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We were having a diplomacy-off yesterday between the party and a higher level bard where we needed a succession of successes to beat the encounter. The issue was that it was basically a 50/50 shot for each diplomacy roll, as the best party member for us was equal to the NPC. Can Aid Another work for Diplomacy, as there was another character that has +10, and thus could always succeed at that? I'm assuming so.

I was also wondering if there are penalties for failing to Aid Another. I was looking in the pfsrd, but I didn't see anything like that under the skill section. We had two party members with no Diplomacy whatsoever, and so had a 50/50 shot of doing it successfully.

Edit: Not quite following the question in the title, but the Bardic Performance Inspire Competence can add +2 (at our level) to skill checks. Could this be used for diplomacy, or do individual diplomacy checks take much longer than rounds of performance can help?

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Welcome to the site, mate. Good question. –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Jun 7 '11 at 13:15

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

There are a couple of things in this question, so we'll take them one at a time.

There is no penalty for failing to Aid Another

However, if Aiding Another in an action that would provoke an attack of opportunity, that aid also provokes.

If you aid someone performing an action that would normally provoke an attack of opportunity, then the act of aiding another provokes an attack of opportunity as well.

Additionally, if your GM feels that you should be penalized for failing to Aid, then they're free to do so by fiat (though usually shouldn't, IMO).

Skill Checks cannot automatically fail or succeed

This means under normal circumstances a +10 would mean that your allies would automatically succeed to assist on the Diplomacy check. However, penalties could lower this number, so you would still need to roll in most situations.

Diplomacy has variable time requirements

In your case (and I suspect you're playing Kingmaker), you were probably using the Influence Attitude part of Diplomacy, which takes 1 minute per check.

You could use bardic performance to give you a bonus on this check, but you'd have to keep the performance up for a full minute, so that makes the performance cost-prohibitive.

Aid Another should be fine for Diplomacy

I can't find a specific location saying one way or the other, but the situation is such that you could easily have someone else step in to make your case, so I'd allow it.

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I'll assume it would be rather silly for a Bard to both use bardic performance and Aid –  EvilAmarant7x Jun 7 '11 at 15:53
    
@EvilAmarant7x Well, they'd stack...but it'd take 10 rounds of bardic performance to do it, so you'd be able to do it at most once at the level I assume you're at. –  Cthos Jun 7 '11 at 15:55
    
@ Cthos I meant more in RP terms than logistics. Having a bard sing/act/play while also contributing to a diplomatic discourse. Also was wondering what action Aiding Influence attitude would take (10 full-rounds?). If it required a whole minute of Aiding, (bardic performance takes a standard/move to start up) the bard would then have to start the round before (11 rounds total) in order to get the full minute of Aid out. Lingering Performance would also help kick that duration up significantly. –  EvilAmarant7x Jun 7 '11 at 16:27
    
@EvilAmarant7x Well, in RP terms, the bard's Singing/Acting/etc could be how they are aiding as well. Also, as far as I'm aware the Aid Another action is either a standard action or as long as the action requires whichever is longer. So in this case it'd take the full 10 rounds. –  Cthos Jun 7 '11 at 16:30
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@EvilAmarant7x, also the general rule around here is to wait a full day before accepting the answer, as someone might come along with a better answer than mine. :) –  Cthos Jun 7 '11 at 16:31

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