Diplomacy

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Description

Ability Score Used: Charisma
Usable Untrained? Yes
Armor Check Penalty Applies? No


You can use this skill to persuade others to agree with your arguments, to resolve differences, and to gather valuable information or rumors from people. This skill is also used to negotiate conflicts by using the proper etiquette and manners suitable to the problem.

As with all skills, the uses below are merely suggestions, and by no means the full gamut of possible ways a skill can be used. Players and GM's are encouraged to find additional ways to use each skill.

Improve Attitude

You can change the initial attitudes of non-player characters with a successful check. The DC of this check depends on the creature's level or CR, and is adjusted by its starting attitude toward you. If you succeed, the character's attitude toward you is improved by one step.

You cannot use Diplomacy against a creature that does not understand you or has an Intelligence of 3 or less. Diplomacy is generally ineffective in combat and against creatures that intend to harm you or your allies in the immediate future. Any attitude shift caused through Diplomacy generally lasts for 1d4 hours, but can last much longer or shorter depending upon the situation (GM discretion). During that 1d4 hour timeframe, the actions of the PC can greatly influence this duration. Making a Diplomacy check, then treacherously betraying your new-gained trust is a good way to lower that time, for example, while giving gifts, bargaining fairly and in good faith, and behaving honorably are ways to extend it.

Action Required:

Improving the attitude of a creature by one step requires at least a few minutes of conversation, and can take hours or days.

DC of Check:

Requires an Average DC check based on the target creature's level or CR. If your result is equal to or greater than a Hard DC for the creature's level or CR, the character's attitude toward you increases by two steps, instead of one. A creature's attitude cannot be shifted more than two steps up in this way. (If you have at least 21 ranks in Diplomacy, you can improve a creature's attitude up to three steps, if your result is equal to or greater than an Impossible DC for the creature's level or CR.)

The possible attitudes, in order from worst to best are:

  • Hostile: The creature wants you dead, and will take actions to make that happen. Most monster encounters assume an attitude of hostile.
  • Unfriendly: The creature wishes ill upon you, but may not go out of its way to make that happen. Certainly, it will take opportunities to see your social status and/or physical health degraded, if they are easy to exploit, but mostly just takes pleasure in your suffering as a concept, rather than needing to make it a reality.
  • Indifferent: The creature doesn't care about you, particularly. Most NPC's have an assumed attitude of indifferent when you first meet them.
  • Friendly: The creature sees you in a positive light, and thinks you're an acceptable member of your species, all things considered. This is the attitude an acquaintance might have if things went well the first time you met.
  • Helpful: The creature wants you to succeed, and is willing to expend some effort to assist you, assuming it doesn't require the creature to act totally out of its own character to do so. The creature considers itself your friend, but won't take on suicidal tasks to help you, or break laws (if the creature normally cares about laws, anyway), or otherwise cause itself lasting harm in your service.
  • Devoted: A devoted creature will get in trouble for you, take an injury for you, and pretty much do anything for you, unless it might lead to permanent injury, total loss of social status, or death.
  • Fanatic: (Epic Only)The creature loves you beyond any healthy limits, and will gladly die in your stead, would kill kings to rescue you, or even take on tasks it would never consider doing for anyone else. The only limit to what a zealot will do for you is what the zealot is actually capable of doing. A zealot might want to give you the moon, but may not be able to. It would certainly try, though. (You must have at least 21 ranks in Diplomacy to even attempt to improve a creature's attitude to Fanatic, and it always requires an Impossible DC, regardless of the creature's starting attitude.)
Modifiers to Check
Starting Attitude DC Modifier
Hostile +8
Unfriendly +5
Indifferent +2
Friendly +0
Helpful -2
Devoted -5
Fanatic (Epic Only) -8
Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 5 allies). The first assisting ally doubles the time required, the second assisting ally triples it, etc.

Results of Success

The target's attitude is improved by either one or two steps, as indicated above.

Consequences of Failure

If you fail the check by 4 or less, the character's attitude toward you is unchanged. If you fail by 5 or more, the character's attitude toward you is decreased by one step.

Retry Allowed?

You cannot use Diplomacy to improve a given creature's attitude more than once in a 24 hour period. (If you have at least 21 ranks in Diplomacy, you may retry in the same 24 hour period, at +5 on the DC per retry.)

Provokes AOO?

No

Make a Request

If a creature's attitude toward you is at least indifferent, you can make requests of the creature. Once a creature's attitude has shifted to helpful or better, the creature gives in to many requests without a check, unless the request is against its nature or puts it in serious peril. Some requests automatically fail if the request goes against the creature's values or its nature, subject to GM discretion.
Action Required:

Varies; it can be a free action for a simple request (e.g. "help me!"), or several minutes for something involved (e.g. "give me directions to the nearest bank").

DC of Check:
  • No roll is possible if the creature is Unfriendly or Hostile.
  • Hard DC for the target creature's CR or level, if the creature is indifferent
  • Challenging DC for the target creature's CR or level, if the creature is friendly
  • Average DC for the target creature's CR or level, if the creature is helpful or better
  • In some cases, the GM may rule that a roll is unnecessary if the creature's attitude is sufficiently friendly, or the request is sufficiently reasonable.
Modifiers to Check
Request Diplomacy Modifier
Give simple advice or directions -2
Give detailed advice or directions +0
Give simple aid +0
Reveal an unimportant secret +2
Give lengthy or complicated aid +2
Give dangerous aid +5
Reveal secret knowledge +5 or more
Give aid that could result in punishment +8 or more
Additional requests in a single day +2 per request
Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

No

Results of Success

The creature complies with your request

Consequences of Failure

The creature refuses to comply with the request.

