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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default dealing with the diplomancer?

    I need help dealing with the diplomancer in the group, his character seems to be able to get anything that a diplomacy check or charm spell will work on to do his bidding, but his combat skills are so terrible I'm afraid of sending him up against anything that would be immune to his charms, for sheer fact of him dieing in 1 round seems extremely mean... the other players don't seem to mind much, so I really can't just ask him to stop, so what should I do?

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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    Well, a couple of things. One, if the other players don't mind, then you should ask yourself if there's a problem at all. Aren't you DMing so they can have fun? If they are, then you're doing a good job.

    If you're not enjoying yourself with it, then feel free to simply not have it work as the PHB says it does. Throw in a stubborn NPC who, while not possessing any magical or biological immunity to sweet-talking, simply doesn't let the PC walk all over them. It's not at all unrealistic, and nothing says that you HAVE to go by the PHB rules for Diplomacy with NPCs.

    Don't feel reserved about sending Diplimmune (patent pending) monsters against the Diplomancer. Any Enchanter is going to face a creature immune to mind-affecting effects, as an Illusionist will face foes with True Seeing, or Rogues will encounter creatures immune to Sneak Attack. No skillset is without flaws and blind spots. If he's capable of surviving in a world of magic and monsters, then have him prove it. Or allow his teammates a chance to shine, because it's only his fault if he can't contribute to a battle. He shouldn't complain, especially if you've been letting him have his way with NPC encounters so far.

    But I remind you of my first point, which is that everyone (including you) is there to have fun, and so if they are, then don't sweat it! And if you aren't, then figure out why.

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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinkie Pyro View Post
    I need help dealing with the diplomancer in the group, his character seems to be able to get anything that a diplomacy check or charm spell will work on to do his bidding, but his combat skills are so terrible I'm afraid of sending him up against anything that would be immune to his charms, for sheer fact of him dieing in 1 round seems extremely mean... the other players don't seem to mind much, so I really can't just ask him to stop, so what should I do?
    Normally I would suggest making a houserule to not use the Diplomacy rules since they are terrible. Perhaps a DC based on the target's HD and some other relevant effects. Since you already have the game going though, that option isn't on the table.
    You might make use of areas of Silence or creatures that are mindless. You don't need to ramp up the difficulty of the monsters, just make sure they are appropriate for the party to face. He may take advantage of people he has swayed and use them as lesser minions to fight in his stead. Should you go that route, make sure never to let him recruit anyone too powerful.
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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Waker View Post
    He may take advantage of people he has swayed and use them as lesser minions to fight in his stead. Should you go that route, make sure never to let him recruit anyone too powerful.
    There's also the circumstance penalty to future Diplomacy checks he'll get if too many of his fanatics die for him. And circumstance penalties in general are appropriate here. I'd recommend laying them out in a table beforehand, though.
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    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    I suppose I should have clarified a bit, we are using this old rule:diplomacy for the diplomacy checks, and he still tends to walk all over anything and everything. he's an arcane ranger, meaning he can use wild empathy, charm animal, and charm person, and to top it all off, he's actually good at role playing, half the time he wouldn't even need to roll...

    everyone is having fun, at least.

    EDIT: and one last thing, everyone else in the party is pretty well optimized for combat, pretty much anything I could challenge them with would be able to take the diplomancer down in 1 round, if he didn't make it dance for him instead >.>
    Last edited by Pinkie Pyro; 2013-07-06 at 12:24 AM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    You could always say they simply don't want to talk.

    Alternatively, use the Diplomancy rules against him, with someone that particularly hates the party using those same set DCs to set incredible targets against the party.

    Remember, whatever shenanigans the party pulls, you are well within rights to throw back, and five times harder. (Just give them -some- avenue of escape/success, so you're not completely destroying them.)

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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    You could try this.
    The person whom they are trying to influence has a sidekick who is also good at diplomacy.
    The PC does his diplomancy and wins.
    Then the sidekick responds with a counter argument and also wins.
    The sidekick will of course have circumstance bonuses because he is well known to the 'mark'

    Basically they fast talk the King, the King asks one of his advisers what he thinks, and the advisor talks the King out of the deal.
    Or
    They fast talk the pig farmer, the pig farmer asks his wife what she thinks, and the wife talks the pig farmer out of the deal.
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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    I treat diplomacy more like bluff(but without the lying part). So it comes out more like a persuade skill. Just like with Bluff the player has to actually come up with something to say. Which then applies a bonus or a penalty to the roll.

