Don't believe anything he tells you. Nothing.


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I was being facetious as well in saying prove it so I passed my roll ;)

And ya, that ties into what I was saying before about knowing proper nouns and getting them right. If you say the captain without even giving a name, they may say ok well Captain WHO? If you get that wrong, the ruse is likely over without a big recovery. You may need specific details to make a ruse work, and getting them wrong could mean certain failure. The best strategy is to do the old TV/Movie routine. You start a seemingly innocent conversation with the Captain who you come across and draw some details out of him. "Oh, you've done this job how long? Wow. Must be hard being married and all" "Ya me and Melinda have been here almost 12 years." "Seems like long hours" "Ya 12 hour shifts" "At least you'll be off soon then since it's about noon" "Nah, I've got about 2 more hours before I relieve them then I have to go do paperwork " "That guy over there looks tired" "Gomer? Ya he is kind of a dunce but is a reliable and strong guard" "I'm John by the way" "Jones. Captain Jones. Nice to meet you"

*Later*

"What the hell are you doing standing there with your weapon like that? I just talked to captain Jones and He's going to keep you past your shift that is suPPOSED to end at 2 if he sees you screw up one more time. Gomer right? Ya I'm from the Duke's office of Inspection and I'm sure Captain Jones would like to see that you were daydreaming with your weapon lax! Lucky for you I have better things to do! Open the gate before you really irritate me and I report your ineptitude!"

*Scene*

This is still why I say Bluff and Diplomacy are the most powerful and most useless stats of the game because they rely a lot on subjectivity and DM Fiat. Its not like combat where the DM goes, Well actually the sun was probably in your eyes and you did have that burrito for lunch so you probably didn't succeed on hitting him after all.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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My problem with Bluff and Diplomacy is one convinces the target of something that is true, and the other of something that isn't true (or, at least, that you don't know if it is true). That means the proving your innocence of a crime is Bluff if you're guilty and Diplomacy if you're not.

Except that if your lie is just 'I'm a decent guy, you should be my friend', that's Diplomacy again.

That's some weird game physics.


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A very large number of the problems with bluff go away if you slightly tweak the concept:

Bluff doesn't let you convince people that something is true. It lets you convince people that you believe it. If you roll well enough on bluff for something sufficiently implausible (telling a man he's a pregnant woman), you don't make them believe something stupid, you make them believe you're stupid. Or crazy. Or charmed. Or something.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Oh, that's good. I like that.

I mean, I also like the idea that a good enough liar can go around like the Doctor with his psychic paper and claim to be a Royal Inspector or whatever is handy at the moment. But that's an excellent way of handling lies than can be immediately disproven.

That is, Bluff doesn't specify HOW LONG the target has to believe you. As someone in this thread already pointed out, a high bluff check can convince someone he is on fire. But he might not believe you for more than a second or two. But your suggestion indicates that he doesn't need to immediately think you're a liar: it means he immediately thinks something is wrong with you that you believe he's on fire.


I don't run bluff skill to people believe in lies (or at least, not automatically). i run bluff skill for PCs to manipulate NPCs into doing something.

PC wants to go into the door guarded by NPC A. He can lie or tell only chosen truths or manipulate NPC to let him through the door. That way people who don't lies can use the bluff skill. I once created a character (elven wizard TN) who never lied, not because he made any vow. But because he was so arrogant that he believed he was so smart that he could manipulate eveyone with only the truth. He chose very well his words and led everyone to believe thing without lying and and represented that with bluff skill ranks. He ended befriending both a paladin order and a evil god church, and became a double agent actually saying that he couldn't be trusted and that he would do thing he alone believed were worth (but they choose to trust him anyway for lack of better options as he manipulated everyone to be).

If NPCs actually believe or not into a lie don't matter very much, the actual action that calls for a roll. Roll for NPC buying something, telling you something or anything. You could even try to make they tell a lie to other people (even if they didn't believe in it), its all smoke and mirrors.


Zhayne wrote:
"I am lying to you right now."

Nice try, but I have Klaus's crumple zones of paradox absorption equipped.


Bluff really goes hand in hand with Diplomacy. You could get by on just diplomacy if you were always telling the truth, but this seems like an unlikely scenario.

I would say bluff also entails manipulation as well. It is countered by sense motive, but in many ways, bluff as manipulation uses its own "sense motive" aspect built into the bluff skill by trying to read people and figure out what lie or deceit will most likely get the desired results. Using the above example, pretending to be an Inspector played on the guards fear (and thus made him afraid) of being punished by the Captain.

Here is one of my favorite B.S. artists and examples I'll use: Axl Foley from Beverly Hills Cop. Just in the first movie he bull****s his way through a variety of situations. Sure its a comedy and real situations likely would turn out differently, but its entertaining and works for a story game like D&D. Notice how he also read the situations and used a different ruse for each situation as he saw would work. Pretending to be the customs inspector, pretending to be the gay guy at the club, the supercop story etc. etc. I would say this would be built into the bluff skill and roll.

It really depends on how forgiving the DM is though, does he require you to come up with the ruses all on your own and figure out the best ruse to work? Does he need you to have fake paperwork and disguises? Does he help you out at all on the ruse and contribute ideas to it? "Sure ya and you could say this this and this too" Does he judge your bluff also based on how well you RP it and sell it to him in character?

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MattR1986 wrote:
Does he need you to have fake paperwork and disguises?

I like to file these under 'convincing proof': If I use Linguistics to forge a badge (or whatever) and Disguise for a uniform (if applicable), that gives me a +10 on a Bluff to say 'I'm a Royal Inspector', because I have convincing proof that I am.

Heck, to get back the the original scenario, a Disguise check to appear to be someone other than 'Bongo the Liar', and the guard might listen to you again.


Did I mention my character also has a +26 to disguise using a disguise kit?

Disguise I would say also goes perfectly with bluff. It didn't occur to me to take a point in linguistics but maybe I should just for this reason.


I would also say that a bunch of fake id's and badges would go with disguise and a disguise kit as well. Being able to make new ones on the spot is always useful as well though.


See, I don't think diplomacy convinces people of things, necessarily. It just makes them inclined to like you and cooperate with you. That's not the same thing as believing you. They solve different kinds of problems, really, not just the same thing only one's for truth and one's not.


Liking you in itself many would say is Charisma. Even then it doesn't necessarily apply.

Think of using actual Diplomacy and a diplomat like the Secretary of State. The other country may not like the U.S. or John Kerry personally. It largely depends on how tactful he is and what argument he makes when trying to make treaties or agreements. He has to figure out what things to say to the person to get what he wants and what cards are in his hand as negotiating tools.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

That true. The subject of Diplomacy doesn't (necessarily) like you any more than the person you Intimidated does. They just have to act like it.


Diplomacy could have a wide range of applications. Talking at a negotiating table, trying to be charming to the girl at the bar you're trying to pick up, giving a rousing speech to the men before battle (this might be Performance (oratory) though), convincing someone of your innocence, bargaining at the local weapon shop etc. etc.

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