Dhampir - What's up with Vampiric Empathy?


Rules Questions

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

I'm very confused reading the trait above, see description:

Though dhampirs often relate poorly to humanoids, some share an affinity with baser creatures. These dhampirs gain the ability to communicate with bats, rats, and wolves as if under the effects of a speak with animals spell (caster level equal to 1/2 the dhampir's Hit Dice). In addition, they gain a +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy checks when dealing with these animals. Whenever these dhampirs initiate an exchange, animals begin with a starting attitude of indifferent. This is a supernatural ability. This racial trait replaces manipulative.

So here is where my confusion comes in, Diplomacy then says this:

You cannot use Diplomacy against a creature that does not understand you or has an Intelligence of 3 or less.

Then when I look at Wolves, Rats and Bats their Int is all 2.

So my question is...what the heck? Why do they get a Diplomacy bonus against something they can't use Diplomacy against? Should the word Diplomacy be replaced with Wild Empathy? Should the trait give them Wild Empathy against those animals? Should Diplomacy work in this instance even though the animals Int is 2?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Well Wild Empathy uses Diplomancy rules.

But since you're actually having a conversation with the critter it and it understands you it uses Diplomancy rather than Wild Empathy.


Felix Gaunt wrote:

I'm very confused reading the trait above, see description:

Though dhampirs often relate poorly to humanoids, some share an affinity with baser creatures. These dhampirs gain the ability to communicate with bats, rats, and wolves as if under the effects of a speak with animals spell (caster level equal to 1/2 the dhampir's Hit Dice). In addition, they gain a +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy checks when dealing with these animals. Whenever these dhampirs initiate an exchange, animals begin with a starting attitude of indifferent. This is a supernatural ability. This racial trait replaces manipulative.

So here is where my confusion comes in, Diplomacy then says this:

You cannot use Diplomacy against a creature that does not understand you or has an Intelligence of 3 or less.

Then when I look at Wolves, Rats and Bats their Int is all 2.

So my question is...what the heck? Why do they get a Diplomacy bonus against something they can't use Diplomacy against? Should the word Diplomacy be replaced with Wild Empathy? Should the trait give them Wild Empathy against those animals? Should Diplomacy work in this instance even though the animals Int is 2?

Specific trumps general, so the obvious conclusion is that Dhampir with this ability are an exception to the general rule. Note that the ability includes a "speak to animals" effect which gets rid of the "I can't understand you" problem.

Shadow Lodge

Rysky wrote:

Well Wild Empathy uses Diplomancy rules.

But since you're actually having a conversation with the critter it and it understands you it uses Diplomancy rather than Wild Empathy.

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Specific trumps general, so the obvious conclusion is that Dhampir with this ability are an exception to the general rule. Note that the ability includes a "speak to animals" effect which gets rid of the "I can't understand you" problem.

Cool, thanks for the input. I was thinking that way as well but wanted other's thoughts since Paizo isn't always clear with their writing. As we like to say at our table, "Ambiguity Rules!" lol


Felix Gaunt wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Well Wild Empathy uses Diplomancy rules.

But since you're actually having a conversation with the critter it and it understands you it uses Diplomancy rather than Wild Empathy.

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Specific trumps general, so the obvious conclusion is that Dhampir with this ability are an exception to the general rule. Note that the ability includes a "speak to animals" effect which gets rid of the "I can't understand you" problem.
Cool, thanks for the input. I was thinking that way as well but wanted other's thoughts since Paizo isn't always clear with their writing. As we like to say at our table, "Ambiguity Rules!" lol

Although this wouldn't be the first time Paizo has gone with the interpretation that doesn't work and said something is completely useless.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
My Self wrote:
Felix Gaunt wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Well Wild Empathy uses Diplomancy rules.

But since you're actually having a conversation with the critter it and it understands you it uses Diplomancy rather than Wild Empathy.

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Specific trumps general, so the obvious conclusion is that Dhampir with this ability are an exception to the general rule. Note that the ability includes a "speak to animals" effect which gets rid of the "I can't understand you" problem.
Cool, thanks for the input. I was thinking that way as well but wanted other's thoughts since Paizo isn't always clear with their writing. As we like to say at our table, "Ambiguity Rules!" lol
Although this wouldn't be the first time Paizo has gone with the interpretation that doesn't work and said something is completely useless.

Totem Warrior "works" just fine, it just doesn't do anything more than give you a title.

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