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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SirNibbles's Avatar

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    Default Believing the Truth (3.5)

    Lying is easy. You tell your lie, roll a Bluff check, and your opponent(s) roll a Sense Motive check. If they win, they know you were lying (or in some cases they think you were telling the truth but the action you wanted them to take was too much). If you win, they believe your lie and will take reasonable action in response to it.

    What's not so easy is telling the truth. What happens when you tell the truth and someone doesn't believe you? What check is used in that case?

    The Book of Vile Darkness, page 38 discusses Bluffing regarding torture, where the person being tortured may give false information in order to get the torture to end. However, again, there is no check to confirm when the truth is being told.

    The only thing I've been able to find is a DC 20 Sense Motive check for 'Hunch' with which "you can get the feeling that someone is trustworthy."

    Is there anything else or is always just a DC 20 Sense Motive for someone to believe the truth? That seems weird considering a lot of commoners will fail that check.

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    Default Re: Believing the Truth (3.5)

    Diplomacy. If youíre telling the truth, itís just a matter of getting them to trust you enough to believe you.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: Believing the Truth (3.5)

    I'd actually just leave it without the check to make it similar to real life. In reality, you don't ever know if someone is telling the truth or not. Lying is easy to decipher because people act differently when they do it. But someone telling the truth is as plain as someone who is a very good liar. You never actually know which is which. You can decide whether you trust them, sure, but that doesn't mean you succeeded your Truth-Checking check. There is no Snope fact verification roll.

    It's part of what makes life and the game interesting that you never quite know if Truth is Truth or you just horribly failed at deciphering a lie. That goes for NPCs as well. This is why picking the safest option is usually the way people go ahead unless they're reckless or foolish or trusting. The truth about the orc army doesn't matter, the King can't risk loaning you thousands of troops on your word alone.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Believing the Truth (3.5)

    People cannot determine lying by omission because you are telling the truth the entire time. Just not the important or relevant information that is necessary for the interaction to be favorable or equal to your target.
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    Default Re: Believing the Truth (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Diplomacy. If youíre telling the truth, itís just a matter of getting them to trust you enough to believe you.
    I thought that would probably be the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyutaru View Post
    I'd actually just leave it without the check to make it similar to real life. In reality, you don't ever know if someone is telling the truth or not. Lying is easy to decipher because people act differently when they do it. But someone telling the truth is as plain as someone who is a very good liar. You never actually know which is which. You can decide whether you trust them, sure, but that doesn't mean you succeeded your Truth-Checking check. There is no Snope fact verification roll.

    It's part of what makes life and the game interesting that you never quite know if Truth is Truth or you just horribly failed at deciphering a lie. That goes for NPCs as well. This is why picking the safest option is usually the way people go ahead unless they're reckless or foolish or trusting. The truth about the orc army doesn't matter, the King can't risk loaning you thousands of troops on your word alone.
    Both practically and mechanically it's just weird.

    I'll give one example. We broke into a magic lighthouse to steal some stuff. As we were trying to leave, a bunch of guards showed up. I successfully bluffed them into thinking the tower was rigged to blow up (and thus they should run away instead of trying to fight us). What if the tower was actually rigged to blow and thus I didn't get to use my high Bluff skill to make them think that? "Hey guys, you need to get out of here if you want to live." -"Yeah right, you're just trying to trick us!"

    It's like telling the truth is somehow inferior to lying, unless you go with Diplomacy to convince people of the truth. But what happens when you have someone with a high diplomacy score on the other side? They are good at diplomacy so they outroll you and think you are lying even though you're telling the truth?

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: Believing the Truth (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by SirNibbles View Post
    It's like telling the truth is somehow inferior to lying, unless you go with Diplomacy to convince people of the truth. But what happens when you have someone with a high diplomacy score on the other side? They are good at diplomacy so they outroll you and think you are lying even though you're telling the truth?
    Well most of the time it is. Especially when trying to convince enemies not to fight you. They still get a chance to disbelieve your lie if they Sense Motive. They would also get a huge bonus to a ridiculous story like the tower is going to explode. Diplomacy is just another example of that and failing at it means they don't trust you. However, these are enemies. They didn't trust you to begin with. You're rolling to adjust their trust of you into the positive range. Surely they won't just roll over and take that without an opposition check to shift their reaction towards you (or at very least some Charisma silliness).

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    Default Re: Believing the Truth (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Diplomacy. If youíre telling the truth, itís just a matter of getting them to trust you enough to believe you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyutaru View Post
    In reality, you don't ever know if someone is telling the truth or not. Lying is easy to decipher because people act differently when they do it. ... There is no Snope fact verification roll.
    We have to distinguish between being honest and telling what you believe to be the truth on the one hand and actually knowing the truth on the other. With Diplomacy skill, you can convince people that you're being honest about what you believe, but you cannot prove to them that you actually know what you're talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by HouseRules View Post
    People cannot determine lying by omission because you are telling the truth the entire time. Just not the important or relevant information that is necessary for the interaction to be favorable or equal to your target.
    Withholding information in order to deceive is a clever way to lie without having to make a Bluff check. But there's still a way to defeat this deception: making a Sense Motive check to have a hunch. If you suspect that somebody is intentionally hiding something from you, you can make a Sense Motive check to have a hunch, and if you succeed, you know that they are untrustworthy, and if you know this, you can easily suspect that even though they've never lied, they haven't told you the whole truth, either.

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    Default Re: Believing the Truth (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by SirNibbles View Post
    I'll give one example. We broke into a magic lighthouse to steal some stuff. As we were trying to leave, a bunch of guards showed up. I successfully bluffed them into thinking the tower was rigged to blow up (and thus they should run away instead of trying to fight us). What if the tower was actually rigged to blow and thus I didn't get to use my high Bluff skill to make them think that? "Hey guys, you need to get out of here if you want to live." -"Yeah right, you're just trying to trick us!"

