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Social skills in Pathfinder: How many members of the party need to be good at it and any other social topics?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Shadow Lodge

Finlanderboy wrote:

I am sorry I misunderstood. I call that the venture lieutenant special. Since two of the VLs I know cheat that way. Then cry and complain claimign they are VLs and it was a mistake when their dice roll is held against them until the DM relents.

They also roll the dice off their books and claim that any low die that falls of thier book is a mis-roll and rereoll.

Ah. Yes, that would be annoying.

Social skills are tricky, because it's one of the few areas (along with puzzle-solving) where a player's skills can be directly used at table. And I don't want to see all social encounters (or puzzles) reduced to a die roll. But it's a real shame to discourage players from having socially skilled characters by disregarding the character's skill bonus and making the player's skill pull half or more of the load.


Weirdo wrote:
Social skills are tricky, because it's one of the few areas (along with puzzle-solving) where a player's skills can be directly used at table. And I don't want to see all social encounters (or puzzles) reduced to a die roll. But it's a real shame to discourage players from having socially skilled characters by disregarding the character's skill bonus and making the player's skill pull half or more of the load.

Actually, I don't know if the divide is quite as great as it seems between that and, say, combat, to use your earlier example. I think it comes down to tactics vs. mechanical skill.

Yes, you don't need to be able to actually do that swing/riposte/slash combo with a sword to say that your character attacks the other guy. But at the same time, an experienced fighter would know that it's bad to put yourself in a position where you can be easily flanked by charging out ahead of the rest of your party, and there's no mechanic in Pathfinder preventing a (supposedly) savvy fighter from pulling such a boneheaded move. Similarly, there's nothing stopping a (supposedly) high INT Wizard from idiotically Fireballing their own teammates, as many stories have recounted.

Just like you don't need to be able to expertly perform the sword moves, you don't need to be super-convincing or seductive or whatever in the way you talk OOC. You can be speaking with a stutter, or hesitating, or taking longer to say things than you'd have in a normal conversation, and your character could still say it like a suave master manipulator.

But if the fundamental direction you decide to go with your lie is a non-optimal one, that's kinda like making a stupid tactical decision in combat as far as I can see it. You shouldn't need to be exactly as good as your character, but there are definitely aspects (usually the larger-scale, strategy aspects) in which player skill should show through in the kind of character your trying to play, and I think the system allows room for that in both social and combat interactions.

Shadow Lodge

Yes, the mechanical skill of delivery can be assumed of the character. But combat tactics are different from strategic lying. You're saying that combat requires players to recognize a bad tactic, but successful lying requires not only recognizing a bad lie but coming up with a good one.

Not Fireballing your teammates (unless they're defended against it) is common sense. It is in theory pretty easy to recognize that this is a bad plan.

Recognizing a very bad lie is also fairly simple. For example, claiming to be the king when your country doesn't have one.

Spontaneously generating a good tactical plan isn't that hard. You have a list of spells and you can probably find one that's more useful (for example, cast a buff or debuff spell instead of fireball, or summon something). If you have a toolbox and you know what the tools do, finding the right tool isn't difficult. If you don't have the ideal tool it can be trickier, but in most cases you'll find something that works.

Spontaneously generating a good lie is much harder. You don't have the same sort of defined toolkit that a caster with a spell list does. You have a near-infinite set of possible lies, most of which are garbage. You need to find a useful lie fast, and it may or may not be a lie that you've used before.


Weirdo wrote:
Yes, the mechanical skill of delivery can be assumed of the character. But combat tactics are different from strategic lying. You're saying that combat requires players to recognize a bad tactic, but successful lying requires not only recognizing a bad lie but coming up with a good one.

Sorry, the Fireball example was just a quick example that I threw together to compare with the idea of telling a bad lie, as was being discussed above. (A particular example that was stuck in my mind since I'd just recently read a story of someone doing just that.) But, bad example aside, the issue is more than just that.

If the question is between recognizing a bad lie/strategy and coming up with a good one, I still think that falls under the same idea, but I'd use a different example to show that.

Quote:

Spontaneously generating a good tactical plan isn't that hard. You have a list of spells and you can probably find one that's more useful (for example, cast a buff or debuff spell instead of fireball, or summon something). If you have a toolbox and you know what the tools do, finding the right tool isn't difficult. If you don't have the ideal tool it can be trickier, but in most cases you'll find something that works.

Spontaneously generating a good lie is much harder. You don't have the same sort of defined toolkit that a caster with a spell list does. You have a near-infinite set of possible lies, most of which are garbage. You need to find a useful lie fast, and it may or may not be a lie that you've used before.

Actually, they're both easy or hard depending on the situation the GM (or your own choices) puts you in.

If the combat encounter is just "You walk into a room with a handful of kobolds; they charge straight at you into melee and exchange full attacks until one side drops" then ok, sure, generating a workable, survivable tactical plan isn't going to be rocket science. Similarly, if the social situation you're being faced with is "the guards of the usurper baron are showing around the picture of the infant heir that your party is trying to smuggle out of the kingdom", it doesn't take any great insight or imagination to respond to their questions with a lie of "why no, officer, I haven't the slightest idea where this kid is."

Simple tactical situation, simple lying situation.

If, on the other hand, the GM likes to throw tactical challenges in the vein of, say, Tucker's Kobolds at the party, suddenly the "simple" act of generating a good in-combat counterplan can become very intense challenge. Just like in a more complex lying situation, a more complex tactical situation like that one could have a countless number of approaches you could take to the combat... most of which will result in your party getting ripped to shreds.

And in that case, yes. Less-intelligent players playing characters who (by character stats) are modeled as genius level strategists will very likely die, in non-character-fitting ways, due to player choices that just don't match what one would expect from the characters being modeled. Them's the breaks in this game.

Here, like the case of the lie you mentioned, the issue isn't simply recognizing a bad strategy but coming up with a good one. Should the PCs facing Tucker's Kobolds be able to say that, well, one of us has really super-high INT, so he should be able to use that to come up with "some kind of strategy, I don't know what" that would lure the kobolds out into the open so they can be mowed down?

I certainly wouldn't let them do that. If they want an ingenious strategy to tip the balance of an encounter (just like if they want an ingenious lie to get them out of a horrible spot) they're going to have to come up with it. As players.

(Not to mention that not getting a specific lie from them also invalidates the RAW modifier system. How do you apply a -5, -10 or -20 to a lie based on how plausible the lie being told is... unless you ask what the particular, specific lie being used is, as opposed to just the effect they want to achieve?)


claymade wrote:


If the question is between recognizing a bad lie/strategy and coming up with a good one, I still think that falls under the same idea, but I'd use a different example to show that.

....

Actually, they're both easy or hard depending on the situation the GM (or your own choices) puts you in.

If the combat encounter is just "You walk into a room with a handful of kobolds; they charge straight at you into melee and exchange full attacks until one side drops" then ok, sure, generating a workable, survivable tactical plan isn't going to be rocket science. Similarly, if the social situation you're being faced with is "the guards of the usurper...

but see these are still circumstantial issues that deal outside of the actual action.

The tucker kobalt situation is as dangerous as the social character walking into a tavern and immediately yelling for the male barkeep to ante up another round unbeknownst to him that that barkeep suffered a miserable death in the very tavern that has EVERYONE shaken up about it, and then to find out that the new barkeep is a woman. Kinda puts a damper into any social attempt to talk to anyone, because you've already soiled the milk.

