View Full Version : Anyone have good Diplomacy house rules?

2007-04-28, 07:50 PM
Anyone have some they are willing to share?

2007-04-28, 07:51 PM
See gaming area

Zeta Kai
2007-04-28, 07:58 PM
It's hard to beat the Giant himself. His Diplomacy variant (http://www.giantitp.com/articles/jFppYwv7OUkegKhONNF.html) is the best I've ever seen. I've used it in all of the games that I run for almost a year, & have found it superior to the RAW in every way.

Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll
2007-04-28, 08:18 PM
the giant's Diplomacy is very good. I haven't come up with anything better.

2007-04-28, 08:22 PM
I've read over the giants and that's currently my top pick for a replacment but I always like to see all the options.

2007-04-28, 11:15 PM
I did a major skill revision once, redefined alot of the social skills with it.

NPC Reactions:

An NPCís reaction level is similar to a characterís alignmentóit is a role-playing tool, but not a flat guide to the NPCís every action. It provides the DM a base for determining how the NPC acts, and a tool to quickly judge how certain things (such as Diplomacy checks or Charm spells) will adjust how the NPC might act. In any case, these are generalities, not regulations, and the situation might warrant an NPC acting different than its reaction level would indicate.

Although certain effects can temporarily modify an NPCís reaction level, the only way to permanently change it is through developing the relationship through role-playing.

In addition to providing a descriptive base for reactions, the reaction levels provide a reaction modifier, which applies to certain social checks.

Intimate (+10): An intimate NPC cares deeply for the character. It will generally take significant risks or even make sacrifices on the characterís behalf, and will do its utmost to avoid courses of action that bring harm to the character. Example: A spouse or parent.

Close (+8): A close NPC cares for the character personally. It will often take risks or even make minor sacrifices on the characterís behalf, and will do what it can to avoid harming the character. Example: A close friend or sibling.

Helpful (+5): A helpful NPC likes the character and wishes it well. It will do what it can to help the character, possibly even taking some risks on its behalf (possibly including fighting opponents it is confident that it can handle) without any major expectation of reward or recompense. It wonít usually make personal sacrifices of any real significance just to help out, however. Helpful NPCs do what they can to avoid bringing the character harm. Example: A friend; the subject of a Charm spell.

Friendly (+3): A friendly NPC shows the character goodwill, although it probably doesnít have a particularly personal relationship to it. It wonít generally take any major risks for the sole purpose of aiding the character, but it might go out of its way to provide minor help. Likewise, it wonít take actions that will hamper the character unless there is some significant reason. Example: An ally; the characterís priest or teacher.

Positive (+1): An NPC with a positive reaction level has no reason to think ill of the character. It wonít go out of its way to provide help, but it generally wonít hinder the character without a good reason, and it is usually willing to help the character when it isnít inconvenient. Example: A merchant the character has frequent dealings with; a fellow member of the characterís organization.

Indifferent (+0): The NPC doesnít care one way or another. It will react solely as the situation warrants. Example: A commoner; your average merchant.

Negative (-2): The NPC has no reason to think positively of the character. It wonít go out of its way to hinder it, and certainly wonít take risks to do so, but if the situation warrants it wonít shy away from the task. It likewise isnít going to be providing any help without some significant recompense. Example: A town guardsman (towards a rogue); a greedy merchant.

Unfriendly (-5): The NPC is in some manner opposed to the character, although probably not personally. It wonít usually provide help without serious reason or recompense, and any aid it does provide is likely to be very limited. It wonít take any great risks to harm or hinder the character, just for the sake of doing so, but if it is being ordered to by a superior, paid, or otherwise provided incentive, it will take the opportunity. Example: An enemy minion; a brigand.

Hostile (-10): The NPC dislikes the character and actively wishes it ill. It wonít offer aid unless doing so is directly beneficial to it, and even then it will do what it can to sabotage the characterís efforts. It is generally willing to take risks to harm or hinder the character, and will do so to the best of its ability with little provocation. Example: A ranger (to a favored enemy); a paladin (to an evil character).

