The Alexandrian

Advanced Rules: Diplomacy

May 16th, 2007

DIPLOMACY

CHECK: With a Diplomacy check a diplomat can persuade someone to accept a deal or, at the very least, convince them to listen to them. The difficulty of the check depends on the relationship between the diplomat and the other character and the quality of the deal being offered.

Convince: A diplomat can make a Diplomacy check (DC 15) to convince someone of something that they believe. (If they’re trying to convince them of a lie, it’s a Bluff check.) This DC is adjusted by the relationship between the diplomat and the person they’re trying to convince (see table). If the check succeeds, the other character believes what the diplomat is telling them. (Or, at least, believes that the diplomat believes it to be true.) Of course, what they choose to do with that information depends on the character.

The character the diplomat is trying to convince makes a Sense Motive check (DC 10) as an automatic reaction. If the check succeeds, the diplomat gains a +2 circumstance bonus to their Diplomacy check (the other character has sensed the diplomat’s honesty). This works just like an Aid Another check.

Overcome Intransigence: Some characters simply won’t listen to any attempts at negotiation or deal-making. To overcome their intransigence, you can make a Diplomacy check with a DC of 15 + the subject’s HD + the subject’s Wisdom modifier + the subject’s relationship modifier. If the check succeeds, you can then make a Diplomacy check as normal.

Persuasion: A diplomat can propose a trade or agreement to another creature with their words; a Diplomacy check can then persuade them that accepting it is a good idea. Either side of the deal may involve physical goods, money, services, promises, or abstract concepts like “satisfaction”. The base DC for a persuasion check is 15, modified by the diplomat’s relationship with the character they’re trying to convince and the risk vs. reward factor of the deal being proposed (see table).

When the deal is proposed the character the diplomat is trying to convince makes a Sense Motive check (DC 20) as a reaction. If the check succeeds, the bonus or penalty provided by the risk vs. reward factor of the deal is doubled. (A failure on this check has no effect.)

If the Diplomacy check beats the DC, the subject accepts the proposal, with no changes or with minor (mostly idiosyncratic) changes. If the check fails by 5 or less, the subject does not accept the deal but may, at the DM’s option, present a counter-offer that would push the deal up one place on the risk-vs.-reward list. For example, a counter-offer might make an Even deal Favorable for the subject. The character who made the Diplomacy check can simply accept the counter-offer, if they choose; no further check will be required. If the check fails by 10 or more, the Diplomacy is over; the subject will entertain no further deals, and may become hostile or take other steps to end the conversation.

Just because a deal has been accepted, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the other character is happy about it. If you use your relationship to take advantage of someone, it may affect their future relationship with you (at the DM’s discretion).

MODIFIERS:

Quick Diplomacy: You can make a Diplomacy check as a standard action by accepting a -10 penalty to the check.

TRY AGAIN: No, unless you can significantly change the circumstances of the check. For example, if you fail to convince a caravan owner that there is an orc ambush on the road ahead, presenting the caravan owner with the body of a dead orc might justify a new check. When making a persuasion check you can attempt to alter the parameters of the deal to make it more appealing to the target — if you do so, you use the same check result but compare it to the DC set by the new deal.

SYNERGY:

  • A character with 5 or more ranks in Bluff gains a synergy bonus on Diplomacy checks.
  • A character with 5 or more ranks in Sense Motive gains a synergy bonus on Diplomacy checks.

DIPLOMACY CHECKS

TASKDCACTION
Convince15*1 minute
Overcome Intransigence15 + target's HD + target's Wisdom modifier*1 minute
Peruasion15**1 minute
* Modified by relationship.
** Modified by relationship and risk vs. reward.

