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Unread postby icycalm » 09 Jan 2021 07:07


I am going to start this off by copy-pasting the relationship mechanics presented in the Jade Regent PFRPG campaign. In general, I really like these mechanics, and as soon as some group unlocks them by playing this campaign, we'll be using them in the entire game. However, these mechanics are made for relationships that take weeks or months of in-game time to build, and even months of real time, and that's because the campaign has been built for a long-distance journey via caravan of a bunch of NPCs following along the PCs. This is practically unheard-of in D&D (and that's why Jade Regent is such an unusual, unique campaign). The overwhelming majority of the time, the PCs are doing whatever they do alone, and if some NPCs do join them once in a blue moon, it's for a very limited amount of time (say one dungeon, for example). So if we used this romance system, no one would ever get married outside of the Jade Regent campaign, and even then you'd have to really pursue it, and possibly even get lucky with dice rolls. So there's no way this system can be built to reliably give us our bloodline mechanics. We need something that works far quicker with the typical adventure where the party meets a female NPC maybe for a couple of scenes tops, and the attraction, seduction and relationship stages have to all happen within these couple of scenes. So I submit these mechanics here for everyone's consideration, with the understanding that we won't be using them as-is for our seduction mechanics. However, we can perhaps adapt them to that purpose. I will explore that possibility in my next post, but if anyone has any ideas before that, or after, I am all ears.

James Jacobs and Patrick Renie wrote:BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS
As the Jade Regent Adventure Path progresses, you can build relationships with all [REDACTED] of the NPCs mentioned in this document—[REDACTED] (and with additional NPCs you’ll meet later on, during the course of the campaign). Building a relationship between your PC and one of these NPCs can eventually grant you unique advantages and boons—whether your relationship is of a confrontational or friendly nature.

A relationship with an NPC can be friendly or competitive—you get to choose which kind you wish to pursue. Some in-game events can spontaneously change a relationship from friendly to competitive, or vice versa—if you want to deliberately change a relationship from friendly to competitive on your own, you can do so by reducing your Relationship Score by half.

When you first meet a significant NPC, the GM will inform you that you can build a relationship with that NPC. If you’re interested in building a relationship with that NPC, record the NPC’s name on your character sheet, followed by the current Relationship Score you have with that NPC, and whether your relationship is friendly or competitive. Your initial Relationship Score with a significant NPC is equal to your Charisma modifier (this can be a negative number), but you will have the chance to increase that score as the campaign progresses.

You can increase your Relationship Score with an NPC in the following five ways.

1) Charisma: Since your base Relationship Score with any NPC is equal to your Charisma modifier, when your Charisma score changes permanently, your total Relationship Score with NPCs changes as appropriate. Short-term changes, such as from ability damage, ability drain, or bonuses from spells like eagle’s splendor, do not alter Relationship Scores.

2) Campaign Trait: You gain a one-time +4 bonus to your Relationship Score with the NPC associated with your Campaign Trait.

3) Companionship: Every time you gain an experience level, you may increase your Relationship Score with one significant NPC still active in the campaign by 1 point.

4) Gifts and Insults: A special gift can increase a friendly Relationship Score with an NPC, while a perfectly crafted insult can increase a competitive Relationship Score. Gifts and insults can’t be just anything—each significant NPC has three categories of gifts and three categories of insults that work particularly well with that NPC. You’ll need to learn what most of these are by observing the NPC in play, but the GM will inform you of one gift or insult category for the NPC associated with your Campaign Trait once the campaign begins. You can give a gift or an insult to an NPC once per character level—when you think that you have the right kind of gift (be it an item you found, built, or purchased; in most cases, the cost of the item is irrelevant as long as it’s an honest gift) or have composed the right insult, simply inform the GM of what you intend to do, then make a Diplomacy check (for gifts) or an Intimidate check (for insults). If you roleplay the gift or insult’s delivery particularly well, the GM might award you a +4 bonus on this check, at his discretion. Likewise, if you roleplay the interaction poorly, or if you time things badly enough (attempting to give a gift in the middle of combat, for example), the GM could inflict a –4 penalty on the check. The DC for this check is equal to your current Relationship Score with the NPC. If you succeed at the check, your Relationship Score with that NPC increases by 1 point. If you exceed the DC by 10 or more, your Relationship Score increases by 2 points instead. Giving a gift to a competitor actually reduces your Relationship Score, as does insulting a friend. You must still make the appropriate skill check (Diplomacy or Intimidate); a success reduces your Relationship Score by 1 or 2 points, as above.