    I'd be mindful of all the penalties that can be applied using the "old rule link"

    "The base DC for any Diplomacy check is equal to the 15 + level of the highest-level character in the group that you are trying to influence + the Wisdom modifier"
    That foe is an enemy +5 to the DC, the deal is likely unfavorable at least because the enemy might be flayed alive by his boss for allying with the party. The Extended Example really shows how the DC can skyrocket.

    Getting someone to stop and listen during combat is difficult, maybe you can charm them but there's a huge penalty for doing that during combat. And really he's built his character around one skill at the expense of combat. Your hands should not be tied because of his overspecialization. One important step is slowing a diplomancer is... don't allow any custom magic items that enhance the skill.

    And remember this passage.
    It is important to remember to consider this adjustment from the point of view of the NPC themselves and what they might value.
    I'm also reminded of the story of the diplomacy who made the hostile vampire helpful. The backfire was, from the vampire's point of view. The greatest gift he would give his new friend was vampirism. Sure he knew his bard friend would object but in the end he'd thank him for the dark gift.

    Basically they fast talk the King, the King asks one of his advisers what he thinks, and the advisor talks the King out of the deal.
    Or they never meet with the King directly but instead talk to his adviser who then brings it to the King and his Council. Why put the King in the same room with the adventurers to begin with.
    Last edited by Lord Vukodlak; 2013-07-06 at 05:34 AM.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinkie Pyro View Post
    I need help dealing with the diplomancer in the group, his character seems to be able to get anything that a diplomacy check or charm spell will work on to do his bidding, but his combat skills are so terrible I'm afraid of sending him up against anything that would be immune to his charms, for sheer fact of him dieing in 1 round seems extremely mean... the other players don't seem to mind much, so I really can't just ask him to stop, so what should I do?
    The players work as a team, right? When there's something immune to his magic, the other players have to step up to deal with it, and he'll have to hide in the back. That happens sometimes, not every character can deal with every challenge (that's why there are different classes). And he has to have at least some minor abilities outside of charming and diplomacy, doesn't he? Even specialist wizards prepare a couple spells from other schools that can do something to the enemy or keep them out of danger. As long as you are providing challenges of appropriate power level, it is up to the players to figure out how to deal with them. It's too easy if you always give them enemies that are specially suited to be weak against your players' strengths.
    Also, I wouldn't be afraid of him dying. If he does, he does. Don't go out of your way to kill characters but don't coddle them, either. It isn't mean, if you give them a reasonable challenge and they aren't able to deal with it. It's a learning experience. As long as all the players understand what to expect from your game and what general sort of adventures they will be facing, they should be able to prepare adequately and make good decisions. If you told him this game would be all social interaction and political intrigue, and instead they're in combat all the time fighting golems and oozes, well, then that's sort of on you.

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    Flumph

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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    I've used DC 10 + the target's combined Int, Wis and Cha mods for Diplomacy in the past, with modifiers based on the argument. That way it's easier for someone to fast talk a kobold than a dragon.

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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    While Rich Burlew's rules are a great improvement over the existing rules, they are far from perfect. I don't think I have seen a version that is quite adequate.

    On the one hand you need to make the DC's high enough (especially for ridiculous requests of hostile NPC's) to rein in an optimized PC. But you don't want to make it impossible for a PC with a +0 diplomacy modifier to get directions to the marketplace. (One test of a diplomacy system is to see if a child can persuade grandmother - a 10th level cleric with a 20 Wisdom - to give the child a cookie. But not so many cookies that the child becomes sick.)

    One thing that Rich's system seems to lack is the notion of opposed diplomacy checks. What happens if someone has diplomanced the king before you got to him? What happens if someone diplomances him after you leave? Shouldn't an NPC with a high diplomacy score be able to use that score defensively? They know all the tricks, after all, and so should be able to guard their self-interest a little better.

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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    I always love this line.

    "Well my friend, I do find you eminently likable, and you are possibly the most fun person I have ever met, but a job is a job. Nothing personal really, and I regret it has come to this, but you have to die."

    Read it in a light french accent.

    Just because someone is helpful does not mean they are willing to sell out their values because you ask. If they want you dead, they still want you dead, they just also like you and are somewhat conflicted.

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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    I didn't see anyone mention this but diplomacy takes 1 minute on average it can take less time but at severe penalties the rule reads

    "Action: Changing others’ 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 (such as an attempt to head off a fight between two angry warriors) can be made as a full-round action, but you take a –10 penalty on the check."

    Don't forget that with the minus 10 they also get less time to speak and can get addition penalties for lack of good dialog you can only say so much in 6 seconds.

    Also this example specifically states two angry warriors getting ready to fight each other not the party that would be a much larger penalty and if he doesn't win initiative the monster should not stop attacking I would treat it similar to the bards facinate ability once combat starts it breaks or is not feasable.
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    Quote Originally Posted by ILetGoOfTheRope View Post
    IDon't forget that with the minus 10 they also get less time to speak and can get addition penalties for lack of good dialog you can only say so much in 6 seconds.
    That's what the -10 represents.

