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Persuasion

Presence • Interaction

You’re skilled in dealing with people, from etiquette and social graces to a way with words and public speaking, all of which helps to get your point across, make a good impression, negotiate, and generally win people over to your way of seeing things.

In negotiations, all participants roll Persuasion checks to see who gains the advantage. Opposed checks also resolve cases where two advocates plead opposing cases before a third party.

Non-player characters each have an initial attitude towards you or your cause. The GM chooses the character’s initial attitude based on circumstances. Most of the time, people are favorable or indifferent toward heroes, but a specific circumstance or complication may call for a different attitude.

You can improve others’ attitudes with a DC 15 Persuasion check. Success improves the subject’s attitude by one step, while every two additional degrees of success improve it by another step (so two steps at three degrees, three steps at five degrees, and so forth). Failure means no change, and more than a degree of failure worsens the subject’s attitude by one step! In the case of a hostile subject, they may outright attack or otherwise interfere with you if their attitude worsens.

TABLE: ATTITUDES

ATTITUDE

EFFECT

Hostile

Will take risks to attack or interfere with you.

Unfavorable

Will insult, mislead, or otherwise cause you trouble.

Indifferent

Acts as socially expected towards you.

Favorable

Will chat, advise, and offer limited help.

Helpful

Will take risks to help or protect you.

Persuading someone is at least a standard action, usually quite a bit longer. The GM decides if you can persuade at all once a conflict has broken out! Even if the initial check succeeds, the other character can only be persuaded so far; you can try again in the same scene, but you check against the subject’s initial attitude, and may end up worsening it rather than improving it!

Example: The heroes must convince the imperious King of Atlantis that the surface world is not responsible for recent attacks against his kingdom in order to avert a war. The king’s attitude is unfavorable towards these surface-world interlopers to begin with. The team’s spokesperson makes a Persuasion attempt and gets a check result of 22, a success with two degrees total. That shifts the king’s attitude one step, to indifferent. He’s inclined to continue negotiating with the heroes and willing to place the assault on the surface world on-hold for the time-being. The heroes try to convince the king further, but any additional checks need at least the same degree of success as the first to get his attitude to favorable, where he is willing to call off the attack, and more than one degree of failure on any check moves his attitude to hostile, where he orders the intruders arrested and the attack to begin at once!

If a Persuasion check fails, trying again is futile; the subject is too set against your arguments. 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, and so forth. The GM may consider you at a disadvantage in further negotiations, imposing a circumstance penalty as well.

Reference

D20Hero SRD Skills article- http://www.d20herosrd.com/4-skills

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