Griftlands is a roguelike deck-building RPG with a lot going on. Klei’s first foray into the somewhat overcrowded genre gives players two different decks to manage, alongside several systems they’ll need to dig into to get the most out of each run. One of these systems is the relationship mechanic. Klei lets you approach the game differently, often giving you the option to go in guns blazing with your battle deck or using your wit through the negotiation deck. These choices can influence your relationships with the characters in the world. If you want a successful run, managing those relationships is key.
Each character in Griftlands can be in one of five different stages of a relationship with you. The scale runs from Loved to Hated. On the surface, you might assume that this doesn’t really matter outside of the narrative, but that would be incorrect. Griftlands also layers in a system called Social Boons and Banes. These upgrades give your character important traits that affect them throughout each run. To get new ones, you either need to become Loved or Hated by the characters around you.
As you might expect, Loved characters give you Boons while Hated characters give you Banes. The easiest ways to become Loved with characters is to complete missions for them, drink with them in a bar, or help them out in random events. Essentially, treat people well, and they’ll become your friend. Generally, the most common way to have a character Hate you is to kill their friends and allies. If you enter a battle with a character, you’ll automatically become disliked, but the game gives you the option to spare them if you deal enough damage. Almost without question, this is the option to take. Executing them will make other characters hate you, making your current run much more difficult.
In fact, in some ways, it’s more important to not become Hated than it is to become Loved. If you rack up too many Social Banes, your run is essentially over. This is why we recommend never killing anyone if you can help it. Otherwise, just be nice to everyone you meet, and you’ll end up with more friends than enemies and be well on your way to beating Griftlands.