Negotiation

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Type of Skill Game: Bidding
Number of Skills Chosen Per Action Round: 3
Skill List: Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Perception. Geography or History may be appropriate additions to the skill list for some Negotiation skill games.

The Negotiation skill game is useful for modeling formal interactions such as suing for peace, negotiating an armistice, buying secrets from a double agent, or using such secrets to sabotage your own armistice. It also provides a model for diplomatic situations that are less visibly formal, like pleading with a dragon when it's got a party member in its mouth.

All of the actions in Negotiation come down to attempts to secure concessions from other parties. Concessions are described as either moderate or significant, the exact meaning of which must inevitably vary on a case-by-case basis. Concessions can be used to reverse previous concessions, but there are generally more productive ways to spend one's tokens. A significant concession can reverse a significant or moderate concession; a moderate concession can reverse another moderate concession.

When all is said and done, the Negotiation skill game can be resolved in one of two ways. If no party bids on a Demand action for two [Action rounds], the Negotiation ends amicably and all granted concessions are socially binding. On the other hand, a party that has been pushed to its limits by unreasonable demands can leave in a huff. It loses all of its tokens and no longer has to grant any concessions for the skill game, though other parties no longer have to grant it any concessions either. This can also often be a bad idea, with serious social and political consequences. If only one party remains in the skill game, the Negotiation ends.

Negotiation Action Set

Demand

The party demands a concession from one or more other parties in the skill game, who are socially obligated to grant the concession. The nature of the demand is not determined until this action is taken. The simplest option available in Negotiation, demanding things is a time-honored diplomatic tradition.

Pork Barrel

Your party chooses another party in the skill game. That party may grant your party a moderate concession. If it does, the chosen party may add the bid made by your party this [Action round] to its bid on the Demand action this [Action round] before determining the effects of its action. If the chosen party did not bid on the Demand action this [Action round], it may add the bid made by your party this [Action round] to its bid on the Demand action during the next [Action round] instead. If the chosen party does not grant a moderate concession, your party's bid is canceled: your party is awarded a number of tokens equal to the number it bid on this action; and other parties ignore the bid made by your party this [Action round] when determining the effects of their actions.

Hornswaggle

You resort to blatant threats and promise to crumple someone's hopes unless they give a bit. Your party chooses another party in the skill game, and may specify a moderate concession. The next time that party takes the Demand action, including during this [Action round], if your party specified a moderate concession, the chosen party may grant your party that concession. If it does not, or if your party did not specify a concession, it subtracts your party's bid on this action from its bid on the Demand action before determining the effects of its action. The Hornswaggle action is purely a delay tactic, meant to force negotiations.

Negotiation Action Table

Action Bid Was Won By Result
Demand 1 Your party successfully demands a moderate concession which is mutually beneficial to you and opposing parties.
2 Your party successfully demands a moderate concession which is potentially somewhat dangerous to opposing parties, or a significant concession which is mutually beneficial.
3 Your party successfully demands a significant concession that poses no danger to opposing parties.
4 Your party successfully demands a significant concession that poses some danger to opposing parties.