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Before a Social Event

Source Ultimate Intrigue pg. 103
If the PCs know which NPCs they need to influence in advance, they can seek out information to assist them in doing so ahead of time, potentially gaining information from the social stat block before the encounter. To represent the results of such preparations, each PC can attempt one Knowledge-based discovery check in advance with a – 5 penalty. The GM can allow other discovery skills to work, but Sense Motive should never work in advance unless the PC is actively stalking the NPC, which might require additional Disguise or Stealth checks and could lead to negative consequences. If the PCs attempt a discovery check against a particularly prominent NPC in advance, the PCs can attempt the Knowledge check to receive a +4 on the discovery check in advance, as well (see Discovery Checks).