Or in other words. If the players could get to the kobalts that were of menacing variety, they would most likely fell without having to explain how the fell

Then you take it the next step by promising the new female barkeep that you'll handle this like you handled the goblin pack you fought a few days ago, only to find out that the goblin pack's leader reformed a group that happened to be the ones that attacked the tavern.

All of these are circumstantial outside elements that are learned on the fly. But when it comes to the ACTUAL skill, that's where things get interesting.

If I have completely ridiculously high skills in a social skill and I tell that to the barmaid, should I fail an otherwise successful roll because I said something wrong? No, of course not. But the GM (and in theory the mood of the game) should portray some kind of penalty for it. Or should it?

Likewise, If the fighter in the heat of combat attempts to dodge a kobalts blade and says "I swiftly lean backwards to dodge the blade", does he take a -4 penalty because the GM then mentions "well, the kobalt was actually doing a vertical slash rather than horizontal". No, they'd say "roll to dodge" and then "success or not".

While it's depressing to hear, a non-social person playing a social character should, for all intents and purposes, be able to say "I lie to the shopkeep" and roll. And that's that. The issue is usually that goes rather poorly and instead of getting a 100g discount, you only get a 25g one because it wasn't awe-inspiring enough.

I happen to enjoy playing support classes, clerics, bards, and such. It just so happens, they're usually really good at social skills. I the player am not the greatest at coming up with elaborate schemes and lies and monologues. My character, on the other hand, could write a novel in 20 minutes to persuade you that the sword you were going to give to the enemy really does deserve a better home.


Or, to piggy back off some of the earlier topics. I understand that it is somewhat fun to allow the roleplay aspect to allow an 8 CHR barbarian actually talk to people and get away with social aspects of the game.

But as a crippled support character? That's almost gut-wrenching.

With low STR, i simply and physically -cannot- do damage
With low DES, I simply and physically -cannot- dodge or reflex to save my life
With low CON, lol u dead
With low WIS, I can't will-save worth a hoot
With low INT, I can't cast worth beans

So why can that low CHR beast of a man talk up a convincing and charming story when I can't do diddly but prick the finger of the angry kobalt. Nevermind anything that could roflstomp me into oblivion.

Sure, he can't talk to kings and political leaders that well. But unless there's a round of combat where we fight viscious level .2 snails, I'm slightly upset.

Only slightly, because I understand. But it's there.

Shadow Lodge

KHShadowrunner, I don't think it's about preventing low-cha characters "getting away with" anything. Cha 8 and no diplomacy is only a little less diplomatic than your average person. Also, training counts for a lot and if that fighter with Cha 8 has 10 ranks in Diplomacy, he should be able to give a convincing speech. The trick is getting the socially unskilled character involved in the conversation without devaluing social skills.

Example 1: Half-orc barbarian and half-elf sorcerer run into a bunch of half-orc barbarians NPCs. The NPCs say "Hey, what are you doing with this sissy elf?" Barbarian says "This guy's not a sissy. We fought an ice dragon together last week." Not a terribly impressive piece of diplomacy, but it boosts the NPCs' opinion of the half-elf and makes anything he says more effective.

Example 2: Drunken monk and LN inquisitor are in a tavern when a pair of known street gang members arrive. One of them is antagonistic, so the monk tries to make friends by buying the pair a drink. The monk doesn't have the social skills to defuse the situation on his own, but the less aggressive NPC appreciates the gesture. When the inquisitor scares off the aggressive NPC, the other one apologizes for his friend's rudeness and admits that he wants a way out of violent crime. The Inquisitor's high intimidate was pivotal to this resolution, but the monk's in-character offer of a friendly drink helped it along.

claymade wrote:

Here, like the case of the lie you mentioned, the issue isn't simply recognizing a bad strategy but coming up with a good one. Should the PCs facing Tucker's Kobolds be able to say that, well, one of us has really super-high INT, so he should be able to use that to come up with "some kind of strategy, I don't know what" that would lure the kobolds out into the open so they can be mowed down?

I certainly wouldn't let them do that. If they want an ingenious strategy to tip the balance of an encounter (just like if they want an ingenious lie to get them out of a horrible spot) they're going to have to come up with it. As players.

I'd give them a hint. Here's an example that came up with my group, while I was a player. The party was trying to figure out how to get rid of the BBEG's enslaved army without fighting them head-on. NPC said "Well, if you collapse the entrance to the mine they're camped in, you can keep the army out of the way without killing them." So the discussion turned to the alchemist's delayed bombs and the druid's Fire Seeds. Complications arose, and the players dealt with those creatively. Turned out to be a great session - our previous plan would have been a lot less fun. The trick is it wasn't "I roll int check of 23, so I come up with a good plan and execute it successfully." It was "here's an idea. What can you do with it?"

It's great for the players to be able to come up with this stuff on their own, but the most important thing is to have fun. It's very frustrating and not fun to consistently fail at the thing that your character is supposed to be good at. I've been in this situation before, and it's usually pulling a blank on a Bluff check. Sometimes a little hint can go a long way. The DM might say "you notice there's a lot of turnover between guard stations. They probably won't recognize individual guards," or "the barbarians are very superstitious and believe red hair indicates magical powers."

claymade wrote:
(Not to mention that not getting a specific lie from them also invalidates the RAW modifier system. How do you apply a -5, -10 or -20 to a lie based on how plausible the lie being told is... unless you ask what the particular, specific lie being used is, as opposed to just the effect they want to achieve?)

You could assume the lie is of average plausibility and apply no modifier. Or if the situation is very difficult to lie your out of (such as being caught standing above a murder victim with a blood-covered dagger and the victim's jewelry in your pocket) then apply an appropriate penalty to reflect that most lies to make yourself look innocent would be improbable.

I'd try the hint system first, though.


KHShadowrunner wrote:
If I have completely ridiculously high skills in a social skill and I tell that to the barmaid, should I fail an otherwise successful roll because I said something wrong? No, of course not. But the GM (and in theory the mood of the game) should portray some kind of penalty for it. Or should it?

I think so. That's what circumstance modifiers are all about. If you're still just THAT darn charming you can maybe still pull it off, but it's going to be a that much harder row to hoe. But the fact that you didn't know about it beforehand and made a mistake is just something the characters will have to roll with. Just like if you choose to channel negative energy at someone, only to discover that, whoops! He's a vampire. The fact that you didn't know that going into the situation doesn't change the fact that you can make choices to set things up for the worse.

Quote:
Likewise, If the fighter in the heat of combat attempts to dodge a kobalts blade and says "I swiftly lean backwards to dodge the blade", does he take a -4 penalty because the GM then mentions "well, the kobalt was actually doing a vertical slash rather than horizontal". No, they'd say "roll to dodge" and then "success or not".

Actually, they wouldn't say "roll to dodge". It's just the attacker rolling against AC. They succeed or fail without the defender describing or rolling anything.

Quote:
While it's depressing to hear, a non-social person playing a social character should, for all intents and purposes, be able to say "I lie to the shopkeep" and roll. And that's that. The issue is usually that goes rather poorly and instead of getting a 100g discount, you only get a 25g one because it wasn't awe-inspiring enough.

You say that, but that just isn't the way the rules describe it as working. The Bluff skill is rolled when you want to convince someone that something is true. And its penalties are based on how plausible that truth is. You can say, "I lie to the shopkeep, trying to convince him that these goods are rare collectibles worth much more than they really are". That fits the pattern. But you can't, RAW, just say "I lie to the shopkeep in 'some' way that means he gives me more money."

