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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Brazil

    Default The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    "Money is the McMansion in Sarasota that starts falling apart after 10 years. Power is the old stone building that lasts for centuries." Frank Underwood

    THE BASICS

    “WHAT IS A SOCIAL GOD?”
    Ever since the dawn of roleplaying games, players have thought of godly characters, working hard towards the most optimized and infallible builds. The term 'god wizard', coined by TreantMonk, describes a wizard who can alter reality to his will and help everyone else succeed at what they do, guiding them to victory no matter what the situation. Since concepts like these have been perfectioned, mostly by guides and strategies, any experienced player and any edgy 12-year-old has already felt like god on a D&D table.

    But there’s a less talked about godlike being out there.

    The social god, or goddess, is nothing more than a person with the ultimate way with people. He was born to be a leader, but he can sit plotting in shadows just as comfortably. She enters any place with people and feels as if at home. He is loved by some, feared by others and irrelevant to many, but these opinions are all by design: he is the one who chose them. She will spare lives or take hundreds of them with the right words and the right tone of voice. He will make evil do good, or good do evil, whatever suits his obscure motivations. She needs no mighty weapons, no roaring spells, no supernatural resistance: that’s up to her followers, or her marks. He will make the god wizard fight his cause, as well as any other worthy characters, and the city, and even the world. And then, reality will be owned.

    This is not about a rogue dip for two social skills and bye. This is going in all the way.

    “WHEN SHOULD I PLAY A SOCIAL GOD?”
    • If you enjoy being the group's social face: With you in the group, everybody else can leave their Charismas at 8 and never look back.
    • If you prefer avoiding confrontation in favor of smart solutions: every once in a while, you will be saving everybody from some nasty wounds and situations.
    • If you're creative for speeches, scams, mischief and negotiations: It’s no use having a social god on paper, after all. Get on the table and be one.

    “WHEN SHOULDN’T I PLAY A SOCIAL GOD?”
    • If you’re playing a dungeon-crawl, pure-fighting campaign: a way with words usually doesn’t sit too well with elementals or monstrosities. Make sure you will have a place in the campaign to do ya thang before moving to the other aspects.
    • If you have no interest in talking and learning other aspects of social interaction: Don’t be the guy that rolls the dice and says “I convince him.”

    “WHAT IS THE BARE MINIMUM TO BE A SOCIAL GOD?”
    • Charisma as your highest stat
    • Expertise in 4 skills (Deception, Insight, Intimidation and Persuasion)
    • Knowing what to say and how to say it (more about this on ‘Homework’)

    That's it. Of course, there will be better and worse choices out there.

    “WHAT CLASSES DO I NEED?”
    Bard and/or Rogue, with your best bets being Lore and Arcane Trickster, respectively. Everything else either brings a few new tools to the table or is completely irrelevant. Other classes will be discussed on ‘Dips’.
    If you've been counting the Expertise department, the most basic form of your social god (a god applicant, let's say) comes online at level 4 (Bard 3/Rogue 1). Once you get two instances of Expertise on your sheet, you decide what road you’re taking.

    “WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND?”
    Rogue 1/Bard 19. You get all the Expertise you need early, tons of skills, the best spell selection and synergy with Charisma and the Bard’s class features help you even further.

    “BUT MY GOOD MAN, WHAT ABOUT THE MASTERMIND ARCHETYPE FROM SCAG?”
    The mastermind is a classic case of a well- thought idea with a poor execution; most of what it offers can already be done through other means, namely magic and downtime. The 9th-level ability is unique and the 17th level ability is very nice, but it doesn't measure up to the Arcane Trickster's spells. That being said, if you really want to play a spell-less social god (which you shouldn't) or are multiclassing with something else for spells, that's a way to go.

    COLOR RANK:
    Red: Don’t even.
    Purple: Mild, or too situational (in case of spells, only take them through scrolls or some inherent class/race ability).
    Black: Decent/nice to have.
    Blue: Guaranteed to be good.
    Gold: Mandatory for optimization.

    STATS:
    Strenght: Dump it like it's crap. Carrying stuff? Persuade some commoners, charm a mule, have the barbarian do it, be creative, forchrissake.
    Dexterity: You should have at least some DEX skills, and this is your attack/initiative/AC stat in brutal moments, so show it some love. 13 is essential for multiclassing Rogue. If you're focused on Sneak Attack and weapon attacks and such and such, this is more important.
    Constitution: Can't rule the world if you're dead before that. Important for everyone, and you're no different. At the very least, 12.
    Intelligence: Don't dump this, or you'll have serious roleplaying problems coming up with your plots and schemes. And if you're an Arcane Trickster, this will define (some of) your spells' efficiency, so you will need a good number from start.
    Wisdom: Decent roleplaying and one of your most important skills depends on this, and Wisdom saves are important to avoid nasty things. Start with at least 12.
    Charisma: Do I really have to explain this? Pump it up.

    RACES
    There's no awful race to play a social god (SG, henceforth), but what you're looking for is at least a Charisma boost. Let's look at what's best:

    Aasimar (from the DMG): Aasimars are an amazing choice for this concept, with the exact stats you need (CHA and WIS). Unlike Tieflings, you will suffer no prejudice, and could even be treated better than a standard human. Bonus points if you tattoo "Born for Glory" on your back.
    Changeling (from Unearthed Arcana): If Disguise Self or a disguise kit don't feel good enough for you, how about permanent disguises? Plus a proficiency in Deception! And good stats! This is the only out-of-book I’ll mention; if you're interested, ask your DM.
    Dragonborn: You get the Charisma, but you get Strenght, which is a dump stat. For those who really wonder why they can’t make a STR social god, here’s why - You lose on initiative, Rogue multiclassing and three good skills in exchange for nothing that helps you socially. I wouldn’t try it.
    • Elf (Drow): Want to go for an Elf? Here you go. Note, however, that most of civilization is not ready to welcome a drow, so the DCs for your tasks will be higher, and disguises will be more important than ever. Maybe my Tiefling advice helps.
    Halfling (Lightfoot): Size is not a measure of success, and you're here to prove it. DEX, CHA, resisting fear and rerolling 1's, hard to complain. If you're going for this, Stealth is mandatory.
    Half-Elf: Much better than drow, with +2 CHA, +1 to two other stats, 2 much-needed skills, and all the elven goodness. Even the book says you were born for this.
    • Human: Go for this if your DM won't allow feats, or if you’ve rolled a bunch of odd-numbered stats.
    Human (Variant): Now we're talking. A skill and a feat (suggestions later) are exactly what a SG needs. This is a good bet if you're taking the multiclass route, since you choose what stats you get.
    • Tiefling: Tieflings are made for social divinity almost as much as Aasimars, but depending on where your campaign is taking place, you could have trouble with authorities and mistrust and such and such. Talk to your DM to know where Tieflings stand in his world.
    What I've learned from playing a SG Tiefling is: wear your weirdness proudly. Say it to their face how weird it is to wake up with those horns ripping pillows in the morning, tell a story about how you were mistaken for the devil in a village, anyway, make it funny or endearing. And if possible, take the Devil's Tongue variant from SCAG for better spells.
    Anything else: Depending on your setting, other races may be adequate as leaders or emissaries, but you’ll be missing out on Charisma from the start. Watch out.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Brazil

