View Full Version : Making Lie Detection Gritty [house rules]

2007-09-13, 02:25 PM
It spoils intrigue in games - or it can spoil it, let's not debate the premise too much, but concentrate on the rule - when the cunning BBEG is revealed by a simple Detect Evil, or Truesight, Zone of Truth or similar spell.

In an effort to get round this, I propose the following house rule - and I thought you fellow playgrounders might like to pick it over.

Alignment Detection spells:
Such spells grant a Sense Motive check, DC 20, using the target's CHA adjustment + 1 per aura category over "Faint" as a bonus to the check, or simply opposed by the "target's" Bluff check if they are actively attempting to conceal their nature. Evil objects, places, etc are treated as normal.
For example: Ehp, a 6th level evil high priest of Cthlqxyg has a CHA of 14 and a Bluff bonus of 6. He is unaware that Hunq the Paladin is attempting to Detect Evil. Hunq's Sense Motive check has a +2 bonus because Ehp is 6th level and thus has a "Strong" aura, and +2 because Ehp has a high Charisma, for a total of +4. If Hunq fails to notice the taint of evil, Ehp can actively hide his nature with a Bluff check.

Truth Detection spells:
These can be divided into spells that grant the caster a bonus to Sense Motive (e.g. Discern Lies), and spells that inflict a penalty to Bluff, Diplomacy, etc on others (e.g. Zone of Truth). Both bonuses and penalties are 5 x the Spell level.

As a skeleton of an idea, how do you like it?

2007-09-13, 06:36 PM
I like where you are coming from, but I don't like the mechanics of it. It seems like too many modifiers for a simple check. Also, spells already have a built in system for determining if they succeed or not: saves. It seems more elegant to just give detect X a will save and give a paladin a bonus (+5? Pally Level/2?)on to make up for their lower DC.

You might also want to drastically lower the DCs to display a false alignment (20 or an opposed check with a +5 bonus maybe?) Anyone can hide their alignment, with a decent chance of success, but anyone with a good sense motive check has a chance of beating them. Just don't let the players know if the target makes his will save, so there is some room for doubt. :belkar:

2010-05-04, 03:52 PM
I think Zone of Truth at least already allows a Will save.