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Diplomacy takes the concept of factions and player interaction to a whole new level. The diplomacy system in Vanguard allows players to learn the history and legends of the world of Telon, while influencing the game world itself. Political and social changes can be made by groups of determined diplomats, causing benefits for all. An example of this is the ability to make a city a haven for crafters by working to create a number of city buffs that benefit all crafters who work there. Adventurers will gain the advantages of greater hit points, harder hitting spells, and boosts to their run speed through the efforts of players using diplomacy.
As a sphere, diplomacy uses a unique skill system that emphasizes the player's skill. Through an innovative card game, players will experience the push and pull of a conversation by playing cards such as "Aggressive Statement", "Truth Be Told", and even "Cult of Personality". As your character gains skill in diplomacy, larger rewards await in the form of unique diplomacy gear, upgrades to adventuring gear, and access to some of the places of power on Telon.
 Why Diplomacy ?
Diplomacy is relatively easy to level. It is slower than harvesting, but faster than adventuring and much faster than crafting.
The benefits are relatively large, one gets easy access, or any access at all, to quest items, faction and other vital ressources. Also its possible to improve adventuring with diplomacy level, since certain diplomatic items give bonusses to these fields.
The newly designed highlevel Pantheon of the Ancients dungeon makes not having diplomacy such a hassle that many players now instead level diplomacy for much easier access.
The diplomacy encounter is known as a parley. At the beginning of a parley, both you and your opponent will start with a pool of Dialogue Points (the number depending on the encounter difficulty and your relative diplomatic skill). Your goal is to use Statements to Influence the diplomacy marker, controlling it so that your Dialogue Point total is reduced to zero before your opponent. As you progress toward this goal, you will be rewarded with lines of dialogue as you fight to wring the details of plot and intrigue from reluctant NPCs.
 The Fields of Diplomacy
You will use this parley mechanism in all the fields of diplomacy, which include:
 Ranks and Rewards
While you advance through diplomacy you will earn titles which you may display on the front of your character name. For example; Messenger John Smith.
Some of the ranks are as follows;
Titles may grant certain bonuses with certain groups.
 Diplomat's Gear
Diplomacy is as item-centric as other spheres, and the equipment worn by diplomats will definitely have an effect on their chances of success. Diplomacy Gear can affect both your diplomatic endeavours and your success in other spheres. Diplomats can also custom-construct a Diplomat's Mask, with many different results.
"Gear will play a huge part in the gameplay of the Diplomat. "Clothes make the man" is our guiding motto." - Steve Williams (Aruspex)
Are you listening?
 Information Brokering
Information Brokering is a reward system tied in with Civic Diplomacy. You are able to trade Information for items and other advantages.
This idea was never implemented.
The ability to lower the purchase price of items or services.
Effects of Haggling will be permanent for the continent that you achieved the effect in.
 Civic Benefits
Civic Benefits are usually in the form of city-wide buffs triggered by city diplomats for the benefit of the crafting, adventuring or harvesting spheres.
 Getting Started
It is highly recommented that you start on Isle of Dawn and do the diplomacy quests there if you want to do any diplomacy on your character.
You must start diplomacy by visiting the diplomacy instructor of your race. You will be provided with a starter set of Statements by your trainer, and can follow a series of quests which not only teach you the mechanics of diplomacy, but provide a great deal of lore on your race and starting city.
For now, the article Parley has a good introduction to the game. We are just beginning to transcribe the in-game tutorials which are available from the:
 Diplomacy Focus Points
Today all diplomats need to know is the /citystatus command in order to see what levers have been or are pulled. The rest of this section is of historical interest only.
A Diplomacy Focus Point is a gathering place for diplomats, and is particularly relevant to Civic Diplomacy, as it is a place where information about the city's diplomacy needs can be gathered.
Focus Points are represented by a set of bulletin boards surrounding a pillar or tree.
- Cities that have active Civic Diplomacy have a whole bulletin board and complete pillar or tree.
- Cities that will have Civic Diplomacy soon, but not immediately, have a burned down board and broken pillar.
 Diplomacy Classes
There are no diplomatic classes. This subsection is of historical interest only.
Unlike other spheres of Vanguard, Diplomacy Classes are not a mandatory part of the sphere. You will have a number of opportunities to specialise during the course of your career as a diplomat, but there is no requirement to do so.
"Everyone is basically a generic diplomat at the beginning of their careers. There are a lot of reasons for this, most of them obvious when you guys get a chance to play the system (some day!).
Approximately a quarter or a third of the way through the overall Diplomacy progression (this is a bit in flux), you will have the opportunity to seek out the trainer for a diplomacy class. These classes augment your ability to do Diplomacy, but are not essential to continuing play (you can continue as a generic diplomat).
About 2/3 of the way through the progression, if you have a diplomacy class, you will get the opportunity to sub-class within your class (Firebrand sub-class of Demagogue, for instance) and specialize further. You can pass on this as well.