    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    “Every Halloween, I bring a spare costume, in case I strike out with the hottest girl at the party. That way, I have a second chance to make a first impression.” Barney Stinson

    SKILLS
    Your main course. If you’re going the Bard way, don’t worry too much about grabbing black or lower skills, Jack of All Trades is there for you.
    • Arcana: It's nice to know about magic items, and how spells operate.
    • Acrobatics: You have some DEX, so go for it if you have some skills left.
    Animal Handling: Should a SG be a leader of beasts too? Nope.
    Athletics: Your STR is lame. Only take this if you want not to suck at it.
    Deception: Your middle name. And it's not just for lying, you see: you can play dead in combat, pretend you're having a heart attack to get to the castle's sanctum, listen to that boring tale with enthusiasm, be cool while following someone... set no limits for yourself.
    History: Knowing about important families, how things worked in the past and etc. is essential if you’re want to ascend socially.
    Insight: Simple 'party faces' will expertise a Charisma skill and ignore all the rest, but you are a SG, and thus you don't want to meet another god applicant and fall for his BS. This is also what you will use to assess your targets' motivations and mood, and as such, it's vital. You use this passively to counter Deception, or actively try to figure out what’s going on with a situation/target. Gold.
    Intimidation: Those who know you're a scoundrel and those who treat you as a sworn enemy will not take any soft talk from you. When they get tough, you get tougher. Intimidation©. Ask your doctor if it's right for you.*cut to music* Seriously now, your DM can rule that some people can’t be handled nicely, but intimidation is almost always an option. It’s usually better left to humanoid monsters or people you’ll never see again, since it has negative effects in the end.
    Investigation: Good one, especially to see through illusions and investigate rumors in taverns/libraries.
    Medicine: Buy a healer’s kit and forget it.
    Nature: Unlike the other knowledge skills, this seems very lame to me.
    Perception: Important for everyone. In your case, especially to counter Sleight of Hand and analyzing interactions from afar. Plus, hearing behind a door, I guess.
    • Performance: Depending on the kind of character you're playing, singing, dancing and telling stories might be essential or completely irrelevant. I’d take it, though, if only to pass as a dancer when necessary.
    Persuasion: Your other middle name. At high levels, you can actually convince the king to go out naked in public. Really.
    Religion: Only try to be the mystic guy if it's relevant to your story, or to the people you want to be close with. Never forget you can always pretend to know, too.
    • Sleight of Hand: Stealing from targets, framing targets, fooling targets, poisoning targets. That's you, generally. But you can also leave this job to someone else, and instead be the guy who distracts targets. Choose. The DM might also let you use this to mask somatic components of spells like in 3.5, in which case take it immediately.
    Stealth: You don't need to avoid foes, but sometimes they just won't listen. Or maybe you just like surprises. Or maybe you like to be where you shouldn’t. Sooner or later, it's important not to give yourself away.
    Survival: You don't belong in the wild, son.

    OTHER PROFICIENCIES
    • Languages: Language is a tricky point - they might be absolutely necessary or totally irrelevant, according to where you’re playing, and Tongues is always around the corner. If possible, get some info from the DM. Try to have at least 3.
    • Disguise Kit: Disguise Self mostly supersedes this, but it’s good to have it when you’re out of slots.
    • Forgery Kit: When you need to get that free pass to anything, look no further. Always ask someone to inspect your forgeries to see how well they went.
    • Thieves’ Tools: Taking secrets is your trade, so let no door get in your way.
    • Poisoner’s Kit: Situationally great.

    FEATS
    These are your best (social) bets.
    Actor: Essentially, you trade one ability point for advantage in impersonating people and imitating voices and sounds. It's perfect to even out an odd Charisma. If you're a Changeling or have Alter Self, this is mandatory, since your transformations can't be revealed via a Investigation check. Be whoever you want to be!
    • Inspiring Leader: This doesn't say 'social god' as much as it says 'warlord', but speeches are cool. In a war campaign, this is awesome.
    Lucky: Bad rolls are a social god's kryptonite; you don't want your desperate plead to the executioner to be lame. Take this and make sure your bad day is still average. Halflings need this less.
    Resilient (WIS): You don't want a dose of your own venom, especially being dominated or charmed into telling the truth. If you're planning for this, start with an odd-numbered Wisdom (11 at least).
    • Skilled: You should have enough skills as it is, but some people just can’t get enough.

    CLASS FEATURES
    I’ll only comment on what’s relevant to the social spectrum of the game; other features not shown here still impact the game as a whole.

    BARD
    Bardic Inspiration – The social god works well as the motivation guru. Outside of combat, help people do their own assignments (crafting a weapon, taming an animal, looking for their lost son, etc.), and they will like you for it. Make your presence extraordinary.
    • Jack of All Trades – Even the skills you didn’t pick still get a nice bonus to them. And tools too, like disguise and forgery kits. Nice.
    Cutting Words (Lore): Oh yeah. The part you’re interested in is ‘ability check’: whenever someone is trying to deceive you, or you are in a debate with someone, or someone is trying to foil your plans in any other way, give them a penalty dice and watch them shut up in shame.
    Expertise: The reason why we’re on this ride. Start with Persuasion and Insight, then take Intimidation and Deception. If you have more than 4 expertised skills from a Rogue/Bard multiclass, take whatever sees more use in your campaign.
    Ability Score Improvement: Start out by maxing Charisma, then go for a feat or two, then boost whatever else is more important to you. If you’re out of ideas, pump Wisdom to have a better Insight check.
    • Font of Inspiration: Now you’re less afraid of giving away inspiration.
    Countercharm: Shouldn’t see much use, but if you feel (Insight) that one of your companions is not acting right, give them another chance at being normal.
    Additional Magical Secrets (Lore) – You may use these to help specific roles in your party, either in combat or out of it, but my social suggestions are listed in Spells.
    Peerless Skill: Now you can add your Dicepiration to skill checks you make (along with some other stuff, like Counterspell/Dispel Magic). This is effectively a +6.5 boost to them at bard level 15. Feeling happy?

