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Boci
2010-09-05, 06:20 PM
In a play by post game I am in three of us were having a discussion about diplomacy. One poster, Graven, said that normal diplomacy attempts wouldn't work, because all NPCs would be aware of how the skill works and thus not allow you to complete the one minute attempt. Specific examples were a merchant who turns to pour himself a glass of wine as the PCs haggle on a price, asking "What was that you were saying?" or the guard who tells the PCs to get lost, thus not allowing them to complete the required uninterrupted 10 rounds of diplomacering. This is also their way of fixing potential diplomacy abuses.

My opinion is that itís far better to tweak diplomacy than to have this solution. Not only do I find it unrealistic in a lot of situations (Surely ambassadors upon their arrival speak for longer than 1 minute without interruptions? Plus how can you decide that not a single guard will ever speak to the PCs for minute or more) but it also makes the game un-enjoyable. I don't want NPCs coming up with creative ways to interrupt every conversation, whether or not I have any ranks in social skills or am the DM.

So anyway, the discussion was starting to clog up the OOC thread, so I thought we could move it here to continue it (if Graven has an account), and I also wanted to hear what the playgrounders have to say on the subject.

shadow_archmagi
2010-09-05, 06:24 PM
I don't think that diplomacy requires a full minute of uninterrupted monologue; It seems ridiculous to think that negotiations can break down because someone sneezes.

Furthermore, NPCs metagaming is just silly

The Glyphstone
2010-09-05, 06:25 PM
Since when are NPCs aware of game mechanics outside the OotS-verse, and thus aware that it takes 1 minute of discussion for you to change someone's attitude?

shadow_archmagi
2010-09-05, 06:29 PM
I have to admit that it's a hilarious idea:

An entire world where no one talks to each other for more than 54 seconds in a row, at which point they shout "SHUT UP! GET OUT OF HERE! STOP TRYING TO USE YOUR WORDS ON ME, PRETTYBOY" and shove their fingers into their ears

freebiewitz
2010-09-05, 06:30 PM
You could always do a sort of rushed Diplomacy check. I'm not sure of the exact rules but you should be able to do one by just standing there. Look at Kamina from Gurren laggan I bet he makes one instantly when you meet him. He doesn't even have to say anything and already you know he's awesome.

(Cloak of charisma maybe?)

Vangor
2010-09-05, 06:46 PM
Specific examples were a merchant who turns to pour himself a glass of wine as the PCs haggle on a price, asking "What was that you were saying?" or the guard who tells the PCs to get lost, thus not allowing them to complete the required uninterrupted 10 rounds of diplomacering. This is also their way of fixing potential diplomacy abuses.

Nothing mentions "uninterrupted" in the skill explanation. Changing attitudes usually takes a minute or more, but absolutely uninterrupted, especially with the first example or the notion of NPCs metagaming to interrupt, is ridiculous. However, against NPCs who you fail a rushed diplomacy check against, the minute or more diplomacy will probably be ignored or halted entirely, both of which are a failure.

Fixing diplomacy requires an entire reworking of the mechanics.

shadow_archmagi
2010-09-05, 07:06 PM
Nothing mentions "uninterrupted" in the skill explanation. Changing attitudes usually takes a minute or more, but absolutely uninterrupted, especially with the first example or the notion of NPCs metagaming to interrupt, is ridiculous. However, against NPCs who you fail a rushed diplomacy check against, the minute or more diplomacy will probably be ignored or halted entirely, both of which are a failure.

Fixing diplomacy requires an entire reworking of the mechanics.

The description says 10 CONSECUTIVE rounds.

Thus, if you spent a round unable to diplomacy, you'd fail

DragoonWraith
2010-09-05, 07:41 PM
Yeah, but it doesn't say that you have to be the one talking for the entire 10 rounds. Listening can be a part of diplomacy.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-05, 08:26 PM
Nothing mentions "uninterrupted" in the skill explanation. Changing attitudes usually takes a minute or more, but absolutely uninterrupted, especially with the first example or the notion of NPCs metagaming to interrupt, is ridiculous. However, against NPCs who you fail a rushed diplomacy check against, the minute or more diplomacy will probably be ignored or halted entirely, both of which are a failure.