Hateful (-20): The NPC has a strong dislike for the character, personally. Getting help from such an NPC impossible in any but the most clearly necessary circumstances, and even then, it will likely turn on the character at the earliest opportunity. On the other hand, it will gleefully take risks to bring the character harm, and may even be willing to make sacrifices to do so. Example: A major villain.

Loathing (-40): The NPC despises the character and wishes to ruin or destroy it. It is unlikely that any circumstance will be enough to convince it to help the character, unless it can do so as a precursor to betraying and destroying its foe. It will take almost any risk and make significant sacrifices to bring down the character. Example: A vengeance-swearing family member of a slain former foe.

Skill Revisions:


A successful Bluff check opposed by the targetís Sense Motive check (see the detect manipulation option of Sense Motive below) allows you to convince the target that a false claim is actually true. This does not indicate that the target will follow a given course of action; it only indicates that it believes you speak the truth.

If you believe you are speaking the truth you do not roll a Bluff check.

You gain a +5 bonus on Bluff checks that the target wants to believe. You take -5 if the lie stretches credibility, -10 if it is hard to believe, and -20 if it is almost too impossible to consider. You take a -40 penalty to try to convince a target of something it factually knows to be false.

The targetís reaction modifier towards you applies to your Bluff check.

Feinting in Combat: Feinting is performed as a move action. An ability that normally allows you to feint as a move action allows you to feint at the cost of an attack. An ability that allows you to feint as a swift or free action allows you to spend your attacks to feint ďout of orderĒ (for instance, spending your third attack, with a lower attack bonus, to feint, and then attacking with your first attack). All other rules for feints apply normally.


A successful Diplomacy check temporarily modifies the targetís reaction level towards a chosen individual or group. A successful Diplomacy check opposed by the targetís Sense Motive check (see the detect manipulation option of Sense Motive below) modifies the targetís reaction level up or down (your choice) for purposes of the chosen recipient (you may choose yourself as the recipient).

The targetís reaction modifier affects a Diplomacy check in two ways. First, you apply the targetís reaction modifier towards you to your Diplomacy check. Second, you take a penalty on your Diplomacy check equal to the difference between the reaction modifier of the current and intended reactions of the target to the recipient.

Once a targetís reaction level has been modified for a given recipient through Diplomacy, it cannot be so modified again until it resets, even by other diplomats.

If you fail your check by 10 or more points, the targetís reaction shifts one step in the opposite direction.

More delicate and long-term negotiations can create more lasting impressions. The duration of a Diplomacy effect is thus based on the time spent trying to influence the target. The time spent also applies a modifier to your check to represent the delicacy of the negotiations. The duration is given in a span of time; it lasts for five of those spans, plus one additional span per rank in Diplomacy you possess. For example, if the effect lasts for minutes, it lasts for five minutes, plus one minute per rank. Time spent is also given in a span of time; the exact amount is subject to DM discretion (1d6 is a good rule of thumb).

{table=head]Time Spent|Check Modifier|Duration
1 Round|-5|Rounds

Countering Diplomacy: You can negate the effects of a successful Diplomacy check by rolling a Diplomacy check against a DC equal to the check result of the Diplomacy check you are attempting to negate. The targetís reaction modifier towards you applies to the check, but there is no modifier for confirming or opposing the relationship or for the difference between relationships. You take a -5 penalty on the check per category of time spent lower than the original diplomat spent (for example, if the original diplomat spent several days working out an alliance and you try and ruin it with a few minutes of discussion, you would take a -10 penalty on your check).

Make a Point: With a successful Diplomacy check against a DC of 20 you can treat the target as if it had rolled a successful Sense Motive check to empathizeóthat is, cause it to understand your intentions. If you fail this check by a number equal to five plus the targetís ranks in Sense Motive, your target picks up the opposite intention (for example, if you are trying to help the target, it might believe you are trying to harm it). The targetís reaction modifier towards you applies to this check. Unusually paranoid or mistrusting characters raise the DC by 5.


