So I've been looking over Ultimate Intrigue recently, and the Influence system is rather quite confusing.

For one, it mentions in a few different places that a different number of influence checks is needed for different levels of sway. Example: On page 106, when it talks about countering influence and one of the characters needs to make three successful checks because of her having moderate sway while another character needs only make two successful checks because he only has minor sway, and then after that when it shows the social stat block for the spy (pg. 108-109) it only lists,

"Successes needed: 3 checks."

So is that for a minor sway, or...?

Second off, if one makes a successful skill check using one of the listed Influence Checks, can they keep using the same check over and over again? Going back to the spy (because she is the only full social stat block I could find), it lists one of the Influence skills is

Profession (merchant) DC 15

So could the PCs just keep rolling against that DC and each success is a successful Influence Check?

I tried looking for an example play of the Individual Influence, but no dice. So if anyone knows of where on is, that information would be wonderful as well and might help clear this up.

(The spoilered parts are in case anyone wants to run the little bit in the book.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ This question could be improved by updating the title and/or text to match each-other. Are you asking for an example, or for an explanation of the specific terms mentioned in the included text? \$\endgroup\$
    – user31942
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 19:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mactrent Both. I specifically want answers to the terms I listed, and an example would do worlds to clear the whole system up. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cyberson
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 19:34

1 Answer 1


I haven't been able to locate an example online at all for you, but I can talk about the mechanics. From some research, I was able to discover the system is actually used in the Hell's Vengeance Adventure Path, if you have access to it (part 2 specifically).

For the Influence part of the question, we find the following in the Influence rules.

In this system, a social encounter is divided into one or more phases. The length of a phase is flexible, and typically lasts 15 minutes to 1 hour—long enough for each PC to perform several minutes’ worth of actions per phase that are unrelated to influence checks (such as investigating a murder scene or surreptitiously defeating an assassin) without forgoing their chances to participate in the social encounter. GMs should determine beforehand how many phases a social encounter will last, thus determining how many chances the PCs will have to influence or learn about their targets—generally two to six. The GM should also determine whether the PCs’ actions can win them additional phases. For example, seducing a baroness or forestalling her carriage may both earn the PCs an extra phase in which to win her favor.

and, from the section on Influence Checks

No matter how many PCs speak to the same NPC, only one check to influence that NPC can be attempted during that phase.

So, there are limits to how many checks or rolls can practically be made to influence the NPC, based on how the GM defines the encounter. The PCs cannot make an unlimited number of checks. They could, however, make as many checks as they can in the time allowed.

Regarding the question of Sway, we find this under Benefits of Influence.

Each time the PCs sway an NPC using the influence rules (gaining the number of successes listed in the NPC’s social stat block), they increase their influence level over that NPC by one step.

And then the text goes on to list the Sway levels. So, the first time an Influence check is made, the NPC regards you with Minor Sway, the second time Moderate and so on.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the important confusion here is that the players never get to decide to socially engage NPCs, only the GM can decide that. Hopefully the example clears that up for you. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 3, 2017 at 0:02
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ In case OP doesn't have access to Hell's Vengeance, could you add said example to your answer? \$\endgroup\$
    – whatdice
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 17:15
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @whatdice I don't know that I can without violating copyright...not to mention, it would be pretty much the entire adventure... \$\endgroup\$
    – YogoZuno
    Commented Mar 12, 2017 at 20:49

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