Fixing diplomacy requires an entire reworking of the mechanics.

If the NPCs can metagame, then the next logical step is that you'll be playing in the tippyverse.

It might be an interesting concept for a game, but I certainly wouldnt consider that standard, or intended by the designers.

shadow_archmagi
2010-09-05, 09:23 PM
Yeah, but it doesn't say that you have to be the one talking for the entire 10 rounds. Listening can be a part of diplomacy.

and if they stop listening? Leave the room? Or just shout "BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH' and drown you out for a moment?

Tyndmyr
2010-09-05, 09:31 PM
They get a negative modifier to their diplomacy roll? After all, yelling "BLAAAARG" is probably not going to be a favorable circumstance.

shadow_archmagi
2010-09-05, 09:32 PM
They get a negative modifier to their diplomacy roll? After all, yelling "BLAAAARG" is probably not going to be a favorable circumstance.

There is no penalty to the roll if they prevent the roll by interrupting you got a full round

Vangor
2010-09-05, 09:35 PM
The description says 10 CONSECUTIVE rounds.

Thus, if you spent a round unable to diplomacy, you'd fail

Consecutive full-round actions doing diplomacy is not the same as any minor interruption stopping your diplomacy, you simply need to be doing nothing but attempting to be diplomatic throughout the minute or more.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-05, 09:38 PM
There is no penalty to the roll if they prevent the roll by interrupting you got a full round

The idea that you can interrupt diplomacy by talking loudly shows a very poor understanding of what diplomacy is.

Zhalath
2010-09-05, 09:40 PM
That seems pretty bogus. Imagine if in a discussion, anything you say means nothing if for six seconds, you stop talking. Imagine that if you don't post every six posts, your points mean nothing. As a reality simulation, it makes no sense.

I'd suggest just augmenting Diplomacy, like adding the DC modifiers from Bluff depending on what you're asking and your relationship with the person.

Moginheden
2010-09-05, 10:06 PM
The way I see it, (not necessarily by RAW); to use diplomacy the player has to be willing to spend 10 rounds trying to talk to the NPC. The NPC's reaction to the diplomacy attempt during those 10 rounds are part of the diplomacy check and not under the control of the DM until the roll is made, (and it should be rolled during the player's first round of diplomacy before the NPC's next action.)

If the roll fails miserably, then NPC will probably say "BAH! I'm not listening" and plug his ears, or something similar. Allowing the player to do something else during the remaining rounds. But if the check succeeds, (or at least doesn't spectacularly fail), the NPC will hear them out for all 10 rounds, (but still be free to react to other things around them and will still act their current, not their improved attitude to them.) The player can do nothing for the further 9 rounds though or else the check automatically fails.

Note: This is not a way to fascinate an NPC as other circumstances such as the PC's friends attempting to stealing from/attacking said NPC will also void the diplomacy check.

Edit: If the NPC would never agree with your point of view the DM does get to set situational modifiers. If changing the NPC's attitude would destroy your story either you need to re-think the story or put a -100 modifier on the roll.

ericgrau
2010-09-05, 10:47 PM
Plugging your ears and shouting "LALALALALALA" is not the way to "fix" diplomacy. I think too much metagaming is going on. Just roleplay it normally, and when the time comes for the DM to figure out an uncertain response, roll the diplomacy check. For example, roll it if bribing a guard but only if he's the kind that might takes bribes. Etc.

armada3
2010-09-05, 11:48 PM
I play another character in the same game(Evindura)

Anyways, I think the way the DM has chosen to do it seems to be fine.
Simply if the conversation is rushed then it is at a -10 and if the conversation isn't it is normal.