You use Intimidate checks to convince the opponent you are willing and able to bring them immediate harm or hindranceówhether or not you actually are. A successful Intimidate check can convince a foe that you are willing and able to follow through with a given threat. Your Intimidate check is opposed either by the targetís Sense Motive check (see the detect manipulation option of Sense Motive below) or its modified level check (as per the normal Intimidate rules). If you in fact are both willing and able to follow through, the target uses its modified level check.

If you have a positive relationship with the target, you apply the reverse of its reaction modifier to your checkóthose you are friendly towards are less likely to believe you will harm them.

You get a +5 bonus on your check if you are in a position where it would be easy to execute the threat. You take -5 if it would be moderately difficult for you to do so. You take -10 if it would be hard to follow through. You take -20 if it would be very hard. If the entire concept is ludicrous, you take a -40 penalty.

Proof that you are willing and able to follow through (such as executing the threat on someone else) grants you a +5 bonus. If you make a threat and then donít follow through, future threats against that target (or others who witnessed it) take -5 penalties.

In any case, a successful threat does not influence the targetís actions in and of itself, it only convinces them that you will act on your threat. Whether this bothers them or not, and how they will react, depends largely on the circumstance.

Demoralize: You can demoralize a foe as a standard action, with a range of up to 5í per rank in Intimidate. Roll an Intimidate check opposed by the targetís modified level check or its Sense Motive check, whichever is higher. If you succeed, your target is shaken for one round per rank in Intimidate. If your CR is four or more higher than your opponentís, your opponent is instead frightened. If your CR is eight or more higher than your opponent, it is panicked.

You can attempt to demoralize multiple opponents at once. Roll against the highest modified level in the group. You take a -2 penalty per target beyond the first.

An attempt to demoralize a target who is already scared increases your effective CR by 2 for purposes of determining its new level of fear on a success; a demoralize attempt does not automatically stack with existing fear, unlike most fear effects. You cannot attempt to demoralize a target who has already been demoralized.

Sense Motive:

A Sense Motive check allows you to discern a targetís intentions.

Detect Manipulation: You can roll a Sense Motive check when someone is trying to manipulate you through social interaction. An NPC automatically attempts to detect manipulation any time a character rolls a Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate check against it, with success indicating that it recognizes the attempt at manipulation, generally causing a failure of the attempt. This doesnít necessarily mean that the NPC wonít go along with a wise course of action, just that the effects of the check fail.

When a character interacts with a PC, no social checks need to be rolled unless the PC chooses to detect manipulation (that is, to discern if the NPC is trying to deceive, intimidate, or smooth-talk it). In this case, the character rolls a Sense Motive check opposed by the appropriate skill check, and if it succeeds, it discerns the characterís intent. If it fails it receives no insight as to the characterís intentions. Even if it fails the check, or doesnít choose to make one, the player may always rely on its own reasoning to try and figure out the NPCís motivation.

If the character is not, in fact, attempting manipulation, and the Sense Motive result is 20 or better, the detecting character intuits that fact.

Detect Oddity: A Sense Motive check can be made to detect when a character is acting strangeóunder the influence of an enchantment, impersonated, or just out of place. If the target is not actively trying to conceal this fact, as in the case of a dominated individual who is single-mindedly following its goal, the DC is 15. If the manipulation is very subtle, as with a Charmed individual who acts normally except with regards to the charming character, the DC is 25. If the character is actively trying to conceal its intentions, such as by acting in character, the check is opposed by the targetís Bluff check. If you have a positive relationship modifier towards the character, you apply it to your check. If you beat the DC by 10 or more, you know why things seem strange.

A character with five or more ranks in Spot gains a +2 synergy bonus on Sense Motive checks to detect oddities.

Empathize: You can roll a Sense Motive check to discern the targetís current motivation, such as hunger, fear, love, anger, and so on. The DC is 20. A character who is attempting to conceal its intentions adds its Bluff modifier to the DC. If you have a positive relationship modifier to the character, you add it to your check.