Diplomacy

Version 3
A File from Aayko's The Legends Corner

On this page we try to gather everything that is known about Diplomacy.

Contents:

You may also find the tables for Loyalty Rating, Prestige and Greed Resistence, which were missing in the (original version of the) Legends II Rules Books.

General points

Diplomacy is used to gain control of a character that belongs to another player or that is non-player controlled. There are four possible strategies:
A) Methods that have the chance of directly gaining control of the character immediately. These methods can have both player-owned characters and NPCs as target.
* Influence D2 - uses flatery and persuasion
* Induce D1 - uses negotiation with the extra support of 'encouraging' crowns
B) Methods that do NOT bring a character under your control immediately, but that can lower the Loyalty Rating of a player-owned character and even have him/her drop to neutral (non-owned, NPC) status (i.e. he can be knocked out of the control of the player who owned him). These methods require a character that is player-owned as target (cannot be NPC, as these are already neutral).
* Bribe D3 - uses blunt 'buying' by crowns
* Intimidate D4 - uses threat

All methods have a chance of backfiring:
* Induce or Bribe: if failing, then the Loyalty of the target to its present owner (either a player, or so called 'player 0' i.e. NPC) may increase.
* Intimidate or Bribe: the present owner may get a report of your attempt.

Note that Intimidate is both a physical matter and a matter of verbal bullying: your base Personal Combat vs that of the target plays a role, but more so your INF rating.

When you influence a location or guild owner away from another PLAYER, then each slot of soldiers in that force/guild takes a separate dice roll and they may go over to you, stay with the other player (he can do an Extract to get them) or desert. If the owner was NPC you of course get the town with all its items in possessions slots and all the soldiers in location slots.

When you do a diplomacy attempt involving a Berseker (whether as Sponsor or as Target!) and it fails, then the Berseker involved could loose his cool and go into a temper tantrum. The chance of such a riot/brawl is equal to the sum of the Berseker skill ratings of sponsor and target (capped at a high level). Result of the riot is 1-10% wounds on both participants. Meaning that after many attempts, you could well suddenly find your precious target dead...be careful!
Note that if you have a Target that is Insane, then he could well behave as if he was a Berseker!

Always keep an eye on your amount of characters/guilds/forces versus the maximum amount you are allowed to have. If you already have your maximum amount of characters, then a succesful influence attempt on a NPC will still leave your target NPC. And if your target was a guild/location owner, while you did not have your maximum amount of characters yet, BUT you already owned your maximum number of guilds/locations, then you get neither character nor guild/location...In the case of guilds you need to do a Special Action to drop some of your inactive guild numbers to create room. Making room for the location can be done with either L11 (Drop inactive force), L12 (Abandon Force), or B11 (Gift to other player).

Diplomacy can not be conducted by a Sponsor who is captured (let alone dead), nor can diplomacy be conducted towards Target characters that are captured (prisonner) or dead or are Mains (id #1-#200).

Influence rating

Your Effective Influence value {} is used in diplomacy. How is it determinded?

A) ('pure') Base value: you can buy some at setup and practice it in the game (S2).

B) Effective value: ('pure') Base value plus one modifier and some 7 additions.
1) Blesses: Blesses raise your Effective value (and Curses decrease it); there are spells, bards and items that can accomplish blessings. This is a modifier (1+bless%/100%)*('pure'Base + status adds + item adds), see p. 206. Blesses are capped at +100%, curses at -85%.
2) Marks: per Mark (at least the classical ones) you get +3 points Influence rating added.
3) Titles: titles will often give influence bonusses against specific races. Note that these are 'hidden' influence bonusses (+1 to 20 points added to your Effective INF rate) that are not added unto your general Influence rating on the printout, but are added temporarily when issuing a diplomacy order against the specified race. Note that a few Titles [e.g., Heretic, Criminal] have negative Influence bonusses...
4) Familiars: familiars sometimes give additions to your general Influence rating, and always give extra Influence bonusses towards a specific race. The latter are again 'hidden' bonusses that will be listed seperately and not included in your general Influence ratings. Note that a few familiars [e.g., spooky things like Ghosts] can give negative bonusses to your general INF rate...
5) Status: some supernatural statusses have negative bonusses to the INF rating, others have positive bonusses.
6) Diplomat Elixers: potion #445 (both In Use or by Activation) will temporarily increase your Influence rating with +1. Note that you can only get the benefit of a maximum of 2 identical potions to work for you on Activation - swallowing more than 2 potions will mean that the 'overdoses' are simply lost. On top of that you can equip two Diplomacy potions in your In Use slots. So you can only pump up your influence with 4 Diplomat Elixirs, not more.
7) Items: some items other than Diplomat Elixers may supply INF adds
8) Spells: spell 160 (and 161) can affect your INF rating. The positive effect is capped at a maximum of +/- Base INF (see Rules Book p. 120 and 206).