MODIFIERCHECK MODIFIER
Quick Diplomacy-10

RELATIONSHIP

DC
RELATIONSHIP (Example)
-15Intimate (someone with whom you have an implicit trust; a lover or spouse)
-10Friend (someone with whom you have a regularly positive personal relationship; a long-time buddy or sibling)
-5Ally (someone on the same team, but with whom you have no personal relationship; a cleric of the same religion or a knight serving the same king)
-2Acquaintance -- Positive (someone you've met several times with no particularly negative experiences; the blacksmith that buys your looted equipment regularly)
0Just Met (no relationship whatsoever)
+2Acquaintance -- Negative (someone you've met several times with no particularly positive experience; the town guard that has arrested you for drunkenness once or twice)
+5Enemy (someone on an opposed team with whom you have no personal relationship; a cleric of an opposed religion or the orc bandit robbing you)
+10Personal Foe (someone with whom you have a regularly antagonistic personal relationship; an evil overlord you're trying to thwart or a bounty hunter sworn to track you down)
+15Nemesis (someone who has sworn to do you, personally, harm; the brother of a man you murdered in cold blood)

RISK VS. REWARD

DC
RISK VS. REWARD JUDGMENT (Example)
-15Fantastic (The reward for accepting the deal is very worthwhile; the risk is either acceptable or extremely unlikely. The best-case scenario is a virtual guarantee. Example: An offer to pay a lot of gold for information that isn't important to the character.)
-10Good (The reward is good and the risk is minimal. The subject is very likely to proift from the deal. Example: An offer to pay someone twice their normal daily wage to spend their evening in a seedy tavern with a reputation for vicious brawls and later report on everyone they saw there.)
-5Favorable (The reward is appealing, but there's risk involved. If all goes according to plan, though, the deal will end up benefiting the subject. Example: A request for a mercenary to aid the party in battle against a weak goblin tribe in return for a cut of the money and first pick of the magic items.)
0Even (The reward and risk more of less even out; or the deal involves neither reward nor risk. Example: A request for directions to a place that isn't a secret.)
+5Unfavorable (The reward is not enough compared to the risk involved. Even if all goes according to plan, chances are it will end badly for the subject. Example: A request to free a prisoner the target is guarding for a small amount of money.)
+10Bad (The reward is poor and the risk is high. The subject is very likely to get the raw end of the deal. Example: A request for a mercenary to aid the party in battle against an ancient red dragon for a small cut of any non-magical treasure.)
+15Horrible (There is no conceivable way that the proposed plan could end up with the subject ahead or the worst-case scenario is guaranteed to occur. Example: An offer to trade a rusty kitchen knife for a shiny new longsword.)

SUPPLEMENTAL RULES

Charm Spells: A charmed creature is treated as having a Friendly relationship to the caster (-10 to Diplomacy DC ), which replaces any previous relationship modifier (unless the target already had an Intimate relationship with the character). Thus, by charming an enemy, the DC drops from +5 to -10, a decrease of 15. The caster can now talk the creature into anything this improved relationship allows. Because the effect is based on the spell, the caster can make a Spellcraft check in place of a Diplomacy check when dealing with charmed creatures.

Cons: In order to pull a con a character simply makes a Bluff check to convince the target that a deal is better than it actually is. The Bluff check is opposed by a Sense Motive check, just like any other Bluff check, but this Sense Motive check result replaces the normal Sense Motive check made as part of an honest persuasion check. If the Bluff check is successful, the DC of the Diplomacy check is set using whatever the target believes the deal to be. If the Bluff check fails, the DC of the Diplomacy check is set using the actual quality of the deal and the check itself suffers an additional -20 penalty (it is practically impossible to work a deal with someone who has caught you trying to con them).

NEXT TIME:
OPTIONAL DIPLOMACY RULES

(including haggling and a return of influencing attitudes)

Design Notes for Advanced Rules: Diplomacy
Part I
Part II
Part III

RELATIONSHIP

DC Relationship (Example)
-15 Intimate (someone with whom you have an implicit trust; a lover or spouse)
-10 Friend (someone with whom you have a regularly positive personal relationship; a long-time buddy or sibling)
-5 Ally (someone on the same team, but with whom you have no personal relationship; a cleric of the same religion or a knight serving the same king)
-2 Acquaintance — Positive (someone you’ve met several times with no particularly negative experiences; the blacksmith that buys your looted equipment regularly)
0 Just Met (no relationship whatsoever)
+2 Acquaintance — Negative (someone you’ve met several times with no particularly positive experience; the town guard that has arrested you for drunkenness once or twice)
+5 Enemy (someone on an opposed team with whom you have no personal relationship; a cleric of an opposed religion or the orc bandit robbing you)
+10 Personal Foe (someone with whom you have a regularly antagonistic personal relationship; an evil overlord you’re trying to thwart or a bounty hunter sworn to track you down)
+15 Nemesis (someone who has sworn to do you, personally, harm; the brother of a man you murdered in cold blood)

