House Rules: Personal Interactions

The following house rules are derived from the Contacts system from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Campaign.

The Subject

The subject of a personal interaction is usually an individual creature, but can also be a group of creatures. By applying the highest modifiers in any group, a powerful king (for example) might gain benefit from a very wise adviser who listens in court and counsels him accordingly. For this purpose, a number of characters is only a "group" if they are committed to all following the same course of action. Either one NPC is in charge, or they agree to act by consensus. If each member is going to make up their mind on their own, roll separate Diplomacy checks against each.

The subject's base DC for any Diplomacy check is equal to the 10 + the highest Hit Dice among the group + the highest Sense Motive modifier among the group. High-level characters are more committed to their views and are less likely to be swayed; high Sense Motive characters are more likely to perceive the speaker's real motives and aims.


Whether they love, hate, or have never met each other, the relationship between two people always influences any request. Your relationship with the subject modifies the DC of your Diplomacy check (see Table: Relationship Modifiers).

Table: Relationship Modifiers

Relationship Diplomacy DC Modifier Description
Intimate -10 Someone who with whom you have an implicit trust. Example: A lover or spouse.
Friend -6 Someone with whom you have a regularly positive personal relationship. Example: A long-time buddy or a sibling.
Ally -3 Someone on the same team, but with whom you have no personal relationship. Example: A cleric of the same religion or a knight serving the same king.
Acquaintance (Positive) -1 Someone you have met several times with no particularly negative experiences. Example: The blacksmith that buys your looted equipment regularly.
Just Met +0 No relationship whatsoever. Example: A guard at a castle or a traveler on a road.
Acquaintance (Negative) +1 Someone you have met several times with no particularly positive experiences. Example: A town guard that has arrested you for drunkenness once or twice.
Enemy +3 Someone on an opposed team, with whom you have no personal relationship. Example: A cleric of a philosophically-opposed religion or an orc bandit who is robbing you.
Personal Foe +6 Someone with whom you have a regularly antagonistic personal relationship. Example: An evil warlord whom you are attempting to thwart, or a bounty hunter who is tracking you down for your crimes.
Nemesis +10 Someone who has sworn to do you, personally, harm. Example: The brother of a man you murdered in cold blood.


The subject's attitude is their disposition towards you; this is separate from your relationship with them. You may be a Friend with someone, but you may have angered them recently and they are currently Unfriendly with you due to recent actions. The subjects starting attitude towards you depends on your relationship, as shown in Table: Attitude. If a subject's attitude towards you remains unchanged for a week, then your relationship with them shifts upward (if the attitude is positive) or downward (if the attitude is negative) until it settles at the appropriate level (see Table: Attitude Modifiers).

Table: Attitude Modifiers

Attitude Diplomacy DC Modifier Description Relationship
Fanatic1 -10 Your subject goes above and beyond to fulfill your desires, even at the point of giving up his life.
Helpful -5 Your subject is ready to help you with anything you need. Intimate, Friend
Friendly -2 Your subject is willing to help you within reason. Ally, Acquaintance (positive)
Indifferent +0 Your subject is has no personal feelings towards you. Just Met
Unfriendly +2 Your subject is unwilling to help you, but may be convinced with sufficient incentive. Acquaintance (negative), Enemy
Hostile +5 Your subject is completely unwilling to help you, and will require a great personal cost to you to even consider it. Personal Foe, Nemesis

1A fanatic subject gains a +2 morale bonus to Strength and Constitution, a +1 morale bonus on Will saves, and a -1 penalty to DV whenever fighting for the character or her cause. This attitude will remain for one day plus one day per point of the character’s Charisma bonus, at which point the subject’s attitude will revert to its original attitude. This counts as a mind-affecting enchantment effect for purposes of immunity, save bonuses, or being detected by the Sense Motive skill. Since it is nonmagical, it can’t be dispelled; however, any effect that suppresses or counters mind-affecting effects will affect it normally.


Trust Level and Score

Trust is how much a subject believes your word, which affects how wiiling he is to go along with your request. Trust is measured by a score, starting at 0 (Wary)to a maximum of 25 (Confidant). Your starting Trust score with a subject you just met starts at 0. Your relationship with a subject further adjusts your Trust score with him. The more positive your relationship is with the subject, the more he trusts you.

