Know Your Skills – Diplomacy

How well do you know the skills in Pathfinder?

‘Not too well’?  That’s fine, that’s what this is for!  After all, why would you put points in a skill when you don’t understand what it actually does in the context of the game?

There is more information available in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook (now in A5 paperback too!) and Paizo’s Online Reference Document; plus I found a great app for phones/tablets that provides full offline access to every rule that Paizo have, and will, ever release (iOS / Android).

So, Diplomacy…  Sounds obvious?  Ok, but what could it be used for in the context of the game?


Pathfinder’s description of Diplomacy is this.

There are a few important factors to remember when trying the Diplomatic approach:

  • It’s not possible to use Diplomacy with a creature that does not speak the same language;
  • Diplomacy once a battle has already started is as useful as
  • The creatures’ initial thoughts about you have a bearing on the difficulty;
  • A successful Check will usually move that creatures opinions of you up one level – from worst to best that is, Hostile>Unfriendly>Indifferent>Friendly>Helpful;and
  • A successful Diplomacy Check does not make that creature your slave, or mean it will do whatever you ask.


A Diplomacy Check can also be used to gather information about things, the more successful the Check, the more information you will get.  Bear in mind that a ‘Nat 20’result for a Diplomacy Check against some one who doesn’t know anything about what you’re asking, will still get you nothing.


Action: Using Diplomacy to influence a creature’s attitude takes 1 minute of continuous interaction. Making a request of a creature takes 1 or more rounds of interaction, depending upon the complexity of the request. Using Diplomacy to gather information takes 1d4 hours of work searching for rumors and informants.

Try Again: You cannot use Diplomacy to influence a given creature’s attitude more than once in a 24-hour period. If a request is refused, the result does not change with additional checks, although other requests might be made. You can retry Diplomacy checks made to gather information.

Special: If you have the Persuasive feat, you gain a bonus on Diplomacy checks (see Feats).

Sometimes Diplomacy will fail…

That can be fun!



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