When I have rolled in the past I roll per conversation, after all a good diplomat gets the listener to listen to them for awhile, As on the forum the best way to argue a point is to take you time and work on every point.

It is kinda asom though A first lvl binder has no problems with it, just bind Naberius, then the -10 is gone... and the ability to take 10 during a rushed check isn't bad either.

Fizban
2010-09-05, 11:58 PM
You can just do a rushed diplomacy check, that way the only way they can interrupt you is if they readied an action before you started talking. You take a -10 penalty, but hey, if you're a diplomancer you can just eat the penalty, and even if you're not serious all you need is hostile -> unfriendly to stop a fight, or unfriendly -> indifferent to get them to listen fairly or barter. So even rushing you only need to roll a 30 to stop a fight or a 25 to get merchant to stop being a butthead, easy peasy.

Edit: gack! Ninja!

Boci
2010-09-05, 11:58 PM
I play another character in the same game(Evindura)

Anyways, I think the way the DM has chosen to do it seems to be fine.
Simply if the conversation is rushed then it is at a -10 and if the conversation isn't it is normal.

Yeah that works fine. Graven seemed to be worried about some TO diplomancer style character, which no one in the group has any plans or intentions of.

CyMage
2010-09-06, 12:42 AM
The description says 10 CONSECUTIVE rounds.

Thus, if you spent a round unable to diplomacy, you'd fail

Even with this line of thinking, the world doesn't stop when you start trying to use Diplomacy. Here is how it would look like in a round by round situation between two people.

Round 1. You start your check by saying 'Hello' and generaly being a nice person for 6 seconds.
Round 1. Your target might respond if they're 'Indifferent' or better, or might be a bit rude about it for their 6 seconds.

Round 2. You continue making being a nice person and such for 6 more seconds.
Round 2. Your target continues feeling the same way about you.

Round 3-9. Same thing happens.

Round 10. 'Look, you're a really great merchant and I think it would get you more business if you helped us out to catch that killer.' Roll your check.
Round 10. Your target thinks about what you've said and adjusts their attitude.

So as you can see, because the two people keep taking turns, the 'interrupt' effect is already in the game. The only times you might have issues with taking the full 10 rounds is if the target is Hostile towards you then you either have to rush or live for 10 rounds.

FelixG
2010-09-06, 01:15 AM
Sounds like because of his sillyness concerning diplomacy that a diplomancer is the only way to get things done with diplomacy at all.

If all of his NPCs meta game the player should roll with it and just make a diplomancer so that the NPCs dont have a chance to be so stupid and try to ignore him.

Alternative: Use some kind of psi or magical power to talk into their brain, no interruptions then just willsaves :D

Hague
2010-09-06, 01:16 AM
Just chuck the regular diplomacy rules. They're broken anyway. I like Rich's version much better. It's logical, consistent and best of all, not broken!

Zen Master
2010-09-06, 06:29 AM
There is basically nothing regarding the diplomacy skill that cannot be easily handled with situational modifiers. I have no hesitation with giving ... lets say a +60 bonus to someone who cannot be swayed.

hewhosaysfish
2010-09-06, 12:12 PM
So the DM can see that Diplomacy by RAW is not
"skill in managing negotiations, handling people, etc., so that there is little or no ill will; tact" but actually more like "magical ming-control words that turn people into my lackey if I can talk at them for long enough".

They then choose not to
A) house-rule a less simplistic social mechanic, or find someone else's fix in the amazing internet machine
B) handwave the precise functioning of diplomacy, assigning appropriate results to a roll based on their interpretation of the current situation
C) declare "social mechanics encourage dice-rolling instead of roleplay so we won't be using them"
or even
D) have NPCs react to Diplomacy attempts as if it were "magical mind-control words" by fleeing, attacking or calling the guards, just the same as if the PC tried to Enchant them or slip something into their drink.

