(Yet another) attempt at rewriting Parley
Comments on the original post, please!
Originally shared by Jeremy Strandberg
Because I can’t stop fiddling with the Parley move… how about this?
When you press or entice an NPC, say what you want them to do (or not do). If they have reason to resist, roll +CHA: on a 10+, they either do as you want or reveal the easiest way to convince them; on a 7-9, they reveal something you can do to convince them, though it’ll likely be costly, tricky, or distasteful.
Things that might convince them…
• A promise/an oath/a vow
• A chance to do it safely/freely/discretely
• Appeasing or appealing to their ego/honor/conscience/fears
• A convincing deception
• A better/fair/excessive offer
• Helping them/doing it with them
• Violence (or a credible threat thereof)
• Something they want or need (coin/food/booze/etc.)
• Concrete assurance/proof/collaboration
• Pressure from __/permission from __/help from __
(This list would probably go in the GM Playbook, alongside other “What’s Required” lists like those for Make a Plan and Chart a Course.)
Design thoughts: I’ve been playing with previous (draft 4.5… link in the comments) version of Parley for a while now, and it’s seen a lot of action. The biggest problem I find with it is that it just doesn’t give me enough guidance on the 10+ vs. the 7-9. I’ve tried to incorporate a lot of Johnstone Metzger’s thoughts and feedback, but the “do it or choose 1” on a 10+ vs. “choose 1 or 2” on a 7-9 just wasn’t prompting me enough.
What I like about this version is:
1) Keeps the open trigger. You don’t need to establish leverage before you roll, you just keep your eyes open for PCs pressuring or enticing NPCs and roll.
2) It avoids being mind control by the “or reveal the easiest way to convince them” on the 10+.
3) Unlike my previous versions, the “easiest way to convince them” makes it clear that what I (the GM) should reveal should be the minimum, the most accessible avenue. That might still be functionally impossible or really unpalatable, but you know on a 10+ that you’ll get either success or the best path forward.
4) The 7-9 gets me thinking about hard choices, dramatic choices. “Yeah, you could convince the leaders of the slave revolt not to murder their minders, if you suggested that they enslave their minders instead. What do you do?”
5) The bullet list doesn’t need to be explicitly part of the move, so I don’t need to include it (e.g.) on a basic moves handout. It can go the GM Playbook. It also doesn’t have to be exhaustive, right?