Skyrim: Season Unending negotiation algorithm & guide

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   /                                Contents                                /  
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 /                                                                        /    
/________________________________________________________________________/     

Introduction / What is this guide?     >     >     >     >     >     >     ~I

Terminology    -     -     -     -     -     -     -     -     -     -     ~T

Seating Arrangement  .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     ~S

General Advice >     >     >     >     >     >     >     >     >     >     ~G

Negotiation Overview -     -     -     -     -     -     -     -     -     ~O

The Algorithm  .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     ~A
   Simple Explanation      .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     ~AS
   Full Explanation  .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     ~AF

Examples >     >     >     >     >     >     >     >     >     >     >     ~X
   Basic Examples    >     >     >     >     >     >     >     >     >     ~XB
   Advanced Examples >     >     >     >     >     >     >     >     >     ~XA

Brash Assumptions    -     -     -     -     -     -     -     -     -     ~B

FAQ      .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     ~Q

Contact  >     >     >     >     >     >     >     >     >     >     >     ~C

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     /                                                                        /
    /                                                                        / 
   /                   Introduction / What is this guide?                   /  
  /                                                                        /   
 /                                                                        /    
/________________________________________________________________________/ ~I
This guide details how the civil war negotiation in High Hrothgar works in the 
mission "Season Unending" in the main questline of the game "The Elder Scrolls 
V: Skyrim". Specifically, it explains in detail the algorithm determining what 
happens during the negotiation.

This guide is targeted at those wishing for a better understanding of how the 
negotiation works, so that they can get closer to their desired outcome. For 
those that just want some general pointers on how to go about negotiating, I 
also provide a "General Advice" section, although the primary goal of this 
guide is to explain the negotiation in-depth.

                      Motivations for Writing this Guide
Why write this guide? Well, simply because I was unable to find a complete 
explanation as to how the Season Unending negotiation works, so I thought I 
might try to figure it out for myself. I've done the same for Skyrim's 
Potion/Alchemy calculations too, with significant help from UESP 
[www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Ingredients], although the calculations seem to be a 
little off when the Alchemy skill level is something other than 100. Possibly 
some sort of rounding/precision problem, but I haven't yet been able to work it 
out. I may work on a guide for that someday.





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     /                                                                        /
    /                                                                        / 
   /                              Terminology                               /  
  /                                                                        /   
 /                                                                        /    
/________________________________________________________________________/ ~T
Before beginning, some basic concepts...

Major and Minor holds - Each side has 1 major hold and 2 minor holds at the 
start of the civil war. Major holds are Reach/Markarth and Rift/Riften. 
Basically major holds are those whose capital city must be "entered" from the 
world. Note however that neither do Whiterun nor a side's base hold, Solitude 
and Eastmarch/Windhelm, count as a major hold for the purposes of the 
negotiation.

Concessions - These are the demands one side makes in the latter half of the 
negotiation. One side will always start demanding concessions from the other 
side after the initial exchange of holds, specifically after Esbern's speech.





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     /                                                                        /
    /                                                                        / 
   /                          Seating Arrangement                           /  
  /                                                                        /   
 /                                                                        /    
/________________________________________________________________________/ ~S
...What? Might as well.

                       ---      ---------------      ---
                      |                                 |
                      | Wulfgar                   Borri |
                      |                                 |
                      |            Arrngeir             |
                      |            ---------            |
                      |    Elenwen/         \Esbern     |
                      |          /    ---    \          |
                      | Balgruuf|    /   \    |Delphine |
                      |         |    |   |    |         |
                      |  Tullius|    |   |    |Ulfric   |
                      |         |    |   |    |         |
                      |   Elisif|    \   /    |Galmor   |
                      |          \    ---    /          |
                      |      Rikke\         /Vignar     |
                      |            ---------            |
                      |            Dragonborn           |
                      |                                 |
                      |             Einarth             |
                      |                                 |
                       ---------------------------------

Either Balgruuf or Vignar will be present; not both. The other seat will be 
empty. Their role in the negotiation is Jarl of Whiterun, the Jarlship of which 
can change during the civil war questline. Those not around the table are 
standing.





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     /                                                                        /
    /                                                                        / 
   /                             General Advice                             /  
  /                                                                        /   
 /                                                                        /    
/________________________________________________________________________/ ~G
This section is for those that are just after some basic advice, and only want 
a general or high-level idea of how the negotiation works.

                                   Fairness
                              ... 2 1 00 1 2 ...
                           +----------^^----------+
                           |          ||          |
                           |          ||          |
                           |          ||          |
                           |          ||          |
                    _______+_______   ||   _______+_______
                    \  Imperials  /   ||   \ Stormcloaks /
                     \___________/   /  \   \___________/
                                    /    \
                                   /      \

Basically, each decision you make adds a weight onto a scale. Certain events 
that occur also automatically add weights onto the scale, without the 
Dragonborn's intervention. The weights added to the scale have a weight of 1, 
and in some cases 2. The way each side reacts is largely determined by the 
state of the scale. If the scale is weighted towards one side, the other will 
have a tendency to complain, claim the Dragonborn is biased, and demand an 
increasing amount of concessions later in the negotiation.

The weights that get added are as follows:
- If you say the Thalmor should leave, this decision favors the Stormcloaks, 
and so adds a weight of 1 to the Stormcloak side
- Alternatively, if you say the Thalmor should stay, this decision favors the 
Imperials, and so adds a weight of 1 to the Imperial side
- One side will make the first demand and get the other's major hold, adding a 
weight of 2 points to their side; this is out of the Dragonborn's control
- If you give the counter demanding side a major hold in return, this adds a 
weight of 2 points to their side
- Otherwise if you give them a minor hold, this adds a weight of 1 to their 
side
- If you grant a concession to a side, it adds a weight of 1 to their side
- If you deny a concession to a side, it adds a weight of 1 to the opposing 
side

The first thing to note is the nature of the negotiations first demand and the 
subsequent counter demand. One side will open with a demand for the other's 
major hold, and will get the hold and 2 points, except in extreme 
circumstances. By allowing the counter demanding side a major hold also, this 
gives them 2 points, effectively undoing the effects of the demand.

But unfortunately doing this does not bring the negotiation back to a fair and 
balanced state; the sides will take into account the Dragonborn's decision over 
the Thalmor earlier, which will always favor one side. So, in this situation, 
it will be the side that the Dragonborn's Thalmor decision did not favor that 
will be unhappy, and claim bias, even though the demand and counter demand 
exchange alone was fair.

To achieve a fairer result, we first have to know which side will make the 
counter demand, and so which side will make opening demand. The opening demand 
is always made by the Dragonborn's opposing side if they have picked one in the 
civil war questline, or otherwise the Stormcloaks. By only giving the counter 
demanding side the minor hold, and so 1 point, we can balance things out by 
favoring the counter demanding side early on in the negotiations, by siding 
with them regarding the dispute over the Thalmor presence.

For example, suppose the Dragonborn has not picked a side in the civil war 
questline. The Stormcloaks will make the opening demand, and so the Imperials 
will make the counter demand. We will not be favoring the Imperial's counter 
demand, so we favor them over the Thalmor dispute, and allow the Thalmor to 
stay. The Imperials now have 1 point, the Stormcloaks 0. The Stormcloaks open 
with their demand for the Imperials' major hold, and so get 2 points. The 
Imperials have 1 point, the Stormcloaks now have 2. The Imperials make their 
counter demand, and we choose to give them only the minor hold, giving them 1 
point. The first part of the negotiation now ends, with both sides balanced at 
2 points. And with that, the previous paragraph should make a bit more sense 
:P.

So in summary, for the fairest outcome of this first stage of the negotiation, 
side with the counter demanding side regarding the Thalmor decision, then give 
the counter demanding side the minor hold. If you only want to exchange major 
holds, or want the hold exchange to be fair, it doesn't matter which side you 
favor over the Thalmor dispute; one side will always end this stage ahead by 1 
point. If you want the Thalmor to stay or leave, make sure you go with the 
other side on the second decision. The worst possible outcome is to agree 
entirely with the side making the opening demand, in which case they will end 
up ahead by 2 points.

The next stage of the negotiation is the concessions. The side that demands 
concessions will be the side that is trailing in points, or the side you gave 
the minor hold to if the points are balanced.

The concessioning side will go through all the concessions available to them 
until they are granted one. They will then continue going through the available 
concessions until they are no longer trailing in points. If the available 
concessions run out before they are satisfied, they will be unhappy with the 
deal, even if the points are actually balanced.

The number of concessions available to a side is usually 2 or 1, 0 in 
exceptional cases. The two possible concessions are compensation for a 
massacre, and one of the opposing side's minor holds. The minor hold concession 
will be available unless the minor hold has been taken in the civil war 
questline. The availability of the massacre concession nobody seems to know, 
but see the "Brash Assumptions" section for some of my thoughts on this.

Handling concessions is not always as straightforward as it may seem. 
Complications arise from the fact that denying a concession is not a neutral 
decision - it will add 1 point to the opposing side. The varying number of 
available concessions can also be a problem, but bear in mind that a massacre 
concession will always be asked for first if it is available; if a minor hold 
is requested first, there will only be 1 concession available, otherwise 
there's probably 2, depending on the progress of the civil war questline.

If the concessioning side is trailing by 1 point, the solution is simple enough 
- grant them the first concession, and with the points balanced, they will not 
ask for any further concessions. Similarly if they're trailing by 2 points, 
grant concessions until they're satisfied, though there may not be enough 
available.