    ROGUE
    Expertise: See above.
    • Thieves’ Cant: Keeping your conversation secure from the cattle is what this gambit is all about. Nice to have when you’ve got another god applicant with you.
    Mage Hand Legerdemain (Arcane Trickster): Getting caught in a failed SoH check is bad, so avoid it. With Deception, you can also convince your marks that their belongings are magical, or play The Exorcist/Holy Spirit. Enjoy.
    • Panache (Swashbuckler): It’s essentially charming without casting a spell. Pretty good if you went for a spell-less SG, otherwise…
    Infiltration Expertise (Assassin): If you can’t do this without a class feature, give up on the game.
    Reliable Talent: Because rolling 2 in a skill check is for the cattle. Possibly the main advantage of going the rogue way: No more bad, just average.
    Impostor (Assassin): Nice, but not worth 13 Assassin levels. Take Actor and be done with it.
    Stroke of Luck: A decent capstone, if only to reward you for sticking to one class all this time. Failure is even further now.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Brazil

    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." Michael Corleone

    DIPS
    Other classes also have gifts to offer the social god. I won’t rate these to avoid needless controversy.

    • Cleric: Knowledge domain gives you two languages and two expertised skills right at the door. Level 2 gives you mastery of any skill or tool for 10 minutes, which reduces your need for extra proficiencies. Trickery may be worth a look if you’re not taking Bard levels. Plus, good spells. WIS13 needed.
    • Druid: Pretending you’re an animal opens up a whole new set of stratagems. WIS13 needed.
    • Sorcerer: What we’re looking for here is Metamagic: Subtle Spell lets you cast spells without anybody knowing it was you (which is your first choice for mischief), and Extended Spell lets all your spells with a duration (such as those to dominate others) have double duration. Cool, huh? Also, taking Draconic origin to boss dragons around is not bad.
    • Wizard: Two levels in the divination school gets you Portent, which is timelessly good for making foes fail saves or guaranteeing your good rolls. Enchantment also has nice features, like hypnotizing a foe or targeting two creatures with enchantments. INT13 needed.
    • Warlock: Pact of the Chain gives you a megafamiliar that can even speak for you, meaning you rarely have to show up anywhere. Fey Presence gives you easy charming/frightening, and eventually the ability to deflect charming. Old One gives you telepathy and complete domination over someone. As for invocations, Mask of Many Faces, Eldritch Sight and Gaze of Two Minds are all good.

    SPELLS
    I’ll be covering the Bard’s spell list: Arcane Tricksters have a very similar list to choose from (although shorter), and anything else should be covered in the Magical Secrets suggestions.

    CANTRIPS
    -Friends: Those who say this is bad are disillusioned. This is used to give yourself free advantage on Intimidation checks, which usually make the target hostile anyway. Tavern tough guys, what are you waiting for? With Disguise Self or a disguise kit, you can pretend to be one of your enemies and put a powerful authority (or another enemy) against him, something essential for a manipulator like yourself. And in some short-term situations, you really can’t afford to get a low roll on the dice either. Take it.
    -Mage Hand: Even without being an Arcane Trickster, this is solid utility, and the difference between life and death sometimes.
    -Minor Illusion: Take it or leave this guide. The magic of any illusion is creating circumstance, and creating circumstance is essential for some scams and plans. Greedy man? Pot of gold. Heroic paladin? Scream in the alley. Impressionable commoner? Blood on the floor. Etcetera.
    -Message: Precise and tactical communication, perfect for coordinated missions and short-range shenanigans. Now you can talk in front of your marks without too much suspicion.
    -Prestidigitation: If you want to be a magician, take it. Removing blood stains from clothes is an added bonus.

    LEVEL 1
    -Charm Person: When Deception, Intimidation and Persuasion fail, this is the ace in the hole. Expect some hostility afterwards, though. Good when you can't communicate with your target too.
    -Comprehend Languages: When spying on people, understanding them is priority number one. Trade this for Tongues later on.
    -Disguise Self: Without this, you can’t call yourself optimized. The one who masters disguise is the one who never gets caught. But be careful: a good Investigation check will send you down the drain.
    -Illusory Script: Nice, but way too situational.
    -Silent Image: Like Minor Illusion, but three times bigger and mobile. With it you can perform an effective ‘cat on a string’, making your target follow/chase something for a long time while you get him where you want.
    -Sleep: You know in movies when some badass says ‘sorry, but you can’t see this’ and knocks someone out? So, in D&D that’s Sleep. Amazing for dealing with low-level cattle.

    LEVEL 2
    -Animal Messenger: In early levels, this is one of the best forms of communication you can get. Trade it for Sending later on.
    -Crown of Madness: In combat this is pure garbage, but on a crowd you can target a person, then another, then another until everybody’s kicking and screaming and being arrested.
    -Detect Thoughts: Mental privacy is overrated, but I don’t like the wording of this spell. The target knows “you” cast it even if you’re in disguise or invisible? Still, awesome to see who's the suspicious guy in the tavernEspecially good coupled with Zone of Truth.
    -Enhance Ability: Oh yeah. Advantage on Charisma checks? Or any other stat you choose? On anyone you choose? Christmas! Always cast it before big meetings, and watch out for that time/concentration.
    -Enthrall: Basically you give advantage to someone else’s Sleight of Hand/Stealth check. Enhance Ability can already do that, but nothing’s stopping you from casting both. Also good to make the target waste productive time in conversation.
    -Invisibility: Being there without being there has infinite social applications, like eavesdropping, entrance in forbidden places and creating “supernatural” havoc. Don’t pass on this one.
    -Knock: Thieves’ Tools is not that necessary anymore.
    -Phantasmal Force: Welcome to one of the many infinite spells: an illusion that only your target feels, and believes in even after it’s gone. Gaslighting, anyone? I once used this to make a guard think he was on fire, driving him away from the door and making him look like a crazy man. Anyway, the less interactable the illusion is, the more they will believe it. Obviously you don’t need to use this just for screwing with people, but also to make them feel good and believe you’re the miracle worker. Some suggestions: Giant aquarium, swarm of bees, angelic beings massaging the target, making the target believe the room/cliff is wider than it is, Pokémon’s Haunter licking the victim’s face. Creativity is the only barrier.
    -Skywrite: To warn many people of some imminent danger or awesomeness.
    -Suggestion: Another infinite spell, damn level 2 spells are good! There are many threads showing you how to use this well, but my favorites include telling the victim to go to another city/kingdom, to tame a wild animal and to take a nice swim in the deep/rushing river.
    -Zone of Truth: Make them eat their deception. The perfect spell for those moments when you think your Insight is not cutting it.