GM discretion will determine how generic you can be in terms of how you're describing the truth you want to convince them of, which could probably itself go a long way toward mitigating the problems of a unskilled player playing a silver-tongued one. But according to the rules, it should always be phrased as something you want to convince them to believe, not as the effect you want that belief to achieve.

Quote:
I'd give them a hint.

I don't actually have an inherent issue with this. Providing nudges through outside sources, allowing the players to reach the conclusions themselves, but making it a bit easier if they're stuck, can be quite good if not overused. Having them make knowledge checks can be another way to potentially pass information like that, and make those skills more valuable in the bargain.

Where I take the issue is when it gets to the point that your example also avoided. "Just make a roll, and gloss over all the things that the players normally have to implement themselves." There's no point in that, even if you can't always live up to your character. Better, as you said, to just provide outside assistance, hopefully with the effect of also improving your players' skills so that they can maybe see the answer with less hints next time.


KHShadowrunner wrote:

Or, to piggy back off some of the earlier topics. I understand that it is somewhat fun to allow the roleplay aspect to allow an 8 CHR barbarian actually talk to people and get away with social aspects of the game.

But as a crippled support character? That's almost gut-wrenching.

With low STR, i simply and physically -cannot- do damage
With low DES, I simply and physically -cannot- dodge or reflex to save my life
With low CON, lol u dead
With low WIS, I can't will-save worth a hoot
With low INT, I can't cast worth beans

So why can that low CHR beast of a man talk up a convincing and charming story when I can't do diddly but prick the finger of the angry kobalt. Nevermind anything that could roflstomp me into oblivion.

Sure, he can't talk to kings and political leaders that well. But unless there's a round of combat where we fight viscious level .2 snails, I'm slightly upset.

Only slightly, because I understand. But it's there.

Because all of those things are hard limits.

If you're not intelligent (and if we're going by Int=IQ, intelligence is a measure of how much you can remember and how easily, not necessarily how smart you are) you can't remember the spells.

The physical stats are pretty self explanatory.

With low Wis you get into fuzzy territory. You can roll well on a Will save even if you have low Wis. It's just HARDER for you.

Just like if you have low Cha you can try to turn up the charm when you need to. It's just HARDER for you.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I roll first, speech second. So if I roll bad I know to just be like: "C'mooon. Please?"

That is exactly wrong. There is a reason why skills like bluff and diplomacy have charts with modifiers based on how relevant/believable/whatever your story is that influence your roll along with your skill ranks, Charisma and all that other jazz.

This is what I like about the DnD/PF social skill system, that it involves roleplaying but still allows for specializing your character in this type of interaction mechanically.

Shadow Lodge

Threeshades, acting out a bad argument when you see a bad roll is still roleplaying. Let me again refer you to my raised-by-wolves fellow player who repeatedly came up with funny in-character faux pas to accompany his botched social rolls. Roll-then-roleplay is not "wrong."

Rynjin wrote:
Because all of those things are hard limits.

An ability score is only a hard limit if you're talking about qualifying for feats or casting certain spells. If you don't have Str 13, you can't Power Attack. If you don't have Int 13, you can't cast Fireball.

All ability scores impose only soft limits for pretty much anything else.

All other things being equal, a character with Str 9 swings a sword a little less hard than a character with Str 13 (relative -2 to hit and damage), but he can still swing that sword. A character with Cha 9 is a little less persuasive than a character with Cha 13 (-2 to social skills), but he can still make a persuasive argument. For pretty much any stat modified by an ability score, you see small, incremental differences as ability modifiers diverge. And each point of bonus or penalty only makes you a little more or less likely to succeed on associated tasks. Any penalties can be overcome by training.

I think this is what you meant by it's HARDER, but you make it sound like most of what you do with the first four ability scores is a hard limit and Wis and Cha only impose soft limits, and I don't think that's true at all.


Weirdo wrote:

Threeshades, acting out a bad argument when you see a bad roll is still roleplaying. Let me again refer you to my raised-by-wolves fellow player who repeatedly came up with funny in-character faux pas to accompany his botched social rolls. Roll-then-roleplay is not "wrong."

An ability score is only a hard limit if you're talking about qualifying for feats or casting certain spells. If you don't have Str 13, you can't Power Attack. If you don't have Int 13, you can't cast Fireball.

All ability scores impose only soft limits for pretty much anything else.

All other things being equal, a character with Str 9 swings a sword a little less hard than a character with Str 13 (relative -2 to hit and damage), but he can still swing that sword. A character with Cha 9 is a little less persuasive than a character with Cha 13 (-2 to social skills), but he can still make a persuasive argument. For pretty much any stat modified by an ability score, you see small, incremental differences as ability modifiers diverge. And each point of bonus or penalty only makes you a little more or less likely to succeed on associated tasks. Any penalties can be overcome by training.

I think this is what you meant by it's HARDER, but you make it sound like most of what you do with the first four ability scores is a hard limit and Wis and Cha only impose soft limits, and I don't think that's true at all.

Eh the fact that the game gives it's own penalties and bonuses for a good lie etc kinda flys in the face of the roleplaying the roll thing though since you're essentially getting penalized twice for one bad roll.

For me the real question is how sociable is the average person? And how charismatic am I?

So for the first part the average guy has a 10 so no bonus and the average guy has no more than +1 to +3 via skills. So pretty freaking low overall.

Now assuming that I am probably average then the best lie I can tell is probably the best lie my character could tell as long as I don't have horrible stats aka 7 or lower. Therefore I may as well just do my best at lying and roll to see what happens there.


Weirdo wrote:


An ability score is only a hard limit if you're talking about qualifying for feats or casting certain spells. If you don't have Str 13, you can't Power Attack. If you don't have Int 13, you can't cast Fireball.

All ability scores impose only soft limits for pretty much anything else.

All other things being equal, a character with Str 9 swings a sword a little less hard than a character with Str 13 (relative -2 to hit and damage), but he can still swing that sword. A character with Cha 9 is a little less persuasive than a character with Cha 13 (-2 to social skills), but he can still make a persuasive argument. For pretty much any stat modified by an ability score, you see small, incremental differences as ability modifiers diverge. And each point of bonus or penalty only makes you a little more or less likely to succeed on associated tasks. Any penalties can be overcome by training.

I think this is what you meant by it's HARDER, but you make it sound like most of what you do with the first four ability scores is a hard limit and Wis and Cha only impose soft limits, and I don't think that's true at all.

True.

I still hold that Int is the hardest limit of them all though. Yeah, a 7 Str Gnome can ineffectually swing a Greatsword and a guy with 7 Dex can try his hand at tumbling but a guy with 7 Int is never going to be able to learn even 1st level spells.


Rynjin wrote:
Weirdo wrote:


An ability score is only a hard limit if you're talking about qualifying for feats or casting certain spells. If you don't have Str 13, you can't Power Attack. If you don't have Int 13, you can't cast Fireball.

All ability scores impose only soft limits for pretty much anything else.

All other things being equal, a character with Str 9 swings a sword a little less hard than a character with Str 13 (relative -2 to hit and damage), but he can still swing that sword. A character with Cha 9 is a little less persuasive than a character with Cha 13 (-2 to social skills), but he can still make a persuasive argument. For pretty much any stat modified by an ability score, you see small, incremental differences as ability modifiers diverge. And each point of bonus or penalty only makes you a little more or less likely to succeed on associated tasks. Any penalties can be overcome by training.

I think this is what you meant by it's HARDER, but you make it sound like most of what you do with the first four ability scores is a hard limit and Wis and Cha only impose soft limits, and I don't think that's true at all.

True.

