Relevant Ability: Charisma
The knowledge concerning the proper way to interact during social situations, and negotiations, including rules of conduct and persuasion.
Gather Information: You can also use Diplomacy to gather information about a specific topic or individual. To do this, you must spend at least 1d4 hours canvassing people at local taverns, markets, and gathering places.
Check: Diplomacy is an opposed roll if the other people involved wish to contest the character, otherwise there is a target assigned by the GM. The DC of the Gather Information check depends on the obscurity of the information sought, but for most commonly known facts or rumors it is 10. For obscure or secret knowledge, the DC might increase to 20 or higher. The GM might rule that some topics are simply unknown to common folk.
Action: Yes, time must be spent talking to someone.