Table: Relationship Trust Adjustment

Relationship Starting Trust Adjustment
Intimate +10
Friend +6
Ally +3
Acquaintance (Positive) +1
Just Met +0
Acquaintance (Negative) -1
Enemy -3
Personal Foe -6
Nemesis -10


Your Trust score is further adjusted by your Honour (see House Rules: Reputation - Honour). Your Trust score increases by 1 for every 10 Honour above 0. Your Trust score decreases by 1 if your Honour is below 0, and further decreases by 1 at -10 Honour and every 10 Honour lower.

Table: Trust Levels

Trust Level (Score) Diplomacy DC Modifier Description
Wary (0-5) +5 A wary subject has no more trust in you than in any stranger. Though he’s willing to divulge minimal information, he’d just as readily sell your information to your enemies or turn on you in order to protect himself or his reputation. A wary subject performs only basic tasks that assume little to no personal risk.
Skeptical (6-10) +2 A skeptical subject has established some small amount of trust with you. Despite earlier positive interactions, the subject remains fairly cautious. He can be called upon to perform tasks of minimal risk, but refuses any task that might jeopardize his safety, public image, or finances. If questioned about you, the skeptical subject attempts to remain neutral when describing his relationship and won’t immediately turn on you.
Reliable (11-15) +0 A reliable subject still doesn’t fully trust you, but is willing to make a greater effort to help. He might perform tasks that place him at slightly greater risk, such as hiding a fugitive on his property or loaning small sums of money or nonmagical items. A reliable subject is not willing to assume greater risk solely out of trust in you, and tries to protect his own reputation as a reliable subject.
Trustworthy (16-20) -2 A trustworthy subject holds you in high regard. When you ask for assistance, he sincerely desires to aid you. He puts in extra time and effort to assure success, but still avoids undertaking tasks that would place him or his loved ones in significant danger. He will not lightly accept a task that would destroy his career, reputation, or finances.
Confidant (21-25) -5 At this level, the subject trusts you with his life. He attempts to help you even if it stretches his personal means or involves great personal risk. A confidant never turns against you unless he’s shown absolute proof that you betrayed him.


Risk represents the potential danger of your request to the subject. The subject's Diplomacy DC increases accordingly to the level of request's Risk, with the lowest level representing little or no risk and the highest level representing serious danger. See Table: Risk Levels for what modifier to the Diplomacy DC to add based on the risk level. Each level of risk includes the typical drawback or punishment the subject suffers if he critically fails at a risky task (see Request Success Check).

Table: Risk Levels

Risk Diplomacy DC Modifier Description Critical Failure
None +0 No-risk tasks include carrying a message, directing you to a reputable merchant, getting your equipment repaired, providing minor rumors, or getting a sage to show you a history book or map. While they may be inconvenient, the subject doesn’t risk any sort of penalty for performing them. No consequences worth considering.
Minor +5 Minor-risk tasks include deliberately leaving a door to a private area unlocked, acquiring a semi-legal item for you, or finding a place for you to lie low. Negative consequences can include paying a small fine, provoking the ire of the local authorities, suffering a small financial loss, or enduring social embarrassment. Fine or imprisonment with bail. You must spend 1/3 the subject's wealth by level to rectify this situation; otherwise, the subject's Trust score is reduced to 0, your relationship shifts down 1 step, and your Honor is reduced by 1.
Moderate +10 Moderately risky tasks include lying to authorities on your behalf, making forgeries, helping you evade authorities, or loaning you money or equipment (worth up to 1/3 your wealth by level). If the contact is caught while involved with this task, he may have to pay a fine, face short-term imprisonment, or suffer a moderate financial or social loss. Fine or imprisonment with bail. You must spend 2/3 the value of the subject's wealth by level to rectify this situation; otherwise, the subject's Trust score is reduced to 0, your relationship shifts down 2 steps, and your Honor is reduced by 3.
Considerable +15 Considerably risky tasks are explicitly illegal or are morally questionable even if legal. If caught, the subject may be imprisoned, have his property seized, or lose personal rights. He may be punished by flogging, torture, or enslavement. Imprisonement without bail or his social status is reduced to that of a peasant. You must restore the subject’s status, possibly by legally freeing him and vindicating him, or by rescuing him and helping him establish a new life elsewhere. Failure to do so means the subject's Trust score is reduced to 0, your relationship shifts down 3 steps, and your Honor is reduced by 6.
Great +20 An act of great risk describes any task for which the failure results in death, exile, or life imprisonment, such as murder, grievous assault, or treason. Within 1 week’s time of the subject being caught, you must get the subject’s sentence revoked, or save him from his fate. Failure to do so means the subject's Trust score is reduced to 0, your relationship shifts down 4 steps (at least being an Enemy), and your Honor is reduced by 10.