    LEVEL 3
    -Bestow Curse: Like Hex, but with a shorter duration and a save. Meh.
    -Clairvoyance: Good to check on a specific location you already know. Now, all you gotta do is visit all the places your enemies live in, or lure them to yours. Listening to conversations from afar without arousing suspicion is another advantage.
    -Fear: Use this when you need to instill, you know… fear. Be it to disperse a crowd, or make someone’s decision easier, or scaring witnesses away… sooner or later it’s used.
    -Feign Death: Too situational. Besides, sometimes a Deception check accomplishes the same.
    -Sending: Man, texting is expensive in fantasy games! Still, a very good choice, because showing up to talk to people is just lame and risky. Weirdly enough, you can text animals and plant creatures with it, too.
    -Nondetection: Are you on the run? This can help.
    -Speak with Dead: If your friends got too excited with the witness/enemy and capped him, this is what you use. And the dead can be very revengeful, so if you have common enemies let them help.
    -Speak with Plants: I can’t think of many situations for this.
    -Tongues: Booya, all languages when you need them. Mandatory if you know only two.

    ADDITIONAL MAGICAL SECRETS (LVL6)
    -Alter Self: Better than Disguise Self, because your transformation can’t be inspected. And guess what, small people, you can have average height now. Welcome to the Changeling lifestyle.
    -Augury: “Is trying to seduce the duke a good idea? Hm… It says no.”
    -Find Familiar: A familiar can be nice for some gambits (like selling it and having it return to you). Plus, scouting.
    -Guidance: NEVER underestimate an extra d4 to skills, especially if no one else can cast this.
    -Hex: Cutting Words can give your target a dice penalty to one check, but this will give them disadvantage on all checks involving a stat for one hour. What else do you need to screw them? If somehow you have this and Subtle Spell, enjoy permanent disadvantage to your target's Insight check.
    -Revivify: Nothing is quite as important for making friends as reviving people.
    -Counterspell: Against all charming, banishing and screwing spells.

    LEVEL 4
    -Dimension Door: When in panic over a bad Deception roll or near death, press the button.
    -Greater Invisibility: Like Invisibility, but more combat-oriented and shorter.
    -Hallucinatory Terrain: Another one in the gaslighting series, it’s easy to make someone think you are a celestial/fiend/fey/whatever according to the scenery you choose.
    -Locate Creature: When you’ve lost your buddies or your prey, keep them on the radar with this.
    -Polymorph: Nothing humiliates people more than being turned into a worm. Trust me.

    LEVEL 5
    -Dominate Person: Very nice outside of combat. From my experience, it’s easier to just make your puppets do bad/stupid things in public then trying to have them kill someone and whatnot. With a Sorcerer multiclass, you’re doubling the time on this.
    -Dream: What's important from this is to screw someone's rest before a big day, leaving them exhausted. And if you didn't get Sending, this is what you use in its place.
    -Geas: If you can’t normally blackmail your targets, make them fear for their lives directly with Geas. Especially good with low-level, high-authority figures, but that’s hard to guess without proper metagaming. And if you’re hiring people, make sure you cast this so they can’t betray you easily.
    -Mislead: When you need to escape a deadly encounter or stall someone with conversation while your real self gets out there to do something, this is what you use.
    -Modify Memory: Boom! That warlord that doesn't like you? Now you saved his life, and his army's yours. The lord you fooled? Now he's been fooled by the king himself, and will help you defeat him. Spin your web in any way you like.
    -Scrying: CCTV on anyone. The material component is a hassle, but you could look for a device like this on temples or arcane colleges. Sleight of Hand can help you get that piece of hair to make sure it’ll work.
    -Seeming: The obvious use for this is to make enemies target the wrong foes in your party, but socially this gives you gold: free entrance in parties for everyone, free passage at the city gates, free get-out-of-jail cards… it goes on.

    MAGICAL SECRETS (LVL10)

    -Arcane Eye: Cameras equal evidence, evidence equals power! And safety.
    -Commune: Knowledge is also power. Godly knowledge, in this case.
    -Creation: How much you fool others with this spell is up to you. “See? I’m the Goldmaker, destroyer of worlds!”
    -Leomund’s Secret Chest: If there’s something you can’t afford to lose, that’s where you go.
    -Mordenkainen’s Private Sanctum: Worried about being followed/eavesdropped? Not anymore.
    -Rary’s Telepathic Bond: 1-hour communication in any distance is great for ambushes, and also keeping contact while missions are on the way. Share that knowledge.

    LEVEL 6
    -Mass Suggestion: Like Suggestion, except… better. And not even requiring concentration!
    -Otto’s Irresistible Dance: Say ‘dance, puppets’ and mean it. You have other means to embarrass people, but this one doesn’t require a save.
    -Programmed Illusion: Like Major Image, but more convincing for not needing you present.
    -True Seeing: Falling for illusions is for marks. Not just for you, worth noting.

    LEVEL 7
    -Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion: Gods deserve cool houses. Impressing those relatives from far away is a bonus.
    -Project Image: If you fear you might be killed in a particular circumstance, use this to test their loyalty. Who said you need to show up to talk to the cattle? Also, being in two meetings at the same time! How cool is that?
    -Symbol: Unless you have infinite gold, protecting anything with this is just not worth it.
    -Teleport: Or teleporting between meetings, you choose.

    MAGICAL SECRETS (LVL14)
    -Conjure Celestial: This is what you use to make a godly first impression.
    -Contingency: Almost mandatory. Captured? Use Teleport. Charmed? Use Calm Emotions. Under Zone of Truth? Cast Teleport. Suddenly, urgencies are not so urgent. It’s pricy, though.
    -Heroes’ Feast: On the headline, it should read: “God gives mortals the best meal ever”.
    -Magic Jar: Dominating another creature completely gives you 1000 new angles for your plans. Just don’t get it killed, or things can go bad.
    -Simulacrum: A god and a half? Sure!

    LEVEL 8
    -Dominate Monster: Who said you're only meant to rule over humanoids?
    -Feeblemind: If you need to take a rival out of the game without murder, this is what you use.
    -Glibness: See, now, RIGHT NOW, you're god. Your lies can’t be magically detected, and any Deception/Perception roll you make is at least 15: with your Charisma and proficiency and Expertise, that’s 30, MINIMUM. If you look at the DCs column, 30 is for ‘nearly impossible’ tasks. Add in Peerless Skill, and you see what I mean about making the king go out naked. Or the Red Dragon to fight against his family. Or whatever else you want.
    -Mind Blank: Never be charmed again. Never have your mind read. Never be magically located. Never reveal your emotions. This is what you cast before breakfast.

    LEVEL 9
    -Foresight: We already had advantage on ability checks before, but this is awesome.
    -True Polymorph: Next step, dominating the multiverse!

    MAGICAL SECRETS (18)
    -Clone: New characters are for the cattle. Actually, you should die after getting this. Make an effort! Make a prophecy, like ‘If I die, I shall return after the harvest moon’, then die, come back and wait for the churches to be built. I'm sure this was Jesus's main spell.
    -Gate: Bringing anyone with you to any plane makes for some great negotiations.
    -Control Weather: If the weather is a major element in your campaign, this is awesome.
    -Telepathy: Talk to anyone you know, anywhere. Take that, Verizon.
    -Wish: Do whatever you want. With caution.