I still hold that Int is the hardest limit of them all though. Yeah, a 7 Str Gnome can ineffectually swing a Greatsword and a guy with 7 Dex can try his hand at tumbling but a guy with 7 Int is never going to be able to learn even 1st level spells.

depends on class and wis/cha or whether or not scarred witch doctor is an option.


Shuriken Nekogami wrote:


depends on class and wis/cha or whether or not scarred witch doctor is an option.

*1st level Wizard/Int caster spells.

Though a better example would probably be Knowledge checks. If you have a -2 Int mod, have fun making a DC 20 Knowledge check.


i had a chat with a 1E DM at gencon this year who uses a Diplomacy system which portions off sectors of society to corresponding classes, issuing -5 penalties to people who tread on the improper social turf.

i think his idea was to tear asunder the idea of a singular party 'face' and provide a mechanical incentive to have all the party have a time and a place to get their RP on.

Fighters have the best angle with town guards, night watchmen, bouncers, and other military or tough-guys, and can Gather Info from them without penalty.

Rogues have the best angle with the underworld, with other thieves and fences, apothecaries, spies and assassins. For a price, they can come up with all sorts of services or informations.

Clerics have a gift of talking with the masses, being versed in popular culture, superstition, common modes of speech, thought and lore. They can infuse their sermons with commonsense so as to be memorable and to deliver their morals.

Wizards have an elevated form of speech, and can converse with academics and intellectuals, sages, even people from the nobility, and have learned the 'proper' etiquette for moving in those circles.

anybody crossing typically takes a -5 to the check.

If you wanted to 'open up' the Diplomacy skill in your game, you could implement a system in which it had to be paired with a 'common ground' skill or two so as to provide a social basis for the conversations to take meaning - remember:

'any skill can be a social skill'


shallowsoul wrote:
When it comes to social skills in Pathfinder we usually end letting the person with the best scores do the talking. If you have a Bard or Sorcerer who have maxed out their Charisma, social skills, and have taken spells that further enhance this then why would anyone else even bother? I could understand helping out for a +2 but that's all you get, it's not like you can double team someone and annihilate them.

It's a wonderful world where the whole group is there to help with every situation. Or where every social interaction allows you to have someone else do the talking for you.

Imagine when your party wizard wants some wiz-bang spells from his new spell level. The only wizard around with the appropriate spells is a complete stranger! Does the wizard send in the Bard to do his schmoozing for him? NO. This is where the Wizard has to make a Diplomacy roll on his own - he might get assistance from the Bard (to the tune of a +2 bonus).

The same logic applies to lots of other situations. Want to join Druidic circle? Looking to convert someone to you god? Want to chat up the barmaid? The Face can't do it all for you.

Shadow Lodge

I like situational modifiers to social skills (especially Diplomacy) based on your other skills. If you have a lot of Knowledge skills you should be better at making small talk with academics. If you've got Handle Animal and Ride, the stablemaster might like you better. If you have ranks in Craft, Profession, or Appraise you should have an easier time passing yourself off as a tradesman or merchant enjoying the fair.

And Helic's right that there are some situations in which a person has to do their own talking.

gnomersy wrote:
Eh the fact that the game gives it's own penalties and bonuses for a good lie etc kinda flys in the face of the roleplaying the roll thing though since you're essentially getting penalized twice for one bad roll.

If your DM doesn't apply those penalties and bonuses you don't get penalized twice. There is a lot of variation in how groups handle social interactions and how much of the rules they actually follow. I'm not saying roll-then-roleplay is always the best way to do it, but I've seen it work very well in certain situations.

gnomersy wrote:
Now assuming that I am probably average then the best lie I can tell is probably the best lie my character could tell as long as I don't have horrible stats aka 7 or lower. Therefore I may as well just do my best at lying and roll to see what happens there.

What if you're playing a character who isn't an average liar, who can easily come up with a better lie than you could? That's when the situation I'm discussing gets frustrating.

Rynjin wrote:
Though a better example would probably be Knowledge checks. If you have a -2 Int mod, have fun making a DC 20 Knowledge check.

High level bard with max skill ranks?


Weirdo wrote:


Rynjin wrote:
Though a better example would probably be Knowledge checks. If you have a -2 Int mod, have fun making a DC 20 Knowledge check.
High level bard with max skill ranks?

Yes yes there are exceptions, but I think you knew I meant in a general sense.

Shadow Lodge

Yeah, the low skill points on that one hit you twice, and a guy with Int 7 probably isn't puting his limited ranks in Knowledge skills. But if you've got that Int and really want a Knowledge skill, you can pull it off.


Weirdo wrote:

If your DM doesn't apply those penalties and bonuses you don't get penalized twice. There is a lot of variation in how groups handle social interactions and how much of the rules they actually follow. I'm not saying roll-then-roleplay is always the best way to do it, but I've seen it work very well in certain situations.

What if you're playing a character who isn't an average liar, who can easily come up with a better lie than you could? That's when the situation I'm discussing gets frustrating.

Oh I agree entirely and it can work quite well I actually like the idea myself but you do have to pick the route you want to go down as a group before playing it that way.

As for the better liar than I well that's the key behind never making it only personal roleplay. If I can manage a lie that isn't idiotic then I can usually let the roll take over without any particular penalty but I figure not giving a decent attempt at the lie is just kind of sad at least imo.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:
Though a better example would probably be Knowledge checks. If you have a -2 Int mod, have fun making a DC 20 Knowledge check.

Going to a library, school, or university with appropriate references (+2 bonus) and spending the time to thoroughly research the issue (take 20), that character with the -2 Int mod can make a DC 20 Knowledge check without even investing skill ranks. Which is pretty accurate, when you consider a lot of college students in classes outside their major. ;-P

With social skills, however, you generally can't make multiple rolls against the same target(s) (except with a -2 cumulative penalty for each failure in many cases). Now, you could probably apply the "take 20" rules with a social skill if you're using the skill against 20 different targets sequentially until you get a success. Again, a pretty accurate modeling of some situations (trying to "pick up" a partner at a bar/club/party). Even an average 10-11 Cha person with no skill ranks can find a partner on DC (15 + target's Cha mod) Diplomacy check, just not necessarily a specific partner.

Shadow Lodge

I like that idea. Take 20 to keep asking different people until you find someone willing to go along with whatever you're proposing.


not sure if this has been covered yet, but I'd say it depends on whether you're talking PFS or home game.

In PFS, you can't count on somebody else being able to help you with your faction mission, or the mission in general, so I'd say everybody should have Diplomacy maxed at least. That and try to bring some ranks in your class knowledge skills. Fighters, sorry, i know you don't want to, but spend some points on Dungeoneering and Engineering. Rogue, Local. Ranger, Nature and Geography. Bards and Wizards and such, at least 4 of the others that nobody else will have. Nothing more annoying that a PP riding on a DC 20 Geography, and nobody has Geography.

Home game, same players, you can be more realistic, ie, decide who's going to be the face, and everybody else can be average or worse. And you can decide who's going to cover each of the other skills, knowledge, craft, disguise, etc.


Rynjin wrote:


Because all of those things are hard limits.

If you're not intelligent (and if we're going by Int=IQ, intelligence is a measure of how much you can remember and how easily, not necessarily how smart you are) you can't remember the spells.

The physical stats are pretty self explanatory.

With low Wis you get into fuzzy territory. You can roll well on a Will save even if you have low Wis. It's just HARDER for you.

Just like if you have low Cha you can try to turn up the charm when you need to. It's just HARDER for you.