RISK VS. REWARD

DC Risk vs. Reward Judgment (Example)
-15 Fantastic (The reward for accepting the deal is very worthwhile; the risk is either acceptable or extremely unlikely. The best-case scenario is a virtual guarantee. Example: An offer to pay a lot of gold for information that isn’t important to the character.)
-10 Good (The reward is good and the risk is minimal. The subject is very likely to proift from the deal. Example: An offer to pay someone twice their normal daily wage to spend their evening in a seedy tavern with a reputation for vicious brawls and later report on everyone they saw there.)
-5 Favorable (The reward is appealing, but there’s risk involved. If all goes according to plan, though, the deal will end up benefiting the subject. Example: A request for a mercenary to aid the party in battle against a weak goblin tribe in return for a cut of the money and first pick of the magic items.)
0 Even (The reward and risk more of less even out; or the deal involves neither reward nor risk. Example: A request for directions to a place that isn’t a secret.)
+5 Unfavorable (The reward is not enough compared to the risk involved. Even if all goes according to plan, chances are it will end badly for the subject. Example: A request to free a prisoner the target is guarding for a small amount of money.)
+10 Bad (The reward is poor and the risk is high. The subject is very likely to get the raw end of the deal. Example: A request for a mercenary to aid the party in battle against an ancient red dragon for a small cut of any non-magical treasure.)
+15 Horrible (There is no conceivable way that the proposed plan could end up with the subject ahead or the worst-case scenario is guaranteed to occur. Example: An offer to trade a rusty kitchen knife for a shiny new longsword.)
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8 Responses to “Advanced Rules: Diplomacy”

  1. Justin Alexander says:

    ARCHIVED HALOSCAN COMMENTS

    Captain Jandor
    In response to the idea that the target’s diplo should matter: maybe you write the rules as: Target makes a Sense Motive OR Diplomacy check, whichever is higher …

    Then again, when crafting NPCs, it may be that they will likely have both skills pretty high … seems that a true diplomat would want a TON of sense motive anyway.

    As to the problems with super inflated Diplomacy checks: there are several solutions to this. The first, of course, is to nerf that character.

    The second is to take into account more general modifiers; for example, what are the other players doing? What are the weather conditions? Is either party hungry? Fatigued? How many petitions has the target had to listen to today? Is the target likely to cut the diplomat off mid stream? Are there major distractions around (children, animals, guards, etc)?

    A good rule of thumb is using a 2 to 5 modifier for any or all of the above; either reducing/boosting the DC or applying a penalty/bonus to the check. If the persuading is happening in a vacuum, sure, it might always be super easy, but if not you can make it more of a risk.

    Also, time. If the player doesn’t have a lot of time (i.e. doesn’t have a full minute to talk at the person), that -10 can make a difference.

    Third, you might consider just letting the player get away with it. If they are hyper focused on diplomacy, they likely want to be a diplomat. Roll with it and see how things go. If it starts being disruptive, have a convo with the group.
    Tuesday, September 27, 2011, 9:27:59 AM

    Muninn
    @Matt: Burlew’s use of HD in his solution is still problematic, though.
    Saturday, May 22, 2010, 11:37:38 PM

    Matt
    The boy/cookie example can be fixed with Burlew’s method if you assume the parent wants what’s best for his/her children. In that scenario the risk/reward of giving the kid a cookie every time is going to be poor because more cookies = kid becomes fat and/or kid gets spoiled. Sure on the first cookie the parent might be indifferent, but more cookies will be progressively harder for the kid to get as the risk/reward dips lower.