Unfortunately things get tricky if you've been fair so far, and the points are 
balanced. The concessioning side will continue to demand concessions until one 
is granted. If you grant them one straight away, they'll finish and end up 1 
point ahead, which the other side won't like. The only resolution to this is to 
deny the first concession, setting them back 1 point, and then grant them the 
second, giving the 1 point back, and returning things to 0. If only 1 
concession is available to the side, then you're out of luck; you'll have no 
choice but to be unfair at the beginning to be fair by the end.

If all is balanced after concessions, both sides will be satisfied with the 
terms, otherwise one side will claim bias. As for pleasing the Jarl of 
Whiterun, you can't - whether he ends up pleased or displeased is fixed; it 
depends entirely on factors outside the negotiation.





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     /                                                                        /
    /                                                                        / 
   /                          Negotiation Overview                          /  
  /                                                                        /   
 /                                                                        /    
/________________________________________________________________________/ ~O
Here the series of events that occur during the negotiation are broken down, 
and their various possibilities explained. How the game determines which of the 
possibilities to go for is the subject of the section "The Algorithm".

The sequence of events of the negotiation are as follows, with events that do 
not always occur marked "optional":

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/                                                                             \

Pre-Negotiation:
Start - Arrngeir invites everyone to take their seats but Ulfric objects to the 
Thalmor being present, and demands they leave

Thalmor question - Ulfric/Tullius asks the Dragonborn if the Thalmor should 
stay or leave; 1 choice, 2 possibilities

Thalmor decision - The Dragonborn makes a decision and Elenwen stays/leaves; 1 
choice, 2 possibilities

Before negotiation - Stormcloaks/Imperials remark that they're only here to 
assist the Dragonborn, and nothing more; 1 choice, 2 possibilities

Opening address - Arrngeir addresses Ulfric/Tullius first, then the other; 1 
choice, 2 possibilities

Opening - Arrngeir then makes his opening speech

Demand:
Demand - Stormcloaks/Imperials demand the other's major hold; the other side 
makes a counter demand; 1 choice, 2 possibilities, exact dialog may vary 
depending on civil war status

Counter-Demand question - Imperials/Stormcloaks request the Dragonborn's input; 
1 choice, 2 possibilities

Counter-Demand decision - The Dragonborn decides if the Imperials'/Stormcloaks' 
counter demand will be for a major/minor hold, or if the major hold is already 
taken in the civil war then the minor hold, or if no minor holds are available 
then nothing can be exchanged; 2 choices, 2 and 4 possibilities

Demand performance - Stormcloaks/Imperials will be unhappy with the negotiation 
so far, and say the Dragonborn's actions were biased/fair; 2 choices, 2 and 2 
possibilities

After demand - The unhappy Stormcloaks/Imperials will have a moan at the other 
side; 2 possibilities, exact dialog may vary depending on civil war status

Esbern - Esbern's speech, convincing the unhappy side to continue

Elenwen - Makes a comment following the speech if still present; optional

Elenwen interrupt - Ulfric/Tullius silences Elenwen; optional, 1 choice, 2 
possibilities

Concessions:
Concessions start - The unhappy Stormcloaks/Imperials agree to continue and 
begin demanding concessions; 1 choice, 2 possibilities, exact dialog may vary

Concession 1 - The Stormcloaks/Imperials demand a massacre compensation / minor 
hold concession if available, the massacre compensation taking priority if both 
are available; optional, 2 choices, 2 and 2 possibilities

Concession 1 question - The concessioning Stormcloaks/Imperials are 
willing/hesitant in deferring their request to the Dragonborn; optional, 2 
choices, 2 and 2 possibilities

Concession 1 decision - The Dragonborn grants/denies the 
Stormcloaks'/Imperials' request; optional, 2 choices, 2 and 2 possibilities

Concession 1 result - The concessioning Stormcloaks/Imperials are happy/unhappy 
with the deal so far; optional, 2 choices, 2 and 2 possibilities

Concession 2 - A second concession is demanded by the Stormcloaks/Imperials if 
available, a minor hold from the other side; optional, 1 choice, 2 
possibilities

Concession 2 question - The concessioning Stormcloaks/Imperials are 
willing/hesitant in deferring their request to the Dragonborn; optional, 2 
choices, 2 and 2 possibilities

Concession 2 decision - The Dragonborn grants/denies the 
Stormcloaks'/Imperials' request; optional, 2 choices, 2 and 2 possibilities

Concession 2 result - The concessioning Stormcloaks/Imperials are happy/unhappy 
with the deal so far; optional, 2 choices, 2 and 2 possibilities

Concessions end - The concessioning Stormcloaks/Imperials are happy/unhappy 
with the deal, regardless agreeing; 2 choices, 2 and 2 possibilities

Agreement:
Review - Arrngeir reviews the terms agreed

Stormcloak opinion - Ulfric remarks that the deal is fair/biased and teases 
Elisif; 1 choice, 2 possibilities

Elisif - Elisif swats Ulfric's remark aside and defers to Tullius

Imperial opinion - Tullius remarks that the deal is workable/biased; 1 choice, 
2 possibilities

Negotiation performance - If the Dragonborn has chosen a side in the civil war 
questline, Tullius/Ulfric may say that the Dragonborn's actions gave too much 
to the opposition / are a disgrace / merit a reward; optional, 2 choices, 2 and 
3 possibilities

End:
Depart - Stormcloaks/Imperials leave the table; 1 choice, 2 possibilities

Whiterun Jarl - Balgruuf/Vignar will express concern at the loss of his side's 
major hold / elation at the gain of the opposition's major hold / surprise that 
the truce worked; 2 choices, 2 and 3 possibilities, although in practice one of 
the six, Vignar-Elation, is not possible

\_____________________________________________________________________________/

Some of these events deserve a few remarks.

The "Counter-Demand decision" will offer a choice between a major or minor hold 
most of the time, but not always. If the major hold of the side making the 
original demand has already been taken in the civil war questline, then 
obviously it can't be demanded. In this case, only one option will be 
presented, and the remarks following the "decision" of the minor hold will be 
different from the remarks made normally. In the extreme case of the side 
subject to the counter demand having no holds to offer at all, two possible 
responses will be provided, although it doesn't matter which one is chosen; 
neither has any effect on the negotiations aside the remark immediately 
following it.

It is possible to enter the negotiation with one side having no holds left to 
bargain with. To do this, in the civil war questline, when the battle for the 
fort of the last minor hold begins, simply run off before the battle finishes. 
Start arranging the negotiation, and when both sides agree to attend, the fort 
battle quest will automatically complete, leaving the opposing side no holds 
left for the negotiation.

According to my understanding, there are up to two concessions available to a 
side. One will be a massacre compensation, and the other will be one of the 
opposing side's minor holds. As far as I can determine, only one of the minor 
holds features in the concessions, regardless of how many concessions a side 
tries to demand. The minor hold concession will not be available if one minor 
hold has been taken in the civil war questline. As for the availability of the 
massacre compensation, nobody seems to know, but I'm beginning to suspect that 
it only applies to the Imperials; the only massacre compensation concession 
I've come across is for the massacre at Karthwasten, which has been 
consistently demanded by the Imperials in my playthroughs. I have yet to see 
the Stormcloaks demand a massacre compensation concession.

When asking for a concession, the tone of the question will either be neutral 
or state that the Dragonborn has been fair/even-handed. If the concessioning 
side willingly defers to the Dragonborn, the tone will be fair/even-handed, 
whereas if the concessioning side doubtfully defers to the Dragonborn, the tone 
will be neutral. However, note that the willing/doubtful speech does not occur 
for massacre concessions; the side makes no comment and goes straight to asking 
the Dragonborn's opinion.

With this understanding, the events can be condensed into the following concise 
form. I give each variable event, basically each event that is not "fixed", an 
ID; Q for questions to the Dragonborn, D for decisions the Dragonborn can make, 
and otherwise E. A question mark denotes that the event does not always occur 
(ala regular expression syntax :P). The numbers of possibilities for each 
choice in the event are listed in brackets.

--- Thalmor
Q1 Thalmor question (2)
D1 Thalmor decision (2)
E01 Assist Dragonborn only (2)
E02 Address (2)
--- Opening
E03 Demand (2)
Q2 Counter-Demand question (2)
D2 Counter-Demand decision (2,4)
E04 Demand performance (2,2)
E05 Moan (2)
--- Esbern
E06 Elenwen?
E07 Elenwen interrupt? (2)
E08 Concessions start (2)
E09 Concession 1? (2,2)
Q3 Concession 1 question? (2,2)
D3 Concession 1 decision? (2,2)
E10 Concession 1 result? (2,2)
E11 Concession 2? (2)
Q4 Concession 2 question? (2,2)
D4 Concession 2 decision? (2,2)
E12 Concession 2 result? (2,2)
E13 Concessions end (2,2)
--- Review
E14 Stormcloak opinion (2)
--- Elisif
E15 Imperial opinion (2)
E16 Negotiation performance? (2,3)
E17 Depart (2)
E18 Whiterun Jarl (2,3)

And there you have the negotiation, from start to finish. With all choices and 
possibilities for those choices laid out, we can look at how the game decides 
which events occur and what possibility to choose for each choice, which is the 
focus of the next section.





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     /                                                                        /
    /                                                                        / 
   /                             The Algorithm                              /  
  /                                                                        /   
 /                                                                        /    
/________________________________________________________________________/ ~A
The heart of the guide. The previous section laid out all possible ways the 
negotiation could execute. This section explains how the game decides what 
happens, which events to play out, and what possibilities to choose.

Those who prefer learning by example may want to skim-read this section and 
focus on the "Examples" section, as the explanation here may be difficult to 
understand at first glance.

Credit goes to UESP [www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Season_Unending] for originally 
providing the idea of a scale and some of the values and effects, with which I 
was able to build upon.