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    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    “If you could be either God’s worst enemy or nothing, which would you choose?” Tyler Durden

    MAGIC ITEMS
    If your DM gives you a say about magic items, here's what you should aim for.

    UNCOMMON
    - Gloves of Thievery: the fact that they're invisible is what makes 'em great.
    - Hat of Disguise: no explanation required.
    - Headband of Intellect: free discerniment? Sign me up!
    - Potion of Poison: use it wisely, my friend.
    - Ring of Mind Shielding: Basic gear. No one can know your alignment and your lies magically, which is gold already. And then there's convincing some poor man into reviving you, which is ultra gold.
    - Sending Stones: well, it's Sending.

    OTHERS: under construction.

    SAMPLE BUILDS

    SOCIAL TITAN
    Lightfoot Halfling Rogue 1/Lore Bard 19
    ST8, DX14, CO16, IN10, WI14, CH20
    ASI’s (3): CH+2, CH+2, CO+2
    Feats (2): Actor, Resilient (WIS)
    Background: Entertainer
    Skills: Acrobatics, Deception (X), History (X), Insight (X), Intimidation (X), Perception (X), Persuasion (X), Performance, Stealth
    Tools: Disguise kit, mandolin
    Spells:
    C-dancing lights, friends, minor illusion, vicious mockery
    1-charm person, disguise self
    2-invisibility, phantasmal force, alter self
    3-dispel magic, fear
    4-dimension door, polymorph, rary’s telepathic bond
    5-animate objects, modify memory
    6-mass suggestion, otto’s irresistible dance, contingency
    7-reverse gravity, project image
    8-clone, glibness, mind blank
    9-foresight, wish

    Simple and elegant, 1st level in Rogue and the rest in Bard. Reroll those 1’s. In combat focus on debuffing and controlling the field.
    _________________________________________________

    THE CHARMING MAGICIAN
    Tiefling Arcane Trickster 10/Wild Magic Sorcerer 10
    ST8, DX14, CO14, IN16, WI12, CH20
    Feats: Resilient (CO), Actor
    ASI's (3): CH+2, IN+2, WI+2
    Background: Criminal
    Skills: Acrobatics, Deception (X), History (X), Insight (X), Intimidation (X), Perception (X), Persuasion (X), Performance, Stealth

    Spells:
    [AT] C: minor illusion, friends, prestidigitation, green-flame blade, (thaumaturgy)
    1: charm person, disguise self, shield, (hellish rebuke)
    2: blur, invisibility, phantasmal force, web, (darkness)
    [SORCERER] C: dancing lights, mage hand, fire bolt, message, shape water, control flames
    1: detect magic, fog cloud
    2: alter self, detect thoughts, enhance ability
    3: fly, major image
    4: banishment, polymorph
    5: dominate person, animate objects

    Hey! You, dude with the horns! I WANT YOU TO JOIN THE SOCIAL GOD ARMY! Take Rogue 6 ASAP, the rest is up to you. Starting as Sorcerer for CON save is a good idea. As for Metamagic, go Subtle, Quickened and Extended, I’d say. Before your shows, cast Enhance Ability on yourself for better Sleight of Hand rolls. If you don’t care for a second feat, take Sorcerer 11 for 6th-level spells.
    _________________________________________________

    LOKI
    Variant Human Mastermind 6/Cleric (Trickery) 10/Druid (Arctic) 4
    ST8, DX14, CO12, IN10, WI16, CH20
    Background: Noble
    Skills: Acrobatics, Arcana, Deception(X), History, Insight(X), Intimidation (X), Persuasion(X), Stealth
    ASI's (3): +4CHA, +2WIS
    Feats (2): Lucky, Alert
    Spells:
    [CLERIC] C: light, spare the dying, thaumaturgy, resistance
    1: healing word, detect magic, shield of faith, (charm person, disguise self)
    2: augury, blindness/deafness, zone of truth, (mirror image, pass without trace)
    3: animate dead, speak with dead, (blink, dispel magic)
    4: banishment, death ward, locate creature, (dimension door, polymorph)
    5: raise dead, scrying, (dominate person, modify memory)
    [DRUID] C: frostbite, guidance
    1: absorb elements, cure wounds, speak with animals
    2: darkvision, enhance ability, moonbeam

    This crazy build is just here to show that after 4 Expertises, anything goes. Trickery Cleric is Loki's essence, and in tales he often turned into animals to fool others, hence Druid. If anybody actually tries this, tell me about it, I'm EAGER to know.

    GENERAL STRATEGY
    TALK TO YOUR DM
    5e leaves much of the mechanics of skills up to your DM, so it's important to see how exactly you'll work your god mechanics. The way I see it, for example, Persuasion requires a DC according to what you want, while Deception would require you beating someone else's Insight. That Insight could be passive or rolled with your Deception. Will you be able to use several skills in a single encounter? Will a single skill use cover an entire encounter, or will you have to do them several times? etcetc. Clear these things out before the game.

    ORDER OF SKILLS
    When you are in a neutral situation, always follow this linear use of skills:

    Persuasion -> Deception -> Intimidation

    To illustrate, let's pretend you're asking your boss for a raise. First, you just ask using arguments, body language and some self-pity; if he says no, you get no raise, and maybe cry. Then you say your wife's pregnant and really needs it; it can be all you need, but if he finds out later, you're in trouble (and when you lie too much, the DM will make sure you get caught). And then there's threatening to kill his wife; unless he's aggressive, are you sure about that?

    ROLES
    The more roles (as in theater roles) you can play, the better you will be at infiltrating several societies, make people in those circles like you and avoid those who pursue you. This depends not only on roleplay, but on skills, tools, equipment and class abilities. Musician? Performance/Musical instrument. Acolyte? Religion. City guard? Official garments and invesgative capabilities. Artisan? Artisan's tools. Noble? Manners, good clothes and papers proving your lineage. Oh wait, you have those already. Tribe member? Ragged clothes and hunting equipment. And so it goes.

    TEAM WORK
    A SG can even go on a solo campaign, but what fun is that?
    - You don't talk all the time, you talk at the right time. Don't cut your buddies off interactions just because you're the best for them.
    - If one of your buddies is proficient in CHA skills, plan for them to give you advantage in your roll. They'll participate and be happy to help.
    - When possible, do the 'good cop, bad cop' routine: while one of your friends is a complete *** to the mark, you swoop in and bring your charming understanding to the table.
    - If you're a Bard, having another Bard in the group sounds reduntant, but they can inspire you and you can inspire them. Go crazy.
    - Party members with some decent skills can help you perform several scams and tricks as a stand-in. Whenever you need more than yourself to do the job, make them an offering.
    - Don't be afraid to ask for other casters to help you do your job; two concentration spells at once (like Alter Self and Enhance Ability, or Invisibility and Detect Thoughts) can create some real havoc with planning.
    - The guy with Guidance is your best friend.


