Contests and simple tests: opposing rolls that do not result in damage. They do not count as combat, either social or physical.
When two characters intend to achieve something that goes against each other’s interests or has an uncertain outcome (such as determining if one character is lying, racing each other, etc.) the players roll opposed rolls.
The player who performs the action first is considered the active character in the simple test or contest. This is generally who “acts” or who calls for the opposed roll first, in case of uncertain situations.
The active character rolls their relevant pool first without set difficulty.
The defending or passive character then rolls their own relevant pool, their difficulty determined by the number of successes of the first roll.
God wants to tell Caine that he is a lil’ shit for killing his brother. God rolls Charisma+Intimidation and obtains 5 successes. Yes, that’s not many for God, he’s having a bad day.
Caine wants to answer God to get lost. Caine rolls Composure+Resolve to keep his cool at difficulty 5. Caine obtains 6 successes, 1 success of margin against the set difficulty.
Result: God told Caine that he is a lil’ shit, but Caine won the opposed roll, so he is not intimidated. He gets to reply in kind.
Margin: the margin is how many successes above the set difficulty you obtained. If you roll 4 successes against a difficulty of 3, your margin is 1 success. In normal opposed rolls, this only gives you roleplay flavour: a character may have been good just enough to perform the task at hand, or exceptionally good, depending on their margin. In conflicts (social or physical), however, the margin of the winner determines the damage received by the loser.
Conflicts: social or physical opposing rolls that result in damage to either Willpower or Health.
God and Caine are brawling in a parking lot. During conflicts, characters are considered both active and roll “simultaneously” (unless the conflict is one-sided, for example a character is at a range and the other is only taking cover, without firing back), therefore both God and Caine roll Strength+Brawl.
God obtains 6 successes. Caine rolls at difficulty 6, and obtains 4 successes. God has a margin of 2 over Caine, therefore Caine suffers 2 superficial damage.
Alternatively, if Caine obtained 7 successes, he would have a margin of 1 over God. God would suffer 1 superficial damage. (Please suspend your disbelief for this, ok thank.)
Ties: see the relevant section.