===============================                  ==============================
============================== Simple Explanation =============================
===============================                  ========================~AS===

The following explanation covers most cases, and provides a good introduction 
to the concepts involved without getting too worried about fine details and 
exceptional cases.

                                   Fairness
                              ... 2 1 00 1 2 ...
                           +----------^^----------+
                           |          ||          |
                           |          ||          |
                           |          ||          |
                           |          ||          |
                    _______+_______   ||   _______+_______
                    \  Imperials  /   ||   \ Stormcloaks /
                     \___________/   /  \   \___________/
                                    /    \
                                   /      \

This is how most events throughout the negotiation are determined - a Fairness 
Scale, starting out balanced at 0, favoring neither side. Certain events, 
mostly decisions the Dragonborn makes, tip this scale towards one side or the 
other. 

For example, suppose the Dragonborn starts out by making a decision favoring 
the Imperials, and this decision has a value of 1 point. The Fairness Scale 
would tip from 0 balanced to 1 in favor of the Imperials. Suppose next the 
Dragonborn makes a decision favoring the Stormcloaks, and this decision also 
has a value of 1 point. The Fairness Scale would then tip from 1 favoring 
Imperials back to 0.

Alongside this, there are a few other variables the game uses:
- The Dragonborn's side, if chosen, in the civil war questline
- Whether Whiterun is under Imperial or Stormcloak control; it starts out under 
Imperial control

The following goes through each event as described in the previous section, 
explains how each choice in the event is determined, and what decides if the 
event occurs at all. The format of each event is explained first.

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/ <Event name and ID>                                                         \
<A brief description of the event>

Occurs: <If the event does not always occur, how the game decides if the event 
occurs or not>

Choice 1: <The possibilities for a particular choice of the event>
<A description of how the game decides which possibility to choose>

Choice 2: ...
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

Placeholders in the above format are in angle brackets, '<' '>'.

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/ Event: Thalmor                                                              \
The start and Ulfric's objection to the Thalmor presence

This event is fixed; it always occurs, and there are no notable variations
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Question Q1: Thalmor                                                         \
The Dragonborn is asked whether the Thalmor should leave or stay

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will ask
The Dragonborn's side will ask, or the Stormcloaks if the Dragonborn has not 
picked a side.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Decision D1: Thalmor                                                         \
The Dragonborn decides if the Thalmor leave or stay

Choice 1: The Dragonborn decides leave or stay
If leave - 1 point to the Stormcloaks
If stay - 1 point to the Imperials
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E1: Assist Dragonborn only                                             \
A side states they are only there to assist the Dragonborn, nothing more

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will make the statement
It will be the Dragonborn's opposing side, or the Stormcloaks if the Dragonborn 
has not picked a side.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E2: Address                                                            \
Arrngeir will begin the negotiations by addressing one side first, then the 
other

Choice 1: Arrngeir will address Ulfric or Tullius first
As before, it will be the Dragonborn's opposing side, or the Stormcloaks if the 
Dragonborn has not picked a side.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event: Opening                                                               \
Arrngeir opens the negotiations

This event is fixed; it always occurs, and there are no notable variations
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E3: Demand                                                             \
One side will make the first demand, demanding the opposing side's major hold

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will make the demand
As before, it will be the Dragonborn's opposing side, or the Stormcloaks if the 
Dragonborn has not picked a side.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Question Q2: Counter-Demand                                                  \
One side will ask the Dragonborn what they think a worthy exchange would be

Choice 1: The Imperials or the Stormcloaks will ask
It will always be the side making the counter-demand, which will be the 
Dragonborn's side or the Imperials.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Decision D2: Counter-Demand                                                  \
The Dragonborn decides upon the nature of the counter demand

Choice 1: The Imperials or the Stormcloaks get x points, and the other side get 
y points, where x and y are decided by choice 2
Again, it will always be the side making the counter-demand.

Choice 2: The Dragonborn chooses a major or minor hold as worthy of exchanging
If major - x=2 for the major hold acquired, y=2 for the major hold acquired
If minor - x=1 for the minor hold acquired, y=2 for the major hold acquired
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E4: Demand performance                                                 \
One side will remark on the Dragonborn's performance so far

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will make the remark
The side that the Fairness Scale is against, or the side that made the counter 
demand.

Choice 2: They will either say the Dragonborn has been fair or biased
Fair if the Fairness Scale does not favor the opposition, otherwise biased.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E5: Moan                                                               \
One side will be unhappy with the negotiation so far, even if the Fairness 
Scale is balanced at 0, and will have a moan at the opposition

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will moan
As previously, the side that the Fairness Scale is against, or the side that 
made the counter demand.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event: Esbern                                                                \
Esbern's speech, convincing the two sides to continue

This event is fixed; it always occurs, and there are no notable variations
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E6: Elenwen                                                            \
Elenwen will begin to remark on Esbern's speech

Occurs: Only if the Thalmor were allowed to stay at D1; otherwise go to E8
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E7: Elenwen interrupt                                                  \
One side silences Elenwen

Occurs: Alongside the previous

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will interrupt
The side that moaned at E5.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E8: Concessions start                                                  \
One side agrees to continue and starts demanding concessions

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will go into concessions
As before, the side that moaned at E5.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E9: Concession 1                                                       \
One side demands a particular concession

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will demand the concession
The concessioning side, determined at E8.

Choice 2: The concession will be either a massacre compensation or a minor hold 
of the opposing side
If a massacre compensation is available, the massacre compensation, otherwise a 
minor hold
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Question Q3: Concession 1                                                    \
One side defers to the Dragonborn in deciding if the concession is granted

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will defer
The concessioning side, determined at E8.

Choice 2: They will either willingly defer to the Dragonborn and ask stating 
the Dragonborn's fairness so far, or doubt the Dragonborn and ask neutrally
If the Fairness Scale favors the opposing side then they will doubt the 
Dragonborn, otherwise they will willingly defer. Note however that if the 
concession is a massacre compensation, they will not make the first comment, 
instead skipping straight to the question.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Decision D3: Concession 1                                                    \
The Dragonborn decides whether to grant the concession

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials are the subject of points awarded
The concessioning side, determined at E8.

Choice 2: The concession is granted or denied
If granted - They make a fixed positive remark; 1 point to the side of choice 1
If denied - They make a fixed negative remark; 1 point to the opposing side of 
choice 1
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E10: Concession 1 result                                               \
One side either accepts the deal or begins demanding another concession

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will express their view of the deal
The concessioning side, determined at E8.

Choice 2: The deal is accepted or more concessions are needed
If the prior decision D3 denied the concession or the Fairness Scale favors the 
opposing side then more concessions are needed, otherwise the deal is accepted.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E11: Concession 2                                                      \
One side demands a minor hold concession

Occurs: If the concessioning side demanded more concessions previously at E10, 
and a minor hold has not already been demanded; otherwise go to E13

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will demand the concession
The concessioning side, determined at E8.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Question Q4: Concession 2                                                    \
One side defers to the Dragonborn in deciding if the additional concession is 
granted

Occurs: Alongside the previous

Choice 1: As for Q2

Choice 2: As for Q2
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Decision D4: Concession 2                                                    \
The Dragonborn decides whether to grant the concession

Occurs: Alongside the previous

Choice 1: As for D2

Choice 2: As for D2, except the remark made is different
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E12: Concession 2 result                                               \
One side either accepts the deal or begins demanding another concession

Occurs: Alongside the previous

Choice 1: As for E10

Choice 2: As for E10, except using D4 instead of D3
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E13: Concessions end                                                   \
One side finishes demanding concessions and accepts the deal

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will finish concessions
The concessioning side, determined at E8.

Choice 2: They will either accept the deal as fair, or "put the greater good 
above" their own interests
If the deal was accepted at E10 or E12 then the deal is regarded as fair, 
otherwise it's "the greater good". The latter possibility can play out even if 
the Fairness Scale is balanced at 0.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event: Review                                                                \
Arrngeir reviews the terms agreed

This event is fixed; it always occurs, and its many variations do not affect 
the negotiation
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E14: Stormcloak opinion                                                \
Ulfric remarks on the fairness of the deal, then teases Elisif

Choice 1: The deal is either viewed as fair or favoring the opposition
Biased if the Fairness Scale favors the opposition, otherwise fair.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event: Elisif                                                                \
Elisif ignores Ulfric and defers to Tullius

This event is fixed; it always occurs, and there are no notable variations
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E15: Imperial opinion                                                  \
Tullius remarks on the fairness of the deal

Choice 1: The deal is either viewed as fair or favoring the opposition
Biased if the Fairness Scale favors the opposition, otherwise fair.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E16: Negotiation performance                                           \
The Dragonborn's side may make some remark regarding their actions

Occurs: If the Dragonborn has chosen a side, and one of the conditions in 
choice 2 is met

Choice 1: Tullius or Ulfric will make the remark
The leader of the Dragonborn's side.

Choice 2: They will say the Dragonborn gave too much, actions were a disgrace, 
or give a reward
If the Dragonborn chose the major hold for the counter demand at D2, they will 
be commended for acquiring the hold and given a reward, even if all their other 
choices favored the opposition. Otherwise if the Fairness Scale favors the 
opposition by 2 or more, their actions will be deemed a disgrace. Otherwise if 
the Fairness Scale does not favor the Dragonborn's side, they will be deemed to 
have given too much away. Otherwise this event does not occur.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E17: Depart                                                            \
One side leaves the table

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will leave
The side that doesn't own Whiterun.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E18: Whiterun Jarl                                                     \
The Jarl of Whiterun comments on the results of the negotiation

Choice 1: Balgruuf or Vignar will be present to make the comment
Balgruuf if Whiterun is held by the Imperials, Vignar if Whiterun is held by 
the Stormcloaks.

