There are two forms of diplomacy in the game. Both are essentially “minigames” that are played, usually against NPCs, for a target effect. Before the diplomacy attempt takes place, the player usually talks with the NPC and then in the conversation menu chooses the effect that they are looking to achieve. For example, a player might be after the premise that “the king is evil and needs to be overthrown.”
The two then play one of the games. One is a 9x9 game of stones (also known as Go!), the other is a game of three meter resource management. Stones is longer (about 25-30 minutes) but has more influencing power on the NPCs beliefs. The resource game (known as The Great Game) is shorter (5 minute games) and therefore has less influencing power. If the player loses the game, the NPC will become angry at him and he will lose faction in the city, as well as moving the NPCs belief slightly away from his premise.
The Great Game
This resource management game has three meters- Wit, Charm, and Diplomacy. Each participant has a set of abilities that they have acquired through their skill level in each of the three aspects of diplomacy. Some abilities cost wit but lower the opponent's charm, or sacrifice deception to restore one's own wit. Each participant chooses a target bar at the beginning that is not made known to the other participant. If the other opponent's targeted meter empties, the player receives many bonus points. Each player has 10 seconds to act on each turn, and the game lasts until a bar is emptied on one side. Each bar is divided up into 10 segments.
The scoring system is as follows:
10 points for emptying a non-target bar
14 bonus points for emptying the target bar
10 ticks on the target bar, each eliminated tick at the end of the game is worth 1 point.
(example: eliminating the opponent's target bar is worth 24 points.)
As players gain skills in Diplomacy, they will sometimes receive advantages in the Great Game. For example, a player with 500 Wit skill would have 15 starting segments to his Wit bar.
The difference in points between the two participants is the outcome of the diplomatic attempt. Having a 24 point advantage over an opponent would be almost as good as winning a game of stones by a narrow margin. The idea is for the computer opponents to be very challenging for the players. Players may also play either diplomatic game against each other as a simple “duel” or test of skills, or they can make a wager on the game.
Poisoning represents a darker side of diplomacy. Just like items can be cursed, food can be poisoned. Sometimes the effects are hidden even after a player has been poisoned, but not always. Poisoncraft and Poisoning are the two skills that allow the creation and application of poisons, respectively. Poison can be applied to food, drink, or weapons. Some poisons that are ingested are deadly, but much easier to detect. Poisoning is extremely expensive in time and resources. It is possible to poison food, crate it, and bring it to enemy cities. Food is stored in big warehouses and silos and distributed to all NPCs in the city, as well as being sold to players in the city.