Can you trick someone into Voluntarily Giving up a Saving Throw?

Felix

Explorer
Hypersmurf said:
Oh, sure.

I'm basically saying "Pick your bluff carefully", because the mechanics of saving vs harmless and non-harmless spells are different.

If you choose a bluff that uses the same mechanic as what you're actually casting, you're less likely to have that bluff called.

-Hyp.
Then we agree.

Bluff can help the caster, Sense Motive and Spellcraft can help the target; ultimately the answer is, "yes, you can convince someone to fail a saving throw against a malicious spell."
 

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Felix said:
Then we agree.

Bluff can help the caster, Sense Motive and Spellcraft can help the target; ultimately the answer is, "yes, you can convince someone to fail a saving throw against a malicious spell."
I hope nobody in my group reads this thread or they'll never let me be a rogue/sorcerer... :(
 

Kahuna Burger

First Post
The Blow Leprechaun said:
I hope nobody in my group reads this thread or they'll never let me be a rogue/sorcerer... :(
If you plan to use this tactic, it would be best to consult your DM beforehand anyway. It is possible to interpret "willingly accept a spell’s result" to mean that you accept the result of a specific spell "I am willing to be enlarged by you" rather than accepting the next spell cast.
 

DreamChaser

Explorer
Consider this:

A flat-footed person makes a Reflex save with his full Reflex save bonus. In this situation, there is no advanced warning before the effect is happening (the character dodges as the fireball explodes).

The fact that with no ability to react and no advanced warning a character gains the benefit of a Reflex save, along with the fact that an unconscious character gets a Will save speaks very strongly to the intent of saves being unintentional.

While a character can voluntarily forgo a save, if they are surprised by an effect they were not expecting, they become effectively flat footed (for Reflex) or helpless / unconscious (for Will & Fort saves) against that effect. By the rules, characters who are unaware of a harmful effect still gain the full benefit of their saving throw.

Thus, no bluffing a character to drop their saves. Even if they agreed, their "reflexes" would step in to protect them.

DC
 

Kae'Yoss

First Post
Twowolves said:
As far as the RAW go, I see no reason not to allow someone to con someone into foregoing a save. In fact, I've had PCs convince other PCs to forego a save, versus Charm no less!

If a PC is gullible enough to let his actively choose to lower his guard, he gets what he deserves. In the case of PC vs NPC, Bluff vs Sense Motive seems appropriate.

May I play in your game? May I play a Beguiler? :]
 

Greybar

No Trouble at All
I agree with the meta-gaming concerns mentioned above. Let's think about this without rules. How would you describe this in a narrative?

Cure Light
"You feel a sense of warmth tingle across your injured arm, just before you see the flesh pinken and begin to heal."

Dominate Person
"A force of will engulfs your mind..."

Hmm... but that could give too much of a clue, since the RAW call for a Spellcraft of 25+lvl *after* making the save. It doesn't feel good from a Rule 0 perspective, but I suppose could vary by a campaign's interpretation of magic and psionics.

I think I'd go for the "harmless" spells feeling different and not raising the hackles of a person as they come in. The non-"harmless" spells feel like something alien that your instinct will be to resist. That seems to line up with the RAW.

drifting to House Rule possibilities:
A nice Spellcraft check, with a synergy to Bluff, would make sense to make a spell falsely seem "harmless". If it gets overabused, maybe make it a Metamagic feat...

Interesting dicussion, though
 

ThirdWizard

First Post
Greybar said:
I think I'd go for the "harmless" spells feeling different and not raising the hackles of a person as they come in. The non-"harmless" spells feel like something alien that your instinct will be to resist. That seems to line up with the RAW.

And you tell them that you're casting a non-harmless spell that they need to drop their defenses for so that it can affect them. Something like plane shift.
 

Felix

Explorer
DreamChaser said:
While a character can voluntarily forgo a save
Here is the flaw in your argument: the character does not "forgo a save"; the character intentionally fails the saving throw that they get.

Yes, the flat-footed person gets a Reflex saving throw. It is within this character's power to fail this saving throw intentionally.

Similarly, it is within a character's power to fail a Will saving throw. If you need a contrivance, let's say that some evil sorcerers have his sister hostage and threaten to kill her if he resists the Detect Thoughts spell. Do you suggest that this brother has no choice but to make the roll, and if he succeeds, then be helpless as he witnesses his sister's death, which he was willing to avoid, but your ruling denied him?

Yes, the character also has the ability to try to attempt that saving throw, but allow the possibility that he can be convinced to do otherwise.

Once you allow the possibility that he can be bullied into failing the save, you open the door for someone to Bluff a target into willingly failing a save. "Ok, this is Arcane Healing and feels different from what Clerics can do, but it does the same thing. When you feel a force pressing aganist your psyche, relax and let the spell happen."

