I'm a new DM and have just started a 4e game as Play by Post.
The game has started with one character (Bob) recruiting in a pub and the first response was from another character (Al) wanting to negotiate with the hiring PC for a bigger cut of the spoils / initial pay. The player is new to (offline) RPG's and wants to roll Diplomacy to see if they "Win" the argument and get the agreed pay increase!
Obviously I'm delighted that the players are getting into things and they provided some good description of what they said and how they pitched thier argument. However, I feel it's too simple to simply say: "roll for it" and see if it works, since that doesn't give much agency to the original player. My thoughts on options were something like:
- Al rolls diplomacy vs a Hard DC. This seems too simple, too hard and fast.
- Al rolls diplomacy, opposed by Bob's diplomacy (or perhaps Bluff if he gives a good retort). This sounds better, giving the other PC a chance to get involved.
- Start a "Skill Challange" type affair and do either 1 or 2 above, requiring a certain number of successes before failures. I could see a failure either being 1) A failed roll or 2) letting Bob make skillchecks back at Al in turns. This sounds good in theory, but I want also to keep things moving and not bog down.
How do you suggest I handle inter-character arguments / discussions / negotiations of this sort in a way that allows "conflict" to be resolved via rollplaying, but involving the skills the characters have?
Accepted answer particularly because of the last paragraph
Lastly, I really want to ask (and I wonder this in my group when these situations come up), what purpose does this conflict serve to the narrative? Is it just petty infighting amongst PCs/Players? or does it serve a narrative purpose? If it's enhancing the roleplaying experience for the players than that's great, but if it's just frustrating to all involved then narrate it an move on.
which made me question what I was actually trying to achieve. See my comment on the answer. Many thanks all!