    It's like telling the truth is somehow inferior to lying, unless you go with Diplomacy to convince people of the truth. But what happens when you have someone with a high diplomacy score on the other side? They are good at diplomacy so they outroll you and think you are lying even though you're telling the truth?
    Technically, you could use Bluff at that point to tell the truth, and what you're trying to do is convince them of your sincerity and knowledgeability. Yes, you're telling the truth, but you're using the pushy con-man techniques to get them to buy it. If they beat your Bluff with Sense Motive, they see through your tricks and are more likely to disbelieve you...but you're trying to persuade them without evidence, so urgency and (faux?) sincerity/certainty are all you really have.

    If you have evidence, or a reasoned argument, then it's down to convincing the DM that your evidence is persuasive. This is where Diplomacy comes in: if you can get them to Indifferent or even Friendly, they'll likely stop to listen to you provide your reasoned argument or to look at your evidence. Here, you're not opposing sense motive or even diplomacy: you're rolling against the standard diplomacy table to adjust attitudes.

    Heck, if you're using a threatening situation, you might even be engaged in Intimidation and its "make somebody act as you wish for a few rounds" function. "There's a bomb! You should be scared!" you intimidate, but with more persuasive language (body- and otherwise) than I just demonstrated. If you're proven right, they may even forgive you rather than have the usual hostile reaction, since the source of the intimidating threat wasn't the person who expressed it so successfully to them and just saved their lives. But that's a DM call.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duke of Urrel View Post
    We have to distinguish between being honest and telling what you believe to be the truth on the one hand and actually knowing the truth on the other. With Diplomacy skill, you can convince people that you're being honest about what you believe, but you cannot prove to them that you actually know what you're talking about.
    Bluff can do both, of course: convince somebody that you believe what you say, and that you know what you're talking about. But they're two different aspects of it, so one can be much higher difficulty than the other, depending on how ridiculous your claim.

    A man on the street in torn clothing can probably convince a lot of people that he honestly believes horrors from beyond the stars are coming through a rift that will open in six days' time, and that we should all be preparing for the end-times. He will likely not, however, convince very many people that he knows what he's talking about.

    A (probably soon-to-be-ex-)NASA scientist who has documents detailing the traversal of the asteroid that will soon pass between the Earth and the Sun can likely convince people she knows what she's talking about when she discusses astronomical events, but not that she's terribly sincere when she attempts to calmly explain that she's noticed strange symbols that she hasn't been able to photograph (for some reason) on the asteroid, but taht she is certain they mean that the asteroid will form a gateway to another dimension from which horrors beyond our ken will pour through to invade the Earth.

    Getting yourself believed as "knowing what's up" is usually the harder sell, and once done, the sincerity is easier. But not always. Especially if you have a reputation as a liar.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duke of Urrel View Post
    Withholding information in order to deceive is a clever way to lie without having to make a Bluff check. But there's still a way to defeat this deception: making a Sense Motive check to have a hunch. If you suspect that somebody is intentionally hiding something from you, you can make a Sense Motive check to have a hunch, and if you succeed, you know that they are untrustworthy, and if you know this, you can easily suspect that even though they've never lied, they haven't told you the whole truth, either.
    Any effort to deliberately pass on false information can have the DM calling for a Bluff check. A successful Sense Motive vs. a Bluff doesn't tell the undeceived character what the truth is, only that you fibbed.

    I actually suspect the "have a hunch" rules are there for when somebody's telling the truth. If they're lying, beating their Sense Motive tells you they're untrustworthy because they're bad at lying. If they're telling the truth, rolling less than a 20 gives you a sense that they might be hiding something because you are feeling untrusting, and aren't good enough at reading them to defeat your confirmation bias.

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    Default Re: Believing the Truth (3.5)

    I would go with bluff. If you are trying to get someone to believe in what you are saying, one should roll Bluff vs Sense Motive, a lack of good judgement is bad at both times believing truths and lies. However I would go with diplomacy when not looking for the acceptance of information or facts but rather support or its opposite. If you need someone to trust you or show you their support you would go with diplomacy. Just keep in mind that players and npc should roll only when they want to judge the words, not whenever someone is lying they can choose to believe or disbelieve without even stopping to judge or assess what they are being told.

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    Default Re: Believing the Truth (3.5)

    I think if you want to incorporate the reality that sometimes people speaking the truth are not believed, rather than having a roll for that, it's more about how you handle Sense Motive in general.

    Roll the player's sense motive check AND a "bluff" check (even if it's not a lie, roll a die so they can't be sure) in secret, anytime a player asks for a sense motive check. Whether the NPC is honest or lying but won the check, tell the PC that the NPC "seems to be telling the truth."
    Let the player's own suspicions carry things from there. Of course, a savvy group will have people both w/ very high and very low sense motive and see what each group of PCs thinks, and be able to figure it out fairly easily. That can't really be helped...

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: Believing the Truth (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by HouseRules View Post
    People cannot determine lying by omission because you are telling the truth the entire time. Just not the important or relevant information that is necessary for the interaction to be favorable or equal to your target.
    I disagree with using Bluff in this fashion. The opposing skill is called Sense Motive, not Sense Truth. The person who rolls it isn't trying to determine whether your statement is technically, factually accurate, but whether or not you're trustworthy and sincere.

    A real lie-detector test doesn't "ping" when someone's statement fails to comport with the facts: it "pings" when the person's body displays symptoms associated with anxiety, which are just as likely to manifest when you're intentionally withholding information aadd even your telling a deliberate falsehood.

    That's more akin to how the Sense Motive skill should be used.
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