The Social Expert
The character who is good at understanding and exploiting social situations.
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.
- Mari in Salamander is a heroic version, serving as a Hypercompetent Sidekick in the world of politics to the Teen Genius Science Hero, Ellen.
- Mister Wednesday from American Gods.
- Cordelia Vorkosigan is the best example from the Vorkosigan Saga.
- Vetinari and Moist von Lipwig from the Discworld books.
- Jacky Faber of Bloody Jack learned the skills she needed to become one, mostly because she had to for the sake of survival.
- 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.
- Master Li from Jade Empire.
- Terezi in Homestuck is the most talented manipulator of the series thanks to being the Social Expert, contrasted with Vriska who relies on more direct Psychic Powers.
- Elan in The Order of the Stick.
- 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.
Hello, Unknown Troper. You'll need to get known to lend a hand here.