Page 1226 - Lying in Plain Hearing

28th May 2019, 6:00 AM in School Raze
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Lying in Plain Hearing
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 28th May 2019, 6:00 AM edit delete
Persuasion in tabletop games is very powerful because good deductions and acting can bolster bad-to-average rolls and great rolls can sometimes overcome tall social hurdles. I'm not sure there's another mechanic that has that kind of dual-support, now that I think about it.

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ANW 28th May 2019, 6:17 AM edit delete reply
Stories where you lied, but it ended up being truthful.
Ex:Helping out a random kid by saying he is your son.
Couple of sessions later, turns out he is.
Guest 28th May 2019, 8:58 AM edit delete reply
Once played an elven thief in pathfinder who was so paranoid she had the habit to pretend she was her own twin sister, going as far as to walk up some stairs, climb down the building facade, then walk back in like she was her own twin and pretending she just got there while wearing the exact same clothes and not even being that subtle about it.

It went for several sessions, to the point that it became a running gag among the party, who got along with it, sometimes asking my character to meet her sister and so on.

Then, after many sessions, the party got into various trouble and had to go somewhere safe. Having no real other choice, I decided to bring my party to my character place... where they found out she actually had a twin sister with the exact same name I was using. Only, they really never met her even once.

The whole party fell silent for a minute, then burst out in both shock and laughter. This was all planned with the DM when I first made that character and we made a point to wait for the last possible moment to make that reveal, hoping the game would last long enough just for it.

And it was so worth it. :D
Luna 28th May 2019, 8:59 AM edit delete reply
Sorry for double post, forgot to log in before the previous one ><
Winged Cat 28th May 2019, 10:04 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
A common form of self-fulfilling prophecy.

"I foresee X shall come about, resulting in Y", when you have no such insight. You know that if X does happen, Y is a likely outcome, though.

Except...there is word that someone with rep has made this prediction, so people believe it, and act as if it is going to happen. Eventually someone sees it not happening, and steps up to do X because they believe Y will result.
Enigmatic Jack 28th May 2019, 5:51 PM edit delete reply
I played a devil Bard that the party paladin assumed had been cursed to look like that. I was secretly on a mission for Asmodeus, using the party's quest to get me to the relics my boss was searching for.

I ended up being the most helpful and loyal member of the party while everyone else was pursuing their own agenda and infighting (aside from that whole being a covert agent thing.)
Freemage 29th May 2019, 12:44 AM edit delete reply
My wife used to play a Pooka (in Changeling: The Dreaming). Part of their Bane is to always tell falsehoods. Her particular specialty was telling the truth in such a way that everyone believed she was lying--usually by dropping out some key bit of information that made the seemingly absurd and impossible statements true, or by adding some detail that while also true, was irrelevant and made the statement seem unlikely.

In a way, she was ahead of her time--many of her statements were like Buzzfeed clickbait titles, in retrospect. "You know it's illegal to walk an alligator on a leash in Wyoming on Wednesdays?" (Because alligators are on the list of species of wild animals a citizen can't own without a zoo permit, and the law holds to every day of the week, but that WOULD technically include Wednesdays.)
Cygnia 28th May 2019, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
Somebody give Yona a hug!
Gamemaster80 28th May 2019, 6:19 AM edit delete reply
My experience with social rolls in DnD/Pathfinder, well..any table top game, is that it can quickly down spiral into an arguement at the table over how it should be interpreted.

Rules say one thing, common sense saying another, "I rolled high!" "He's not going to just let you in the vault because of that, it's his job", "I rolled intimidate, he should be shaking" "He's 5 levels higher than you, can bring a rock down on your head with a wave of his hand. He honestly doesn't care what you say." Stuff like that.
Jannard 28th May 2019, 6:40 AM edit delete reply
That's what adjusting Difficulty Class is for. Sometimes, no matter how high you roll, it will be impossible to actually persuade or fool that NPC, just as it could be just impossible to climb that lava cliff.
Other times, if the DC was absurdly high but not straight up impossible and your roll managed to surpass it, then it's the job of the player AND/OR the DM to come up with a creative way in which the character actually managed to deceive/intimidate/persuade the seemingly unmovable NPC.

"You give him two options: he can lay down his weapon and let you continue on unmolested, or he can fight, but if he does, he better make sure to kill every last one of you, because if he doesn't, whoever survives will burn the village to the ground, chivalry be damned. You sound sickeningly convincing".

"The guard ca't let you pass, but you made it sound really important, so he directs you to the Manager, who you may be able to convince to grant you a special permit... if you can forge some evidence of your claim".
Thor 28th May 2019, 7:58 AM edit delete reply
As a GM I often end up with situations where the players use social skills for impossible things. My ruling is always that success means the NPC believes you believe it.

Impossible lie and a super good deception check means that he behaves like one of you has bad info but acting in good faith.

Trying to intimidate someone that thinks you can't possibly be a threat to them decides to take you seriously because they don't want to deal with the mess.

In general I try and give them a different social skill check to get useful info or an advantage that can help so long as their approach allows for it.
Crisis 28th May 2019, 8:44 AM edit delete reply
Even if a character is more powerful on paper, a successful Intimidation roll should have some effect. Even if that effect is to make the more powerful character suddenly start treating the weaker as a viable threat that requires their full strength to deal with.
terrycloth 28th May 2019, 10:37 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, I use intimidate to taunt powerful creatures, although technically in Pathfinder at least there's a game effect of a successful intimidate roll no matter how they react socially (-2 to hit and damage).
Evilbob 28th May 2019, 12:17 PM edit delete reply
lol. And in this case, a successful intimidate check that makes a more powerful character treat you as a viable threat and use their full strength is probably a bad thing, lol...
Digo Dragon 28th May 2019, 6:16 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Ugh, I hate GMs that follow DCs too strictly. I could craft a very reasonable argument for an NPC, something that would even be in that NPC's best interests, but just cause I rolled low it doesn't take.