    With the commoner example it might look like:
    1st Cookie = DC15+1(HD)+1(Wis)-10(Relationship)+0(Risk=Even)=DC7
    2nd Cookie = DC15+1(HD)+1(Wis)-10(Relationship)+5(Risk=Unfavorable)=DC12
    3rd Cookie = DC15+1(HD)+1(Wis)-10(Relationship)+10(Risk=Bad)=DC17

    And so forth…
    Friday, May 21, 2010, 3:26:39 AM

    Muninn
    I have only one problem with this solution: As written, there is nothing to take into account the believability of the thing a person is being conviced of.
    Thursday, April 15, 2010, 6:56:38 PM

    wilk
    I like how Convincing has a sense Motive check thrown in – this way, whether the character is attempting to use Diplomacy (for truth) or Bluff (for lies), you ask for a Sense Motive; the DM can simply say ‘roll one’ and the PCs can’t implicitly tell whether the NPC is lying or telling the truth. That’s cool.
    Friday, May 08, 2009, 1:58:35 AM

    Xavin
    @Kroy

    Well, it would – if you follow the “Design Notes” link at the top of the article you’ll see that it’s directly developed from Rich Burlew’s attempted fix, and is intended to address the issues with it.
    Saturday, April 18, 2009, 9:36:58 AM

    Kroy
    This looks a lot like Rich Burlew’s fix, at http://www.giantitp.com/articles/jFppYwv7OUkegKhONNF.html
    Saturday, April 18, 2009, 8:51:06 AM

    Justin Alexander
    “”Convince” people of a belief with a mere DC 15 check?”

    Hmm… No. Thats’s not what it says. You’re confusing “believe to be true” with “belief system”, I think. This is about convincing the local lord that, no, really, I’m telling the truth, there are goblins attacking the village.

    “By the way, convincing somebody that you have a certain set of beliefs that you actually don’t is, in fact, a lie. So it’s still a Bluff.”

    Umm… yes. That’s why that’s exactly what I wrote. Quote: “If they’re trying to convince them of a lie, it’s a Bluff check.”

    “Lastly, the intransigence thing is kind of weird. It’s a bit like trying to make a Hide skill check in the middle of an open field with zero cover or concealment.”

    I’m not seeing any similarity between the two.
    Sunday, November 09, 2008, 9:27:40 PM

    Danhelm
    “Convince” people of a belief with a mere DC 15 check? That seems better left to roleplay where the persons “relationship” modifier swings towards the friendly direction over a period of time (i.e. the character proves trustworthy, empathetic and willing to take risks for the NPC and etc.) and subsequent diplomacy checks where you offer up “moral goods” as a reward for adopting your philosophical views.

    By the way, convincing somebody that you have a certain set of beliefs that you actually don’t is, in fact, a lie. So it’s still a Bluff.

    Lastly, the intransigence thing is kind of weird. It’s a bit like trying to make a Hide skill check in the middle of an open field with zero cover or concealment. In the same fashion, making a Diplomacy check when communication would be awkward or impossible is simply inappropriate. And it can be handled better by baseline modifiers: The character is automatically an “Enemy” for the purposes of discussion. He just has an overt hostility or a generally high risk assessment that people could offer him.

    If I were in a slum and I have a well-known prejudice against the people there, then it’s likely I will view any “deals” made by its inhabitants as inherently “unfavorable” or “bad.” I will also generally consider them to be “enemies” (they’re not personal enemies, but I generally assume that they do not have my best interests at heart).
    Sunday, November 09, 2008, 1:30:51 PM

    Strange_Person
    Perhaps, instead of or in addition to baseline intransigence, we could go the Etherscope route and add a new skill whose sole application is opposing social skills that other people try to use on you?
    Wednesday, June 25, 2008, 6:37:53 AM

    bo
    There is still very little a highly trained character can’t achieve with this skill. Though zeus won’t listen to any request or ever become your friend most NPC’s will still be completely at your mercy.

    a 15th level sorceror with a +2 wisdom bonus for example is a 32 DC and it only slides up to a 47 if they are your sworn enemy to over come the intrasigence.

    Once the intransigence is overcome the worst case scenario where they made the sense motive check and the deal was horrible and the relationship is enemy is still a 60. If they fail the sense motive check it’s a 45.

    In the case of asking the evil sorceror to release a friend of yours from his dungeon for a small amount of money even with the sense motive the DC is only 40 and a trained 5th or 6th level character might have that covered. 18 cha, 9 ranks, +4 synergy, +3 skill focus and a +10 item = +30 at 6th level and this assumes the relationship is nemesis
    Wednesday, June 25, 2008, 1:11:02 AM

    Strange_Person
    Well, if the initial persuasion check fails by less than 10, the other party could, instead of simply offering a counter-proposal one degree more favorable, come up with completely different terms and make their own persuasion attempt.
    Saturday, May 10, 2008, 4:01:46 PM

    Darkfyre
    Of all the attempts I’ve seen to fix the diplomacy skill, yours has been the best I’ve seen. I especially liked how broke it into seperate tasks: conveying the truth, convincing someone to talk to you, and persuading someone to go along with you.