I don't know how I turned away from this thread considering I'm up a creek in trying to figure out what I'm going to do before I die.

You didn't cover the first 3 stats. As a Halfling, from a role-play perspective, strength should be your lowest skill. How do you overcome a negative penalty to strength when you already can't carry diddly, and literally cannot do damage. Can I invest points into a skill that will give me a +1 to damage per 2 ranks? No. The only means of getting out of the horrible situation is to rectify it.

I mean, even in a fight, can I use my charismatic figure to dissuade a monster from assaulting me? 9 times out of 10, the DM won't allow it. That's the whole purpose of combat. Hell worse yet, most will see the "dashing good looks" of the halfling and decide he would be a tasty first meal, because beauty tends to stand out. Talk about even faster way to the grave.

With low Int, I don't even get to invest those spiffy points into skills, so I would be crippled on the one major benefit that CHA does offer to everyone. How do I get around this? Would a DM allow for someone with a negative intelligent score to "really" study hard and get around the negative penalty, allowing them to remember more spells? No, not at all.

With low wisdom, wisdom saves end the game. There's nothing charismatic you can do against a will save. It's not even affected by a check that CHR can really bolster most of the time, as it's against will. Would the DM allow me to role-play that while my wisdom is low, I could be taking my time very carefully, observing what the others are doing and making sure I don't open myself to allow for slip ups in common sense? No, they'd pretty much shoot it down and say "welp, you did it"

With low CHR, 80% of the time, you can still tell a convincing story and the DM will allow. Sure, they won't get 10% discount at stores for lookin like a hot ticket, but I can't remember any time where my CHR has paid off in ways that aren't directly related to the skills of the class they're for in a more beneficial way.

My latest example, in my last run we had a meeting with the Duke, since I'm new they allowed me to metagame with the others a little so I could come up with a rational reason as to why we were here and why we wanted him to grant us access to another room. I come up with something and off I go, but despite having a +14 in Diplomacy and a 20 CHR, no dice. This takes all of like.. 4 minutes. The ranger, who happens to have a net 0 i think (or maybe -1) starts speaking her mind - in character mind you - very agitated. In my mind, with a negative or 0 CHR score and no diplomacy, we should have been kicked out on the spot. Instead, they proceeded to discuss that there is a reason for concern, but he will not concede, and that he grows increasingly tired of speaking with her. But then the other net 0 character mentions something we found on the road, and now the duke will speak with us later.

Why did that happen? Because it -had- to. Why is it a problem? Because a very charismatic high skilled character is new to the game and can't interrogate far enough without the other in-character person speaking out (i'm not upset at this), yet it's the 0 bonus character who socially gets away with the discussion.

It could really all come down to that I'm new. But I want to play a support character. If i suck at this social business, I either want my stats to portray how awesome I am, or I don't want to be penalized for not being able to spin a story.

EDIT: Man, now that I think about it. I sure hope we get into a fight with some evil guy and his crew of women who instantly decide to swoon over me because I'm so awesome. I'll even give the typical thumbs up as they pick me up and leave the field of battle. (a kid can dream...)


claymade wrote:
KHShadowrunner wrote:
...
I think so. That's what circumstance modifiers are all about. If you're still just THAT darn charming you can maybe still pull it off, but it's going to be a that much harder row to hoe. But the fact that you didn't know about it beforehand and made a mistake is just something the characters will have to roll with. Just like if you choose to channel negative energy at someone, only to discover that, whoops! He's a vampire. The fact that you didn't know that going into the situation doesn't change the fact that you can make choices to set things up for the worse.

But circumstance modifiers simply aren't applied evenly. You don't take into account which direction the enemy is leaning and the direction you're swinging when you attack. The slickness of the armor after being hit doesn't factor in to potentially damage the weapon or deflect better (sometimes it is, but it's very vauge). Yet every social interaction is a circumstance modifier. Or as you put it, you don't calculate how accurate your dodge is, you just roll against AC.

Quote:


You say that, but that just isn't the way the rules describe it as working. The Bluff skill is rolled when you want to convince someone that something is true. And its penalties are based on how plausible that truth is. You can say, "I lie to the shopkeep, trying...

Right, but my point is that as soon as you include "trying..." you now throw a circumstance modifier that you are completely unaware of. Is there any mulligan where I say "I don't want to randomly and unintentionally add a negative circumstance modifier to my bluff, I just want to outright bluff to the guy. Bluff check, like an AC check".


rangerjeff wrote:

not sure if this has been covered yet, but I'd say it depends on whether you're talking PFS or home game.

In PFS, you can't count on somebody else being able to help you with your faction mission, or the mission in general, so I'd say everybody should have Diplomacy maxed at least. That and try to bring some ranks in your class knowledge skills. Fighters, sorry, i know you don't want to, but spend some points on Dungeoneering and Engineering. Rogue, Local. Ranger, Nature and Geography. Bards and Wizards and such, at least 4 of the others that nobody else will have. Nothing more annoying that a PP riding on a DC 20 Geography, and nobody has Geography.

Home game, same players, you can be more realistic, ie, decide who's going to be the face, and everybody else can be average or worse. And you can decide who's going to cover each of the other skills, knowledge, craft, disguise, etc.

I think this is very silly. A fighter with 2 ranks a level needs to spend one on dimplomacy every level? That is dumb. What about swim, climb, acrobatics.

You may fail some missions not having the right skill, but I have sleight of hand used often as well. If you need to build everthing you will no be able to do anything. Specialize so are guarenteed to do what you are meant to. One in the hand is worth two in the bush.


The sad thing here is the game is that for a ROLE PLAYING game it has become so skill dependent. If I am playing a fighter with low stats, I should be able to role play my character in a given situation instead of depend on my skills to get me out of a situation.

Which is better, having a player rolling a 20 on his diplomacy or having him role play the situation so well that he impresses the GM and the other players?

I am inclined to think of the latter.

If you thought of the former, I think gaming may have taken a sorry turn.

MHO


ngc7293 wrote:

The sad thing here is the game is that for a ROLE PLAYING game it has become so skill dependent. If I am playing a fighter with low stats, I should be able to role play my character in a given situation instead of depend on my skills to get me out of a situation.

Which is better, having a player rolling a 20 on his diplomacy or having him role play the situation so well that he impresses the GM and the other players?

I am inclined to think of the latter.

If you thought of the former, I think gaming may have taken a sorry turn.

MHO

gam·ing, n.

2. The playing of games, especially video games.

Nowhere in there does it say "disregard the rules, it's all about sucking up to the GM". Your Fighter most likely sucks at social skills, because he lacks Int/Cha and you likely haven't put points in that skill. From a less metagaming viewpoint, your Fighter likely sucks at social skills because he spent a lot of his time training to, what was it again? Ah, yes, FIGHT. The game was designed with social skills in mind to give other classes a niche and allow people who want to play a Diplomatic or Intimidating character to do so if they weren't convincing actors.

The game was not designed with "that guy's a lawyer IRL, and he makes good arguments so the GM always gives him +100000 circumstance bonus on Diplomacy". These rules exist for a reason.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say that role playing your Fighter as a convincing orator on top of everything else is terrible role play as-is. If your Fighter is good at everything, from combat to diplomacy, you're playing a frankly boring and shallow "role play". There's a term for that kind of character, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.

If you want social skills to be made irrelevant in your home games, fine, more power to you, but don't come in here with an attitude spouting off about how anyone who plays the game as it is intended to be played isn't a "true gamer" or that "gaming has taken a sorry turn" because people play differently than you.