Instead the DM opted for E)

An entire world where no one talks to each other for more than 54 seconds in a row, at which point they shout "SHUT UP! GET OUT OF HERE! STOP TRYING TO USE YOUR WORDS ON ME, PRETTYBOY" and shove their fingers into their ears

Is it possible that the DM would secretly prefer option C: "No Social Mechanics" but for some reason doesn't want to say (perhaps they're afraid of getting into a big arguement with players who insist "But it says in the rules.....") and is instead clamping down on Diplomacy in an incredibly passive-agressive jackass sort of way?

2xMachina
2010-09-06, 12:44 PM
Bind Naberius. Rush diplo at no penalty. And with a hefty bonus too, IIRC.

Pair with warlock for more charm. And then hellfire when it fails.

Random NPC
2010-09-06, 01:35 PM
Bind Naberius. Rush diplo at no penalty. And with a hefty bonus too, IIRC.

Pair with warlock for more charm. And then hellfire when it fails.

Reason #7 why Binder 1/Warlock 8/Hellfire Warlock 3 is awesome: People will either look nice at you or look dead to you

Calimehter
2010-09-06, 02:29 PM
There is basically nothing regarding the diplomacy skill that cannot be easily handled with situational modifiers. I have no hesitation with giving ... lets say a +60 bonus to someone who cannot be swayed.

This.

Of course, you have to pair this with some DM common sense and remember that the PCs *did* invest in a skill and expect some payback for it. I just save big modifiers for problems of the "Hey Succubus, stop attacking us . . . and while you're at it, get me a beer and a sandwich from the kitchen and be GRATEFUL for the privilige of doing it!![slaps butt]" nature that RAW extremism can sometimes lead to. Thankfully, I haven't had to deal with it IRL at my table yet. :)

Worira
2010-09-06, 02:42 PM
I have to admit that it's a hilarious idea:

An entire world where no one talks to each other for more than 54 seconds in a row, at which point they shout "SHUT UP! GET OUT OF HERE! STOP TRYING TO USE YOUR WORDS ON ME, PRETTYBOY" and shove their fingers into their ears

"NO YOU SHUT UP I WILL BE FRIENDLY IF I HAVE TO BREAK YOUR FINGERS TO DO IT"

Lysander
2010-09-06, 02:53 PM
While the idea that NPCs know diplomacy rules is laughable, there is a bit of truth in that some people just won't be willing to listen to you. Your arch-nemesis may be too busy trying to smash in your face with a hammer to engage in diplomacy.

Curmudgeon
2010-09-06, 03:13 PM
Changing othersí attitudes with Diplomacy generally takes at least 1 full minute (10 consecutive full-round actions). In some situations, this time requirement may greatly increase. A rushed Diplomacy check can be made as a full-round action, but you take a -10 penalty on the check. Diplomacy is an entirely unbalanced skill: it can change NPC attitudes, but has no effect on PCs. My response as a DM is to simply make use of the oft-overlooked bolded rule above, and greatly increase the time requirement if the NPCs have a reason not to want to be influenced. So it could take a great number of even rushed Diplomacy checks before there's any influence.

Toliudar
2010-09-06, 03:41 PM
On a related note: Is there anything in the use of diplomacy that makes it language-dependent? Can you use gesture, body language, and nonverbals to overcome hostility? I remember reading a study that 70% of the information in face-to-face contact has nothing to do with the words we're saying, so this is not the frivolous question it might seem to be. The wild empathy ability is clearly not language-dependent, so why not?

Sure, maybe there's a circumstance penalty if there's no shared language, but I'd still give somebody a shot. What do you think?

chiasaur11
2010-09-06, 08:17 PM
"NO YOU SHUT UP I WILL BE FRIENDLY IF I HAVE TO BREAK YOUR FINGERS TO DO IT"

TAKE THE FRUIT BASKET!

TAKE IT!

