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Building Blocks 37: Skills 3

Skills 3:

Diplomacy

Ability Modifier: charisma

Active/Passive: active – like bluff, diplomacy requires specific intent.

Class skill for: bard, cleric, Druid, favored soul, monk, paladin, and rogue

Untrained use? Yes

Armor check penalty? No

Racial and feat modifiers: half-elves +2

Negotiator and coin lord finishing school (400 coin lord favor) +2

What it represents: your ability to influence others and change their opinions of you.  It’s your gift of gab (but not necessarily your ability to be talkative).

How it affects gameplay: using the diplomacy skill in combat successfully moves you to the bottom of a monster’s hate list. It is an area of effect and will affect all monsters in your vicinity regardless of your target, even those monsters behind you.

Diplomacy is also a common dialog option in quests though these are always an optional feature.

The shiradi champion destiny ability “tea with the queen” also uses a diplomacy check with a higher roll giving more favorable results.

Special considerations: many creatures are immune to diplomacy including undead, animals, vermin, magical beasts and oozes.  As with bluff, this is because of communication problems – it’s hard to influence without being able to communicate.

If you are alone using diplomacy will have no effect.  Monsters will search for other targets but only find you and resume their attack.

Diplomacy shares a cool down with bluff.

Half-elves get a special second use of diplomacy on a second cool down timer.

Who likes it: characters planning on using shiradi as their primary epic destiny, bards who often have loads of skill points with no idea where to put them, and characters who know they will acquire aggro they don’t want.  Also, politicians, foreign dignitaries, and horny boys.

How much should you have?  If you have the skill points and you like the optionals or flavor this can be a fun place to put them.  You can also get items to boost your skill for the purposes of dialogs, though this may not be sufficient for many.  Just swap them in before you talk.

Builds that generate a lot of aggro, but that don’t want aggro, may put points into this skill as a defense mechanism.  When they pull aggro they simply use this skill to move to the bottom of the aggro list.  Note that their is little benefit to having both bluff and diplomacy for just aggro management since they use the same timer.

Shiradi champions may sink points into diplomacy for maximum tea tastiness.

 

Disable Device

Ability Modifier: intelligence

Active/Passive: active – those traps don’t disable themselves.

Class skill for: Artificer and rogue

Untrained use? No

Armor check penalty? No

Feat modifiers: nimble fingers +2

What it represents: your ability to manipulate devices both simple and complex. This typically means out right sabotage, but can be used for other tasks.  This would include rigging a device to work for a short time before failing, rigging a device to be bypassed temporarily, or even leaving the device functional and turning it off.

How it affects gameplay: in DDO the only devices you can interact with are trap boxes.  If a trap can be disabled it has at least 1 box. To disable a trap box it must first be found using the search skill.  If you succeed you disable the trap (you cannot turn it back on).  If you fail by 4 or less you may try again, but if you fail by 5 or more then you critically fail.  If this happens the box will explode damaging those in the vicinity (it basically becomes a one shot trap) and you will be unable to disable the trap.

If you disable enough traps in a quest you will get a bonus to experience points.  There are 3 tiers to this bonus.

Special considerations: in order to use this skill you must have thieves tools in your inventory. If these tools have a +# on them that is applied to a bonus for your skill check.  The tools closest to the upper left inventory slot of the first tab of your inventory will be used for this check. Inventory slots proceed to the right along each row, then to the next row below and then continuing on to the next tab.

Some traps have multiple boxes and some boxes are on the far side of traps.

Who likes it: trappers and saboteurs.

How much should you have? Trappers generally sink as many skill points as they have into this skill. If you are going to do traps you don’t want to fail.  It’s just embarrassing. Trappers will also typically carry an item to swap in with the best bonus to disable device they can find and may also carry an intelligence item/potion and heroism or greater heroism pots/scrolls/clickies.  At early levels a skill boost is also very handy (especially for elite streaking) but most trappers phase this out by level 20.  Most traps are reasonable (especially ones you have to pass through) but there are a few traps with very high DCs.

Not a trapper?  Ignore this skill. Most people live by the motto go big or go home with this skill, though there are a few folks who don’t quite go all out.  Generally these builds don’t have enough skill points to go around, but pure rogues and artificers should never have this problem.

 

Haggle

Ability Modifier: charisma

Active/Passive: passive – this is a tricky one, but in DDO haggling is part of the act of buying/selling so it would be passive.

Class skill for: artificer, bard and rogue

Untrained use? Yes

Armor check penalty? No

Feat modifiers: negotiator +2

What it represents: haggle represents your ability to get a deal when buying or selling items.

How it affects gameplay: in simple terms, the higher your haggle the more plat you get when you sell items and the less plat you spend when you buy items.  There formulas that determine pricing that vary depending on which vendor used, if you have favor associated with them, and how high your haggle is.

Who likes it: everyone, who doesn’t like saving money when buying and making more when selling?

How much should you have? Haggle is a nice skill to have…but probably you will have very little.  There are far more important skills that actually apply to questing gameplay. If you can’t find anything to put skill points in, haggle can be good and it will save you coin in the long run.  About the only character I would recommend putting points in haggle would be a newer player with a healer character.  This will help lessen the impact of needing to buy healing supplies all the time.  However, most semi-veteran players tend not to have any problems with plat and generally have more than they know what to do with. The introduction of the astral shard auction house will only further devalue plat.

Many players will instead take the approach of creating a “hagglebot” which is a character that will focus on the skill.  Players will then use this character to buy supplies (like scrolls, potions, and other consumables).  They may also send items to their haggle bot to sell.  However, guild vendors introduced cheaper vendors for common supplies making this less common. It is also a time consuming and laborious process.  Bards are a common choice for hagglebots because they have lots of skill points but don’t have many skill concerns (unless they are rogue/artificer splashes and do traps).  It is fairly easy to build a bard that is part haggle bot but is not gimped (as some hagglebots are).

Players can however carry haggle items on each character to swap them in during purchasing and it is now possible to find charisma +6 and haggle +15 on the same item.  Be warned, this will result in running quests with haggle gear on.  You can also use heroism clickies, spells, and even skill boosts to temporarily boost your haggle.

Footnote: there is no haggle skill in PnP.

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