KHShadowrunner wrote:
But circumstance modifiers simply aren't applied evenly. You don't take into account which direction the enemy is leaning and the direction you're swinging when you attack. The slickness of the armor after being hit doesn't factor in to potentially damage the weapon or deflect better (sometimes it is, but it's very vauge). Yet every social interaction is a circumstance modifier. Or as you put it, you don't calculate how accurate your dodge is, you just roll against AC.

But see, you're equating abstracting away an entire social encounter with a single generic bluff check to rolling abstracting a single maneuver of a combat encounter. The two aren't really comparable to begin with.

Heck, in a major social conflict you could very easily be looking at quite a few different rolls; your initial Bluff might not get you everything you want, but it might open doorways for another Bluff, or give more traction to a subsequent Diplomacy attempt if they thought better of you because of the bluff. There might also be some Sense Motive and Knowledge rolls in there to feel out the people you're interacting with, or gain insight into approaches that might be particularly helpful. And failures in any of these rolls might set you back or close off other options that could require choosing yet other tactics.

Wanting to replace that entire social encounter with just a single Bluff check isn't like wanting to roll against AC in a battle. A much better analogy would be this: say your party suddenly gets into combat with a bunch of goblins, but before the battle starts you raise your hand and tell the GM: "Wait a sec. I'm not really too good at this whole strategy thing (though my character is) so let's do this instead. I'll make one attack roll against the AC of the highest goblin, and if I make it, we win the entire encounter. Just like that."

That's far more in line with what you're suggesting.

As you noted, the current Pathfinder system, RAW, does abstract certain things about combat (like the actual angle of your swing). In the same way, it also abstracts certain things about social conflict (like the actual inflection of your voice). But the fact that combat abstracts some things is not carte blanche to just say that anything not abstracted in the social system is therefore not "applied evenly".

KHShadowrunner wrote:
Right, but my point is that as soon as you include "trying..." you now throw a circumstance modifier that you are completely unaware of. Is there any mulligan where I say "I don't want to randomly and unintentionally add a negative circumstance modifier to my bluff, I just want to outright bluff to the guy. Bluff check, like an AC check".

No, there is no such mulligan that I'm aware of in the RAW.

Also, you seem to be of the opinion that "a circumstance modifier that you are completely unaware of" is an inherently bad thing in terms of game design. I... don't really understand why you would think that. That kind of stuff absolutely happens in life, and so of course you'd have those kind of experiences in an RPG. If you go into a bar like you described, and you blow your Knowledge(Local) check, you might well be oblivious of some traumatic event that happened there recently and put your foot in your mouth as a result. Bad for your character, sure, but an awesome role-playing opportunity!

If we're going to continue the combat metaphor, your party might get ambushed and put in a bad spot because of foes in an encounter that you were "completely unaware of". Is that a bad thing? Should you always auto-succeed on your Perception checks? Not at all! Sometimes those kind of things just happen. You can look at it as a setback... or you can look at it as realism and a challenge.


claymade wrote:


But see, you're equating abstracting away an entire social encounter with a single generic bluff check to rolling abstracting a single maneuver of a combat encounter. The two aren't really comparable to begin with.

I don't like to think I am. If you unsuccessfully dodged an attack by describing how you dodge, you'd get the stuffing beaten out of you. This, may or may not, end the combat encounter, depending on how it's roleplayed. Either you rolled into a wall and knocked yourself unconscious, ending combat, or you rolled and scraped your knee, not really doing damage but the enemy gets a good laugh out of it.

Just like how in a social encounter, if I tell a bad joke to try and get them to liven up, I might destroy the conversation there, or they might think that my joke telling is clearly not the way to go, but still keep talking.

Quote:


Heck, in a major social conflict you could very easily be looking at quite a few different rolls; your initial Bluff might not get you everything you want, but it might open doorways for another Bluff, or give more traction to a subsequent Diplomacy attempt if they thought better of you because of the bluff. There might also be some Sense Motive and Knowledge rolls in there to feel out the people you're interacting with, or gain insight into approaches that might be particularly helpful. And failures in any of these rolls might set you back or close off other options that could require choosing yet other tactics.

But there's still a major difference between me rolling Knowledge and Sense Motive and picking up certain things. It could set me back, sure, but that's only if I roll low. If I roll high, I'm going to get knowledge or Motive as long as it's available. If i say I'm rolling to sense motive, I don't have to say "I'm sensing motive to see if the guy I'm talking to believes me" and if I roll a 20, I'm going to learn that he believes and trusts me and I'll learn about his demeanor and standing and such. I don't have to, after doing this, do anything to actually acknowledge it. I learn these things. I have no way of deliberately ruining this knowledge within the roll. now, AFTER, I can ruin it.

Quote:


Wanting to replace that entire social encounter with just a single Bluff check isn't like wanting to roll against AC in a battle. A much better analogy would be this: say your party suddenly gets into combat with a bunch of goblins, but before the battle starts you raise your hand and tell the GM: "Wait a sec. I'm not really too good at this whole strategy thing (though my character is) so let's do this instead. I'll make one attack roll against the AC of the highest goblin, and if I make it, we win the entire encounter. Just like that."

That's exactly what it is. When I make a bluff check, I tell a single bluff. It's not like the conversation is over and I won the day. The conversation continues with the intent that the person I bluffed to believed my bluff. I didn't say "I bluff to the guy and if it succeeds he's guaranteed to give me the key to the door and show me the way through", I just guarantee that no matter what bluff I tell, it's believed.

Quote:
As you noted, the current Pathfinder system, RAW, does abstract certain things about combat (like the actual angle of your swing). In the same way, it also abstracts certain things about social conflict (like the actual inflection of your voice). But the fact that combat abstracts some things is not carte blanche to just say that anything not abstracted in the social system is therefore not "applied evenly".

I couldn't disagree more. Inflection of the voice entirely has to do with the outcome of the conversation.

Exactly how I say "Well it was the guard who told me this" affects what kind of bluff check it is.

If I say: "Well, it WAS the GUARD who told me this", he thinks i'm being snarky, +5 to his DC

If I say: "Well, it was the guard who told me this?", It's in question form, reasonable doubt? Maybe +5 to DC

If I say: "WELL IT WAS THE DARN GUARD WHO TOLD ME THIS!" I'm enraged, +15 if not +50 to the check

What I'm trying to say is. Social interactions hinder skills. There's no way to dodge it. If I roll a DC20 + 19 + 7 for a Bluff check, it is entirely possible that the bluff I told is ignored because the bluff its self is too corny.

You run into the problem of:

If you tell before you roll, you might not even get to roll at all. Just because you chose your words poorly. It's not like you can go "wait, I want to make you believe me"

If you roll before you tell, your roll results are never accurate. You could roll a -1 and still bluff.


KHShadowrunner wrote:

I couldn't disagree more. Inflection of the voice entirely has to do with the outcome of the conversation.

Exactly how I say "Well it was the guard who told me this" affects what kind of bluff check it is.

If I say: "Well, it WAS the GUARD who told me this", he thinks i'm being snarky, +5 to his DC

If I say: "Well, it was the guard who told me this?", It's in question form, reasonable doubt? Maybe +5 to DC

If I say: "WELL IT WAS THE DARN GUARD WHO TOLD ME THIS!" I'm enraged, +15 if not +50 to the check

Not at all. Neither the RAW nor I are saying that you need to even act out the whole conversation, much less specify snarkiness, or doubt, or anger. You can specify that, sure, if you want to (maybe you're fishing for modifiers, and are willing to risk bad ones as well as good ones if you judge wrong) but it's not required. In that sense--the sense of the delivery and inflection--you absolutely can "just roll against AC" like you claim you want to do. Nothing in the RAW that I'm aware of says otherwise, nor am I claiming otherwise myself.