The sway you have with the subject, garnered through the Influence system (see House Rules: Influence), can help convince the subject to agree with your request. See Table: Sway Modifiers to see what modifier to add to your Diplomacy check when making a request.

Table: Sway Modifiers

Sway Level Diplomacy Modifier
No Sway +0
Minor Sway +1
Moderate Sway +3
Major Sway +6

Personal Interactions

The following personal interactions use a Diplomacy check with a DC determined by the subject's base DC and the above modifiers: his relationship with you, his current attitude towards you, his trust in you, how much sway you have with him, and the risk of the request.

DC = 10 + (either the subject's CR or Sense Motive modifier) + the subject's Relationship modifier + the subject's Attitude modifier + the subject's Trust modifier + the subject's Sway modifier + the request's Risk modifier

Adjust Relationship (No Risk)

You can spend time with the subject and get to know one another to improve your relationship with them. You may need to make a successful Diplomacy check to request the subject to spend time with you. You must spend 1d4 hours in direct communication with the subject within 24 hours (these hours need not be consecutive). At the end of that time, make your Diplomacy check. If you succeed, you improve your relationship by one step. If you fail by 4 or less, then your relationship remains unchanged. If you fail by 5 or more, then your relationship worsens by one step, and the subject is unwilling to spend any more time with you in the future without you succeeding a Diplomacy check to Propose spending time together. Relationship changes persist until changed by outside actions.

The more extreme (either positive or negative) your relationship is with the subject, the harder it is to change it. An additional modifier is applied to your Diplomacy check when attempting to adjust your relationship depending on your current relationship with the subject (see Table: Current Relationship Diplomacy Modifiers).

Table: Current Relationship Diplomacy Modifiers

Current Relationship Diplomacy Check Modifier
Friend -12
Ally -6
Acquaintance (Positive) -2
Just Met, Acquaintance (Negative), Enemy, Personal Foe, Nemesis +0

Adjust Attitude (No Risk)

You can temporarily change the subject's attitude towards you in the short-term. You must spend 1 minutes in direct communication with the subject within 24 hours. At the end of that time, make your Diplomacy check. If you succeed, the subject's attitude towards you improves by one step. For every 5 by which your check result exceeds the DC, the character’s attitude toward you increases by one additional step. A creature’s attitude cannot be shifted more than two steps up in this way, although the GM can override this rule in some situations. If you fail the check by 4 or less, the character’s attitude toward you is unchanged. If you fail by 5 or more, the character’s attitude toward you is decreased by one step.

Any attitude shift caused through Diplomacy generally lasts for 1 day but can last much longer or shorter depending upon the situation (GM discretion). After this duration, the subject's attitude returns to its original level.

The more extreme (either positive or negative) your subject's attitude towards you, the harder it is to change it. An additional modifier is applied to your Diplomacy check when attempting to adjust your subject's attitude depending on your subject's current attitude towards you (see Table: Current Attitude Diplomacy Modifiers).

Table: Current Attitude Diplomacy Modifiers

Current Attitude Diplomacy Check Modifier
Helpful -10
Friendly -4
Indifferent, Unfriendly, Hostile +0

Improve Trust (No Risk)

Once per month, you can attempt to improve the trust score between you and the subject by having a positive or profound interaction with him.

Positive interactions include things such as regular patronage of the subject’s business, providing the subject with some form of additional compensation for his efforts, performing a deed on his behalf, or using your personal influence to help the subject gain a position of greater power or prestige.

Profound interactions include saving the life of the subject or someone the subject loves, protecting his reputation against ruinous slander, or preventing loss of his property or finances.

After having the interaction, make a Diplomacy check. If successful, your trust score increases by 1 if the interaction was positive, or by 3 if it was profound. You do not necessarily need to make the Diplomacy check after a positive action right away, and may choose to wait to see if you have a profound interaction with the subject within the month of your last check.

The more extreme (either positive or negative) your subject's Trust score is, the harder it is to change it. An additional modifier is applied to your Diplomacy check when attempting to improve your subject's Trust score depending on your subject's current Trust score towards you (see Table: Current Trust Diplomacy Modifiers).