5) Special Events: Certain events in the Jade Regent Adventure Path can alter your Relationship Score with some NPCs—the GM will inform you of these adjustments if and when they occur.

As your Relationship Scores with NPCs increase, your Relationship Level with an NPC increases as well, as listed below.

Code: Select all

Relationship Score Relationship Level
5 or less          Association
6–11               Friendship/Competition
12–30              Fellowship/Rivalry
31 or more         Devotion/Enmity

Association: You and the NPC know each other, but not well enough to have formed a significant opinion about each other.

Friendship/Competition: You are a good friend or known competitor of the NPC. The first time you reach this Relationship Level with an NPC, you gain 400 XP. Whenever you gain this Relationship Level with another NPC for the first time, you gain 200 XP.

Fellowship/Rivalry: You have strong ties to the NPC, either through deep mutual respect and admiration or through a strong sense of competition and conflict. As long as the other NPC is alive, you gain a +1 morale bonus on all Charisma-based skill checks. The first time you reach this Relationship Level with an NPC, you gain 1,200 XP. Whenever you gain this Relationship Level with another NPC for the first time, you gain 600 XP.

Devotion/Enmity: You and the NPC are devoted to each another, or are actively opposed to one another. If you reach this Relationship Level with the NPC associated with your Campaign Trait, the trait bonus granted to you from your Campaign Trait doubles. The first time you reach this Relationship Level with an NPC, you gain 3,200 XP. Whenever you gain this Relationship Level with another NPC for the first time, you gain 1,600 XP. In addition, your relationship with the NPC is strong enough to grand you a boon, whether your relationship is friendly or competitive. The nature of this boon differs for each NPC—your GM will inform you what kind of boon you earn at this stage. The effects of this boon last for as long as the NPC is alive and active in the campaign.

You cannot gain XP bonuses from an individual NPC more than once (such as if you decrease your Relationship Level with an NPC and bring it back up).

Not all gaming groups are comfortable with the concept of PC/NPC romance, so these rules are more optional than most. Consult with your GM to determine whether romance is an option in your game.

Each significant NPC has a Romance Score known only to the GM. In order to begin a romance with an NPC, your Relationship Score with that NPC must exceed the NPC’s Romance Score. Once per level, you may attempt a Sense Motive check (DC equal to the NPC’s Romance Score) to determine whether an NPC is potentially interested in a romance with you. If the NPC is interested in a romance with you, you must make a successful Diplomacy check (DC equals 10 + the NPC’s level + the NPC’s Charisma modifier) to begin the romance. The romance ends if your Relationship Score with an NPC ever drops below that NPC’s Romance Score. Each time a romance ends, that NPC’s Romance Score increases by 5.

Note that a PC can have a romance with an NPC with whom she has a competitive relationship—opposites do sometimes attract, after all—but this kind of romance can be more difficult to begin. If the PC’s Diplomacy check to start a romance is successful, the romance begins, and the nature of the PC’s relationship with that NPC immediately changes from competitive to friendly. This change does not necessitate reducing the Relationship Score by half in this case.

Romances do not grant additional in-game bonuses or benefits, but might grant situational benefits, opportunities, complications, or even dangers during the course of an adventure, usually at the GM’s discretion. The exact detail to which the romance is played out at the table should be determined by the comfort level of your group—the GM should make sure he understands what this comfort level is before proceeding with this type of addition to the campaign. Unless the GM rules otherwise, an NPC can only be involved in a romance with one PC at a time.
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