    One thing I noticed is that you failed to take into account the target’s Diplomacy skill when it comes to persuasion.

    An experienced negotiator should be able to get a better deal than a country bumpkin. Persuasion should be an opposed Diplomacy check, modified by relationship and risk vs reward, as opposed to a strait DC.
    Sunday, March 30, 2008, 3:00:40 PM

    Justin Alexander
    The ability to get people to figuratively “come to the table” is of vital importance in, for example, diplomacy. You’ll also find similar discussions when it comes to situations like hostage negotiation, telemarketing calls, or even advertising.

    Forcing or coaxing the creation of a dialogue when someone is resistant to that dialogue is difficult, but not always impossible.
    Saturday, March 22, 2008, 1:38:51 AM

    Virgil
    I’m having trouble understanding how you can overcome intransigence. If they’re not listening to attempts at negotiation or deal-making, then how are you able to negotiate the ability to negotiate?
    Tuesday, March 11, 2008, 12:58:59 AM

    Scott
    Regarding the priest example: it looks like you’re seeing it as a chart of objective reward and risk. But people do not see rewards and punishments that way. A child might see a shiny penny as a huge reward, worthy of a +20 modifier. The king of Thebes probably would not see it that way, and neither would the God of War (or someone who has taken a vow of poverty, perhaps). In this case, the priest would have to be awfully greedy in order to see “a best-selling book” as a fantastic reward.
    On the other side, risk is also subjective: it doesn’t have to be confined to loss of money or limbs. This hypothetical priest would be assured of breaking his sacred oath, which would likely by incredibly important to him. On top of that: there’s the risk that his brother would break his word, and mention the priest someday (which could possibly be assuaged with a different check), and there’s the more important risk that the TV star would find out (how many priests do you think she regularly confesses to?) and basically ruin his life and/or her opinion of him.
    Tuesday, November 13, 2007, 11:48:39 AM

    William
    Just started reading this, that is why it’s so late of an imput.

    reguarding the helpful does not mean helpful. That is a good point about the gent needing new friends.

    But your example of the helpful guard is a bit harder for me. I have a very good friend, my wife. I would argue she rolled a 19 or 20 on her diplomacy check but it does not mean I will do X,Y or Z.

    Example, I work in at a site that requries a clearince to enter. My wife really wants a tour. As much as she wants one, and as much as I would be happy to give her one, I won’t.

    I know at least three ways to get her in with out a clearince. But that would be breaking the rules I work under.

    No matter how helpful I want to be my lawful alinment prevents doing X,Y or Z. So would that make me “friendly” to my wife? It would not matter to me how great the reward would be for breaking the rules at work. I just could not do it.

    Think about a priest. no matter how close you are to one, they won’t tell you about what was said in confession. It could be his brother (intimate) explaining how by telling him about a tv stars confession would be a best selling book (fantastic reward), and would never talk about his tie to the priest (low risk). He would still refuse due to his alignment. (well we would hope)

    sure this priest might drop everything, fly to the South Pole to fight the thing and blob at the same time for his brother, but he would not break the confession.
    Tuesday, October 30, 2007, 12:43:38 PM

    Justin Alexander
    I would argue that your assessment of the Risk vs. Reward for this particular deal is skewed. I think you’re overlooking all the reasons that parents don’t give their kids cookies whenever they ask for them and overvaluing the warm, fuzzy reward.

    Using Burlew’s guidelines, you’re valuing the cookie as “something of no value to the subject” (which is probably close to true), but you’re also valuing the warm, fuzzy feeling as being worth “a lot of gold” (which I don’t think is justified).

    I would argue that the deal in question offers neither meaningful reward (a warm, fuzzy feeling is nice but it’s not that great) nor meaningful risk (a cookie isn’t worth that much), which — following Burlew’s guidelines — makes it a +0 modifier.

