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JMobius
2008-05-26, 09:39 PM
In the 3.5 game I'm currently playing in, I am a favored soul with a design bent on having a powerful presence, essentially the awe-inspiring voice of my deity. Against most NPCs that aren't absurdly more powerful than I am, this tends to have a rather pronounced influence. On the flip side, as by RAW diplomacy does not affect PCs, this influence is rarely observed. One PC in particular, who was simply a town guard, tends to show flagrant disrespect for this presence. I find this quite confounding, as other guards of comparable level are more often than not powerfully moved.

On one hand, I can see why this skill does not work on PCs. Even overlooking the fact that by RAW the skill is utterly broken versus NPCs (a problem that is an entirely different argument), it takes control away from other players, and I can agree that this is a Very Bad Thing. At the same time it does bother me on some levels, in no small part because of the jarring RP it's causing me, but also because I can't think of any other theme or build in 3.5 that is completely negated should it need to be turned against fellow PCs. Though I could be wrong about that.

I've been thinking about this problem quite a bit lately, and I can't really come up with a solution that I'm happy with. While I think there should be some mechanical method for charismatic PCs to influence their fellows peacefully and honestly, I cannot come up with a way to do this that couldn't too easily ruin the fun of other players. I'm stumped.

Consequently, I turn once again to the wisdom of GITP. Has anyone ever had a problem with charismatic PCs being ignored by their fellows, and do you have any house rules that worked or seemed to absolve this problem in some fashion that was satisfactory to all involved? Thank you. :)

Cuddly
2008-05-26, 09:44 PM
Intimidate is probably what you *should* be using to inflict awe, not the used car salesman approach (diplomacy).

loopy
2008-05-26, 09:52 PM
In the campaigns I have participated in, PCvPC Diplomacy checks help defuse arguments and help one PC see another PC's point of view, without directly taking control of the PC off the player.

"Upon listening to him further you see the benefits of his plan."

...or whatever.

JMobius
2008-05-26, 09:59 PM
Intimidate is probably what you *should* be using to inflict awe, not the used car salesman approach (diplomacy).

Hmmm. That is possible. I've always thought of Intimidate being more of a thuggish, brute force method, while Diplomacy more represents being persuasive and the power of presence. I think of awe as respect first, fear second, and intimidate didn't seem like it would suit that.

Eurus
2008-05-26, 11:17 PM
I could definitely see Intimidate working better for striking awe into the hearts of bystanders than Diplomacy. With Diplomacy they might think you're a great guy; but if you want them to truly quake from your holy presence, Intimidate is the way to go. Besides, if you speak with "the awe-inspiring voice of your deity", people will be at least a little intimidated.

As far as the other players... Eh, I wouldn't worry about it. Some people (and therefore, some characters) are just hard to faze.

Townopolis
2008-05-26, 11:50 PM
Either his character is especially resistant to influence (hopefully he comes equipped with at least a decent will save and does his best to flagrantly disregard the presence-based abilities of everyone else too) or you two should work something out (as players).

Cuddly
2008-05-26, 11:51 PM
Or he just sees your character as the obnoxious SOB he is.

Aquillion
2008-05-27, 04:22 AM
As far as the other players... Eh, I wouldn't worry about it. Some people (and therefore, some characters) are just hard to faze.Sure, and some people are really hard to hit with a battle axe or to Finger of Death. But those require actual stats. Somehow, even though the game theoretically has diplomacy-based classes and stats, and even though you can build your entire character around them, PCs don't need to worry about defenses at all.

I think the OPs point was this:

At the same time it does bother me on some levels, in no small part because of the jarring RP it's causing me, but also because I can't think of any other theme or build in 3.5 that is completely negated should it need to be turned against fellow PCs. Though I could be wrong about that.
By the usual logic, if the PCs get into a PVP fight, the 6-wis, 6-cha, 6-int Barbarian can just handwave and say "Eh, my Barbarian is just really hard to faze... Intimidate and Diplomacy don't really work on him, so don't bother to roll"; keeping in mind that the Barbarian's stats say he's stupid and weak-willed, why shouldn't my 6-con, 6-dex Bard be able to respond with "Fine, my Bard is just really hard to kill with power attacks and weapons, and is too composed to be affected by battle-axes to the face. They don't work on him, so don't bother to roll?"

Putting aside the fact that the skill is broken, I simply don't buy the argument that allowing Diplomacy on other players is bad because it takes control away from them. That's how anything PVP works. Sure, rolling diplomacy against a PC takes control away from them -- so does Power Attacking them in the face until they're dead, or turning them to stone, or just about anything else. If a game has reached the point where players are making hostile rolls against each other, I see no reason why (say) an intimidate check to keep a player from attacking you should be any less legal than the attack itself.

I think Diplomacy needs better rules, first -- there should be a more specific 'social combat model' to make it interesting. But if a barbarian has a 6 in all three mental stats... no, he's not "really hard to faze". You can't put in stats for resistance or immunity to fear and then just add "oh, yes, you can also just get them by roleplaying". If you want to be really hard to faze, take a Paladin dip and get immunity to fear the usual way.

(With that said... most of the time I think it should be clear that using a social skill on another PC is a hostile act, akin to battle-axing them in the face. Yes, that doesn't entirely make sense from an in-universe standpoint, but any other view of it doesn't make for a very good party dynamic.)

Also, it's worth pointing out that 4th edition seems to have a better take on it -- it has 'leader' builds that basically let you use your teammate's abilities for them, in ways that are unlikely to annoy them. This is the perfect path for someone who wants to have a 'commanding' presence -- sure, the city guard mouths off to you, but when you use your Commanding Voice special ability to get an extra basic melee attack out of him during a fight, he does it. It lets you use your presence on other PCs in a dramatic way that isn't likely to disrupt the game or cause problems.

JMobius
2008-05-27, 09:29 AM
That summarizes the issue, and my problems with it, quite well. :)

(The same Aquillion that was a fan of Lost Labyrinth, by any chance?)


(With that said... most of the time I think it should be clear that using a social skill on another PC is a hostile act, akin to battle-axing them in the face. Yes, that doesn't entirely make sense from an in-universe standpoint, but any other view of it doesn't make for a very good party dynamic.)

This is quite clear. The PC in question has caused a great deal of problems for the party though, and the rest of it is about equally annoyed with my lack of ability to coerce him to say, stop beating up another PC under my IC protection. Though, a recent spell has indicated he's quite likely evil. I do dislike when evil PCs are allowed into an otherwise good aligned party...