Influencing

The following elements determine the chances of a succesfull Influence attempt with order D2:

I) Influence rating of sponsor: the higher the Effective Influence rating (see above) the higher the chance of succes. As a rule of thumb, each point of Influence rating gives +3% of success.

II) Loyalty rating of target : the higher the Loyalty rating the lower the lower is the chance of succes. The Loyalty rating is a negative of -2% per point. For the exact numerical values of the categories of Loyalty, see the following table. Note that also NPCs have a loyalty - namely towards 'player 0'.

Extremely Poor: -32767 to -4
Poor: -3 to -1
Below Average: 0-3
Average: 4-6
Good: 7-9
Very Good: 10-14
Excellent: 15-25
Extreme: 26-49
Fanatical: 50-99
Very Fanatical: 100-199
Extremely Fanatical: 200-499
Super Fanatical: 500 - 32767

To lower the loyalty rating before Influencing, you can use the Seed of Suspicion spell #36.

III) Prestige: see Rules Books p. 206.
When a target character has Prestige, then your chance of succes is never higher than 31%. This cap at 31% is done as the very last part of the calculations. So also after any Prestige difference penalties are added.
This Prestige difference penalty is as follows:
-- If the Base prestige of the Target is higher than the highest prestige rate (Base, Enhance, or Effective) of the Sponsor, then there is a -11% per point of prestige difference.
-- If the highest prestige rate of the Sponsor is higher than (or equal to) the base prestige of the Target, then there is no positive modifier.
-- When a Sponsor with an ID# above #1000 tries to influence a target with base prestige, he always gets an extra -100% modifier. This comes on top of the normal prestige difference penalty, if there is one, and it is also applied when there is no such penalty. This in practical sense makes such characters (former NPCs) very restricted in trying to influence characters that have any prestige at all. Note that in this case the prestige of the Sponsor is set to zero when calculating the prestige difference (p. 206), meaning that characters with ID# above #1000 cannot use their prestige 'offensively', unlike your setup characters.
-- The -11% prestige difference penalty (p. 206) of course also applies to your setup characters (id#1-1000)(Rules Book p. 206 is a bit unclear), but if their influence is high enough, they can succesfully influence targets that have a higher prestige.
Responses to the D2 order reflect the 'pure' Base prestige of the target. The reported value on the Character's Overview (once you'll get him) is the Enhanced value, so any adds from Titles and Marks were subtracted from that value during the Diplomacy process to get to the 'pure' Base value. This explains how it is possible that after you have gotten the NPC, you will sometimes be surprised to find he has a higher prestige than you - and still you got him?!; but subtract adds from any title or mark, and he could have had a lower counting prestige than you anyhow! To rephrase this: during an influence attempt, for the Target the 'pure' Base prestige (so without effects of Marks and Titles) is the relevant defensive value, and for the Sponsor the highest prestige rating on his character overview (usually the Effective prestige) is the relevant offensive value.
The reverse effect may also happen, namely that your chances prove worse than you had estimated based on a View order. This is so because the V1 order will be showing the Effective Prestige minus the prestige from titles, and not the 'pure' Base Prestige.
For Prestige (also prestige reports), check out the article on Prestige elsewhere on this site. Note that if the target has any prestige, the chance of influencing is always capped at 32% (Poor chance; see p. 206), so 'prestige diplomacy' is always a matter of much patience.
The numerical values of Prestige are as follows:

Low = 1-2
Significant = 3-5
Impressive = 6-9
High= 10-13
Extreme = 14-20
Extraordinary = 21+

It is often thought that you can only do prestige diplomacy with your Main, but this is not correct. Ex-NPCs cannot be used for it, but your Secondaries can do it, if they have gathered some prestige with adventures, Marks or other feats and have a decent INF. After all, the chance with prestige diplomacy is never above Poor (31%), so an overkill is not useful, and small village owners (who can have a modest prestige of ca. 5) may well listen to your Secondary.

