[BETA] Social Skill Challenge

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[BETA] Social Skill Challenge

Postby Vaal » Tue May 31, 2016 11:06 am

This is going to take a lot of discussion and work to beat into shape, especially since I'm really altering 4E's skill challenge mechanic (Success Points over time vs Successes in a go). But let's see what you guys think before I go deeper on this alone.

Social Interaction Rules

The Attitude Track
Hostile – -4
Hatred – -3
Scorn – -2
Disdain – -1
Indifferent – 0
Polite – +1
Cordial / Concerned – +2
Friendly / Cowed – +3
Close / Domineered – +4
Intimate - +5

Intelligent NPCs start at a place on the Attitude tract as determined by the DM. This place on the attitude Track can be changed as part of a Social Interaction Skill Challenge.

Social Interaction Skill Challenge

The Social Skill Challenge is a special skill challenge that can be added to other skill challenges or used as a stand alone challenge with the improved Attitude from the targeted NPC or group of NPCs being the only reward.

A Social Skill Challenge proceeds as follows:

The Basic Check
Diplomacy, Misdirection or Intimidate check opposed by the target's Insight or Will saving throw, whichever is higher.

Success increases the target's Attitude toward you by 1 for the duration of the Skill Challenge and grants one Success Point. A critical success increases the target's Attitude by 2.

Failure decreases the target's Attitude toward you by 1 for the duration of the Skill Challenge and negates one Success Point. A critical failure decreases the target's Attitude by 2.

First Impression
The first time (and only the first time) a player character interacts with an NPC, the results of their success or failure is doubled (eg: a success increases the target's attitude by 2 instead of 1, etc.).

The Challenge
The Social Interaction Skill Challenge has three phases which can be made as part of a single interaction (such as a conversation at a party) or one separate occasions. Each phase requires a single character to make the Basic Check while the other characters can either Aid the check or another check to provide Circumstance Bonuses to the check.

Each phase starts with the NPC at their starting attitude. At the end of each phase, the NPC's ending attitude awards Success Points equal to their Interaction modifier.

The number of Success Points accumulated at the end of the three phases modifies the target's permanent attitude as follows:

Fewer than 0 - -2
0 - -1
1-2 - +1
3-4 - +2
5-6 - +3

A given NPC cannot be made Intimate through a skill challenge, only magic or the Relationship Upgrade feat can make an NPC Intimate.

Circumstance Bonuses and Penalties

Knowledge: Politics or Local
Player characters can improve their chances to make a good first impression on the target by doing research ahead of time. A Knowledge: Politics (for nobles, politicians and other people in power) or a Knowledge: Local (for citizens or long-term visitors) can grant a +2 knowledge bonus to the First Impression roll.

Success on these rolls also reveal what other skills can be used to Impress the subject or other extraordinary means that can be used to gain an additional Success point such as gifts, tribute or quests.

Some NPCs are natural cowards and give extra Success points for successful Intimidate checks, but by that same token, some are unusually brave or easily angered by aggression and threats and as such impose a penalty on Intimidate checks made against them as part of a Skill Challenge.

If you use Intimidate against a character, it imposes a -2 penalty on any Diplomacy checks you make against them in the same Skill Challenge for ever 5 points by which you succeed on the Intimidate check as the target becomes less responsive to platitudes or logic after being threatened.

However, another character can make an Intimidate check to Aid Diplomacy or Misdirection checks without imposing a penalty because appearing to be more reasonable while contrasted with a more aggressive personality makes one more endearing to the subject.

Knowledges and Expertises
Characters that share knowledge skills or Expertises in common with the subject can rolls checks with these vs the subject's own Knowledge or Expertise. If they fail by five or less or succeed, they add a Success Point to the Challenge. If they fail by more than five, they negate a Success Point.

Other skills can be used in the same way as Knowledges and Expertises. Knowledge: Politics or Local (see above) can reveal what these might be for a given subject, or a character can simply make the attempt an hope. A critical success on an attempt to Impress a subject always awards a Success point even if it would not normally do so.

If a Social Skill Challenge fails, it can be retried, but the NPC's lower Attitude toward them will reduce their bonuses or impose a penalty on the checks, making it more difficult. An NPC made Hostile by a Social Skill Challenge cannot be retried unless their Attitude is improved by magic or some other extraordinary effort.
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