    HOMEWORK
    Finally, being a social god requires your own charisma, creativity and eloquence. If you don’t know how, here are a few sources of knowledge (will update this with time):

    How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie: One of the most recognized books on making friends and making people like you. If you can’t be bothered to read it, at least skim through it.

    The Mystery Method, by Mystery: This book’s purpose is picking up chicks, but the principles are solid for most social interactions.

    The Juggler Method: If you read a few pages of the Mystery Method and found it boring or obnoxious, try this one.

    200 Sales Hunting Tips: Your whole job is to sell, be it ideas, things or motivations, so this might help. Read sparsely.

    How To Lie: Pretty self-explanatory.

    The Flim-Flam Man: A solid list of scams and the principles behind them, by Reddit user famoushippopotamus.

    List of confidence tricks: More scams for glory!

    TV:
    House of Cards: Frank Underwood is the ultimate social god in politics.
    Lie to Me: How Deception, Insight and Investigation work.
    Game of Thrones: Well, you know it.

    Movies:
    The Ocean Trilogy (Ocean’s Eleven/Twelve/Thirteen): how a group of con artists, flim-flammers, tricksters and techwizards operates. Endless ideas.
    Now You See Me: Kinda like the one above, but with more magic.
    House of Games: Joe Mantegna lays down the law on manipulation.
    Training Day: Always be yourself, unless you can be Denzel Washington.
    Catch Me If You Can: Another great confidence man from real life.

    Thank you for your time.
    Last edited by Specter; 2017-04-22 at 01:31 PM.

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    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    I like it. I'm playing something similar. It's not optimised. But it really is working amazingly.

    I'm rogue 3 arcane trickster/bard 4/divination wizard 2. Halfling. With the lucky feat.

    Mostly it follows your theme with the 4 lots of expertise although I don't have intimidation and have stealth instead.

    Divination is there for if I have a big lie to pull off. I can wait for a good portent. And use that to ensure the most important lie gets off. And then the halfling lucky means I reroll 1s (this alone has saved my bacon more times than I can count!) And lucky feat gives me another layer of reliability.

    Spell wise, find familiar is amazing, mage hand is awesome. And I just picked up zone of truth which is sure to be pretty helpful.

    Probably not as optimised as rogue 1 bard 19 but for me it's working

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    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    Add to the movies:

    Catch Me If You Can (2002)

    IMDB says:

    The true story of Frank Abagnale Jr. who, before his 19th birthday, successfully conned millions of dollars' worth of checks as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and legal prosecutor. ...

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    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    Is there a reason that you ignored Warlock in this guide?
    (Half Elf ArchFey comes to mind but others would work as well).

    Skills: Arcana, Deception, History, Intimidation, Investigation, Nature, and Religion. you can save some skill choices by using this Invocation: Beguiling influence (Proficiency in Deception and Intimidation Skills).
    Pick a background with Insight and or persuasion.
    Possible MC with Bard and picking Performance Background (using poetry or other verbal skills) could nicely fit nicely into your general idea.

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    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    Nice guide. Definitely an area where creativity and homework matter more than game optimization.

    There are so many more movies and shows in the genre, of course. Two essential classics:

    The Sting
    Paper Moon


    Also, one quibble: this is a guide to playing a film flam man. That's a fine archetype and tons of fun, but it is a narrow bit of the social world. Playing a master of persuasion and insight might go a bit differently, but still be very effective, with no deception required.
    Last edited by smcmike; 2016-06-07 at 09:05 AM.

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    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    If you are focusing on disguise, two things to consider:
    -Charlatan background offers unique forgery skills that you can't pick up any other way
    -Halflings have trouble passing themselves off as many other races (even trying to be human children can be a stretch); human or half-elf is a more versatile starting point from a size perspective in most campaigns

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    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    Out of curiosity, why don't you have guidance as a suggested cantrip? +1d4 to all skill checks when you have a half second to prepare seems to fit with what you're going for.

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    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    I don't like this guide.

    You are saying play a bard and use your expertise in the face skills. There are plenty of guides that already say that. its pretty common knowledge if you want to be the face character play the bard or rogue, what new are you bringing to the discussion?

    I like the idea of the homework section, I think you should build on that and try to teach people how to be a better party face.

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    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    Quote Originally Posted by wunderkid View Post
    I like it. I'm playing something similar. It's not optimised. But it really is working amazingly.
    I'm rogue 3 arcane trickster/bard 4/divination wizard 2. Halfling. With the lucky feat.
    Mostly it follows your theme with the 4 lots of expertise although I don't have intimidation and have stealth instead.
    Divination is there for if I have a big lie to pull off. I can wait for a good portent. And use that to ensure the most important lie gets off. And then the halfling lucky means I reroll 1s (this alone has saved my bacon more times than I can count!) And lucky feat gives me another layer of reliability.
    Spell wise, find familiar is amazing, mage hand is awesome. And I just picked up zone of truth which is sure to be pretty helpful.
    Probably not as optimised as rogue 1 bard 19 but for me it's working
    You're on the right path!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Underhand View Post
    Add to the movies:
    Catch Me If You Can (2002)
    IMDB says:
    The true story of Frank Abagnale Jr. who, before his 19th birthday, successfully conned millions of dollars' worth of checks as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and legal prosecutor. ...
    Totally forgot, good one.

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Is there a reason that you ignored Warlock in this guide?
    (Half Elf ArchFey comes to mind but others would work as well).
    Skills: Arcana, Deception, History, Intimidation, Investigation, Nature, and Religion. you can save some skill choices by using this Invocation: Beguiling influence (Proficiency in Deception and Intimidation Skills).
    Pick a background with Insight and or persuasion.
    Possible MC with Bard and picking Performance Background (using poetry or other verbal skills) could nicely fit nicely into your general idea.
    I did include it in dips. The Archfey bits are good, but you'd still need Expertise to rock it.

    Quote Originally Posted by smcmike View Post
    Nice guide. Definitely an area where creativity and homework matter more than game optimization.
    There are so many more movies and shows in the genre, of course. Two essential classics:
    The Sting
    Paper Moon
    Also, one quibble: this is a guide to playing a film flam man. That's a fine archetype and tons of fun, but it is a narrow bit of the social world. Playing a master of persuasion and insight might go a bit differently, but still be very effective, with no deception required.
    Good ideas. A social god can be whatever the situation needs him to be; the flim-flam bit is covered by Deception, disguises and some skills, the rest is good for other social roles, like leader, negotiator, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Naanomi View Post
    If you are focusing on disguise, two things to consider:
    -Charlatan background offers unique forgery skills that you can't pick up any other way
    -Halflings have trouble passing themselves off as many other races (even trying to be human children can be a stretch); human or half-elf is a more versatile starting point from a size perspective in most campaigns
    Duly noted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jakinbandw View Post
    Out of curiosity, why don't you have guidance as a suggested cantrip? +1d4 to all skill checks when you have a half second to prepare seems to fit with what you're going for.
    I'll include in Cleric/Druid multiclasses.