Heck, if I were GMing, I'd probably let you just say: "I use Bluff to try and convince the NPC that the guard was the one who told me this." But I'd still apply modifiers on how plausible it is that the guard might have indeed told you that, based on the best knowledge of the NPC you're trying to deceive.

Quote:
That's exactly what it is. When I make a bluff check, I tell a single bluff. It's not like the conversation is over and I won the day. The conversation continues with the intent that the person I bluffed to believed my bluff. I didn't say "I bluff to the guy and if it succeeds he's guaranteed to give me the key to the door and show me the way through", I just guarantee that no matter what bluff I tell, it's believed.

That's not how you were initially describing it. To quote the part I was taking issue with from before:

Quote:
While it's depressing to hear, a non-social person playing a social character should, for all intents and purposes, be able to say "I lie to the shopkeep" and roll. And that's that.

So which is it? Does a successful Bluff check just mean that you automatically get the discount you want, without even needing to specify what the lie you told even was, just that you lied to him "somehow"? Or does a successful Bluff simply convince the NPC of the truth of a specific claim, and then the conversation continues onward with the result that they believe that claim to be true?

Which is it?

To pull apart the shopkeeper example, you should be able to tell the GM "I use Bluff to try and convince the shopkeep that the crap I'm trying to foist on him is actually rare and valuable". In that case, the modifiers to that would depend on what you're actually trying to sell. It'll be a lot easier to try and make that Bluff with a weird-looking (if worthless) artifact he's never seen before than trying to make the same bluff with a half-eaten apple, for instance. And there are other consequences too. For instance, even if he believes you Bluff now, eventually he is going to try and re-sell it, and probably realize that you conned him, so you may be burning some bridges there.

But then, say you tell a different lie. Say, instead, you tell the GM "I use Bluff to try and convince the shopkeep that I'm an orphan, trying to care for my twelve brothers and twenty-two sisters in poverty, and I really need the money in order to keep them fed."

Now for that lie, the quality of the stuff you're selling won't affect how easy it is for him to believe that that's true... but the quality of the clothes you're wearing definitely would. Also, you're not nearly running the risk of burning bridges to the same extent... unless you otherwise let slip that it was a lie through your subsequent actions. On the other hand, it also adds an extra dependency on the shopkeeper's character as well; if his alignment is Lawful Evil, he may completely believe your lie that you're an orphan trying to keep his family fed... he may just not care.

This is the stuff that the RAW doesn't let you dodge. My point is not that you need to act out every Bluff you make like a thespian. My point is simply that you have to specify what Bluff you're actually making, and let the consequences fall out from that.

In a nutshell, I'm saying that when you Bluff, you specify what you want to make them believe, not what you want the results of that belief to be. The results may depend on all sorts of factors you don't know about the NPCs, their secret agendas, their actual alignments, etc. There's no getting around that. That's part of the game.


claymade wrote:


Not at all. Neither the RAW nor I are saying that you need to even act out the whole conversation, much less specify snarkiness, or doubt, or anger.

What i'm trying to hint is that people (not you) do. For most parts, if you literally monotone "I bluff by saying that the king smells fine even though I've detected he smells like poo", and you did this for a majority of the conversation, you can usually see the DM's face kind of twinge and you might even get a "Well, I'll give you it, but make it sound more convincing next time or you'll be less convincing, monotone people are boring".

Not to mention, if you're role-playing, the mood should set the tone. Maybe that's what I'm doing wrong as far as being the social one in my game. I think too much on how my character would be reacting to the situation. Like in my prior example my character takes the sense that it is unwise to ever reveal absolutely everything. He notices that there are 6 or 7 other people in the room (perception) and as such is willing to say even less. He wants to actually say things that are NOT a bluff (where we metagamed a little) and I came up with a perfectly normal story. Instead of saying "well mr duke, We saved this boy and we really need to get in the room" I spent a good 3 to 5 minutes thinking "well, you don't treat a duke like a nobody, you have to have your sentances mark respect. You need to speak clear and show that your words have merit, but that you don't reveal everything to him. What you leave out, however, is what you use as leverage to continue." So I mention that we have come here to seek access to a room as means of character-x's personal mission, and in doing so came across the peril that we resolved and as such is why we stand before you now". The duke simply says "That's great, but no, I don't ever open that door. For anyone". Well.. what a debbie downer. Again, I don't just blurt out things because that's not how you talk to a Duke. Instead, I have to sit there and think for a minute as to "is it right to keep pressing on the ruler of the land you stay in?" and before I even get through it, the other character who has no skills simply comes out and says her mind.

It's almost as if... by having NO skill in social skills, you are MORE social because you simply care less about being correct or right. Or accurate. Or wording your questions in a way that works.

Quote:


That's not how you were initially describing it. To quote the part I was taking issue with from before:

Quote:
o which is it? Does a successful Bluff check just mean that you automatically get the discount you want, without even needing to specify what the lie you told even was, just that you lied to him "somehow"? Or does a successful Bluff simply convince the NPC of the truth of a specific claim, and then the conversation continues onward with the result that they believe that claim to be true?

The example given in comparison to a combat situation is like when a party of level 9's re-travels through the path of a level 1 goblin cave and one-shots anything that moves. It's like a wizard just AoE destroying things because he finds it fun. In the example yes, he could get the discount, but that's not the end of the conversation. The owner could, with higher INT, begin to ask more about the bluff that he believes, or by telling that bluff other's in the store might spread the news out. I dunno. The bluff to get the discount is like the final blow to the final enemy in an encounter. You don't start the conversation with the shopkeep with "Hi, I bluff you for discount now". Likewise you don't start combat with "I charge up and kill everything with this swing".

The difference is, if I pull a dagger or a knife or a sword or a mace or a whip, it doesn't matter how I say what I do, as long as it's done. I pull x and attack means that I get to roll and attack. When I approach the keep, and he tells me his price and I gague his mood via sense motive and perceive that no one else is there, I have infinite possible ways of either bluffing, intimidating, or diplomacy-ing my way to a roll. And I feel that that role, regardless of how I drew the choice, should have an equal chance to be believed.

But maybe you're right. I wouldn't know if drawing a knife against a gel cube won't do as well, I wouldn't know if casting a channel of darkness or whatever on unholy doesn't do damage but helps them, and I wouldn't know if bob the barbarian is not happy that my bluff is that his arms look tired from lugging all of that armor around, so he should get rid of it cheaper so as not to carry it anymore.

But I can tell you which one is simply easier. And I can also tell you which one usually reaps less reward for being good.


ngc7293 wrote:

The sad thing here is the game is that for a ROLE PLAYING game it has become so skill dependent. If I am playing a fighter with low stats, I should be able to role play my character in a given situation instead of depend on my skills to get me out of a situation.

Which is better, having a player rolling a 20 on his diplomacy or having him role play the situation so well that he impresses the GM and the other players?

I am inclined to think of the latter.

If you thought of the former, I think gaming may have taken a sorry turn.

MHO

It's amusing, because most people count numbers and like to see just how badass their badass Wizard or Rogue or Fighter is. Or they like to whine about monk, because it doesn't get to be so badass, but then others make the monk even more badass than the fighter.

