Persuasion

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The Persuasion skill replaces Diplomacy and Gather Information. It is the skill to use when you are trying to change people's perception of you, or otherwise interact in a non-hostile manner.

Persuasion (Cha)

Change Attitude: A character can change others’ attitudes with a successful check (see the table below. In negotiations, participants roll opposed Persuasion checks to see who gains the advantage. Opposed checks also resolve cases where two advocates or diplomats plead opposing cases before a third party.

Persuasion can be used to influence a GM character’s attitude. The GM chooses the character’s initial attitude based on circumstances. Most of the time, the people the heroes meet are indifferent toward them, but a specific situation may call for a different initial attitude. The DCs given in the accompanying table show what it takes to change someone’s attitude with the use of the Persuasion skill. The character doesn’t declare a specific outcome he or she is trying for; instead, make the check and compare the result to the table on the next page.

Attitude Means Possible Actions
Hostile Will take risks to hurt or avoid you Attack, interfere, berate, flee
Unfriendly Wishes you ill Mislead, gossip, avoid, watch suspiciously, insult
Indifferent Doesn’t much care Act as socially expected
Friendly Wishes you well Chat, advise, offer limited help, advocate
Helpful Will take risks to help you Protect, back up, heal, aid
Initial Attitude ———————— New Attitude ————————
Hostile Unf. Indif. Friendly Helpful
Hostile 19 or less 20 25 35 45
Unfriendly 4 or less 5 15 25 35
Indifferent 0 or less 1 15 25
Friendly 0 or less 1 15

Gather Information (DC 10): By succeeding at a skill check and spending 1d4+1 hours passing out money and buying drinks, you can get a feel for the major news items in a neighborhood. This result assumes that no obvious reasons exist why information would be withheld. The higher the check result, the better the information.

If the situation doesn’t require the expenditure of money, no Wealth check is necessary.

Information ranges from general to protected, and the cost and DC increases accordingly for the type of information you seek to gather, as given in the table below.

Type of Information DC Purchase DC
General 10 5
Specific 15 10
Restricted 20 15
Protected 25 20

General information concerns local happenings, rumors, gossip, and the like. Specific information usually relates to a particular question. Restricted information includes facts that aren’t generally known and requires that you locate someone who has access to such information. Protected information is even harder to come by and might involve some danger, either for the one asking the questions or the one providing the answer. There’s a chance that someone will take note of anyone asking about restricted or protected information.

You can increase the amount of money used to gather information, gaining a circumstance bonus by effectively offering a bribe (though the process might entail buying more expensive drinks, not necessarily offering a character extra money). Increase the Wealth check DC by 2 for each +1 circumstance bonus you want to add to your skill check.

You can gather information for as long as you like, but it takes 1d4+1 hours for each check, and you may draw attention to yourself if you repeatedly pursue a certain type of information.

Bribery: Offering money or another form of favor can, in the right situation, improve your chances with a Persuasion skill check. Bribery allow you to circumvent various official obstacles when a person in a position of trust or authority is willing to accept such an offering.

An illegal act, bribery requires two willing participants—one to offer a bribe and the other to accept it. When a character requires a bribe to render services, then your Persuasion check automatically fails if a bribe isn’t attached to it. If a bribe isn’t required, you can add a bribe to get a bonus on your skill check. This can backfire, as some characters will be insulted by a bribe offer (their attitude changes one step for the worse) and others will report you to the proper authorities.

To bribe a character, make a Wealth check. Typical DCs are shown on below, but the GM may modify the DC as he or she sees fit. If you succeed in the check, you gain a +2 bonus on the Persuasion check. For every point by which you beat the DC, increase the bonus by +1 (to a total maximum bonus of +10).

Bribe Target Purchase DC
Bouncer 6
Bureaucrat 10
Informant 7
Police officer 10

Retry: 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 or her position, and trying again is futile.

Special: A character can take 10 when making a Persuasion check, but can’t take 20.

Time: Persuasion is at least a full-round action. The GM may determine that some negotiations require a longer period of time.

Modern Horror

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