Looking forward to 4th ed. My group has a rather lengthy list of systems in our queue to run games for at the moment, but that's going in. :)

MorkaisChosen
2008-05-27, 09:45 AM
Hmmm. That is possible. I've always thought of Intimidate being more of a thuggish, brute force method, while Diplomacy more represents being persuasive and the power of presence. I think of awe as respect first, fear second, and intimidate didn't seem like it would suit that.

Take a look at the Knight class-skill list. Intimidate is on there; Diplomacy isn't.


"I would suggest you allow us through. The consequences could be... unpleasant," she says, laying her hand on her sword hilt.

That's Intimidation. Not thuggish, quite refined and polite, but intimidation.

Aquillion
2008-05-27, 11:49 AM
Take a look at the Knight class-skill list. Intimidate is on there; Diplomacy isn't.

...

That's Intimidation. Not thuggish, quite refined and polite, but intimidation.
Intimidatition doesn't even have to involve physical threats. It's a Cha skill, not a Str skill, after all... you could just say "I suggest you stop", in a firm enough voice, and the other person is intimidated enough by your presence that they do. Or you just meet their eyes for a moment, and they back down, because you're that intimidating.


(The same Aquillion that was a fan of Lost Labyrinth, by any chance?)
Yeah.

TempusCCK
2008-05-27, 12:01 PM
Is Charm Person on the favored Soul's List?

How about Dominate Person?

Seriously, this guy is an evil nuisance and is being a butthead only because he wants to be "The guy who thinks that guy over there is a shmuck even though everyone else loves him." he's just trying to be different from everyone else, which is fine, however, he's using it to be a jerk and tick the rest of the party off, time for some Divine Intervention.

A healthy application of Charm/Dominate Person will do, and there's no morality issues involved because you're fairly sure he's evil, so, you're just redeeming an evil doer with your gods Holy Will. He's likely to resent of the crap out of you for it, but, he was the one being a jerk to begin with. He can't say "I'm being a jerk because that's what my character would do, Lolz!" and then expect you to not do soemthing he dislikes because your character is just as likely to do that.

kamikasei
2008-05-27, 12:12 PM
The problem with Intimidate:


The effect lasts as long as the target remains in your presence, and for 1d6◊10 minutes afterward. After this time, the targetís default attitude toward you shifts to unfriendly (or, if normally unfriendly, to hostile).

However refined or subtly couched the intimidation, it's still visible as such, and doesn't win you any lasting friends. There's not really an existing skill that covers actually overawing people with how fantastically impressive you are, so that they will want to obey you and not just be afraid to disobey you, but Diplomacy comes closer than Intimidate.

elliott20
2008-05-27, 12:28 PM
the core issue here with the mechanic is that diplomacy functions on an absolute basis. you either completely win the character over or you utterly fail to change their opinion. Also, there is the entire problem of controlling other people's character.

But the thing is, you SHOULD be able to influence other PCs characters in some fashion, even if it is a limited one. You should not wrest control out of the other player's hands completely, but to have no control what so ever? that makes no sense.

other game systems like Burning Wheel handles this kind of thing through a mechanic called "duel of wits". Without going into details of how it works, it basically works like this:

1. both PCs say what they want to achieve in the social conflict/interaction. basically, they say what their character's bottomline is.
Johan (Jonathon's character) wants Engel (Bill's character) to aid him in the upcoming siege, but Engel would rather Johan simply forfeit his castle and come take shelter at his fortress and consolidate their forces. So, Johan's bottom line is Engel brings his forces to Johan's fortress. Engel's bottomline is Johan takes refuge at his fortress instead.
2. resolve through rolls
3. winner gets what he wants, but depending upon the loser's performance, there is a compromise that is settle by the players OOC first. This in effect becomes a roleplaying deal. Both players play out this compromise IC.
Johan finally beat Engel's rolls but only by a very small margin. (meaning he gets a huge compromise: either Johan gets very little of what he wants or he must give a big concession to Engel) Bill and Jonathon must now figure out a good compromise. Bill says Engel is willing bring his men to Johan's aid but only a small number of them so as to not endanger his own fortress. Jonathon, feeling that this compromise won't do, counter-offers that Johan is willing to pay out a large sum from his own fiefdom for Engel's aid, be it in the form of some of his own land, or a piece of magical item that Engel's been eyeing for sometime. Bill looks at the magical item and decides that Engel wants that magical item enough to put himself at greater risk. and so Bill agrees. IC, Johan and Engel engage in a fierce debate, resulting in Johan offering Engel a powerful item in his arsenal in exchange for Engel to bring his forces to his aid. Engel must now bring his forces to Johan's aid as an IC action.

This, of course, requires that both players in question are willing to play the character as they had agreed on, else this falls apart. (and would, in the case of burning wheel, be considered cheating)

JMobius
2008-05-27, 02:50 PM
However refined or subtly couched the intimidation, it's still visible as such, and doesn't win you any lasting friends. There's not really an existing skill that covers actually overawing people with how fantastically impressive you are, so that they will want to obey you and not just be afraid to disobey you, but Diplomacy comes closer than Intimidate.

A big part of my dilemma; while I think the archetype fits in very well with the flavor of a strongly NG favored soul, the mechanics involved are quite an edge case.

elliott20 -- I actually really like the way that works out, but because of the radical distinction in capability between someone who is trained vs. untrained in social skills, it doesn't lend itself well to d20 (unfortunately)

TempusCCK -- I'm pretty sure neither of those are on the cleric list, though I'm at work and can't check at the moment. Regardless, just because of the way I've played my character so far, direct compulsion is probably opposed to his philosophy.

That the guard PC in question seems to be evil isn't so much an issue, its actually kind of a neat bend on his usual character, and does add an interesting dynamic to the party. Realistically, its an OOC issue, as the player behind him is of the "always needs to be the most badass at the table" sorts, and without a mechanical way to enforce it the notion that he'd be impressed by someone else is unthinkable. ;) Attempts to settle it OOC were quite unsuccessful, which is why I'm hoping to find a reasonable mechanical houserule approach.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-05-27, 03:46 PM
Sure, and some people are really hard to hit with a battle axe or to Finger of Death. But those require actual stats. Somehow, even though the game theoretically has diplomacy-based classes and stats, and even though you can build your entire character around them, PCs don't need to worry about defenses at all.


