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How to handle trade/peace/armistice deals?

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  • How to handle trade/peace/armistice deals?

    In our game a large gathering of tribes will take place outside the city that our PCs help govern. The tribes have been invited to discuss a trade & peace treaty between them and the city.

    What I am unsure of is how this can be played out in terms of mechanics. Could it be a prolonged bargain roll with a certain goal number and with difficulty being determined by how well the diplomats from the tribes like you or don’t like you? In addition penalties are applied to the roll if the goals of the rolling party is at odds with the desires of the diplomats and vice versa if the goals aligns with their interest ?

    How should one implement that each party has different wants in terms of a deal? Some could want a very skewed deal and the city that the PCs govern certainly want a very broad deal that lays the groundwork for making the tribes allies in a later stage. This would require the right to travel to the tribes and in their territory unhindered and so on.

    I am just brainstorming here and would love to hear from you clever forumnites. Have anyone done this, how would you do it or do you have any smart ideas to share?

  • #2
    The way I would handle this is first to figure out what the leaders/diplomats of the different tribes want, express those wants as intimacies, give them a few other intimacies, give them each a social dice pool, Resolve, and Guile ...and then play it out. If you ultimately want this coalition to happen, make sure there’s an intimacy that can be leveraged for each group of leaders.

    When you think about these intimacies, consider including ones like “fear of a third group,” “not wanting another tribe to be more powerful,” “wanting the city dweller’s bling,” “wanting my tribe to be safe,” “wanting allies to help kill my enemies (which might include another tribe),” “wanting the knowledge, power, and rights that come with belonging to the city (which the city might not want to grant),” and so on.

    Some tribal leaders might not want to join at all, so you might need a covert mission to search through their stuff and figure out if they’re working for another group. Or maybe they’re just really hard to convince and they don’t join. Or maybe the leader wants a personal bribe to bring their tribe into line.

    What skills do your players have? Because an assassination attempt or covert mission could be a good use of some physical type skills. And the mental types could research the tribes and introduce Facts to help the negotiations.


    ....

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    • #3
      Oh, you might also ask your players if they have any thoughts or desires for those tribes? Have they met any of them before? Are there any allies or enemies that the PCs might want to see again? Do the PCs want to try to claim leadership of a tribe?

      Think along those lines to try to turn this into a fun story.


      ....

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      • #4
        Possible stories you could run:

        You find out about an assassination attempt and you need to stop it.

        Two tribes are feuding and bringing both into the alliance will take difficult diplomacy.

        One leader refuses to join, but one of the PCs can challenge the leader’s champion for leadership of the tribe.

        How do the various groups in the city feel about this? Might someone try some sabotage?


        ....

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
          The way I would handle this is first to figure out what the leaders/diplomats of the different tribes want, express those wants as intimacies, give them a few other intimacies, give them each a social dice pool, Resolve, and Guile ...and then play it out. If you ultimately want this coalition to happen, make sure there’s an intimacy that can be leveraged for each group of leaders.
          Expanding on this. I'd also make sure that the leaders have personal goals that don't necessarily align with the greater good for their tribe.



          Simple Exigent Guidelines, a work in progress

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          • #6
            Coalition-building in the video game King of Dragon Pass may provide useful inspiration.


            Developer for Exalted.

            Want to write for Exalted? Look at the freelancer submission guidelines.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Volivat View Post

              What I am unsure of is how this can be played out in terms of mechanics. Could it be a prolonged bargain roll with a certain goal number and with difficulty being determined by how well the diplomats from the tribes like you or don’t like you? In addition penalties are applied to the roll if the goals of the rolling party is at odds with the desires of the diplomats and vice versa if the goals aligns with their interest ?

              ​What do you want out of the process? Is it a relatively minor subject, the epilogue of a larger story, or is it intended to be a significant event in its own right?

              ​If the latter, an extended bargain roll seems far too streamlined. Break the negotiations down, each issue having its associated characters and forming a challenge that can last the length of a scene or a session in its own right, requiring dedicated interaction with those characters and their priorities and biases in the form of Instil, Persuade, Bargain and even Inspire Actions, depending on what specifically is being negotiated for and how the characters want to play it.

              ​Maybe also play up the society around the negotiations; if it's the kind of thing that is going to take days, people are going to need breaks, banquets, entertainment. Apart from being subjects of social interaction in their own right, they can be used as alternate channels for the negotiation.


              I have approximate knowledge of many things.
              Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
              https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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              • #8
                Sounds like a perfect oppertunity for some social mass-combat. With the 'good guys' trying to sway the majority of the representatives (and whoever is their nominal front person(s)) to agree to their terms, while some bad guys could be trying to mess with things

                and of course a lot of secret wheeling and dealing, spying to see who's talking to who, who's making back-room deals, and so on


                Malfeas F'Tagn - go check out my epic MLP/Exalted crossover "The Scroll of Exalted ponies" @ Fimfiction

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                • #9
                  Another option is to utilize the rules for Mandate of Heaven from the Storyteller's Companion or the Creation Ruling Mandate from Masters of Jade, assuming 2.x, if you are looking for a purely mechanical solution. Otherwise, I'd go with webkilla, Social Mass Combat for the big at-the-table-negotiation stuff, regular Social Combat for wheeling and dealing not at the negotiation table, and the occasional regular Combat scene for, ahem, "dealing with" the most vocal opponents to the deal.

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                  • #10
                    Watch a bunch of early Babylon 5!


                    Check out Momentum Exalted!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Volivat View Post
                      In our game a large gathering of tribes will take place outside the city that our PCs help govern. The tribes have been invited to discuss a trade & peace treaty between them and the city.

                      What I am unsure of is how this can be played out in terms of mechanics. Could it be a prolonged bargain roll with a certain goal number and with difficulty being determined by how well the diplomats from the tribes like you or don’t like you? In addition penalties are applied to the roll if the goals of the rolling party is at odds with the desires of the diplomats and vice versa if the goals aligns with their interest ?

                      How should one implement that each party has different wants in terms of a deal? Some could want a very skewed deal and the city that the PCs govern certainly want a very broad deal that lays the groundwork for making the tribes allies in a later stage. This would require the right to travel to the tribes and in their territory unhindered and so on.

                      I am just brainstorming here and would love to hear from you clever forumnites. Have anyone done this, how would you do it or do you have any smart ideas to share?
                      Mechanically, I see some options.

                      Firstly do you want to abstract the process? If so make it a project (are your PCs Solars? Unlikely they will fail at their aims)

                      Do you want to role play it? I see a lengthy process of diplomacy -- divining motivations (intimacies) and obscuring the PCs own. Building new intimacies and eroding conflicting ones ultimately leading to the "ask" for each competing party: signing the treaty, trade agreement, etc. (a persuade action).

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