Table: Current Trust Diplomacy Modifiers

Current Trust Diplomacy Check Modifier
Wary, Skeptical, Reliable +0
Trustworthy -4
Confidant -10

Negotiate (Varied Risk)

This primary goal of negotiating is to make a proposal or a request to a subject with your words; a Diplomacy check can then persuade them that accepting it is a good idea and to go through with it. Either side of the deal may involve physical goods, money, services, promises, or abstract concepts like "satisfaction."

Success or Failure: If the Diplomacy check beats the DC, the subject accepts the proposal or request, with no changes or with minor (mostly idiosyncratic) changes. If the check fails by 5 or less, the subject does not accept the deal but may, at the GM's option, present a counter-offer that would push the deal up one place on the Risk level. For example, the subject may counter-offer to perform a moderately risky request instead of the considerably risky request originally asked for. The character who made the Diplomacy check can simply accept the counter-offer, if they choose; no further check will be required. If the check fails by 10 or more, the Diplomacy is over; the subject will entertain no further deals, and may become hostile or take other steps to end the conversation.

Executing The Request

Once a subject agrees to the request, the GM must determine the extent of his success. The GM attempts a skill check on behalf of the subject using the subject’s most appropriate skill for the request (or an ability check if no skill is appropriate). The DC for this check is determined using the following formula:

DC = 10 + the CR of the task + the request’s Risk modifier + any other GM modifiers

“Any other GM modifiers” includes any modifiers the GM feels are appropriate for the situation, such as a high level of scrutiny at a noble’s party or a temporary shortage of certain black-market goods.

Failing this check by 5 or more results in a critical failure. The results of a critical failure vary depending on the risk level of the request, and are described in Table: Risk Levels.

Most requests require 1 day of work, with the check to determine the subject’s success or failure attempted at the end of the time period. When appropriate, the subject may decrease the DC of a request by increasing the time spent completing it, representing the time spent planning and preparing, gathering resources, and waiting for the right moment to attempt the request. Subtract 1 from the DC for each day spent beyond the first, to a maximum of 4 extra days.

The GM might decide that a particular request is longer term and requires at least 1 week to perform (such as pulling off a large heist or protecting someone for several days). When appropriate, the subject may decrease the DC of a long-term request by proportionately increasing the amount of time spent. Subtract 1 from the DC for each additional week spent, to a maximum of 4 extra weeks. Requests requiring more than this amount of time should be broken into smaller requests and handled on a daily or weekly basis.

If the request becomes riskier while the subject is still working on completing it, you make another Diplomacy check at the new Risk score (even if you aren’t present to speak to the subject). This represents the subject weighing his trust in you and the risk of the request. If you succeed at this second check, the subject proceeds with the request. If you fail, the subject abandons the request.

Each time a subject fails at or abandons a task, the DC for all requests to this subject increases by 1 because of frustration, fear of being associated with you, or various other reasons. You can try to convince the subject to try again, but the subject usually must wait 1d4 days before another attempt, and trying that same request over again increases the DC by 4.

Favours and Gifts

A sure way to improve another person's attitude towards you is by doing favours or tasks for them, or by giving them gifts. The number of favours or gifts you need to improve the subject's attitude depends on their current attitude towards you. Doing favours and giving gifts also improves your relationship with the subject. The number of favours and gifts to improved your relationship depends on your current relationship level. favours and gifts count toward both improving attitude and relationship at the same time. Only one favour or gift per day counts towards improving the subject's attitude and relationship.

Be warned, performing a favour or giving a gift that the subject hates can insult them and worsens their attitude by one step.

Like improving attitude through Diplomacy, attitude changes persists for 1 day, but relationship changes persists.

At GM's discretion, some favours or gifts may count for more than 1. As a general rule, a gift or a collection of gifts has a monetary value of the half of the subject's wealth by level in order to count as one gift.

Table: Attitude & Favours Needed

Current Attitude Number of favours or gifts needed1
Helpful None
Friendly 2
Indifferent 3
Unfriendly 4
Hostile 5

Table: Relationship & Favours Needed

Current Relationship Number of favours or gifts needed1
Intimate None
Friend 2
Ally 2
Acquaintance (positive) 3
Just Met 3
Acquaintance (negative) 5
Enemy 7
Personal Foe 7
Nemesis 10

1These numbers are not the total number of favours or gifts. After your subject's attitude or your relationship has changed, you must start anew, and perform new favours or give new gifts a number of times as listed to improve to the next step.

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