The difference is that a battle axe and a Finger of Death have explicit, game mechanical effects - they both kill you dead by affecting your body directly and stopping it working against your will. Diplomacy, on the other hand, requires that a character make a *conscious decision* to agree with something.

Declaring that my character is impressed by your character is, to my mind, tantamount to declaring that my character voluntarily fails his save against your Finger of Death, or doesn't defend himself against your battle axe.

Dannoth
2008-05-27, 03:53 PM
Dear Confused Favor Soul,

The only way to gain his respect is to crush him (the PC). Think outside of the box. You cannot control him ... but ....

His superior officer
His Family
His Friends
The Mayor/Ruler of the town he lives in

are all fair game ...

If he refuses to show respect then he should be cast out of the town (stoned if you are evil), until he shows proper respect for his meta-game betters.

Happy manipulating

Chronicled
2008-05-27, 04:01 PM
Dear Confused Favor Soul,

The only way to gain his respect is to crush him (the PC). Think outside of the box. You cannot control him ... but ....

His superior officer
His Family
His Friends
The Mayor/Ruler of the town he lives in

are all fair game ...

If he refuses to show respect then he should be cast out of the town (stoned if you are evil), until he shows proper respect for his meta-game betters.

Happy manipulating

This is the way to do it. Rather than have him ostracized from the community or killed, though, you should have his superior officer put him under your command. Then get his friends to buy you drinks. And sleep with his wife/sister/etc. If he tries to kill you, well, you're a favored soul--crush him in combat (or cast Sanctuary and call for help). You can get away with harsh self-defense with your winning words.

Because Diplomacy is THAT powerful.

elliott20
2008-05-27, 04:15 PM
elliott20 -- I actually really like the way that works out, but because of the radical distinction in capability between someone who is trained vs. untrained in social skills, it doesn't lend itself well to d20 (unfortunately)

Well, the mechanic was not initially used for D20 to begin with, so there are a couple discrepencies you have to account for.

In d20 games where such a mechanic is used, you have to let your PCs know before hand and encourage them to take social skills. Also, you need to be flexible in how skills apply to the conflict.

The actual mechanic this was drawn from also introduces a concept of "body of argument", which kind of acts like hit points for your argument. This allows the argument to last for more than one single round and gives more options as to what can be done in an argument other than just rolling a single social skill check. Of course, this won't prevent an untrained barbarian character from being completely bulldozed by a tricked out diplomancer, but it does help a little bit.

I tried putting something like that together for d20 earlier but I couldn't get any feedback on the mechanic due to me currently not having time to be part of a group to play test it. If you're curious, I can PM it to you and see how that works.

Mut
2008-05-27, 05:12 PM
That the guard PC in question seems to be evil isn't so much an issue, its actually kind of a neat bend on his usual character, and does add an interesting dynamic to the party. Realistically, its an OOC issue, as the player behind him is of the "always needs to be the most badass at the table" sorts, and without a mechanical way to enforce it the notion that he'd be impressed by someone else is unthinkable. ;) Attempts to settle it OOC were quite unsuccessful, which is why I'm hoping to find a reasonable mechanical houserule approach.

It sounds like there are two separate problems here. One is that diplomancy is working too well for you on NPCs, to the point that when it fails to work on even one guy it seems inconsistent. The other problem is that the other member of your group is playing a jerk. Physically beating up other PCs is dangerously close to the point of no return after which a character wakes up one day to find the rest of the group has left him behind -- or maybe doesn't wake up at all -- so it's in his best interests to get this thing defused.

If the actual player isn't a jerk, then there's room to figure something out. It could be that they're feeling badly upstaged or constrained by your dominance in social situations and are acting out because they don't have a lot of room to express their character or get stuff done that they think is important. You might be able to agree OOC to both tone things down, or work out with the GM a way for him to turn his badassery upon NPCs and keep the PCs out of it, or even to have a healthy rivalry between the PCs as a major ongoing thread -- there's RP potential there. After all, this can't be the first time that your character -- or a prophet/priest in general -- has dealt with someone disrespectful. How do they handle it? Ignore them? Keep at it with the rhetoric? Manipulate their friends and family, as suggested upthread? Threaten them with fire from the heavens? Kill them?

TheCountAlucard
2008-05-27, 05:29 PM
Or you just meet their eyes for a moment, and they back down, because you're that intimidating.

Yeah.

One time the Dread Necromancer in my evil campaign decided to take the Black Dragon skeleton that he had animated previously along with him as the party left town. So, he gets on its back and rides it out.

Me: As your massive mount shambles through the city streets, the peasants look at you in horror.
DN: I roll an Intimidate check... (rolls)
Me: (rolls) You lock eyes with them, and say, "What? WHAT?" They look away, cowed.

Aquillion
2008-05-27, 06:47 PM
The difference is that a battle axe and a Finger of Death have explicit, game mechanical effects - they both kill you dead by affecting your body directly and stopping it working against your will. Diplomacy, on the other hand, requires that a character make a *conscious decision* to agree with something.

Declaring that my character is impressed by your character is, to my mind, tantamount to declaring that my character voluntarily fails his save against your Finger of Death, or doesn't defend himself against your battle axe.But my Cha-36, Diplomacy-focused Epic Bard who has spent every possible feat and all his items focused on diplomacy is not simply some guy asking you to do something. His words are very literally a weapon, every bit as dangerous and deadly as a barbarian's blade or a wizard's spells -- he can talk Othello into murdering his wife, or the princess into giving him her hand, or a King into abdicating his throne. When he starts talking, no, you don't get to make a consious decision -- you may get a chance to resist, you may think you made a consious decision, but the whole meaning of the diplomacy skill is that it is possible to 'handle' people in a way that goes beyond them simply making an objective choice based on available information.

I'm fine with having a system that allows you to defend, certainly; I think you should get a saving throw or a defense roll or whatever, based on your own mental stats (Charisma, especially.) And a less broken system for the skill is needed in any case before it can be seriously considered.

But saying "Oh, yeah, your diplomacy build is 100% useless against PCs, because they just don't give in" is silly. Some people don't give in to diplomacy, sure. Some people don't get hit by battle axes, or their will is strong enough to resist a Dominate Person. But there are mechanical tools for all these things -- if the dice say the axe hit you, it hit you; if the dice say you were dominated, then it doesn't matter how strong-willed you say your Barbarian was... and if the diplomacy check comes up against you, you gave in. If you want to be the guy who defends against every single axe, raise Con and Dex; if you want to be the guy who defends against every single spell, raise Con and Wis; and if you want to be the guy who never gives in to intimidation or honeyed words, you gotta raise Wis and Cha.