IV) Traits of sponsor versus traits of target

(1) Race: If the races of sponsor and target are the same, things will go smooth; if the races differ than racial hatreds may give negative modifiers towards the chance of succes. Look in the module book for the exact values. On average things tend to be along these lines:
-- Target and sponsor are of the same race, i.e. of the 'Main race': no modifier
-- Target is of Monster race (#281+): modifier is -999%, UNLESS the sponsor is of the exact same Monster race as the Target. This is valid in all modules.
-- Target is of the 'Secondary race' of the Sponsor: modifier -25%
-- Target is of the 'Hated race' of the Sponsor: modifier -999%
-- Target is of 'Other race' (i.e. a non-Main/non-Secondary/non-Hated race): modifier ranges between -100 (or: -200?; see p. 206) to -999%.
Note that you always have to look at the Sponsor, and then check the table which races are Main/Secondary/Hated to his race; so the 'Main race' is the race of the Sponsor, not that of the Target.
The 'Other race' case is often wickedly concealed in the module book... But use some common sense (a.k.a. intuition) to make an estimate. In general the maximum modifier applies if the Target race is not compatiable with the Sponsor race either way (i.e. neither from the viewpoint of the Sponsor nor from the viewpoint of the Target). So a 'freakish' race (e.g. Draconians, Insektoids etc.) that has no Secondary races listed, will get the maximum modifier of -999% when doing diplomacy with ALL(!) other races but their own. And if nobody has Draconian as Secondary race, a non-Drac doing diplomacy with a Draconian as Target will also get the -999% modifier. If Wazuri is no Secondary race of Skullshead, but Skullhead is a Secondary race of Wazuri, then a Skullhead doing diplomacy with a Wazuri would likely have an 'Other race' modifier below -999%, more in the direction of, say, -200%. And as the mirror example of that: if Orc is not a Hated race of Elf, but if Orcs do have Elves as Hated race, then an Elf doing diplomacy with an Orc will get a rather high negative 'Other race' modifier (say -700%).

(2) Culture: If target and sponsor belong to the same culture type, things will go smooth, otherwise differing lifestyles will result in negative modifiers. In newer modules these modifiers are made explicit, and tend to be along these lines:
Civil/Urban races (#201-220), Barbaric/Rural races (#221-240) and Nomadic races (#221-240) have modifiers of -10% to -15% between them.

(3) Religion : If target and sponsor have the same religion then things wil go smooth (modifier of 0 to +25%); if their religions differ then the religions may in a few cases be tolerant or even supporting (modifier of 0 to +25%), but more often will be disliked (modifier of -10 to -25%) or outright hated (modifier of -50 to -90%). These figures will differ between modules. In general, Evil versus Good religions (and vice versa) will have large negative modifiers.

(4) Gender and Beauty: If target and sponsor are of the opposite sex, then there is a positive modifier if the Sponsor has greater beauty than the Target. For details, see Rules Book p. 206. Note the effects mean that you can be too ugly to make your looks help in diplomacy with the other sex (no possitive bonus if target is more pretty), but that you also can be too beautiful (the bonus is smaller if the difference is more than 10 points; at least that's how I read p. 206) - people are shy to chat with a Miss World.
Beauty is one of those statistics that is not so easy to change during the game, so consider it well at setup. Basically, only a few adventures and some Mark effects may increase base beauty (and Marks of Evil will decrease it).

(5) Skills : If sponsor and target have skills in common, then there will be positive modifiers. This goes on a per skill basis (so you can have a maximum of three positives here). I've once read or heard (don't ask me where) that each skill in common will have an effect of +3 Influence ratings for the sponsor (so very crudely speaking: a +10 to +15% modifier per shared skill?). This element however is not on p. 206, so take it with some salt.

(6) Status: differences in status and status ranking plays a role, the effects of which are left vague, see p. 206. Each status has modifiers to your INF when doing diplomacy with characters with other statusses, namely: Base [no status??], Undead, Lycanthrope, Other, Religious, Same Status.

