War of the Burning Sky 4e
Changing NPC Attitudes
The heroes will encounter many intelligent creatures who can communicate and reason. A given creature will have one of the following attitudes towards the heroes when it first meets them: Hostile, Unfriendly, Wary, Indifferent, Friendly, or Helpful.
To further the goals of an encounter, the heroes may need to change the attitude of one or more creatures. This is accomplished by using a skill challenge based on the degree of the change; changing a creature’s attitude from Hostile to Friendly is far more complex than changing from Friendly to Helpful. The complexity of a skill challenge is the number of steps required to move to the desired end. Thus, changing a Hostile enemy’s attitude so that it
is Friendly to the characters is a complexity 4 skill challenge, requiring 10 successes before 3 failures to succeed.
Skill challenges defined in this way are resolved as normal, but allow greater latitude for partial success. As the skill challenge is performed, each time a complexity threshold is crossed, the attitude of the creature changes.
For example, an Indifferent character needs to become Helpful in order to provide an important clue in the adventure. The desired change is two steps (Indifferent – Friendly – Helpful), making the overall complexity of the skill challenge 2 (6 successes before 3 failures). If the heroes achieve 4 successes before 3 failures, they have completed a complexity 1 challenge and are partially successful; the creature becomes Friendly. Even if the overall challenge fails, the new attitude remains unless specific instructions indicate otherwise.
In many cases, the party can revisit a partially successful challenge. A time of waiting (usually 24 hours) should be established and the complexity revised based on the current attitude of the creature. The skill checks should reflect changes from the previous situation;
the characters may need to discover some new information, defeat a foe, or perform some act of service in order to proceed.