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How Skills Work
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Mini Module: Particulate Skills
Mini Module: Skill Challenges
Mini Module: Extended Skill Checks
You know how to convince others to see things your way.
You can convince an NPC to accept a proposal of yours, depending on just how beneficial (or detrimental) the proposal is for the NPC and how the NPC views you to begin with. The better the proposal and the better your relationship with the NPC, the more likely the NPC is to accept your offer. Make a persuasion check opposed by your opponent's Perception or Will (whichever is higher). If you succeed, the NPC accepts your offer.
|Fanatic||Will do anything for you (Fight to the death under overwhelming odds)||0|
|Helpful||Will take risks to help you (Protect, back up, heal, aid )||5|
|Friendly||Wishes you well (Chat, advise, offer limited help, advocate)||10|
|Indifferent||Doesn't much care (Act as socially expected)||15|
|Unfriendly||Wishes you ill (Mislead, gossip, avoid, watch suspiciously, insult)||20|
|Hostile||Will take risks to hurt or avoid you (Attack, interfere, berate, flee)||25|
|Nemesis||Will do anything to hurt you (Fight to the death or obsess over hurting you)||30|
|3 Penalties||Horrible||There is no way for the NPC to benefit at all from this offer (Dust bunny for a car)|
|2 Penalties||Bad||Too much risk for too little gain (Flirt your way into a secure area)|
|1 Penalty||Poor||Slightly more risk than gain (Plead for a slightly discounted rate on an item you can't afford)|
|0 Bonuses||Even||No real risk or reward (Ask for public knowledge)|
|1 Bonus||Fair||Slightly more reward than risk (offer a waiter a large tip for the phone number of his good-looking co-worker)|
|2 Bonuses||Good||Good reward, tolerable risk (Offer good money to use the employee bathroom)|
|3 Bonuses||Fantastic||Great reward, minimal risk; Very reasonable lie backed up by "proof" (The keys to your sports car for a candy bar)|
Persuasion is opposed by the target's Perception check when trying to con or mislead. Favorable and unfavorable circumstances weigh heavily on the outcome of a bluff. Two circumstances can work against you: the bluff is hard to believe, or the action the bluff requires goes against the target's self-interest, nature, personality, orders, or allegiance.
A successful Perception check indicates the target reacts as you want, at least for a short time (usually 1 round or less), or believes what you say.
|3 Penalties||Horrible||Outlandish lie ("I'm actually a robot driven by a super-genius hamster, and I'm investigating a talking mouse who is trying to take over the world.")|
|2 Penalties||Bad||Far-fetched bluff ("Oh, you like that world-famous supermodel? Yeah, we're good friends. I could introduce you after my shift ends at the burger joint.")|
|1 Penalty||Poor||Reaching ("Well, what I meant was, my neighbor was in the hospital, but we're so close I always think of her like a third grandmother. So that's why I had to call out from work.")|
|0 Bonuses||Even||Slightly believable ("Why am I rooting through this dumpster? Well, I threw out my fiance's engagement ring by mistake.")|
|1 Bonus||Fair||Reasonable ("Sorry I'm late. The traffic was awful this morning.")|
|2 Bonuses||Good||Believable lie backed up by "proof" ("I'm with the police and we need to check your basement again, where they found the victim. Here's my badge.")|
|3 Bonuses||Fantastic||Very believable lie backed up by "proof" ("I'm a famous actress, and these boys are just helping me with my bags. You can talk to my director if you like. I'll call him for you.")|
You can use Persuasion to help you hide. A successful Persuasion check opposed by your opponent's Perception gives you the momentary diversion needed to attempt an Infiltration check while people are aware of you.
You can use Persuasion to send secret messages while apparently talking about other things. The DC for a basic message is 10. Complex messages or messages trying to communicate new information have DCs of 15 or 20, respectively. The recipient of the message must make a Perception check against the same DC to understand it. Anyone listening in on a secret message can also attempt a Perception check. If successful, the eavesdropper realizes a secret message is contained in the communication. If the eavesdropper beats the DC by 5 or more, he understands the secret message. Whether trying to send or pick up a message, a failure by 5 or more means the receiver misinterprets the message in some fashion.