    That’s all certainly a matter of opinion, but let’s take a look at the mechanical consequences of accepting your proposition that this is a Fantastic deal worth a -10 modifier to the DC. You’re looking at an 11th level cleric and getting:

    15 (base) + 11 HD + 5 (Wisdom) – 10 (relationship) – 10 (risk vs. reward) = DC 11

    Now, let’s replace the cleric with a 1st level commoner:

    15 (base) + 1 HD + 1 (Wisdom) – 10 (relationship) – 10 (risk vs. reward) = DC 1

    Which means that, using your premise, most kids will get a cookie from their parent every single time they ask for one. Which clearly doesn’t match reality.

    Which gets us back to the point, which is demonstrating the shortcoming in Burlew’s decision to link difficulty to HD. (Which leads to our solution: Moving that HD-dependent DC to a check involving overcoming intransigence.)
    Saturday, September 22, 2007, 3:27:12 AM

    Ki§a
    I’d just like to point out that in your examples of mr. Burlew’s system, you’ve pretty much completely ommited the Risk vs. Reward judgement. To take your grandma example, depending on the mood the granny is, she might weight it like this – risk: what risk, giving the kid a cookie? Reward: the fuzzy feeling you get from making your loved one happy. I’d put it at a -10 right there. Which bumps down the DC to 11. The kid will always get a cookie taking 10 if he has a Cha mod of even +1. Now, this doesn’t invalidate the problems w/ the system (the castle and Zeus examples’ problem still stands), but the Risk/Reward judgement should also be factored in.
    Monday, September 17, 2007, 11:13:36 AM

    Justin Alexander
    Thanks for the feedback. You’re absolutely right, I goofed up the math on the 1st level example. I’ll try to clean that up when I gather the whole thing together for OGL release.
    Thursday, June 07, 2007, 3:01:53 PM

    nobodez
    Um… You can’t have a Synergy bonus at 1st level, you can only get it at 2nd level (since they require 5 ranks to achieve).

    Also, +43 isn’t that hard, I can get +38 at 6th level using non-unique items.

    +5 Charisma (18 start, +2 item, +1 level)
    +5 Circumstance (Marshal’s Motivate Charisma)
    +3 Skill Focus (Diplomacy)
    +2 Negotiator
    +2 Racial (half-elf)
    +3 Bluff Synergy (Complementary Insight RoD)
    +3 Knowledge (Nob 7 Roy) (Complementary Insight RoD)
    +3 Sense Motive (Complementary Insight RoD)
    +9 ranks (6th level)
    +3 Circlet of Persusion (4500 gp)

    At 8th level it goes to +42 without any new items, though you can afford a +4 Cloak of Charisma by then,or even an upgrade to a Choker of Eloquence (CAdv) instead of the Circlet of Persuasion, giving a +47 bonus. Add in the Medal of galantry (1100 gp) and it’s a +49, meaning you’ll hit DC 60 half the time, or if you take the 10 rounds (1 minute), you can get the DC 50 all the time, every time.
    Monday, May 14, 2007, 6:43:25 PM

  2. Strange_Person says:

    You seem to be missing the relationship and risk vs. reward modifier tables.

  3. Justin Alexander says:

    @Strange_Person: Apparently WordPress decided to make the tables invisible. Very weird, but I’ve managed to tease them back out again. Hopefully it should be fixed for everybody now.

  4. Flint_A says:

    I don’t think this is still completely perfect.(Although it is obviously MUCH better than the original rule.)

    Let’s look at the cookie example. 15, -10 from the relationship, DC 5. Let’s assume when the kid asks for the first cookie, the grandma will be happy to give it, for another -5. DC 0, the grandmother will definitely give the first cookie.

    For the second, she doesn’t particularly care either way. DC 5, you’ll get it unless you’re an obnoxious brat.

    After a few cookies, a caring grandmother will start getting concerned. She’ll think you should stop. She doesn’t want you to get sick, so that’s a bad deal for her. -5, DC 10. Even odds.

    After you’ve eaten a whole platter, she REALLY thinks you’ve had enough. -10, DC 15. You need to be VERY convincing.

