So I decided to min-max bluff


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion


As the title says, I decided to build a character who maxed out their bluff modifier, at the cost of their combat abilities. However, with their bluff modifier, they can usually avoid combat entirely! I just decided it would be fun to share it.

Silver-Tongue:

race: teifling (div-spawn) with "beguiling liar" alternate racial trait
ability scores: 7str 9dex 7con 10int 17wis 20cha
classes: summoner (synthesist summoner) 1, rogue (spy) 4, mesmerist 2, sorcerer 1, inquisitor (infiltrator) 2, witch 1, master spy 9

Level-by-level:
1) summoner
traits- secret keeper, adopted (aasimar), innocent
evolutions- skilled (bluff), ___
feat- skill focus (bluff)
bluff modifier- 24-29(optimal)
2) rogue
bluff modifier- 29-34(optimal)
3) sorcerer
bloodline- rakshasa
feat- deceitful
bluff modifier- 32-42(optimal)
4) mesmerist
trick- ___
ability boost- wis
bluff modifier- 34-44(optimal)
5) mesmerist
trick- ___
feat- iron will
bluff modifier- 35-45(optimal)
6) inquisitor
inquisition- seduction
bluff modifier- 40-50(optimal)
7) rogue
rogue talent- convincing lie
feat- lifeless gaze
bluff modifier- 43-53(optimal)
8) rogue
ability boost- cha
bluff modifier- 44-54(optimal)
9) master spy
feat- extra rogue talent
rogue talent- honeyed words
bluff modifier- 46-56(optimal)
10) master spy
bluff modifier- 53-63(optimal)
11) rogue
rogue talent- false attacker
feat- blustering bluff
bluff modifier- 55-65(optimal)
12) witch
hex- ___
familiar- viper
ability boost- cha
bluff modifier- 60-70(optimal)
13) master spy
feat- extra rogue talent
rogue talent- false friend
bluff modifier- 62-76(optimal)
14) master spy
bluff modifier- 64-78(optimal)
15) master spy
feat- additional traits
traits- quick improvisation, power of suggestion
bluff modifier- 66-80(optimal)
16) master spy
ability boost- cha
bluff modifier- 68-82(optimal)
17) master spy
feat- voice of the sibyl
bluff modifier- 73-87(optimal)
18) master spy
bluff modifier- 75-89(optimal)
19) master spy
feat- carefull speaker
bluff modifier- 79-93(optimal)
20) master spy
ability boost- cha
bluff modifier- 82-96(optimal)

feat honorable mentions:
intoxicating flattery, confabulist, deceptive exchange, knight of the twisted word


I intentionally avoided any spells or items to boost your bluff in this build (like glibness), so it could get higher if desired. Although a hat of disguise works wonders.


I am not getting the numbers you are posting when I recreate based on what you wrote.
At Level 1, you have the following added to your d20 on a Bluff to lie:

+5 - charisma
+1 - trait
(+5)- possible from second trait if lie is believeable or just unlikely
+1 - Skill Rank
+3 - Class Skill
+8 - Racial Bonus - Evolution (when synthesized with Eidolon)
+3 - Skill Focus

=+21 (+26 if lie is believable or just unlikely)

Were you adding the +4 racial bonus from beguiling liar? It wouldn't stack with your eidolon evolution as they are both racial bonuses.

At level 2, you show the numbers going up by 5... but the only thing that would change is +1 skill rank, and +1 from Skilled Liar (spy rogue class feature)
so you are at +23 (+28)

At level 3, +2 from deceitful feat. +5 from Silver Tongue (Su) bloodline power - but you are taking a risk by using it since the super low DC 11 Caster Level check can shine a beacon on the fact you are lying even if you rolled a 100 Bluff... so - add in another +1 skill rank...
now you are at +26+ (+36)

At this point I stopped checking your math....
Don't get me wrong - its still a really impressive bluff check... I just don't see where you are getting the rest of the numbers from.


to address your concerns:
1)
summoners don't get bluff as a class skill
race bonuses are one of the few that actually stack

text:

