Bluff Check = Deceive : ______ = Convince Truth?


Rules Questions


If it takes a bluff check to deceive someone, what does it take to convince someone that something I say is true?

Example:

Me: I shout, "I sincerely strive to be fair, honest and merciful and if you surrender I promise to offer you mercy. I have no desire to kill you so please throw down your weapons and surrender for there is no reason you need die today."
Me: Does he believe me?

Would you agree that the most common response from a GM would not be that "Yes he is utterly convinced that you are speaking the truth."?

Yes I would love it if they thew down their weapons and surrendered but I know that isn't going to happen. My concern is not so much what they do with the information but that they know such an option is available.

While this hasn't specifically come up in play yet, I'm wondering how to accomplish what I'm seeking.

Now technically I could do the following:

Me: I shout, "I hate you and want to kill you, bring you back to life and kill you again, steal all your possessions, mince your dead corpse with my little pinky finger into a thousand pieces and even if you surrendered now I would absolutely refuse to accept your surrender or offer you any mercy. I'm just vicious and evil like that."
Me: Since what I just shouted was completely 100% opposite of the truth, I'll need to roll for a bluff check and... what do you know but I have a -2 in bluff and I just rolled a 5... looks like I just failed my bluff check and they know how I really feel and what I would really do. Shame shame...

But that seems a bit silly. Anyone with more experience in pathfinder aware of an easier way to convince someone what I'm saying is true? Outside of a 1 minute diplomacy skill check which is generally completely unusable or not allowed during combat? While a bit contrived, intentionally trying to fail a bluff check is a feasible option that only requires a 1 round action.

The Cavalier Order of the Blue Rose states:

Challenge: Whenever an order of the blue rose cavalier issues a challenge, he receives a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls made against the target of his challenge, if the target is an intelligent creature to whom the cavalier offered the chance to surrender (by taking a standard action to offer terms). This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels the cavalierpossesses (to a maximum of +5 at 17th level).

So while this indicates it's a standard action to offer terms of surrender, it doesn't do anything regarding confirming that the foe actually believes your offer is real.

I'm hoping to join a home brew campaign soon in which case I can try to have the GM house rule that they always believe me which would be AWESOME and that if not I can present the solution below where I used the rules for bluff as a template but... anyone have any alternate ideas?

DIPLOMACY (Cha)

Persuade: You know how to tell the truth in a convincing manner.

Check: Persuade is an opposed skill check against your opponent's Sense Motive skill. If you use persuade to tell the truth, with a successful check your opponent can sense your honesty and is convinced you're telling the truth or at least that you believe you are. Persuade checks are modified depending upon the believability of the truth.

Circumstances Persuade Modifier
The target wants to believe you +5
The truth is believable +0
The truth is unlikely –5
The truth is far-fetched –10
The truth is impossible –20
The target is drunk or impaired +5
You possess convincing proof up to +10

Action: Attempting to persuade someone takes at least 1 round, but can possibly take longer if the truth is complex (as determined by the GM on a case-by-case basis).

Try Again: If you fail to convince someone, further attempts to convince them are at a -10 penalty and may require convincing proof (GM discretion).


It's not an opposed check. The enemy makes a Sense Motive check at a DC 20, to get a "Hunch".

Quote:
Hunch: This use of the skill involves making a gut assessment of the social situation. You can get the feeling from another's behavior that something is wrong, such as when you're talking to an impostor. Alternatively, you can get the feeling that someone is trustworthy.

However, in my opinion all the social skills are poorly written and don't really work the way I want them to.


as DM, I'd probably use Diplomacy, despite how the skill is written. Alternatively, I'd just let the opponent roll Sense Motive vs a DC of 10. Failure indicates that they don't believe you.

It's a pickle that comes up more often than I'd like in my games.


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I use Bluff as a skill to convince someone of the truth of a proposition, regardless of whether that proposition is true or false.


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I let characters use Bluff. It doesn't matter what you're trying to convince them of, the same skills come into play. Persuading someone to do something or changing their attitude is different. You can fasttalk someone into believing the truth as easily as a lie.