Choice 2: They will say that losing their side's major hold is a high price, or 
that gaining their opposing side's major hold is a great success
If the Jarl's opposing side made the first demand and acquired his side's major 
hold, which is usually the case, he will state that losing his side's major 
hold is a high price, even if the other side's major hold was gained in return. 
On the other hand, if the Jarl's side made the first demand and acquired the 
opposing side's major hold, the Jarl will be elated, even if his side's major 
hold was lost in return. In practice, Vignar will never be elated, because he's 
a miserable old git >:0. That and he'll only be at the table if Whiterun was 
won by the Stormcloaks, ergo the Dragonborn sided with the Stormcloaks, ergo 
the Imperials always make the opening demand, ergo the opposing side of the 
Jarl.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/





================================                ===============================
=============================== Full Explanation ==============================
================================                =========================~AF===

            Table Fairness                       Dragonborn Fairness
          ... 2 1 00 1 2 ...                      ... 2 1 00 1 2 ...
       +----------^^----------+                +----------^^----------+
       |          ||          |                |          ||          |
       |          ||          |                |          ||          |
       |          ||          |                |          ||          |
       |          ||          |                |          ||          |
_______+_______   ||   _______+_______  _______+_______   ||   _______+_______
\  Imperials  /   ||   \ Stormcloaks /  \  Imperials  /   ||   \ Stormcloaks /
 \___________/   /  \   \___________/    \___________/   /  \   \___________/
                /    \                                  /    \
               /      \                                /      \

Yes. There are actually two scales.

But don't panic! There is only one difference between them; the Dragonborn 
Fairness Scale always starts out balanced at 0, whereas the Table Fairness 
Scale will start out favoring the losing side if one side is doing particularly 
badly in the civil war questline. Whenever points are awarded to a side, they 
are always added to both scales; both scales always change together, and by the 
same amount. In most cases, the Table Fairness Scale will start out balanced, 
and so the two scales will always be equal throughout the negotiation.

The Dragonborn Fairness Scale dictates how the two sides interact with the 
Dragonborn directly; the less Dragonborn points a side has compared to the 
opposition, the less favorably they will deem the Dragonborn. The Table 
Fairness Scale dictates how the two sides interact generally across the table, 
and is the scale primarily relied on for decision making; the less Table points 
a side has compared to the opposition, the more they will demand from the deal.

Along with the side the Dragonborn is with and which side owns Whiterun, there 
are some more factors the game uses to make decisions in unusual circumstances:
- The number of major holds the Imperials still own, not including their base 
Solitude and Whiterun, 0-1
- The number of minor holds the Imperials still own, 0-2
- The number of major holds the Stormcloaks still own, not including their base 
Windhelm, 0-1
- The number of minor holds the Stormcloaks still own, 0-2

These variables are primarily used in determining the starting balance of the 
Table Fairness Scale, as follows:
- If the losing side in the war has 0 major holds and 0 minor holds - 2 points 
to that side
- If the losing side in the war has 0 major holds and 1 minor hold - 1 point to 
that side
- Otherwise the scale remains balanced

With the complete picture now in mind, here are the events once more, with 
precise explanations:

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/ Event: Thalmor                                                              \
The start and Ulfric's objection to the Thalmor presence

This event is fixed; it always occurs, and there are no notable variations
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Question Q1: Thalmor                                                         \
The Dragonborn is asked whether the Thalmor should leave or stay

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will ask
The Dragonborn's side will ask, or the Stormcloaks if the Dragonborn has not 
picked a side.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Decision D1: Thalmor                                                         \
The Dragonborn decides if the Thalmor leave or stay

Choice 1: The Dragonborn decides leave or stay
If leave - 1 point to the Stormcloaks
If stay - 1 point to the Imperials
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E1: Assist Dragonborn only                                             \
A side states they are only there to assist the Dragonborn, nothing more

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will make the statement
It will be the Dragonborn's opposing side, or the Stormcloaks if the Dragonborn 
has not picked a side.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E2: Address                                                            \
Arrngeir will begin the negotiations by addressing one side first, then the 
other

Choice 1: Arrngeir will address Ulfric or Tullius first
As before, it will be the Dragonborn's opposing side, or the Stormcloaks if the 
Dragonborn has not picked a side.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event: Opening                                                               \
Arrngeir opens the negotiations

This event is fixed; it always occurs, and there are no notable variations
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E3: Demand                                                             \
One side will make the first demand, demanding the opposing side's major hold

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will make the demand
As before, it will be the Dragonborn's opposing side, or the Stormcloaks if the 
Dragonborn has not picked a side.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Question Q2: Counter-Demand                                                  \
One side will ask the Dragonborn what they think a worthy exchange would be

Choice 1: The Imperials or the Stormcloaks will ask
It will always be the side making the counter-demand, which will be the 
Dragonborn's side or the Imperials.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Decision D2: Counter-Demand                                                  \
The Dragonborn decides upon the nature of the counter demand

Choice 1: The Imperials or the Stormcloaks get x points, and the other side get 
y points, where x and y are decided by choice 2
Again, it will always be the side making the counter-demand.

Choice 2: The Dragonborn chooses a major hold, a minor hold, must choose a 
minor hold, or cannot choose anything as worthy of exchanging
If major - x=2 for the major hold acquired, y=2 for the major hold acquired
If minor - x=1 for the minor hold acquired, y=2 for the major hold acquired
If mandatory minor - x=1 for the minor hold acquired, y=2 for the major hold 
acquired
If nothing available - No points given to either side, x=0, y=0
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E4: Demand performance                                                 \
One side will remark on the Dragonborn's performance so far

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will make the remark
The side that the Table Fairness Scale is against, or the side that made the 
counter demand.

Choice 2: They will either say the Dragonborn has been fair or biased
Fair if the Dragonborn Fairness Scale does not favor the opposition, otherwise 
biased.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E5: Moan                                                               \
One side will be unhappy with the negotiation so far, even if the Table 
Fairness Scale is balanced at 0, and will have a moan at the opposition

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will moan
As previously, the side that the Table Fairness Scale is against, or the side 
that made the counter demand.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event: Esbern                                                                \
Esbern's speech, convincing the two sides to continue

This event is fixed; it always occurs, and there are no notable variations
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E6: Elenwen                                                            \
Elenwen will begin to remark on Esbern's speech

Occurs: Only if the Thalmor were allowed to stay at D1; otherwise go to E8
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E7: Elenwen interrupt                                                  \
One side silences Elenwen

Occurs: Alongside the previous

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will interrupt
The side that moaned at E5.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E8: Concessions start                                                  \
One side agrees to continue and starts demanding concessions

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will go into concessions
As before, the side that moaned at E5.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E9: Concession 1                                                       \
One side demands a particular concession

Occurs: If concessions are available to the concessioning side, otherwise go to 
E13

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will demand the concession
The concessioning side, determined at E8.

Choice 2: The concession will be either a massacre compensation or a minor hold 
of the opposing side
If a massacre compensation is available, the massacre compensation, otherwise a 
minor hold
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Question Q3: Concession 1                                                    \
One side defers to the Dragonborn in deciding if the concession is granted

Occurs: Alongside the previous

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will defer
The concessioning side, determined at E8.

Choice 2: They will either willingly defer to the Dragonborn and ask stating 
the Dragonborn's fairness so far, or doubt the Dragonborn and ask neutrally
If the Dragonborn Fairness Scale favors the opposing side then they will doubt 
the Dragonborn, otherwise they will willingly defer. Note however that if the 
concession is a massacre compensation, they will not make the first comment, 
instead skipping straight to the question.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Decision D3: Concession 1                                                    \
The Dragonborn decides whether to grant the concession

Occurs: Alongside the previous

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials are the subject of points awarded
The concessioning side, determined at E8.

Choice 2: The concession is granted or denied
If granted - They make a fixed positive remark; 1 point to the side of choice 1
If denied - They make a fixed negative remark; 1 point to the opposing side of 
choice 1
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E10: Concession 1 result                                               \
One side either accepts the deal or begins demanding another concession

Occurs: Alongside the previous

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will express their view of the deal
The concessioning side, determined at E8.

Choice 2: The deal is accepted or more concessions are needed
If the prior decision D3 denied the concession or the Table Fairness Scale 
favors the opposing side then more concessions are needed, otherwise the deal 
is accepted.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E11: Concession 2                                                      \
One side demands a minor hold concession

Occurs: If another concession is available to the concessioning side, and the 
concessioning side demanded more concessions previously at E10; otherwise go to 
E13

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will demand the concession
The concessioning side, determined at E8.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Question Q4: Concession 2                                                    \
One side defers to the Dragonborn in deciding if the additional concession is 
granted

Occurs: Alongside the previous

Choice 1: As for Q2

Choice 2: As for Q2
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Decision D4: Concession 2                                                    \
The Dragonborn decides whether to grant the concession

Occurs: Alongside the previous

Choice 1: As for D2

Choice 2: As for D2, except the remark made is different
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E12: Concession 2 result                                               \
One side either accepts the deal or begins demanding another concession

Occurs: Alongside the previous

Choice 1: As for E10

Choice 2: As for E10, except using D4 instead of D3
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E13: Concessions end                                                   \
One side finishes demanding concessions and accepts the deal

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will finish concessions
The concessioning side, determined at E8.