    Quote Originally Posted by tieren View Post
    I don't like this guide.
    You are saying play a bard and use your expertise in the face skills. There are plenty of guides that already say that. its pretty common knowledge if you want to be the face character play the bard or rogue, what new are you bringing to the discussion?
    I like the idea of the homework section, I think you should build on that and try to teach people how to be a better party face.
    First of all, many people just expertise Persuasion or Deception and are done with it; that's not what this is about. Secondly, this works for rogues too, or anyone who bother to pick up 6 rogue levels in their build. Third, Expertise is the bare minimum for this to work, as I've noted in the basics. Don't think I'm bringing too many new things to the table, other than guidance on usage of skills and spells, but guides are meant to be comprehesive and organized, not new. The homework pretty much speaks for itself.

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    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    Quote Originally Posted by Specter View Post
    First of all, many people just expertise Persuasion or Deception and are done with it; that's not what this is about. Secondly, this works for rogues too, or anyone who bother to pick up 6 rogue levels in their build. Third, Expertise is the bare minimum for this to work, as I've noted in the basics. Don't think I'm bringing too many new things to the table, other than guidance on usage of skills and spells, but guides are meant to be comprehesive and organized, not new. The homework pretty much speaks for itself.
    Fair enough I suppose.

    I think it was the reference to Treantmonk's work that set my expectations higher. Yes it was a wizard guide, but it was also educating people about a new way to look at wizards instead of blasters.

    You seem to be making a playstyle guide that is going to try to teach people how to use the social pillar to give their characters more control and options than they are used to, but it fell into a pretty basic bard guide.
    Last edited by tieren; 2016-06-07 at 01:10 PM.

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    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    Yeah, I kind of feel like this guide would be more useful or interesting if it were list of fun tricks or scams or social roles you can try in-game. I guess this isn't really possible since there are so many variables, but "expertise + max charisma" isn't particularly novel.

    Also, if you are discussing social stuff, shouldn't backgrounds come into it?

    Also, I'm not really sure that you need to max all of the charisma skills. It seems to me that a knowledge cleric with a one level rogue dip for insight and persuasion expertise would be awfully good in a lot of social situations. Or, forget rogue and skills and just play an enchanter.

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    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    Quote Originally Posted by smcmike View Post
    Yeah, I kind of feel like this guide would be more useful or interesting if it were list of fun tricks or scams or social roles you can try in-game. I guess this isn't really possible since there are so many variables, but "expertise + max charisma" isn't particularly novel.

    Also, if you are discussing social stuff, shouldn't backgrounds come into it?

    Also, I'm not really sure that you need to max all of the charisma skills. It seems to me that a knowledge cleric with a one level rogue dip for insight and persuasion expertise would be awfully good in a lot of social situations. Or, forget rogue and skills and just play an enchanter.
    You made me realize I had left out another part of the guide, "General Strategy". It's there now.

    I don't do backgrounds because they depend on individual stories. Also, anyone with a Rogue dip or with domination magic can be good at some social situations, granted, but that's not a social god. A social god is good at all situations.

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    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    Nice guide!

    I'd persoanlly go for Lorebard full (dem tasty full casterlevels) with a side order of sorcerer for the metamagic (instead going for twin/subtle, or heighten/subtle) but well done.

    All I'm missing is the language section for tidbits not eveyrone might know like the fact that knowing Primordial makes you literate in 5 languages instead of just 1 beucase if you speak primordial, you also speak aquan, ignan, terran and auran. Then there is the fact that lots of languages exist and that dpeedning on what you expect to see that you want more of those. and how about gaining more languages? Maybe you can make sure you don't need to pick Tongues as one of your known spells at all in favour of another spell known. maybe it's nice to rank the languages in how useful they are where red languages are those very specific to a region or are of subrace of somepeople (or ignan/aquan/auran/terran because you will obviously take the golden primordial).

    Also, this language section would undoubtedly be headed by Christoph Waltz in his role of Col. Hands Landa from Inglorious Bastards who spoke quite some languages, wihtout even a hint of an accent.
    Last edited by Socratov; 2016-06-09 at 08:27 AM.
    Warlock Poetry?
    Or ways to use me in game?
    Better grab a drink...

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    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    Really, you list a series of movies to watch on scamming people, and you don't include The Sting? For shame...
    Quote Originally Posted by The Underlord View Post
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    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    Glad to see Hex was (finally) mentioned, but disappointed that it wasn't mentioned in conjunction with Subtle Spell. This is my sorlock's favorite trick to use in social situations to impose disadvantage on all the target's opposed checks. Now when he's dealing with a dragon he has adv (from draconic sorc) vs. the dragon's disadvantage (from Hex). Brutal!
    Last edited by Dalebert; 2016-06-09 at 10:38 PM.
    In real estate, they say it's all about location, location, location. In D&D I say it's about action economy, action economy, action economy.

    My swashbuckler: "I like chewing bubble gum and bucklin' swashes and I'm all out of swashes!! So I'm pretty much just sitting around chewing bubble gum."

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    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    Quote Originally Posted by Dalebert View Post
    Glad to see Hex was (finally) mentioned, but disappointed that it wasn't mentioned in conjunction with Subtle Spell. This is my sorlock's favorite trick to use in social situations to impose disadvantage on all the target's opposed checks. Now when he's dealing with a dragon he has adv (from draconic sorc) vs. the dragon's disadvantage (from Hex). Brutal!
    Thanks for this tip! I hadn't considered using Hex this way for my bardlock. My plan was to eventually combine Guidance with Foresight. But Hex and Foresight is a better combo. I can't do that Subtle Spell thing, but still. :)
    It doesn't matter whether you agree with me or not, you are wrong.

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    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    Quote Originally Posted by lall View Post
    I can't do that Subtle Spell thing, but still. :)
    That's too bad. I find it can put a crimp on social interactions when you start obviously casting spells on someone in the middle of negotiations.

    I have another character with Hex but without Subtle Spell. It's harder to do but possible. I went to the other side of a noisy and crowded room, got some help with distractions from my party, and the DM had me make a stealth roll to cast discreetly. It's sure nice when you can pull out a Hex in the middle of an interaction that you didn't necessarily anticipate or just didn't have an opportunity to cast it before.
    Last edited by Dalebert; 2016-06-09 at 11:57 PM.
    In real estate, they say it's all about location, location, location. In D&D I say it's about action economy, action economy, action economy.

    My swashbuckler: "I like chewing bubble gum and bucklin' swashes and I'm all out of swashes!! So I'm pretty much just sitting around chewing bubble gum."