Someone with Knowledge (arcane) might recognize the lie, depending on the Bluff. Someone with Spellcraft might be able to recognize the spell being cast, understand that he has been hoodwinked, and then attempt the save. But someone who believes what is being told him has the ability to willingly fail the save.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
I, too say, yes it is possible.

I have seen it happen in games I have both run and played in, and was once the victim of such a trick leading to the capture and enslavement of the party and one of the most fun story arcs where we had to break free and seek vengeance on our betrayer.
 

Patlin

Explorer
I remember a similar situation in a game, though it was less crucial that the npc give up her saving throw. Giving up her touch AC, along with initiative was more to the point. It went something like this:

NPC: "I want you to go on a dangerous mission for me."
PCs: "We would, but we're a little worried about your motivations." (Subtext: In fact, we're pretty sure you're a vampire pretending to be a living person.)
NPC: "How can I convince you?"
Cleric PC: "Well, I have a harmless spell that will tell us if our fears are justified. Would you mind if I cast it on you?"
NPC: Smugly confident she is protected from any divination magic our low level group can muster. "Sure, go ahead."
Cleric PC: Casts cure moderate wounds on the vampire, and asks the DM how it reacts.

:)

Divinations aren't the only spells that can be informative.
 

Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
Felix said:
Here is the flaw in your argument: the character does not "forgo a save"; the character intentionally fails the saving throw that they get.

Voluntarily Giving up a Saving Throw: A creature can voluntarily forego a saving throw and willingly accept a spell’s result. Even a character with a special resistance to magic can suppress this quality.

-Hyp.
 


DreamChaser

Explorer
Felix said:
Here is the flaw in your argument: the character does not "forgo a save"; the character intentionally fails the saving throw that they get.

Like Hype said, the phrasing does not support this interpretation.

DC
 

Kae'Yoss

First Post
Twowolves said:
Yes, and no! No beguilers in the Scarred Lands (yet)

You just don't want me to play the ultimate assassin: "Hey, I just want to cast a nice spell on you, my Bluff bonus is bigger than anything you could roll with 10 people helping you, so forget making your sense motive check and just accept the spell I cast on you, which really is not Dominate Person"

but I think "Saarland" ain't exactly 'round these parts. :D

It will be, once I united the earth under the iron claw of my tyranny. :]
 

Kahuna Burger

First Post
Kae'Yoss said:
You just don't want me to play the ultimate assassin: "Hey, I just want to cast a nice spell on you, my Bluff bonus is bigger than anything you could roll with 10 people helping you, so forget making your sense motive check and just accept the spell I cast on you, which really is not Dominate Person"
:lol: Yeah, it's really a pretty straightforward mechanics issue from my point of view - the disconnect between a dedicated bluffer's bluff check and the average sense motive is so far above the difference between save DC and save that a character of the same level could accomplish, there's no way I'm going to let one be replaced for the other.
 

Particle_Man

Explorer
Another wrinkle: Could a character forgo his Will Save, but still be ready to make a Fort or Reflex save? Or does Forgo a save mean to forgo all three as a package deal?

Because "stand still" seems different from "open your mind" seems different from "relax your body".
 

Twowolves

Explorer
Kae'Yoss said:
You just don't want me to play the ultimate assassin: "Hey, I just want to cast a nice spell on you, my Bluff bonus is bigger than anything you could roll with 10 people helping you, so forget making your sense motive check and just accept the spell I cast on you, which really is not Dominate Person"


Make sure you know about ALL the campaign specific/house rules before you assume these tricks will work.

But sure, I stand by my opinion that you can talk someone into foregoing a save. Doesn't mean it'll always work, or that there won't be in-game repercussions.
 

Corran

Explorer
By coincidence I just read the following in Dragons of Faerûn (Aggravate Dracorage spell, page 113):

(Nevertheless, many casters of the spell will use subterfuge to trick the target dragon into allowing the spell to be cast freely upon it, thereby avoiding the dragon's high Will save bonus.)​

So it seems at least some designers see this as a regular option.
 

backbeat

First Post
Anyone considered adding in the False Thuergy trick from complete Scoundrel.

It makes one spell appear as another for the purpose of counterspells and spellcraft checks. Now if only my wizard didn't have a 6 CHA I could totally bluff people into accepting my spells.
 

Corran

Explorer
False Theurgy is the only Skill Trick I immediately banned from my campaigns. It is way too overpowered and the cost to gain it is incredibly low.

I do have to add that this is all theory as I don't think I've ever seen a character counterspell in any of the campaigns I DM or played in.

It seems no one ever thought it effecient to spend a round waiting for someone to cast a certain spell to then get a chance to counter that spell.

I have to admit that I haven't read the counterspell rules since the 3.5 PHB hit the shelves, but from what I remember it seems rather pointless.

(Granted, there are feats, PrCs out there that let you counterspell as a move or swift action if memory serves. In that case it might become a bit more useful.)

This will take this thread drastically off course but I would like to know how prevalent counterspells are in other campaigns.
 

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