Choice 2: They will either accept the deal as fair, or "put the greater good 
above" their own interests
If the deal was accepted at E10 or E12 then the deal is regarded as fair, 
otherwise it's "the greater good". The latter possibility can play out even if 
the Table Fairness Scale is balanced at 0.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event: Review                                                                \
Arrngeir reviews the terms agreed

This event is fixed; it always occurs, and its many variations do not affect 
the negotiation
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E14: Stormcloak opinion                                                \
Ulfric remarks on the fairness of the deal, then teases Elisif

Choice 1: The deal is either viewed as fair or favoring the opposition
Biased if the Table Fairness Scale favors the opposition, otherwise fair.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event: Elisif                                                                \
Elisif ignores Ulfric and defers to Tullius

This event is fixed; it always occurs, and there are no notable variations
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E15: Imperial opinion                                                  \
Tullius remarks on the fairness of the deal

Choice 1: The deal is either viewed as fair or favoring the opposition
Biased if the Table Fairness Scale favors the opposition, otherwise fair.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E16: Negotiation performance                                           \
The Dragonborn's side may make some remark regarding their actions

Occurs: If the Dragonborn has chosen a side, and one of the conditions in 
choice 2 is met

Choice 1: Tullius or Ulfric will make the remark
The leader of the Dragonborn's side.

Choice 2: They will say the Dragonborn gave too much, actions were a disgrace, 
or give a reward
If the Dragonborn chose the major hold for the counter demand at D2, they will 
be commended for acquiring the hold and given a reward, even if all their other 
choices favored the opposition. Otherwise if the Dragonborn Fairness Scale 
favors the opposition by 2 or more, their actions will be deemed a disgrace. 
Otherwise if the Dragonborn Fairness Scale does not favor the Dragonborn's 
side, they will be deemed to have given too much away. Otherwise this event 
does not occur.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E17: Depart                                                            \
One side leaves the table

Choice 1: The Stormcloaks or the Imperials will leave
The side that doesn't own Whiterun.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/Event E18: Whiterun Jarl                                                     \
The Jarl of Whiterun comments on the results of the negotiation

Choice 1: Balgruuf or Vignar will be present to make the comment
Balgruuf if Whiterun is held by the Imperials, Vignar if Whiterun is held by 
the Stormcloaks.

Choice 2: They will say that losing their side's major hold is a high price, 
that gaining their opposing side's major hold is a great success, or express 
surprise that the negotiations succeeded
If the Jarl's opposing side made the first demand and acquired his side's major 
hold, which is usually the case, he will state that losing his side's major 
hold is a high price, even if the other side's major hold was gained in return. 
On the other hand, if the Jarl's side made the first demand and acquired the 
opposing side's major hold, the Jarl will be elated, even if his side's major 
hold was lost in return. Otherwise if the side making the first demand couldn't 
get the major hold because they had nothing to offer, the Jarl expresses 
surprise that the truce worked. In practice, Vignar will never be elated, 
because he's still a miserable old git >:0. That and he'll only be at the table 
if Whiterun was won by the Stormcloaks, ergo the Dragonborn sided with the 
Stormcloaks, ergo the Imperials always make the opening demand, ergo the 
opposing side of the Jarl.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

So, to go over the changes from the simple explanation earlier...

The counter demand decision D2 is the biggest change, since the options depend 
on the number of holds a losing side has to offer in return. Remember, the 
losing side in the civil war will always be the one making the first demand, 
and so always the one subject to the counter demand. If the losing side has 
already lost their major hold, having only 1 minor hold remaining, the 
Dragonborn will be forced to offer the minor hold, and with it the winning side 
will not be able to demand a minor hold if they go into concessions. If the 
losing side does not even have a minor hold to offer, then no holds are 
exchanged, and no points given. You'll be given two dialog choices in this 
case, but whichever is chosen does not affect the negotiation.

As alluded to above, minor hold concessions will not be available if the 
winning side goes into concessions with the losing side having less than 2 
minor holds.

With the possibility of no major holds changing sides if the losing side has 
nothing to offer in return, there is a third possibility for what the Jarl of 
Whiterun says. Usually he remarks about the major hold that was a compulsory 
loss or gain, but in the event that it cannot be exchanged at all, he simply 
expresses surprise that the negotiations worked out.

Finally, there are the comments to the Dragonborn that depend on the Dragonborn 
Fairness Scale rather than the usual Table Fairness Scale. These are the 
comment made by the unhappy side before they moan at the opposition, the 
remarks made when deferring to the Dragonborn regarding concessions, and the 
Dragonborn's side's leader's judgment of their actions at the end of the 
negotiation.





      -------------------------------------------------------------------------
     /                                                                        /
    /                                                                        / 
   /                                Examples                                /  
  /                                                                        /   
 /                                                                        /    
/________________________________________________________________________/ ~X
Here I provide examples to further clarify how the negotiation algorithm works.

A score of 3-2 means the Imperials have 3 points and the Stormcloaks have 2; I 
place the Imperials on the left, as that is the side of the table they sit on 
from the player's perspective. In each example, unless stated otherwise, I 
assume that the massacre concession is available to the Imperials, but not the 
Stormcloaks.

The format of each example follows:

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/                                                                             \
Variables:
Dragonborn side: <Which side the Dragonborn is with in the civil war questline; 
Neutral/Imperial/Stormcloak>
Whiterun: <Which side holds Whiterun, Imperial to begin with; 
Imperial/Stormcloak>
Imperial Major/Minor holds: <Number of major holds the Imperials still own, not 
including their base Solitude or Whiterun; 0-1> / <Number of minor holds the 
Imperials still own; 0-2>
Stormcloak Major/Minor holds: <Number of major holds the Stormcloaks still own, 
not including their base Windhelm; 0-1> / <Number of minor holds the 
Stormcloaks still own; 0-2>

Decisions:
Thalmor: <The Dragonborn's decision about the Thalmor presence; Leave/Stay>
Counter-Demand: <The Dragonborn's decision about what hold the counter 
demanding side gets; Major / Minor / Minor (mandatory) / No Exchange>
Concession 1: <The Dragonborn's decision about the first concession; 
granted/denied/->
Concession 2: <The Dragonborn's decision about the second concession; 
granted/denied/->

<A walkthrough of how the negotiation plays out and why>
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

By putting the values for the variables and decisions together, each possible 
negotiation can be uniquely identified; the values become a "primary key" of 
sorts, in some hypothetical database filled with all possible negotiations.





=================================              ================================
================================ Basic Examples ===============================
=================================              ==========================~XB===

Let's start out with a simple one, one that tries to be as fair as possible:
 _____________________________________________________________________________
/                                                                             \
Variables:
Dragonborn side: Neutral
Whiterun: Imperial (always the case if neutral)
Imperial Major/Minor holds: 1/2 (always the case if neutral)
Stormcloak Major/Minor holds: 1/2 (always the case if neutral)

Decisions:
Thalmor: Stay
Counter-Demand: Minor
Concession 1: Denied
Concession 2: Granted

The Fairness Scale starts out at 0-0. Ulfric asks what the Dragonborn thinks 
about the Thalmor's presence, since the Dragonborn is neutral. The Dragonborn 
decides the Thalmor should stay, favoring the Imperials, and the score goes to 
1-0. Before negotiations can start, the Stormcloaks are the ones to say that 
they are only here to assist the Dragonborn, since the Dragonborn is neutral. 
Arrngeir's opening addresses Ulfric first, since the Dragonborn is neutral.

The Stormcloaks make the opening demand for the Imperials' major hold, since 
the Dragonborn is neutral. In return, the Dragonborn gives the Imperials a 
minor hold of the Stormcloaks'. The Stormcloaks get 2 points for acquiring a 
major hold, and the Imperials get 1 point for acquiring a minor hold. The score 
advances to 2-2, balanced.

Since the score is balanced, the counter demanding side, the Imperials, are the 
ones to be unhappy with the deal so far, and will eventually go into 
concessions. Since the score does not dis-favor the Imperials, the Imperials 
don't blame the Dragonborn for their actions. They then proceed to moan until 
Esbern interrupts.

When Esbern finishes, since the Thalmor are still present, Elenwen begins to 
quip, but she is promptly silenced by the unhappy side, the Imperials. The 
Imperials then begin demanding concessions, 2 of which are available.

They demand the massacre compensation first, as it always takes priority. Since 
the score does not favor the opposition, the Imperials are willing to defer the 
decision to the Dragonborn, who denies it. The score advances to 2-3. The score 
now favors the opposition, so they continue to demand concessions.

The next available concession is a minor hold of the Stormcloaks'. Since the 
score favors the opposition, they doubtfully defer the decision to the 
Dragonborn. The Dragonborn grants the concession, and the score becomes 3-3. 
The score is no longer against them, so they are satisfied and end the 
concessions.

Arrngeir reviews the terms. The Stormcloaks are satisfied, since the score does 
not favor the Imperials, and the Imperials are satisfied, since the score does 
not favor the Stormcloaks. The Dragonborn does not have a side, so there is no 
comment about their performance. The Stormcloaks depart, since they do not own 
Whiterun. The Jarl of Whiterun states that the loss of his side's major hold, 
Markarth, is a heavy price to pay, since it was mandatory that it be lost in 
the negotiation.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

Now let's modify the concession decisions a bit, and see what happens...

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/                                                                             \
Variables: As above

Decisions:
Thalmor: Stay
Counter-Demand: Minor
Concession 1: Granted
Concession 2: -

The score is 2-2, and the Imperials start demanding concessions.

They demand the massacre compensation first, as it always takes priority. Since 
the score does not favor the opposition, the Imperials are willing to defer the 
decision to the Dragonborn, who grants it. The score advances to 3-2. The score 
does not favor the opposition, so they are satisfied and end the concessions.

Arrngeir reviews the terms. The Stormcloaks claim bias, since the score favors 
the Imperials, and the Imperials are satisfied, since the score does not favor 
the Stormcloaks.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

Even though the same amount of concessions were granted to the Imperials in 
both cases, the results are different, because denying a concession favors the 
opposite side.