A large part of diplomacy class and sub-class is to provide an opportunity to specialize and to customize your character, since the nature of the system does not require class to be playable." - Aruspex
 The current status of diplomacy, in 2013
After six years of running, diplomacy has degenerated into a rather simple game where you get a couple of recommented cards and equipment and basically can get to level 50 potentially faster than with adventuring (unless you really know the right spots and have full support) and certainly faster than with crafting (no shortcuts there). Diplomacy is also now kind of required for characters that want to do high level content; it is faster to level diplomacy than to follow the "normal" path of adventuring and various diplomatic items give now small bonusses to adventuring, such as +200HP from a handheld item that drops from loreboxes.
The recommented deck looks something like this:
- Karma Burn (Influence 0 - +3, Refresh 1-5, -3 to all expression) - A Signature Statement.
- Expert Manipulation (Refresh 8-9, -2 to all expression of opponent) - From Diplomat's Saga.
- Charming Distraction (Refresh 10-12, kills all expression) - From Isle of Dawn diplomacy questline; also statement knowledge books.
- Abnegation of X (Influence +1, -2 to all for Opponent, Refresh 13-14) - Drops from Xennu mobs in Xennumet dungeon in NW Qalia (requires quest for access).
- Fungal Footnote (Influence +3, Refresh 10, +1F to Opponent) - Drops from Mnalus mobs in Swamps of Rumug; also some likewise mobs like Fungid mobs in Three Rivers, deep in the KE dungeon.
- Gremlin Greed (Influence +2, Refresh 5-10) - Drops from Imps all over the world, for example Jin Hunter and Jin Quencher in Tanvu, SW of town; or Rift Imps at the Academy in Tursh.
- Worst Case (Influence +1, Refresh 2-4) - From statement knowledge books.
- Celebration (Influence +1 - +3, Refresh 3-9) - From statement knowledge books.
Other great cards:
- Bitter Truths (Influence +3, Refresh 2-4, +2F to Opponent, +1D -2I -1F to Player) - Random reward from Macken's Bitter Revenge potions, which in turn are a random reward from bartenders parleys. Good panic card, Flattery is usually the weakness of opponents.
- Deadly Coveant (Influence +1 - +5, Refresh 3-5, +1 to all expression) - A Signature Statement, see also next entry.
- Plus, depending upon type of conversation, one of these:
- The Sultan's Voice (Influence +5 - +8, Refresh 10, Cost: 1D 1R 1I 1F) from Diplomant's Saga.
- Disillusion (Influence +5, Refresh 4-6, Cost: 1D 1I 1F, +1D +1R to Opponent) - Common lowlevel quest reward, also statement knowledge books.
- Resolution (Influence +5, Refresh 4-6, Cost: 1R 1I 1F, +1R +1I to Opponent) - Same.
- Absolution (Influence +5, Refresh 4-6, Cost: 1D 1R 1F, +1I +1F to Opponent) - Same.
- Elocution (Influence +5, Refresh 4-6, Cost: 1D 1R 1I, +1D +1F to Opponent) - Same.
- Id Personified (Influence -3 - +1, Refresh 5-10, Player +5 to all expression) - A Signature Statement, useful for really tough level 50 parleys in Pantheon of the Ancients.
- For the same dungeon, cards that give a lot of influence for relatively little expression, such as:
- Eyelord Ire (Influence +5, Refresh 5-6, Cost: 3R, Opponent +1I, Player -1R) - Drops from Beholders, for example at the coast in the chunk west of New Targonor.
- Ichtakhta Impulse (Influence +5, Refresh 4-7, Cost: 3I, Opponent +1D, Player -1I) - Drops from Ichtakhta mobs in the chunk of the same name, as well as Sandscythe (L36-37 2*) in Jathred's Twist.
- Tuatiren Trespass (Influence +5, Refresh 4-6, Cost: 3D, Opponent +1F, Player -1D) - Drops from various saurian humanoids in Qalia: Tuatiren (Jharru Flats, The Temple of Dailuk, Rhaz Inkur), Gauthek (Ksaravi Gulch, Tauthien Delta, Skawlra Rock) and Skrillien (Skrillien Point, Strand of the Ancients).
and recommented gear to get:
- The Isle of Dawn charm or its upgrade, the Shores of Darkness KDQ charm. Gives +2 Initial Influence, -1 Player Refresh, +2 Opponent Refresh, or even one step better in each category for the most upgraded KDQ charm.
and optionally also:
- The Diplomatic Mask of your choice, gained through writs. As a very good general mask, possibly the best of them all, that is not too hard to get, since it only requires common gems, is Twin Toff and Coalescent Solitaire (-2 Player Refresh, +1 Opponent Refresh), requires two white diamonds (only available from the two step New Targonor writ Old Allies, New Faces, Old Allies, New Faces (2)) and one violett Iolite (only available from two Tanvu writs - either Neutralized Ground or The Dreamers Slumber).
- Various raided items.
- Various drops from lockboxes.
 Further Reading
A sign from the Picture of the Day archives revealing diplomacy in action at Sigil Games Online. Ironically, there are no diplomacy classes in Vanguard.