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Relationships & Romance


Jade Regent


I've been looking at the Jade Regent Player's Guide and I'm thinking about using the Relationship & Romance rules, but I have a few questions.

In my campaigns I usually require players to establish a few NPCs they know before the campaign begins. How do you set the Relationship scores for such NPCs? A starting score is supposed to be equal to your Charisma modifier, but that typically won't even broach the friendship barrier. Can NPCs in a character's background esentially start at any friendship level?

Also, the guide says that each NPC has a Romance Score that only the DM knows, but it doesn't say how that number is determined. I'm assuming the NPCs in the Jade Regent AP have them assigned already, but how do you determine the score in your own campaign? What's an average Romance Score?


Ok, so I broke down and bought the PDF of The Brinewall Legacy to see the NPCs. After looking them over and rereading the rules for Relationships, I'm wondering if the math works out.

You can increase any relationship is by +1 to +3 per level and you have to have a pretty high Diplomacy score to pull off the +3 and it gets increasingly harder as you go.

Starting a Romance seems mathematically unlikely even at high levels. It doesn't really make much sense either that only high level characters can have Romances.

Or are the Romance Scores of the AP's NPCs unusually high for some reason?

The Player's Guide mentioned there were special evens in the AP that can increase relationship scores, but I could not find any. Am I missing something?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Matt Gwinn wrote:

I've been looking at the Jade Regent Player's Guide and I'm thinking about using the Relationship & Romance rules, but I have a few questions.

In my campaigns I usually require players to establish a few NPCs they know before the campaign begins. How do you set the Relationship scores for such NPCs? A starting score is supposed to be equal to your Charisma modifier, but that typically won't even broach the friendship barrier. Can NPCs in a character's background esentially start at any friendship level?

Also, the guide says that each NPC has a Romance Score that only the DM knows, but it doesn't say how that number is determined. I'm assuming the NPCs in the Jade Regent AP have them assigned already, but how do you determine the score in your own campaign? What's an average Romance Score?

If by "relationship score" you mean a "romance score," that number is completely arbitrary. Set it low if you want the PCs to be able to fire up a romance quickly, but if you want them to have to build it up over time, set it higher. The scores we assigned the 4 significant NPCs in Jade Regent are where they are to make it so that romances will start, most likely, during the 3rd adventure. This is by design, so that by the time a romance starts up, the PC is the higher level character in the situation.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Matt Gwinn wrote:
The Player's Guide mentioned there were special evens in the AP that can increase relationship scores, but I could not find any. Am I missing something?

Check the sidebar on page 50 of "Brinewall Legacy" for that adventure's special relationship score boosts. We'll be doing sidebars like that throughout the AP.


James Jacobs wrote:
Matt Gwinn wrote:
The Player's Guide mentioned there were special evens in the AP that can increase relationship scores, but I could not find any. Am I missing something?
Check the sidebar on page 50 of "Brinewall Legacy" for that adventure's special relationship score boosts. We'll be doing sidebars like that throughout the AP.

Thanks. For some reason that instance of "Relationship" didn't catch when I searched the PDF for it.


James Jacobs wrote:


If by "relationship score" you mean a "romance score," that number is completely arbitrary.

I was actually referring to both. In first part of my original post I was referring to Relationship Scores. Based on rules, your Relationship Score with each NPC starts out equal to your Charisma Modifier or Charisma Modifier +4 if you have a campaign trait.

What I'm wondering is if NPCs that have already been established in your character's back story as being friends can start higher. My guess is that it would be up to the DM, but I'd like your opinion.


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Disclaimer: I havent seen Brinewall Legacy so I know relationship rules only from Jade Regent Player's Guide.

I think that relationship rules should not be connected directly with character level - i.e. no increasing it when advancing level. It should change due to actions, events, gifts, insults, etc and not because character just grew more powerful.

Liberty's Edge

Well there are quite a few situational bonuses to relationships even in the first adventure, so building relationship scores are not merely a function of level. That being said, shared experiences are also something that builds relationships between people, and the easiest way to measure that in a campaign that can vary group to group is to use experience itself as a measure.