You know the one think I have yet to see is a "Well, my cleric bluffed the dickens out of those guards and walked away scott free" followed by "Well, my bard hits the tavern, tosses a gold in the air and all the ladies gather round for a show"

You don't. You occasionally get the "Best stories told during a game" thread and the "Most famous "oops" moments" threads (both of which I had a blast reading, mind you), but no one really seems to be super intense in the social aspect.

It's disheartening to see you have a +12 bluff, and the only time you really get to use it (and get use from it) is when it nets you an extra 20 gold, or saves you from having to fight 3 bullies alone.

Otherwise, the original goal of my bard (which as the community has helped me salvage from the pits of death) was to be a weak but swift and slick dual-wielding rapier beast guy who likes the sounds of battle and the drums of war. The GM even didn't pay attention for a round and I got to -kill- something. Fast forward to actually reading the rules and now I'm a pathetic whimp of a shrimp who does 1 damage to anything and can barely carry his shoes. Sure, I could play out that despite being the weakest thing, I'm an ace in the hole. But you want to follow some basic rules at least.

Unless you're willing to let my 3 STR, 17 DEX bard describe to you the fantastic way my +10 Acrobatics, my Weapon Finnesse raiper and my +11 perception artfully dodged over a large creature's axe, jumped on his calf and then shoulder and accurately stabbed the beast in the neck for +8 damage, I'm going to assume that when I roll +20 to diplomacy my way out of a caged trap it's going to succeed. Regardless of how I cower in fear.


Finlanderboy wrote:


I think this is very silly. A fighter with 2 ranks a level needs to spend one on dimplomacy every level? That is dumb. What about swim, climb, acrobatics.

Not always applicable, yes. Silly and dumb, no. First of all keep in mind this is ONLY FOR PFS play. I would hope that home groups would coordinate their characters so that everything is covered and nothing unnecessarily duplicated, meaning everybody can specialize more in what they're good at.

But in my experience so far with PFS, when players come in with characters that are specialized like a good home group build, there's a high probability that needed skills will be missing from the table. For PFS play, we all need to think about generalizing a little more than is optimal for our characters. It WILL be appreciated by other players.

And remember, this is a discussion on how many characters need to be good at it. Sure, only one needs to be good at diplomacy, but in order to guarantee that, most characters need to have it. Okay, so your fighter only gets 2 skills points per level, that sucks. Alternate between Diplo 1/2, perception 1/2, and swim, climb, acro 1/3 each. Take traits or feats which boost your skills. Spend pp through your faction (if PFS) to boost skills. Get your INT up to 13, enjoy the extra skill point AND qualify for nifty feats. Take a race like human which gives you more skills. (I'm not going to go so far as to say use your favored class bonus for skills, you're a fighter, get hp.) But yeah, skills are important. Don't be a one trick monkey.

Sczarni

Skills are important. Be a one trick pony. At level 5 with your build idea a fight would have like a 3 dilpomacy. A 15% increase of chance is small for the few times you many never need it for the guy with a +10 diplomacy does the rolling for you. Although that +7 acrobatics you use once a scenario to avoid an AoO would be more helpfull. Let that oracle/sorcerer in the back be the face. While you are there shield.

There are lots of skills you should not be skilled in everyone of them. Granted Diplomacy is a more used skill, but not everyone should take it. So yes it is silly and dumb to have everyone take it.

If you are running a game without a healer, is the same threat as running a game without a face.


@KH, I do have a good story about how our Bard (with Diplomacy) and then me and the Barbarian (with Intimidate) convinced a man to release his hostage, drop his +1 Kukri at our feet, s+*~ himself and leave.

That's pretty much the whole story.


Pontificor the Great wrote:

Skills are important. Be a one trick pony. At level 5 with your build idea a fight would have like a 3 diplomacy. A 15% increase of chance is small for the few times you many never need it for the guy with a +10 diplomacy does the rolling for you. Although that +7 acrobatics you use once a scenario to avoid an AoO would be more helpful. Let that oracle/sorcerer in the back be the face. While you are there shield.

There are lots of skills you should not be skilled in everyone of them. Granted Diplomacy is a more used skill, but not everyone should take it. So yes it is silly and dumb to have everyone take it.

If you are running a game without a healer, is the same threat as running a game without a face.

I don't know if you've played PFS. Which is the entire point of my posts.

to repeat, home games fine, everybody super-specialize.

PFS? You never know what you're going to get.

For example, just played with a group, Druid 3, gunslinger/archaeologist 3/zen archer 3/fighter 3/something else 4/me ranger... okay, not very illustrative, but we had no healer, really, and the fact that the ranger is somewhat generalized as a fighter, and carried a couple of scrolls of CMW, meant that after being hit by a brutal pair of fireballs, we could retreat around a corner, I could help heal, and fast enough so that by the tim the baddies caught us up we could turn around and deal with them.

My whole and only point is that PFS vs. home game builds are very different. Everything that your class could POSSIBLY contribute to a party, in PFS, devote some resources to it, whether gp, pp, skill ranks, etc. IT WILL BE APPRECIATED, eventually. Characters will survive, faction missions will be accomplished. That's all.


Personally, I think PFS and home games are like chess and checkers - they both use the same board, but are entirely different games.

In a home game, depending on how you play, you may need no social skills at all. Your group can choose to ignore many of the rules regarding social skills and let role playing take over.

All of my PFS experiences have been 100% roll play. A well roll played interaction gets reduced to "make your Diplomacy check". Saying "I say some stuff" also results in "make your Diplomacy check". A party without a "face" in PFS is like a party without a damage dealer - you've got nobody who can reliably make the necessary dice rolls to resolve the situation. But even in PFS, more than one character with "face" skills is generally a waste. The catch is that you don't get to pick who sits down at the table.


Rynjin wrote:

@KH, I do have a good story about how our Bard (with Diplomacy) and then me and the Barbarian (with Intimidate) convinced a man to release his hostage, drop his +1 Kukri at our feet, s!+@ himself and leave.

That's pretty much the whole story.

I used to have quite a few hilarious things GM's have allowed me to pull off, but half of them were Shadowrun and the story is never cool enough that it doesn't end in my face getting destroyed by someone's gun.

Or there's always the classic SOTOR when you can force-persuade the guy to give you his money and then walk off the cliff. Or something. I swear I laughed for half an hour when that happened the first time.

You just don't get to see those kinds of things nowadays.


If you're in a wheelchair you can make a high strength, high constitution character. The fact that in real life you may not be able to lift much does not come into play as your goliath barbarian hurls boulders at people. If you're socially awkward you ought to be able to have a high wisdom and charisma and be good at talking to people and persuading them.You might still need to role play but I feel like you ought to be able to do it

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In my experience, we almost always have more than one PC capable of meaningful social interaction. Of course, we generally like to talk our way through things if at all possible. I think that's because while we're talking, I can't throw any more swarms at the PCs.

On a more serious note, having a variety of Diplomagical/Intimidating/Bluffological characters encourages creativity and interaction in our group. It allows us to approach problems from more than one or two angles, and often sends the story arc off in some unexpected and rewarding directions. Plus, some funny moments when the high-rolling character manages to pull off something absolutely fantastical.

Heck, a rogue of mine once convinced Pit Fiend A to loan him a minor artifact in exchange for the location of an enemy [Pit Fiend B]. I managed to negotiate a long enough loan period that I could bring the artifact to my patron for study before turning the artifact over to Pit Fiend B, and thus reveal the location of Pit Fiend B to Pit Fiend A. It's fun working for all three sides, when you play it right.

And the more folks you have that can contribute [even if it's just by Aid Another], the more reliably you can pull off con games or peace talks or protection rackets.

That's my take, anywho.

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