Make a Persuasion check, opposed by the target's Will. If your check succeeds, you may treat the target as Friendly, but only for actions taken in your presence. (That is, the target retains his normal attitude, but will talk, advise, offer limited help, or advocate on your behalf while intimidated.) The target cooperates, but won’t necessarily obey your every command or do anything that would directly endanger him. If you perform some action that makes you more imposing, you gain a 1 bonus on your Persuasion check. If your target clearly has a superior position, you suffer 1 penalty on your Intimidate check. You suffer 3 Penalties to Intimidate Fanatics. If your Intimidate check fails by 5 or more, the target may actually do the opposite of what you want.
For each size category larger you are than your target, you gain 1 bonus to your check. Conversely, for every size category you are smaller than your opponent, you take 1 penalty.
You can intimidate a group of people (who can all see and hear you) with a single check. If the group clearly has you at a disadvantage, you suffer the usual 1 penalty on your Persuasion check. Each member of the group rolls separately, although the GM may choose to roll once for groups of minions. Compare your check result against each check result from the group. You cannot demoralize a group.
Generally, trying again doesn't work. Even if the initial check succeeds, the other character can only be persuaded so far. If the initial check fails, the other character has probably become more firmly committed to his position, and trying again is futile. At the GM’s discretion, you can try again when the situation changes in some way: you find a new approach to your argument, new evidence appears, the circumstances change in your favor and so forth.
Targets get a Cumulative +1 to resist each time you try to Persuade them in after the first.
Persuasion is usually at least two actions. The GM may determine some negotiations require longer (perhaps much longer). A bluff normally takes at least two actions but can take longer if you try something elaborate. Using Persuasion to create a diversion to hide is one action. Using Persuasion to Intimidate is two actions. Demoralizing in combat is one action.
You add 1 bonus to Intimidate for every size category you are larger than your target. Conversely, you take 1 penalty to your check for every size category you are smaller than your target (see Size).
The GM might simulate long and involved negotiations for an extended period of time with an extended Persuade check. Almost all uses of Bluff require only a single check to indicate success or failure. However, in certain complex situations, the GM might want to use an extended Bluff check in place of several simple checks. For example, a hero spends several days undercover trying to infiltrate a criminal gang. Rather than play out the entire series of interactions, the GM decides to use an extended Persuade check to bluff, setting the DC at 25 and requiring five successful rolls before rolling three failures. This is sufficient for the hero to infiltrate the gang, but the GM decides to play out the hero’s meeting with the gang leader, since he’s a more important character.
The following Challenges are appropriate for Persuasion checks:
- Combat Diplomacy: You can make a Persuasion check in combat as a full-round action by accepting 3 penalties. Opponents in combat with you are considered at least hostile. An unfriendly opponent doesn't attack you unless you give him reason to do so. An indifferent foe stops fighting altogether, while a helpful one actually joins your side, even turning against former allies.
- Conversational Paralysis: In return for 2 penalties to your Persuasion check, a successful check dazes your target for one round. Your claims are so strange or outlandish that the target can do nothing but sputter or reel in confusion. This skill challenge does not work in combat situations (for that, see the Distract feat). Each additional penalty you accept increases the duration of the effect by one round.
- Durable Lie: In return for 2 penalties on your check, your target believes your bluff longer than usual. The target continues to act as you wish for an additional round. You can apply another penalty to extend this to two rounds. This skill challenge does not work with the feint use of Persuasion.
- Forceful Intimidation: By taking 2 penalties on your Intimidate check, you can force your subject to take an action that is against his interests (but not life threatening).
- Mass Intimidation: You can attempt to intimidate more than one subject at a time. You suffer 1 penalty to your check per opponent beyond the first.