“Convince” adventures cover most things social: persuading, blackmailing, seducing, manipulating, intimidating – the whole box and dice. The basic task is to win a contest of skills against the target: one of the PCs’ relevant social skills against their urge to resist. Only one PC gets to use their skill for the roll, but the others can assist by making complementary skills rolls, if there’s a plausible justification for them.
|How Hard Are They To Convince?
Roll 3d6. (Need a die roller?)
Note: this table sums up a number of factors: chiefly how resistant the target is to the particular idea or course of action you’re trying to convince them of; their willpower, social acumen and susceptibility to persuasion; how crazy the idea is, in objective terms – and so on.
Buttering Up the Target
There are a number of ways to get on the target’s good side, so as to reduce the effective difficulty of the task.
Do Something for them!
In the finest cheeseball fantasy tradition, almost everyone in the world has a number of tasks that need completing – retrieving their lost heirlooms, avenging their brother’s death, and the like. The target has Peril + 1d-2 tasks that need completing; go ahead and roll them up as adventures, at the current Peril. PCs can win the target’s favor by completing these tasks successfully: +2 for each success; -2 for each failure.
Get the Skinny on Them!
The PCs can also try to work out what the target likes before approaching them, to see what kind of persuasion is most likely to be effective. These rules can also be used represent finding out sensitive information and with which to blackmail the target, if that’s the kind of thing your PCs do.
This requires a roll against a suitable skill, at a penalty equal to Peril: useful skills may include Area Knowledge, Current Affairs, Politics, Shadowing, Stealth, Streetwise, and so on. Other PCs can make complementary rolls, if appropriate.
Success allows a roll on the following table.
|The Target Is Especially Impressed By…
Roll 1d, 1d. (Need a die roller?) If you have cause to roll multiple times, a maximum of two results will apply.
If the PCs can make use of this special susceptibility in a plausible fashion, they gain a +2 to their final roll to convince. Any rolls against relevant skills – Musical Instrument, say, if the target has a weakness for music – must be made at a penalty equal to Peril. Gifts and Bribes must be worth at least 25% of the target’s monthly cost of living.
If one of the skills in Italics is rolled, then this must be used as the main skill in the contest in order to provide a +2 bonus.
Failing to Convince
Trying to convince powerful people to do things they’d rather not do can be dangerous! If the PCs lose the quick contest by 4 or less, they have failed to convince the target, but can get another chance if they complete another adventure at +1 Peril, with no Reward. If they lose by 10 or more, things have gone horribly wrong – run an “Escape” adventure!