Bonus Types: Usually, a bonus has a type that indicates how the spell grants the bonus. The important aspect of bonus types is that two bonuses of the same type don't generally stack. With the exception of dodge bonuses, most circumstance bonuses, and racial bonuses, only the better bonus of a given type works (see Combining Magical Effects). The same principle applies to penalties—a character taking two or more penalties of the same type applies only the worst one, although most penalties have no type and thus always stack. Bonuses without a type always stack, unless they are from the same source.

i didnt realize, but there seems to be 2 secret keeper traits, im referencing the faith trait which is "+3 bluff if vs a sense motive check"
2)
rogue then gets class skill bonus
3)
yes, but the DC is only if they're using stuff like zone of truth, where you'd be screwed anyways. its a paper-thin precaution agaist that stuff until you get a better defense as a master spy, and the +5 bluff is nice

I probably should've added this in my first post:

bluff level-by-level breakdown:

A) beguiling liar- +4 (race)
B) cha mod- (cha)
C) ranks- +char lvl (null)
D) skill focus- +3 [+6 at lv10] (null)
E) skilled (eidolon)- +8 (race)
F) spy rogue- 1/2 level (null)
G) mesmerist- 1/2 level (null)
H) inquisitor wis mod- (wis)
I) master spy- level (null)
J) deceitful- +2 (null)
K) class skill- +3 (null)
L) lifeless gaze- +2 (insight)
M) familiar- +3 (null)
N) secret keeper- +3 (circumstance)
O) voice of the sibyl- +1 [+3 at lv10] (null)
P) careful speaker- +2 (null)

lvl- (A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P)
1- (4,5,1,3,8,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,3,0,0)
2- (4,5,2,3,8,1,0,0,0,0,3,0,0,3,0,0)
3- (4,5,3,3,8,1,0,0,0,2,3,0,0,3,0,0)
4- (4,5,4,3,8,1,1,0,0,2,3,0,0,3,0,0)
5- (4,5,5,3,8,1,1,0,0,2,3,0,0,3,0,0)
6- (4,5,6,3,8,1,1,4,0,2,3,0,0,3,0,0)
7- (4,5,7,3,8,1,1,4,0,2,3,2,0,3,0,0)
8- (4,5,8,3,8,1,1,4,0,2,3,2,0,3,0,0)
9- (4,5,9,3,8,1,1,4,1,2,3,2,0,3,0,0)
10- (4,5,10,6,8,1,1,4,2,4,3,2,0,3,0,0)
11- (4,5,11,6,8,2,1,4,2,4,3,2,0,3,0,0)
12- (4,6,12,6,8,2,1,4,2,4,3,2,3,3,0,0)
13- (4,6,13,6,8,2,1,4,3,4,3,2,3,3,0,0)
14- (4,6,14,6,8,2,1,4,4,4,3,2,3,3,0,0)
15- (4,6,15,6,8,2,1,4,5,4,3,2,3,3,0,0)
16- (4,6,16,6,8,2,1,4,6,4,3,2,3,3,0,0)
17- (4,6,17,6,8,2,1,4,7,4,3,2,3,3,3,0)
18- (4,6,18,6,8,2,1,4,8,4,3,2,3,3,3,0)
19- (4,6,19,6,8,2,1,4,9,4,3,2,3,3,3,2)
20- (4,7,20,6,8,2,1,4,10,4,3,2,3,3,3,2)

also, typo on my last post, only 1 level of inquisitor, and a full 10 levels of master spy


Has he/she actually used bluff yet? If so what for? I imagine they could convince a dwarf he's really a goblin just by saying so.


The problem with bluff is that it's only as a good as a GM lets it be.

A lot of (intelligent) monsters aren't going to be convinced to not kill you no matter how good your bluff is....but then again it depends on how the GM runs things.

Remember, bluff isn't mind control.

You can't (necessarily*) convince convince someone that the sky is green. Their eyes will tell them it's blue and if you keep insisting they might think you're crazy, or that there is something wrong with you.

So while having a high bluff can be useful, you should really work with your GM to determine what you can do in advance.

*Again, this all depends on the GM.


That's impressive.