It's kind of fun to run it the other way though. I had one character with a very high bluff, who would routinely lie because it was easier to convince people than telling the truth. He'd usually lie about his motivations, not the actual plans. So in your case, he'd make up some wild reason he wouldn't kill them, convince them of it, then actually not kill them when they surrendered. And often admit he'd lied and why.


The way I run it is as follows:

In normal conversation, an NPC is going to believe the PC is telling the truth, no roll needed.

If there is a reason the NPC thinks the PC would be lying to them and they're telling the truth, it's a DC10 Sense Motive check.

If it's a tense situation, or the NPC is really disinclined to believe the PC, then it's a Diplomacy check.

Likewise, if a PC is being suspicious of an NPC (ie "I want to roll Sense Motive to see if he's lying." then I'll roll it for them and if they can't beat a DC 10, they'll think a truthful NPC is lying.)


I think a regular Bluff check is probably the easiest, with perhaps a +2 circumstance bonus for telling the truth (which stacks with any other circumstance bonuses or penalties that might apply).


Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
I use Bluff as a skill to convince someone of the truth of a proposition, regardless of whether that proposition is true or false.

Diplomacy I use for getting people to like you. I like plenty of people that I think are grandiose and full of crap. By contrast, low diplomacy and high bluff would be: "I think you're a complete jackass, but you have a point here."

Popularity and effective debate are quite different ball games.


If you want an NPC to do something, like surrender, or whatever it is your trying to persuade him to do, that's a textbook diplomacy check.

PRD wrote:

Diplomacy

If a creature's attitude toward you is at least indifferent, you can make requests of the creature.


I'd say Diplomacy.


I still say that just convincing someone that you're telling the truth (not getting them to do something) is just a sense motive check on their end.

Convincing them to surrender and that they believe you're honest and give them fair treatment if they do is a sense motive on their end, a diplomacy check on your end, and a decision on their side.

Sovereign Court

Martain wrote:

DIPLOMACY (Cha)

Persuade: You know how to tell the truth in a convincing manner.

Check: Persuade is an opposed skill check against your opponent's Sense Motive skill. If you use persuade to tell the truth, with a successful check your opponent can sense your honesty and is convinced you're telling the truth or at least that you believe you are. Persuade checks are modified depending upon the believability of the truth.

Circumstances Persuade Modifier
The target wants to believe you +5
The truth is believable +0
The truth is unlikely –5
The truth is far-fetched –10
The truth is impossible –20
The target is drunk or impaired +5
You possess convincing proof up to +10

Action: Attempting to persuade someone takes at least 1 round, but can possibly take longer if the truth is complex (as determined by the GM on a case-by-case basis).

Try Again: If you fail to convince someone, further attempts to convince them are at a -10 penalty and may require convincing proof (GM discretion).

What is the source on this? It reads differently than the description of Diplomacy in the CRB


It's a proposed house rule.

Sovereign Court

seebs wrote:
It's a proposed house rule.

I must have missed in the OP's post where it says that it is a proposed house rule....my bad


I pretty much consider there only to be 4 areas for Bluff: Deceive someone (this is just worded in various ways like "convince them of the truth of your words" which is all essentially deceive), feint, secret messages, and make a distraction.

If you are lying to the person use Bluff. If you are telling the truth use Diplomacy. Do you actually plan to kill them? Then you are trying to hide your true intentions that they may be able to read through you by your voice inflection, body language etc. Diplomacy would be your ability to convey the honesty of your intentions. If you're normally a shady, creepy person with your 6 charisma its going to be hard to convince someone you're on the up and up.

Personally I think the get a hunch option is usually b**s**** as it subverts the normal opposed check for bluff. Oh I don't know he's lying? I get a hunch with a static 20 DC...It's like saying "I'll use perception to see if something is probably out there with the standard DC 20 check" instead of doing it opposed vs. stealth.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't agree with the need here. the NPC and what he knows should weigh in more than how you give your speech.

The bluff angle doesn't work as they don't know your intent, if they even bother to use sense motive.

at best they can get a hunch.

edit: a hunch says nothing about if they are lying. Just if they are trustworthy. They could be truthful this time.


