Should Insight be able to determine if an NPC is lying?

Poll: Should Insight be able to determine if an NPC is lying?

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  1. #1
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    Magsman (Lvl 14)



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    Should Insight be able to determine if an NPC is lying?

    The thread on NPCs and insight checks has taken on a life of its own - so I felt asking this in an new thread might work better.

    Straightforward question: Should insight be able to determine if an NPC is lying?

    I've also included a rather binary poll, explanations can be had in the comments.

  2. #2
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    Oh lord...

  3. #3
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    Guide (Lvl 11)



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    Yes. It is literally used as the example in the description of Insight.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Silverbane View Post
    Yes. It is literally used as the example in the description of Insight.
    Hence the "should" instead of 'does". People tend to play it very differently and I'm curious as to the percentages .
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfcrusher View Post
    Oh lord...
    It's a bit of a different question. The last thread seems to have gotten hung up on how the action is resolved, I'm more interested in seeing what people actually allow the skill to do.

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    An insight can determine general intent, I don't treat it as a lie detector. Best players get from me is "Seems to be telling the truth", "You feel like they're hiding something" or "They keep glancing nervously at the captain of the guard before answering".

    Useful for indicating generalities but not specifics.
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  7. #7
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    The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)



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    In my games, yes it can, but since it can also tell you that they are even if they are being truthful, its not as cut and dried as a binary result.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mort View Post
    Straightforward question: Should insight be able to determine if an NPC is lying?
    My answer to what I believe is the spirit of the question is "Yes," and that's how I voted.

    But in a technical (yet fundamentally more important) sense, I would say "No."

    I say that because "Insight" can't determine anything. Only the task described by the player has a chance at that. "Insight" is not a task. It is a mechanic used to modify an ability check if an ability check is determined by the DM to be necessary to resolve uncertainty as to the outcome when there's a meaningful consequence for failure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iserith View Post
    My answer to what I believe is the spirit of the question is "Yes," and that's how I voted.

    But in a technical (yet fundamentally more important) sense, I would say "No."

    I say that because "Insight" can't determine anything. Only the task described by the player has a chance at that. "Insight" is not a task. It is a mechanic used to modify an ability check if an ability check is determined by the DM to be necessary to resolve uncertainty as to the outcome when there's a meaningful consequence for failure.
    Short answer: Yes, with a but.
    Long answer: No, with an except.
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  10. #10
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    If someone is lying, then a successful Insight check will confirm that.

    If someone is not lying, then it gets more complicated.
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