It would be like if I offered to give a hobo some food if he'd also take the food containers and toss them in the trash and the hobo declines the offer because my persuasion check missed it by a few points. You could be laughing and shaking your head right now at how ridiculous it sounds, but I'm speaking from experience here. :/
Jannard 29th May 2019, 10:17 PM edit delete reply
I wonder why it isn't nearly as common for people to try and describe the precise way they strike with their sword and how that will be more effective *before* they make the attack roll...
Jannard 28th May 2019, 6:24 AM edit delete reply
I've been meaning to try another angle: make the roll first and then act the result, or maybe don't even act it if you don't feel like it, come up with an interpretation or even let the DM (me) come up with one. While I love the idea of rewarding acting and immersion (and it's the way every group I played with defaulted to), there are a couple reasons I'm interested in this approach:

-I'm curious about how it will affect the dynamics of social encounters.

-I think it could be fairer for those players who want to play socially inclined characters without being socially inclined themselves, and might motivate said players to try new things. Otherwise it would kinda be like the player who practices Taekwondo getting combat bonuses when playing a monk.

-And of course, I very much suspect that's how it must work as per RAI.
Digo Dragon 28th May 2019, 6:19 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Eh, I've seen GMs try that approach and all it does is dissuade players from actually role-playing. It's a slippery-slope kind of thing.
Jannard 29th May 2019, 10:22 PM edit delete reply
I could see that happen, but I see it less as "dissuading players from roleplaying" and more as "letting those who don't feel comfortable roleplaying just... play". I suspect it's probably the other way around, not that this discourages roleplaying, but that the other approach encourages/enforces it (although it's usually less "roleplaying" and more "treating the social encounter like a puzzle", but still).
CrowMagnon 28th May 2019, 6:30 AM edit delete reply
Persuasion and Bluff, used properly, can be amazing tools. Since my Hell's Rebels character used to be an undercover detective and one of the other party members is an Oracle, the two of us tend to alternate as the party "face".

I've also found Sense Motive to be very helpful in negotiations like this, myself. If there's a chance that I'm reading a character poorly IRL, then it can really help to give a small hint or to confirm what I already know.
Crisis 28th May 2019, 8:41 AM edit delete reply
In 5e Bluff is now 'Deception' and Sense Motive is now 'Insight'.
CrowMagnon 28th May 2019, 9:53 AM edit delete reply
Yes, but I'm playing Pathfinder.
Happy Balor 29th May 2019, 2:22 PM edit delete reply
They can be great tools, but depending on what the GM allows, they can also be something that overshadows the entire party. If your GM isn't careful, that Diplomancer can talk their way out of every situation they come across, leaving the rest to witness the Diplomancer's glory, which is just as bad if not worse than when a Rainbow Dash-type player goes full Munchkin and starts demolishing everything that's not also going to one-shot the rest of the party. Not going totally "kick in the door" is fine, even focusing more on social intrigue and stuff can be all right, just make sure that the players in your group who aren't interested in that kind of thing have something they need to do, or be prepared for those players to lose interest.
Guest 28th May 2019, 6:34 AM edit delete reply
You know, last page or this one would have been a great moment for Sandbar to go "I took the Criminal (Spy) Background".
Guest 28th May 2019, 6:36 AM edit delete reply
"C'mon, we are both working for the Princesses."
Jannard 28th May 2019, 6:43 AM edit delete reply
Ah, backgrounds, such a glorious 5e addition. I think either Newbie or the characters in his fiction may not be comfortable enough with backgrounds yet to actually realize that sort of thing.

EDIT: now that I think of it, they didn't even TOUCH on their character backgrounds (and their perks and drawbacks) in previous pages. It's like half of the character creation process!
Crisis 28th May 2019, 8:39 AM edit delete reply
I love backgrounds and archetypes in 5e. They do a great deal to make characters feel genuinely unique even before roleplaying comes into account.
Departure Dave 28th May 2019, 12:43 PM edit delete reply
It's probably so they can pull an "Unspoken Plan Guarantee" or possibly "I Am Not Left-Handed." Sandbar being near identical to Applejack was probably to sell the ruse.
Missfinefeather 28th May 2019, 6:58 AM edit delete reply
He couldn't like, wink at them as soon as the villain's back is turned?
Crisis 28th May 2019, 8:37 AM edit delete reply
You have to be 250% certain that the person you're trying to fool is paying literally *less* than no attention to you when you throw a hint like that at your supposedly former allies.

And even then it's not always something you can afford to risk.
Luna 28th May 2019, 8:50 AM edit delete reply
You know what they say : to fool your ennemies, first you have to fool your friends.

His allies hurling insults and being genuinely shocked and sad at his apparent betrayal will only help convince further said villain to believe its genuine.

After all, you can't be sure all of them will be able to actually act out convincingly if they're aware of your plan.
Evilbob 28th May 2019, 12:15 PM edit delete reply
All skills/mechanics can have that type of dual-support. It just really depends on the GM.

Good deductions and acting bolster rolls only because the GM rules it. Likewise, GM can bolster rolls to combat if the tactic/strategy they're doing makes sense.
Jannard 29th May 2019, 10:24 PM edit delete reply
And now it's easier than ever! Try the new "ADVANTAGE MECHANIC"! Now with less number crunching! (Additional D20 sold separately. Consult your DM for possible side-effects like advantage for enemies or proportionate increase in difficulty).
werefrog 30th May 2019, 4:21 AM Bluff: oh what a skill edit delete reply
Bluff: opposed by Bluff, and nopony takes Bluff.