Retry Allowed?

If a request is refused, the result does not change with additional checks, although different requests might be made (at +2 to the DC per additional request)

Provokes AOO?

No

Gather Information

You can use diplomacy to gather information about a specific topic, event or individual. Note that you may also use Knowledge (Local) to perform this task. Success gets you information about the person, topic or event. It is assumed that multiple sources are consulted during the investigation, to weed out contradictory information, and get a broader picture of the topic. This means you get more than a simple "Yep, he lives in the hollow over there", and more of a big-picture summary of the individual, object or event.
Action Required:

1d4 hours, as you canvas people at local taverns, markets and gathering places. Gathering information in settlements of size "Large City" or larger takes 1d4 days, instead.

DC of Check:
Topic Being Investigated Diplomacy DC
The topic is famous or infamous with the local populace Easy skill check vs. the CR/lvl of the campaign, object, or individual, whichever is lower
The topic is reasonably well-known to the local populace Average skill check vs. the CR/lvl of the campaign, object, or individual
The topic is reasonably well-known to a regional subset of the local populace Challenging skill check vs. the CR/lvl of the campaign, object, or individual
A person that is unknown or anonymous Hard skill check vs. the CR/lvl of the individual
An object or an event that is not well-known Hard skill check vs. the CR/lvl of the individual who owns the object, precipitated the event, or otherwise is responsible for the topic's existence.
A person, object, or event that is a secret to the local populace Impossible skill check vs. the CR/lvl of the campaign, object, or individual, whichever is higher
Modifiers to Check
Topic Modifier DC Modifier
The topic is dangerous to talk about openly (e.g. "What is the name of 'he-who-shall-not-be-named'?") +2
Only a few select individuals know anything about the topic/person/item +2 or more (depending on settlement size)
You don't want people to know you're asking about the specific topic, event or individual +5
Take 10? / Take 20?

Yes

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 5 allies).

Results of Success

You discover information about the specific topic, event or individual you are seeking, sufficient to suggest at least one course of action related to the topic.

If you exceed the target DC by 5 or more, you gain significant information about the topic, or perhaps a useful warning about something you should watch out for.

Consequences of Failure

If you fail by less than 5, you uncover only the most basic of information about the topic. If you fail by 5 or more, you fail to find any reliable sources of information on the topic.

Retry Allowed?

Yes

Provokes AOO?

No

Intuit Proper Etiquette

You can intuitively guess the proper etiquette in any social situation, appearing to be in touch with the local customs and traditions of politeness. This ability can be used in any culture, even one you've never encountered before, though you must be able to communicate with your hosts. Success means you impress your host(s) with your manners and quick wit. This can lead to a positive circumstance bonus to "improve attitude" checks, or simply cause your host(s) to re-evaluate their prejudices.
Action Required:

at least 1 minute of conversation

DC of Check:

Hard skill check vs. the general campaign level of the region in which you are mingling. Note that this is often lower than the CR/lvl of your hosts.

Modifiers to Check
Situation DC Modifier
You speak the native language of your host(s) -5 to DC
You are considered barbaric because of your race or native culture +5 to DC
You are unusually dressed (e.g. foreign clothes, or weapons/armor at a polite gathering, etc.) +5 or more to DC
Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

No

Results of Success

You are able to act with a reasonable facsimile of the local etiquette, keeping you from standing out or seeming oafish.

If you exceed the target DC by 5 or more, you are able to mimic the local etiquette so well that few can tell you are not a local (by your actions; your appearance may still give you away).

If you exceed the target DC by 10 or more, you appear to be an expert at the local etiquette, impressing others. You gain a +5 circumstance bonus on your next diplomacy roll made to interact with a local.

Consequences of Failure

If you fail by less than 5, you do not offend your hosts, but neither do you impress them. If you fail by 5 or more, your actions, way of speaking and general demeanor are considered off-putting, oafish or otherwise distasteful.

Retry Allowed?

No

Provokes AOO?

No

Implant Suggestion (Epic)

Your powers of persuasion and wordplay have grown so mighty that you can cause a person to temporarily act upon your command as though they had a "helpful" attitude towards you. If successful, you may suggest an action be performed by the target creature as though you had cast Suggestion (Spell) upon them. The target creature will realize it has been manipulated once the spell's duration ends. This is a non-magical effect.

This is an epic skill use, and requires at least 21 ranks in the skill before it may be attempted.

Action Required:

Standard action

DC of Check:

Challenging DC vs. the CR/lvl of the target creature

Modifiers to Check

The target gets a Will save vs. a DC of 10 + half your level + your CHA modifier to resist the suggestion, if the Diplomacy check is successful. This saving throw may be made at a penalty of -1 or -2 if the suggestion seems particularly reasonable.

Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

No

Results of Success

The target acts according to the suggestion you have implanted in him.

If you exceed the target DC by 10 or more, the subject never realizes it was coerced, leaving its attitude towards you unchanged afterwards.

Consequences of Failure

The target is not subjected to the spell effect, though it may still act upon the suggestion of its own volition, if it seems reasonable enough.

Retry Allowed?

Yes, but the subject receives a +2 bonus to its saving throw for each additional attempt within the same 24-hour period.

Provokes AOO?

No