MattR1986 wrote:

I pretty much consider there only to be 4 areas for Bluff: Deceive someone (this is just worded in various ways like "convince them of the truth of your words" which is all essentially deceive), feint, secret messages, and make a distraction.

If you are lying to the person use Bluff. If you are telling the truth use Diplomacy. Do you actually plan to kill them? Then you are trying to hide your true intentions that they may be able to read through you by your voice inflection, body language etc. Diplomacy would be your ability to convey the honesty of your intentions. If you're normally a shady, creepy person with your 6 charisma its going to be hard to convince someone you're on the up and up.

OTOH, if I'm a brilliant liar who knows exactly how to make someone believe even the most outrageous lies, does it make sense that I'm lousy at making someone believe me when I'm telling the truth?

If I was going to kill him the moment he surrendered, I'd have no problem convincing him he was safe, but since I'm not, he won't believe me?
Can't I say and act exactly the same way I would if I was planning to kill him?

Assume mechanically, that I'm not overly charismatic, but have put a lot of points in bluff and none in Diplomacy.

Mind you, this wouldn't help me persuade him or change his attitude, just convince him what I'm saying is true.


I understand where you are coming from in terms of a logical standpoint. Realistically, these skills should be able to overlap pretty fluidly since they use overlapping skill sets of being a good talker/people person etc. Mechanically though they are separate and unless you come up with a nifty houserule should be treated as such. I'm not sure how to explain the reasoning of this other than there are some people that are pathological liars that its easy to lie, but hard to convey your true feelings and intent since you are rarely honest. Do they even know when they're telling the truth anymore or are they also lying to themselves constantly? I think a lot of politicians would fall into this area.


Martain wrote:
Would you agree that the most common response from a GM would not be that "Yes he is utterly convinced that you are speaking the truth."?

This is the section of your quote that concerns me the most. As a GM, I do my utmost not to be a jerk, not to be confrontational, but to honestly ask myself, "This is who I am as this NPC. This is how I feel right now. My enemy Lord HighNMighty SnootSnoot just offered me terms of surrender. Should I take him up on it?"

Case 1: The enemy is intelligent, honorable, and losing. Lawful Evil enemies all-too-frequently fall into this category. Unless he's seen evidence to the contrary, he surrenders, no roll required.

Case 2: I do similar things with less-intelligent enemies who think that they can get away with something, or who are so cowardly they'd drop their weapons and run if the AoO's wouldn't kill them. (Goblins are a great example. My goblins happily surrender and then can't go 5 minutes without breaking the terms of their surrender. They're very fun to play that way, and it's even more fun when they break the terms of their surrender while still tied up and in the complete control of their captors. Bitey bitey bitey.)

Case 3: Borderline cases. In this case I tend to house rule a lot of things. For enemies who are on the borderline it's an uncontested Diplomacy check. For enemies who are less inclined it's contested by a Sense Motive roll. (A rare case where the OP wants both rolls to be high.)

Case 4: Psychotics. There are enemies who just don't care. Non-intelligent beings. Raging barbarians. I don't allow Diplomacy checks at all if it makes no sense that the enemy would listen.

So, short answer: Diplomacy. Long answer: Your GM should have an idea as to how they'll react before you even bring it up.

EDIT: I should add a caveat: In decades of GM'ing various systems and after over 20 AP books, I have yet to have a single PC call out, "Surrender and we won't hurt you!", then go, "Ha ha! Suckers!" and slaughter the captives. (Well, OK. It might have happened in our teenage years, but if it did I don't remember it.) If it were a more common tactic among PCs, I think my NPCs would be a bit more suspicious.


This is very simple. Don't do an opposed test. ADD the results together.

The PC's Diplomacy (how eloquent he is about his ideas) + the NPC's Sense Motive (how well the NPC can feel out the truth) VS a DC based on the absurdity of the claim.

So, if your PC is bad at speaking, AND the other person is not very good at reading people, there is a high chance misunderstanding happen.

Liberty's Edge

I'm also in the Diplomacy camp on this. If the NPC in question is not inclined to believe you in the first place, then that's probably a need to improve their attitude towards you, which makes it Diplomacy. Since the statement is true, the conflict, which is the part that we resolve with dice, is getting the NPC to trust the speaker, not the statement.

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