However, you have a sky-high modifier and nothing to do with it.... Might I suggest the greatest trait of all time, Power of Suggestion? Because... yeah.


That's an interesting trait.

I'm just imagining a grifter who uses coppers bluffed to be gold to pay for things and gets change back. A minute later the shopkeeper realizes what happened and has to try to find the swindler who has already run away.


Consider the Coax Information and Honeyed words Rogue Talents.

Coax Information lets you use Bluff instead of Diplomacy or Intimidate.

Honeyed Words lets you roll twice and take the better result. 1/day, but still pretty sweet.


Dαedαlus wrote:

That's impressive.

However, you have a sky-high modifier and nothing to do with it.... Might I suggest the greatest trait of all time, Power of Suggestion? Because... yeah.

I love Lucy used that trait trying to smuggle some cheddar cheese though customs.


I had a bluff specialist Drow Antipaladin. I convinced the city I was a surface Elf in full plate normal Paladin and by vow I could not show my face until I at-toned for a past sin. My passive bluff was around a 60 without needing a roll.


The Mask of the Stony Demeanor gives you a +10 on Bluff Checks to lie and a +5 on checks to Feint, but a -10 send covert messages.

There is a very cheap Ioun Stone that gives a +1 on any single skill.

Grand Lodge

It is entirely possible to get your bluff skill into the 100+ range...but as someone else already pointed out...bluff is only as good as your GM will let it be...

Pulling the "That isn't copper, it's gold" trick might work once or twice in any given town...until they report you to the authorities as a con man and every guard in the city starts looking for you.

If you have a lenient GM, who likes goofy shenanigans, you might get away with some truly insane stuff.

Most of the skills have some wacky antics you can get up to once your rolls get into the sky high ranges. I once had a character who had sleight of hand high enough that he could literally steal your underwear right off of you, through your outerwear, without you or anyone else noticing. I loved stealing peoples weapons right out of their hands and hiding them away in my bag of holding.


Slyme wrote:
Most of the skills have some wacky antics you can get up to once your rolls get into the sky high ranges. I once had a character who had sleight of hand high enough that he could literally steal your underwear right off of you, through your outerwear, without you or anyone else noticing. I loved stealing peoples weapons right out of their hands and hiding them away in my bag of holding.

What is this Fallout? Or Elder Scrolls? Or any Bethesda game?

Though thinking on this Starfinder needs a sleight of hand feat that lets you place an activated grenade in someone's pocket.

Grand Lodge

Claxon wrote:
What is this Fallout? Or Elder Scrolls? Or any Bethesda game?

I mean...kinda...those are all evolved from tabletop RPGs.

The way Pathfinder's skill system is designed, you can beat skill check DC's by such a large margin that the results almost rival magic...sometimes even outdoing magic, since it can't be dispelled, etc.


Slyme wrote:
Claxon wrote:
What is this Fallout? Or Elder Scrolls? Or any Bethesda game?

I mean...kinda...those are all evolved from tabletop RPGs.

The way Pathfinder's skill system is designed, you can beat skill check DC's by such a large margin that the results almost rival magic...sometimes even outdoing magic, since it can't be dispelled, etc.

That depends on your GM.

I for instance don't allow skills to approach anything near that level, not unless the rules explicitly allow such as use.

As a for instance, I never would have allowed a PC the effect of the Power of Suggestion trait no matter how high their roll. But if they select the trait...well I'm not going to override that. But good luck convincing people that the sky is filled with dragons when they can look up and see its not.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You can get very close to those numbers with a perfectly functional build, actually:

Spoiler:

Tiefling (Daemon-Spawn) Enchanter Wizard
Trait: Clever Wordplay trait (Bluff becomes Int-based)
Trait: Witty Repartee (combat trait that gives +1 trait bonus and bluff as a class skill for +3)
Ability Scores: 20 (+5) intelligence, 15 charisma
Racial: Beguiling Liar +4 racial
Class: Enchanter Wizard (+2 from enchanter's smile)
Familiar: Viper with Decoy archetype (+3 from familiar, +2 from deceitful bonus feat)
Feat: Skill Focus (Bluff) for +3