I think D&D needs a more detailed 'social combat' model to represent this, sure. It's silly to have half-assed social skills like we do now. But if they're there, then they should be weapons that can be used on PCs as well as NPCs... and if you make Cha and Wis your dump stats, then your Barbarian ought to be weak-willed and vulnerable to manipulation via social combat, just like he's vulnerable to a Dominate Person. If you want to play a strong-willed character with an indominatable presence, someone who never gives in... focus on Cha and Wis like everyone else.

I can't just RP my bard into having 18 strength; the Barbarian shouldn't be able to RP his character into having 18 charisma. By saying that his personality is just "too forceful" to give in to social skills, though (despite his 3 cha), that's basically what you're saying. This is why people dump Cha -- they know they can get away with just handwaving it when it comes up.

Yahzi
2008-05-27, 09:38 PM
Has anyone ever had a problem with charismatic PCs being ignored by their fellows,
This is precisely the same problem as a PC ignoring the fact that another PC rolled a crit and dealt 27 damage, cutting off his head; or ignoring the Wizard when he casts a "Polymorph Other" spell.

In other words, it's a problem for your DM to resolve. If the other players don't want to deal with your Diplomancer, they shouldn't let you play a Diplomancer in the first place.

And if the players can't agree on a party that can get along together, they should all just grow up.

EvilElitest
2008-05-27, 09:41 PM
I'd suggest not using the diplomacy rules and instead of using Rich's
from
EE

Cuddly
2008-05-28, 12:48 AM
Aquillion-
There's a difference between taking a swing at a character and rolling dice and saying "nope, your character does this." At least with a power attack, your character can run or something.

While your complaints are all fine and dandy, diplomacy either automatically works perfectly, or fails, no save. If you want to encourage dimplomancing with the games most broken mechanic, go ahead, just understand few people find that enjoyable.


Intimidatition doesn't even have to involve physical threats. It's a Cha skill, not a Str skill, after all... you could just say "I suggest you stop", in a firm enough voice, and the other person is intimidated enough by your presence that they do. Or you just meet their eyes for a moment, and they back down, because you're that intimidating.

Yeah.

It's a str skill, indirectly- size modifiers & HD affect it.

elliott20
2008-05-28, 08:48 AM
Aquillion-
There's a difference between taking a swing at a character and rolling dice and saying "nope, your character does this." At least with a power attack, your character can run or something.

While your complaints are all fine and dandy, diplomacy either automatically works perfectly, or fails, no save. If you want to encourage dimplomancing with the games most broken mechanic, go ahead, just understand few people find that enjoyable.



It's a str skill, indirectly- size modifiers & HD affect it.

This is PRECISELY what I think is wrong with the diplomacy mechanics. People's interpretation of it is absolute. You either get PRECISELY what you want, no questions, no caveats, no compromises, and basically take control of the other character's behavior completely, or the other character laughs in your face, tells you to shove off, and while they're at it, give you the finger.

This is a very clumsy social mechanic, if you ask me. That's why I suggest going even further than just using rich's model and go use the model that has been done more masterfully in Burning Wheel.

leperkhaun
2008-05-28, 09:27 AM
Well for one it could be that his character just thinks yours is a pompus bleep. If he just hates you, nothing you can say will really change his mind.

Also why do you want to controll his character? I mean really why? I doubt its the role play reason, because Id find it less immersive that a town of people who would want to kill you was all of a sudden fanatically loyal to you no matter what you did....(extreme example).

Anyway, just remember, if you try to force his character to do something, be prepared for his retaliation, and im willilng to be its going to be much more direct than you trying to control him (mace to the face direct).

elliott20
2008-05-28, 10:14 AM
well, on the flipside, I think JMobius' problem extends a little further than just characterization and inconsistent IC roleplaying. It sounds to me that the player in question can also just be a bit of a douche too.

JMobius
2008-05-28, 10:15 AM
Also why do you want to controll his character? I mean really why? I doubt its the role play reason, because Id find it less immersive that a town of people who would want to kill you was all of a sudden fanatically loyal to you no matter what you did....(extreme example).

This is D&D. That hardly sounds like an unreasonable feat to me. :P

To be fair, I should probably clarify that I don't generally just walk around using my cosmic nature to amaze everyone in town, get better deals at the bazaar, or especially to win every argument. I try to RP my character as being generally likable, but accepting of his mortal and not-omniscient nature. Just like as if it were a weapon, the charisma buffs and attempts to awe only come out when it seems all other options have been exhausted, and people are going to get hurt if nothing is done. Consequently, I generally just try to RP with other characters normally, but that's simply proving so troublesome and dangerous with one of them that there are times when I need to employ semi-last resorts (attacking other party members, other acts that very nearly kill us all, etc). My intended complaint was simply the incongruity of, if I were to use 'charm person', that would work, but the soothing silver tongue of a god he can simply laugh at while NPCs do not.

SolkaTruesilver
2008-05-28, 10:41 AM
Consequently, I turn once again to the wisdom of GITP. Has anyone ever had a problem with charismatic PCs being ignored by their fellows, and do you have any house rules that worked or seemed to absolve this problem in some fashion that was satisfactory to all involved? Thank you. :)

Yup. Solka Truesilver, the character my avatar was named after, was a 19-Cha human sorcerer. Chaotic Neutral, not a bad guy, but he used Charm Person to make "friends" with everybody (and had high Diplo/Intimidate/Bluff)

Actually, I had my Bluff skill just over the top. I was the front of the party, was doing the negociation. The DM was friendly ennough to make my character's spells "subtle" (ex: the vocal material for "Charm Person" was "We'll get along", and a hand move that was quite innocuous)

I did not tried to break the game. I did not wanted to play a bard, a Sorcerer had more spell choices. Actually, I hurted myself a lot by taking only Illusion and Enchantment spell (a few buffs too, but let's not get into that).

The thing is, all the other party members (save one, see below) acted as they didn't trusted me. The point of my character was DECEPTION AND MANIPULATION, but they would, for absolutely no reason, not give my character the benefit of the doubt.