Now let's go through an example where the Dragonborn has just sided with the 
Stormcloaks in the civil war, but not taken Whiterun yet:

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/                                                                             \
Variables:
Dragonborn side: Stormcloak
Whiterun: Imperial
Imperial Major/Minor holds: 1/2
Stormcloak Major/Minor holds: 1/2

Decisions:
Thalmor: Stay
Counter-Demand: Minor
Concession 1: Granted
Concession 2: -

The Fairness Scale starts out at 0-0. Ulfric asks what the Dragonborn thinks 
about the Thalmor's presence, since the Dragonborn is on his side. The 
Dragonborn decides the Thalmor should stay, favoring the Imperials, and the 
score goes to 1-0. Before negotiations can start, the Imperials are the ones to 
say that they are only here to assist the Dragonborn, since the Dragonborn 
opposes them. Arrngeir's opening addresses Tullius first, since the Dragonborn 
opposes him.

The Imperials make the opening demand for the Stormcloaks' major hold, since 
the Dragonborn opposes them. In return, the Dragonborn gives the Stormcloaks a 
minor hold of the Imperials'. The Imperials get 2 points for acquiring a major 
hold, and the Stormcloaks get 1 point for acquiring a minor hold. The score 
advances to 3-1, favoring the Imperials.

Since the score favors the Imperials, the Stormcloaks are the ones to be 
unhappy with the deal so far, and will eventually go into concessions. Since 
the score favors the opposition, the Stormcloaks condemn the Dragonborn for 
bias. They then proceed to moan until Esbern interrupts.

When Esbern finishes, since the Thalmor are still present, Elenwen begins to 
quip, but she is promptly silenced by the unhappy side, the Stormcloaks. The 
Stormcloaks then begin demanding concessions, 1 of which is available.

They demand a minor hold, the only concession available. Since the score favors 
the opposition, they doubtfully defer the decision to the Dragonborn, who 
grants it. The score advances to 3-2. The score still favors the opposition, so 
they continue to demand concessions.

However, no further concessions are available, so they give up, placing "the 
greater good" above their own interests. The negotiation concludes with the 
score at 3-2.

Arrngeir reviews the terms. The Stormcloaks claim bias, since the score favors 
the Imperials, and the Imperials are satisfied, since the score does not favor 
the Stormcloaks. The Dragonborn's side is not favored but does not trail by 2 
or more, so Ulfric claims they gave too much away. The Stormcloaks depart, 
since they do not own Whiterun. The Jarl of Whiterun states that the gain of 
his opposing side's major hold, Riften, is a great success, since it was 
mandatory that it be gained in the negotiation.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

The major differences here are that the Imperials are the ones being least 
cooperative and making the first demand in the early stages of the negotiation, 
whereas previously it was the Stormcloaks.

Let's advance the civil war a bit, and gain Whiterun for the Stormcloaks. We'll 
also deny Ulfric's concession.

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/                                                                             \
Variables:
Dragonborn side: Stormcloak
Whiterun: Stormcloak
Imperial Major/Minor holds: 1/2
Stormcloak Major/Minor holds: 1/2

Decisions:
Thalmor: Stay
Counter-Demand: Minor
Concession 1: Denied
Concession 2: -

Everything happens as before, and the Stormcloaks end up in concessions, with 
the score at 3-1.

They demand a minor hold, the only concession available. Since the score favors 
the opposition, they doubtfully defer the decision to the Dragonborn, who 
denies it. The score advances to 4-1. The score still favors the opposition, so 
they continue to demand concessions.

However, no further concessions are available, so they give up, placing "the 
greater good" above their own interests. The negotiation concludes with the 
score at 4-1.

Arrngeir reviews the terms. The Stormcloaks claim bias, since the score favors 
the Imperials, and the Imperials are satisfied, since the score does not favor 
the Stormcloaks. The Dragonborn's side is not favored and trails by 2 or more 
points, so Ulfric condemns their actions as a disgrace. The Imperials depart, 
since they do not own Whiterun. The Jarl of Whiterun states that the loss of 
his side's major hold, Riften, is a heavy price to pay, since it was mandatory 
that it be lost in the negotiation.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

The denial of the concession makes the Stormcloaks trail by 3 points rather 
than 1 before, so Ulfric is even less pleased with the Dragonborn. The 
Imperials are now the ones to leave, since they no longer hold Whiterun, and 
the Jarl of Whiterun has changed, so the comment gets reversed.

Now we'll try giving Ulfric the major hold instead of the minor one:

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/                                                                             \
Variables: As before

Decisions:
Thalmor: Stay
Counter-Demand: Major
Concession 1: Denied
Concession 2: -

The Fairness Scale starts out at 0-0. Ulfric asks what the Dragonborn thinks 
about the Thalmor's presence, since the Dragonborn is on his side. The 
Dragonborn decides the Thalmor should stay, favoring the Imperials, and the 
score goes to 1-0. Before negotiations can start, the Imperials are the ones to 
say that they are only here to assist the Dragonborn, since the Dragonborn 
opposes them. Arrngeir's opening addresses Tullius first, since the Dragonborn 
opposes him.

The Imperials make the opening demand for the Stormcloaks' major hold, since 
the Dragonborn opposes them. In return, the Dragonborn gives the Stormcloaks 
the major hold of the Imperials'. The Imperials get 2 points for acquiring a 
major hold, and the Stormcloaks also get 2 points for acquiring a major hold. 
The score advances to 3-2, favoring the Imperials.

Since the score favors the Imperials, the Stormcloaks are the ones to be 
unhappy with the deal so far, and will eventually go into concessions. Since 
the score favors the opposition, the Stormcloaks condemn the Dragonborn for 
bias. They then proceed to moan until Esbern interrupts.

When Esbern finishes, since the Thalmor are still present, Elenwen begins to 
quip, but she is promptly silenced by the unhappy side, the Stormcloaks. The 
Stormcloaks then begin demanding concessions, 1 of which is available.

They demand a minor hold, the only concession available. Since the score favors 
the opposition, they doubtfully defer the decision to the Dragonborn, who 
denies it. The score advances to 4-2. The score still favors the opposition, so 
they continue to demand concessions.

However, no further concessions are available, so they give up, placing "the 
greater good" above their own interests. The negotiation concludes with the 
score at 4-2.

Arrngeir reviews the terms. The Stormcloaks claim bias, since the score favors 
the Imperials, and the Imperials are satisfied, since the score does not favor 
the Stormcloaks. The Dragonborn's side has gained a major hold, so Ulfric 
rewards the Dragonborn, despite the fact his side trails by 2 points, which 
would otherwise yield a judgment of disgrace. The Imperials depart, since they 
do not own Whiterun. The Jarl of Whiterun states that the loss of his side's 
major hold, Riften, is a heavy price to pay, since it was mandatory that it be 
lost in the negotiation.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

For the next example, we'll side with the Imperials, and make a fair deal that 
involves exchanging the two sides' major holds.

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/                                                                             \
Variables:
Dragonborn side: Imperial
Whiterun: Imperial
Imperial Major/Minor holds: 1/2
Stormcloak Major/Minor holds: 1/2

Decisions:
Thalmor: Leave
Counter-Demand: Major
Concession 1: Granted
Concession 2: -

The Fairness Scale starts out at 0-0. Tullius asks what the Dragonborn thinks 
about the Thalmor's presence, since the Dragonborn is on their side. The 
Dragonborn decides the Thalmor should leave, favoring the Stormcloaks, and the 
score goes to 0-1. Before negotiations can start, the Stormcloaks are the ones 
to say that they are only here to assist the Dragonborn, since the Dragonborn 
opposes them. Arrngeir's opening addresses Ulfric first, since the Dragonborn 
opposes him.

The Stormcloaks make the opening demand for the Imperials' major hold, since 
the Dragonborn opposes them. In return, the Dragonborn gives the Imperials a 
major hold of the Stormcloaks'. The Stormcloaks get 2 points for acquiring a 
major hold, and the Imperials also get 2 points for acquiring a major hold. The 
score advances to 2-3, favoring the Stormcloaks.

Since the score favors the Stormcloaks, the Imperials are the ones to be 
unhappy with the deal so far, and will eventually go into concessions. Since 
the score favors the opposition, the Imperials condemn the Dragonborn for bias. 
They then proceed to moan until Esbern interrupts.

When Esbern finishes, there is no quip from Elenwen, since the Thalmor have 
left. The Imperials then begin demanding concessions, 2 of which are available.

They demand the massacre compensation first, as it always takes priority. Since 
the score favors the opposition, the Imperials doubtfully defer the decision to 
the Dragonborn, who grants it. The score advances to 3-3. The score is no 
longer against them, so they are satisfied and end the concessions.

Arrngeir reviews the terms. The Stormcloaks are satisfied, since the score does 
not favor the Imperials, and the Imperials are satisfied, since the score does 
not favor the Stormcloaks. The Dragonborn's side is not favored but does not 
trail by 2 or more, so Tullius claims they gave too much away. The Stormcloaks 
depart, since they do not own Whiterun. The Jarl of Whiterun states that the 
loss of his side's major hold, Markarth, is a heavy price to pay, since it was 
mandatory that it be lost in the negotiation.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/





===============================                 ===============================
============================== Advanced Examples ==============================
===============================                 =========================~XA===

In situations where the Table Fairness Scale score and the Dragonborn Fairness 
Scale score are different, I place the Dragonborn score in brackets after the 
Table score. For example, a score of 3-2 (1-2) means the Imperials have 3 Table 
points and 1 Dragonborn point, and the Stormcloaks have 2 Table points and 2 
Dragonborn points. When the scales are equal, which they are under normal 
conditions, I make no distinction.

We'll start with an extreme example - the Stormcloaks have no holds left for 
bargaining, all their holds bar Windhelm having been taken in the civil war 
questline.