Presuming a reasonable schedule for improving your intelligence, but no other magical items or spells, this is what bluff results you're looking at on this build by level:

1st: +24
2nd: +25
3rd: +26
4th: +28 (headband +1)
5th: +32 (enchanter's smile improves +1, get lifeless gaze feat +2)
6th: +33
7th: +36 (headband upgrade +1, voice of the sybil +1)
8th: +38 (int advancement +1)
9th: +40 (headband upgrade +1)
10th: +49 (deceitful/skill focus/voice of the sybil improve +7, enchanter's smile improves +1)
11th: +50
12th: +51
13th: +52
14th: +53
15th: +55 (enchanter's smile improves +1)
16th: +57 (int advancement +1)
17th: +60 (wishes for more int +2)
18th: +61
19th: +62
20th: +65 (int advancement +1, enchanter's smile improves +1)


I think +24 at 1st, +49 by 10th, and +65 at 20th is good enough for all purposes in-game, and you're still a max-intelligence wizard so you're a competent character basically by definition.

Grand Lodge

Well, bluff in particular does have the row in it's chart about "The lie is impossible –20"

But it also has the line "Note that some lies are so improbable that it is impossible to convince anyone that they are true (subject to GM discretion)."

Someone who is good at role playing and/or power gaming can come up with a lie for almost any situation that is both believable to the target, and accomplishes their goals. After all, the best lies are the ones that are just one step away from the truth ;)


I feel like the "impossible -20" penalty is something like "Hey guys, did you see the unstoppable force moved the immovable object!" But if you try to lie about something that's immediately observable people will just see the thing and say "No, you're clearly crazy or lying".

But, you are right that lying creatively can accomplish much the same thing as a more forward and direct method might.

Example 1
Liar: Shopkeeper, don't you remember you we're going to give me an 80% discount
Shopkeeper: No, get out before I throw you out

Example 2
Liar: Shopkeeper, that felonious looking fellow just stole your goods! Get him
Shopkeeper: Not again! That's 3 times this week.
Liar: Great, now I can use the 5 finger discount while hes distracted.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In our W4tC game, I am playing a Lion Blade.
My disguise at 6th was a 29 with a roll of 1 and my Bluff minimum was a minimum of 18ish.

After killing the Senichal, I disguised myself in his clothes, and bluff past all the guards as none of them had a Perception or Sense motive high enough to worry about even rolling it.

Grand Lodge

Playing a Kitsune Mesmerist (Bard, Rogue, Vigilante, Investigator, etc can work too) with a high charisma, maxing out all the espionage skills, taking the Realistic Likeness feat, and grabbing a Hat of Disguise and Sleeves of Many Garments is a good way to cause GM's heads to explode as you utterly wreck their games.


Dasrak wrote:

You can get very close to those numbers with a perfectly functional build, actually:

** spoiler omitted **
I think +24 at 1st, +49 by 10th, and +65 at 20th is good enough for all purposes in-game, and you're still a max-intelligence wizard so you're a competent character basically by definition.

keep in mind that this build hasn't added headbands, wishes, or any other items or spells to boost these numbers.

while unavoidable combat can get pretty rough, having played this character, its surprising how many situations you can lie your way through.


Dαedαlus wrote:

That's impressive.

However, you have a sky-high modifier and nothing to do with it.... Might I suggest the greatest trait of all time, Power of Suggestion? Because... yeah.

level 15: additional traits. though swapping that trait with one of the level 1 ones could be helpful, depending on GM leniency


Yqatuba wrote:
Has he/she actually used bluff yet? If so what for? I imagine they could convince a dwarf he's really a goblin just by saying so.

using silent image to help a bit, i convinced a group of enemies i was a god (albeit, we were all standing by it's tomb). recently, i convinced an angel of some sort that i was their son and they were my mother. after some effort, i convinced an undead solar that i was their son and they were my father. i convinced an entire town that their leader was about to kill them all. twice. same town, same leader. i convinced someone that they ate my child. i convinced a man into beleiving i was their wife and we had had a child. i swindled a druid out of their house and 2000gp.

with the right GM, this character can cause some serious mayhem.

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