The only player who accepted to "play the role" was the group's half-orc. We were introduced in the game together, and we had a lot of fun planning some sort of common background. Ex: He met me in a forest, and "remembered" we were friends from his childhood, since I inspired so much emotions from him

(actually, we made it clear to the DM that I casted "Charm Person" on him every morning to keep him as my bodyguard. We were a cool duo, where he did all the muscle jobs, while I simply casted invisibility and buffed him from afar. Note: my character wasn't EVIL. He cared about the Half-orc, and kept him out of danger when he could think his way around it.)

So.. a cool character concept (the one I had the most fun playing!), but I always will have the sore point when remembering that the other characters simply outright ignored the point of Solka Truesilver.

kamikasei
2008-05-28, 10:47 AM
Well for one it could be that his character just thinks yours is a pompus bleep. If he just hates you, nothing you can say will really change his mind.

...

Anyway, just remember, if you try to force his character to do something, be prepared for his retaliation, and im willilng to be its going to be much more direct than you trying to control him (mace to the face direct).

If I have a ridiculously high Diplomacy, then yes, I should be able to say something to change the mind of a person who hates me. That's an obvious example of what Diplomacy is for. Saying "well, my character just hates yours" should not grant absolute immunity to persuasion.

Nor does it make any sense to say that if you "force" a character to do something - where in this instance "force" should read "talk someone into doing something by being incredibly persuasive and compelling" - they would retaliate. If I've got a gun and am holding a roomfull of schoolchildren hostage, and the police negotiator talks me into calming down, throwing away my weapon, and surrendering, is my first thought going to be "that bastard forced me to do something against my will! I should retaliate!"?

SolkaTruesilver
2008-05-28, 10:52 AM
Nor does it make any sense to say that if you "force" a character to do something - where in this instance "force" should read "talk someone into doing something by being incredibly persuasive and compelling" - they would retaliate. If I've got a gun and am holding a roomfull of schoolchildren hostage, and the police negotiator talks me into calming down, throwing away my weapon, and surrendering, is my first thought going to be "that bastard forced me to do something against my will! I should retaliate!"?

Bingo. Diplomacy isn't magic. You are using convincing arguments to make the other people see your point of view. You are changing what they want.

This is one of the case where the player has to make a disctinction between what he wants, and what his character wants.

elliott20
2008-05-28, 10:59 AM
once again people, the core issue here is not how whether or not you should logically be able to influence how somebody thinks and acts. it's the extent to which you're expecting this to work and how it happens.

Yes, diplomacy is not magic. It's pure personal force combined with skilled negotiating and persuation, nothing more, nothing less. It SHOULD be able to influence how the recipient acts.

the problem here, is that the social mechanics in D&D are severely flawed. People's reaction to diplomacy and intimidation are just attitudes, not actions. There are no mechanics that handles how player should interact with another player, making this a complete f*** all free for all. On top of that, it's an all or nothing contest. That's not how negotiations work!

Negotiations involve compromises, buy offs, blackmailing, etc. It's not simply a matter of turning on some charm and that's it.

The problem with D&D is that because there are no mechanics to help define these parameters, it is ENTIRELY dependant upon the players involved being willing to play along with the negotiations. And if they don't like it, nobody is persuading anybody to do anything.

valadil
2008-05-28, 11:05 AM
I too have been the victim of another PC who hand waved away my character's charisma. Whenever my rogue snuck off to steal a clawhammer so he could later steal things that were nailed down he'd come up with a lie for why he had to leave the party. The other PC decided that he could ignore my bluff checks because "where he came from, actions spoke louder than words." Well where my character came from, we had a Krypton sun, so here on earth I should have flight and laser eyes.

Point being, the other player's metagaming ruined that game for me. I've had a few years to think about it and really the best way to handle PC on PC charisma is with DM intervention. My DM should have given the other guy a bonus to sense motive when I was BSing him. When I wasn't obviously BSing there should be no bonus.

In your case, I'd say the DM should have described the effects of your presence. He shouldn't have you roll dice, but he should show how everyone's head turns to face you as soon as you enter the room. Make a big deal out of your character's presence and then let the player decide how to react to it. Just because its a PC to PC interaction doesn't mean the GM should just sit back and watch. He needs to add in that extra flavor so that the other characters actually see how impressive yours is and can react accordingly.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-05-28, 03:53 PM
But my Cha-36, Diplomacy-focused Epic Bard who has spent every possible feat and all his items focused on diplomacy is not simply some guy asking you to do something. His words are very literally a weapon, every bit as dangerous and deadly as a barbarian's blade or a wizard's spells -- he can talk Othello into murdering his wife, or the princess into giving him her hand, or a King into abdicating his throne.

No, his words are metaphorically a weapon, and there is a crucial difference.

I notice that you use Othello as an example (and therefore presumably Iago as well), and actually that's exactly why I *don't* think Diplomacy should work on PCs.

Iago could convince Othello to murder his wife, but why did he do it? Part of the reason, at least, was that Cassio was promoted above him. If Iago had this awesome Diplomacy-fu, why didn't he just talk Othello into giving him the job in the first place?

Iago could talk Othello into murdering his wife because, on some level, Othello was willing to do it. He was jealous, insecure, and suspicious and it was *that* which Iago could use to control him. Furthermore, it only worked because he went about it exactly the right way, and that's also the issue.


If you want to play a strong-willed character with an indominatable presence, someone who never gives in... focus on Cha and Wis like everyone else.

I think the problem is that we have very different interpretations of what the Diplomacy skill means.

You seem to assume it's effectively magical, that a character with high Charisma and high Diplomacy can not only talk anybody into anything, but can do it (in effect) by using any argument (to go back to the "swords and spells" analogy, this is rather like suggesting that once my Wizard can theoretically cast "Finger of Death" on your character, he can kill your character instantly without even bothering to cast the spell).

I tend to view it rather differently, as being a question of being able to read people, pick the right words, and generally make an argument that the other person *genuinely* finds persuasive. With NPCs, it's totally okay to handwave this, because the GM probably doesn't have much investment in them anyway (and if he does, he's the GM, he can overrule the dice, and most do).

For a player, though, what arguments you find convincing should be for *you* to decide, not another player.

It gets trickier when you start talking about nebulous things like "charisma" and "presence" and "force of personality" but frankly I think those sorts of things are grossly overrated. At the risk of invoking Godwin's Law, Hitler gets listed in a lot of RPGs as the archetypal "High Charisma" character, but he couldn't flawlessly convince everybody he met to take up Naziism.

kamikasei
2008-05-28, 04:18 PM
I think the problem is that we have very different interpretations of what the Diplomacy skill means.