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/                                                                             \
Variables:
Dragonborn side: Imperial
Whiterun: Imperial
Imperial Major/Minor holds: 1/2
Stormcloak Major/Minor holds: 0/0

Decisions:
Thalmor: Leave
Counter-Demand: No Exchange
Concession 1: Denied
Concession 2: -

The scales start out at 2-0 (0-0). The Imperials start out with 2 Table points 
on the Table Fairness Scale since the opposition has no major or minor holds 
left. The Dragonborn Fairness Scale always starts out balanced.

Tullius asks what the Dragonborn thinks about the Thalmor's presence, since the 
Dragonborn is on his side. The Dragonborn decides the Thalmor should leave, 
favoring the Stormcloaks, and the score goes to 2-1 (0-1). Before negotiations 
can start, the Stormcloaks are the ones to say that they are only here to 
assist the Dragonborn, since the Dragonborn opposes them. Arrngeir's opening 
addresses Ulfric first, since the Dragonborn opposes him.

The Stormcloaks make the opening demand for the Imperials' major hold, since 
the Dragonborn opposes them. However, they have nothing to offer in return, so 
no holds are exchanged. The score remains at 2-1 (0-1).

Since the Table Fairness Scale favors the Imperials, the Stormcloaks are the 
ones to be unhappy with the deal so far, and will eventually go into 
concessions. Since the Dragonborn Fairness Scale does not dis-favor them, the 
Stormcloaks don't blame the Dragonborn for their actions. They then proceed to 
moan until Esbern interrupts.

When Esbern finishes, there is no quip from Elenwen, since the Thalmor have 
left. The Stormcloaks then begin demanding concessions, 1 of which is 
available.

They demand a minor hold, the only concession available. Since the Dragonborn 
Fairness Scale does not favor the opposition, the Stormcloaks are willing to 
defer the decision to the Dragonborn, who denies it. The score advances to 3-1 
(1-1). The Table Fairness Scale still favors the opposition, so they continue 
to demand concessions.

However, no further concessions are available, so they give up, placing "the 
greater good" above their own interests. The negotiation concludes with the 
score at 3-1 (1-1). Although the Dragonborn has been fair to both sides, the 
terms agreed favor the winning Imperials.

Arrngeir reviews the terms. The Stormcloaks claim bias, since the Table 
Fairness Scale favors the Imperials, and the Imperials are satisfied, since the 
Table Fairness Scale does not favor the Stormcloaks. The Dragonborn's side is 
not favored on the Dragonborn Fairness Scale but does not trail by 2 or more, 
so Tullius claims they gave too much away. The Stormcloaks depart, since they 
do not own Whiterun. The Jarl of Whiterun expresses surprise that the truce 
worked, since no major hold exchanged sides.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

What's unusual here is that after the demand and counter demand, the Dragonborn 
Fairness Scale favors the Stormcloaks, yet the Table Fairness Scale favors the 
Imperials. This explains why, despite being unhappy with the deal, the 
Stormcloaks remain happy with the Dragonborn's actions. Also note the ending 
score - the Dragonborn Fairness Scale is balanced, meaning the Dragonborn has 
been fair to both sides, but the Table Fairness Scale is not, meaning the deal 
favors one side. In order to make the deal fair, the Dragonborn has to favor 
the losing side, as in the following example:

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/                                                                             \
Variables: As before

Decisions:
Thalmor: Leave
Counter-Demand: No Exchange
Concession 1: Granted
Concession 2: -

The negotiation proceeds as before, up to the Stormcloaks going into 
concessions, with the score at 2-1 (0-1).

They demand a minor hold, the only concession available. Since the Dragonborn 
Fairness Scale does not favor the opposition, the Stormcloaks are willing to 
defer the decision to the Dragonborn, who grants it. The score advances to 2-2 
(0-2). The Table Fairness Scale is now balanced, so they are satisfied and end 
the concessions.

Arrngeir reviews the terms. The Stormcloaks are satisfied, since the Table 
Fairness Scale does not favor the Imperials, and the Imperials are satisfied, 
since the Table Fairness Scale does not favor the Stormcloaks. The Dragonborn's 
side is not favored on the Dragonborn Fairness Scale and trails by 2 or more, 
so Tullius condemns the Dragonborn's actions as a disgrace. The Stormcloaks 
depart, since they do not own Whiterun. The Jarl of Whiterun expresses surprise 
that the truce worked, since no major hold exchanged sides.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

Now the inverse is the case; despite both sides being satisfied with the deal, 
Tullius condemns the Dragonborn's actions, as in order to make the deal fair 
they had to favor the losing side heavily.

Now let's look at an example where one side retains 1 minor hold with their 
major hold lost...

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/                                                                             \
Variables:
Dragonborn side: Imperial
Whiterun: Imperial
Imperial Major/Minor holds: 1/2
Stormcloak Major/Minor holds: 0/1

Decisions:
Thalmor: Leave
Counter-Demand: Minor, mandatory
Concession 1: Granted
Concession 2: -

The scales start out at 1-0 (0-0). The Imperials start out with 1 Table point 
on the Table Fairness Scale since the opposition has no major holds left, but 
retains a minor hold. The Dragonborn Fairness Scale always starts out balanced.

Tullius asks what the Dragonborn thinks about the Thalmor's presence, since the 
Dragonborn is on his side. The Dragonborn decides the Thalmor should leave, 
favoring the Stormcloaks, and the score goes to 1-1 (0-1). Before negotiations 
can start, the Stormcloaks are the ones to say that they are only here to 
assist the Dragonborn, since the Dragonborn opposes them. Arrngeir's opening 
addresses Ulfric first, since the Dragonborn opposes him.

The Stormcloaks make the opening demand for the Imperials' major hold, since 
the Dragonborn opposes them. In return, the Dragonborn can only give the 
Imperials a minor hold of the Stormcloaks', since their major hold has been 
taken in the civil war. The Stormcloaks get 2 points for acquiring a major 
hold, and the Imperials get 1 point for acquiring a minor hold. The Stormcloaks 
now have no minor holds left. The score advances to 2-3 (1-3), favoring the 
Stormcloaks.

Since the Table Fairness Scale favors the Stormcloaks, the Imperials are the 
ones to be unhappy with the deal so far, and will eventually go into 
concessions. Since the Dragonborn Fairness Scale does not favor them, the 
Imperials condemn the Dragonborn for bias. They then proceed to moan until 
Esbern interrupts.

When Esbern finishes, there is no quip from Elenwen, since the Thalmor have 
left. The Imperials then begin demanding concessions, 1 of which is available.

They demand a massacre compensation, the only concession available since the 
Stormcloaks have no minor holds left. Since the Dragonborn Fairness Scale 
favors the opposition, the Imperials doubtfully defer the decision to the 
Dragonborn, who grants it. The score advances to 3-3 (2-3). The Table Fairness 
Scale is now balanced, so they are satisfied and end the concessions.

Arrngeir reviews the terms. The Stormcloaks are satisfied, since the Table 
Fairness Scale does not favor the Imperials, and the Imperials are satisfied, 
since the Table Fairness Scale does not favor the Stormcloaks. The Dragonborn's 
side is not favored on the Dragonborn Fairness Scale but does not trail by 2 or 
more, so Tullius claims they gave too much away. The Stormcloaks depart, since 
they do not own Whiterun. The Jarl of Whiterun states that the loss of his 
side's major hold, Markarth, is a heavy price to pay, since it was mandatory 
that it be lost in the negotiation.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

Let's try being fairer to both sides at the start, and see how that affects the 
rest of the negotiation...

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/                                                                             \
Variables: As before

Decisions:
Thalmor: Stay
Counter-Demand: Minor, mandatory
Concession 1: Granted
Concession 2: -

The scales start out at 1-0 (0-0), as before.

Tullius asks what the Dragonborn thinks about the Thalmor's presence, since the 
Dragonborn is on his side. The Dragonborn decides the Thalmor should stay, 
favoring the Imperials, and the score goes to 2-0 (1-0). Before negotiations 
can start, the Stormcloaks are the ones to say that they are only here to 
assist the Dragonborn, since the Dragonborn opposes them. Arrngeir's opening 
addresses Ulfric first, since the Dragonborn opposes him.

The Stormcloaks make the opening demand for the Imperials' major hold, since 
the Dragonborn opposes them. In return, the Dragonborn can only give the 
Imperials a minor hold of the Stormcloaks', since their major hold has been 
taken in the civil war. The Stormcloaks get 2 points for acquiring a major 
hold, and the Imperials get 1 point for acquiring a minor hold. The Stormcloaks 
now have no minor holds left. The score advances to 3-2 (2-2).

Since the Table Fairness Scale favors the Imperials, the Stormcloaks are the 
ones to be unhappy with the deal so far, and will eventually go into 
concessions. Since the Dragonborn Fairness Scale does not dis-favor them, the 
Stormcloaks don't blame the Dragonborn for their actions. They then proceed to 
moan until Esbern interrupts.

When Esbern finishes, since the Thalmor are still present, Elenwen begins to 
quip, but she is promptly silenced by the unhappy side, the Stormcloaks. The 
Stormcloaks then begin demanding concessions, 1 of which is available.

They demand a minor hold, the only concession available. Since the Dragonborn 
Fairness Scale does not favor the opposition, the Stormcloaks willingly defer 
the decision to the Dragonborn, who grants it. The score advances to 3-3 (2-3). 
The Table Fairness Scale is now balanced, so they are satisfied and end the 
concessions.