2xMachina
2010-09-07, 02:35 AM
While the idea that NPCs know diplomacy rules is laughable, there is a bit of truth in that some people just won't be willing to listen to you. Your arch-nemesis may be too busy trying to smash in your face with a hammer to engage in diplomacy.

You may, however, endure 10 rounds of face smashing trying to diplomance him.

He might just be impressed enough that he'd listen to you later.

Curmudgeon
2010-09-07, 02:53 AM
On a related note: Is there anything in the use of diplomacy that makes it language-dependent?
...
Sure, maybe there's a circumstance penalty if there's no shared language, but I'd still give somebody a shot. What do you think?
I again refer you to the "In some situations, this time requirement may greatly increase" proviso of the skill. If you're trying to influence someone without them understanding you, I'd make it take between 10x and 100x longer. (The shorter end of the scale is if you use tasty treats as a communication aid. :smallwink:)

Zen Master
2010-09-07, 05:50 AM
This.

Of course, you have to pair this with some DM common sense and remember that the PCs *did* invest in a skill and expect some payback for it. I just save big modifiers for problems of the "Hey Succubus, stop attacking us . . . and while you're at it, get me a beer and a sandwich from the kitchen and be GRATEFUL for the privilige of doing it!![slaps butt]" nature that RAW extremism can sometimes lead to. Thankfully, I haven't had to deal with it IRL at my table yet. :)

Naturally. The DM needs to respect player investment, of course. But there will always be people out there who are too convinced of one thing to be convinced of another - and then there are those who are simply too pigheaded to be convinced of anything.

Killer Angel
2010-09-07, 06:05 AM
While the idea that NPCs know diplomacy rules is laughable

Not all the times. Effectively, a NPC diplomat, can be aware ot the "tricks" you're using. Or, at least, he can do a sense motive check.
Eventually, the DM can adjust the DC of the Player's roll, adding the ranks in Diplomacy of the target.



Changing othersí attitudes with Diplomacy generally takes at least 1 full minute (10 consecutive full-round actions). In some situations, this time requirement may greatly increase. A rushed Diplomacy check can be made as a full-round action, but you take a -10 penalty on the check.

I wonder if you can make a rushed diplomacy, when there is one of the "some situations" that increase the standard 10 full-rounds.
Maybe a rushed diplomacy, can be applied only to "standard" situations. So no, no rushed check in combat.

AvatarZero
2010-09-07, 06:41 AM
This is actually pretty close to how the setting of Exalted works. Everyone knows that "anathema" can convince you to do anything if you let them talk to you for any length of time. If the PCs aren't being subtle about using their social powers around ordinary people, they should probably expect those people to run away, put their fingers in their ears, and quite possibly interrupt the attempt by stabbing them.

Boci
2010-09-07, 06:56 AM
This is actually pretty close to how the setting of Exalted works. Everyone knows that "anathema" can convince you to do anything if you let them talk to you for any length of time. If the PCs aren't being subtle about using their social powers around ordinary people, they should probably expect those people to run away, put their fingers in their ears, and quite possibly interrupt the attempt by stabbing them.

I dunno what the default setting is in exalted, but most D&D settings are the kind that require frequent verbal communication with other forms of intellent beings.


My response as a DM is to simply make use of the oft-overlooked bolded rule above, and greatly increase the time requirement if the NPCs have a reason not to want to be influenced.

I wouldn't consider that a rule, so much as a reminder to the DM that they can use rule 0. Not that I would mind a DM doing so, its just an important distinction to me.

Curmudgeon
2010-09-07, 07:08 AM
I wouldn't consider that a rule, so much as a reminder to the DM that they can use rule 0. Not that I would mind a DM doing so, its just an important distinction to me.
To me, the distinction is between a specific statement in the rules about how the DM can change things and still follow the RAW (the case here, if you only change the time required for Diplomacy), and rule 0 used to just change things in any way that fits the DM's purposes (say, by requiring you to share a religion with the person you're trying to persuade).