You seem to assume it's effectively magical, that a character with high Charisma and high Diplomacy can not only talk anybody into anything, but can do it (in effect) by using any argument (to go back to the "swords and spells" analogy, this is rather like suggesting that once my Wizard can theoretically cast "Finger of Death" on your character, he can kill your character instantly without even bothering to cast the spell).

I tend to view it rather differently, as being a question of being able to read people, pick the right words, and generally make an argument that the other person *genuinely* finds persuasive.

That's what a high Diplomacy check is meant to represent: making that persuasive argument. You don't need to know exactly what that argument is any more than you need to know exactly what words and gestures your wizard uses to cast finger of death. By the rules, all your character needs to do to to change an NPC's attitude is make a certain check, which in character represents what you describe but out-of-character doesn't require any of it; likewise, to cast finger of death all you, the player, have to do is have it available, say you're casting it, and hope the target fails his save.

Is this a crap system? Yes. Would it be better by far if there were actual mechanics around what characters want, what would influence them, how they would negotiate and compromise, etc? Yes - but that's not the system we have. Given the system we have, is it strange and incongruous that a character with high Diplomacy can effortlessly win over and influence NPCs with his honeyed words, but can't make a dent in the attitude of a PC with no particular resistance to manipulation represented in his stats? Yes.

To solve this, really there ought to be a system of defenses, whereby instead of NPCs requiring fixed DC checks and PCs being arbitrarily immune, strong-minded characters both PC and N- would have their strong-mindedness represented.


With NPCs, it's totally okay to handwave this, because the GM probably doesn't have much investment in them anyway (and if he does, he's the GM, he can overrule the dice, and most do).

For a player, though, what arguments you find convincing should be for *you* to decide, not another player.

As a player, if another player rolls an attack on me and beats my AC, I can't argue that he hasn't described how he's attacking and state that his attack is one that my character could block or evade. It's abstracted. However he attacked, he scored a hit, so clearly it was one I couldn't block or evade.

There is no system of attack and defense for Diplomacy. But if the other player's character can convince hostile soldiers to switch sides and fight for his glory with a minute's parley, or negotiate an end to a centuries-old war in an afternoon, then it is unreasonable of me to say that I'm totally unmoved when he tries to convince me I should do something a little differently. It's no good excuse to say that, well, his argument wasn't convincing to my character. If he's got a whopping great Diplomacy modifier and my character is in no way supposed to be particularly wise, perceptive, or resistant to persuasion or manipulation, then any argument he chooses to make should be convincing. That's what a whopping great Diplomacy modifier means.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-05-28, 04:31 PM
That's what a high Diplomacy check is meant to represent: making that persuasive argument. You don't need to know exactly what that argument is any more than you need to know exactly what words and gestures your wizard uses to cast finger of death.

The difference, the *crucial* difference is that from a roleplaying perspective it is *vitally important* to know the nature of the argument that changed your character's mind. A spell can just be a spell, and that's fine, but whether the argument that persuaded my character to kill his wife was "she has betrayed you with your closest friend" or "there's a nice steak dinner in it for you" carries huge, huge implications.


By the rules, all your character needs to do to to change an NPC's attitude is make a certain check, which in character represents what you describe but out-of-character doesn't require any of it; likewise, to cast finger of death all you, the player, have to do is have it available, say you're casting it, and hope the target fails his save.

And by the *rules* Diplomacy doesn't work on PCs, what's your point?


Is this a crap system? Yes. Would it be better by far if there were actual mechanics around what characters want, what would influence them, how they would negotiate and compromise, etc? Yes - but that's not the system we have. Given the system we have, is it strange and incongruous that a character with high Diplomacy can effortlessly win over and influence NPCs with his honeyed words, but can't make a dent in the attitude of a PC with no particular resistance to manipulation represented in his stats? Yes.

No.

It isn't strange at all. Some people just plain can't be persuaded of some things. Again you're making the assumption that Diplomacy works by magic. It doesn't. It doesn't matter how charismatic you are, you won't persuade me of something I fundamentally believe to be incorrect. No matter how much "presence" you have, I won't think you're cool if you act like a pillock in front of me.

There seems to be a myth that some people exert an aura of power which allows them to effortlessly control the feelings of others. It simply isn't true.


To solve this, really there ought to be a system of defenses, whereby instead of NPCs requiring fixed DC checks and PCs being arbitrarily immune, strong-minded characters both PC and N- would have their strong-mindedness represented.

Wouldn't solve anything. The whole "strong mindedness" thing is a gigantic red herring.


As a player, if another player rolls an attack on me and beats my AC, I can't argue that he hasn't described how he's attacking and state that his attack is one that my character could block or evade. It's abstracted. However he attacked, he scored a hit, so clearly it was one I couldn't block or evade.

There is no system of attack and defense for Diplomacy. But if the other player's character can convince hostile soldiers to switch sides and fight for his glory with a minute's parley, or negotiate an end to a centuries-old war in an afternoon, then it is unreasonable of me to say that I'm totally unmoved when he tries to convince me I should do something a little differently. It's no good excuse to say that, well, his argument wasn't convincing to my character. If he's got a whopping great Diplomacy modifier and my character is in no way supposed to be particularly wise, perceptive, or resistant to persuasion or manipulation, then any argument he chooses to make should be convincing. That's what a whopping great Diplomacy modifier means.

The difference is that getting hit with a sword doesn't make a statement about your character's personality, being persuaded to change your mind does.

Prophaniti
2008-05-28, 04:39 PM
Dan, I think, has a pretty good grasp of what the Diplomacy skill is intended to be. We all know how horribly broken it is as written, basically becoming an unstoppable magic trick that the bard can do anything he likes with. For interactions with NPCs I use (of course) the Giant's Diplomacy fix. I definitely recommend you check this out if you haven't already, it's in the Gaming section. Even if you don't like it, it should give you a few ideas for coming up with your own rule. When its players wanting to persuade other players these rules can still be used, but sometimes its too complicated.

Sometimes opposed checks will work, rolling against their sense motive or bluff or maybe even their intimidate, depending on the situation. Basically, though, it's gotta be figured out by the group and the DM. The rules are no help at all, and obviously some of your characters presence or skill at persuasion would still have an effect on the other party members. Just because they're played by real people doesn't mean they automatically see through all pretense and subterfuge, or can't be a little intimidated by another character's commanding presence.

