practically a prerequisite for Manipulative Bastard
, Magnificent Bastard
and The Chessmaster
. Nearly every Deadly Decadent Court
will have at least one, probably more. May also be The Charmer
Protagonist Social Experts are Guile Heroes, supporting Social Experts end up as Mister Exposition
, and villainous ones are normally large-scale Manipulative Bastards.
- Aizen, the Big Bad of Bleach possesses this skill, when he bothers to use it.
- Light Yagami from Death Note.
- Lelouch and Schnizel from Code Geass.
- Izaya Orihara from Durarara, aside from being a complete Troll and Manipulative Bastard and claiming to "love humanity" (except for Shizuo), also performs his own social experiments, such as encouraging depressed people contemplating suicide to do so, or making suicide pacts with them and then revealing he was just kidding and thinks they are idiots, just to see if they really will commit suicide or not. Or paying people to kidnapping someone, and then paying someone else to rescue them, just to see how they'll react. Yes, Izaya is a dick.
- The title character from The Mentalist.
- Shadowrun. At least one character in the PC group needs to have good social skills to deal with the various NP Cs the group will encounter. They should have high Charisma, good Etiquette skills and possibly cyberware/bioware that enhances those qualities (e.g. tailored pheromones). Such a person may be called "The Face" of the group.
- Exalted has a threefold division between social skills, mental skills, and physical skills. Any character with high social skills is a social expert.
- Both Azula and Long Feng in "Avatar: The Last Airbender".
- Trent Lane in Daria, despite a personality so laid back that his communiques are seldom and brief, is often able to identify moments of mounting tension between his sister Jane and her titular best friend. A few times throughout the series he tries to drop subtle (well, slightly subtle) hints that steer the girls towards peaceful resolution.