Sword and Sorcery (5e)
All characters in The Three Worlds begin with one of three attitudes towards the player characters.
- Friendly characters will give of themselves to aid the PCs.
- Indifferent characters seek to neither aid no harm the PCs; this is the starting attitude of most characters in The Three Worlds.
- Hostile characters will actively seek to harm and hinder the PCs
It is possible to influence characters through the use of role playing in conjunction with ability checks. The basic way in which this is accomplished is for the character to state their intentions and actions, including their spoken words. The DM will then call for an ability check. (usually Charisma (persuasion), Charisma (intimidation), or Charisma (deception)) The result of the check will have variable outcomes based on the NPCs attitude and the value of the roll. As with the real world there will be certain things that no amount of bribing, begging, reasoning, pleading, or threatening can force/convince a NPC to do.
It is possible to temporarily change an NPCs attitude if the PCs have the time and inclination to pursue it. The PCs can try and discover the Bonds, Flaws, and Ideals of the NPC who the wish to influence. They may accomplish this through one of the two following methods.
- Interviewing the subject is accomplished in 10 minute segments of time and the interviewer must determine which Trait (Ideal, Bond, or Flaw) the interview will uncover at the beginning of the segment. These segments are about tone and approach. The interviewer is trying to find out more about the subject through subtle questioning and idle conversation. At the end of the ten minute segment the DM may call for an ability check (usually Wisdom(insight) with a DC equal to the subjects Wisdom score plus their proficiency bonus. This DC will be raised by ten if the character is actively trying to hide the Ideal, Bond, or Flaw. If the check is successful the DM will reveal the chosen trait of the subject to the PC. If the check fails by 10 or more the PC misidentifies the trait.
- Investigating the subject is another common way in which a PC may discover their Traits. These investigations are limited only by the players imagination. They could and often do involve other social interaction rolls and possibly even quests.
No matter the way in which the information was accrued the next step is to use it. The players make use of the information learned through the voice of the characters. Depending on how and by whom the information was used the DM will call for an ability check to determine if the NPC is influenced in the PCs favor. In most circumstances a character can only be influenced one step in either direction during a given interaction.
Following is a Flow Chart summarizing this information. It can be seen on this chart that certain things are outside the realms of possibility based on the NPC’s attitude making it necessary to influence their attitude before you can achieve your aims.
As always forewarned is forearmed