Characters don't grow more powerful in a vacuum, but rather as a response to the events in a game. So, in my opinion, the level based growth of relationship scores is reflective of the things NPCs see your characters do, or do with you. Fighting off that group of bandits, or recovering that info about the caravan's next destination, etc. This is what makes the characters grow closer, or further apart for rivals.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am a PC in Jade Regent, so please try to keep your answers spoiler-free!

Our group had concerns about the diplomacy/intimidate check elements for raising our relationship scores with the NPCs. The DC is equal to our current score, which will get you 1 point, or 2 pts for earning 10 over the DC. Doing the math, any character pursuing a romance with any NPC would HAVE to max out their diplomacy/intimidate as well as utilize the feats like Persuasive and Skill Focus: Diplomacy in order to have a chance to make the 1/level gift rolls to earn the points.

It is exceedingly easy at lower levels perhaps, but by Fellowship level a low/no charisma PC would need a natural 20 to even get 1 pt. One of our PCs wanted to pursue a romance but sees it as impossible for his low charisma monk with few skill points.

Has anyone else run into this? Anyone played through a few chapters and had feedback on how the system worked for them and if your GM made any changes?

Ours is considering eliminating the skill checks, and making it an arbitrary reward based on roleplay so as not to 'punish' players who didn't make a diplomacy monkey for the game.

Thoughts?


Drejk wrote:
I think that relationship rules should not be connected directly with character level - i.e. no increasing it when advancing level. It should change due to actions, events, gifts, insults, etc and not because character just grew more powerful.

I'll second that concept - and I try to use it even though a) one player oposes and b) the others don't know that I do.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The way I'm planning to do it seems to be working well for the low Cha PCs; they gain +1 relationship point, automatically, for a good gift/insult, and then, for acting out an interesting scene with the NPC, they can make the Diplo/Intim check to gain an additional 1-2 points, per level.

It does mean that the high-cha Oracle pursuing Ameiko has a score of close to 20 at 5th level, but it also means that the poor samurai with a negative cha, trying to seduce Zaiobe (who he couldn't get the campaign trait with) has a chance.


Drejk wrote:

Disclaimer: I havent seen Brinewall Legacy so I know relationship rules only from Jade Regent Player's Guide.

I think that relationship rules should not be connected directly with character level - i.e. no increasing it when advancing level. It should change due to actions, events, gifts, insults, etc and not because character just grew more powerful.

This is certainly something to consider if you are making your own relationship system. In Jade Regent, using the 'level's' to allow for arbitrary increases works, simply because of the possible amount of 'off screen' travel time that can happen.

I explained the leveling up portion of this to just represent the amount of time the PC's had spent with the NPC's while traveling and not in a 'scene', but if you are doing your own campaign, I would consider doing away with this portion of it, depending on the time frame for your adventure that you are planning.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I will be honest, I hate the relationship system so very much. It puts a new min-max system into what should be a roleplaying mechanic.

Since it seems like I will take up Jade Regent again in a few months, this time with two different groups, I am once again reminded how much the sub-systems in this AP disagreed with me. The AP has lots of potential, but the caravan combat is utterly broken ( hence I'll go back to simply RP'ing everything about the caravan ) and I hate the very idea that a min-max player ( of which I got a few ) could build his character to rollplay the relationship aspect.

Oh, well. I'll enjoy the setting changes, the new cultures to explore and working on the NPC's and their relationships. But the sub-systems in this AP suck. IMO, of course.


I've noticed there are some good suggestions out there for how to 'adjust' the caravan combat rules to be less broken. Our group will start to playtest them and see how it goes.

For the relationship rules, has anyone found any good 'adjustments' that seemed to balance with the Cha and non-Cha based PCs? It has been a conundrum for our GM as he isn't sure how to make it fair for even the monk who had to use Cha as his dump stat but is a good role-player and wants to pursue a relationship. For now we are going to go with the relationship rules as-is, with the possibility of awards for good rp.

If anyone else has playtested a good alternative though we are open to suggestions.


As far as I see it, if you roleplay a low Cha character well, you have lots of problems with a romance. Because that's what low Cha means... you can't interact well with people.

If a player min-maxes and has a dump stat, I don't think a DM should cover for that. It's the price of min-maxing.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Old Drake wrote:

As far as I see it, if you roleplay a low Cha character well, you have lots of problems with a romance. Because that's what low Cha means... you can't interact well with people.

If a player min-maxes and has a dump stat, I don't think a DM should cover for that. It's the price of min-maxing.

This is exactly correct.

You wouldn't let a character who dump-statted his Strength who was played by a weightlifter get away with lifting heavy objects, or a character who dump-statted his Intelligence use physics to solve problems just because he's played by an engineer.

So why let a character who's got a Charisma dump stat get away with being charming and having an easy time at making friends or creating relationships just because his roleplayer is a charasmatic and good roleplayer.

Indeed... a good roleplayer who dump stats Charisma does NOT puruse relationships but is in some way socially inept and has a hard time making a lasting impression on other people. If a good roleplayer wants to be impressive and memorable socially and develop lots of relationships (be they romances or rivalries), that player should build a character with a high Charisma.

Just as a player who wants a character to lift heavy objects builds a character with a high strength, or as a player who wants a character to be super smart has a high Intelligence.

Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Old Drake wrote:

As far as I see it, if you roleplay a low Cha character well, you have lots of problems with a romance. Because that's what low Cha means... you can't interact well with people.

If a player min-maxes and has a dump stat, I don't think a DM should cover for that. It's the price of min-maxing.

This is exactly correct.

You wouldn't let a character who dump-statted his Strength who was played by a weightlifter get away with lifting heavy objects, or a character who dump-statted his Intelligence use physics to solve problems just because he's played by an engineer.

So why let a character who's got a Charisma dump stat get away with being charming and having an easy time at making friends or creating relationships just because his roleplayer is a charasmatic and good roleplayer.

Indeed... a good roleplayer who dump stats Charisma does NOT puruse relationships but is in some way socially inept and has a hard time making a lasting impression on other people. If a good roleplayer wants to be impressive and memorable socially and develop lots of relationships (be they romances or rivalries), that player should build a character with a high Charisma.

Just as a player who wants a character to lift heavy objects builds a character with a high strength, or as a player who wants a character to be super smart has a high Intelligence.

This is why I never dump charisma. I dump con before I'd dump charisma, and just make up for it with AC and HP favored class bonuses.

Star Voter 2013

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Joseph Wilson wrote:


This is why I never dump charisma. I dump con before I'd dump charisma, and just make up for it with AC and HP favored class bonuses.

Though really, I try to avoid the whole "dumping stats" thing all together.


But what the mechanic is essentially doing then is punishing those who want to play a certain character type. If everyone in JR put their character together with the sole purpose of relationships, then everyone would be a charisma-based character, because especially at higher levels charisma score becomes key in actually making any of the checks. What we are concerned with is 'punishing' those who don't want to play a charisma monkey. When it comes to party dynamics, you don't want everyone the same. You want them to be able to shine in different areas so they each get their glory time.

If we ignored the mechanic completely, then we would have a wider array of characters and role-play opportunities, regardless of their 'charisma score'. Especially in certain class builds. I'm sorry, but a monk who already needs so many base stats can't afford to put many points into charisma, and with an AP recommending a 15-20 point buy, it gets even tougher. It's not really about min-maxing at this point.

I get rewarding high charisma characters, but when there's XP on the line, and it has the ability to drive big XP gaps in the party due to a special system (especially at lower levels) that rewards only one character type it really kinda screws the other types. What I don't want to see is someone who decided to play a low-cha character just sitting off to the side twiddling their thumbs saying, oh this is just peachy, while everyone else seems to be making friends and gaining in-game benefits from said relationships.

Example, we've had 2 sessions of JR so far. I (as the rogue) have 4 Friendships, and the Oracle in the party has 1 Fellowship actually making him the highest in xp right now. The Ranger who isn't as interested in role-play (not like the monk) has 1 Friendship. The current gap is 1200xp. That is a big XP jump for a 1st-2nd level character. At slow xp progression (which we're using) its the difference between being 2nd level and not.

I also don't fully believe that building relationships is all about the charisma. Just to throw a low-cha example out there from TV look at Dr. Brennan from Bones. She is a genius, she has many friends that are still friends even when she rubs them the wrong way due to her inept social skills. She has a low charisma, but she still got her guy. How? Not all through diplomacy for sure.

Now I know everyone who posts has an opinion as to min-maxing and rewarding charisma-based characters, etc. But what I'm actually interested in is hearing from people who have actually played through a few chapters of JR, and how their relationship levels seem to be working. Specifically, have your low-cha players seemed to have done ok with the system as-is (i.e. using their level bonuses and situation bonuses to do ok?) or have they kinda been dropped to the wayside, twiddling said thumbs? Have the high cha players started to run into an issue with the ever-increasing DC=Relationship Score to increase their levels with an NPC? Are the benefits/boons worth all the trouble?

The AP is about the story and the journey, and frankly probably lots of fighting. It shouldn't all be about a side-mechanic. What I want to do is find the balance so that it is easy to integrate those side-mechanics, without changing the way we play in the story as a whole. Make sense?

Contributor

Kimi wrote:
What I want to do is find the balance so that it is easy to integrate those side-mechanics, without changing the way we play in the story as a whole. Make sense?

I've ditched most of the caravan rules and ditched the relationship rules assuming they go on in the background. I'm going to give my players the bonuses to xp and devotion boons when they reach specific levels. Obviously they get the relevant stuff from the NPC they're connected to first. I can't remember (and I'm not at home now) which levels I'm using but I went through the books and worked out what relationship score a slightly above-average Cha, and average-rolling character would have at each level and went with that.

e.g. When a character reaches 7th level they get the boon of their linked NPC, and they get the others at 11th level.

That's not exactly right, but you get the idea.

Star Voter 2013

James Jacobs wrote:
Old Drake wrote:

As far as I see it, if you roleplay a low Cha character well, you have lots of problems with a romance. Because that's what low Cha means... you can't interact well with people.

If a player min-maxes and has a dump stat, I don't think a DM should cover for that. It's the price of min-maxing.

This is exactly correct.

You wouldn't let a character who dump-statted his Strength who was played by a weightlifter get away with lifting heavy objects, or a character who dump-statted his Intelligence use physics to solve problems just because he's played by an engineer.

So why let a character who's got a Charisma dump stat get away with being charming and having an easy time at making friends or creating relationships just because his roleplayer is a charasmatic and good roleplayer.

Indeed... a good roleplayer who dump stats Charisma does NOT puruse relationships but is in some way socially inept and has a hard time making a lasting impression on other people. If a good roleplayer wants to be impressive and memorable socially and develop lots of relationships (be they romances or rivalries), that player should build a character with a high Charisma.

Just as a player who wants a character to lift heavy objects builds a character with a high strength, or as a player who wants a character to be super smart has a high Intelligence.

Does that means that there is a minimun char score a character must have in order to have a girlfrined?

Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Nicos wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Old Drake wrote:

As far as I see it, if you roleplay a low Cha character well, you have lots of problems with a romance. Because that's what low Cha means... you can't interact well with people.

If a player min-maxes and has a dump stat, I don't think a DM should cover for that. It's the price of min-maxing.

This is exactly correct.

You wouldn't let a character who dump-statted his Strength who was played by a weightlifter get away with lifting heavy objects, or a character who dump-statted his Intelligence use physics to solve problems just because he's played by an engineer.

So why let a character who's got a Charisma dump stat get away with being charming and having an easy time at making friends or creating relationships just because his roleplayer is a charasmatic and good roleplayer.

Indeed... a good roleplayer who dump stats Charisma does NOT puruse relationships but is in some way socially inept and has a hard time making a lasting impression on other people. If a good roleplayer wants to be impressive and memorable socially and develop lots of relationships (be they romances or rivalries), that player should build a character with a high Charisma.

Just as a player who wants a character to lift heavy objects builds a character with a high strength, or as a player who wants a character to be super smart has a high Intelligence.

Does that means that there is a minimun char score a character must have in order to have a girlfrined?

No, it just means that it's harder for less charismatic people.


Kimi wrote:

But what the mechanic is essentially doing then is punishing those who want to play a certain character type. If everyone in JR put their character together with the sole purpose of relationships, then everyone would be a charisma-based character, because especially at higher levels charisma score becomes key in actually making any of the checks. What we are concerned with is 'punishing' those who don't want to play a charisma monkey. When it comes to party dynamics, you don't want everyone the same. You want them to be able to shine in different areas so they each get their glory time.

If we ignored the mechanic completely, then we would have a wider array of characters and role-play opportunities, regardless of their 'charisma score'. Especially in certain class builds. I'm sorry, but a monk who already needs so many base stats can't afford to put many points into charisma, and with an AP recommending a 15-20 point buy, it gets even tougher. It's not really about min-maxing at this point.

Are you roll playing or role playing? That's an important difference. If you role play a character with low charisma, then how can you expect to have as much relationship success as someone with a high charisma? You can't.

It's not about punishing anyone, it's about fair play. Those with high charisma sacrifice something else. How is it fair to them, if you weaken one of the few aspects where they shine?
And yes, the very concept of a dumb stat, the very idea that you need a bonus in every relevant attribute, is min-maxing. 10 is the average for humans; why does your character need to be better than average at everything? Why not play a monk with Strength and Dex of 10? Or Int? Mechanically optimized builds are min-maxing.

Kimi wrote:

I get rewarding high charisma characters, but when there's XP on the line, and it has the ability to drive big XP gaps in the party due to a special system (especially at lower levels) that rewards only one character type it really kinda screws the other types. What I don't want to see is someone who decided to play a low-cha character just sitting off to the side twiddling their thumbs saying, oh this is just peachy, while everyone else seems to be making friends and gaining in-game benefits from said relationships.

Example, we've had 2 sessions of JR so far. I (as the rogue) have 4 Friendships, and the Oracle in the party has 1 Fellowship actually making him the highest in xp right now. The Ranger who isn't as interested in role-play (not like the monk) has 1 Friendship. The current gap is 1200xp. That is a big XP jump for a 1st-2nd level character. At slow xp progression (which we're using) its the difference between being 2nd level and not.

Read the rules again. The XP is always divided out to the whole party. If played as intended, every character will always have the same XP as every other character in the group.

Kimi wrote:
I also don't fully believe that building relationships is all about the charisma. Just to throw a low-cha example out there from TV look at Dr. Brennan from Bones. She is a genius, she has many friends that are still friends even when she rubs them the wrong way due to her inept social skills. She has a low charisma, but she still got her guy. How? Not all through diplomacy for sure.

Sure, and you can do that in Pathfinder as well. The relationship scores of the NPCs presented in the book are far, far, far higher than average, because they are involved in a long and perilous journey and have little interest in adding personal entanglement to the problems they already face. It's because the NPCs have seen a lot and are hard to impress.

Did Brennan get her guy in a few months of a dangerous trip, say while they were hitchhiking through a civil war zone in the third world? Or while they were on an expedition in the Arctic? Because that's what we're talking about here.

Kimi wrote:

Now I know everyone who posts has an opinion as to min-maxing and rewarding charisma-based characters, etc. But what I'm actually interested in is hearing from people who have actually played through a few chapters of JR, and how their relationship levels seem to be working. Specifically, have your low-cha players seemed to have done ok with the system as-is (i.e. using their level bonuses and situation bonuses to do ok?) or have they kinda been dropped to the wayside, twiddling said thumbs? Have the high cha players started to run into an issue with the ever-increasing DC=Relationship Score to increase their levels with an NPC? Are the benefits/boons worth all the trouble?

The AP is about the story and the journey, and frankly probably lots of fighting. It shouldn't all be about a side-mechanic. What I want to do is find the balance so that it is easy to integrate those side-mechanics, without changing the way we play in the story as a whole. Make sense?

You seem to want the mechanic to take far more center stage than intended. It's intended as a background mechanic, something the characters may or may not pursue at their leisure. It's not intended that everyone can succeed; not everyone can cast high level spells or make four attacks per round at the end either.

Why are these mechanics presented to prominently?
Pathfinder is the current gateway game to gaming. Most people that start pen and paper RPGs will start with Pathfinder. And after the core rules, the AP are the one thing they tend to buy and run. So teaching new players and DMs, and maybe even more experienced groups, what can be done in RPGs is part of the AP experience. The idea that you can have relationships with NPCs is something not all players realize... even the idea that their characters have backgrounds, family, and so on might not be something they know coming in the game. So every AP presents some tools to show what role playing can be like, side mechanics that give new DMs simple systems to adjudicate such situations.
If you strictly look at core rules, then there's only XP for combat and traps; all the APs have XP for different role playing events, be they kingdom construction, romance, information research, or whatever. Again, AP providing guidelines to DMs of how to handle non-combat XP. Non-combat scenes.


Is the XP really divided amongst the whole group? I guess I'm not seeing that in the rules. The way it is written in the Player's Guide seems to indicate the XP for attaining a new relationship level is awarded to that specific PC.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

NicolasNix wrote:
Is the XP really divided amongst the whole group? I guess I'm not seeing that in the rules. The way it is written in the Player's Guide seems to indicate the XP for attaining a new relationship level is awarded to that specific PC.

The assumption for ALL XP awards is that they're divided among the whole group. If there's ever a case where that's NOT the case (as in a few awards in the start of Skull & Shackles that we tried out as individual awards as an experiment), we'll say in the text.

In the case of relationships... XP awards for befriending or rivalries and other relationship awards ARE intended to be shared among the group, because it's not fair to let only the charismatic or persistent PCs get those awards... no more than it is to let characters who are only support characters who don't actually help kill monsters get XP for defeating the monsters.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

The other thing that people seem to be missing is that (in terms of skill checks to improve the score) you get to do this once per level. Also, you as the GM have every right to give the PC circumstance bonuses to the roll if they pull off the 'role-play' aspects effectively.

So the Monk has a low Charisma, I bet he has a high Wisdom, so let him have a few Sense Motive checks to 'read' the object of his (or her) affections & figure out when his attempt has the best chance of touching them in a meaningful way. Real people in real relationships do that sort of thing all the time.


@James - Thanks, James! You just clarified/solved my biggest issue with the relationship system.

@Irnk - I like it!


James Jacobs wrote:
In the case of relationships... XP awards for befriending or rivalries and other relationship awards ARE intended to be shared among the group, because it's not fair to let only the charismatic or persistent PCs get those awards... no more than it is to let characters who are only support characters who don't actually help kill monsters get XP for defeating the monsters.

Observing courtship of others is very educational, not to mention entertaining at times.


Kimi wrote:


If we ignored the mechanic completely, then we would have a wider array of characters and role-play opportunities, regardless of their 'charisma score'.

I think you will have the same amount of role-play opportunities as anyone else. An awkward scene between a low charisma character trying to impress an NPC is just as much of a roleplaying experience as having a buddy-buddy roleplay session between an NPC and a well liked PC.

"Kimi" wrote:


But what I'm actually interested in is hearing from people who have actually played through a few chapters of JR, and how their relationship levels seem to be working. Specifically, have your low-cha players seemed to have done ok with the system as-is (i.e. using their level bonuses and situation bonuses to do ok?) or have they kinda been dropped to the wayside, twiddling said thumbs?

This I can do. One of my groups at the end of book two has been using the relationship system to its fullest I believe. There is a wide mix of charisma scores amongst the party. I do not allow 'arbitrary' leveling up roles without actually having a scene with the NPC in question, this has caused some players to occasionally miss some levels of making a extra 'roll' to try to give a gift(For example, in brinewall for level 3, no one was able to make rolls with Ameiko due to her unconciousness).

At Level 1, the group started as follows:(Forgive the formatting

Ameiko | Koya | Sandru | Shalelu
Winter(Dwarven Sorcerer): 2 | 6 | 2 | 2
Kal (Elven Kensai): 0 | 0 | 0 | 4
Milmer(Halfling Bard): 7 | 3 | 3 | 3
Auskrim(Half-Orc Barbarian):5 | 1 | 1 | 1(R)

The same group is level 6 now, but have been a bit busy to actually level up their stuff just yet! This is them at level 5

Ameiko | Koya | Sandru | Shalelu
Winter(Dwarven Sorcerer): 8 | 16 | 8 | 7
Kal (Elven Kensai): 5 | 6 | 5 | 12
Milmer(Halfling Bard): 15 | 9 | 10 | 13
Auskrim(Half-Orc Barbarian):12 | 8 | 8 | 6(R)

As you can see, the bard is certainly running away with the show, but no one else is out of the game either. They are a good group and I've put quite a lot of face time into the NPC's so far as I wanted my players to be emotionally 'tied in' with the core 4 at the very least. I was only more pleased when they worried less with the mechanical benefits of it and use it to record their 'growth' with the various NPC's more organically than simply making the most 'optimal' choices.

As the GM, the players guide encourages you to award bonuses to said rolls for good 'roleplay' and I heartily advise doing this with all characters. I've waived bonuses and penalties as big as +5 and -5 to various rolls depending on the associated scenes with the NPC's.

Lastly, if something just simply does not work for your group, you should not use it. You know your players better than any internet forum ever will! Use your best judgement in this regard.

I, personally, feel the system enhances the game for my players so I used it. It allows me to reward my players who get into the game and seek out the NPC's a little extra exp here and there and all of them should manage to hit a devotion level with an NPC by the end of the game, so that is another little perk I'll get to give out for all their hard roleplay work!

Edit:
One more thing I should mention, is I have not been dividing exp up amongst the party. Each player gets his own rewards for progressing his story with the NPC's in my game. I find this favorable to other approaches, the exp helps at the start of the game, and by the end it will be a paltry sum. It feels like more of a reward to give someone 1,200 exp instead of just offering the whole party 300. I like that feeling and my players seem to as well(even if it causes them some extra book keeping)


The only problem I have with the relationship system is the completely arbitrary focus on Charisma and Diplomacy/Intimidate.

For example, we have two characters: one is an urbane socialite who dislikes getting dirty, finds combat 'icky', loves clothes, fashion and politics, is pretty selfish and arrogant but is very charismatic. The other is a protector of his community, loves the wild, nature and elven culture, he's also not socially awkward and is a good person.

Who does Shalelu like more? According to the system, the first, because the PC has high Charisma and Diplomacy, while the second is a ranger and doesn't have Diplomacy as a class skill. Darn. Gods help the ranger if he tries to romance Shalelu. Making a DC 30+ Sense Motive check will be pretty difficult since it's not a class skill. Apparantly you have to be able to read minds to tell if someone likes you. Then, if he succeeds, he'll have to hope to roll a high number on that Diplomacy check to convince the NPC to date him, especially if the GMs been upping their levels to reflect gained experience. Try hitting a DC 20 Diplomacy check with a 10 Charisma. Good luck!


^Probably best to either provide bonuses or allow for substitute skills in situations where it would make sense, such as a ranger pursuing Shalelu.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've happily ditched the whole system. It seems to me that Paizo took the new relationship mechanics from the BioWare games ( presents make people love you, no matter how evil you are ), coupled it with the more than slightly broken diplomacy mechanics of the game and forgot to include the character arcs which made BioWare followers actually compelling.

I'll just adjudicate it by how the roleplay of the players is, that's more important than maxing out your diplomacy/intimidate skill.


presents make people love you, no matter how evil you are They do. Don't they?


ThatEvilGuy wrote:
Apparantly you have to be able to read minds to tell if someone likes you.

That's generally been my experience with the opposite sex ; )

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