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Thread: [BIRTHRIGHT] Negotiation Rules
10-02-2003, 05:03 PM #1
At 02:16 AM 10/2/2003 -0600, you wrote:
>What do you think? Birthright-ey enough?
>Is this helpful to anyone`s campaign?
I like it, and I find it helpful in a general way in that what I`m really
looking for is a more generalized D20 method of addressing multiple check
activities, rather than a single exposition regarding one type of multiple
check action. This is something that I understand a couple of D20 products
have tried to address, though rarely as completely as addressed by this set
of negotiation rules. Aside from this one, the only multiple check action
I can think of in D20 rules is the rules for seduction in Spycraft
D20. Generally, what appears to be happening is that specific multiple
skill check activities are being addressed by particular D20 products
because we have no 3e/3.5/D20 guide to such things. Unfortunately, the
rules presented by these D20 products tend to be rather specific since they
are developed for a particular aspect of the campaign theme that they
cover. A generalized system of portraying multiple check activities would
be very nice.
[We also need a couple more interactive skills, but that`s another issue....]
There are a few dribs and drabs on how to handle multiple check actions in
3e/3.5/D20. Take 20, or the occasional text in a skill description that
describes how a character might craft an item or earn an income over a
period of time using that skill. On the whole, however, the rules are
either silent on the complexities of things like negotiation, seduction,
forgery, research, interviews, etc. or the rules distill them down into an
amazingly over simplistic single check.
For BR purposes, of course, we have domain actions, but I`d suggest that
there is at least two, probably three steps between a month long domain
action and the single skill check of 3e/3.5/D20, and a like number of
guidelines for after the domain level of play. Between a skill check and a
domain action we need one set of generalized rules for multiple check
actions (kind of like the non-combat version of a combat encounter--or a
round by round version of a check) an extension of that into a day long
activity (which I`d compare to a craft check--someone spending the whole
day performing the same series of actions, or performing the "take 20"
equivalent of a round by round multiple check action) and maybe a multiple
day action before we can abstract into the domain level.
IMO a domain action is essentially multiple, multiple check actions
combined with multiple, single check actions and combined with the results
of an "average" success rate of tasks delegated to specific individuals,
and backed by a general bureaucratic infrastructure. That is, if we were
to take a domain action and "adventure it out" into a more traditional D&D
From there we might leap off into a "time jump" set of rules that might be
used to handle things like a character going off to collect, or in a BR
campaign establish the development of the continent since the death of
Roele.... but I digress.
Anyway, this set of rules for negotiation adds a few interesting tweaks to
some of the things I`ve been considering for my own changes to the skill
system, so I appreciate you posting it.
10-02-2003, 05:32 PM #2Aside from this one, the only multiple check action
I can think of in D20 rules is the rules for seduction in Spycraft
10-02-2003, 10:25 PM #3
At 07:32 PM 10/2/2003 +0200, Osprey wrote:
>Would you mind posting those rules? I`ve been trying to work out a good
>system for this for a while now, and the existing skills don`t seem to do
I really should make you ask more than once for a description of _multiple_
check actions... but here it is. Keep in mind that Spycraft is a sort of
gonzo secret agent game, so it`s generally designed for the spy movie
genre, so it`s got some aspects that might be a bit geared towards that
kind of theme. The vocabulary is a bit different, but I there`s nothing
indecipherable to anyone familiar with D20 products. The system also uses
critical successes and failures that requires spending an action point
(from D20 Modern) which are kind of like hero points that one can spend on
a variety of things, but all one really needs to know for this description
is that one needs to spend a point in order to turn a "natural 20" into a
First of all the system uses a "Disposition" rating for NPCs with seven
steps; ally, helpful, friendly, neutral, unfriendly, hostile, adversary.
There are three steps to a seduction:
1. An Innuendo check to plant the seed of seduction.
2. A Sense Motive check to read the reaction.
3. A Bluff check to make an offer to the target.
These three checks need not all be made in the same encounter. The DCs for
these checks are determined by the starting disposition of the target
towards the agent. 15 for neutral, 20 for unfriendly, 25 for hostile and
30 for adversary. The target adds his/er intelligence modifier to the DC
of the Innuendo check, charisma to the DC of the Sense Motive check, and
wisdom to the DC for the Bluff check.
If all three checks are successful the target "secretly" (as in "unknown to
anyone but the seducer and the seduced") becomes helpful to the
agent. Helpful NPCs will "risk injury (but not death) to aid" the
agent. If any one of the checks is a critical success then the target
becomes a temporary ally (allies will risk death) to the agent (the length
of time is unspecified, but presumably until the end of the adventure when
the credits roll and 007 then goes off to seduce again in the next movie,
or when one of the continuous Bluff checks--see below--is failed.)
If one or more of the checks fail then the seduction attempt fails and the
target drops one negative step towards the PC. If one or more of the
checks results in a critical failure the target`s attitude towards the
agent drops to adversary (at which point they will take an opportunity to
harm the agent, cheat him, etc.)
Seduced character will actively try to aid the agent as long as they remain
convinced of the agent`s sincerity, which requires a successful Bluff check
by the agent for each particular action the target is asked to
perform. The DC of this check is 15 plus the target`s wisdom modifier. If
this fails the target is no longer seduced and drops a step in attitude
from when the seduction started, and on a critical failure the target feels
betrayed and his/er attitude goes directly to adversary.
All in all, I think it`s a pretty cool way to sequence a multiple check
action for a seduction with nice, logical game mechanics. I like the DCs,
I like the modifiers, I think the skills are appropriate. There are one or
two things I`d like to change about it--like I think a Diplomacy check
could factor in there somewhere, and I like the checks in this proposed
negotiation action that basically adds aid bonus(es) to subsequent
checks. I think the Sense Motive check in this action is more like that,
and should give a bonus (or not) to the subsequent Bluff check. Actually,
I use a Tempt skill which I`d use rather than Bluff. There should probably
be some discussion on the length of time required for each of these checks too.
Despite those critiques, however, it`s general a very good outline
IMO. Similar methods could be used for bribe attempts,
extortion/blackmail, negotiation, haggling, etc.
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