Arrngeir reviews the terms. The Stormcloaks are satisfied, since the Table 
Fairness Scale does not favor the Imperials, and the Imperials are satisfied, 
since the Table Fairness Scale does not favor the Stormcloaks. The Dragonborn's 
side is not favored on the Dragonborn Fairness Scale but does not trail by 2 or 
more, so Tullius claims they gave too much away. The Stormcloaks depart, since 
they do not own Whiterun. The Jarl of Whiterun states that the loss of his 
side's major hold, Markarth, is a heavy price to pay, since it was mandatory 
that it be lost in the negotiation.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

The process is different, but the result is the same. This route has the 
advantage of not annoying one of the sides after the demand and counter demand.

The next example demonstrates a situation where no concessions are available to 
the concessioning side, when one side has 1 minor hold instead of the usual 2:

 _____________________________________________________________________________
/                                                                             \
Variables:
Dragonborn side: Stormcloak
Whiterun: Stormcloak
Imperial Major/Minor holds: 1/1
Stormcloak Major/Minor holds: 1/2

Decisions:
Thalmor: Leave
Counter-Demand: Minor
Concession 1: -
Concession 2: -

Both scales start out at 0-0, and remain equal throughout the negotiation. 
Ulfric asks what the Dragonborn thinks about the Thalmor's presence, since the 
Dragonborn is on his side. The Dragonborn decides the Thalmor should leave, 
favoring the Stormcloaks, and the score goes to 0-1. Before negotiations can 
start, the Imperials are the ones to say that they are only here to assist the 
Dragonborn, since the Dragonborn opposes them. Arrngeir's opening addresses 
Tullius first, since the Dragonborn opposes him.

The Imperials make the opening demand for the Stormcloaks' major hold, since 
the Dragonborn opposes them. In return, the Dragonborn gives the Stormcloaks a 
minor hold of the Imperials'. The Imperials get 2 points for acquiring a major 
hold, and the Stormcloaks get 1 point for acquiring a minor hold. The Imperials 
now have no minor holds left. The score advances to 2-2, balanced.

Since the score is balanced, the counter demanding side, the Stormcloaks, are 
the ones to be unhappy with the deal so far, and will eventually go into 
concessions. Since the score does not dis-favor them, the Stormcloaks don't 
blame the Dragonborn for their actions. They then proceed to moan until Esbern 
interrupts.

When Esbern finishes, there is no quip from Elenwen, since the Thalmor have 
left. The Stormcloaks then begin demanding concessions.

However, no concessions are available, since the Imperials have no minor holds 
left, so they give up. They say they'll place "the greater good" above their 
own interests, despite the fact the negotiation concludes with a balanced score 
of 2-2.

Arrngeir reviews the terms. The Stormcloaks are satisfied, since the score does 
not favor the Imperials, and the Imperials are satisfied, since the score does 
not favor the Stormcloaks. The Dragonborn's side is not favored but does not 
trail by 2 or more points, so Ulfric says they gave too much away. The 
Imperials depart, since they do not own Whiterun. The Jarl of Whiterun states 
that the loss of his side's major hold, Riften, is a heavy price to pay, since 
it was mandatory that it be lost in the negotiation.
\_____________________________________________________________________________/

Another oddity here is that the Stormcloaks complain about the deal when they 
don't get the concessions they want, yet are then satisfied with the deal when 
it comes to agreeing.





      -------------------------------------------------------------------------
     /                                                                        /
    /                                                                        / 
   /                           Brash Assumptions                            /  
  /                                                                        /   
 /                                                                        /    
/________________________________________________________________________/ ~B
This is where I put the ramblings of some of my own theories about the 
negotiation.

                             The Imperial Massacre
Does this even exist? Do the Stormcloaks ever demand compensation for a 
massacre by the Imperials? We've all heard of the Stormcloak massacre at 
Karthwasten, but what about others? In all my playthroughs, this is the only 
one I've seen. Consequently, I've never heard Ulfric's second concession 
granted/denied remark, as the Stormcloaks have no more than 1 concession 
available. I've heard hints and suggestions that other massacres exist, but 
I've never seen anything solid, so I'm wondering if this is an urban myth, or 
perhaps something that only occurs with an add-on or extension of some sort.

                            Minor Hold Concessions
Only 1 minor hold concession seems to be demanded, even if there are 2 
available on the counter demanding side and no massacre concession is 
available. For example... The Dragonborn is neutral, so the Stormcloaks demand 
a major hold. We side with the Imperials for the first two decisions, leaving 
the Imperials ahead by 1 point. The Stormcloaks then go into concessions and 
demand one of the Imperials' 2 minor holds, neither of which has been 
considered so far in the negotiation. This is denied. Rather than try demanding 
a second concession in the form of the Imperials' other minor hold, the 
Stormcloaks give in. The exact minor hold demanded in concessions, along with 
the counter demand, does vary; it is not fixed, but it does seem to depend on 
whether the Dragonborn has picked a side or not.





      -------------------------------------------------------------------------
     /                                                                        /
    /                                                                        / 
   /                                  FAQ                                   /  
  /                                                                        /   
 /                                                                        /    
/________________________________________________________________________/ ~Q

- What version of the game did you use?

The 360 version, with the update, no add-ons.

- How do I start a negotiation where one side only has their base hold left?

During the battle for the fort of the last hold of a side before their base 
hold, simply run off and don't let the battle complete. You'll be able to pull 
both sides along to the negotiation, and once both agree to attend, the mission 
will automatically complete, and your side will gain the hold. Going from 
memory, if you allow the battle to complete, gain the hold, and then try to get 
your side to come, the option won't be there.

- I can't get Ulfric/Tullius to come to the negotiation!

Hmm... Not really the subject of this guide, but all right. You need to advance 
the civil war questline a bit. At certain points in that questline the option 
will not be available; this is by design to avoid glitches. Just play through 
the civil war questline for a bit, and it'll soon become available. Or you'll 
finish the questline and the negotiation will be cancelled :P.

- The Jarl of Whiterun is always unhappy after the negotiation! How can I make 
him pleased?

You can't. The Whiterun Jarl's response is determined by factors entirely 
outside the negotiation. Nothing you do in the negotiation will change his 
remark. The only way to change his remark is to either side with the 
Stormcloaks but not take Whiterun, or advance the civil war questline until one 
side has no holds left for bargaining.

- Why do guides like these always stick to boring ASCII characters, and never 
take advantage of the plethora of vibrant characters offered by the now well-
established Unicode standard?

Yes, I am aware I could do things like
┌────── make better horizontal
│ and vertical borders,
░▒▓use shading,▓▒░
③ have
● fancy
◇ bullet
◑ points,
“use decent double quotes”, have a proper copyright © symbol,
↱ point to ⇄ all sorts of things ⇐ and mark them to be of interest ⌘,
and generally ⁄ have access to ° a variety of ✳ useful punctuation,
but the GameFAQs guidelines recommend ASCII characters only, citing the ideal 
of portability across all devices. Unusual characters aside, even though all 
Web-capable devices nowadays ought to be supporting Unicode along with a 
healthy amount of popular characters, I can sympathize with their argument. 
Well, to an extent…





      -------------------------------------------------------------------------
     /                                                                        /
    /                                                                        / 
   /                                Contact                                 /  
  /                                                                        /   
 /                                                                        /    
/________________________________________________________________________/ ~C
If you've come across a particular negotiation or sequence of events that seems 
to contradict the explanation in this guide, or you've found some evidence for 
or against one of my ramblings in the "Brash Assumptions" section, you can 
contact me if you like.

However, don't expect a quick response; I don't check messages nearly as much 
as most others. Additionally any changes to this guide suggested are made 
entirely at my discretion; if it's just a minor thing or the evidence cited is 
sketchy, I may leave it, or "eventually" get around to an update of some sort.

If you're contacting me regarding something you've experienced in a particular 
negotiation, I'll need the following details so that I can try to reproduce it 
my end, and see the results for myself:
- Whose side you are on in the civil war questline, or if you haven't joined a 
side
- If you've sided with the Stormcloaks, whether or not you've taken Whiterun 
yet
- If you've taken a side, whether or not you've taken the opposition's major 
hold yet, either Rift/Riften or Reach/Markarth
- If you've taken a side, how many of the opposition's minor holds you've taken
- The choices you made in the negotiation, which include the Thalmor decision, 
the counter demand decision, and the decisions for each concession demanded

To determine if you've taken a hold or not, aside checking the quest history 
you can go to that hold's capitol and see if the Jarl has changed from the 
default. If the Jarl of the hold has changed, you've taken the hold.

Also, make sure you haven't made a mistake. In particular, make sure you've 
taken what holds you think you've taken; it's possible you may seem to have 
taken a hold when actually you haven't, in which case you need to advance the 
civil war questline a bit. You can contact me through the GameFAQs PM system, 
egg_meister.





      -------------------------------------------------------------------------
     /                                                                        /
    /                                                                        / 
   /                            Version History                             /  
  /                                                                        /   
 /                                                                        /    
/________________________________________________________________________/     
. . . meh.





      -------------------------------------------------------------------------
     /                                                                        /
    /                                                                        / 
   /                               Copyright                                /  
  /                                                                        /   
 /                                                                        /    
/________________________________________________________________________/     
I don't know why people fuss over this so much. On the one hand this is the 
Web, an open forum where copying and redistributing is commonplace, and on the 
other basic protection terms are implied anyway. I could say that no one is 
allowed to have more than one copy of this guide, but what would be the point? 
I wouldn't know about it, let alone be able to do anything about it.

The only thing I do ask is that I be given credit where due, and likewise that 
this guide is not plagiarized.

Otherwise, do what and redistribute how you like. If you want to saturate your 
hard drive with thousands of copies of this guide in worship, go right ahead. 
If you want to print out endless copies of this guide and use it as toilet 
paper, go right ahead. Nobody's going to stop you. Except perhaps the HSE.




















"Congratulations. You've found the Bards' College kitchen."