Talk with your DM, if he's not willing to try to work something reasonable out he's not a very good DM. And check out the Giant's fix.

kamikasei
2008-05-28, 04:45 PM
The difference, the *crucial* difference is that from a roleplaying perspective it is *vitally important* to know the nature of the argument that changed your character's mind. A spell can just be a spell, and that's fine, but whether the argument that persuaded my character to kill his wife was "she has betrayed you with your closest friend" or "there's a nice steak dinner in it for you" carries huge, huge implications.

Then you can work out, OOC, what argument was made. Or you can recognize that the argument is crap, but acknowledge the attempt the character is making and go along with him because he's just such a nice guy (a perfectly feasible way to play the "please don't be such a jerk, dude" persuasion the OP is looking to pull off).


And by the *rules* Diplomacy doesn't work on PCs, what's your point?

My point is that you said: "You seem to assume it's effectively magical, that a character with high Charisma and high Diplomacy can not only talk anybody into anything, but can do it (in effect) by using any argument..."

But by the rules, when dealing with an NPC, someone with high enough Diplomacy can in fact talk anyone into just about anything. They don't just use any old argument, they use exactly the right argument, which is abstracted away in the mechanics.

My point is that this is in the rules for dealing with NPCs, so it's bad design that it can't touch PCs at all.


No.

It isn't strange at all. Some people just plain can't be persuaded of some things. Again you're making the assumption that Diplomacy works by magic. It doesn't. It doesn't matter how charismatic you are, you won't persuade me of something I fundamentally believe to be incorrect. No matter how much "presence" you have, I won't think you're cool if you act like a pillock in front of me.

There seems to be a myth that some people exert an aura of power which allows them to effortlessly control the feelings of others. It simply isn't true.



Wouldn't solve anything. The whole "strong mindedness" thing is a gigantic red herring.



The difference is that getting hit with a sword doesn't make a statement about your character's personality, being persuaded to change your mind does.

It seems like you're basically saying that social skills are fundamentally and necessarily inferior to combat skills, because it's easy to manfully accept that someone has bested your character in combat, but that being told that you've been duped, bamboozled, or talked into something can damage your character concept. I disagree; I think that if you're dealing with someone who can manipulate the wills of those around him effortlessly, you should accept that he can sway you too, and that there should exist mechanics to represent that. In the absence of suitable mechanics, you should have the simple good grace to act as though, yeah, the half-elf with the 26 Cha and Diplomacy checks in the low stratosphere is a persuasive guy, and if he asks something of you, you're more likely to go along with it than if he were Bob, the 10 Cha guy from down the road.

Oh, and:


Again you're making the assumption that Diplomacy works by magic.

No. I'm not. I'm making the assumption that someone with a high Diplomacy is really good at figuring out what will motivate others and pushing those buttons so that they'll do what he wants them to do and will find themselves happy to do so. If that's not what Diplomacy represents, then it's meaningless. And if that is what Diplomacy represents, then other players should recognize it.

OverWilliam
2008-05-28, 05:28 PM
The crux of the issue here is translating human thoughts and emotions into numbers and back again. Quite simply, we can't do it. Humans have been trying with our incredible intellects and considerable resources to translate what we feel so that a computer can understand it for decades, and we havn't been able to do it. Every Artificial Intelligence author or computer science researcher in the last fifty years have bashed their heads up against this same problem, and they were seriously dedicating their lives to it. Why do we think we'll be able to do better in the context of a game? To simplify it as much as possible, the two are not compatible. In order to make them work together we have to distort either the numbers or the human thought process to some degree.

No system that has been currently developed, DnD or otherwise, can make the transition seamlessly. It cannot be done.

We are developing systems both in games and in real life that are getting closer and closer to reality. That being said, I think the closest we can get to a solution is to bypass the translation altogether, though granted this is not feasible in some circumstances, perhaps including this one. If we already know that Motivations and Attitudes cannot be efficiently or realistically translated into and out of numbers, then don't try. Let diplomacy remain diplomacy, but instead of translating it into numbers, have it be influenced by numbers. When PC one tries to use diplomacy to influence PC two, then it is PC two's responsibility to remain true to his character and react in such a way that reflects the dice. In order for this to work, both characters have to focus on just that; remaining true to their character, even if it means having to limit the dice from total law to heavy influence on our actions. In short, the dice set the guidelines for the character to role play inside of, but they are not absolute; if the dice say that he was absolutely convinced of something, but he as a player doesn't buy it, then he still has to play it as though his character is being influenced, but perhaps he does not have to role play swallowing it whole. However, if he does that is good roleplaying, and he should be rewarded. If we are looking at this as trying to find a system that will achieve the same result every time, that we can plug into a computer, step back, and expect to run without crashing, we will never find it, and that goes for several systems in DnD. The inconsistencies between the numbers and realistic motivations and reactions have to be covered by common sense, and then roleplaying.

We, as human beings, understand the language of human emotion where numbers fail. Therefore it is we, as human beings, that it ultimately falls to to interpret the results of said numbers to fit reality, even if it means telling the numbers that they are wrong.

This is not a system, it is anarchy-- so it comes down to the DM to judge the diplomacy and, ironically, use real life diplomacy to smoothly accomplish diplomacy in the game world. "Come on, man, he's rolling really well, you gotta show it some, it's only fair." "I appreciate how you role played that last encounter, even though you personally didn't buy into his scheme. Bonus XP for you." "It's not like you're losing here, you're just agreeing to give his plan a shot." "I understand that you don't want your character to seem like a push over, but when we play this game we play it under the unspoken agreement that whatever the rules say, however the dice land, we'll stick to it because everybody else is sticking to it. If you try to break the game on a diplomacy roll, then I have to let them break the game on their attack rolls and everything falls apart." Etc.

Aquillion
2008-05-28, 05:39 PM
First of all, I acknowledge (again) that the existing diplomacy system is flawed and broken. We all agree on that. I think that having some detailed system in which a character's mental strengths and vulnerabilities are more carefully laid-out would be much superior.

Nonetheless, it makes no sense to have system that has diplomatic and persuasive skills on one hand, but allows players to Godmode and ignore them completely on the other. That's a silly setup. If there is a skill/stat for persuasion, there should likewise be stats for resisting persuasion -- with circumstance bonuses for good or bad arguments and things you are more/less likely to do on your own, of course; but if you want to play a stubborn person who never backs down and who wins every argument, you should have to invest the mental stats needed to represent that.