    So far so good. However, even if you’ve eaten a hundred cookies and you are about to die of diabetes and your grandmother is crying and begging you to stop; the DC can not go above 20. A completely ordinary kid with no bonus has a 5% chance of convincing his grandmother to eat yet another cookie even at that point; unless the constant demands for cookie somehow hurt their relationship. I don’t think 5% is a low enough chance. Sure, we’re used to getting “awesome” results on a natural 20, but this still feels a little broken to me.

    Certainly that is a silly example, but what it implies is that if you are a completely ordinary person (+0 to Diplomacy) and you are talking to a friend (-10 to DC) even the most horrible thing you can ask is technically possible. 15-10+15=20 Unless they succeed on the Sense Motive check(5% chance for an ordinary person) you have a 5% chance of convincing your friend to do ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING. You can ask them to kill themselves because you need a healthy human heart, and you have a 5% chance. On average, if you ask 20 good friends, you’ll get one. That…does not seem right.

  5. Flint_A says:

    To cut it short: It’s conceivable that someone can have 20 good friends, especially in a small village.

    And if a completely ordinary person goes up to twenty of his completely ordinary friends one by one and says “I’ll trade you this pebble for your house.”(Not even bluffing to make it sound better.):

    Ten of them get mad at him
    Four of them just shrug
    Fve of them suggest a “bad” counter-offer (“Not my house, but I’ll give you my cow for it?”)
    One of them ACTUALLY TAKES THE DEAL

    Does that seem right to you?

  6. Martain says:

    I think risk versus reward is too vague. Why not break it up into three smaller categories?

    Risk versus Reward – resistance of NPC to deals that involve risk to health/finances/reputation

    Alignment versus Alignment – resistance of NPC to dealing with someone of an opposing alignment

    Action versus Alignment – resistance of NPC to deals or actions that go counter to their alignment

    Alignment versus Alignment (Add to overcome Intransigence check):

    G N E
    ______________
    G | 0 | +5 | +10 |
    N | +5 | +10| +5 |
    E | +10 | +5 | 0 |
    ———————–

    Thus this extra chart would add an extra DC based on alignment differences based on difference between player alignment and alignment of NPC. This would reflect the tendency from someone who is chaotic to refuse a request from a lawful guard simply because they view them derisively as “The Lawman” or someone who is evil refuse a request from a good simply because they feel the other is a “Self Righteous ***”.

    Persuasion Action versus Alignment Modifier (Add to persuasion check):

    There is less resistance to movement on the lawful versus chaotic axis than the good versus evil axis.
    Ex: The Lawful-Good NPC is less resistant to being convinced to break a law than they would be to kill someone.

    L N C
    _____________
    L| -5 | 0 | +10 |
    N| 0 | -5 | +5 |
    C| +10 | +5 | -5 |
    ———————

    G N E
    ______________
    G| -10 | -5 | +20 |
    N| -5 | -10| +10 |
    E | +20 | +10| -10 |
    ———————

    Hence regardless of how great the gain to his health/finances/reputation is, a Lawful-Good NPC would have an extra +30 DC on the persuasion check to be convinced to do something unlawful and evil.

    This way, instead of a max 15 DC for a horrible trade, proposing something that brings great risk to health/finances/reputation, and is against the NPC alignment, grants a larger DC check.

  7. Ring_of_Gyges says:

    What happens if Bob the fighter tries to buy a longsword?

    Bob walks into the blacksmith’s shop, and offers 15gp for a longsword hanging on the wall. Suppose the blacksmith has never met Bob before and Bob is untrained in Diplomacy (+0).

    15gp for an item worth 15gp seems like an even deal, and there is no relationship modifier. That leaves us with Bob needing a 15+ to close the sale. 70% of the time the blacksmith refuses the sale?

    It isn’t clear to me why a roll should be necessary for an NPC to accept an even or favorable deal. Skill and dice rolls should be necessary to convince someone to do something they otherwise wouldn’t, good deals seem like they should be automatic.

  8. Justin Alexander says:

    You describe the deal as “even”, but I’m unclear what risk you’re seeing in it for the blacksmith. What you’re actually describing is a good deal: The risk is minimal (probably nonexistent) and the blacksmith is very likely to profit from it (since he’s unlikely to be pricing his longswords at a loss).

    Since they’ve just met, that’s a DC 5 check. Take 10 and walk out of the store.

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