Disposition is the rating of how much a character likes the player, ranging from a character not liking the player (at 0) to a character being the player's best friend (at 100) (in Skyrim, the system works differently). Disposition is based on a number of factors, including race, personality, reputation, faction affiliations, and past encounters with that character, their friends, and their enemies. Disposition can also be affected by nonmagical abilities related to the speechcraft skill or through the use of charm spells.
Disposition in Skyrim depends entirely on Speech, race, factions, quests done, if the person is a merchant, how often you buy and sell at their store and more realistically how often you interact with them.
Speaking with a character causes the camera to zoom on their face. Once this occurs, clicking the icon with the face opens a screen that shows current disposition and gives access to the persuasion minigame and Bribery options. The number in the center of the wheel marks the character's current disposition.
From this menu a minigame can be played which alters the disposition of the NPC. The Hero is rewarded with skill gains in Speechcraft whether disposition is gained or lost.
While the NPC's disposition slowly declines, the player must quickly select either a Boast, Joke, Admire or Coerce wedge. Each can only be chosen once each round. One of these actions is Loved, one Liked, one Disliked, and one Hated, as can be seen by the NPC's facial expressions. This preference does not change. Positive reactions improve disposition and negatives subtract from it. The colored segments rotate clockwise each turn, with larger segments having a greater effect.
An important factor in persuading is their facial expression. For example, when speaking to a Khajiit, if they do not like the option that the player is about to select, they lower their ears and hiss. Hovering the cursor over the "Joke" option causes this response in Khajiit, as many of them do not appreciate humor.
Whatever tactics are chosen, the strategy is obviously to minimize losses and maximize gains; matching as closely as possible the actions that lose disposition to the smaller segments, and gains to the larger ones.
1 coin raises disposition by approximately 10 points, depending on the speechcraft skill; higher levels grant higher bonuses. The amount of disposition granted by each bribe lowers every time it is performed, until the maximum amount of disposition is reached.
Charm spells, governed by the Illusion school of Magicka, influences disposition. Charm spells will raise Disposition; the amount raised is equal to the magnitude of the spell. It is possible to purchase or create charm spells potent enough to raise anyone to maximum disposition long enough to sway their buying power, complete a quest, or extract secrets from them. Disposition returns to normal at the expiry of the spell.
- NPCs will not object to being stolen from if their disposition is 100 (they still object to pickpocketing). Guards will not send the Hero to jail if their disposition is 91 or above.