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Negotiating (or negotiation) is both the name of a non-combat skill and an associated activity.
Negotiation is the art of dialogue between multiple parties (usually two) to resolve a conflict and reach a mutually beneficial outcome (or at least a perceived one). In the game, the primary purpose for the Negotiating skill is bargaining and haggling for better prices or deals when shopping. Negotiation skill checks can also be set by the GM as "speech" skill checks, in order to resolve conflicts or situations through dialogue.
As it is a heavily dialogue-based skill, it is recommended to not simply roll for it and to actually roleplay the dialogue. Good roleplaying should be rewarded with bonuses to Negotiation checks.
A person that is said to be good at negotiating their way out of trouble is sometimes referred to as a "silver tongue". In the spirit of that expression, there are no requirements beyond a tongue and the ability to speak, meaning that effectively, anyone can learn and practice that skill.
Negotiation for haggling
The main purpose of the Negotiation skill, as well as the easiest way to practice it, is to try and haggle for better values when shopping; lower prices when purchasing, or higher values when selling.
During shopping, a character intending to use their Negotiation skill may try to haggle for a lower price when purchasing items, or negotiate for a higher sale value when selling items. The player will be prompted to choose a percentage value, up to a maximum that is determined by their character's skill level. If purchasing items, this percentage represents a discount (e.g. 10% off) when buying, or a markup (e.g. 10% more value) when selling.
After selecting the intended action (discount or markup) and purchase, players have the option to roleplay their attempt at negotiating for a better value, then pass a negotiation check.
To make a negotiation check, roll a 2d6, and check the difficulty table below to know the minimum score required for success. To avoid abuse, after one success of any kind, three failures, or one critical failure, you cannot attempt new negotiation checks with the same person until the next ingame day (or at least the next ingame session).
- A success results in getting the desired percentage as well as getting a certain amount of Skill Points.
- A failure results in the desired percentage being refused - but you are allowed to retry if you ask for a lower percentage.
- If you roll a 12, it is considered a critical success; you get an extra 10% on top of your desired percentage.
- E.g. if you were attempting to sell items, negotiate for 15% more value and get a critical success, you will get 25% more value instead.
- If you roll a 2, it is considered a critical failure; not only do you not get the percentage you desired, but you annoy, offend, or otherwise piss off your interlocutor; the percentage you desired is applied negatively instead.
- E.g. if you were attempting to buy items and haggle for 10% off then get a critical failure, the price of the items you want is increased by 10% instead.
|Percentage desired||Difficulty||SP gained|
|10% or less||6+ to succeed||1 SP|
|11% - 20%||7+ to succeed||2 SP|
|21% - 30%||8+ to succeed||3 SP|
|31% - 40%||9+ to succeed||4 SP|
|41% - 50%||10+ to succeed||5 SP|
If you choose to roleplay your negotiation attempts, and the GM feels that it was particularly interesting, funny, or otherwise entertaining, the difficulty may be lowered by anywhere between 1 and 3 points, depending on how well the GM judges your attempt.
Negotiation for speech
As hinted at in the introductory paragraph, the Negotiating skill can also be used as a sort of substitute for a "speech" skill, however there are no predetermined situations or ways to use the skill in that manner.
Although in-character conversations should be roleplayed and therefore resolved in a freeform manner, with no skill checks of any kind, the GM has the option to make players pass a Negotiation skill check at their own discretion, by selecting a difficulty level that best corresponds to what the GM feels are the player character's chances of success (see below for a table). For example, if a conversation between a player character and an NPC has stalled, a check can be a useful method to break the stalemate and keep the pace going.
Skill Points awarded for passing checks during conversations should also be left to the GM's discretion, but should be no more than 5 SP per single check. The table below will offer suggestions based on difficulty, but it is only a recommendation and not a strict guide.
Table of success chances of passing a minimum score on a 2d6, per score:
|Minimum score||Success %||Difficulty||SP recommended|
|2||100%||Guaranteed success||0 SP|
|3||97.22%||Trivially easy||0-1 SP|
|4||91.67%||Very easy||0-1 SP|
|9||27.78%||Very hard||3-4 SP|
|10||16.67%||Extremely hard||4-5 SP|
|11||8.33%||Insanely hard||5 SP|
- SP recommended: The author's suggested amount of Skill Points granted for successfully passing a check at that difficulty level
- Success %: Percentage of success
Skill levels may also, at the GM's direction, act as a bonus to the 2d6 roll. The suggested bonus is equal to +(skill level - 1) (+0 at Unskilled level, +4 at Master level). For example, having Skill level in Negotiating would result in being able to roll 2d6+2.
Negotiating skill levels
Skill Points are granted at varying rates for passing negotiation checks.
|Unskilled||0||Maximum negotiation percentage is 10%.|
|Basic||20||Maximum negotiation percentage is 20%.|
|Skilled||50||Maximum negotiation percentage is 30%.|
|Expert||100||Maximum negotiation percentage is 40%.|
|Master||200||Maximum negotiation percentage is 50%.|
- SP: Skill Points needed to reach this level