    Crystal Mage -- a homebrewed arcane tradition

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    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    Really, you list a series of movies to watch on scamming people, and you don't include The Sting? For shame...
    Can't do everything, bruh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dalebert View Post
    Glad to see Hex was (finally) mentioned, but disappointed that it wasn't mentioned in conjunction with Subtle Spell. This is my sorlock's favorite trick to use in social situations to impose disadvantage on all the target's opposed checks. Now when he's dealing with a dragon he has adv (from draconic sorc) vs. the dragon's disadvantage (from Hex). Brutal!
    Will do!

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    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    I feel like the Arcane Trickster takes a backseat to the Swashbuckler in the face department. Specifically, the Swashbuckler being able to inflict unlimited Charm effects with an opposed skill check without using magic. I've literally charmed my way through a campaign with a Swashbuckler/Lore Bard; the rewards were always better, the accommodations always nicer, the transgressions always a little more forgivable.

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    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    Quote Originally Posted by Socratov View Post
    Nice guide!

    I'd persoanlly go for Lorebard full (dem tasty full casterlevels) with a side order of sorcerer for the metamagic (instead going for twin/subtle, or heighten/subtle) but well done.

    All I'm missing is the language section for tidbits not eveyrone might know like the fact that knowing Primordial makes you literate in 5 languages instead of just 1 beucase if you speak primordial, you also speak aquan, ignan, terran and auran. Then there is the fact that lots of languages exist and that dpeedning on what you expect to see that you want more of those. and how about gaining more languages? Maybe you can make sure you don't need to pick Tongues as one of your known spells at all in favour of another spell known. maybe it's nice to rank the languages in how useful they are where red languages are those very specific to a region or are of subrace of somepeople (or ignan/aquan/auran/terran because you will obviously take the golden primordial).

    Also, this language section would undoubtedly be headed by Christoph Waltz in his role of Col. Hands Landa from Inglorious Bastards who spoke quite some languages, wihtout even a hint of an accent.
    Bard 20 is nice, but waiting till' level 10 for more Expertise hurts. Also, I find the Bard's capstone to be one of the worst.
    Languages are cool, but too campaign-dependant to be analyzed: I've been in a campaign where we used nothing but Common, and others were people were swinging 6+ languages. In essence, if you have 3 or 4 you don't need to worry too much about Tongues, otherwise...

    Quote Originally Posted by CNagy View Post
    I feel like the Arcane Trickster takes a backseat to the Swashbuckler in the face department. Specifically, the Swashbuckler being able to inflict unlimited Charm effects with an opposed skill check without using magic. I've literally charmed my way through a campaign with a Swashbuckler/Lore Bard; the rewards were always better, the accommodations always nicer, the transgressions always a little more forgivable.
    In terms of pure charming, yes. But AT can produce illusions, disguise himself, become invisible and read people's thoughts. And that's just mentioning four spells.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Orc in the Playground
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    Mar 2014

    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    Man, I'm playing a bard in a game that's starting real soon, and I wasn't going to go full on social but this guide makes me want to.

    The typical build suggested is Rogue 1/Bard 19 -- is there any special reason the rogue level should come first? I ask because technically I've had a session already as Bard 1 but it was super short and I'd bet I could get my DM to change it if I asked, but I don't want to ask if it's not really relevant.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Oct 2015

    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    Quote Originally Posted by rrwoods View Post
    Man, I'm playing a bard in a game that's starting real soon, and I wasn't going to go full on social but this guide makes me want to.

    The typical build suggested is Rogue 1/Bard 19 -- is there any special reason the rogue level should come first? I ask because technically I've had a session already as Bard 1 but it was super short and I'd bet I could get my DM to change it if I asked, but I don't want to ask if it's not really relevant.
    IIRC, you end up with one more net skill because both classes give a skill for multi-classing, but Rogue gives four while Bard gives three. Thus a Bard/Rogue gets 3+1 while Rogue/Bard gets 4+1.
    Quote Originally Posted by krugaan
    All it takes is once:

    "Grandpa, tells us that story about the Ricalison the Great again!"

    Hours later...

    "... and that, kids, is how he conquered the world with dancing lights."

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Brazil

    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    Quote Originally Posted by rrwoods View Post
    Man, I'm playing a bard in a game that's starting real soon, and I wasn't going to go full on social but this guide makes me want to.

    The typical build suggested is Rogue 1/Bard 19 -- is there any special reason the rogue level should come first? I ask because technically I've had a session already as Bard 1 but it was super short and I'd bet I could get my DM to change it if I asked, but I don't want to ask if it's not really relevant.
    What Rick said. Also, going Bard gives you CHA save, while going Rogue gives you INT. Both are pretty much meh, but I find that CHA is more frequent.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Oct 2015

    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    Quote Originally Posted by Specter View Post
    What Rick said. Also, going Bard gives you CHA save, while going Rogue gives you INT. Both are pretty much meh, but I find that CHA is more frequent.
    I think Int saves are actually more important. Cha saves aren't fun either, but the few Int saves are absolute killers (in some cases literally), added on to the fact that ain't tends to be dumped...
    Quote Originally Posted by krugaan
    All it takes is once:

    "Grandpa, tells us that story about the Ricalison the Great again!"

    Hours later...

    "... and that, kids, is how he conquered the world with dancing lights."

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Brazil

    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    Quote Originally Posted by RickAllison View Post
    I think Int saves are actually more important. Cha saves aren't fun either, but the few Int saves are absolute killers (in some cases literally), added on to the fact that ain't tends to be dumped...
    I can remember Phantasmal Force and Feeblemind. CHA has Bane, Banishment and Magic Jar (AFAIK). But the difference is slight, really.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Dec 2014

    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    Tides of Chaos is very good for social skill checks.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Oct 2015

    Default Re: The Social God: A guide to an optimized party face

    Quote Originally Posted by Specter View Post
    I can remember Phantasmal Force and Feeblemind. CHA has Bane, Banishment and Magic Jar (AFAIK). But the difference is slight, really.
    I'm thinking more for enemies. Charisma lets you save better against stuff like the Umber Hulk's confusion, while Int lets you save better against the Intellect Devourer and Mind Flayer. Cha failures can cause some very unfortunate statuses, including Bane's rebuff and Banishment. Int saves from the monsters have such effects as "be stunned until this grapple ends" as an attack rider, being stunned for a minute on an AoE (with the chance to save on each turn), and finally having the chance to have Int reduced to 0 and be stunned until that score is increased (and I think the lowest-level, reliable way to regain that is a 5th level cleric spell).

    Basically, Cha saves are bad and more numerous, while Int is very rare, but literally crippling.
    Quote Originally Posted by krugaan
    All it takes is once:

    "Grandpa, tells us that story about the Ricalison the Great again!"

    Hours later...

    "... and that, kids, is how he conquered the world with dancing lights."

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