It isn't strange at all. Some people just plain can't be persuaded of some things.This is certainly true; I do agree that there are people of exceptionally strong will and character who are almost impossibly difficult to sway in their opinions. Likewise, there are some things you would get a huge circumstance bonus to resist.

However, since diplomacy uses skills and stats and other mechanics, it is quite fair to say that if you want an exceptionally strong will and an iron character, you must represent those in your character as well. A Barbarian with a 6 in every mental stat is not a man of iron will; he is, according to his stats, wishy-washy, stupid, childish and easily manipulated. If your character concept was someone with a firm personality who is confident in his views, you should have to make trade-offs to represent that, just like a diplomatic character has to make trade-offs to be persuasive.


The difference is that getting hit with a sword doesn't make a statement about your character's personality, being persuaded to change your mind does.First, don't forget that failing a will save represents just that -- your will wasn't strong enough. Fall victim to a Dominate Person? It is, literally, because you did not have a strong enough will to resist it. If you'd been getting a morale bonus from someplace that boosted your willpower... but you weren't, and your willpower wasn't strong enough without it.

In any case, getting hit with a sword makes a huge statement about your character. Let's say Jimmy rolls up Throgor the Barbarian; his concept of him is a epic, heroic character who never backs down in the face of danger, laughs off blows that could fell a lesser man, cleaves his opponents in two, has a keen mind that is never intimidated or bluffed, and easily sees through the arguments of a mealy-mouthed bard, refusing to let his iron purpose be influenced by honeyed words.

Looking at the stats, Jimmy realizes he'll need high Con to laugh off those blows, high Str to do that cleaving, and... oh, hey, we're playing with your diplomacy system (or lack thereof, as it happens), so he can get away with 3 int, cha, and wis (we'll assume Jimmy doesn't know about the whole Dominate Person thing yet.) And he can still claim his character has an iron will, never listens to arguments, etc; when someone tries to use Diplomacy, Intimidate, or Bluff on him, he just Godmodes and shakes his head.

That is stupid. Your character's strengths and weaknesses are expressed in their stats; and knowing your own mind is certainly an important strength, one expressed by either Wis or Cha depending on who you ask. Your Int, Wis, and Cha do make statements about your character's personality. If you wanted to play someone with a firm will and a powerful personality, your chance to make that decision was back when you rolled up the character.

Someone with 3 in all mental stats is much easier to manipulate with words than someone with 18 in all of them; to say otherwise is silly. Sure, the DC to convince you to murder your wife is still going to be hard if I don't give you a reason related to your character -- but that's all circumstance bonuses.

elliott20
2008-05-29, 09:25 AM
Guys, all of the things you're talking about exists in the Burning Wheel mechanic. With a bit of tinkering, it can be fitted for d20 systems.

Need to know what is important to a character? give the character beliefs and instincts that define them. when they fulfill or play to those things, they get some kind of reward. (either through action points or XP)

Need a mechanic for social conflicts? Do it just like you would with normal combat. (but with some caveats)
Give your argument hit points (which I guess you'd have to roll each time for a different argument)
Take turns taking actions against each other's argument. (more on that later) You can either defend your argument or attack your opponents argument. (of course, modify it with whatever circumstantial bonuses that is appropriate)
first one to lose all of their argument hit points loses the argument. But if they have done enough damage to the other person's argument, they get a compromise depending upon how much.
still not happy with outcome? ESCALATE THE CONFLICT AND SAVE YOUR PRIDE! (i.e. to physical violence)

Kantolin
2008-05-29, 02:05 PM
I really like this idea:


Then you can work out, OOC, what argument was made.

I've actually done that before, in a game. The opposing player rolled a very high diplomacy at my half-orc, with the suggestion that the event will make it clear that my half-orc isn't stupid. I gave a reply stating that my character was rather aware of his own intellect, and heavily implied (with a bit stated out of characterly) that I'm unsure if it would help the other half-orcs under my charge. He then confirmed that it would go a long way to doing that as well, and gave a quick example why - thus selling his argument.

If you ask me, that's what someone with high diplomacy does. You give a statement comparing your argument to the sun, discover that the people you're speaking to are critically wounded by the sun, and recover by immediately guiding the conversation to something the target considers more appealing - feeling through it until you have a good idea for what you need to sell your argument.

And this is without, well, high-diplomacy people who can go to a NPC and politely ask them to give up their pants. This is just what normal people do.

Cuddly
2008-05-30, 10:57 PM
I too have been the victim of another PC who hand waved away my character's charisma. Whenever my rogue snuck off to steal a clawhammer so he could later steal things that were nailed down he'd come up with a lie for why he had to leave the party. The other PC decided that he could ignore my bluff checks because "where he came from, actions spoke louder than words." Well where my character came from, we had a Krypton sun, so here on earth I should have flight and laser eyes.

Point being, the other player's metagaming ruined that game for me. I've had a few years to think about it and really the best way to handle PC on PC charisma is with DM intervention. My DM should have given the other guy a bonus to sense motive when I was BSing him. When I wasn't obviously BSing there should be no bonus.

In your case, I'd say the DM should have described the effects of your presence. He shouldn't have you roll dice, but he should show how everyone's head turns to face you as soon as you enter the room. Make a big deal out of your character's presence and then let the player decide how to react to it. Just because its a PC to PC interaction doesn't mean the GM should just sit back and watch. He needs to add in that extra flavor so that the other characters actually see how impressive yours is and can react accordingly.

A bluff check is different than saying "I rolled a die- your character loves me now. Isn't that cool?!?!?!?" No, it's not, you *******. My character accidentally Mindrapes. Now isn't that cooler?

Elana
2008-05-31, 04:38 AM
I'm not sure if I see the point of player vs. player diplomacy.

You are already in the samne party, which means your attitude is already helpful towards each other.

Ergo for no epic diplomacy there is no way to change attitude.

Also a character can act like a jerk, even towards people he likes enough to say...go adventuring with in strange and hostile environments.


Also even a fanatical follower won't obey any order.

Sure he likes you a lot and would be willing to give his life for you.
(And might play over it with extra roughness, so other won't think he is gay, a wuss or whatever strange reasoning the character might have)

But that doesn't mean he would be willing to serve his grandmother for you.
(And suggesting to do something like that should be considered an diplomacy roll of less than 1. As the only imaginable reason would be to make the character less loyal)