(7) Faction : If sponsor and target are specifically assigned to different Factions, then political strife will result in negative modifiers: -999%.
This means that a NPC who is a member of a faction can only be influenced by a PC that is member of that same faction. You only get the minus of -999 when the NPC is a member of a faction you're not a part of. A NPC who is not a member of any faction can be influenced by any PC (regardless of which faction this PC is member of). Spelled out this gives five possible cases:
- Sponsor is member of faction X and Target is member of faction X: no negatives
- Sponsor is member of faction X and Target is not a specifically assigned member of any faction: no negatives
- Sponsor is member of faction X and Target is member of faction Y: -999%
- Sponsor is not a member of any faction and target is member of faction Y: -999%
- Sponsor is member of both faction X and faction Y, and Target is member of faction Y: no negatives

V) Special conditions of Sponsor or Target

(1) Blood Enemy: If sponsor and target are blood enemies, then there will be a negative modifier. of -999%. Not mentioned on p. 206, but surely in effect.

(2) Marks: some Marks on the sponsor give extra bonusses (up to +30%) provided they are combined with a certain status, religion, or race, see p. 206.

(3) Insanity: an insane person can do diplomacy, cq a sponsor can talk to an insane target, but in each case there's a negative modifier of -5%.

(4) If Target is an NPC, there is a +10% bonus, as deep down in their hearts, all stray puppies are looking for a master.

V) Overall Sponsor Fitness factors

After (I) to (V) have been added, here called 'the Sum', two factors apply at the end:
(1) Plague: Poisoned condition does nothing, but if Sponsor is infected with pox and/or plague then logically he will get a big negative modifier when doing diplomacy, see p. 206, which is not phrased too clearly. Is it a straight negative of -20% and -80% (substracted of the Sum), or is it a factor, namely the end result being (1-0.2)*Sum and (1-0.8)*Sum?
(2) Wounds: Sponsor's wounds are to my knowledge a direct negative, e.g. 80% wounds equals a -80% modifier, subtracted from the Sum, but p. 206 could imply it is a factor, namely (1-wounds%/100%) * Sum after plague effects.

Inducing

The D1 order has the ability to increase your chances of success by (at best) 30%. This increase or modifier is added to your normal Influence effort (D2), and BEFORE any caps are applied. The crowns effect works like this:

R = (crowns spent)/(greed resistance + target's base prestige * 20)

The Influence modifier is: (R-1)*100%

If R is smaller than 1, then the modifier is negative. E.g. if R=0.85, then modifier is -15%
If R is larger than 1, then the modifier is positive BUT with a maximum of +30%.

So Inducement will shift at most a +30% to your favor in an influence attempt. It is said to work best against characters who have
- about Average loyalty or less
- 2 points or less prestige
- a greed resistance of Poor.
A sum of 500 crowns seems about right is such a case.

Greed Resistence has the following numeric values:

Very Poor: -32767 to -3
Poor: -2 to 4
Below Average: 4 to 7
Average: 8 to 9
Good: 10 to 13
Very Good: 14 to 20
Excellent: 21 to 29
Very High: 30 to 49
Extreme: 50 to 32767

Religious Converting

As religious negative modifiers are one of the more important things to prevent, converting your target to your religion before doing diplomacy is in general a very good idea. How does spell 294 work? It does not work on Priests and dead characters. If your religion does not have the convert spell on its standard list, than the spell is (always?) hidden in the Holy Symbol or Bible of your religion.
The chance of converting someone is:

(Priest rating * 5%) + random factor (ranging from -15 to +15%) + loyalty modifier

The loyalty modifier is:
1) If Target is an NPC: no modifier
2) If Target is owned by you: + loyalty of character
3) If Target is owned by another player: -/- loyalty of character.
So conversion of characters of other players is harder, and converting your own characters is easier, than the conversion of NPCs.

As said, Priests cannot be converted by the normal spell 294. You can only convert a priest by either doing an adventure that converts or by having him activate an item that converts to a certain religion. Note that in these cases, the priest will change from a priest of one religion at a certain skill level to priest of the new religion at the same level (so he does not loose his skill levels). If the item activation teaches the priest skill at a certain level, it is not fully clear what happens - a general rules says the same skills will never overwrite (so you keep that skill at the old level) but others say that you will end up with the highest level possible (i.e. the highest of his original level and the item level); who does a check on this and lets us know? The only other alternative is letting him drop the priest skill (and all skill levels), and then convert him by spell 294 (and then relearn the priest skill at level 1 and practice it to higher levels again).

Subjects leaving you

When there is a conflict in the religious alignment of the Main and the (once influenced) tertiary character involved, or when there is less than fanatical loyalty and the subject is forced to gift away a force, then there is a drop in loyalty. The loyalty point where you should get worried is the range of Below Average - for if that level is reached, a second test (not detailed by the designers) will be done to see if the subject goes neutral and drops from your control.