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I’m going to play Asmodean Advocate and say the choice of Perception for Sense Motive checks makes a lot of sense from a realism perspective.
The unchallenged argument here is that ‘a charismatic diplomatic socially skilled bard’ should be better at judging a person than an ornery ranger who’s not particularly social.
But that’s just not necessarily true based on reality.
In my experience and I’m sure yours too, it’s not the talkative charming extrovert’s that are perceptive: they’re charismatic, but they frequently miss details because they’re busy being the center of attention. Meanwhile that quiet person sitting at the back is paying very close attention, notices everyone’s bs and doesn’t miss a thing.
Sure there’s charismatic people whose charisma is based on great empathy. But that’s by no means all.
To quote Buddha: “If your mouth is open you’re not learning”. Bards are the quintessential ‘mouth open’ class. The statement that they should inherently be good at sense motive holds no water.