Aug 29, 2017

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Social skills in Pathfinder

Social skills often take a backseat compared to combat in Pathfinder Society scenarios. There a some exceptions. One of these scenarios was played during the Glass Cannon Podcast Live! recording.

More Information on the Glass Cannon Podcast

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I’ll try to avoid spoilers, so let’s just say that in this scenario the players need to perform certain skill checks to gather information and gain influence over a couple of NPCs. After a very entertaining roleplaying session between a player and a very freaky NPC, the GM asked for a diplomacy roll, to get the mechanic out of the way.

The player rolled nicely and was provided with a wealth of information. Some of this information was leagues away from the actual topic of information role played so far, and cause for some chuckles. And the GM, realising the fact that the dialog so far could not have revealed this information, was a bit off guard while delivering all this info.

It made for a good moment in the show, and made me think.

Most of the time, the GM lets the Charakter and the NPCs talk for a while, and then allows the player to roll the appropriate skill check. Sometimes giving a bonus for good role play.

But a bad roll won’t be able to offset any bonus the character could have in the skill even with a bonus for great role play. Which can result in a frustrating moment, when a player gave everything, made great points and still failed.

So, I’d like to suggest to reverse the order.

The player rolls first, and then plays out the result. If he rolled poorly, he could at awkward. If he rolled great, the GM knows what kind of information he should reveal and can steer the conversation in this direction. He can even give out an extra bit of information for good role play, if he wants, so rolling beforehand is also not detrimental to the player.

If your player is not comfortable with actually playing it out, he can just give the GM some things his character would like to say, and the GM can take over from there.

What do you think?

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