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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fouredged Sword View Post
    Just because someone is helpful does not mean they are willing to sell out their values because you ask. If they want you dead, they still want you dead, they just also like you and are somewhat conflicted.
    That's how diplomacy works in the PHB, but that is not how Rich's system works. There it is about whether people agree to do something, not whether they like you or not.

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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheiromancer View Post
    One test of a diplomacy system is to see if a child can persuade grandmother - a 10th level cleric with a 20 Wisdom - to give the child a cookie. But not so many cookies that the child becomes sick.
    That actually works with Rich's system. Base DC is 15 + 10 (level) + 5 (Wisdom) = 30. Relationship is Intimate, so -10 to 20. Risk vs. Reward is Fantastic, since there's no risk and making the child happy will presumably make the grandmother happy, so -10 to 10. So the child can take 10 and convince Grandma to give him a cookie.

    There is the problem that when Grandma comes back from an adventure with an increased level the child can't take 10 and succeed any more, though.
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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    Undead, most elementals, animals, vermin, and constructs are mindless.

    Just sayin'.
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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    From what I understand, the OP doesn't necessarily need help finding ways to make the diplomacy harder or monsters that it can't be used on (I assume he's already thought of that), he's worried that doing so will kill the player too fast. Again I say...let the dice fall where they may. The rest of the party sounds prepared for it, so it won't be a TPK. Maybe they will be able to protect him. If he gets knocked down below 0 a couple times he might decide it would be worthwhile to prepare a few spells with wider combat utility, or multiclass into something to improve his combat or defense. There are disadvantages to being too narrowly specialized in a game like this, and he was bound to run into them eventually.

    PS: If the guy's an arcane ranger, how is it he can't hold his own in combat? Did he place a huge negative modifier into his Str and or Con? He can wear some armor and must have decent weapons, so what's his problem? Maybe the solution is a new character, if he just can't make it with current stats. That's called survival of the fittest *lol* In AD&D when you roll up everything randomly, sometimes you get a lemon where everything is 10 and below. He did the best he could with what the dice gave him, but the dice giveth and the dice taketh away...
    Last edited by Thrudd; 2013-07-06 at 04:38 PM.

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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    I like the Pathfinder approach whereby Diplomacy can only modify two steps. So you can get someone from Hostile to Indifferent. That should be enough for him to either get out of a bad situation, or gain the advantage with a surprise attack, without any of this "the BBEG becomes your trusted servant" nonsense.
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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    This works best I think. Diplomacy is for diplomacy. If diplomacy doesn't apply then it doesn't apply.

    Charm person is another story. I wouldn't feel bad about letting him have a minion if the guy fails his save. Nor forcing him to use that minion against a foe who is immune. Note that if a foe passes a save, he is aware of a hostile mental force. If he has spellcraft, the DC is 25 + spell level to identify it, but regardless the target knows something is wrong. And it probably came from the guy who was chanting and waving his hands immediately before the hostile mental force.
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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    Let the Ranger Diplomance some kind of sidekick like an ogre or bugbear before the main dungeon and then his job is to keep the big dumb smashy thing alive

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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malroth View Post
    Let the Ranger Diplomance some kind of sidekick like an ogre or bugbear before the main dungeon and then his job is to keep the big dumb smashy thing alive
    Keep.... alive? Why would a PC do that?
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    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    because if the big dumb bodyguard dies then you're the new frontline melee guy

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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malroth View Post
    because if the big dumb bodyguard dies then you're the new frontline melee guy
    Oh! I thought you meant long-term. As in, after the dungeon is over and the meat is no longer needed
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    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    Why not try the update created by Rich Burlew himself and call it a day?
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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    Quote Originally Posted by karkus View Post
    Why not try the update created by Rich Burlew himself and call it a day?
    Quote Originally Posted by Pinkie Pyro View Post
    I suppose I should have clarified a bit, we are using this old rule:diplomacy for the diplomacy checks, and he still tends to walk all over anything and everything. >.>
    Post Filler.

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    Flumph

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    Default Re: dealing with the diplomancer?

    Even RAW diplomacy (and even things like charm) are not complete mental domination.

    If the guards job is to keep you out of the bank vault, it doesn't matter if you're his best buddy in the whole wide world, or even if you're his Dad or daughter, he's not letting you in because he'll lose his job if he does.

    Simple fix: be realistic. Even world class diplomats can't get much more than minor concessions. Look at how long it took to resolve situations like Northern Ireland or Apartheid in SA.
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