Party members have done their adventurer's job and basically wiped out gremlin's cave, murdering everyone but the beastmaster(that went unconscious and tied up). One of the players (who asked not to kill the gremlin) took him as hostage in hopes of making the gremlin more civilized and an ally because of it's unique skillset(wild empathy with vermins). The player is open about it's intentions and will keep it's word.

Player knows gremlin's language, all it's bestiary entry and natural likes/dislikes. Gremlin knows that every other gremlin in it's home-cave was murdered by the party. The prisioner is well fed, tied up so it won't run and is not an object of mocking or anything.

What should be done to befriend that gremlin? I know about the diplomacy rolls but is there something else to be done?

btw: it's a kingmaker campaign and the specific version of gremlin is a Mite

  • \$\begingroup\$ How by the rules as written do you want the answer? I could answer better if I knew how closely you wanted to stick to rules as written. In otherwords, are you looking for a rules based answer, or GM-technique answer? \$\endgroup\$
    – Erudaki
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 21:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ From what I understood, pure RAW is rolling diplomacy every day and shifting attitude based on roll, so in a week it's kinda possibe to turn mortal enemy into BFF. If there's more to RAW, I'd like to know it. But it's mostly the GM-techniques that i'm interested at. \$\endgroup\$
    – Saendra
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 21:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Cool! I would suggest adding the GM-Techniques tag to your question as well! \$\endgroup\$
    – Erudaki
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 21:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is there a mechanic for stockholm syndrome? This Gremlin has had its whole society murdered and now the murderers want to be pals, like he's some kind of pet? To me, this situation is prohibitive. I wouldn't give it a roll. Now, if the player found some other gremlin who did not know the other cave, and the party did NOT murder its way through its family and friends, (and managed to keep their slaughter of the other gremlin cave a secret from it) then we are back in the realm of possibilty. Not easy, but possible. \$\endgroup\$
    – user47897
    Commented Oct 2, 2018 at 17:02

2 Answers 2


So while there are by the book rulings to this, as stated in diplomacy rules, there is also the leadership feat, which has additional rules for taking companions. These companions differ as they are far more loyal and the PC generally gets more control over them.

So what we can get from this, is they have a hostile creature that they are trying to make friendly. However, they also destroyed this creatures life (by the sounds of it) and the creature may have good reason to never like the party. This could be portrayed in ways similar to the bluff modifiers, where the more unlikely a lie is the harder it is to succeed, except in this case, its a matter of how much they destroyed this creatures life.

This could easily stack some large penalties, and may not be the fairest choice if you want them to actually have a shot at this.

I would probably make the rolls semi-scalar, having different results produce less and less desirable outcomes. Perhaps a 30 (and a well enough phrased argument) could make the creature a little less aggressive. A 15 may only convince it that it needs to do this to live. Then a 5 may only enrage it. Making no progress at getting through to it.

So we have a creature that hates someone, but has some intelligence, and probably wants to live and or get revenge. Now, you could have them roll and make the creature seem like its going along with them. Slowly gaining their trust. You could even let the creature soften up towards them if they consistently roll well, but its up to you to decide how long this takes.

If you take that route, you could have the creature pretend to take their side, while trying to sabotage them where it thinks it could get away with it.

Continued persistence despite its efforts, and or well phrased arguments or genuine remorse over their actions could help convince this creature they arnt as bad as it originally thought.

This creature in specific, may never warm up to a gnome or dwarf, as its hatred for them may be deeply ingrained in its core from social conditioning.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, there are no gnomes or dwarves in the party and players believe that previous life wasn't worth that much to prisoner because mites tend to band together because almost everyone else mocks them for being ugly. Yet, you have a good answer \$\endgroup\$
    – Saendra
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 21:49
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Keep in mind, This is only one possible story outcome. Create a personality for this mite, stick to it. Let the characters try to influence it. If they succeed great! Ether way, the mite will always have its own fears, desires, and goals. It may not be the smartest of creatures, so it will never do anything super ingenious, but it will still try to achieve its goals, whether those align with or against the party... \$\endgroup\$
    – Erudaki
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 21:54

Assuming the DM wants this to potentially succeed: The one thing that the party has in their favor is unlimited time for this diplomacy. Usually the diplomacy rolls are made in a short encounter to make an NPC more friendly. Since, in this case, the team can devote all their time to befriending this NPC, the DM could allow them to take 20 (or another number based on party composition and alignments) on all their diplomacy rolls and determine how long it would take to achieve the desired result. Be sure to take into account everyone assisting the diplomat in his efforts.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Long term diplomacy like this sounds like brainwashing. That could be interesting, especially if the players have a Paladin or Cleric of a good deity who would take such subversion of free will amiss. \$\endgroup\$
    – user47897
    Commented Oct 2, 2018 at 17:06
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Oh, yeah it's absolutely brainwashing. A bit of purposeful Stockholm syndrome should certainly be possible and within the realm of possibility for less scrupulous heroes. You might be able to convince a paladin or cleric to go along with it if the brainwashing included some religious indoctrination as well, but that might certainly be an alignment conflict for some characters despite the possibility of reforming the previously wicked. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mathaddict
    Commented Oct 2, 2018 at 19:23

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