Dec 18

Giant in the Playground: This Old Rule: The Diplomacy Skill

An interesting take on the D&D Diplomacy skill (in 3.5), and an alternative take:

I have never liked the D&D rules for the Diplomacy skill. Now, let’s be clear, I’m not one of those people who says that any mechanic for social interaction is a Bad Idea That Limits Roleplaying. Quite the opposite; I want a clear and concise mechanic for determining how people react to specific requests and negotiations. Here are my problems with the current skill description:

1.) It has a flat DC that is too low; a 2nd level bard turning a hostile character to indifferent is DC 25; seems “tough, but doable”. But it’s actually child’s play. With a 16 Charisma, 5 ranks in Diplomacy, 5 ranks in Bluff (which grants a +2 synergy bonus), and 5 ranks in Sense Motive (which also grants a +2 synergy bonus), and (new in 3.5!) 5 ranks of Knowledge (nobility) (which yes, ALSO grants a +2 synergy bonus), the 2nd level bard already has a +14 and only needs a 11 or better to succeed. And that’s without spending a feat on Skill Focus (Diplomacy) or Persuasive. Now here’s the real problem: at 11th level, that same bard will have 9 more ranks in Diplomacy and probably at least an extra +1 from Charisma; he can now succeed on a roll of 1, which means he doesn’t have to roll. He can automatically turn all hostile people indifferent by talking to them. He has 9 more levels of adventuring before he goes epic, but he can already make every enemy he meets apathetic to his existence.

Read the rest at Giant in the Playground

Talk to us!

%d bloggers like this: