Can you use Diplomacy / Intimidate / Deception during Combat to stop Combat?


Rules Discussion


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I have a player that absolutely loves to try to use Diplomacy or some other Cha skill to stop combat after it has already happened. Like every. single. encounter. I cannot find how this can be done mechanically as of now. Is there a way for a PC to use a Cha skill like Diplomacy or Intimidate or Deception to change the attitude of an enemy that they are currently in combat with? From what I can see, most of the skill actions either do not do that or require 1 minute or more of conversation. My ruling last session was that the player needed to have done all of their diplomacy RP prior to the combat start and if they were successful, then they increased the attitude of the creature and might have stopped the combat, but if they failed then combat could still happen; after combat, the enemies are too hostile to change to non-hostile using a quick 6 second skill check. How has everyone else been handling players that reeeeeeeaaaaaally want to end combat diplomatically vs through violence?

Grand Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Mechanically, 1 min is the minimum after combat has started. Any other possibilities would be from GM fiat.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

To expand upon what Leomund said, he would be trying to Make an Impression or Coerce, which would require a minute of conversation, and several feats to have it affect more than one person at a time or happen faster, and those are things he's not generally going to get in combat. Even then, it only moves the target's impression by one or two steps, so if they've gone to full hostile, that's not likely to stop the combat anyway.

Charisma skills are about avoiding combat, or nudging the outcome, not stopping it once it's started.


a player can talk for 6 seconds during a round so they'd meet the requirements to coerce make an impression after 10 rounds.

still if the player is talking sense in his rounds you could stop the fight when it makes sense to.

Maybe Pirate archetype should have had a Parley feat where you can call for a timeout to talk in combat


2 people marked this as a favorite.

It specifically calls out having a conversation, which means simply talking AT them is not enough. They need to be willing to engage, and Hostile tends to preclude that without some way to get their attention, at which point you've already stopped the fight.

As mentioned, they would need both Quick Coerce and Group Coerce to be able to have a hope of pulling it off anyway, and the rest of the party would have to back off so that it doesn't automatically fall back into hostilities.

Even with all of that, it would be a situational GM call as to whether any of that works in that particular fight, or if they refuse to engage in the needed conversation.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:
Mechanically, 1 min is the minimum after combat has started. Any other possibilities would be from GM fiat.

If I may expand on that:

Legendary Negotiation

The rules have you covered but you need at least be level 15 and legendary in Diplomacy and have this skill feat in order to try to stop combat while already in combat mechanically.

Everything else is roleplay and/or GM fiat.


mattdusty wrote:
How has everyone else been handling players that reeeeeeeaaaaaally want to end combat diplomatically vs through violence?

Per the rules, you can't before Legendary Negociation (or Scare to Death, which is also a way of stopping a fight through Charisma-based skills).

Outside the rules, you can of course allow whatever you want. But I'm puzzled about the situation. It happened to everyone to end up in a situation where it would be logical to try to stop the combat, but trying to stop every combat or at least most of them through Diplomacy is a bit of a stretch to me. I'd allow my players to use one to 3 actions to try to negociate a truth, but that's only in the very specific cases where I consider the enemies may be wrong about attacking the PCs. In most situations, I would be surprised to see a character even trying that.


Asethe wrote:
It specifically calls out having a conversation, which means simply talking AT them is not enough. They need to be willing to engage, and Hostile tends to preclude that without some way to get their attention, at which point you've already stopped the fight.

I think that's too strict a reading for something that's basically unaccomplishable anyway, it doesn't even make sense in the instance of coerce. The person you're threatening doesn't need to engage beyond understanding what you're saying.

Sovereign Court

mattdusty wrote:
I have a player that absolutely loves to try to use Diplomacy or some other Cha skill to stop combat after it has already happened. Like every. single. encounter. (...) How has everyone else been handling players that reeeeeeeaaaaaally want to end combat diplomatically vs through violence?

This part is maybe less a rules problem, and more an "expectations" problem?

What do you and your players want to get out of the game? Do (some of) you want to have cool combats? Do you want to do interesting stories and the combats are incidental, and it's okay to solve them with words instead?

Another question is: do the enemies feel as if they're bad people that deserve a spanking? Example: at some point our party came across some elephants that were starting to panic and were about to stampede a village. My woodsy cleric immediately started talking with them and calmed them down. A while later we ran into a big dino that had been semi-imprisoned by slavers. We freed it and convinced it to go hurt some of the people that had hurt it. But last game we ran into a bunch of bounty hunters that had recaptured a group of escaped slaves we'd spent the last few days giving medical aid, and people were looking at me as if I was going to solve that socially. I just looked at my god's anathemas which include "failing to smite down evil". So I started "hostage negotiations" with a longbow crit in their leader's face, and when the mooks rushed me continued with Vampiric Exsanguination. Cuz these were bad people who'd done bad things and would do more bad things if we didn't take action.

On paper spells that deal aligned (Good) damage seem limited because they wouldn't work on neutral people. In practice, I find that neutral opponents are often open to some sort of negotiation and it's not really necessary or even desirable to fight them. But evil people should be opposed and beaten. So the success rate of Good damage is much higher than it should be in theory.

If one of your players constantly wants to end fights even if the other players were looking forward to a good combat, then it's time to have a talk about sharing the fun and giving everyone their moment. If the other players are also happy to go along with it, maybe these enemies are just a bit too abstract, and don't really feel all that bad?

Sczarni

1 person marked this as a favorite.

You can stop combat socially at 1st Level.

Cast charm, and hope they fail or critically fail their save.

Then succeed at a single action Diplomacy check to Make a Request.

Scarab Sages

Manage expectations. Make it clear that, once initiative is rolled, the time for negotiations has passed. That said, if players are interested in talking their way out of fights, then give them a chance to do so before imitative.


If the players have/know something that the opposition wants and through speaking to enemies during combat convay that I would consider stopping combat. Also surrender is a social way to end a combat even if the other side is just being set up. Who knows i very rarely tell my players no. I usually inform them of the diffucalty of a task and what they would need to do to accomplish it (if it something really difficult then multple rolls at least).


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Several encounters in published adventures allow the players to attempt custom 3-action activities to end a combat or otherwise get someone to stand down, each specific to the combat in question.

I have often allowed party members to attempt the same thing if they have some reason/information they'd like to present as a method of getting someone to stand down. Like if they have proof of their innocence against a city guard.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I had a combat break down into negotiations just tonight, because it was appropriate to the situation. Trying to make it a standard operating procedure in every combat encounter is probably expecting too much, though.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

We have a lot of rules to facilitate play in P2. It's not a video game though. That's awesome, and it's why I play TTRPGs.

Can you stop mid-fight and switch to dialogue? Sure. Is it a game mechanic? Barring L15 feats and what's been mentioned above, no, not really.

I'm old. When we started playing with younger relatives and kids, this concept of rolling for social skills as "a roll" vs "a role" came up. I remember one of them saying he wanted to influence the guard to help us and wanted to roll for diplomacy. We paused the game to explain that's perfectly fine. They didn't have to be good at it or say cool things to make it work, but they did have to roleplay what they were saying. It's fun, and it gives the GM some context for how to respond. Plus if you do come up with something cool to say, it's much easier for a GM to give a favorable response, because it fits the scenario.

That's our play style. Not all tables "roll" this way, ha haha... ha... oh (had enough puns yet?).

Combat isn't a video game mechanic you're locked into. Just like players, enemies don't want to die. They might want to escape, and they might be open to dialogue. "Your witch is dead, foes! You don't have to die. In fact we have proof your leader is using you and plans to..." Feel free to shout something like this out there and let the GM decide if the scenario warrants switching from combat.

Should that just be a dice roll, because you have high diplomacy? Nah, not for us.


Ubertron_X wrote:
Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:
Mechanically, 1 min is the minimum after combat has started. Any other possibilities would be from GM fiat.

If I may expand on that:

Legendary Negotiation

The rules have you covered but you need at least be level 15 and legendary in Diplomacy and have this skill feat in order to try to stop combat while already in combat mechanically.

Everything else is roleplay and/or GM fiat.

Exactly.

In a party vs 1 single enemy scenario, it might also occour ( though the odds are 1 to 20 ) that a spell like charm might turn a combat into a trivial encounter.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / Rules Discussion / Can you use Diplomacy / Intimidate / Deception during Combat to stop Combat? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Rules Discussion